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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

2,817 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,817
Reviews: 1,321
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 85
Gots: 123 | 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: 2,817 | Reviews: 1,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

This pours a nice thick tan head that laces slightly. The color is a rich, dark brown that you cannot see through.

It is well balanced between hops and malts. The smell and taste were of carmel notes, and a hint of citrus was present.

Mouthfeel was very rich. A medium body with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, for the price this is a solid porter. Easy drinking with some nice flavors.

mothman, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of sraimondi
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Although I've had this one many times, first time for a review.

A- Pours a very dark ruby, opaque except in front of a strong light. Nice 1" head which quickly fades. Very good sheet lacing throughout glass.

S- Very pronounced sweet chocolate aroma dominates. Some raison/licorice also is there. Very pleasant.

T- Really good balanced flavor. Surprisingly little chocolate given the smell. Malt and hops share the stage, with malt winning out slightly in the finish.

MF- Very good feel; rounded and smooth; almost silky.

D- Definitely a session porter. Very balanced and easy going down. One of the better American Porters I have had.

sraimondi, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Better than average porter, but not by much. Pours a dark toasted brown with a thick tan head that soon leaves way to a nice film, medium amounts of lacing are present. The aroma is of dark roasted sweet malts, a bit nutty and perhaps even some chocolate but nothing real intense. Mouthfeel is slightly thin for most porters, but it is not out of line. The flavor is good but it doesn't grab my attention. Roasted malts and that's about it. The finish is a bit weak which coincides with the mouthfeel. Don't get me wrong I enjoy this beer greatly, but the bottom line is that this is slightly above average for a porter.

kinger, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of MikeWilson
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this a little aggressively, producing a dense tan head that persisted to the very end. When held up to a bright light, the beer was deep garnet red, a color which I have always found captivating in a beer. Tiny bubbles fed the massive foam top and released aromas that were all chocolate malt. Not much roasted malts, which is expected. Nonetheless, the aroma was just as dark and mysterious as the color. The flavor was dominated by the dark malts: Slightly burnt, chocolaty, even an ever so slight hint of peetiness in the background. There were also some sweet caramel malts in there as well. The hops are present but only barely perceptive in the bitterness and flavor. The collection of flavors are incredibly smooth and rounded out and meld together perfectly. Mouth feel is silky smooth as the beer slides across the tongue into the throat.

This beer was outstanding. Overall, its best quality was the balance. In my opinion some porters can be a bit over the top due to the dark grains (but not as much as a stout!), but this one managed to pull off the act effortlessly. I'm going to have another one!

MikeWilson, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown color with a caramel head. Many small bubbles and a few larger ones. clearly opaque

S- Smells like a porter. molasses and caramelized sugar to me.

T- Tastes great with a good balance of subtle spicy hops and relaxed sweet malts

M- Feels great with a viscous yet carbonated body that goes over the tongue like velvet

D- Drinks pretty good for a porter, a bit too viscous

Another solid Sierra Nevada brew

EnojysAnyBeer, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to an imperial pint glass

Pours dark dark brown (not black) with a nice tan head.

Smell of fruit cover the smell of coffee and roasted malt.

Light sweet taste joins with a smokey/ roasted malt.

Nice carbonation, not too strong, makes this beer feel nice.

Nice blend of taste, smell, and not too strong alcohol make this a very drinkable beer.

aubuc1, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of alarusse
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - very dark brown, almost black and cloudy appearance. Nice to look at, but nothing beautiful or special. Tan, fairly thick head, which leaves sparse but thick, choppy lace intermittently down the glass.

S - I smell grapes predominantly and fruits mixed with robust chocolate/coffee aromas.

T - An initial sweet burst of flavor, again a powerful grape taste to me, followed by a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M/D - Nice mouthfeel with lingering chocolatey bitterness. Slightly overcarbonated for this type of beer for my taste. Goes down smooth, but a bit heavy.

I poured a chilled bottle into a plastic (yes, plastic) cup. The lameness of the cup was offset, however, by the beautiful Cezanne-esque sunset under which I drank this enjoyable, but not quite "refreshing," beer.

alarusse, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of rowew
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle, blew label. No date or ABV

Appearance: Pours very dark brown with some ruby around the edges, average head and retention.

Smell: Light roasted, just a bit of dark fruit. Nice malt sweetness.

Taste: Medium bodied with a low carbonation level. Malt flavors are a nice combination of sweetness and roasted.

