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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

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262 Ratings
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Ratings: 262
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 15.27%

Brewed by:
Sea Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is one of a kind! Four different malted barleys combine to create a distinctive, full-bodied beer with a roasted nuttiness, uniquely enhanced by a hint of hazelnuts. Smooth and creamy with the nose of the Willamette hop, this porter is a beer style unto itself.

(Beer added by: Dogbrick on 12-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 262 | Reviews: 167 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jlindros


3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at brew pub in northborough

fizzy smaller head fades quickly with a bit of lacing over dark mahogany molasses brown colored beer, hint of light.

Nose brings hazelnut and chestnut aromas right off the bat, some light porter aromas with some dark malts, brown sugar, caramel, light toffee, hint of creamy dark porter almost chocolate malt. Plenty of light ale like aromas.

Taste brings chocolate a first, biscuit and powdered chocolate like a cheap kit kat, then some hazelnut, chestnut and overall nutty flavor. Then caramel, toffee, brown malts, a bit sweet, bit of a toasty reddish malt. surprisingly hops kick in with bit of earthy and almost grassy hops and a decent bitterness. Finishes drier with a fairly bitter spicy hop kick, and some lingering caramel, hazelnut, and brown malt flavors.

Mouth is med bodied, dec carb.

Overall not bad, hazelnut is toned down which is nice that it doesn't overpower, and plenty of nutty malts and nice brown malt porter like flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2011 02:35:03 | More by jlindros
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Sea Dog in South Portland, the beer was served in a pint glass. It's a nice, dark brown coloring with ruby highlights on the edges, and a thick, off-white head that starts at a frothy two inches and settles quickly into a film, clinging the glass the entire time you drink. The nose is mocha and hazelnut, with a creamy and rich feel to it. The flavors are coffee and nut, with a smooth richness and slight smokiness. Very tasty. The aftertaste is a 50/50 blend of smoke and hazelnut sweetness. Delicious! The finish is smooth, and the nut lingers quite a bit. Very well blended brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2011 03:25:50 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of momobono


2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance 3.5/5 - Dark brown to red, no sediment. No floating carbonation. Thin beige-colored head which dissipates quickly.

Aroma 4/5 - Sweet, caramel malt smell. No real hop aroma. Notes of hazelnut aren't overpowering.

Taste 2/5 - Tastes a lot like drinking a Starbucks iced black coffee - too sweet and candylike. The hazelnut hits like a ton of bricks, evolving into a wine-like character before bitter coffee character comes up the back. Slightly acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 4/5 - Heavier, but still smooth. Stays that way towards the end of the beer. Carbonation is too light.

Drinkability 3.5 / 5 - A bit of warming at the end. Not much else here.

Overall: A little too sweet for my tastes, but I would be able to stomach it again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2011 01:26:06 | More by momobono
Photo of smakawhat


4.38/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap from the pub in Topsham ME. Filled to the rim with no head what so ever...

Appearance is a gorgeous dark walnut with red hues, and some visible carbonation. Bubbles are tan, but highly missing. Perhaps if this was a better pour I could rate this higher for this category but no...

Really good nose on this one, big roast characteristics and malt. Delicious nuts like a big mixed bowl.

Taste is a wet nut characteristic and soda. THere is some malt sweetness in the mid palate and some carbonation tingle on the tongue which is neat. Beef jerky, small malt backbone, and club soda all rolled into one with a taste of fresh brewed big pot coffee.

Very interesting unique porter I would really dig another on tap!

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 01:05:27 | More by smakawhat
Photo of SnowGoon99


3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Bangor location into a mixer glass.

Off the tap there was no head whatsoever (thank you crappy bartender) but the color was right on for a porter. Aroma was ok. Not anything great but there were no flaws. Kinda just typical roastiness you'd expect from a porter. Unfortunately no hazelnut.

Taste was really good. No hazelnut to be had but a really good porter nonetheless. Roasted notes with a little bit of caramel to back it up. Perfect amount of attenuation didn't make it too dry or too sweet. Might've done something with the water though. Just ok on the drinkability. Certainly drinkable but i don't think i would've ordered a second.

