30 Mar

Harry Porter & The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean Beer Review

Harry Porter and the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean_ GLB

This nondescript bottle holds a delicious secret: a porter packed with vanilla & bourbon

Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery
Style: American Porter
ABV: 6.5%        IBU: 30

This 2015 version of the very well-received Tank Ten creation was released as part of this year’s Project X series. I have been meaning to try this particular iteration of Harry Porter for sometime but, somehow, I keep on missing it.

Thankfully I worked my first tour and tasting at Great Lakes Brewery on Saturday and noticed they just happened to have several bottles waiting for me in the retail store fridges.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, I also picked up several cans of Apocalypse Later, a bottle of another Project X creation The Last Vestiges of Winter, and a growler of the truly incredible Swamp Juice #9, a mix of IPAs including Karma Citra, Robohop, and Canuck Pale Ale.



5 out of 5 cats

“It’s been said that a great sorcerer with a single magical vanilla bean can infuse the intense depth of flavour and aroma that is found in this ale. Unfortunately, we are hideously short of such wizards at Great Lakes so instead we simply used 1001 vanilla beans.”


Opaque black in colour, this American porter pours with a half inch of tan head that dissipates quickly to leave a thin cover of bubbles. A solid covering of thin lacing is left behind down the inside of the glass .


A bold vanilla bean and bourbon presence dominate the nose of Harry Porter & the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean, bringing with them a solid coffee malt body. Hints of raisin and dark fruit follow with a touch of baker’s chocolate.


This stepped-up version of the already delicious Harry Porter is true to its name in every way. Big vanilla bean flavours take the forefront followed by a rich, warming bourbon presence. A lingering coffee and dark chocolate malt body is accented by dark fruit, warming spices, and a pleasant roastiness.


Harry Porter & the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean has a slightly prickly thick body with a lingering aftertaste of bourbon and warm spices. This porter becomes somewhat smoother and creamier as it warms, losing the prickliness while the flavour deepens.

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