1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Certified Organic Porter - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Certified Organic PorterCertified Organic Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

226 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 14.41%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Reidrover on 07-12-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74


3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The aroma is nice but light, it smells like chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, I can also taste some smoke and there's also hops noticable in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's somewhat silky but also seems a watery to me. Drinkability is OK, it's smooth and not hard to drink at all. Overall I think this is a decent enough beer, but it's not something I'd make a point to buy often.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 00:46:36 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of nekronos


3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not the best porter but considering it is an organic beer it is nice. Very somky smell and very sweet aftertaste. It has some oxide alike features, proper of a beer this tpe. Reminds me good IRish stouts, alhtough, of course, it is not one. Good to drink on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 19:05:32 | More by nekronos
Photo of oriolesfan4


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

Bought in a stubby bottle, one of two offerings from this brewery at my usual beer store.

I thought this was an average beer all around. Nothing too spectacular about it. solid mouthfeel and drinkability though. As it warmed and I got to the bottom of the glass I felt the alcohol kick was a tad too strong, especially for only being 5.5% ABV. A decent porter, wouldn't seek it out though.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 01:01:01 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of philipquarles


3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, clear mahogany with a decent tan head that dissipates quickly. Little lacing.

Smells of thin, sweet malt with some chocolate notes. Not a whole lot there. Tastes similar in the sweet sense, but with a hint of smokiness and some bitterness at the end. Meh.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Not what I would want in a porter. Overall, a very mediocre brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 05:52:23 | More by philipquarles
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 01:06:36 | More by Sammy
Photo of djeucalyptus


3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a. pours a rich dark brown with ruby highlights, fairly clear and glowing red when held up to a light. A nice ruddy mocha head grew to a good two fingers and slowly deflated, leaving a solid half-finger of foam and some average lacing.

s. mild malt, bittersweet chocolate, dried cranberries, roasted barley, bitter coffee, a touch of smoke and dust. Not as powerful as I'd have liked, but not bad.

t. roasted malts, burnt toffee, burnt caramel, toasted raisins, dark cherries, and hints of dark chocolate. A bitter, hoppy, sour fruit finish.

m. Not bad, a bit high on the carbonation though... almost fizzy. Medium body, not watery or slick. Fairly average for a good porter, aside from the bubbles.

d. meh. I could drink a few of these, but the bitter and sour fruit notes were slightly unfriendly. Maybe i just wasn't in the mood. On the whole, it just wasn't very impressive - middle of the road aroma with some relatively mild flavor. Not bad, but I probably wouldn't really seek it out... didn't really impress.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 18:28:01 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of pmcadamis


3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 17:32:15 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of ProudBeerSnob

New York

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass, opaque dark chocolate color, khaki colored thin head...standard stuff for a porter.

Smells of roasted malty, touch of chocolate, abit sour.

Taste is good, but not very complex. A good session porter. I'll drink the rest of the sixer, but probably won't seek it out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 00:35:17 | More by ProudBeerSnob
Photo of Shiredave

New York

3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Simple label design doesnt say much about the beer other than its organic certification.

It pours a rich, mahogony brown color, clear with garnet hues glinting under with a tall tan head. Some specks of lace trail as the foam slumped to a dense film.

Strong coffee aromas come forward as it warms along side hints of fudge thrown on a smoldering fire. Light aromas but very porterish.

Flavors of burnt pretzels and more coffee - dry and chalky , almost too dry stout-like but still tasty with more body that a dry stout. But not quite enough body for a solid porter - a very good Brown Porter - certainly not robust. Great hop aftertaste and bittering - again, maybe a bit too hoppy but I like it.

