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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

3,077 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,077
Reviews: 1,350
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 92
Gots: 203 | 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: 3,077 | Reviews: 1,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Liquids
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a warm deep earthy mahogany tone in the light with a full, almond tan head. Smells "english," light but with a distinct hoppy note, and plenty of sweet and chocolate malts. Taste is extremely roasty, jagged, not so smooth, with a sour note, all in a good way. This is a descendant of their stout for sure. Mouthfeel is just right with the perfect amout of carbonation. Feels balanced but not too light, thick but not too syrupy on the tounge. Yes, I could drink two of these.

This is not my favorite porter, as Samuel Smith and Anchor come to mind as more definitive of the style and enjoyable, and beers I would drink by themselves for their smoothness and flavor. If I want a little more edge to the malts than those porters, or something to hold up to a steak, I'd probably reach for a SN Stout instead of this. But this is an excellent beer, hands down.

Liquids, May 23, 2006
Photo of jwff
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A truly amazing looking beer. A huge creamy tan head that just parks itself over the deepest ruby/black body. Smell reveals chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee with a very earthy almost gritty tone. Taste is chocolate coffee balanced with the right amount of hops in the finish. By all means this has all the ingredients to be too bitter, but it comes off as light and creamy with a good amount of warmth from the alcohol. Thankfully this does not push the sweet (Ballroom Blitz) envelope to counteract the hops/coffee. Mouthfeel is solid start to finish with some grittiness that coats the teeth which is something I really like to see in a beer. Yeah this is good, and Sierra Nevada is everywhere so dip dap.

jwff, May 23, 2006
Photo of blitz134
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Vancer in 2MBBIF...thanks

I've had this one before, but was glad to receive it for a chance at a review since it is so easy to come by.

Black body but with garnet highlights showing through. Solid two-finger head, tan in color. Reduced to a 1/4" cap. Lacing sheets the glass upon the beer's retreat towards the bottom.

Nose is a bit subdued. Semisweet chocolate and expresso, not much else.

Taste is lightly toasted malts. Undertones of semisweet chocolate and expresso again. Good but subdued once again.

Mouthfeel is between then and medium. Too much carbonation in this example leads to a crisp feeling on the toungue which is out of place for me with a porter.

Drinkability is good though. LIght and refreshing, I'd just like to see something a little more kicked up in the flavor and aroma areas.

blitz134, May 20, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam Porter?? Can never decide which to buy when looking for a quality porter. Anchor having a little more hops. Anyway, Sierra pours a beautiful black with a slight creamy head, lacing down the glass. Extremely smooth, lots of cocoa, but not aggravating. Coffee and possibly toffee and caramel (not too much) round out the flavors. Extremely drinkable, you can make an entire session of just these porters. One of the top 2 porters out there, without a doubt!

bigdeuce, May 12, 2006
Photo of dragonofblood
1.45/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up a bottle of this on a recent run to Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. Have to say I was completely disappointed.

Appearance: Looked good, nice dark brown like a good porter should be. Unfortunately, that was the only good thing about the beer.

Smell: Ugh. Smelled of chocolate chip cookies being charred over a tire fire. Not pleasant at all.

Taste: Almost as bad as the smell. A strange, overpowering roasted flavour that wasn't appealing, and some charred chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Felt like cola. Too fizzy and thin.

Drinkability: Terrible. This beer was awful. I drained half the bottle after I couldn't stomach it anymore. Good thing I also picked up some Edmund Fitzgerald the same day. Perhaps this was a bad bottle, but I was expecting much, much more from this beer.

dragonofblood, May 10, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- This poured a very dark brown color with dark amber highlights only on the bottom. Awesome creamy brown-tan head that sounds like a coke, very fizzy.

s- Wow, chocolately, fruity and citrusy. There is a pleasant roasted smell also w/ sweet malts. Earthy smelling.

t- Burnt goodness. Really sweet and fruity. Slightly bitter from the hops and really heavy on the toasted sweet malt.

mf/d- This is really smooth and slick with minimal carbonation tingling. Quite moderate. I could have 2 or 3 of these in a night, pretty drinkable for a porter.

