Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla | Atlanta Brewing Company

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Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla
BA SCORE
3.51/5
Good
Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Atlanta Brewing Company
Georgia, United States
atlantabrewing.com

Style: Smoke Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
81
Ratings:
196
pDev:
24.79%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
22
Trade:
1
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 196
Reviews by Bartos:
Photo of Bartos
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body with a medium-sized, light beige head.

Smell: A sooty smokiness certainly leads the pack, followed by sweet-scented chocolate, sugar-dosed coffee, and some dark fruits, the vanilla bean pods, as well as the barrel treatment coming in dead last (but, better last than never, right?).

Taste: Sweetish malts, some semi-sweet chocolate, roast-accented coffee, and the expected vanilla, but, unless the previous iteration, with a noted chimney smokiness. Light bourbon character, no more, with caramelized sugar creme brulee tops. Sweetish, smoky finish with that barrel character trying to emerge, even at the last second, but not quite getting there.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Develops a smoothness as the carbonation dies away.

Overall: Sweetish, mellow, and smelling, at times, of smoke. A bit like myself, really.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had never seen this beer and I definitely dig the name so this was an easy pick up, plus we're finally getting some winter weather to drink cold weather beer with. Pours an almost solid black with a tiny orange sliver at the bottom. Head is tan with tiny bubbles and dissipates to a cap in about five minutes with some lacing already evident. The nose is vanilla and woodsmoke and some general dark malt/porter notes. Nothing overpowering.

The smoke flavors are very strong throughout the sip, almost to the detriment of everything else. The aftertaste in particular tastes like an edible campfire. Some dark malt and a late tinge of alcohol and maybe a hint of the vanilla, but this beer is mostly gorilla. I like smoked beers sometimes, but this one, despite a smooth texture, is a little too one dimensional in flavor for me. Certainly its quality craftsmanship and worth a try but I won't look for this again.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with some brown highlights. A very slight head accompanies the thin pour. Smells first of smoke then the vanilla hits hard with some burnt malts thrown in the mix. First sip is a very nice balance between the smoke, vanilla, and overly roasted malts. The finish is mostly vanilla and smoke. Not a whole lot of oak or whiskey in the flavor. It is there but mostly hidden by the vanilla. Very thin bodied but well carbonated. Pretty tasty but could be a ton better.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 

A- Poured into a sniffer. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is smoked malts and whiskey. I can't pick up on much of the vanilla in the nose.

T- The taste is malty up front with some smokey flavors and some of the whiskey flavors from the barrel aging come through as well.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

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Photo of nickfl
2.04/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours with one finger of tan foam on top of a dark brown body with dark amber highlights showing through. The head settles rapidly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Molasses, smoke, and caramel.

T - Sweet, and slightly sour caramel up front with a bit of molasses. Smoke and black cherry notes in the middle with a disconcerting band aid note. Finishes with more sour fruit and unpleasant phenolics.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Wow, this is flat out awful. The smoke and vanilla come together to create a beer that tastes like rootbeer with bandaids floating in it. I couldn't pour this one down the drain fast enough.

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Photo of macrosmatic
2.34/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown to black, and forms a thin tan head. Not much visible carbonation, if any.

S: To me, the aroma is all smoky. Try as I might, I just can't get any vanilla scents. Well, as it starts to warm some, there is just a bit of vanilla here.

T: Taste follows the nose...sweet & smoky. In the flavor also, I can't find any significant vanilla until it warms, but even then it seems more of a background flavor. The smoke flavor just overwhelms any other flavors unlucky enough to be in here.

M: Thick and sticky. The smoky flavor coats the mouth.

O: In the interest of full disclosure - since apparently I don't have the patience to actually read a label in the store, I didn't realize this was a smoked beer until I got it out of the fridge. Certainly not my favorite style, but I've had a few that I actually liked. This one, though, was absolutely *not* for me. Trying to get past the smoke flavor, I thought two things: 1)It doesn't seem real possible; and 2)With Gorilla in the name, I expected to be smacked over the head with Vanilla; and was disappointed in that respect. Drain pour.

