Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

1,076 Reviews
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Madagascar grows the perfect ingredient for an extraordinary Porter brewed in Colorado. Breckenridge Brewery’s Vanilla Porter. An ale that has all the chocolate and roasted nut flavor of a classic Porter, with an enigmatic surprise thrown in for good measure.

Added by Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006

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Reviews: 1,076 | Ratings: 4,127
Photo of HuppMJH
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look - Nice dark (almost black) color that is the norm with a lot of porters. Thin creamy head on the top, but it disappeared pretty quickly. I thought it may have just been a bad pour, but I notice multiple people have mentioned this below.

Smell - Definitely getting a vanilla/carmel mixed with espresso smell. Also picking up an odd smell that I can't exactly place; possibly a metallic type smell?

Taste - I'm picking up on the vanilla and coffee taste. Also finding some malt and a slight carmel finish.

When I'm looking for a porter, this definitely wouldn't be my beer of choice. It's a good beer to try to get your pallet to understand the taste of what people are describing in a beer (especially vanilla). Possibly a beer to take to a tasting as an example, but would be a disappointment as the main beer.

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Photo of zaq37
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought in a 6 pack, poured into a Dogfish Head Snifter, served at room temperature.

A- no head, small rim of what would be a head formed around the edges of the glass, but nothing special. very disappointing actually. Color is dark brown with a bit of red.

S- chocolate and malt mainly. not really smelling a lot of vanilla, although it is in there somewhere.

T- Nothing extremely special here. Malty flavor with a sweetish bitterness at the end. no aftertaste, it's there, and then it's gone. while i drink on this, everyone now and again i will get a taste of root-beer which i absolutely hate; so having a beer taste like root-beer is NOT a +1 for me. however because of it's sweet flavor i do have to say i enjoy the taste, as long as the root-beer flavor stays away from my taste buds.

M- Average, smooth, decent carbonation. nothing too over the top here.

D- meh, i would drink this again as long as i did not have to pay for it. I liked this beer and perhaps some time down the road if i see it again i may pick it up for old times sake but this was definitely not one of my favorite beers, however i will say that it was NOT BAD, definitely drinkable and unique.

Overall i was not impressed with this beer, very odd flavors and as i mentioned i do not care for the taste of root-beer and i kept picking up on those notes in there somewhere. which i love the flavor of vanilla in general, it is very intense and rich but it was not well mixed in this beer.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle that I dropped in a little porter mix-six I built at the store today. I'd never tried it before, and love vanilla, so I decided to give it a shot. Poured into a tulip.

"Pours a dark brown that glows with deep ruby hues when held to the light. A thin veil of cream-colored head appears, but dissipate quickly to a ring and scattered patches of bubbles across the surface. Distant patches lace the glass.

The aroma is of roasted malt, cane sugar, sweet vanilla, and a bit of toffee. Really smells ""sugary"" in front of the roast aromas, and nearly artificial.

Tastes of raisin and plum fruits, surprisingly, a bit of roasted malt and bitter chocolate, some natural vanilla, and loads of sugar. A bit of caramel and/or toffee on the back end. Much fruitier than anticipated.

Mouthfeel is thinner than hoped, without any real roast or bitterness coming through. Velvety towards the end, but finished with what I can only describe as ""oily,"" and there seems to be a slick veil coating the palate for a while. Strange.

Overall, this seems to be a rather average porter that tried to rise above via the addition of vanilla beans. A good attempt, but I feel like the base beer wasn't up to par to accept the beans. It comes off as more of a vanilla ""brown ale"" than a vanilla porter. I'll enjoy this bottle, but probably won't spring for more any time soon."

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Photo of csmiley
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Appears dark brown in color. Almost opaque but some light is getting through around the edges. Head was average at a little more than half inch. Retention was average. Lacing was good.

S - Vanilla dominates the aroma. There is a background with roasted notes and coffee. Overall the aroma is light on the nose.

