Imperial Tanilla Porter | Knee Deep Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
46 Reviews
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Imperial Tanilla PorterImperial Tanilla Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Knee Deep Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A 10 % ABV version of Tanilla. Of course we added more hop bitterness to balance the chocolate, expresso and vanilla malt sweetness. Drink at your own risk. This is a big beer, but drinks way too easy.

48 IBU

Added by 51mmz0rz on 07-25-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
184
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
12.14%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
35
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 184
Photo of Shaler_Tate
1.74/5  rDev -55%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

GROSS. My bottle was infected so I held off to try another one before I reviewed it. I bought another one and it was also infected. Terrible sour taste and really big head with big bubbles. Yuck.

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Photo of Beerandboards
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as a nice extra in a trade. No date I could find.

Poured into a pint glass

A - pour produces a 2-3 inch foamy tan/brown head. Reduces pretty quickly to a thin crown. Black, but not completely opaque.

S - smells of chocolate, vanilla, some roasty notes. Didn't really jump out at me right at the front, nor when it was allowed to warm up.

T - dark chocolate, roasty malts, some vanilla. Some others have noted the vanilla being overpowering, but I didn't get that. In fact, thought it could have used a little bit more. Overall, very easy to drink, hid the ABV well, had no problems or complaints. Nice tasting beer.

M - medium to thin. My personal taste is for a imp porter to be a bit thicker. This score lagged because of that. Nothing bad or wrong, just personal preference.

O - a nicely put together porter. I thought the flavors were balanced well and it was quite easy to drink and enjoyable. Would have it again if it had the chance, would love to have it on tap.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Knee Deep's Imperial Tanilla, imperial porter with vanilla beans. 10% ABV.

A: Pours dark brown. Black in the glass, with dark brown in the dimple (not quite as dark as the Haand). About a finger of creamy, slightly brown head. Very persistent lacing.

S: Deep, dark coffee profile dominates. Vanilla bean. No obvious sweetness.

T/MF: As the smell implies, this is very dry for a darker beer. Char/graphite seems to dominate. Slight vanilla flavor, but it's hard for me to notice without any sweetness. Slight ash note. Not bad, but doesn't match up to my expectations. I might have to hunt down the original Tanilla and see if it has the necessary sweetness to carry the vanilla...

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of cvm4
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - For a porter, pours very black with a medium tan one finger head. Good lacing on the glass as well.

S - Charred roasted malt along with sweet vanilla. Dark chocolate and may'be some milk characteristics.

T - Licorice, sadly. Charred roasted malts again. Mild sweetness from the vanilla.

M - Light bodied for an imperial porter. Medium carbonation. The licorice/vanilla flavors can be cloying, IMO.

O - It's an okay rendition. Not great, but not bad. Just in the middle.

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Photo of Zorro
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown colored beer with a small brown colored head. Near light proof.

Scents of Vanilla, Chocolate, Char and smoke. Little bit of burned toast aroma and that is it for the scent.

Starts out bitter and a little smoky. Chocolate and char flavors and a very subtle vanilla flavor. Taste of coffee and that is it not any subtle flavors to this one.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an acceptable beer but not a great one, worth a try if you see it in the store.

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Photo of mjohnson17
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into Night Shift Snifter
Drank on 6/6/2013, so I believe this beer is 9+ months old at this point.

A: Pours a super dark mocha color. No head while pouring but after the pour the carbonation rises and creates a healthy finger of fluffy, knaki head.

S: Very nice roast aroma; coffee, a bit of char, some dark chocolate, some sweetness but not sure if that's coming from the vanilla or not, as there's no noticeable vanilla aroma on this after what I believe to be about a 10 month old beer (I think this is Knee Deep's 2nd anniversary beer brewed in July/August 2012)

T: Very smooth for an imperial porter, no alcohol present. Nice roasting, a bit of coffee, but again, a super faint taste of vanilla. A bit of a let down on the vanilla but as to be expected with the age.

M: Very smooth. Again no alcohol, clean mouthfeel a that thinner porter mouthfeel, which I was curious if it would have since this is an Imperial Porter, which is toeing the line on stout. It also leaves a nice dry coffee and dark chocolate roast across the pallet.

O: This is a solid beer. Again being that this is inching close to a year old already it's assumed that the vanilla has faded so I was a bit disappointed to not be able to try the beer in its glory. Still a very good porter, smooth, roasty, toasty, and clean.

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Photo of CHickman
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY; pours pitch black color with a thick 2 finger foamy dark tan head that faded slowly and left very good spotty lacing.

