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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

2,815 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,815
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: 2,815 | Reviews: 1,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast....

Poured a deep dark burgundy red / almost black... Creamy tan head poured quite thick but faded to almost nothing... very little lacing..

Aroma - Strong roasted chocolate malts, coffee, slight smokiness / dustiness, dark fruits (blackcurrent, figs), bitter hop notes..

Taste – Nice bitter chocolate notes, toasted malts, slight dustiness, spicy dark fruits, black coffee, light nutty sweetness, nice hops...

Feel - Quite smooth with slight sharpness underneath... Medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable..

Overall - An excellent porter.... Recommended !!

mdagnew, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of NolateM
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug. Basically pitch-black, but with a slight reddish-brownness while pouring. It has a nice tan-colored head, and pleasant roasty aroma. Lacing is apparent. The head dissipates a bit while drinking, but never completely diminishes, which is good. Flavor is similar to the aroma, with that roasty quality, and some notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Leaves a good kind of bitterness on the back-sides of the tongue, and a pleasant earthy (but not too earthy) aftertaste. As it warms up closer to room temperature, I notice a slight sweetness as well.

This is quite simply an excellent porter.

NolateM, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice dark and rich color, hints of red, foamy head,

Smell – Great classic hop nose (for SN) which meshes nicely with roasted malts.

Taste – Dark, roasted and smoky malts, coffee in the middle and a nice hop finish.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and not bitter. Very well balanced, nice blend of the hop and malt characteristics.

Drinkability – Awesome, tasty American porter. I have been back and I will be back again.

akajimmyd, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's sort of weird giving a beer straight 4's, but this one seems to rate it.
pours a beautiful black amber with a cream colored head that melts to nice lacing.
Aroma is sweet roasted malts...very, very pleasant.
Taste is also roasted, burnt malts and biscuits...followed by a very slight hop citrus taste.
Aftertaste of carmel and bitter chocolate.
Nice all around American West Coast porter.

IntriqKen, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of Rezzin
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark dark reddish brown with a foamy brown head. As I let it warm up the head disappears leaving nice lacing.

S - Chocolate and roasted coffee. The aroma is pretty light. Subdued floral hops.

T - Coffee and chocolate with a hop zing. Maybe even a little nutty - the flavors seem to come out more as this warms up closer to room temps. This is the leftover bottle from a 6pack that's been sitting around for a while and I didn't really care for it at first. For some reason - this bottle is pretty good. Nice dry finish.

M - Creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation.

D - Although I didn't care for the first couple I had - this one is starting to grow on me.

Rezzin, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the stubby 12oz brown bottle pours a ultra-dark mahogany with an inch-thick foamy tan head...nice. It leaves very nice intriquet lacing as the level goes down, the head stays at an eighth of an inch.

Somewhat sweet dark roasted malt explodes with toffee, chocolate and coffee fragrances aplenty. Earthy and robust, with a mild sweetness to a bittering end.

Hearty dark malts, rich coffee, dark chocolate and hints of tobacco mix and blend into a euphoric elixer that pleases the tastebuds. You crave this stuff after every quaff, the balance is perfect, a solid Porter bar none.

The medium-plus body, full flavor, smooth and creamy mouthfeel make this offering from Sierra Nevada, the American Porter that all others should be judged by...seriously.

This stuff is like drinking water, it goes down so easy, and the after taste is heavenly. Another consistant, tasty and quality brew, by one of the finest breweries in the world...any questions?

scottoale, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a tan head. Leaves some lacing. Pretty, deep, store-bought woman. Earthy, roasted chocolate malt and soft hops fill the nose. Makes me sing like a guitar humming. Tastes chocolatey and roasty with a flowery hop profile. The flavors could be a little stronger for me. Creamy, soft mouthfeel but seems a little light. Took me an hour to finish this, and that's fine by me. I've got all night.

Highly drinkable porter and probably my favorite SN year round. It's one of those gems that you can find even at a supermarket. Like finding a dream that don't ask no questions. Yeah.

goochpunch, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of sevineyes
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a blue label.

A: Pours somewhat dark brown, definitely not black. Poured with an off-white head that is ample with decent lacing.

S: Not very strong. Salty aroma. Sweet taffy. Caramel. Slight earthy smell. Some other mineral presences.

T: Frankly, not a very big flavor. Has a chestnut kind of mealy sweetness. Begins with something like a weak coffee. Some earthy and salty tones carry over. Ends with a slighty-salty bitter. The aftertaste is still a smooth bitterness that is almost bigger than while you're drinking.

M: Nice body, but watery mouthfeel. It has some coating, but not as much as I'd expect from a porter.

