Tis the season for peppermint beers! Fall and winter bring with them a veritable plethora of beers crafted to taste like a slice of pumpkin pie or a hunk of spice cake, but what of that eternal dweller on the boughs of your Christmas Tree, the candy cane? Ballast Point Brewing of San Diego, California seems to be aiming for that to a degree with their Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea, a spiced version of their traditional imperial porter.
This is the second peppermint infused brew I’ve enjoyed in this, the holiday season of 2015. The first was local brewer Jekyll’s Redneck Christmas Stout, another delightful dark beer laced with herbal peppermint flavor. The two are neck and neck (or is that neck and redneck?) in the flavor category in my book, though the Ballast Point definitely gets the nod on price.
From the label:
This Peppermint Victory at Sea is a festive take on our popular Imperial Porter. We took our trademark robust porter brewed with Caffe Calabria coffee and vanilla and added a dose of refreshing peppermint. The trio of flavors play perfectly on your palate – the brew’s sweet roasting balances nicely with a cool, minty finish.
Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea has an alcohol content of 10% by volume with 60 IBUs. I paid $7.99 for a bomber bottle, a very good deal and $4 less for the same sized bottle of Jekyll Redneck Christmas Stout.
Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea pours to a jet black color with a towering head of rocky tan foam and a vivacious nose of robust green herbal peppermint and roasty coffee. Taking a sip, the beer is thick and full in the mouthfeel with deep dark roasted chocolate notes mixed with coffee grinds and bright green peppermint. Do I get the vanilla? I do! Hints of it poke through all the other wonderful flavors going on here. The whole affair is rounded out by the very aromatic and bright minty peppermint notes that combine with the chocolate to suggest a York Peppermint Patty in a glass, and the beer finishes with a sharp roasty punctuation at the last.
A wonderful balance of all the flavors promised. Herbal and minty like hops but to the nth degree like only mint can be. It is. The peppermint is wonderfully herbal and minty, like a fresh leaf rather than a sweet candy, and I simply adore this beer. Why not try it? I’m sure you will too.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.