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Borderlands Noche Dulce Vanilla Porter
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RATINGS: 15   MEAN: 3.47/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.25   IBU: 16   EST. CALORIES: 213   ABV: 7.1%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
One way to describe this beer is “a dark beer for people who don’t like dark beers.” Another way is “delicious.” Notes of cocoa, espresso, and delicately roasted barley blend nicely with real Mexican vanilla from Arizona Vanilla Company. This medium bodied, highly sippable beer is quickly becoming a local favorite.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (10470) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 11, 2013
Draft. Poured a black color with an average frothy tan head that mostly lasted and produced excellent lacing. Moderate roasted dark malt and vanilla aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy toasted sweet flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate long duration. This is the good brew.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Lubiere (9790) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 12, 2013
A dark brown porter with a thin brown head. In aroma, a smooth chocolate malt with milk, coffee, and coconut. In mouth, a sweet grassy and herbaceous chocolate with vanilla, mocha, very sweet but not overbearing.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
daknole (8948) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - FEB 24, 2012
Damn right this is awesome! Nice dark brown pour, tan head. Aroma of vanilla, brownie batter, chocolate. Flavor is sweet, brownies, fudge, cocoa, just badass. Awesome stuff!

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
GT2 (8284) - San Diego County, California, USA - JUN 3, 2013
Tap at Pig and Pickle in Scottsdale AZ. Deep cola red looking black. Weak fizzing out foam. Nose is thicker vanilla extract, sugar, cola drink, mild plastic. Taste is moderately lactic sour, some dusty cocoa bitterness, more sweet vanilla. A tad artificial for me.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Aurelius (4062) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JUL 12, 2013
Nutty, sweet stout aroma. Very sweet and mildly astringent. Light roast, fruity, sugary. Medium body. Light coffee and sugar finish. O.H.S.O. Eatery & NanoBrewery, on tap.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2012
A vigorous pour from the growler produces a thick, two to three finger thick, well browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite black in appearance. Huge, over-the-top aromas of vanilla leap out of my glass; so much that this beer smells sticky sweet. Subtle porter notes are till noticeable in the finish though contributing a nice toasted nuttiness, milk chocolate and perhaps a hint of sweet coffee liquor. The sweetness and vanilla aromas become increasingly dominant as the beer warms up.

The beer has quite a bit more body than I was expecting from the websites description, rich bodied, though not quite cloying, there is a definite viscous quality to the texture and it certainly has some heft to it as it slides across the palate. The vanilla is of course the dominant flavor here, expressively so, but the base beer comes through a touch more than it does in the aroma. Porter flavors of roasted, coffee-like, burnt brown sugar, roasted lactose and somewhat burnt milk chocolate are all fairly noticeable, though clearly in a supporting role. As the beer warms up the vanilla really starts to accentuate the sweetness, this beer even becomes a bit cloying; this is most definitely a dessert-type beer. There is perhaps a hint of tartness to this beer, this is likely contributed by the ample roast malt / grain that is mostly hidden by the dominating vanilla character.

This beer is nothing likes its commercial description:

“There’s a huge misnomer that dark beers are heavy and bitter, and Borderlands is out to change this perception with Noche Dulce. Noche Dulce is smooth and light”.

While it certainly is not bitter, this is most definitely a sweet tasting, thick, dessert beer; I am actually quite glad about this, as I was a bit worried that a dry, light porter with ample vanilla just wouldn’t quite work. You definitely have to like vanilla to like this beer; it reminds me quite a bit of Southern Tier’s Crème Brulee, it is quite a bit of a smaller beer and this is most definitely a good thing as this beer manages to not be so over the top cloying and almost gross in its sweetness. One can actually drink a pint or two of this beer quite easily (at least if you like vanilla), and I am certainly enjoying this beer, even more than I thought I would. It might just be that this beer is actually more balanced at really cold temperatures; at least at temperatures I don’t usually prefer, I would almost suggest 40*F or cooler for this beer if you are after more of the base beer character. This is most definitely a “one” note beer, it has just enough supporting character to make it work, but this is all about the vanilla.

1.6
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 4/20
DiarmaidBHK (3387) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2013
Draft at World of beer Tempe. Pours black with a thin khaki head. Leaves some lacing in the glass. Has a lot of artificial smelling vanilla in the nose. Tastes of fake vanilla and burned malt. Finish lingers a bit which sucks since I hate the taste of this beer.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - FEB 28, 2012
12/2/11 borderlands vanilla porter at sonoran glass studio charity event... and many more after. Super dark. Nice mellow vanilla notes on top of a rich roasty porter. Light ash. Very nice. Rich but dry. Not sweet=nice in a vanilla porter! 8/4/8/4/16+

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BOLTZ7555 (2780) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - FEB 19, 2012
Sampled at the AZ Strong Beer Fest. Brown bordering black pour with a chestnut head. Nose of heavy vanilla, cocoa, roasted coffee, and brown sugar. Flavor also shows freshly split vanilla bean, brownie, fudge, and coffee. Fairly creamy mouthfeel. Not bad.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUN 15, 2012
On draught at Papago. Pours dark brown with a trim espresso head. Lots of carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass. Aroma has vanilla, cocoa and some roast. Taste is semi sweet with plenty of vanilla, cocoa and some coffee roast. Medium bodied-has more body than most porters-and is somewhat sticky because of the vanilla. Pretty tasty.


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