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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

2,908 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,908
Reviews: 1,330
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 90
Gots: 159 | 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: 2,908 | Reviews: 1,330 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the very best porters I think I've had, impeccable balance with plenty of character to boot. Pours a deep brown in color, with a creamy beige head with decent retention. Nose is roasty with hints of dry cocoa and a certai nuttiness. Taste is a bit more hoppy than I expected or typically care for in a porter but somehow it works really well in this brew. Mouthfeel is medium for the style and drinkability was quite high. I could easily see doing a session of this brew.


Gaisgeil, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque dark brown. Medium cream colored head fades rather quickly, leaves some nice lacing.

S: Roastyness mostly, but some faint hops. Swirling seems to help alot.

T: Tastes up front like it smells, burnt malts and slight hops. A dry bitterness and burnt flavor aftertaste, pretty enjoyable.

M: Moderate carbonation, and overall good mouthfeel, though I thought it might have been a touch bit thin.

D: Drinkability is definatly good, as this beer isn't too heavy, and I could see having a couple of these in a night.

I had trouble picking up some of the smells and flavors of this beer, but overall I think it was a good porter that I think I would enjoy a session with.

51mmz0rz, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown (almost black) with a nice creamy tan colored head. Smell is dark malt, caramel and hops and a bit of alcohol. Taste is of roasted malts and coffee that finishes very dry with hops and a burnt/smokey bitter flavor that stays in the mouth long after the sip. Without a doubt a solid porter.

cjgator3, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of BurnsTau
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, black color with a nice tan head.

Smells of chocolate, sweet and smokey malts. Tastes sweet and malty, some chocolate and coffee coming through and very little hop. This is and has been one of my favorite beers since I discovered craft beer.

A great brew that everyone should enjoy.

BurnsTau, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of PeatReek
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body is black when viewed askance, but turns out to be a deep, clear ruby when held up to the light. Thick beige head. Smell is slightly charcoaly, a little bit like chocholate, plums, heavy red wine. Taste is chocolatey, a bit espresso-like, and caramel sweet. Carbonation is quite tangy, complemented by an upfront bitterness but near-total lack of hop flavor. The black malt overtones are good, I wish they would just scale the bitterness back a bit and this would be a heckuva session porter.

PeatReek, May 30, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly opaque black with a nice tan head that retains well. The aroma is roasty upfront with notes of dark chocolate, coffee and burnt bread, along with some floral hops, dark fruits and caramel. The flavor is also initially roasty with coffee and dark chocolate notes, along with some mild caramel sweetness, dark fruits (fig and plum), well toasted bread, floral and mineraly hops, and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium and slightly slick, and drinkability is excellent. An excellent american porter, perhaps the paradigm of the style.

silver0rlead, May 30, 2006
Photo of Liquids
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a warm deep earthy mahogany tone in the light with a full, almond tan head. Smells "english," light but with a distinct hoppy note, and plenty of sweet and chocolate malts. Taste is extremely roasty, jagged, not so smooth, with a sour note, all in a good way. This is a descendant of their stout for sure. Mouthfeel is just right with the perfect amout of carbonation. Feels balanced but not too light, thick but not too syrupy on the tounge. Yes, I could drink two of these.

This is not my favorite porter, as Samuel Smith and Anchor come to mind as more definitive of the style and enjoyable, and beers I would drink by themselves for their smoothness and flavor. If I want a little more edge to the malts than those porters, or something to hold up to a steak, I'd probably reach for a SN Stout instead of this. But this is an excellent beer, hands down.

Liquids, May 23, 2006
Photo of jwff
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A truly amazing looking beer. A huge creamy tan head that just parks itself over the deepest ruby/black body. Smell reveals chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee with a very earthy almost gritty tone. Taste is chocolate coffee balanced with the right amount of hops in the finish. By all means this has all the ingredients to be too bitter, but it comes off as light and creamy with a good amount of warmth from the alcohol. Thankfully this does not push the sweet (Ballroom Blitz) envelope to counteract the hops/coffee. Mouthfeel is solid start to finish with some grittiness that coats the teeth which is something I really like to see in a beer. Yeah this is good, and Sierra Nevada is everywhere so dip dap.

jwff, May 23, 2006
Photo of blitz134
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Vancer in 2MBBIF...thanks

I've had this one before, but was glad to receive it for a chance at a review since it is so easy to come by.