I don't care for porters that often but this I love. Enough hoppines to combat the heavy malt flavor.

kbnooshay, May 09, 2006
Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger caramel head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell was very subtle. A clean aroma, a bit lacking in the toasted aroma however. I expected a bit more of a coffee aroma.

The taste was very clean and dry. There was a subtle coffee presence at the back of the throat. The strong carbonation really masked a lot of this flavor though.

The mouthfeel was very good. Dry and nicely carbonated.

A very drinkable and light porter.

plaid75, May 09, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle as if it came from a nitro tap. Body black as night. Gorgeous lacing all the way down. Nose is full of coffee.
Taste is coffee, prunes, and a decent hop twang. Mouth is lush and pleasing. This would certainly make for a sessionable porter. Is there anything SN can't brew?

TheBungyo, May 08, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours out a coffee, black color. No head to speak of. It left minimal lacing. It smelled very malty. You could taste the malt as well as a hint of coffee and chocolate. The beer was crisp but a little too heavy to consume many in a sitting.

zeff80, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of trep
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, with light only penetrating at the edges. Head quickly fizzles out and leaves a bit of lacing around the top of the pint-glass.

Nose is very alcoholic with little coffee aroma...slight hop aroma. Better give it a sip.

Tastes of bitter, black coffee and chocolates. Hop presence upfront that fades into oblivion. Mouthfeel is very thin, I feel like something is missing. Doesn't taste bad, just thin on the palate.

The alcohol presence makes this beer unpleasant to drink after one or two. Considering this is a sub 6% abv beer I'm sure that SN could mask the alcohol presence more.

Not bad, not stellar.

trep, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of Enderdraught
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown, bordering on black. Tan head is superb and I simply love the look of this beer.

S: Slight woody sent with dark chocolate overtones.

T: Nice flavor with some coffee and woody flavors dancing around. There is a heavy dark chocolate taste that enhances the woodiness.

M: Very good body and creaminess, especially when poured properly. Doesn't have any oiliness as other reviewers have stated.

D: Overall, I am very impressed with this beer. Very rich and bold. Would be a good beer for someone wanting to try a good porter without too much "shock". One of my favorites.

Enderdraught, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of dfried
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hold Sierra Nevada beers as a standard against most other beers. There must be something in the water there or something. This porter holds up that tradition. It has a nice, dark color but not as much of a blackout as a stout, with a quite thin head. It's a little more course going down, as opposed to silky, but that really brings out the flavor of the dark roasted malts. The hops are what really make this beer for me though. They balance with the dark malt flavor to make you say, "Mmm, porter." after every sip.

dfried, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast....

Poured a deep dark burgundy red / almost black... Creamy tan head poured quite thick but faded to almost nothing... very little lacing..

Aroma - Strong roasted chocolate malts, coffee, slight smokiness / dustiness, dark fruits (blackcurrent, figs), bitter hop notes..

Taste – Nice bitter chocolate notes, toasted malts, slight dustiness, spicy dark fruits, black coffee, light nutty sweetness, nice hops...

Feel - Quite smooth with slight sharpness underneath... Medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable..

Overall - An excellent porter.... Recommended !!

mdagnew, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of NolateM
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug. Basically pitch-black, but with a slight reddish-brownness while pouring. It has a nice tan-colored head, and pleasant roasty aroma. Lacing is apparent. The head dissipates a bit while drinking, but never completely diminishes, which is good. Flavor is similar to the aroma, with that roasty quality, and some notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Leaves a good kind of bitterness on the back-sides of the tongue, and a pleasant earthy (but not too earthy) aftertaste. As it warms up closer to room temperature, I notice a slight sweetness as well.

This is quite simply an excellent porter.

NolateM, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice dark and rich color, hints of red, foamy head,

Smell – Great classic hop nose (for SN) which meshes nicely with roasted malts.

