Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter | Stoney Creek Brewing Company

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Stoney Creek Vanilla PorterStoney Creek Vanilla Porter
99 Ratings
Stoney Creek Vanilla PorterStoney Creek Vanilla Porter

Brewed by:
Stoney Creek Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of nouseforotacon
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is pretty standard for a porter - very dark, more brown than black, with a light brown head. The foam didn't hold very long after I poured it out, and a ring settled around the edge of the inside of the glass.

The aroma is what I enjoyed most about this brew. Very, very pleasant and sweet, reminding me more of dark chocolate. Vanilla bean is very faint and lingers ever-so softly, but chocolate and other toasted aromas are strong and constant.

Unfortunately, the taste falls a bit flat of this porter's smell. Most noticeable is the taste of the alcohol, both in the mouth and down the throat. For a 5.5% ABV, I would imagine that Stoney Creek could've done a better job to mask the content. The vanilla bean that is present in the taste comes off as toasted, or slightly burnt, and isn't very discernable as "vanilla". Dark chocolate still seems to linger through the brew, though not as pleasant to the taste as it is to the smell.

It leaves your mouth and tongue feeling a bit wet, nearly salavating, though I would say that the drinkability is really not that bad. Overall, I wish this brew tasted a whole lot more like it smelled - or, maybe it does, and I just don't enjoy the taste nearly as much. An average beer, though worth a try.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours to an almost completely opaque black color with a nice creamy brown head. Leaves an extremely spotty lacing.

The smell is almost non-existent. I was hoping for a stronger vanilla aroma. There was a little there, but not much.

The flavor had a forefront of vanilla bean, but it didn't mix well with the malt. The coffee hits late in the finish leaving a dry bitterness, but the chocolate malt seems a bit awkwardly displaced by a bit of smokiness. Not nearly as smooth as I was expecting from a vanilla porter.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin and lacked the smooth vanilla creaminess. The vanilla flavor coats the mouth in the late finish, however, making up for any lack of body. I would drink another, but unfortunately this isn't a replacement for the Empyrean Vanilla Porter I brought back from Nebraska.

edit: to my surprise, this beer went AWESOME with some spicy salsa. It really brought out the creamy vanilla flavor.

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Photo of metalitool
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highly drinkable for how dark it is....I havent had many Porters so I won't say too much as to how good it is. It doesn't hit my mouth, leaving me saying "WOW" but its nice.

The vanilla is a good touch, it smells really good, and the taste is subtle (as it should be). At first taste, what comes to mind is that a Porter is a Stout with 2oz of water...however, I will bow out and say I don't know much about Porters... it is worth trying, how good compared to other Porters I cannot say.

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Photo of jettjon
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extremely dark with a small, dark, foamy head of various sized bubbles that fades quickly. Sorghum nose as with other Stoney Creek offereings. Initial taste is: vanilla! Quite a pleasant surprise. A hearty charred coffe flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Crisp mouth. Drinkability is good but not excellent. Clearly, an above average beer that I will definitely try again.

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Photo of blackthistle
4.67/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle; no freshness date; $7.99 for 6-pack

Pours a deep, dark brown color with ruby tints around the edges and a creamy looking tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Roasted malts and vanilla aromas are easily noted, with just a hint of fruitiness and hops spiciness. The flavor of this medium-bodied ale begins with a bite from roasted maltiness and then the rich vanilla essence coats your mouth in a creamy sensation that you don't ever want to end. Overall, if you're a fan of vanilla then you will definitely not want to miss this one!

