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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

263 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
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: 263 | Reviews: 167 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Yeastcakes


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving notes - shaker glass, room temp, hand pumped cask ale.
A - Nutty with a hint of chocolate.
A - two fingers of thick (small bubble) head, opaque body with ruby on the edges. Head lingers nicely.
M - thin body and light carbonation. Nice creaminess from the head.
T - nuttiness on the front of the tongue followed by chocolate then light roast and sweetness near the back. A bit of taste of the foam lingers on the roof of the mouth.
D - Cask conditioning gives a wonderful creaminess and drinkability to this beer. I could have several of these.

Serving type: cask

04-18-2009 01:57:57 | More by Yeastcakes
Photo of jenbys2001


3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I sampled this beer from a cask at Oldsmar Tap House, and I have to say it tasted much better in that incarnation than the reviews here suggest. However, I've come to the conclusion that I'm really not a fan of porters. This particular beer looked, smelled and tasted nearly identical to an iced Starbuck's latte. It was dark and creamy and had a nutty, chocolate, chicory flavor to it. Any fan of a porter should try it as it was one of the better porters I've had, but I didn't care for it.

Serving type: cask

04-01-2008 14:51:36 | More by jenbys2001
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
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls. Some lace develops during the session.

Smell: a nutty aroma is mild but pleasant overall.

Taste: mild grainy malt profile with some caramel, toasted hazelnut, and a mild bitterness. There is some earthy and buttery qualities about the beer too, but it is focused on the nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout with a long toasted nut aftertaste.

Overall: an easy to consume porter that would go well with some nut-heavy desserts.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 17:48:41 | More by Gavage
Photo of barczar


3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour yields a clear deep brown color with amber highlights and a dense 2" khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Chocolate, coffee, nutty roast malt, and dark fruit form the aroma, with a floral hop character at the finish.

Roast malt, diacetyl, and sherry notes begin the flavor profile, finishing with coffee and a slightly acrid taste. Nuttiness and floral hop flavor emerge as it warms. The finish is slightly bitter.

Body is fairly creamy and moderately full, with carbonation toward the high side. Alcohol warmth is felt.

Overall, a bit to roasty for a porter and lacking in chocolate flavor. The sherry undertones are somewhat offputting. Good nutty character, though. Carbonation is too high.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 06:33:35 | More by barczar
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours dark chestnut color with a super pillowy tan head that retains nicely with good lace.

S- straight hazelnut, but bit artificial like a lot of ones I've tried, a bit if roasted malt as well.

T- very nutty hazelnut flavor, roasted malts, molasses, a bit of coffee, with a good hoppy bitterness on the back end. Finishes dry.

M- medium body, low carbonation, foamy mouthfeel.

O- like liquid Ferrero Rocher, lots of hazelnut, balanced by a hoppy profile, pleasant linger. I was looking for a little more malt, but pretty good overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2012 01:23:18 | More by Treyliff
Photo of Tschnab

New York

3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A mahogany brown pour with a light brown head that dissipates quickly. The nose is rich toasty caramel with some brown sugar and a buttery butterscotch aroma. The taste is pretty much the same thing, a nice nuttiness and toasty flavor followed by a buttery toast finish. The body is a little thin for a porter. The best offering from sea dog I've had, I've enjoyed everything I've ever had with hazelnuts and this is no exception albeit a middling representation of the lot.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 18:57:41 | More by Tschnab
Photo of ThePaleRider


4.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my friend, Scott, for hooking me up with this brew.

A - Dark like a rich coffee. Very nice looking beer with a very light tan head.

S - Hazelnuts up front with rich malts lingering around.

T - Very nice flavor. First time I've had a nutty porter, and I'm a big fan. Really love the way the hazelnut blends with the dark porter. Very similar to the Rogue Hazelnut, but much smoother, and the hazelnut doesn't seem to linger as long.

M - Smooth going down with a decent amount of carbonation.

O - Went into this tasting not expecting much and was really shocked at how good this beer is. Not sure the availability of this in Southern CA so I'm glad I was able to get my hands on it. Leaves me really curious to try their other beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 17:12:52 | More by ThePaleRider
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated BB May/June 2012 served in a pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown; dark enough to be opaque. Medium size tan head is creamy and has decent retention.

Rather subdued aroma, especially in comparison to the bold flavor. The aroma features sweet caramel malts whereas the taste (3.75) has plenty of dark malt and a nice bit of spicy hops. Plenty of hazelnut in both the aroma and flavor, but not overdone. Has a big transformation from sweet upon hitting the tongue to moderately bitter in the aftertaste.

M: Creamy smooth; full body; well-chosen medium carbonation. 4.25

O: Having had the excellent Rogue Hazelnut Brown just last evening, I expected this brew to compare poorly. While it is not up to the Rogue overall, it is a fine brew; one of the best I've had from this innovative brewery. The mouthfeel is exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 01:06:17 | More by chinchill
Photo of CopperBrewer


4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful dark brown color, with a nice low head that lingers at the edges. Nice clarity but the color is so dark that you can barely tell.

Aroma: Roasted nut aroma with strong notes of hazelnut. The roasted notes commonly found in a porter are also clearly noticeable.

