Vanilla Porter — Mill Street Brewery

As fall seems to have officially hit here in Toronto, it’s no surprise that I find myself with a fridge full of classic cold weather brews.  This one, from Mill Street, is a classic for drinkers at their brewpub or new beer hall in the distillery district.  Long a seasonal favourite, when Mill Street announced that they had finally gotten a packing system in place for their Cobblestone Stout, people started wondering if perhaps Vanilla Porter would be next.  And the murmurs turned out to be accurate, with tallboy cans packaged on the same nitrogen disc to create a dense, draught-like head. So are we to believe the hype?

Vanilla Porter — Mill Street Brewery

Vanilla Porter — Mill Street Brewery

From a 440ml tallboy can with a nitrogen insert, Vanilla Porter pours an opaque dark brown, nearly black.  about 3/4″ of tan thick creamy head slowly dropped to a decent layer of dense foam.  Aroma is immediately vanilla, with chocolate and coffee.  Malts are sweet and charred, but not quite burnt smelling.  There are some hints of rum and biscuits as well.  Taste is sweet and smokey, with a big dose of vanilla.  Chocolate is there, and a milky creaminess that gives this a nearly milkshake-like quality.  Yet there are still nice sweet malts, and a touch of spices touching on licorice or anise that I suspect is from the hops.  Mouthfeel is super smooth, with a pleasant light carbonation.  Finish is sweet and chocolatey, with lovely vanilla and licorice lingering.  While this clearly isn’t a beer for the hop-heads, it is a pleasing dessert porter, and a nice offering for people who “don’t like beer”.

Cheers Mill Street!

Buy Vanilla Porter

Now available at the LCBO (#367151), as well as at the brewery and beer hall.

Drink It With

Dessert! While something like a chocolate cake would be obvious, I’ll actually suggest something different: a banana fig loaf.  Rich, earthy and sweet, it will add another wonderful layer to the depth of the beer, and the sweetness of the two will work perfectly together.

About The Brewery

In December 2002, we introduced Toronto to the original three “Mill Street Brews”: Original Organic Lager, Tankhouse Ale, and Coffee Porter.  As word spread and beer lovers flocked to our red brick building, we steadily expanded our distribution and added seasonal brews to the line-up.  Ten years on, Mill Street is now one of Canada’s most popular craft brewers, known for consistent quality, a knack for innovation, and list of fun brands that just keeps growing.


  1. Kevin
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    First off my cans even after sitting undisturbed in the fridge for hours are exploding. Beer is flowing out the opening before I can even tip the can to the glass. On the beer I have to admit I was disapointed. You hit the nail on the head for people who don’t like beer. I love Vanilla but it tastes more like Cream Soda (that old timey A&W stuff you used to e able to buy) than a Porter.

  2. Dustin
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    I have also experienced the exploding Mill Street Brewery cans, in both the Cobblestone Stout and Vanilla Porter, cans which had been undisturbed for days in the refrigerator. It’s not every can, but probably 1 out of 4 at least. I recommend that these should be opened over a sink!

  3. Bliz
    Posted February 11, 2018 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Yea the cans do explode

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