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Ballast Point Victory at Sea

A coffee vanilla imperial porter from Ballast Point Brewery.

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Victory at Sea sinks the competition.

  • Feb 24, 2010
  • by
In last week’s beer fest report, I forgot to mention one particularly tasty sample: Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea. From what I heard after the festival, this coffee vanilla imperial porter upstaged many of the other beers. Unfortunately I didn’t remember what it tasted like (even though I did try it — probably late in the afternoon), so I rushed out to buy a bottle. And, because fortune favors the bold, I still bought it after seeing the label art, which doesn’t scream victory: It depicts a skeleton succumbing to a stormy sea whilst wearing one of those Jack Sparrow wig-hats from Disneyland (where pillaging is fun for the whole family!). Maybe they were going for irony.

I tilt the bottle, and stoutish liquid fills my glass. Victory at Sea looks dense. Blacker than the waters of the Challenger Deep. And the smell — it’s a treasure trove of dark chocolate and rich vanilla. My first sip adds sharp malt and bitter coffee to the list of flavors. As it warms, the vanilla expands and irons out the bitterness, enhancing the brew’s creamy body and lingering in the aftertaste for ages. If it weren’t for the alcohol content — which actually lacks bite for 10% ABV — I’d be tempted to call this a vanilla frappuccino porter. And I mean that as a compliment.

Yar! Here be a bottle that ain’t easily sunk. (Metaphor disclaimer: Don’t go tossing yours into a lake or ocean for proof.) Complex yet highly drinkable, Victory at Sea should delight newbies and beer nerds alike. I hadn’t tried many Ballast Point beers before this one — probably because of their odd, fish-themed labels — but this porter has made a fan of me.

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Scott Miller ()
Ranked #336
Member Since: Nov 20, 2009
Last Login: Jul 12, 2010 03:06 AM UTC
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About this beer


On the bottle:

Two of the world's oldest beverages join forces to conquer your palate. Victory at Sea embodies the art of masterful brewing by infusing a velvety Imperial Porter with pure vanilla flavor and specially selected, hand roasted coffee. The addition of cold brewed coffee to the the beer lends a subtle roasted flavor, blending perfectly with rich vanilla and and caramel undertones. By uniting two San Diego brewing traditions, Caffe Calabria freshly brewed coffee and Ballast Point beer, we have successfully created an artisanal masterpiece.

Brewery: Ballast Point
Style: Imperial Porter
ABV: 10%
Glassware: Snifter, Mug/Stein
Serving Temp: 5o° F
Price Range: $7-$8 per 22 oz. bottle
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Beer, Ale, Porter, Ballast Point


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