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Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

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

2,674 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,674
Reviews: 1,313
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 82
Gots: 82 | FT: 1
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: 2,674 | Reviews: 1,313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

2.83/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 14:35:13 | More by StarlightSeraph
Photo of showell


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

This one poured almost black, with an off white head. The head lasted a long time, and there was a nice lacing. The scent was heavenly. VERY nice scent of roasted chocolate and coffee. The taste is much like a roasted coffee bean with just a hint of malt thrown in. Nice carbonation. I could drink these all night if I let myself. The only problem is, I'm having an awful time finding any more of it. I found a couple of loose bottles at trader joe's and haven't seen it again...

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 00:26:58 | More by showell
Photo of bunnyhustle


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

Pours dark, dark mahogany with ruby highlights. Rocky off-white head with good retention and lacing. A very nice looking beer. Smell was rich of dark chocolate, toasted grain, caramel, and some raisin. Taste is of toasted and burnt grain, chocolate, some toffee, and dry malt. Low carbonation and a slightly thicker mouthfeel, almost chewy. Overall a good beer and easy drinker. I think this could almost pass for a stout as I think it has a fuller body than many other Porters.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 02:52:25 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of ChugsMugs


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into standard pint glass

A-Dark brown to black. 1/4inch head. Holding it to the light barely lightens up its color.

S- A rich chocolate smell with mollasses and a nice sweetness.

T- Initial overflow of semi-sweet chocolate taste. Some zestiness to it. Not too rich or overwhelming, maybe a hint of fruit, red grapes perhaps?

M- lots of carbonation on the tounge. Easy to swallow and leaves behind that rich semi-sweet chocolate flavor.

D- pleasing to the mouth. Not too heavy or overwhelming with chocolate richness to make it a single pint beer. I say these can be enjoyed in good numbers.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 17:13:10 | More by ChugsMugs
Photo of Lerxst


4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Sammy Smith Imperial Pint glass.

A-Beautiful dark, dark brown. A nice off white head with nice lacing.

S-chocolate, coffee, malts blend nicely together.

T-Hey, this stuff is tasty with some solid follow through on the nose. There is a nice blend of coffee, chocolate with delicious roasted malt. I know taste is a personal preference, but the quality and balance of flavors here is almost perfect.

M-A nice medium body. Not overly heavy. A bit too much carb for my taste, but I can handle that since the rest of this beer is simply amazing.

D-Very drinkable. A few of these in one setting is certainly possible since I've done it several times.

When you combine the factors of cost and quality, its hard to beat this one. This is a GREAT porter that I can pick up on sale for $5.99 a sixer. Makes me wish there was a "value" catagory for a review. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 00:08:02 | More by Lerxst
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Dark brown, back color. tan head with some lace.

smell - Mild hops and some cocoa, smoky.

taste - Has a cofeee taste and then finished off with a bitterness taste.

mouthfeel - Medium bodied.

drinkability - Even balance porter that wasnt that bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 17:58:10 | More by auxiliary
Photo of seand


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a mug.

A: Pours a very dark solid reddish brown, almost black. A little under a finger of creamy tan head. Some lacing.

S: Fairly strong smell, sweet milky coffee.

T: A bit more subtle than expected from the smell. Somewhat sweet, again with a coffee presence, with a light hint of hops.

M: Very nice carbonation. Medium to full bodied feel, slightly sticky.

D: Very drinkable. Would make a nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 02:00:35 | More by seand
Photo of BeanBone


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

Appearance: A thick, rich mahogany body with ruby highlights and a solid finger of cream-colored head that leaves great lacing.

Aroma: All of the normal aromas for a Porter: roasted malt with lots of smoky, bittersweet chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste: Much the same profile as the nose; lots of roasty malt, rich chocolate, and coffee. But, now there's a subtle hoppiness in the end. Bitter, yet balanced. The aftertaste features dark chocolate and a decent dose of hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the style, without ever being too thin.

Verdict: Sierra Nevada Porter is just a solid, drinkable beer. It's uncomplicated, but never simple. Highly drinkable, but never boring. I've heard rumors that this beer might be taken out of my local market in order to make room for the new year-round Sierra Nevada beers. That would be quite a shame, here's hoping they can squeeze everyone in.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 22:13:04 | More by BeanBone
Photo of stephens101


