Vanilla Norton | The Tap Brewing Company

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Very Good
26 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Joshua Norton brewed with vanilla beans.

Added by Dope on 02-12-2014

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by jlindros:
Photo of jlindros
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark creamy foamy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, with decent lacing, pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose brings a nice roasted malt, dark black malts as well, dried cocoa powder, a little earthy dark black patent malt I think, mild super dark chocolate and earthy bitter hops, and a little vanilla rounding note as well. A bit of caramel comes through more as it warms as well as more of the dark chocolate.

Taste brings more dark malts, some cocoa as well but right into the black malts, a bit of a charred note with roast and mild burnt coffee even, chewy and creamy oats I think but not much. Malts bring some caramel and mild sweetness as well, just enough to mask the mild warming booze, although the booze eventually comes through mildly warming and a hint of an alcohol taste. A hint of a anise like licorice note in the background too, with a mild earthy hop. Bitterness from the hops and dark malts blend to a mild to fair bitterness. Very little vanilla though, just enough so you know it's there but only if you're looking for it. Finish brings a bit more peppery alcohol, more licorice and roast, black malts, dried powdered cocoa, and fairly dry but sticky finish, quite bitter too as it seems to combine with the alcohol.

Mouth is fuller bod, fairly creamy, nice carbonation, slowly increasing booze warming and eventual tingle.

Overall not bad but very little vanilla, nice base beer with decent malts, nice combination, booze starts off balanced well but eventually starts to come through a bit too much.

 1,538 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of JakerLou
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Kevincredible
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 26,2014.

The pour is deep black with a big beige head. Opaque.

The aroma is of vanilla beans, dark malts, smoke, and coffee,

The body is in the medium range.

This is a reasonably warming brew with a good supply of vanilla notes and smooth drink-ability,.

 300 characters

Photo of rjp217
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Dhamma73
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of JohnnyB
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gonzo000
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a. Nice poor, light brown head lasts - dark, dark brown color.

s. Smell is very faint. Almost no smell.

t. Not as much vanilla as I was expecting. The chocolate on the finish is excellent, may be dulled by the vanilla, making it more mellow than the typical stout.

m. Smooth - nice. Very carbonated.

o. Very nice stout. If I was given the beer without knowing the name I would have enjoyed it more. Kept searching for the vanilla that did not seem to be there.

 464 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 22oz bottle poured to a deep tulip glass with a midnight black, oily body. Mocha tan head builds up to two fingers with a thick, creamy texture. Head retention is good. Lacing starts with a sheet at each sip's end and drizzled webs beyond that.

S- Heavily roast malts are responsible for a bulk of the aroma. Dark chocolate, deeply roasted grains, coffee beans and slightly burnt notes. Slight hops and sweetness.

T- Again, the roast grains reign supreme here as did Norton himself. Deep chocolately notes remind me of brownies and fudge along with dark cocoa powder. Malts also bring toasted, burnt grain, caramel, slightly sweet and coffee flavors. An authentic vanilla bean flavor starts off weak but gains with warmth.

MF- Thick bodied ale with a chewy texture. Creaminess fills up the palate with each sip. Finishes with a roast bitterness lingering.

Took some time for the vanilla to break through but it comes in nicely about halfway through the glass for me. It is not in your face but a hint of authentic vanilla bean layered on a deep, cocoa monster of a stout.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of BostonPhilly
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of the_beerist
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Duff27
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of braican
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of BT_Bobandy
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Dope
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't see a date on the bottle but this is very fresh, seeing as I just had to add it to BA.

A: Pitch-black pour. Tall, dense, dark brown head. Watching the head fade is like watching paint dry. *snore* Great head retention and moderate splotchy tufts of lacing.

S: Vanilla mixed with charry smoke. Burnt bread crusts and pretzels.

T: Vanilla and char again, except the char is lighter than in the aroma. Sweet vanilla fades and char becomes more of a bitter charred bread. Long lingering dry and bitter burnt toast aftertaste. Borderline ashy.

M: Borderline heavy, lower carbonation. Somewhat chalky in places - mainly the dry, charry aftertaste.

O: I'm a fan of the normal Joshua Norton, it's a great value in RISes for the money. A very charry RIS, one of the strongest in that department. Not a whole lot of other roasted malt character like the typical coffee and chocolate and dark fruits. The vanilla does add a little complexity and sweetness which compliments this fairly bitter brew well.

 1,006 characters

Photo of jkeefe1800
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jackjaffar
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of cavemanlawyer1999
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jwps214
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of fossage78
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of athomasPSU
4/5  rDev +5%

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Vanilla Norton from The Tap Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 26 ratings