1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

3,055 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,055
Reviews: 1,347
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 92
Gots: 199 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,055 | Reviews: 1,347 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of lpayette
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black with ruby highlights. Very light brown head.

Smells- mostly chocolatey malts.

Tastes - mostly chocolatey malts, coffee, coffee-like bitterness. Standard porter stuff.

Smooth. Sort of one-dimensional, but very drinkable and tasty. Like most Sierra Nevada brews that I've tried it seems to be a good example of the particular style, very drinkable and good overall- just nothing that really sets it apart for me.

lpayette, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of ReebShorts
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, thick, 2 finger head that faded ever so slowly to One and just sat. dark, dark, chocolate brown.

Aroma is chocolate, caramel, coffee, cherry, and a hintiness of hops.

This is a tasty porter. The hops do come through a bit on the finish, which is nice. Flavor is about what it smelled like. Another percent of alcohol would have given this better balance I feel. Sierra Nevada churns out some damn good brew.

ReebShorts, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of jettjon
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Appearance, nose, sweet flavor
Lows: None

Pours pitch brown with thick light brown head. Nose is sweet with malt, hops, and sorghum along with something bitter. The nose is a good indication of the flavor, which follows along the same lines while remaining sweet. Mouth is mealy, and there’s a nice hops and bitter finish. Drinkability is good.

Overall: A good porter, recommended.

jettjon, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium black color porter with a medium size off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of roasted malt with a nice touch of coffee and chocolate. Taste is a well balance mix between roasted chocolate and coffee malt with some medium bitterness at the end. Another good well balance product from this brewery.

Phyl21ca, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's about as true-to-style as you get. It's got all of the robust roasted grains, sweet barley malt base to offset the roasted coffee bitterness. Added cocoa for flavor and hops for balance. Light fermentation sourness and a mild lactose flavor for complexity. Despite the boldness, the balance and body lightens the impact and mellows out nicely. Though no dominating characters to mention, it's unfortunate that this beer is hardlly mentioned among the conversation of great Porter. It's deserving.

BEERchitect, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of ChuckD
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical SN 12oz shorty poured into a chalice. Thick, tawny lading atop a deep brown body.

To the nose, malts and more malts. Slight hop character present in the back.

In the mouth, the malts abound - not as sweet as you would think. The hop balance is nice - along with a slight carbonation, makes a pretty drinkable brew.

The feel is full and rich, but not as substantial as I like in a porter. Finish is dry in the back - with a charcoal undertone.

Musings: A decent Porter, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. If it's next to the Anchor in the store, go with the Anchor.

ChuckD, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown into an imperial pint glass. Served at over fridge temperature.

Appearance- Ruby brown with a bone white, two-finger head. Very mild lacing, so-so head retention.

Smell- Coffeeish roasted notes, with a hint of smoked meat. Heavy nose, with a fleeting hop appearance.

Taste- Good roasted malt backbone with a noticable spicy hop profile. A moderate coffee character drives the middle, and a nice bittering element is saved for the elegant finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and active, the beer truly shines right here. Carbonation is lively yet refined, and drinkability is above average as a result. Great choice for an easy to find porter; I paired this with a steak dressed with gorgonzola cheese and roasted vegetables.

yelterdow, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- dark, dark brown, nearly black with a tan head, leaves behind tannish lace on glass. Head is smaller in size, but has good retention.

S- choclate and roasted malts hit the nose the hardest, anything else is not noticable through the other two.

T- from the time it hits the lips until some time after it goes down the throat, it is wonderful. Carbonation is just right, tastes toasty at first with that roasted flavor there to finish off. A delight.

M- a tad on the thin side, but im not really complaining. Still sits beautifully, improves drinkability.

D- Thinner with a decent abv at 5.6%, not doubt taking down a six pack would be no trouble, just dont plan on driving.

