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

2,704 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,704
Reviews: 1,315
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 83
Gots: 88 | 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: 2,704 | Reviews: 1,315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FormatKid
FormatKid

Tennessee

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
pezoids

Pennsylvania

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
Ellbert

Ohio

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
Southernbrew

Georgia

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
stewart124

Ohio

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
beertaster13

Washington

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
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
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
Zorro

California

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
HardTarget

Texas

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
Erix

Vermont

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
CRJMellor

Arkansas

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
rkhaze

California

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
mntlover

Tennessee

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
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

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

Another porter. This one pours nice dark brown with good head. The smell was a little light. Taste is smokey, malty, a little carmel and a littl e hops to finish. Quite good. Finish is nice carbonation and a little hops.

A fine reasonably priced porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2004 03:46:57 | More by daledeee
Photo of Beastdog75
Beastdog75

New Jersey

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

I was actually quite surprised and pleased with this beer. Seeing as it has the Sierra Nevada name on it, I know it must be at least a drinkable brew, if not a downright good one. Their porter took me by surprise, as it was much more mellow than I expected, and it contained a slew of delightful flavors that made this one drinkable brew.

SN Porter pours a dark brown color with some hints of amber. A rather thin light tan foam forms and disappears in under 25 seconds, leaving almost no lace. The aromas of this beer were near flawless. A sweet, chocolatey aroma with some lighter roasted notes and fruity smells blend together to make this a very sniffable beer. The mouthfeel was smooth, but a little bit thinner than expected. The main flavor is a chocolatey/roasted malt flavor that is quite sweet tasting. Some light fruity flavors are present. I was expecting a rather hoppy beer based on the reviews, but the hop profile seemed rather mellow to me and only added a light citric bite towards the finish. (I've been drinking Celebration Ale the past few days, perhaps it jaded my tastebuds :-) . The finish is mildly bitter and dry, and the overall impression I get is that this is a nice mellow porter. The aftertaste has a dark, roasted/burnt coffee flavor that seems to have some woody qualities. A stronger, nutty flavor shows up after the previous flavors have lingered for a few moments. This porter finishes out with a light alcoholic warmth.

I am rather partial to porters and stouts, and I was expecting this one to be only slightly above average. Turns out that this is one of my favorites now. Soooo very drinkable. I would pair this with one of my favorite foods: steak (preferably a nice t-bone, porterhouse, you get the idea). Perhaps I would even be as daring as to use this as a marinade for some red meat. All in all, this is definitely a grade A beer from Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2004 03:08:17 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of MobBarley
MobBarley

Oregon

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, thick ruby-orange color with a good thick tan head that sticks around to the bottom. Smell is of semi-sweet chocolate and bitter hops. The taste is like a typical porter, but hoppier (much to my satisfaction). Notes of caramel and lime linger in the finish. Feels great in the mouth, and goes down great on a cold day. A fine, very drinkable beer. A classic American Porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 07:45:46 | More by MobBarley
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer, but definitely has that Sierra Nevada house flavor. There's something about the yeast possibly, but I think it has to do a with the hops. Definitely a hoppy porter. In fact, it's the first thing I noticed about the beer, but they fade into the background as you drink the beer and you start picking up the unsweetened chocolate notes. Very clean and drinkable porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 19:01:55 | More by aracauna
Photo of babyhobbes
babyhobbes

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an extremely dark porter. It has a nice tan head with good retention. I smell malts and espresso and chocolate. The taste is quite good but not as strong as the scent. The mouthfeel is smooth and thinner than expected. This is a decent brew, very drinkable. I could easily down several of these is a single sitting.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2004 00:20:39 | More by babyhobbes
Photo of proc
proc

Michigan

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

An above average porter. Pours out to a nice, dark color with a faint smell of coffee. Taste is that of roasted malt with a decent hop taste on the finish.

12/30/03: Updating my earlier review. This is a very good porter. It really has a wonderful roasted malt flavor and is very easy to drink. Pours out to the beautiful darkness of the style. A very easy to drink beer that could make for a session porter if you so desired. A good option to give to someone who is interested in trying a porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 00:12:35 | More by proc
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

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

Pours a dark Coca Cola brown with ruby tinting. Small beige head dissipates quickly into sheet lacing. Big malt nose of caramel and dark roast coffee. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Taste is much like the nose, but more complex with notes of nuttiness and currants. Bitterness balances out any threat of sweetness. Hops are just slightly noticeable. Finish is dry and somewhat bitter. This is a very drinkable Porter, and not a bad effort by a brewery that I associate with a big western hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2003 20:47:40 | More by merlin48
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

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

Deep garnet-brown with a 2 finger red-tinged white head.
Strong caramel malt aroma, with coffee.
The taste is a little more complicated than the aroma. Roasted malt, bitter/acidic and citrus flavors dominate. Coffee, secondary taste of chocolate, bitter in the back.
Creamy-full feel. Very good at room temperature

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2003 19:05:35 | More by mschofield
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
NearerMyBeerToMe

Pennsylvania

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

Pours with an off-white, foamy head about one finger deep; decent cling to edges of glass before edging down in slightly viscous belts. Some streaming bubbles are visible through an ebony-colored body with chestnut highlights. Aroma consists of dark, bitter chocolatey maltiness, with wheat toast crusts and softly bitter hop finish. Flavor starts with smooth, bitter chocolate up front with roasted barley emerging and mingling with hints of cocoa powder. Biscuity, coffeeish tones in midpalate are nicely balanced by flowery, tingly, hop finish. Mouthfeel is clean and dry with a bit of a hop slap on the tongue with a somewhat dusty finish; body light with enough chew and oil to stay interesting. Highly drinkable, this is my current session beer of choice. Well done.

Sampled in a blind tasting alongside Anchor Porter (which edged this beer out by a mere 0.05 of a point).

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2003 21:02:47 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark ruby with a tan head. Nice Retention and a nice lace left on the glass. A visually appealing beer for sure.

The nose is full of chocolate, nice roasted malts, and a nice hop presense. Very rich.

Tastes very chocolatey, with a little coffee, cocoa, expresso and some dark grapes. Pretty Tasty!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 23:41:22 | More by Crosling
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,704 ratings.