Ballast Point Blend: The Calm Before the Victory

Ballast Point Blend of Coffee and Vanilla Ales: Calm Before the Storm & Victory at Sea

Ballast Point just announced their new line of cocktail mixer cans, and we have seen people blend Sculpins before — usually regular edition, with Grapefruit or Habanero. Some are daring, and blend both of the latter. Anyway, this got us thinking.

The most logical choice in Ballast Point blends was their new release, Calm Before the Storm Cream Ale and Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. Both are infused with Caffé Calabria coffee and vanilla, with two contrasting levels of heaviness. It just seemed like the perfect combo, and we wanted to test this theory.

In search of the most ideal blend, our goal was to incrementally test the pour ratios between both bottles. As a great fictional San Diego newscaster once proclaimed, “it’s science…”

We have named our Ballast Point blended ale concoction “The Calm Before the Victory.”

The Calm Before the Victory Images

Our Experimental Blends

Here’s our research notes in their entirety, if you care to experiment on your own:

  • 3:1 Calm Before the Storm

    With a 3/4 pour of Calm Before the Storm, topped with 1/4 Victory at Sea the end result was close to a nut brown ale infused with the slightest hint of vanilla. It was still tasty, but either ale was better on their own.

  • 2:1 Calm Before the Storm

    Adding a splash more Victory at Sea to the above ratio (2/3 Calm, 1/3 Victory) was not that much of an improvement.

  • 1:1 Even Mix

    An even pour delivered the results you would expect. The coffee and vanilla were both more pronounced, but this mixed ale became less robust in the sense that Victory at Sea’s lasting deep roast was drowned out.

    If you pour Victory at Sea last, the darker ale eerily trickled downward to swallow Calm Before the Storm in the glass. Latte artisans would prefer pouring Calm last, since its off-white head could be patterned into the mocha colored Victory froth.

  • 2:1 Victory at Sea

    Much like the previous attempt at thirds ratios, this blend was nothing to get excited about. Although the vanilla picked up a bit.

  • 3:1 Victory at Sea

    With 3/4 Victory at Sea, you would assume this ratio would be the most coffee intense blend, but its balance was pretty well maintained. The most surprising part was the vanilla became more potent. It slowly leaked out in the finish, but nothing too artificial.


Truth be told, we were somewhat disappointed in the results. With both ales being infused with coffee and vanilla, we were expecting a home run, and were left with a solid double.

In a not-so-earth-shattering discovery, we confirmed that a 50/50 ratio of Calm Before the Storm and Victory at Sea was the safest bet. It produced a well balanced hybrid ale, where an even mix of the two boosted both the vanilla and coffee. For more vanilla, go with 75% Victory at Sea.

It was worth a shot to experiment with these blends, but Calm Before the Storm and Victory at Sea both speak for themselves.

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