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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.

279 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 4
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
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Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

jdhilt, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of Naes
2.53/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

Naes, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of beals
3/5  rDev -14%
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.

beals, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
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 Jredner
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Jredner, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
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 aforbes10
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

my wife bought me a bottle from a Trader Joes in Chicago.

I was a little concerned about what this would be like considering the "hazlenut" in the name. i mean, what is this, starbucks? Poured out with a big head that turned nice and creamy. Some lacing. Smelled mostly of hazlenut, which is i assume what they were going for, as well as some roasted malt odor. Taste was toffee and hazlenut at first sip, but then i never really tasted either of those again. Malty mostly after that with a weird buttery aftertaste. Sweeter than most porters ive had. Thick mouthfeel, some bubbles. Not great drinkability...too much of a gimmick thing with the hazlenut.

aforbes10, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a nice 2 finger head that lasted a decent minute or two. The color was that of a nut brown with garnet hints. Head eventually went down to nothing towards the end of the beer.

Smell- First starts off as overwhelmingly buttered popcorn. Very nutty butter scent, this then morphs into just a creamy hazelnut aroma. Too much nuts for my taste.

Taste- A grainy malt with some melted butter sprinkled on top, slightly sweet. Overla a popcorn start. This lead into a manufactured hazelnut flavor. A little too much, only some nuances of hops.

Mouthfeel- Somewhat syrupy with an overall hazelnutty palate. This flavor stays with the drinker for quite somtime afterwards.

Seems like a beer replacement to Frangelica.

scruffwhor, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Pugsley Brewing. Poured out to a very dark brown color with a pleasing 1/4 inch head. Some lacing is noted in the glass. Aromas of hazelnut and coffee are present, as is an overall scent of toastiness that permeates the nose. Nice. Flavor was very unique; coffee and hazelnut run abound. I really thought for a moment that I had iced coffee in my mouth. Damn. Minor hints of malt and hop are shadowed by an overtone of chocolate. Not bad. Mouthfeel was decent, but would have benefited greatly from more consistancy and a thickening element. Drinkability is pretty good, as this beer could be a nice place for one to experience a beer with a good aroma, when looking for a beer that possesses this quality. Worth a try.

Frozensoul327, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of RBorsato
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown to black with a full dark tan head and very active carbonation (overcarbonated due to age?). Chocolate malt and hazelnut aromas. Prominent hazelnut flavors dominate overa roasty malt character; maybe a bit much hazelnut. Light-medium bodied with a dry roasty finish.

Interesting to try but not a session brew.

Label states: "Natural Hazelnut Flavor Added"

Per SDBC website: Four different malted barleys, enhanced by a hint of hazelnuts. Willamette hops. 5.6% ABV.

Best Before: June '05 (notched on side)
Tasted: 08/04/05

($4.99 / 6-pack)

RBorsato, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark brown in appearance with a tall tan head that leaves sheets of lace around the glass. Head seemed to stick around for awhile. Cocoa puff aroma, and that’s about all I could pull out of this. Taste is the same cocoa chocolate powder with a dash of sweet caramel. Really not much going on in the taste or smell but a cocoa powder nesquick smell. Body is about average. Drinkability depends solely on how much you like cocoa. Boring stuff. Best by date of June 05.

meathookjones, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Rugged dark brown in color, cap sized tan head, still and quiet. A buttery aroma, some malts and chestnuts detectable. Medium bodied with a sweet-sour thing going on up front. A bit off style perhaps, some light coffee beans and chocolate detected. Carbonated and creamy; beer nuts and espresso round out the flavorings. Thins out a bit towards the finish; nothing I’d go back to.

GeoffRizzo, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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 mntlover
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark but red brown when held to the light small tan head falls to cap of foam some spotty lace.
Aroma is roasted chocolate malt with a definate nut presence malty lightly roasted not much in the way of hops.
Taste is intense carbonation to start the bubbles overpower the flavor to start but when they mellow taste is nutty with coffee chocolate hints combined to leave a light bitter flavor. Overall average tasting porter to fizzy tasting and nutty for my palette.
Mouthfeel is little light and the fizzy feeling just doesn't cut it, not really over carbonated just tastes that way kind of strange but thats the way it seems to me.
Drinkability is well average wouldn't want to try again much better porters out there looks good and smells good but what follow's is not very good. Thanks go to merlin48 and his neighbor for this sample

mntlover, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of horshack7
4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The color of this beer is a very dark black with a red tint rather appealing. Upon pouring the head rentention lasts only a few minutes but yet it has a very creamy texture. Lace sticks to the glass from start to finish.

