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Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,405 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,405
Hads: 3,472
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 16.84%
Wants: 118
Gots: 405 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Porter Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,405 | Hads: 3,472
Photo of CU570M
1.41/5  rDev -64%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Rich dark brown almost black in color. Mild head with no lacing. Smells like burnt toast. The tastes is really bad, it reminds me of sucking on the filter of a cigarette. High carbonation on this one and it makes the mouth feel dry. This is not my kind of beer at all.

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Photo of dragonofblood
1.45/5  rDev -63%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up a bottle of this on a recent run to Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. Have to say I was completely disappointed.

Appearance: Looked good, nice dark brown like a good porter should be. Unfortunately, that was the only good thing about the beer.

Smell: Ugh. Smelled of chocolate chip cookies being charred over a tire fire. Not pleasant at all.

Taste: Almost as bad as the smell. A strange, overpowering roasted flavour that wasn't appealing, and some charred chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Felt like cola. Too fizzy and thin.

Drinkability: Terrible. This beer was awful. I drained half the bottle after I couldn't stomach it anymore. Good thing I also picked up some Edmund Fitzgerald the same day. Perhaps this was a bad bottle, but I was expecting much, much more from this beer.

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Photo of bamadog
2.04/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Review is from notes taken on 2/23/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a dark brown, but not deep dark brown near black like coffee, and this one shows plenty of ruby highlights when held up to the light; starts with a 2 finger light tan head with decent retention; the body shows strong carbonation through the highlights; head eventually fades to a full, but very uneven cap with thick lumps on the side; fair lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Pretty weak overall, and not nearly as robust as I would like; some faint hints of burnt toast

Taste: Um, pretty weak here as well; taste comes across as watery; moderate presence of burnt toast and slight citric hops; aftertaste is bitter and roasty.

Mouthfeel: Thin and very watery; carbonation is strong, and I would say too strong and it comes across a little sharp; faint stickiness left behind, but overall the finish is pretty clean.

Drinkability: Definitely the least impressive beer I've ever had from Sierra Nevada, and I likely won't be picking this one up again; weak nose and weaker flavors.

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Photo of gfreed
2.06/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Although it's nice and dark, that's about the only thing here that resembles a porter. There's not much to smell, and very little to taste: no coffee, no dark flavor, not much bitterness, no toastiness... nothing. Very namby-pamby. If this were coffee, I'd file it under Taster's Choice. If you want a good six-pack porter for regular consumption, buy Otter Creek Stovepipe.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.12/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours an extremely dark riby with a three finger off white head. Leaves great lacing.

S - Weird. Munich malt, grains.

T - Holy Spaten Oktoberfest batman. Tastes nothing like a Porter. Munich malt, dark cherries. Small amounts of toffee come through in the finish as the lable states.

M - Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

O - A travesty of a porter. Seriously bad. I guess Sierra Nevada can make a bad beer after all. Hopefully this is just a bad bottle and future bottles taste loads better.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.21/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A semi-dark brown with bright chestnut edges. A 1 finger white head sink into a small formed collar and tight ceiling.

S - Musty old grain that has heavy oxidation mold, hints of dry cocoa powder, burnt rubber. A dry shake dust hops creates a mineral bitterness.

T - Same as the nose, burnt grain, black rubber material, hints of caramel and cocoa the tip of the tongue.

M - Thin, high carbonation.

I'm a huge fan of Serra Nevada but this porter is not good. I had it a few years ago and didn't like it and I still don't like it.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.38/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark like an oil slick with a quickly relieved one and a half fingers of off white head....

Smells of cereal, molasses and ash, a little dry on the nose

Tastes of light alcohol, and slight hops, really kind of a big disappointment. Nothing here I was expecting, nothing here I was not expecting, really just a boring flavor maybe a coca cola flavor appears after a little warming.

Mouthfeel is okay, kinda light bodied with an interesting small carbonation.

I feel terrible rating Sierra Nevada so poorly but wow this really is a stinker, I would recommend almost any porter over this one. I'm glad I got it in a make your own six pack so I don't have to give away five.

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Photo of EricCioe
2.41/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Re-reviewed after a year. One of six beers at a five person blind porter tasting including: Anchor Porter, Big Sky Bobo's Robust Porter, Deschutes Black Butte, Harvest Moon Pigs Ass Porter, Samuel Smith Taddy, and Sierra Nevada Porter. All of these are shelf beers in Montana.

This poured the thinnest brown of any of the porters. The head was thin, little lace, and red highlights. On the nose there isn't much. It's simply indefinite and doesn't smell like a thing other than vague, distant roast. In the mouth there is roast but it's in a spritzy body, very thin, Coke-like, with almost no body to speak of. This beer is very watery.

Overall, everyone thought this beer was the blandest of the bunch. It's definitely drinkable and there are no bad flavors like there were with Taddy and Anchor, but there is almost nothing of interest in this. Consensus 4th of 6, with two people rating it last for absolute lack of character.

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Photo of danielharper
2.46/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ah, another shot at Sierra Nevada Porter. Tried this a long while ago, right after I first started drinking beer, but before I was reviewing. Hated it so badly that I never finished the sixer. With more beer knowledge on my plate, let's give it another shot.