A very good session porter - great dark grain flavor and left coast hop rate - lacks a little body and sweetness that would balance this out better for me. Still, I could pound a few pints of this.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 00:44:07 | More by Shiredave
Photo of iceball585

New York

3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, half finger thick head that lowered to a thin lacy cover

S- Black coffee, dark malts, milk chocolate, sweet, slightly creamy

T- Baker's chocolate, coffee beans, creamy, oats, toasted nuts, hint of smoke

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, mildly bitter finish

D- Worth trying

I would consider this a pretty average porter. Nothing really jumps out and grabs you but it's still decent to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2008 20:17:49 | More by iceball585
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Eel River Porter poured darn near black color with a good 1-2 fingers of foam head that dissipated quickly. It had moderate lacing with a tight bubble formation.

The smell was faint chocolate and hazelnut. The taste was a light chocolate malt with a soft finish. Definitely light in the mouth. Real smooth but not complex. Not a bad porter but really simple for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 03:24:19 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of MmmIPA


3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I had this beer.I hated it.Things have changed though.

Pours a great looking brown body with a thick tan head that just sits there and doesnt go anywhere.Nice lacing.

Notes of coffee,chocolate and roasted grains.Very pleasent

The taste is just like the smells.Again very pleasent.

Mouthful is very good and creamy.

I dont know why I didnt like this beer at first.Organic? Eel River? well my taste have changed and this is a really good porter/beer and I would seek this out again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 16:05:28 | More by MmmIPA
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, lots of nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, lots of toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, with a nice tone of caramel/toffee/malts. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first Eel River brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2008 23:27:33 | More by Wasatch
Photo of QuentinCompson


4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into pint glass

A - milkshake looking head, down to a finger, brew reddens on a candle

S - dark cranberry, black cherries

T-M - Malty, fruity, grainy, hoppy, thick, good...

D - Tasty brew. Am liking this more than other porters, currently...

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 07:31:01 | More by QuentinCompson
Photo of jwc215


3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a frothy, espresso-like head that stays. Frothy lines stick somewhat unevenly at first, but become thick, even rings as it progresses.

The smell is of sweet toffee with an underlying smokiness. Some metallic tinges give it a bitter balance. Subtle smokiness and late raisins give it some dimension. Semi-sweet finish.

Medium-bodied, close to full with some creaminess.

Far from perfect, but nice and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 00:13:26 | More by jwc215
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cherry-cola with a 1 finger creamy, dirty tan head that receded to a thin sparse layering.

S: The nose was sweet and sugary coffee with a light dry creamer and roasted grains that provided a truly excellent aromatic experience.

T: The initial flavor started out with rich, dark espresso beans with light creamer and sugar. The coffee flavor truly shines with a deep, smooth and just plain delicious flavoring. On the finish was a fresh dark coffee bean bitterness that lingered and faded every so gently reminding you of the rich, dark treat this beer really is.

M: medium-full, silky, with dark black coffee and a nice lingering bitter roasted fade.

D: Very good drinkability. A truly rich and dark treat and fine example by style.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 22:31:45 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

2.83/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pretty nice looking dark, dark brown colour with hints of ruby when held up to the light, Head is creamy and has moderate retention time. A decent amount of residue is left on the glass after each sip.

Aroma is a bit disappointing: some chocolate and earthy notes, and perhaps some coffee, but there's also a bit of a funky, well, funk to it that sort of reminded me of a pair of sweaty, dirty socks. Not pleasant.

The flavour is more of the same, although a bit better than the aroma: the dirty sock thing is still present but much more subdued than in the aroma. Coffee seems to step up a bit more here and malt flavours are more burnt (and harsh) than roasted. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit hit despite a fairly low alcohol content, and a bit too carbonated at times as well.