T - Vanilla takes over the taste department, to the point of becoming cloying. There are sensations of roasted malt and and chocolate finishing it up but they are just too mild campared to the vanilla.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is a little sweet thanks to the massive amount of vanilla.

D - Drinkability is average at best. The vanilla is just way too strong in this beer. There is nothing in the beer that really comes close to balancing that vanilla flavor.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown with light brown to grey head. Nose has a surprising smoky roasty malt quality along with the vanilla. Flavor starts out with roasted flavors, some chocolate, but then just like a spicy food dish that builds in heat... the vanilla bitchslaps you in the face and doesn't go away. It's like I'm drinking one of those flavored coffees, but I prefer plain black coffee, and now I'm feeling used and abused.

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Photo of denflyr
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Like it was mentioned before, this has a cola"esk" aspect to it. I can't identify what type, but it is there.

Poured with a minimal 1/4" head with no apparent lacing on the glass.

Light bodied beer that has again that dark cola color to it.

I did not detect a vibrancy of the aforementioned vanilla to this porter. It is there in fleeting moments, but not apparent for me.

There is a marked sweetness to the beer on the initial entry.

A very drinkable beer, but just not my favorite for this style.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.09/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small cap of head over the expected dark browns and rubies. Aromas are prominently chocolate malt that really wafts out of the pour. Flavors are slightly cloying at first. Sweetness from the chocolate and coffee malt are there but then each sip turns a little sour. I'm not sure where that's coming from? Goes from bitter to tangy and back again, which is a little misplaced in my opinion. Mouthfeel is light with low carbonation. Thankfully the awkward sour character really tone down when the beer warms up, but I think I'll pass on this one next time...

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Photo of cbutova
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Black but not oily black with a small tan, creamy head. Decent retention and some random webbing of lace.

S- Surprisingly faint. Overall I get a nice balance of vanilla bean, caramel malt and roast malt.

T- A nice vanilla bean presence but not a ton behind it. There is a decent caramel, cocoa and roast malt presence but the overall flavor feels just a bit thin. A bit of dark fruit.

MF- Creamy overall feel for a lighter body. Fairly high carbonation.

DB- Not the most flavorful or rich of porters, feels even thin compared to most porters. The vanilla bean is pretty much the only thing that carries this along.

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Photo of EasternDivide
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After a few weeks in Colorado and getting my fill of the local goods, I decided to branch out with the "make-you-own" sixer. One company that caught my eye was Breckenridge. Their Vanilla Porter has a complexity but it isn't the most drinkable or the best porter I've had this season. Its appearance is a deep brown, nearly on par with guinness. The nose is mostly candies and hops with just the subtlest of hints of its named ingredient. When it comes to flavor, I love the boldness of the flavors and the unabashed use of hops, but the hops seem to overpower the malt that I was looking for. The benefit of this is that you have a clean palate, ready for the next drink.

Though I couldn't drink a few pints of this it is a good solo pint. I can see it doing very well at a christmas party, but wouldn't drink a whole growler myself.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass

A-- Poured a dark coke color. One finger light brown head. Little bit of carbonation bubbles. Good head retention.

S-- Very thin smell. Just hints of Vanilla.

T-- Lots of vanilla, little bit of chocolate and toffee. Some roasted malts as well.

M-- Vanilla bomb. Really strong vanilla and some toffee and coffee. Quite sweet.

D-- For a low ABV beer it was hard to get through. Not something to pair with food. Desert, yes. I thought it needed more to offset the massive vanilla flavor. When I have had on tap it is more balanced but not as good on tap as in bottles. One is enough.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A dark brown beer with a smallish off-white head, decent lacing. Very faint aromas aren’t too promising..not picking up a whole lot of anything really, particularly in the way of vanilla or the typical roasted notes of a good porter. A little bit of sweet malt and traces of coffee.

Flavor is pretty light as well. Very faint in terms of the vanilla, and not much roast, chocolate or coffee either. Light, watery, vaguely nutty, just traces of vanilla and coffee.