Black body but with garnet highlights showing through. Solid two-finger head, tan in color. Reduced to a 1/4" cap. Lacing sheets the glass upon the beer's retreat towards the bottom.

Nose is a bit subdued. Semisweet chocolate and expresso, not much else.

Taste is lightly toasted malts. Undertones of semisweet chocolate and expresso again. Good but subdued once again.

Mouthfeel is between then and medium. Too much carbonation in this example leads to a crisp feeling on the toungue which is out of place for me with a porter.

Drinkability is good though. LIght and refreshing, I'd just like to see something a little more kicked up in the flavor and aroma areas.

blitz134, May 20, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam Porter?? Can never decide which to buy when looking for a quality porter. Anchor having a little more hops. Anyway, Sierra pours a beautiful black with a slight creamy head, lacing down the glass. Extremely smooth, lots of cocoa, but not aggravating. Coffee and possibly toffee and caramel (not too much) round out the flavors. Extremely drinkable, you can make an entire session of just these porters. One of the top 2 porters out there, without a doubt!

bigdeuce, May 12, 2006
Photo of dragonofblood
1.45/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up a bottle of this on a recent run to Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. Have to say I was completely disappointed.

Appearance: Looked good, nice dark brown like a good porter should be. Unfortunately, that was the only good thing about the beer.

Smell: Ugh. Smelled of chocolate chip cookies being charred over a tire fire. Not pleasant at all.

Taste: Almost as bad as the smell. A strange, overpowering roasted flavour that wasn't appealing, and some charred chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Felt like cola. Too fizzy and thin.

Drinkability: Terrible. This beer was awful. I drained half the bottle after I couldn't stomach it anymore. Good thing I also picked up some Edmund Fitzgerald the same day. Perhaps this was a bad bottle, but I was expecting much, much more from this beer.

dragonofblood, May 10, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- This poured a very dark brown color with dark amber highlights only on the bottom. Awesome creamy brown-tan head that sounds like a coke, very fizzy.

s- Wow, chocolately, fruity and citrusy. There is a pleasant roasted smell also w/ sweet malts. Earthy smelling.

t- Burnt goodness. Really sweet and fruity. Slightly bitter from the hops and really heavy on the toasted sweet malt.

mf/d- This is really smooth and slick with minimal carbonation tingling. Quite moderate. I could have 2 or 3 of these in a night, pretty drinkable for a porter.

I don't care for porters that often but this I love. Enough hoppines to combat the heavy malt flavor.

kbnooshay, May 09, 2006
Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger caramel head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell was very subtle. A clean aroma, a bit lacking in the toasted aroma however. I expected a bit more of a coffee aroma.

The taste was very clean and dry. There was a subtle coffee presence at the back of the throat. The strong carbonation really masked a lot of this flavor though.

The mouthfeel was very good. Dry and nicely carbonated.

A very drinkable and light porter.

plaid75, May 09, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle as if it came from a nitro tap. Body black as night. Gorgeous lacing all the way down. Nose is full of coffee.
Taste is coffee, prunes, and a decent hop twang. Mouth is lush and pleasing. This would certainly make for a sessionable porter. Is there anything SN can't brew?

TheBungyo, May 08, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours out a coffee, black color. No head to speak of. It left minimal lacing. It smelled very malty. You could taste the malt as well as a hint of coffee and chocolate. The beer was crisp but a little too heavy to consume many in a sitting.

zeff80, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of trep
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, with light only penetrating at the edges. Head quickly fizzles out and leaves a bit of lacing around the top of the pint-glass.

Nose is very alcoholic with little coffee aroma...slight hop aroma. Better give it a sip.

Tastes of bitter, black coffee and chocolates. Hop presence upfront that fades into oblivion. Mouthfeel is very thin, I feel like something is missing. Doesn't taste bad, just thin on the palate.

The alcohol presence makes this beer unpleasant to drink after one or two. Considering this is a sub 6% abv beer I'm sure that SN could mask the alcohol presence more.

Not bad, not stellar.

trep, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of Enderdraught
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown, bordering on black. Tan head is superb and I simply love the look of this beer.

S: Slight woody sent with dark chocolate overtones.

T: Nice flavor with some coffee and woody flavors dancing around. There is a heavy dark chocolate taste that enhances the woodiness.

M: Very good body and creaminess, especially when poured properly. Doesn't have any oiliness as other reviewers have stated.

D: Overall, I am very impressed with this beer. Very rich and bold. Would be a good beer for someone wanting to try a good porter without too much "shock". One of my favorites.

