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 dbrelsfo
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of kushlash23
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of HookemHops13
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of EigenBeer
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

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

 1,103 characters

Photo of ERRL710
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of derkfromwi
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of sonofliberty2
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of thirsty_artist
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of GABrew
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of nabit
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of acevenom
3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a glass mug. The beer pours dark brown to almost black with a thin, light tan head. There are some tiny visible bubbles that can be seen rising in the beer. There is also some lacing left on the side of the glass during consumption. There's some light smoke and vanilla in the aroma. I get some chocolate notes and some good malt in the backbone. The flavors are roasty from the malt with chocolate notes. The vanilla comes through stronger in the taste and the smoke also more present in the flavor. However, the smoke is mellow and not overpowering. What results is a balanced flavor that is far more appealing than the aroma. There's some lingering roastiness in the aftertaste as well. The alcohol also can't be tasted. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly dry and this beer drinks fairly easily for 7.8% ABV. This is a very good beer.

 883 characters

Photo of bbadger
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Jadjunk
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red Brick's Smoked Vanilla Gorilla is brewed in the style of an American Porter with vanilla beans and smoke added. This one-off variation of their Vanilla Gorilla porter was popular enough to deserve a second-coming and was released again in September 2012. I kept a bottle of the 2011 version to do a little vertical experiment. Typically goes for about $10.99 for a 4-pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Brick Mason snifter. Served north of 56º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) pours a frothy crisp milk chocolate-tone head. Body color is a deep brown, near black with mellow, subtle carbonation. Retention is lower than average, surface cover is a thin wisp and lacing is light and patchy. A decent porter by color depth but head quality is a shortcoming. 3.5

(Smell) Aromas of thick, bready roasted malts, wet barley and oats, pinches of cocoa nibs, a hint of vanilla and a puff of cold smoke. A bit shallower in the smoke and vanilla department than I expected. The molten chocolate character is very welcome, however. The beer smells moist with flavor and clean- to the point. Despite not being an overly potent beer, the aroma isn't unenjoyable in the least, with a subtle depth and character that is approachable. 4

(Taste) Medium-heavy roasted malt character, some smoked character and a much more noticeable vanilla bean finish. Less chocolate brownie character and a notably drier finish accentuated by a mellow char and smoke note- a bit lighter in body than the nose predicted although there's still a great deal of substance. I do enjoy the smoke and vanilla, but this is a very different beast from how the beer smells. Highly drinkable with a moderate heaviness and an enjoyable flavor. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smoky, slightly dry, very mildly acidic. The carbonation is a bit on the fuzzy side, a touch too active in the wrong direction for this beer. The body is a bit thin and not as creamy as I would have liked. Alcohol presence is low. Aside from promoting high drinkability, these smokey flavors and subtle vanilla essence would likely thrive in a creamier and fuller bodied brew. 3

(Overall) This is certainly worth a shot by any porter lovers, maybe a little reserved in both the smoke and vanilla flavors and a little lighter in body than expected but considering it being a porter, it has a great balance of drinkability and depth. One of the better Brick Mason additions to the lineup. I hope they bring it back annually from here on out. 3.5

Vertical Review:

September 2011 (1 Year, 9 Months Aged):

Pours a slightly lighter head of a similar crisp, frothy variety over a slightly blacker body with ample carbonation and a frothier head. Aroma has some definite cider-like souring going on, a touch of fruity esters and pretty much no remaining smoke nor vanilla. Smells completely unlike a smoked beer nor a porter. Flavor is strikingly sour, very vinous with bold grape and wild cherry, a pinch of lingering wet oak chips, an awkwardly out-of-place puff of cold smoke and no vanilla to speak of. This beer's career as a smoked vanilla porter is completely toast, no pun intended. Very fuzzy and active carbonation, even more bubbly than the fresher batch, almost a soda-like level of carbonation. Not even remotely the same beer, some may even suggest this is infected. Flipping through the reviews circa 2011-2012 this is a common claim made with this beer. It's enjoyable by it's own merits, but I can't suggest that this is even close to the beer Red Brick expected us to have. Don't age- enjoy fresh.

Recommended Vintage: As fresh as possible, to preserve the smoke & vanilla subtleties (Okay, maybe hold ONE if you're feeling ballsy). At nearly 2 years, it tastes like a dark wild ale, and honestly isn't half bad.

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

 3,846 characters

Photo of BradleyR
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of buschbeer
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - This beer pours damn near black with some mahogany highlights. It is topped with about an inch of mocha head.

S - The aroma gives off milk chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt scents.

T - I taste the milk chocolate right away. I think that is the combination of the chocolate and vanilla. I also taste some roasted malt, and it finishes with black coffee.

M - Full and creamy

O - I enjoyed this beer. I wasn't expecting much with the mediocre rating, but it had a lot of flavor and a nice, creamy mouthfeel. I would definitely drink this again if it was available. I did not get any indication of smoke though.

 667 characters

Photo of TheRuss9585
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of thampel09
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of khargro2
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of stakem
2.92/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a tulip. The brew appears brown in color with some clarity around the edges. A finger of tan head rests atop and produces some spotty lacing as the cap fades. A light swirl revitalizes more than a finger effortlessly back to the surface.

The aroma is smoked like beefy bacon alongside an awkward amount of alcohol tang. There is a fruity aspect present that is not all that inviting along eith an earthen to rocky/mineral feel.

The taste is quite tangy like whiskey mixed with chocolate. Some earthen flavors mingle with the beefy smoked aspect. There is quite an abundance of mineral flavoring into the aftertaste that is not that enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The whiskey reinforced tang is interesting but not that good. If that wasnt bad enough, the mineral aspect was even worse. Not at all what I was expecting for a "vanilla smoked porter."

 913 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of smonice
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of BeerZack
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy vanilla iced coffee nose with hints of wood and smoke. I think the smoke comes across as a chili pepper-like spiciness moreso than a salty or umami impression. Big, rich dark chocolate flavors with a boozey undertone that blends well with the hop bitterness. I think the strength of barrel and booziness in the mid through to the finish overpowers any of the smoked flavors, which isn't a bad thing for me.

 413 characters

Photo of PEIhop
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

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