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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter - Sea Dog Brewing Company

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

262 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 262
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 15.27%

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: 262 | Reviews: 167 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BEERchitect


3.45/5  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

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 03:09:53 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jhoban19


4/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 00:35:05 | More by jhoban19
Photo of u2carew


4.13/5  rDev +19%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 22:28:31 | More by u2carew
Photo of tedpeer


2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 04:13:28 | More by tedpeer
Photo of dasenebler


3.23/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 03:59:02 | More by dasenebler
Photo of SykDoc


3/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 00:43:37 | More by SykDoc
Photo of Durge


3.85/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2009 04:51:06 | More by Durge
Photo of IBUnit63


3.85/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2009 22:23:52 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 21:02:14 | More by auxiliary
Photo of Boppar

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2009 18:52:49 | More by Boppar
Photo of Yeastcakes


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

04-18-2009 01:57:57 | More by Yeastcakes
Photo of morebeergood


2.15/5  rDev -38%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2009 21:28:30 | More by morebeergood
Photo of katan


3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 21:58:01 | More by katan
Photo of Jayli


2.63/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 01:01:04 | More by Jayli
Photo of CrellMoset


2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 03:22:28 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of BretSikkink


3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 00:50:16 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of bsend


4.3/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 17:59:51 | More by bsend
Photo of albern


3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 23:30:10 | More by albern
Photo of donkeyrunner


2.68/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown colored with a thin beige head that quickly fades into an amoeba looking skim. Freshness dated, the bottle claims "porter with natural hazelnut flavor added."

Smell is of those single serving hazelnut flavored coffee creamers that one finds with gas station coffee. Light roasty malt in there too.

Taste is robust hazelnut roastyness up front, in the middle, and at the end...kind of a one trick pony. Flavor progressively dissapears as beer warms. Mouthfeel is thin and over carbonated.

When I think of Sea Dog I think of yellow fizzy fruit beer and this is a porter version of that.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 23:11:51 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is a light looking Porter, dark brown but a ruby red hue shines through too easily, giving a mahogony color. Well, carbonated with a thin, stagnant foamy cover.

Honestly, the added hazlebut ingredient really dominates the nose. There is still a decent malty scent with some oatie aroma's, very nutty, dark bitter chocolate and zesty-ish hops.

First off, the body is crisp and sharp feeling but very thin for the style. The first flavor that hits the buds is a chalky, baker's chocolate with oats and wheat. Then it all gets washed away by the hazlenut additive. It's a crazy, sweet nuttiness from then on. The additive flavor mutates into a lingering bitter, slightly metallic finish. The worst part is the lingering, bitter aftertaste.

There's too many really good Porter's out there for this too be chosen again.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 17:47:26 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a huge head. The smell is very nutty, with some slightly toasted malt. The taste starts off with a big dose of nuttiness that is followed by a little chocolate flavor and a fair amount of bitterness in the finish. Pretty one note, but it definitely tastes like hazelnuts. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some pretty tame carbonation. This beer isn't anything special, but it's pretty drinkable and probably worth seeking out if you're a big nut fan.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 03:44:30 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of RickS95


3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Huge, thick, foamy, tan head...looks like a could. Color is cross between dark brown and burgundy.

Earthy, woody, hazelnut in the nose; smells like nothing I've had before...very rustic. Very carbonated mouthfeel. No lacing

Very complex taste. Not sure what tree bark tastes like, but it has to be similar to this. Like the smell, the taste is eartyh, woody.

Bitter from the carbonation and from the hazelnut; but there is a mild sweetness in the finish-licorice maybe. Also, a bit of warming in the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 18:13:45 | More by RickS95
Photo of philipquarles


3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a billowing tan head that has the look of meringue. Might actually be a bit overdone, as it's taking me quite a while to (carefully) pour. The foam is fairly long-lived, eventually simmering down to leave a small creamy cap and thick lacing. The aroma is strongly nutty--they aren't joking about the hazelnuts here. Surprised the brewery isn't Starbucks. It's so strong in fact that it seems fake. Not fake in the artificial flavoring kind of way, but in the "nut extract added after fermentation" kind of way. It smells pleasant in the same way that Lindeman's products do. Some very slight toffee aromas in the background and not much else. The taste brings the focus to dark-roasted malt; apparently very well attenuated, as there's almost no residual sweetness. Hints of slightly metallic phenols lead to a dry, nutty, finish. Not offensive, but I think it would be a much more solid offering without the hazelnut gimmick.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 18:45:12 | More by philipquarles
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Off the tap this beer was a deep chestnut color, the head was two fingers of tan foam and the retention was good as a collar and thin skim. The lacing, however, was thin. The aroma was also on the weak side, lightly nutty with a dark malt backbone. The flavors, however, were enjoyable. At first I got milk chocolate followed by the hazelnuts and some almonds all in a rather sweet way. The malt was toasty but slightly sour, especially towards the finish. Hints of wood and bark. The mouthfeel was watery for the style but the carbonation soft so it was sessionable. The body was medium. I enjoyed this beer with dinner but kept thinking it needed more weight and complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2009 19:44:44 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of tigg924


4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown with medium head that disappates

Smell: like hazelnut--truth in advertising

Taste: I taste hazelnut, burnt caramel, and dark cocoa

Mouthfeel: light and smooth for a porter with a sweet finish

Drinkability: I think this is one of Sea Dog's better offerings. I could drink this all night. There is the sweet pronounced hazelnut taste but the flavor of a porter is not lost here. i could see how not everyone would like this, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2009 03:20:09 | More by tigg924
Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.