2017 High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Rating: 6/6

2017 High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea by Ballast Point Brewing Company is a 12% ABV Imperial Porter aged in High West Whiskey


Our Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.


Awesome oak and vanilla whiskey goodness

2016 Stone RuinTen w/ Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean by Stone Brewing

13909378_488827764646664_1622734632841345945_o 13895122_488827774646663_170462034375170579_nRating: 5.55/6

2016 Stone RuinTen w/ Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean by Stone Brewing is a 10.8% ABV Triple India Pale Ale brewed with Orange peel and vanilla beans

A mosh pit of hops, Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean.

This version of Stone RuinTen Triple IPA imagines orange peel and vanilla bean being caught moshing with the hardcore hop legend. Its original inspiration starts back with our decision to take the 2002 release of Stone Ruination IPA and make it into an even hoppier monstrosity in 2012 for its 10th Anniversary. Soon after its release, the nickname “RuinTen” began to circulate, and eventually stuck. No sooner did we sell out the special release that our fans began to clamor for more of this veritable hop monster, and from their noise the annual RuinTen release was born. Not being ones to not mess with a good thing, we decided to add two new ingredients to produce this modern-day mosh pit of hops: orange peel and vanilla bean. The result is a melee of flavor. Dive in, or watch from the seats. Your call. You’ll find us in the pit.


Ruin Ten is an awesome brew ever since I bought the original Ruination so very long ago. Ruination, a tongue ruining bitter burning hoppy decimator that would last for more than 30 minutes. It was a staple for me and a true Golden Standard for the IPA style. Since the release of the original RuinTen, it had been upgraded to newer golden standard, this time, for double/triple IPAs. As newer IPAs were released and new hop strains, they had to evolve from the golden standard and so Ruination 2.0 came out. With this year’s RuinTen I am not sure if they based it off the original RuinTen which I believe should still be the original recipe. This year however, they made a twist by adding the Orange Peel and Vanilla. There was definitely no way I would miss putting this one to the site for such an awesome variant. Let’s take a look and see what this one is about. Cheers!

Tropical fruit mango, papaya, pineapple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, kiwi, strawberry, Sweet oranges, lemon grass, honey, vanilla, citrus, grapefruit, piney, herbal, floral, and grassy hops, stone fruit peach, cane sugar, sweetened condensed milk, orange flan hints, tangerine spread and green tea.

Sweet oranges, honey, vanilla, citrus, grapefruit, piney, herbal, floral, and grassy hops, lemon grass, lemon peel, kumquats, persimmon, grape notes, lychees, tropical fruit mango, papaya, pineapple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, kiwi, strawberry, rich tangerine gummies, butterscotch, caramel orange, stone fruit peach, cane sugar, sweetened condensed milk, orange flan hints, tangerine spread on toasted rye bread, biscuit bread, orange cream sickle, hazelnut hints, green tea and orange ice cream, orange cream pie and lavender.

Finishes dry with vanilla, sweetened condensed milk,citrus, caramel, orange creamsickle and piney hops. No alcohol in the taste, golden honey clear color, creamy, smooth, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and easy to drink despite the ABV.

Continuous ruination and sweetening of the tongue cause the craving for more. Smooth and exceptionally delicious, this brew was definitely a winner in my book. The subtle creaminess from the vanilla also adds a very nice complexity to mellow out the crazy hop burn. Some people may love this. I highly recommend this one without a doubt!

Anime Corner:
Ultimate evolution Hera from Puzzles and Dragons was used in this pairing as I wanted to find a character that would fit the colors of the new RuinTen evolution, the orange and vanilla, the gargoyle and the fact that I used the blue skinned Zabel Zarock/Lord Raptor female version from Dark stalkers. All of which represented Ruination to the now RuinTen with the oranges and vanilla.


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

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.

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. 

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

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

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

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.