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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

3,088 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,088
Reviews: 1,351
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 94
Gots: 207 | 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: 3,088 | Reviews: 1,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jovy1097
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint. Pours dark tea in color that isn't as dark as their stout. Makes a huge lacing head of cream color that leaves clouds on top throughout the drinking session.

Smell: Dark caramel, malt, and some earthiness. Maybe some dark fruit. Hops are noticeable.

Taste: Very balanced tasting brew that sits perfectly between sweet and bitter. Toasty brown bread, dark caramel, nuttiness with no coffee or burnt flavor. Some molasses comes out as you drink more of it. A little milder tasting than the stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium with quite noticeable carbonation. More crisp than creamy.

Drinkability: Not cloying and not overly bitter - just right. Definitely a guzzler. I like this better than their stout as an everyday beverage. A brew that I'd be happy to drink every day.


jovy1097, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into a snifter glass

A- Poured a good looking dark brown with a thinner 2 finger tan head that left little lacing on the way down.

S- Sweet roasted malts and toffee are most dominant with a faint chocolate backround.

T- I was very suprised by this beer, it was very light for a porter. Roasted malts blended with toffee, sweet dark chocolate, and an almost coffee finish.

M- Solid bodied with a pretty good amount of carbonation make this porter very smooth and almost suprisingly a session beer for me. Slight dry bitter finish that's faint at first but gets stronger as it warms.

Overall this is a pretty decent porter but not really anything to special.


Arenbeer, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass on 12/9/09

A - Medium brown color; settles dark with some lighter hues around the edges. One finger head dissipates to a thin layer. Small bits of sediment floating about. Retention is ok. Very good lacing.

S - Smooth aroma that is full of roasted malts & sweetness. Toffee is most prominent with hints of caramel interspersed throughout. Subtle earthy hop notes. Undertones of dark sugars.

T - A restrained hop bite makes its way around the peripheries but ultimately concedes to the lofty malt profile (though the earthy hops make a valiant effort). Roasted & toasted malts of various ilk: toffee, cocoa, dark sugars, caramel & dark bread blend together well.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Residual bitterness & roasted malt linger.

D - No problems here; this is an easy beer to drink. It's pretty much standard fare, but there isn't much to fault with it. Definitely worth a shot.

Ryan011235, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of dgilks
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting aroma with sweet, chocolate malts, light American hops and moderate fruity esters all playing a role. Not as roasty as it should be for a Robust Porter.

Translucent brown colour with a rocky, tan head. Decent head retention.

Moderately strong malt flavour with a touch of roast, chocolate and coffee. The hops are present adding a nice bitterness and a touch of citrus. Slight minerality. Good.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. This is suitable. The finish is also nicely crisp and refreshing.

A quality drink which stands up to the strong reputation of Sierra Nevada. This bottle is right on its expiration date but still tastes great and except for the aroma ticks all the right boxes for the style

dgilks, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of semibaked
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Dark brown with red highlights shining through, about a finger of head appears and dissapears.

S - Dark chocolate and some malty goodness, nothing else though.

T - A bit of bitter cocoa power, slight coffee, and some molasses, but lacking flavor was expecting a little more.

M - Watery and a tad oily, not a big fan.

D- Middle of the road porter, prolly won't buy it again.

semibaked, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of stimulus
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into an 8 oz flute. (This is what it was served in at the restaurant.)

A: Pours a dark brown, leaving quite a bit of lacing down the glass. Very small cream colored head.

S: I can smell mostly coffee, with a little bit of chocolate at the end.

T: Delicious. I have also tried their stout, and while this is a bit lighter, it is just as good. Very prominent java and cocoa flavors prevail in this brew. Especially the cocoa. A bit of roasted malt at the end as well.

M: Smooth in the beginning with a bit of carbonation hitting on the way down.

D: I could session this any day. There is little bitterness towards the end as the beer starts to warm up, and the chocolate and coffee flavors are even more prevalent.

stimulus, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours an espresso-colored head, slightly creamy, atop a nearly impenetrable body. Upon holding it up to the light, a red tinge is revealed (typical of many porters). Excellent lacing down the side.

Aromas include coffee, some cocoa, and some berries. It's not highly intense, leaving very little of a mark.

Flavors include roasted malts, some coffee, darker fruits, and some mild hop bite. Exhibits a nicely refined taste on the palate, great flavors, but not a lot of oomph! Now, I did indulge in Meantime's Coffee Porter beforehand, which is very rich, and that may be sapping the intensity of the flavor profile. (Note: I have drank this repeatedly since writing my initial notes, and the flavors are indeed a little more intense; ultimately the strength is in the balance).

Overall, this is a highly drinkable, highly refined porter. While I would not rank it in my top five, it is something I would return to again and again.

One more note: I paired this with some Gruyere, and the nuttiness of the cheese with the roast-iness of the porter dovetailed the flavors perfectly.

jminsc76, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of bbeerman
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A..Beautiful extremely dark brown color. Could be called black very easily as well. Not much head, but not much was expected from a porter.

