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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

2,715 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,715
Reviews: 1,315
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 83
Gots: 93 | 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: 2,715 | Reviews: 1,315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tjsprague


3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Porter pours very dark brown, you can hardly see through the glass if you hold it up to the light. It has a nice pale brown head that trails down the glass as you drink.

Not much by the way of smell, just a light toasty smell from the grains.

Taste is pretty good. You can really taste the roasted aspect of the malt. It is a smooth beer with no bitterness and no real hop presence. A good malty flavor. The toasted malts come to the front and bring a nice flavor to the beer.

My biggest complaint is the mouthfeel. For me this is a bit too watery. When I drink a darker beer I like it to have more depth and thickness too it. This is a bit on the watery side. I know Porters aren't supposed to be velvety beers per say, but I would like a little more from this beer.

All in all a good example of an American Porter and a fine beer for late winter.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 07:05:03 | More by tjsprague
Photo of abar22


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Dark brown beer with red hues when held to light. It poured a billowy tan head 2 fingers thick. After 10 minutes or so it settled into a nice thin cap with light lacing.
This beer spoke to me more smell wise than any beer I've tried thus far. A light whiff brought hoppy citrus goodness. I tilted my glass, took a big whiff, and smelled the roasted coffee goodness I had expected to.
It tasted like it smelt but in reverse. At first I got the hints of coffee and blast of carbonation. Then, there was a brief pause before the cituslike hops took me to the finish. The after taste is fantastic. I think it is a roasted nut but there is also something pulling me toward dark chocolate. Either way it lingers and creeps its way back up my throat to my nose. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 02:24:14 | More by abar22
Photo of jujubeast6000


2.88/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/29/2007 (bottle):

Pours a huge tan colored head, frothy, and lasting. Body is dark-dark red, nearly black in color. Has a hoppy roasted aroma, with some coffee, and some nutty nalts. Roasted coffee, dry mouthfeel. Not bad, a good porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 15:15:16 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of wescj


4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Color is very dark brown, similar to a Coke but darker. Starts off with a good two inches of tan head, and retains a nice half inch which leaves decent lace.

Citric hops are prominant in the nose, along with some notes of toffee.

Theres a good balance of dark, roasted elements in the taste, primarilly coffee. And as the nose would suggest, there's a good citric hop profile to follow up. Medium bodied, though the mouthfeel is slightly watery. Great beer, overall.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 04:50:56 | More by wescj
Photo of bbothen


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

Think I've drank this about 100 times. Finally getting around to reviewing it. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark cola like brown color with a small 1 finger deep tan colroed head. Lots of webbing on glass as it's drank.

Smells predominately of roasted/toasted sweet malts. Nice citric hoppiness pokes through as well.

Sweet toasted malts, citrusy hops, coffee, toasted caramel malt, mocha flavors. Nicely balanced & tasty.

Smooth, medium to full, moderate carbonation, lingering tastiness. Yeah tastiness.

Sessionable. Tastes great. Rewarding. Others have sinced pushed the envelope on the style, but this is a classic everyone should try. In Ca at least you can often find 6ers for $6.99. heck of a deal right there.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 00:42:52 | More by bbothen
Photo of cottonkoozie

North Carolina

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

A - Dark brown color, very dark brown, but almost black. Good head, leaves nice lacing.

S - Good malt smell, but mainly I smell hops. Still a nicely balanced beer.

T - Good balanced flavors. Strong hops flavor, but very balancing hops flavor.

M - Great full feel, but could use a little more carbonation

D - this is pretty drinkable, but I wouldn't want a lot of it, maybe 2 at the most.

Another good beer from sierra nevada. Has the same great hops taste of the pale ale, but with a great malt flavor like a brown ale or a stout. Good balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 04:03:53 | More by cottonkoozie
Photo of mwa423


4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown pour with about a half a finger of head which dies down to lacing that proceeds down the glass.

S - Lots of malt, chocolate and caramel sweetness. Very pleasant!

T - Very rich, thick on the tongue, and leaves a great chocolate aftertaste on the tongue

M - Great smooth feel. Not thick like too many porters, but also is thick enough to not have the watery aftertaste that I get from Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 03:01:42 | More by mwa423
Photo of kbeals

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tons of tan creamy head sit atop a nearly opaque, cola colored beer. Pretty good lacing and head retention. Smells are of sweet malts, caramel, bitter chocolate, and a small amount of hops on the edge. Taste comes through with a barrage of malts, both sweet and roasted, a bit of a coffee flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty good, not a ton of carbonation, medium bodied. An excellent example of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 01:46:31 | More by kbeals
Photo of baggio


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


Got this in denmark some time ago and decided it was time to give it a go tonight...

A: Very blackish with a huge, creamy, beige head and lots of nice lacing.

S: Roasted malt, Coffee, Hint of chocolate, Citric notes (Cascade hops?).

T: Mild coffee, Cocoa, Citric notes, Dark caramel, Roasted malt.

