Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

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very good

3,245 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,245
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 99
Gots: 267 | 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: 3,245 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickynick
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Porter poured a very dark brown, with a nice tan head. It also showed every good lacing. The smell was of roasted and sweet malts, with hints of hops. The taste was loaded with roasted flavors. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate, with some mild hints of hops. Mouthfeel was good, not to thick. Drinkability was also nice. Overall this was a spot on porter, one that I will go back to.

Photo of rodney45
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A light carbonation, nice lacey head, and the color of dark mahogany bespeak a warm invitation to drink. I smell nicely toasted barley, coffee and malt. The hops are downplayed, which is good for the style. The beer has a fantastic flavor, and leaves a dry espresso kick at the end which entices you to have more. A good session beer, drinkability and mouthfeel are indicative of the flavor depth. Not an A+ beer, but I'd choose it over a lot of others.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle has batch 8337 W19 5 9

very dark, brownish amber. clear, cark ruby tones under the light. lots of tan head, gradually fades to thin wispy layer. decent lacing.

roasted malts and coffee aroma with hint of char and earth.

more roasted malt and coffee notes continue on the palate, along with a twinge of acidity, all overseen by a relatively bold coffee and hop bitterness (hop has grassy quality). finishes dry with another acidic touch and coffee notes.

decently smooth, not too thin. trace of acidity or astringency in the finish. moderate carbonation is prickly on the tip of the tongue but provides fluffy body when rolled around.

just a tad on the bitter and astringent coffee side, but still a nice american porter, readily available and quite a deal at trader joe's.

Photo of RievyRW
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Source: 12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Thick black color with a nice tan head that lingers.

Smell: As simple as can be, it smells like a porter should, which is good because I've had some that don't.

Taste: I had trouble exactly pinpointing the taste. I went back and forth between coffee and chocolate before I came to the conclusion that is was simply both in a nice mix.

Drinkability: A nice 'supper' beer. A little on the thinner side for what I look for in a porter, but still very good. I can see drinking a few with nice steak, but I wouldn't want to drink it all night.

Photo of rwrk42
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Dark, black with a nice tan head which clings to the glass on the way down
Smell: Light smell of roasted malt and faint hops
Taste: Earthy taste, roasted malt and just the right amount of hops. Finishes burnt malt taste.
A very good porter which is easy to come by and always great to have in the fridge.

Photo of tjsprague
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Porter pours very dark brown, you can hardly see through the glass if you hold it up to the light. It has a nice pale brown head that trails down the glass as you drink.

Not much by the way of smell, just a light toasty smell from the grains.

Taste is pretty good. You can really taste the roasted aspect of the malt. It is a smooth beer with no bitterness and no real hop presence. A good malty flavor. The toasted malts come to the front and bring a nice flavor to the beer.

My biggest complaint is the mouthfeel. For me this is a bit too watery. When I drink a darker beer I like it to have more depth and thickness too it. This is a bit on the watery side. I know Porters aren't supposed to be velvety beers per say, but I would like a little more from this beer.

All in all a good example of an American Porter and a fine beer for late winter.

Photo of abar22
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Dark brown beer with red hues when held to light. It poured a billowy tan head 2 fingers thick. After 10 minutes or so it settled into a nice thin cap with light lacing.
This beer spoke to me more smell wise than any beer I've tried thus far. A light whiff brought hoppy citrus goodness. I tilted my glass, took a big whiff, and smelled the roasted coffee goodness I had expected to.
It tasted like it smelt but in reverse. At first I got the hints of coffee and blast of carbonation. Then, there was a brief pause before the cituslike hops took me to the finish. The after taste is fantastic. I think it is a roasted nut but there is also something pulling me toward dark chocolate. Either way it lingers and creeps its way back up my throat to my nose. Excellent.

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.88/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/29/2007 (bottle):

Pours a huge tan colored head, frothy, and lasting. Body is dark-dark red, nearly black in color. Has a hoppy roasted aroma, with some coffee, and some nutty nalts. Roasted coffee, dry mouthfeel. Not bad, a good porter.

Photo of wescj
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Color is very dark brown, similar to a Coke but darker. Starts off with a good two inches of tan head, and retains a nice half inch which leaves decent lace.

Citric hops are prominant in the nose, along with some notes of toffee.

Theres a good balance of dark, roasted elements in the taste, primarilly coffee. And as the nose would suggest, there's a good citric hop profile to follow up. Medium bodied, though the mouthfeel is slightly watery. Great beer, overall.