4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The in-laws left this one in the fridge after the weekend. I think they're catching on to how this family thing is supposed to work. A straight tan head sits on top of a coal black brew with no light shining through. Head recedes at a quickened pac. A few thing lines of lace are left. Aroma is subtle with sweet malts rising first, then some faint roasted nuts and maybe a splash of honey and pine. I'm going to stop there as not to try and seek something that is not there. All in all, its not as bold as expected. Let's move on. Tastes sweet and malty up front with a nice little hit of hops following up quickly. Some black coffee and a hint of pine finish it up. Carbonation is big, and keeps everything lighter than usual on the palate. Mouth-feel lies somewhere between medium and heavy, but it goes down pretty easy. Many porters tend to over do things in one area or the other, but this is a Well-made, well-balanced porter, which is not a surprise considering where it came from.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 22:11:07 | More by stephens101
Photo of adamette


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live Review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I bought as a single a while back. I cannot decifer the "best by" date but it is Z361W1844 I think. Poured into my clean, clear Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A Very nice 2 to 3 inch head over a dark but not completely black body. In front of direct light I can see some dark burgundy colors.

S An unexpected nice sweet milk chocolate. Not dark chocolate like you might expect but a nice Hershey's Milk Chocolate. Quite a nice, inviting smell.

T The milk chocolate gives way to a nice roasted malt with the chocolate in the background. This could be a reference Porter for those interested in what a porter should taste like. Really nice.

M Suitably moderate to big but nothing extreme like an RIS. Actually a bit average for the style but that is just fine.

D One and done for me (I only had the one) but I could see drinking two to three of these in an evening.

Notes: As stated above, a possible reference beer for the style. Quite good.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 01:55:45 | More by adamette
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

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

One finger tan head with moderate retention and lace, under a bright light I can just barely make out the outline of my fingers on the other side of the glass. Low steady carbonation. Smells of roast malt, freshly ground coffee beans. Taste is impressive and delicious with an underlying nutty taste, roast malt, slight espresso, hops. Smooth mouthfeel despite a brazil nut dryness and moderate astringency. Finish is long and drawn out, again dry. This is a tasty porter that is more nutty than coffee-like, a real pleasure as are all SN brews I've been lucky enough to sample.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 01:58:41 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of washburnkid

New York

4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Three fingers of a huge, bulbous head that almost spills out of my stein. The brew is a dark brown with ruby hues. The rocky head sticks around for a while and leaves some sticky lacing.
S: Chocolate, coffee beans, and oatmeal. These are absolutely inviting aromas for me.
T/M: Big sweet malts of semi-burnt chocolate and roasted coffee. Rounds out to a citrus/tangy finish. A great bitter residue sticks around from this nearly medium-bodied brew. Roasted flavors really pull through as the beer warms.
D: This is exactly what a porter should be. Will it replace Black Butte as my go-to beer?

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 03:36:22 | More by washburnkid
Photo of duffextracold


3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black color. thin 1 finger head, dissipates quickly. Smells like roasted malt, with a subtle sweetness. Tastes like sweet crystal malts, balanced with slightly bitter roasted malts. Slight dried fruit in finish. some hints of chocolate. Light mouthfeel, but not watery at all. light to medium carbonation. overall very good, light, refreshing porter. I've seen this stuff a million times at the store, but just finally got around to trying it. another solid offering from S.N.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 02:46:43 | More by duffextracold
Photo of supercolter


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

Alrighty so had this poured from bottle to glass at Old Chicago. Decent appearance, an off black color almost more deep brown than anything. Smell and taste pick up with some slight hints of dark chocolate and toffee, a mild undertone of nops. Mouthfeel is on par the style lower carbonation and medium in body. Quite pleasant to sip on.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 04:40:39 | More by supercolter
Photo of jkbusman

North Carolina

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

A - Dark brown, but not opaque with a short tan head that sticks around for the duration

S - a full sweet malty aroma with some hints of earthiness

T - sweet malty flavor right of the bat that slower rounds out into a full earthiness with hints of hoppy bitterness

M - medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - the only porter I religiously stock in my fridge; great for those nights when a dark beer is needed but a liquid meal is not

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 01:36:49 | More by jkbusman
Photo of Andreji


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

Another very very plausible beer by Sierra Nevada.

Pour is profound dark brown almost fully black with a dark tan head that sits atop a fairly long time- maybe moreso than their stout.

smell is of roasted malts and coffee, very strong but not overwhelming. well balanced with a sort of veggie hoppy feel. taste is a very nice sweet roasted feel which makes it a typical but delicious porter in any case. plus the body is quite thick but- again- not overwhelming and well carbonated (doesn't seem nitro and shouldn't be).

classy beer, another hit by the folks at SN.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 03:45:42 | More by Andreji
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark brown, but a good bit of light still makes it through. Tan, 2-3 fingered head rises. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S - Big roasty aroma with a touch of sweetness. Some leafy/grassy hops linger in the corners.