M: Not overwhelming in anyway but rather an easy drink with a pleasant bitterness at the end.

A nice, everyday, porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 20:47:51 | More by baggio
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

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

Appearance- A dark black beer, if you look closely at the beer carbonation can be seen traveling up the glass, thin white head meets carbonation on the glass,

Smell-- malt and hops meet at the nose, with slight bready dough yeast smell too, definite coffee tones very strong

Taste- Very strong coffee notes very little sweetness what so ever, Alot of hops with a bitter finish, a delicous coffee esperesso finish, this is also a very very long finish that lingers with that coffee bean flavor in your mouth for a long time

Mouthfeel- Carbonation with a creamy foamy feel in the mouth

Drinkability- I find this to be an incredibly good porter, though not real high in alcohol this beer is so big it feels twice as big as it even is, great full bodied beer that is definitely worth a purchase again and should be a good beer to always have few of around in my beer fridge

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 16:46:45 | More by Stunner97
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 JohnQVegas


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

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours dark brown bordering on black, bleeding into red brown from the edges inward, and with a thin tan head that quickly dissolves into a ring around the outside edge and an island of small tan bubbles.

Big roasty nose, some coffee, with a bright, slightly acidic hop bite underneath.

Taste is fairly straightforward - roasty malt with notes of coffee and cocoa, coupled with a sharp, acidic, lightly bitter hop presence. Finish is a lingering soft bitterness, along with remnants of the sharp roastiness, and a slight metallic note.

Sharp carbonation bite up front, trailing off into a softer bite towards the end, medium body.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 01:13:45 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of AtlasBrew


4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: Black with a tan lacy head

Aroma: Sweet coffee like aroma with a touch of smokiness.

Flavor: Medium mouth feel, sweet and chocolatey followed by a subtle coffee flavor and a mild bitterness.

Overall: Not a bad little porter. Not having tried the Sierra Nevada Stout, it's hard to make a good comparison between the two, but it would be interesting to taste both side by side.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 07:15:25 | More by AtlasBrew
Photo of djeucalyptus


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

pours a rich woody dark brown with a solid smooth one-finger head of a light brown that has nice retention, leaving behind a fair bit of lacing.

aroma is roasty! roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and even roasted cocoa nibs. a bit of piny hops. A bit of vague bitterness... from the roasty notes?

smooth coffee, roasted malt, toasted chocolate, a bit of burnt coconut, and a good heaping pile of hops. One of the more hop-forward porters with a nice clean velvety taste. There's a nice bitter finish with ample pine and grapefruit notes.

mouth is smooth and on the lighter side of medium body. carbonation is a bit sprightly, viscosity is a bit slick. The hop bitterness is definitely felt on the palate... smooth and well rounded.

This is definitely a go-to porter. Hoppy and delicious with a nice clean roasted backbone. One definitely worth having around. Nothing outstanding, but certainly nothing to complain about. There's a reason this one remains so popular.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 22:40:26 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a rich dark brown with some mahogany highlights. Thick, tan, creamy head.

Smell is of earthy malts and citrusy hops.

Taste starts out very coffee-like from the roasted malts, with some faint citrus hop flavor, then sweet malts and a dry burnt finish.

Medium body, light carbonation, very smooth. This one is an easy drinker for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 02:36:12 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of pokesbeerdude


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12oz single from the State Liquor Store in Vernal, UT. About $1.50.

A: Poured a deep dark brown with a good inch of tan head on top of it. Somewhat cloudy, lots of dark red accents. excellent gobs of lacing as the head recedes.

S: First and foremost coffee, there is a huge dark coffee in the nose, followed by some chocolate undertones, lastly a bit of citrus and piney hops, roasted coffee and chocolate are big in there though. A faint hint of booze as well.

T: Coffee and chocolate follow over from the nose, and so does a big time hop character, lots of burnt malt and citrus in the mouth, the chocolate is really subdued. Lots of burnt flavors, but in a nice porter sorta way.

M: Way too thin, but slick, and clean finishing. really knock it on the texture, that is the one shortcoming of a good beer.

D: I could easily pour this back all night. This is a great flavorful beer. It is thin in the mouth, and that is offsetting, but it is still tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2009 01:29:05 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown almost black with a nice frothy cream head that lingers and leaves great lacing. Aroma is cocoa powder and brown malts. Taste is a nice amount of brown malt and cocoa with a nice hop kick right behind it, just what I expected from SN. The beer is nice and light with decent carbonation. This is a very enjoyable Porter, one I'll have again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 06:14:48 | More by atsprings
Photo of pmcgill10


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

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Appearence is quintessential porter - coffee brown with a frothy tan head from hell. Aroma reminiscent of roasted malt and some mild hop spice. Slight burn of the carbonation leads to roasted malt flavour, slight caramel notes waning into a mild hoppy bitterness. A straightforward porter. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 07:11:31 | More by pmcgill10
Photo of Bootscraper