Enderdraught, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of dfried
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hold Sierra Nevada beers as a standard against most other beers. There must be something in the water there or something. This porter holds up that tradition. It has a nice, dark color but not as much of a blackout as a stout, with a quite thin head. It's a little more course going down, as opposed to silky, but that really brings out the flavor of the dark roasted malts. The hops are what really make this beer for me though. They balance with the dark malt flavor to make you say, "Mmm, porter." after every sip.

dfried, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast....

Poured a deep dark burgundy red / almost black... Creamy tan head poured quite thick but faded to almost nothing... very little lacing..

Aroma - Strong roasted chocolate malts, coffee, slight smokiness / dustiness, dark fruits (blackcurrent, figs), bitter hop notes..

Taste – Nice bitter chocolate notes, toasted malts, slight dustiness, spicy dark fruits, black coffee, light nutty sweetness, nice hops...

Feel - Quite smooth with slight sharpness underneath... Medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable..

Overall - An excellent porter.... Recommended !!

mdagnew, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of NolateM
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug. Basically pitch-black, but with a slight reddish-brownness while pouring. It has a nice tan-colored head, and pleasant roasty aroma. Lacing is apparent. The head dissipates a bit while drinking, but never completely diminishes, which is good. Flavor is similar to the aroma, with that roasty quality, and some notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Leaves a good kind of bitterness on the back-sides of the tongue, and a pleasant earthy (but not too earthy) aftertaste. As it warms up closer to room temperature, I notice a slight sweetness as well.

This is quite simply an excellent porter.

NolateM, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice dark and rich color, hints of red, foamy head,

Smell – Great classic hop nose (for SN) which meshes nicely with roasted malts.

Taste – Dark, roasted and smoky malts, coffee in the middle and a nice hop finish.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and not bitter. Very well balanced, nice blend of the hop and malt characteristics.

Drinkability – Awesome, tasty American porter. I have been back and I will be back again.

akajimmyd, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's sort of weird giving a beer straight 4's, but this one seems to rate it.
pours a beautiful black amber with a cream colored head that melts to nice lacing.
Aroma is sweet roasted malts...very, very pleasant.
Taste is also roasted, burnt malts and biscuits...followed by a very slight hop citrus taste.
Aftertaste of carmel and bitter chocolate.
Nice all around American West Coast porter.

IntriqKen, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of Rezzin
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark dark reddish brown with a foamy brown head. As I let it warm up the head disappears leaving nice lacing.

S - Chocolate and roasted coffee. The aroma is pretty light. Subdued floral hops.

T - Coffee and chocolate with a hop zing. Maybe even a little nutty - the flavors seem to come out more as this warms up closer to room temps. This is the leftover bottle from a 6pack that's been sitting around for a while and I didn't really care for it at first. For some reason - this bottle is pretty good. Nice dry finish.

M - Creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation.

D - Although I didn't care for the first couple I had - this one is starting to grow on me.

Rezzin, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the stubby 12oz brown bottle pours a ultra-dark mahogany with an inch-thick foamy tan head...nice. It leaves very nice intriquet lacing as the level goes down, the head stays at an eighth of an inch.

Somewhat sweet dark roasted malt explodes with toffee, chocolate and coffee fragrances aplenty. Earthy and robust, with a mild sweetness to a bittering end.

Hearty dark malts, rich coffee, dark chocolate and hints of tobacco mix and blend into a euphoric elixer that pleases the tastebuds. You crave this stuff after every quaff, the balance is perfect, a solid Porter bar none.

The medium-plus body, full flavor, smooth and creamy mouthfeel make this offering from Sierra Nevada, the American Porter that all others should be judged by...seriously.

This stuff is like drinking water, it goes down so easy, and the after taste is heavenly. Another consistant, tasty and quality brew, by one of the finest breweries in the world...any questions?

scottoale, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a tan head. Leaves some lacing. Pretty, deep, store-bought woman. Earthy, roasted chocolate malt and soft hops fill the nose. Makes me sing like a guitar humming. Tastes chocolatey and roasty with a flowery hop profile. The flavors could be a little stronger for me. Creamy, soft mouthfeel but seems a little light. Took me an hour to finish this, and that's fine by me. I've got all night.

Highly drinkable porter and probably my favorite SN year round. It's one of those gems that you can find even at a supermarket. Like finding a dream that don't ask no questions. Yeah.

goochpunch, Apr 01, 2006
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,908 ratings.