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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

2,677 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,677
Reviews: 1,314
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 82
Gots: 85 | 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: 2,677 | Reviews: 1,314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jdiddy

Rhode Island

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not much to say about this one. I love Sierra Nevada but this is just a typical porter. Nothing to get too excited over. Smooth with a bitter aftertaste. A little too carbonated for this style IMO. Good session beer if you are in for a dark beer evening but would certainly not be my first choice when it comes to porters.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 22:12:42 | More by Jdiddy
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


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

Twist off brown 12er.

Black / dark, dark brown. Moderate head, bubbly.

Chocolate, butter, alcohol. Sweet and dark malt, chocolate, roasted, toffee, nut. Spicy English hops. Surprisingly strong alcohol smell.

Medium-full bodied and smooth. Malt: dark chocolate, roasted, nut, and sweet toffee. Hop: spicy, herbal, and mildly floral. Nice grassy and earthy esters. Very mild warmth. Mild carbonation. Finishes dry and earthy.

Good solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 05:15:56 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of mpyle


3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pale tan head. Fairly small but tightly bubbled head. Pale (for style) reddish brown color with nice clarity.

Subdued chocolate/smoky notes from the malt, otherwise quite clean. No hops or yeasty esters.

Flavor tends toward bitter, believe from the hops. Maltiness is very subdued. Finishes dry and with a small malt aftertaste. Hop flavor is subdued to non-existent. [appended: Powerful dark roasted flavor. Seemed to like roastiness much more on a retaste. Only major issue was the one-dimensional nature of the roast malt flavor]

Light to medium body, with medium to high carbonation. Bitterness makes it a bit harsh on the tongue. Not creamy, no alcohol warming. Excessive bitterness diminishes the mouthfeel.

Lacks the big malty flavors anticipated in a big American porter, but a clean and roasty Porter. No major style or technical flaws.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 02:03:20 | More by mpyle
Photo of wagenvolks


4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

twelver into a pint glass...

Pours a seal brown body with a stubborn khaki head that slowly recedes into a nice, foamy cap. Sticky lacing all the way down the glass. The smell gives off a nice hoppy note balanced with coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, and sugary malts.

Tasty one, this. Chocolate and coffee with a velvety smooth, somewhat chalky feel that blankets the palate. A bitter, mocha finish seals the deal. Definately an easily-consumed stout, very tasty and smooth...one I look forward to meeting again.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 02:57:13 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Brad007


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a darkish brown color with a nice off-white head. I can detect hints of coffee in the aroma and in the taste as well. Smooth and there's a decent malt backbone as well. It goes down smooth and is very drinkable for a porter. A decent starter for those who haven't ever had a porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2007 00:56:29 | More by Brad007
Photo of beerphan


3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> pint
no date

Pours mostly black with deep crimson browned edges. When held to the light the color becomes mostly a rusted brown. A one inch creamy head sits atop the brew. Thin rings of lace with each sip, along with some dots between rings.

Nose: Chocolate malts,

More roasty than i expected, with little hop presense, which i didn't expect. Chocolate malts, some coffee, but no flavor from the hops, initially at least. Finishes with a nice bitterness and some citrus hop flavors that off a quick hit then are gone. A smokey wood aftertaste thats just about right.

Mouth seems a little thin but pleasantly roasty.

A real quality porter. Was hoping for some cascade flavor, but i suppose that it really not needed. Easy to drink and tastey taboot!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 21:21:22 | More by beerphan
Photo of becktone


3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Pours with a dark brown color with ruby highlights. Head retention is good keeping a stable one finger size. The head is tannish and creamy in appearance with great lacing.

Nose: Roasted and chocolate aromas with some coffee tones come through in this brews nose. There is also a bit of hop character there, very faint and in the background but there, its not quite strong enough for me to say whether it is citrus, floral, noble etc. oriented but I do recognize it as a hop aroma.

