1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Lava Rock Porter - Dick's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lava Rock PorterLava Rock Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dick's Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: RoyalT on 09-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a shockingly light brown with caramel and amber accents. Looks more like a dark nut brown ale than a porter. A fairly thin half finger head of a dirty cream fizzles out leaving just a hint of light lacing.

aroma is strong and sweet, with roasted malts, maple, caramel and vanilla. hints of toasted coconut and pecan... very sweet malting and sugars. maybe a hint of cocoa, but mostly sugar and nuts.

Taste is interesting as well. Lighter and not quite as roasted as I'm accustomed to for an American porter, with strong hazelnut and almond flavors backed with a definite maple sweetness. A hit of spicing and hops but the malt sweetness is prevalent. Some pleasant light roasted flavor, with hints of cocoa comes through nicely.

mouthfeel is a touch high on the carbonation with hints of prickliness, although it cuts nicely through the thick - verging on syrupy - consistency. Nothing outstanding, but definitely a drinkable mouth.

All in all, an interesting brew with some nice aspects goin' on inside. A bit different from the traditional american porter, which is a welcome change. this one almost reminds me of a rich brown ale or nut brown, in a good way. The roasted notes are pleasant and the sweetness is definitely enjoyable. Not on the top of my list, but I wouldn't turn one away.

djeucalyptus, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of hellbilly
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from riversideAK.

pours cloudy and surprisingly pale a shade of auburn brown with an agitated khaki head. it looks rather murky through the bottle from a large amount of yeast on the bottom.

the aroma is packed with chocolate. there are some notes of milkiness and roasty malt but there really isn*t a whole lot to it.

there*s a slight cheesy character to the flavor but not in a bad way... combined with chocolate, vanilla cream, some wood and toasted nuts with a spicy acidic finish. the body is average medium but the mouth feel is really creamy and there is a nice acidity to balance it out.

it*s on the generic side but there is certainly nothing else wrong with it.
6/3/7/4/14/3.4

hellbilly, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of Spikester
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, almost black with a modest tan head, good lacings.
Aroma is chocolate, coffee, floral hops.
Taste is chocolate, coffee, bitter, sweet roasted malts. Very rich flavors.
Nice dark bitter finish. Very good porter.
Mouthfeel is better than average.
Drinkability is good for the style.
Label iists abv of 6.2%.

Spikester, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of RJLarse
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Elk Public House. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance is a loose bubbly off-white head. Dark garnet red color, clear an nearly opaque.

Smell is sweet with glue like aroma.

Taste is dominated by a black licorice flavor. Not a lot of roasted malt or coffee flavors. Unusual.

Mouthfeel is smooth and cloying but a little flat.

Drinkable but I have had better porters. The flavor and smell is a bit off, and I'd probably pass on this one.

RJLarse, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of SickBrew
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew from Dick's pours a dark brown and with a head that is a bit weak, only about an eighth of an inch in my favorite pils glass. Nose is nothing to write home about, only slightly malty with some roasty notes following. Flavor is quite nice and makes up for the weaker nose. A predominate malt flavor greats you at the door and followed closely by a balance of sweetness, roasty notes and some nuttiness. Mouthfeel portrays a medium light body with light carbonation and overall this beer is a good English dark ale.

Cheers

SickBrew, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Lava Rock Porter poured a clear brown reddish color with a 2 finger foam head and pillow like head.

The aroma was of roasted chocolate malts and some nuts. The taste had a malt up front, chocolate dominated then slight bitterness on the second half. It was fairly thin and well carbonated. This is one of the better Dick's I have tried.

cswhitehorse, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel ( the lightest porter I've seen in a long time ) with 3 fingers of rocky tan head. Good head retention & average lacing

S: Slight coffee notes

T: Coffee grounds & some roasted malt up front. Slight chocolate notes & more coffee grounds as this warms. Finishes with chalky dryness & more coffee grounds

MF: Wet, medium-bodied with minimal carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, but a very mediocre porter. Would do in a jam, but not that great

russpowell, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of rkuhnel
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle out of a $8.29 six-pack from Market of Choice in Ashland, Oregon this poured a deep cola brown with a off-white head and light lacing. Nose of chocolate malts. Light mouthfeel for a porter, and flavors of chocolate and coffee, and a light bitter finish. OK brew.

rkuhnel, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of jdhilt
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Deep mahogany color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Flavor is roasted coffee and bakers chocolate. Typical porter. $1.39 for a 12oz bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.

jdhilt, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer as it spills from the bottle a deep brown with some ruby high lights and a humongous frothy tan head and thick blankets of lace to obscure the glass. Mostly sweet malt with hints of toasted grains and a fresh crispness I enjoy in a porter nose, also to my surprise a hint of hop floral spiciness, sweet and peacefully malted start and the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is merciful in its acidity with the hops pleasing in their presence, aftertaste sweet and dry, a fine middle of the road porter but it was a lighter copy of Dscutes Black Butte Porter in taste minus the roastiness.

barleywinefiend, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of udubdawg
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

pours brown with plenty of amber when held to the light. Used a nonic to contain the huge tan head I expected and received. Looks good, fading quickly to a thin uneven cap, and lacing the first half of the glass nicely.

