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 PorterLambic
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I stumbled across this brew in a grocery store in Gaylord, MI while visiting friends. Vanilla Porter? Sounded too interesting to pass by. After drinking it I had cases brought to FL by friends who were driving down. On to the beer.

A nearly black beer with a dark tan head which doesn't build high and drops to a ring that remains through to the bottom.
Smell is coffee & vanilla, as well as dark chocolate and malt.
Taste is consistent with the smell, fairly complex, chocolate & coffee tastes predominate, vanilla and malt more subdued,a hint of smoke to it as well.
Mouthfeel is fairly creamy & smooth but can drop off to be a little watery at the end. Medium bodied with a slightly dry finish.
Extremely drinkable, I really love this beer for it's complexity and flavor without being sticky or cloying.

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Photo of Skidz
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark amber-brown and sits nearly opaque with a small, fluffy tan head on top.

Smells of vanilla, the extract kind, nice and sweet, with some roastyness underneath. Interesting taste, and is reminisent of french vanilla ice cream.

Tastes of vanilla extract, blended with the taste of roasty grains and mild spiciness. Reminds me of vanilla coke, the expectations were high, but it didn't give you what you wanted. The awkward blend of vanilla and roastyness doesn't give this beer a very attractive flavor, but it's unique, and I'll give it that much.

Mouthfeel smooth with good, easy carbonation. A nice porter in the mouth, feels like one should. Easy to drink, but I see this more as a novelty in the beer world.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany with an off-white ring for a head. Dark chocolate is noted up front, rich roasted malts make up the body. Medium bodied. Very impressive, vanilla is noted on the palate throughout, very rich and smokey. Coffee beans and even some hop-like-bitterness are noted. Lip-smacking tasty; a good stab, yet a moody beer, more than 2 would be pushing it.

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Photo of soper2000
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my friend's favorite brews. He always seems to have a sixer of this in his fridge. So I bit the bullet and decided to try it. I'm not disappointed at all with this one. Pours a nice black with a small tan head which didn't last long (note: i have no clue how clean this glass was). The nose has more chocolate notes than vanilla i think, but it has a very decent aroma. Upon first taste you can definetly taste the vanilla with some hints of roasted malts. This is a wonderful desert beer. I wouldn't mind having this has a night cap with some frequency. Just wouldn't want more than 1 in a night.

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Photo of nixhecks
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful jet black - very dark for a porter, just the way I like it. Had a decent sized, tan colored head that also had decent retention. The aroma was typical porter smell, burnt cocoa and coffee with a hint of hops, and a tiny bit of vanilla - not as much as I had expected, but good nonetheless. The vanilla really comes through on the taste while managing to stay well-balanced, complimenting and earthy, roasted malt flavor, and finishing with crisp bitterness. Mouthfeel was okay, a little high in carbonation and I would have liked it a little heavier, but not bad at all. I was hoping for something that compared to Magic Hat's Ravelle, and this came close, but still not the same. But since this is a year-round brew, that plus the fact it comes in sixers are two aspects by which it has Ravelle beat.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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 +11.4%
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 -0.8%
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 +6.8%
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 -15.4%
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 +11.4%
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 +4.9%
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 +13.5%
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 +14.9%
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 +9.5%
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 +15.4%
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 +17.3%
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 +8.1%
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 -0.3%
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 +3.5%
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 -9.5%
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 -10.3%
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 +2.7%
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 -18.9%
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 +16.2%
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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Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter from Stoney Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 99 ratings