Virginia Black Bear - Vanilla | Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

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Virginia Black Bear - VanillaVirginia Black Bear - Vanilla
BA SCORE
3.95/5
Very Good
104 Ratings
Virginia Black Bear - VanillaVirginia Black Bear - Vanilla
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
lickingholecreek.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vanilla Virginia Black Bear is the yang to Virginia Black Bear’s yin. Ten Vanilla Specialty Grains comprise the backbone of the bear and high alpha American hops give the bear his teeth. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee abound and fresh vanilla rounds out the flavor. Used as the base beer for Illuminatos, the Vanilla Virginia Black Bear has casually drifted to meander where he wants. Watch out, he hugs.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#11,881
Reviews:
27
Ratings:
104
pDev:
7.34%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
26
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of ajm5108
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Fluffy tan cap with good retention. Aroma has some chicory, a little burnt malt & anise - pretty sturdy, there is some vanilla to help smooth it out but could use more. The vanilla is less noticeable on the tongue, and while not a bad stout by any means, it is pretty pedestrian & anonymous. Roasted coffee, bitter hops, a little of the chicory flavor, a tad ashy on the end. Missing that stand-out note that the vanilla could have provided.

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Photo of EMV
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip. Love the pandabear art.

L: Dark, dark pour.. nearly black with light mahogany around the edges. Capped with thick foamy tan head... great lacing.

S: Rich and roasty... strong espresso. Lighter cocoa and vanilla bean.

T/F: Follows the nose. Big bitter roast flavor... coffee forward, with lighter dark chocolate and faint vanilla. Sweet burned sugars to balance out the roast... smooth and rich. Gets better as it warms... ABV subtle but nicely warming.

O: A very nicely done big Russian Imperial Stout. Good flavor, very drinkable... perfect winter beer.

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Photo of Jason_cs
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dewsby
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L) Pours a dark espresso color, swirls like oil, and has a lovely dark khaki head with great retention and lacing.

S) The nose has tons of roast, some vanilla that comes across latte-like, almost some anisey notes and some herbal hoppage.

T) The taste has a similar profile to the nose, but I will emphasize the bitterness borders on acrid. It really is tastey, but the herbal hop profile and the astringent burnt bitterness from the malt somewhat takes away from the maltiness and pleasant vanilla profile.

F) The beer is creamy, but a tad over carbonated. It is great after sitting a wee while.

O) A really solid stout from one of my favorite VA breweries. Better than VA Blackbear in my opinion if it had a smidge less carbonation. An easy recommendation to vanilla stout lovers.

 786 characters

Photo of Brew_42
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a thin tan head.

Smells like roasted malts with chocolate and vanilla

Taste is big roasted malts up front with just the right amount of vanilla towards the the tail end. Really tasty beer.

Mouthfeel-Thick is thick and oily.

Overall one of the better vanilla stouts I've come across, and I drink a lot of them.

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Photo of epyon396
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CharlesK
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zekenyce
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kell50
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of avalon07
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored head that lasted an average amount of time. Not much lacing.

S: A decent, if a bit muted, aroma of chocolate, malt, vanilla and light coffee notes.

T: Tasted of a lot of malt, some dark chocolate (this is evident mostly in the finish), light coffee notes, a bunch of lactose, a light presence, and some vanilla. It seems to me - maybe it is just me - that the lactose seems to overpower what is a subtly done flavor. Not bad, but uneven.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solid beer, but not a standout. Still, it's worth a look.

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Photo of hophugger
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep black in color with about a finger of off-white head. Vanilla is a player but does not overwhelm, nice essences of madagascsr vanilla beans and chocolate. Relatively clean finish with a hop bitterness and a decent balance

 226 characters

Photo of srw
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of avisong
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost completely black with a smudge of tan head that leaves spots of tan head. The aroma is slightly smokey with a hint of malty sweetness. The taste is the similar to the aroma with a nice vanilla addition. The body is fuller and very smooth.

 245 characters

Photo of Griffin2
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.
L - Pours a deep black with a frothy tan head.
S - Smells very malty.
T - Lots of vanilla and chocolate followed by a slight alcohol warmth.
F - Really nice mouthfeel.
O - Very enjoyable imperial stout.

 242 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

L: pours black, not too thick, a film of brown head
S: I get black licorice, molasses with slight sweetness
T: bitter/sweet chocolate, no vanilla, sharp-spicy notes of molasses or licorice. Not a fan of this
F: smooth and creamy with medium thickness. Too bad the flavors don't match

 283 characters

Photo of Bilco
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MattXT
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Cpmitchno1
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of devilfluff
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TildenKatz
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AMCPhD
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look - Absolutely gorgeous beer. Black with a medium tan colored head and a thin lacing that dissipates slowly.

Smell - Hops and dark malt, no vanilla that I can sense.

Taste - Biggest flavors follow the nose. Starts with dark malts and ends with slightly bitter hops. In between I get traces of vanilla, tobacco smoke, and dark chocolate.

Feel - Slightly thin, not quite as smooth as I hoped for a vanilla stout.

Overall - Solid stout, not as much depth as I had hoped for but a well done stout, on the hoppy end of the spectrum.

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Photo of gopens44
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just look at that massive chocolate head. Big and frothy, recedes to about a finger behind massive lacing. Needless to say for an RIS, this one is black as night.

Nose is quite robust and busy as I immediately get chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and oddly enough, tequila? ???

Taste mirrors the nose with a special emphasis on mouth puckering chocolate richness backed by just a hint of the advertised vanilla.

Mouth feel begins silky, turns restless in carbonation turmoil before it exits dry with a smokey bitterness left on the tongue.

Wildly complex and rich, this hits all cylinders.

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Virginia Black Bear - Vanilla from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 104 ratings