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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,714 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,714
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,714 | Reviews: 1,315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is not one of my favorites of the porter variety, but for what it is worth, I quite thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It pours to a dark brown, showing only the faintest of light through. The head is just off-white and barely present.

The smell doesn't particularly stand out in my mind; the nose was not unlike any other average porter I've tried, but it was enough to get me excited for the taste. It had kind of an aged smell to it, along with roasted malts and hops.

The taste was good, though not spectacular. It had kind of an ESB quality to it, but with a much more roasted character, even a hint of smoke in the aftertaste, but not enough to gag me like any real smoked ales I've tried. I had to do some editing to this review after quite a big session the previous night where I was in no place to write a proper review. Thus drinkability has been upped from 3.5 to 4.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 10:09:18 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown with a beige head that clings to the glass as it recedes, leaving nice lacing.

Smell: hell, I can never tell porters apart very well..even if i try comparing two right next to one another.. Typical burnt malt aroma. Smells of sweet caramels and coffee.

Taste: I've never really been a fan of porters in general, but I'll give this one some credit..it does taste pretty damn good. Usual coffee & roasted malt flavor but with a twang of added hops. They are subtle, but present. Gives this porter some character and adds to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and easy to drink. Slides down the hatch exceptionally well. Carbonation is near perfect but the mouthfeel may be a bit thin overall.

Drinkability: Simply put, the most drinkable porter I've had to date. I could see myself drinking a few of these on a given night. Not bad stuff at all.

Once again, Sierra Nevada comes through with a solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 00:58:24 | More by hero27
Photo of mhowell
mhowell

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a beautiful dark, almost black with copper edges. Maintained a thin head till the end. The initial smell was a combination of chocolate and smoke, not a bad combination. This combo carried over into the taste, with just a slight bitter bite at the end. Excellent body. Sampled at 55 degrees. Not my first SN Porter, and definately not my last.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2004 17:26:54 | More by mhowell
Photo of HochFliegen
HochFliegen

Oregon

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

Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Nice tan head that stayed till the last drop with nice lacing.
Robust smell of roasted malts, chocolate and smokey.
Taste was much the same with lots of roasted malt flavor and a smokey and dry aftertaste. A well balanced and tastefull porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2004 08:06:39 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of scottum
scottum

Vermont

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Waiting Room in Burlington, VT.

Wow! I've never seen a keg of this in Vermont before so I had to check it out. Nice deep dark brown complex with slight tan head. Great mouthfeel. Taste is well rounded and complex. A very decent porter. Certainly the best beer available at this bar on this night.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2004 00:28:51 | More by scottum
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BEER REVIEW #100

Paid $6.99 for a six pack...

This beer pours out a dark brown body with a medium sized, off-brownish head with very good retention and great lacing effects. The aroma is a bold shot of fresh roasted malt, this may be the best smelling porter I have ever had.

Don't let that great smell fool you, the taste of this is as good as the smell impeded... This roasted malt is a wonderful texture and it's not too heavy either. Good feeling in the mouth, not the best porter on the palette... pretty smooth and a little creamy. The drinkability is naturally up there as the 5.6% in not noticeable, the beer is an absolute pleasure from start to finish, an ideal session porter beer.

Final Thought: Wow, Sierra Nevada brews a mean porter that's as good as any other one out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 03:58:50 | More by mobyfann
Photo of JackStraw22
JackStraw22

Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I love the Pale Ale and Celebration Ale, so I was looking forward to trying this. The beer is very dark, almost black, with a decent size tan head. At first all I could smell was chocolate, almost like a mocha. As the beer warmed, there was a lot more fruit present in the smell, berries? It felt quite smooth in the mouth, velvety. I guess I was a little dissapointed in the taste, not that it tasted bad, I just didn't seem very interesting. A little smokey and well balanced, but I couldn't get excited about it. It's definately above average, but I actually liked the Sam Adams Holiday Porter a little better.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2004 04:28:33 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours like a very standard porter. Nice dark brown color with a little layer of tannish head floating around. Laces pretty nicely, especially for a porter. Doesn't smell particularly interesting but a nice roasted malt scent is present, with a tiny bit of chocolate in the nose as well. Although this is a more malty beer than the widely available Pale Ale it is still very clear that you're drinking a Sierra just by the taste. I don't know they do it, but they definately have a signature taste. Nice malty body, and very well balanced with the citrusy hops. There's definately some flavor in there, chocolate, yeastiness, but this is a pretty mellow porter. None of that over powering "coffee" taste. Great smooth mouthfeel with a bitter kick to it. Surely one of the more drinkable porters out there. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 00:16:20 | More by twelvsies
Photo of apintofknowledge
apintofknowledge

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I must admit that I've unfairly tended to avoid Sierra Nevada since I have found a few of their beers (including their Pale Ale and Celebration Ale) too hoppy for my personal taste. But facing a rather uninteresting beer selection at a local restaurant last night, and being in the mood for a dark beer on a chilly November evening, I decided to give the Sierra Nevada Porter a try.

