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.
BA SCORE
80
good

307 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 307
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.9%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 307 | Reviews: 174
Photo of BraveUlysses
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Brad007
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of NStLincoln
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany pour out of a 12 oz bottle. The head is creamy brown, but thins quickly.

Lovely aromas of toffee, nuts, and milk chocolate. Smells a lot like one of those coffee drinks with a bunch of fru fru stuff in it, in other words it smells good.

Tastes almost exactly like it smells. The finish is rife with coffee flavors. Hazelnuts are more present on the palate too, hits me with some Nutella action.

Two complaints, the sweetness is a tad much on my tongue, especially up front. Secondly, this beer is a little thin on the mouthfeel.

If you are in for some big flavors and you like dessert-style coffee drinks this beer is for you.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in the Bangor location. It is a deep brown in color with a thick white head. The aroma is that star of a buttery hazelnut. The taste is sweet and finishes with a roasted bitterness. This beer is easy to drink and finishes nice. What i like about this beer is that its sweetness to start is paired with the hazelnut aroma and then turns roasted. To truly appreciate this beer you need to have it in a snifter or similar glass.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think porter will be my favorite beer this winter. It has a dark, malty character while being very drinkable. When i opened this beer and smelled it and I was overwhelmed by the dark roast aroma. the low abv makes it a great afternoon drinker when it's freezing out.

I will get this again.

Photo of ATPete
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

Pours a deep but still transparent brown color with a medium sized tan head. Booming nose of Coffee Mates extract, sweet brown sugar, chocolate covered pretzels and a nutty aroma. Lots of flavor, not too sweet, the hazelnut has a peanut butter like flavor about it. Maple syrup and coffee sweetener. Very rich in flavor with a medium body, i can really see and appreciate the flavor profile they were going for here. Very sweet and near cloying, hindering its drinkability. Worth a single bottle to split.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
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

Photo of jhoban19
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. paired with a grilled pork loin and arugula salad with goat cheese.

A: pours a rich dark brown with caramel foam, 2 fingers worth. foam settles into a nice ring that lasts throughout most of the foam. lacing is minimal.

S: hazelnut coffee, with some chocolate and vanilla. I also detect a bit of whiskey/bourbon aroma, but it's fleeting.

T: rich coffee taste, with quite a bit of sweetness from the hazelnut and vanilla. the hazelnut becomes more prevalent as the beer warms, and the bitter coffee flavor sneaks back around near the end of the pint.

M: teetering on the edge of full bodied, very smooth with just a hint of coffee aftertaste. carbonation is just right.

D: I enjoyed this sweet porter. I didn't find the hazelnut to be overpowering and it wasn't too sweet. the balance between the bitter coffee and the sweet hazelnut/vanilla was just right.

Photo of u2carew
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.
A) Pours with a two finger head. Head is tight, fairly creamy and tan in color. Settles just a bit. Lacing is semi sticky. The body is dark mahogany.
S) Nutty - hazelnutty. Some chocolate. Bread.
T) Hazelnuts are prominent and wrap in subtle chocolate notes, but after a few swigs the hazelnuts are drowned out by the porter-esque tones: smoky, cocoa, some coffee and roasted grains. Finishes with very light hops.
M) Medium to full bodied. Refreshing up front. Crisp in the finish. Mildly gritty.
D) A well craft porter. True to form and recommendable.

Photo of tedpeer
2.97/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Ridiculous off white head. 1/8 of liquid, rest of the glass is foam. Poured dark brown.

S - Hazelnut and roasted malt. Sweetness.

T - Hazelnut, chocolate, roasted.

M - Thin. Overcarbonated.

D - Well, once you can pour it, it's just ok.

Photo of dasenebler
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown, nearly opaque. Modest head, some pretty good lacing. Aroma is tangy, with a nutty, hazelnut background.

Flavor is like the aroma. Acidic, stout-like flavors. Lacks the strong roast and meatiness I like to taste in an American porter. Mouthfeel is okay, kind of weak and watery for a porter. Earthy, hazelnut flavors kind of dominate the palate. Interesting, and it works in a beer. Would be even more persuasive a brew if more substantial porter characteristics were intact.

Photo of SykDoc
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I'm not sure what happened when I read other reviews but this beer had a gigantic several inch head that was hard to control. It was mocha colored and eventually reduced to a minimal lacing. It was a deep brown in appearance.

The aroma was primarily that of hazelnut. A very mild amount of roasted malts. Not overly strong either.

The taste was overwhelmed by hazelnut. It wasn't bad but just too much of one thing. A mild roasted maltiness again lingered.