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Photo of Direwolf
4.64/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found the aroma accentuated this brew very nicely. It had a strong vanilla aroma that lingered for a long time after the pour. The carbonation was almost non-existent and it had a bit a flat texture. The vanilla really dominated the other flavors and it was well balanced with the alcohol. The bitterness was masked by the vanilla so that makes it easy to get carried away drinking this one.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unique beer. Poured out to a coffee like color, with rather low carbonation, and not much of a head. Scent of vanilla is openly present, as is a slighly herbal and floral note. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, but hearty, as the weight of the brew is very dense. Flavors of vanilla bean, cooked grains and herbs are present. I would venture to guess that this is a lower alcohol beer, as after two, i'm not really feelin' it. Finished on the stronger side, with a slighly sticky, sugary quality. Nonetheless, not a bad beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of palliko
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When I asked my friend at the Liquor Store if he had tried this one, his only reply was – “a little too sweet.” He was being diplomatic – this is not a Porter, as much as a Chocolate Stout. It pours from the 12 oz. bottle an inky black/brown, with a lt. brown head that disappears almost instantly, no lacing. My wife thought it smelled like an open bottle of Vanilla Extract. A hint of chocolate and molasses(?), mild carbonation, followed by a very dull bitter/unsweetened chocolate finish. I suppose this beer will find a niche following – but there are better Porters out there.

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Photo of malty
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Gently fizzy creamy beige heads settles down to 1/2 inch nestled above a dark mahogony body that lets in just enough light to view your fingertips on the other side of the glass. Cola colored highlights.

Scent is strong butter toffee and surely vanilla. Dark roasted malts make their way through the candy sweetness.

Flavors mimic the scent pretty dead-on. An herbal component, like that of grass, makes itself known. A slight biterness balances the sweetness toward the end.

Mouthfeel is soft, carbonation is fine and the body is medium. A nice enough dry ending redeems this sweet snack of a porter.

Drinkability is average. Nice off-the-beaten path surprise, though I wouldn't order it back-to-back.

Overall a decent flavored porter. The vanilla is well proportioned to the dark roasted malts, and tastes pretty darn natural. I had my reservations about this beer tasting fake and overly sweet, not the case hear. I'm glad I ventured out and bought it. Nice porter.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Semi-creamy dark tan head. Some condensed lacing throughout the glass. Pours a very dark, almost opaque brown in color.

Big vanilla aroma along with some nutmeg, roasted malts, and even some hints of almonds.

Dark chocolate with a wave of vanilla flavor. The vanilla is a little too much and almost artificial tasting. Some earthen coffee flavors as well; hazlenut. Finishes dry and very carbonated.

Full bodied; very prickly and carbonated on the palate.

A pretty good vanilla porter; but maybe a little too one dimensional in terms of flavor. I'd probably have another, but not in the same night.

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Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce brown bottle sampled, no freshness dating offered. Pours typical porter, near black, darkest of browns. Minimal tan head, moderate lacing left on the glass. Nose is, you guessed it, vanilla. Initially quite strong and sweet. Notes include, more vanilla, some roasted and sweet malt and perhaps a hint of sweet cola. Fairly soft and smooth mouthfeel, tastwise things clear out quickly and the finish is non descript. Good porter to try on newbies. Lightly hopped, sweet and quite quaffable. Pleasant enuf, sweet porter.

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Photo of bditty187
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown in hue, almost black, there is a tickle of ruby around the edges. The head was beige in color; at the apex the foam was one finger in height but it quickly, and loudly, faded to a thin collar and then to nothing. After a few moments the liquid was naked. Needless to say, head retention was very poor. Oh yeah, there is no subsequent lacing. The appearance is adequate, I suppose. Oh my, the nose is so rich with vanilla, I can’t believe it. The bouquet is a mixture of vanilla liquor drizzled on ice cream (I smell pecans?) and vanilla wafers. There isn’t much development beyond that… if there is some maltiness I can’t detect it because the vanilla is that loud! Wow, the vanilla is strong and this makes the nose a bit sluggish. I wish there was something more to it. Did I say the nose has a lot of vanilla? The palate offers a blast of, come on guess… yep, vanilla. Rich vanilla like good vanilla ice cream, the palate is sluggish like I’ve been drinking a big-ass vanilla shake. Cloying. I like vanilla but not this much. Sweet. Flat. Tiresome. I could really use some more malt to breakup the… god, I don’t even want to type that word again. Yuck. I love vanilla in Porters or Stouts but this is way to heavy-handed. There is something gimmicky about it. Where is anything that says, “Porter” in the smell or taste? It is Alco-pop, cream soda with alcohol. Good with food? Maybe some killer chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick, medium/medium-full in body, the carbonation is very low and this makes this beer unpleasant to drink. What a shame. I needed a little effervescence to help cut the vanilla. Drinkable? No. Is my 12-ounce bottle finishable? No. I’m not digging this simplistic, heavy handed, untalented beer. Blah. I purchased one bottle in Iowa City for $1.60. I will not be purchasing more. Not recommended.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours from the bottle a dark opaque black with a small khaki head on top which falls to a ring around the glass. Not much light getting through here except for a hint of brown on the edges. Aromas begin with vanilla extract, roasted maltiness, hints of cocoa and some burnt notes. Nice..but the vanilla extract smell is a little overpowering.

