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Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,347 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,347
Reviews: 1,402
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 104
Gots: 313 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,347 | Reviews: 1,402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Light mahogany coloring with copper tinges in the light. Nice, cola-fizzy head that diminishes quickly to a light lacing that lingers throughout the glass

S - Roasted malt and coffee

T - Roasted malt, coffee, very light chocolate with a very lightly sweet dried fruit presence - very nice, light roasty coffee aftertaste.

M - Light to medium carbonation, a little tingly on the tongue, not as flat as expected with a porter.

D - This beer goes down incredibly easy. It's very light for a porter and is flavored very well, there is little to no alcohol taste, no dryness...it's very, very good tasting and affordable porter.

Photo of HappyBivouac
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug from a 12 oz. bottle.

a- Thick, dark caramelly brown that shows ruby red up to a light. A smooth light tan or beige head with tiny hills that dissipates slowly and leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

s- Sweet fruit is the predominant smell here. Roasted malts a bit hidden. Would like to see a bit more of a robust malt presence in the smell, though it is pleasing.

t/m- A cherry and grape sweetness blends in nicely to grainy/bready malts and lingers throughout, with an interesting grape and biscuit finish that even later gives way to roasted malts. A fairly complex flavor that doesn't overwhelm the palatte and feels great. Medium-Light to Medium in body with a very weak carbonation.

d- A taste that is both bold and fruity sweet, and only a little bit heavy. This is a good solid sweet-ish porter, and I enjoy it enough to have several.

Photo of sgoodship
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 12fl.oz. bottle, it is a nice dark brown - almost black. It has a little red mahogany showing through on the edges against the light. Popped up a nice 2 finger cream colored and frothy head. Spotty lacing. Reduced to a nice thin head that stayed throughout the drink.

S: Subtle smell. Hint of coffee with a predominant caramel malt. Tiny hint of blackberry.

T: Nice bold caramel malt taste. Touch of floral hoppiness in the finish. Fairly subtle bitter hop and coffee aftertaste with a lingering citrus flavor on the palette.

M: A little thin. Medium body, smooth and low level of carbonation which was just right.

D: Very drinkable. Knocked back a few this evening. Very enjoyable. Not a blockbuster porter for me but a very nice, well balanced brew that I would be happy to drink anytime.

Photo of BeenJammin
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep brown color with a small off white head. No lacing or retention
S - Good roasty and sweet notes
T - Very sweet and roasty taste. Has some fruity and bitter notes to it as well.
M - Medium bodied with a pretty creamy texture
D - This beer is easily drinkable.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada rocks! The don't make any bad beer (I personally hated the 2008 Anniversary, but people seem to like it). This porter is great - I usually don't drink porters, as for a similar taste I just drink stouts, but I really like this. Pours dark brown with a nice head that stays nice. Smell is very coffee and chocolate, and taste is similar - nice and malty. I would've liked a little more carbonation as by the bottom of the glass its a little flat. Blend is great - not a strong beer and the taste isn't overwhelming - I've gotten so used to imperial stouts and double IPAs that I almost expect to be overwhelmed by good beer, but this is definitely an easy and very, very tasty drink.

Photo of mcsquint
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass.
A - Dark brown with red tinges. Thin, fizzy head that diminishes very quickly. No lacing inside the glass.
S - Faint aroma of roasted malt and dried dark fruit.
T - Tastes of roasted malt and dried dark fruit. Not much of an aftertaste.
M - a bit thin and carbonated on the mouthfeel for a porter.
D - This is very drinkable and affordable compared to some of the more 'complex' porters. An excellent 'gateway' porter for the uninitiated. I could drink a few of these.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poors a dark, rich black, with some ruby hues. A nice tan head that fades rather quickly. To me the smell was of roasted and chocolate malt, but was rather faint. What makes this beer so good is its taste, which is of chocolate and a hint of coffee with a slight hop finish. It is delicious and very easy to drink. I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of maddogruss
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this from Gullifty's in Villanova.

A: Pours a black body with a small, black body with a small, tan head with nice retention and lacing.

S: A bitter, roasted smell. Had the bitterness of semi-sweet, chocolate smell, but without the chocolate notes.

T: A roasted malty taste with the same bitterness as described in the smell. Slight meatiness to it, but a pretty solid porter overall.

M: A little light, medium bodied that was very smooth. Pretty good for the style.

D: A pretty good drinkability with a decent mouthfeel and taste combination. Definitely a very good beer overall; solid porter.

