ChadPolenz (1690) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - MAR 5, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A lot of beer nerds, myself included, hate how imperial beers tend to be the highest rated brews across the board. Well, the fact is beers can do so much more with more energy and Ballast Point Victory at Sea is proof positive of that. A regular porter tends to be a very direct, mild beer - but what happens when you crank up the voltage? You get a very flavor, complex, robust beer thatís really a fun and interesting drinking experience.
I received a 22oz bottle from a friend in San Diego (thanks, Ryan!). I split it with a friend. We each poured it into tulip glasses.
Appearance: Pitch black body with no other colors showing at all. Forms a fairly large, dark khaki creamy/foamy head which retains and laces very well for such a big beer.
Smell: Huge vanilla, chocolate, and coffee notes. Very sweet aroma to be sure, buy with traditional porter notes at the base.
Taste: I love it when beers not only taste great but keep changing up their palate throughout the drinking process. Ballast Point Victory at Sea starts out with a prominent, slightly dry bitterness. Then it turns on a dime into a melange of sweet, syrupy flavors. Iced coffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon and dark chocolate all show up in various stages of the second half. The beer finishes with a strong coffee and slightly roasted malt finale. Itís a perfect balance of confectionary sweetness and coffee and hop bitterness.
As I drink on the palate continues to evolve. Coffee actually takes a back seat to the vanilla and woody flavors. Itís not too far removed from rum. These flavors eventually are then superseded by a strong dark chocolate sweetness with slight coffee bitterness. Itís all very delectable, especially as a liquid dessert (which is how we drank it).
Drinkability: Since Ballast Point Victory at Sea is a porter itís not surprising it has a smooth, velvety texture and a body thatís not quite as sticky and syrupy as its 10% ABV composure might have you believe. There is no alcohol presence in this brew at all, not even a gentle warmth (although it might explain the rum and woody bourbon cask-like flavors). The only problem? It actually finishes a little too clean! No residual drying effect despite the prominent coffee and dark chocolate bitterness. Thatís a flaw I can easily tolerate, though.
dogfishho (669) - Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA - MAR 4, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a deep dark bown, nearly black, but thinner than it would seem it should be. There is a small amount of dark tan head that sticks around throughout the drink. On the palate the beer feels richer than the appearance indicates. The vanilla flavor is the strongest note on the palate, but the coffee is noticeable as well. Really tasty stuff.
popway (165) - California, USA - MAR 4, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
You wouldnít expect such pleasant sophistication from the accompanying skeleton graphic label on the bottle. But, the frothy tan head and opaque color, not completely jet black though, when poured into a snifter, revealed tantilizing notes of chocolate, smokiness, and carmel. Goes down smotth with little bitter aftertaste. Rather, thr resonance on the palette is pleasant.
I might compare it with Choklat, but Victory has a more studied and merged character that holds well in all areas as an enjoyable delight.
RamyG4 (324) - , New Jersey, USA - MAR 3, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Black with a light-medium light brown head. Aroma is of roasted malt, strong coffee, cocoa. Taste is sweet, with more coffee and roasted flavors, bourbon, and just a little vanilla, no alcohol whatsoever. Roasted bitter finish. Full bodied, very smooth, incredibly easy to drink for itís ABV.
Ernesto987 (5578) - Arizona, USA - MAR 3, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
huge roasty vanilla flavor, tons of coffee on nose and vanilla. The vanilla is slightly overwhelming keeping this from the 4ís. Although, very very good beer.
Bone211 (7) - - MAR 1, 2012 does not count
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
If you like Speedway stout, this a simlar version with a slight bit of smoke added. Huge flavor and great finish.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
drunkenpolack (319) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 24, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Old quick review from 2009 - The mixture of coffee and vanilla in this porter is just spot on and the mouthfeel is amazing. Easily my favorite porter.
Chastastic (18) - North Carolina, USA - FEB 22, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Full flavor with solid coffee, vanilla and cigar favors. Goes down smooth but a tad filling. 12 % catches up quickly. A great desert beverage or nightcap.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
newcigarz (43) - Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours black with small tan head. Smell of vanilla and caramel. Taste brings more vanilla with hints of coffee and caramel. Slightly boozy. This is an awesome beer.
bigabe (194) - California, USA - FEB 13, 2012
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Best Porter I have ever had. Huge vanilla bean nose, huge vanilla bean taste, then a chocolatey, slightly bitter coffee and berry finish. Unbelievable beer.