Elevation Beer Co.

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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #5
Ranked #10,174
3.97 | pDev: 10.83%
Elevation Beer Co.
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Notes: This beer pours a deep dark brown with a snow-white head. Aroma notes of Vanilla, Cinnamon and sweet milk hit the nose bringing up images of the delicious Mexican drink this beer is styled after. The beer hits the palate with Vanilla, sweet chocolate malts, and a hint of cinnamon; all with a medium body and a balancing hop bitterness. Enjoy this beer next to a roaring fire with your amigos in a cozy cabin after a long day of skiing the deep powder of the Rocky Mountains.

This beer fits better into the Herb/Spiced Beer Category, as it is spiced with a ton of Cinnamon and Vanilla and also uses milk sugar. It recently took home a medal in this category and we believe it is a more accurate description then an Imperial porter.

Thanks and Cheers.

The Elevation Team.
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 191 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SierraNevallagash
SierraNevallagash from Maine

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can - dated 12/12/19 - poured into a rocks glass at 38°F, and allowed to warm.

Thank to beergoot for this one.

Pours a thin, deep brown, sitting nearly black in the glass, save the faint brown glisten at the very top and bottom edge. A finger of ultra light khaki foamy head quickly reduces to a film and collar, with nearly a finger of lacing left behind.

Nose: First off, the can does not indicate that there is lactose in this beer, but it is instantly obvious that there is. If someone can prove that there isn't any lactose in here, I'll eat my foot. Literally. Moving forward, the Porter roast is restrained, but it's obviously there, and adequately conveys the message that this is a dark beer. In terms of horchata notes, in not really picking up on any almond or cinnamon. There's some dark chocolate, but that's integral to the style. There's definitely some vanilla character, but not vanilla bean - more like sweet malty vanilla, plus the lactose (I'm sure of it) makes it difficult to tell. This could be my imagination, but I could see there being a dusting of chilli. Smells a lot like weak chocolate milk made from syrup. It definitely smells like a pastry stout, courtesy of the lactose.

Palate: Regarding the question of lactose, I'd now like to up my bet to both feet. Left and right. There is absolutely, positively, without a doubt lactose in this beer. Thankfully, the beer redeems itself a bit on the palate. It opens up with mild roast and lactose, which also suppresses the roast character. There's some semi-sweet and dark chocolate notes, and even a hint of fresh black coffee. The lactose adds some artificial vanilla, as well as an artificial sweetener note. It largely masks whatever spice/additives might be in here. If I strain, I could imagine cinnamon here. It definitely tastes like it's flavoured, but those added flavours are incredibly vague. The overall sweetness is moderate - never out of balance or overbearing. Some secondary notes of caramel, brown sugar, cola, and sarsparilla peek through, and the beer ultimately finishes with some extremely mild roast - subdued by lactose, lactose, cocoa, and some mild vague spice character.

Mouthfeel/Body: The beer is medium-bodied - some might call it thin, but it's a porter, it isn't supposed to be luscious. The malt does provide some heft, and I'm sure the lactose adds something, and it results in the beer toeing the line between easy drinking and wholesome and satisfying. Effervescence is relatively lively. No real ABV warmth to speak of. Very minimal drying.

Overall: I could say a lot about this one. I could say that it's lacking any definitive horchata elements - namely cinnamon, I could say it feels a bit vague and confused, but the one point I want to make is that the base beer is good. I can tell. Even with the vague spice thing. The one knock I'll give this is the lactose. It isn't helping things. Get that lactose out of here, and this would be a great little beer. The very last little tablespoon pour was all cinnamon, a wonderful chilli powder glow, and no lactose, and it was fantastic. Stop putting milk sugar in beer!

Jun 15, 2020
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown/black color with a one-finger off white head. Decent retention, a little bit of lace.
Aroma of chocolate, cinnamon, and a hint of vanilla.
Chocolate and cinnamon taste, the vanilla got lost.
Nice beer,

Apr 25, 2019
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can dated the 27th of ? 2018. The month is illegible.

