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!

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

277 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 277
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 15.23%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured very dark amber (almost black) with a creamy beige head. The head didn't last that long but it left nice lacing patterns.
S: There are moderate aromas of hazelnuts and toasted caramel malts in the nose.
T: Hazelnut flavors really stand out in the taste, which aren't too overpowering and are balanced to some degree by the underlying malts. There are also some hints of roasted coffee beans. A slight amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with some dryness.
D: The beer goes down very smoothly; I could easily drink several of these in one sitting.

metter98, May 22, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly clear garnet with an oversized head that retains and laces very well

Smell: One whiff reeks of plastic phenols and another of hazelnut; the more the beer sits, the more the hazelnuts come through; very odd

Taste: Opens with a nut bread flavor that becomes bitter in a nut skin fashion by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a brief appearance of caramel malt, followed by a hazelnut flash, but the finish re-affirms the nut skin bitterness

Mouthfeel: Very odd mouthfeel; thin and moderately carbonation but leaves an odd coating on the lips and tongue

Drinkability: A promising idea, but too many flaws to count

brentk56, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark hazelnut with bright orange peel highlights... that is revealed to be bloody crimson with backlighting. The toasted oatmeal cap is frothysoft and has such slowly popping bubbles that it hangs around for a spell. A smattering of lace is the extent of the glass coverage. Not bad, not bad.

The nose is a good one. Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter smells like what it's purported to be; that is, a hazelnut-accented porter. Well done on both counts. The toasted nuttiness smells 100% natural to me, unlike other so-called 'natural' flavorings that are used in beer.

I'm pretty happy with the way it tastes too. There's a reasonably solid chocolate maltiness that would be just fine on its own. However, with the inspired addition of what tastes like oven-toasted hazelnuts, the flavor profile goes into another gear. The most commendable thing is the perfect balance between the two flavors. Too much nuttiness wouldn't have worked as well.

I'm also happy to report that the beer isn't overly sweet. The malt sugars do their thing on the bottom end, while the Willamette hops do their thing on the top end. And the earthy nuttiness occupies the middle. It all adds up to a balanced, tasty, nicely drinkable beer that stands out in a crowd.

The body/mouthfeel is decent enough. If it was a wee bit more full and if there were fewer bubbles, it'd be even better. Those minor faults aren't enough to dim my enthusiasm however.

Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter is my fifth Sea Dog beer and is my favorite by far. I've never been a fan of their fruit beers and their IPA was unspectacular. This one, though, is well worth a purchase for those who are looking for a slightly different take on the American porter style.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Texasfan549, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An intense hazelnut flavor and aroma layered on a pretty good,but fragile, Porter base.

The Porter base beer could be easily mistaken for a sweet English Brown Ale except for the mild Columbian coffee character. Without the hazelnut, the beer would fall flat, tasteless, and watery from mid palate on.

Hazelnut is where it's at. Intense nutty, buttery, toffee-like notes make the nose very rich, robust and inviting. The flavor is a bit more volitile but still bold and savory.

Though the body falks a bit grainy and thin, the beer holds up ok. Other than the waivering malt texture, the beer has no real flaws

BEERchitect, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

kjkinsey, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a small, fizzy, off-white head. Rather cola-like in appearance.

Smell: Chocolate, roasty maltiness with a mild scent of roasted nuts.

Taste: Sweet-tasting cola and cocoa blend with the underlying taste of roasted hazelnuts. Slight spicy hoppiness, very minor bitterness present. Slight astringency creeps into the drying finish upon warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation, though a bit fizzy.

Drinkability: A simple porter with a hazelnut twist. Fairly easily drinkable though.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chesnut brown with reddish highlights thruout with a thinner but very well retained almond colored head.The hazelnut is really prevelant in the nose somewhat buttery with some caramel as well.Not as sweet as I thought it would be judging from others reviews and Iam happy about that,big roasted buttery hazelnut flavor with a touch of caramel but it dries out pretty well with a pretty raw earthy finish.A little pickly in the mouth but all in all I would say its a pretty flavorful easy drinking porter,I would buy again.

oberon, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased from a Trader Joe's. It has a very nice color, a rich dark brown. The taste and smell are both quite good. The hazelnut flavor does not over power the roasted, malt taste. To top it all off, the dog logo on the label is so cool.

zeff80, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass. It looks good, but I think it all goes downhill from there.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains caramel, hazelnuts and coffee.

