Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,397 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,397
Hads: 3,447
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 116
Gots: 385 | 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
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Reviews: 1,397 | Hads: 3,447
Photo of moocey
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The pleasant aroma of this beer hits me as soon as I pop the cap. I don't even have to wait until pouring. It pours completely opaque black when held up to the light of my computer monitor. I'm not seeing any light get through this beer. This beer pours a solid inch of head that lasts and leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

This porter is delicious. As soon as I take a sip, my taste buds are assaulted by a variety of flavor: chocolaty malt, espresso, a bitter hoppy kick to liven things up and keep it from being too sweet. There's a bitersweet aftertaste that lingers on after swallowing - the bitterness the last to leave your mouth. The mouthfeel is just right. Not too heavy, but definitely not light. The combination of flavor and body make me want to enjoy this beer in substantially sized sips. This beer is my good ol' black and blue standby when I don't want to try anything new, and I'm not exactly sure what I'm in the mood for. It's an excellent porter, and one of my favorites. (1,003 characters)

Photo of Globetrotter
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 12oz. stubby looks like the picutre. Ingredients conform to the purity law. No freshness info.

Pours a dark and opaque deep burgundy under a big three finger tan head that settles fairly quickly, but with good contour and nice lace. The nose is very nice - roasted nut and caramel in droves. The mouth is very (too?) prickly, with medium body. We start with a good roasted nut and caramel opening, followed by a nice crips hoppy bite. A good bitter aftertaste follows the smooth malt finish. Nice complex and enjoyable brew. (533 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a 3206 date code ( late July 2003 ).

Pours opaque black with a slight tan head. Smells of chocolate malts and toasted grains. Medium bodied with a super smooth mouthfeel. Taste is of dark chocolates, toasted grains, and coffee. Finishes with a dark roasted malt bitterness.
Another top notch brew from Chico. (333 characters)

Photo of Tang07
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rich brown. It is a great beer for fall and winter. It is full bodied and full of flavor. It has a proper head and has lots of body and leaves a good impression.

It has a nice bitterness, but it is not overpowering.

I haven't had this beer in quite some time because I'm weary of buying a microbrew so far from home when it is not refrigerated. (I don't live 30 min from Chico any more.) I was reminded of how great this beer is and I'm glad that it is available on the East Coast. (501 characters)

Photo of SteveP
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Dark beer with foamy head. Soft. Carbonated. Smooth and malty with a nice mix of caramel and cough mixture. Mild natured. Some chocolate and coffee notes as expected. A very pleasant and easy drinking bit of the dark stuff. I'll have another! (250 characters)

Photo of ken3c
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mostly black with a hint of red at the corners. Thin layer of brown foam stays around. There is slight lacing.

Coffee and cocoa powder smell.

At first it's slightly sweet, then slightly tart, then there is a strong coffee bean flavor.

Full body and well carbonated.

I enjoy this beer but I enjoy others better. I prefer a stronger taste. Still, it's too strong for any of my friends to enjoy. (404 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that is slow to recede. The aroma is good. It has a roasted malt scent that boasts of dark crystal and chocolate malts. There is also a bit of hops in there as well. The taste is great. It has an incredibly smooth, malty flavor that boasts of cystal and chocolate malts. It goes down quick and easy with a creamy chocolate finish. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very easy drinking porter. It's not the best I've had, but it ranks up there in drinkability. (580 characters)

Photo of poundboy
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just a damn good beer. I've been drinking Belgian's all week long and this, though very different, is just if not more tasty in my opinion. And you can get a sixer for what you sometimes pay for a whole bottle of Belgian Brew.
Tastes like a porter should.In fact, one sip was all it took for me to think "This is the benchmark by which all porters should be judged" Hop aroma and flowery flavor up front combined with perfectly roasted dark malts. Smooth and creamy mouth. Can't comment on the head cuz' I drank it from the bottle like a heathen.
Very drinkable. I wish I had about 3 more of these in the fridge.