Smells of toasted grains, dark chocolate, roasted notes, piney hops, fruit and acrid smoked sheet metal. There is some brown sugar and syrup or molasses coming through, but the metallic smell throws it all off as a porter for me.

Thankfully it tastes better than it smells with sweet malt, bitter coffee grinds, cocoa powder, toasted grains, dark chocolate, yeast or wheat bread, piney hops, dark fruit and like the nose some penny flavor. It lacks the rich roasted aspects and molasses I hoped for but it does hide the ABV completely.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, with very mild carbonation, a little chewy feel somehow and a slightly bitter chocolatey finish with a metallic yeast touch that's on the dry side. Overall it was alright, but not as good as I expected since the Knee Deep IPA's are very tasty.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Had the regular version so when I saw the imperial version, I knew I had to tick it. 22oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

Pours a .5 finger light cream colored head with poor retention. Lacing is spotty and sparse but with good stick. Beer is opaque black but rather thin. Average.

Nose is chocolate, lactose, roasted malt, and cocoa. Nicely sweet and creamy. Aromatic too. Pretty good.

Opens roasted malt, liquorice, and chocolate. Lactose sweetness and creaminess in the middle with some fresh dark fruit and more cocoa and chocolate at the end. Finishes sweet candied sugar with a similar aftertaste. Decent.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Thin and filmy in the mouth and aggressive and bubbly going down. Accented finish with a pretty clean aftertaste. A bit too thin for an imperial porter.

A pretty middle-of-the-road beer overall. This isn't a lot different from the regular version. A bit sweet and the body is just way too thin. I wouldn't really revisit this one.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled shared on the party bus to San Diego, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and vanilla. Taste is much the same with a high amount of roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty drinkable but nothing all that special for the style.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; this brewery is growing on me. 10% ABV confirmed. 48 IBU. Cost was $7.49.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of nice thickness, decent cream, and mundane retention (~25 seconds). Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. Opaque. No bubble show.

Sm: Vanilla, roast, coffee, and cacao. An average strength aroma. Dark malts.

T: Vanilla, dark malts, cacao, chocolate, some roast, and caramel. Well balanced and built, if a bit simple for the style. No alcohol or yeast comes through. The vanilla should be stronger; Victory at Sea this is not. Complex and enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth, wet, nicely thick, and well carbonated. Good thickness. Suits the flavours generally well.

Dr: Quite drinkable. Hides its high ABV quite well. I really like it. A good brew from Knee Deep. I'd definitely try this on-draught. Not as good as other beers in the style, but a solid effort.

Pairs well with spicy food - especially habanero salsa and nachos.

B

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Photo of Samuel906
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fairly typical stout here in a lot of ways save one: there is a ton of vanilla on both the nose and palate. Pours a pretty standard pitch black with an off white head, moderate retention that leaves some lacing on the glass. Very potent aroma and vanilla is going to be the first thing you notice and the last thing to linger. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't shake the sensation that I was smelling a bottle of imitation vanilla before it went into some baked goods. I just didn't get that sense of fresh, real vanilla beans. Some coffee, and roasted malts also on the nose. But fortunately for me, the taste did not retain any of that possible "imitation" sensation I got from the nose. Lots of bitter vanilla bean, as well as bakers chocolate, chewy malts, some mild molasses sweetness, and some boozey warmth. It is actually fairly bitter, and not a sugar bomb like I was expecting which was a pleasant surprise. Feel is medium bodied, with mild carbonation. Not sticky. Overall, great beer and a nice drive off the beaten path of chocolate-only or coffee-only stouts and porters. My only real qualm was the smell which reminded me to vividly of the imitation vanilla, but that could just be my memories trying to wreck what was otherwise a great beer.

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Photo of Hatzilla
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a tulip, not sure about bottled date. Imperial Tanilla pours a dark brown/black with 2 inch head and minimal lacing. Aroma is strong vanilla, chocolate and roast coffee. Taste is more vanilla balanced with roast coffee and hops. Mouthfeel is watery with a dry coffee aftertaste. Overall a nice but watery imperial porter. The vanilla is not heavy-handed and the ABV well hidden. Worth a try for those who like the style. Cheers!

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Photo of Beerswag
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks nice with a pitch black body and fluffy 4 finger almond colored-big-bubbled head. Smell is toned, and mild coffee,chocolate roasted malts, with the vanilla apparent.taste is bitterness of dark cocoa, coffee, vanilla, hop-bitterness from the hops, no fruit from the hops apparent. slightly dry finish not too sweet thick body syrupy nuttiness coming from the roasted malts and the coffee sticking in the background and on the nose.getting a little bitterness on the finish from the vanilla and hops melding, however not overdone. Would pair nice with vanilla desserts such as ice cream or flambésor with a cheddar bisque,or extra aged Nutty cheeses.

