Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

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BA SCORE
79
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171 Reviews
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Reviews: 171
Hads: 308
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 5
Gots: 20 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 171 | Hads: 308
Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%
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. (605 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
2.65/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Very dark ruby body with ruby highlights. Everything through the glass is only a rough outline. The tawny head is very fizzy and soft. It gets to about 1 finger and then breaks down quickly, lacing on the side of the glass is soapy and also has a problem sticking around.

Smell: It is a mix of bread malts and hazelnut flavor. There are some hints of brewed coffee. Also get the suggestion of milk and caramel malts. Not picking up any hop profiles.

I think this smell works out pretty well. It is really, really sweet. More like a hazelnut cappuccino really than a beer. It makes me wonder if this is going to translate well in the tasting.

Taste: Astringent. That is the first word that comes to mind. This is waaay too harsh. Honestly, if you’ve ever brewed coffee in a dirty coffee pot and thought it smelled all right, right up until that first sip, that is what this reminds me of. Dang.

Hazelnut in the flavor? No. There is a sort of hazelnut in the aftertaste. But it is backed up by and almost overwhelmed by an earthy and completely unappetizing burnt coffee flavor. There are also notes of alcohol in a 5.7% alcohol beer. What?

Absolutely everything that smells good on the nose is not in the drink.

Mouth feel: Watered down and way too bitter.

Overall: This is my first Sea Dog brew and I am not really happy. Very few things make me as grumpy as drinking a bad beer. This definitely counts. Look, the nose on the hazelnut porter is pretty good. It is sweet, there is hazelnut, and it makes you want to drink it, but once you do you almost immediately feel tricked.

This beer needs to be smoothed out, the malts need to be much more pronounced, and the hazelnut really needs to be there. And the smoky porter flavor they are going for just ends up tasting like a bad batch of coffee.

I really wish I was exaggerating, and I really wish Sea Dog had made this interesting sounding beer work. (1,932 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Black with a brown ring at the bottom. 1/4 inch head and some retention

Smell: Very subtle yet nice hazelnut with hints of dark chocolate and vanilla

Taste: Wow overpowering sweetness from the hazelnut. It is a one way street with the flavor. Hazelnut, hazelnut and more hazelnut

Mouthfeel: A little watery for a porter and the carbonation is a tad to high for my liking

Overall: Kind of a hard beer to drink because of the sweetness and high carbonation. So far my experience with hazelnut in beer is less than appealing. (532 characters)

Photo of rsdaugherty
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – Massive creamed coffee head with what appeared to be light to moderate carbonation, glass clinging lace at first all disappeared, nice foam layer was retained on top, a clear dark brown brew 3.5
S – Slightly sweet malts coffee & hazelnut notes, with a bit of chocolate and oil 3.5
T – Hazelnut, coffee, roasted malts, I like that the sweetness in scent does not present as much in the taste, a well built porter that has good drinkability. Very slight smokiness. I noticed a musty earthiness coming out as it warmed. 4
M – Medium body and overall thin but still with good flavor 3.5
O – There is something meaty about this porter. Thin but nice flavor and body, a good porter but not an outstanding one. 3.5 (744 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What's better than beer....having a neighbor who's wife signed him up for monthly beer club and he can't drink them fast enough....that is where I come in....I should be a Super Friend and have a seat at the Hall of Justice....any way he didnt want his Sea Dog Hazelnut...I stepped in. The appearance was a dark amber...not quite opaque...the white head was interesteing to me...I was expecting more ecru. The nose was no question...hazelnut! There were also hints of roast. The flavor/taste was very good, but the body was lacking. The flavor screamed hazelnut coffee...I think Starbucks would be impressed....just wish it had more body. The mouthfeel was fine...very light porter...easy drinking. Worth a try....no question. (726 characters)

Photo of Thads324
4.17/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : pours a deep dark black with quickly dissipating tan head. Leaves a few large tan bubbles in the center. A nice edge of red surrounds the tulip.

