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Ballast Point – Victory at Sea – 95

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GRADE: 95

The bad ass bottle art gives you a great indication of what you are in for after prying off the top on this bomber. It’s going to toss you around like a dinghy in a hurricane – in a good way. Today’s chilly, damp weather seemed like the perfect backdrop to crack open something that would warm the gut. The immediate aroma is that of subtle vanilla and roasted coffee. Which is to be expected due to the blast of cold-brewed coffee added to the mix. It pours out like a thick stout topped off with a Coca-Cola two-finger head that lingers for a bit.

The first sip is like a sweet vanilla dark roast coffee. Then you get the flavor of the roasted malts poking through and then finishing with a solid warming effect from the 10% ABV. It coats the mouth nice and even with a slight oil-like coating. Even with a developing head cold, the flavors shined through. My unsophisticated palate identified this as a stout but I will take the expert word of Ballast Point that this is indeed an Imperial Porter.

I like that these San Diego masters sourced the coffee from a local coffee roaster, Caffé Calabria. I have a soft spot for small businesses complimenting each other to make great things (i.e. Mt. Carmel soliciting La Terza for their Third Shift imperial coffee stout). If you have been following me lately, you saw me gush over Sculpin and this next iteration does not disappoint. Ballast Point is quickly becoming one of my west coast favorites. Grab this or anything else you can find by them (which thankfully isn’t too difficult with their wide distribution).

This is another piece of my SD love box, but it should run in the $10-$12 for a double deuce. Do it. You won’t regret it.

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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