Photo of bbothen
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Think I've drank this about 100 times. Finally getting around to reviewing it. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark cola like brown color with a small 1 finger deep tan colroed head. Lots of webbing on glass as it's drank.

Smells predominately of roasted/toasted sweet malts. Nice citric hoppiness pokes through as well.

Sweet toasted malts, citrusy hops, coffee, toasted caramel malt, mocha flavors. Nicely balanced & tasty.

Smooth, medium to full, moderate carbonation, lingering tastiness. Yeah tastiness.

Sessionable. Tastes great. Rewarding. Others have sinced pushed the envelope on the style, but this is a classic everyone should try. In Ca at least you can often find 6ers for $6.99. heck of a deal right there.

Photo of cottonkoozie
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown color, very dark brown, but almost black. Good head, leaves nice lacing.

S - Good malt smell, but mainly I smell hops. Still a nicely balanced beer.

T - Good balanced flavors. Strong hops flavor, but very balancing hops flavor.

M - Great full feel, but could use a little more carbonation

D - this is pretty drinkable, but I wouldn't want a lot of it, maybe 2 at the most.

Another good beer from sierra nevada. Has the same great hops taste of the pale ale, but with a great malt flavor like a brown ale or a stout. Good balanced beer.

Photo of mwa423
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown pour with about a half a finger of head which dies down to lacing that proceeds down the glass.

S - Lots of malt, chocolate and caramel sweetness. Very pleasant!

T - Very rich, thick on the tongue, and leaves a great chocolate aftertaste on the tongue

M - Great smooth feel. Not thick like too many porters, but also is thick enough to not have the watery aftertaste that I get from Guinness.

Photo of kbeals
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tons of tan creamy head sit atop a nearly opaque, cola colored beer. Pretty good lacing and head retention. Smells are of sweet malts, caramel, bitter chocolate, and a small amount of hops on the edge. Taste comes through with a barrage of malts, both sweet and roasted, a bit of a coffee flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty good, not a ton of carbonation, medium bodied. An excellent example of a porter.

Photo of baggio
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Got this in denmark some time ago and decided it was time to give it a go tonight...

A: Very blackish with a huge, creamy, beige head and lots of nice lacing.

S: Roasted malt, Coffee, Hint of chocolate, Citric notes (Cascade hops?).

T: Mild coffee, Cocoa, Citric notes, Dark caramel, Roasted malt.

M: Not overwhelming in anyway but rather an easy drink with a pleasant bitterness at the end.

A nice, everyday, porter.

Photo of Stunner97
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- A dark black beer, if you look closely at the beer carbonation can be seen traveling up the glass, thin white head meets carbonation on the glass,

Smell-- malt and hops meet at the nose, with slight bready dough yeast smell too, definite coffee tones very strong

Taste- Very strong coffee notes very little sweetness what so ever, Alot of hops with a bitter finish, a delicous coffee esperesso finish, this is also a very very long finish that lingers with that coffee bean flavor in your mouth for a long time

Mouthfeel- Carbonation with a creamy foamy feel in the mouth

Drinkability- I find this to be an incredibly good porter, though not real high in alcohol this beer is so big it feels twice as big as it even is, great full bodied beer that is definitely worth a purchase again and should be a good beer to always have few of around in my beer fridge

Photo of lhaqq
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near black but slightly brown body with a sticky tan head.
S: Mocha and some dark chocolate.
T: Similar to the smell--the mocha dominates, also with some dark malts.
M: Fairly thick, sticky, and smooth.
D: Probably one of my favorite porters. Could definitely have a few of these.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours dark brown bordering on black, bleeding into red brown from the edges inward, and with a thin tan head that quickly dissolves into a ring around the outside edge and an island of small tan bubbles.

Big roasty nose, some coffee, with a bright, slightly acidic hop bite underneath.

Taste is fairly straightforward - roasty malt with notes of coffee and cocoa, coupled with a sharp, acidic, lightly bitter hop presence. Finish is a lingering soft bitterness, along with remnants of the sharp roastiness, and a slight metallic note.

Sharp carbonation bite up front, trailing off into a softer bite towards the end, medium body.

Photo of AtlasBrew
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: Black with a tan lacy head

Aroma: Sweet coffee like aroma with a touch of smokiness.

Flavor: Medium mouth feel, sweet and chocolatey followed by a subtle coffee flavor and a mild bitterness.

