1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,815 | Reviews: 1,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EPseja
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seen this one on the shelf of my local Shop Rite for years now and never thought to give it a try... until now. Served from a 12oz twist-cap (bleah) bottle in a pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Pours a medium coffee brown color with a sand-tan head that puffs up to over one finger in height. The creamy head remains for a decent stretch before retreating to a chunky mat atop the liquid. Lacing is clingy and coating.

S - Roasty toasty coffee and dark malts. Chicory. A sweet, organic woodiness. Baking chocolate in lesser amounts. Leafy hoppiness. This has a very log cabin style hominess about it.

D - A very pleasant sweet maltiness begins the taste, morphing into a mildly smoky, nutty coffee center. The finish brings about a nice, gripping fist of hops that keeps the sweetness in balance. Very well rounded.

M - A wee bit on the poofy side as far as carbonation is concerned, but the malleable creamiess that is produced makes up for it. Finish is a bit lively and tingly in the throat. Would have been nicer if the carbonation would have subsided more before the swallow.

D - I've never been a fan of porters -- ever really. However, this solid and readily available rendition has me scratching my head, thinking, "if this is as nice as it is, I wonder what the REALLY good porters are like." This beer has a very easy drinkability that will leave you satisfied at the end of the evening.

EPseja, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown/black with red-ruby highlights. Tan head fills the glass with dense, soapy bubbles, then slowly pops down to create spotty lacing. Roasted barley, black patent and molasses nose, not particularly aromatic. Sweet roasted flavor, lots of blackstrap molasses, caramel and subtle coffee. Slightly drying aftertaste, mild american hops will create a suitable balance. Medium body and low carbonation- smooth and sweet overall. Sweetness carries into the finish, but not overly residual. Acceptable session porter.

PBRstreetgang, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours out an opaque dark brown/black color with a nice two finger off whire head. Lacing sticks to the glass pretty nicely.

S - A sweet aroma comes up front. A bit of a chocolatey scent, with some espresso underneath.

T - Has a nice malty flavor with some coffee kick in the aftertaste. Not quite as huge flavor wise as some other porters but nice. A good roasted malt aftertaste.

M - Nice and smooth in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation.

D - The rather subdued flavor for a porter makes it very drinkable in the sense that you can easily make this a session beer. The flavor is still interesting enough to keep you coming back for more as well. A nice, drinkable porter overall.

EStreet20, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ordered this at a pub with a smokey atmosphere. I've had this in the bottle but this was a first on tap. Hard to get a good smell, but the classic burnt malt / coffee smell did manage to make it through.
The flavor was that of strong toasted malt, with some coffee hintsin the background. The hops aroma and bite do a nice job rounding out this porter and balancing a solid malt body. Not a heavy bodied drink, very nice brew to enjoy in the pub. As an example on tap I was very happy to find this.

barleywinebrewer, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this from a bottle -- apperance is very good. Pours into a pint glass a dark brown/black color. Half inch head with only slight lacing on the glass.

The smell is excellent. Immediate notice of caramel, coffee, and spice. The taste is very good as well -- not very sweet with a little bit of a kick. There is a slight fruitiness in the aftertaste.

Not that heavy of a porter. I could easily drink these all night. An excellent beer.

oldirtycaffrey, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown/ off-white head that stays and sticks all over the sides of the glass.

Smell: Can't smell a whole lot--dark, roasted malts and light hoppiness, but nothing really jumps to the forefront.

Taste: It's the awesome hop profile of the SN stout and slightly lighter on the malt. Very well-balanced and quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: It felt a bit watery to me; I would have liked something slightly chewier.

Drinkability: A session of this would be fun.

MurphyMacManus, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color with some ruby highlights. There was about a 1/4" head of small tan bubbles at first pour that didn't stay around more than a minute or so. There is some lacing on the glass where the head fell.

Aroma: Lots of floral hops and chocolate greet you at first. If you smell deeper, you can pick out a bit of citrus and caramel as well as some toasty aromatic or Munich malts.

Taste: A bit of sweetness with caramel hits your tongue at first, and then the chocolate makes itself known quickly. The chocolate keeps you entertained well into the finish where there are some bittering hops there to support the roast to give you a pretty dry and well attenuated tasting finish. There is a little burn that you notice late in the finish that I think is as much a part of the acidity as it is from alcohol.

Opinion: This is one of my more favorite Porter beers from the US. Even though it clashes with what I like about the UK styles, the hops is a nicely assertive component of this beer. It has a floral charm that plays well with the dominating chocolate.

SkeeterHawk, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown/black color, some carbonation, small tan creamy head, lots of lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of sweet malts, coffee, chocolate.

T - Taste is very balanced with the malts, and chocolate flavor, nothing over-powering.

M - A nice medium/smooth body.

D - Very drinkable. I guess I'm now a porter fan, lol Would buy again, and recommend to others.

