Thanks, Sample Man! Once again, a bottle reaches my hands that I haven't touched in many years. For the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, we go back to notes from February, 2006, nearly 11 years ago. I think I knew what I was talking about then, so let's hear what I had to say:
An interesting label on this one, with some obtuse, too-clever-by-half phrasing. Beneath the words "Vanilla Porter", they proclaim: "Seldom Seen. Never Duplicated." Huh? Does that even make sense?
And, bookending the larger body of the design, at top and bottom, two words that try to belong together and prove the writer's great wit, yet fall flat. "Remarkable" ..."Partakable"...oh, kay...is partakable a word, even? And, do they know these words don't rhyme, exactly, for that seems their only purpose in pairing them.
Basically, they want to say, "It's different, and you can drink it."
So, let's see about that...
Big vanilla aromatics waft out from first crack of the crown.
Pours out a deep, dark brown, with a sliver of crimson at the sides, a meager, but loyal cocoa / tan head. Good.
Roasty nose, swiftly dominated by sweet vanilla. Light hints of coffee below, glimmers of chocolate. Pleasing, yes, but not overpowering, nor especially outstanding.
Chalky, flaky cocoa feel from the start, like a dusting of chocolate powder...rinses the mouth with a smattering of sweetness, then dashes away. Medium, at best, in body, a bit too light for me...vanilla bean flavor clings to the palate and pushes away the other flavors that may reside in the taste. Gets sweeter as we go in, a bit too much for me, actually.
Probably the best vanilla porter I've tried, but I'm still not crazy about the style.
I like more porter, less vanilla.
Editor's note: I wrote this way before the vanilla/coconut craze. These days, any infusion drives the geeks crazy, lord love 'em.