Thrilla in Vanilla Porter

Review by Eric Tansey, CSW, Sommelier                                                                                                                         The Thrilla in Vanilla Porter is avery dark beer that is black in color with a caramel colored head at about three fingers. On the nose the beer has aromas of campfire marshmallow, KitKat Bar, and chocolate covered pretzels. Very enticing aromas that remind me of walking into the Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh NC or, if you don’t live nearby, then a Peterbrooke Chocolate shopOk we’ve got the aromas down so let’s talk taste. Interestingly enough this beer is very well made and pretty complex–serious stuff. Remember, I do this completely blind and these where my blind “pick ups”.

On the palate the beer had a medium bodied mouthfeel despite its dark and heavy appearance. On the front of the palate, or the initial touch on the tongue, wonderful Ovaltine Chocolate Malt that transforms as you hold the beer on the palate to a Cocoa Krispies without the milk, just straight from the box. The finish is dry and a bit earthier in style. Dark garden soil, and a little KitKat bar left on the breath. The beer is not sugary sweet, it’s more of a malt-style sweet. Think cocoa powder versus chocolate syrup. This beer is worth seeking out and is very well played. Thank you Zach Ollis and Bethany Traynham for donating this beer to our blind query. P.S. just text 775-5review and we will review any beer you text us. You do not have to buy it for us, however we are so thankful when you do. Cheers!

Tansey’s Blind Rating – 91 Points

No other reviews found for 2016 


Beer Selection –  Thrilla in Vanilla Porter

Producer – Double Barley Brewery  

Region – Smithfield, North Carolina, USA  

Style – Vanilla Porter

IBU (International bittering units) – 27

Alcohol – 8%

Food Pairing –  Vanilla Porter cupcakes (see link below), ice cream, by the fire 

The Thrilla in Manila and the Vanilla by Eric Tansey, CSW, Somm

Thrilla in Vanilla Porter is obviously named after the Thrilla in Manila, which is iconic of the beer itself. It is said that no one lost the fight in Manila and it is considered to be one of the TR LOGO FINAL copygreatest fights of all time. The fight was between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier. It was the third and final time that these two champions met in the boxing ring. It was the grudge match of all grudge matches. It was that one match that every person dreams of having, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. That one opportunity to go all in for the most important prize…Pride. The fight was highly publicized and the media fueled the fire for months leading up to the fight. Both men trained harder for that fight than any other fight and when they entered the ring, they both went the distance. 14 rounds of brutal mano a mano combat. In the 14th round Ali was able to land a series of brutal blows to Frazier’s head. Frazier could not see and both eyes were swollen shut. Ali had a final burst of momentum from the series of blows he had just delivered and he swung his fist with every last bit of energy that he had left. At the end of the  14th round Frazier was hurt. Frazier’s trainer threw in the towel just before the start of the 15th round, fearing for Frazier’s life.  Ali had momentum and it was clear that neither Frazier nor Ali was just going to stop. It was said that when Frazier’s trainer threw in the towel, Frazier exclaimed, “No! I want him boss!” His trainer replied, “It’s all over. No one will forget what you did here today.” Ali is later quoted as saying, “That was the closest I have ever come to dying.” He also stated later in life that he told his corner to cut his gloves off and that he had nothing left for the 15th round. I believe that fight to be the testament to life. Work hard, give it all you got, and at the end of the day, win or lose you will go to sleep a champion. I am so glad that this beer delivered and if it had not, I would have been very upset. This brewery did it right and they landed a beautiful strike in the Craft Beer Scene. Cheers to you Double Barley for going the distance on this fine beer and may you keep swinging for the world title. Cheers! Eric Tansey, CSW, Somm

What is a Porter?  

The origin of porter is a bit dark and murky, much like the color of the beer. What is important to know is that porters are ales and are nearly the same thing as stouts. The line between stout and porter is very thin, almost too thin for the average beer drinker to notice. The stout actually got its name from porters. In the 1700s porters were strong, dark ales made with roasted malts. The strength of a porter was marked in X’s much like our logo. 7% ABV would be X, 9% would be XX and 10% and up would be XXX. Strong porters were referred to as stout porters. So over time they dropped the “porter” and just called them stouts. So whether a beer is a porter or a stout is really in the eye of the beer holder… Commonly, the major determining factor is the presence of caramel and caramelized sugars in the end product (which often denotes a stout). A fun and popular style of beer that has stood the test of time and is still a pub favorite. Try these beers in a dark pub at the first sign of winter, take a picture, send it to us and we may send you a surprise. Cheers! Eric Tansey CSW, Somm

From the Brewery, Thrilla in Vanilla Porter

 A smooth, medium bodied porter brewed with our distinct homemade vanilla extract. Slight sweetness balanced nicely with malt bitterness. Pours a tan head that tastes like vanilla whipped cream!

Thrilla in Vanilla Porter Story: One of our oldest friends reviewed the business plan and had only two suggestions (1) include finger puppets of ourselves in the business plan and (2) rename the vanilla porter. We took both very seriously and immediately put them into action. Little did we know that brainstorming would lead us to the epic fight in Manila. We loved the name Thrilla’ in Vanilla’ and what really cemented it for us was picturing vanilla beans duking it out! Trust us, this beer is knock out!

Style: Spiced Herb or Vegetable Beer – 21A
ABV: 8.0%
IBUs: 27.4
Color: 29.6 SRM

Check out this cool Recipe from this great blog –!cupcakes-beer-love/cmbz/38B76A11-9734-4BF4-8E4E-34969DC6EF23

thrilla cupcakes