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

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.

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 196
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
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 coreyfmcdonald
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Brick Mason series. $12/4 pack.

A: Two fingers of light tan head with a vigorous pour that settled down to a half finger of head. Very, very dark brown (almost black) and completely opaque.

S: Very roasty smell with the slightest hint of smoke in the background. I get a little dark chocolate and a bit of sweet vanilla. Maybe the slightest bit of whiskey as it warms. Overall, the roast dominates.

T: Woah! Much more flavorful than the smell would indicate. Fairly strong vanilla and smoke flavor with some whiskey flavor present as well.

M: A bit light in body, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's too light for a porter.

O: Very tasty especially for the price. I recommend seeking this out.

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Photo of Janderson91
4.44/5  rDev +24.7%
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 Mavajo
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this and had to try it, if not for the name alone.

Almost no head, even with an aggressive pour into a pint glass. Extremely dark brown boredering on black color.

Excellent aromas to this beer. Coffee, chocolate, hint of vanilla and smoke.

Served cold, the smoke flavor tends to overwhelm the other flavors. Definitely let this one warm up a bit to fully appreciate the other flavors.

I did think it felt a little thin compared to the aroma and flavor profiles, but all in all a very nice beer.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
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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Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla from Red Brick Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
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