Easy to drink, with low ABV, clean finish, medium carbonation. Pretty disappointing, I’d say, although I didn’t really have high hopes for this to begin with. Lacking in just about everything I love in the porter style. I’d almost say it would be hard to identify it as a porter if tasted blind, so definitely loses points based on its lack of adherence to the style. Won’t be back when there’s still so much more to try.

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Photo of jale
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear brown with a dime of a tan head.

S: A little roasted malt a just a hint of vanilla.

T: Some roasted malt. Slightly sweet and tiny amount of vanilla. Slight sour finish

M: Moderate carbonation. Thin body for me.

D; One and done for me.

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Photo of rye726
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A perfect silky tan head. Not the darkest porter, but a deep redwood color. Nice aroma as well. A well balanced vanilla over a very decent porter. Tasty malt structure is complex yet nice and dry. Medium body with a nice carbonation. A little syrupy from the vanilla. A quality brew, just a little strong on the vanilla.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown color with ruby edges. Poured a half-finger light tan head that dissipated to and even layer. Light, broken lacing.

S: Lightly toasted malts and sweet cherries. Toasted malts more prevelant as the beer warmed. Surprisingly, no vanilla.

T: Mild toasted malt flavors up front then sweet light fruits. A hint of vanilla (but I was looking for it). Mild bitter finish to balance.

M: Light side of medium body. Enough carbonation to balance.

D: A little overly sweet in a bit of a cloying way. Suggest you let it warm a little.

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Photo of hts417
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- dark brown borderline black with off white tannish head. Retention was short lived

S- coffee and caramel notes with whiffs of vanilla

T-the vanilla is surprisingly subtle. Coffee and roasted malt flavors with the vanilla coming in on the finish

M-fairly thin for the style. Just slightly cloying/ sticky on finish

O-overall not bad but left a lot to be desired. Not really an amazing porter and not enough complexity to be an interesting variation on the style

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Photo of Riggsy
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into Nonic pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, ruby highlights show off when held up to the light. A thin creamy beige head forms, falls quickly to a surface film which stays throughout.

Complex aroma of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Vanilla is pretty powerful which some might find off putting but I found it pretty pleasant.

Vanilla and an almost cloying sweetness dominate the flavor. Some chocolate and coffee in the background. The sweetness took away from this but would still be real good as a dessert beer.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, like syrup. Not much carbonation, some more might make it less heavy on the tongue.

Nice dessert beer, but wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of Reappropriated
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

The label says Remarkable Vanilla Porter, but I found it was really only one of the three. I could go through all the categories, but if you imagine all those categories for a generic porter you pretty much have this beer figured out. I found it an average porter, but got almost no vanilla and nothing really special from this beer. It is painfully average, so you will not hate this beer, but you will probably not love it either.

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Photo of frequentgear
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

pours some appealing creamy head, which fades to almost nonexistent lace. dark red, practically brown.

smells delicious, sweet bread and vanilla/liquor scents.

slight malty taste. not very much in the way of body. the vanilla is powerful and isn't as good as it smells, but tastes sweet before a somewhat bitter finish/aftertaste. kinda reminds me of vanilla cola...or flavored coffee creamer, in a not-so-good way. would rather have a full porter or a stout. it's okay

wouldn't really seek it out again though.

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Photo of N3ptune
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served: bottle into a mug.

L: Worried right away. Not nearly as dark as I would have expected. Finger, finger and a half of head that dissolved very quickly.

S: Vanilla, coffee, malty, even getting a hint of cherry. Smells lovely.

T: Malty. Slight coffee roast. Vanilla and caramel come through at the end. No big flavors.

M: Very thin for a porter. More carbonation than expected.

O: Not a bad beer. Not exactly what I expect from a porter though.

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Photo of iDrinknewglarus
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark, but when observed in the light, you can see right through it. Its actually a dark ruby red color. Dark tan head.

S: It smells really sugary and sweet. Roasted malts, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla.

