Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter | Stoney Creek Brewing Company

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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.

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 99
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark black even when held up to light it barely shows any ruby highlights, big tan head coats to the glass leaves specks sporadically. Aroma: Vanilla beans are evident blended with the dark roasted malts makes a great mix chocolate, coffee, and vanilla seems like something ordered at a Starbucks but the Vanilla really shines through and takes the center stage here. Taste: Dark roasted malts are a bit harsh but the vanilla is soft enough to even out the bitterness from the heavily toasted grains a touch of hops here but no real hop profile to describe in depth, good overall. Mouthfeel: Is medium bodied a bit viscous but not really thick, even carbonation nothing amazing but solid. Drinkability: A nice all around vanilla porter, nothing is overdone and best of all doesn't seem like an extract flavoring there was Vanilla beans added to the boil, good stuff.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black color with one finger of medium tan head that dies away quickly. There is a little lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of burnt malt, toffee, and just a hint of vanilla. The taste is also full of roasted malt, and the vanilla comes out more in the taste. There is also a bit of coffee and caramel in there. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is fantastic, and I could really drink this all night.

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Photo of granger10
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A vanilla porter is a novel concept. I love the chocolate/vanilla mixture with soft serve ice cream, so I'll love this one too, right? Well, I might not love it, but it is something that I like. Quite sweet upront with a flavor that reminds me of creme frosting from a long john donut. The middle provides more chocolate mixing in with the vanilla then coffee and an astringent grainny flavor. Finish is mild but bittersweet. The flavors mix roughly but they are really good by themselves. Body is somewhat weak and awkward. This is definitely a beer worth trying and drinking a few, but I couldn't drink more than that.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Crane Alley, Urbana, IL. 3.50/pint.

Smooth drinking porter with accents of vanilla. The vanilla is never cloying and serves only to show off the mellow, chocolate qualities of the porter. Flavored, yes, but beer first. It's all big and fat, even cold, and has the taste and structure of a beer that's been aged in new oak for a couple years.

The body's been inconsistent, however, and it is rumored that Crane Alley runs a little nitro through all of their tap pours which might explain that.

Rough around the edges and it seems, without the vanilla, this might have been quite a weak porter, but there is a good underlying hint of cocoa and the tiniest roast to back it all up. Medium bodied, but going thin on the finish.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of Winter
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown in color with a short-lived creamy tan head. Feint aroma consists mainly of vanilla and cocoa. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Initial taste reminds me of chocolate frosting. Very sweet upfront and the dominant vanilla flavor which is not very subtle at all, borders on almost being too strong. Roasted graininess (both in taste and texture) towards the back renders a pretty unremarkable finish. I had two of these back-to-back and the flavor sort of grows on you after awhile, but not something that I'd pursue again.

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Photo of lampkins
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my opinion this is one of the best (if not the best) porters that I have tasted. The beer pours impressively with a silky smooth foam head. The vanilla aroma hits you like a box of nails and provides a welcome preview to the taste. Ahhh it really does take like vanilla. I think the vanilla is a great completement to the smokey porter taste of this brew. I can only imagine how it would taste if it were a nitro tap rather than CO2.

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Photo of AudioGilz
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's 8 degrees in Chicago right now, so I went and purchased the usual Storm King to warm me up, and Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter was on sale. So what the hell. It pours impressively; a thick tan head has some staying power and the color is a thick, almost opaque dark brown. Think roasty vanilla coffee, or something along those lines....for the aroma. It's very pleasing. It's fairly creamy on the palate. I get some chocolate hints in there as well as vanilla. It's more roasty than vanilla flavored, but the vanilla is definitely noticeable. The finish is slightly dry and provides a yearning of your palate to take another sip. This stuff ain't too shabby. I'm slowly warming up from the frozen tundra of a Chicago January. And I will be popping the cap on a few more of these for sure.

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Photo of marburg
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, in my review of the bottled version, I believe I said I never noticed a difference between the tap and the bottle.

I'm a big fucking liar.

Deep, lacquered, mahogany wood color with mild carbonation and a small head. The vanilla in the bottled version is good -- very good -- but this is simply sublime. The integration of the flavors here is superb. Semisweet baker's chocolate collides with this pure, unadulterated vanilla bean to create this truly unique, potent, and delicious porter. Much fuller and creamier here in its "real" form, at the source. Just enough roasted bitterness to wipe clean the palate and leave you impressed.

