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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

3,213 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,213
Reviews: 1,367
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 101
Gots: 251 | 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: 3,213 | Reviews: 1,367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tallboy
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- It poured a deep and dark brown that is almost black, with a rather creamy tan head.

Scent- Roasted and earthy malts. with a hint of vanilla and some light hops present.

Taste- Very noticeable citrus flavor mixed with some sweet roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Just the way I like it...a little chewey with medium carbonation.

Drinkability- A nice and enjoyable porter . I will most likely try this in the near future.

Photo of aquaderek
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip shaped tasting glass. This is a very nice looking beer, the carbonation breaks similar to fine champagne, the head is a nice 1/2 inch creamy color over a dark purplish brew. I really like the look of this beer. The nose is sweet, but complex there is a lot going on there just hard for me to isolate what it is, maybe malt, and spiciness. The taste and mouthfeel is very good well balanced good body and nice bite. Very nice beer the only thing it is lacking is the drinkability, but a really good beer only one leaves someone feeling satisfied.

Photo of Absumaster
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pitch black black beer with a thin head.

Smell is burned with coffee, baker's chocolate and dark chocolate notes. There is an oily and grainy smell that makes the beer deep and heavy smelling. It smells like most of the roast flavors come from black malt, while it leans more to the dark roast.

Taste is heavily roasted with coffee as the main component. The taste is more burned than the smell would expect and gives the beer a nice maltbitter on top of the hop bitterness, which is somewhat overpowered by the big roast. Nevertheless, bitterness is pretty clean and only a little earthy and very little resinous. Drinkability at first is lower than in the end, when my mouth has grown into the big hop and maltbitterness. Good beer.

Photo of botham
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. pours brownish black with ruby red highlights, and a few fingers of tan head. thick lacings on the glass. excellent in appearance.

smell is of roasted malts, with caramel and black malts present, and no real hop character. a grainy character creates the base. mildly sweet overall, with the roasted malts dominating the aroma.

roasted malts up front, with notes of caramel, chocolate, coffee and black malts. very mild on the sweetness, with a dry finish, creating a roasted, dry, coffee-like aftertaste. not much body here, without much behind the malts. good concentration, just lacking character in the breadth of flavors present.

mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a minute amount of carbonation, and no alcohol present. finishes smoothly.

drinkability is good. this is not a rich porter, nor does it possess much character. a decent example of the style at best.

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, with ruby hues, and with a huge tan head that has good retention and leaves good lacing as it disappears. Aroma is of cocoa, roasted malt, fruit, and citrus and herbal like hops. Not a very strong aroma here. Taste is well balanced for a porter with the strong (for a porter) hop presence. Taste has a roasted coffee like character along with some bittersweet chocolate and a hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy, and this certainly is an easy drinker. Good Porter from a good brewery.

Photo of markaberrant
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - not quite opaque black, some light passes through, with a big tan head. Head eventually recedes, but leaves a ton of lacing down the glass.

S - creamy roasted malts and faint citrus hops. Good but not overly strong.

T - Taste is quite balanced and smooth. Not overly roasty, which is how I think a porter should be. Seems to have more hop presence than I would expect in this style, but again it is still soft and subdued. Finish is somewhat dry and bitter, but the overall theme here seems to be moderation.

M - somewhat light bodied, but I wouldn't call it thin or watery... more like easy drinking.

D - Nothing earth shattering here, just a well made session porter.

I think I prefer their stout, but there is nothing wrong with this. Seems pretty approachable for a dark beer.

Photo of shererjt
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear, black/ruby red color with a large amount of carbonation and a thick, billowy, light-brown head. Fairly clean nose with roasted malt and earthy hops. Plenty of sweetness in the smell and taste. Rich, smooth flavor that was well balanced. Some coffee but not much chocolate. Body was medium-to-full. Mouthfeel was a little lifeless but still above average. Drinkability was also good.

A classic American porter, and for good reason. Rich, substantial, and balanced. Yum.

Photo of MmmIPA
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black body with a nice one finger tan head.Looks great,really great.The head is the pillowley type.Nice lacing on the glass.Head falls fast to a thick patch.

Coffee,sweet and bittersweet chocolate notes.Fruity notes.

Holy fucking sheepshit.Thats one awesome porter.Its not overly complex.Chocolate,coffee and hop flavors.Roasted malts in there aswell.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with everything dark.This stuff screams black.

