My inner crotchety old man is fed up with the quickness at which we move past the current season. A few days after New Year, the grocery store will convert an aisle to sell Valentine’s Day candy. Don’t bother looking for that new patio set when temperatures are peaking in July; the home improvement store shipped them back to the warehouse to make room for fall (and let’s be honest – Christmas) items long ago. Are the Chiefs hosting their twice-a-decade home playoff loss? Better hope you already have a warm coat, the stores are selling spring styles.
The beer world seems to be no exception.
Boulevard’s excellent Irish Ale has been on store shelves for weeks, and it likely won’t be available in March when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around. Try finding an Oktoberfest beer after September and you my be out of luck. Christmas beers are released by Halloween and are gone by Thanksgiving. Well the last time I checked, it’s currently January and therefore still winter and I want a beer chock full of booze and malt to drink when it’s dark outside by 5:00.
Ballast Point describes their Victory at Sea as an “imperial porter” with coffee and vanilla. 10.0% ABV. That will do.
It pours looking like a stout with the sweet aroma of a vanilla coffee drink, however I picked up just the slightest hint of vanilla while tasting. The prominent burned malt flavor may have simply overpowered it. The finish left a bitter but not unpleasant lingering film coating my mouth.
Victory at Sea in a vacuum is fine. Not great, but not bad by any means. Where it shines is as a winter beer. It tastes like coffee and I started to feel the booze three-quarters of the way through the bottle, just like I want to when it’s cold and dark and bleak.