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

I was previously uninformed in the area of the porter style, and thought that Sierra Nevada would serve a good introduction for me.
Poured at just under 50 degrees F in pint glass, listening to The Best of Neil Young.
The beer is a dark black, just barely brown, and with some red hue radiating at angles. A very even and uniform head, tan in color, grew up to about 1 cm, reduced to a thin/borderline patchy layer after about 3 inutes, but remained so until I got to the bottom of my glass. Even, snowfall lacing, wth patches being sticky to the point of even remaining in my glass long after finishing the beer.
The aromas were composed of coffee and slightly of a blend of fresh and roasted hops. However, the smell could have been a little fuller.
The flavor was quite hoppy. The hops themselves were tangy, resembling pine and perhaps citrus even. There was a bit of a roasted taste, persumably from malt, that enhanced and went solo during a fairly-lengthed after-taste. This leaned slightly in the direction of dark chocolate.
It was medium-bodied in the mouth. Slightly sticky (hooray for the malts), yet not quite enough to justify how syrupy the back of my throat felt after each sip... not too bad though. I enjoyed the low carbonation levels, and it made the simple beer exceptionally drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 06:06:52 | More by Bootscraper
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 03:00:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of PirateUlf73


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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Brilliant dark brown, bordering on black color. Head was light tan and stuck with for the duration. Laced beautifully.

S: Sweet, roasted malts as well as faint hints of chocolate. Just a smidgen of espresso and floral hops. Very pleasant yet not overwhelming.

T: Roasty malt and chocolate flavors up front. Not as sweet as the nose might suggest. Slightly bitter on the finish, like baking chocolate. Nice and well-rounded.

M: Good medium body and lively enough carbonation to keep things from getting sluggish. Mild hop presence washes everything down quite nicely.

D: Definitely one of the most drinkable dark beers I've had yet. Would make an ideal session porter.

I've not had many porters in my day, and indeed a bad experience with a major dark beer (which shall remain nameless) almost ruined stouts for me. However, this one may just lead me back to the dark side. A very tasty beer and one that I would pleasure buying again.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 06:51:23 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of Vengeance526


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

Pours a dark mahogany color with ruby highlights when held to the light, with a 1 finger tan head that lasts a little while before settling down to a fairly thin ring and leaving moderate lacing

Smells of roasted malt and some bitter chocolate. Maybe a little bit of vanilla in the background.

Taste revealed hints of coffee, vanilla, roasted chocolate and some slight touches of caramel in the background.

Mostly medium bodied and decently carbonated.

A bit filling but overall highly drinkable. SN's basic offerings (PA, Porter, Stout, etc.) are widely available and quite affordable and yet they still come off as attractive quality beers. A very enjoyable porter that I would not mind having again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 23:15:43 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of nasty15108

New York

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SN pint glass.

A - Deep dark cola color with slight ruby hues and a thick head of tan foam.

S - Hints of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, anise and smoke.

T - Malty with hints of strong coffee and bitter chcoclate. Finsihes with a bitter hop bite.

MF&D - Went down well, a nice compliment to my PB&J sandwich. I would buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 19:26:09 | More by nasty15108
Photo of BeerBobWFM


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

I am currently rediscovering porters and I had forgotten how good this one was.
appearance- dark cola like in color can barley see through it. The head was a toasted marshmallow color....off white/to light brown.
Smell- a lot going on here, chocolate dark roasted coffee, hints of anise and some burnt toast..
Taste- here is where I was really impressed it was what a porter should be, a nice rosty-ness combined with dark chocolate,coffee and a good biscuty malty flavors smooth finish . Spot on in my opinion most porters want to be this.
Mouthfeel- heavy but not overly so it also was very velvety which gave it a nice creaminess that is lacking in alot of porters.
Drinkability, like I said spot-on for a porter it is a good bench mark for what to look for in one. This is perfect for any porter fan.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 15:56:28 | More by BeerBobWFM
Photo of kemoarps


3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I usually feel like I can go with a Sierra Nevada brew when in doubt, and be pretty safe, and this porter has proven to be no exception.

It pours a deep deep mahogany, honestly a little lighter than I had anticipated (I'll admit, I was expecting it to be pretty black), with a pretty tan head that lingered nicely, and showed nice lacing.

The smell was of earthy roasted malts, predominantly chocolate and coffee, though there were hints of something else a teensy bit sweeter, but I can't quite place my finger on it.

The taste follows the smell (as expected), with almost a burnt coffee roast balanced by a smoother dark chocolate essence as well. Again, there is a flavour here that is eluding me, as i can't QUITE put my finger on it, but it's a tasty beer, overall.

It feels fine in the mouth, appropriate carbonation, and enjoyable across the palate, though my biggest complaint is that I feel as though it fills me up more so than other comparable beers, limiting its drinkability.

Overall a quite enjoyable beer experience. As this is the first beer I've reviewed since getting my taste buds back to normal after surgery, it's really good to be able to enjoy and appreciate beer again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 04:16:05 | More by kemoarps
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,715 ratings.