The nose is my least favorite aspect of this otherwise good beer. A little alcohol noted. I enjoy that it has more hops than many of the style, and the chocolate seems nice, but there isn't a lot there - I can overlook something that isn't to style only to a point - I need more aroma on a porter.

Fortunately the taste makes up for it. This isn't a full-bodied heavily roasted porter, but it doesn't try to be. NO noticeable alcohol. There is a nice medium roast quality to it, and a decent amount of chocolate. There is a good level of caramel sweetness early and a balancing bitterness in the drying finish. Very good.

Nice carbonation on a thinner body that is very drinkable. While not quite sessionable, I could easily down 3 of these, and have.

udubdawg, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of woemad
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.49. My second attempt at this beer - the first bottle I tried was obviously well past it's prime, so I didn't review it. My experience this time tells me that was a fluke.

Poured a dark cola color with a decent 1 1/2 inches of level tan foam. When held to the light, it takes on a reddish hue. Light sheets of lace race down the glass back to the beer, leaving spotty remnants on the sides of my Boundary Bay pintglass.

The smell is fairly mild for a porter, but not offensively so. I get powered cocoa and a mild roastiness out of the nose.

This is a fairly mellow porter. There's a modest chocolatey sweetness at the beginning, with a mild acidic bite coming partway through and a very mild dryness at the swallow, along with a slightly piney note. Not in the least earthshattering but not bad either.

The mouthfeel is slightly oily as it coates the tongue. Personally I think it could use a little more body, but it's not deficient to a very noteworthy degree.

This goes down quite easily. I could probably drink this all night if I wasn't in the mood for something a tad more interesting. Definitely a session porter.

woemad, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased on Liquid Solutions.

A: The porter is a brownish color with clear garnet red highlights. The head, post-pour, is neglible but there are hints of lacing in the glass.

S: The aroma from the porter is roasted malts and chocolate hints. The malts have a complex deeper vinous hint laying just below the surface.

T: The porter has a mild malty body. It shows off hints of chocolate and burnt malts but never goes too far. The flavors are chocolatey but restrained and have no sour older beer component.

M: The mouthfeel is average, providing a nice roasted element that does not rock the proverbial boat. Part of me wishes that the ale pushed a few more boundaries.

D: The drinkability is good enough but the ale never really strikes the intense tone that I'd lile to see.

akorsak, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown near black with reddish highlights thruout a thin wispy light brown head atop,highly roasted with some chocolate notes,quite a large earthy presence shows up as the beer warms to near room temp.A tad thin not watery but not where a good porter should be,quite fruity up front on the palate I would say plum with a hint of orange,not real roasted like the nose prety dry thru the finish.Hmm this is a different porter in style to me pretty fruity and not real robust but flavorful none the less.

oberon, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of RedDiamond
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lava Rock uses the same hops as Dick’s Best Bitter – Magnum and Mt. Hood. These would appear to be peculiar choices for either recipe and yet they work exceedingly well in both cases. In this case, Lava Rock is a solid brew with body and bite, held together by a light roasted aroma feeding a sensible weave of caramel and darker malts. The bittering is perfectly positioned for session sensibilities and a sharp, lingering finish that hangs like a souvenir gift.

Ruby brown with modest carbonation and thready lace. I could drink this for hours with constant enjoyment.

RedDiamond, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is a mix of soda water, tonic and coffee. Dark red/brown with a two finger thick, mostly lasting, head. Very malty fore. The caramel malt dominates making the beer sweet rather than roasty and if not for the kicks of hops in the finish this would be wholly a one trick pony. Still its not a bad flavor just an odd one for the style.

Jredner, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Thrasher
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A porter that is light in color but heavy in alcohol, roastiness and flavor. The beer pours a deep brown with a good, smallish head and lacing. Very pleasant, subdued aroma of molasses. The flavor has quite a bit of roastiness to it as well as lots of herbal hop flavors and the beer ends up being nicely spicy. Dick's fruity yeast often overpowers its other beers but it works great here with the stronger flavors of a porter. The mouthfeel feels fizzy at times, but softens out at other times. Drinkability not too high; this is not a pounder, but it remains a good beer, one of the better ones from Dick's. Should go fine with robust meats and game as that is partly Dick's stock in trade up in Centralia; I'd be curious to pair it with some spicier Mexican fare.

Thrasher, Feb 17, 2005
Photo of aracauna
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red, almost black with a thinnish khaki head. The aroma is nice: sweet cocoa, caramel and some overripe fruit, but the flavor falls short, coming up thin. The finish is a bit unbalanced in it's bitterness and there's not a lot coming before it to balance it out. The body is a bit thin as well.

aracauna, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Non-opaque russet with pumpkin skin highlights when backlit. The toasted tan head, so huge that it had to be slurp-contained, is stiffly airy and is depositing small chunks of lace as it fades away.

