Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter | Rivertown Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
82
good
78 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good
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Roebling Vanilla Espresso PorterRoebling Vanilla Espresso Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
rivertownbrewery.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kirok1999 on 04-24-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
405
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
36.39%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
60
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 405
Photo of NoHorsePiss
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Among the cheapest of the thick, dark beers at my neighborhood store, I decided to give this a try and then looked up the rating when I got home. I was pretty disappointed, but when I re-read the label's description, I didn't see how I couldn't like it unless the brewers were delusional in their claims.

I put it away and waited to drink it until I wasn't sure which of the ones remaining had a poor review, so I wasn't setting myself up to not enjoy my weekly beer.

I was NOT disappointed with this in any way. It was a delight, all-around - my analysis below:

A - Poured into a pint glass with about two of my smallish fingers of head. The glass was clean when it was gone. It's quite dark with nothing to see through.

S - It smells of fruit, vanilla, caramel, and malt. I even sat and sniffed it until the head was gone.

T - My first sip had me telling my wife how pleasant it was. It was clean and generally yummy because it has such a nice caramel and malt tone. I had no need for any chips, but I was in the mood for Nacho Cheese Doritos and was washing down the chips with the beer instead of the other way around.

M - Almost no carbonation. It was smooth and creamy-ish. Just a light coating in the mouth that lingers and makes you savor it like anything else that tastes great and stays behind in your mouth after swallowing.

O - I had given up on Porters in favor of stouts until this. I'm not an expert but I'm developing a mental catalogue of what tastes and the descriptions used on labels are up my alley. For the price, I'm going to stock up on this as a very, very nice drink to enjoy without spending $4-$5 per bottle for the barleywine style and more expensive RIS bottles.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.95/5  rDev +37.5%
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 friesec
4.95/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer at Rivertowns grand-opening of their taproom. I've been a fan since I stumbled upon it a few weeks ago.
The rich roastly smell accompanied by the malty chocolate taste goes down really smooth.
I really do not understand why this beer has not received better reviews. I realize I'm new to this hobby of beer tasting and such, but this beer is just awesome. Mad props to the fellas at Rivertown for a great experience at the taproom and for making some damn good beer.
Cheers

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Photo of edfish
4.76/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the tap room Nitro style!
A- poured in a plastic cup, Geeze had to wait a minute for the carbination to settle before I could get my full pour! Dark head tons -o-mini bubbles.
S- Hints of coffee and chocolate
T- Oh man, extra smooth nitro coco coffee richness! Very pleasing to the taste buds!
M- Oh man again, rich and creamy toasty goodness, full mouthfeel pleasure, leads to a nice dry coco finish
O- To be honest I don't care for porters. But dude I am turned! This a very smooth rich and creamy coco sensation! Not sweet but rich in flavor, I got to eat the barley put into the brew and it is delish! Not nearly as good as just plain barley but man a excellent beer!

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Photo of bigdogs1982
4.75/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma of vanilla very prominent. Creamy tan colored head that lasts. Amazing flavor of coffee and vanilla with a very smooth mouth feel from the nitro tap. Vanilla not as strong in flavor as some vanilla portets I have had. Bottle was okay by the nitro takes it to another level. Done in a great porter fashion.

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Photo of CardiacNP
4.48/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft from fox & hound in Ohio.

A black porter with a small creamy "coke" colored head with minimal lacing.

A deep chocolate and coffee aroma with a hint of vanilla.

Taste was similar to aroma - chocolate up front with a long lasting slightly bitter coffee finish with mild vanilla undertones.

Mouth feel was nice, smooth & lightly creamy. Very little alcohol taste or burn for a 7.6%ABV.

I very good chocolate vanilla porter that I hope to drink again

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Photo of Zach136
4.34/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nitro pour at World of Beer in Pensacola.

Pour pitch black as far as I could tell in a dark bar. Rich milk chocolate. Swiss miss hot chocolate in cold nitro beer form. Notes of espresso and vanilla

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Photo of yeahman
4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle at Molly Malones. Nice dark color with a deep tan head. Smell is of deep chocolate and slight vanilla. Taste is definitely chocolate heavy. Espresso flavor was lost on me. Nicely balanced with a vanilla finish. Behind the winter this is my favorite beer from them. 7.8%abv

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Photo of davemathews68
4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My deviation was quite heigh so I feel as if I must clarify the reason.

A - black with brown highlights. Vary little light passes through.

S - sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla, slight roasted malt.

T - taste is the same of the smell. Vanilla, chocolate, slight coffee. There is a sweetness but not over bearing and does not become cloying even as it warms.

M - slightly on the thin side becaue it is labled as a "robust" or "imperial" porter.

O - I really enjoy this as a desert drink. It's a beer brewed with vanilla beans, expresso and cane sugar and that is what it taste like. Certainly not the most complex beer but it taste good. No, it might not fit the style category perfectly but it is enjoyable.

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Photo of CAF
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

I thought this was a fine porter. A lot of character and flavor. The vanilla and sweetness were a bit too much for me, but the coffee and dark chocolate bitterness did go a long way in balancing out the flavor.

