Ballast Point Victory At Sea – High West Barrel-Aged

I couldn’t wait to open this beer. It’s gotten some really good reviews, so let’s see how it was.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “IMPERIAL PORTER WITH COFFEE AND VANILLA FLAVORS AGED IN HIGH WEST BOURBON AND RYE BARRELS. We partnered with our friends at High West® Distillery to create a barrel-aged version of Ballast Point Victory at Sea, our award-winning Imperial Porter with cold-steeped coffee and vanilla. From a blend of Ballast Point Victory at Sea aged in High West’s own bourbon & rye whiskey oak casks, new layers of complexity emerge with notes of soft caramel and smoky oak over a dark chocolate and roasted almond body. High West crafts delicious and distinctive whiskeys to honor the American West, making it the perfect pairing with our signature San Diego-born porter.”

Random: I’ve been avoiding Ballast Point beers since they got bought out, but I couldn’t walk past this one.

This beer poured with a finger and a half of tan head that dissipated slowly, but left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black with no carbonation visible. The nose was filled with dark coffee that bordered on espresso. Vanilla came through next, along with some warm bourbon and oak. The taste was intense. The booze was apparent up front, but was quickly countered by bourbon and vanilla and oak. It went into smoke and roasted malts with a touch of black licorice. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with bourbon. A bottle of this was $5.79, which came to $.48 per ounce. This beer was pricey but the bourbon barrel aging made it very impressive.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Manayunk King Crunch Imperial Porter

One of the things I liked most as a child was peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches. I used to have them every day in elementary school. I don’t think I could have them now because as I’ve gotten older, I really don’t like sweet things, but as a child, they were amazing. Hopefully the beer is just as good.

ABV: 9.1%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Satisfy your most aggresive cravings with King Crunch, our peanut butter and banana Imperial Porter brewed in honor of The King’s favorite sandwich. Both robust and creamy, your senses will delight with notes of creamy peanut butter and fresh ripe bananas.”

Random: This beer comes in at 38 IBUs.

The beer poured with a two finger, medium brown head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black. There was some carbonation visible, despite how dark the beer was. The nose was a combination of dark roasted malt, milk chocolate, peanut butter and bananas. The taste started with some booze, but quickly went into milk chocolate. There was also roasted malts and smoke. There was peanut butter and banana next. The body was really thick and chewy with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sweet finish with peanut butter and chocolate. I purchased this beer awhile ago, so I have no clue how much I paid for it. I didn’t hate this beer, but I couldn’t see myself having more than one because of the sweetness.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cypress Vanilla Imperial Porter

Val and I are watching some of the newest season of “Will and Grace.” I think I like it more because it’s nostalgic than because the new season is actually good. I really want to like it, but it’s a reach for me. At least they have some cameos from Saturday Night Live actors. Anyways, this is a relatively local beer that I picked up. I haven’t read any reviews about it, so let’s see how it was.

ABV: 8.3%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Imperial Porter aged on Madagascar Vanilla Beans.”

Random: The brewery website has very little information about the beers itself. I wish it had more detail.

The beer poured with a four finger, light brown head. It was loose and dissipated quickly, but left limited lacing on the glass. The body was clear and dark brown. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with vanilla extract along with milk chocolate. There was also a touch of smoke from the malt as well. The taste had a decent bite from the booze. It quickly went into milk chocolate and a significant vanilla note. There was light smoke from the malt as well. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with chocolate. A pounder can of this was $3.50, which came to $.22 per ounce. I thought this beer was alright, but it was really one note for me. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Cape May King Porter Stomp

One of the best parts of Hawaii was taking a boat trip on the Na Pali coast. We had relatively good weather until the end and the scenery was amazing. We saw all sorts of waterfalls and saw a bunch of humpback whales, which I definitely wasn’t expecting. We saw 10 in the ocean and since it was the end of the season, I didn’t expect to see any. We saw them jumping out of the water and hitting their tails against the water. It was awesome. Anyways, beer…

ABV: 7.4%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The smooth notes of natural chocolate in King Porter Stomp are in perfect syncopation with the five different malts that provide the bass line of this robust beast. Medium-bodied with a chocolate aroma, King Porter Stomp is smooth as jazz.”

Random: I’m really enjoying “Blue Planet II.”

