Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Sierra Nevada Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,408 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,408
Hads: 3,491
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 16.84%
Wants: 119
Gots: 419 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,408 | Hads: 3,491
Photo of ZebraCakez
4/5  rDev +2%

A: Pours an extremely deep brow, almost black color. Nice two finger head of pale foam fades away slowly to leave a nice, frothy layer on top. Visually pleasing to say the least.

S: A beautiful roasted malt aroma coupled with a mocha finish. Not terribly complex, but nice.

T: Again, roasted malt and dark chocolate. There is a light hoppy note, and on the finish I get a pleasant coffee taste.

F: Good body with a nice creamy consistency and a proper level of carbonation.

O: A great example of a Decent, no nonsense porter. An easy beer to drink, and perfect during the colder months.

 592 characters

Photo of McAfee85
2.97/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe I expected more based on the previous ratings. I prefer porters, to me this one seemed just average as nothing really stands out as exceptional with this beer.

 166 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown into black, two fingers of tan head on top

S: roasty dark malts suggest mocha and toasted bread

T: smooth malts bring mild cocoa and coffee-like flavors; toasted and subtle smoke characteristics; touches of herb and earth

M: light-medium body, moderate carbonation, slick and smooth, mild aftertaste, mellow bitterness

O: a nicely made porter, good for fans of the style or as a solid introduction to the style.

 429 characters

Photo of iTunesUpdates
4/5  rDev +2%

Did a side by side with the Stout. For $1.25, this is a great brew to drink on those cold nights. For FL that means 70 degrees, but hay, that is cold here!

 155 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: November 20, 2014... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: cold days like these call for a porter... APPEARANCE: another pitch-black body; off-brown head; slightly creamy; lacing is hazy and intricate... AROMA: beautiful brown ale hops; some doughy, bready hints--enticing ... PALATE: solid, rather easy-drinking and flat; a bubbly finish; the expected cola consistency....TASTE: earthy, slightly malty base that is appreciably roasted; hops evoke a vegetable-like quality; some coffee and cocoa, enough to add dimension to the profile ... OVERALL: indeed a working man's brew--invigorating and warming, though low in alcohol and not heavy enough to diminish its drinkability ...

 696 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKGD 09/09/14, I've had this many times, but surprisingly never reviewed it.
A - creamy tan head leaves a spattering of lacing on the glass atop a dark brown colored ale
S - bittersweet chocolate, roasty, nutty, earthy
T - big roasty flavor with more bittersweet chocolate, nutty grain, earthy hops with some pine toward the semi-bitter finish
M - medium body, moderate carbonation, dry finish
O - If you are looking for the definition of a classic American porter, this is it. Nothing outside of the box; just very solidly crafted.

 545 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep brown with a hint of ruby at the edges; less than a 1 finger light brown head that receded to an uneven cap; very nice lacing;

S: pungent, could smell it from several feet away; chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, and a little smokiness; not getting much in the way of hops;

T: follows the nose; moderately bitter at the finish;

M: a little thinner than I expected; prickly carbonation;

O: liked the aroma more than the flavor;

 437 characters

Photo of Meyertj
4/5  rDev +2%

Fresh 12oz bottle poured into a snifter

Appearance - Dark brown to almost black. I got about a 1/2 inch head. Lacing was evident.

Smell - Hints of cocoa and coffee.

Taste - It tastes like it smells. Not overpowering with the cocoa, yet just enough. I don't taste any bitterness, but I am used to drinking IPAs.

Feel - Creamy and smooth. Extremely drinkable.

Overall - Very good porter. I believe this would not only be a go to porter for drinking, but would make a good cooking beer also.

 500 characters

Photo of Andrew041180
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Great looking beer, as are all of Sierra Nevada's products. I think my main takeaway from this beer is that it is crazy drinkable. Nice and clean. I like the flavors, but it still leans more towards the burned coffee flavor than I like. Leans that way, not dominated by. I could certainly drink a few of these in a sitting, but I like beers that lean more towards chocolate than coffee.

 391 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cola brown, good foam and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and toasted malts.

Taste: Coffee and roasted malts, a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

The Verdict: Good beer. Smooth and straight forward with no surprises.

