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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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 bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. The beer smells mostly like hazelnut, with some coffee and roasted malt in there too. It tastes the same way that it smells, mostly like hazelnut and malt. It's mostly sweet, but there's a slight bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light/medium, also a bit slick. Drinkability is good, but I don't know if I could drink more than 3-4 of these at a time. With that being said, I thought it was good and I would drink it again.

Photo of tgbljb
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish-brown color with chunky tabbis head.
Smell is much lighter than would be expected, but a light nuttiness is present.
Taste is significant for roasted malt with more of the nutty taste also present.
Nice full rich mouth feel with a pleasant drying finish.
Nothing great, but easy to drink.

Photo of Grundle20
2.74/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*Note: I'm not somebody who likes to give a beer a bad review and I tried to keep this from being "Trollish" but I truly did not enjoy this beer.*

Pours a a deep dark brown in to a pint glass. There is a big brown eggshell colored head with moderate retention but no lacing to speak of.

I can't really candy coat for this brewery anymore despite my Portland roots. This smells like hazelnut yuck. I can't quite pin what the underlying scent is but my first thought is wet rotting wood but it isn't pleasant and its definitely trying to be hidden with a hazelnut scent. The hazelnut seems more like an afterthought then a carefully thought out flavor addittion.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again it tastes hazelnutty but it really seems like it's trying to hide something unimpressive. It seems like they finished the beer and didn't like the way it turned out so they dumped a bunch of hazelnut extract in to the bottling vat. The body is powdery and bitter with minor bittersweet chocolate in the finish leaving me with a truly less than delicious aftertaste of tree bark, and that's not a joke or a stab, it truly tastes like green woody foliage.

To me porter isn't one of the more drinkable styles of beer and the fact that I'm really not enjoying this beer makes it even that much more of a struggle. It's unbalanced and has a really awkward aftertaste to boot.

Bottom Line:
I thought after the wheat and the IPA that the porter had to be better, boy was I wrong. The whole drinking experience of this beer felt like a shoddy attempt at dolling up a less than stellar porter. I'm glad that I enjoy their blueberry wheat because I really don't like having to not like a small town brewery but this just isn't that great at all.

Photo of Drew966
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter pours a dark brown with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's a malty aroma and the hazelnut is noticeable. Flavorwise, it seems as though the hazelnut is really predominant, and it's quite a bitter hazelnut flavor. I'm not saying it's bad, but definitely more bitter than I expected. I think the bitterness has effected my enjoyment of this one, a little less bitter and this would be a better beer.

Photo of bthompuz
2.58/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A – very dark with some ruby highlights, not as dark as some porters, creamy head that lingers

S – hazelnut flavor, smells almost artificial or chemically, some roasted malt smell, but the hazelnut really dominates everything else

T – like the smell the hazelnut dominates, little to no hop flavor or bitterness, some bitterness from the roasted malt, only aftertaste is the hazelnut

M – medium mouthfeel, seems a little light for a porter, but fine

D – I wish they had dialed back a little bit on the hazelnut, it works well with this beer, but I would have preferred to taste something beside just that. I am glad I tried it, but cannot see having another.

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is dated for Feb '07 drink by date. This brew pours out a black color with rosy red edges. The head is thick at about two fingers high and light brown in color. Ths leaves very decent lacing and very good head retention.

The smell is darkly roasted maltiness and some biscuit aroma wafting through. The taste is nicely malted with very light hops. There is a small hint of sweetness followed by some coffee flavors.

The mouthfeel is not thick or chewy, but, medium bodied.

Overall, I think this is a decent porter and an easy drinker.

Photo of terrabyte
2.46/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out dark brown. The head was a very short white foam that disappeared fast.

Smells a little bit floral and cherry. Although it also reminds me of some of the phenlys from bad malt liquors or the extra alcohol from Dog Head 120 Minute IPA. No nutmeg that I can tell.

Flavor was completely lacking of nutmeg. I'm a big fan of nutmeg coffee and I've also had good nutmeg flavored beers. So this either was a bad bottle, my tonuge is dead, or people are reading too much into their labels when reviewing this beer. Other than that, this taste like that last swallow of coffee at the bottom of the cup. Too cold, and weak.