S..Roasted malt, cocoa, smokey woods perhaps. Very inviting, just smells of flavor.

T..This is an amazing porter. There may have been a scent of cocoa, but the taste seems almost purely chocolate. This is by no means a chocolate beer, but wow, the taste blends perfectly with the malt(s). I cannot think of another porter I have had that tastes this good.

M..Mouthfeel is very good for a porter - just what you would expect. A bit heavy, a (very) little dry.

I had this pint with a bowl of exceptionally spicy chili. Since water is bad with spicy foods, I was not sure how the porter would sit. It helped cool the heat from the chili very well.

D..Yup, I could drink these all day. An easy session porter if ever there was one. I look forward to this beer again.

bbeerman, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of turnstile
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown (almost black) with a one-inch, fluffy tan head. The heads sticks around for a while after the initial pour and leaves a decent sticky lacing.

Smell: Coffee and sweet, roasted malt aromas. Cocoa notes become much more apparent after more sniffs, and even become dominant as the beer warms. So much so that I think you could call this a chocolate porter.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and roasted malts. Burnt sugar/caramel with dark-roasted coffee in the finish. A great take on an American porter.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. A nice, medium-bodied brew with a great smooth character. Not too chewy and doesn't finish as syrupy as others in this style.

Drinkability: Well-suited as a year-round beer. The ABV is about average and hidden well. Not too bitter with the right amount of sweetness for a malty brew. Smooth and not so heavy in its body that I could drink more than one, but probably best suited on its own with a desert pairing.

turnstile, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a verydark deep brown with a nice fluffy 1 finger head. Nose is sweet, a bit smokey and has a bit of a molasses hint.

Taste is very smokey and sharp for a porter, almost like a stout to me. It's quite sweet without being overwhelming. Mouthfeel fairly full and crisp, heavier than the pale ale, overall very good.

kingcrowing, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of acelin
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love knowing that SN's brews are so widely available. I see them wherever I go!

Poured a deep nut brown that was wholly translucent. A deep brown in the pint glass with a creamy one finger head that looked so so so good. Head left plenty of lacing throughout.

Smells like slightly roasted coffee, with little hints of hoppy resin. Unusual for a Porter.

This beer delivered in the taste department. Beautiful notes of roasted barley that are not too thick and burnt deliver up front, with a little hoppy resin bitterness hitting from behind.

Mouthfeel is good, not as thick as a stout - just what I wanted.

acelin, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of MOB210SA
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2 finger brownish tan/khaki semi-sluffy head. Dark black in color but light can be seen through not to difficult. Cherry brownish accents. Looks real nice, some lacing.

Very nice dark roasted malitness, coffee, and sweet chocolate. Smokey roasted, some kind of coffee drizzled chocolate desert. Smells pretty good.

Taste is mostly a big bouquet of roasted maltiness that finishes with a delicious coffee finish, and a little alcohol.

Medium/full bodied and silky smooth with a nice bubbly carbonation makes it just super smooth and very drinkable.

Porters arent my favorite style but as always Sierra Nevada does a great job on their version.

MOB210SA, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Porter has a brown body that is translucent all of the way through, revealing some ruby highlights when held up to the light. At least two fingers of off-white head have ok retention and coat the glass very well.

The aroma is bursting with toffee sweetness and roasted malts.

The flavor has lots of toffee and roasted malts; I would say that the toffee dominates, but the roasted malts are pretty flavorful too. Bitter hops are pretty powerful in the background.

The mouthfeel is a little light a pretty highly carbonated.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a drinkable beer that is good, but on the light side as far as malt goes; I don't mean light as in lacking malt, but I mean light in the color/flavor of the malt.

Hojaminbag, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of berley31
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with an average-sized, light-brown head that diminished to 1/2-finger. Body is dark black and completely opaque due to the color.

S: Nice aroma of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Very well-balanced and drinkable porter. The dark chocolate is quite apparent, with a slightly dry and bitter finish from the roastiness. Moderate duration.

M: A little thin-bodied on the palate, but still manages to come across as quite creamy, with average-to-lively carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable, and a very enjoyable porter.

berley31, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of theghost3
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a 3-finger beige head. A 1/2 finger head stays throughout & there's lots of lacing.

Smell is subtle--toasty malts, caramel and some citrusy hops. Taste is toasty, somewhat burnt malts with some caramel, cocoa, and just a hint of earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation.

This is a drinkable porter. Quite sessionable.
This would go great with any beef dish.

theghost3, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra nevada is proving to be a good everyday brewery. They make some stellar beers (bigfoot) and some ok beers (pale ale). This happens to be a good beer of theirs.

A=4.0 Creamy medium lasting head

S=3.5 Coffee and dark chocolate but the flavors are light on the nose

T=4.0 This beer has a good taste. The flavors from the nose carry over to the palate with a little more flavor.