Overall, this wasn't a porter I was overly impressed with. Some tweaking here and there could make this one work, but as it stands it's all over the map a bit too much, and that funky aroma/taste needs to be reeled it. Not awful, but borderline average and not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 01:06:41 | More by guinness33
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 19:11:42 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

1.95/5  rDev -44.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 18:14:16 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 3" fluffy and merangue-like head that lasted for several minutes. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: nice full aromas of dark chocolates and some malt sweetness.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, hints of coffee, molasses, and bits of vanilla are most noticeable. A nice floral bitterness brings the sweetness into check. Flavorful and just enough toasted flavors to make this very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth from start to finish. The flavors linger softly on the tongue into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: a tasty porter that is better than most other organic beers on the market. Easy to quaff and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 19:59:21 | More by Gavage
Photo of biggmike


3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer courtesy of a trade with barefootbrewer. This beer poured an attractive brown color with tan head that dissipated fairly quickly. Aroma was of sweet roasted maltiness. Flavor was also malty and sweet with a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel was good and was a smooth drinker that I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 06:57:47 | More by biggmike
Photo of barefootbrewer


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

This beer poured a brown color with a thin tan head – tight bubbles. The aroma is sweet, malty and roasted. The taste is big of malty and sweetness with a definite roasted flavors noticeable. The mouthfeel is very full and creamy. It holds up well to the bold flavors. Overall, this is an excellent porter with a great mouthfeel – one I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 01:57:06 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of AndoBrew


3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

*I liked it and would not buy it, unless i was at a pub*

app: (waiting for massive head off a small, medium/hard pour to settle.. hope this is not infected)
nice deep amber garnet color, almost looks more like an amber or brown ale. shimmers in the light though. huge fluffly head that is a light tan color.

smell: some soap and flowers.. very faint malts they smell sweet and toffee like, not earthy smoke. does not smell dark either, the smell and the color are one in the same except that the smell is not captivating.

taste: tastes ok! some butter in the finish, actually adds a nice richness to a kinda mild beer. there are no off flavors, moslty malts in the mouth, but very mild, it is indeed more like a brown ale, but a good one, balanced well, and.. enjoyable, just weak. the back of the mouth does start to pile up a bit of bitterness as you go, gives it a hint of depth.

mf: to thin and carbonated. it does have a nice silk to it.

drinkable??: very much so. even.. chuggable.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 20:29:28 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of errantnight


3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, murky brown/ruby/black sludge-y color (without the viscosity) with thin, lightly tan head into a tumbler (boo! tumblers! down with tumblers! grr, tumblers!)

Smells.... delicious! Raisins and coffee...

Apparently I poured this waay too cold... first sip is a slap of roasted bitterness and nothing else, almost astringently... just... never mind. Much better as she warms.

Yeah, as it warms some chocolate notes start showing up in the nose, and the flavor mellows out and gets a bit of a mocha hint to it... but it's not BIG enough, the bitterness is still sharp, not as smooth or well-rounded as I would like. The hints of the right flavors are there, and it's not THIN per se, but the bitter and strong flavors all seem to sit in the back of the mouth, which leaves me feeling like, strangely, this is watered down.

I'd love to have an organic West Coast stout or porter to have as my standard evening fare... but this ain't it.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 06:33:05 | More by errantnight
Photo of acrawf6


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

Pours out dark, but clear around the edges, black ruby with a tan creamy head.

Smell. The dominant flavor i get is chocolate and malt. Small roasted malts, and a touch of vanilla coffee bean.

Taste. Flavor has more roasted malts (and a little bit of smokyness) than any other flavor, but i still get chocolate- milk chocolate. Also seems to have a small milk stout/lactic characterictic to it. But the flavor is very mild and smooth. As it warms, i get more sweetness. Aftertaste is dry and smokey with just a little bit of a creamy coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel. Body is good and creamy. on the fuller side, but not heavy on the palate. It is very normal and appropriate for the style.

Overall, a very smooth and creamy porter/beer. Nice flavors that i think compliments one another. Bitterness is as a modest level, but still present. I think this is one that have the flavors to be a nice light digestif and/or paired with fruits (i keep thinking rasberries) and chocolate (perhaps some bitter dark chocolate).

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 03:33:48 | More by acrawf6
Certified Organic Porter from Eel River Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.