Mouth has a tiny fizzy carbonation to it, affecting the front lips. (Nothing big like creamy foam in the middle, etc)

Front top to bottom, I didn't like this beer. I wouldn't seek it out, or try another.

Photo of scott
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks good with the pour - nice fluffy head over a dark brown body.
Huge hazelnut, and almost smoky afternote.
Momma hazelnut, with some caramel and weak coffee notes.
Very good appeal to tongue and cheeks.
One goes down quickly, but the sweet body doesn't call me in for another.

Photo of malcontent
2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

When poured, Riverdriver doesn't yield the opaque, black liquid that some others do, but rather a dark brown that has a reddish glow to it (because light is getting through, I assume). Decent head & overall a nice-looking beer.

Hazelnut & coffee dominate the nose but there are roasted malt & faint hop scents in there, too. Smells like what it says it is. So far so good.

Nope. Not doing it for me. This seems like a stab at the sweet-style porter that Anchor (who does a far superior job with it) makes but instead falls flat on its face. The tastes are clumsily packed in there like they had bottles of flavoring & just poured them in as if on a check list; "Coffee? Check. Roasted Malt? Check. Hazelnut? Oh, sh*t! I dropped the whole godamned bottle in!"

Too syrupy in consistency for me & after not digging the taste I couldn't see myself having more than one. In fact, I couldn't see myself having another one, period.

Photo of NEhophead
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.
No best before date notched.

Pours a toffee, deep maple in color. One inch, creamy lightly tannned head with solid retention. Condensed lacing with a decent cling.

Roasted malts: dark chocolate, mocha. Intensely nutty aromas: hazlenut and lightly toasted almond. A dried richness that isn't the least bit sweet.

Caramel and unsweetened molasses engulffed by dried nuts: almond, hazlenut, etc. A touch of sweetness prior to a mouthful of earthen hops. A heavy diacetyl flavor that works well with the nutty flavors aided by a soft bitterness. The aftertaste is toasted, dried nuts.

Almost full in body; dry and earthen, almost gritty. The mouthfeel holds up the dryness of flavor rather nicely.

A pretty flavorful and unique Porter, though I couldn't see having more than a few in a sitting as the flavors do linger.

Photo of TastyTaste
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear brown cole, with a nie off-white creamy head.

Smell: Hazelnuts as advertised with cocoa, smells much like frosting.

Taste: Lots of hazelnut and roasted malt, a nice combination. The best beer marketed at Trader Joe's that I have tried, although the hazelnut tastes somewhat tacked on and leaves a little waxy mouthfeel. Still, on of the better finds for $.80 a bottle.

Photo of Phatz
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer seems like it should almost be in a hybrid style. It is not a flavor found naturally in beer. Despite the odd artificial flavoring it is not a bad taste.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown but as a came up stairs it looked black with red hue in this light. Small light brown head fades fast.

Smell: Artificial hazelnut. Molasses caramel malt and a burnt campfire come to mind in the aroma. plenty of nuts.

Taste: The taste is extremely nutty. More so than I think I have tasted before. It is odd though. Like an artificial intensity. It has a strange, woody, ashy, earthy tobacco flavor. There are hints of sweet molasses and caramel. Then there bit of a harsh tobacco bitter swallow with a coffee burnt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was a bit like a flat soda cola, with tiny little prickles here and there but mostly smooth water.

Drinkability: It is hard to say with these unique types of beers. This is one I finished but certainly don't need a case of it. I probably won't get it again but it was worth trying once.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of semihobo
2.77/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz best by Jan 07. Okay, "natural flavor" added, but I'm open to these sorts of things.

Okay tan head. Dark chocolate mahogany, adequate retention, looks a little thin and clear but otherwise solid.

Smell is mostly hazelnut, with some chocolate, and a touch of some sort of cigarette, I think a menthol (I swear it's the first description that came to mind and the most accurate), but in a pleasant way. Not too sweet, the nuttiness is true. Put my nose in the beer trying to get the subtleties and sniffled beer onto my new khakis. Damn. Oh sweet, they are the liquid resistant kind.... oh life is good.