S : wow, it really smells like chocolate covered hazelnuts. deep rich nutty aroma with a hint of sweet malt mixed in. no hop aroma to speak of.

T : A bready malt profile to begin with, transcends into a heavy and rich hazelnut flavor. Chocolate dominates as well, but blends very nicely with the hazelnut flavor. There is a slight hop bitterness at the end of the brew.

M : low carb and a good easy drinking beer. freshness that lingers

Overall I really enjoyed this one. The flavors are intense, so you can't really drink a bunch all night or anything. Nicely balanced and has everything you need a good porter, then suped up with a chocolatey hazelnut treat. A return beer for sure. (838 characters)

Photo of greybeardloon
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Best before April 2012.

A: Clear, dark brown. Translucent for a porter. Nice thick head that hangs around for a while, but I'm not getting much lacing.

S: Pretty subdued smell. Nuts, vanilla, and brown sugar.

T: More vanilla than hazelnut, but otherwise the flavor is pretty meager. A bit of roast, some wet, burned toast and a faintly bitter and metallic finish. There's also something weird in there that I can't identify. In spite of all that, the hazelnut isn't overwhelming, and the bitterness is pleasant.

M: Very thin and bubbly for a porter.

O: I was expecting to not like this at all, but it actually wasn't offensive. (632 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Best by April 2012?!?

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown with thin light brown head. No lacing.

Smell: Hazelnut, caramel, milk chocolate, molasses. Uh oh, this is going to be sweet.

Taste: And it does start off sweet with hazelnut, caramel and chocolate. Then it surprisingly turns fairly bitter with coffee, English-style hops and a strong roasted bite. I actually like the sweet part of the beer better (unusual for me).

Feel: Moderate carbonation, somewhat creamy body but too thin. The body does not quite support the very dry finish. Too astringent.

Overall: I expected this to be a sub-par Porter, and it is, but not in the way I expected. I was worried about the sweetness, but it is the harsh finish that bothers me (and I like strong IPAs and Stouts). I would have preferred if this was simply sweet and decadent. Ultimately it has a decent taste, but I have little desire for more. (952 characters)

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Date: 28 May 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Poured gently for a 2-finger head, reduces to nothing, lacing is super sticky, color is clear deep brown.

Aroma of swiss chocolate and slight hazelnut. Maybe a touch of coffee with a background of dark malt.

Taste is moderately high in caramel with a touch of hazelnut. Dark malts are not very noticeable.

The bitterness left on the palate is okay, and described as pale caramel. Not a bad beer, but probably would not seek out again. (499 characters)

Photo of BeerFan95
4.02/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A slightly opaque medium brown body. Had a thick light brown head that faded to about a half inch coating. Lace was decent.

S - A nice balance between roasted malts, coffee and chocolate and some mild caramel. There was a nice nutty quality to it.

T - Initially It was sweet like chocolate which gave way to a more roasted coffee flavor finishing with a great hazelnut flavor.

M - Light, easy to drink and smooth. Had a nice dryness to it in the after taste.

O- A well balanced porter that had great malt flavors and was really rounded out by the hazelnut finish. (572 characters)

Photo of Tballz420
2.94/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance of this brew is like a cola, or pop, as normal people say, in a glass. As far as i can recall from the last time i had a pop in a glass, there was a short-lived fizzy tan head on top of a fairly translucent brown colored brew. Scent is mainly chocolate malt. Kinda has the same "water" taste as the other beer i had from this brewery, again, not meaning "watered-down," but rather a distinct water. A probably-now-defunct brewery from iowa used to have a similar taste. Aside from that, its got the chocolate malt and a bit of hop bitterness, but these could be enhanced to further this beers development. I dunno, not bad i guess. (646 characters)

Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= very dark amber-chestnut, nice foamy beige head dissipating in a minute to plentiful lacing and slight rimming.

S= plentiful hazelnut and dry dark chocolate. Smells like a fine Belgian hazlenut-chocolate bar.