As I poured my glass, I noticed thin tan head (typical for the style) and a rich dark color. The aroma was nice and toasty, but I was still weary of the possibility of an overly hoppy taste. Well, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Lots of toasty, dark-brewed coffee, chocolate and caramel flavor with a noticeable but not overwhelming hops presence. What was really surprising was that the hops didn't linger alone as they often do. Instead, all the full rich flavors stayed in my mouth as an almost perfect balance.

I believe I have now found one of my all-time favorite porters. Let this be a lesson to myself and others not to be so quick to write-off (or at least generalize about) a particular brewery after only trying a couple of their offerings. I look forward to trying more Sierra Nevada offerings in the future with a more open mind and palate.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2004 16:21:28 | More by apintofknowledge
Photo of brewQ
brewQ

Missouri

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

It's been a while since I had the Porter. The SNPA is a classic to me.

The Porter pours unmistakably black with roasted malt in the nose.
Taste is almost chewy and dare I say chalky, though this seems to be typical of the style.

My mouth is evenly coated by the sweet sugars. If I stuck with this for an evening it would be quite drinkable; however, I find it hard to mix this in with the Pale Ales and other styles I favor.

A quality brew befitting the folks from Chico.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2004 02:40:40 | More by brewQ
Photo of walleye
walleye

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured dark brown with a creamy light tan head. flavor,dark chocolate. malts, roasted nuts, coffee,hint of hops. flavor coffee, chocolate the bitter sweet kind, roasted malts. nice smooth mouth feel enjoyed this one very drinkable will buy this one again

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2004 15:28:32 | More by walleye
Photo of KoG
KoG

Nevada

3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I like Sierra Nevada products but im not a porter fan at all, but maybe this brew would change my mind.

Pours out a nice dark tone with redish highlights and a nice amount of light tan head.

Smell seems a bit sour. Citrus and malt are very noticeable with a touch of toast.

Taste seemed unbalanced to me. Too citric at first and finsihing extremely malty. No real off flavors, but a bit sour in the after taste.

Mouth was alright, not anything to rave about. Seemed to lean more toward the light end.

II don't see this as something I would drink especially with the other SN brews available. If this was the only decent selection available, I would probably go with it.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2004 23:50:07 | More by KoG
Photo of mgdeth
mgdeth

Montana

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dense, tan colored head formed on pouring. Color is dark brown. when held up to the light, you can see a beautiful deep reddish tint to the beer. Some lace clings to the side of the glass.

Smell - I detect a fairly strong malty smell, mixed with an earthy or smokey aroma. Hops linger in the background. Appealing.

Taste - Roasty foretaste, with hops breaking through in the aftertaste. This is a pretty strong flavored beer, given that it is "only" a porter. Malt-hop balance is good. The taste improves as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - There is a nice thick feel to this beer. Almost gritty, the way a good porter ought to be.

Drinkability -This ain't yer (grand)father's lager! Filling, satisfying.

Comments - In all the years I've been drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I've always passed over their porter. No more. If you are in the mood for robust-tasting porter, I don't think you can miss with this beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2004 03:24:09 | More by mgdeth
Photo of skybluewater
skybluewater

Minnesota

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

Pours a very dark mahogany color. Nice head leaves some lace. Smells nice, if rather faint, mostly of coffee. Taste is very good, mostly coffee and chocolate, but without the roasted bitterness of SN Stout. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

Solid porter here, quite a bit better than the Rogue Mocha I had last night. Overall, definitely a must try.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2004 05:20:02 | More by skybluewater
Photo of BitteBier
BitteBier

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean, very dark brown with hints of red at the fringes. A foamy, creamy head that settles down quickly but nevertheless persists. Smooth sweetness and roasted malts come through in the nose. Taste is wonderfully "busy" yet well integrated. Starts out with a nice, hoppy bite, followed by moderately sweet malts. Dry finish makes for a nice mouthfeel and good drinkability. This is likely to become a cool weather staple in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2004 22:36:48 | More by BitteBier
Photo of tweeder263
tweeder263

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nice dark beer slight red around outskirts of glass.nice size head leaves lace down the glass. i see this beer gets a decent score on BA but i must say im unimpressed.slight coffee hints little bit of hop bite at end .i like other sierra offerings but this one strikes me as average.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2004 01:16:05 | More by tweeder263
Photo of moocey
moocey

