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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

2,909 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,909
Reviews: 1,330
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 90
Gots: 160 | 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: 2,909 | Reviews: 1,330 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good dark, rich brown/black body, yet doesn't look "thick". Billowing head, turns to semi-chunky, tan in color. Long lasting.
Smell of malt, roasted and a bit musky. Coffee, cocao and hints of citrus in the hops.
Taste: Coffee hints; chocolate and semi sweet malt. Some toffee and molasses. Hops add a nice dryness and some hints of orange or apricot, just barely.
Good feel, some stickiness and sweet overtones, but dried out well with a good finish.
A very nice porter for a very nice price.

Mebuzzard, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger head that quickly dissapates, and not much lacing either. Body is the deepest brown, almost black.

Smell - dark crusted malt bread and spicy hops, all with a hint of chocolate, toffee, and caramel.

Taste - malt bread and roasted malt washed through with spicy hops. Also, faintly, some chocolate and toffee.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied.

Drinkability - this is very good and quite sessionable.

ultralarry2006, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is black with good carbonation. The head is 3 fingers, rocky, & tan and leaves some lace.

The smell toasty, slight hopy note and a little fishy.

The taste is quite toasty, a little burnt.

The mouthfeel is medium but could use a bit more carbonation.

The drinkability is good, a solid porter. Prosit, MK

MuenchenerKindl, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of danielharper
2.4/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ah, another shot at Sierra Nevada Porter. Tried this a long while ago, right after I first started drinking beer, but before I was reviewing. Hated it so badly that I never finished the sixer. With more beer knowledge on my plate, let's give it another shot.

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Dark brown/black with a fairly persistent foamy khaki-colored head. Fairly decent.

S: Very sweet, malty, notes of coffee and a touch of raisin. Let this one breathe a bit after opening -- I find it cloying at first but after a few minutes it's much more fragrant.

T: Very very sweet, raisiny, cloying taste. Drying in the aftertaste, leaves me parched and unsatisfied. I can see why I disliked this beer so much when I first tried it, although with a bit more time and perspective I can understand it a bit more.

M: Thin, watery, but somewhat chewy. About standard for-style.

D: Porter isn't my favorite style, but I've had much better than this. It's drinkable, but I won't be buying another anytime soon.

danielharper, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of pvsob
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep brown with ruby highlights and a small head that leaves a nice film and some lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts, with some hop aroma and hints of chocolate.

Taste - Starts of with a nice roasted bitterness, but quickly turns to a sweet malt flavor followed by chocolate at the end. It finishes very dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel - Medium feel with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall - A good porter that has morning to night drinkability. Great job SN! If you haven't tried this porter as of yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a six-pack. You won't be disappointed.

pvsob, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of Graebner
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with ruby and orange hints when light comes through it. Has a tiny white head that goes away quickly leaving a little lacing on the top. Light bubble columns.

Caramel, chocolate, burnt chicory, and some musty wood on the nose. Barely discernable alcohol.

Taste is sweet chocolate, but not too sweet. Coffee, caramel, a little alcohol, and those woody, almost earthy hints. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is near perfect. Rich, full bodied, but it politely excuses itself from your palate and doesnt linger over long. Carbonation is higher than expected, but not unpleasant, and helps give it that clean finish.

An all-around terrific brew. Flavorful, satisfying, yet not overpowering in terms of mouthfeel or abv.

Graebner, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of RedChrome
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark body with red tone when held to the light. A cappuccino colored third inch head stuck around a while. To dark to notice carbonation rising. Light lacing clumps.

A nice complex first whiff. A roasted malt aroma developed notes of both burnt coffee and honey wheat cereal grains. A light bittering quallity develops against the sweet scents.

Very nice bitter taste develops into the sweet flavros of malt. The roasted honey wheat flavor is a nice initial taste. A light coffee note on the back of the tongue. Very nice taste.

Nice thick feel against the tongue. A light carbonation helps the flavors move int he mouth.

A great beer. This would be great to wash down a plate of beef brisket with a thick barbacue sauce. A must try for anyone who enjoys the style. Nice job from a solid brewery.

RedChrome, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle an extremely dark brown bordering on black with a huge tannish head of foam that grew after pouring. The foam finally settles down but remains in the glass as a solid layer with lacing.

The smell has a lot of roastiness to it with a good nose of chocolate.

The taste fits the smell to a T. Loads of semi-sweet chocolate hits my palate with a nice roasted malt flavour hanging around in the background and that leads to a bit of bitterness in the finish. That's one tasty Porter and it's so drinkable.

Bottom line: Great sample of the style that no beer lover should miss trying!

Bitterbill, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best americnan porters I've had. It has a strong chocolate malt backbone both on smell and taste. It has an excellent mouthfeel and is one of the easiest to drink porters I've had. This is a chili wheather beer. I tried it at a bar and may go pick up a six. It was truly a treat. I recommend it to everyone.

jasonjlewis, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of peabody
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out really dark with just a touch of tan suds. Lacing around the pint glass makes this look like a higher ABV than the 5.6
Smell is strong coffee chocolate and yeast. No alcohol is present.
Taste is sweet coffee and caramel with just a slight hint of the hops. The bitterness really covers the outside of the tounge.
Mouthfeel is creamy sweet with the slight bitter that lingers.
Drinkability is pretty good. I like this beer but it could be just a tad stronger.

peabody, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with some hints of red coming through when held up to the light. Nice light tan head that lasts for a little while and a touch of lacing along the sides.