Overall: I think this gets much better towards the bottom of the glass. I allowed this to warm from the fridge before I poured it, but the warmer it gets the better it tastes. Some of the richness and especially the sweeter tones tend to come through better. Because it's watery, it's very drinkable.

sevineyes, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a black with a slightly red tint to the edges.Following the liquid I received a very profound tan head.From the side on my glass I can see thousands of tiny bubbles,but from the plan veiw it is a creamy,pillowy cover.Lots of laceing.Exceptional appearance for a porter in my opinion.

Smell: Roasted sweet caramel malts with a nice hop profile.Has a slight wood/bark scent followed by a black cherry aroma.Little alcohol in the nose.Even a Belgian yeasty note is made.Not bad.

Taste: Very simular to smell,dark fruitiness,toffee,chocolates and a roasted,sweetened malt balances his whole brew.A subtle wood and hop bitterness in the middle but is overwelmed again by the fruity esters and nice malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high carbonation.Medium body that was slick and oily.Easy drinking and definitely very quaffable.

Drinkability: I am impressed with this beer and will purchase this one soon.I recommend this brew to anyone looking for a good porter.SN does it again!


cheers2beers, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent Porter! I love it! Then again, I am a huge fan of the Porter style. Served in a pint glass starting near room temp. I highly recommend letting Porters in general (this one included) warm up when you pull them from the fridge.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful almost black with slight red hues, a nice light brown head with decent retention and heavy lacing. FANTASTIC!

Smell: Immediately the smell of perfectly roasted malts and chocolate fill the nose, there is also a hint of espresso and a dark deep sweetness (mocha-like). I'll just say, I began to salivate at the smell! Wow!

Taste: Can you get any better than exceptional! It is the prefect degree of roasted without being burnt and the perfect degree of sweet yet dry with a perfect, slightly coffee bitter that balances this masterpiece to (damn near) perfection. The layers of flavor is deep. The toasted malts, and the toffee, and the molasses and on and on. The finish was a very pleasant sweet twangy dry! I'm flabbergasted!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Rich and full! Creamy. It has a slight thin spot in the middle but then it is revealingly light in the stomach. Making this one hell of drinkable Porter. I highly recommend.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of jhollick
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 12 oz. bottle, poured almost black with a slight caramel color in the light. Thick and sticky 1" head.

Smell - Typical American Porter fare, although perhaps a bit sweeter smelling than some other porters. Roasted chocolate malt smell with some caramel gives the beer a sweet smell.

Mouthfeel - Nice sturdy body. My tongue tingles from the hop presence, and carbonation is appropriately low for a porter. Feels nice.

Taste - Coffee flavor is more present than the smell would have led me to belive. The chocolate provides sufficient sweetness immediately, and does so without overpowering the beer. The finish brings out more of the roasted coffee/nut flavor, and a touch of citrus from the hops comes out to play.

Drinkability - Highly sessionable beer if you're into porters. I have consumed a six pack of this in an evening before and loved every minute of it.

Overall - As usual, Sierra Nevada creates a fine example of a given beer style. This is a very well-balanced and tasty porter, although nothing in particular about it stands out in my mind. Because of its wide availablity, this is the porter you'll most often find in my fridge, even if it isn't my very favorite of the style (I love you Edmund Fitzgerald). Job well done yet again S-N.

jhollick, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The soapy inch-thick head settled to about half that for the duration. Color is an abyss of black, or as dark as brown gets before becoming black. Stacks of porous lace.

Aroma is dry coffee grounds and raisin up front, with roasted malts, traces of hops and overripe warm fruits secondarily.

Coffee leads the way in the flavor, followed by the mellowness of dark chocolate. Hops present at the back of the sip, with a roasted, mildly bitter, barely burnt aftertaste.

Surprising buoyancy in the mouth, considering the style. It's nice and light without being thin or watery. Well done.

Darn good drinking. Less heavy than some other porters I've had, which increases the drinkability factor a smidge.

Metalmonk, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Near black body with fluffy tan head and lacing.

Smells of chocolate malts with notes of caramel and toffee. Taste is a little roastier with more coffee and chocolate coming out. Pretty complex taste for a porter. It really hits all the flavor bases for a porter at some point. Bitter chocolate finish to it makes it especially tasty. The mouthfeel is a little lighter that I like for an American Porter, but its still good. Very drinkable. Give me another now.

Heck of a porter here. A very sessionable and big on flavor.

tempest, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of lpayette
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black with ruby highlights. Very light brown head.

Smells- mostly chocolatey malts.

Tastes - mostly chocolatey malts, coffee, coffee-like bitterness. Standard porter stuff.

Smooth. Sort of one-dimensional, but very drinkable and tasty. Like most Sierra Nevada brews that I've tried it seems to be a good example of the particular style, very drinkable and good overall- just nothing that really sets it apart for me.

lpayette, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of ReebShorts
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, thick, 2 finger head that faded ever so slowly to One and just sat. dark, dark, chocolate brown.

Aroma is chocolate, caramel, coffee, cherry, and a hintiness of hops.