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Photo of mhaugo
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, 6 ounce bottle. Decanted into a snifter.
Appearance: As black as my soul. Light beige lacing that sticks to the edge of the glass.
Smell: Heavy molasses. Honestly… that’s about it. Thick, syrupy molasses.
Taste: Roasty with a touch of vanilla that clings to the tongue. Maybe a touch of licorice. Very clean with straightforward flavors. Not excessively complex.
Mouthfeel: Heavy and sweet, with low carbonation.
Overall: Very nice. Well balanced with just the right amount of vanilla. Dangerously easy to drink for a 10% ABV beer. The rough edges round out with a bit of warming. Let it get close to room temperature before enjoying. Great for a cool day.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, dated 01/11/14 - so more than a year old

black, with decent off-white head. not much lacing. nice big vanilla aroma. the taste is definitely dominated by vanilla and maybe a little coffee flavor - but not overly sweet. medium to thick body, good mouthfeel, smooth.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Listed on their website as part of the keg only MEPS program, it has started to show up in bottles around here. Unsure of availability.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a nonic.

A: Poured it with some vigor to form a nice big mocha colored head with dense bubbles. Very good retention and lacing. Body is pitch black, with very slight highlights near the edge of the glass.

S: Coffee is prominent in the nose, but overall the aroma is fairly subtle.

T: Dark malts up front, somewhat sweet. Comes up short somewhere in the middle. Seems too clean. Warming alcohol mingles with the hop bitterness and faint coffee and vanilla flavor in the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is surprisingly clean for a beer of this size and style.

O: Overall very drinkable at 10%, but lacking the complexity of other beers of this style/gravity. A nice beer, but if I'm in Bevmo I'm reaching for Stone IRS instead.

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Photo of Brenden
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Almost black, this pretty big-looking beer grows a light brown head to a solid full finger in height. Good retention is displayed, and the head that remains the whole time leaves sticky lacing in abundant patching.
Hops are actually pretty big in here, coming out in a sort of leafy and herbal way right at the front. Otherwise it's quite roasty.
With the same initial roastiness as there is in the aroma, it's the main note until it's sat for a moment. Left to warm, a bit of char backs off and lets some sweet flavors come out. Vanilla is sort of an afterthought, very much an extract note just into the finish. Coffee is a constant note all the way through.
A creamy feel is all the way through every sip, and crispness is there also. A slightly metallic touch lends itself to the feel as much as any other aspect. It's very slightly drying in the finish as leafy hops continue to linger.

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Photo of FLima
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deepest black color with a thick beige head with good retention.
Nice aroma with notes of vanilla, cocoa, molasses and coffee.
Delicious flavor with notes of vanilla, licorice, coffee, cocoa, grapefruit, plums, molasses, mild tobacco and earthy hops. Quite dry aftertaste with its residual notes.
Light bordering medium body with mild carbonation.
Extremely pleasant Imperial Porter with great malt complexity, lots of vanilla and balanced with earthy hops.

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Photo of grrrah
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz. in to a tulip

A: Pours a dark brown with thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Not as dark as some of the other reviews.

Smell: Dark chocolate and vanilla. Nice but somewhat faint aroma.

T: Iike the smell. Vanilla with a little less cocoa. Kinda wish it was a little stronger. Had higher hopes after enjoying the regular Tanilla, but this is too similar. The 10% is well hidden.

M: Medium body, but somewhat light for an Imperial.

O: Nice beer, may buy again if at a good price. I'm a big fan of Victory at Sea, and was hoping this would come closer to that. Comes up short, but still enjoyable enough to warrant occasional purchase.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 12/4/15. Pours pitch black. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Very good nose of chocolate, coffee, light roast and vanilla plus a hint of char.

Medium body that is quite smooth and has creamy hints from time to time on the finish. Quite outstanding carbonation / body balance with an effervescent middle and a nice, but not quite rollicking, prickly finish.

The flavor profile lacks a bit of complexity (due to poor separation) but does cover the 10% ABV so I consider it outstanding. Intensity is adequate while balance is world class. The heavier flavors (coffee, roast) lead then flow to a nice moderate molasses like sweetness in the middle. Here dark, slightly bitter, bakers chocolate emerges against a mild roast and hop bitterness backdrop. Vanilla gains in prominence from the middle through the finish. Quite drinkable but lacks the intensity and separation to really WOW you.