It pours a really dark brown with a big off white head of foam. Head retention excellent, lacing good.

I get notes of chocolate, mole, roasted malt and cinnamon in the smell.

Mole, cinnamon,
cocoa, roasted malt and some alcohol in the taste. Warming in the finish from both the alcohol and mole.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Tastes pretty fresh, I reckon, so the missing month on the stamp must be fairly recent.

Jan 27, 2019
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to the incredible woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, light coffee and cinnamon. Taste is of roasted malts, cinnamon abounds throughout, a touch of alcohol, hints of vanilla. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a unique beer worth trying.

Jan 10, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$ 4.09 (Including shipping)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.341) from Tavour, Seattle, WA. Reviewed 12/22/18.
“ANNED ON --/29/18” smeared on bottom of can. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.5.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque. When held to the light, minimal penetration occurs at the ring.
Head – Large (Maximum 4.5 cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density, good retention, slooowly diminishing to an irregular four to ten mm ring and a thin partial layer.
Lacing – Excellent. Forms wide rings of mostly tiny bubbles. These devolve into torn curtains.
First pour – Medium brown, clear.
Aroma – 4 – Milk chocolate and cinnamon.
Flavor – 3.5 – Weak chocolate, no cinnamon or vanilla, although some vague hints of other flavors impinge on my taste buds. Very slightly bitter. No hops, no alcohol (8.2% ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3.5 – Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 3.5 – Aroma and appearance carry the anemic flavor.

Dec 22, 2018
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snaotheus from Washington

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can served in a tulip. Canned on 11/14/2017.

Pours dark, with a large, light brown head, lots of carbonation. Smell is roasted coffee and a little vanilla.

Taste is coffee, roasty / smokey. Maybe a little bit of cardamom. If I think about it, some cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth. Overall, not bad.

Jun 26, 2018
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Beaver13 from Colorado

2.12/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz can, canned on 11/14/17. Pours dark brown with a big pillowy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is subdued - milky chocolate, heavy roast and a little spice.

The flavor is sweet lactose and chocolate malt with heavy acidic burnt roast and a little vanilla. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little thin.

Overall, I get a lot of roast and not much spice. I remember this being better balanced in the past.

Jan 18, 2018
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Jeffsta1 from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, light brown head.

Smell: malty, hoppy. Nuthin special, nuthin bad.

Taste: Kinda average - surprising - none of the random add-in ingredients yells too loudly. Malty, but not intensely so; a hint of sweetness, but not off-putting.

Other reviewers note the sweetness more - maybe I got an older bottle?

Not a big fan of the mouthfeel on this one - overcarbonated, and bubbles are coarse. In terms of weight: moderate. Surprising that this is 8.2% ABV - it's well hidden.

Overall: a bit of funkiness on the finish.

OK, fine with food, happy to drink it if someone gave it to me at their house, not a great beer, don't buy again. Unimpressive.

Jan 31, 2016
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parkcenterlounge from Colorado

4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Flavor. The horchata is in the background, not overpowering. Goes down smooth and makes you feel great. Snow white head very dark brown. Smells of sweet bread with cinnamon and milk.

Sep 11, 2015
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VashonGuy from Washington

4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Why isn't there a beer style called "dessert beer"? When I look at the other reviews for this beer, they are all over the map ... a big divergence of opinion, caused in part, I think, by different expectations as to what this beer should be. Well, here's what I saw: it's a sweet chocolatey dessert beer, very creamy, with plenty of vanilla and some cinnamon. It's pretty close to a horchata! Beautiful appearance, dark with a big tan foamy head that lasts.

When you try to fit this to a standard beer style, you've got problems. It's not really a herb/spice beer, at least as I think of that style. It's not got as much punch as an Imperial Porter, despite what's on the label (the 8.2% ABV is quite well hidden). It's got the body and mouthfeel of a porter, not nearly as heavy as some stouts. I'd compare it to Southern Tier Choklat or Caldera Mogli, among others. Among chocolate dessert beers, this one is right up at the top. Skip worrying about the style, and you may enjoy this as much as my wife and I did.

