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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

2,714 Ratings
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
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Ratings: 2,714 | Reviews: 1,315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hagbard


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown color with amber highlights in the bottom of the pint where light is able to penetrate. With a nice, thick, creamy, off-white head, this is how a porter is supposed to look. The aroma is subtle with a malty background and chocolate hints throughout. The taste, in my opinion, is that of the quintessential porter. Very smooth and easy to drink, the malty taste slides over your tongue. Softly sweet with slight hints of chocolate in the background. The aftertaste has a coffee element to it, overridden by the soft malt. This beer is close to a perfect example of the style. That said, it is not very complex. A straight-up porter. I'd say the edge goes to Anchor's Porter, due to its complexity, but this is still a wonderful session porter to be drunk in the company of good friends. The mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but maybe that contributes to its overwhelming drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 13:27:25 | More by Hagbard
Photo of BrewMan82


4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, dark. Translusent black with some redness. Offwhite, thin head settles out within minutes. Smells extremely hoppy with strong roasted maltiness. I detected some slight citris acidity there as well. The taste follows the aroma, hoppy and more bitter than most session porters (hop lovers gotta appreciate Sierra Nevada's heavy hop use), but this is well soothed by the strong malt character. The finish is clean and crisp and the smoothness invites another sip. This one is so full and satisfying I salivate heavily after each sip!? It's great - one of my standby favorites.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 07:22:48 | More by BrewMan82
Photo of LarryKemp


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

The roasted takes charge of the fine Robust Porter. The chocolate roast fills the nose and pushes the hops to the background. I am not a hop head and usually find Sierra Nevada beers way too hopped. This one's malt bill stands up to those BIG hops.

The very dark brown beer is clear and maintains a hue of red when held up to the light. The head is robust on the pour and clings well to the side of the glass.

The flavor is wonderful. The malt is roasty and sweet in the beginning. As one drinks more, the dryness kicks in and the roasted chocolate flavor swirls in my mouth.

The mouthfeel is the one thing that I mark the beer down for. If it were fuller, this would be my favorite domestic porter. I would say the mouthfeel is just a little more than light.

This is a VERY drinkable beer. This is a complex beer where the hops are present but singing backup instead of lead. I plan on having a few bottles of this beer always in my frig.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2004 03:19:55 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a heavy dark liquid, a cloudless burnt brown look with a khaki head on top. Nose is pretty much malty and hints of fruits.

Taste - Milky caramels and malts mixed with dark fruits. The result is a very warm welcome. This is the kind of flavor that you'd want to serve someone who just walked 45 minutes in the snow to visit you...after they thawed, of course.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2004 10:04:41 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of Dukeofearl


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz. Bottle pours a massive off-white/tan head over a coke-colored dark brown (semi-translucent) body. Head dies off quickly. Aroma- sweet, malty, and a little medicine-like (but not unpleasant).

Flavor- moderate body with a soft, bready, somewhat smoky with a nice hop edge towards the end- not strong, but definitely there. I am tasting chocolate and it's almost chocolate cookie-like. Oddly enough, it seems like the hops come through more after a few sips.

Mouthfeel is very nice, and this baby is very easy to drink!

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2004 01:18:36 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of RootedFool


4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Not much of a head on the pour -- what's here is dark tan, less than a quarter inch tall, and is now all gone. Only scraps of dark tan film remain on the surface, and a few bubbles. Blame my pour. I'm drinking at the computer and poured with less vigor than usual, so as not to spill on my machine.

The body is deep, dark mahogany.

Smell is big -- fresh coffee grounds, dark chocolate, some hop floral notes hiding out, and a splash of espresso toward the finish.

Taste opens with an interwined espresso bitterness and chocolate sweetness -- bitterness definitely taking the lead. Out of all the porters I've tried, this one has the strongest hop profile. Bitterness jams throughout -- pleasantly -- as the roasted malts pluck out a smooth bass-line.

Aftertaste is a gradually dwindling bitterness encrused with juicy, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is creamy and palate-encompassing without being sticky. Lots of carbonation, which I find surprising -- almost as much carbonation as your average pale ale.

Another lovely, hop hoppin' brew from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2004 02:41:42 | More by RootedFool
Photo of pio


3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very dark amber and black color with clinging bubbles and medium activity in the glass. a big sandy tan and foamy head that flairs up and shortens with time but mostly stays put. greater than impressive lace, connected rings that stay stuck where they are, especially for the style.
floral hops scent with a very understated citrus thing. notable plesant pungent cheesey reek. oddly no coffee, cocoa or molasses that really stand out. a peppery note and nothing sweet smelling at all.
the flavor is a smooth player with a few hints and a smokey, peaty finish. dries well inviting another sip with crisp coffee notes on the palate. it's only slightly sweet on the start and quite a lovely maltiness this represents. not quite bready but wholesome.
smooth almost watery body with a bit more than medium carbonation detected.
great sessionability.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2004 00:04:06 | More by pio
Photo of jwilli7122


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

pours a red-tinted black with a small to medium tan head with good retention.