Flavor: Great hazelnut presence that, even though it is naturally flavored, doesn't taste artificial or fake at all. The hazelnut flavor blends very nicely with the roasted malts as well. It is a very nice pairing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a nice carbonation level. Has the feel of a robust porter, not a brown porter. Very easy to drink.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. I was afraid that it would end up being very artificial due to the flavoring but instead it tasted just what I expected it should taste like. A great accompaniment to beef and ice cream, quite the versatile beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 23:30:43 | More by CopperBrewer
Photo of The_Hucklebuck


3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a clear dark brown look, and a super Hazelnut flavor and smell! Also tastes like Roasted Coffee!

It's a good beer but I wouldn't want more than one or two. I got it in a mixed six pack, and even though I'm a big fan of there Blueberry Wheat Beer, I think it's been there done that on this one!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 02:11:42 | More by The_Hucklebuck
Photo of silentjay


2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

seems like they got rid of the "riverdriver" moniker.

pours a deep brown with a thin and quick-lasting khaki head that leaves behind decent lacing.

wow... nutty. smells like a nut brown ale kicked up a few notches. Rogue's hazelnut brown nectar comes to mind, but this seems like cheap hazelnut extract added. very sweet smelling. like the fake hazelnut syrups used by cheap coffee places to make regular coffee into hazelnut coffee. However, it is very aromatic as I can smell it from feet away. the sweetness and artificial aromas hinder it quite a bit.

roasted nuts. week old hazelnut coffee with hazelnut flavored coffee-mate and tons of sugar. a bit of burnt and astringent flavors come through and linger well after the swallow.

thin for a porter with little to no carbonation and a watery finish.

I think it would be a good gimmick for someone who is not a fan of beers, but it lacks in complexity relying on the artificial hazelnut extract flavors to really carry this beer. I'd drink again if this was offered for free and nothing else was available.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 00:33:37 | More by silentjay
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

1.63/5  rDev -53%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle just says "Hazelnut Porter." Poured into a pint glass. The color is dark brown/black with a small light tan head.

The aroma is dinstinctly Shipyard. Butterscotch and yeastyness dominates the aroma. Chocolatey porter aromas are hardly detectable. I'm bummed.

The taste starts out with bitter ash and char, with some sweet malt notes. This quickly turns into a bomb of Ringwood.

The body is light to medium, with lots of carbonation that compromises the drinkability.

This is too much Ringwood for me. I am dumping this and having a homebrew.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 02:36:41 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Happy Harry's Grand Forks, Sourh. Notched BB A-12, poured into a perfect pint glass at ~5C

A: Ruby red edges and brown through the middle. Clear, with a touch of tan head that drops quickly which leaves a ring and no lacing.
S: Roasted malts, and as the beer warms the hazelnut opens up in the nose.
T: Initially it came off almost acrid from the roasted malts, but as the beer warmed it improved substantially, with hints of hazelnut, caramel and a biting bitterness that seems out of place (likely from that roasted malts).
M: The weird bitterness is the last thing to hit and lingers. Otherwise a pleasant, almost creamy beer.
O: I was looking forward to this and was glad I let it warm, otherwise I would have thought it awful. The hazelnut is a little more subtle than I would have liked, and the bitterness is off-putting. A couple subtle changes could make this an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 20:12:23 | More by kjyost
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 rundocrun


3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with deep crystal-clear amber highlights when held to the light. Has a finger of khaki colored head that fades moderately fast. Decent lacing down the side of the glass.

S - Smells of a slightly sour, medicinal and nutty take on a doppelbock. I'm assuming it's the hazelnut flavoring that's contributing to the "off" smell I'm getting from this beer. Really quite unfortunate because I've enjoyed other hazelnut ales (Rogue). Very mild hints of alcohol and fruity red wine mixed with milk chocolate.

T - Sweet and nutty up front. Quickly followed by a surprisingly bitter burnt grain flavor. Has a definite diacetyl (buttery) presence that's a little off-putting--almost like drinking liquid chocolate buttercream frosting. Bitterness rides through the finish with some mild acidic coffee notes and chalky dark cocoa. I'm a little disappointed in the hazelnut character here. 1. Artificial-tasting. 2. Not enough of it.

M - Thin body. Prominent carbonation. Has quite a dry, but clean finish.

Overall - There are just a few too many things that are "off" with this beer for me to give it my full blessing. The aroma is not quite what I'd want for a hazelnut anything (let alone a porter). Taste is also all over the place.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 03:19:51 | More by rundocrun
Photo of Jammies


3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark brown with a think layer of foam that slowly dissipates.

S- nutty with some caramel undertones

T- slightly nutty taste with a strong coffee resemblance

M- watery and light. the malt is a bit overwhelming and lingers

O- not bad. more of a coffee taste than a hazelnut.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 15:44:10 | More by Jammies
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent sized light brown head takes its time to settle into a pretty decent lacing above a deep reddish brown colored porter.

Rich roasted malt and the hazelnut overpower any other aromas that might be coming off of this beer.

The taste is more hazelnut with a richer roasted malt taste in comparison to the nose, maybe the hazelnut dies out, either way I enjoyed this beer.

This beer has a nice full bodied mouth feel with a dryish aftertaste that is still rich in roasted malts with a hazelnut lacing.

Not for American lager drinkers that's for sure, they'd have to work their way up to something like this.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 19:47:48 | More by LXIXME
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
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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.