Hunter Vanilla
18th Street Brewery - Gary Taproom

Hunter VanillaHunter Vanilla
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English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #37
Ranked #1,038
4.29 | pDev: 7.46%
18th Street Brewery - Gary Taproom
Indiana, United States
Hunter VanillaHunter Vanilla
Notes: The second in our Hunter Vertical Series - Vanilla Hunter. Vanilla Hunter starts with our base of Hunter Milk Stout with which we then added whole Vanilla beans to compliment Hunter's roastiness with an elegant rounded out flavor.
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 444 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of woodychandler
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Welcome back to New Beer(s) from @jkblr Sunday (Week 776), MKII, Part 2! He is my only current shipping trader with @tone77 as a local, in-person trader & he was CANcerned that perhaps I was giving his beers short shrift. Perish the thought! I was saving them for an NBS, but then other NBSs spiraled outta CANtrol & I kept pushing his to the back burner. Well, here we go!

From the CAN: "Stout brewed with Lactose Sugar and Cocoa Nibs"; "Double Milk Stout with Vanilla added"; "Vertical Series 02/08"; "Drink fresh. Unfiltered. Sediment may occur."; "Hunter, our creamy Double Milk Stout with Cocoa Nibs and Lactose is a beer so sumptuous it demands respect. In part to of our Hunter Vertical Series, we added whole Vanilla Beans to compliment its roastiness with an elegant rounded flavor. "

Vanilla to vanilla, in case you questioned my series of progression today. This beCAN to sound better & better as I CANsidered it so I Crack!ed open the vent to see what lay inside. The CAN's verbiage suggested that I employ a slow, gentle C-Line Glug so as not to rouse the lees. Fine by me. I watched in rapt fascination as a pseudo-cascade led to the formation of two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-brown head with decent retention, slowly falling away to wisps. Color was obsidian Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) & not only was it not allowing any light penetration, it seemed to be sucking the light in the room towards it! Ahhh! I'm afraid! Nose was more like it - if you advertise "Vanilla", then bring vanilla! This smelled like vanilla ice cream dumped into a cuppa joe to cool it down. Yum. It was definitely roasty & slightly smoky with a coffee-like quality, but the vanilla was holding its own. Mouthfeel was big, full & creamy, either a testament to the brewer's art or the result of the addition of lactose or perhaps a CANbination of the two. Either way, it was really big in my mouth & on my tongue. Speaking of big, this was REALLY BIG in the vanilla department! It was unabating & I might not have enjoyed it if they had sprung it on me as a surprise. Instead, they were totes up front about it as an adjunct & I was ready as a result. Even then, it was not really all that sweet, given its style. Granted, I was not going to mistake it for a Dry Stout, but given its adjuncts, it could have been much sweeter. I am now intrigued to try the others in the series as a result. Finish was semi-sweet & as long as I CAN keep sweet beers at bay, I am gonna take @jkblr up on his challenge. YMMV.

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Photo of BigGold
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had poured from pint can, stamped on bottom (apparently) canned on “9/27/19,” into nonic pint.

The vanilla adds sweetness but also brings out the hop bite from the original beer, which is a nice balance of lactose, cocoa nibs and roast malts, and this beer is all the better for it.

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Photo of jkblr
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz can stamped 9/27/19 (one month ago) poured into a tulip pint glass at fridge temp, no ABV listed on can. The beer pours very dense black with no light penetration and sticky mocha colored head. The head recedes to a thin cap and leaves some lacing. The aroma offers baker's chocolate, coffee, vanilla and some vague sweetness. The taste is super rich chocolate, vanilla and coffee laced milk stout with just a hint of tangyness and roasty bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy & full bodied with just less than medium carbonation and a semi dry finish. Not cloying, no obvious ethanol. Overall, very good to excellent. Pours like motor oil and really packs the flavor. Recommended.

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Photo of Roguer
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a strong dark brown head with good retention. Body is bold and deep black.

Nose is full of roasty goodness: coffee tones and a touch of red grapes from the roasted barley; bitter and semi-sweet chocolate are a blend of aromas from the cacao nibs and the malt; vanilla beans are a subtle but nice complement.