Tongue: Right up front there are some roasted and chocolate notes. Also some roasted grain bitterness, maybe some astringency. Also some Burnt/smoky flavors in there just at the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: In the mouth this beer feels a bit lighter than I expected. It has a medium full body but feels a little watery. Carbonation is appropriate for this style. Feel is creamy and smooth for the most part. This is a brew that I'd have no quarrel about drinking again though I do prefer GLBC's Edmund Fitzgerald over this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 19:43:12 | More by becktone
Photo of zdk9


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

A- Excellent black color with a large lingering head- tinted grey- and some lacing.

S- A bit weak for what I expected. Roasted coffee beans, light cocoa.

T- A great experience of coffee and cocoa. Some hops bitterness, but not much flavor out of them- that would've made it a perfect score in my mind.

M- A little overly bitter- day old coffee feel, but a good mouth coat with some syrupy aspects.

D- Good flavor and decent mouthfeel makes for a good beer- reminds me a lot of GL Edmund Fitz, but lacking some complexity.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 01:06:31 | More by zdk9
Photo of cpn920

New York

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

This beer has a remarkable deep color. The head is not too creamy. The most obvious thing that I found about this beer was how smooth it is as well as the lack of bitterness. I also think that it is a great value at $7.00 a six pack. It is my new favorite beer

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 19:49:15 | More by cpn920
Photo of Stimack

New York

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

It seems a little crazy that I have never reviewed the Sierra Nevada Porter since it is probably my favorite overall style. So with that being said, here it goes …

The brew was poured pretty much black in color, probably would be considered a very dark brown, with the perfect sized tan (slightly dark) head that had great retention and left a great amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The aromas are roasted grains that give it such a great smell as it seems to act as the backbone for the entire brew. Mixed in with that great smell seem to be an excellent accompanists of caramel, some coffee like aroma and a somewhat (but in no way over powering) pungent hop scent. The taste is as good as the scent; it seems to start on the sweet side with roasted and chocolate malts coming out quite quickly with some notes of coffee mixed in. The end seems to have a break in the type of bitterness, at first I think it was due to the roasted grains but the finish is more of a citric hop. The feel is very smooth and creamy. Over all this is simply an excellent rendition of a Porter. I am glad that we have this readily available as it seems that most breweries today seem to be going to an extreme even with this type of a brew, not to say that is a bad thing but a lot of times you just want a classic.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 12:58:38 | More by Stimack
Photo of jmalex


4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In preparation of a great array of porters I'll be sampling tomorrow at Capone's, I'm drinking this rather "pedestrian" (at least by comparison) porter tonight.

APPEARANCE: Pours very dark brown/black with amber highlights. A thin head forms with a vigorous pour but fades almost immediately. A thin collar and foamy patch is all that remains. The slightest bit of lace appears down the side of the glass.

SMELL: The aroma is quite nice with roastiness, bitter chocolate, coffee, black malt, and even a touch of smoke. Diacetyl has made its way into yet another porter, as seems to be it's signature.

TASTE: Flavors of fruit come first and are followed by a HUGE bitter roasted flavor. The finish is caramelly sweet, and hop bitterness shines here more than anywhere else. Everything is a bit rough around the edges, but there's a lot of great tasting flavors here.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly overcarbonated and a bit thin. A fairly smooth drinker though.

DRINKABILITY: A very easy drinking porter. This is something you could sit down with all night and polish off a few.

I love it when a beer surprises me. Sierra Nevada has a fine reputation, but I still wouldn't expect upper-echelon beers from them. Their porter approaches being just that. This beer is anything but pedestrian.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 00:03:22 | More by jmalex
Photo of uiplanner


4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in 6-pack bottles and poured into pint glass.

Head started off OK, but dissipated quickly into almost nothing. Has a dark brown Pepsi sans carbonation look to it.

Smells great. Espresso and dark chocolate come to mind.

Taste. Above average - almost as good as the smell. I might taste a little more of both hops and alcohol than the typical porter -- the hops is appreciated.

Overall, this is a solid B+ performer. I will buy this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 03:03:55 | More by uiplanner
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Dark brown, tan-colored head, very creamy and inviting. Some lacing sticks around. The smell is malty, some roasted barley and an earthy presence. There's also some hops in the background.

