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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

2,879 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,879
Reviews: 1,326
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: 2,879 | Reviews: 1,326 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quasimoto
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

quasimoto, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of beveritt
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

beveritt, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of atigerlife
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Editing review 12/16/07:
Poured a dark brown with red highlights and a nice one finger light brown head with decent lasting power. Good lacing. Quite nice to look at.

Aroma of coffee, roasted malts and some light hops. Sweet.

Taste is lightly bitter with roasted malts. Some coffee and light hazelnut comes through. Light sweetness and some molasses.

Mouthfeel is of medium body and lightly cleansing.

Overall, a decent beer and quite drinkable. Not what I consider a typical porter, so if you have a hankerin' for a porter you may want to look elsewhere.

atigerlife, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I pulled this one out of my cellar,and enjoyed it with a whole wheat bread made with Breckenridge's "remarkable" vanilla porter.

if interested in making your own see: http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/946106

It poured quite black, with some garnet tints where the light tried to shine through its dark body. A one finger tan coloured head formed on the pour. A scant collar of fine lacings rimmed the inside of my pint glass.

This is a nice smelling porter with its touch of west coast citrus like hops. Nice roasted aroma of coffee and dark chocolate, with lesser hints of anise and even lesser hints of smoke. Other malt aromas of nuts and treacle also present.

Very tasty, went great with the beer bread. Nutty malts, even a hint of coconut, a hint of treacle, and a good roastiness much like described above. Slightly bitter at the finish with a touch of ruby red grapefruit flavour from the hops.

Slightly creamy mouthfeel in this medium bodied porter. Nice balance between rich malts, roasted grains, and the touch of west coast hops.

Pretty damn drinkable, especially considering the medium body. A great treat for a cool night, and a solid, obviously american styled porter. A good choice for someone looking to introduce themselves to porters or stouts. Ill be loooking for this one again.

demcorhip, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of cypressbob
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle, poured into a Cheers mug

Pours with a very dark brown body, almost black... towards the edges it turns into a syrupy amber caramelly colour. Thick dark tan head sits atop, about an inch thick, good retention. Patchy lacing up and down the glass

Smell, fresh american aroma hops like cascade and possibly something like chinook or willamette. Smokey roasted malt character along with some rich dark chocolate/strong coffee aromas.

Taste, deep roasted malt, bittering chocolate, fresh crisp hops, slight acidity on the finish. Crisp mouthfeel and a whole whack of drinkablility

This is one tasty american porter, complex and has a nicely balanced hop profile to go along with all that roasted malt character

cypressbob, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of PhiloPsych
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours from the bottle about the color of Coke, but is a bit darker in the glass. This bottle of beer had almost no bubbles and the very slight head dissipated almost immediately. The smell was faint, but roasty and nice. The flavor is perfectly fine, though. This is a good, solid porter. If you like this style of beer (and I definitely do), this one is worth keeping around. It is as drinkable a porter as you will find: it's not an overwhelming beer in any way; the flavor is very nice, roasty and malty; the mouthfeel does seem to be plenty carbonated (not at all flat) despite the lack of a head on pouring, and at the same time I would call this a smooth beer. Overall very nice.

PhiloPsych, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of witster18
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a dark amber. Small head...about 2mm. Some lacing. Very little to the nose...more alcohol than anything. Taste is good...lighter for the style....a touch too carbonated...hints of cocoa and molasses...followed by an alcohol astringency...yeah a bit too carbonated...but refreshing...the roastedness is early but dissapears quick to watery alcohol taste....still quite drinkable but not as good as I remembered. This beer is about a b- across the board....good...definately above average...but overated here...not nearly as good for the style as their Pale Ale is...regardless..."an above average porter with good accessibility." Would it be a travesty to say this isn't a whole lot better than Michelob's? I like this beer...but this beer plays it a little too safe...not enough flavor....high carbonation....good but overrated.

witster18, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kind of an off-black color off the pour, with a tinge of ruby at the base and a thin tan head and already decent lacing pre-sip. Nose is a delicious caramel, molasses, and creamy combination.

