Beer Review #3: Ballast Point Brewing Co. “Victory at Sea” Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

20 Feb

It’s a good thing that this imperial porter had the legs to stand up to its bloody awesome label. This one has a skeleton sea-captain with an equally skeletal parrot navigating a hurricane. Badass. That image, along with the tantalizing idea of a coffee and vanilla flavored porter from a San Diego microbrewery hooked me, but it was the overall experience of this delicious dessert ale that reeled me in.

ABV: 10% makes this a very potent beverage hence the “Imperial” in the name – essentially meaning its a high gravity brew. At 1 pint 6 oz this may be all you need to get you buzzing.

cost: $8 for a 1 pt, 6 oz (22 fl oz) bottle

Aroma: strong, toasty, almost burnt coffee and dark chocolate

Appearance: This pours like syrup and has a monster, off-white frothy head like say, an enraged ocean engulfing the mast of a ghost pirate vessel. Granted I poured it a little too quick but hey I was excited. Opaque, black body.

Flavor: Sweet of course due to the extra sugars added to this brew, but the sweetness is equally matched by a high level of hops and a heavy smokiness that rushed in giving me a real feel of the complexity. I had to stop what I was doing for a minute and just savor it. “wow that’s really good” I think were the exact words. I know it’s supposed to be coffee vanilla which I definitely tasted, but I couldn’t stop  thinking chocolate.

Palate: Full Body, velvety, creamy with just  the right amount of carbonation to keep it lively and from totally coating the palate.

Pair with: a big cigar

Despite the added flavoring, I think this is a very good example of an Imperial Porter and should be enjoyed in a big  Stein if you’ve got one, otherwise any thick wide-mouthed glass you have such as the mason jar I’m using.

9 out of 10 X’s…X X X X X X X X X

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