S- Dark malts and coffee with some citrusy hop aromas. Pretty high hop presence for a porter.

T- Nice roasted malt flavor with coffee and baker's chocolate notes. Hops come into play with a tangy flavor and a decent bitterness in the finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and rich, quite nice.

D- Not bad, a pretty sessionable porter. Alcohol is not too high, but I'd probably stop at a couple due to the richness.

A good example of the style and a nice go-to porter. Definitely recommended to fans of the style.

vtfan77, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of schusterbauer
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a -- dark brown/black, with noticable maroon/ruby highlights

s -- chocolate, some hops; what you'd expect from a porter

t -- absolutely delicious combination of chocolate, coffee, hops; i feel like i detect some fruitiness in the finish -- maybe even raspberry

m -- not a big porter by any means, but true to the style; a very quick thin finish that still leaves you with all of the flavor. this is what porters are supposed to feel like.

d -- the flavor never wears itself out; the mouthfeel is light and refreshing.

overall: this is a wonderful example of the style. middle of the road, yet thoroughly enjoyable, with a brilliant combination of flavors.

schusterbauer, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a couple of bottles of Sierra Nevada Porter at a specialty shop. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a black walnut color, with a red hue when held up to the light. The beer is clear. A bubbly two-finger head tan head forms, and dissipates quickly to a heavy film on the top of the beer.

The smell is faint and underwhelming. A little smoky roasted grain aroma is about it.

The taste is good. Roasted malts, with some cocoa and coffee flavors, and a bitter hop finish. There is a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and dry, with a little bite from the hops and carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer, and a nice fall and winter seasonal choice. I would definitely have Sierra Nevada Porter again.

RJLarse, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of mjc410
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The pour into my Sam Smith pint raises a two-finger plus head (thanks to a hard pour), the color of heavily creamed coffee. The head is slow to fall, but the lacing is sudsy and slick. The body is an extraordinarily deep garnet when backlit. The nose is dominated by roast, although it seems soft and caramelly. A little citrusy hop presence seems there also. The taste is actually fairly mild - just a bit of roastiness, balanced by some definite hoppy bitterness. Pretty spicy, but not much depth. The mouth is medium, and the beer manages to be very smooth. The spiciness really makes this beer difficult to drink. Different from my impressions on-tap, but still not a good beer.

mjc410, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of brdc
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle pours a very dark, almost black beer with a nice foamy light brown head that disappears a bit too quickly leaving some lacing.
The smell is light, you really have to swirl the glass and get your nose close to the the glass, but once you do it, it is quite pleasant - caramel, chocolate, roasted coffee.
Taste is bitter chocolate with hints of caramel and coffee.
It is medium bodied, easy to drink.
A nice porter, another good Sierra product.

brdc, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

...and continuing my porter kick.

This one pours a rich dark brown, which appears black until held up to the light. Nice creamy, 2-finger head that goes down to a nice ringwith not much lacing to comment on. Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, dark malty goodness, a bit sweet smelling...maybe chocolate covered espresso beans even. Tastes of very bitter chocolate, weak coffee, somewhat of a metallic taste to it, and finishes off lightly roasty which sticks around for a roasty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light and airy with good carbonation. Not my favorite porter by any stretch of the imagination but not bad by any means as well.

Doomcifer, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of Phocion
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found a couple of these in the back of my "cellar" this morning and threw one in the fridge. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but my guess would be around 6 months or so.

Pours into the pint glass a very dark brown with just a hint of reddish hue. Thick frothy tan head with decent retention.

Aroma is chocolate, coffee, and breaded malts with a slight hint of floral hops.

Mellow coffee malts followed by the light sting of the citrus hops and finished with dry burnt malts.

Very light and drinkable for a porter. Warm, smooth, and satisfying, but not filling. The flavors are a little weak, but this just adds to the drinkability. Especially considering the price and availability, this is an excellent brew.

Phocion, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of malcontent
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Little to no head of which to speak, however, an attractive, creamy ring of tan lace endures throughout.

Mild chocolate malt scent with overtones of roast nuts and alcohol.

This is a very straight-forward, satisfying drink. Not as thick as many porters with good burnt malt flavor and a surprising crispness. Just the faintest sweetness shines through what is otherwise a nicely bitter/smokey beverage. Almost terrifyingly drinkable.

malcontent, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of WAP
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark with very thin, tan head. Ruby hues when held to the light. Some lacing is evident as I drink it down. The smell in this one has a little roasted malt, and a slight sourness to it -- not the highlight for me.

Taste and mouthfeel are very nice with coffee / mocha flavors up front and a very nice and creamy mouthfeel. Nice dark-roasted malt flavors without becoming charred or rough. Little to no hops evident in the taste.

This is a very drinkable brew -- perfect for tossing a few back on a cool fall afternoon.

WAP, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby brown with a rocky and dense tan head. Thick sheeting lace. Roasty mocha aromas. Hints of smoke.

Lots of that roasty mocha quality in the flavor too. Bitter coffee finish and aftertaste. Smooth and creamy mouth. Medium bodied but an easy drinker. Above average porter.

ViveLaChouffe, Sep 24, 2006
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 2,909 ratings.