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Dark brown/black with a fairly persistent foamy khaki-colored head. Fairly decent.

S: Very sweet, malty, notes of coffee and a touch of raisin. Let this one breathe a bit after opening -- I find it cloying at first but after a few minutes it's much more fragrant.

T: Very very sweet, raisiny, cloying taste. Drying in the aftertaste, leaves me parched and unsatisfied. I can see why I disliked this beer so much when I first tried it, although with a bit more time and perspective I can understand it a bit more.

M: Thin, watery, but somewhat chewy. About standard for-style.

D: Porter isn't my favorite style, but I've had much better than this. It's drinkable, but I won't be buying another anytime soon.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.49/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottled Aug 20, 2010.

Pours thin brown with a huge foamy light tan head.

Aroma is an odd sweet and grainy/herbal, grassy, lemony concoction with a bit of caramel malt, chocolate and coffee. Moderate strength.

Flavor features some sweet malt, chocolate and caramel? Aroma and flavor is kinda odd on this one...particularly for a Porter.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, low to medium carbonation.

Maybe I got a bad bottle, but this is a pretty weak Porter. Relatively fresh, purchased and kept refrigerated so I don't think it was mishandled. An oddball for sure. Stick with the hoppy stuff, Sierra Nevada...

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Photo of mjc410
2.56/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The pour into my Sam Smith pint raises a two-finger plus head (thanks to a hard pour), the color of heavily creamed coffee. The head is slow to fall, but the lacing is sudsy and slick. The body is an extraordinarily deep garnet when backlit. The nose is dominated by roast, although it seems soft and caramelly. A little citrusy hop presence seems there also. The taste is actually fairly mild - just a bit of roastiness, balanced by some definite hoppy bitterness. Pretty spicy, but not much depth. The mouth is medium, and the beer manages to be very smooth. The spiciness really makes this beer difficult to drink. Different from my impressions on-tap, but still not a good beer.

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Photo of tbeckett
2.77/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Brown with ruby notes. Not opaque but not bright. White, 3 finger, pillowy head.

S - Chocolate and cola. Mild.

T - Roasty. Some chocolate notes but that cola aspect dominates. Far too sweet.

M - Nice and creamy in the mouth, goes down smooth.

D - Let down in a huge way. I had high expectations for this. The flavour is really weak for a porter. If I wanted a Coke I'd drink one.

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Photo of Dirty1
2.79/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought a six pack of this tonight. I had never had it before and wanted to try it because I like other SN beers. I poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- It poured a deep mahogany color, almost brown with a deep amber tint. When held to the light you can just see through it. It had a nice 2" light tan head that hung around a little while. Nice heavy laceing around the glass.

S- At first whiff roasted malts and chocolate dominated. On the second smell I picked up a funny almost sour apple smell that got stronger as it warmed a bit.

T- Started with dadk chocolate, roasted grains, and very slight hops and charred wood. It finished with a slight bitter taste and that funny sour taste. I thought it was a little astringent and that weird taste got stronger the more you drink. It reminded me of sour fruits and became the dominate over powering taste!

M- Fairly light body with a good amount of carbonation.

D- I'm not sure if I got an old six pack or what. I didn't really care for it that much, that sour flavor overpowered what balance it seemed to have at first. I will try another in the future just to see if its the same. Cheers!

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.79/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Amber color (kind of light for a porter) without much head. Roasted chocolaty aroma. Again, roasted chocolate and coffee come through with a hint of hops and earthiness. Tastes more like a "indian porter." Just a bit more carbonated than we would like.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Cheerful Tortoise in portland. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Fairly dark. Not black but maybe a really dark brown. Can see through the pint towards the bottom. Excellent amount of head. Foamy white, at least two fingers worth. Tons of lacing.

S- Very faint nose, really hard to smell to be honest. Not has "smelly" as I would like a porter to be. Faint chocolate and coffee along with some roasted malts.

T- I dunno if the keg was getting low or bad but the beer tasted really watered down. Nothing was full flavored, no punch to it. Maybe served a little to cold? As it warmed up, some flavors came out but still nothing that wowed me. Some roasted malt character, some coffee bitterness. Smoke lingering in the back.

M- VERY thin, very unlike any other porter I have had. A lot of carbonation, almost breaching into the "to much" category.

D- Not high from what I had on tap. Not enough flavor to make me choose this beer again. There is much betting in the category.

Reviewers note: I dunno if there was a problem with the keg, or maybe they had dirty tap lines? But I wasn't expecting the "lack thereof" flavor from a Sierra Nevada product. I will try this again in the bottle form, but as it is, my review stands.

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Photo of AEK
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin pint pot.

A. A clear brown beer that some may well call red. The tanned head quickly diminished to a very thin foam on top of the beer.

S. Some fruity mlat, burnt malt and coffee tones. Smells dryish.

T. Some coffee and raisins, dry finish.

M. Surprisingly very thin for a beer of this strength.

D. Not one of the better porters out there and definitely not one that I could/would have on a regular basis. Too thin a body and a clear lack of complexity on the palate and nose makes me give this one a real thumbs down. A BIG letdown after all my praise for the Sierra Nevada Stout I had a few weeks back.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
2.84/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Unlike the picture, mine came in a brown bottle.