Taste – Dark, roasted and smoky malts, coffee in the middle and a nice hop finish.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and not bitter. Very well balanced, nice blend of the hop and malt characteristics.

Drinkability – Awesome, tasty American porter. I have been back and I will be back again.

akajimmyd, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's sort of weird giving a beer straight 4's, but this one seems to rate it.
pours a beautiful black amber with a cream colored head that melts to nice lacing.
Aroma is sweet roasted malts...very, very pleasant.
Taste is also roasted, burnt malts and biscuits...followed by a very slight hop citrus taste.
Aftertaste of carmel and bitter chocolate.
Nice all around American West Coast porter.

IntriqKen, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of Rezzin
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark dark reddish brown with a foamy brown head. As I let it warm up the head disappears leaving nice lacing.

S - Chocolate and roasted coffee. The aroma is pretty light. Subdued floral hops.

T - Coffee and chocolate with a hop zing. Maybe even a little nutty - the flavors seem to come out more as this warms up closer to room temps. This is the leftover bottle from a 6pack that's been sitting around for a while and I didn't really care for it at first. For some reason - this bottle is pretty good. Nice dry finish.

M - Creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation.

D - Although I didn't care for the first couple I had - this one is starting to grow on me.

Rezzin, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the stubby 12oz brown bottle pours a ultra-dark mahogany with an inch-thick foamy tan head...nice. It leaves very nice intriquet lacing as the level goes down, the head stays at an eighth of an inch.

Somewhat sweet dark roasted malt explodes with toffee, chocolate and coffee fragrances aplenty. Earthy and robust, with a mild sweetness to a bittering end.

Hearty dark malts, rich coffee, dark chocolate and hints of tobacco mix and blend into a euphoric elixer that pleases the tastebuds. You crave this stuff after every quaff, the balance is perfect, a solid Porter bar none.

The medium-plus body, full flavor, smooth and creamy mouthfeel make this offering from Sierra Nevada, the American Porter that all others should be judged by...seriously.

This stuff is like drinking water, it goes down so easy, and the after taste is heavenly. Another consistant, tasty and quality brew, by one of the finest breweries in the world...any questions?

scottoale, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a tan head. Leaves some lacing. Pretty, deep, store-bought woman. Earthy, roasted chocolate malt and soft hops fill the nose. Makes me sing like a guitar humming. Tastes chocolatey and roasty with a flowery hop profile. The flavors could be a little stronger for me. Creamy, soft mouthfeel but seems a little light. Took me an hour to finish this, and that's fine by me. I've got all night.

Highly drinkable porter and probably my favorite SN year round. It's one of those gems that you can find even at a supermarket. Like finding a dream that don't ask no questions. Yeah.

goochpunch, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of sevineyes
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a blue label.

A: Pours somewhat dark brown, definitely not black. Poured with an off-white head that is ample with decent lacing.

S: Not very strong. Salty aroma. Sweet taffy. Caramel. Slight earthy smell. Some other mineral presences.

T: Frankly, not a very big flavor. Has a chestnut kind of mealy sweetness. Begins with something like a weak coffee. Some earthy and salty tones carry over. Ends with a slighty-salty bitter. The aftertaste is still a smooth bitterness that is almost bigger than while you're drinking.

M: Nice body, but watery mouthfeel. It has some coating, but not as much as I'd expect from a porter.

Overall: I think this gets much better towards the bottom of the glass. I allowed this to warm from the fridge before I poured it, but the warmer it gets the better it tastes. Some of the richness and especially the sweeter tones tend to come through better. Because it's watery, it's very drinkable.

sevineyes, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a black with a slightly red tint to the edges.Following the liquid I received a very profound tan head.From the side on my glass I can see thousands of tiny bubbles,but from the plan veiw it is a creamy,pillowy cover.Lots of laceing.Exceptional appearance for a porter in my opinion.