Taste is mostly the dark malt, true porter style, but there is also a citric hop aroma that's terrific, really adds a lot of complexity to the beer. There's a little aftertaste of burnt malt, which is fine but not always entirely welcome.

Just enough sweetness to keep this beer very balanced, good inclusion of malt and hop flavors. This is a really good American porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 02:10:51 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of BigJTrucker


3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no visible freshness date.

Pours a mostly opaque dark brown color, somewhat akin to a cola. Smells of slight toasted malt, coffee. Tastes of coffee, perhaps a litlle bit of dark chocolate type bitterness. Mouthfeel is thin and watery, but smooth. I suppose I could find a beer with more body, but this one is very nice. Very drinkable, could easily be a "session" type beer, if you are a huge fan of porters.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 08:07:53 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of Gatch


3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - It has a pretty light body. A deep blood red up to light but a deep red even w/o light. A creamy, frothy off-white head.
S - Brown sugar, molasses, a hint of chocolate, roasted malt.
T - Man, I love porters and I love Sierra Nevada. Shines right from the first sip. Roasted malt with a nice smokiness. The chocolate is faint, which is good in this case, because it lets the roasted character of the malt really show. A lot of this beer reminds me of a Brown Ale with the finish of a Pale Ale, which is strange for a Porter.
M - A lot of flavor but a fairly light body for a porter. Not that it's watered down, but it doesn't have the thickness that you expect from a Porter. Moderate carbonation leads to a great smoothness and balance.
D - It has the body of a Brown Ale. Very flavorful, but not very thick. I find most Porters to be very drinkable and this is no exception. The taste is there, but I was looking for it to have a full body, so that leaves something to be desired. I could definitely have another, and I wish I could, but after the second or third one, it would probably get a little boring. A great Porter from a great brewery. Thanks Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 08:52:03 | More by Gatch
Photo of Duster72


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured very dark brown from bottle into pint glass. 2 finger dark tan head quickly dissipates. Aroma is mostly roasted malts with some chocolate. Taste follows aroma is roasty malts, chocolate, and some smoke. Rather bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is rather thin. I don't love porters, but this one was drinkable. One was more than enough for me, though.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 11:50:48 | More by Duster72
Photo of objectivemonkey


3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a very dark brown with some ruby hues, a decent head starting out, shrinks to a thin film, with nice streaking lacing. The aroma has some good roasty malts, good sweetness. Taste is just classic porter, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, a bit chalky maybe, the mouth pretty smooth, a little too carbonated for me, pretty much a well done, typical porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 00:47:36 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of dogger6253


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light tan head tops off this darkness. Mostly opaque, though the bottom of the glass lets a little light through making the base a soft, cherry glow. The head doesn't last long at all.

Coffee is the primary scent here with chocolate backing it up and a touch of hops in the mix as well. Very little alcohol noted only when I take big whiffs. Overall, the scent is very roasted and grainy, kind of like burnt cereal.

Chocolate hits the tongue first, then comes roasted malt and coffee flavors finished off with the bitter hops aftertaste and a touch of smokiness that stays with you for a while.

Fairly dry and light. Carbonation plays a role, but not much in this highly drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 04:36:13 | More by dogger6253
Photo of rallison


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

A: Nice very dark brown/black body with a 2 finger semi-fizzy brown head that doesn't stick around all that well.

S: Roasted malts abound! Coffee, chocolate and other roasty aromas. Very nice.

T: Wonderful chocolate infused espresso hits the tongue. Nice espresso aftertaste lingers for a bit. Bit of hops in there too - although I've had this bottle for a bit, so the hops have likely mellowed. Lots of flavor considering the lower alcohol. Nice sweetness finishes it off. Almost has a wine-like quality at the middle of the sip. Very nicely done.

M: A little on the thin side, however it's about par for the style. I've been having a lot of barleywines recently, so it takes some scaling back to get used to a lighter mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable. Alcohol is lower, but the flavor is not, making for one drinkable beer.

