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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

2,716 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,716
Reviews: 1,315
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 83
Gots: 93 | 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: 2,716 | Reviews: 1,315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

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

Almost opaque, dark brown with cherry highlights. Big, pillowy tan head atop.
Smell is a bit subdued but, for the most part, it's sweetened, dark roast coffee with some acidic, hoppy aromas. British smelling.
Full, smooth and creamy in the mouth. Really nice on the tongue. Burnt malt, dark roast coffee and a sour twang hits before a smooth, nicely bitter finish takes over and dries the mouth. A highly quaffable, classic porter that never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 18:14:15 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of TongoRad

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Translucent brown/black with a hint of ruby color and a beautiful two finger, finely bubbled head. Everything you'd expect from a modern porter.

Magnificent aroma- roasted malts dominate, but there is also a significant presence of floral/spicy hops (willamette) and caramel. These elements are so wonderfully complementary and well knit.

The palate is full flavored, crisp and dry- a tough thing to pull off with this much finesse. The roastiness carries through to the end, leaving you with a lingering espresso-like flavor in your mouth. It is at just the right level without being overdone.

This beer is a classic and hasn't lost a step. Superb!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 02:29:34 | More by TongoRad
Photo of fdrich29


4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from a 6 pack I picked up at Marty's Wine in Newton, MA.

Quite an extraordinary brew. A nice blend of malt and hops, this is a stand alone example of what a porter can be. SN has made the porter available to the common beer drinker, adding further evidence to their being a gateway to the world of fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 03:16:29 | More by fdrich29
Photo of Litterbean

New York

4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous dark brown, tints of chestnut and mahogany around the edges. Tan, creamy head towers over the beer, leaving lace along the sides as I consume this brew.

The malty aroma is both powerful and pleasant. I'm reminded of fresh coffee beans, cocoa, and cream. Earthy, herbal hops pull through the thick malt smell.

Sweet, full bodied brew. Low carbonation, and chocolatey flavors. Hints of coffee, nuts, and spices. Real thick and chewy. Great beer, can't say enough about it.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 03:05:34 | More by Litterbean
Photo of GClarkage


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/22/05- Purchased at my local Safeway in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dates. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Very dark, almost black pour. Fat 2 inch head just about overflowing out of the glass and excellent lacing.

Smell- Dark roast scents, maybe a bit of a bitter scent.

Taste- Very burnt and roasted tastes. A nutty background with a tad bit of hops to bitter out the end product.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, a tad chewy.

Drinkability- Quality porter from a quality brewery. Good job.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2005 22:14:46 | More by GClarkage
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

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

Pours very dark brown that shows red highlights when held to the light. 3 fingers of light brown head reaches for the sky. Thick lacing is left as the head settles into a nice veil that will stay throughout.

The aromas are all porter. Dark, roasted malt sweetness, coffee, a touch of cocoa, and mild hops.

The flavor is a bit more expressive than the nose. Lots of coffee, molasses, and charred malt. There's a bit of smokiness in there too. Finishes with a classic Sierra Nevada hop bite.

Mouthfeel is medium, easily quaffable, and very representative of the style. A far better beer that SNPA in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 20:39:16 | More by AlexJ
Photo of BCMan


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

This beer is very dark but some light gets through. Nice fluffy off white head formed but faded fast. The aroma is subtle but sweet. Flavor is also suble and sweet. A hint of mocha with the malt flavor is very smooth. This is much better than I anticipated. From the Sierra line I think this is the best I've had. I would definetly recommend it. A great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2005 00:08:40 | More by BCMan
Photo of bceaglejoe


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

Presentation: Poured a black-cherry color into a pint glass, creating a tan / off-white head with very good retention. This is a very good-looking beer. The nose certainly suggests hops, like an IPA, but roasted malts also come through as well. The scent gives a preview of what seems to be a well-balanced beer.

Tasting: This was my first time trying an American Porter. Minimal hop bitterness comes through on this beer. The malt flavoring is more prevalent, with roasted characteristics. Cocoa / chocolate flavors are present on the tongue as well. This beer is exceptionally easy to drink, allowing one to take big sips and enjoy.

