Vanilla Bean Java Head (Bravo Dry Hopped) | Tröegs Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
4.28 w/ 7 ratings

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Deuane on 08-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by philbe311:
Photo of philbe311
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On the hand-pump at Al's of Hampden...

A - A deep dark brooding brown color... A fingers worthy of creamy medium tan head... Decent retention gives way to an inviting lace... A moderate bit of lacing along with a slight film cling to the sides of the glass...

S - I want to say mild or subdued, but I really can't... There was almost the complete abscence of aroma... Just the faintest whiff of milk choclate... I honestly couldn't pick up anything else... The only area where this one dissappointed...

T - Wonderful balance... Sweet milk chocolate... Roasted barley... Mild coffee... A touch of vanilla... An ever so faint earthy hop kick...

M - Medium to full bodied... Silky smooth and delicate... Creamy... Ever so slightly on the thin side... Slightly chalky finish...

D - Deeply satisfying... It was gone before I knew it... Insanely quaffable which is quite dangerous at 7.5% ABV... Indulging sip after sip... It's a shame the the smell, or lack there of, holds this back from being a truly world class offering... Perhaps a victim of the atrribute rating as this just seems like more than a 4.25 in my book, but none the less a nice job by Troegs of slightly tweaking an otherwise enjoyable beer...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask, via hand pump, @ Al's of Hampden (Enola, PA) on 12/14/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black in the glass, although some ruby does shine a bit along the top and bottom, with a thin frothy head of lightly burnt looking mocha foam. This maintains a frothy creaminess that leaves back some rich spotty lacing that which sticks. The aroma is an even race between cocoa, coffee, and green citrus, until that smooth smack of vanilla creeps up from behind and takes this one home. Quite lush and flavorful in the nose this one is.

The taste is roasty with coffee and burnt malts but is balanced nicely by some sweet notes of chocolate and lighter caramel. Citric hops add an extra layer of green earthy flavor to this, as well as a touch of gritty bitterness. Much like the aroma though, the vanilla really makes this guy shine with a smooth and creamy sweetness that really starts to emerge the longer this sits. Zippy espresso finish zings the tongue with a roasted dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and surprisingly crisp in spots for being cask conditioned but who am I kidding, this is still silky smooth underneath as can be. Just an effortless drinkibility on this guy.

How do you make Java Head even better? Add vanilla and serve it on cask! While the cask might have brought out the more assertive aspects of the coffee and hops here, that vanilla really helps keep the overall flavors smooth and approachable. I understand that this is going to be the new "house" beer on cask here at Al's. It more than deserves to be. It's great stuff!

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Photo of Deuane
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One the hand pull at Al's of Hampden.

A special treatment of Java Head that was cask aged with real vanilla bean and dry hopped with Bravo hops.

A-Deep, dark brown with a medium tan head that falls slowly and leaves nice ringing lace.

S-Vanilla sweetness up front with backing roasted chocolate malt, a touch of earthy hops and light dark roasted coffee.

T-Holy cow! This is where this beer shines through! The complimenting combination of sweet vanilla goodness and rich, bitter coffee, chocolate and earthy hops is wondrous. Vanilla sweetness kicks it off but is mellowed by the earthiness. An outstanding blend.

M-Medium bodied, very smooth with a long lasting flavour profile. The vanilla sweetness lingers but never becomes to sweet or fake feeling. This is most likely so due to the rich chocolate/coffee bitterness and earthy hop residue.

D-Absolutely outstanding! This combination is without question a fine example of taking a good base beer, tweaking things up and then capping off the greatness with the cask delivery. Please make this again Brothers!

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Photo of orangesol
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


I had this one again and it was MUCH better this time. Old scores can be found at the bottom.


Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint. This is the version with vanilla and dark roasted chocolate.

A - Pours dark as night with a strong one finger tall tan head, receding to a light film, leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate malt with a touch of earthy hops. Plenty of roast from the coffee and the addition of the dark roasted chocolate. Vanilla shows up more and more as the beer warms.

T - Plenty of dark roast right off the bat. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and dark malts build the backbone of this beer. The sweet vanilla begins to come thru more and more as it comes to room temp. The earthy hops are ever present adding a light floral aspect to this dark monster of a beer. Finish is mostly dark roast with a tiny bit of hop bitterness creeping in toward the end. MUCH better this time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice creamy feel with plenty of lingering roast in the finish. This version was WAY better than the last one.

O - Alright now we are back on track. The first time I had this it was VERY thin and it ruined it. This one is nice and creamy and oh so easy to drink. Glad I got to try this one again.

**Old Score**
3.5 / 4.0 / 3.5 / 3.5 / 3.5

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Photo of stakem
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Via cask at Al's of hampden.

Poured into a nonic, this brew appears pretty much black in color or a very dark brown if you wanted to argue about it. More than a finger of darkly tanned head appears fluffy in nature as one would expect from the beer engine delivery.

There is a very pleasant, sweet smell of chocolate and an abundant amount of citrus hops present in this brew. The vanilla contribution comes through the backend much more subtle than I was anticipating but still it adds a nice layer of complexity from the normal java head.

The taste of this brew is mostly roasted grain that comes across with an interesting mix of bitter grain verse residual sweetness. Lots of citrus hop twang throw a mix into the flavors along with an evident amount of alcohol contribution. The vanilla bean shows off in the flavor much more so than in the aroma.

There is a lingering dark grain bitterness left inside the mouth that does quite an interesting balancing act with the sweetness of the vanilla. A medium bodied brew that is overall quite smooth and drinkable. I was expecting a huge almost exaggerated and fake contribution of the vanilla in this brew and I was pleasantly surprised by it being more subtle. Very well done.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the hand pull at Al's of Hampden

A - Served with a black body...the head was a mocha color and stood two fingers was creamy and showed nice retention...lacing was left behind

S - There's a very pleasant vanilla bean sweetness...that is paired nicely with a roasted malt aroma...the hops are light

T - The vanilla bean jumps right out at first hasn't gone away since smelling it...the middle of the beer presents a nice roastiness with roasted malt and roasted coffee beans...the coffee flavor lingers nicely and pairs well with the vanilla...the hops try to come through at the end but they are covered up by the other flavors...they are able to present a light earthiness

M - Medium bodied...full on roasted flavors that linger nicely...must be towards the end of the cask because it comes up a tad watery at some points

O - I love being able to try these experiments at Al's...I think I prefer the Cascade Dry Hopped version a little better...both version really take the base of Java Head up a few notches

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Photo of ffejherb
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On one of the hand pulls at Al's of Hampden on 8/23/10.

A - Very dark, opaque chocolate brown liquid with a finger's width of sponge-like froth that yielded some thick, foamy lacing.

S - Vanilla sweetness dominates the nose, followed by chocolate and a hint of coffee. Aroma is quite sweet overall with a muted hop presence.

T - Again, the vanilla bean sweetness just jumps out, but is accompanied by chocolate java goodness. Finishes with an earthy hop tinge. Overall, this reminds me of creme brulee.

M - Smooth texture, albeit just a tad watery perhaps. There is just a hint of clingy coarseness from the effects of dry-hopping, though, but not in a bad way.

D - I definitely think this is an improvement from the original Java Head. While I'd like to taste a more obvious hop presence, there is no denying the vanilla goodness of this stout!

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Vanilla Bean Java Head (Bravo Dry Hopped) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 0 out of 100 with 7 ratings
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