Tanilla Porter | Knee Deep Brewing Company

72 Reviews
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Tanilla PorterTanilla Porter

Brewed by:
Knee Deep Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with only grade-A Tahitian vanilla beans, Tanilla carries a smooth chocolate flavor complemented by the delicate intensity of vanilla beans, and a rich aroma of coffee.

Added by Beerandraiderfan on 04-20-2011

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 306
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a sizable, ecru head that's slowly dwindling.

Smell: Toasted, chocolate-scented malts with a backdrop of roast and complimentary albeit demanded notes of vanilla beans that open up and stretch a bit more as it warms.

Taste: Toasted bread, bland, basic coffee, and sweet chocolate chips given a decent dose of vanilla beans. Faintly estery. Scantly earthy, herbal hops with a low bitterness. A dash of vanilla sugar on the tongue holds until the soft, malty finish for a nibble of Nilla wafers washed down with Coke Blak.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light (though still sufficiently smooth) body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Cheerfully drinkable. It carried across the promised flavor well enough for a beer with vanilla beans (and with natural flavor added).

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Photo of Bung
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. Dark brown pour, thin layer of very light tan head.

Aroma, vanilla, toasted malt, light coffee with creamer.

Taste, wow, that's a lot of vanilla. Vanilla latte. Milk chocolate, faint malted milk ball. Mostly vanilla latte though.

Light side of mid bodied. It is sweet, but drinks pretty easy. You have to be ready for some vanilla though.
A bit too much for me, but a nice priced worth a try.
Kind if a Southern Tier Creme Brûlée light.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.96/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, nearly black with glints of red in bright light. Root beer head of a little north of an inch. Bouquet is meager--a little white chocolate and bourbon noted. Flavor is surprisingly bold that delivers a middle characterized by a sweet, white chocolate, vanilla, caramel. Finishes with a quickly disappearing coffee acidity. Creamy, pleasant mouthfeel. Fun beer. And at 6.3% ABV, you can have two.

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Photo of DCon
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 1 PINT 6 FL OZ bottle of this from Broulin's Grocery in Driggs, ID for $7.99. Poured from the Tan/Grey Labeled bottle w/ "Aztec" designs on it into a 16oz Guinness Pint Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- Has a medium amount of coffee in the aroma with tons of roastiness. Not as rich as I would like but very clean and smooth on the nose.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, bubbly head that dies quickly. Has the deepest brown colored body with decent clarity. Leaves only suds behind.

Flavor- A nice vanilla flavor hits the palate first and then light coffee comes into play with a ton of malts. Almost no hops are introduced into the flavor but more lager like. Has a light bitterness level at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and leaves gentle coffee notes on the palate.

Overall Impression- Almost can give this brew a "4" across the board. A good example of the style and the light vanilla note was just enough to push it into my likes. Shared with GeoffTheAleMan and he appreciated it as well. Not too roasty or overpowering with malt. For those who aren't into the Stout style and need a nice, easy going porter, this ones for you!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ultraman for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Southampton oversize snifter.

Pours a thin layer of light mocha colored head with poor retention. Beer is a dark, near opaque brown. Lacing is stringy and thick with decent cling and thin legs. Average

Nose is moderately aromatic. Overwhelming amounts of sweet vanilla and cream. Clean but very singular.

Nutty. Caramel, vanilla, coca-cola and roasted malt towards the end. Again, very simple. Finish is slight toffee and roast. Odd but enjoyable.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down filmy. Finish is oily with a lingering aftertaste. A bit thin.

If someone were to make a vanilla coca-cola beer, this would be it. It's not exactly representative of the porter style though. A bit too sweet and a touch too thin. Still, I could see how some would appreciate it.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is dark brown, nearing black, with a small tan head. The aroma brings some roast, vanilla, chocolate. Vanilla flavor is prominent, with some burnt roast and a subtle lactic presence. The body is thin, even a tad watery. Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of DigBaseball
3.29/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was driving up to Lake Tahoe over Labor Day weekend last summer, and stopped off at a Raley's in Auburn to pick up lunch. I usually like to peruse the beer aisle when I'm in "foreign" grocery stores, hoping to snag a hard-to-find favorite, or otherwise something unfamiliar but enticing.

Browsing the unusually deep selection, I came upon a label I didn't recognize, and whose tribal designs recalled those printed on Peet's coffee cups. On closer inspection I discovered a style and manufacturer I'd never experienced. Examining the bottle further, I discovered it was "Brewed and Bottled for Knee Deep Beer Company by Beer4U, Belmont, California." This amused me, because I'd just moved from Belmont after living there the previous two years, but had no recollection of either company.

It was an snap decision to purchase the Tanilla Porter, but finding the right occasion to crack it open took significantly more discretion and patience. Typically, when I select a bottle with the intention of enjoying it solo, I opt for something a bit more conventional, a known quantity, avoiding my one-of-a-kind bottles in favor of something I can more easily replenish.