A: Dark as the night with a decent low lacing head
S: Very strong dark chocolate
T: Deep slightly bitter chocolate with a hint of vanilla
M: It came in at average for a dark beer, which was still quite present
O: I enjoyed the beer, I thought it could have used a bit less sweetness and vanilla it almost felt unnatural, but it is a great beer to split with some friends...especially those who are just treading into darker territory.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It has a dark brown body with ruby highlights. I rather timid pour yielded a half a glass of tan head.

S - At first I didn't get much, but as it warmed the chocolate and vanilla aromas came out.

T - It starts out with some chocolate and then I get some vanilla in the middle. Some chocolate lingers on my palate after each drink.

M - Medium

O - I really like this beer. I have only had it on tap until this serving, and the bottle lived up to the draft. I would be satisfied with drinking this all winter.

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Photo of claaark13
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro at Wino's in Bowling Green.

A - Deep brown, nearly black, great Nitro head.

S - Fairly muted dark malts and coffee with a sweet hint.

T - Creamy coffee, vanilla and chocolate all blend smoothly together. The nitro really helps lift the creaminess throughout.

M - Well, the light porter body is evident, but the nitro gives a lot of nice fullness to bring it up.

O - Really a nice porter. I'd be interested to see how good the flavors blends with a different gas blend or out of a bottle. As it stands, this is one of the best porters I've ever had, flying right under the radar. Could be the nitro though.

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Photo of daytonflyer
4.01/5  rDev +11.4%
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 tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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 chakadrum
4/5  rDev +11.1%

On nitro.

Vanilla bean up front. Sweet. Chocolate notes more milk chocolate than dark. Subtle caramelized sugar notes on the nose.

I'm a little surprised this isn't rated higher. Perhaps the nitro does a lot for the drinkability.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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 jburris64
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured from a brown bottle this dark brown porter had no head and little to no lace.
At first the vanilla reaches the nose followed by a slight espresso/ chocolate note.
Espresso and vanilla caress the palate making this enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of JohnCJr
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Smells rich, with vanilla and dark fruit in the fore. Taste is predominantly vanilla and dark sugar, with some small espresso flavor lingering. Mouthfeel is mostly consistent with the style, but just a bit on the thin side. This is an excellent sipper, good for an after dinner treat.

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Photo of chuck-chillout
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A buddy of mine gave me this beer from a (make your own) six pack.

At first look:
I liked the packaging...very clear and laid out vey well. (i like that in any product; if they pay atten to the outside chances are good they will do the same with the inside.. :) )
At first smell:
the coffee piece hits you right away, but gives way to vanilla and some sweeter lighter notes. Nice :) ; To get the nose to layer like that is impressive.
At first taste:
As the name states it is very robust in the front....coffee and roasted flavors hold down the first half..then you feel the ABV kick in (7.8% nice :) )....with a stroke of the vanilla as the tail lightens up (in mouth feel and body). This laying is there sip after sip...

Im new to this but with a complex and very ordered nose and taste this beer has made it into my regular and fav's all in one bottle. (Two locked it in for me...lol)
Now i know imperials aernt for everyone....and if so try this one when your up for it. But I like stronger beers and this one borders on an ohio guinness for me.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice roast up front before a chocolate malt, chocolate brownie takes over. The espresso and vanilla visit towards the end. This drinks rather thin so I think it would rate higher with more viscosity.

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Photo of ichorNet
3.96/5  rDev +10%
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 +9.2%
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 Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is dark, almost black but that it lets a little brown peek through. The tan head that forms is small but tight, lasts for neither a long or short time, and leaves just enough spotting to be what I would consider slightly above average in appearance.
There's a bit of a roasted malts note going on here, which isn't traditional but that I do like. Otherwise, some dark cocoa nib comes through strongest. There's the faintest touch of vanilla sweetness that is hard for me to get at first. It comes out more strongly as it sits to counter the robust, malty sort of bitterness.
The body isn't as big as it should be, at an average medium, slightly lacking richness and depth as it goes. It may be that it's only got a bit of smoothness to it, that the carbonation is present but doesn't "move," per se, but whatever it is, it could use a bit more. Otherwise, this is the best or close to it that I've tried from Rivertown to memory.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into tulip. Nice brown with tan head - slightly reddish hue. Awesome vanilla and slight chocolate roasty aroma.
Mild brown caramel and vanilla flavor...quite nice. Its a bit thin and lacking in body but drinks really easy. Its almost a very dark brown ale more than a porter, but is in general a pretty good brew. Not sure why such low reviews...maybe because its a little thin, but the flavor is there. For almost 8% abv, this drinks insanely smooth...feels like its 4%. I definitely reccomend this one...

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Photo of M_J_Z
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was offered on draft last week, on nitro, at The Copper Rocket in Winter Park/Orlando, FL.

I enjoyed this; the nitro added an appropriate amount of creaminess, and the espresso & vanilla flavors were present. This isn't a life-changing beer, by any means, but it's smooth and drinkable. I would order it again at any time.

To me, this is in the neighborhood of 3.5-3.75, with perhaps a slight lean toward the latter.

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Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter from Rivertown Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 405 ratings.
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