Smell is burnt malts and sweet fruit. This one is more fruity than the other SNs I've had.

Taste is burnt and roasty with some grape juice flavors and minimal floral flavor or bitterness. sweet grape up front with maybe a tiny pinch of caramel, and roasty and burnt on the swallow, but not much flavor in between. Mouthfeel is medium to medium/thin with a fair amount of tiny bubbles.

the roastiness is nice, but the grape flavor a little bit boring to me, and there isn't much else. I would always rather have one of SN's other offerings, although this is not unpleasant to drink by any means.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2004 01:49:59 | More by jwilli7122
Photo of TastyTaste


3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks almost pitch black, but when held to a light, it is revealed to be an extremely dark brown. A creamy tan head on top. Immedietly smells like fresh ground coffee and a hint of chocolate. Taste is of good roasted malts and an odd acid flavor. Not a bad beer, just that odd acidic twang that doesn't sit well with me.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2004 02:39:14 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of jimdkc


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

A very dark porter with a bubbly tan head. The head falls back to about a half-finger of foam that sticks around admirably. Little lacing. Smell was roasted malt with chocolate notes. Taste was of roasted malt with coffee overtones, maybe a little carmel and not as much chocolate as I expected from the smell. I also expected a little more hop flavor from Sierra Nevada. Sensed a little alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel was a little thin and a little too carbonated, but that didn't deter my enjoyment of this much!

Not my favorite porter, but very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2004 04:59:52 | More by jimdkc
Photo of FormatKid


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This comes out of the bottle a deep burnt brown color. In the glass it appears stark black until holding it up to the light reveals a ruby-brown hue. A perfect tannish-white head springs forth about a finger and a half high. Lacing clings to the glass resiliently, reminds me of a milkshake.

The smell on this is beautiful. My nose can pick up a hop edge to the scent here but what dominates the smell is those roasty, almost smokey smelling malts, something there brings to mind coffee roasting as well.

The front of this beer tastes bitter, the subdued hops laying the foreground I suppose. Then those malts take over; roasted coffee, and unsweetened chocolate set against a smokey background. A hint of toffee peeks its head in as well. Mouthfeel is perfect in my opinion, dense enough to hang around a second, but does not wear out its welcome.

I'll have to say I like this beer alot, especially as it introduces me to the style. Although it should be obvious I'd enjoy this beer better as a dessert or night cap than something to session with.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 04:23:20 | More by FormatKid
Photo of pezoids


4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fabulous beer. Very deep and dark opaque brown to midnight black. Wonderfully rich and creamy tan head topped this one off. Enticing aroma of rich roasted grains, dry bittersweet chocolates and some creamy fruity esters.

The taste is rich in all sorts of roasted flavors including toasted dark breads, bittersweet dry chocolates and a hint of burnt smokiness. This is a medium bodied beer that’s creamy and smooth with a perfect finish. Nothing harsh or astringent in this beer, it’s just full of richness and soft flavors that excite ones palate.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 14:01:06 | More by pezoids
Photo of Ellbert


3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The look of this beer was great. It was dark brown with a nice tan head. This left a huge sticky lace that was very nice.

The smell was of subtle hops and some chocolate. Nothing special here.

The taste was of big chocolate and a nice hop bite. Very balanced.

The mouthfeel was nice and carbonated with a rich mouthfeel. Very nice.

A very drinkable brew. I would love to have this over and over again.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2004 04:45:17 | More by Ellbert
Photo of Southernbrew


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

Good sized head, nice tan color. Beer has a very nice dark brown color, very appetizing. Strong coffee odor, with some chocolate and possibly something citrus? Long lasting head. Moderate to heavy mouthfeel with a nice roasted coffee flavor as well as roasted chocolate. Balanced very well, the hops keep the flavor crisp. Definitely a porter worth buying again.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2004 05:02:51 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of stewart124


4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a extremely dark brown with a thick tan head. Leaves a nice lacing pattern. Smells of chocolate and caramel infiltrate the nose and a bit of hops. Tastes of burnt malts and a earthy chocolate flavor. Medium body with a nice creamy feel. Hints of spicy hops and a sweet coffee note. Finishes with a great blend of chocolate and caramel. This is a outstanding porter and really a solid brew. My only regret is that I didn't try this one earlier.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2004 03:24:47 | More by stewart124
Photo of beertaster13


3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevadda Porter is an above average porter. The apperance pours a very dark with a coffee froth head. Smell is very mocha with roasted malts. Perfect blend of caramel with the chocolate for a great smell. The taste is good, the dark roasted taste is very present, not to strong but just right, not as flavorful as some porters but very good for a dessert after dinner. Feels full and sweet in the mouth. A drinkable porter but for me I can't drink more than 3 of these before feeling full. Above average at 5.49 a six pack, not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2004 09:47:50 | More by beertaster13
Photo of Gritsak

West Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle...dark brown with a nice smooth creamy head

smell is smokey, malt, some hints of carmel

taste is smooth and excelent...roasted malt, coffee, carmel...really deep smoked barley flavor

this is some awsome stuff..ive been drinking a glass of it with every meal since ive had the 6pack. this is now one of my favorite beers that you can get almost anywhere...not too bad at 6.99 a six pack either.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2004 20:13:43 | More by Gritsak
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

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

Sierra Nevada is known for their quality beers. This porter is no exception. It is, without a doubt a very good beer.
Pouring it into the glass , the first thing I noticed was the thick frothy head. Tan in colour and long lasting. It sits atop a dark brown, nearly black coloured beer.
The smell consisting of chocolate and caramel gave way to a strong taste of semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and hints of coffee. It's very sweet and the ideal desert beer.
There are many porters that pair nicely with steak and potatoes. Not this one. Seirra Nevada would be paired great with cheesecake.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2004 04:41:40 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of Zorro


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with red when held up to a light red beer.

Smell is of tea and smoke, and a bit of perfume hops.

Taste is of smoke, coffee and bitter chocolate. Hops bite shows up in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable, but I can find better.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 03:51:12 | More by Zorro
Photo of HardTarget


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

Aroma: Pretty classic porter nose, dark roasted malt, but with a sweet undercurrent
Appearance: Deep clear brown with a creamed coffee colored multi-sized bubbled head with slowly expanding hot spots of carbonation. Laced like blown on insulation that sparkled in the light.
Flavor: Smoked coffee with sugar and cream. Mild hop hint at the swallow, but a smoked sweet aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Creamy. It has a medium body, carbonation prickle, and a slightly oily finish, but not much.
Overall Impression: Standard disclaimer: Not a porter fan. Given that, this is a good beer. Mild tap at appearance; it’s brown, not black, but otherwise, a good-looking beer. Flavor has enough porter characteristics to be within style, but seems sweeter and smokier than I’m used to. Mouthfeel is a hair off perfect with the touch of oiliness, but being a bit nit picky. Drinkability? I’d drink another, which is high praise from a non-porter drinker. I’m unable to not like this beer! Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2004 05:56:22 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Erix


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold in a pint glass.
Appearance: Quite dark, moderate cabonation, head died quickly to a thin covering that stayed with the beer until about halfway gone. Nothing really outstanding in the appearance; its dark like a good porter should be.
Smell: Sweet roasted malt straight off the bat, somewhat fruity. I know its weird, but it kinda smells like green olives to me, once the head died down. Still smells really good.
Taste: Immediate roasted malt flavor, very round, rich, really nice. Nicely balanced. I really like this porter quite a bit.
Mouthfeel: I've seen a lot of remarks that this is a thin porter, but I dont think so. Its smooth, thick enough for a regular porter (me thinks the "extreme beers" have skewed peoples' tastes) with perfect carbonation, in my opinion. A little astringent, though.
Drinkability: One of the more drinkable dark beers out there. Not too high alcohol, no flavors bashing your skull, very pleasant.
This is another great example of a style by Sierra Nevada. How do they produce so much beer while still consistently reaching such a high level of quality? I dunno, but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 13:39:59 | More by Erix
Photo of CRJMellor


3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Two finger tan head that leaves sheets of uneven lace on the glass.
Aroma of light coffee, chicaory and earth with a floral/citric hop profile.
Flavors of grains, lightly roasted malt with a acidic hint. Also a light pine flavor of bittering on the back end.
outhfeel is smooth and creamy, tad thin in the middle but overall pretty solid.
Drinkability is very good, definitely sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 15:56:50 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of rkhaze


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber with red hues and an active bubbly tan head. Left good lace. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and citrusy hops.
Tastes of grainy roasted malt, chocolate and and some coffee. Finishes sweet and tangy with a lingering citrus hop bitterness.
Chewy mouthfeel but a bit thin in the body and almost too much carbonation. Great drinkability, perhaps a session Porter?

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 00:44:59 | More by rkhaze
Photo of mntlover


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

Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head that clings to the glass all the way down, nice lacing. Nice roasted malt smell. Tastes of wonderful roasted malt , hints of coffee, with nice hop bite and dry tasty finish. This is a great medium bodied porter that is extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 14:11:48 | More by mntlover
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with ruby highlights. I can't quite see all the way through the beer, even with backlighting. The cap is ecru in color and looks sticky and faintly rocky over time. It fades to a thin, covering film and leaves broken rings and small sheets of lace on the glass.

Hops are the first thing that I notice in the nose. Not because they're overpowering, but because I didn't expect them to be present in a porter. The usual aromas of roasted malt and coffee are definitely present, but the hops have their say.

This beer has an interesting two-phase palate profile. Initially, the malty flavors of coffee and chocolate dominate. As they fade, the softly citric hops fade in and gently take over. Hops dominate the finish as well, but are fairly understated. The mouthfeel is medium for the style, though I find myself wishing that it was a little more substantial. Just personal preference.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a solid drinker with an interesting and delicious flavor profile. I'm glad that it's so readily available because I could easily make it my regular porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 00:51:40 | More by BuckeyeNation
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,714 ratings.