Extremely roasty on the palate, which is quite a shock. Dry and bitter, with the focus on the malt and yeast presentation. Burnt toast, red grapes, black coffee, cherries, and cream. Lip-smacking chocolate and vanilla on the finish.

Thick, smooth, and creamy. Nearly chewy, but it somehow doesn't come across as a high ABV stout.

A very tasty stout, this is definitely true to the English style (vice a big sweet American stout). That's definitely a surprise with most AIS adjunct stouts being much sweeter and far less roasty (or at the very least representing different flavors through the barley and yeast selection), but after the surprise wears off, it's very nice, indeed.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stout brewed with lactose sugar and cocoa nibs with vanilla beans added. Poured from a can into a Stone IRS tulip. The pour is black and viscous and sports two fingers of dark brown head with good retention. The nose is roasty and rich with strong notes of roasted malt, cocoa powder, and vanilla.

Medium-full body with a firm feel. Iget the roasted malt and toffee up front, some bittersweet chocolate, and then a nice hit of vanilla. Finishes with lingering flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla.

An excellent milk stout. Very much like standard Hunter, but the vanilla is a nice accompaniment. It is not overdone either. There is just enough vanilla to complement the roastiness, but not so much that it creates an unpleasant flavor. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 6/11/18; drank 6/25/18 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A violent pour yielded a huge dark tan head; a thick curtain of lace.

Medium roast coffee bean, vanilla, milk chocolate & mild fresh earth flavors up front.

Creamy medium thick mouthfeel.

Vanilla & medium roast coffee bean flavors up front; chocolate syrup & mild fresh earth notes on the finish. No booze heat.

An easy to drink, flavorful take on the style; well above average.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

16oz can, date stamped 2/12/18. Jet black thick pour with a tall brown head that holds good retention. Aroma is vanilla and creamy milk chocolate but not a lot going on. Bolder flavors with sweet notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, mocha latte, mild pepperiness on the finish. Mouthfeel is insanely thick and smooth, nice carbonation, finishing more sweet than bitter. Really good milk stout with vanilla, but I'm not sure the price was justified here...

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Photo of Phineasco
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a Pitch Black with a thin tan head that recedes immediately. It has low carbonation. The beer smells of cocoa powder, hazelnuts, vanilla ice cream, and lactose. It tastes cocoa powder, milk chocolate, hazelnuts, vanilla ice cream, and lactose. The mouthfeel is medium and creamy. I don’t know old this beer is, but it held up fine.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love the simplicity of what this beer is doing, in that it does it extremely well. I'll say it again, a stout does not need to be barrel aged to be delicious. The vanilla goes so well with the roasted malt, perfect for a milk stout. Not overly sweet, in fact after the wave of vanilla, it leans a little bitter which I really thought was done well!

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Photo of Buck89
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to FFFjunkie for this one. Poured into a snifter. Like the base beer, nice and viscous on the pour. Subtle vanilla comes through on the nose in the midst of milk chocolate and floral hop notes. The taste followed the nose with present but restrained vanilla, milk chocolate, and floral bitterness. Sticky and full bodied. Nice - I enjoyed this one more than their base beer.

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Photo of zonker17
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 (02 08 series) 22oz bottle poured to snifter, near black, thick brown head, very good retention, minor lacing. Base malt nose. Taste shows roasted malt, chocolate, some vanilla, signs of oxidation as expected. Silky feel with heavy body and average carbonation.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a very good milk stout like the original. Smooth and well balanced. The only thing I could ask is for a little bit more vanilla to come through. It was a little hidden.

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Photo of hanuswalrus
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The last can in a 4 pack I bought a few months ago. The canned on date is hard to read but looks like 3/18/17. Pours very viscous and dark. Forms a small, brown head that fades to a nice ring. Aroma is mostly rich roasted malts with some vanilla still lingering. There's also some molasses and maybe even some faint licorice somewhere in there as well. When it was fresher, the vanilla popped a lot more but that's to be expected. I'm not dinging them on the faded vanilla at all. It says right on the damn can to drink fresh, I just felt like holding a can in the back of the fridge to see how it aged because I enjoyed it so much when it was fresh. I'm glad I held onto a can. This is really tasty beer. Biggest flavors I get are roasted malt and bitter chocolate. This beer is well balanced between the roasted malts/cocoa nibs and sweet lactose sugar. There's a very slight lingering umami flavor. This beer is just loaded with specialty malt. Mouthfeel is pretty much full, but not quite motor oil. For 8.5%, it's damn close though. Inky. Coats the palate and sticks to the lips. Love this beer and the entire series as well. Will probably splurge on all of the Hunter releases in cans.