Appearance: Pours brown, but is really seen to be a deep red when held up to the light. Three fingers of frothy white head, which stayed for quite awhile and left a good bit of lacing.

Smell: Surprisingly mind and watery. Some faint roasted and chocolate notes, some bitterness from the hops. About the only thing that differentiates this from SNPA is the hint of dark malt in the background. Blind, I never would have guessed this was a porter.

Taste: Much like the smell. Watery, with bare hints of coffee/chocolate/dark malt flavors in the background. Bitter and hoppy. Tastes more like a dark version of SNPA. Again, blind, there is no way I would have thought this was a porter.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but very thin.

Drinkability: It went down easy, I'll give it that. This is the first SN offering I've been disappointed by. I never had their porter before this year, so I don't know if they've changed the recipe or something, but this was a disappointment. It wasn't really bad, per se, but was not a good representation of the style.

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Photo of PhillyRiver
2.86/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into porter glass. First beer of evening.
This is the second Sierra Nevada beer I thought was overrated. (The other was an IPA.) Doesn't pour as dark as some other porters, head doesn't linger (lacy though), prominent cardboard taste. Meh, sorry.

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Photo of zaphodchak
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Some lacing and decent head retention.

Doesn't taste like much for a porter. Some acrid carbonation in the aftertaste, but traces of grape and chocolate as it warms.

Mouthfeel is too foamy and undercuts the flavor while adding some carbonic acid bite.

Not offensive, but not a great porter.

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Photo of bditty187
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like cola - limited head, no lace.

Very faint aroma of chocolate and roasted malt. You have to work very hard to smell it though. This beer seemed overly rough on the tongue, not very smooth, didn't really care for it.

It tastes like a Porter, no doubt, but it is nothing special, nothing noteworthy.

Overall a very average beerÂ… Disappointing for a Sierra Nevada product.

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Photo of sixthglass
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep brown in color, with a nice head that fades and leaves lovely lacing.

Aroma: Rich aroma of toasted malts, coco, hint of coffee.

Taste: Very flavorful with a toasty dark malt opening, coco, coffee, and something bitter.

Mouth feel: Thin, with a good amount of carbonation, doesn't coat the mouth very well.

Drinkability: This is a good session brew to have in the fall sitting around a campfire. Just reminds you of a nice fall evening with good friends.

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Photo of Jinholic
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance - Dark brown/ruby red color with 1 finger tan head, okay lacing.

Smell - Nose is weak on this one getting some chocolate/coffee with caramel and something else (trying to dig for it but its weak).

Taste - Roasted malts and chocolate very bitter clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light body and smooth.

Overall - Was hoping for more robust brew here with a thicker body. First Sierra Nevada beer I didn't fall for right off the bat, go try one and see for yourself.

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Photo of CIBoy10
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look - 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. Pour yields a nice off-white head that dissipates rapidly. Not much lacing. Opaque black coloring.

Smell - Loads of coffee. Smells bitter if that's possible.

Taste - Heavy on the coffee tasting hop bitterness. That's about all I get. Not much chocolate or anything else you'd expect. Maybe a little cocoa. The bitter finish lasts and sits on the tongue.

Feel - Feels very carbonated and crisp. Not necessarily a good thing for me. I like this style to be silky.

Overall - Not to my liking compared to many other widely distributed porters. Not terrible though. I probably wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of Floydster
2.89/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased individually from Cost Plus World Market for less than two dollars, poured into my Flying Dog glass

A-Deep dark brown with a slight reddish brown tint, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, some retention, no lacing
S-Dark chocolate, faint coffee, hay, caramel, light sweetness, roasted and burned malts, and grass
T-Starts off dry and ends the same way, honestly not much going on between that, some light java and cocoa flavors but that is it, gets slightly sweeter as it warms up but nothing special, needs more flavorful malt or something, too blah and lacks complexity
M-Medium bodied but pretty thin, might be too much carbonation, rich and dry mouthfeel that struggles, taste does not linger well for its style
D-One bottle is my limit on this, too heavy on the stomach and too one dimensional, smooth at times, low ABV that is hidden though

Not my favorite from Sierra Nevada, just reaslly bland for its style, you do not hear much about this one for a reason I guess, will probably skip this one next time, might be worth trying

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Photo of CrookedStill
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

*from notes 05/25/11*

Dark brown with a then tan head that quickly falls.

Lots of chocolate upfront with hints of roasted coffee.

Much like the nose there's lots of chocolate first with a coffee taste in the background.

Medium bodied with moderate amount of carbonation.

There really isn't much wrong with this beer. A good aroma, nice flavors and easy to drink. It really is a textbook porter. And that may be the one that's off with it, it's just your standard porter with nothing really jumping out to make it memorable or unique. I've had it dozens of times and I don't think I'd be able to pick it out in a blind taste test. Don't get me wrong, it's easily enjoyable, just not anything to go out of your way for.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,405 ratings.