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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

1,408 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,408
Hads: 3,491
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 16.84%
Wants: 119
Gots: 419 | 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: 1,408 | Hads: 3,491
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easy drinking milder tasting well malted porter. Initial white head that dissipitates on top of coal black. Bit of molasses and roasted barley aroma. Tad of coffee and chocolate, tilted toward sweetness. Nicely and smartly carbonated. Quite the session ale.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated 12/7/11. I would assume this is a best by date.

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. A thick curtain of foam coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. Taste is of dark roasted malt and some toffee flavors. A mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty solid porter that is easy to drink.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: very dark. Little light passes. 2 finger frothy and long lasting head with lacing half way through.

S: mild roast, with hint of chocolate.

T: roast and caramel up front with a smokey finish. Kind of standard for a porter really.

M: little oily. Mild to moderate carbonation. Medium to full body.

O: a solid overall porter with no real memorable quality otherwise. Easy to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yet very dark amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts and some hints of toffee and burnt malts. There are some hints of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels on the light side of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down very easily and is quite sessionable.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an excellent porter. robust, dark, and drinkable. pours a nearly black chocolate color with a tall and frothy off white head. smells richly roasted, hints of coffee and cocoa. flavor is great, really nice malt complexity and smoothness. the feel is exceptional as well, perfectly carbonated, highly sessionable. a dark beer with a full body that isnt filling in any way. i enjoyed this with a maple mango glazed mahi mahi on the grill, and it stood up well the smokeyness of the fish, but wasnt overpoweringly roasty to wash out the subtleties of the food. everything a good porter should be.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasted a lot like any other Porter I've had in the past. At least this is a slightly different change of pace for Sierra Nevada. This brew shows that there is more to SN than just Pale Ales and IPA's. This beer pour a rich dark brown with a foamy light brown head. The roasted malts are nicely balanced in this with the hops used in the brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a brown/black color with a tan head that leaves spotty lacing around the glass

Smell: A nice blend of cocoa and fruity hoppiness

Taste: Strong coffee/mocha flavor on the front end with some fruity hop bitterness that kicks in very quickly; after the swallow, there is a smoky and slightly sour flavor that joins to add complexity; charcoal aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather light for a porter; more like a hoppy brown ale

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's about as true-to-style as you get. It's got all of the robust roasted grains, sweet barley malt base to offset the roasted coffee bitterness. Added cocoa for flavor and hops for balance. Light fermentation sourness and a mild lactose flavor for complexity. Despite the boldness, the balance and body lightens the impact and mellows out nicely. Though no dominating characters to mention, it's unfortunate that this beer is hardlly mentioned among the conversation of great Porter. It's deserving.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my dad for picking this up at International Beverage Selections in Grand Rapids. Served in a Hill Farmstead Wine Glass.

Pours dark brown with very little head or lacing and a good swirl doesn't bring anything up. The nose is very mild chocolate and roast plus some residual sweetness. The taste is quite bland. THere is some mild chocolate up front followed by light sweetness and a bit of roast. Body is medium with a fairly-full finish. Not quite enough carbonation, however. A bit disappointing, but this finishes up the "Top Beers - Beers of Fame" for me. Would like to try every beer on the site with at least 1000 reviews.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium black color porter with a medium size off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of roasted malt with a nice touch of coffee and chocolate. Taste is a well balance mix between roasted chocolate and coffee malt with some medium bitterness at the end. Another good well balance product from this brewery.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark mahogany hue, with red edges, and two fingers of foamy light beige head, which renders pretty consistent webbed lace around the chalice. It smells of very mild roasted malt, and earthy, weedy hops. The taste is lightly roasted, nutty malt, mild citrus, and earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium-light, and it finishes clean, getting drier all the while.

An adequate porter, the initial hint of hops pretty much fizzles, leaving a straightforward rendition of the style.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours out a coffee, black color. No head to speak of. It left minimal lacing. It smelled very malty. You could taste the malt as well as a hint of coffee and chocolate. The beer was crisp but a little too heavy to consume many in a sitting.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with ruby highlights. I can't quite see all the way through the beer, even with backlighting. The cap is ecru in color and looks sticky and faintly rocky over time. It fades to a thin, covering film and leaves broken rings and small sheets of lace on the glass.

Hops are the first thing that I notice in the nose. Not because they're overpowering, but because I didn't expect them to be present in a porter. The usual aromas of roasted malt and coffee are definitely present, but the hops have their say.

This beer has an interesting two-phase palate profile. Initially, the malty flavors of coffee and chocolate dominate. As they fade, the softly citric hops fade in and gently take over. Hops dominate the finish as well, but are fairly understated. The mouthfeel is medium for the style, though I find myself wishing that it was a little more substantial. Just personal preference.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a solid drinker with an interesting and delicious flavor profile. I'm glad that it's so readily available because I could easily make it my regular porter.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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..

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cannot believe I had never had this one before this eveing. I picked it up on a whim, served it chilled in ap int glass and enjoyed with dinner tonight. Consumed on 01/07/2009.

The pour was very nice with a rich dark brown color. SMooth mellow looking with a nice rich head of light tan and a delicate side glass lacing that really made it look quite nice.

The aroma was a nice mix of sweet, molasses like malts and a light roasted profile. Nice balance here with a hint of hop bitterness as it came around. The flavor was more of the same. Rich roasted malts, sweet chocolate like flavors and a nice little touch of hops in the finish. Mellow, medium bodied ale with nice carbonation and a smooth, and very drinkable taste.

