Good head production and retention. Dark black body, with ~1/8 finger of dark brown foam hanging on well after the pour.
Super strong vanilla on the nose, easily separating this from the base (non-flavored) version. It nearly overpowers the treacle-and-toffee notes of the malt base - nearly. It smells decadent, rich, and wonderful.
On the palate, everything blends together quite nicely. It's rich and robust, bitter and toasty, but there's also that strong note of vanilla present from almost the very first moment, and lasting through the finish. Toffee, caramel, molasses, toast, very light char, and a nice bitterness somewhat offset by the vanilla. Full bodied, smooth, and creamy.
Pours onyx black in the body, but there’s some leakage to a dark cola color on the edges, all underneath the prettiest dark tan head you’ve ever seen that carries a little sizzle and dissipates fairly quickly.
The nose is rich, decadent milk chocolate, a bit of char, and creamy vanilla. Man, does this “fit” together perfectly.
The milk chocolate is forward on the taste, and the char is in the background, but it’s the vanilla that ties everything together and elevates this beer, IMHO. It lends an almost barrel quality to the beer, without the accompanying booziness.
The mouthfeel is very full, yet maintains a little “spritzy,” which is expected in a porter for me. What a magnificent beer this is.