Photo of whiteskittlz
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bought at the CostPlus World Market by South Coast Plaza (i think it's technically in Santa Ana, CA). Don't see an expiry date.

opening bottle, it has roasted coffee/dark chocolate aroma.

color? dark brown. a little bit of light makes it through through the glass i poured a bit into. head a beige, though fairly rough foam.

taste? still roasted coffee/dark chocolate, though with lighter notes from the fizz. perhaps orange notes. (where's a terry's chocolate orange when you need one?)

feel? leaves my mouth a bit dry (-), but leaves a nice roasted coffee/dark chocolate aftertaste (+).

body? a bit light - no legs (-). not as thick as I would like it, but this leaves the advantage of being more drinkable (+).

Photo of MP72
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black with a nice off white head.Strong malt , chocolate , and roasted coffee smell.The taste was of chocolate and malt with a strong hops profile.
Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and drikability is good too.

I really love this beer and this style.
Great job SN.

Photo of Offa
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This porter is solid and tasty.

Almost black, it has a thin, fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin ring quickly.

The aroma is stongly chocolate and coffee with some roasted leaves and grain.

The taste has a range of toasty elements, mostly coffee with a hint of chocolate and burnt leaves. It's fairly sweet and thick, with an interesting, slightly flowery, faint bitterness in the finish and aftertaste, adding an unusual and satisfying hoppy quality. Smooth and intriguing, it has a strong toasty quality without any burnt skunk quality that porters and stouts can sometimes have.

Photo of Seanibus
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, almost black, with a lively off color head that falls to decent lacing. Smells strong and toasty, with a healthy dose of roasted malt. The flavor is assertively chocolatey, like a mouthful of fine bittersweet baking chocolate. There is a nice smokey bitterness on the back end, but the finish is fairly unobtrusive. The mouthfeel is properly thin, faintly clingy, with a little sparkle of carbonation. This is a respectable porter, quite drinkable.

Photo of everetends
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle I got from the Grub Mart here in Jacksonville. Served up in a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a really dark brown. It is as clear as almost black can get. You can barely see through this, but when held to light, beautiful ruby red hues pour forth. A vigorous pour yielded a wonderful 2 fingers of dark tan head that has great retention and stickiness. I have lace all over the glass. This is pretty impressive for such a widely produced beer.

S: Smell is of some nice heavily roasted malt. Such sweet, semi chocolately smell coming here. The strange part is that behind all of this is a heavy citrus hops presence. BIG TIME CITRUS. I smell a lot of lemon and orange coming through. This just seems strange to me because it seems a bit off. It is impressive how much it is coming across though.

T: Really nice, sweet, tasty malt presence here. The malt is nicely roasted and creates a lot of that coffee flavor coming through. Smooth, light chocolately tastes come out as well. Just a touch of cream in there. The citrus hops does not come across as much as it does in the nose, which I think is a good thing. Light orange flavors coming through. Light bitterness, mostly a nice sweetness.

M: This is a bit thin for my liking. A medium to heavy medium in body. Very little aftertaste. Finishes pretty damned clean. Doesn't really coat the mouth and all and doesn't have that warming quality I like from my Porters. Then again, if it did I wouldn't get it in AL.

D: Pretty damned drinkable. A very accessible beer that is available nationwide, isn't too heavy and tastes great. I can't think of a more sessionable porter. This is quite good and very solid. Will be keeping this in the fridge because since it does lack that warming quality, it can be easily enjoyed year around.

Photo of TubaManJack
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A classy stubby bottle with the blue label screams SN and taste. The pour yielded a black porter with amber head. The color turns ruby only as the glass is emptied. Low carbonation and decent head retention.

S- Mild Hops notes with a hint of coffee.

Taste- I am not that very keen on the porter style but I am keen at appreciating a good example of the style. The hops dominate the taste along with the medium body of the porter. The lingering taste reminds me of coffee and bitter chocolate.

M- The body was pretty thick compared to the other porters I have had and wasn't that much thinner than the SN Stout. The overall feel was quite pleasant.

Photo of philipquarles
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black with a small tan head.

Smells of dark roasted, chocolaty malt with some hop notes to back it up. Very malty palate, with a lot of the same chocolate/coffee flavors coming through. Well balanced with some bitterness from the hops.

Overall, a very nice, very drinkable porter.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick, dark brown, with a huge, creamy tan head with good retention. Lacing is quite good.

S: Roasted chocolate, dark malts, some earthy tones.

T: Sweet, roasted dark malts, semisweet chocolate, some bittering earthy hops provide a good balance.

M: Smooth, dry, light carbonation, somewhat creamy. Body is medium-full.

D: This is a really nice American porter. A bit hoppier than some, but still very well balanced and delicious. This'll be great as the days get shorter and the nights get colder.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer a lot, probably one of my favorite porters. I think it just edges out Bigfoot as the best beer from this brewery. Just so well balanced and tasty and drinkable. So many flavors can be tasted and its all blended together wonderfully. I will be getting sixers of this in the future.

Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark brown, with a bit of a ruby red to the body. Head is a nice, off-white puffing of cream.

S: Rich, roasted malts. A kiss of hops on the nose, but I think the bottle may be a little older and the hops have dwindled a bit.

T/M/D: A full-flavoured dark malt, a leafy hop presence, and a bitter and dry finish. Quite an impressive brew. This will make for a great fall selection.

Photo of josiahschlender
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is pretty easy to find around Portland, but I haven't seen their porter (or stout, for that matter) around much. Seeing this at a good price was an easy choice, SN is a very respectable brewery to my tastes.

Unmistakable classy SN bottle and logos, but the robin-egg blue color label seems weird to me. Oh well, the beer looks good in a pint glass. Appropriately dark brown, with a decent khaki head that leaves traces of lacing.

At first I was disappointed by the smell, but aromas definitely opened up after I let the beer warm up a bit. Definitely some dark roasty malts and residual sweetness. Also noted a bit of citric and earthy hops, but not as much as some other reviewers.

Flavors are nice and balanced. Not quite as concentrated and full as Black Butte (the porter that has set the standard for me), but very pleasing. The label mentions that this beer is brewed in the traditional style of using water, barley malt yeast and hops. I still note some good complexity of dark chocolate, a bit of espresso and just a touch of citrus and earthy, drying hops. I think I would have been more impressed if these flavors were in just a bit higher concentration.

Feel is smooth dry, and adequate. Low carbonation. Again, I'd prefer a bit more oomph in this category, but it sounds like I'm complaining when I like this beer quite a bit.

Overall, a solid brew. We're having one of our first cool, fall-like days here in Portland, and it's matching the weather perfectly. It paired great with shepherd's pie and bit of dark chocolate. When it's on sale, it's a great value, but I'll pick up Black Butte a few more times before needing some variety.

Photo of Chugmonkey
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Looks like a quart of 30weight with a massive rocky head that ain't goin' nowwhere. Yummy burnt & earthy aroma. Taste is mild and inviting, lots of burnt taste, some coffee, little caramel. Smooth as smooth can be. Drinkability is off the freakin' chart. Wow, can't beleive I waited this long to try this one. An excellent porter - highly recommend.

Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a dark rich brown with a solid head and decent lacing. This one had more bite than I recall from previous SNPs. It was missing some of the sweetness that I was looking for, and instead had a pronounced alcoholic warmth. Some of the flavors just sort of lumped together in the end. I gave it a higher score than my writing would suggest, but I swear it was much better when I had it last. Old bottle...?

Photo of Floydster
2.89/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased individually from Cost Plus World Market for less than two dollars, poured into my Flying Dog glass

A-Deep dark brown with a slight reddish brown tint, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, some retention, no lacing
S-Dark chocolate, faint coffee, hay, caramel, light sweetness, roasted and burned malts, and grass
T-Starts off dry and ends the same way, honestly not much going on between that, some light java and cocoa flavors but that is it, gets slightly sweeter as it warms up but nothing special, needs more flavorful malt or something, too blah and lacks complexity
M-Medium bodied but pretty thin, might be too much carbonation, rich and dry mouthfeel that struggles, taste does not linger well for its style
D-One bottle is my limit on this, too heavy on the stomach and too one dimensional, smooth at times, low ABV that is hidden though

Not my favorite from Sierra Nevada, just reaslly bland for its style, you do not hear much about this one for a reason I guess, will probably skip this one next time, might be worth trying

Photo of dwpiercetx
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent beer. I like darker beers and have recently tried Anchor Porter and Rogue's Mocha Porter, so when I saw this in my local store, I jumped all over it, hoping it would match up. It had a good taste but smelled a little sour. It was a typical porter in that the view through was nil. It smooth and drinkable and compared to the others, much better price. Pretty much always available so when funds are low, I have something to fall back on.

Photo of n00tz
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 1inch tan head that fades slowly leaving lace behind. Dark body makes for undetectable carbonation.

Smell - malty with easily detectable caramel presence

Taste - piney bite with comfortable hops finish.

Mouthfeel - active carbonation with medium body leaves some malt with the hops on the palate.

Drinkability - I'm glad I got a 6 pack for my first Sierra Nevada Porter.

Photo of ectomorph
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Dark Mahogany with some deep red tones noticed. 2 finger espresso head remains in clumps.

S - Sweet malt goodness with bread and caramel up front. Earthy..

T - Dark chocolate with roasted coffee hints and more of a hop bite on the back than expected. Very clean finish for a Porter.

M - Not overly thick body, but rich.

D - Moderate. I can't personally pound rich brews, but this is another great offering from SN.

Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,347 ratings.