Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

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very good

1,397 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,397
Hads: 3,445
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 116
Gots: 384 | 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: 3,445
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)

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

nice, solid porter. beautiful to look at, with a black body and a thin cap of sticky off-white foam that leaves a good deal of lacing in the glass. aromas of northwestern hops and roasted coffee dominate, with a bit of sourish yeast in the background. hops, bitter chocolate, and roasted grain are the primary flavors, although there is just a hint of inky, chalky malt burn hiding under it all. the smooth, medium-thick mouthfeel is beautiful. despite the powerful flavors, i could drink a few of these without becoming overwhelmed. great brew.

(550 characters)

Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful dark brown beer with reddish tones, topped with a creamy, sticky foam. The aroma is full of roast malts. It’s smoky and coffee-like, with a grainy smell underneath. The smell is almost perfect, but I occasionally sense a faint and fleeting cheesiness. Taste is roasty and bitter, like baking chocolate and espresso. It’s full and thick, complex and chewy. Extremely drinkable. I’ve had this beer a number of times, but not recently. Shame on me for not picking it up in the past few years…it’s terrific and widely available. (549 characters)

Photo of flaminghomer
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very dear favorite of mine. one of the first quality beers i ever had.

the appearance is awsome. a very dark ruby copper if you hold it up to the light. otherwise it just appears black. the head on this is great. a thick foamy tan with lots of huge pits. taste is roasty and umm..roasty. an excellent beer for the winter months. or one or two on a cool summer evening. (373 characters)

Photo of travolta
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

Apperance: Head was tan and frothy. The head was unavoidable, you had to stop pouring to accomidate this beer. The lacing hooked all over the glass. The color was pepsi on the table, but a dark dark red under the light.

Nose: Medium roasted coffee.

Taste: Smooth but crisp, lightly bitter. I had some unsweetened chocolate while drinking and at first the roast complimented the chocolate, but the end of the beer is hoppy which cut right through the chocolate. Roasted malt at first, hoppy at the end.

Notes: This brew is good on it's own, but would be excellent if paired well with a food or desert. (625 characters)

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

12 ounce bottle, pours dark honey brown, with a tan head. Malty nose, yeasty bread aromas. Notes of honey, dark roasty malts, coffee, toffee, caramel. Creamy,smooth mouthfeel. Lovely stuff, great quaffer. Easy to match this one with everything from salads, to meats to desert. Yum. (281 characters)

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep dark chocolate color with a rosy tint around the edges. Faint but sweet aroma. Very little head with traces of belgian lace circle the glass. Smooth coffee taste finishes strong to the end. Overall, a good Porter. Will buy again. Sierra comes through again. (268 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Porter

Appearance- dark reddish black with a nice tan head. Head didn't hold up very well.
Smell- roasted nut, chocolate, and I detect an ever so faint cherry scent!
Taste- roasted/ toasted coffee chocolate. Very balanced, no bitterness and no 1 flavor dominating.
Mouthfeel- smooth and creamy. No bitterness and goes down warm.

Overall- a very nice porter that is great for a rainy day! (410 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep, dark brown color with a tan head. It leaves good lacing when sipped down. The aroma is malty, roasty, and coffee-like. The flavor is roasty and of coffee, with a burnt roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy. A nice full-bodied brew.

Sampled 1/16/04 (293 characters)

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

Nearly opaque ruby with a beige head and sticky lacing quickly settling to pure liquid. Chocolate in the aroma, slight hop as well. Light bodied with medium, prickly carbonation, taste mirroring the aroma -- chocolate, with bitterness developing as it goes down, into a clean finish. Smooth and drinkable. Not adventurous, but a great example of the style, by the book. Can make a great session. (395 characters)

Photo of Hagbard
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown color with amber highlights in the bottom of the pint where light is able to penetrate. With a nice, thick, creamy, off-white head, this is how a porter is supposed to look. The aroma is subtle with a malty background and chocolate hints throughout. The taste, in my opinion, is that of the quintessential porter. Very smooth and easy to drink, the malty taste slides over your tongue. Softly sweet with slight hints of chocolate in the background. The aftertaste has a coffee element to it, overridden by the soft malt. This beer is close to a perfect example of the style. That said, it is not very complex. A straight-up porter. I'd say the edge goes to Anchor's Porter, due to its complexity, but this is still a wonderful session porter to be drunk in the company of good friends. The mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but maybe that contributes to its overwhelming drinkability. (901 characters)

Photo of BrewMan82
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, dark. Translusent black with some redness. Offwhite, thin head settles out within minutes. Smells extremely hoppy with strong roasted maltiness. I detected some slight citris acidity there as well. The taste follows the aroma, hoppy and more bitter than most session porters (hop lovers gotta appreciate Sierra Nevada's heavy hop use), but this is well soothed by the strong malt character. The finish is clean and crisp and the smoothness invites another sip. This one is so full and satisfying I salivate heavily after each sip!? It's great - one of my standby favorites. (585 characters)

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

The roasted takes charge of the fine Robust Porter. The chocolate roast fills the nose and pushes the hops to the background. I am not a hop head and usually find Sierra Nevada beers way too hopped. This one's malt bill stands up to those BIG hops.

The very dark brown beer is clear and maintains a hue of red when held up to the light. The head is robust on the pour and clings well to the side of the glass.

The flavor is wonderful. The malt is roasty and sweet in the beginning. As one drinks more, the dryness kicks in and the roasted chocolate flavor swirls in my mouth.

The mouthfeel is the one thing that I mark the beer down for. If it were fuller, this would be my favorite domestic porter. I would say the mouthfeel is just a little more than light.

This is a VERY drinkable beer. This is a complex beer where the hops are present but singing backup instead of lead. I plan on having a few bottles of this beer always in my frig. (952 characters)

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

Beer pours a heavy dark liquid, a cloudless burnt brown look with a khaki head on top. Nose is pretty much malty and hints of fruits.

Taste - Milky caramels and malts mixed with dark fruits. The result is a very warm welcome. This is the kind of flavor that you'd want to serve someone who just walked 45 minutes in the snow to visit you...after they thawed, of course. (373 characters)

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

12 Oz. Bottle pours a massive off-white/tan head over a coke-colored dark brown (semi-translucent) body. Head dies off quickly. Aroma- sweet, malty, and a little medicine-like (but not unpleasant).

Flavor- moderate body with a soft, bready, somewhat smoky with a nice hop edge towards the end- not strong, but definitely there. I am tasting chocolate and it's almost chocolate cookie-like. Oddly enough, it seems like the hops come through more after a few sips.

Mouthfeel is very nice, and this baby is very easy to drink! (529 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Not much of a head on the pour -- what's here is dark tan, less than a quarter inch tall, and is now all gone. Only scraps of dark tan film remain on the surface, and a few bubbles. Blame my pour. I'm drinking at the computer and poured with less vigor than usual, so as not to spill on my machine.

The body is deep, dark mahogany.

Smell is big -- fresh coffee grounds, dark chocolate, some hop floral notes hiding out, and a splash of espresso toward the finish.

Taste opens with an interwined espresso bitterness and chocolate sweetness -- bitterness definitely taking the lead. Out of all the porters I've tried, this one has the strongest hop profile. Bitterness jams throughout -- pleasantly -- as the roasted malts pluck out a smooth bass-line.

Aftertaste is a gradually dwindling bitterness encrused with juicy, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is creamy and palate-encompassing without being sticky. Lots of carbonation, which I find surprising -- almost as much carbonation as your average pale ale.

Another lovely, hop hoppin' brew from Sierra Nevada. (1,149 characters)

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