Coming from Sierra Nevada, I was expecting something hoppier, like their flagship Pale Ale. But this worked very well nonetheless. I was certainly not disappointed; in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I really like this beer. Highly recommended. Don't drink it too cold, or you will likely miss some of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2005 01:51:07 | More by bceaglejoe
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After trying their Pale Ale, I thought I would give the Porter a try. The beer poured dark amber with a one finger head and lots of nice lacing throughout the drink. The smell was mainly of coffee and earthy with some citrus hop aroma. The taste was a bit burnt tasting with nice bitterness and mouthfeel. This is not a very smooth porter like others I have tried, but it is a very drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2005 20:23:09 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of ski271


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark ruby-brown with a medium-sized, creamy, mostly diminishing head. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Deep, dark, toasted malts with traces of citrus, chocolate and mild coffee

Taste: Malty of course, and a bit sweet after an initial zing. Cherry, light smoke and pepper. The finish is medium to long in duration and turns dry (and slightly bitter).

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, watery texture turning to dry at the end, soft carbonation (just right), lightly astringent at the beginning and the end.

Drinkability: Oh hell yeah, this is drinkable! There’s nothing flashy about this beer and nothing all that unique, but it’s just a wonderfully balanced, well-rounded beer. I wish had more than one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2005 14:52:07 | More by ski271
Photo of karst


4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good porter, poured dark ruby brown color with strong tan head that I impatiently dove into smelling its aroma of chocolate, burnt malt, sweet caramels and hops. The flavors are heavily malts, complexed with caramel and molasses, espresso beans and cocoa powder. Moderate level of hops for SN, but enough for a nice finish. The mouthfeel is a medium for the style very creamy and smooth when held in mouth. Drinkability is great. No flaws here. Going to have this again in about an hour.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2005 01:18:19 | More by karst
Photo of ppoitras


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

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

Shaker glass presentation. Nice tan 3/4" head over the almost opaque dark brown brew, and laced well. Aroma is dark malts with a tinge of hops character. Taste is dark malts, esp chocolate, with a slight crisp, hoppy finish. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, went down smooth and easy. Enjoyable porter.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2005 20:01:50 | More by ppoitras
Photo of droomyster


3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with edges an attractive hue of dark red. One finger head, brown, medium sized bubbles that recede in about two minutes, leaving only a small amount of lacing but with interesting patterns. Smells of smoky sweetness, carmel and toffee. Taste is more bitter than the aroma would suggest. Roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Medium weight, lively carbonation. Lightly sweet on the finish with big smoke on the aftertaste, also a lingering acidic quality.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2005 06:40:35 | More by droomyster
Photo of Shultzerdugen


4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark brown, sporting a mountainous cream colored head. Huge bubbles. Best head I've seen on top of a porter. Great lacing, the head lasted the whole beer.

In the nose it was mostly piney hops. A bit of dark roast coffee, then back to hops.

Smooth, round malts fading into bitterness. A sweetness: maple syrup, tobacco. Chalky, chocolate. Citrus notes from hops.

This is a hell of a porter. Really swell. Some porters are bland, others cross over the line into the realm of stouts, SN's porter pushes it gently with savvy.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 19:52:45 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of ahking


3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, not completely black but close. Slight tan head doesn't stay too long (it's an ale). Very little hop aroma, consistent with a malty porter as this. Roasted barley malts are evident and well balanced. This is a good porter because it is not trying to be a full-bodied stout - thinner and less complex than a hearty stout would be. High powered at 5.6% abv. A drinkable porter, and one of the best you can get. I would recommend trying a local breweries porter first, but this is a good standby.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 01:49:41 | More by ahking
Photo of Chadbrew


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

Pours really nice with a beautiful (and tasty) tannish head that evolves into a thin ring around the sides. It has a color kind of like maple syrup as I poured it out but when I hold the glass up to the light it looks like really ripe cherries, sort of deep ruby with subtle hint of reddish brown shading.
The smell is good. It's got all the smells a beer should have as well as a nice raisins with chocolate aroma.
Tastes like it smells with a real cool toasted flavor as well. Good hops but not overwhelming. It "feels" good to drink with enough carbonation to tickle my nose. I think for a porter the thickness is pretty good.
Overall I'll call this an above average, easily drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2005 00:33:37 | More by Chadbrew
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep brown almost black in color with a nice 1" head. Some lacing develops. The aroma is of hops, caramel, coffee, and chocolate. The flavor has a slight roasted tone, with chocolate, coffee, caramel, prunes, and strong bitterness from the high hop level.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start and finish. Extremely easy drinking for a porter. This remains as one of my favorite porters.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2005 00:12:18 | More by Gavage
Photo of orbitalr0x


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

Deep black pour with some hints of brown on the edges and a nice bubbly off white head on top. Cocoa and coffee waft up into my nose along with a nice citrusy, grapefruity hop. Quite nice and a pleasure to smell.

