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Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,371 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,371
Reviews: 1,408
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 107
Gots: 331 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,371 | Reviews: 1,408
Photo of Bfarr
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The SN porter is a dark brown with red highlights and a little clarity at the bottom topped with a good fluffy tan head. A slight molasses and malty aroma is present. A tight chocolate malt taste hits first with a little roasted malt taste in the background. There's a light hop bittering balancing the malts. A slightly fuzzy, high carbonation feel matches the hop bitterness.

This is a very well balanced porter. I love the hop presence and while the feel is a little fuzzy, it really goes well with the hops. I mostly tasted the chocolate malts in this, not so much a toffee as the bottle describes but it nevertheless is a great porter I would love to sit around and drink a few.

Photo of regspeir
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle into a standard pint glass.
An aggressive pour produced a two-finger mocha head. Brew was deep brown with ruby edges and clear carbonation. Nose was roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium to light. The taste is almost a cocoa powder, caramel with a slight hop bitterness. There is not a terribly complex set of flavors nor any real progression but the flavors are pleasant enough. And, at 5.6%, definitely session-able.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice ruby brown color with a finger of off-white head. Foamy lace coats the sides of the glass.

S: Coffee, roasted malt and chocolate - pretty much what I expect from a solid porter.

T: A strong flavor of roasted coffee immediately hits the tongue before transitioning into hints of dark chocolate towards the finish. Some hops also make an appearance in then finish and contribute a little bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, but a little too much carbonation IMHO.

D: A solid go to porter. Still, with Edmond Fitzgerald readily available in my area, I don't frequent this beer often.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown color with lots of ruby highlights around all edges... Not particularly as dark as most porters, but this is just fine for the style. Big fluffy off white head with nice lacing.

Smells uber roasty, with hints of chocolate and a slight bit of black coffee. I love all three, so this scores high with me. A tiny bit of hops show up to do a little balancing act with all those other bold flavours.

Taste is right there with the smell. It's really roasty with the malts, theres the chocolate hints and a coffee/hop bitter finish. It's great.

Leaning toward medium, but could be a little heavier on the feel, but wonderful none the less.

It doesn't get much more drinkable than this. Its another wonderful sierra nevada beer.

Photo of portia99
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pour a deep brown color with good clarity (as far as I can see anyway) and some light ruby highlights when held to the light. A finger of dense tan foam sits on top with some pretty good staying power. Some sparse lacing coats the glass as the head and liquid level fall in the glass. Never really dies completely - a nice, thick coat covers the surface throughout the entire glass.

S - Good roastiness up front - both dark malt and coffee like roasted aromas. A bit of green and earthy hoppy aromas but the roasted aromas really shine here.

T - Dark roasted malts up front...not getting any of the coffee'ish notes that were found in the aroma. Moderate bitterness level with some greeen, grassy and earthy hop flavors too. A bit of caramel/toffee malty flavors too. Nicely balanced.

M - A bit thin for the style and for my tastes. Carbonation is moderate and gives a good sparkly tingle all around the mouth. Some bitter dark roasted malts linger well after the swallow.

D - Pretty good overall. Flavors are nicely balanced and of moderate intensity. All blend together well. At 5.6% alcohol, moderately sessionable and of only average strength. This sems like it would go well with bbq and grilled items. An enjoyable porter that can be enjoyed throughout the night.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From pre-existing notes)

Appearance: Very, very dark brown, with mahogany/ruby coloration around the edges. A 1-2 finger light tan head. Lacing present, but not prominent.

Smell: Molasses up front, behind it are roasted hops, a slight, secretive coffee, and a fruity chocolate scent.

Taste: The roasted flavor definitely hits first, followed by a slight coffee, and then fading into the caramel/molasses sweetness after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, not very thin. This is a little different than the stouts I prefer, slightly thicker and more biting.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable, a robust porter that has all the right stuff to make it a solid B to B+. Could use some more smoothness and drinkability, as it gets tiresome, but a fantastic sipper. Not my session beer, though. Hope to try the SN Stout.

Photo of Smile
4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, slightly below room temperature.

Appearance: Dark brown in color, sort of like cola. Good looking, fluffy light-brown head, 2.5 fingers tall. Belgian lace clings to the side of the glass the whole way down.

Smell: Roasted malt.

Taste: Bitter-sweet roasted malt taste. I love this beer because it has a very nice balance. The hops come through with just the right amount of bitter, citric taste. The roasted/burnt malt taste is obvious in the aftertaste. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Perfection.

Drinkability: This beer is so delicious; I could drink it forever. Especially on a cold night, trying to keep warm and cozy.

This is a great porter. Sierra Nevada sets the standard with this one. This beer will definitely be seeing me again.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice light porter.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Reddish brown Sierra Nevada seal label, with brewing vegetation and a mountain scenery around beer ingredients. Brief neck label describing the composition, and intent of the brew. Lacks date of bottling, and notes Alc. by Vol. (5.6%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown/black pour with brown edges, nice frothy head, fair retention, surface memory and a bit of lacing.