Aromas carry hints of chocolate and malt which i thought was well balanced.

Overall the mouthfeel was a very nice medium body a decently smooth. Sea Dog did very well with this porter a well crafted brew.


horshack7, Jan 06, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a dark brown color with a slight ruby tint. Thick and rocky light beage head and light lacing. The aroma is roasted and nutty, with some malt as well. Medium-bodied with a harsh hops character at the forefront. Hazelnut, malt and coffee are all overpowered by the bitter quality in the flavor. The finish is also harshly bitter at times making it hard to enjoy this beer. Not sure if this is an off bottle but I am not a fan of this beer.

Dogbrick, Oct 18, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a pint glass.

Dark ruby in appearance with a frothy head. Rocky lacings.

Aroma clearly showcases hazlenut and a sweet cake smell.

Taste is chocolate and hazlenut with a slightly hoppy finish. Nutty presence with sweetness blends well. Body feels a little to thin for a porter. I was hoping a chewier mouthfeel.

Solid 5.8% ABV in this creative style porter.

Hibernator, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There's a nice nose of hazelnut upon opening. The beer pours a nice ruby chocolate color with a nice sized 2 inch head. The initial smell is of roasted malts, caramel and hazelnut....a bit of chocolate as well. The taste is quite nice with a forward flavor of hazelnut and lingering flavors of chocolate, caramel and malt. Mouthfeel could be a bit better, a little too much carbonation for me. The hazelnut flavor is good and helps to set Sea Dog apart from other porters. Overall it's an interesting brew and something I would pick up if I was in the mood for the hazelnut flavor, definetly not something I would drink all the time.

orbitalr0x, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Sea Dog pours a clear, dark ruby brown body, not quite opaque. Tan head is two fingers tall, and patches the glass with quite a bit of nice lace.

Aroma is subdued, with toasty, dark malts.

Mouthfeel is rich and medium bodied.

The taste is much less restrained than the aroma. Plenty of sweet chocolate, notes of espresso, and a strong hazelnut flavor. Significant, hops bitterness balances this one out quite well.

A very good American porter that is very well balanced. Tasty chocolate and hazelnut flavors are dazzling, and make this a porter that I look forward to enjoying again.

merlin48, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of zerk
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with amber highlights and a very thin tan head. Aroma is quite nutty, with notes of coffee and cocoa. Flavor is quite bold, with coffee and roasted malt up front, and a nice bit of sweet hazelnut in the finish. The beer is medium bodied but perhaps a bit over carbonated. All in all, quite a good flavored porter.

zerk, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of bewley
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium-dark amber fluid fills my glass with a smooth creamy tan head that lasts all the way down.

Smells of hazelnuts, caramel and burnt leaves (slightly).

I'm not a big fan of nut flavored things in general, but this tastes pretty good. It's not overbearing--a bit thin--but quite pleasant nevertheless.

I think I will have another.

bewley, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of edchicma
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat of a dissapointment. Appearance was fine...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. Mouthfeel was medium and unspectacular. Easy enough to drink, but not sure I would have another.

edchicma, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well-laced diminishing light brown head over a deep bronze body. Aroma of almond skin, ashes, dark chocolate and maybe even cedar wood, quite original and pleasant altogether if not too intense. Taste is mostly on the sweet side, mild roasty aspect and hazelnut/honey flavor. Easy to drink with a light acidity that doesn't appear out of place, but generally a bit too watery and mineralic from my perspective.

Rastacouere, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by October 2004

Pours a dark ruby brown with a lacy brown head. Smells of roasted malt and sweet nutty aromas.

Taste is roasted dark malt, hints of coffee flavors and sweet chocolate. Hazelnut flavors underlying. Bittersweet finish. Smoky aftertaste. A really tasty and smooth porter. Prety good stuff.

ViveLaChouffe, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
2.15/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with a nice two figer tan head. Nice bit of lacing that remains for the length of the brew.

Smells very, very weakly of coffee.

Tastes weak and washed out. Like drinking coffee that's watered out. No hazelnut to speak of. Minimal hop and a hint of burned aftertaste. Yum.

Way overbubbly and annoying in the mouth. Worsened by the weak taste.


yankeeheel, Feb 14, 2004
Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.