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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

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

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298 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 298
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.19%
Wants: 4
Gots: 14 | 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:
Beer added by: Dogbrick on 12-16-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 298 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like a root beer float when you pour it.

Smells like a hazelnut coffee when you smell it.

Tastes like a really bad hazelnut porter beer.

Weak mouthfeel. Does have some lingering burnt malt tastes which I wish they would make the body of the beer. If they did this it would be much more interesting.

Tastes like somebody poured hazelnut extract into each bottle of this beer.

If you like hazelnut, you will like this beer. It does mellow into something tolerable.

Photo of BeerFanDan17
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice dark hue with a frothy head. This was a veru tasty porter with an obvious infusion of hazelnut. Initial flavor has hints of roasted malts, and dark chocolate. Once swalled, the aftertaste is one of sweet coffee, toffee, and hazelnut.

Photo of Maudite
2.82/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hmmm... Not really sure why I got this one. I'm not a fan of "flavored" beers, that is to say beers with flavoring added (unless it is from adjuncts, not just a liquid flavoring). Shared this one with my brother yesterday, drank from two little brewery taster glasses.

A- Thin, light/see-through brown, a shade lighter than Newcastle. Head was here and gone, little lacing.
S- Smelled strongly of hazelnut, letting me know before my first sip of the flavoring added. I was afraid it would be syrupy...
T- Not as hazelnutty as I had expected, still inadequate. Not much of a porter to begin with, little hop presence, subtle nutty taste.
M- Fine feel in the mouth, nothing lingered, thankfully. Not too carbonated, not too thin. Fine bodied, I suppose.
D- I'd try someone else's rather than getting my own.

Didn't hate it, definitely didn't love it.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.71/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Photo of NitroGen
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 12 oz longneck brown bottle "Best Enjoyed before 10-08", so I have 8 months to spare!

P: pours a watery dark iced tea with one finger of tan foam that quickly settled to a scant cover and minimal lacing.

S: Spices and earthy smell with feint alcohol

T: Starts out with roasted grains and a unique taste..ok it is the hazelnuts at the finish. While this may sound bizarre, I can only taste this one while in the mouth, as it leaves almost no aftertaste.

M: Really really thin mouth feel with the flavor being very fleeting.

D: Feel I could drink this one all day long, but with such little flavor why bother?

Photo of brentk56
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
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

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown with some red showing from the light and some lacing.

As you would expect, this beer smells and tastes nutty. A pretty sweet tasting beer with hints of chocolate and coffee and, of course, hazelnut. The taste is pretty decent but seems a bit thin for a porter so if you're looking for a more filling porter, this might not be the best choice, but if looking for a nutty experience, I can easily recommend this.

Photo of Floydster
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased from Cooke's Family Market on sale for only fifty cents in the bottle bin

Poured into a mug with a dark brown color, not far from black with a 1/4 creamy vanilla colored head, left minimal lacing, could see through it when held up to the light

Smell was full of nuttiness and roasted malt, not much else going on here though, a little bit of honey aroma as well

Taste was super dry, left a chalky taste in the mouth, definitely could taste the hazelnut, pretty one dimensional, just an average porter, could taste small parts of chocolate and hints of coffee but the malt was full of roastiness for the most part,

Not much carbonation but a thick full body

Could drink many of these, maybe another one or two, just heavy stuff even though the ABV is relatively low

Cannot beat the price I got, but other than that, I would recommend several other porters ahead of this one, still glad to see this one made all the way to California from Maine though

Photo of Minkybut
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice dark mahogany color. It poured a big pretty tan head which unfortunatly fell fast. the beer did have great lacing. The taste of this beer was a little sweet as would be expected from this type. I like a hazelnut brew. This one had just enough nutty taste to do the trick. i will buy again.