S - Roasted scents with a couple of touches of coffee. Rather subdued.

T - Nice roasted profile, with a small touch of caramel and a bittersweet notes.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

D - Nice if completely unremarkable.

Notes: Change a bit the hop bill, reduce the malt slightly and this is a light version of their already mild mannered stout? It´s pleasing, and good quality but not particularly exciting.

Photo of alcurtsinger
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Had around a 2 finger head. Good head retention and mostly opaque.

S: Not great a picking out smells yet. I would say roasty, some chocolate and some hops.

T: Strong flavor, but not too strong. Roasted malt and some dark chocolate.

M: smooth and medium bodied.

D: Fairly drinkable, wouldn't want more than 3 in one sitting though.

Photo of BayerischBier
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a some nice tan head.

S - Some American hops in the smell; toasted dark malts dominate the aroma

T - touch of chocolate and lots of toasted malt. Hops are coming through as a bit citric.

M - Surprinsingly thin/medium bodied with low to average carbonation.

D - The medium body makes it a very drinkable porter. Very fast drinkability so better pace yourself.

Photo of dfillius
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger cream/tan colored head with great retention. I can see through the clear dark brown liquid like it was a dark nut brown. Pretty, but more transparent than I expect from a porter.

S: Roasted malt, coffee. I just slaughtered a chicken, so unfortunately, that smell is dominant on my hands. A slight citrus hop is apparent in the aroma too.

T: Smoky, chocolate, slight coffee, lactose. Good, but not great. Estery alcohol. Diverse flavor is nice, though I can't place why I am thinking that this beer is not my favorite.

M: Creamy, very smooth

D: Good and enjoyable. I don't think I'd order a second r buy a sixer of this though.

Photo of tone77
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is, well, missing. Basically oderless. Taste is mild, malts, some hints of chocolate, finishes slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this makes for a mediocre offering.

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass...

A: Pours an very dark, nearly opaque, with some red hues around the edges. Head is light brown, about 2 fingers, dissipates slowly and has good retention and a little lacing.

S: roasty and toasty, toffee, with a strong milk chocolate aroma.

T: again, roasty and toasty upfront, toffee, and earthy hops. the chocolate flavors appear in the finish, along with a bitter coffee bite from the roasted malt, and the hops also add some bitterness.

M: medium-full body with a very lush and smooth entry. however quickly becomes crisp and dry, leaving the mouth just slightly oily.

Overall, a very good porter from Sierra Nevada. From pour to finish this beer satsifies. Nothing crazy just a straight up delicious beer true to style that goes down easy.

Photo of ClearGrit
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Dark brown glass bottles, 12 oz., a little shorter and stouter than a lot of beer bottles. Packaging touts natural ingredients. Poured into straight sided glass.

Appearance: poured very dark brown, with three-finger light brown head that dissipated over about 5 minutes, leaving fairly substantial lacing. Dark ruby red when held up to direct light.

Nose: sweet, crisp, some roasted notes as well---a bit of caramel.

Mouth: moderate carbonation, still quite smooth overall.

Taste: Rich is the first word that comes to mind, a very full and complex flavor. This was my introduction to the world of porter, so the flavor was a new venture for me. Not too malty, but not bitter either. I noticed notes of chocolate and coffee alongside a fruity tang, and, as others have mentioned, roasted hops.

Drinkability: This beer goes down very well, but personally I wouldn't drink more than a couple at a time due to the fullness of the beverage. I would prefer to enjoy this beer slowly to top off a good meal, rather than drinking it for beer's sake.

Overall: a very good introduction to porter, in my experience. I 've been through two cases now and still enjoy this beer very much. Won't be my "everyday" beer, but definitely a good, and readily available, stepping stone to the porter class. Highly recommended, especially for someone looking to try a porter for the first time.

Photo of divineaudio
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. no date.

appearance is good with a dark brown pour that reveals amber highlights in the glass. forms a decent size head but fades to a thin film pretty quick. got a few (very few) spots of lace.

smells mostly of chocolate malts, but there's also hint of molasses and floral hops in there somewhere. taste is more like a dark roasted coffee with tangible hop bitterness to even things out. finish is quite dry with a bittersweet tinge. taste becomes fuller as it warms up.

medium bodied, but has too much carbonation for my liking.

this is one easy drinkin' porter and very sessionable. most of the american porters i have tried seem to lean one way or the other - they are either malt heavy (which i like usually) or they are overly hoppy. most people seem to say this one is very hoppy, but to me it strikes a balance right in the middle. very solid and definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of Hornet2003
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with amber. Slightly tan head.

Smell: Roasty and hoppy. Obviously hoppier than your average Euro-style porter.

Taste: Stout-ish roastiness and some nice fruitiness from the hops. I can definitely taste some west-coast influence.

Mouthfeel: Not bad but it's quite aggressively bitter as opposed to smooth. I like it but not something I expected from a porter.

Drinkability: There's a lot going on with this beer so it's a slow sipper. Not something you would drink more than a couple pints of.

