Dining & Drink

Beer Or Sticky Syrup?

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STAFF PHOTO: J.T. WAMPLER

Wamp’s Wisdom

Breckenridge Brewery’s Vanilla Porter is a 4.7 percent alcohol beer from Breckenridge, Colo.
It pours with a lively cream colored head that leaves persistent lacing down at least three sips, which is as far as I could get. Color is a dark, nut-brown that I could still easily read a newspaper headline through. Aroma is sweet with vanilla and molasses coming to mind. The first taste that hit me was a sticky, sweet vanilla chocolate. The body is thin and without character, with neither malt or hops rising to grab attention. Thank goodness a few spirit purveyors sell build-your-own six packs. It would suck to commit to a sixer of this beer.
If I had brewed this, I’d be embarrassed to call it a porter. A proper porter is black as a tar barrel and should have enough roasty personality to step up and demand your attention. This beer has neither complexity nor distinction. It seems a sad attempt to make a unique twist on a classic style, but it disappoints on every level.
Rating: 2 caps

Rico’s Reaction

Through a combination of Wamp’s beer knowledge and some good luck, we’ve sampled some great tasting brews over the past few months.
This is not one of them.
When Beer O’ The Week began, I knew I’d have to face Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter again at some point. With my eye always drawn to the odd and unusual, I spotted the Vanilla Porter a couple of years ago and was stoked about giving it a try. Enthusiasm, however, disintegrated into “Blergh!” as fast as a mosquito on the receiving end of an RPG.
Subtle this beer ain’t. Overly sweet to begin with, this beer’s cloying nature ratchets up the saccharine factor like an out-of-control logarithm shooting straight up a y-axis of sugar-infused insanity. I finished one and then the rest of that six-pack sat in my fridge for months until I managed to give it away.
So, when we picked a bottle of Vanilla Porter for review, it was with the full knowledge it wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience. In my mind, I was cackling evilly and chanting “zero caps.”
But it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I cheated a little bit — having a beer I liked first to dull the horror of the ensuing tasting and dumping the Vanilla Porter in a cold mug that’d spent a week chilling in the freezer. The result? The palate annihilating experience I’d expected didn’t happen. It reminded me of drinking an OK root beer float.
Don’t get me wrong — I still don’t think this beer is good and I wouldn’t recommend Vanilla Porter to anyone except someone who likes chugging 12 ounces of maple syrup for enjoyment. That said, I’m not going to give it the ripping I fully expected to deliver or the longed for rating of zero caps.
Rating: 2 caps

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