Taste has a medley of dark malts with strong roasted coffee and chocolate flavors. Mouthfeel is medium but bolstered by just the right amount of carbonation for a velvety smooth texture. Ths is a quality product worth trying. Not a first rate porter but not far off it and well worth trying.

daliandragon, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of Fugazme
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite black... nice 1/4", tan head... wonderful stickage...

Wow... awesome aroma... Molasses dominates, but tons of roasty/toasty malts... coffee.. smokey...licorice... very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is nice... a touch chewy, but a smoothness that slinks over the tongue.

Taste is a roasted malt blast upfront... some coffee in the middle... molasses/brown sugary notes... I dig it a ton... woody overtones...

A highly drinkable beer... I've had this one before, but don't remember it being this good. Wonderful

Fugazme, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of treedoctor5002
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours jet black with a thin tan head that settles fairly quickly into lacing on the sides of my pint glass.

Smell is very nice with cocoa, molasses and roasted barley all finding there way to my nostrils.

Overall the taste is good with the major flavor being baking cocoa. Followed by molasses and a slightly bitter finish that leaves a nice tanginess in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is course and full-bodied with plenty of carbonation.

This beer is another quality brew from SN.

treedoctor5002, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

SN Porter gives off a very thin head that dissipates into thin lacing very quickly. The body of this brew is nearly jet black, but there are hints of dark reddish hues.

This gives off a slight chocolaty aroma, with slight hints of coffee character. This brew is full of darkly roasted malt, but not overly burnt. It feels a bit coarse with the heavy amount of CO2, and finishes quite refreshingly.

TheSarge, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of Riggo
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: dark brown with ruby red highlights. beige, viscous head with excellent lacing.

smell: coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, some hops.

taste: fruity, chocolately and coffeeish, balanced with cedary hops. some sour wood/earthy notes.

mouthfeel: soft and smooth. low carbonation

drinkability: high. mellow and comforting but well-balanced and not heavy. a beautiful beer.

Riggo, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easy drinking milder tasting well malted porter. Initial white head that dissipitates on top of coal black. Bit of molasses and roasted barley aroma. Tad of coffee and chocolate, tilted toward sweetness. Nicely and smartly carbonated. Quite the session ale.

Sammy, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler. This beer is a very dark brown color that lets in a little bit of light. The head was a good 1/2 inch when poured. About 3 minutes after being poured it shrunk to about it shrunk to a very nice film layer on the surface and it also left some very nice lacing on the inside of my tumbler. Smell wise there were aromas of sweet malt, caramel, and coffee. Sweet favors of malt, toffee and caramel were present upfront followed by a good hint of sort of bitter black coffee. Has a crisp and creamy mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Quite easy do drink. I feel that this beer is a very good representation of the style of American Porter. Definitely the best thing I have had from this brewery so far.


neenerzig, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Watching a movie the other night, sampled this, Stone's and Smutty's porters. This was good, but my least favorite. It was a dark brown with a thick, coffee-colored head. It had a coffee aroma, and a coffee taste. Pretty one-dimensional. I thought it was harsher than the other porters I tried that evening.

lordofthewiens, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of beeragent
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great example of an American porter. Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a deep brown, forming a 1 inch head, that left medium lacing on the glass. The aroma is of roasted malts, along with a hint of coffee. The taste is roasted malts, and coffee, with a little bitterness at the end. Medium mouthfeel. This is a great porter to session. Very smooth. A great offering from Sierra Nevada.

beeragent, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of jmbranum
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank as one of my selections on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, 2006)

Poured a nice black with a good sized tan head, which lingered.

The aroma is very inviting. Toasty malt with a bit of carmel.

The flavor is a mix of some nice hop bitterness, toasty slightly coffeeish notes and some degree of unexpected creaminess and a tiny bit of chocolate. The mouthfeel is not too heavy (definitely appropriate for where a porter should be) but the flavor is more intense than I expect from many porters.