3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very black porter with only hints of brown coming from the edges when held to light. Head is a two finger fat foamy nice tan fuzz that leaves slight lace. Nose is a super roasty malt feel with zesty tingling mineral notes, and slightly soapy chocolate notes. Enters the mouth realatively thin with underlieing burnt malt on the mouthfeel. After a few sips and as it warms you do get the dark nutty roasted and coco feel. Mouthfeel is the toasted nutty burnt malt conglomeration. This beer is drinkable but not all that enjoyable or fullfilling.

Photo of Atlas1
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed a single of this at Trader Joe's the other day because I wasn't familiar with it. I'm certain I've had other Sea Dog brews before, but never the Porter. I'm not a big fan of hazelnut (can't stand it in coffee), but I thought it sounded interesting, and I'm always up for trying new beer.

Pours a nice, rich-looking brown, with brilliant hues of orange and red that shine through when held up to the light. It's a really pretty color. The slightly off-white head on top fades rather quickly, bu does end up with a decent ring around the glass, providing some lace. The nose is definitely hazelnut, in a very big way. Usually, I'm not a fan of this aroma, but for some reason it seems to work here. In fact, I even like it. It's big and bold, to be sure, but it complements the hops and malts in the beer rather well. The end result is almost a chocolately hazelnut scent that, inhaled quickly at well-spaced intervals, really comes across nicely. It tastes a bit bland, considering the assertive characteristics of the aroma, but it's still okay. More porter here than hazelnut, which suits me fine, and a strong coffee-like bitterness at the end. It is still nutty, though, with some lighter fruits like apple and pear to keep things interesting. The coffee-tasting finale, however, is what really steals the show. If you're not a coffee drinker, you might be put off a bit by this. Mouthfeel is crisp and slightly metallic; although it mellows out a bit as it warms to room temperature.

This is a solid outing by the folks at Sea Dog, in my opinion. I didn't think I'd be a fan of this beer, but they proved me wrong, and I'm glad they did. This beer works on several different levels. It'd make a nice accompaniment to a dinner (say, a nice thick pepper-encrusted steak) or dessert (I'm thinking something akin to a chocolate mouse with raspberry sauce). Good stuff.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.57/5  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.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of tayner
3.07/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It poured a dark brown with a redish hue when backed by light.. small head, but again it wasnt poured very aggressively and maybe a tad to cold.

It smelled very heavy of hazelnuts, and i was excited.. only to find that it really didnt taste much like hazelnut. it was thinner than i prefer for a porter, it was, to me, more like a brown ale than a porter.. it had enough hops at the finish to make it finish clean and crisp....

i wouldnt buy any more of this, but i think it was worth trying once... there are too many other great porters to drink to replay this average one.

Photo of Night
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear scarlet to crimson. Large, creamy, tan head with a few large bubbles; very good retention. Low but solid half-to-third glass arcs of lacing. Aroma is malty and nutty; hazelnut is definitely apparent but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with a pleasant creaminess. Flavor is dominated by creamy dark malts (molasses, biscuit, graham, a touch of sourdough) along with a hint of hazelnut. Finish has a bit of smoke, wood, and grass. Aftertaste is neutral to bitter.

Photo of TheBierBand
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the second sixer I purchased from Trader Joe's on my latest beer run. Things have been kind of Hit & Miss with the beer I get here. Sea Dog IPA was a miss. Hope this one's better...

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Got a thick 1-1/2" head over an ebony liquid.... good start. The head dwindled down to a thick cap fairly quickly.

The aroma was nice. Lots of nutty/ malty smells come through. Also a bit of chocolate.

The first thing that hits you upon the first sip is a sweet chocolate/malt taste.... followed by a nutty finish.... very little balance in the flavors.

The mouthfeel is a bit too fizzy for my taste.... too thin and not robust enough to match up to my favorite porters... like Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.

Drinkability.... this is better trhan their IPA... but nothing I would seek out.... been there.... done that... time to move on.

Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking almost black colour with wisps of brown throughout, Head is a big frothy, semi-chunky beige colour that hangs around for a while before dissolving to a medium sized lace.

