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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 MaltyGoodness


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

12oz. bottle

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a creamy tan head that maintains. Nice lacing on the glass.

Very noticable cocoa aroma upfront leading into nice roasted malt and biscuit smells. Very rich and inviting.

Roasted malt upfront followed by a nice compliment of cocoa and biscuit flavors. Very hearty and flavorful. I am quite surprised that this is not a hoppy porter by any means - with just a hint of herbal hops in the flavor.

Medium body, medium carbonation.

I don't know why, but I was really caught off guard by this beer. I think it's because I am used to SN's best beers being focused on the hops, and this beer shows that these guys don't need hops to make a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 02:12:49 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of albern


4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a great American Porter if there ever was one. It pours an inky black color that won't allow any light through. The head is modest, tawny but not overly dark, with tons of lacing. This beer is modestly carbonated, medium bodied, and very smooth and creamy. This beer is exceptionally smooth and creamy, rather. The taste is a very well balanced blend of caramel malts, molasses hints, toasted grains, roasted coffee, and a citrusy tang in the hops. There isn't much bitterness to these hops and some of the tang dissipates nicely as the beer settles. This is too sweet to be a British Porter, but it is representative of the style and very worth seeking out. The mouthfeel is creamy and just right. There is no lasting bitterness yet there is a slight metallic hint in the aftertaste which I'm going to knock a half point off the drinkability factor. I really like this beer, haven't had it in years, but will rectify the matter by seeking it out again soon. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 22:56:32 | More by albern
Photo of Popkorn615

New York

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a very dark brown - almost black - with a two-finger, well-carbonated, beige head that slowly dissipates to a 1 cm head. Very attractive drink, as well as bottle which is slightly shorter and wider than most 12 oz bottles.

S - Smells coffee-like and malty with a hint of chocolate poking its head through. The smell is pretty strong, but very appetizing.

T - Stong taste. Hoppy and coffee-like. Faintly chocolatey with a slightly bitter, but pretty nice, aftertaste.

M - Nice consistency and decent thickness to it. Goes down very smooth.

D - I like Sierra Nevada Porter a lot and could have a number of them in one sitting, either with or without a meal. It is not extremely filling, yet it is not as weak as some of the light beers out there. It even retains all of its flavor, smell, and deliciousness as it slowly loses its coldness while in your glass/bottle.

A truly excellent beer

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 03:32:33 | More by Popkorn615
Photo of Murchmac


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, hadnt had this beer in a looong time.

Pours with a nice head, very dark hue in the middle, light brown on the outside.

Smells hoppy, like a hippie bathing in flowers.

Tastes a lot less hoppier than I remember. I used to think I didnt like this beer because it was too hoppy, years ago. Over time my palate thinks this is a great balance. Hoppy character, good malty character for a porter.

Sweet aftertaste.

Much like lays potato chips, its classic.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2008 04:45:59 | More by Murchmac
Photo of AChamberlain


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

12oz bottle from Central Market in Austin.

A: Dark...opaque. Great head. A very sturdy looking beer.

S: Roasted matls, not much else.

T: Milky and roasted malts. A bit of milk chocolate flavor.

MF: Nice medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel. Really flows well down the gullet.

D: 100%. A+ on the drinkability front. Come on...I could drink an entire sixer without breaking a sweat.

We cooked a very tasty beef stew with this last night and it came out nearly perfect.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2008 01:21:48 | More by AChamberlain
Photo of Kingdom4aPint


4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Standard pint glass applied...

Pours two finger off white head which reduces to half finger head leaving good amount of lacing. Color is black with dark ruby tone. Chocolate, earthy smell. Chocolate, molasses, malty taste that is very well put together and works well with the patented Sierra Nevada hops at the semi dry finish. Very silky smooth mouthfeel. Highly drinkable in my opinion as my preference runs more on the malty vs. hoppy side.

This is a very good beer that I will buy again and again. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 20:16:20 | More by Kingdom4aPint
Photo of Greggy


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

Appearance- A nice 1 finger head into a pint glass. Just barely see through, black color.

Smell- Dark Coffee, Caramel, Chocolate

Taste- the main taste is chocolate and creamy coffee. A lot of cocoa comes through as well.

Mouthfeel- Creamy with low carbonation that works well for the style.

Drinkability- A really nice 5.6% porter that I look forward to enjoying in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 02:49:07 | More by Greggy
Photo of argock


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

Poured from short 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating but long batch number on label.

A: Typical ruby-dark brown color with ample tan head and plenty of lace.

S: Chocolate with fresh hops contribution.

T: Plenty of malty sweetness with chocolate overtones and tangy hops bitterness to cool off the sweetness.

M: Extremely smooth with only the slightest char flavor in the aftertaste. Mostly just creaminess with minimal carbonation.

D: One of the most drinkable porters around with an interesting tangy hops finish. SN pumps out another winner.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 04:38:34 | More by argock
Photo of Vixie


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a fairly creamy two finger head. When held up to room light is almost fully opaque, a slight bit of sunlight came through when held up to the window on a sunny day.

