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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

2,875 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,875
Reviews: 1,325
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 89
Gots: 150 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,875 | Reviews: 1,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sisuspeed
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into a duck-rabbit snifter and produced a thin head that slowly dissipated, leaving only a trace of foam around the sides of the glass. A quick swirling of the glass allowed the aroma of earthy, roasted malts to escape, which was pleasant and complimented the dark brown color of the beer nicely.

The taste of this porter was much like the smell. Roasted, earthy malts mixed with some subtle smokiness and well balanced. The smoothness of this beer and the robustness of the flavor improved as the beer warmed. Small traces of lacing slowly floated down the sides of the glass while consuming and added to the overall appearance of the beer.

Sierra Nevada makes quality beers and this porter is no exception. I will be picking up more of this in the future. Especially when I am in the mood for a porter that is not of imperial strength.

sisuspeed, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep rich scarlet color that produces a huuge three finger eggshell color head. The head retains nicely, leaving a thin layer of foam along the glass.

S: Roasted malts, nice toasty aromas, bread, sweet chocolate, lactose, coffee, espresso

T: Very similar to the nose. Nice and toasty off the bat. Chocolate is a little subdued but present, also the hops make a nice appearance to give this a slightly tart/citrusy flavor. Bready finish

MF/D: Nice medium body, long bready finish, opposite of dry, definitely a session beer, perhaps my favorite

scottyshades, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown bordering on black...perfect creamy tan head of about 1/4 inch that rims the glass.

S-Great smell...a lot going on....roasted malts, mild coffee beans, dark chocolate, a little caramel,mild burnt black malt...

T-Starts with more of the dark chocolate, burnt malt notes....then the caramel seeps in along with mild coffee...finishes with an enjoyable little bite from the burnt malt and perhaps a little hoppiness as well.

M-Creamy texture...medium to full bodied...has character

D-Excellent example of an American Porter. Very enjoyable. I think this once won a big 12 beer double blind taste test my brother and I did about five years ago...

ZAP, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of BrewsBrother
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a rich ruby-mahogany with a thich tan head. The head dissipates to a solid lace.

S: This porter smells raw roasted malt. It's like the fresh cracked grain was just taken out of the smoker and poured into the glass. Very little hop in the nose.

T: Roasted chocolate, toffee, and malt are dominant. A little smoke on the finish. This would be perfect with any desert or fruit.

M/D: Delightfully smooth in the mouth, the body is not overwhelming but has a presence. You can detect the alcohol in this porter which would make it perfect for a cool evening sipper.


Brews Brother

BrewsBrother, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark, almost opaque black. Merlot highlights when held up to a light. Smallish tan head with decent retention/lacing.

S- A little bit of coffee and chocolate with some big bready, pretzel-like malts. Something nutty there too. Not too big on the nose, but smells good.

T- Follows the nose, but adds in some hops too. A hint of chocolate, some coffee, and then some citrus hops on the finish. Some pretzel-like malt plays a supporting role. This is good stuff... nothing too robust, but very well-balanced/put-together.

M- Not too heavy, but pretty smooth. Somewhat dry finish.

D- The taste with medium body and ABV make this one a great session beer. More good stuff from SN.

LordAdmNelson, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of PaleAlien2
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown--almost black--with a nice two-finger tan head. Great head retention. Keeps a nice biscuit of foam floating on the surface.

Smells delicious--like chocolate malt. Nice roastiness in the nose.

Creamy, malty. A little bitter in the finish. The roasted flavors are not overpowering thought. Very good, drinkable beer.

PaleAlien2, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of jdklks
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

im not a big porter fan (besides black butte xx, alaskan smoked, and stone smoked), but this one is fantastic. rich and smooth all the way through. one of the best porters out there. smells of roasted coffee and hops. tastes the same, with a bit of chocolate and a dry bitterness to the end. Thick on the palate (for a regular porter), and outstanding going down. drinkability is fantastic, given its great flavor combined with its relative lightness.

jdklks, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of demuzik
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the most enjoyable, drinkable porters I've had in a long time. The intense dark colour may scare off a few onlookers - or, may have you thinking "guinness" - but is actually one fine brew that stands on its own. Its neither too smokey, bitter, or foul - its not soulless and bland - its a wonderful blend of hops and dark malts. Smooth yet ballsy.