I had more or less decided to hang on to the Tanilla until I could share it as an after-dinner beer with friends. Unfortunately, I haven't had too many dinners with beer-drinking friends in the last few months. First, I was occupied with moving-related tasks, and then I was busy with rehearsals for a play that ran in November, and then before you knew it, The Holidays were upon us...

For various reasons, I decided that my New Year's Resolution would be to stop buying beer for my home collection. Even though I decided this in December, I more or less forgot to stockpile "everyday" beers when I had the chance, and so I entered 2012 with precious few session beers on hand (mostly leftover bottles of Stella from a recent party). The other night, I was in the mood for a post-dinner tipple, decided what the hell, and poured myself a luscious mug of sweetly aromatic Tanilla.

I must confess that the tasting experience peaked just as (no, not before) the first sip of rich porter coated the insides of my mouth. It's not that I didn't like the Tanilla, don't misunderstand me. It's just that the inviting smell which drew my lips closer to the glass was in itself the ultimate reward after months of anticipation.

Now, perhaps I had built it up so much for myself that anything less than an instantaneous bufotenin surge would have come off as anticlimactic. Perhaps. All I know is that as soon as my taste buds registered the Tanilla's presence, I knew that the wait was over. Reality was upon me. It was, after all, just a fucking beer

As for getting into the specifics of mouthfeel, color, viscosity, and all that, I leave those details to other Beer Advocate reviewers, and will close by saying that this beer did not disappoint me. Far from it, actually. And if I learned anything from the experience, it's that I need to recruit a few friendly volunteers to help bring me back down to earth a little bit, and drink my beer with me in a more timely fashion, so I don't obsess too much about finding the perfect time to open this bottle or that one.

I wouldn't even mind reloading with a fresh bottle of Tanilla to share with friends -- in 2013, of course.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
2.32/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Fairly dark pour. Light brown around the edges. Minimal head. Light ring of mocha remains on the outside of the glass. Smell is smokey sweet vanilla. Upon sip, the first thing that stands out is how thin this beer is. Like a brown ale. Taste is right in line with the nose. Nothing special to be honest. This beer is so sickeningly sweet with the crappy imitation vanilla taste. The smokey character doesn't mute any of it out. Also, I hate smoke in my beer. Gross. There is a possible hint of chocolate in here but it;s hard to get past all the other bunk. Pretty awful beer.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.68/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The color when poured was a thick dark brown with a reddish hue. The smell had roasted malts and a hint of caramel, but couldn't smell the vanilla. The flavor was a real dissapointment. Not a lot of flavor. The flavor was of roasted malts. with no hint of vanilla, in fact no hint of anything but roasted malts. Tanilla Porter was a big dissapointment!

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Photo of brew3crew
4.12/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at churhill's sdbw

A dark brown close to black body with a tan head around the eedges.

S-very slight vanilla. Slight. Nothing else really

T-Lots of vanilla and not a whole bunch more. follows the nose but is lacking outside of the vanilla...

M- medium body and smooth

O-decent beer but needs more than the vanilla

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Photo of ehammond1
3.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark brown, and nearly black, with ruby edges and a thin light brown head. Spots of lace and thin lines run down the glass.

Somewhat muted aroma, though what's here is very nice: mild roast, some bittersweet chocolate, and a small amount of vanilla. There just isn't a lot to smell here, unfortunately.

Nice combination of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and lots of sweet and earthy vanilla. This is a very nice, well-rounded, though sweet, incredibly drinkable vanilla porter.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

This is in an incredibly drinkable vanilla porter. I certainly wouldn't mind having another glass of this.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Black and totally opaque with a mahogany color running wild in the glass. Awesome 1 inch head and great retention and some circular lacing

Smell: Vanilla and Chocolate

Taste: Upfront carries some roasted smokiness that I was not at all expecting and then the vanilla takes over and covers your whole palate. The vanilla in this beer is very nice

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation and the finish is a bit sticky

Overall: Good little beer definitely worth a try not sure why this beer is getting shit on so much

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Photo of pitasoup
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown, close to black with a finger of tan/offwhite head.

S: vanilla bean, chocolate, roasted barley, a touch of smoke. vanilla is pretty dominant.

T: much like the smell, a bit of chocolate, coffee, and lots of vanilla. malty sweet, i'd say closer to a stout than porter, not that the distinction is significant.

M: thin, even for a porter. i'd enjoy a lot more heft to back up the vanilla and chocolate notes.

O: nothing exciting. I like vanilla in a dark beer and this delivered, but i wouldn't seek it out again. A brewing buddy commented, "this tastes like something I would make." Not exactly a glowing compliment.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.64/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a deep brown with a fizzy moderate eggshell white head. Average retention, no lace.

S: Sweet milk chocolate notes, almost oatmeal stout like. Light coffee and roast.

T: Thin chocolate flavour and fairly astringent, some tang to it. The vanilla bean flavour in the finish is very nice and saves the beer, but it really should be more of a focal point.

