I got home late the other night and as I was walking from my car I took a deep breath and consciously enjoyed the warm, but cooler summer weather we've been experiencing the last few days; I immediately thought to myself that this was the kind of night that I could enjoy the Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewing that I had picked up a bottle of at Old Town Wine & Spirits.
I had been especially looking forward to drinking this beer because porters tend to be one of my preferred styles, and the idea of the hints of chocolate mixed with notes of vanilla from real vanilla beans grown in Paupau New Guinea & Madagascar was really getting me intrigued. So when I got inside I got comfy, grabbed a beer glass, and popped the top. It poured with virtually no head which normally would concern me some, but the aroma of vanilla hit me and I forgave it quickly. Neither the vanilla nor chocolate/coffee notes were overpowering and played well together. It wasn't an overly heavy porter either and I remember thinking that though it was heavier than a wheat beer, it wasn't really too heavy for summer drinking...maybe because of the vanilla? Weighing in at 4.7% ABV and 16 IBU's, the Vanilla Porter is a beer that is not going to knock you on your butt after a couple.
Both Ratebeer.com and Beeradvocate.com give the Vanilla Porter a fairly solid rating (74 out of 100 & a B- respectively), and I would tend to agree. It wasn't the best porter I'd ever had, but at the same time I'd drink it again and again without qualm. Beeradvocate.com suggests pairing it, food wise, with BBQ, chocolate desserts, smoked or grilled meats, & brie, gouda, havarti, and swiss cheeses. The Breckenridge website even has a recipe for a Vanilla Porter Milkshake that sounds worth trying on a nice, summer night and I see plenty of those on the horizon.
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