I like this alot.Its one of the best plain jane porters Ive ever had in my time drinking craft beers.Maybe my favorite of them all.I will forsure look to buy this again in the future.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - deep dark brown/black color with a good sized tan head that settled down to a layer, leaving some lacing behind.

S - roasted malt and coffee bean aroma.

T - good tasting Porter. Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, espresso coffee, and bittering hops all rolled up in one.

M - medium bodied, with mild carbonation.

D - enjoyable brew, have a few!

Photo of gmfessen
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer pours a jet black color with a thin, tan head. Nose is slightly roasted malt with a hint of chocolate. The taste is very similar to the nose with a slight hoppy bitterness that I've come to expect from SN. The mouthfeel is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Overall, a decently drinkable brew, sessionable but not quaffable.

Photo of brendan13
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Almost pitch black in colour with a big fluffy inch or so of tan head that hangs around for a fair while. Big chunks of lace.
S - The roasty, chocolate and coffee hit first followed up by some floral, citrusy hop notes.
T - The taste is almost more mellow then the smell which is unusual in my experience. Similar flavours with the hops sticking out a bit more in the smell.
M - Quite full bodied with a fairly low carbonation.
D - Good beer packed with flavour & well balanced. Could put away a few without a problem.

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

i almost always pour hard to get the maximum visual action from my foam. once you master the foam, it is yours forever. this is my first review of a porter. though i've had several before, i believe i made a good choice.

A- 2in of puffy rocky tan head that settles to a creamy 1/4in over a dark brown almost black brew that shows reddish brown tints when held up to a light. lots of chunky lace sticks to the glass.

S- sweet and malty dark fruit with butter and brown sugar like dates & figs, alcohol, smoky mild roasted coffee bean, a hint of earthy vanilla like fine pipe tobacco, and roasted eggplant.

T- first up is coffee, dark cocoa, and mineral water. years ago, starbucks had these dark chocolate covered coffee beans that you could eat like a snack, this porter has a very similar taste. the coffee fades leaving a bit of cocoa on the palate charred orange peel, rich wood like oak or mahogany, earthy hops, crystalline stone (like a chunk of granite maybe?), toasted caramel malt flavors stand in the spotlight for a mild coffee aftertaste along with a floral hop twang. burping is like raw cocoa and flowers.

MF- thin cream or 1% milk with an overall toasty feeling this beer goes down smoothly now with the weather beginning to change. rich and coating, but doesn't sit too heavy in the stomach.

D- with 40 degree nights having a few of these generates a warm comfortable feeling. but these traditionally were cold weather beers so game on. in the heat of summer ehh, i'd go for something fizzy...and yellow! nah, just kidding. i'd go for something fizzy and light brown. with lots of hops.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep coffee black with a light tan and rocky head. I feel that I can almost see some pockets of carbonation bubbling up from the sides of the glass.

S: There is a raisiny sweetness with a good balance of fruity hops and sweet bready malts. Smokey and choclaty aromas are also present, very nice and complex scents here.

T/MF: Opens with a fruity and spicy kick of raisin and plum (weird that those would be considered spicy, but there is an herbal like tone to this beer that is difficult for me to place my finger on), or some combination of dark fruits. The beer then warms to a nice creamy smoothness. Thick coffee and chocolate flavors are what this beer is all about, it closes with a bit of a tobacco like aftertaste. Medium bodied and and tasty.

D: Easy to drink and tastes good, but I'd take an Edmund Fitzgerald over this guy.

Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thin off-white head. Minimal lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is of lightly roasted, coffeeish, cocoaish dark malt. Earthy, citric backing.

The taste is of light roasted, slightly smokey, dark malt - towards chocolate - with toffee/caramel. Balancing citric bitterness lets you know that this is a West Coast brew. Finishes semi-dry.

It's on the fuller side of medium bodied with a nice carbonation level.

This is a hoppy porter - citric fruitiness worked in nicely. A unique, tasty American porter.

Photo of genog
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown black color with a head that fills to the tip of creamy, khaki color, lacing sticks to the glass. Smell is a little hoppy, little coffee too. Taste is creamy, with coffee in the background. Just enough carbonation to prepare you for the next drink.

Photo of WaveRebel51
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada does it again. Starts with a nice, dark, coffee-like appearance and an aroma of roasted malts and that faint whiff of hops. The first sip reveals a roasted malty coffee-like flavor that finishes with the slight floral hint of hops. Perfect. Darker beers aren't really my thing, but if they all taste like this, that will change.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with brown tints at the sides. Appearance is pretty good with a fluff of coffee-colored head. The smell was instant roast. The taste was light, roasty, some hops, good mouthfeel, delicious. Wow, there are some coffee flavors! This is another fine beer from Sierra Nevada. I have got to get to Chico and check this place out.

