egajdzis (6692) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 23, 2012
Dark brown color with a small, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, vanilla bean, espresso, and smoked wood. Taste was overly smokey, charred wood, roasted notes, with lighter vanilla bean. Carbonation was a little on the higher side. Braudog (6803) - Yorktown, Virginia, USA - SEP 23, 2012
Bottle. Deep midnight red, nearly opaque. The head is milky and thick. The vanilla beans dominate the aroma, sweet and bakery-like. Similarly, the flavor is almost all vanilla, finishing with a sweet/bitter bite. I don’t sense the smokiness behind it at all; instead this is a full-on sweet porter. Underwhelming IMHO. (#4788, 9/23/2012) dfhhead25 (251) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 23, 2012
Aroma- charcoal, soy sauce, vanilla extract, oak
Appearance- murky brown with a wisp of a white head
Taste- smoke, barbecue, sharp vanilla, slight chocolate, roasted notes
Palate- medium-light body, not right for the style
Overall- Strange. Part of me enjoyed it and the other part was confused. There are two distinct parts to this beer. The smoked element and the vanilla element. Instead of mixing them together they somehow made the beer present itself in two acts. Definitely different. JStax (7123) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - SEP 23, 2012
Poured from a refrigerated bottle into a brandy snifter. Pours a darker brown with a whitish colored head of foam. The head on the vanilla bean variant is much lighter in color than that of the chipotle pepper variant. The aroma is very sweet and overloaded with vanilla beans. If your not a vanilla person, you really will not like this beer. Taste is almost all vanilla bean with just a presence of porter. The smoky notes don’t really come through in this one like they do the original or the chipotle pepper variant. Johnsense (1734) - - SEP 22, 2012
Black pour, 2 fingers of slightly offwhite head. Smoke in the aroma, slight vanilla, a bit woody, bitter chocolate. Taste of Vanilla bean, wood, dark cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, slightly thin, but still fairly good.
GODiSSOUTHERN (390) - Virginia, USA - SEP 22, 2012
Pours medium dark brown. Aroma is like sticking your nose in a jar of vanilla beans. Taste follows with equally strong vanilla, really capturing its essence. The smoke which usually overrides other flavors plays a nice backing role in this one. Nice harmonious flavors. davey101 (751) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 21, 2012
Trying side by side against the Chipotle. 2012, 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.
A - Very dark brown body that lets just the slightest bit of light through to reveal a red tinge. Thin light tan head with some edging and a splotchy cap. Decent lacing and retention.
S - Smokey and sweet. Certainly roasted and smoked malts, a bit of milk chocolate and coffee beans, and a pleasant vanilla warmth. Has a very candy like aroma. Milk Duds maybe?
T - Smoked malts, milk chocolate, lingering but faint vanilla sweetness. Pleasant but simple. Mouth feel is on the thin side.
O - Not a bad beer. The vanilla is certainly present, but in an almost candy like fashion. I do prefer the excitement that the chipotle version brings though. User218136 (2) - - SEP 20, 2012 does not count
Pervasive vanilla in all aspects, slight smoke cleans up the slight sweetness, great vanilla nose with lightly sweet dark fruits, poor head retention, but mmmmmm vanilla adam42381 (386) - Fort Myers, Florida, USA - SEP 20, 2012
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Enjoy by 9/20/12 etched on label. Thanks to iHeartBeer247 for this one. Drinking it on it’s best by date.
Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut brown with a 1 finger light tan head. Nice lacing. Not quite as dark as I’d expect from a porter.
Smell: Sweet vanilla, milk chocolate and smokey malt.
Taste: Milk chocolate and a bit of vanilla bean up front followed by semi-sweet chocolate in the middle before ending with a nice combination of smokey malt and bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is dry, fairly bitter and a little smokey with just a hint of vanilla peaking through.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: Very good drinkability. Goes down quite smooth. You could easily drink multiples, especially on a cool evening (which this is not).
Overall: Very good beer overall. I’m very happy that I was able to try this one. The aroma was better than the flavor, but that’s not saying the flavor wasn’t quite good. I really enjoyed this one and I hope they bring it back (and ship some to this part of Florida). I’d definitely recommend trying this one if you get the chance. superspak (5871) - Waterford, Michigan, USA - SEP 18, 2012
12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/20/2012. Pours slightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big vanilla bean, toffee, caramel, toasted malt, chocolate, cream, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, cream, light smoke, light citrus, and earthy hops. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, light smoke, and earthy spiciness. Nice balance of vanilla and roasted flavors with hop bitterness; no cloying flavors at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very nice vanilla porter. Nice amounts of vanilla flavor with good balance; very smooth to drink. Very enjoyable as expected.