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Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

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

2,562 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2562
Reviews: 1310
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%

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: 2,562 | Reviews: 1,310 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheRealBigC


3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a reddish hue and tan head. Chocolate and coffee smell lend themselves to a similar taste. This one has a stronger hop presence than other porters (as Sierra Nevada is wont to do), which may be a turn-off for some and a turn-on for others. Feel is pretty light for a porter, but given the hoppier character I think it works. It used to be a favorite, but having tried more beers since then, I've turned to this one a little less.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2012 04:36:55 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of Jadjunk


2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On Tap at Taco Mac Decatur 11/20. Reviewed From Notes.

(Appearance) dark brown, deep copper red tones shine through. Light surface cover, consistent thin lacing on the sides. 4

(Smell) very light dark malts, blend of caramel and coffee, a touch of chocolate. Barely potent. Unfortunate. 2.5

(Taste) Thin dark malts, less coffee and mildly bitter chocolate tastes than given in nose. Very light smoke tones also present. Mildly sweet, very mild tastes. Really underwhelming. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) There's some content for every drop of the beer. Incredibly smooth but light with flavor. 4

(Overall) A much lighter interpretation of the style, far weaker in most aspects than Id have hoped for. Probably my least favorite Sierra Nevada as of yet. 3

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 23:49:50 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of Merkur


3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap into a pint glass.

Beer pours a nice rich brown color with a lighter brown head.

Beer smells slightly of roasted coffee, but not much in terms of smell.

Beer tastes very roasty. Hints of chocolate and espresso.

Moutfeel is fairly thick.

Overall, kind of a lackluster porter.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2012 02:49:15 | More by Merkur
Photo of drabmuh


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is brown to black with a thin tan head, small bubbles, some lacing low carbonation.

Aroma is roasty like weak coffee and a little sweet.

Beer is medium in body and overall nice. It is an interesting and pleasantly sweet beer with a mild roast at the end. Overall easy drinking and a fine beer. I'd have it again and I have had it on several occasions.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 04:36:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of smakawhat


2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured on tap in a shaker pint at Meridian Pint DC.

Appearance is a very nice off brown to mild tan head, and slightly creamy looking. Body has a very nice red/brown hue on the bottom bot a very dark brown clear impressible looking body. Puck remains throughout drinking, this is quite good looking indeed.

Bouquet is small, missing, and unfortunatly predominantly sour. I was hoping for some malt, chocolate, coffee, roast, anything but there is nothing going on here, very neutral.

Taste is immediately sour, with a mild dark malt mid palate taste but very small. I wish I could say more but honestly, there is NOTHING going on here. Mouthfeel has a strange hop finish but with a light bodied wet feeling and fizzy carbonation. Finish is jerky meats and salts.

Seriously, I have lately had some fantastic American porters and after drinking this... this is just barely average. Sierra Nevada makes some great beers but this is not one of them, I'll pass.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 00:05:38 | More by smakawhat
Photo of jsprain1


4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Chocolatey brown with a thin but long lasting head on it. Great retention on it.
S- toffee, coffee, caramel, chocolate, slight hops. Well rounded.
T- Good flavor to it. Same flavors as aroma, just much more pronounced. Relatively complex, yet not altogether mindboggling.
M- slightly creamy until a dry finish.
D- A very tasty and well rounded beer. I like when I can get a beer like this that is approachable, yet also multi faceted.

Serving type: on-tap

11-01-2010 05:16:35 | More by jsprain1
Photo of taigor

New York

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured black non-transparent color with light head that quickly dissipated leaving almost no lacing around the glass.

S - Malts, coffee and chocolate hints.

T - Coffee and dark bitter chocolate upfront with slightly sweet malt finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Enjoyable and light to drink but nothing overly impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2010 21:18:18 | More by taigor
Photo of CaptainTripps


2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 01:10:21 | More by CaptainTripps
Photo of MrDanno96


3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice ruby brown color with a finger of off-white head. Foamy lace coats the sides of the glass.

S: Coffee, roasted malt and chocolate - pretty much what I expect from a solid porter.