Wasatch, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of kkipple
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at CW's Tap Room in my hometown.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a chalky brown, slightly transparent beer with a small head and minimal lacing. Smells mostly of roasted grains and malt -- nothing too impressive.

Taste? Creamy, heavy roasted malt flavor, high carbonation, bittersweet beer. Mild coffee. Some hops are present. A good, basic porter. Leaves with a slighty dry aftertaste.

Not much to say on this one. It's certainly enjoyable, although uncomplex. Great for an intro to the porter style, if you like this, you'll probably like most porter.

kkipple, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy tan head that leaves a thin, whispy sheet. Patches of condensed lacing that has a bit of trouble sticking. Deep brown with shades of coal and mahogany.

Sweet vanilla, light toffee. Milk chocolate; roasted coffee beans. Light whaffs of alcohol aromas.

Semi-sweet caramel and creamy, milk chocolate. Touches of vanilla and toasted almonds, pine nuts. Rich, roasted malt character that leaves a light bitterness. Smooth, creamy finish with an aftertaste of vanilla and milk chocolate.

Medium bodied; rich and creamy on the palate.

A light Porter whose flavors are subdued and more mellow than most versions of the style. Nevertheless, pleasant and enjoyable.

NEhophead, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown into a pint glass with thick khaki colored foamy head. Lacing coats the glass as the head falls slowly. Smells sweetly of chocolate, coffee with cream, heavy malt overtones, slight hop aroma present as well. Tastes fairly hoppy, exceptionally well balanced with a blend of dark roasted coffee, tingles on the tongue some. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, not unlike a stout although a lighter bodied brew. Very drinkable, well done, this is my first American Porter, and is fairly similar to a Baltic Porter, although much lighter and fizzier.

danielocean03, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just a bit more than transclucent dark brown with ruby highlights. Dense beige foam, light carbonation. Complex aromas of roasty malts, coffee, chocolate, vanilla (subtle), and spicy hops. Nice roasted coffee flavor, with chocolate and vanilla notes. Toasted grains and a hop bite at the finish. Medium-bodied, smooth mouthfeel, almost silky. Nostril-stinging hop burps. Great drinkability. Easily a session porter if there ever was one.

orfeu, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of riversider76
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's January, and 60 degrees in Buffalo! This beer pours almost black.Nice tan head. Good retention, and lacing. Smell is of roasted malts,with a hint of coco. Mouthfeel is fairly thick. Taste is roasted with a nice hop bite up front. Finish is smooth and dry. Very drinkable!

riversider76, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle, poured into a wide chalice glass. Dark oak color, clear if held up to light, with a tannish head of foam (nice retention & lacing). Roasted malt aroma with a tad bit of hops. Lot of roasted flavor up front, but more cocoa and caramel than the SN stout. Moderate hops with a lightly spicy/peppery flavor. Neutral yeast flavor. Finishes dry and somewhat tannic. Body is a little thin & watery.

allengarvin, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of Byeast
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This tasty porter from Sierra Nevada pours very dark with a fairly small head that quickly turns to large spots. Taken to the nose , light scents of fruity hops and chocolate seem the most present. Taste begins with semisweet chocolate and turns to pleasant bitter hops , deep-roasted barley, and a trace of caramel flavor. Very nice. Medium carbonation in the mouth. The Goldings and Willamette hops , along with its 4 malts , make this a very tasty and drinkable porter. I will definatly be drinking more of these.

Byeast, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Billowy, frothy large tan head. Almost opague color.

Malty nose... I'm not picking up a whole lot. I drank a Rogue Shakespeare stout before this, so that may affect how this beer tastes to me.

Definite caramel flavor. This beer is a bit sharp at first, and then mellows out at the end, leaving a roasted finish. Extremely tasty.

The mouthfeel is pretty well developed. Maybe a tad watery, but I dont want to nitpick.

Among Sierra Nevada's "Big three": the Pale Ale, Stout, and Porter, this is probably # 3, which is not a bad thing. It is just simply a bronze medal. Extremely flavorful, well balanced, and an excellent choice anytime. Still heads above your average porter.

chOAKbarrell, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of mooseisloose
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beeer into a goblet, but sniffing it out of the bottle beforehand it almost didn't make it into the glass. The sweet chocolate cheesecake smell is excellent. Once in the glass, however, the head was frothy tan and clung to the side of the glass like a true champ. This beer is very dark, light can't even be seen through the corners like you can even with a stout. The taste is very well rounded and there is no lingering of any one taste but a great balance of flavor throughout. This is the best balance of bitter and sweet that I think I have dranken to date. Have enjoyed many Sierra Nevada ales and stumbled across this porter. Hopefully the source will continue to stock, this is a new one on my list of favorites.

mooseisloose, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of bultrey
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I'm walking home the other day, anticipating the burgers waiting for me later that evening, and I say to my self, "Self, what's with all this imperial, double, extreme shit. How about a great winter time session brew tonight with your dinner?"
So I picked me up a sixer of this. Exactly what I needed. Dark, dark brown, thin but persistent head, tastes of caramel, cocoa, coffee gorunds, and anise, with a tingly but tame hop bitterness. Reminiscent of another stellar but overlooked porter from Anchor (thought this is not quite as roasty) Could drink the whole sixer in one sitting, I do believe. I gotta drink more beers like this, yo.

bultrey, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of AltBock
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. stubby bottle with a twist off cap. I didn't realize it was twist off until I used a bottle opener on it.

