Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean by Stone Brewing

1526357_10101585218940500_1295748159_n 1496668_10101585219499380_1425887842_n 1513249_10101585219309760_2101571026_nRating: 3.9/5

Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean by Stone Brewing is a 5.9% ABV American Porter brewed with Vanilla Beans

Label:
In 2006, almost exactly 10 years after we first released Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Small Batch Brewer Laura Ulrich had a brilliant idea: What if she added whole Madagascar vanilla beans to a small batch of the finished beer? And voilá, Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean was born! It was an instant hit, as the resulting flavor combinations – rich vanilla melding with the malty, chocolatey, coffee-like characteristics of the beer-were practically made for each other. Originally available only as an occasional growler fill or on tap all-too-briefly at special events or in our restaurant, this exquisite creation was released in a single bottle run for the first time in 2012, much to the delight of its many fans… who instantly began clamoring for more. Your voices have been heard.
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This is the latest release from Stone Brewing for the 2013 winter season. This is the second time I try and review this beer as the last time I tried it was was in a 12 ounce bottle. Back then, this one was very good. So I hope this one is just as awesome. This will see national distribution wherever stone beer is located. 

Aromas:
Roasted coffee notes, rich vanilla cream, mocha, dark chocolate, notes of campfire smoke, dulce de leche caramel, oak, molasses, brown sugar and earthy hops.

Flavors:
Roasted coffee, campfire smoke, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, subtle vanilla, caramel, molasses, hints of anise, brown sugar, earthy hops, licorice and hints of marshmallow

Aftertaste:
Smoke, earthy hops, roasted coffee grains, vanilla and dark chocolate. No alcohol in the taste with easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
This is a very good beer. While it hit a lot of good notes, for some reason, the vanilla wasn’t as strong as the one I got last year. It does not take away from the deliciousness of the beer. Expect a great porter but don’t expect overwhelming vanilla bean. Some people may like the fact that it is close to a milk stout with that extra vanilla goodness but others will definitely like the smokey aspect. 

Anime Corner:
Hera from Puzzle and Dragons is a demon character in that series. My reason for pairing her with the Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans is due to the fact that the artwork compliments the label colors of the beer but also represents the Stone Gargoyle protecting the good flavors and eliminating impurities. Hera’s hair is crimson red representing the fire that is used to roast the malts which gives it the smokey flavors but she also a bit of yellow on some of her hair bangs not to mention that she is alluring which brings the vanilla sweet flavors into play. Alluring drinkers who expect full vanilla but then see the smokey aspect first if not brought to the proper temperature.

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