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Photo of mschrei
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Done in a mini-horizontal with regular and coffee Hunter. Pours a dark color with thinning edges and creamy lacing. Smell is roasty malt and sweet vanilla and a slight bitter coffee presence. Taste is sweet vanilla forefront with roasty malt and even a little bitter coffee presence at the back end. Feel is probably the lushest of the three, as the sweetness causes a fuller body. There's more velvety softness to it, but on the other end, the oiliness is kicked up too. I think this was the best of the three that I tried. Very well balanced and pretty complete beer in terms of hitting a bunch of flavor profiles and feels.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy dark tan head that reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts, lactose sweetness, and vanilla with a hint of milk chocolate.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts and chocolate malts with a moderate amount of lactose sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of vanilla with a light amount of earthy hops. Light amounts of roasty bitterness which fades pretty quickly leaving a lingering milky sweet vanilla in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very enjoyable with a nice vanilla flavor + aroma over the top of a really solid milk stout. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol. I would be happy to try this one again.

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Photo of metter98
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—traces of dark red are visible near the edge of the glass when the beer is held up to a bright light source. It poured with a light beige head that quickly died down, leaving a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark malts are present in the nose along with some hints of vanilla.
T: The taste follows the smell, but has stronger flavors of vanilla along with hints of dark notes.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This stout has a pleasant taste and mouthfeel. The drinkability and mouthfeel are very good.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a tall boy in and enjoyed in a snifter via a friend from work----Thanks Justin!
This nice milk stout pours a beautiful crude oil color with a very nice head of dark brown
foam that settles to a thick ring, thin light pool, and showcases some very nice lacing. Nose
of vanilla, dark bakers chocolate, medium strong notes of char, cream, and touches of coffee.
Flavors hit the mark with dark rich bakers cocoa mingling with a nice strong dark coffee note
with a nice mild vanilla note mixing nicely with char and a touch of dark fruits of blueberries and
blackberries. Excellent mouth feel; full body, low carbonation that makes this beast lightly slick
and very coating, lightly creamy (lactose sugars), and a char touched lightly sweet finish giving rise
to notes of dark toffee and brown sugar mingling with coffee.

Complex, warming, inviting, and above all a stout lovers DREAM!



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Photo of T-Sizzle
4.69/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This creamy, full bodied milk stout starts out with an overwhelming vanilla flavor and has a dark chocolate/coffee finish. It's strong flavors come together well and creates a unique sipper.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours jet black with thin mocha colored head that dissipates pretty quickly leaving a small ring around the glass.

Aroma - Tons of roasted malts and dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee and a touch of lactose. Sort of smells like a liquid brownie.

Taste - Taste is very similar to the aroma, roasted malts and dark chocolate are up front. There is mild vanilla and coffee with a hint of nuttiness.

Feel - Full bodied and creamy, soft carbonation.

Overall - A really well done milk stout, creamy and great flavors.

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Photo of thebeers
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark mahogany brown, approaching black, with a finger and a half of mocha-colored foam head that leaves messy sheets of lacing.

Nutty, roasted malt aroma with a touch of smoke and hint of vanilla.

Less nutty, roasty and smokey tasting, with a lot more chocolate character; a little caramel; a little lactose; and a quick kiss of alcohol. It has a particularly rich, chocolatey aftertaste. The vanilla is natural and, while strong, it's not overstated.

Thick, creamy, decadent mouthfeel. This is a delicious beer that drinks way too easy. Canned on 02/09/17.

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Photo of larryi86
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thank you Harrison8 for this
16 oz can, dated 3/18/17, poured into a teku

A- Pitch black with a small dark mocha head.

S- Dark chocolate, some vanilla, roasted malts, some coffee, caramel malts, some lactose.