 1,171 characters

Photo of azorie
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Pitch clear black beer in color, some spare head that quickly dies. Some tan lacing in a mug.

s: bourbon, vanilla, smoke. any hops or yeast was crushed in the barrel. lol. also no malt as is all overpowered in a bad/good way.

t: at first the smoke overpowers the bourbon/vanilla combo, then on the back of the mouth that flavor comes through. Sort of boozy. lightly sweet, no hops, yeast or malt as above. with the right food this beer could work.

m: oily, full body beer, rich thick and semi chocolate.

o: humm not a big fan of oak aged beers, or smokey beers. This is both. I bought the 4 pack and this is my 2nd go around with it. Its not as bad as the first one was. now with this beer the smoke overpowers it, but not in a bad way. I just find I like less smoke, and I bet the regular porter done this way would be OUTSTANDING! However if you are a smokey beer lover then you think this is a great beer and too you it will be, to me its so so. its worth a try but if you hate smoke beers stay away. I will never buy a 4 pack again.

drink: after taste when it warms up is like drinking an ashtray. YUCK!

 1,115 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice to see another great beer from Red Brick- I'm really enjoying the Brick Mason series. This one pours black with a thin beige head that leaves some lacing. Lightly smoky in the nose, with some underlying roastiness and a fair bit of noticeable sweetness. The taste is similar, but a beautifully integrated whole. Very nice, but gentle notes of wood smoke, subtle bourbon notes, restrained vanilla, some light roastiness and a somewhat sweet and quite creamy finish. Quite nice. The mouthfeel is downright silky- ultra-smooth with notes of smoke drifting in and out of the creaminess. Really good, and hopefully this and the double IPA are harbingers of things to come.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't been totally thrilled with the Red Brick beers I have had so far, but this is bucking the trend.

This is a nice porter. Vanilla accents mesh well with the overall robust porter tones. Pretty good bit of hoppy spice tones in there as well.

I dig this beer. It's not the typical porter. It gives a whole lot more to think about and enjoy.

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Photo of largadeer
1.77/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Extra from jpmclaug. Thanks!

I'm greeted by a blast of vanilla as soon as I uncap the bottle. Pours a muddy auburn color, but rests in the glass an opaque dark brown capped by a thin but lasting head. Smoke is much more dominant on the nose once this is in the glass, but there's an element of sweet vanilla along with an undercurrent of tart dark fruit and roasted malt. The palate is all over the place, with clashing flavors of smoke, acidic dark fruit, lactic sourness, vanilla and charred malt. I can't imagine that this was intentionally soured, and boy does the sourness not work here. The body is pretty thin, and the finish is more sour than roasty. This may have been an interesting beer prior to infection, but it's hard to tell.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 12 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well.

 736 characters

Photo of grumpygerman
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is SERIOUSLY smoky, like burnt green wood, with a hint of, yep, you guessed it, vanilla, and a touch of coffee. It pours a warm opaque sable with a thick, fluffy, persistent light tan head. Smoky flavor has vanilla, coffee and molasses notes to it. Firm-bodied texture is fairly fizzy and leaves a woody, smoky finish that has hints of coffee and yeast.

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Photo of angrybabboon
2.34/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 4/28/12

Appearance: Dark brown, light tan head, leaves wispy lacing - unexpectedly dark, could pass for a stout

Smell: So much smoke - kind of like a rauchbier - smoky, burnt organic matter - somewhere between charred meat and charred vegetables - overall, it kind of smells like a poorly maintained, musty barbeque grill - wet wood

Taste: Smoke and weirdness - ridiculously burnt and smoky, tastes... unhealthy - some chocolate and vanilla underneath - lots of damp, wet wood - an odd undercurrent of sourness, some odd fruits - some cardboard - I honestly don't know if this is infected, or just that there is a weird interaction between the extremely smoked malt, vanilla, and other elements

