Home > Imperial/Strong Porter, Porter > Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Rating: 4.35

My eleventh beer from Ballast Point now and it’s a big one, a bomber of their Victory At Sea imperial porter that I picked up from the Brewdog online store a couple of months ago. This one is a beer that I was inspired to pick up because it features in the updated version of the 1001 Beers list (although not the version I’m working off) and I thought it would be good to check a couple off if I had the chance. Another reason for me grabbing this bottle was because of how much I enjoyed Orkney Porter and Flying Dog’s Gonzo in the past, two of the few imperial stouts that I’ve actually tried and I’m hoping this one is just as good as those were. This particular offering from Ballast Point has cold brewed coffee added to it from San Diego’s Caffe Calabria during the brewing process and it’s highly rated online with RateBeer listing it as the eighth best imperial porter on their site while BeerAdvocate also lists it as the eighth best, this time in the American porter category. As with all big beers, this is one that I’m really looking forward to trying and I just hope it proves to be as good as some of the brewery’s other popular beers I’ve sampled recently.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Appearance (5/5): This one poured opaque and pitch black with a thumb-sized, foamy head that was a tan brown colour. It slowly receded, ending up about half its original size but holding its shape well and leaving some nice touches of lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (9/10): Strong dark malts and a nice bit of sweetness to proceedings with a vanilla backing that comes through quite strong and is followed by hints of coffee, although these are slightly less pronounced. There was plenty of roasted malts coming through around the middle and a hint of alcohol makes itself known too, giving the beer a slightly warming nose. Some rich chocolate and burnt sugars appear towards the end with hints of smoke coming through as well and giving the beer a very nice and well-balanced nose.
Taste (8/10): Definitely a strong-tasting beer, this one kicks off with a lot of roasted malts and coffee, there’s a lot more coming through here than with the nose. I got some nice vanilla next and this was backed up by some rich chocolate and cocoa flavours plus hints of grain before some smoky flavours and an earthy bitterness appears towards the end.
Palate (4/5): The beer had quite a thick feel to it and seemed slightly warming as well thanks to the alcohol content coming through. There was some rich and complex flavours to this one, I got some smoke with a bit of light grain and a faint, earthy bitterness too but it seemed very well-balanced on the whole and went down well.

Overall (17/20): This one was an excellent imperial porter that came through with a strong alcohol kick and a lot of flavour, particularly towards the end when a warming alcohol kick really made itself known. There beer was well-balanced with nice coffee and vanilla flavours sitting on top of the dark malts and roasted flavours making this one an outstanding beer and one of the better porters I’ve tried so far, although Orkney Porter probably still comes out on top.

Brewed In: San Diego, California, United States of America
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
Also Known As: Victory At Sea Coffee Imperial Porter
First Brewed: 2007
Type: Imperial Porter
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (650ml)
Purchased: Brewdog, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £11.50

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