T - Roasted malt is at the forefront. Burnt toast comes to mind and goes into a mild but noticable sweetness. Mid to late palate is dominated by a crescendo of roasty flavors, touching on burnt whole wheat bread, hints of coffee, and some earthy flavors. Bitterness is mild to moderate with an acrid quality akin to a dry stout. Aftertaste is filled with more bitterness, a little grassy and earthy with a nod to the hops.

M - Medium bodied leaning towards the ligher side. Moderate carbonation. Quite a bit thinner than I'd prefer.

D - An above average, solid porter. A little too roasty without characteristic fruity/sweet/slighty sour notes of a porter. More stout-ish than porter, but at least it's unoffensive.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 08:06:46 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of drink1121


4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Porter. I know, took me long enough, but I am fairly new to BA, so give me a break.

I have a few sips left. Its taking me about 20 minutes to drink this beer.

A- It looked great right after the pour with good three finger head. I thought at first that there was going to be some nice lacing, but I was wrong. Pretty much no lacing down the glass. No I take that back, no lacing at all.

S - Coffee malts along with other malts, pipe tobacco, some caramel towards the end.

T - Same as the smell with def. coffee after taste. I feel like I just had some starbucks.

D - I could drink a few of these in a row. Not bad at all for the first time.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 04:11:28 | More by drink1121
Photo of MS2k


3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark with a tall tan head. Nice lacing and retention.

S: Anise and roasted barley malt with hints of apple.

T: Strong roasted taste, but also sweet. Has a nice sharp bite towards the end with a lingering malty taste.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, and even a bit creamy.

D: Not fantastic, but definitely a great porter. Relaxing and fun to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 04:25:19 | More by MS2k
Photo of JizackFH

New York

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

Appearance: Dark Brown with a nice brown head

Smell: Nice smell with a small hint of citrus

Taste: Very Nice Roasted Malt Taste with hint of Citrus and caramel

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel that coats your mouth

Drinkability: Nice drinkability goes down smooth. Gonna have to go grab me another.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 04:16:07 | More by JizackFH
Photo of BeerManDan


4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When poured, it was very dark brown in color with very little foam and did have some lace on the side of the glass. The smell of roasted barley malts and a hint of a fruity aroma. The taste was of roasted malts, hops, with a chocolate, caramel and hints of fruit and citrus. Nicely balanced, smooth and mellow feel in the mouth, with just the correct bittersweet, tart feel on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 00:34:19 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of teejay76


4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely recommend this!

Appearance - Dark brown pour with decent head which dissipates fairly quickly (a plus for me, not a fan of foam).

Smell - Great hops aroma with a hint of citrus.

Taste - Not only a great taste but an awesome light hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth but picks up strong.

Drinkability - Wish I had another on hand...

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 01:45:52 | More by teejay76
Photo of mjurney


3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Appearance]: Dark brown to black color with a thick tan head.
[Smell]: Roasted malts, hint of citrus fruit.
[Taste]: Roasted malts, hint of caramel and nutty, also has a nice citrus bite at the end.
[Mouthfeel]: Medium bodied.
[Drinkability]: Very smooth porter. Worth buying.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 19:19:41 | More by mjurney
Photo of greengorilla


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. It is dark brown, almost black beer with a thick tan two finger head. The lacing is excellent.

The smell is a pleasant aroma of roasted malt.

The roasted malt flavor comes through with a hint of citris. The taste is very good, but I have had better tasting porters.

The mouthfeel is also very good.

It is very drinkable. I would consider this a good valued porter to have on hand.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 15:38:43 | More by greengorilla
Photo of homebrew311


3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Right now they are running a special on this beer at 4.99 a six pack... can't beat that. Let's see how it is...

A: Pours a very dark brown with a foamy light brown head. When held to the light, you can see through it's deep mahogany brownish color. Leaves nice lacing around the glass and the head retention is very good.

S: A malty presence is immediately detectable, though not as roasty as some porters. Some sublte hints of chocolate, tobacco, and earthiness. A little bit of hop citrus squeezes it way into the aroma.

T: The maltiness is there along with the roasty flavors from the smell, but the hops really come out in the taste. A nice citrusy pine flavor that quickly undercuts the roasted malt flavors. This porter has some hop character, almost like a toned down version of Alpha Klaus. I was almost looking for a little more smokiness or roasted flavor, but the finish nicely melds the earthiness from the hops with the roastiness from the malts. This beer is interesting and pretty well balanced.

M: A relatively light body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Average on carbonation level.

D: High marks for drinkability. With it's light body and interesting flavor profile, this beer is very sessionable. Esp at it's 4.99 price tag... I better pick up a case or two while it is still on sale. One note though... don't drink this brew after an impy stout, otherwise it will taste watery.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 22:25:06 | More by homebrew311
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,674 ratings.