First sip brings a roasty vanilla coated maltiness along with a nice somewhat suble burnt taste. The vanilla is fairly smooth and works well, although I'd like to see a little more of normal porter flavors come out. Overall it's a nice variation on the style and is enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is good...but I could use just a bit more body and maybe a bit less carbonation. A nice flavored porter that is definetly worth a try...however I only see myself having this every now and again.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was quite a nice surprise in a night of drinking a while back I didn't really expect much from this one quite honestly as I haven't had much luck with this particular brewery. I have a few of these on hand at all times now though.

Poured a deep dark black with a light tan head, nearly looks like a Guinness, no light penetration at all. Nose was simply gorgeous, vanilla bean, chocolate, malty to be sure. Taste followed suit, very stout-like I would say, but with the mouthfeel of a porter. A deep vanilla flavor evened out by a nice bitterness that balanced out the brew nicely. This is definatly a sessionable one.


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Photo of clvand0
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours a very dark color with a small tan head that fades fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has some dark malts with a bit of vanilla and maybe a bit of chocolate. Low carbonation. The flavor was much the same as the aroma. Slight chocolate and dark malts with a hint of vanilla. Somehow this flavor didn't appeal to me much. The mouthfeel was incredibly thin. Almost watery. Drinkability was ok. I probably won't have this one again.

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Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm..a nice combo...vanilla smoothness along with a nice dryness. Pours almost black with a nice creamy head. Taste is mainly malt and vanilla with a nice smooth quality (a bit like a cream soda). Easy on teh drinkability scale due to a light to medium feel and a beautiful dry finish. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black /brown color with brown highlights at the bottom of the glass. Small tan head, appears fairly creamy. Smell is rich and full of sweet cvanilla, slight acidity, and slight bitter coffee smell. Vanilla is not as present in the flavor, but serves as a sweet/smooth background for a bitter coffee/chocolate flavor. Finishes very smooth, a perfect desert beer.

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Photo of porterman
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Brew pours to a nice black color, with reddish brown highlights. Fairly small head, that dissapeared quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smell is not as strong as expected. Vanilla, malt, and chocolate with maybe a little cofee in the back.

Taste was enjoyable very smooth, and tasted very similar to smell. Carbonation was noted, but at the same time seemed a little flat. Very smooth vanilla chocolate aftertaste Not too sweet..

The thin, watery feel of this beer was not to my liking. Combine that with the complete lack of head halfway thru and the flatness, and this is where this beer failed.

I enjoyed the flavor and thats about it, but i would drink it again. a fine dessert beer.

The thin watery consistency of this brew is holding it back. Good looking and tasting but too thin and flat to play with the real Porters.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Walnut brown suffused with crimson and topped by a large, toasted tan head of fine-bubbled foam. The head appears to be fairly stubborn, so I'll get back to you on the lacing (very little as it turns out).

Pleasant aroma of powdered cocoa and vanilla. I had feared that the vanilla would be an afterthought, a subtle part of the porter nose, but that isn't the case. Thankfully, the brewers saw fit to add enough vanilla (Madagascar vanilla beans, to be exact) to make it an integral part of the brew.