My first porter and I feel a very good choice, looking forward to trying others. Count on seeing this in my fridge at all times.

tonistruth, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of sopor
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown brew with just a bit of dark mahogany light showing through. A thick, light-tan head fills the pint then recedes to a dimpled film, after filling the pint glass.

Small smell, just a hint of... strawberry?, along with sweet dark malts.

A bit of sweet malt and dark fruit starts this out, but is quickly consumed by dark roast malt with a hint of bitter coffee. Bready malt comes in right before a balanced hop addition leaves a dry and slightly bitter finish.

Moderate body, not too heavy to be fairly easy drinking. Real pleasant "fuzzy" carbonation.

Drinkable, tasty, pretty good brew.

sopor, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of TheEclecticGent
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap at Summits in Sandy Springs, GA. It pours into a barrel mug a deep brown color with a tan colored ¼ “ head that is steady with some lacing. Not a whole lot of smell. What smell there is was a very light dry grain smell. The beer has a good flavor. It has a creamy dryness that tastes of roasted malt and unsweetened chocolate with a decent hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy and full. This is a good solid porter and I would buy more and drink it anytime.

TheEclecticGent, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of jabocu
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap in Pint Glass

First off… Very good Beer

A – Dark and rich color. Almost chocolaty in color. Half inch off white cap that disappeared not too quickly.

S – Malty and hoppy. Smell the caramel right away. Very good enticing smell. Couldn’t wait to taste it.

T – Hops with chocolate and caramel. Very smooth but full of flavor. Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

M – Exactly what I expect a porter to be. Medium body with good sensations and aftertaste.

D – Absolutely will get this again. Great from start to finish.

jabocu, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours an opaque black color. The head is one-finger in height, off-white, and recedes into thin white lacing. The aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, and more chocolate. The taste is a perfect balance between roasted malt and chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best porters I have ever tasted.

KarlHungus, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of EPseja
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seen this one on the shelf of my local Shop Rite for years now and never thought to give it a try... until now. Served from a 12oz twist-cap (bleah) bottle in a pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Pours a medium coffee brown color with a sand-tan head that puffs up to over one finger in height. The creamy head remains for a decent stretch before retreating to a chunky mat atop the liquid. Lacing is clingy and coating.

S - Roasty toasty coffee and dark malts. Chicory. A sweet, organic woodiness. Baking chocolate in lesser amounts. Leafy hoppiness. This has a very log cabin style hominess about it.

D - A very pleasant sweet maltiness begins the taste, morphing into a mildly smoky, nutty coffee center. The finish brings about a nice, gripping fist of hops that keeps the sweetness in balance. Very well rounded.

M - A wee bit on the poofy side as far as carbonation is concerned, but the malleable creamiess that is produced makes up for it. Finish is a bit lively and tingly in the throat. Would have been nicer if the carbonation would have subsided more before the swallow.

D - I've never been a fan of porters -- ever really. However, this solid and readily available rendition has me scratching my head, thinking, "if this is as nice as it is, I wonder what the REALLY good porters are like." This beer has a very easy drinkability that will leave you satisfied at the end of the evening.

EPseja, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown/black with red-ruby highlights. Tan head fills the glass with dense, soapy bubbles, then slowly pops down to create spotty lacing. Roasted barley, black patent and molasses nose, not particularly aromatic. Sweet roasted flavor, lots of blackstrap molasses, caramel and subtle coffee. Slightly drying aftertaste, mild american hops will create a suitable balance. Medium body and low carbonation- smooth and sweet overall. Sweetness carries into the finish, but not overly residual. Acceptable session porter.

PBRstreetgang, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours out an opaque dark brown/black color with a nice two finger off whire head. Lacing sticks to the glass pretty nicely.

S - A sweet aroma comes up front. A bit of a chocolatey scent, with some espresso underneath.

T - Has a nice malty flavor with some coffee kick in the aftertaste. Not quite as huge flavor wise as some other porters but nice. A good roasted malt aftertaste.

M - Nice and smooth in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation.