Overall: Good porter in the west coast hoppy style. Interesting combination of roast and hops. Definitely the hop-head's porter wet dream...

Photo of mavbrew
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with a nice two finger, light tan head with nice lacing down the glass.

S: Scents of dark chocolate and roasted malts, maybe some caramel as well.

T: A nice hoppy flavor up front with the roasted malts following. The malts leave a roasted aftertaste and there are some slight hints of caramel and dark chocolate as well.

M: A light-medium bodied porter with maybe a little too much carbonation.

D: Definitely a smooth porter, lighter than some others, but overall a solid brew.

Photo of curasowa
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, dark red color with copious, fluffy head that lingered quite a while, leaving chunky lacing. Smells of roasted malt and coffee with background notes of vanilla and some graininess along with a slight nuttiness. A lot of roasted malt flavor in the taste, but with pleasing amounts of piney hop bitterness mixing in. Body is on the thin side of medium and the finish is both mildly astringent and slightly bitter. Drinkability is very good. This is a very tasty porter that doesn't try to be too fancy.

Photo of jpro
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. It's a nice, dark brown with some translucence around the edges; pours with a rocky, tan head (what is about the awesome head with SN beers?). Aroma is of roasted malts, with a touch of coffee and caramel - there's also a little earthiness from the hops. Taste is burned caramel up front with some slight roastiness, followed by a pleasant, low-key citrus hop bite. Mouthfeel is a shade under medium-bodied. A good porter, that I could enjoy a few of. Its almost like a little brother to Sierra's Stout (which I guess would be true to style) - a little less roasty / more sweet, with a lighter body.

Photo of BARFLYB
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a glass late at night at the compound, A single bottle purchase that i've been putting off for years. Fairly fresh.

Coco-Cola brownish/black with a dirty look within the liquid. Not the thickest looking porter, but this isnt the biggest beer. A off white to tannish marshmellow fluffy head stayed forever leaving significant clumps, all the way down. This looks like a dirty brown ale.

The smell does not quite pull it off, it's quite off putting actually, in short, this does not smell good. Smells like a musty barnyard or an old basement in the city. Besides that strange odor in the front, some nuts, grain and a small amount of chocolate sneak in. The roasted malt comes out only with significant warming.

The strange smell comes into the taste Dept. as well, but it does not ruin the beer, not totally at least. I was fearing a little metallic taste from the scent, but it does not show up. Perhaps the strange smell/taste are worn out hops as it comes off slightly vegetal. Otherwise this tastes like a standard porter with a light roast under a malty base with nuts and chocolate.

The feel is pretty spot on for a single porter. While the liquid looks semi thin and watery, the feel is lucious smooth medium, that goes down with ease. Just enough roast to stick it to the tastebuds, but not overly done. The carbonation is on the light side and it works for this particular porter's size and body. I don't think i'll go for this one again, the smell was yucky the taste was bearable, while the feel was the best part. Much more exciting porters out there in the market.

Photo of thain709
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark brown with nice ruby highlights around the edges...a one finger, light brown head formed and held its own for a little...finally became wispy and spotty...good lacing

S - Roasted malt aromas...dark chocolate bitterness with some caramel sweetness...a nice hop presence

T - The roasted flavors in this beer are really nice...the malts are full in flavor and never disappoint...the malts also provide an underlying sweetness...there is a dark chocolate flavor that is big and gets bigger when the beer warms...the hops at the end are typical of Sierra Nevada and they provide a nice compliment to the roasted coffee bean flavor

M - Medium bodied...smooth...a bit dry from the roastedness...but I enjoyed the lasting flavors on the palate

D - This has to be one of my favorite porters...Sierra Nevada never disappoints...I enjoyed this one more than their stout...looking forward to having this one around more often

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/3 inch head, clear

Smell: toasted malt and caramel

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, bit of nut, and caramel

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium to light body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A super sessionable and complex porter. This is a favorite in the style. One of my favorites from the brewery.

Photo of leokbelo
4.74/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a wonderful, almost black, dark brown, nice 2 inch head that lingered on. Delicious chocolate and coffe on the nose. Taste like a proper Porter (or American Porter) should taste: Rich roasted malt, bringing the chocolate and coffe in again.
HIGHLY drinkable!
An excellent Porter, one that everyone should try. One of my very favourites, if not THE one!

Photo of SAxDRC5
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Brown, not quite opaque. small tan head, little to no lacing.

S: roasted cofee, malts and chocolate. slight pine hops scent

T: almost exactly the same as it smells. not as strong as i was expecting. very good though

M: good, but more carbonated than i would prefer.

D: finished one, could have a few more for sure.

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark mahogany hue, with red edges, and two fingers of foamy light beige head, which renders pretty consistent webbed lace around the chalice. It smells of very mild roasted malt, and earthy, weedy hops. The taste is lightly roasted, nutty malt, mild citrus, and earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium-light, and it finishes clean, getting drier all the while.

An adequate porter, the initial hint of hops pretty much fizzles, leaving a straightforward rendition of the style.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,371 ratings.