The smell was very pronounced, I don't have the best sense of smell, but could smell it almost immediately when I started pouring. Has a definite coffee smell, with a touch of sweetness with it.

Two thoughts come to mind when drinking this. One, it reminds me a bit of a coffee mocha with the coffee and chocolate notes. Two, it's a bit more sweet than many porters I've had. You are first hit with the coffee/chocolate taste, then the citrusy taste kicks in, with a light hops finish. An interesting yet nice mixing of flavors, I enjoyed what I felt was a unique porter.

Mouthfeel is slight better than average for this style, not real heavy, but far from thin. Almost has a bit of a creamy feel to it.

I found this one to be very drinkable, not sweet enough to make me tire of the taste, and not so heavy as to become too much of a good thing. I could easily drink more than one of these at a sitting and enjoy it the entire time.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 20:14:10 | More by Vixie
Photo of chadlebald


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

Got this on tap on a snowy day in Dallas (when snowed in and missing your flight, may as well enjoy!).

A very nice, creamy tan head...with very good lacing. Color is very dark, almost stout-like.

Deep malt nose.

Lots of coffee flavor, as well as the roasted malt.


Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2008 23:18:34 | More by chadlebald
Photo of orangemoustache


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

A-dark brown with red highlights when held to a backlight,bountiful head and some nice lacing

S-hoppy(a nice surprise),floral sweetness,caramels and coffee are most prevalent

T-burnt toast,chocolate,rich malts,great blast of hops on the tail end

M-medium to heavy body,creamieness goes on for days,coats the mouth with consistancy on every sip

D-the smoothest porter I have ever had

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 05:14:15 | More by orangemoustache
Photo of JDV


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

Pours black with a small light tan head. Smell was roasty malts, and bit of chalky chocolate mostly. Taste was very balanced, and had a noticeable hop presence but didn't come off overly hopped or metallic, like I find some hoppy dark beers do. Quite good flavor, although somewhat mild, and a nice porter in all. Will definitely try again when not in a smoke-filled bar.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 21:57:22 | More by JDV
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured black with a fluffy three-finger tan head that didn't dissipate quickly. The smell was mostly roasted malts with some hints of coffee. The taste is mostly roasted malts that provide a lot of semi-bitter sweet coffee taste without much if any of the chocolate flavor that also gets associated with porters. A tasty beer, but not as complex as some other beers of the same style. The mouthfeel is pleasantly thick without an overwhelming amount of carbonation. This beer is very drinkable for a porter and I could imagine completing a sixpack over the course of the night.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 01:41:00 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of AshevilleSippin

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short Version:
Solid porter. Especially from a bottle. Medium bodied with a nutty chocolate flavor. Roasty for sure. Quite drinkable.

Poured a 2" tan head with the endurance of a triathlete. Foamy, rocky, pillowy. All that.

Low on aroma but picked up a little choco and a little alcohol. First taste reveals a medium body with a nutty character. Roasty toasty for sure. Warm and creamy in nature.

Subsequent drinks reveal decent lace with a head that has dropped to a blotchy tan film with islands. Finish is roasty, quick and pleasant.

I generally like my porters a tad bigger than this one. It's drinkable enough though to sit down with a six pack (assuming you don't need to get back up of course...).

Good stuff. I recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 04:22:14 | More by AshevilleSippin
Photo of JohnGalt1


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

12 oz picked up at the Coop today for about $1.30.. poured into my New Belgium tulip.

Nice 1" lite tan head with spotty lacing.. aroma is true dark brown with very nice crystal clear deeep ruby highlites.

Dark malts dominate the nose with light chocolate and coffee and subtle citrus hoppiness... significant whiffs of caramel as it warms.

The dark malts lend a pretty good bitter flavor.. but the lite caramel malts meld everything and melt prefectly into a bigger than average hop flavor.. although still pretty understated as far as hoppy beers go... lite chocolate with more pronounced coffee and citrus hops make for a long finish. Body and carbonation are dialed in.

Really not too much to say that could be improved upon with this brew.. very nice... I don't normally appreciate American porters with this much hoppiness in the flavor.. but I gotta say, it works.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 08:33:38 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured deep brown with about an inch of head with very good lacing. The color was a dark brown. I smelled malts and coffee. Taste was not that much different. I was a little disappointed as this was a little less complex than other porters that I enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 00:39:00 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of trentley87


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Congrats to the News Room in Minneapolis for some classy glassware.

A: A great looking porter, very dark with a thick, creamy head that left lacing all the way down.

S: Arouses the appetite. All of the complexity of the taste is present in the aromas of malt and hops in perfect balance. A nice warm yeast smell also comes through strongly.

T: Sweet malts and a nice yeasty flavor dominate with enough hops and just a little floral/earthy flavors. Very complex but very well balanced and drinkable.

M: Excellent. Medium to light body but manages to be creamy. Carbonation is perfect.

