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Porter - Eel River Brewing Co.

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244 Ratings
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Ratings: 244
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 13.84%
Wants: 4
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Reidrover on 07-12-2003

Certified Organic
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 | Reviews: 162
Reviews by WoodBrew:
Photo of WoodBrew
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried the Eel River Porter tonight. The beer poured an opaque dark with very slim tan head, which left spotty lacing. The smell included chocolate, peat, and some hints of roast. The taste was good, sweet malts (chocolate & caramel) are present along with a touch of coffee/espresso and peat. Mouthfeel was a medium to light body, with low carbonation. Overall it was an ok porter.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep cola color with a thinner almond colored head,it held well but there wasnt much to it.Aromas are quited roasted with some earth and bitter chocolate,the roast is well defined.Somewhat prickly and a little thin in the feel department,flavors are dominated by roast,not much sweetness just a light molasses note in the finish.Eh,its pretty ho hum,not much complity but with good roast,not something to search out but not bad.

Photo of Tiernan
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber pours into my glass a chocolate brown color with quite a bit of clarity letting a lot of light through. A red hue is there along with a quarter inch of off white head. Aromas start with a light roasted grain upfront along with notes of chocolate and a mild coffee and cream aspect as well. Reminiscent of toasted bread and somewhat one dimensional.

First sip brings a toasted grain malt body upfront, seems like a mix between light and dark malts possibly here. Somewhat roasty it leads into hints of chocolate, light coffee and some cream as well as a bit of fruitiness on the back of the palate. Mild hops bring in some bitterness on the end. Not really any depth of flavor here and is quite weak when compared to a standard porter.

Mouthfeel has a certain thin quality that is coupled with fast moving carbonation to give it a bit more oomph and some creaminess. Overall though, I was looking for a little more body here. I applaud this brew for being organic, which is always cool, however as a porter it falls a bit short and ends up being boring and more of a porter "light" than anything else. Thanks to kmpitz2 for grabbing me this bottle to sample.

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - Two finger head of loose, pillowy khaki foam that falls quickly to a solid layer across the surface that lingers before slowly dissolving to very thin lace. Color is coffee black. Held to a light, it's a really deep mahogany with deep ruby red on the edges and clear.

S - Well-toasted malts, coffee, hint of licorice, molasses, and smokey burnt bacon. Very interesting nose that offers a variety of subtle components to pick out.

T - Almost-burnt caramel, roasted malt, lightly roasted South American coffee with chocolate notes. Dark creamy caramel lingers on the finish along with just enough hops for balance that keeps the palate free from cloying sweetness.

M - Nice carbonation. A bit creamy, but definitely not thick. Decent body that's on the thin side with a respectable structure. Short finish.

O - A solid porter. Leans a tad toward the smokey/well-roasted side vs. dark sugars, but definitely not into stout territory. Would be an excellent beverage with a big plate of bacon & eggs or pancakes and sausage with real maple syrup.

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the second Eel River brew I've sampled. This one pours a deep brown, opaque, body that is a clear, mahogany with garnet hues when held to light. The head is longlasting, beige, and persistent at one finger in height. Patch and sheet lacing adorn the glass.
Aroma is restrained, with softer notes of dark chocolate and coffee roastiness, that become more bitter toward the middle. Hops have a solid presence as well, with black pepper more prominent than citrus rind. This has a well balanced finish, and comes off as an impressive, American porter. There is a freshness about all the ingredients that is amazing, considering the journey it made from northern California. This is a good one!

Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness info to be had. 22 ounce bomber, looks like a porter, color wise. Muted head, minimal spotty lace. Nose of roasted malt. Notes of chocolate, vanilla, cafe au lait. Chalky, drying hops keep things pleasant. Fairly thick body wise. Pleasant enough, but in the final analysis, this one rates as a middle of the road creation, nothing too special going on here. It was only $4.79 for the bottle, so perhaps "you get what you pay for"

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thin dark brown, minimal head. Aroma imparts chocolate/coffee.

Taste is choco/coffee/licorice, is that . . . grape? Or is the alcohol making me think wine? Not the thickest porter by any means. Kind of thin. Hoppy though. Drinkability, eh, it kind of sits on the fence. Strong for a brown, not as strong for a porter.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Eel River brewery

A - Nice dark black with a bit of ruby tint with a 2 finger ecru foamy head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - Faint chocolate and roasted barley.