The aroma is a very nice blend of toasted malt, a hazelnut sweetness, some caramel and a whole lot of butter.

The flavour provides for what is one of the most unique tasting brews I've ever sampled, and it's all good stuff for the most part. Nutty flavours mix with toasted malt caramel sweetness and once again a lot of butter, to the point where this seems like liquid popcorn at times. The Ringwood is really humming here. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and just about spot on for a porter.

This is a nice brew that I've not had the pleasure of sampling since my college days in Boston. I remember not being thrilled with it back then but can say that I quite enjoyed it now. The butter flavours may be a bit overbearing at times, meaning I'm having a pint, maybe two tops, of this in a sitting, but it's certainly something I'd like to sample more regularly than I have in the past. Worth a try for sure.

Photo of theopholis
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very dark black with a hint of red. When held up to the light, you get a deep ruby. A fairly small off-white head has a little staying power (not much), and leaves behind no lacing.

Aroma- Nice Lots of roasted malts give this beer a nice coffee-mocha nose with some hazelnut thrown in. Nice malt sweetness through-out, with a judicious amount of bittering hops..

Taste- Again, well done. Starts out with a hint of malt sweetness and a strong maltiness with a decent level of bittering hops. The taste of hazelnut is not as pronounced as the aroma was, but it's definitely there. The 3 main tastes blend well together, with no clashing and no single flavor overpowering the others.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. CO2 level is just about right. It brings out the hazelnut quite nicely.

Drinkability- It is quite nice. Not real sessionable, but well worth picking up a sixer for you and your buddies to try out.

Edit: I tried this beer again, and it has a VERY strong buttery/butterscotch taste. I don't know if they have quality control issues or what.

Photo of DogFood11
2.03/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First time I've seen this in the LA area so it was a must pick up. Poured the 12 oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass. It forms a tan head that falls to rings and leaves scattered lace. Ehh ok.

My first impression was this must be a milk stout? Ok so I'm tripping over mouse turds with the style but this is definitely milky in texture and flavor. Add in some slightly astringent roasted malts and you have it.

Notes: Far better porters on the market and readily available. Stick with the blueberry wheat from this brewer as its spot on.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of auntfloyd
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into a US pint glass.

Poured a dark reddish-brown with ruby highlights, and a big two fingers of tan head that stuck around for quite a while.

The smell is not terribly strong, and is faintly reminiscent of roasted malt, coffee, and hazelnut.

The flavor is good: roasted malt and hazelnut are the most prevalent, with a lesser amount of bitter hops/coffee flavor at the finish. Overall, quite nice, and sufficiently hazelnutty for this hazelnut fan.

The mouthfeel is solid and well-carbonated, and drinkability is high.

Overall, this is a good porter for hazelnut fans, and for porter fans in general. Definitely stronger on the nutty flavors than the roasted malt, but good enough to satisfy even the connoisseurs.

Photo of xgrafcorex
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

roasted hazelnut...the first two words that will come to your mind when you smell and taste this porter. in a blind smell test you might even be able to trick people into thinking its some coffee with hazelnut syrup in it. tastes a little malty too. not really much head at all and the beer is pretty dark. not black, but not amber. more to the black side of the scale between the two.

i think its pretty good. not my favorite porter, but definitely not one of my least favorites. the hazelnut is very front and center, so if you don't like hazelnut, i would avoid this beer like the plague. not to say its overpowering..but its the key flavor in this beer. not very heavy compared to many porters. easy to drink, not too expensive (not bud cheap though), and a decent porter. after having this, i'll be sure to try some of their other beers.

Photo of akajimmyd
2.72/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a big hazelnut aroma. Dark brown color and not much head. The taste is pretty bitter. Actually this tastes like a average porter with a shot of sweet hazelnut syrup dropped in it (like at starbucks.) The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a somewhat sticky aftertaste.

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.