Highly recommended. A very nice porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 06:57:42 | More by rallison
Photo of LarryV


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

Pours a dark brown with a hint of red around the edges. Frothy dense head fades quickly. The aroma is rather subdued with a bit of caramel and citrus hoppiness. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side but has a nice creaminess to it. Taste is chocolatey with a bit of a subtle bite from the hops. Lots of roasted malt goodness here. An easy drinking porter that doesn't overwhelm the palate. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 20:20:36 | More by LarryV
Photo of bluejacket74


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

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch and a half frothy tan head. Lacing and head retention are both good. It smells like roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, coffee and toffee. It tastes like coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and caramel. There's also a good hoppy finish that lingers around a while. Mouthfeel is light/medium, with a bit of slickness. It's a little bit watery, more than I expected it to be. Drinkability is good, it goes down nice and smooth and it's well balanced and easy to drink. Overall, I think it's a decent porter. I think I could have this as a session beer occasionally.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 01:30:07 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of jopl


4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown but when held into the light it is a dark dark ruby. A thin white head forms when poured and quickly dissapates. Little to no lacing.

Smell: Great smells of dark chocolate and coffee. Also has a sweet smell that I can't really place.

Taste: Roasted malts along with chocolate are the main taste of this beer. The aftertaste is a strong hops taste, not too common in porters and nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Thinner on the mouth then most other porters I try but well carbonated and goes down easy.

Drinkability: Since it doesn't seem as heavy as other porters, it makes it a lot more drinkable and a great session beer.

Overall I was very surprised by this beer. It is delicious and a great session beer. I've never had any Sierra Nevada beers but I will have to try more...

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2007 23:38:09 | More by jopl
Photo of jackorain


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

Very dark brown, almost black. some light gets through showing brown highlights. poured into a pint glass with a 1 inch pillowy off-whit to almost tan head. very good retention, incredible lacing.

smells of coffee, chocolate, carmel, molasses. there is also a mild hop aroma and some alcohl esters on the finish of a deep sniff

taste is of dark roasted coffee, dark choclate, roasted malt, the hops come through a little in the middle, there is also a mild smokey quality. The porter expected acidic twang is there on the finish. a really nice flavor overall

medium body, creamy mouthfeel a little fizzy on the carbonation

this beer is very drinkable, in fact, nearly sessionable perhaps.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 17:50:50 | More by jackorain
Photo of quasimoto


3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Its my two hundredth review, so I picked a beer that is something that Ive had but I haven't reviewed. It a standard looking porter with a deep deep brown complexion, ruby highlights peek throught the side, and it has, or should say had very little head. It quickly dissapated and left this very tiny ring around the glass. What is there is leaving some lacing but not much. The aromas are roasty to start, blended with some chocolate, but there is some oxidation in the background that give it a sort of musty aroma. Its very light bodied which also translates to the flavor of the beer. What flavors there are, are coming through, but they seem a little lackluster for this beer.The roast, chocolate and slight alcohol come thorough, and leave your mouth with a semi roasted after taste. It starts wirth sharp carbonation, and stays sharp in the middle. It dries out in the end really well, and leaves that roasty taste very nicely on your palette. Overall, Its a nice session porter. Leaves a little to be desired, but I might have this as my new back up beer in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 00:35:56 | More by quasimoto
Photo of beveritt


3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is typical of Sierra Nevada.

Appearance: I gave this a rough pour, and it certainly responded, over two inches of tan, creamy, head. This falls, leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass and about 1/4 inch of head. The beer itself is just shy of opaque, a deep ruby/copper color.

Smell: Roasted barley, bitter chocolate, and black coffee. Slightest hint of sweet malt and a nice bready yeastiness.

Taste: Not as much bitterness as I expected from the taste, more of a creamy, chocolate/toffee flavor with undertones of barley bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is average, which makes me glad I gave it a good pour, I hate overcarbonated porters. Body is average.

Drinkability: A nice, smooth porter that blends the various aspects of the style well; typical of Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 02:45:39 | More by beveritt
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,677 ratings.