Overall: Not a bad little porter. Not having tried the Sierra Nevada Stout, it's hard to make a good comparison between the two, but it would be interesting to taste both side by side.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a rich woody dark brown with a solid smooth one-finger head of a light brown that has nice retention, leaving behind a fair bit of lacing.

aroma is roasty! roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and even roasted cocoa nibs. a bit of piny hops. A bit of vague bitterness... from the roasty notes?

smooth coffee, roasted malt, toasted chocolate, a bit of burnt coconut, and a good heaping pile of hops. One of the more hop-forward porters with a nice clean velvety taste. There's a nice bitter finish with ample pine and grapefruit notes.

mouth is smooth and on the lighter side of medium body. carbonation is a bit sprightly, viscosity is a bit slick. The hop bitterness is definitely felt on the palate... smooth and well rounded.

This is definitely a go-to porter. Hoppy and delicious with a nice clean roasted backbone. One definitely worth having around. Nothing outstanding, but certainly nothing to complain about. There's a reason this one remains so popular.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a rich dark brown with some mahogany highlights. Thick, tan, creamy head.

Smell is of earthy malts and citrusy hops.

Taste starts out very coffee-like from the roasted malts, with some faint citrus hop flavor, then sweet malts and a dry burnt finish.

Medium body, light carbonation, very smooth. This one is an easy drinker for sure.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12oz single from the State Liquor Store in Vernal, UT. About $1.50.

A: Poured a deep dark brown with a good inch of tan head on top of it. Somewhat cloudy, lots of dark red accents. excellent gobs of lacing as the head recedes.

S: First and foremost coffee, there is a huge dark coffee in the nose, followed by some chocolate undertones, lastly a bit of citrus and piney hops, roasted coffee and chocolate are big in there though. A faint hint of booze as well.

T: Coffee and chocolate follow over from the nose, and so does a big time hop character, lots of burnt malt and citrus in the mouth, the chocolate is really subdued. Lots of burnt flavors, but in a nice porter sorta way.

M: Way too thin, but slick, and clean finishing. really knock it on the texture, that is the one shortcoming of a good beer.

D: I could easily pour this back all night. This is a great flavorful beer. It is thin in the mouth, and that is offsetting, but it is still tasty.

Photo of atsprings
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown almost black with a nice frothy cream head that lingers and leaves great lacing. Aroma is cocoa powder and brown malts. Taste is a nice amount of brown malt and cocoa with a nice hop kick right behind it, just what I expected from SN. The beer is nice and light with decent carbonation. This is a very enjoyable Porter, one I'll have again in a heartbeat.

Photo of pmcgill10
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Appearence is quintessential porter - coffee brown with a frothy tan head from hell. Aroma reminiscent of roasted malt and some mild hop spice. Slight burn of the carbonation leads to roasted malt flavour, slight caramel notes waning into a mild hoppy bitterness. A straightforward porter. Very drinkable.

Photo of Bootscraper
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was previously uninformed in the area of the porter style, and thought that Sierra Nevada would serve a good introduction for me.
Poured at just under 50 degrees F in pint glass, listening to The Best of Neil Young.
The beer is a dark black, just barely brown, and with some red hue radiating at angles. A very even and uniform head, tan in color, grew up to about 1 cm, reduced to a thin/borderline patchy layer after about 3 inutes, but remained so until I got to the bottom of my glass. Even, snowfall lacing, wth patches being sticky to the point of even remaining in my glass long after finishing the beer.
The aromas were composed of coffee and slightly of a blend of fresh and roasted hops. However, the smell could have been a little fuller.
The flavor was quite hoppy. The hops themselves were tangy, resembling pine and perhaps citrus even. There was a bit of a roasted taste, persumably from malt, that enhanced and went solo during a fairly-lengthed after-taste. This leaned slightly in the direction of dark chocolate.
It was medium-bodied in the mouth. Slightly sticky (hooray for the malts), yet not quite enough to justify how syrupy the back of my throat felt after each sip... not too bad though. I enjoyed the low carbonation levels, and it made the simple beer exceptionally drinkable.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown, near black body with a tall, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat roasty nose smelling of coffee grinds and notes of unsweetened chocolate earthy hops.

Taste: Predominately roasty and bitter, the beer yields some light hints of pale malts, chocolate malts, and caramel. Almost nil sweetness which quickly fades away, leaving the roast, earthy bitterness to take us to the dry, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Just a tad thin, a tad simple, and just not what I'm really looking for in a porter. On to their stout!

Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 3,245 ratings.