D - The rather subdued flavor for a porter makes it very drinkable in the sense that you can easily make this a session beer. The flavor is still interesting enough to keep you coming back for more as well. A nice, drinkable porter overall.

EStreet20, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ordered this at a pub with a smokey atmosphere. I've had this in the bottle but this was a first on tap. Hard to get a good smell, but the classic burnt malt / coffee smell did manage to make it through.
The flavor was that of strong toasted malt, with some coffee hintsin the background. The hops aroma and bite do a nice job rounding out this porter and balancing a solid malt body. Not a heavy bodied drink, very nice brew to enjoy in the pub. As an example on tap I was very happy to find this.

barleywinebrewer, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this from a bottle -- apperance is very good. Pours into a pint glass a dark brown/black color. Half inch head with only slight lacing on the glass.

The smell is excellent. Immediate notice of caramel, coffee, and spice. The taste is very good as well -- not very sweet with a little bit of a kick. There is a slight fruitiness in the aftertaste.

Not that heavy of a porter. I could easily drink these all night. An excellent beer.

oldirtycaffrey, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown/ off-white head that stays and sticks all over the sides of the glass.

Smell: Can't smell a whole lot--dark, roasted malts and light hoppiness, but nothing really jumps to the forefront.

Taste: It's the awesome hop profile of the SN stout and slightly lighter on the malt. Very well-balanced and quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: It felt a bit watery to me; I would have liked something slightly chewier.

Drinkability: A session of this would be fun.

MurphyMacManus, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color with some ruby highlights. There was about a 1/4" head of small tan bubbles at first pour that didn't stay around more than a minute or so. There is some lacing on the glass where the head fell.

Aroma: Lots of floral hops and chocolate greet you at first. If you smell deeper, you can pick out a bit of citrus and caramel as well as some toasty aromatic or Munich malts.

Taste: A bit of sweetness with caramel hits your tongue at first, and then the chocolate makes itself known quickly. The chocolate keeps you entertained well into the finish where there are some bittering hops there to support the roast to give you a pretty dry and well attenuated tasting finish. There is a little burn that you notice late in the finish that I think is as much a part of the acidity as it is from alcohol.

Opinion: This is one of my more favorite Porter beers from the US. Even though it clashes with what I like about the UK styles, the hops is a nicely assertive component of this beer. It has a floral charm that plays well with the dominating chocolate.

SkeeterHawk, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown/black color, some carbonation, small tan creamy head, lots of lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of sweet malts, coffee, chocolate.

T - Taste is very balanced with the malts, and chocolate flavor, nothing over-powering.

M - A nice medium/smooth body.

D - Very drinkable. I guess I'm now a porter fan, lol Would buy again, and recommend to others.

Wasatch, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of kkipple
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at CW's Tap Room in my hometown.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a chalky brown, slightly transparent beer with a small head and minimal lacing. Smells mostly of roasted grains and malt -- nothing too impressive.

Taste? Creamy, heavy roasted malt flavor, high carbonation, bittersweet beer. Mild coffee. Some hops are present. A good, basic porter. Leaves with a slighty dry aftertaste.

Not much to say on this one. It's certainly enjoyable, although uncomplex. Great for an intro to the porter style, if you like this, you'll probably like most porter.

kkipple, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy tan head that leaves a thin, whispy sheet. Patches of condensed lacing that has a bit of trouble sticking. Deep brown with shades of coal and mahogany.

Sweet vanilla, light toffee. Milk chocolate; roasted coffee beans. Light whaffs of alcohol aromas.

Semi-sweet caramel and creamy, milk chocolate. Touches of vanilla and toasted almonds, pine nuts. Rich, roasted malt character that leaves a light bitterness. Smooth, creamy finish with an aftertaste of vanilla and milk chocolate.

Medium bodied; rich and creamy on the palate.

A light Porter whose flavors are subdued and more mellow than most versions of the style. Nevertheless, pleasant and enjoyable.

NEhophead, Jan 21, 2006
Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 3,055 ratings.