A frothy, mocha, 3-finger head sits atop Stone’s Smoked Porter like the foam on a cup of espresso. Only after seeing the chunky bites of lacing down the side of the glass do you realize you’re drinking a beer instead. Stone makes a variety of these smoked porters. This is their vanilla bean offering.
The aroma is fragrant with vanilla and a light amount of coffee. It’s savory and soothing, like a vanilla root beer float…in a field of flowers.
The taste is like slightly scorched toast and malts. And I hate to keep on with the food references, but there is something in the taste that reminds me of an Andes mint. The vanilla lightly intermingles with some dryer, earthier flavors to create a really nice balance.
It has a silky mouthfeel, very high drinkability, and the low carbonation creates a cask-like feel which I really enjoyed.
My criticisms are that I would have liked a lot more smoke on the palate, and that the wonderful vanilla in the aroma doesn’t equate with what I found in the taste. Still, I love the mouthfeel, and most everything Stone does makes for an enjoyable brew.