Crossing the Bridge to Better Beer
A Review of Vanilla Porter by Breckenridge Brewery
Posted on 7/9/2011 by Chops
                   
Great
Ah yes, it's time to revisit BrewChief's birthday with one of our inspirational brews. Back in early 2011, my co-founder and I were sitting at Dain's Place in Durham, NC enjoying some delicious nectar and pondering an idea: establish a community website dedicated to brew reviewing. That glorious idea became BrewChief.com, and aiding that special moment were two inspirational brews, one of which was the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter.

This beer is a study in transformation. To create Vanilla Porter, Breckenridge utilizes vanilla beans harvested straight from the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Madagascar. Without this added ingredient, the porter side can definitely stand on it's own as a solid porter. All the major characteristics are met. It has a deep brown coloration with a reddish hue around the edges. The aroma is crisp and sweet with various notes of caramels, chocolates and toffees. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth. All those lovely aromas return for the taste, coupled with a roasted nuttiness. As a straight up porter, this beer is quite solid and delicious.

And then you factor in those vanilla beans. Wow. This beer transforms from solid porter to delectable surprise. Those luscious aromas get cocooned in a thin shell of sweet vanilla. That first sip is a blast of vanilla, coating all those delicious flavors in a layer of sweetened goodness. The mouthfeel takes on a rich and creamy personality, which I feel adds a delightful character to the beer. The finish morphs into this light and airy vanilla blanket, very similar to a latte. What was once a roasted malty porter has become a creamy easy drinker, all thanks to those savory vanilla beans.

Overall, Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter is a delicious brew and a fabulous interpretation of the porter style. Sometimes you will hear us talking about ''bridges to better beer.'' These are the beers that offer novices a smooth, flavorful and pain-free insight into the land of quality microbrews. In this arena, Vanilla Porter is a champion. I can recommend this to any level of beer fan, but especially to the novices. It might not be a world class porter, but I can promise you that you will never grow tired of it.

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Vanilla Porter by Breckenridge Brewery
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