The beer poured with a finger of tan head. It went away quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with some visible carbonation. The nose had the normal porter notes of dark chocolate, licorice and dark coffee. The taste was more towards chocolate than anything else. It also had roasted malts, licorice, black coffee and a touch of caramel sweetness at the end. The body was on the lighter side of porter with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with chocolate. A bottle was $2.17, which broke down to $.18 per ounce. This was a decent porter that didn’t pull any punches.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Captain Lawrence Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version)

Tonight’s selection is a beer that I picked up directly from the brewery. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “After working at some of the top breweries, including Sierra Nevada, Scott Vaccaro decided to open Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., in Pleasantville NY back in 2006. He started out with a small 15 barrel brew house and would bring kegs of beer down to the city in his Volkswagon Jetta to spread the flow of beer out to the masses. From those humble beginnings in Pleasantville, Scott’s New York craft beer started getting a lot of attention, and demand for his drinks began to grow. In 2012 Captain Lawrence, moved into its new digs in Elmsford NY, almost tripling the production space with a 40 barrel brew house and larger fermenting tanks. But more important was the installation of the bottling line. Bottled Captain Lawrence was few and far between, but because of the new installation, Scott was finally able to bottle his great ales to sell in stores.”

Random: Why is “Lip Sync Battle” so addictive?

The beer poured with a one finger, light brown head. It took awhile to go away, but left limited lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black in color. There was no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose had roasted malts, brown bread and a lot of smoke. There was also a hint of apple, I assume from the barrel aging. The taste started off with an intense amount of smoke. It quickly went into roasted malts and chocolate. The oak came through next with apple and vanilla and then went into a booze note. The body was on the thick side with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with booze and oak. I bought this beer directly from the brewery, so I don’t recall how much I paid for it, but this was an outstanding beer. The flavor was intense at the beginning, but once I got used to it, I really enjoyed it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Funky Buddha Last Snow

I love mini golf. I’m super competitive about it and there’s a course by my house that has 18 holes and is really challenging. I can’t wait until the weather is better and I can go back.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Last Snow Coconut & Coffee Porter is an ode to that special time in Florida where the needle dips just south of 75 – even for the briefest of moments. This rich, creamy porter is layered with coconut and freshly-roasted coffee for a taste that recalls a winter wonderland – even if, in our state, that’s just a state of mind.”

Random: This beer comes in at 35 IBUs and is available in bottles and on tap.

The beer poured with a four finger, light brown head. It took awhile to go away, but left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black with no visible carbonation due to color. The nose was filled with dark malts and coconut. The coconut reminded me of a candle or a shower gel, rather than actual coconut. The flavor started with an intense note of coconut. Much like the nose, it was artificial coconut. It also had some dark chocolate along with roasted malts and a touch of smoke. There was some coffee as well, but coconut was the dominant flavor. The body was on the lighter side of porter with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with coconut and coffee. Since this was a gift beer, I’m not sure what the price was. Either way, I liked the coconut flavor, I just wish that it was less of an artificial flavor.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Carton Ship Wreck Porter

Tonight’s beer is one that I have been aging for over a year in a waxed growler. Hopefully it stood up to the aging.

shipwreckporter

ABV: 10%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When our friends and neighbors at Brinley shipped us ten of the barrels used to make their Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum from their distillery on St. Kitts, we were given the opportunity to create a beer that would take advantage of wood rather than the other way around. We looked to coax complexity out of the marriage of a barrel’s soul and a brew’s potential, not just to bomb a huge beer with huge flavor. The rum that lives in these barrels for four years integrates its spice to the wood so well that it ends up reminiscent of a Bananas Foster. A sturdy brown honey porter seemed the best host to receive the ghosts from Shipwreck’s old home. We started with a base of deep malts looking for notes of coffee and chocolate, then enhanced them with the floral bouquet of local wildflower honey and the preservative strength of 10% ABV while keeping the body sensible. This was put in the casks to meld with the vanilla, wood, and spice notes, toned down by the oxidative effect of a year in the cellar. Drink Shipwreck Porter because a barrel should be so much more than a depth charge.”

Random: I’m not a big fan of rum.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly, but left limited lacing on the glass. It did leave a significant crown. The body was a dark brown, but some light was still getting through it. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with oak and rum, along with caramel that complemented the dark malt and smoke. The taste was soft for the ABV. The rum came through as the primary flavor, but it wasn’t abrasive. It had a certain sweetness that complemented the wood. The roasted malts and ash. It didn’t have a huge amount of bitterness. Vanilla came through at the end. The mouthfeel on this was silky and smooth. I’m not sure if a year on this helped or if it was this smooth initially, but it definitely worked for the beer. The carbonation was moderate, which was perfect for the beer. Since Val got the waxed growler for me last year, I have no idea what she paid for it, but this was a solid beer. It’s probably the best example I’ve seen of a rum barrel beer. I highly recommend this beer. It was perfection in a glass.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0