T= first a good slurp of the foamy head with massive hazelnut and dry dark chocolate, wow! Love it. Hints of hazelnut liqueur, shades of Frangelico. Robust malts filling it out nicely, with modest yet balanced hops florals and bitters.

M= slightly astringent or maybe just dry on the lips, some chewy dry-chocolate hazelnut malts.

O= very creative and somewhat unique in my experience. Would be great with chocolate cake or any dark dessert. Might go well with roast beef. (688 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle sampled on May 1, 2011. It pours brown with deep ruby red hues and a thin head. The aroma is more vanilla than hazelnut although the hazelnut is there in the mix. The body is about average for a Porter. The taste has little to do with the Porter Style. It is kind of like a creamy vanilla taste with no smoke and milder malts but it does have a slight hop bite on the end. For a Porter, I was a bit disappointed but it did have a solid vanilla thing happening. (487 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some coffee. Taste is good, coffee and roasted malts, I'm not really tasting much from the hazel nut, but very flavorfull anyway. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer. (298 characters)

Photo of cooch69
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Porter pours a deep brown with some amber showing through when held up to the light.

Nose is roasted malts and a concentrated dry, roasted hazelnut scent.

Wow this hazelnut flavoring is pretty obvious in the taste. It's almost like the fruit beers in which they put so much fruit in it that you can't actually taste the base of the beer. But the sweetness of the malts as well as a slight roastiness comes through in the finish.

A different Porter and one that I enjoyed but on this night of porters Southern Tier reigns supreme. (539 characters)

Photo of momobono
3.02/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.36/5  rDev +26.7%
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! (728 characters)

Photo of SnowGoon99
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (905 characters)

Photo of jellis00
2/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow! What a terrible porter. I am a huge fan of dark beers, but I would rather go sober than drink this beer again.

A: It pours fine, nice dark head.

S: I think it is a pleasant smell, with a hint of vanilla.

T: Horrible! God awful idea to mix hazelnut + a dark beer! I think chocolate, coffee, malts are good enough. The hazelnut overpowers the dark beer aspect, and you get the sensation of a really bad starbucks drink.

M: Well, it is not great. It does not settle in the mouth like most dark beers.

D: I will never buy this beer again. Period. I think the concept was good, but the actual mixture is nasty. The after taste is also unpleasant, it sorta leaves a gummy feeling in the mouth. (699 characters)

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.2/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my pilsner style sampling glass. Thin head that quickly disappears. Thin sudsy film left on top of the brew. Scents of hazelnuts and sweetness are easily noticed. Taste is mellow for a porter, again sweet nutty flavors along with some caramel, and dark chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is smooth. This is pretty drinkable beer, I will easily enjoy drinking this one. (386 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malts with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate. Also present are very mild amounts of nuttiness that intensify slightly as the beer warms.

Tastes OK. Robust roasted malt flavors with mild amounts of char and dark chocolate flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip the flavors sweeten a bit with hints of hazelnut that seem just a tad overly sweet. The hazelnut and roasted malt flavors carry through to a solidly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is on the harsh side.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was better than I'd anticipated but the hazelnut in the flavor profile seems as though it's added from concentrate. Certainly not a bad beer but not worth seeking out. (1,001 characters)

Photo of BraveUlysses
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer smells and tastes sweet...not sure if I would be able to pick out the hazlenut flavors, but there's a very strong sweet presence, with a tiny bit of a hops twang at the end. It's a little bit artificial tasting though. Tasty, but in the kind of way some cheap Easter chocolate is tasty...you knew it gets much better than this.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent...maybe a little thinner than I'd prefer, and drinkability is okay. I wouldn't want to drink more than a couple on a given night. (495 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of Brad007
2.98/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mild-brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. Looks about right for the style.

Aroma is sweet and full of caramel for some reason. Hmm. Not much else to be found.

Taste is sweet with caramel and brown sugar undertones. Seems a bit bland.

Carbonation is definitely a bit too high here. Makes it hard for the beer to go down.

Mediocre. I can find 5 better examples of this style. (398 characters)

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.