Overall impression: Nice example of the style - this one is drinkable and well made.

rowew, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of SpecialK088
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Pours a very deep brown with a red hue to it as well has a nice big fluffy head about 2 fingers, does not lace alot down the glass.

S-Rosted malt, Esspresso and subtle hints of chocoltae and carmel

T-Rich coffee flavor with notes of sweetness (carmel) good medium body brew with a very good level of carbonation and is exceptionally smooth. Good malty finish very easy to drink and well balanced.

SpecialK088, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of BryanCarey
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Porter is a dark, rich, tasty ale. Held up to a light, it shows the brown colors but also a reddish hue as well. The aroma is malty and earthy. The head on this beer is very solid and sturdy and lasts a very long time. The foam leaves lace on the glass, as you consume the beer. Even the last few drinks of this beer will have some signs of foaminess.

This porter offers a taste that is complex, with the flavor of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, and even a little bit of smokiness. And, of course, no Sierra Nevada product would be complete without the taste of hops. The malty taste dominates, but you can definitely taste the hops.

Sierra Nevada produces many great products, but Sierra Nevada Porter is one of the brewer's best, and it's one of my favorite porters in existence. The combination of chocolate, malt, hops, coffee, and other complex flavors make for a delicious treat any time of year, and for any occasion.

BryanCarey, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce shorty bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a dark rich chocolate color with an impressive head that pillows up and recedes to a one finger head that leaves sticky lace all around.

Aroma is of rum and raisins, burnt chocolate and dates. Nutty tones, like roasted cashews.

Flavor is dark chocolate, dates and plums with a touch of hop that just fits perfectly. Burnt malt and scorched marshmallows. Small amount of roasty, smokey malt.

Mouthfeel is medium creamy with a slick oiliness.

Good beer, a solid offering from SA.

wheatyweiss, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of kdales77
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As always, poured into a glass:

Apperance: Dark brown to almost "cola" color

Smell: Sweet with hints of coffee and chocolate

Taste: Followed the smell, sweet, smooth with hardly any bitterness

Mouthfeel: exceptional

Drinkability: The Sierra line of beers is definetly growing on me. I think a lot of it is availability and price. Always a good combo!

kdales77, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark brown in color with some ruby highlights when held up to light. Thick two finger light brown head with excellent retention and average lacing.

S - Smells like a good standard porter should. Hints of coffee, cocoa, and toasted malts. A little sweetness as well.

T - Sweet chocoalte malt taste with a nice little hop bite afterwards. Spicy hop taste.

M/D - A little thin on the mouthfeel but overall very good. A very good American porter.

ckeegan04, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black cola-esque body (may have been the lighting) with an enormous three-finger head that died slowly and left lace patches. A good malt base in the aroma, with some roasted and coffee malts sticking out (I guess that's the barley malts also poking out, as on the label), and some earth tones also. A rich, thick, syrup-like medium to full body presents itself on the tongue first. The malts kick in, most noticeably it tasted like coffee, roasted malts and cocoa, but despite this it is only semi-sweet and creamy with a very dry backbite, like a regular coffee with no sugar or milk dryness.
It leaves a lingering coffee flavor and dryness after you drink it, and welcomes you back again. Perhaps the only thing keeping me from sessioning this is it really started to dry my palate, and a few of these would probably leave my throat parched.

clayrock81, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is really easy to get a hold of.

A - Brown pour, chocolate head, nice legs.

S - Cherries, medium roast malts, dark chocolate.

T - Dark cherries, chocolate, and grass.

M - Carbonated, tangy, and syrupy.

D - Definitely good and has improved over time (or maybe it's my tastes). Still better examples out there.

MisterClean, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of chiefydawg
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt brown semi-translucent body with an almost crimson hue. Medium-sized head comprised of tight bubbles gives it a foamy look. Gorgeous thick Brussels lace is all that can diminish this head.

Smells of roasted malt, molasses and cocoa with some faint smokiness. When jostled, I'm getting some trace of herb.

For as sweet as it smelled, it is surprisingly dry. This dryness opens the path for the slightly burnt marshmallow, dark chocolate, breakfast blend coffee, and smoke. All are done tastefully and subtle; and they are all kept in check by the swallow, where the bittering hops have been lurking. After swallowing the last sip, there's a pleasantly bitter yet roasy sweetwater to hold onto.

