Vanilla Bean Assassin
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Vanilla Bean AssassinVanilla Bean Assassin
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #16
Ranked #58
4.86 | pDev: 5.35%
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States
Vanilla Bean AssassinVanilla Bean Assassin
Notes: Imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels and conditioned on vanilla beans.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 84 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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unclekeith from Alaska

4.89/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2019 bottle at room temp
Wax was a big of a bugger

Inky black with a small beige head, not much carbonation.
Vanilla brownie batter aroma, some heat. Bourbon secondary
Not much bitterness or roast, plenty of barrel and vanilla.
High viscosity motor oil bordering on chewy.

Apr 11, 2021
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Dicers from Colorado

4.51/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

#248 of Top 250 (as of 3/11/21) thanks to Orca Whale

L: Motor oi black, small tan head

S: Deep barrel and only a bit of vanilla, which is surprising.

T: Tobacco, vanilla, decent amount of barrel. Good stout with vanilla without the vanilla over taking

F: Thick and heavy mouthfeel

O: A great, but not perfect BA Vanilla stout, happy ot have finally ticked this one.

Mar 14, 2021
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Vidblain from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage, tasted on 5/12/2020 - startled by how cakey that is. Super rich and thick body, a load of vanilla and chocolate. Light barrel and whiskey. Super pleasantly balanced, though definitely not a beer I could enjoy more than just a taste of. Novelty pastry juice for real - still, quite tasty.

Jan 25, 2021
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Jeff-Iowa1 from Iowa

4.92/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Tasted this in a flight at the brewery on Jan 7th 2021first time ever tasting Assassin drove 4 hours because this was on tap. I had half a pour in the afternoon at 5 last of it as the keg blew.
It is a fudge vanilla cake like flavor. The depth of the flavor was incredible. I arrived at 11:30 and took tell two to finish the flight. As this warmed and oxidized the aroma subsided as expected but the flavor just developed more chocolate cake. Outstanding and worth the trip to finally taste this. I had Morning Delight and Term Oil Maple Cakes in the same flight plus the two Latte's. Best flight of my life.
Truly wonderful beer.

Jan 20, 2021
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Travitten from Iowa

5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Only KBBS16 is better.

Vanilla, caramel/chocolate, bourbon, roast. Thic yet approachable. Perfection! This is one of a few beers that actually keep me wanting more.

Jan 20, 2021
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JDPchi13 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let’s be honest, when it comes to vanilla specific barrel aged stouts this sits comes unrivaled. I dream of finding a D13, but until that day. This is perfection.

Jan 18, 2021
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RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts

4.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Almost perfect when it comes to BA vanilla stouts. This looked insanely pitch black during the pour. Completely opaque. Smelled of bourbon soaked vanilla fudge brownies. Really decadent. Taste was amazing....very similar to the aroma. Vanilla wasn't overbearing and really played well with the fudginess and barrel aspects of the beer. Feel was super viscous. Mouth coating and lingering. Overall, an excellent BA vanilla stout.

Jan 15, 2021
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eppie82 from Illinois

4.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2019 vintage, on draft at Toppling Goliath.

I had this along with a draft pour of KBBS at the same time. The VB Assassin is definitely a lot different than KBBS, besides the adjuncts obviously. VB Assassin was pitch black with a bit of foam around the edge of glass. Aroma had loads of vanilla along with bourbon booze a bit maybe. The flavor was soft vanilla all the way with a bit of that now common Assassin dark fruit flavor serving as base underneath the vanilla goodness. Bit of chocolate-like flavors here too. Thick for sure though! Flavors linger for a while.

Dec 05, 2020
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Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.77/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2019 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed taster glass. pours inky black with virtually no head. smells of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting dipped in bourbon. one of the best smelling beers i’ve yet to encounter. taste is similar with big chocolate cake and vanilla flavors with the whiskey barrel on the finish. typical TG stout mouthfeel, which is to say full bodied and nearly perfect for the style. i am admittedly not a big straight vanilla stout guy but i was blown away with this beer. the vanilla is integrated so well that i don’t pick up on the dark fruit flavors that i’ve gotten with past assassins (purple through green). this is vanilla frosted bourbon cake in a glass. delicious!

Sep 03, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2019 Vintage. Black color. Tan head. Thick. This is decadent! Fudge chocolate cake. BlackBerry. All the nilla. All the bourbon. Oaky. Rich, desserty. Faint roast. Perfect.

Full bodied. Thick and rich. Absolutely amazing bottle.

Aug 11, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

4.65/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle at share. Slick, oily pour. Super smooth. Boozy, chocolate, vanilla, roast, all blended to perfecton. Sweet, slick with a slight burn. Top notch.

Jun 13, 2020
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YvesB from Belgium

5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09/01/17 full TG lineup tasting. This was always going to be the highlight but it did not disappoint. Hands down the best vanilla beer ever made and top 3 overall.

Sep 04, 2017
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mythaeus from Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What an incredible treat, thanks to a very generous friend and BA! Was nervous opening such a rare bottle and the wax hardened into almost brittle plastic. Poured rather thick. Vanilla hits you like a truck on the nose. Tasted like lightly sweet vanilla ice cream with chocolate. Had it side by side with a '14 Assassin and an SR71, but all 3 were very different even though the base is the same.

Nov 19, 2015
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YalovaIA from Iowa

5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is simply not possible to make a "better" beer than this. Some beers may be different, others may prefer different style, but none can be better. Perfection for what it is .

May 01, 2015
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drmcleod10 from Missouri

4.84/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was opened at Perennial today and drank with KBBS, BA Abraxas, and Fuzzy. Small 2-3 oz pour from the 12oz 2013 vintage bottle into a snifter.

A - Dark obviously like every other solid stout out there with decent lacing. Looks thick and vicious in appearance and definitely stains the glass.

S - Small notes of vanilla with chocolate as well as light notes of whiskey. Hard to compare because I have not had regular assassin but smell is pretty damn good

T - Taste follows the nose although the vanilla is somewhat muted. It blends in with the milk and dark chocolate flavors that come through from the base. Definitely some hints of coffee in there and some bourbon on the finish although it is not that prevalent.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty thick and vicious, not as thick as KBBS and MD but it is definitely a thicker BA stout which I love

O - Glad I was lucky enough to get to try this along the KBBS and the other fine brews that were drank today. Thanks again Cory

Jun 07, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.43/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Updated with 2019 bottle, where I had a much more realistic pour. I do not believe that one vintage was significantly better than the other. I think my opinion was tainted by hype and my own naivete back in 2014.

12 oz. bottle. Black, thin collar. Smells of hefty vanilla, nutty malt, a bit of whiskey. Tastes of vanilla throughout. Sweet fudge, sweet malt, and a little bit nutty. Oak and a bit of whiskey. Very sweet, very sluggish. Like the coconut variant, it's not standout. Very sweet with a veiled barrel character.

2013 bottle: 4-4.25-4.25-4.5-4.25
12 oz. bottle. Originally reviewed 3/7/2014.

Glass staining black body. Viscous. No head.

Nose is vanilla and chocolate. Rye whiskey. Dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste has less intense vanilla, but present. Dark chocolate. Whiskey. Coffee roasted malt.

Very thick. Slick and syrupy. Lingers on the palate.

Small pour, but it was really good. Just like Assassin but with more vanilla.

Mar 07, 2014
Vanilla Bean Assassin from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 84 ratings