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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

2,815 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,815
Reviews: 1,321
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 85
Gots: 123 | 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: 2,815 | Reviews: 1,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a twelve ounce bottle poured into a goblet... no freshness date to be found but I have reason to believe it is fresh enough.
I think this is what you'd get if you took Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and poured a couple shots of coffee (chilled, one sugar, a few teaspoons of milk) into the mix.
A solid porter all around.
Like the SNPA this has a citrus rind bitterness that I do not particularly enjoy but that's strictly a personal bias... if you like SNPA and you like porters then this is the critter for you.
Those that prefer a smoother tasting and/or feeling porter may not be thrilled with this one.
Well made all in all.

ommegangpbr, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of karengarys
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours very dark brown, not hazy, little to no head, a creamy light carmel color ring sits at the edges.

Smells of coffee and malts and chocolate.

Taste of chocolate and malts, some coffee. There is a slight pine hop flavor to balance. It has a very slight watered down thinness, though.

Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy, but the thinness comes through here too.

Finish is sligtly wet, and it leaves a bit of a pine bitterness.

This is a pretty good porter, but I find the balance a bit awkward with too much pine and overall a bit too thin. Do give it a try anyway.

karengarys, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep brown, almost black color with modest tannish head that quickly fell to a thin ring.Smell is of coffee and chocolate but not really overly significant. Taste allow the roasted malt to come through, along with some coffe flavors but the hoppiness is a bit much. Finish is austerely dry, with the malt completely forgotten. Not something I will try again.

tgbljb, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black color w/ the slightest bit of light to pass thru...a full two fingers of tan head and a decent amount of web-like lacing.
Enjoyable aroma filled w/ dark chocolate and a hint of espresso beans...some malt adding some slight sweetness to the scent.
The taste is very inviting...a subtle smoked flavor w/ a very well balanced coffee/chocolate/sweet malt ration. No lingering flavors...very clean in it's finish.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is perfect...the sweetness shines thru a bit more as this offering works it's way to room temperature. I could enjoy quite a number of these in an evening.
A surprise winner from Sierra Nevada...recommend.

warriorsoul, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark slightly transparent coke color with an amber hue. The off white (maybe beige, almost tan) head is about an inch high and slowly dissipating with some decent lacing. Some carb action can be seen. Has a twist off cap that is disappointing for any micro brew.

The smell is difficult to sense with some molasses malt, coffee, or chocolate with some citrus hops aroma.

Moderately sweet, lightly acidc and bitter, with some roasted caramel malt and hints of dark chocolate or coffee. The hop flavor has some pine with hints of orange and lime.

Medium bodied, dry and almost creamy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a slight metallic and astringent finish.

The drinkability is something I have to think about which must mean I'm not that impressed. The slight astringent finish makes it difficult for a session beer yet the alcohol is not high enough for a night capper. I just hope the rumor that dud (I mean Bud) is taking over the distribution of Sierra Nevada is just that.

Update 02/06/09
Bought a six pack with a solid cap and this was much better. Not as good in the bottle as was on tap.

Troyone, Sep 03, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Stiff sandy tan head, dark brown color with no light coming through the beer. The head is sticky with nice lacing.

Smell: Very aromatic, malty sweet with a toasty scent, burnt malt, and a bit of cotton.

Taste: Roasty and toasty with a dry and mild sourness. Faint ripe fruit flavors with a crisp and full maltiness. Sweetness lasts through the whole beer but becomes stronger during the long finish and as other flavors fade. No hop bitterness to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp, medium bodied, well rounded feel, comfortable on the palate, no real stickiness in my mouth, no coating left on my mouth.

Drinkability: This is a very tasty porter with a crisp flavor. Lively and enjoyable to drink. I'd gladly have it again.

BrewMaster, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad porter, but not outstanding. Pours a deep deep ruby color. Big fluffy head on this beer. Aroma is slightly toasty, nutty. Flavor is slight roasty coffee up front, with a clean hop finish. Not bad, but I'd like a touch more sweetness in my porters. Mouthfeel is okay as well, but a touch thin and dry for me. Easy drinking and easy to find at most decent bars around.

deejaydan, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark with a nice brown head. Red near the bottom.

Roasted malt mixed with deep, dark fruits in the nose. Simple but very nice.

Fizzy malt upfront, falling into light fruit and ending in roasted malts and hop. Not horribly complex, but nice.

This is what I would call a good standby porter. Inexpensive, tasty, and easy to drink.

mynie, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of taez555
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black body with a small tan white head.

Nose is a mix of chocolate, mild freshly ground coffee beans, a mild roasted smell, a slightly floral note, and even a little bread.