The nose is hoppy, more so than most porters, with the dark malty aromas decidedly in the background. Chocolate leaves a meager olfactory footprint and coffee barely makes an impression at all. Despite the nontraditional nature of the nose, I like it.

Lava Rock is more chocolate-like on the palate, although not impressively so. The two major players in the flavor profile are moderately roasted black malt and hops. Hops aren't really upfront either; nothing is front-and-center in this beer. That isn't to say that it isn't enjoyable, just that it's on the lighter end of the style spectrum.

Sweet early and tending toward bitter late, the beer manages a longish finish in spite of the less than full body. The mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy and is a bit overcarbonated.

If you're looking for a big, malty, chocolate-filled porter, look elsewhere. Light doesn't necessarily mean inferior however. Even if it isn't a volcanic explosion in terms of flavor, Lava Rock Porter is still a worthwhile purchase.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 29, 2004
Photo of zacharius
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a beige head. Beer's aroma can be smelled even while pouring, hoppy and fruitty. A deeper whif brings overtones of strawberries and peaches. Taste is that of hops one of the C's they grow around here. Lasting aftertase is of roasted malt. Alcohol is well hidden as this beer is very drinkable.

zacharius, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the better Dick's beers this porter is full of chocolate esters and coffee notes with a real backbone. There is a sweetish finish which makes this a sipper rather a pint. This brewery needs to ditch the unsuccessful beers such as the Hefe and focus in on beers such as this one and the Irish ale,

canucklehead, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of ADR
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, slight orange light transmission at the bottom of the glass. Giant head, puffy and over an inch on a moderate pour. Fat dripping ring lace. A healthy plug of yeast settles to the botton, perhaps too much bottle conditioning is going on. Lightly chocolate aroma, agreeable sense of strawberry and even kiwi. Flavor is very similar to the smell malted milk, medium roast, and a bright berry note that I found interesting and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is lightish, but the carbonation subsides a bit to make close to creamy. I didn't detect a hop impression, more of a tropical esteriness and again, the aroma plays a big part here. I liked this beer and found it quite drinkable.

Source: Liquid Solutions

ADR, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of Realale
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly murky black with dirty brown and ruby highlights. Huge very fine 2" beige head settles slowly leaving nice lace. Did not have the over-carbonation problem cited by others.

Nose is bready malt with touches of chocolate, black patent, fruit, yeast, and brown malt. Supporting medicinal and leathery notes develop with time. Awesome porter nose. Add a bit of acidic barnyard and it'd be perfect.

Very full and malty in the mouth. Tons of base and brown malt notes control the palate. Bitterness is low but there. Quite long, but becomes a bit thick and monolithicly malty as it warms. Could use more acidity, or a touch of brett to cut through the malt.

Very nice creamy bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Drinkable, but becomes a bit too rich by the end of the bomber. Still, a very nice traditional porter.

Realale, Dec 20, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer as it spills from the bottle a deep brown with some ruby high lights and a humongous frothy tan head and thick blankets of lace to obscure the glass. Mostly sweet malt with hints of toasted grains and a fresh crispness I enjoy in a porter nose, also to my surprise a hint of hop floral spiciness, sweet and peacefully malted start and the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is merciful in its acidity with the hops pleasing in their presence, aftertaste sweet and dry, a fine middle of the road porter, a pleasure to quaff.

Gusler, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of marc77
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite overcarbonated. A gentle pour yields a modest amount of beer covered by a stiff, dense, mountainous light beige head. Dogged, stickly lace trails. Murky ruddy chestnut in hue. Soft milk chocolate, nutty carob and yeast derived breadiness dominate the aroma. Secondary is a combination of orange citrus and odd, but enjoyable juicy honeydew like fruit esters. Akin to a fruiter Cisco Moor Porter. Intriguing and quirky in aroma. Soft, almost breezy roasted grain character is perceived incipient in flavor and lingers. After a deliberation, cocoa and dark toffee sweetness enters the forefront, and is only partially tapered by meager hop bitterness. Pronounced, fructose rich date like presence lends a wood tinged fruity sweetness that borderlines on obtrusive. Prickly and carbonic at first in mouthfeel, but with patience softens and becomes passably creamy. Burnt, smokey black patent hints surface late, but are lost amongst the dominant toffee, date and cocoa tones. Finishes sweet and juicy, with an odd, lingering impression of grilled, bourbon soaked melon. Lava Rock Porter is a truly strange brew. I don't believe this product was the brewer's intent, but I liked it. It grew on me. Actually has some of (Unibroues yeast - like! ) tropical aromatics... Weird and tasty. A quasi porter.

marc77, Nov 09, 2003
Lava Rock Porter from Dick's Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.