This was amazing. So, so good.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This a beautiful very dark porter. I was expecting the vanilla aroma and taste to overpower the actual beer taste, but the small hints just enhance the overall. This would be a great beer to introduce new porter/stout drinkers. The darkness may shy away some people, but it really is a very impressive beer. I would definately try some more from Stoney Creek

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a surprisingly enjoyable brew from stoney creek. seeing vanilla porter on the label, i was expecting the worst: a way too sweet, almost candy flavour, but a nice balance was achieved instead. this one poured and looked like a damn coke, it was bubbly as hell. the only thing that would've convinced me otherwise if i hadn't poured it myself was the darker, creamier head than a soda gives off. still, it looked nice and healthy. the smell was fairly nondescript, with vanilla dominating hints of chocolate and coffee. the balance in the taste was just right. it starts with vanilla but doesn't hold onto it for too long (this avoiding the overly sweet flavour i was dreading) and switches at just the right time to a nice smoked coffee/chocolate flavouring that has a pleasant dry finish. this brew is quite smooth and easy to drink. give it a try.

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Photo of budsboy
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The soft beige-colored label made my wife think it was a soft drink -- and convinced her to take a sip.

Poured a deep brown with thin (1/4 inch) tan, foamy head.

Expected more vanilla scent, found only slight hint.

Sweetness less than expected (good) and smooth feel as expected (also good). Hint of vanilla at finish, very faint, pleasant. Being a Porter/Stout fan, I think this beer touches the outer circle of what a Porter is.

$7/6 pack, I'll buy again.

BTW, my first review ... I'm nervous.

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Photo of Lupe
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown to black, no light comes through. Nice dark tan head the disappeared rather quickly and left weak lacing. Very good aroma, big coffee scent with hints of chocolate and vanilla. Starts out with a nice coffee-like roasted flavor that makes way for some mild sweetness. Hints of chocolate and vanilla dance on the tounge. Finishes a bit dry. Mouthfeel is a little too thin but smooth and silky. Easy to drink and would make a great match with dessert.

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: It poured an almost black color with a medium caramel colored head.

Smell: the aroma was a pleasant level of roasted malt and vanilla.

Taste: the flavor was different and quite interesting. Roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and hints of chocolate were evident.

Mouthfeel: the malt and coffee flavors lasted long after swallowing, while the vanilla seemed to fade a little quicker. Medium bodied. Slight dry finish.

Drinkability: extemely flavorful, but one of these would be enough in a sitting. Never had a vanilla porter before and this was quite different.

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Photo of BrewDoctor
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vanilla Porter pours a deep, dark coffee color with burgundy highlights. The head was dark like capuccino froth and disappeared shortly thereafter.

The roasted malts and chocolate are followed by a subtle hint of vanilla bean.

After the first sip, the vanilla flavor immediately slid across the roof of my mouth while the chocolate/coffee malts kick in to balance it out. The finish is clean and leaves a mild 'spicy' sensation on the sides of the tongue. However, the overall body was a bit thin for a porter.

The melody of chocolate and vanilla sounds delicious, while it's decent, this one doesn't pull it off perfectly. To me, any more than 20 oz. at time is a bit much and the maltiness was as pronounced as anticipated.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours black with a dark tan head. the bubbles are so small that they remind me of a head found in beers with a nitro-bottle/can. the head looks creamy and beers tastes it, but just enough.

aromas were mild. slight coffee. roasted malts. call me crazy but i couldn't pick up any vanilla aromas.

i also couldn't pick-up any vanilla flavors. only mild coffee in the aftertaste and the usual others.

i'm very glad this beer didn't have an overwhelming vanilla flavor. flavored beers usually have an artificialy flavored candy taste in my opinion. the label says that it is brewed with vanilla beans, maybe that is why the flavor/aroma is so mild. if that is the case, they get a thumbs up from me. nothing i hate more then trying a flavored beer and the first taste bringing up images in my head of them pouring tons of sugary flavored syrup into the beer just before bottling.

maybe one day my sense of smell and taste will be keen enough to detect vanilla in this beer, but i really don't care.

