Breckenridge Brewery NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter)

Breckenridge Brewery's NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter)
Nitro Vanilla Porter in a Pint Nonic Pint

Breckenridge’s NVP pours dark brown to almost black with about a finger of off white head that’s creamy like you’d expect from a nitrogenated beer. A thin layer of this head sticks around all the way down to the end of the glass.

The aroma is what you’d expect from a vanilla porter. I’m mostly getting roasted coffee, hints of chocolate milky-goodness, and bits of vanilla. As a dark beer guy, this is what I crave.

The taste is all malt – coco, roasted coffee – plus hints of vanilla. It’s sweet and it’s smooth and it’s everything I want out of a porter. No hint of hops – just silky smooth goodness.

Nitro style beers are silky and smooth and the NVP is no exception. It’s the right kind of creamy with a little bit lingering between sips.

This is another one of those beers that I treat as a dessert. Skip the ice cream, skip the brownies, have a couple of these and relax.  Actually, a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice-cream would be a great companion!

Other Notes

  • ABV: 5.4%
  • IBU: 16
  • A date of some sort appears on the bottom of the can as Month B Day (backwards-“B”) Year. (more on this below)

Why that Glass?

For stouts and porters I usually reach for one of three glasses, a pint (nonic or tulip), a seidel, or a snifter. With an ABV of only 5.4% the NVP falls into “sessionable” territory which narrows that down to seidel or pint.

Nitro beers look and taste better in pint glasses, so this was an easy choice.

More About This Nitro Vanilla Porter

Breckenridge’s regular Vanilla Porter is a beer I stop for often.  It’s a go-to sessionable porter that’s great for winter months or pairing with cold desserts. Having a chance to try it as a Nitro beer was definitely worth it!

I picked up this four-pack at O’Hara’s liquors in Worcester for about $12.  As of early March 2017 it was also on one of the Nitro lines at The Fix in Worcester.

The Tulip Pint Glass or Irish Imperial Pint

Tulip Pint with a Nitro Beer
Tulip Pint with a Nitro Beer

The tulip Pint is also known as the Irish Imperial Pint or Guinness Glass. While you’re likely to see this glass a lot it’s not quite as versatile as some of the other  styles of pint glass.

This glass gets its name from it’s familiar tulip shape.  Unlike shorter stemmed tulips its top lacks a flared mouth and instead ends with walls pointing straight up.  These glasses are almost always 20 ounces but some mild variation can occur.

Benefits of the Tulip Pint Glass

Like other pint glasses the most immediate benefit is volume.  The Imperial Irish Pint holds about 20 ounces which is plenty of space for a large pour while still leaving a generous amount of space for a beer’s head.

With it’s smaller base and more pronounced bulb some people might also find it a little easier to hold than the nonic pint.

These glasses also provide a good look at a beer’s deeper colors while the wide mouth helps support head retention.  Of course it also helps with taking large sips of “Nitro” beers that have thick frothy heads.  For nitros keep a napkin handy ’cause a milk beer-mustache is in your future.

Other Notes

There are smaller versions of this glass floating around in various different sizes.  Many will be branded “Guinness” but will only be 16 ounces.

You want to be looking for a 20 ounce glass.  Due to a quirk in how we deal with fluid ounces there might even be some small variation there but that’s OK.  A true imperial pint will measure just over 19 US ounces and for our purposes that’s pretty OK.

Just avoid the 16 ounce ones.

What  Beer Goes with a Tulip Pint Glass?

Most people know this glass as a Guinness Glass so that’s a good jumping off point.  Irish Stouts are so tied to this glass it almost feels wrong to drink them in anything else.  The same goes for Irish Ales.

After that any beer billing itself with the term “Nitro” is a safe bet. The wide mouth at the top of the glass makes a beer’s creamy head and body that much more tantalizing.

This glass also works well as a utility glass for any ales or lagers poured from a large bottle.  Personally, I’d avoid lagers and keep them in something like a large pilsner or a stange but it’s not a huge deal.  You’ll have to go back to the fridge to retrieve the bottle more often but it’s worth it.

I’d also avoid beers with really active carbonation, sour beers, or beers with higher ABVs.  Those are better suited to other glasses.

Where Can I Buy Tulip Pint Glasses / Irish Imperial Pints?

These are going to be some of the easiest glasses for you to get a hold of.  Every liquor store, box store, and some supermarkets are going to have them.  Just check for either a 20 ounce volume marker or the imperial crown either on the bottom or lip of the glass.

They’re also a common inclusion in most craft beer glass sampler boxes.