This is a tasty porter. The hops do come through a bit on the finish, which is nice. Flavor is about what it smelled like. Another percent of alcohol would have given this better balance I feel. Sierra Nevada churns out some damn good brew.

ReebShorts, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of jettjon
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Appearance, nose, sweet flavor
Lows: None

Pours pitch brown with thick light brown head. Nose is sweet with malt, hops, and sorghum along with something bitter. The nose is a good indication of the flavor, which follows along the same lines while remaining sweet. Mouth is mealy, and there’s a nice hops and bitter finish. Drinkability is good.

Overall: A good porter, recommended.

jettjon, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium black color porter with a medium size off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of roasted malt with a nice touch of coffee and chocolate. Taste is a well balance mix between roasted chocolate and coffee malt with some medium bitterness at the end. Another good well balance product from this brewery.

Phyl21ca, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's about as true-to-style as you get. It's got all of the robust roasted grains, sweet barley malt base to offset the roasted coffee bitterness. Added cocoa for flavor and hops for balance. Light fermentation sourness and a mild lactose flavor for complexity. Despite the boldness, the balance and body lightens the impact and mellows out nicely. Though no dominating characters to mention, it's unfortunate that this beer is hardlly mentioned among the conversation of great Porter. It's deserving.

BEERchitect, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of ChuckD
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical SN 12oz shorty poured into a chalice. Thick, tawny lading atop a deep brown body.

To the nose, malts and more malts. Slight hop character present in the back.

In the mouth, the malts abound - not as sweet as you would think. The hop balance is nice - along with a slight carbonation, makes a pretty drinkable brew.

The feel is full and rich, but not as substantial as I like in a porter. Finish is dry in the back - with a charcoal undertone.

Musings: A decent Porter, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. If it's next to the Anchor in the store, go with the Anchor.

ChuckD, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown into an imperial pint glass. Served at over fridge temperature.

Appearance- Ruby brown with a bone white, two-finger head. Very mild lacing, so-so head retention.

Smell- Coffeeish roasted notes, with a hint of smoked meat. Heavy nose, with a fleeting hop appearance.

Taste- Good roasted malt backbone with a noticable spicy hop profile. A moderate coffee character drives the middle, and a nice bittering element is saved for the elegant finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and active, the beer truly shines right here. Carbonation is lively yet refined, and drinkability is above average as a result. Great choice for an easy to find porter; I paired this with a steak dressed with gorgonzola cheese and roasted vegetables.

yelterdow, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- dark, dark brown, nearly black with a tan head, leaves behind tannish lace on glass. Head is smaller in size, but has good retention.

S- choclate and roasted malts hit the nose the hardest, anything else is not noticable through the other two.

T- from the time it hits the lips until some time after it goes down the throat, it is wonderful. Carbonation is just right, tastes toasty at first with that roasted flavor there to finish off. A delight.

M- a tad on the thin side, but im not really complaining. Still sits beautifully, improves drinkability.

D- Thinner with a decent abv at 5.6%, not doubt taking down a six pack would be no trouble, just dont plan on driving.

My first porter and I feel a very good choice, looking forward to trying others. Count on seeing this in my fridge at all times.

tonistruth, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of sopor
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown brew with just a bit of dark mahogany light showing through. A thick, light-tan head fills the pint then recedes to a dimpled film, after filling the pint glass.

Small smell, just a hint of... strawberry?, along with sweet dark malts.

A bit of sweet malt and dark fruit starts this out, but is quickly consumed by dark roast malt with a hint of bitter coffee. Bready malt comes in right before a balanced hop addition leaves a dry and slightly bitter finish.

Moderate body, not too heavy to be fairly easy drinking. Real pleasant "fuzzy" carbonation.

Drinkable, tasty, pretty good brew.

sopor, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of TheEclecticGent
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap at Summits in Sandy Springs, GA. It pours into a barrel mug a deep brown color with a tan colored ¼ “ head that is steady with some lacing. Not a whole lot of smell. What smell there is was a very light dry grain smell. The beer has a good flavor. It has a creamy dryness that tastes of roasted malt and unsweetened chocolate with a decent hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy and full. This is a good solid porter and I would buy more and drink it anytime.

TheEclecticGent, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of jabocu
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap in Pint Glass

First off… Very good Beer

A – Dark and rich color. Almost chocolaty in color. Half inch off white cap that disappeared not too quickly.

S – Malty and hoppy. Smell the caramel right away. Very good enticing smell. Couldn’t wait to taste it.

T – Hops with chocolate and caramel. Very smooth but full of flavor. Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

M – Exactly what I expect a porter to be. Medium body with good sensations and aftertaste.

D – Absolutely will get this again. Great from start to finish.

jabocu, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours an opaque black color. The head is one-finger in height, off-white, and recedes into thin white lacing. The aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, and more chocolate. The taste is a perfect balance between roasted malt and chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best porters I have ever tasted.

KarlHungus, Feb 18, 2006
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,815 ratings.