Medium bodied at best this smooth and nearly dare I say refreshing porter (literally and figuratively) surprised me. It's like they took that great yeast from the pale ale and applied it to a well-done porter. This may be go well to cut and cleanse the palate of a rich chocolate delicacy without disrupting it.

chiefydawg, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of oldfashioned
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured very nicely - a deep bronze red when held up to the light, with a nice creamy head. The smell is pretty subtle for me, but I'm picking up some toasted bread with some sweet, molasses notes. The taste is very nice - molasses is the dominant flavor, but it's pretty subtle and well balanced with some hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth but a little thinner than I expected from a porter.

This was my first porter and I was frankly expecting something a little more dramatic, but the subtlety and smoothness of this porter really impressed me. It would be a very drinkable beer any time of year (it's 95 degrees outside right now), and I'll definitely purchase a 6-pack of these in the future.

oldfashioned, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of righlander
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Amazing... Jet black with insane lacing, minor head.

S- Amazing... black patent, chocolate and very hopped maybe some coffee.

T- Amazing... chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasty, citrus and hoppy... You got a problem with that?!

M- Amazing... serious...really nice. Medium bodied.

D- Amazing... 5.6% Drinkability anyone?

Notes to self: Simply amazing. In my opinion, the best porter out there. If you haven't tried it, you hate your life. I left a lot out of this review... so go try it and try to tell me im wrong about an A+

righlander, May 31, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance was a deep brown color with a solid head. Nose was as expected, and delicious: lots of roasted malt, some light chocolate and coffee, some light dried fruit. Nice aromas, and a lot of them. Flavor was a little unexpected. A lot hoppier than expected, and mostly lacking in the mild sweetness the nose was pointing at. The roasted malt is quite smooth, and rolls right into that hoppiness that sticks around in a fairly-long aftertaste. Body was likewise a little thinner than I'd hoped. Overall, a tasty beer, although not quite as good as I though the nose was advertising.

soupyman10, May 21, 2008
Photo of Overlord
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark brown, blackish core. Inch or two of off white head.

Smells like molasses and brown sugar. Very, very unusual aroma. I can't remember any other beer that smells like this. The taste is roasted, charred chocolate malt, some hop twinge, and that same molasses flavoring.

I'm really curious as to what this is made from. I'm guessing unsulphured molasses is a prime ingredient. A good, sessionable porter, though nothing awe inspiring.

Overlord, May 10, 2008
Photo of memphischas
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep almost opaque brown, 1 and a half finger head with good retention

S: first thing that strikes me is the toasty malts followed by chocolate and molasses

T: delicious, chocolate/sugary tones that leave behind a coffee/cappuccino aftertaste. well balanced

M: has a good deal of carbonation with a medium body

D: very delicious, will definitely have again although I have been more impressed by other porters

memphischas, May 07, 2008
Photo of gfreed
2.05/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Although it's nice and dark, that's about the only thing here that resembles a porter. There's not much to smell, and very little to taste: no coffee, no dark flavor, not much bitterness, no toastiness... nothing. Very namby-pamby. If this were coffee, I'd file it under Taster's Choice. If you want a good six-pack porter for regular consumption, buy Otter Creek Stovepipe.

gfreed, May 02, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Dark not quite opaque with some nice retention. Looks inviting.

S. Smokey barley. Hints of alcohal.

T. Malty with some coffee tones. Hops are way in the background but percievable.

M. A bit heavy as most are in this genre. Good long lasting aftertaste.

D. Very enjoyable session beer.

Thoughts: Sweet porter here from Sierra Nevada, I particularly enjoyed the smokey aspect and the hops. Good stuff.

Stinkypuss, May 01, 2008
Photo of umustdrink
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown color, mostly opaque. Offwhite head fades to an eighth inch. Small bits of lacing.

S - Toasted coffee malts with a mild green bitterness.

T - Starts out with a carbonation bite and some light bitterness. Once the carbonation fades, the toasted malts come in, dark coffee flavored with vanilla. Finish leaves a mild coffee flavor.

M - Light to medium consistency with elevated carbonation.

D - Not bad but nothin special.

umustdrink, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark dark ruby red with a crazy thick, creamy head and patchy lace.

S - Lots of toasty notes - coffee, molasses,dark fruit. Quite hoppy as well with a floral tone.

T/M - Soft, buttery flavour and mouthfeel is more apparent, but there's lots of roastiness, fruit and hops in this as well.

D - I find this to be a mellow beer - flavourful, but very accessible, balanced, and easy drinking. Very sessionable.

allergictomacros, Apr 25, 2008
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,817 ratings.