The mouthfeel demonstrated a high level of carbonation that also may have detracted from other flavors. Somewhat sticky with a sweet aftertaste that lingers.

Overall, this does not impress. It would have been poured down the drain except my wife and I shared it. It was one dimensional and did not provide a bit more of the porter flavor I would have liked.

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

A black brown color, thick and covered with a modest light tan head and showing fair lacing. The aroma is as advertised, hazelnut, along with some buttery malt, very nice, not overwhelming at all. The taste brings more of a lemon hop along with a more subtle hazelnut tone at the back of your mouth, not dominating. It's bitter and sweet at the same time and a bit cloying. There's some grassy coffee going on here, not at all a typical porter by my experience but a nice version none the less. The dryness hangs on your tongue. Carbonation is very fine and tingly, a little thin, fair drinkability but no classic session brew. Sweet malt becomes more evident as it warms, the hazelnut is subtle throughout. Very interesting, recommended for a try.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sea Dog in Topsham. Served in a standard pint glass.

Pours a good, dark brown that's a bit opaque. Head has a quality similar to root beer but surprisingly thicker and with a maple walnut ice cream quality. Decent lacing.

Scent has clean, tannic-free dark malts with a hit of caramel. Hops are of the nobler English variety - maybe a little grassy. Slight hint of chocolate and roasted hazelnut is a nice kicker. Velvety on the nose.

A pleasant surprise - this doesn't have that tinny, metallic, thin after taste that some light porters do. Malts are prevalent, fresh and very smooth with a hint of dry slate. Grassy hoppiness is balanced nicely with the hazelnuttiness. Slight caramel and molasses - maybe minimal mocha texture. Finishes full yet clean.

This has a nice body for a porter but after about 1/2 a pint it does get a little on the weighty side. The flavor profile is solid but just a little behind its weight class. Still, surprisingly creamy.

For some reason I liked this a lot more than I expected to. It had many of the favorable elements of a straightforward Porter and the nuttiness helps. Still a little heavy towards the bottom of the glass but a very good option at the old favorite from the late 1990s, the Sea Dog.

Photo of auxiliary
3.96/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - black color nice large mocha head that settled to a ring. Little specks of lace.

Smell - lots of hazlenut smell here. Some roasted malt and chocolate.

Taste - roasted malt and hazlenut taste here

Mouthfeel - medium body

Drinkability -interesting porter. Not that bad,I love hazelnut so I am a fan here.

1st review on my ipod .not bad!

Photo of Boppar
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Sea Dog in Brunswick. Served in a pint glass.

A: It's a pretty porter. Looks like molasses. Has half a finger of tan head on it.

S: Smells like roasted malt, some molasses, and a faint hint of hazelnuts.

T: The taste was actually a little disappointing. While I really like that the hazelnut taste does not completely dominate this beer, I was not pleased with how late in the game the hazelnut arrives, or the seemingly artificial taste it has, or the slight tang it leaves in your mouth after the finish. Certainly not a bad porter.

M: A touch too carbonated, but other than that it seemed about right for the style.

D: The hazelnut taste prevented me from getting more of these, but overall it drinks like a porter.

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving notes - shaker glass, room temp, hand pumped cask ale.
A - Nutty with a hint of chocolate.
A - two fingers of thick (small bubble) head, opaque body with ruby on the edges. Head lingers nicely.
M - thin body and light carbonation. Nice creaminess from the head.
T - nuttiness on the front of the tongue followed by chocolate then light roast and sweetness near the back. A bit of taste of the foam lingers on the roof of the mouth.
D - Cask conditioning gives a wonderful creaminess and drinkability to this beer. I could have several of these.

Photo of morebeergood
2.23/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Grabbed a pint last night at the Sports Depot in Allston. I have never seen this on tap before (that should have been a hint). Pours a light brown color. Thin head. Slight carbonation for the standard porter. Smell was super sweet, like a cappuccino. Taste was just downright gross. Reminded me of taking a huge gulp of some kind of grocery store hazelnut coffee creamer. No porter flavor at all. Just sticky hazelnut. No balance whatsoever. Very hard to drink. A mistake to order, and a struggle to drink. This beer should be poured into coffee, or poured down the drain.

Photo of katan
3.34/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Holy smokes head formation here. Megafoam - almost 3 inches before I gave up. The beer itself is quite black in color. The had is mocha. Little carbonation obvious.

S - A hair of hazelnut scent. Beyond that there isn't much I can detect - perhaps a bit of the roasted malts.