T: A strong flavor of roasted coffee immediately hits the tongue before transitioning into hints of dark chocolate towards the finish. Some hops also make an appearance in then finish and contribute a little bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, but a little too much carbonation IMHO.

D: A solid go to porter. Still, with Edmond Fitzgerald readily available in my area, I don't frequent this beer often.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2010 05:40:56 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of EgadBananas


4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown color with lots of ruby highlights around all edges... Not particularly as dark as most porters, but this is just fine for the style. Big fluffy off white head with nice lacing.

Smells uber roasty, with hints of chocolate and a slight bit of black coffee. I love all three, so this scores high with me. A tiny bit of hops show up to do a little balancing act with all those other bold flavours.

Taste is right there with the smell. It's really roasty with the malts, theres the chocolate hints and a coffee/hop bitter finish. It's great.

Leaning toward medium, but could be a little heavier on the feel, but wonderful none the less.

It doesn't get much more drinkable than this. Its another wonderful sierra nevada beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2010 19:24:53 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of glid02


3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a dark brown color with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of good amounts of roasted malt with mild amounts of cocoa powder and milder amounts of pine hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by unsweetened cocoa powder. Near the end of the sip a solid hop bite comes into play - pine with hints of citrus - before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another without a problem.

Overall this was a porter that was definitely on the lighter side of average. I thought SN's stout was a better representative of the style than the porter however both are above average and worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2010 22:18:58 | More by glid02
Photo of MOB210SA


4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2 finger brownish tan/khaki semi-sluffy head. Dark black in color but light can be seen through not to difficult. Cherry brownish accents. Looks real nice, some lacing.

Very nice dark roasted malitness, coffee, and sweet chocolate. Smokey roasted, some kind of coffee drizzled chocolate desert. Smells pretty good.

Taste is mostly a big bouquet of roasted maltiness that finishes with a delicious coffee finish, and a little alcohol.

Medium/full bodied and silky smooth with a nice bubbly carbonation makes it just super smooth and very drinkable.

Porters arent my favorite style but as always Sierra Nevada does a great job on their version.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2010 17:35:56 | More by MOB210SA
Photo of SurlyDuff


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The porter from Sierra is rather unremarkable, but it was across the board good. Well balanced and flawless. It doesn't have anything in here that makes it stand out from other porters.
Dark brown mahogony, not black. It's got a sweet dry earthiness.
Slight burnt smokey coffee and cocoa. Light nutty flavors in here too.
Rather thin mouthfeel in here, especially for a porter. It's not dissapointing, just a bit syrupy and thin.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2009 22:27:13 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of lhaqq


4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near black but slightly brown body with a sticky tan head.
S: Mocha and some dark chocolate.
T: Similar to the smell--the mocha dominates, also with some dark malts.
M: Fairly thick, sticky, and smooth.
D: Probably one of my favorite porters. Could definitely have a few of these.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2009 06:39:48 | More by lhaqq
Photo of Murchmac


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, hadnt had this beer in a looong time.

Pours with a nice head, very dark hue in the middle, light brown on the outside.

Smells hoppy, like a hippie bathing in flowers.

Tastes a lot less hoppier than I remember. I used to think I didnt like this beer because it was too hoppy, years ago. Over time my palate thinks this is a great balance. Hoppy character, good malty character for a porter.

Sweet aftertaste.

Much like lays potato chips, its classic.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2008 04:45:59 | More by Murchmac
Photo of chadlebald


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this on tap on a snowy day in Dallas (when snowed in and missing your flight, may as well enjoy!).

A very nice, creamy tan head...with very good lacing. Color is very dark, almost stout-like.

Deep malt nose.

Lots of coffee flavor, as well as the roasted malt.


Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2008 23:18:34 | More by chadlebald
Photo of TheEclecticGent


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap at Summits in Sandy Springs, GA. It pours into a barrel mug a deep brown color with a tan colored ¼ “ head that is steady with some lacing. Not a whole lot of smell. What smell there is was a very light dry grain smell. The beer has a good flavor. It has a creamy dryness that tastes of roasted malt and unsweetened chocolate with a decent hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy and full. This is a good solid porter and I would buy more and drink it anytime.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2006 02:40:27 | More by TheEclecticGent
Photo of jabocu


4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap in Pint Glass

First off… Very good Beer

A – Dark and rich color. Almost chocolaty in color. Half inch off white cap that disappeared not too quickly.

