Libation Review: Peanut Butter Victory at Sea by Ballast Point

  • PBVictory22 oz bomber bottle
  • ~$9.00
  • Purchased at Chattanooga Wine & Spirits

Background

It’s ba-a-a-ack! Yes, it’s time for another installment of Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. This time I stepped a bit outside my comfort zone and decided to go for the Peanut Butter Victory at Sea. It’s not that I don’t like peanut butter (I do), but the only peanut butter stout that I’ve had in the past was something that didn’t impress me whatsoever…I just didn’t like it and have successfully avoided peanut butter beers since then. But, I figured if I was going to try again, it should probably be with one of my favorite “base” beers from one of my favorite breweries.

Victory at Sea is a year-round offering from Ballast Point. It’s an Imperial Porter brewed with Caffé Calabria coffee (from Ballast Point’s home town of San Diego, California) and vanilla clocking in at 10% ABV. This peanut butter version has 68 IBUs and is only available in the 22 ounce bomber bottles.

Notes

My beer pairings definitely got stuck in a little bit of a rut…I would pour a dark stout or porter, then burn a Tatuaje Broadleaf Maduro to go with it. I always knew I’d like the cigar and after a couple times, I knew that it would go well with the beer…but I ran out of different sizes of Tat Maduros…and I didn’t want to keep repeating myself. This time I decided to burn a Padron 2000 Maduro. It’s still a Nicaraguan blend, though from a different factory with access to different tobaccos and with a totally different philosophy of blending. The Maduro leaf on the Padron Series is, I believe, a Nicaraguan Maduro leaf and I know from vast personal experience that it imparts more body, sweetness and pepper spice to the blend, compared with the Natural version of the same cigar.

Peanut Butter Victory at Sea looks like all the rest of the series in the glass…dark brown with a thick tan foamy head. I really didn’t pick up any peanut butter aroma from it, either, which I found strange, especially when that flavor came through so prevalently on the first sip. After the nuttiness was past, though, vanilla notes came through very strongly and there was a dark roast coffee finish. It all serves to remind me why I love the Victory at Sea releases so much. And honestly I could probably drink this Peanut Butter version on a fairly regular basis.

The cigar fired up strong and spicy, with notes of charred wood, earth and extra-dark chocolate. The beer proved to be a good match at the beginning where the Padron 2000 didn’t display as much sweetness as I knew it would eventually.

Ultimately, I ended up getting tired of the beer long before I finished it. While I really enjoyed the flavor at first, it just got to be too much of the same thing. I don’t recall having the same reaction to the Coconut or regular versions of Victory at Sea. It’s kind of a bummer, too, because I would probably enjoy the heck out of a 12 ounce bottle of Peanut Butter Victory, but it’s only available in the 22 ounce bomber.

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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