sjjn (7) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 26, 2013 does not count
Dark as the midnight sea, cappes by a few tan breakers. Aroma of super rich espresso, some Oreo cookie, a slight sour tinge. Flavor is roasty with a growing bitterness. I like it. Miked1687 (608) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 26, 2013
Pours black with a minimal khaki head. Smells heavy on coffee and roasted malts. Vanilla and booze in the background. Tastes sweet up front, some hops to balance, and lots of coffee. Vanilla isn’t as heavy in the flavor as I’d hope it was going to be, but it’s there. A little bitter in the aftertaste, where most of the vanilla is. Thick, mouth coating. Good stuff. jbruner (5289) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JAN 25, 2013
Pours a thick black from the bottle with fluffy tan head that dissipates to leave good lacing. Aroma of coffee and roasted malts, with an overlying vanilla note. Taste follows, with more bitter coffee than sweet vanilla though. Pretty good, a little unbalanced. fiulijn (21274) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 25, 2013
Draught at REAL A Gastropub, Honolulu, HIJonathan_E (21) - Orange, California, USA - JAN 24, 2013
Black color with persistent beige head, creamy. Good aroma of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is smooth and round; good flavor of roasted malt and chocolate, quite rich, with a hint of coffee; very strong bitterness (also from the roasted malts) with some hop qualities in the background. Long final, with some alcohol.
A very interesting beer, almost a coffee liquor.
On tap at Hollingshead’s Delicatessen in Orange, CA. Served in a stemmed goblet.
Waves of warm espresso waft in even before landing in front of me. A mere preamble to the intensity of aromatics present. Straight from the roaster espresso conjures images of beans as dark and glistening as a beetle’s back along with Irish cream.
Like the label suggests, the head is reminiscent of a thin skin of midnight sea fog that settles into the charcoal black surface. Razor-thin lacing crept down the glass.
Not as overwhelming with espresso as the fragrance suggests, the flavors are more extensive. Chocolate covered raisin melts into creme de cassis and dark raspberry liqueur. Bitter baking chocolate provides a good balance to an otherwise decadent draught.
Chewy and mouth-filling, the palate is more akin to taking a bite of German chocolate cake than drinking.
stevencon (525) - Sarasota, Florida, USA - JAN 23, 2013
Deep black point and tan head. Coffee chocolate vanilla aroma. Similar taste more roasted bitterness. Dry finish light sour finish I enjoy with porters. Hides the alcohol really well. User134089 (1644) - - JAN 23, 2013
Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Oversized wine glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif.
Purchased: Dec. 27, 2012
Consumed: Jan. 23, 2013
Misc.: Enjoy by 12/10/13
Poured a black color with two fingers of bubbly tan head. Lots of thick, sporadic, foamy lacing on the sides. Good retention on the top.
Smelled very bitter coffee malts up front. Also strong notes of toffee, caramel and dark chocolate, and a light whiff of vanilla.
Tasted a smoother, milder version of the smell. Got bitter coffee malts, dark chocolate, Oreo cookie, smoky fire, roasty malts and burnt toast. Alcohol is well hidden. Nowhere near as good as the smell.
Full body. Slick-to-thick texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. Got better as it went down. Toffee and caramel really come through, and even got some light vanilla notes late.
I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I saved this beer for the longest out of any of the others I purchased on Dec. 27. Good, but not great. baraciisch (3383) - California, USA - JAN 22, 2013
Dark brown in color with rich brown tan head... Aroma of chocolate malts and coffee... Flavor is intensely rich, tons of chocolate notes with a finish of coffee bitterness... Superb beer ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2013
Reviewed 12/31/2012. Thanks to Momar42 for the bottle share! Part of a 22 oz bottle poured into a Hunahpu’s snifter. Notes from last night’s Skins/Cowboys game.
A: Pours a nicely opaque black color. The head is a one finger offwhite color with decent levels of lacing on the glass.
S: Lots of vanilla to start off - and I’m impressed by how naturally it comes off, as well. After that comes a moderate coffee profile...and then after that, tons of chocolaty dark (not necessarily roasted) malts. Not the greatest aroma ever, but I really like how it evolves in its layering.
T: The very first sip is a little harsh with vanilla, though it will smooth out after a few more sips. I really enjoy the layering of the flavors; first vanilla, than subtle mocha coffee, and finally a chocolate and licorice finish. There’s a vegetal component in there that I feel harms the balance. Quite good, apart from the overboard vanilla bittersweetness - but some aging will tone it down nicely.
M: The finish is pure sticky, wet sweetness, which fits what this tries to accomplish as a dessert beer. I could do without the slight sugar burn, though. In general, it’s lighter in texture and more sharply carbonated than a typical imperial stout - but its best feature is how superbly the alcohol is hidden. I didn’t get a look at the ABV on the bottle, but I could easily guess it to be 5.5% rather than 10%.
O: I hope it was just palate fatigue from drinking a quartet of sours before hand, because this was a bit of a letdown. Regardless, this a damn solid dessert beer that can become a really great one after the vanilla fades some. This wipes the floor with certain vanilla porters that will remain nameless, at least.
rangerred (989) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - JAN 21, 2013
Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.
Pours pitch black and reminds me of used motor oil. Not much in the way of a head but the wisps of lacing left on the sides of the glass is truly impressive considering the abv.
The aroma is extremely pleasant and soft. Dark roast coffee and some light hints of caramel. The vanilla is there but it is very subtle, much more so than any other vanilla flavored beer I have had before. Dark chocolate is also mixed in. Sort of reminds me of a mocha coffee drink.
The flavor is even more impressive and substantial than the aroma. The vanilla is extremely subtle and well-integrated becoming most apparent immediately after the sip. Dark roast coffee and vanilla quickly followed by a shot of caramel. Bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate and espresso followed then by more vanilla and moderate sweetness. Mouthfeeel is on the sticky side and there is a little bit of tannic bitterness on the roof of the mouth.
Overall, an extremely well done coffee vanilla porter. For once the vanilla is not overdone and is perfectly integrated. A sipper for sure but perfect for the cold winter months and one to savor over the course of an evening.