It does seem to taste better off the tap than out of the bottle.
I was actually quite surprised when I bottled my Bourbon Barrel Porter that I homebrewed that its tasted a bit like this brew. I didn't add any vanilla, but I did soak in American Oak cubes, which, from what I understand, can embark a little bit of a vanilla flavor.
So, needless to say, I'm pretty excited for that brew to be done.
with the right bourbons, you will get some vanilla flavor. I always throw a split & scraped bean in with the bourbon & oak during the soak.
I've noticed that some vanilla flavored beers seem to go a bit over board for my taste. I'm always a bit apprehensive about trying them.