T - Starts off with a light amount of malt sweetness. Bitterness forms with a nutty balance. Finishes with a very potent hazelnut hit. Mellows into a sweet aftertaste.

M - Carbonation bite is strong - stings the tongue big time. The beer itself does have a strong body of unfermentables.

D - THe hazelnut flavors become a bit monotonous towards the bottom of the bottle. Carbonation makes the beer more filling than I would like. ABV is not off the charts, but a session of it might sneak up on you.

Not sure how I got on the kick of hazelnut porters, but 2 in a weekend is a trend.

Photo of Jayli
2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a a deep dark brown with a big brown/tannish colored head with moderate retention and wispy lacing kept on the sides. The nose is of slight hazlenut, not as much as one would expect, some malts, a bit of cream, and a bit bready. Taste is of hazlenut, bitter chocolate, and a touch of caramel. There is also something off in the taste - perhaps it's the way they were blended, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Mouthfeel was quite light almost watery, bitter sweet aftertaste to it. I have had better porters, and if you are looking to kick back with a good porter, I would suggest looking to a different option.

Photo of CrellMoset
2.91/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks!!

Appearance: Pours a transparent, cherry mahogany body with a huge, three-finger fluffy head that fades slowly and leaves huge, sticky, glittery, pearl-like clumps of lace strewn all over the sides of the tasting glass. I thought this one was infected at first, given the huge eruption of head, though the aroma told me otherwise. A decent start, though it's tough to rate.

Aroma: This beer smells like hazelnuts. In fact, the hazelnut aroma is so overwhelming, it actually burns my nostrils. This beer hurts. It smells like liqueur, or hazelnut extract, or like Christmas gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Taste: I want to review this off of as few sips as possible given the nose. Actually, it's not too bad. The "porter" proper comes through strong, slight alternative nuttiness, faint cocoa and toast. Of course, the hazelnut is - again - very strong, though perhaps slightly more authentic. It's not anything amazing, but it's at least drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Uneven, bubbly, with a thin body, probably cut even more by the addition of the extract. Oh, excuse me, the "natural flavor."

Drinkability: Another not too hot brew from Sea Dog, though better than the Raspberry wheat. The hazelnut in this one is just overboard, and I have to imagine that it's strong to cover up the underlying brew, which - from what I can tell - is also not too hot. Alas.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with some highlighting; large bubbled head is quite soft with some okay lacing on the glass. The nose is fairly muted although it hits all the right notes: some roast, some lightly sweet hazelnut. A little toasty.

The flavor is pretty run of the mill, although there is enough chocolate to back up the roasted notes, and the hazelnut is neither up front nor completely overpowered. Great balance, although the hops don't do much except a bit of bitterness at the tail end.

Mouthfeel is okay, could definitely be bigger, but clearly we were going for a drinkable brew here. Lots of carbonation. Not a bad little porter but nothing to write home about.

Photo of bsend
4.27/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle straight to a Guinness glass.

Upon pouring this beer looked to have a complex, darker brown color. Small amounts of head.

Smelling this beer, I really noticed the blatant, yet controlled hazelnut and some lighter elements of coffee and toffee. Overall really pleasant.

The first sip reinforced the smell. Mellow, soothing hazelnut can be tasted. The hazelnut mixes really well with the porter, providing an excellent matrimony between the two flavors. Reminded me of having Sunday morning coffee with the family.

The mouthfeel was also quite well balanced. It wasn't viscous and sludge-like nor was it too watery. An excellent mix.

I loved this brew quite a bit. There is no problem with enjoying a six pack of this. It lets you know you had a solid beer without completely filling you up. Unfortunately my main source for this beer no longer carries it. Definitely a shame as it was a wonderful addition from Sea Dog.

Final Thoughts - Definitely give this beer a try. It is a well balanced beer, and an excellent addition in the porter department.

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

This is a very dry and nutty porter that lacks some of the caremel sweetness characteristic of the style. It pours a ruby brown color with a nice creamy off white head that retains for awhile and laces just a bit. The hazelnut really comes through in the nose. There is a very dry roasted nuttiness and a strong dark roasted coffee aroma as well.

The taste is even drier than the nose. The hazelnut is not as present, but the dry roasted coffee flavors are very present. There is some overall nuttiness, but nothing that points specifically to hazelnut, until the beer settles a bit, and then the hazelnut is a bit more pronounced. There is a slight hop bittering presence, somewhat like dark very unsweetened cooking chocolate, but this is more in the finish. I can't get much beyond the dry roasted coffee and the slighly cardboard like dryness. This is just an adequate porter and not much more.

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.