S – Malty and hoppy. Smell the caramel right away. Very good enticing smell. Couldn’t wait to taste it.

T – Hops with chocolate and caramel. Very smooth but full of flavor. Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

M – Exactly what I expect a porter to be. Medium body with good sensations and aftertaste.

D – Absolutely will get this again. Great from start to finish.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2006 21:28:02 | More by jabocu
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ordered this at a pub with a smokey atmosphere. I've had this in the bottle but this was a first on tap. Hard to get a good smell, but the classic burnt malt / coffee smell did manage to make it through.
The flavor was that of strong toasted malt, with some coffee hintsin the background. The hops aroma and bite do a nice job rounding out this porter and balancing a solid malt body. Not a heavy bodied drink, very nice brew to enjoy in the pub. As an example on tap I was very happy to find this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2006 16:06:59 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at CW's Tap Room in my hometown.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a chalky brown, slightly transparent beer with a small head and minimal lacing. Smells mostly of roasted grains and malt -- nothing too impressive.

Taste? Creamy, heavy roasted malt flavor, high carbonation, bittersweet beer. Mild coffee. Some hops are present. A good, basic porter. Leaves with a slighty dry aftertaste.

Not much to say on this one. It's certainly enjoyable, although uncomplex. Great for an intro to the porter style, if you like this, you'll probably like most porter.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2006 23:11:19 | More by kkipple
Photo of ppoitras


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

Shaker glass presentation. Nice tan 3/4" head over the almost opaque dark brown brew, and laced well. Aroma is dark malts with a tinge of hops character. Taste is dark malts, esp chocolate, with a slight crisp, hoppy finish. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, went down smooth and easy. Enjoyable porter.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2005 20:01:50 | More by ppoitras
Photo of scottum


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Waiting Room in Burlington, VT.

Wow! I've never seen a keg of this in Vermont before so I had to check it out. Nice deep dark brown complex with slight tan head. Great mouthfeel. Taste is well rounded and complex. A very decent porter. Certainly the best beer available at this bar on this night.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2004 00:28:51 | More by scottum
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Capital Ale House.

I was surprised to learn that I'd never tried this offering from SN, despite its wide availability here in the RIC. When I saw it on tap, I decided to give it a shot.

Poured a very deep, dark brownish-black with a tight and thin layer of tan-colored head that gave a nice amout of lace on the glass. Aromas are very nice...with a toasty grain/fruity sweetness/brown sugar mix together creating a delightful matrix of scents. Flavor is very good. Bitter chocolate, smoky, caramel, roasted grains in this one. Finishes with a healthy dose of roasty-bitterness. Just ever-so-slightly on the thin side but still extremely drinkable.

Notes: Letting this one warm up considerably really brought the flavors out. Ranks slightly behind GLBC's "EdFip" in my porter book.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2004 21:15:28 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of aaronh


4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, served with a moderate tan head that showed excellent retention. Fruity malt aroma with a decent dose of hops. Roasted notes in the taste are well balanced with some nice chocolate. Decent bitterness on the finish helps balance out the flavor profile and begs you to take another sip. There is a moderate level of sweetness that is revealed as you continue to drink this beer, but again it is all about balanced flavors. The mouthfeel is solid, as it caresses the tongue like fine silk. There is a nice roasted malt aftertatse theat lingers, but doesn't opress. A very dinkable and enjoyable beer from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2003 16:46:21 | More by aaronh
Photo of Jon


4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra's Porter has been a long-time favorite of mine, but this was the first time I'd ever tried it on tap. There was certainly a difference. This poured very dark, almost black, with a nice tan head that stuck around. Smell was nice and roasty with some toffee, chocolate and coffee aromas. The taste was quite diverse, featuring all of the above flavors and some tasty, lingering hops. Mouthfeel was quite good with a nice, mellow carbonation. For a porter, this is pretty easy to drink. A typically excellent beer from SN.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2002 14:58:24 | More by Jon
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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,562 ratings.