Poured a very dark brown color (almost black) with a small head of tan colored foam that dissipated into small rings around the mug. It had a faint aroma of dark chocolate, roasted malt and at sometimes, just a hint of caramel. The smell was good, but I think it needed to be just a little bit stronger. The flavor was that of strong roasted malt, dark chocolate, and some coffee notes in the background. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a strong roasted aftertaste. Very refreshing! Overall a cheap excellent porter that would make an excellent session Porter. This was my very first Sierra Nevada product and I'm going to make sure I try more of their beers in the future. Good work Sierra Nevada!

AltBock, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of Iguana
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence - Pours a near black with reddish hues around the edges where light gets through with a 1cm head that laces up fairly quick.

Smell - Smell is real nice, a mix of coffee and chocolate.

Taste - This one tastes real good, starts out chocolatey and fades to sot of a roasted nutty flavor, real pleasing.

Mouthfeel - Overall the mouthfeel is not bad, kinda middle of the road as far as porter's i've had go.

Drinkability - This is a pretty nice porter, great taste and for the price I can see myself downing a few of these.

Iguana, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a brown/black color with a tan head that leaves spotty lacing around the glass

Smell: A nice blend of cocoa and fruity hoppiness

Taste: Strong coffee/mocha flavor on the front end with some fruity hop bitterness that kicks in very quickly; after the swallow, there is a smoky and slightly sour flavor that joins to add complexity; charcoal aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather light for a porter; more like a hoppy brown ale

brentk56, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of Matthew
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer suprised me. Much better than I had expected. Poors a deep blackish color with a giant dirty tan colored head. Lots of lacing.
Smell is of heavy roasted malts and a nice hoppy aroma but isnt very poingnant but rather you really have to make an effort to pick up alot of this beers aroma.
This is a bigger tasting porter than most I've tried and is very pleasant. The first thing I noticed is this beers hoppiness for the style. Nice roated malts, deep in flavor with a finish of hoppy goodness.
Mouthfeel is a little bit heavier than most porters but definatley not over the top and this beer is very drinkable. I had mine with a good meal of fake steak, a baked potato, and fresh spinach and it was enjoyed very much so I had another after dinner.
Very nice porter from sierra nevada. Definatley worth checking out.

Matthew, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of jamie2dope
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is maybe my fifth or sixth time trying this beer. Pours a near black color with an impressive thick head and lace that sticks around throughout. Smells like mild chocolate with some faint fruit flavors. Taste is somewhat smoky with a mild hop presence that compliments the roasted character. It stays rather sweet throughout, but does leave the palate with a light sour taste towards the end. For a somehwhat heavy porter, drinkability is top notch, I could drink these all night. I have had quite a few of the Sierra Nevada beers, and this one does not disapoint. It is simply a good beer to have around when theres a lack of selection at a packy near you. Drink Up

jamie2dope, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of acrawf6
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty dark dark brown with thick tan head. Lacing hugs my glass as it is slowly emptied, sheet of head rests uponthe beer. Very nice.

the aroma is quite pleasant to, but not very strong. i really have to sink my nose into this once the head drops. because of this it seems like this beer would be on the light side for a porter, but the taste disagrees.

Taste has a hoppy presence, but the roasted malts balance very nice. small citrus flavor to this, maybe from the alpha acids, i dont know. but the aftertaste is great. lots of roasty and smoked flavors expand in my mouth

Mouthfeel is good. Of course, not as heavy as the bigger brother stouts (at least most of them), but very nice. well balanced, a little more slick than i thought it would be. average carbonation.

overall, a great porter to fall back on. great one to enjoy. I can usually find a 6-pack for around $6, cant go wrong with that.

acrawf6, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Steve's on University Ave here in Madison.

Pours near black with a finger of cappucino-tinged frothy head. Nose is intensely refreshing - minty hops and grassy/grainy toasted malts with a hint of cocoa powder. Taste is crisp and well-hopped for a porter, with the floral notes balancing the roasted malts, espresso beans and cocoa. Mouthfeel is slick and crisply carbonated. This is a damn tasty, refreshing, and drinkable porter. If I wanted a session porter, this would be it. A very impressive showing from Sierra Nevada.

Golden2wenty1, Dec 09, 2005
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,815 ratings.