Overall not a terrible beer to have at the pub but wouldn't buy it at a store. No hazelnut at all. If they just said it was a porter that would be fine. I'm all for subtlety but this is taking it a little to far. A nice beer just not great.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2010 03:01:31 | More by SnowGoon99
Photo of bishopdc0


4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in the Bangor location. It is a deep brown in color with a thick white head. The aroma is that star of a buttery hazelnut. The taste is sweet and finishes with a roasted bitterness. This beer is easy to drink and finishes nice. What i like about this beer is that its sweetness to start is paired with the hazelnut aroma and then turns roasted. To truly appreciate this beer you need to have it in a snifter or similar glass.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2010 19:10:20 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of Durge


3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black brown color, thick and covered with a modest light tan head and showing fair lacing. The aroma is as advertised, hazelnut, along with some buttery malt, very nice, not overwhelming at all. The taste brings more of a lemon hop along with a more subtle hazelnut tone at the back of your mouth, not dominating. It's bitter and sweet at the same time and a bit cloying. There's some grassy coffee going on here, not at all a typical porter by my experience but a nice version none the less. The dryness hangs on your tongue. Carbonation is very fine and tingly, a little thin, fair drinkability but no classic session brew. Sweet malt becomes more evident as it warms, the hazelnut is subtle throughout. Very interesting, recommended for a try.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2009 04:51:06 | More by Durge
Photo of IBUnit63


3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sea Dog in Topsham. Served in a standard pint glass.

Pours a good, dark brown that's a bit opaque. Head has a quality similar to root beer but surprisingly thicker and with a maple walnut ice cream quality. Decent lacing.

Scent has clean, tannic-free dark malts with a hit of caramel. Hops are of the nobler English variety - maybe a little grassy. Slight hint of chocolate and roasted hazelnut is a nice kicker. Velvety on the nose.

A pleasant surprise - this doesn't have that tinny, metallic, thin after taste that some light porters do. Malts are prevalent, fresh and very smooth with a hint of dry slate. Grassy hoppiness is balanced nicely with the hazelnuttiness. Slight caramel and molasses - maybe minimal mocha texture. Finishes full yet clean.

This has a nice body for a porter but after about 1/2 a pint it does get a little on the weighty side. The flavor profile is solid but just a little behind its weight class. Still, surprisingly creamy.

For some reason I liked this a lot more than I expected to. It had many of the favorable elements of a straightforward Porter and the nuttiness helps. Still a little heavy towards the bottom of the glass but a very good option at the old favorite from the late 1990s, the Sea Dog.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2009 22:23:52 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of Boppar

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Sea Dog in Brunswick. Served in a pint glass.

A: It's a pretty porter. Looks like molasses. Has half a finger of tan head on it.

S: Smells like roasted malt, some molasses, and a faint hint of hazelnuts.

T: The taste was actually a little disappointing. While I really like that the hazelnut taste does not completely dominate this beer, I was not pleased with how late in the game the hazelnut arrives, or the seemingly artificial taste it has, or the slight tang it leaves in your mouth after the finish. Certainly not a bad porter.

M: A touch too carbonated, but other than that it seemed about right for the style.

D: The hazelnut taste prevented me from getting more of these, but overall it drinks like a porter.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2009 18:52:49 | More by Boppar
Photo of morebeergood


2.15/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Grabbed a pint last night at the Sports Depot in Allston. I have never seen this on tap before (that should have been a hint). Pours a light brown color. Thin head. Slight carbonation for the standard porter. Smell was super sweet, like a cappuccino. Taste was just downright gross. Reminded me of taking a huge gulp of some kind of grocery store hazelnut coffee creamer. No porter flavor at all. Just sticky hazelnut. No balance whatsoever. Very hard to drink. A mistake to order, and a struggle to drink. This beer should be poured into coffee, or poured down the drain.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2009 21:28:30 | More by morebeergood
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Off the tap this beer was a deep chestnut color, the head was two fingers of tan foam and the retention was good as a collar and thin skim. The lacing, however, was thin. The aroma was also on the weak side, lightly nutty with a dark malt backbone. The flavors, however, were enjoyable. At first I got milk chocolate followed by the hazelnuts and some almonds all in a rather sweet way. The malt was toasty but slightly sour, especially towards the finish. Hints of wood and bark. The mouthfeel was watery for the style but the carbonation soft so it was sessionable. The body was medium. I enjoyed this beer with dinner but kept thinking it needed more weight and complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2009 19:44:44 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of tigg924


