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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

2,877 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,877
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: 2,877 | Reviews: 1,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

djeucalyptus, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Gyle41386, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

pokesbeerdude, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

atsprings, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of pmcgill10
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

pmcgill10, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Bootscraper
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Bootscraper, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
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!

ChainGangGuy, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of PirateUlf73
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

PirateUlf73, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Vengeance526, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of nasty15108
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

nasty15108, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of BeerBobWFM
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

BeerBobWFM, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of kemoarps
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

kemoarps, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of Jeffo
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small medium thick tan head that slowly fades into a very thin wisp. Some immediate lacing on the top of the snifter. Very dark brown in color and next to no carbonation evident. Minimal wisp hangs around and no real lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Very nice nose. Roasted and smoky malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit like plumbs and dates, as well as some sweet caramel in the background. Starts out average in strength, but really improves as it warms. Makes a statement. Nice.

TASTE: Roasted and smoky malt again, but the sweet caramel and dark fruits are more noticeable. A bitter-sweet aftertaste, including plumbs and dates, as well as bitter dark chocolate, is pronounced and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-thin body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with no bite and finishes slightly sticky. I'd like it to be a little thicker perhaps.

OVERALL: A very enjoyable and drinkable porter. Great nose and nice taste profile. This is one I'd definitely re-visit.

As a final note, the porter is very similar to their stout, though the porter puts more emphasis on a sweet malt taste and doesn't look as appealing as the stout. It's obvious, however, that the two are related.

Jeffo, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of association330
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown to black with 3/4 of a finger of dark tan-colored head. Shortly settles to a creamy cap with average lacing.

S - Sweet chocolaty malts, dark-roasted coffee, raisins, molasses, some floral hoppiness and a bit of caramel.

T - More of the same from the nose. Sweet chocolate and caramel malts up front, with molasses and bitter coffee mid-palate. Finishes with a drying hop bitterness, while dark-roasted coffee and hops linger on the tongue.

M - Light side of moderate. Average carbonation produces creamy results.

D - This is what I'd reach for when I wanted a quirky American Porter. The added hoppiness is a nice twist on a more traditional style.

association330, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of midaszero
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Almost opaque dark brown body with tiny coffee head with good lacing

S - coffee and chocolate with a rich flare

T - rich coffee and chocolate with weird menthol after taste

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Nice for cold weather but not a must buy

midaszero, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of Schwarz04
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Mild frothy head. Near jet black in color. Little to no visible carbonation.

Smell: Fairly strong roastyness and slight malt notes present.

Taste: Malty with slight bitterness. Slight coffee taste also present. Smokey aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Slight carbonation bitterness becomes more pronounced as you let the beer linger in your mouth. Very faint dryness afterward.

Drinkability: Slightly heavy finish...but overall fairly smooth and easy drinking. Not a session beer though...

Schwarz04, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of TheBear11D
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown to black with a long lasting foamy tan head.

A strong cocoa scent that hits the nose immediately followed by a pleasant coffee aroma. There is even the slightest hint of caramel.

Coffee and cocoa are the flavors in the forefront with a good mix of bittersweet.

Decently thick body and very smooth. A nice compliment to the beer's flavor.

Quite enjoyable, for a dark beer this goes down easy and is something to come back to.

TheBear11D, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of squilky
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown, looks kind of like the color of cola. The head was thin and tan, reminds me of the froth on cappuccino.

S- Smelled sweet, lots of caramel/brown sugar aroma.

T-Sweet up front, with some slight bitterness similar to a nice dark chocolate. The initial sweetness is balanced out by some burnt bitterness on the back end. It leaves a lingering, pleasant taste on your tongue similar to when drinking coffee.

M-Feels about right. Slight carbonation, not too thin, not overly thick.

D- This is my first porter and I enjoyed it. The stouts I've tasted tend to be a lot more bitter. I found the malty sweetness of this one to be very pleasing. Very easy drinking beer. I only bought a single, but I I think it would be easy to drink several of these in one sitting.

squilky, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of RodBurg
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights. A small tan head forms and dissipates too quickly. Remaining ring leaves small amount of lacing.

Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, and light citrus.

Tasty combo of milk chocolate, coffee, toffee, and a citrus hop bite in the finish. Medium bodied.

Very good. The hop presence is more noticeable than in most beers of the style.

RodBurg, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of youngleo
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a nice caramel looking two fingered head. Big bubbles in the middle of the glass. Porter was almost black in color. Just had some slight brown overtones. Head hung around a for quite a while and had some good lacing. Left rings with every swallow. Smelled of malt chocolate and coffee. Tasted a little sweet like dark chocolate and burnt coffee. Had a slight bitter aftertaste that also hung around awhile. When pouring it almost looked thick. Felt good ih the mouth. I thought the carbonation was right. I would buy again. On a cold snowy Michigan day like today, the Porter was going down mighty good.

youngleo, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cannot believe I had never had this one before this eveing. I picked it up on a whim, served it chilled in ap int glass and enjoyed with dinner tonight. Consumed on 01/07/2009.

The pour was very nice with a rich dark brown color. SMooth mellow looking with a nice rich head of light tan and a delicate side glass lacing that really made it look quite nice.

The aroma was a nice mix of sweet, molasses like malts and a light roasted profile. Nice balance here with a hint of hop bitterness as it came around. The flavor was more of the same. Rich roasted malts, sweet chocolate like flavors and a nice little touch of hops in the finish. Mellow, medium bodied ale with nice carbonation and a smooth, and very drinkable taste.

Overall it was very solid and for an everyday, and very available porter, this is really exceptional. I was very impressed, and I am lookign forward to having this one again,

mikesgroove, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of Domingo
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A classic that I keep forgetting about.
Pours a really dark brown color that's edging toward black. Got a pretty rocky brown head with a normal pour.
Smells like a pretty even mix of dark malt and hops.
The flavors also continued that 50/50 blend of Schwarz-like black malt and roastiness, but with west-coast grapefruit hops. Finish is pretty clean and just leaves a slight lingering fresh roasted coffee flavor.
Goes down easy and isn't too strong to have more than one. Paired well with a steak I was having and could probably add some body to any meal.
It's pretty much a prime example of a US take on a classic style. Not necessarily my absolute favorite style (I'd like a little more maltiness), but it's obviously been a VERY influential beer like all of SN's classic brews.

Domingo, Jan 07, 2009
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. Rich dark coffee brown with small creamy tan head.
Smell of roasted malt and coffee with a bit of sweet hop aroma.
Taste is of roasted malts and coffee, topped off with a bouquet of citrusy hops.
Drinks smooth with a beautiful burnt bitter aftertaste.
A great Porter to have on standby for the winter, pairs well with winter food flavors and earthy cheeses.

CHILLINDYLAN, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of jayfarley3
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, appearance is extremely dark brown with a creamy off white head with a good bit of lacing. smells of roasted malt, coffee, and a bit nutty. tastes of dark chocolate malt with a nice bitter finish. mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, this is a very delicious porter and definitely one of my favorites.

jayfarley3, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very tasty, classic porter. This beer pours black with a bit of tan head and a little bit of lacing. The nose is dominated by roasted coffee notes and a bit of hops. Taste is similar with mostly roasted malt character and bitter finish. Medium bodied and refreshing. I could drink these all day.


sholland119, Jan 03, 2009
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.