I know I have raved about this beer. If you know of a better porter out there, beer mail me and let me know. (735 characters)

Photo of afinepilsner
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle
This beer is nearly black with ruby hues when held to light. It has a nice head and leaves some lacing. It has a lightly roasty nose. The taste has some chocolate with a hint of coffee and some roastyness. This beer is medium to full bodied. This is a great beer that I will definatly have again. (316 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let's face it.... Sierra Nevada is one of the classic American microbreweries. However, that does not mean they're infallible, and their porter is evidence of this.


I understand their beer is brewed in Chico, CA and I'm buying a six-pack in New York City. I judged accordingly.


Awesome appearance, everything I expected from a porter. Dark brown color, but not black, with ruby highlights. Nice head after the pour, with a head that lasts all the way down the glass.

Smell was pretty good, but not that strong. Seemed faint and weak-hearted. Where's the soul?

Taste? Tasted good, but not balanced. The sharpness/acidity from the black malt was not balanced by enough caramel sweetness or malty body.

Mouthfeel was decent... although a bit too thin.

Overall, it's rather drinkable, but I think I'd only want 2, maybe three bottles at the most, in one sitting. (882 characters)

Photo of stevef
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle at 48 degrees from the beer fridge.
The beer poured with a small light brown head that quickly diminished.
Color was a very, very dark brown.
Smelled strongly of coffee and roasted malt.
Mouth feel was a little creamy and moderately carbonated.
The beer had a very pleasant roasted coffee taste with just the right amount of hops for balance. There was a slightly sweet malty finish with a hint of hops.
A very enjoyable brew. (453 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Almost black, with a beautiful and abundant head.
Smell of coffee and toasted, very delicate, toasted malts.
Same in the taste, very drinkable and pleasant. Again toasted notes, good.
The body is quite watery and drinkable.
A good bitter aftertaste, with some liquorice, and with good persistence. (301 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok cant believe I havent had this one before. Served from the regular SN 12 oz bottle. Quite an attractive looking beer, brown with hints of deep red/garnet, large creamy light tan head.lots of carbonation visible. The aroma is somewaht strange IMO for a porter,very fruity,figgy,sugarysweet..strange but not unpleasant. this is quite a sweet porter compared to most of its class.Nice malt accents, though not too roasted.Unusual taste but I like it. Very nice on the palte ,finishes semi-dry with a hint of bitterness. A quite unusual porter..but good none-the -less. (568 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a huge fan of Sierra Nevada's Stout, I was very interested to see how their porter stood in comparison. I wasn't disappointed but I wasn't quite as impressed as I am with the SN Stout.

The beer pours the expected deep brown with little carbonation and only the thinnest of heads. The drink left minimal lacing but that would be expected considering the lack of foam.

Smell was inviting - plenty of roasted notes primarily of coffee and malt. The taste followed suit, a nice dark bitter drink. While I'd never use the word 'sweet' to describe this brew, there was a pronounced note that I could only describe as toasted caramel. Unfortunately, while the flavors are enjoyable, this is more of a 'one note' approach which lacked the interesting complexity I expect from a highly rated brew.

Mouthfeel was acceptably light without being watery but the lack of carbonation did feel a little on the flat side. I wouldn't take this as much of a complaint as I'm holding SN to pretty high standards.

This is a plenty nice brew and quite drinkable, though if I were faced with a choice at the store I'd be more likely to go with their Stout which had a much more complex and balanced flavor. (1,201 characters)

Photo of stoutman
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad at all. Pours a nice jet black, but the head didn’t really stick around. Smells of some roasted grains and aroma hops, but nothing overpowering. The flavor stays true to the smell- but not as good as the Sierra Nevada stout. Lighter, almost thin, mouth feel for a porter, but nice dark color. Overall, this is an easy drinking porter. (343 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle: "Sierra Nevada Classic Porter is a completely natural beer, full of roasted malts which give it a rich, bittersweet and roasted toffee flavor. This medium-bodied ale is perfectly balanced, with a smooth malty flavor and crisp American hops."

I got a good, creamy tan head off of this, but it subsided rather quickly. It was a beautiful dark black color with wonderful notes of chocolate and coffee on the nose. There was more bitterness in the mouth than I would have preferred, but it was offset by the lovely chocolate flavor. The chocolate lingers on the tongue at the finish, accompanied by undertones of a not-unpleasant charcoal.