4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown with medium head that disappates

Smell: like hazelnut--truth in advertising

Taste: I taste hazelnut, burnt caramel, and dark cocoa

Mouthfeel: light and smooth for a porter with a sweet finish

Drinkability: I think this is one of Sea Dog's better offerings. I could drink this all night. There is the sweet pronounced hazelnut taste but the flavor of a porter is not lost here. i could see how not everyone would like this, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2009 03:20:09 | More by tigg924
Photo of TrevorGW


3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap. Was shocked to see it on tap where I found it, so I figured I'd give it a try.

The body is fairly thin for a Porter. Not much follow-through from the grain bill. The Hazelnut flavor tastes authentic but it dominates too much. No hop detection.

I'm not sure that I would have this again. It is not a bad beer at all. The main problem is that you won't be able to stop feeling like you are drinking a stale iced coffee. It's a relative problem, but it will affect many drinkers.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2008 19:49:09 | More by TrevorGW
Photo of Kingdom4aPint


2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Standard pint glass applied...

Pours very dark brown with fluffy beige head...minimal lacing. Nutty aroma with some chocolate. Very buttery initial taste and then cruising into nutty. I guess I don't appreciate the hazelnut hence the 2.5 rating here but I will say that the taste seemed to get better the further down the glass I went. Mouthfeel was pretty solid, medium body and oily feel, minimal carbonation. Drinkability average as while I could see myself having several I really just wouldn't want to. Worth a try, I guess but there are better out there.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2008 18:55:06 | More by Kingdom4aPint
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy


3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Sea Dogs Restaurant in Topsham.

Appearance- Arrived with no head and little apparent carbonation, might have just been from being poured too long ago though. Coloration was dark as youd expect from a porter but not opaque, many reddish hues around the edges of the glass.

Smell-Hazelnut dominates in the nose, its different, I generally like nutty smelling beers.

Taste- The strong Hazelnut in the nose isnt quite as apparent in the taste, its more subdued with hints of mocha and slight roasting that balances everything out. Not overly complicated though.

Mouthfeel- A much thinner beer than I had anticipated, I expected this to be heavy and dark but it was actually fairly light.

Drinkability- A decent porter, not one of my favorites but definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2007 14:51:47 | More by Bowdoinbeerboy
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown beer with red highlights. Medium sized head that was somewhat sticky. A roasted malt, faintly nutty aroma. It tasted like hazlenut-flavored coffee with a bread background. Not too bad, but I felt it was a little bit on the thin side. However, it was a pretty good beer, and you could definitely drink more than one of these.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2007 03:04:26 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well-laced diminishing light brown head over a deep bronze body. Aroma of almond skin, ashes, dark chocolate and maybe even cedar wood, quite original and pleasant altogether if not too intense. Taste is mostly on the sweet side, mild roasty aspect and hazelnut/honey flavor. Easy to drink with a light acidity that doesn't appear out of place, but generally a bit too watery and mineralic from my perspective.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2004 21:24:41 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of yankeeheel


2.15/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with a nice two figer tan head. Nice bit of lacing that remains for the length of the brew.

Smells very, very weakly of coffee.

Tastes weak and washed out. Like drinking coffee that's watered out. No hazelnut to speak of. Minimal hop and a hint of burned aftertaste. Yum.

Way overbubbly and annoying in the mouth. Worsened by the weak taste.


Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2004 00:28:03 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of illpass78


3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a glass tankard.

Appearance: Good looking beer. Deep, dark brown with an off-tan head that settles at about an inch and a half. Pretty strong carbonation. Leaves a pretty heavy amount of lacing on the way down. Looks like a good, full-bodied porter.

