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Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,877 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,877
Reviews: 1,325
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 89
Gots: 150 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,877 | Reviews: 1,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Caj1:
Photo of Caj1
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Porter is a pretty serviceable, though a tad overrated, dark brown ale that is perfect for both the warm and cold months. It's pretty flavorful and complex though not quite as dark and heavy as I first imagined it would be.

The beer pours quite nicely and leaves about two fingers of creamy tan head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The lacing that clings to the side of the glass is somewhat sparse, though the last remnants of the head take a long, long time to disappear. The beer is rather dark, though not quite as murky and opaque as I had hoped -- it is about the same color as coffee or dark cola, and it's relatively clear and transparent. Carbonation is excellent.

The flavor is really the best part of this beer. The smell is somewhat subdued in comparison to the actual taste (my subpar smelling ability may be partly to blame for this) but what scents I do get are hints of dark chocolate, coffee, a lot of malt and yeast and more than a little hops. The taste is rounded, full-bodied and complex, with creamy texture and a very earthy aroma. The flavor comes in two parts -- first a bit of chocolate-malt sweetness that is accentuated by the hops, which help add to the earth aspect. The astringency and slight piney bite then give way to pure roasted coffee and barley flavors. Damn good flavor. Mouthfeel is cool and crisp but not quite as heavy as it really should be. It's a minor complaint, though it is taken into consideration.

This is a great beer and really represents the style well. If you're just looking into porters and stouts, you cannot go wrong with this beer, and it should be high on any brown ale fan's list.

To good health and good beer.

Caj1, Dec 01, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of illpass78
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a thick near-black with a one-finger tan-ish head that sticks around a long time. Pretty heavy carbonation.

Aroma: Nice bouquet of aromas here. Coffee, dark malt, roastiness, tiny touch of floral hops. Touch of smoke, too. Some mocha in the background.

Taste: Follows the nose with black coffee leading the way.

Mouthfeel: Nice, sturdy body. Good fall/winter depth.

Overall: Really good porter from one of the brewers that repopularized the style in the United States. Hits all the right notes, and can pair with a meal or stand up on its own.

illpass78, Wednesday at 11:38 AM
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown with some red highlights witha nice creamy tan head.The aroma was chocolaty and a little nuttyThis porter has definant hoppiness in the finish thats for sure,but it has the roasted nutty malt character to begin with.A pretty good balanced porter,maybe one of the hoppiest I have had and I really liked it..

oberon, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Dark ruby brown, almost black, with a decent head.

Smell – Burnt malt with a lot of sweetness – caramel mostly.

Taste – Classic porter taste. The body is chewy with lots of caramel and molasses. There’s also some espresso bean mixed in with the malt and some cocoa powder. All the traditional porter flavors - an excellent offering.

Mouthfeel – Some carbonation is present. The smoothness is out of this world.

Drinkability – I would liked to have seen a little more depth to this porter, but for the price this was a good brew. It went down smooth.

Comments - I tasted this alongside the SN stout for comparison purposes. I thought this one was a little more complex, and I enjoyed the various flavors that I experienced along the way. The stout is amazing, though, and I would recommend both.

RoyalT, Aug 17, 2003
Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

aszatk01, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of beerhunter13
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

beerhunter13, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of tectactoe
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep ruby red, nearly black in the middle, with a light tan colored head giving mild retention and minimal lacing. Nose is full of what you'd expect from a basic porter - handfuls of roasted malts and barley. Nutty, woody, and toasty. The biggest flavor coming through on the first sip is coffee beans. Rich, roasted, and flavorful coffee beans. Toasted malts follow up along with a touch of cocoa powder that becomes more noticeable once you try to focus on it. Midway through, a nice shot of floralness appears in the form of hops providing a nice bitterness offset to the slight sweetness of the malt. The carbonation snap lines up well with the bitterness spike, providing an effective and notable bite on the tongue. Medium body, relatively high carbonation.

Across the board, Sierra Nevada brews are SOLID. This is a great, basic porter and a nice example of the style. There are many porters I prefer to this one, and I would also take SN's stout over this, however it is still a great beer and something that I would by occasionally, especially with it's low price point.

tectactoe, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of OhioBobcat
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

OhioBobcat, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev +2.6%

tbryan5, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of SteadySippin
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to chilled glass.

Appearance - Very dark brown, near black body. Light tan head. Head went from about two fingers thick to half finger. Some lacing on the glass. Quite good looking brew.

Smell - Malts. Hints of chocolate and coffee beans. Subtle but clean aroma.

Taste - There are some great, complex flavors in this porter. After my first sip I immediately tasted coffee, but soon after the other flavors come out nicely. You get some chocolate, malt, and toffee in the aftertaste. Its pleasantly rich, but balanced nicely. Flavors linger on the tongue nicely.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Not as thick as the beer looks. Carbonation is definitely there, but not overdone. Quite smooth and easy going down.

Overall - I'm not a big porter or stout guy, but I enjoyed this beer a lot. A nice rich brew with chocolate and coffee hints that goes down nice and smooth. Great job by Sierra Nevada on this one. If you're not a huge fan of porters, still give this one a shot.