Atwater Block didn't just 'dry bean' this with vanilla because the flavor matches the nose for vanillaiciousness. Melted milk chocolate isn't overwhelmed by the vanilla, but it's close. This beer is a smashingly good combination of those two flavors where each contributes equally and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I'm sure it was a fine line with the vanilla (as in most flavored beer), but it seems to me that they ended up pretty close to perfect.

The malt backbone is big enough and there's a sweetness and a smoothness in the mouth that bears that out. A mildly bitter hop bite on the finish turns a sweet beginning into a bittersweet end. I had hoped for a slightly more full mouthfeel, but the medium one that has been provided is helped by a sedate amount of carbonation.

I enjoy something out of the ordinary once in a while and since this beer combines one of my favorite styles (porter) with one of my favorite flavors (vanilla), I was bound to like it. Given the trickiness of flavor balancing, Atwater Block could still have dropped the ball. To their credit, they didn't. If a vanilla porter sounds like your thing, then I think you gonna like this one.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark, murky brown with a slight head on top. Smell is mainly coffee and roast with a definite vanilla tinge, as expected.

Body is very light, but flavour is much like the nose, some subdued coffee, hints of roast, and vanilla all over the place. Not overly depthy, but doesn't get overly aggressive about the vanilla flavouring either. Definite caramel and chocolate tones as it comes to a conclusion with a soft bitter. I wouldn't call it remarkable, but ok.

Drinkability continues the slightly above average tone, I had no problem with 1, but more than that would probably be too much. Can't complain too much given the price, delivers on its promise of a vanilla beer, though the porter half of the equation is a little too sedate for my palatte.

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Photo of alexgash
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, maple-syrup brown body with a small, light-tan head.
Smells of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla rum. Nice.
Tastes much like it smells. Roasty coffee blends nicely with the chocolate and the vanilla. Vanilla isn’t too strong or sweet (like it could be). Finish is roasty and bitter with lingering vanilla essence. Creamy, full-body feel. Velvety and nice, especially for a beer that could easily be screwed up (vanilla).

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Photo of trumick
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin head and moderate lacing.

Smell: Scent is of vanilla first and foremost then chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Again, vanilla is very first with sweet dark roast malt and dark chocolate finishes coffee and dry.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a porter I would call it light to medium with a bit too much carbination.

Drinkability is good. Nice beer to enjoy several of around a nice fire at night.

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Photo of aracauna
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a head that is slow to form. The aroma is caramel and vanilla with a slight touch of creosote (but not an off-putting amount). The flavor is sweet with a bit of cola adding to the caramel and vanilla. Slightly sugary in the finish. A bit of oak. A nice sipper, but seems a little flat in the flavor.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This damn beer looks like a stout. Not that I consider it a bad thing. But if this were a blind taste test, my palate would be gearing up for a stout. Looks very, very black with a brown head that quickly dissapates. I checked the bottle twice to make sure I had the right brew.

Smell: vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. This worries me a little. There is a little marshmallow-like sweetness and no hop bitterness to speak of.

Taste: Just as the smell would lead me to believe...vanilla! Tastes a little like a vanilla milk shake or maybe a french vanilla cappucinno. There is a slightly smokey and bitter end to the sip. Way too much vanilla for my comfort.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but a little thin and watery for me.

Drinkability and overall: different and interesting but doesn't seem like much of a porter to me. Too much like vanilla for me to pick up anything else. I'm not sure if I would recommend this to anyone else. Maybe for a change of pace but that's about it.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This appeared an almost opaque black with a few inches of tan foam sitting a top. The head quickly dispersed down to a top covering of bubbling leaving sparse lacing around the glass. Scent was dominated be vanilla and roasted coffee. The taste was of a chocolate and coffee with a backing of vanilla and slight roasted malt. The finish was dry and had a pleasant bitter coffee flavor that lingered about for a while. Medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture. Very drinkable as the flavor never really gets old too bad I only had one of these. Good stuff is you can get it I definitely recommend it.

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Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter from Stoney Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 99 ratings