Ballast Point recently launched the availability of one of its flagship beers in 16 oz cans — Victory at Sea Imperial Porter, which was first brewed in 2007. (Ballast Point is in the process of shifting its entire portfolio from glass to cans at present.)
Brewed with coffee and vanilla, it’s a powerhouse at 10% abv. The beer kicks off with that fizzy, somewhat winey element that makes porter porter, a note of currants muscling an otherwise hefty malty haze. The coffee element kicks in shortly after, but it pairs fitfully with the brew’s aggressively bitter underbelly. The unmistakable finish of unsweetened coffee grounds gives the back end a much tougher, grittier character than expected. I was hoping to find in Victory at Sea a beer that would work well as an after-dinner offering, but ended up with a more traditional experience than lands somewhere, and indistinctly, between porter and stout, looking for a home.
B / $17 per four-pack / ballastpoint.com