T - Weak start but big roasted barley, choc and espresso followed by a moderately bitter finish.

M - Medium body, moderate-low carbonation, smooth.

O - Not a bad effort, one of their better organics.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.06/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appears a deep ruby when held to the light very dark porter with a large tan head forming thick and dropping quick. Left behind I note evenly clung thin speckled lacing on my chalice. Aromatics on this one mild roasted dark chocolate and stale coffee bitterness along with some astringent metallic qualities. Not much in the way of hop aromatics gotta love those limited organic hops. Flavor is a mess of dirty burnt roasted malt off with raw coffee roasted bitterness over percolated under sweetened this one makes me cringe a bit. After seeing reviews of the Imperial stout and Baltic Porter I figured they had a way with the darks, but this porter definitely lacks in more than one way. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is light giving the brew a watery thin texture compared to most full porters, finishing bitterness clings to the palate and won't let go. Scrape your tongue or get a chaser after this one. Drinkability is pretty weak I can't say it's good just because it's organic, I want some cohesive flavors this is one dimensionally burnt flavor doesn't do anything for me.

Photo of chinchill
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from undated 12oz bottle into snifter.

A: dark reddish mahogany with a short-lived and thin tan head that fades quickly to a small ring.

S: roasted malts with hints of chocolate, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee and raisins. Very pleasant!

T: Richly flavored; qualitylargely follows the smell. The downside is that this is a tad sweeter than ideal. But it is well balanced by the finish.

M: good carbonation; light/medium body -- a bit lighter than ideal. Slightly dry and astringent finish.

O: A pleasant surprise, especially the great aroma. Recommended. After I figure out where I bought this, I'll be buying more.

Photo of rastaman
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap@Eel river. Not too shabby. Toasted malt, caramel and nuts, some roast. Decent length of flavour. Another decent effort from these guys, their Amber, blonde amd extra pale aside, these guys have some pretty solid stuff, pretty odd location for a brewpub though.

Photo of LXIXME
4.11/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, clean dark brown with a big rich light brown head, looks very enticing. The aroma is weak but still a very nice roasted chocolaty maltiness to it.

The taste comes through similar to the aroma with a nice roasted chocolaty malt taste, but the taste has more to it than the aroma does, very pleasing, after an initial weak nose I was afraid it was going to be lacking in taste but it redeems itself nicely, even leaves a light chocolaty dry aftertaste.

I think it would be quite easy to knock back a 6'er of these.

Photo of watermelonman
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a dark brown with hints of red. The head is small and lace is minor.

The smell is has a good mix of roasted malts and chocolate flavors. The taste starts with some dark malts and finishes with chocolate and a mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is somewhat light but still nice. Drinkability is very good.

Photo of azorie
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: did a hard 45 degree angle pour, got a decent 1.5 inches of dark brown head. the body of the beer is a dark cola color.

s: nice chocolate nose, and some decent malt, no yeast much hit me. about it.

Taste: slightly chalk, bitter after taste. the beer is ok, a tad more hoppy than i like. You get some dark malt and chocolate, maple like favors. it is ok beer.

m: light to medium body, after taste not to my likely. semi flat carbonation on some bottles:

O: well nothing to write home about, at 9 bucks a sixer, its a the high end of my price range. Nothing I would buy again for that price tbh. and certified organic means nothing to me. I brew beer all the time my all grain porter recipes and I can beat this beer in my sleep.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Eel River- Porter

A- Deep red almost black with a good frothy head. Nice lacing too.
S- Burnt coffee beans and cola syrup?
T- Sweet flat cola syrup with a heaping dose of burnt black coffee. Slight touch of black strap molasses.
M- Sweet and syrupy up front with a sharp bitter body and bitter/ acidic feeling in the throat.

Overall- Drinkable but just barely. This has to be bad. Their other offerings are pretty good. I would avoid this.