Overall I like this beer alot. It is very well-balanced and is somewhat unique in that it has enough hops to really match the malty and toasty notes.

jmbranum, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of EPICAC
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark black with ruby tints. A one-inch, creamy, brown head tops the beer, but fades to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Roasty with a bit of fruitiness, nice chocolate aromas.

Taste: A little bit of tart fruitiness, chocolate, roasted bitterness and juicy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, high carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability: Delicious.

EPICAC, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Porter, pours a deep ruby brown. Average head, white in coloration. Fell to lacing quickly, and remained sticky.

The nose is roasty with lots of grain undertones. Raw and earthy with a dark chocolate caramelized backing.

Taste is well-carbonated and medium bodied. The flavors upfront provide a nice leadway for what is to follow. A strong roasty base, which has a surprising sweet kick to it. Sweet malty chocolate malt, caramel, and light coffee beans. Vanilla, and raw grain. With a wave of citric hop bitterness near the finish. This is one true to the style porter. Raw and untamed. Providing more sweetness, than bitterness. Yet, the hops still present them self strongly.

Damn, this is one tasty Porter. Sierra Nevada nailed this one. Highly recommended.

HoustonTX, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of CU570M
1.35/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Rich dark brown almost black in color. Mild head with no lacing. Smells like burnt toast. The tastes is really bad, it reminds me of sucking on the filter of a cigarette. High carbonation on this one and it makes the mouth feel dry. This is not my kind of beer at all.

CU570M, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. twisty into a tulip glass.

A clear medium brown that shows mostly deep ruby when you hold it up to light. I got a finger's worth of light tan head that is real foamy. It leaves a nice lacing as it slowly dies down.

Smells of dark malts with a hint of chocolate. I do not pick up any hops in the nose whatsoever. The taste is of dark malts and some alcohol, with a long bitter hop finish.

This is a surprisingly light bodied beer which is smooth and creamy. Very drinkable and easily sessioned.

ZimZamZoom, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of ghostmech007
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Very nice dark brown almost black color, and off white creamy lacing.

Malty aromas with a definite hoppy smell.

Black malts hit your straight up with a orangey hop flavor. Malt sweetness and a very burnt malt aftertaste. Very nice feel to the beer, sits well on the tongue and dosen't play around after you swallow. It just beckons you to drink more.

Great American porter probably the best. I love it and can't get enough of it. A great winter brew.

ghostmech007, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a fan of Porter style beers. I happened upon these 'beauts just a couple of days ago at a local wine shop and was very excited to take them home with me. I cracked open my first one and poured it into the glass, the color a deep deep brown and when tilted into the light hints of red and yellow. The head was amazing at first, but would settle a bit too quickly for my taste (I would be willing to bet if this were served on tap the head would be a tad thicker and linger a while longer). The smell was heavy on the coffee side and had hints (small) of chocolate. The taste was very decent, a bit more of a kick than some porters and had similar flavors to the smell with maybe a tad more of an earthy note to it. The mouth-feel was good and the finish was just as satisfying as the drink. I strongly recommend this beer for quiet nights at home or out at a bar (if they have it) not a party beer though, it really deserves to be savored.

Jordan1985rec, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of TheWhaleShark
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Probably the darkest brown liquid I've seen in a glass, nearly black, with a nice tan head. Head forms quickly, bubbling up during the pour.

S: Roasted and toasted malts, with a bit of caramel-ish sweetness

T: Taste is somewhat sweet caramel-ish malt at first, with hints of coffee and a slight bit of chocolate. This gives way to some hop bitterness, but not too much, and finishes with a bit of bitterness and a coffee flavor.

M: Medium bodied, not too thick or thin, and not too much carbonation. Not really a "chewy" beer, but certainly significant.

D: A very solid, easy-to-enjoy drinking beer. It's not the best ever, but it's certainly worth it.

TheWhaleShark, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of afordney
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, with a tan head. a good thick lace around the glass.

smells like chocolate. slight coffee and a little hops in the end.

tastes like coffee, good hoppiness in the finish

good carbonation, good bitterness but not overwhelming

good beer, a nice wintry drink.

afordney, Dec 14, 2006
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,879 ratings.