M: Ridiculously thin for a porter, especially at 6.3%. Fizzy, lightly acidic, the mouthfeel of soda pop.

O: While not atrocious, not exactly thrilling me either. When I was in AZ, I enjoyed Breckenridge Vanilla Porter and hoped that this could be a nice facsimile, but it isn't. Overpriced for sure and the vanilla which is the best part of the beer is really hard to find.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.47/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown, but not black. Sudsy brown sticky lace, no head at all.

S - Vanilla mostly, wood, sweet malt and roasted malt.

T - Similar to smell. Roasted malt comes out more, but mostly vanilla and sweet malt. Somewhat chalky at finish.

M - Medium body, good carb, fairly clean finish, decent balance.

D - Hey, for a ballpark beer, not bad!

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Photo of seand
2.93/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque black or very dark brown, with a small amount of tan head. A thin layer retains, enough to leave nice walls of lacing.

S: Not much too it; light roasted sweetness.

T: The very beginning is sweet, but the beer is weirdly hollow through the mid palate. Finishes with a kind of metallic, coppery note. There's also a very mild sweetness throughout, just a slight touch of brown sugar.

M: Medium to light body, except nearly non-existent through the middle, medium carbonation.

Overall, not so great. It just kind of falls flat and doesn't have much interesting going on. It's not exactly bad, and it does drink easily, but there are much better things one could drink instead.

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Photo of bbb099
4.12/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black color with red hue. Mocha brown head with decent retention.

S - Milky vanilla and a little bit of roasted malt. Creamy and sweet aromas, almost like an ice cream.

T - Somehow reminiscent of a milk stout. Creamy texture with vanilla sweetness. The roasted malt takes a backseat on this one.

M - Low carbonation. Medium to full bodied.

O - A little sweeter than what I expected, but it's not bad at all. Great for your friend that doesn't like the bitter hops or heavy dark beers.

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Photo of litheum94
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. No dates. Reviewed 6/11/11.

P: Obsidian black. Thick vanilla latte colored head. Settles to a nice cover, with pools of thick foam.

A: Sweet vanilla and cream soda aromas. Milk chocolate. Some coffee bean.

T: Real vanilla bean flavors, not syrupy tasting. Cream soda in taste and mouthfeel. Dry on the finish, with roasted malts imparting a slight coffee taste. The finish is actually a little too dry, leaving a weird feeling in the mouth.

Not much depth, and way too dry on the finish. Not a bad brew, but I won't come back to this one again.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep black with a small amount of tan head which recedes quickly to a barely there puddle in the center and a ring around the glass.
S: Smells sweet with hints of coffee and chocolate. Pretty light on the nose. Not very robust in aroma
T: Hard to place the taste on this one. Chocolate, and coffee flavors, faint roast malt, not a lot of vanilla flavor though. Kind of weak in flavor as well but not bad. Just needs to be a bit louder. Aftertaste is bitter coffee with hints of vanilla. around 55-60 it gets to be fairly sweet and the vanilla starts to shine a bit more and bumps the flavor points up
M: About right for a porter, maybe a bit too light and carbonation is decent bordering on prickly.
O: Not bad, but not great. it get's better the closer it is to room temp

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Photo of Rizalini
2.47/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours black, with a minimal head that fades almost as fast as it appears.

S - Has a slightly roasty, nutty aroma with hints of dark chocolates and vanilla in the background.

T - The taste doesn't go with the smell at all. It's very thin, and not much flavor at all. A slight roasty coffee aroma, but sadly that's about it.

M - As stated before, thin and watery. Lacking in carbonation.

O - Avoid this one. I paid $6 for this bottle, and it wasn't worth half of that. This beer lacks in character, flavor, and everything else in between. I'm not trying to bash, but this is a very poor porter.

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Photo of alexhahn82
2.17/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

The name of the beer is fantastic, the beer is mediocre. The beer poured with a semi flat low head, but was thoroughly carbonated. Reading the label it appears to be a sublet brewing and bottling.

As a porter the beer is fair and decent, but nothing to write home about based upon the price. Extremely dark in color and almost no light passes through it. The beer was semi metallic in taste, and upon further inspection of the bottle there was a light crown residue/imprint on the lip of the bottle, making me think it was improperly stored/bottled/shipped. I would not be opposed to to trying again, but only from the source.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.62/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light brown, not much head or retention, couldn't even tell what the color of the head was it was so thin. Mild coffee aroma to it. Didn't pick up any vanilla.

Taste, thin body, seemed more like a brown ale than a 'robust' porter, watery. Vanilla is extremely muted, sugar more dominant than vanilla. Little to no hop flavor. Compared to every other vanilla beer I've had, this one just didn't cut it.

$7 a bottle is about twice as much as I'd pay for this beer. You can get a breckenridge 6 pack of Vanilla Porter for that price, and actually enjoy it for what it is advertised as. Liked this more in its demo stage at the Brew Ha Ha a few years back.

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Tanilla Porter from Knee Deep Brewing Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 306 ratings.
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