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

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Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla
196 Ratings
Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla

Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AdamBear on 09-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of jmhart
5/5  rDev +42.5%

Photo of surlytwinsfan
5/5  rDev +42.5%

Photo of chardlogic
5/5  rDev +42.5%

Photo of ColSanders123
5/5  rDev +42.5%

Photo of grandimperialc
5/5  rDev +42.5%

Photo of tmeals
5/5  rDev +42.5%

Photo of hopking311
4.62/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark pitch black, thin off white head dissapates quickly to a nice mm ring around inside of tulip snifter.

smells smokey, caramel, toffee, fresh cut vanilla beans

thick full body, well carbonated.

Immediately getting smokey bourbon, milk chocolatey malts with slight hoppy backbone

Best beer Ive had from Red Brick. Definately best smoked beer Ive ever encountered thus far.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The brew pours a deep brown-black and is topped with a frothy tan head that deposits significant lacing upon the glass. The nose does not lend any appreciable vanilla, which is surprising given the brew's moniker. What I am getting from the aroma is a very nicely apportioned balance of roasty malt, charred sugar, and smoke. The flavor is outstanding; vanilla makes an appearance, and lives up to its billing in that regard, but there is a high level of complexity going on here. It is woody, roasty, slightly smokey-sweet, with leather, vanilla and dark chocolate notes. Big creamy mouthfeel too. Overall, a big winner in my book. It is actually much like a Bourbon: though it does not taste like Bourbon, it finds its success by utilizing much of the same palate and profile, as the aforementioned descriptors suggest. This delicious beer has taken me by surprise, and has left quite an impression on me.

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Photo of FrattyNattyKA
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Ahh this will be my first time opening a bottle of Red Brick Mason Series brew, and let me say I am excited to try this smoked beer out! I love my smoked brews and I've got to say that Red Brick Vanilla Gorilla did not disappoint. Upon pouring this treat into my glass my first observation is that the beer has a rich and dark coffee like appearance with a thin tan frothy head. The aroma gave a hint of smoked hickory, malt, and a mild fruity smell. The first sip is very smooth, the brew delights the tongue with a slight fizzle sensation without being overwhelming like cheaper beers (natty), absolutely sensational mouthfeel. The taste is wonderfully balanced, the smokiness is there but done just perfectly I where it doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors, the taste of what I'm assuming to be smoked hickory, vanilla (obviously), malty, with a slight citrusy/fruity tang to top it off. I'm still training my taste buds and senses to be able to pick up on everything but if you're a newbie like me trust me you won't regret picking up this brew. Fantastic I highly recommend. Beer on my friends

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Photo of daedalusfinch
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Erice78
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Soomars
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of meerkat2
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of P1ay3rO
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Dperry33
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Janderson91
4.44/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Happy to pick up a 4-pack of this today as the first two in the Brick Mason Series have been very nice. No freshness info. Enjoyed on 09/22/11. Poured around 55-60F.

A - Very dark brown, almost black with a small cream colored head. Recedes to a ring around the edge of the glass and leaves little to no lacing.

S - Wow, this is the best aroma I've experience from an American porter. Huge vanilla character from both the whiskey barrels and vanilla beans, along with some roasted malts and dark chocolate aromas. Somewhat smokey but the vanilla shines.

T - This stuff is delicious. The dry, roasted malt character is balanced excellently by the sweet vanilla. Some dark chocolate on the back end and a somewhat smoky character along with nice vanilla, oaky, whiskey flavor throughout. Finishes perfectly balanced with some smokey, roasty flavors along with great chocolate and vanilla sweetness.

M - The mouthfeel is average for a porter. This is the only knock against this beer I have. With a more full, rich mouthfeel, this one could be greater than it already is.

O - Overall, this is the best of the Brick Mason series and maybe the best beer Red Brick has ever made. I'm kicking myself for only getting one 4-pack and will be making the trip back to ATL in the coming weeks exclusively for this beer. Well done.

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Photo of hmf05
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown/red and leaves a nice three finger tan head. Smells like a rauchbier. I get smoked meat and whiskey, but no vanilla. Tastes exactly like the smell. Smoked ham comes through and stays throughout. I can taste whiskey at the end, but vanilla is not how I would describe this beer. Very delicious. Very smokey and the whiskey barrels give this a nice smoothness that other smoked beers lack. Very impressed! More characteristic of a rauchbier than a porter. If you love smoked beers, this is a must-try!

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

Wow.... this is by far their best beer they make and possibly one of my favorite smoke beers. This is a big smoke beer. Bourbon and vanilla are there as well as typical chocolate/coffee flavors of typical porters, but the smoke aspect of this beer is the real star. You have to be of fan of the smoke to enjoy this as well as the big woody flavors coming from the barrell aging. More body and head retention would/make this world/class.

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

Found a bottle of this at Total Wine in Sarasota. it was the last one left.

Thought this might possibly be a remake of the original "vanilla gorilla stout", but according to the site, this one is based on their porter.

Bottle reads.."Smoked Vanilla Gorilla. Aged in Oak Whiskey barrels with vanilla beans"

A-very dark brown to black. you need to pour harshly to get a thin light tan head that quickly fades to nothing.

S-smells like dark salted and smoked cocoa beans. there's a scent of vanilla that is faint but stable. fairly complex and big smelling.

T-comes in with a smokey and slightly spicy taste of dark roasted malts that taste like a strong brewed mocha. there is a faint but very tasty hint of vanilla. the after-taste is mostly dark roasted malts with some small but good evidence of the oak whiskey barrels. its a very complex and solid flavor. not detecting any off-flavors or undesirable traits in the taste. Probably should serve this warmer than cooler.

M-good smooth medium carbonation that quickly fizzles with a crisp finish.

O-overall, this is a great beer, something i wouldn't mind getting a lot of. its rare to find this much flavor in a reasonably priced 12 ounce bottle. also besides the good pricing, i'm guessing the ABV is much lower as well, though it achieves the tastes of a big stout.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to my buddy Audi for the hookup from the ATL.

A: Pours a dark dark brown color with a 1.5 finger creamy tan head that disappears to a thin ring after a couple of minutes. Spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malts and alcohol hit my nose first followed by the oak smell and some smokey smell and coffee as well. Not a huge smoke flavor but enough to make me want to be sitting next to a campfire.

T: As it warms, the malts take a back seat to the oak and the vanilla. Roasted chocolate malts come through in the middle of the taste as does some more coffee and cocoa. As it warms more, the coffee really comes through at the end.

M: Creamy, wonderful feel that coats the mouth. The alcohol peeks itself out here moreso than at any other point in the brew but it's really welcomed. Perfectly carbonated.

O: A superb brew from Red Brick which at this point isn't anything new. These guys are really good and this beer does not disappoint.

 1,005 characters

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 ryanonline
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark black with some deep ruby highlights. a very thin tan head that is very bubbly but disappears quickly leaving sheet like lacing.

smells very rich with some strong roasty coffee notes and a deep smokey nose. it also smells a bit salty, perhaps even a very light vanilla bean scent.

the taste is amazing, very roasty but the smokey salty flavor has become very much more prevalent and amazingly delicious. the vanilla is also much more up front. even has an almost scotch like flavor. very complex.

the mouthfeel is a bit thin though slightly syrupy but has a significant amount of very prickly carbonation. dry finish.

this beer has some really complex flavors and characters but still remains fairly easy on the palette and not very filling, also at just under 8 percent, this beer is fairly sessionable.

overall this is an amazing beer, I've only had a few smoke beers, but this beer is quite something else. as a porter it even is fairly good. thumbs up, now I gotta try some more beers from red brick.

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