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Pilot Rock Porter - Caldera Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pilot Rock PorterPilot Rock Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

97 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 11-18-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by BVukelich:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Thrasher
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pilot Rock Porter was served on tap at the Night Light Lounge in Southeast Portland. This is a great neighborhood bar, with a fine, if not huge selection of beer, and deserves some spillover beer geek traffic once the Clinton Street Theater's brewpub opens down the street. Anyway, the porter is lighter than your typical porter black, more of a transparent ginger brown. The head is small but the lacing is determined. The aroma is mild rainy day, and the flavor profile contains deep caramel, light smokiness, cured meat, cola, and a tart herbal quality that masks the malt sweetness. It is not an exceptional beer but it satisfies and provides a lighter counterpoint to Caldera's rich coffee/Cauldron stouts.

Photo of chinchill
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can.

Aroma: Exceptionally rich and strong dark roasted malts; lightly spicy.

Flavor: l;ess intense than the aroma. Leaves a mild, lingering, dark roast aftertaste.

Feel: near creamy smooth; medium body and carbonation that may be a touch too high.

Flavor: touch of coffee after some dark chocolate. Negligible burnt toast.

O: a very fine porter ... and in a can :)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. The head is light tan in color and peaks at about a finger's width before dying down in fair time to a broken layer of surface suds and a small ring around the edge. Small, spotty lacing with little stick.

Smell - Mild aroma that consists of milk chocolate with lesser notes of coffee grounds, cocao nibs and with a light earthy hop character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Smooth, moderate flavor that's quite chocolate-centric. Milk chocolate is the predominant character, then lesser notes of cocao and coffee hit mid-taste to bring a touch of bitterness and balance. Earthy, leafy notes hit in the finish along with a touch of smoke to give this one a nice, interesting aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with low carbonation. Smooth, silky texture. Falls a tad flat in the finish.

Overall - Despite this porter's flaws, it's got a nice chocolate-driven flavor that's just complex enough to keep it fresh sip after sip. Price dependent, I'd buy a sixer to give it another go.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin head on a black body.
The aroma is excellent. Roasted malt and vanilla.
The taste is also roasted malt with some mild coffee notes and a little bitterness to round it out.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
A "go-to" porter.

Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with a thumb of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee, roastyness in copious amounts

T: Coffee, roastyness, a little bit cocoa up front. Coffee, roastyness, woody hops & just a little mocha as this warms. Finishes dry, roasty, a little sweet

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, nicely balanced

A well put together porter with some serious coffee undertones to it. Not sure why it's so flipping expensive though. Over $ 12 a sixer. A very pleasant surprise

Photo of hophugger
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great color, deep chocolate brown. Head is average, disappating fast but leaving very nice lacing. First aroma as I opened the can was a little skunkiness but that quickly left and I had a great aroma of sweet malts and definitely chocolate. Nice creaminess/bitterness blend in the taste. Cocoa leads the way with a touch of milky creaminess following close behind. Also, tastes a little like hot chocolate but not quite as rich. Overall, a decent porter...

Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is the same, chocolate, roasted malts, a touch of coffee, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a satisfying beer.

Photo of Spikester
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time I have seen this Porter in my area. Pours dark brown wih a large tan head dense bubbles and leaves a few splatters of lace. The head lasts at least 5 minutes.
Smell is rich coffee dark chocolate with a bit of brown sugar or molasses.
Taste is similar with some bitter hops that are well balanced by all the malty goodness as it should be.
Mouthfeel is quite full for a Porter. Carbonation is just right and the finish is bitter sweet.
Very nice beer.

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A great classic look in the glass. Creamy capped light mocha head, big and three to four fingers tall with a flat top and thin bubbled complexion. Excellent red hued mahogany body, dark but with some clarity held up to the light with these gorgeous red edges and hues. Pretty much a great looking porter.

Great hints of chocolate milk on the nose at first. Some good grain and milky sweetness, a bit toned down on the charring but really impressive, with a hint of simplicity on the aroma, perhaps a little clove in there too. Excellent.

Palate comes out a little minor acrid in flavor, but plenty of classic chocolate notes. Body is more milky and lactose like sweet. This really reminds and tastes more like a milk stout. Slightly big sour acidic and very wet palate but not a total loss. Excellent aftertaste that really opens up slowly after awhile though.

Not really what I expecting in a porter. An ok beer, but not what I had in mind.

Photo of anchordrinker
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- black with thin tan head. Good lace

S- sweet, slight hint of esters/fruit, roasted malt...typical porter nose

T- similar to nose. Initial slight estery/fruitiness transitions smoothly to roasty-sweet, coffee/chocolate finish. One of the best balances of hops-malt I've had in a porter.

M- full bodied, silky and slightly creamy. Perfect for the style.

D- very sessionable....very close to perfect for the style

Photo of Reidrover
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wonderful fluffy full headed porter. Great esspresso aromas, roasted coffee. Salty under taste..this is minor yet sets the theme for the porter..the saltiness makes you gulp more of the chocolaty ,.coffee goodness. Great drinking beer..with great backing.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: The body is black like espresso beans with a well formed mocha head. Light bands of lacing remain on the glass. Good head retention.

Aroma: Roasted grains, chocolate, coffee.

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee, cocoa nibs.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth.

Overall: Really impressed by this porter, particularly the creamier, thicker feel. Great taste.

Photo of jmbranum
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought in a 12 Oz can in okc. Enjoyed in an Amtrak sleeper car en route to Chicago.

Pours a lovely dark black with a small light tan head.

Subtle cocoa aroma.

Flavor is very smooth. Picking up notes of cocoa, cream, almost like a cold cappuccino. Slight toastyness. Just a little bit of hops in the background. Lingering balanced bittersweet notes.