Re-visit on Sa, 21 July 2012. My aggro pour created better than two fingers' worth of dense, light-tan head with great retention. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Nose was chocolate, more towards milk than dark. Mouthfeel was medium and the roastiness was immediately evident in the mouth. I think it tasted more sweet than bitter, but it still had a distinct coffee/chocolate taste on the tongue. Finish gave the toffee flavor that the label mentioned. A very nice example of the style. (1,154 characters)

Photo of alexAK
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm impressed with this brew. I've been a big fan of stouts but haven't truly crossed that vague line into the world of porters. The deep dark color is what first draws me in with the impressive head. Aromas of roasted malt provide a hint of what to come. A slight hint of citrus helps keep the flavor in balance. A smooth mouthfill makes this a very drinkable beer. I'll save a place for this in my fridge. (407 characters)

Photo of ramrod666
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ths porter pours a dark brown almost black with a 1" head that falls to ring in a few minutes. lacing is thin but ample for the style . smell is of roasted malts with chocolate accents. taste is robust malts with little dark coffee and hops in the back. mouthfeel is hearty anfd thick but, quite drinkable. a terrific example of the style. (339 characters)

Photo of Enygma
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark, almost black. When held up to the light it reveals an extremely deep amber coloring. Nice thick 1 1/2 finger head that slowly dissipates, leaving a slight lacing along the top.

Smell: Deep chocolate and caramel aroma, accented by a subtle hint of the hops that lie within.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel, with moderate carbonation. The chocolate and carmel notes apparent in the nose come through quite well in the taste as well. Just a kiss of hops at the end allow for a well balanced and thoroughly tasty brew.

Overall: Yet another amazingly drinkable beer from Sierra Nevada. Tastes fantastic and goes down well all night long. (659 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out very dark brown with a nice tan head. Fair amount of lacing on the side of the glass as it went down. A nice, smooth aroma consisting of toasted, slightly nutty malts, and a lot of caramel. The taste is sweet, but mild. Medium-full bodied, with the caramel really coming through, and also more coffee flavored than the aroma suggests. Syrupy mouthfeel that goes down easy. I enjoyed this beer a lot and I think you will too. Another quality (but not amazing) brew from Sierra Nevada. (493 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very pretty cola brown with gold undertones. Rocky tan head with fairly good retention. Large, active carbonation. Decent lacing.

Smell: Nice, although not overpowering. Malt is dominant, with strong caramel notes. A bit of peaty smokiness. Some floral hop/yeast floats in and out. Surprisingly, very little coffee or chocolate.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is fairly light and the carbonation is tight and a bit crisp. The taste is... okay. The malt sweetness seems to find the center of the tongue, but a strong hoppy, yeasty bitterness dominates and it finishes dry and clean. Smoke and burnt sugar lingers on for quite a while.

Drinkability: Quite good; it's actually light and crisp for a porter, and at about five and a half ABV, it won't kill you.

It's a good beer, but I'd like it to be a bit fuller on the tongue and bit richer on the palette. All of the elements are here, but, IMHO, it smokes up and dries out too quickly. Great brewery, good beer. (985 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this served in a pint glass out of a 12 oz twist cap bottle.

Creamy head on the top of this beer. The color is an intense brown, borderline black. This is one tasty brew. Very smooth Porter that has some slight carmel sweetness.

The roasted malt flavors are right in front. As with some Porters I detect some chocolate flavors as well.

This is a really good, robust Porter from a great American brewery. (419 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this porter over the years but have never rated it. So I picked up a bottle at TJ's on a recent shopping excursion.

This dark red/black brew pours a nice strong tan head that left a nice lacing down the side of my pint. Smells of roasted/toasted coffee like malts. I had this paired with a Mexican dish and was amazed at how strong the chocolate in this brew stood out at the finish. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than some of the other porters I have had. Overall drinkability is good, even on those sultry summer desert evenings! (549 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (803 characters)

Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.