 231 characters

Photo of dmgeng
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Got this as part of the "Snow pack" sampler pack.

A - Deep dark brown color basically black. Egg shell head with some lacing.

S - Decent porter aroma with caramel/chocolate/roasty/malty tones. Smells more like a generic beer with some of the toasted notes associated with a porter; basically, it smells lighter than most I've had.

T - As the smell would suggest the beer is a light flavored porter. The beer has the flavors you would want just not in the amplitude that I would expect or enjoy. The roasted/chocolatey character is the first, then some sweeter caramel/toffee, and then some of the bitterness from the hops/roasted malt closes the taste. Dryer on the finish than most porters but still enough sweetness to know that you are not drinking a Guinness.
M - Light to moderate mouth-feel. Light carbonation. Overall a lighter feeling beer that is cleaner and would make a good beer for pairing foods that would be in contrast to provide balance for a spicy meal.

Overall, this is a good beer but is by no means my favorite porter. Like I have said many times in this review, it is not a heavy beer and you should not expect such either. My recommendation for a try is to either pair it directly with something like say a BBQ brisket or to only get it if it is part of a sampler pack.

Glass- Snifter

 1,317 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with large three-finger foamy tan head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma of roasted malts, toasted grains, and a light smokiness.

T - Taste is lots of dark roasted malts along with a some sweet chocolate. The finish has more roasted malts and some light dark fruits.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbnation. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

O - Very nice easy drinking for a porter.

 408 characters

Photo of TheRaven
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

The hallmark of all Sierra beers, in my opinion, is consistent satisfaction. That is how I view this porter. Not the best, but it won't disappoint you, either. Toasted malts up front. Smooth finish with very little warmth on the back end. Great to purchase as part of a variety pack and to keep in the fridge for that random weeknight when you want a good porter to complement dinner. But I would probably try something more exotic if drinking at a time or place with options.

 476 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 090414 at40 degrees into nonic
Aroma of roasted malt
Head enormous (>8 cm), light brown, frothy, rapidly diminishing to a broken 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing fair - partial rings of average to large bubbles
Body dark brown to black, opaque
Flavor begins slightly sweet with a hint of chocolate and roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall4.25

 467 characters

Photo of timontheroad
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada Porter

Bottled 10-17-14. Pours dark brown, not quite opaque with just a little light shining through. Nice fluffy head that settled quickly to a quarter inch. Aroma is slight coffee and chocolate, and a little light all around. Flavor is slight dark roast malt with a slight sweet caramel, almost cola flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty thin, with very little carbonation. Overall, not bad at all, but not great.

 421 characters

Photo of Lard_City
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Fresh bread dough nose. Taste is bitter, malty and mild. Not much of an aftertaste. Hops come forward a little more as it warms up. Just OK in my opinion.

 154 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Almost entirely opaque brown-black, with red highlights, and a light tan head, very short, and mild lacing.

S - All roasted goodness, hints of chocolate and coffee, but primarily toasted grains. A slight hint of floral and grass elements.

T - A fat smack of roast flavor, following on the nose, with a slight bittering edge at the end. Residual sweetness, and a hint of doughy goodness.

M - A bit brisk, and slightly acidic, but crisp and clean.

O - The porter you would expect from SN - a nice roast supported by a solid hop complement. Delicious, and easy to drink.

 578 characters

Photo of enjambed
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Presentation: Bottle at slightly below fridge temp poured into hefeweizen glass (I need to get a tulip at some point), allowed to warm as I drank it. Bottled 9/04/14, consumed 11/14/14.

Look: Very, very dark brown, almost black but not quite. A restrained pour produces a small head that leaves some lace. Lacing is low.

Smell: a little light on the aroma. Mostly sweet, very dark roasted malts, a little bit of coffee, and maybe some dark chocolate.

Taste: Again, we have well-roasted malts in the flavor. I wouldn't say it's 'burnt', but the roast is definitely stronger than say a brown ale, or even some gentler stouts. Has some of that baker's chocolate/ bittersweet flavor associated with certain American porters and stouts. Hints of fruity esters are present in the back end. Taste does not linger long.

Feel: Like a porter should be, medium and smooth, thinner than a true stout, but thicker than something like Guinness Draught. Finish is light and doesn't leave much.

