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

BA SCORE
81
good
196 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
196
Reviews:
81
Avg:
3.56
pDev:
24.44%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
22
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 196 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of chinchill
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, undated.

A nearly black, clear liquid, topped by a moderate tan head.

Smoke, whiskey, oak and dark malt in the nose. There's a hint of vanilla in both the nose and the mouth, and it lingers into the aftertaste. A hint of hops in the flavor too, but the major change is from the very sweet aroma to a slightly sour taste.

O: too smokey and poorly balanced for my taste.

 386 characters

Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of animal69
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Vdubb86
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of sulldaddy
4.14/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampling at cellar temp poured into a snifter. The beer pours a deep cola brown hue with fizzy beige head of 1 cm fading quickly to an edge layer. Aromas are rich with brown sugar and some vanilla. I also get a little smoke with a mix of campfire ash and sausage notes, the smoke is pretty mild however.
Overall the nose is complex and appealing.
First sip reveals an average body with fine gentle rolling carbonation. Flavor is fairly sweet up front with molasses and vanilla and a bit of whiskey mixing together. A complex flavor profile but not over the top or messy.
Pretty easy to drink with no hints of booze or hops anywhere.
A complex beer that is pretty much what the label advertises. A nice beer that I would pick up again if I came across a bottle.

 760 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle generously provided by the always solid Jason in a recent trade. Thanks for the opportunity!

Into my Unibroue tulip the Gorilla pours a murky brown with an initial fat froth that mellows to a tannish-white collar and a moderately sized isthmus that runs from one edge of the glass to the other. Lacing is minimal.

Smells lightly smoky. Not a roaring campfire, but rather the lingering fingers that stroke your clothing in the morning after pile following a night around ye old flame. Vanilla pops in for a brief hello as does a healthy dash of fresh cracked black pepper. The pepper was quite inviting and really blossomed upon warming.

Taste is only slightly perkier than the nose. Interplay of the flavors in slight and light....restrained might be more appropriate. Black pepper, whisps of smoke, faint vanilla, and cola. The cola might be the bourbon, but if it weren't mentioned on the label, I'm not sure I'd have pegged this as barrel aged.

Body is light and carbonation is prickly. This beer would benefit from some extra body.

Overall, it's an enjoyable, albeit it restrained, drink that falls just short of solid.

 1,141 characters

Photo of cps98
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra on a trade so figured it was time to give it a try.

A – Dark black with hues of brown when exposed to the light. Very jagged off-white head that dissipates very quickly.

S - Smoke up front very little vanilla

T – Sweet smoke flavor followed by vanilla which had some extra twang to it.

M - A very thin beer for as dark as it was. Little to no carbonation in the bottle I had.

O – This is definitely not a style of beer I find myself drawn too. The beer was too thin and the flavors did not meld together nicely.

 547 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.17/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Thanks to Lillie1128 for this bottle!

"Vanilla Gorilla, gorilla for sale..." C'mon, I can't be the only one who thought of that song when introduced to this beer, right? Regardless, it pours a vaguely translucent dark sienna (highlighted in dark ruby) topped by a finger of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises smoked ham, light oak, light roasted malts, light chocolate powder, mild whiskey, light chipotle pepper (or, at least, it seems like some, anyway), and molasses. Tasty. Speaking of which, the taste brings in more of the same, with the roast, whiskey, oak, and chocolate taking center stage. The vanilla doesn't come through very much, though I do think I get a bit of the bean in the background (and off to the left). The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine brew all-around. Good times, indeed.

 920 characters

Photo of Swampworks
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of champ103
4.21/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger, rocky, tan head forms with good retention. Rings of sticky lace are left behind. This is a looker.
S: Smoked meat right up front. Bacon and ham. Slightly astringent with some vanilla making its way in towards the end.
T: Again, huge smoked meat flavors that follows the nose. Though more balanced. Plenty of smoke and wood along with toasted malts. A great vanilla sweetness cuts through the smoke more than the nose for an excellent balance.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation, but not under carbonated at all. Velvety smooth. So easy to drink. There is no alcohol, and everything is very well balanced.