750 ml bottle, bottled on 12/9/2013.

May 06, 2015
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JFCLACK from Texas

3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful creation for imperial porter fans. Pours black with thick mocha head, smells like a cinnamon roll coming out of the oven, mouthfeel is good laces glass, slightly bitter at finish but mellowed as it warmed.

May 02, 2015
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cvm4 from Mississippi

3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Dec. 31, 2014

L - Pours about how I'd expect with a dark black body and light tan one finger head. Not much lacing or retention.

S - Light vanilla, mild roasted malts, milk chocolate and light cinnamon spice.

T - A harmonious mix of vanilla beans, cinnamon and milk chocolate with roasted malts as the backbone. No real flavor is dominant or shines above another.

F - Medium bodied and light carbonation. The body is creamy/silky. I would have liked to see a bit more carb.

O - Well balanced beer that lets all the flavors shine.

Apr 06, 2015
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dcscientist from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an excellent beer. Not your typical vanilla porter - the cinnamon really adds a great flavor to it. Obviously it pairs well with Mexican food, but it's really good just on its own as well. Seek this one out if you want a little something different. I'll look for this one again for sure. *Bonus addition, long after this original review: now available in 6-packs!

Mar 02, 2015
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seabeetastetest from Texas

4.81/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

let me start by saying i got this beer after failing to get my hands on xocoveza.... after saying that im glad i didnt find it and got this. its smells great taste amazing feels ok overall i give it a 9.8 close to perfect... another great brew from our friends at elevation beer company.

Mar 01, 2015
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GregJ from Louisiana

3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin brown head. Smells of dark malts, chocolate and vanilla. Tastes of dark chocolate, dark malt, some spice, vanilla, a little astringence. Medium body light carbonation with chocolate malt aftertaste.

Feb 23, 2015
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, passing light only at the edges of the glass and a thin, light brown head that dissipates to patches with slight, slippery lacing. Aroma of mild toasted malt, vanilla, Mexican chocolate and cinnamon. Flavor is milk and Mexican chocolate, toasted malt with light char, light vanilla and cinnamon, well integrated, like a milk shake. Medium bodied with light creaminess and maybe a hair less carbonation than expected. A very nice dessert porter, like drinking a chocolate shake made with Mexican chocolate for light sweetness, cinnamon and vanilla. Balanced and very tasty. I enjoyed this a great deal.

Feb 16, 2015
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.42/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured into a Teku glass from a 750mL bottle.

It's got a pitch-black body and a dark-khaki with cream-colored head that is frothy and two fingers thick. 4.25

This aroma reminds me of a Yoo-hoo. It's chocolatey, milk-like and has a big dose of vanilla. There's some oak and barrel aroma and maybe even some sweet caramel. 4.5

Continued heavy oak and vanilla, the chocolate is subtler but now there's a cinnamon dose that adds another element to this brew. 4.5

It's creamy, smooth and a little lighter in body than I'd expect, but I like it. A wealth of flavors, some spice and a touch of hop bitterness. 4.25

This beer is effing tasty. Tons of flavor, aroma, and sensations. Outstanding beer. I'll have to buy more. 4.42

Aug 15, 2014
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Phelps from Arizona

3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An imperial porter brewed like horchata, made with milk sugar, cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla bean. Bottle 02077.

Watery yet dark, a burnt black-brown. Opaque with a half-finger head of light tan.

Roasty-sweet, with a good balance between the two. Crumbled dark chocolate, vanilla, a touch of floral hops. Cinnamon, lactose. Smooth and subtle.

Even smoother and subtler. Milk chocolate, cinnamon sticks, milk. Bitter roast is well-balanced with the lesser flavors.

Creamy medium body, mild massaging alcohol. Just a shade under what I'd like from the style. A touch of alcohol heat, but lower than what I'd expect.

Incredibly easy to drink. Dangerously, even.

Jul 29, 2014
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utfiero from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Color- black ruby. Head- full light chocolate head.

Aroma- hints of chocolate but alcohol esters apparent.