D: This is my new favorite porter. Everything I wanted and more. Just like the SN Pale Ale, I think this is a great representation of the style. More please!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 08:47:43 | More by trentley87
Photo of flexabull


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

I am kind of surprised that I have never reviewed this. In fact, for some reason I pass this one by often at the store. Yet every time I do go for it, and grab I six pack, I am never let down. This is a top notch porter, and at $5.99 for the six pack? A great bargain too.

Anyways, here goes...

Pours a dark brown color with a nice thick and fluffy white head.

Aroma is kind of sweet, nutty, malty, and with a biscuit like quality.

Beer has nice porter flavors, not too heavy, and very easy to drink. Flavors are of chocolate, bready malts, some sweet creaminess, and a finish that is crisp with a subtle pine hop bite that balances this out well.

Mouthfeel is good. About right for a porter, full and thick, but not heavy.

Drinkability is excellent. This is a nice tasty porter that is super easy to sip. Very nice session worthy beer, especially for cooler days or nights. Another solid offering from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 20:05:21 | More by flexabull
Photo of yzer


4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I live less than a two hour's drive from the brewery in Chico, California. My Sierra Nevada Porter was purchased today. The bottling date is 7282 which is early October, 2007. The brew was enjoyed from a glass stein.

This is a very attractive porter. Clear eclipse-dark brown in color with predominant red highlights and traces of reddish orange. It pours a generous but short-lived head with good lacing and light carbonation. The head settles down quickly to a long lasting foam cover.

SN Porter offers a well tuned and uncomplicated palette of sharp hops and malt sweetness. It's all about caramelized toffee sweetness, coffee and malt: a nice winter combination. This porter is easy to drink and makes for a good introduction to craft brewing. As the Goldings hops tends to sour the malt slightly I would like to explore the carefully chosen malts in more detail, but given the substantial porter body this offering is very close to perfection. This is a brew that will stick to your ribs.

Predominant hops aftertaste. A very substantial brew, but the flavor balance and light carbonation demand another serving.

Incidentally, unlike IPA and APA a porter is complimentary with tobacco. If you want to duck outside and enjoy a quality smoke after enjoying this porter you will not be disappointed.

Keep in mind that in my area Sierra Nevada Brewing products are very well stocked. I usually enjoy SN Pale Ale with bottling ages of four to six weeks. I first spotted SN porter in the stores during January. My porter was four months old when purchased. Congratulations to Sierra Nevada Brewing as they appear to be very deliberate with their bottle aging!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 02:17:33 | More by yzer
Photo of RickSawyer


4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice espresso black color with a beautiful thick head consisting of tiny tan bubbles making their way up. Smells good with hints of milk chocolate, coffee and some fresh cut grass. Tastes excellent. Smooth, round, sweet milk chocolate covered cherries, very light hints of bitter coffee, sweetness dominates. Oily coated mouthfeel with some soapy finish. Great session!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 19:13:33 | More by RickSawyer
Photo of monkeybeer


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice dark brown almost black with a tan head that disappears rather quickly
S- Smell of roasted malt, and coffee
T- A sweetness mixed with roasted malt and a hint of coffee. All in all a well balanced beer
D- A very good porter, not very heavy for such a dark beer. This is a good beer from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 18:41:46 | More by monkeybeer
Photo of cbleary

North Carolina

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

Enjoyed out of a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The beer poured nicely with a generous light tan head and a coffee black body. The taste featured notes of roasted malt, a surprising degree of mild citrus hops, and a bit of black coffee on the finish. It was medium to heavy bodied but still quite drinkable and warming as well. I would definitely have one again.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 22:22:56 | More by cbleary
Photo of thirtysixbelow


3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - very dark brown color with tan head that dissipates quickly.

s - hoppy with a hint of chocolate, some malts as well

t - sweet up front with some hints of citrus, a little chocolate in the middle, and a heavy punch of hops to finish. A little too much bitterness for me

m - good balance of smoothness and carbonation, a little oily

d - i wasn't really into the hoppiness of this porter. Overall, not bad though.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 20:25:46 | More by thirtysixbelow
Photo of SpencerT


3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Porters should be dark in color and this is no exception. The head is mocha in color but doesn't stick around.
Roasted barley, chocolate, with herbal under tones are present. The flavor of hops is a little too prevalent for my tastes. I can't recall a porter with this much hop flavor. I have had much better porters but this is not a bad porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 00:51:39 | More by SpencerT
Photo of Natural510


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

Found this at a Kroger supermarket in Springfield OH, to my pleasant surprise.

Pours a dark, reddish-brown color with minimal head. The thin layer of carbonation does remain in the glass upon sipping.
Taste is bittersweet cocoa & subtle coffee with a slight charcoal afternote. Not as hoppy as other SN offerings (which is fine by me); the bitterness is balanced by the mild sweetness of the malt.
It does remain well in the mouth, despite not having alot of carbonation. Dry, chalky aftertaste, with some bitterness remaining.
All in all, a decent yet unremarkable porter; I expected something a bit bolder from Sierra Nevada. A solid option if you're stuck in Macroland, but Anchor or Black Butte porters are more complex and better recommended if you have the choice.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 03:41:13 | More by Natural510
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,674 ratings.