you are a good beer. i will drink you again.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chocolate milk smellin' stuff. Creamy slightly tan head that has good retention. Opeque dark brown look. Sweet coca upfront followed by a a touch of expresso dryness on the tongue. A little too sweet and the vanilla is a big dominant flavor in the finish. A decent end of meal brew but not a sesson brew at all. One or two at a sitting is all I could drink.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.32/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, almost black with a minimal brown head. The aroma is somewhat sweet and malty with a roasted malt and chocolate smell. The flavor is malty and chocolatey with a chocolate, vanilla finish. It has a bit of a drying bitterness in the finish. The body is pretty light and kinda thin.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a khaki colored foamy head, creamy & healthy. Seriously opaque with the slightest of deep ruby around the edges of the glass. The nose is slight coffee with lots of cream soda aromas taking charge. The taste is light bodied, given its appearance in the glass with notes of roasted barley & vanilla being the dominant key here. It finishes roasty and a little dry...a very different take on the Porter style. And it's not as bad as I had anticipated!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hey, who put a cream soda in my beer?

Pours black and highlight-less, topped by a big frothy light brown head. Too bad the head drops to a thin layer way too soon, with little lacing in it's wake. Aroma has bits of vanilla, coffee, and cocoa, but it's surprisingly low-key. Taste has similar elements, but also nothing to shout about. The vanilla masks the hop qualities of the brew. Mouthfeel might be thin, but I do tend to like my porters chewy. Drinkability is easy, but desireability is just "eh". I could have another, but I'm in no real rush for one.

Lesson here: before we look to make a flavored porter, let's make an above average porter first.

This beer really impressed when I first tried it several years ago. Many beers later, I guess I'm a tougher sell.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep transparent black, shining burgundy through light, with a thick, lasting khaki head. Great head retention, with some lacing on the glass.
Aroma is malty and rich, with a solid helping of chocolate malt. Hops are very mild and understated, in the british style. Not as robust as most american porters. Well placed, subtle vanilla and chocolate notes, with a bit of a phenolic estery paint thinner feel, more and more pronounced as it warms, particularly since i was drinking it unrefrigerated.
Flavor is incredibly smooth and soft. The beer initially hits you with a bittersweet roasty maltiness, with the barest hint of chocolate, esters come out in the middle, with hints of cherry, fig, and banana, fading into a very mildly hopped dry finish. The vanilla is nonpresent up until the finish, where it completes the sip with a silky sweetness, complimenting the dry hoppiness perfectly. Excellent. I didn't know what to expect, but this is a stunningly wel done flavored porter. Incredibly silky and mild, with an elegant understatedness to the flavors. An excellent choice for a dessert beer, particularly following a rich meal.

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Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this awhile back visiting family and friends,pours a deep brown with a light but sticky head,the aroma is slightly sweet and roasted. The flavor is roasted malt and light vanilla not overbearing by any means.A light flavored porter. a little uninspired but not bad.

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Photo of TheDM
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured an opaque black colored body with a dark brown head that was mostly lasting. It had a mild malty aroma with good lacing and a very smooth palate. I had no comments/notes on the flavor or any other aspects of this beer, but from the numbers it was very good.

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Photo of fattychubs
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown with medium brown fluffy head. Aroma is artificially sweet with vanilla, most of the vanilla is in the nose, not as much in the taste. The taste starts with mild roasted malt and coffee tons, sweet, with a mildly smooth finish. Medium body, medium high carbonation.

Not bad, but seemed a bit off and sweet. Better appearance and aroma then taste. Even as a dessert beer there is better choices I think.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

When this Porter was poured into my glass, it poured with a dark brown head that unfortunately did not last very long. This beer left a decent lacing on the sides of my glass. It had a smooth taste in my opinion for a Porter and a smooth flavor to it as well.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A creamy dark-tan head rests lazily atop a dark brown body that displays clear, mahogany highlights when held to the light. The head retention is fair and it slowly drops to a decent, creamy collar and thin surface covering. Unfortunately, it leaves next to no lace about the glass. The nose reveals sweet hints of the promised vanilla atop a slightly roasty chocolate and caramel malt base. The body is medium and it's very nicely creamy in the mouth (which helps to accentuate it's malty sweetness) due to a very fine and moderate carbonation. The flavor delivers a combination of gently acidic dark malt and vanilla flavor up-front; but softens almost immediately into rich, sweet chocolate and caramel. The vanilla becomes much more distinct in the lingering finish that's not bitter but has a touch of acidity that balances. It's actually quite nice (and I was much more impressed with this beer than another vanilla porter that I tasted side-by-side with it). Well-balanced, rich, and interesting with a twist of vanilla that plays a supporting role rather than taking center stage. Surprisingly... probably worth trying!

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Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter from Stoney Creek Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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