Alabama

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The pleasant aroma of this beer hits me as soon as I pop the cap. I don't even have to wait until pouring. It pours completely opaque black when held up to the light of my computer monitor. I'm not seeing any light get through this beer. This beer pours a solid inch of head that lasts and leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

This porter is delicious. As soon as I take a sip, my taste buds are assaulted by a variety of flavor: chocolaty malt, espresso, a bitter hoppy kick to liven things up and keep it from being too sweet. There's a bitersweet aftertaste that lingers on after swallowing - the bitterness the last to leave your mouth. The mouthfeel is just right. Not too heavy, but definitely not light. The combination of flavor and body make me want to enjoy this beer in substantially sized sips. This beer is my good ol' black and blue standby when I don't want to try anything new, and I'm not exactly sure what I'm in the mood for. It's an excellent porter, and one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2004 20:28:46 | More by moocey
Photo of Globetrotter
Globetrotter

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 12oz. stubby looks like the picutre. Ingredients conform to the purity law. No freshness info.

Pours a dark and opaque deep burgundy under a big three finger tan head that settles fairly quickly, but with good contour and nice lace. The nose is very nice - roasted nut and caramel in droves. The mouth is very (too?) prickly, with medium body. We start with a good roasted nut and caramel opening, followed by a nice crips hoppy bite. A good bitter aftertaste follows the smooth malt finish. Nice complex and enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 04:05:57 | More by Globetrotter
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a 3206 date code ( late July 2003 ).

Pours opaque black with a slight tan head. Smells of chocolate malts and toasted grains. Medium bodied with a super smooth mouthfeel. Taste is of dark chocolates, toasted grains, and coffee. Finishes with a dark roasted malt bitterness.
Another top notch brew from Chico.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2004 15:07:24 | More by beerceller99
Photo of Tang07
Tang07

California

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rich brown. It is a great beer for fall and winter. It is full bodied and full of flavor. It has a proper head and has lots of body and leaves a good impression.

It has a nice bitterness, but it is not overpowering.

I haven't had this beer in quite some time because I'm weary of buying a microbrew so far from home when it is not refrigerated. (I don't live 30 min from Chico any more.) I was reminded of how great this beer is and I'm glad that it is available on the East Coast.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2004 03:42:04 | More by Tang07
Photo of SteveP
SteveP

United Kingdom (England)

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Dark beer with foamy head. Soft. Carbonated. Smooth and malty with a nice mix of caramel and cough mixture. Mild natured. Some chocolate and coffee notes as expected. A very pleasant and easy drinking bit of the dark stuff. I'll have another!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2004 23:27:15 | More by SteveP
Photo of ken3c
ken3c

Michigan

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

Mostly black with a hint of red at the corners. Thin layer of brown foam stays around. There is slight lacing.

Coffee and cocoa powder smell.

At first it's slightly sweet, then slightly tart, then there is a strong coffee bean flavor.

Full body and well carbonated.

I enjoy this beer but I enjoy others better. I prefer a stronger taste. Still, it's too strong for any of my friends to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2004 13:49:57 | More by ken3c
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that is slow to recede. The aroma is good. It has a roasted malt scent that boasts of dark crystal and chocolate malts. There is also a bit of hops in there as well. The taste is great. It has an incredibly smooth, malty flavor that boasts of cystal and chocolate malts. It goes down quick and easy with a creamy chocolate finish. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very easy drinking porter. It's not the best I've had, but it ranks up there in drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2004 23:41:10 | More by WesWes
Photo of poundboy
poundboy

Vermont

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

This is just a damn good beer. I've been drinking Belgian's all week long and this, though very different, is just if not more tasty in my opinion. And you can get a sixer for what you sometimes pay for a whole bottle of Belgian Brew.
Tastes like a porter should.In fact, one sip was all it took for me to think "This is the benchmark by which all porters should be judged" Hop aroma and flowery flavor up front combined with perfectly roasted dark malts. Smooth and creamy mouth. Can't comment on the head cuz' I drank it from the bottle like a heathen.
Very drinkable. I wish I had about 3 more of these in the fridge.

I know I have raved about this beer. If you know of a better porter out there, beer mail me and let me know.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 22:46:37 | More by poundboy
Photo of afinepilsner
afinepilsner

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle
This beer is nearly black with ruby hues when held to light. It has a nice head and leaves some lacing. It has a lightly roasty nose. The taste has some chocolate with a hint of coffee and some roastyness. This beer is medium to full bodied. This is a great beer that I will definatly have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 04:12:45 | More by afinepilsner
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,714 ratings.