T: It tastes like a pretty standard porter, but just watered down. I don't really get too much vanilla in the taste as I do in the smell. Slightly bitter and dry, which is nice. I get a strange stale, burnt coffee taste that turns me off a bit. Turns watery in the finish.

M: There is something wrong with the mouthfeel of this beer- it's too watery. The finish tastes and has the texture of carbonated water.

This porter is very meh. I can't really recommend this beer to anyone when there are much better porters (non-flavored) out there.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a very dark burgundy color. The head is a one finger eggshell color that fades to a very thin collar in no time.

S: Light vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, and cream soda. Nice sweet smell, but not very porter-y in my opinion.

T: Cream soda...a LOT of cream soda in general. This isn't like Stone Smoked Porter w/ Vanilla Bean where the (overpowering) vanilla totally clashed with the smokiness...the (overpowering) vanilla here at least meshes moderately well with the base beer. There's a little bit of nuttiness near the finish, but this beer seems like little more than a canvas to show off the vanilla flavors.

M: Pretty creamy, but at the same time, too oddly foamy and light feeling...just like cream soda! Carbonation could be toned down a little, as well.

O: Well, your enjoyment will come down to one question - do you like cream soda? If so, you'll probably like this too. A one and done for me, but I don't regret trying it.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into an average pint glass. It looked a lot like root beer, produced a cool webbing of foam on the glass.

S: not much to it.

T: I was expecting a whole lot more. There wasn't a "natural vanilla" flavor; rather it seemed manufactured - like the difference between imitation and pure vanilla extract. A coffee flavor showed up now and again in the beginning. As it got warmer the beer showed signs of hope. A more malty flavor emerged but it was rudimentary.

M/F: it had lager characteristics. Very carbonated

D: it was decent. I had two and that was enough.

Conclusion: It reminded me more of a black lager then a porter. I was expecting more flavor and smoother texture. For a porter it was on the lower end of average for me. I might drink this again at a bar if the options were limited, but I wouldn't purchase a 6pck.

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Photo of thethrone
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a dark, translucent brown. Appearence is thin and watery, with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Strong vanilla aroma. Smells very sweet, much like brown sugar.

T - Vanilla overpowers the palette here. Hints of roasted coffee at the finish.

M - Light, soda-like feel. Sweetness lasts in the mouth from the first sip through the last.

D - Tasty, but much too sweet for my tastes. Almost more like a soda than a beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Rustic brick red exit from the bottle was dark sherry in the glass. The head was thin, spongy with a dark bronze/tan coloring. A thin whispy lash was all that was offered for lace.

S: The aroma was of dry vanilla powder, cherries both very light in strength. Light chocolate roast, fresh cocoa powder adding some sweetness but again still very under utilized.

T: The flavor was simple and thin, fresh chocolate flakes, light roast with dry vanilla barely being recognized coming off more as creamer powder. Small flashes of chocolate cherries. Overall very thin in substance not a lot of chocolate or vanilla to be recognized.

M: Some malty substance, creamy with a light carbonation detection. Nice chocolate roast fade on the swallow.

O: Overall not as robust as I hoped or envisioned. Not a lot of depth malt nor chocolate wise. Flavor was thin, a bit watered down and can be easily mundane if you were expecting a hearty vannila porter. One dimensional and liner flavor, easy drinking, but comes with a meh factor.

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Photo of SteveS1
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Look: Opaque/brown with a little ruby/caramel light showing through at the edges. Light tan head with little retention. Decent lacing.

Smell: Standard chocolate malts, hint of vanilla icing, very sweet, bubble gum

Taste: A bit bitter on the tip of the tongue, roasted malts and bubble gum on the palate, clean bitter coffee flavor going down. A touch of roasted malt aftertaste, but nothing overpowering. Average sweetness.

Feel: A little thin and light. Moderate carbonation.

Drink: Average, an easy drink, but not something you'll be tempted to gulp down.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,127 ratings.
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