Highly recommended.

demuzik, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby red highlights and an airy tan head that leaves some lace behind. Coffee, cocoa, roasted malt and mild leafy hops make up the nose on this one. Rich roasty malts, toasted oak and honey come to mind, all balanced by a nice charred bitterness and a touch of bitter hops in the finish. Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. A tasty porter indeed.

biggred1, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of esv
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz poured into an imperial pint glass.

Black. A finger of tan head. The head sticks around in a thin layer.

Light, roasted coffee and smoke in the nose. No hops. There is a 'tinny', carbonated, slightly plastic smell ... I don't know how to describe it any better. I've smelled it many times before. It's not strong, but present.

Hints of chocolate and then a light smack of toasted bitterness wash over the tongue. Well balanced and subtle.

Solidly medium mouthfeel. Light-Medium Carbonation. Just a hint of malty, stickiness.

A well balanced, clean example of an American Porter. Mildly complex, roasted malts and grains with enough bitterness to give it a backbone.

esv, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of donmonkey1
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black with a tan head. The head recedes too quickly but laces nicely.

Smell: Mainly cocoa, but sweet molasses also.

Taste: Very much like unsweetened cocoa, but there's a sweetness anyway.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice mild bite.

donmonkey1, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of BirdFlu
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola-like dark brown with lighter hints of amber light coming through and a nice off-white frothy head. Smell is quite subdued, a little bit roasty but not much to pick out. Flavor is fairly light, a pinch of dry bitterness as well as a bit of raosty malt presence. Mouth is light and a bit creamy if you get some of the head. Its extremely sessionable.. though it could serve to have a slightly more robust flavor, the light presence of flavor lends itself to a very high drinkability. You could easily put several down in a sitting. As it warms slightly the flavor becomes a little more apparent. Upon first sips it might seem a bit unimpressive but its certainly a great sessionable beer.

BirdFlu, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very very dark brown/red (when held up to light, otherwise black). Slightly bubbly, but mostly frothy light tan head.

S - Sweet, but not cloying. Cocoa bitterness and sweetness. Dark chocolate malts. Some lofty hop, just enough to cut the sweetness, but not enough to be bitter in the least. Smells great.

T/M - Creamy frothy feel. Cocoa, some vague smokiness. Not sweet like the smell. Wonderfully creamy. Some earthy hops amongst the strong dark malts. Simple, but very pleasant.

D - This is my idea of the perfect 5 on drinkability. Unnoticable alcohol, good taste. Great feel and smell.

MunchkinDrinker, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of papollo
4.88/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the treats of my visits to the west coast include purchasing a six or two of SN Porter. This beer sits with me, and the aftertaste pleases long after the session.

I'm not into noting overtones, notes, etc. I like dark beer, the darker & more robust the better. This beer pleases on many levels - pours like ink, smells slightly bitter, taste is robust and very pleasing.

papollo, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to near-black with very light tan head. Nose is somewhat restrained with some chocolate and nougat. On the palate, a nice cafe mocha flavor comes through with hop bitterness near the end. Finish is medium and roasty. Rather drinkable for a porter, if you're looking for something lighter on the palate in the porter style.

yemenmocha, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Readily available beer in the $7-8 range for a six pack of 12oz bottles. Poured into a standard pint glass to review.

Leaves a light yet frothy head of about an inch. Very dark brown in color, yet transparent with deep reddish tones when held to a light. Minimal head retention. and lacing.

Smells quite sweet and a little nutty. Caramel combined with sweet and biscuity malts. Balanced with earthy hops. Mild chocolate undertones and even some brown sugar. A mild porter.

The chocolate comes through more in the taste, still with biscuity sweet malts and some nuttiness.

Medium bodied and quite drinkable. Medium finish with a moderately watery mouthfeel.

A good porter for everyday drinking. Nothing too special, but no characteristics turn me off the beer.

ibbjamin, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a lacy tan head.

I never get much from the nose of a porter. Roasted malts and hops. Toffee and chocolate maybe. I'm not excited, but I'm not disappointed.

Nice hop balance for the roasted malts. Bold coffee aftertaste. Definite hop flavor throughout.

The mouthfeel is quite rich, but I'd like it to be a tad creamier.

Dark, roasted malts, aren't my stlye at all, but this is quite tasty. Personal preference says it's not a first choice, but it's definitely a good porter, the hops adding an interesting component to the mix.

