Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter
Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House

Roebling Vanilla Espresso PorterRoebling Vanilla Espresso Porter
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American Imperial Porter
Ranked #343
Ranked #29,302
3.76 | pDev: 14.89%
Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Ohio, United States
Very Good
Roebling Vanilla Espresso PorterRoebling Vanilla Espresso Porter
Notes: Roebling Imperial Porter brings together Cincinnati coffee, Ugandan vanilla beans and raw, organic turbinado sugar into a big, rich, chocolate, espresso infused brownie of a beer that is as innovative as its namesake. Rivertown was asked to craft a beer for a community festival in 2011 which celebrated the 145th Birthday of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge linking Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY. This Imperial Porter is inventive, unique, well balanced, strong, and has been created to be as timeless and remarkable as the Roebling Bridge, the man who dreamed big and the community that brought that dream to life.
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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 447
Photo of BeanBump
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good not great. Coffee + vanilla is usually a fast track to my heart but this beer doesn't have very pronounced amounts of either. Again, not saying this beer is bad I just had higher hopes, I guess. I did notice a fair amount of yeastiness to the beer. Not enough to be off putting but it did seem a bit out of place for a porter.

Tone back the yeast, up the coffee and youve got a winner here.

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Photo of akme223
3.27/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served in pint glass. Pours a chocolate color, no head, bit of a milky color ring around edge.

Very light scent of coffee and roasted malt, fainter vanilla.

You can taste the roasted malt but not much else.

Medium bodied. Pretty flat.

Glad I made a trade for this one as I don’t think I’m going to pick up again. The alcohol is very well hidden, but unfortunately everything else taste wise is pretty well hidden.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 2/20/18, poured into North Coast snifter.

Pours a hazelnut color that forms into a deep chocolate brown-black with a skinny milky off-white head of 1/2 finger.

Aroma is faint, but is of roasted barley and light espresso, some faint lactose.

Flavor is sharp espresso, roasted malt, and very faint dark chocolate nibs.

Feel is very roasty, medium bodied, slight creaminess welling up, and a medium to heavy carbonation profile. Ends roasty.

Overall, could use some improvement in the aroma and flavor departments, a bit boring and tasteless. Again though, could be attributed to the age (sitting at 9 months), but usually imperial porters and stouts hold up better than this over time.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Average brew. Kinda wish I hadn’t bought a six pack. Oh well. There is some kind of a taste that I just can’t quite identify and it’s driving me bonkers. I am wondering if I may have picked up a bad batch because my mouth is not liking this. Vanilla, shouldn’t be to hard to identify. Espresso, might be it but wouldn’t it be a coffee taste? Something is askew here.

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Photo of ThomasTheTank88
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up as a single 12 oz. bottle for $1.72, easy choice for me. Very drinkable, very smooth. Vanilla and coffee combination is perfect. Would recommend if you can find it since its cheap and very delightful.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro Canned version
Look - Fantastic looking dark beer with a great lasting tan head
Smell - roasted malts and vanilla with a slight coffee scent
taste - just like the scent
feel -medium light body with a creamy nitro carb
Overall - pretty yummy!

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Photo of BrianKoshefsky
4.39/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow.. Tried this beer on a whim and now it's one of my new favorites.. If you like coffee flavored Stouts and porters is it's definitely for you.. it almost taste like you're drinking perfect sweet and black coffee.. and that 7.8% ABV doesn't get much better than that

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Photo of meers
4.88/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing year-round beer. Very smooth for being almost 8% alcohol. Hints of vanilla are exceptional and the locally roasted La Terza espresso is a huge plus.

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Photo of Bill6151
1.71/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A couple years ago this was one of my favorite beers. Then the brewery changed radically and they focused mostly on sours. They also changed (and butchered) this recipe. It is now basically undrinkable.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown to black color with a small tan head. The aroma is malt and a slight amount of vanilla. A good porter.

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Photo of Jelitikasez
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful chocolaty brown - I want a dress this color.

One of the best vanillas I've tried, and the best coffee for sure. My beloved Schlafly makes their coffee stout so coffee that I can't taste the stout. This was a nice, smooth, round balance.
Downside - pretty flat. No foam at all except a slight initial fizz. Some carbonation in the mouth feel, but a little like flat ginger ale. Wonder if I got an old bottle.
Even so, a very enjoyable beer with surprisingly ( at least to this armchair novice:) balanced flavor.

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Photo of cbutova
2.44/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

A- Almost midnight black pour to a stemless wine glass. A tan cap forms to a mm high with a foamy texture. A small ring forms but no lace is left behind.

S- Vanilla bean and cola. A touch of roast barley, coffee, more cola, toasted nuts and a hint of dark fruits like cherry.

T- Even more like vanilla cola at this point. Just spit on with an almost earthy spiciness. A hint of cocoa, stale espresso beans and toast as well. Really just mild for an Imperial porter. Rather sweet approaching cloying.

MF- Slick and medium bodied with a very low end carbonation. Feels a bit watery.

Cola with a hint of vanilla and a touch of espresso.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first Rivertown Brewing offering - I'm a bit mixed on it...

Being of Cuban decent, espresso is something I can relate to. When I see it I gravitate and give it a try. Seldom do I come across an espresso laced beer that I can warm up to, and this offering from Roebling is no exception. (Full disclosure, I like my espresso sweet and seldom do I come across any sweetly laced espresso beers.)

Out of the bottle it pour a richly dark porter, though no head or lacing to mention. The mouthfeel is light, little carbonation, and has a spicy tingle to it - unique, certainly. Though I could taste the vanilla distinctly (something missing from many a vanilla porter or stout I've come across) the brew itself was uninspired. It was decent, maybe even good, but just not something I would reach for the next time I crossed paths with it in the hallowed beer aisle.