At first the nose showed a bit of an unbalanced smoked meat character that I am not a fan of (though most smoke head are). Though the flavor is very balanced. Plenty of smoke to go around, but the toasted malts and vanilla are great as well. Highly recommended.

 942 characters

Photo of grandimperialc
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of Ryan011235
2.65/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an A-B flute on 12/14/11

Lighter to cap resulted in a loud pop; I'm surprised it didn't commence to gushing.

Medium brown; settles dark with half ruby, half stained wood highlights. Three finger head crackles to life (very noisy) and slowly settles a thin layer that bunches at the collar. Some lace catches and keeps up over time.

Smells like something might be wrong, but I can't be certain. Tangy roasted grains give way to mild notes of coffee, smoke, bitter dark chocolate and earth. I'm not picking out any vanilla. The barrel aging seems to have done little to impart whiskey tones; all that's going on here is a musty swamp wood note. Wait, just got a stray whiff of vanilla; very seldom seen.

Tastes questionable, too. Messy roasted notes of grain, chocolate and even some caramel it seems. There is a soft sweetness that I reckon could be attributable to the vanilla but it doesn't live up to an inclusion in the name of the beer. Heck, neither does the smoke. Some whiskey nips are appreciable but come across as generic to begin with and stale beyond that. Tastes dirty. Becomes a tad sweeter as it warms.

I find the feel to be obnoxiously thin; carbonation is far too vigorous, too. The feels hurting and already damaged beer; not a good thing. Finishes with mustiness and suggestions of murky barrel and the above hodge podge.

There's enough about this beer to be suspect and not enough to even consider a repeat visit. It's ok to try, but I'm debating whether to pour this out or not.

 1,517 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
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 jbck109
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of shand
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one? This is a strange one. It's a nice deep brown with two fingers of mocha head. The smell and taste? They're kinda like an ashtray that was ashed with some sort of vanilla cigarillo. In the best way possible. There's also a touch of that whisky aspect in the aftertaste. It's got a lot going on for sure, it won't leave you wanting for complexity.

The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a bit of prickliness on the back. The drinkability is surprisingly good for the complexity of the flavors. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It's very unique tasting and has a lot of different flavor aspects to dig into. I surely don't regret picking up a four-pack, and look forward to the next Brick Mason offering. They're two for two on these out of the ones I've had, I really enjoyed the double IPA from the series I picked up too.

 834 characters

Photo of Vermonthiker
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Ratman197
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
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 jlb502
2/5  rDev -43.8%

Photo of nickhiller
2/5  rDev -43.8%

Photo of SmartyPints
2.92/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a dark black color. No real head ever really comes of this beer. Just some light legs on the sides of the glass and no real lace.

S- The smoke comes through in the aroma first with hints of dull vanilla and light barrel notes. Nothing really else comes with the aroma. It's simple straight to the point and as much as this pains me to say this I wish the smoke was a little bit held back.

T- Light almost chocolate roast on the front of the beer quickly gets overtaken by a charred smoke flavor. This dies down a bit by the middle giving way to some light vanilla notes. These notes combine in the ending with a dull oak flavor. The bourbon that I expected in this beer never shows at all...I get oak flavor and that is it...no booze to follow. Smokey throughout the beer with the backside having it subside and linger a little more.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little lacking in this bottle. Lots of smoke left on the palate. Aftertaste is lingering smoke, light alcohol, and stale barrel notes. While there were no off flavors there could have been a little better use of the flavors in the beer. Medium alcohol drying on the palate. Beer just felt dull on the palate.

O- I thought this beer was just average. It wasn't bad at all but it did leave me wishing it had more. A beer I could see maybe having once again but was wishing the barrel notes came though more and the smoked had less full flavor.

 1,456 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

 917 characters

Photo of mrandypandy
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Nitrogenx
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of sobeleg
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla from Red Brick Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More