Red Brick Vanilla Gorilla | Red Brick Brewing Company

very good
14 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Here at Red Brick Brewing Company we're serious about our beer, and the Brick Mason series showcases our dedication to the art of brewing. With that said, we invite you to enjoy this handcrafted Imperial Porter. Featuring Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, which impart a rich, dark, and creamy character, these qualities enhance the luxurious chocolate notes in the carefully selected blend of six different malts.The result is a beer at the height of our creative expression as brewers, and completely deserving of our hightest distinction as a Brick Mason.

Added by glid02 on 10-23-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 56
Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.
Pours dark brown but looks black and opaque in the glass. A medium size tan head is quite creamy and has very good retention.
Aroma: very well balanced and pleasant blend of vanilla beans, dark bread, and light alcohol esters with hints of coffee and dark fruits.
Flavor: a good amount of vanilla with a fine natural flavor. Not so much vanilla as to mask the dark roasted grains nor some alcohol esters. Both the alcohol and the vanilla fade in the aftertaste leaving a gentle impression of dark, vanilla iced bread.
O: very enjoyable and definitely preferred over the smoked version.

 611 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown color with a large tan head. The aroma is roasted malts, chocolate and some vanilla. The taste follows the nose. This is my favorite Red Brick offering.

 233 characters

Photo of JamesBondGA
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick brown in color with a thin tan head. Had this in a sniffer glass in Taco Mac. First thing you get on the nose in the vanilla, then a little coffee. Taste is pretty much the same. Vanilla on the front end with the coffee coming thru on the back end. Very smooth drink, highly recommended,

 305 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lots of vanilla, of course, but I get some really interesting flavore also. Peanut butter, light chocolate malt, lactose sweet and toffee all comprise a nicely constructed beer.

 177 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had back in 2012. Pours a deep, warm, opaque sable with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled tan head. Smoky aroma has a firm overtone of semi-sweet chocolate and more than a hint of vanilla, plus hints of caramel and quality coffee. Flavor - oo la la, like drinking a Hershey bar with Irish coffee! Strongly chocolaty, plus coffee, roast malt, caramel, vanilla, hints of licorice and woody hops. Absolutely lip-smacking. Firm texture has plenty of fizz and life. Where does a vanilla gorilla drink beer? Anywhere he (or she) wants to! :D

 533 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Coffee brown. No head. Light lacing.

S: Smoky, vanilla, malts. A little coffee in the mix.

T: Dark fruits, malts, light vanilla. Chocolate. Robust, smooth, sweet. Never picked up the oak barrel aging nor the oatmeal.

M: Light to medium. Chewy. Not much carbonation.

O: A solid porter. Glad I got to try it. I bet it's even better on tap.

 368 characters

Photo of Dudeletter
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In general, we at the Dudeletter are about a week behind the curve in a two week cycle. As a small start up, we have few writers and the article ideas tend to be narrow. However, with beer, my liver urges more out of me. While I don’t have the motivation or money to test the new Kindle, I do have the Hamiltons to try the new Red Brick. While they have broken my heart in the past, with sub-standard beer tasting, and several recent missteps, they are proving with this beer that they have a plan. The beer plays carefully between smokey and sweet, heavy, but not overwhelming. I want to emphasize that there, in fact, is such a complex play of flavors, you could easily miss something under the umbrella of goodness. The smell is subtle, but distinct. It melds roastiness of a coffee, but none remains in the taste. The vanilla is there, but is almost ice creamy, rather than extract. The smokeyness may seem out of place, but it adds almost a savory note; counteracting the presumed sweetness. Having described all the other named aspects, I assume you wonder, how the gorilla tastes. Well the answer is, hairy. The beers size is the gorilla on my back; which is why, post review, I may not be able to stand. The boldness/strength of the beer is so big, it hides the alcohol, but remains balanced. This is possibly one of the best vanilla beers out right now, if you can get it…and


 1,436 characters

Photo of portia99
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32oz growler courtesy of mjmoon15 in a recent trade. Thanks Mark! Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a rather thick, very dark brown with excellent clarity (amber and ruby highlights when held to the light) and a finger of loose, tan foam at first that settles into a tight, creamy thick skim coat on the surface of the beer. Foamy lacing left on the glass.

S - Grainy, dark roasted malt, coffee-like roast, sweet cream, vanilla bean, mild citrus hops. Overall intensity is a bit on the low side...what is there is good, but wish it had a little bit more "kick" to it.

T - Quite smooth and creamy. Roasted coffee, smooth and rich vanilla, hints of charcoal and burnt toast, citrus hops at a low level. Not aware of this spending time in any kind of barrel, but I get some woody, oaky notes that complements the vanilla nicely.

M - Silky smooth and creamy...slick and oily on the tongue. Noticeable burnt/charred malt aspects that throw just a subtle edge into the beer. Carbonation is on a lower level, perhaps due to coming from a growler, and really blends well with the already smooth body of this beer. Body feels quite full, probably even more than it actually is, and feels thick and viscous. Grassy and citrusy hops come on quite a bit in the finish/swallow and increase in intensity as the beer warms a bit.

O - I've seen conflicting info about the style of this beer (porter vs. stout)...regardless, this is a pretty tasty beer and probably could be classified either way. The thick and oily body is a highlight here. Definitely enjoyable...helping me make the most of a rare snowy evening this winter.

