Vanilla Porter (Stranahan's) | Breckenridge Brewery

very good
38 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Phelps on 11-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

With the vanillans from oak and caramel-rich tannins impart spice and dryness, it was only a matter of time before Breckenridge embarks upon barrel aging for their quaint Vanilla Porter.

Deep brown in color, the beer's tawny ruby-ish character seems to have taken on a charcoal-filtered appearance the lightens the beer's look considerably. With less haze, the beer casts mohogany highlights through its dark malt. Capped by a creamy off-white head, the sweetness and oils of the beer eventually have their way and strip the beer from any extended head retention or lace.

Its aromas take on imperial-like complexities as the common coffee, chocolate, and caramel components are pushed slightly into the background to make more room for barrel aged attibutes. Oak, butterscotch and, of course, vanilla notes are projected to give the beer's aroma a decidedly sweet and succulent edge.

Flavors behave similarly. As the mouth is met with candy-coated sweetness of Werther's Originals, the taste of caramel malts, creamy vanilla, milk chocolate and nutty coffee continue to seem into the taste buds. Creamy and very sweet, the middle palate in tempered slightly from the mild taste of woody hops and spicy wood tannin. Boozy alcohols insinuate bourbon, but without the sweet oaky booze and vinous fruit barrel complements. Still the beer carries just enough alcohol spice and wood tannin to signal some semblance of balance.

Richly textured, the sweet malts sit and saturate the palate and cause the beer to become much more of a "sipper" than a "drinking" beer. But with the relatively moderate body, it's easy to want to turn it up. It's long sweet middle palate evokes fatigue onto the mouth quickly, hurting drinkability for more than a snifter. Finishing nearly cloying, the beer celebrates the sweeter and complicated side of both beer and whisky.

The beer is a real discovery as the whisky notes not only complement the base Vanilla Porter, but overtakes it- not offering glimpses of complexities, but changing the beer altogether. It just so happens that the changes offer a lot of excitement and enjoyment, much like Founders Backwoods Bastard and Alltech's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

 2,197 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of buschbeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of denver10
3.04/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It poured a brownish color that was a bit translucent in quality at the right angles. A sugary sweetness is there in the smell but the whiskey is the sharpest specific aroma. Flavor wise matched the aroma. A sweet, smooth whiskey flavor. It was dessertish with its caramel and vanilla sweetness. Medum bodied and a very creamy mouthfeel. Overall, I liked this one . Not sure I could have had more than the one glass of this at a time, but I definitely enjoyed that one glass and would get again. I preferred this to the original form, but the two are very different. The beer in this gets lost, but if you like whiskey, as I do, this was enjoyable. Really just tasted like a sweet shot of whiskey. Tried rating it as a beer though, thus the lower points.

 754 characters

Photo of needMIbeer
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Phelps
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter aged in Stranahan’s whiskey barrels. Enjoyed at the 2011 RAREaffair, inside my taster glass.

Thin purple-brown, opaque but watery-looking. One finger of pillowy tan head.

In the nose: vanilla bean, tangy dark chocolate and butterscotch before a certain whiskey harshness. Notes of hot vanilla extract, like you would use for making cookies, also emerge.

The flavor smooths things out with cocoa and soft vanilla bean. There’s very little whiskey, but I get the occasional soft, buttery note. Clean, slightly sweet finish. It’s a bit light, avoiding boozy harshness but also avoiding a good amount of its flavor.

The smooth medium body is maybe a touch too thin. Moderate, pinching carbonation, soft fizz, and no hint of alcohol.

Impressively, this BA porter is as drinkable as the un-aged version – but I like the regular version better. The base beer can't stand up to barrel-aging, and is better in its unaltered form.

 986 characters

Photo of MaseFace
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of blindpiggie
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of funkyaudio
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of tswater
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of throwback
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Adkins1203
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of Sturmthis
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of NorthCoastPranqster
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Iowacraft
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of HeyYoMar
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of tylergoov
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Cris4545
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Beergelden
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of DenverLogan
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll admit the regular Vanilla Porter is not a brew I regularly pursue, though it's fine enough for it's style. But whoa, put it on Stranahans and what a fine change. Pours brown with lingering tan head. Aroma of vanilla, whiskey and cocoa. Taste of dark roasted malts, chocolate, whiskey, toffee, caramel. I was fortunate enough to walk away with a growler full. Delicious seasonal.

 383 characters

Photo of Akeah
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TBarJr
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of DeeMalloy
3/5  rDev -24.2%

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Vanilla Porter (Stranahan's) from Breckenridge Brewery
3.96 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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