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium body, adequately carbonated, smooth, a little sticky

Overall: Not sure if infected, or just bad

So much smoke, and so much weirdness. Smoked malt doesn't begin to explain this. It's like someone decided to burn some smoked malt. Very strange, yet not awful.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with a tan head. I didn't experience the "thin head" issues that the other reviewers before me noted. Aroma is an onslaught of smoke -- can't pick up on much else. It's like sniffing your clothes after sitting around a camp fire all night. Taste is again predominantly smoke, with a backdrop of vanilla as well as the malt profile I've come to associate with porters or low-ABV stouts. The vanilla compliments the smoke well and really shows up, and it almost puts the smoke in check -- but the smoke still dominates. I can't say I picked up any coffee or chocolate; if there was any, the smoke was completely blotting it out for me. The bottle says it was aged in whiskey barrels, but I can't say I noticed any whiskey. Thinnish body.

When I found out this was a smoke bomb, I didn't expect to like it. But I actually ended up enjoying it. However, the smoke is so strong that it ends up being a bit of a one-trick pony. I think I would have liked a higher ABV, or a slight toning down of the smoke with more coffee/chocolate thrown in instead.

This one really lives up to its namesake though -- smoke and vanilla. I'm not sure if the whole "gorilla" part is fair though at only 7-and-change on the ABV.

 1,222 characters

Photo of mrandypandy
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a nice deep chocolate brown with a small tan head that recedes slowly to a thick collar.

Aroma is interesting and heavy on smoked malts with some hints of vanilla. There are some roasty malts and a little bakers chocolate underneath.

The taste is excellent and has a few interesting things going on. The smoked malts are still there but the vanilla is a little more prominent as is the chocolate and malts in the backbone.

Smooth feel with good carbonation.

I'm a big, big fan of this beer and I'm pretty excited about what ABC has been putting out lately. Get some now.

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Photo of biggmike
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with a nice off-white head that dissipated quickly and left small ring around glass. Aroma was of chocolate, maple, bourbon and vanilla. Taste was very much like the aroma of this beer. Mouthfeel was maybe a bit thin, but this is still an enjoyable beer that I would have again. Good stuff.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

March 25, 2012 update. Opened a bottle from the cellar and it appears an infection is setting in. Big rocky foamy head that doesn’t go away, stark contrast from fresh bottles. Biggest difference is a funky sour/tart character coming to light in the nose and particularly flavor. Not totally gone at this point...still gonna drink it but not nearly as good as when it was fresh. A shame...

Score is from the fresh, and excellent, bottles I enjoyed last fall...

--- --- --- ---

12oz bottle, served around 50F.

Pours dark brown with a one finger tan head that leaves some sheets and spots of lacing and holds a light creamy cap and ring.

Aroma starts with the smoke, primarily of the smoked meats variety, beneath the smoke is a nice healthy dose of vanilla, really nice, light whiskey notes along with your typical roasted malt, chocolate and coffee of a good porter. Very good strength and quite complex.

Flavor basically follows suit, smoked ham and bacon, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, touch of whiskey, fairly sweet, hint of alcohol on the finish. Kind of like a meal and dessert wrapped into one. You get the savory smoked meats along with the sweet, almost sundae like qualities of the vanilla, caramel and chocolate. Unique and very tasty!

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, somewhat creamy, good carbonation.

Okay so this is really good. Excellent smoky notes along with a lot of vanilla...definitely lives up to its name. The whiskey barrel aspect does take a backseat, but there is enough going on here where that isn’t a big issue with me.

 1,581 characters

Photo of Ratman197
3.96/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured a clear dark reddish brown with a lasting creamy tan head. Aromas of dark chocolta, vanilla, light smokeburnt carmel and a hint of bourbon. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth. Flavors of vanilla, milk chgocolate, light smoke and a hint of bourbon with a smooth lingering vanilla finish.

 309 characters

Photo of stampfler07
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%

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Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla from Atlanta Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 196 ratings