Overall: Sierra Nevada's Porter is a great example of the style. A good introduction for those new to beers with well-roasted malts since the bittersweetness and roastiness is definitely present and actually the primary feature of the beer, but does not overwhelm the palate. I'm more of a stout guy than a porter guy, but I definitely enjoyed this one and need to study this style a little more!

 1,383 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottleneck says 100314

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Coffee, milk chocolate and some nuttiness are the main players in the aroma.

T- Dances that line between toasty and roasty while the bitterness from the hops lend a uniqueness to the flavor profile you don't get with other porters. Slightly sweet with some vanilla tones.

M- Pretty standard porter feel with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- An above-average porter that's a classic among the SN core lineup and actually pretty damn complex. It's been years since I've last had this and I'm so glad it was included in the Snowpack.

 854 characters

Photo of ColdOneKev
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

A - Black, dark brown at the edges when held to the light. Big tan head, fades quickly and leaves moderate lacing.
S - Bittersweet cocoa, coffee, roasted malts.
T - Cocoa, coffee like the nose. Fruity esters, some bitterness from the hops, but not much in hops flavor which is to be expected.
M - Medium body, medium carb. Smooth, moves easily over the palate but lingers for a long time.
O - I've had this before, but never remembered to review it. A very good porter, wouldn't seek out individually in it's own sixer, but it's a nice compliment to the other beers in the snowpack. As with any SN brew, it's worth the price of admission.

 642 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown in the glass with a light tan head on top.

S: Roasted Grain comes out right away, followed by light caramel and a hint of licorice. There is a slightly yeasts smell, perhaps of English origin?

T: Tasty. Roasty with caramel. Pretty light in general, but good flavor. The roasted grains really linger.

M: Medium light in mouthfeel, with a definitely creaminess. Carbonation is a little over medium..

O: Overall a pretty solid porter.

 458 characters

Photo of Gear54
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

From a bottle into a snifter.

Color is black with thin kaki head and whispy lace.

Classic porter with aroma of roasted malts and coffee. Taste follows the smell exactly. Toasty malts with just enough hops for balance. Coffee and malts with hints of lemon maybe. Pleasing to the palate.

Not bad overall drinkable and smooth.

 330 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown but clear brew with ruby red highlights. Topped by a foamy, cloudy tan head. Decent retention and fluffy lacing.

Roasted barley, earthy hops, and a bit of dark fruit in the aroma. Rustic.

Flavor follows. Definitely very roasty, alternating between pure barley and coffee. Earthy hops with a hint of citrus and flowers. Caramel and a bit of toffee.

Relatively thin, easy drinking brew.

This is a good beer, reminiscent more of a brown ale than my style of Porter. Robust but light and relatively low ABV.

 518 characters

Photo of leantom
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Was really impressed by the SN Stout and therefore decided to give the SN Porter a try. Here goes:

L: Splendid, like all SN beers. Pours black with a ruby tint. Also a two-fingered head, but this dissipates somewhat readily.

S: Not what I was expecting. Somewhat of a letdown. Too many...hops. I usually like my porters on the malty side, but this one has a lot of Pacific NW hops. Can smell some pine, lemon and grapefruit on a smoked-malt background. Overall, just OK.

T: Follows the nose, which isn't a good thing. While I can detect more of the malt in the taste than in the smell, the hops are still apparent, which isn't really a good thing. Lemon, grapefruit and some pine on a coffeeish, bitter-malt backbone. Beer doesn't really know what it wants to be, IMHO.

F: Little light and watery, but the coffee taste adds some robustness and consistency.

O: Beer has too many drawbacks. Will not purchase again.

 935 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip pint glass

A: Pours dark ruby brown with a tan head that laces well.

S: Dark malt, some coffee, a touch of smoke, and a little dark fruit.

T: Roasted malt, coffee stands out, some dark fruit, a bit earthy with very faint floral hop notes, a touch of smoke, and a light tartness.

M: On the lighter side of medium body with moderate carbonation, not quite creamy but very smooth.

O: Maybe not the boldest, but good for when you want something darker, but not too heavy.

 514 characters

Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,408 ratings.