Not as dominantly sweet or nutty as I expected. The roasted malts and respectable hop presence give it a little edge complicated by a slightly chemical twinge. Definitely tastes like hazelnuts, although they aren't really special; the flavor probably works better than brewing with real nuts. Very slightly sweet but avoided the sugarbomb trap to which many flavored beers fall prey, could maybe use a little more sweetness though. Watery. Really, a lot like black hazelnut coffee -- too bad for me I take my coffee with sugar and cream, but for the people out there who drink nutty coffee, you could drink this before work!

Thin, watery mouthfeel with some gas to it. Off-taste on the finish.

Eh I thought it was okay at first but it got old fast. I'm waiting for a beer with natural flavor added to really punch through, it's tricky but I think it can be done. This would make a go-to nutty porter ... if you're into that sort of niche. Worth trying though.

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of witflee
2.29/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured with a relatively experienced hand into a clean beer glass, and GET OUT OF THE WAY, this grew the biggest, thickest head I've seen since high school. In fact, the head is still going strong twenty minutes later. Nice-looking shaving cream, I mean, beer foam, but I have never seen a porter produce a head that rivaled a pilsner's. Stick a nose in, hmmm, good chocolate milk aroma, and is that latex paint with isopropyl rubbing alcohol? I hope not. Mouth, whadda you say? Sipped a thick mouthful, there is a strong sizzle of medicine and alcohol, carbonated coffee, and a cruel aftertaste like sucking on a dirty zinc coin. But do I give up? No, I persevere, I am a fool for porters... and in the end I am unimpressed, and a little queasy, too. Sad, you can't trust a smiling dog wearing a fisherman's rain slicker.

Photo of Stubbie1
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark brown brew with hints of red when held in the light. A tan head met the top of the glass and slowly faded away to a thick lace. Aroma is of malt and nuts, a hint of coffee and caramel maybe mixed in. Taste is a bitter up front with the coffee/nut flavor then going to a tad sweet from the malt and leaving a bitter dry but crisp finish.
This is one (imho) of those “transitional brews to start someone on. It is good enough to drink all night but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

Photo of riversider76
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a slight redish hue. One finger plus head,and averge lace. Smell is of hazelnut,but is not very strong. Body is thin and flat. Taste is smokey, with a smooth hazelnut flavor from start to finish.Not a bad beer, but on the light side.

Photo of SilentSabre
2.62/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow. This began doing a wonderful job impressing me. It poured a very dark, deep reddish brown colour with nearly no head at all. It had decent lacing. It smelled largely of hazelnuts, and moderately of coffee with a tiny bit of smoke hiding in the back. "Positively delicious", I was thinking. What a rude surprise for me when I took a sip. Very bitter. Absolutely none of the hazelnut smell is present in the taste. No coffee. Nothing. It's just very bitter and bland and doesn't really taste like much of anything. The mouthfeel is very disappointing, as it is quite thin and lifeless. This is a terrible disappointment all together, actually, as the appearance and smell had me very excited indeed, and then culminated into this. Perhaps someone out there enjoys this, but as for me, I'll stay away from it in the future.
Blessed Be

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of Naes
2.54/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This porter pours almost black with brown highlights. It has a two inch tan head that retains and laces well.
The aroma is hazelnut upfront with some caramel malt in the background.
The flavor starts out with a strong hazelnut presence and is followed by a bit of roastiness and a slight vanilla flavor. Overall, it is just too sweet for my likings.
Mouth feel is medium in body and generously carbonated.

I think the hazelnut flavoring is just a bit over the top.

Photo of beals
2.99/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Trader Joe's in Cambridge.

Solid pour, but a little too much carbonation. 3" tan-colored creamy head, some lacing. Dark brown, barely translucent. Initial aroma is a little metallic, but that's the only thing I found wrong with this beer. Smooth mouthfeel. Big hazelnut presence -- in contrast to the very small "with natural hazelnut flavor added" print on the label. It's a welcome flavor, though, and not overbearing. A strictly malty brew, undetectable hops. As a result, it's a one-dimensional beer ... could use a hop presence or some coffee/smoky flavor.

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of Jredner
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mildly roasty aroma, but dominated by the hazlenut aroma. Dark brown with a MASSIVE three finger thick tan head. Fore is big on the hazlenut flavor followed by mild roasty notes hints of vanilla and almond and a smooth clean finish that leaves a tasty lingering flavor of hazlenuts. Easy drinking brew that can get a bit too sweet after more than one or two.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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