Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,428 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,428
Reviews: 1,423
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 111
Gots: 376 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,428 | Reviews: 1,423
Reviews by jamesDaExMoBeerGuy:
More User Reviews:
Photo of youngs11
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into snifter.

Appears dark, dark auburn. Mostly opaque with ring of coffee foam and spots lacing glass.

Smells of coffee, dark fruit, molasses.

Initially bitter, taste becomes more complex towards finish. Leaves with notes of walnut, sunflower seed, toasted wheat. Great balance of bitter and malt with a diverse profile that improves as it warms.

Slightly sticky, medium-heavy with a little chewiness, smooth with a subtle prickle.

This is a great porter. While coffee is expected and noticeable in aroma and taste, there is an exciting malt profile that was unexpected from aroma alone. Rather filling, great in the winter. Recommend

Photo of illpass78
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of Redneckwine
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh 12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Black and opaque with edges showing dark, ruby brown tones, 2 finger tan head recedes into a wispy cap, leaves good lacing. Looks like a porter should.

Smell - Roasty, toasty grain mingling with an earthy cocoa sweetness

Taste - Roasty grain is nice and earthy, cocoa sweetness and coffee notes hit the right spot, very subtle grassy/floral hop presence only really helps balance, a touch of estery fruitiness, a bit of a spicy sourness complexity shows mid-palate, finishes fairly dry with some mild roasty bitterness.

Feel - Creamy and smooth medium body with easy-going carb suits this brew perfectly: not too heavy feeling. Extremely drinkable.

Overall - An outstanding porter; this one seems more balanced than a lot of other porters out there, which makes for a really sessionable brew. I'd have liked to see a tad more hop presence in this, but that is just a personal preference. This is right up there with the best American porters in my book.

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I have really come to enjoy Sierra Nevada's offerings. I haven't tried their Porter yet, but I'm about to cross that bridge!

Appearance : top notch, chocolate brown in the glass and beautiful cranberry red held up to the light. The head is thick and juicy, khaki colored and leaving tons of webbed lacing behind. Just awesome.

Aroma : roasted barley, chocolate malts, honey, stiff hop, cocoa powder, plant.

Taste : very heavy hop presence, followed by cocoa and roasted malts. The hop is dominant throughout the tasting. The finish is dry roasted Cocoa malts and more hop. The more I drink it the more I enjoy it.

Mouthfeel : extremely zippy yet smooth. Medium to medium-light bodied. Ends dry.

Overall : a fine offering but way too much hop for my preference. It borders on Odell's Cutthroat, with its hop presence - but it is leagues better in my opinion. Nice cocoa and roasted notes, but lots of hop within a light to medium body.

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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..

Photo of RoyalT
4.28/5  rDev +10%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of SteadySippin
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of sgoodship
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of Dmann
4.51/5  rDev +15.9%
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!

Photo of stoptime
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

Photo of skybluewater
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of blitz134
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Watching a movie the other night, sampled this, Stone's and Smutty's porters. This was good, but my least favorite. It was a dark brown with a thick, coffee-colored head. It had a coffee aroma, and a coffee taste. Pretty one-dimensional. I thought it was harsher than the other porters I tried that evening.

Photo of Todd
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist cap bottle. Thin layer of sediment from bottle conditioning.

Appearance: Rich dark brown (true Porter colour) with tan, creamy head.

Smell: Earthy malt aromas with some aromatic hop presence.

Taste: Upfront there's a semi-acidic twang (black malt) with a citrusy hop flavour, followed by some malt sweetness and a dry/burnt aftertaste.

Notes: An excellent West-Coast interpretation of a Porter. A must have when the weather gets cooler.

Photo of Beaver13
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The SN Porter pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. It has a pillowy tan head that goes down to a thin film that laces the glass.

Its aroma is dry, earthy roasted chocolate, with some figs and some coffee-like bitterness.

The flavor is sweet maltiness trending towards roasted up front with some figgy notes, which is followed by a crisp bitter finish with just the right amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is creamy, but a little on the thin side.

Overall, a very well balanced porter. So far it's my favorite of the Sierra Nevada line up, and is one of the better porters I've had.

Photo of babyhobbes
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an extremely dark porter. It has a nice tan head with good retention. I smell malts and espresso and chocolate. The taste is quite good but not as strong as the scent. The mouthfeel is smooth and thinner than expected. This is a decent brew, very drinkable. I could easily down several of these is a single sitting.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark brown into my British pint with a big head. the head laces well on the glass and it appears almost black, but when it catches the light it is clearly brown.

A high L crystal sweet and caramel

The taste is smooth to start, carbonation builds and leaves a dryness on the tongue. The taste profile starts sweet and malty and continues through out.

Overall i wanted more this is a very average porter

Photo of mverity
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Damn this thing has some head retention! Deep deep brown but not opaque. Great sticky lacing. Interestingly sweet aroma, like brown sugar or molasses. Taste has a nice medium to rich malt character with some of that sweetness coming through too. Aftertaste is malty and a touch of coffee and stays for minutes. Great creamy mouthfeel too!

Photo of SAxDRC5
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Brown, not quite opaque. small tan head, little to no lacing.

S: roasted cofee, malts and chocolate. slight pine hops scent

T: almost exactly the same as it smells. not as strong as i was expecting. very good though

M: good, but more carbonated than i would prefer.

D: finished one, could have a few more for sure.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

...and continuing my porter kick.

This one pours a rich dark brown, which appears black until held up to the light. Nice creamy, 2-finger head that goes down to a nice ringwith not much lacing to comment on. Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, dark malty goodness, a bit sweet smelling...maybe chocolate covered espresso beans even. Tastes of very bitter chocolate, weak coffee, somewhat of a metallic taste to it, and finishes off lightly roasty which sticks around for a roasty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light and airy with good carbonation. Not my favorite porter by any stretch of the imagination but not bad by any means as well.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,428 ratings.