M=4.0 Creamy! it has a creamy body when you chew it. This is the major feel. it also has a lively medium body.

D=4.5 Its a very smooth beer with around high 5 to low 6 percent alcohol. Worth trying if you find it. It's a good beer in the spring and fall, winter as well

tippebrewcrew2, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of CHADMC3
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body pours a dark brown with dark ruby hues as a huge creamy tan head floats atop and slowly dissipates to display a dense, sticky lacing.

Big roasted malt highlights the aroma also including toffee and dry earthy hops.

The flavor consists of roasted and chocolate malt, as well as coffee with a faint hop finish making for quite a pleasant brew.

Medium in body and carbonation, this porter is slightly creamy and very smooth.

Quite a good porter, easy to drink, plenty of character, and overall does not disappoint.

CHADMC3, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of haddon
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours very dark, almost black with a light mocha brown head. nice lacing all the way down the glass

S- molasses, roasted malts, coffee & chocolate. well-balanced sweet smell

T- unique taste for a porter...starts as expected: malts, roasted notes & chocolate. but then there are actually hoppy notes evident. I really like the bitter aftertaste coming from a porter

M- medium body with a nice amount of carbonation

D- for such an easily found beer this could be a great session porter. impressive

haddon, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of JEdmund
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nearly black though with a little light it reveals it's truly a deep brown. Head settles to a creamy cap that almost looks nitrogen-produced--impressive. 

Smells of oats, biscuits, and roasted coffee

Exceptionally smooth texture and a full body (though not thick or syrupy). 

Taste is basically spot-on to the aroma. Full flavored yet not as assertive as their stout. The bitterness is really kept in balance as is the malty sweetness. Overall it finishes pretty dry, making for a drinkable beer. Not even picking up on any yeast-derived fruitiness.

Just a clean porter! I'd have a hard time picking a winner between this and Anchor's porter. Excellent beer.

JEdmund, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of zackcg
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle poured into pint glass)

A - smokey dark brown with some crimson streaks. The head was tan and frothy, but didnt last long. Didnt dissipate completely and I enjoyed come nice fluffy lacing.

S - There wasnt a lot here for me. I was detecting mostly roasted malts and a bit of yeast character. There were also some pleasant burnt-chocolate undertones.

T - Rich as can be. Toffee-malt ensemble were the forefront with a slightly hopped ring.

M - smooth and carbonated. Not chalky though, texture was silky. Very easy to drink.

Great example of a basic porter. Though I tend to graviate towards harpoon leviathan or flying dog for my porter needs.

zackcg, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Mistofminn
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dark brown, nearly black color with a thin tan head that has excellent retention for the amount that is there. Leaves some spotty lacing.

The nose is malty up front, with a light roasted character and a hint of coffee.

Taste is a nice light roasted malt character, with a hint of coffee beans. A bitter hop taste finishes it out.

Light to medium in body, with a low carbonation. Smooth and slightly creamy. Pretty much what you would expect from a Porter. Drinkability is great.

Overall, for a sessionable Porter, this is a pretty good one. Not my favorite in the world, but definitely up there towards the top.

Mistofminn, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of drumrboy22
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. Beer was a reddish brown color, with a three-finger, foamy head. Light carbonation and moderate lacing around the glass.

Aroma was caramel, pine hops, malt, chocolate and a bit earthy.

Taste was chocolate, toffee, roasted grains and malt, lightly bitter hops, smokey/burnt finish.

Very smooth and easy drinking. Goes down easy.

drumrboy22, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of jhtipton
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 1.5 inch head into a glass. Dissipated quickly leaving some brownish lacing. Nice dark brown nectar. Smells a little chocolaty and is a little tart. Lightly carbonated. Medium bodied, not like eating a loaf of bread. I like this beer but maybe not as much as a Bock or IPA. Good enough to drink year round. Probably would only want to drink one or two at a sitting due to the body. Would like a hunk of cheddar to make it better.

jhtipton, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured a deep brown with ruby highlights around the base. 1.5 inch, creamy, off-white head reduced its volume by half in under a minute before settling into a consistent, quarter inch cap. A thick band of lacing is exposed during the session. Nose is somewhat mild - just a hint of chocolate malt and roast. Taste follows nose - really mild flavors, somewhat watery while also expressing some cereal grains and a kiss of hops. Mouthfeel is light-medium and lightly carbonated, with a clean finish. A little lacking in the flavor profile, but fairly easy drinking; just not what I usually look for in a porter.

Jwale73, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Dark chocolate brown with light tan head and nice lacing lines.

Smell: Dry, almost tart, roasted malts with chocolate and licorice.

Taste: Chocolate, sour roasted malts, light coffee and a nice mild bitter finish. Very well balanced.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation, medium body, fairly smooth, dry finish.

Drinkability: On-the-nose example of a Robust Porter. While not my favorite, it is certainly an archetype.

bsp77, Jan 13, 2010
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 3,088 ratings.