If the name “Victory at Sea” conjures up images of hulking, imposing behemoths that could knock the average person to their knees, then the folks at Ballast Point have done their job. This San Diego brewery first took a traditional porter and turned it up to 10—literally, as this beer clocks in at 10 percent ABV. Then, they added some vanilla to round out the edges and give it an edge of sweetness. Then they added cold brewed coffee to inject a blast of bitter roast. The result is the offshore bombardment of your taste buds, with smoky chocolate and vying for dominance over the rich, espresso-like coffee. This is a challenging beer to drink, but the rewards are great. Available at Baggataway Tavern and Pitchers Pub.
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PW's Year of Beer: Tröegs Cultivator