Taste is medium bodied with a slight rough character. Milk chocolate, roasted malts, even faint hints of grapefruit. A very milky almost cream like body, yet also just as clean and clear as a pale ale. Really an interesting contrast that perfectly melds the ale and stout like touches (aka a porter). A slight roasted or burnt taste. As it warms the hop taste starts to come out more. A mild floral touch but it’s mostly masked by the burnt flavors. Bitterness is kept in perfect check, amazingly well balanced for a SN.

Overall a damn fine porter that makes me wonder why I buy regular SNPA so much, this is such an amazing Porter.

taez555, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of Applesauce1
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first smell of this beer was somewhat bitter, like most porters. The first taste was good. It had a coffee flavor, a nutty flavor too. Not overpowering. This beer didn't have anything special to it, but it didn't have anything bad either.
As the beer got warmer, the taste improved a little bit. It became a little less bitter. Overall, though, a good beer.

Applesauce1, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of Px2GrafX
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle traditional sierra nevada graphics, a blue bottle with gradiating green, yellow, and orange borders. sierra nevada's interpretation of their porter is printed at the top of the bottle. abv is displayed at 5.6%.

appearance: pours dark brown almost black, with medium brown highlights in a stein mug. thick fluffy 2 1/2 finger head that fell to about half an inch. head is light tan with compact bubbles on top of a layer of slightly larger bubbles that tops the whole way down. decent sticky laces.

smell: roasted barley and malt sweetness. burnt wood and some chocolate as the brew warms.

taste: semi-sweet and lightly sour grapefruit with a roasted malt finish. earthy and burned coffee. little noticable alcohol. hop bitters don't quite balance out the sweetness.

mouthfeel: light, crisp and whispy. good mouthfeel for a porter. light carbonation with a very slightly clunking swallow. thin body.

drinkability: drinkable to say the least. light and crisp and could make a good session porter. alcohol doesn't hinder at all.

overall: good porter. the mouthfeel and drinkability makes up for average flavor and aromas. i prefer sierra nevada's stout for a winter brew. overall, not bad at all, though.

Px2GrafX, Aug 03, 2005
Photo of fretlessman71
4.78/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: MMMmmm… this was my all time favorite beer for the longest time. Not sure if it’s changed; just been trying a lot of other stuff lately.

APPEARANCE: Dark, dark brown – just the tiniest bit translucent. Dense tan head that looks like I could balance a stack of quarters on top of it.

AROMA: Espresso and dark chocolate, some hops coming through. Black malt seems to shine through a little stronger here.

FLAVOR: Semisweet chocolate and strong cold coffee wash over the tongue with a slight molasses kick in the middle. Hops balance the malt better than the Flying Walendas, or whoever they are… not too much, not too little. Just perfect. Somewhat sticky sweet on the finish, but all that does is make me want to take another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light weight; lots of carbonation, but somehow the bubbles are so tiny that it doesn’t feel like a mouthful of foam. Very well done.

DRINKABILITY: This beer still ranks as one of the 5 I’d like to have with me on a desert island… if I could rig up electricity and a refrigerator. 5.6% ABV means that I’d have to stop at two… or maybe not…

OVERALL COMMENTS: After all these years, Sierra Nevada has still got it. One of the best beers I’ve had – STILL.

fretlessman71, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light tan, five finger-head that vanishes slowly leaving a good lace. Deep amber color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee/chocolate. Starts with more malts than hops so some sweetness, roasted coffee flavor, finish has a hint of hops. $2.58 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

jdhilt, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is dark brown with a large, light brown head. Retention is very good. The aroma is of dark malts with the smells of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. The taste has plenty of rich malt flavor with a nice roasty taste towards the middle of a sip. Flavors of sweet coffee and a little bit of chocolate are also in the mix. A light hop twang comes into play towards the finish. This is the kind of beer that I never tire of and a very good representation of one of my favorite styles. Plus, Sierra Nevada products are available almost everywhere in the US, making them a choice stand-by.

Gagnonsux, Jul 23, 2005
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Porter pours out a nice dark brown with a 1" tan head. The head falls to about 1/4" and then holds nicely. Outstanding lace.

The aroma is sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Some hops in the background.

Smooth chocolate dominates with a mild roasted flavor in the background. The hops in the finish balance out the burnt character.

Smooth and fulfilling. Very well balanced with a long finish. This is a favorite everyday beer of mine and an excellent American Porter.

Photo of bashiba
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black color with a very light head.

Smell was of light coffee odors and a little nuttiness with some bitter chocolate as well.

Taste is mostly dominated by bitter dark malts with hints of cocoa, coffee, and walnuts.

Mouthfeel is a little thin with a dry finish.

