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Pilot Rock Porter - Caldera Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pilot Rock PorterPilot Rock Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

36 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 118
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 2
Gots: 17 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 118
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Caldera Pilot Rock Porter has a very thick, beige head, a dark brown, almost black, appearance, and thin lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark coffee, dark chocolate, and brown bread crust. Taste is of those elements, with sweet sugar, molasses, and maybe black cherry skin. Mouthfeel is medium, and Caldera Pilot Rock finishes sweet and highly drinkable.


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Photo of delta490
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a slightly ruby tint. A fizzy light tan head all but burns off but still leaves some small soapy lacing. The aroma is nice, with both deep roasted malt and some chocolate, which becomes more pronounced over time. The taste is a little less robust than the aroma, providing the same qualities just a little washed out but with a little earthy hops. The body is thinner and has a little carbonated bite to it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored beer with a medium sized brown colored head.

Smells of roasted malt and coffee with a faint carrot scent. Not super aromatic though.

Starts out semi sweet with a strong coffee flavor. Noticeable hops mostly citrus. Faint sourness but it isn't much. Moderate bitterness. Mostly this is a coffee flavored beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a mild coffee tasting porter.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this at Garage in Philly, but they either do not have an off-license or they have a policy against it. This elevated it onto my CANQuest (tm) want list and it was finally fulfilled by a young lady in Oregon who wanted some Smuttynose Bouncy House.

From the CAN: "Oregon Brewed Porter"; "Go Skiing [-] Go Fishing [-] Go Snowboarding [-] Go Biking [-] Go Rafting [-] Go Flying"; "This Robust Porter was Brewed and C[AN]ned by: Caldera Brewing Company; "'Live Product. Keep Cool, Just Like You'".

I was anxious to get this one started, so once the Crack! had happened, I CANmenced an inverted Glug that actually started to get away from me until I backed off. I was a little late and got a wee bit of overflow to go along with the three-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head that fell while I typed. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and mahogany highlights. Nose had a roasty smokiness along with a dark chocolatiness and a whiff of fresh coffee. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was chocolaty, but more like milk chocolate and accompanied by a smoky, light bitterness. Jesus! This was so eminently drinkable that it was causing me to question my hophead status. Finish was semi-sweet with lingering flavors of charcoal, chocolate and coffee. I could have had this for breakfast in lieu of coffee!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of Kaiyotee
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
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

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Photo of nmann08
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
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".

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Photo of Jayhawk
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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.

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Photo of hophugger
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
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...

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Canned on 12/3/13.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted nut, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, coffee, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice roasted malt and toasted nut qualities all around.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of OldeSchool
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of dar482
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a fluffy mocha head.

S: Chocolate and roasty coffee dominate the nose, maybe a tiny little bit of citric hop character.

T: Chocolate, medium roast coffee, some earthy notes, some sweetness, some orange, a touch of citrus rind.

M: Medium-full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: Really nice to drink, really tasty. Definitely recommended for fans of robust, yet not too bitter, porters.

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Photo of Mojo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of avalon07
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
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

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Photo of Kendo
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottom of the can says it was canned on 2/10/14; consumed on 4/26/14.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is very dark brown, bordering on black, but when backlit it's clearly brown with ruby-ish hues on the edges. A half-finger of tan head sits on top and leaves behind a little bit of lace.

S: Mainly roasty but with some underlying sweetness as well. Roasted coffee beans and molasses comes to mind. Some chocolate malt as well. Good porter nose.

T: Unfortunately, the thin, watery body doesn't live up to the nose. Tastes of roasted barley, coffee and some modest chocolate malt, but the overall impression is one of weakness/thinness. Finishes with a modest roasted char taste lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Thin, even for a porter. Gives the impression of being watered-down.

O: I bought this to bring to an outdoor, multi-day music festival, wanting some variety in cans. This will fit the bill for that, as I expect to be drinking all day and the lighter heft of this won't slow me down. But the overall impression is hurt by the watery/thin feel.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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 :)

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Photo of Zraly
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Pilot Rock Porter from Caldera Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.