T- Milk chocolate, fudge, caramel, vanilla, hints of cherries, coffee, some lactose sugar.

M- Smooth, creamy, full body.

O- A really good Stout, vanilla is not overpowering. Very happy to have tried this, worth seeking out!

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Photo of leantom
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of the finest beers to ever grace my palette. Here goes:

A: Very good. Slow-to-build, chocolatey head that leaves great lacing. Beer looks much more potent than it actually is, however (i.e., it looks like a BCB stout but only weighs-in at 8.5% ABV). Very dark body color.

S: Smells very good as well. Lots of sweet milk chocolate with hints of vanilla. Almost no detectable burnt-malt bitterness, which is rare for a beer of this type.

T: Taste is excellent. Follows the nose with lots of sweet milk chocolate and vanilla. Also some burnt malt, which makes their appearance known in the coffee flavors. Only downside is the slight hint of dark fruit that appears at the back of the palette.

F: Very thick despite only being 8.5%. Excellent.

O: I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a resolute black with a finger of dark caramel colored head. Head is slow to fizz up, but retains well. Aroma is huge notes of roasted malts, with toasted and nutted malts playing a lesser role behind. Vanilla and caramel notes peak through the dark aroma as well. Flavor profile is smooth, bitter-free notes of roasted, toasted, and nutty malts, with the emphasis on the roasted. Caramel, and vanilla bean play wonderfully well to sweeten up the dark qualities of this stout. Mouth feel is smooth, creamy, and velvety, with a thick feel. Overall, this beer packs a presence. Robust malt notes accompanied by additional notes of caramel and vanilla bean, and a thick feel make it a stellar stout.

Served in a 12oz snifter. Poured from 16oz can.

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Photo of barczar
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to my buddies Sean and Kristin for gifting me this! I aged it 6 months or so, because I'm extremely sensitive to vanilla.

Aroma is roasty, sweet lactose, then vanilla, with dark fruit notes of dates and cherries throughout.

Flavor is more chocolate forward initially, with vanilla sweetness, a hint of dark fruit, finishing very roasty and moderately bitter. Very complex!

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can

Pours almost a finger of dark brown, chocolatey head into my willi becher glass. Head seems dense, thick. Body looked like molasses coming out of the can, completely black, even when held up to the light. Carbonation looks very minimal. Overall, looks like a beast so far.

On the nose you get the cocao nibs, sweet. What first started off as an aroma reminiscent of coffee, has turned into a pretty distinguishable vanilla. It’s not artificial smelling, very nice. For a milk stout, this actually smells very clean, and approachable, in the sense that it won’t be a sugar bomb. Obviously smells very smooth as well. Not really sure how to grade this, because while I appreciate how tame, and not sugary this is, I also want a little more complexity. The aroma’s that need to be there are there though, and it definitely smells good.

The flavor is even more modest in sweetness than the aroma. Relatively bitter from beginning to end. Cocao nibs are there, mixed with a thick sweetness that is still somehow dwarfed by the bitter. Vanilla is just barely noticeable. Finishes with a pretty big roastyness, and even salt. Borderline campfire salt/roast, but not super offensive. Salt keeps punching me in the face though, very unusual. A little sour almost. The beer almost feels like pop rocks, in how it comes alive in the finish. This is a very weird beer, especially for the ingredients, and especially considering how it smelled. Overall, I like it, I’m just not sure how much.

The mouthfeel is pretty accurate for a milk stout. Not very thick, slick on your tongue, low carbonation. I’m not too crazy about the mouthfeel of these beers, but it seems to be true to style, so I will grade accordingly.

The drinkability is pretty good. It’s not hard to drink, and it’s tasty enough, it’s just perplexing and borderline astringent.

Overall this is a good beer. It has a lot going on in the flavor, especially compared to the nose. Thing is it just isn’t “delicious”. It’s tasty, but not amazing. I welcome the bitter, but the roastyness is a little much, and the salt/astringency is a maybe. It smoothed out a little bit as it warmed, but nothing drastic.

The appearance turned out pretty good. Good lacing from top to bottom. The head didn’t last too long, but it was ok.

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Hunter Vanilla from 18th Street Brewery - Gary Taproom
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 444 ratings