Photo of LovenHoppiness
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Magpie14
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: the body has some heavy darkness that melds brown and umber with a tangerine hue. It looks fairly dark from the distance and maybe even a touch murky as pockets of lethargic bubbles move upwards. A short lived blob of mocha foam came to fruition with soapy bubbles mixed throughout, that is about it. Nothing is adhering to the glass, pretty standard look

S: dry chocolate, earthy 'n' woody, vanilla, and decent malts. What is most notable is a very light tangy doughiness gracing every whiff I take

T: this is a good porter. The headliners are the malts, roasted cocoa seeds, and pinch of vanilla. Malts even tackle a faint charred and blackened profile that is held in check by chocolate drizzled coffee grounds and a few flaked oats on a piece of toast. As noted earlier, my nose detected a tangy whiff, it is no where to be found on the palate. However, I might include this mystery tanginess to permeate in the form of a lightly dry and bitter finish

M: medium body and good carbonation levels. A close relative to Mr. Creamy in the Feel family. The "toast" character has me thinking more of an English type of porter, I like this beer

D: a fine and dandy porter. Very drinkable and I am happy with my selection and sampling of this Eel River brew

Photo of Bcant
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with red hue toped by a creamy head of small bubbles. The, color, however, is pale and transparent for a porter. The nose is mostly sweet and sips begin that way but finish more balanced with some refreshing dryness. Round and velvety in the mouth and drinkable but not unsusally so. Might complement a slice of cheese cake if you wanted a drink that complemented but did not contribute to the richness of your desert.

Photo of Sammy
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with initial white head that dissipitates quickly. Smells like roasted barley and tastes like organic oats or flax. Drinks with some thickness to it.OK but certainly light on malting and the like. Was not greatly drinkable.Above average carbonation

Photo of pmcadamis
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I like the device that these guys on the label are using to shoulder the barrel of beer. If only we had a similar rig in my fraternity, we wouldn't have had to tap so many foamy kegs that were jostled and dropped by my drunk buddies. Ingenious.

A - A nice thick chubby finger of dense tan foam perches atop a purple-brown brew that looks black when not in direct light. I would describe this color as black-cherry. Lots of really thick creamy lace is left on the glass, and this head has some of the best staying power that I've ever encountered.

S - Medium roast American coffee and brown bread, with a little hint of brown sugar. By American coffee, I mean brown slightly watery stuff that allows you to see through the pot. This is a major point of contention at work, so many people make coffee that is the strength of weak tea. Give me dark creamy espresso any day. This has a bit of a musty attic smell that isn't all that great either.

T - Tastes MUCH better than it smells! There is a dusty dirty taste, like when you ride a dirtbike and have your mouth and nostrils filled with dust-boogers a the end of the day. This earthy note is well matched with a brown sugar easy drinking malt flavor and some grassy hops. Nothing spectacular here, but it's pretty good.

M - Light bodied, crisp, and relatively clean for the style. Carbonation is middling, and the finish is neutral with a nice lingering brown sugar and dirt flavor.

D - Not a complex sipper that will wow you with flavor, this is a nice session brew that could be drunk all night. Good stuff that I would buy a sixer of to take to a party...especially a fall wiener roast or tailgating party.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.37/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A clear mahogany body with a tawny cast reveals some brilliant ruby highlights when held to the light. Its short tan head drops readily; but it maintains a solid surface covering and leaves some short-lived lace throughtout most of the glass. Dryish, highly-kilned but not-quite-roasted malts appear in the nose with notes of lightly sweetened cocoa and bittersweet dark chocolate. The body is light/medium and it's exceptionally smooth across the palate with a very fine and moderate carbonation. The flavor delivers the same dryish cocoa and chocolate found in the nose although it is a touch sweeter, and there is a short, but very nice, note of rich German chocolate cake in the finish. It's really nicely balanced with a gently drying bitterness that lays just beneath the surface and accentuates the delicate dark malt character. The aftertaste lingers with a long-lasting mocha character that includes not only chocolate and coffee, but a mild note of dark roasted acidity as well. Very nice! It's very English in that it's light bodied, softly carbonated and full of flavor without becoming overwhelming. Exceptionally drinkable!

Photo of Fatehunter
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin tan head on a light brown body. Almost no head retention.
The aroma is roasted malt. Mild, but nice.
The taste is well balanced, roasted malt, lemon bitterness and chocolate roll around together.
The texture is pretty smooth with low to moderate carbonation.
Aside from the initial poor appearance, this is a good porter.

Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with 1 finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee, toasted malt & not much else

T: Cocoa, roasted grains, coffee & bit of herbal hops up front. Roasted grain, coffee & dryness are there as this warms, plus a hint of vanilla. Finishes dry, toasty & with more coffee

MF: Pretty creamy, medium bodied & smooth

Pretty easy drinking porter, not great but solid & sessionable enough

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Porter from Eel River Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.