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Photo of ElSid
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Beers of California

#42

Bottled Date: None

A: Pitch black which is almost light impenetrable but there seems to be a faint occasional glimmer which comes through when held up to the light. The off white head builds slowly with the pour and fades to a moderate lace on the glass.

S: Roasty, smooth with strong qualities of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee with several lumps of sugar which bring well balanced sweetness to the overall nose. The vanilla is better described as a fire burnt marshmallow and the sweetness at times can be raisin-like.

T: The palate is round, balanced with similar offerings noted in the nose: vanilla, smoke, cocoa, espresso, raisins, and brown sugar. There is an earthy, sappy bitterness which begins in the mid palate along with burnt brown bread which builds and fades throughout. The finish is dry with a warming bourbon feel.

M: Somewhat thin for an Imperial Porter but good smoothness and appropriate carbonation.

O: A well crafted porter with vanilla beans, which adds a nice layer of interest to the nose and palate. The alcohol is present but not overwhelming which lends an easy-smooth drinkability to the brew. Enjoyable and worthy of future purchases.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is near black in color and has only traces of red near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down a bit and eft lots of wispy lacing on the glass and a collar around the edge of the edge the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of chocolate and vanilla beans in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell except that it also has some notes of espresso beans.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I thought that this porter had a nice balance between the flavors of chocolate, espresso, and vanilla beans.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

With less char with which to contend, backing off of an imperial stout recipe works masterfully as the taste of vanilla and chocolate are better showcased in this big and experimental porter.

And with the porter influence taking hold, the massive beer pours with a murky mocha color, looking as much of hot cocoa as it does of porter. As a light cream-colored head slowly builds, its retention is cut short by the chocolate and vanilla oils, leaving also little chance for any meaningful lace.

High vanilla and chocolate aromas come forth immediately. With the backdrop of lightly scorched toffee, heavy toast and dark-roast coffee, the ale carries a lot of supporting nutty and woodish scents without the risk of char or roast.

Its lavish taste wraps around the tongue with milkshake-like sweetnesses. Its charged flavor of heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean and marshmallow seduces the early palate with ease; then slowly developing into chocolate, toast, "Nutella-type" nuttiness, and hearty toffee. As a woody bitterness grows in finish, it blends into the milk chocolate flavor well.

Its rich and silky body once again evokes the sense of milkshake as its deeply woven carbonation subtly escapes its sweetness. Its slow procession across the palate goes from full-bodied to malty-dry very patiently, concluding with a long and vanilla-driven aftertaste.

Imperial Tanilla's character isn't that of depth, complexity or surprise. It sells its vanilla and chocolate well even though it leaves me wanting something more in complement.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +3.4%

A: dark translucent brown pour yields a black ale with a few fluffy fingers of fat mocha-colored head

S: vanilla and licorice were dominant for me, from the nose through the finish; undercurrents of roasted dark malt

T: lots of vanilla up front, reminiscent of the vanilla extract that comes in those little brown bottles; slight alcoholic edge to the vanilla flavors; anise and licorice-like flavors complemented the vanilla, but also created a distinct character that had something like flashes of mint? Once acclimated to the initial flavors, enjoyed a more chocolaty finish; other flavors I noted were akin to coffee with milk and sugar.

M: slick and smooth, mild roasty aftertaste, low bitterness; medium-light feel, modest carbonation on the tongue

O: as advertised - fans of porters, especially those with vanilla, should be delighted. You won't notice the abv too much, but as I indicated, some seemed to be present in the vanilla; easy drinking and mellow. Not usually a fan of too many porters, but I liked the high abv and vanilla/anise aspect, and also felt that beer delivered on its promise, so my score may be a higher than a porter purist's.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a snifter because this is a big beer... pours black with a very minute tan head after a vigorous pour with minimal retention as it recedes to a small collar around the glass
S: smells of vanilla and chocolate along with a bit of molasses
T: chocolate and vanilla dominate with a little bit of coffee and some bitter roast malt flavor. slight nuttiness at times. a bit of alcohol as well but not much. swallow brings more vanilla, chocolate and the alcohol makes a bigger appearance
M: about on par for a porter, kinda thin feeling for a dark beer but that's what I expect. soft carbonation almost isn't there and the beer is kinda close to flat but not quite.
O: pretty solid, it drinks pretty well and has some good flavors.

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Imperial Tanilla Porter from Knee Deep Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.
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