Photo of Jmamay22
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised I haven't reviewed this one yet as its a staple of mine.

The porter pours a dark black with a reddish ruby tint around the edges. The head retains nicely and features a brown creamy color and quality.

Smells of burnt malts and sweet cholate with a hint of raisins. The bitter hop aroma is inviting and delicious even before tasting. Taste reveals roasted malt sweetness interwoven with caramel and chocolate. Finishes with a balancing bitterness that's crisp. Highly complex flavor that develops well from malts to hops to roasted flavours.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly creamy consistency, but nowhere near the creaminess found in a milk or cream stout. Highly drinkable, yet robust porter thats always delicious and easily found.

Photo of zerofear13
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Readily available at any respectable beer store. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, poured out a deep black color. Very thin head that disappears quickly and leaves a rather thing lacing. The smell is a little lighter than a usual porter, not so heavy on the chocolate and coffee aromas, but pretty balanced between hops and the roasted odors. The taste is very balanced and enjoyable. Hints of chocolate and coffee without being too present, and not very heavy on hops and alcohol like a chocolate stout. Very balanced, not too much of anything, but a nice combination of its ingredients. Overall light and drinkable. I'd prefer this over a high-alcohol content chocolate stout. Delicious and balanced.

Photo of OKCNittany
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Near black body. 1/4" off white head that didn't last.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate malt, and a touch of coffee. Very nice. A bit light but that may be attributable to the wind.

T: A lot like the aroma, but bigger. Good balance of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts with just a touch of hops.

M & D: A bit lighter than it should be, but quite smooth. As a result, it goes down more easily than the thicker porters. I could drink this all day.

Photo of number1bum
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of NEPA BC split #6.

Pours very dark brown, pretty close to black, mostly opaque although there are some deep ruby hues around the edges, with about one finger of beige head. The head is creamy, retains very well and coats the sides of the glass with some slowly falling sticky lace.

Smell is nice but a little too weak. Roasted and chocolate malt mixes with some floral hops, coffee and some sourness. Wish it were a tad more robust.

Taste is very smooth, with a nicely balanced combination of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt flavor, followed by some citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is very and smooth but is a little thin it seems; a weak medium body and a little less full than I'd like

A solid and really easy drinking porter, definitely one I'd have again.

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

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into my pint glass to .... oops!.... woah.... it got away from me.... the head came up quickly....and I didn't even stand the glass up straight!.... OK.... started with a 2" beige head that settled down to a 1/4" cap leaving some patches of lace. The beer is ebony but appears deep red when held to light.

The scent is very subdued. A bit of dark chocolate and an odd (but intriguing) spicy note.

Taste: Light taste with creamy chocolate malt and a little apple freshness.

Mouthfeel: A little fizzy for my taste. However the beer is still smooth and creamy. Just a bit heavy on the carbonation.

Drinkability: Right on style. A nice porter. Places second in the race when compared to GLBC Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

Photo of bboven
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Great lacing, dark brown with caramel colors at the edges.

All roast, there must be a done of black patent in there.

Same. The roast is overpowering. It's gotta work for someone, but shouldn't porter be a lot more malty...

Pretty style-on mouthfeel, thick and coating, could use a bit less carbonation.

It's too roasty to handle a lot of. Would go perfectly with blackened chicken, though.

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

Pours very dark with nice creamy head that lasts. Looks a lot like their stout, but has a more hoppy aroma. Very smooth malty taste. Good stuff. I liked this a lot. Flavor of chocolate, coffee, and touch of molasses. I would definitely have again. Lacing was good.

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

Served in a twelve ounce bottle

A: Very dark brown with nice frothy head. Good retention. Reveals some deep ruby tones when held to a light.

S: Some chocolate, semi-sweet with coffee and deeply roasted malt in the nose. a bit of floral hop aroma in the back with slight alcohol hint.

T: Hops up front. Chocolate not as present as in the nose. A bit of a tangy citrus and roasted, perhaps a little burnt malts. finishes with an earthy tone, coffee been and slight alcohol kick.

M: Smooth and velvety, becomes a nice, creamy froth as it travels my pallet

D: Good session beer, or to have a couple with dinner

Yet another Great offering from the Sierra Nevada Brewers.

Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 3,213 ratings.