Toasted, roasted, nutty chocolate maltiness intermingles with hints of bitter coffee and a nice citrusy, slightly piney hop background. A yummy, yummy porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with tight carbonation and a slight creamy character...fits the style perfectly. This is another easily sessionable SN brew....pick up a sixer and just enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2005 00:28:06 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of mattcrill


4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark chocolate brown with ruby edges. A beautiful tan head with carbonation bubbles clinging to the sides develops. It's a good looking porter.

Smell: Slightly smoky, maybe some bakers chocolate, and some bitter hops. Very subtle and nicely done.

Taste: A roasty chocolatey taste dominates with some bittering hops that balance this one out quite nicely. The hops really add a nice balance to this. I wouldn't look for this in a porter but the balance of roasted malt and hops is really working for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp due to the carbonation. Very enjoyable.

Drinkability: I could drink these all the time. This hits the spot on a cool winter day.

I know everyone debates the merits of Sierra Nevada (not the same, recipes have change, etc) but score another victory for this one in my book!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2005 22:12:02 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

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

Pours a rich dark brown. The head is big and tan.

Roasted malts, coffee, and a fruity hoppiness fill the aroma.

Dark malts, a little coffee, and citrus hop presence make a great balanced flavor.

Has a silky mouthfeel. Hands down one of my favorite porters. Always easy to find, taste great, and never disappoints!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2005 06:03:17 | More by Luigi
Photo of mmmbeer


3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz., bottle conditioned with no freshness date. Pours into the imperial pint glass very dark brown with red shining through at the edges and a thin 1 finger head that leaves very little lacing. Smell is sweet with chocolate, coffee, raisins, some hops, and a wine character. Flavor is the same with a hint of alcohol and pine/citric hops that eventually make themselves known. Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp carbonation. This is the first time I've had their porter, but it seems like this bottle is past its prime. This store orders large quantities and the beer stays around for years sometimes - they still have cases of Brimstone's 1998 Big Ale....

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 06:59:42 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of mentor


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist off bottle obtained from a local grocery store in Feb 2005. Pours a tan half-finger head over a dark liquid that is deep mohoganey held to the light and is almost crystal clear). Smells rich and chocolatey with some mild vienna malt character. Coffee roast is very faint and may simply be an effect created by the strong chocolate. Tastes sweet and chocolatey. Has a faint roughness on the tongue perhaps from the hops perhaps from roasted grains. Hop flavor can easily be tasted, but is well in balance with the sweet and chocolate. Medium thin mouthfeel with mild carbonation that fluffs nicely in the mouth. After the swallow, the flavors begin to subdue until chocolate re-emerges. Could use a twist of dark fruit near the end fill the gap between chocolate in the taste and chocolate in the aftertaste. Incredible lacing on the glass and the final gulp still has a thin layer of head. If I recall, this was just $5 per 6-pack...quite a deal for beer of such a high quality.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2005 06:26:07 | More by mentor
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark brown beer with some ruby highlights. Has a big foamy light brown head that leaves some good lace. The aroma was light with a coffee note and some chocolate in the background. The flavor starts out with a strong push of roasted malt with a coffee like bitterness in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2005 18:59:07 | More by ybnorml
Photo of clvand0


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

This one pours a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't stay long and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is comprised of a coffee and chocolate malt with a bit of hops. The flavor has a bit more hops than I would like in this style. There are coffee and chocolate flavors in there. Medium mouthfeel, could use some more thickness. Drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 18:38:00 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


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

One more step in the horizontal tasting of Sierra Nevada. This one pours a nice deep dark brown color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is nice and roasty, with some chocolate notes as well. The flavor is nice, with more of a coffe flavor coming through than the nose would tell me. This is a very nice beer. The feel is just a shade above moderate. I would like a little more creamyness. This is another good beer from Sierra Nevada. Smooth and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2005 02:14:11 | More by kmpitz2
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,716 ratings.