Founded in 1996 by Jack Black, Ballast Point Brewing Co. started in the back of Home Brew Mart, a homebrew supply store that White founded in 1992. As of 2015, it was the second largest brewer in San Diego County and the 17th largest brewery in the country based on sales volume.

Today’s review is new to the Limited line-up. It uses Ballast Point’s ever-popular Victory At Sea imperial porter, but aged in both bourbon and rye whiskey barrels from High West Distillery of Park City, Utah.

Ballast Point’s Limited Series includes a variety of beers that share the common theme of not being year-round beers. Within it are three different versions of Victory at Sea.

  • Ballast Point High West Victory At Sea — 12 percent ABV
  • Ballast Point Peanut Butter Victory at Sea — 10 percent ABV
  • Ballast Point Coconut Victory at Sea — 10 percent ABV

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle, the color is a very deep brown, almost black. A strong pour produces a couple fingers of tan head and short-lived lacing that looks like little brown rainbows spotted all over the inside. Aroma is big with whiskey, chocolate and heavily roasted malts. I can already tell that this one is going to be a sipper.

The taste starts off with a bourbon sting right away and then allows a good amount of semi-sweet and milk chocolate through, followed by caramel and lightly charred coffee at the very end.  The carbonation is right for the style, while the mouth feel is warm and coating. As High West Victory At Sea warms, other flavors emerge: vanilla and coconut. Although the alcohol feel remains throughout the drinking process, it still allows the other essences to balance quite well together.

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Ballast Point High West Victory At Sea
BREWERY: Ballast Point Brewing Co.
LOCATION: San Diego, Calif.
STYLE: American Porter
ABV: 12 percent
IBU: 35
PRICE: $3.75
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
Ballast Point has taken an already popular and tasty beer and elevated it. The bourbon and rye comes through and stops right before it takes anything away from the rest of the flavors. A warming beer, full of both subtle and bold elements that balance fairly well.
86Overall Score
Reader Rating 8 Votes