Very, very smooth mouthfeel.

Photo of Redneckwine
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into tulip (ABV is actually 6%)

Appearance - Black in the glass, but shows signs of dark brown hues with clarity on the edges. One finger head dissipates fast and doesn't retain at all, but somehow manages to leave a bit of lacing.

Smell - Earthy, raw, roasty graininess mostly with some sweet cocoa notes. A bit smoky. Very timid nose overall, probably thanks to near complete lack of head.

Taste - Like nose, an earthy, roasty grain character is most prevalent, some cocoa, slight smoke, damp soil, cola-like sweetness, grassy/herbal hops pop vaguely for balance. Finishes off dry with a mild, roasty, coffee-like flavor and bitterness.

Feel - Smooth and creamy, but almost to a fault: medium body feels a bit heavy and round due to a lack of carbonation.

Overall - Should have been named "Pedestrian Porter", that's just how it feels to me: drinkable, but quite average. The taste is pretty good, but it could use a touch more hopping in my opinion. The body and feel is where this brew falls short for me - there's no snap to it... It's kind of "blah".

Photo of Jayhawk
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Purchased a can as part of a mix and match six pack. Poured a nice two finger head, dark brown as expected with the head leaving a minimal amount of lacing. Aroma of chocolate and sweet malts. Taste is nicely sweet, malty, chocolatey - wow, just lovely. Minimal hop taste but with no discernible hop bitterness. My new favorite American Porter.

Photo of Gavage
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: deep black with a 3"+ tan colored head that lasts. Thick lacing coats the glass.

Smell: nice roasted malts and coffee are easy to pick up.

Taste: this was like eating a loaf of pumpernickel bread. Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolates, molasses, and a hint of nuttiness rounded it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Medium bodied like a porter should be, not some stout-like meal. Bread and roasted tones linger briefly on tongue.

Drinkability: very easy drinking as this is flavorful without the heavy body. Definitely a nice brew.

Photo of nmann08
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a can, pours a dark cola brown with a light tan head.

The nose is roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, just a faint hint of coffee. The flavor is mostly dark malt, chocolate, a little burnt coffee. The finish has a hop bitterness to it, a bit thin. Overall, this is very basic and non-offensive. A good beer.

Photo of sd123
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lactose sweetness like a milk stout, pretty interesting

Photo of Mojo
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can -> snifter

A - obsidian black with a two inch khaki colored head, not much retention and not much lacing.

S - fairly weak nose with some coffee and bread notes

T - very sweet with some black strap molasses, caramel, and toffee flavors and a finish that is composed of equal parts coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted nuts.

M - a bit thinner than expected, but the carbonation is decent. A mild aftertaste is present as well.

O - pretty good offering. Love it.

Photo of OldeSchool
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark brown, almost black. A big, frothy, bubbly head sticks around for a bit; no lacing to speak of.

S: Roasted malt and cocoa / bittersweet chocolate. Smells like I expect a porter to smell.

T: Flavor more or less follows the nose, and there's a bit of sweetness there as well. No bitterness; clean finish. Easy to drink, but unremarkable in any characteristic.

M: Seems a bit thin to me; not exactly watery, but I would have preferred a bit more body from a porter.

O: A decent porter; very drinkable, but it didn't impress me enough to seek it the next time I'm in Caldera's distribution area.

Photo of avalon07
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a quarter inch of creamy, off white head that quickly dissipated. Almost no lacing to speak of.

S: A very underplayed aroma of malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Tasted of chocolate, roasted malt, light hops, and some coffee. The overall flavor is a bit on the thin side, with none of the ingredients really shining through.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a very thin, watery finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This feels like a half finished beer. It's not necessarily bad, but could have been better.

Photo of dar482
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark brown color.

The aroma has roasted malt, a light sweetness of coconut, toasted bread, and cocoa.

The flavor follows with that light "sweetness" with cocoa, lightly roasted coffee. There's milk stout qualities onto a bitterness of roasted malt.

The beer has a great balance between brown ale and a medium roasted malt. A well made beer for the ABV.

Photo of Kaiyotee
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown/black; foamy; large head
Smell: Roasty; hints of sweet cocoa
Taste: Strong roasted flavor with coffee and chocolate
Feel: Foamy; medium carbonation

Photo of Zraly
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque dark brown with a shortly lived, two-finger, light tan head. Aroma of roasted malts and char.

Front loaded with roasted and slightly charred malts. Cocoa and a hint of coffee compliments a licorice note. Molasses-like flavors poke through with a faint hint of smoke and char. A slight chew. Carbonation is a bit more than I'd like for style; it takes away from the overall body and potential. Finish is dry. Medium bodied.

A decent porter that finishes clean. The taste is very good but the body is lacking a touch. Still a good "tried and true" porter that should satisfy. I could go either way in pairing this with something smoky off of the grill to bring out the roasted malts or something sweet and simple, like a white chocolate truffle, to subdue but compliment the overall taste. The creaminess of white chocolate would round out the mouthfeel, too.

Photo of flagmantho
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, dark amber-brown with ruby highlights. Body is haze-free with a pretty strong effervescence and a thick finger of creamy tan foam. I think it's quite attractive.

Smell: nice and malty with a sweet chocolate element and a light roastiness. Not especially complex, but well-crafted I think.

Taste: toffee, caramel and chocolate start out the flavor, which is followed up by a roastier, ashier element. I actually quite like it -- I could find myself drinking a lot of this.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a pretty good creaminess. I can dig it!

Overall: this is a pretty great porter. It's quite different from its Oregon cousin, Black Butte, but it shines almost as bright in its own way. Good stuff.

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Pilot Rock Porter from Caldera Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.