 1,623 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.13/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a thin deep brown, nearly black with good carbonation and a nice tan cap

S: Smoke, bakers powder cocoa and some vanilla extract

T: An immediate smoke which pretty much kills any other flavors. Light vanilla extract, a few oats thrown in for good measure?? and some cheap bakers powder cocoa.

M: Thin and off putting feel, overly carbonated and not a tasty brew.

O: This beer should go back to the drawing board. This beer is a perfect example of regional hype. Alabama born and raised.

 500 characters

Photo of everetends
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer I had on cask at The J. Clyde yesterday. Always nice to be able to dip into two casks on one day. I was told that this was the Double Chocolate Oatmeal Porter aged with vanilla, so hopefully this is the right place to post this. Figured I would follow glid02's lead, assuming this was the right area. Served up in an imperial nonic pint glass.

A: This is a bit darker than the original offering I had a couple days before from the bottle. This seemed to be even more black, allowing even less light through. Still had a touch of dark garnet colors springing forth at the extreme edges when held to the light. The thick and foamy tan head had great retention and really created some nice foam lace on the glass as well. Basically, this went up a notch in grading due to the slightly darker color and the better head retention.

S: Smell was a lot better. The malts really come out and let you smell the sweet and roasted qualities. Coffee and chocolate are more pronounced along with a touch of toffee. The vanilla is there but not overpowering or crazy. The oatmeal is also more pronounced and really brings out a nice earthy, breakfast quality. I don't know what brought out more in the nose from this cask offering than the bottle, but everything is more pronounced and easier to smell. Very nice.

T: Taste is almost identical to the bottle offering, but it comes with just a nice addition of smooth vanilla that rounds out the flavors. Has all the qualities of my previous review :
Really nice, chunky oatmeal flavors come out first and foremost. Then there are some nice coffee and cream flavors. This tastes like breakfast. There is also on the finish a really nice milk chocolate flavor that really sits in the aftertaste. Very rich chocolate flavor.
All of this combined with that vanilla really comes together nicely and is incredibly enjoyable.

M: Medium in full in body that seems to be even more creamy than the regular offering. Nice coating thickness to it. ABV doesn't play a role at all it seems, just allows these nice sweet flavors to be enjoyed. Aftertaste is a bit of chocolate and vanilla flavors that are a pleasure to have sticking around.

D: Yet again, a really easy drinking beer. The added vanilla is something that really brings all the flavors together even more, and makes it very enjoyable to drink. This is a sweet beer and was perfect as my dessert. Just damned tasty and easy drinking. Would love to have some of this again. Really happy we decided to have a late lunch here.

 2,530 characters

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Cask at Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting - Pours an opaque dark black with an average head and a small amount of lacing. Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and only a tad of vanilla. Flavor is all vanilla with coffee and chocolate battling for attention. Mouthfeel is lightly bodied with below average carbonation. It s amazing how much vanilla is the taste and how little is in the nose.

 391 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black body with a small, light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Roasted oat aroma with pleasant notes of bittersweet chocolate and sharply-scented vanilla.

Taste: Sweetish blend of chocolate and vanilla with just a bit of oats and a nice roastiness that grows into an overall earthy quality. Light licorice midway. Very deep vanilla flavor as it warms. Drying finish with a lingering roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Kudos to Atlanta Brewing Co. Overall, a rather tasty beer and a very nice expression of vanilla in a beer.

 590 characters

Photo of gford217
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask at Taco Mac Metropolis into a pint glass.

Pours dark, dark brown with a large tan head that hangs around as an inch-thick cap throughout and leaves great lacing.

The aroma has lots of roasted malts and milk chocolate with hints of coffee and vanilla.

The roasted character moves more towarda burnt character in the taste with heavy toasted malts and some espresso. The chocolate is still present in the taste but the vanilla is much more prevalent and lingers through the finish.

The mouthfeel is very, very smooth and creamy as one would expect from the cask. The carbonation is strong and complements the smoothness of the feel.

I haven't tried much Atlanta Brewing beers recently, but I can say without a doubt this is the best one I've ever had. I hope this is a step in the right direction for them and that they'll keep playing around with some more interesting things. Recommended.

 898 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen conflicting reports on what this is. One person said it was a Porter, but I'll go with the guys at Taco Mac and call this an oatmeal stout. Also according to them it's a double chocolate oatmeal stout that's been aged for 25 days with vanilla beans. Daryk77 said that this was at the Decatur Beerfest, but he doesn't think it was from a cask.

I watched this being poured at the bar (I got mine from a server earlier in the night) and there's a big three-finger tan head that recedes into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smell of roasted malts with mild chocolate and vanilla aromas up front. As the beer warms the vanilla becomes more apparent.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild roasted malts with bitter chocolate up front. Again, as it warms the vanilla comes out more and the last sip is mildly bitter dark chocolate with a good amount of vanilla. Bitterness is mild throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's from a cask so the carbonation is subdued. It's not quite as thick as I would've hoped, but it does go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. This is a solid tasting beer, but I'm not overly anxious to order another.

Overall this is a step up for ABC. All of there beers are good but not great, and this is one of their best in my opinion. I'm hoping that this means they will venture more into dark beers and high gravity beers. I hope they continue to dole out more casks in the future.

 1,489 characters

Red Brick Vanilla Gorilla from Red Brick Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.