IMincedTheKing, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of dogfishhead1117
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, malted brown, pretty foamy head and a little bit of lingering but generally it's a nice brew if you're staring it down,

smells like a porter, rich and oily with hints of malt and what could best be described (if you generally don't drink porters) as an "olive-esque" aroma capped with bits of sweetness and some hops and it's not the most pleasant of smells but once you get used to it, it grows on you

tastes like a really well blended, west-coast porter. the hops are definately present but so is the great richness of the brew, it's pretty drinkable though i'm not gonna go and have a couple at a time, takes a while to drink but that's the beauty because every sip gives you a little more of its character and a little more depth to the hop,grain, malt sort of deal, and there are definately some chocolate chords

note: whenever i get a porter in the pubs out in Calgary, well if i get a pint, they serve it with a small piece of dark chocolate that really can bring out a richness you don't get without it, worth a try with this one too, overall a great brew

dogfishhead1117, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle poured in a pint glass.

Appearance: I've been reviewing al lot of porters lately and this one is on or above par. Pours an opaque brown with a thick and creamy slightly brown head. Head is very pleasing and takes a while to dissipate into a foamy lacing that clings to the glass for dear life. if you agitate it almost reappears into a head again. Excellent looking porter.

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, and a ton of floral hop aromas. Some citrus notes if you search really hard. A tiny bit of bitter bite towards the end and aftertaste.

Taste: Caramel, chocolate, coffee, good contrast of sweet and bitter, floral hops. Leaves the mouth with a fine charm of roasted malt taste.

Mouthfeel: moderately carbonated, a nice twang that leaves your mouth feeling great.

Drinkability: i've only had english and baltic porters before, this has a hoppier feel and is less bitter so it may be easier for some folk to drink, but I still agree sam smith and others are very drinkable but this has a different quality. Overall a great an inventive American interpretation of a porter. Will buy again.

MaxBrews, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of cbn
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, nearly black with rusty accents when held to the light. Large foamy head dissipates leaving heavy lace and a thin cap.

Thin lemony aroma of hop, hint of molasses.

Sweet and roasted malt, light and clean with subtle complexity of espresso with a twist of lemon.

Smooth and creamy never heavy, never bitter. The body delivers a satisfying beverage.

Taste and mouthfeel add up to a very drinkable porter.

cbn, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of brandoneast
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A frothy, creamy mocha head rests on top of the opaque brew and when held to the light, showcases dark ruby edges. Intoxicating and almost primitive aroma of fresh dark bread, roasted grain, boiled porridge, chocolate, burnt popcorn kernels, and not so primitive smell of freshly baked ice cream cone. The deep flavors of chocolate and coffee are prominent while the soft hoppiness fades to a pleasant rounded bitterness and thin to medium mouthfeel. Forget the Guinness, pull up a Porter.

brandoneast, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of CHL
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with light birch sort of head. It's creamy and settles down into a puffy clouds before leaving lacing over the beer and glass.

Smells relatively hoppy for a porter, with dark malts, nicely roasted, and maybe a hint of coffee.

The taste is perfect. Bitter roasted dark malts mix with a bite of ale and hop fruitiness. It's very well-balanced if not particularly deep. Somewhat sweet overall, with a pleasant bittersweet chocolate aftertaste. I could certainly have several of these.

I can only fault this beer for being a little thin for a porter. I wish the malt was a bit thicker, but it's one of my favorites so far.

CHL, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of gatorbreath
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Grocery store. 12 oz btls. poured into Chimay Goblet

Little bit thin of a beer for my tastes. Not too much complex of a taste, but filled a hole while my favorites were out of stock.

Would recommend above others, but would recommend other Sierra Nevada Brew's to others before this.

gatorbreath, May 31, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Malts but plenty of hops too. A lot of hops for a porter.

Appearance - Not completely dark but a dark amber. Light tan head a little carbonation.

Taste - A lot of roasted coffee and a good deal of bitterness too. Probably not a bad balance, but I love the roasted malt.

Notes - Good mouthfeel.

jwhawkins81, May 30, 2009
Photo of Ralphus
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Michael Jackson once rated Sierra Nevada's porter as one of the best in the world. However either things have drastically improved or this beer has changed, as today it is at best a decent example of the style.

It starts off with a very dark pour with an off white head that dissipates to a blanket of foam. Some lacing is evident as the beer level drops in the glass. The smell is of slightly burnt dark malts and coffee.

The taste is light initially but then transitions quickly through sweet malts and finishes with a chocolately dry coffee bitterness. There is some complexity but it's nothing intriguing.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are quite good though. The beer gets drained quickly and having multiples is an easy affair.

Ralphus, May 29, 2009
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,875 ratings.