Vanilla Storm | Rip Current Brewing

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Brewed by:
Rip Current Brewing
California, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter with Kona and Sumatra coffee and Madagascar vanilla beans.

Added by MasterSki on 12-13-2012

For Trade:
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Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 58
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 5-oz. draft
Glass: Rip Current Brewing snifter taster
From: Rip Current North Park in North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.75
Purchased: Jan. 20, 2017
Consumed: Jan. 20, 2017
Reviewed as: American Porter
Misc.: N/A

Snuck out early from work to try Barrel-Aged Rescue Buoy and their Fourth Anniversary beer, but they just kicked the latter. So decided to have a few others after the BARB. Really liked the Java Storm and expecting this one to better as it was basically a Java Storm with vanilla.

Poured a pitch black color with 3-to-4 fingers of khaki white fizzy head. Calm setting underneath. Below average watery lacing. Average retention. (Sight - 3.25)

Smelled vanilla, marshmallow, milk chocolate and mocha. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted much better than the nose, following it with vanilla (much more organic), marshmallow, milk chocolate, chocolate syrup and mocha. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Creamy texture. Soft carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.50)

This was pretty damn good. Looking back some six hours later, it appeared I overrated it. Anyway it was lovely. (Overall - 4.25)

4.26 | 95 | A

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Photo of BillRoth
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Rip Current brew pub in San Marcos during 2015 Beer Safari along 78 corridor. Big time coffee and vanilla. Relatively thin body which is not surprising with a porter, but a bit disappointing at 10% abv. Would have thought since imperial porter and clearly a big malt bill that would be a bit more full and creamy than it was. None the less as an excellent beer. Very happy to have been able to try this one.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Crush & Brew – Temecula, CA
04/14/14 - Snifter glass

A: Pours a dark cocoa with a faint ruddiness towards the glasses edge. Completely opaque with a spongy thin cover of dark khaki foam. Head settles out to a halo in a few short-lived moments. Light dotted stick and some legs but nothing too notable here.

S: Intense aromas of rich chocolate and vanilla infused coffee permeate the nose. Incredible how all three main characters are distinct yet blend together so nicely. Roast is there in the form of coffee and does not come across sharp at all. Has an overall nuttiness of toasted caramels. This is really nice. Very sweet and delectable with lots of vanilla.

T: Tastes like vanilla crème meets a dark chocolate coffee liqueur. The alcohol is robust but just really well incorporated throughout. Lots of melted chocolate with some subdued coffee notes but really the vanilla steals the show. Super smooth and frothy like a freakin’ vanilla shake. Dark caramels meld with some mild roast malt and a bit of licorice root coming through. Nice hit of earthy hops on the back end. The beer is sweet for sure but not overly so to the point of cloying. There is a moderate amount of bitterness to cut through it all and enough drying roast that keeps this one light without biting the palate. What a treat this brew is!

M: Full bodied but not chewy. Maintains a nice frothy cream like texture with a healthy dose of bittering hops lending to a much lighter and drying finish. Silky and smooth with some light sleekness coating the palate.

D: This is a fantastic dessert beer and probably my favorite offering from Rip Current so far. Tons of chocolate and vanilla going on with a coffee roast backdrop. Great balance between the body, alcohol, and sugar content. Very decadent and highly recommended. All that’s left is to barrel age this with limited release bottles available only via lottery for an overpriced amount.

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Photo of rand
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Obrien's pub, poured into pint.

A. Black, thin complexion, very little head or lacing.

S: Roasty and toasty notes pressed up vanilla and sugar. Reminds me of creamed coffee with vanilla flavoring.

T: more complex on the palate, with bittering hops a more prominent player. Again, distinctly sweet and vanilla-y, but far from cloying. Alcohols and hop tannins keep the finish shorter than expected, with a touch of vanilla bean lingering.

M: Light-bodied for the flavors and alcohol...appropriately dubbed an imperial porter as opposed to a stout.

From the few I've had, Rip Current's beers are spot on. Definitely one to watch in Southern Cal.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from tap; opaque and black as night with almost no head at all. Not much lacing at all either. Immense flavors of bourbon and vanilla in the nose, sweet and warm. Taste follows nose with vanilla bean, oak, bourbon, chocolate, sweet cream, dark roast coffee, all melding together. Some herbal hop flavors in the aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel with smooth carbonation. Extremely delicious and complex.

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Photo of BreweryRun
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing balance of dark malt flavors and vanilla with a hint of sweetness. Some vanilla stouts tend to be too sweet but this one finds the perfect balance. Great chocolate and roasty flavors with vanilla coming strong at the end without being overpowering. A perfect execution of a vanilla imperial stout. These guys do some really great stuff I'd recommend pretty much anything they make.

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Photo of largadeer
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1L growler into a tulip. Dark brown with ruby highlights, opaque in the glass. A small quarter-inch head forms and quickly settles to a collar. Nose is outstanding, huge vanilla bean and chocolate aromatics, with some nuttiness from the coffee. Liquid Nutella. Palate is equally big on vanilla with bittersweet chocolate and nutty coffee balancing the sweetness. There's a little alcohol and roasted malt toward the finish that dries the palate a touch. Body is full, silky. Outstanding.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Rip Current. Pint.

Deep brown with a crimson tinge near the edges of the glass when held to light. A finger of light brown foam crowns the body.

The aroma has a ridiculously nice chocolate note that blends flawlessly with vanilla, a touch of coffee, and a bit of caramel. The coffee is light but perhaps a stronger profile would subjugate and overshadow the nuances of the chocolate and vanilla, which are the highlights here. There's some Nutella character and a whisper of roastiness as well.

The flavor is a fantastic blend of cocoa, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Coffee is light but a great addition and once again it plays a supporting, complementary role. There's an upper low level of earthy bitterness with a whisper of roast. The chocolate profile really is exceptional. That bears repeating. The mouthfeel is thick, viscous, and chewy. The body is full with a lower medium level of carbonation.

I really liked the batch Paul did with Mother Earth on their system for NHC in 2011, but this is a step up. It's surprising that this level of chocolate flavor was achieved without the use of cocoa nibs. Definitely check this beer out.

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Vanilla Storm from Rip Current Brewing
4.44 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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