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Photo of daytonflyer
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As a Cincinnatian, Rivertown often takes a backseat to Madtree, Rhinegeist, and even Mount Carmel, but Roebling has long been one of my staples. First tried on tap at Archer's Tavern in Centerville, which itself is highly recommended ... they feature a newly tapped craft brew and food pairing every Wednesday.

A long-time Guinness and milk stout fan, Roebling was my first Imperial Porter. The recipe was changed along the way to introduce Espresso, though it's very subtle compared to some coffee crafts. It pours near black but isn't too heavy. It has a smooth mouthfeel with vanilla notes. I prefer it to Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, but my palette has shifted and I now find Roebling almost too mild. I served it at my wedding to rave reviews from dark beer lovers like myself.

It can often be found at $9.99 for 6-12 oz, which is a great value for a 7.8% ABV craft imperial. If you like a full-bodied stout or porter, give Roebling a try.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear dark cola-brown with a slight cap of tan head that vanishes rapidly leaving no lacing. Scents of vanilla, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Taste although somewhat hard to pin-point, appears to follows nose. Very intrresting brew.

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Photo of ichorNet
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I know nothing about this brewery or this beer, so I'm just gonna dive right in. Housemate got this as part of a Beer of the Month club thing, so I snagged the last one to pour into my glass. Thanks Dan!

Pours a very unassuming semi-clear dark garnet/brown-ish color with a very thin ring of mocha head that sits lazily atop the beer. The color of the beer is a bit lighter than expected and seems to be filtered, and the head itself is pretty boring and surprisingly didn't build up to much at all. A pretty average, unspectacular first impression.

Nose is actually pretty nice with a lot of vanilla cream tamed by a strong-leaning coffee porter base beer. I get some caramel and toffee with mocha cappuccino notes as well. Pretty malt-forward with a definite sweet-leaning aspect. Very slight sniff of ethanol in there; a lot less than expected for almost an 8% beer, to be honest. Most "imperial porters" don't go beyond 7 or 7.5% from my experience, so this is definitely trying to push out some interesting scents and flavors with its slightly-higher ABV. I appreciate this beer a lot from the above-average nose, so it's making up for that weak pour already.

Palate is creamy coffee with chocolate, caramel and vanilla notes though it's all balanced by a somewhat-hefty malt base that seems biased towards roasted barley flavors, especially towards the mid-finish of each sip where the whole thing seems to dry out considerably. I'm really digging the sweetness in the middle of the feel with milky toffee and café au lait coming through big time. This is a far cry from overly-sweet and cloying, however, with an anchoring elements lying in the transition to the finish where I even get a slight kiss of grassy, herbal hops. Solid, to be honest. So far, I'm definitely enjoying this one.

Feel is a bit on the middling side with a light-ish palate featuring low carbonation and a less heavy body than expected. I actually think this benefits from being less roasty and robust than other "coffee porters" mostly due to the coffee coming off less competitive with the roasted malts. Likewise, the addition of vanilla keeps the acidic qualities of the coffee in check, making the whole thing seem more balanced than it probably would otherwise. Pretty good beer. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a very sessionable Porter. I got a lot of chocolate cake followed by the bitterness of espresso. This is a very good beer especially for the price point. (At least I think so... I received it in a trade) I like it!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/30/2016 at Jillian’s Sports Pub & Grill in Somerset, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, roasted malts, some chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong espresso flavor along with some chocolate and some licorice but not much vanilla. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in as well as some lactose. The hops presence is very mild as it should be in this type of beer and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while for a if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Tone
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/5 inch head of an off-tan color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, roasted malt, piney hops, alcohol, and a hint of chocolate. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, roasted malt, piney hops, alcohol, hint of vanilla, and a hint of chocolate. Overall, weak appearance, vanilla is subtle, and the espresso is indistinct.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12-oz bottle into porter/stout glass

A - 1 finger of medium tan over a body of pitch black with ruby highlights

S - coffee, vanilla, hints of dark fruit, roast malts; not very strong (good quality, lacking quantity)

T - coffee, vanilla, smoke/roast malts, dark fruits, sweet finish

M - smooth, lighter end of medium-bodied, medium carbonation

O - It is what it is meant to be. Roebling is decent for a sweet porter.

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Photo of Maestro0708
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown, thin head that dissipates fast.
Smell: Vanilla and coffee
Taste: Strong vanilla extract sort of taste, coffee notes, a bit too sweet at times for my taste.
Feel: Thinner than I prefer.

Overall: I took a shot with this one because I love porters and coffee beers, and it's not bad, but too strong on the vanilla side and very sweet. Not my favorite but worth trying.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is roasted malt, big vanilla, ans espresso. Very creamy. The coffee taste works well with the porter taste and despite the flavoring, this beer still tastes more like beer than coffee--that is a good thing. I would get this again if I wanted a coffee beer.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown almost black color with khaki colored head. Vanilla, espresso roast coffee, and dark chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied, thin for an imperial porter. Finishes with vanilla sweetness and espresso coffee.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.95/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

very vanillay beer and this beer will get you messed up in a hurry. one of the best porters i can find in the state of ohio. i recommend this beer to try

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Photo of Sabtos
3.31/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cola brown with a fleeting off-white fizzy head.

Smell is cola, banana, coconut, brown sugar, with light chocolate and coffee.

Taste is chocolate covered banana and light on everything else-light roasted malt and coffee, and vanilla wafer.

Feel is thin and fizzy.

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Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter from Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 447 ratings