Ralphius - Vanilla
Free Will Brewing Co.

Ralphius - VanillaRalphius - Vanilla
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #764
Ranked #8,646
4.42 | pDev: 5.66%
Free Will Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Ralphius - VanillaRalphius - Vanilla
Notes: Imperial stout aged in bourbon vanilla barrels.

ABV varies by year.
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 13 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours near black with a tawny hue. The thin, dark-tan head quickly dissipates into a soupy crown. Minimal lacing.

Chocolate brownie, bourbon, and vanilla up front in the nose, with hints of toffee, caramel, plum and tobacco beneath.

That great, rough character of OG Ralphius that I love shows in the taste, with a nice burst of vanilla sweetness mid-palate. I get plum, tobacco, leather, dark chocolate, coffee, blueberry, ash, walnut and nice hit of booziness.

The feel is on the thin side of medium bodied and fairly sticky. Moderately-strong carbonation.

Definitely one of the better variants. The vanilla, while strong, doesn’t step on the base and adds another layer.

Dec 03, 2020
More User Reviews:
Photo of FBarber
FBarber from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slick, oily, opaque black color. The dark mocha colored head appears and then disappears really fast. However a thin ring of foam lingers on the beer for a bit before also dissipating. The aroma on this is absolutely killer. Obviously there is the vanilla - thats immediately noticeable, but with it comes a rush of bourbon, roasted malts, toffee, a little dried tobacco and some light espresso-like notes. But the vanilla is the show here - its prominent enough to permeate the aroma, but avoids becoming overpowering. It also has no "artificialness" to it. Its so well integrated into the beer.

The taste is no less impressive than the nose. There are notes of roasted malts, bourbon, wet oak, a slight smokiness, toffee all permeated by a thread of lovely vanilla and bourbon notes. The underlying stout is delicious, the vanilla and the bourbon just compliment it so well. There is a moderate bitterness to this one, especially towards the back end. Finally, this is hot - there is a definite alcohol/bourbon heat to this one on the back end lingering into the finish. The feel is smooth, moderate to full bodied - to me this is right in that sweet spot. Thick enough to be a sipper, but not so thick you have to chew it to get it down. Gentle, but decent carbonation. Somewhat harsh on the finish, but not in an unpleasant way.

Overall this is a lovely barrel aged stout and the use of the vanilla in this is expertly done. Perhaps the thing I liked the most about this was the 8.4 oz Red Bull can. Perfect amount for a 14.1% ABV beer on a work night. While I am not going to say I wish more places used these small cans, since I think the price difference would be passed onto the consumer, rather than adjusted accordingly, I will say its the perfect amount for a work night.

Mar 01, 2021
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Jdells09 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 02, 2020
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dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a few shades short of pitch black. Amazing aroma dominated by chocolate, vanilla & bourbon. Taste is equally incredible beginning with the chocolate & vanilla sweetness followed by some warm roastiness finish with the warm bourbon. Feel is medium though i wish it was thicker and fuller. Incredible stout.

Dec 07, 2020
Photo of micada
micada from New York

4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid dark malt foundation, with a touch of sweet vanilla to soften the edges. Medium mouthfeel fits the flavor profile well. The 3/4 can keeps that huge ABV to human levels for a single can serving. Think modest dessert Ralphius option.

Feb 24, 2021
Photo of Sehnsay
Sehnsay from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jan 10, 2021
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jschott75 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 29, 2020
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NonicPanic from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dec 15, 2020
Photo of Saylor
Saylor from Pennsylvania

4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2020 can 14.1% - This beer is fantastic. I split a 2018 vanilla BCS last night w a friend and really liked it but wished it had more of a Breyer's vanilla bean finish instead of the pure vanilla exact flavor. THIS Free Will brew is better IMO and with subtle lingering coffee notes. Well done! And please keep the 8oz 4packs coming.

Nov 28, 2020
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mild but appropriate head production. Body is an attractive shade of ebony, apparently clear around the edges.

Nose is a wonderful blend of bourbon, vanilla, marshmallow, and a huge imperial stout base, itself yielding tones of chocolate, espresso, toffee, brown sugar. Remember the old Bourbon County Vanilla? Yeah; think that.

Much roastier on the palate, with the stout base taking charge. Much more lively on the palate, with far more sting, than the base beer, but the finish is equally sweet and smooth, with a red grape and port-like bourbon influence, accented by the vanilla. Flavors of slightly burnt toast, syrup, vanilla, port, red grape, toffee, caramel, chocolate, and espresso. The bourbon isn't much of a factor up front, but once it hits on the back half, it's a wonderful complement to everything else going on.

Mild back-of-the-throat heat; not quite harsh, but much more aggressive than regular Ralphius.

Complex and delectable; not over the top with vanilla, but rewarding with each sip. Absolutely delicious.

Jan 11, 2021
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Gkruszewski from New York

4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 05, 2020
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Scottsbeer from Florida

4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yesterday at 10:12 PM
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml capped bottle. 2019 release, so about 4 months old

Jet black in color, cream colored head that fades. Vanilla dominate but also cocoa and espresso flavors in taste and aroma. thick and smooth bodied. Very good, but not as great as the Coffee or Cinnamon Chile versions I had.

Mar 28, 2020
Ralphius - Vanilla from Free Will Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 13 ratings