We invaded Rip Current Brewery in San Marcos, CA to get our alien hands on their Imperial Porter, Vanilla Storm. Rip Current had a pre-sale bottle release for this beer, which sold out in just minutes. This barrel-aged treasure includes a blend of Kona and Sumatra coffees, and a mix of Madagascar vanilla beans. This delicious porter is barrel-aged for two years in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, and has an ABV of 10%. This beer has a base of Rip Current’s Kona Storm Coffee Porter, and is sweetened up a bit by the vanilla beans.
Appearance: This Imperial Porter pours a rich dark chocolate color in a glass. When held up to a light, you can see a slight dark amber color. There was little to no head on this beer, with the head being a light brown/khaki tone. We sampled this beer in a 6 ounce snifter glass.
Taste: The taste of this beer is truly a 10/10. It starts out with a kick of bourbon to the taste buds, and really warms the body when it goes down, which makes it a perfect beer for those colder fall evenings. This beer is definitely more on the sweet side of the scale, but its sweetness is not too overpowering. We also tasted vanilla, chocolate, and slight notes of caramel. The finish is light and on the dry side.
Smell: This Stout produces a warm bourbon-like aroma. We could also smell hints of caramel and toffee, and well as a slight vanilla aroma. We also smelled a slight toffee and Nutella-like note.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on the Vanilla Storm is very heavy, as most rich Stouts are. There was also a lower level of carbonation as well.
Overall, this beer was one of our favorites from Rip Current. Being a special release brew, Vanilla Storm is not available year-round, so make sure you swing by Rip Current before they run out. We will be back for more!
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