ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - AUG 25, 2012
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler pint glass.
A: Pours a moderately dark ruby red color that’s almost translucent - it’s easy to forget that this is one of the lighter porters on the market. The head is an impressively thick one finger light mocha color with solid retention. Nice webbed rings of lacing are left on the glass.
S: Decently smoky, with a little maltiness (though not necessarily roasted) and fruit. The vanilla almost smells detached from the rest of the beer, almost like it was added seperately. Kind of weird, but not exactly bad.
T: Okay, THERE’S the vanilla. The way it opens the beer, it really just steamrolls over the notes of light smoke, bittersweet chocolate, and darker fruits the base beer provides. There’s a strange finishing acridness that’s kind of harsh and phenolic at times. In addition, the vanilla is kind of weird and unpleasantly artificial tasting, further hurting its balance. I’m just not feeling this at all, it’s really imbalanced in general. On the plus side, it improves somewhat as I continue to finish it (a trend I seem to notice in smoked beers).
M: Nothing too wrong here; it has a light texture and a wet finish, but the hints of plastic on the taste kind of makes the back of the tongue tingle unpleasantly. It’s easy enough to drink, I guess. Low carbonation.
O: This beer is just one big "feh" from me. The vanilla isn’t too well integrated, and it majorly detracts from an otherwise solidly good porter. The chipotle version seems to be far more up my alley; so I’ll have to try that one out. As for this one? Give it a miss.
kramer (5611) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 24, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours a clear brown body with a nice frothy light brown head that had excellent retention. The nose is pretty nice, certainly more vanilla than smoke, with some nice chocolate malt character and some slight roast. The flavor is a little too overpowered by the vanilla and really doesn’t allow the smoke to come out at all. It tastes a little unnatural. At least there isn’t an over abundance of hops in this Stone beer. There’s an eerie taste similarity to vanilla coke actually. Light to medium bodied with fizzy active carbonation. I really like the regular Smoked Porter, but this doesn’t have a whole in common with it. Wouldn’t buy this one again.
pras (558) - Maryland, USA - AUG 24, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pitch black with a nice fluffy head. Aroma is of malt and vanilla. Flavor is of dark malt and vanilla. Vanilla really shines through. Then there is a nice hop punch at the end.
bblack99 (527) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - AUG 24, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle from a recent Colorado trip. Dark brown pour with reddish edges in the light and a moderate, fluffy beige head. Aroma is intoxicating, nicely balanced between smoked, charred wood and sweet fresh vanilla. Unfortunately, the vanilla bean doesn’t come through in the flavor nearly as much as I had hoped. I just had a Vanilla Porter from Dry Dock in Aurora, Colorado and the MASSIVE amounts of real vanilla bean in it fill the palate much more than this brew from Stone. Tasty smoked porter, but not much different from the original.
Sikash (240) - North Carolina, USA - AUG 24, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice dark color with a creamy off tan head that doesn’t last too long but leaves great lacing. Has is a nice vanilla chocolate aroma with not too much smokiness. Flavor is a nice blend of malt, vanilla, and chocolate with an underlying bitter tone with a nice smokey flavor. Mouthfeel is medium body with good carbonation. Overall a decent beer would buy again.
gramity (1584) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 24, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
RBAG Summer Session 2012. Pours a deep brown with a foamy tan head. It has a strong aroma of vanilla with a bit of smoke and malt. It has a sweet and smokey flavor up front and in the middle, with a semisweet chocolate aftertaste and smooth body.
scooter520 (185) - - AUG 23, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark brown with ruby tints and medium sudsy khaki head. Aroma of toasted malts, coffee, some vanilla and some smoke. Tastes of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, smoke ending with lingering smoky bitter coffee taste. Mouthfeel is fairly thin but creamy and low carbonation. Overall this is a very well done porter with nice balanced qualities of which none are overbearing. Would like mouthfeel a little thicker.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
PGHbeer77 (571) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 22, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. Bottle. Vanilla up front to coffee scent. Foamy tan head over black to film to ring. Medium body, silky feel. Vanilla front to coffee to sweet cream vanilla, almost like Tiramasu.
onedawger (60) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 22, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. The pour was a thick murky dark brown with a slight reddish hue and a large (2-3 finger) light tan rocky head that dissipated slowly down to a large cap with some good spotty lacing. The aroma was of roasted chocolate and crystal malts with a bitter leathery yeast and had notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, cask, roasted coffee, and a mild smoky odor. The taste was quite malty and lightly sweet with hints of chocolate and vanilla throughout with the finish being a tad bitter and having a nice strong note of coffee towards the end. The flavor lasted an long enjoyable time, with a mildly bitter coffee taste left to settle on the taste buds. Mouthfeel was medium in body and nice and creamy in texture with a ever so soft carbonation. Overall a good creamy robust tasting brew with a nice vanilla sweetness, which just added to this pleasurable drinking experience…
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 20, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.
Pours a deep dark brown color that’s almost black and completely opaque with faint mahogany edges and a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.
Slightly smokey, roasted malt aroma with sweet and roasted malt notes countered by silky vanilla sweetness. Vanilla is prominent but doesn’t overpower other notes allowing hints of dark chocolate, caramel, toast and oatmeal to come through.
Medium bodied with a strong smokey, roasted malt presence up front that lingers over the sweetner notes and vanilla bean into a very dry finish. Very robust with dark chocolate, oatmeal and burnt toast countered by toffee, lighter chocolate and hazelnut. The sweetness from the vanilla cuts the bitter roasted character with a decent amount of silky sweetness. Good vailla flavor but is somewhat subtle letting the characteristics of the base beer shine. Was expecting more vailla but it’s subtly integrated and shows most toward the finish. Could use a little more vanilla but is still really good.