Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dry Dock Vanilla Porter review

Dry Dock Vanilla PorterHere's a beer that should be perfect for the cooler months. Dry Dock Brewing Company of Aurora, Colorado is known for making a wide variety of award winning bottled, kegged and canned beers. This selection is none other than their Dry Dock Vanilla Porter. For this review this beer came out of a 22oz bomber bottle.

Here's how Dry Dock describes this beer: "We use over two pounds of real vanilla beans in each seven barrel batch to infuse this brown porter with amazing complexity and a smooth rich flavor. There is nothing subtle about this beer."

Dry Dock's Vanilla Porter weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 33 IBUs. Dry Dock was named Small Brewing Company of the Year at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. This beer won 6 medals at the Colorado State Fair from 2006 to 2011.

Some vanilla porters can be unbalanced if the right amount of vanilla beans aren't used. Seeing how the beer rating sites have been fairly kind to this beer, it should be a sampling worth noting. Here's how this beer stood up to a Fermentedly Challenged review.

Appearance: Dry Dock Vanilla Porter poured a dark, dark brown with some lighter brown highlights along the edge of the glass. There was a modest two-finger light brown head after the pour. The head left very little lacing and what was there ran slick along the edges. It looked lightly carbonated. Swirling the beer recovered a finger width of head each time.

Aroma: The instant the brew hit the glass, the air was filled with a huge vanilla nose! Later as it warmed, I could pick up some chocolate, and toffee notes. This beer's aroma almost reminded me of a graham cracker as well. The hops are well hidden due to the strong vanilla tones, but that won't matter.

Dry Dock Vanilla Porter close-upTaste: There was a lot going on with this porter. I got a mild roast, with a nutty taste - almost like a hazelnut spread. There were also some chocolate tones, toffee, with a mild bitterness and creamy feel, and a slight tangy tone. The beer had a medium body and left a slight tongue coating behind. Mixed with the big scent of vanilla, this beer seemed to go done very easily for me. I liked how this beer changed as it warmed from out of the fridge to just under room temperature. Best to let this one warm up a bit and you'll get most of the flavors right away.

Overall: An easy drinking vanilla porter. The highlight was just smelling this beer out of a fluted glass - love that vanilla aroma! The beer was low enough in alcohol that a full 22oz bomber didn't phase me much. Comparing to other vanilla porters I've had, this is definitely in the top half of them. I'd welcome another glass of this beer anytime.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer at my local liquor store.

Related articles:
- Dry Dock Double India Pale Ale review.
- Dry Dock Hefeweizen review.
- Dry Dock makes plans to expand. (2012)

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