Aroma: The nose isn't as strong as I'd hoped. Some faint coffee notes, but it's doesn't have a very powerful aroma. Doesn't smell much like hazelnut at all. I expected to be hit hard by coffee and hazelnut aromas, but got very little of that.

Taste: This is a pleasure to drink. Some bitterness up front, but by the middle it's full of smooth, full-bodied coffee flavor. Some burnt notes. The aftertaste is pleasant, so much so that I have a brownie in the other room and don't want to eat it. Finishes strong. The alcohol is unnoticeable and it leaves you wanting another.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good body. Waterier up front than in the middle. Very easy to drink. Nothing off-putting about it.

Overall: In this age of hyper-specialization, I can't blame these guys for calling their beer "hazelnut" in attempt to stand out from the crowd of other porters and stouts on the shelf. But this honestly doesn't taste like hazelnut at all. It tastes like a straight porter or a coffee porter. And it's a fine one for sure. I got this in a mixed six and would definitely pop one in there again; if you're a big porter/stout fan, I'd do the same.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 01:17:06 | More by illpass78
Photo of Omnium


3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Sensory Pils glass

A - Ruby brown with just under a finger of thin fizzy tan head, a few spots of small lacing.
S - Really nice roasted malts and toasted hazelnut, a little smoke and chocolate. Overall very nutty.
T - Nice rich roasted hazelnut flavor up front and stays with you, a good mild hop bite, some cream, dark baking chocolate.
M - Thin and kinda metallic, fades fast.
O - Surprisingly good hazelnut flavor and aroma, lacks in feel, but I'd definitely get this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 05:29:00 | More by Omnium
Photo of schoolboy


3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, I bought a bunch of Sea Dogs and it took me a while to get to them all. I think there is one still left. I thought this one might be the least odd, and that seems to be somewhat accurate. Thankfully, the hazelnut flavor is way low, but the rest of the brew is somewhat lacking too.

It looks nice enough, dark, with a thin head and some nice lace. The aroma is slightly like an hazelnut coffee plus a sweet alcoholic ale odor.

The taste is fortunately not dominated by that hazelnut, but it is not anything to write home about either. It is also a bit harsh. Nicely somewhat bitter, but harsh, and not at all creamy.

I think I will stay away from these dogs in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 01:06:24 | More by schoolboy
Photo of bmwats


3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, bubbly, brown-white head. Settles quickly. Pockets of effervescence apparent throughout the body of the brew. A ring remains throughout. No real lacing.

S: Nutty malt, milk chocolate, caramel.

T: Bitter malt flavor with very faint hints of indistinct sweetness.

M: Light body, earthy character, and a lightly bitter finish.

D: Drink session style, although the bitter finish will slow the pace a bit.

Atmosphere is good enough. Decent appearance including a fair head, but no real lacing. Nose is strong candy sweet notes, well-balanced with a nutty malt character. Bitter, earthy malt with a touch of sweetness. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 00:45:38 | More by bmwats
Photo of kneeland

North Carolina

3.89/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I great blend of hazelnut flavor and porter taste. Sometimes porters aren't very proportioned, but this works great. The hazelnut is better than other "hazelnut" beers I've tried. There's a roasted almond, toasted coffee, malty taste. And there's no bad aftertaste.

It pours pretty dark, almost stouty. It doesn't taste nearly as heavy as it looks. Not much of a head.

I got this in my beer of the month pack. I would definitely try it again if I ever see it.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 01:53:44 | More by kneeland
Photo of mjpolzin


3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Part of the first shipment of a beer club a business client of mine signed me up for. The smell is of a very rich porter with some excellent hazelnut mixed in. The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell and the carbonation was lacking a bit but nonetheless this was a solid winter session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 04:52:11 | More by mjpolzin
Photo of dtivp

West Virginia

3.14/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear amber brown with a a thin mocha colored head that fades quickly, light lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt and nuts, light coffee and chocolate.

Taste starts slightly sweet with hazelnut flavored coffee, chocolate with a slight mild hop bitterness.

Mouth Feel is medium leaning light body, moderate carbonation, crisp, smooth and nutty.

Overall an average porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 20:07:48 | More by dtivp
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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.