Roast coffee nose; bittersweet & malty on tongue; nutty mid; low carbonation; smooth; bitter finish.
When did “vanilla” start to define the mundane, the ordinary, the conventional? After all, there’s nothing vanilla about the history of this rare spice. First cultivated by the Totonacs, residents of what is now Veracruz, Mexico, the tlilxochitl (“black flower”) is said to have first grown on the spot where Princess Xanat, on the lam with a forbidden lover, was beheaded, the vanilla orchids and vines sprouting from where her blood fell.
Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea is a coffee vanilla imperial porter with a dreadlocked skeletal helmsman (complete with skeletal parrot) adorning its label. As a lifelong fan of undead pirates, I had to pick one up. But does the beer live up to the pure awesomeness of the artwork?