Drinkability is fine, this is just slightly above average for porter.

bashiba, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of battlekow
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We're having a porter-off, featuring Rogue Mocha Porter, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Sierra Nevada Porter, Tyranena Chief BlackHawk, Berkshire Coffeehouse Porter, and Watch City Welcome Back Porter.

Looks like a typical porter, black with medium-low carbonation and a tan head. Tastes and smells appropriately of roasted/burnt coffee. Mouthfeel is a little lacking, too watery. Very similar to the Chief BlackHawk, but less chocolatey and a little thinner.

battlekow, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown (almost black) with red hints. Aromas are predominently of roasted grain, nuts, and hops. Flavor wise, there is some chocolate and coffee going on, but nothing too sweet. Lots of hop bitterness, which I haven’t really encountered before in a porter, but it’s still nice. Above average mouthfeel. A solid, but unspectacular beer.

fisherman34, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep dark opaque brown with a strong carbonation. It has a smooth creamy tan head.

S- This has a clean smell with notes of roasted barley, bakers' chocolate, and a bit of sweetness.

T- This beer has a nice piney hop flavor with some toasted and roasted malts. Some faint spicy hops finish the beer with a very faint coffee note.

M- Medium mouthfeel with no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer has a nice balance of hops and malt on the base of a good solid porter. This is a good beer in its style.

rhoadsrage, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of Naes
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown (almost black), yet still has a tiny bit of light showing through.

This beer has a wonderfully thick light tan head that clings to the glass as if to say, “I’m not going anywhere”.

Aroma is rich and coffee like with a hint of sweet malt

As for flavor, it’s chocolaty and burnt with strong hues of coffee. A wonderful bold and robust blend of malts and hops, with a powerful aftertaste.

The mouth feel is thick and rich, probably too much for many people to have multiples. Then again this is BA, and I say bring me another.

As a porter fanatic, I was quite delighted to find this one.

Naes, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a moderate tan head that sticks around for a while, slowly receding to a nice lace.

Smell is roasted malt, chocolate, toffee and a little bit of hop.

Taste is pleasantly chocolatey with some roast notes and a slight tartness that has lingers on the palate. The roasted grain really pulls through, but it backs up the chocolate flavors well. The hops lend it a nice little fruitiness that is extremely powerful in balancing out the malt.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and big enough that it doesn't feel weak. Nicely done.

whartontallboy, Jun 08, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated 12oz twist top into a pint glass.

Black with a tan, one finger head coats the glass as it falls to a layer of foam with a thick ring.

Smells of roasted malts, milk, cocoa, and a whiff of floral hops. If they made Milk Duds with hops, this is what they would smell like.

Roasted malts are, again, upfront in the taste, followed by dark chocolate and a good bite from the hops. Starts off roasty and a bit sweet, then fades nicely into a dry, hoppy finish.

Full mouthfeel that is not oily or chewy. Very drinkable, but with so much flavor I'm forced to slow down and enjoy.

ypsifly, May 30, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, nearly opaque, topped by a light brown head. Good retention and lacing. Roasted malt dominates the aroma, with quite a bit of maltiness and a burnt grainy smell. Big malty flavour as well, with bitterness being contributed from hops and dark grains. A little chocolatey, with bitterness coming to the forefront at the end. Dry finish, a little grainy with a burnt flavour and a little bit of American hop flavour. Creamy texture with moderately high carbonation and medium body. Overall, a very nice porter.

DrJay, May 26, 2005
Photo of sulldaddy
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am samping a room temp bottle in a pint glass.
THe beer pours a deep dark mahogany that exudes garnet highlights when held to the light.
A 2 cm creamy tan head foams up easily and fades slowly to a sturdy surface layer.
Aroma is fairly mild but some chalky cocoa comes through mixed with a bit of roasted malt and some brown sugar.
FIrst sip reveals a nice smooth body that is light and easy to drink. Flavor is similar to nose, with some chocolate and a bit of roasted malt. The finish actually brings in a hint of bitter coffee. Interesting, didnt expect that.
The beer is smooth and very easy to drink.
It is fairly straightforward and not complex but a tasty brew nonetheless. A good beer to enjoy and not have to think too much about.

sulldaddy, May 11, 2005
Photo of oxmasterscream
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost opaque, dark brown with cherry highlights. Big, pillowy tan head atop.
Smell is a bit subdued but, for the most part, it's sweetened, dark roast coffee with some acidic, hoppy aromas. British smelling.
Full, smooth and creamy in the mouth. Really nice on the tongue. Burnt malt, dark roast coffee and a sour twang hits before a smooth, nicely bitter finish takes over and dries the mouth. A highly quaffable, classic porter that never disappoints.

oxmasterscream, May 07, 2005
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,815 ratings.