Here is yet another beer in a long line of beers off my "wants" courtesy of Mr. Kegatron, thanks again Heath! Victory at Sea has the look of black coffee pouring from the pot as it enters this snifter. When the glass is full the body is black as night with a dense two finger mocha head that has some impressive staying power. Not only does the head show a stick-to-it-tiveness but it leaves behind some impressive jagged lacing as well.
Damn, this beer has an interesting nose on it! When the label says vanilla, it MEANS vanilla. Coffee leaps from the glass first but the vanilla is planted directly on its coattails. There's a handful of dark berries in here as well that actually play a big role, I didn't expect that. The vanilla has a tendency to smell a little artificial at times but it's rich and plays nicely with the coffee and berry undercurrents. Creaminess in the form of heavy cream and sugar make appearances too. A light roast pulls up the rear. The nose really comes into its own when this brew warms. This is an interesting smelling beer to say the least.
This porter is like some sort of delicious, eye opening breakfast concoction. A steaming hot cuppa joe complete with a cube of sugar and a dash of cream comes across the tongue and leads the way from start to finish. The vanilla is pure and clean in the flavor and adds a deep richness to the coffee overtones. A light roast snuggles up toward the finish. This beer is 100% smooth and enjoyable.
The body is lighter than I expected and actually works very well for this coffee-infused brew. The weight is moderately heavy with a carbonation that keeps things moving. There's not even a hint of coffee bitterness like in so many other coffee infused brews.
The first glass goes down incredibly fast. The second glass I slow down slightly and after that this bomber is gone. Two glasses of this brew is plenty for me, I don't think I could do another. The vanilla is so rich it slows me down on my second but it's still immensely enjoyable.
Ballast Point makes some incredible beer and Victory at Sea is no slouch either. The coffee, roast and vanilla make for a luscious libation. I'd love another couple bottles. Thanks for the hook up Heath!
Served In: Pint Glass
Sampled April 2009
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a dense, creamy, darkly browned crown of froth that rises three fingers in height. The head leaves copious amounts of dense lace on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is almost pure black in color, but does have a touch of brown to it. When held up to the light the beer shows just a touch of an amber hue to it around the edges, but I wouldn't really say that it is passing any light through. The aroma has the coffee leading off along with roasted malt notes, but it has a soft backdrop of vanilla that becomes more noticeable the longer I spend smelling the aroma (though it never goes beyond subtle). The vanilla accentuates a solid dark chocolate aromatic note here and it also helps to soften the sharp, roasted grain and coffee notes. The nose has quite a rich, satisfying, even satiating quality to it.
As the beer hits my tongue I notice that it has a rich, satisfying heft to it, though it is not quite as heavy as the nose might have suggested; it is still a sipping beer though. Vanilla flavors accentuate a malt sweetness as well as a dark chocolate flavor. Bitter, roasted coffee flavors are found in the finish and can get a touch acrid at times. The bitterness from the dark malt and coffee flavors really lingers on in the finish.
This beer has a nice balance to it, between the vanilla notes and sweetness up front and the roasted, biting notes towards the finish, but it can seem a little simplistic at times. The vanilla really helps this beer shine; the roast malt and coffee notes would be too aggressive, too acrid and too bitter without the vanilla. This is definitely a nice after dinner sipping brew and I find that I am quite enjoying it.
Served In: Tulip
There are two profiles for this beer but I’m putting this one with the most accurate alc %.
Coke colored with an inch of foam, good rention and lacing.
Coffee burst at first with notes of vanilla, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some alcohol heat in the background. Espresso and nutty malt notes. Coffee, sugar cookie….seems to go good with chips ahoy. Black patent malt and caramel aromas. More soft sugar cookie aroma as it warms up.
Coffee and espresso with dark chocolate and roasted malts. Hints of vanilla, brown sugar, and slightly burnt malts. Strong alcohol presence in the background.
Low carbonation at first and a bit syrupy in the finish.
Price: $7.99 Served In: Pint Glass
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