Smell: Roasted sweet caramel malts with a nice hop profile.Has a slight wood/bark scent followed by a black cherry aroma.Little alcohol in the nose.Even a Belgian yeasty note is made.Not bad.

Taste: Very simular to smell,dark fruitiness,toffee,chocolates and a roasted,sweetened malt balances his whole brew.A subtle wood and hop bitterness in the middle but is overwelmed again by the fruity esters and nice malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high carbonation.Medium body that was slick and oily.Easy drinking and definitely very quaffable.

Drinkability: I am impressed with this beer and will purchase this one soon.I recommend this brew to anyone looking for a good porter.SN does it again!


cheers2beers, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent Porter! I love it! Then again, I am a huge fan of the Porter style. Served in a pint glass starting near room temp. I highly recommend letting Porters in general (this one included) warm up when you pull them from the fridge.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful almost black with slight red hues, a nice light brown head with decent retention and heavy lacing. FANTASTIC!

Smell: Immediately the smell of perfectly roasted malts and chocolate fill the nose, there is also a hint of espresso and a dark deep sweetness (mocha-like). I'll just say, I began to salivate at the smell! Wow!

Taste: Can you get any better than exceptional! It is the prefect degree of roasted without being burnt and the perfect degree of sweet yet dry with a perfect, slightly coffee bitter that balances this masterpiece to (damn near) perfection. The layers of flavor is deep. The toasted malts, and the toffee, and the molasses and on and on. The finish was a very pleasant sweet twangy dry! I'm flabbergasted!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Rich and full! Creamy. It has a slight thin spot in the middle but then it is revealingly light in the stomach. Making this one hell of drinkable Porter. I highly recommend.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of jhollick
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 12 oz. bottle, poured almost black with a slight caramel color in the light. Thick and sticky 1" head.

Smell - Typical American Porter fare, although perhaps a bit sweeter smelling than some other porters. Roasted chocolate malt smell with some caramel gives the beer a sweet smell.

Mouthfeel - Nice sturdy body. My tongue tingles from the hop presence, and carbonation is appropriately low for a porter. Feels nice.

Taste - Coffee flavor is more present than the smell would have led me to belive. The chocolate provides sufficient sweetness immediately, and does so without overpowering the beer. The finish brings out more of the roasted coffee/nut flavor, and a touch of citrus from the hops comes out to play.

Drinkability - Highly sessionable beer if you're into porters. I have consumed a six pack of this in an evening before and loved every minute of it.

Overall - As usual, Sierra Nevada creates a fine example of a given beer style. This is a very well-balanced and tasty porter, although nothing in particular about it stands out in my mind. Because of its wide availablity, this is the porter you'll most often find in my fridge, even if it isn't my very favorite of the style (I love you Edmund Fitzgerald). Job well done yet again S-N.

jhollick, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The soapy inch-thick head settled to about half that for the duration. Color is an abyss of black, or as dark as brown gets before becoming black. Stacks of porous lace.

Aroma is dry coffee grounds and raisin up front, with roasted malts, traces of hops and overripe warm fruits secondarily.

Coffee leads the way in the flavor, followed by the mellowness of dark chocolate. Hops present at the back of the sip, with a roasted, mildly bitter, barely burnt aftertaste.

Surprising buoyancy in the mouth, considering the style. It's nice and light without being thin or watery. Well done.

Darn good drinking. Less heavy than some other porters I've had, which increases the drinkability factor a smidge.

Metalmonk, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Near black body with fluffy tan head and lacing.

Smells of chocolate malts with notes of caramel and toffee. Taste is a little roastier with more coffee and chocolate coming out. Pretty complex taste for a porter. It really hits all the flavor bases for a porter at some point. Bitter chocolate finish to it makes it especially tasty. The mouthfeel is a little lighter that I like for an American Porter, but its still good. Very drinkable. Give me another now.

Heck of a porter here. A very sessionable and big on flavor.

tempest, Mar 22, 2006
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 3,077 ratings.