T: The taste is malty and smoky with flavors of coffee, caramel and hazelnuts but there's a metallic bite that throws it all off. It's not as sweet as I had expected, which is a good thing, but it does start to come on a bit as you continue to drink it. There's mild hops presence that is about at the level you would expect from a porter. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, sticky finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, the hazelnut flavor seems like a good idea, but it doesn't seem to do much for this particular beer. I didn't get anything out of this beer that would make me want to drink it again.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

jlindros, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent that boasts of crystal malts and roasted barley. It is sweet with a nice hazelnut aroma. The taste is decent. It has a smooth roasted and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and sweet. It has a lighter feel that most porters. The hazelnut flavor also seems a bit artificial. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good drinking beer for most, but for those who enjoy Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar, this is a far cry from that.

WesWes, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3/5  rDev -13.8%

DrunkinYogi, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany brown in color. Good head and lace.

Lots of hazelnut aroma. The dark malt smells are present but quite subdued.

The hazelnut continues in the flavor, perhaps too much so. This one doesn't have much of the porter style. With so much hazelnut, it's hard to detect the dark malts. The nuttiness gives a sweetness to the beer that I wasn't expecting. There is a brief hop flavor in the swallow but not in the aftertaste which reverts to the hazelnut. If you like Frangelico, you'll likely love this beer.

smcolw, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle does not have the Hazelnut part, so perhaps this is a different beer, but perhaps not.

This beer is incredibly carbonated, no make that over carbonated; it pours with a light brown, large bubbled, four-finger thick head. The beer is a deep brown, mostly black colored beer. The aroma is dry and toasty with a roasted grain note, yet it is also a bit sweet and fruity. Something seems a bit off as well, perhaps a bit of a vegetal note, but I could be imagining it.

The beer is light and frothy when it first hits my tongue. There is a light malt sweetness that intermingles quite well with a roasted grain note. There are ample notes of dark chocolate and some roasted coffee notes. The taste is quite nice; lots of rich flavors yet still light and drinkable, just like a good porter should be. Despite my misgivings with the carbonation and the aroma, I am quite pleased by this tasty beer.

Gueuzedude, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -21%

beernads, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Gavage, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

oriolesfan4, May 23, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

They must be recipe sharing with Kennebunkport Brewing because it tasted almost the same...not a good thing either. Poured dark brown in appearance with a decent head. Smell was unspectacular...some hazelnut presence with malty notes. Taste was only average with some undiffrentiated malt presence and a slight finishing bitterness. Roasted malts was there but that about it. Watery and thin. Mouthfeel was medium and unspectacular. Didint realy want to finish mine.

barleywinefiend, May 20, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just what the doctor ordered after consuming lots of Bud and Maudite from the previous night. Or so I thought. On to the beer:

Dark ruby brown in appearance with a body that's a little thinner than I was expecting. The head rose and retains well on this one. The hazelnut extract added to this porter is dominant in the aroma with little actual porter flavor. The hazelnut remains dominant in the taste. There is a mild roasted touch it puts on the palate. A pinch of coffee wraps it all up. It's easy to drink, but it doesn't particularly hold my interest. But it tastes good and it's different, and those are reasons to sample this.

DoubleJ, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear deep brown colored ale with a very tall and resilient light brown head. Be careful pouring this one it has plenty of potential for flowing over the lip of the glass.

The smell herbal and a little metallic with a strong hazelnut and chocolate aroma. There is a slight sour smell here probably from patent malt.

The taste begins slightly sweet and a little espresso roasted coffee with a fair amount of nut flavor. Lots of patent malt here but not so much that it obliterates the flavor of chocolate and nuts. You can ID the nut as hazelnut but it is not an over the top type of flavor like you get with too many flavored coffees, this is more subtle. Chocolate, patent malt and coffee and that is about it for the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is good.

I am not a real fan of hazelnut flavored things and I probably would not have bought this if I had noticed that in the store. Having admitted I don't like hazelnut flavored things as a rule I do like this, same as I like hazelnuts themselves. Good chocolate and nut flavors this is almost a milk stout taste-wise. Definitely worth a try even if you have tried the forgettable wheat beer that this company makes.

Zorro, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three-finger light brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Nice deep amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet hazelnut nose. Starts sweet, chocolate/hazelnut flavor is right up front but not overbearing - hops are balancing, finish is clean. $1.25 for a 12 oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

jdhilt, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12ozer bottle bought as part of a six pack from North End Superette, Manchester, NH.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the clear deep mahogany brew. Frothy head lasts well, with good foamy lacing. Aroma is sweet, somewhat buttery, dark malts. Taste is sweet grains upfront, followed with a somewhat artificial flavoring style buttery flavor, possibly their "natural hazelnut flavor added", as noted on the bottle? Mouthfeel is kind of thin, but perhaps they're striving to be true to style? We'll give them the benefit of the doubt this time. Drinkability is reasonable as well. Not a bad product, but not sure I needed a sixer of this either...

ppoitras, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of BillRoth
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

BillRoth, Dec 29, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.