SteadySippin, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of poibag808
4/5  rDev +2.6%

poibag808, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Shakerman
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Shakerman, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of ricksrealm
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

ricksrealm, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of sgoodship
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 12fl.oz. bottle, it is a nice dark brown - almost black. It has a little red mahogany showing through on the edges against the light. Popped up a nice 2 finger cream colored and frothy head. Spotty lacing. Reduced to a nice thin head that stayed throughout the drink.

S: Subtle smell. Hint of coffee with a predominant caramel malt. Tiny hint of blackberry.

T: Nice bold caramel malt taste. Touch of floral hoppiness in the finish. Fairly subtle bitter hop and coffee aftertaste with a lingering citrus flavor on the palette.

M: A little thin. Medium body, smooth and low level of carbonation which was just right.

D: Very drinkable. Knocked back a few this evening. Very enjoyable. Not a blockbuster porter for me but a very nice, well balanced brew that I would be happy to drink anytime.

sgoodship, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark brown, almost black, with an abundant 3/4" of light brown head. Clear. Great lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, coffee, with something lighter lying in wait.

T: Great complexity of malts, from something in the range of caramel to dark roast. Toffey and bitter chocolate flavors round out the flavors and enough hops to keep the whole brew in check. The finish is mostly bitter - both from bitter roast to slightly earthy hops.

M&D: Mouthfeel is full but not particularly heavy. The body and carbonation comes together in a nice creamy fashion, making the whole experience rather creamy. This is an awesome porter! I like it a bunch and would recommend it to those looking for a good dark chewy beer.

SIRIUS2, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

Brilliant ruby edges painted on the nearly black beer; lacing is nothing less than superb. Chocolate, toasted bread and earthy hop in the aroma. Tight, crisp package. Dry malt palate for the most part; roasty, with mocha and over-toasted bread. Hops are there to balance, and that is what they do--of course, there is some flavor in tow with hints of earth, wood and citrus rind. Roasty malt finish; a note of alcohol makes its mark as well. This is definitely a go-to Porter.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of Dmann
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been in a porter mood latley, so I bought a six of both Anchor Porter and the Sierra Nevada Porter. I must say I'm leaning a little in the direction of the SN. This beer had a beautiful pour, a dark reddish brown color and one of the best heads I've seen on a beer.
The smell was not what I was expecting at all: it had more of a hoppy smell than your average porter and a nice toasted malt aroma as well. The taste was very smoothe with a dominated hop flavor as well as some slight coffee and malty flavors. This one's extremly drinkable, so watch out!

Dmann, Oct 05, 2003
Photo of stoptime
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: There is very little smell to this beer. I mainly get a clean, malty nose with a slight spiciness.

Appearance: Dark and cloudy, but slightly opaque at the bottom of the pour. Topped off with a thick creamy head.

Flavor: Chocolaty roastiness, a clean finish with a slight hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, but not too thick and heavy. (As a porter should be.)

Overall, this is a nice example of a classic porter.

stoptime, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of skybluewater
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark mahogany color. Nice head leaves some lace. Smells nice, if rather faint, mostly of coffee. Taste is very good, mostly coffee and chocolate, but without the roasted bitterness of SN Stout. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

Solid porter here, quite a bit better than the Rogue Mocha I had last night. Overall, definitely a must try.

skybluewater, Nov 08, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black pour with some hints of brown on the edges and a nice bubbly off white head on top. Cocoa and coffee waft up into my nose along with a nice citrusy, grapefruity hop. Quite nice and a pleasure to smell.

Toasted, roasted, nutty chocolate maltiness intermingles with hints of bitter coffee and a nice citrusy, slightly piney hop background. A yummy, yummy porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with tight carbonation and a slight creamy character...fits the style perfectly. This is another easily sessionable SN brew....pick up a sixer and just enjoy it.

orbitalr0x, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of mediumrare
2.25/5  rDev -42.3%

mediumrare, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of blitz134
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Vancer in 2MBBIF...thanks

I've had this one before, but was glad to receive it for a chance at a review since it is so easy to come by.

Black body but with garnet highlights showing through. Solid two-finger head, tan in color. Reduced to a 1/4" cap. Lacing sheets the glass upon the beer's retreat towards the bottom.

Nose is a bit subdued. Semisweet chocolate and expresso, not much else.

Taste is lightly toasted malts. Undertones of semisweet chocolate and expresso again. Good but subdued once again.

Mouthfeel is between then and medium. Too much carbonation in this example leads to a crisp feeling on the toungue which is out of place for me with a porter.

Drinkability is good though. LIght and refreshing, I'd just like to see something a little more kicked up in the flavor and aroma areas.

blitz134, May 20, 2006
Photo of markallmon
4/5  rDev +2.6%

markallmon, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of bulldogg915
3/5  rDev -23.1%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Billowy, frothy large tan head. Almost opague color.

Malty nose... I'm not picking up a whole lot. I drank a Rogue Shakespeare stout before this, so that may affect how this beer tastes to me.

Definite caramel flavor. This beer is a bit sharp at first, and then mellows out at the end, leaving a roasted finish. Extremely tasty.

The mouthfeel is pretty well developed. Maybe a tad watery, but I dont want to nitpick.

Among Sierra Nevada's "Big three": the Pale Ale, Stout, and Porter, this is probably # 3, which is not a bad thing. It is just simply a bronze medal. Extremely flavorful, well balanced, and an excellent choice anytime. Still heads above your average porter.

chOAKbarrell, Jan 08, 2006
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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.