Overall it was very solid and for an everyday, and very available porter, this is really exceptional. I was very impressed, and I am lookign forward to having this one again,

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Photo of oline73
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber to brown with a layer of off white head. The smell is mild with some roasted malt, dark fruit, and molasses. The flavor is bolder, but still not very powerful. Roast and dark fruit with a slight grain sweetness in the finish. The finish is roasty but mild. The mouthfeel is medium with lots of smooth carbonation.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of tan foam on an opaque black body. The head settles slowly and leaves a nice pattern of lace on the glass.

S - Sweet and malty, caramel and toffee with a hint of chocolate. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Brown, malty flavor up front with caramel and light coffee flavors. Some chocolate comes out in the middle and is replaced by stronger, but still somewhat mild coffee in the finish along with mild hop flavor and some malt bitterness. Mocha and a cola-like flavor linger on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Quite drinkable with a nicely balanced malt profile that walks that thin line between brown and black that we often call porter.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one of those beers that I just have never gotten around to reviewing.

A: The pour is absolutely great. A dark, dark brown with a finger's worth of off-white colored foam. The head on this beer is amazing, and leaves some awesome lacing.

S: The smell of this one is a bit different than what you'd expect from a porter. The nose is full of citrus hops followed by a background aroma of roasted malt and coffee.

T: The hops are not quite as pronounced here. There is still a nice little citrus flavor, but the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate are the big players here (more what I think of when I have a porter).

M: The body is maybe a bit thin, but still good. There is a nice level of carbonation to liven things up on the palate.

D: Another great beer from Sierra Nevada. These guys make some of the best session/most drinkable beers out there. You can never go wrong with a Sierra product.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown, near black body with a tall, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat roasty nose smelling of coffee grinds and notes of unsweetened chocolate earthy hops.

Taste: Predominately roasty and bitter, the beer yields some light hints of pale malts, chocolate malts, and caramel. Almost nil sweetness which quickly fades away, leaving the roast, earthy bitterness to take us to the dry, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Just a tad thin, a tad simple, and just not what I'm really looking for in a porter. On to their stout!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sierra Nevada shaker pint glass.

And, thanks to the greatness of ChurchKey, I got to take the glass home with me. Yay! Anyway... This guy pours a translucent amber brown with about a finger and a half of ecru froth on top. Imagine a very dark (...and headless...) mad dog. ...Something like that. The nose is composed of roasted, toasted malts, caramel, puffed rice, and a tiny bit o' funk. Bootsy would be proud, but only a li'l bit. Oh well. The roasted malt aspects come through on the tongue as well, along with some walnut, toffee, and a very slight stripe of floral bitterness. It all makes for some very tasty porter-y goodness. With a medium body and very low carbonation, everything goes down all silky smooth. Mmm-hmm. And, with the free glass, things seem even better. I reiterate: Yay! Get some!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in color- opaque - with a thin, creamy tan head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace.The aroma is of a toasted cereal and lightly caramel malt that's ever so lightly backed by earthy and floral hops. The body is medium with a very fine and gentle carbonation that gives it an impressive smoothness in the mouth. The flavor starts lightly sharp with some roasted notes, followed by some bittersweet chocolate and grainy sweetness as it crosses the palate. It finishes with a lingering, acridic/burnt roasted note and some minimal earthy hop flavor that becomes somewhat astringent. Solidly bitter, but still well balanced.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer a lot, probably one of my favorite porters. I think it just edges out Bigfoot as the best beer from this brewery. Just so well balanced and tasty and drinkable. So many flavors can be tasted and its all blended together wonderfully. I will be getting sixers of this in the future.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a medium-sized, foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, roasted dark malts and chocolate with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is smoky and malty with flavors of roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and a touch of dark fruit. There’s a decent background of hops for the style that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this beer is exactly what you would expect for a porter, but there isn’t anything about it to me that makes it stand out amongst the others. Overall, however, it’s a pretty good beer.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from above the glass gives this porter a big rich light brown head that has some pretty good staying power above a dark brown colored beer with some reddish color coming through.

A light roasted caramel to or maybe with molasses in the aroma on this medium to full bodied beer.

A great full mouth feel and rich roasted caramel malt taste with some light molasses notes coming through.

A rich slightly dry aftertaste on this beer.

Good stuff.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

re-review from fresh bottle chilled in a mug

The color is dark cola brown with translucent clarity and thick pillowy tan head with microbead and great retention with lace that sticks. The smell is full with lots of dark malt aroma with notes of roasted coffee and toast with mild yeast ester and dark dried fruit with mild cocoa odor with a slight woody hop scent.The feel is very good with deep layers of malt moderately carbonated with subtle roasted grain texture and semi-high bitterness relatively speaking for the style with mostly dry finish.

The taste begins with roasted malt flavor like coffee with nuttiness and dry dark roasted character with mild sweetness in the middle augmenting with subtle fruity taste from the yeast which has a slight spice from the hops which adds a peppery complexity w/ nice chocolate accents in the dark malt profile with a mild woody element in the back. This is a classic porter as advertised -very delicious and drinkable -I love how balanced it is yet still presents a nice amount of hops with dark malt the star. One of the better west coast examples of the style.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,408 ratings.