Taste- starts roasty and sweet like a Starbucks fancy coffee, hints of cinnamon and vanilla confirm the label, finishing with a mild hoppy bitterness which complements coffee and dark chocolate tones. 25 IBUs. A great winter time beer. Why did we open this in the heat of July????

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted July 2014.

Jul 22, 2014
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roblowther from Texas

3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A big ol' bottle that pours black as midnight with a creamy slight tan head. Smell is vanilla, cream, cinnamon, and the local Starbucks. Taste is cinnamon, burnt biscuits, some vanilla, and a bit of cream.The mouthfeel is creamy and slick. This review seems to be holding the record for use of the word "cream". Not including that one even. Overall, its interesting. A bit heavy handed with the flavors for me but probably this not being my favorite style is affecting my judgement. If you like the style, give it a shot. If you don't...well, you probably wouldn't have anyway.

Jun 29, 2014
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beatenbyjacks from Colorado

4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Jet Black that pours with a latte like head to it. The head leaves quickly, but it was quite a nice pour.

Smell - lots of cinnamon and a nice chocolately malty finish

Taste - Creamy chocolate into a nice caramel and then a cinnamon finish. Quite fun

Mouthfeel - very smooth with a strong cinnamon after burn

Overall - glad I got to try this one and looking forward to next year's version.

May 19, 2014
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mactrail from Washington

3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like porter strained through vanilla wafers. Dark brown in the Orval chalice with a low head. No trace of lacing in the glass but spritzy enough in the mouth. Sweet and sugary. A little oily.

This is some funny stuff. Surprisingly light body, but maybe it's just not all that malty. It's not really powerful enough to carry off the milky, spicy sweet flavors. I'm not sure I want a session vanilla beer. Still it's drinkable enough once you get over the sweet nonsense of it.

The cinnamon is not overly powerful, but this does taste more like cookies than beer. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Grapevine Liquors in Denver.

Mar 26, 2014
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champ103 from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at D&T in Houston.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Basically no head forms and no lace. Pretty still and lifeless.
S: Roasted malt, some coffee, and big milk chocolate aromas. A big sweet vanilla and toffee aroma as well.
T: A bit less roast in than in the nose. Plenty of sweetness though. Big milk chocolate, vanilla, and toffee again.
M/D: Under carbonated for my tastes. Pretty thin, watery and lifeless. Plenty of alcohol here. Kind of fusel like, add the big sweetness and it takes me a bit longer to sip on than I would like.

An OK imperial porter. A big sweetness from the vanilla, but not much else. No bad, but just kind of flat overall.

Feb 13, 2014
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ArrogantB from Colorado

3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hops and Pie. Dark black, decent head, looks like a tasty porter. Aroma was cinnamon and malt. Flavor was as advertised: cinnamon, vanilla, malt, hint if chocolate. On the face of it it sounds awesome but it was really just ok. Glad I did not purchase a bottle of this.

Feb 05, 2014
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to blakelive784 for this, the last surviving bottle from a summertime trade. Big 750ML bottle with a minimalist label. Bottle #2329 from the winter of 2012, for what that's worth. Split with my wife; gonna be an early night after having a 12 year old sleepover explode into mayhem at 2AM last night. Morning. Whatfuckingever.

Pour is dark, brown, looks like it might turn red towards the bottom. Nose isn't prominent, no need for surgery here, vanilla is the only component that pops, with a faint side of spicy that must be the cinnamon. Decently nice.

Seniorita Horchata is like a technically sound painting created from a Paint-By-Number set. Everything advertised is here. Nice shot of vanilla for the opening volley, backed by sweet malts. The spice/cinnamon is subdued, but answers when called. Gentle, faded, milky chocolate on the back end. Mouthfeel is light to the point of distraction; I'd have guess this to be a very low ABV porter. Pretty easy to drink mindlessly.

Decent enough, but another beer that's remarkably unremarkable. Nothing to set it apart from dozens of other decent porters on the market.

Aug 17, 2013
Señorita from Elevation Beer Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 191 ratings