1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

State Pen Porter - Santa Fe Brewing Company

State Pen PorterState Pen Porter

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

210 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 210
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.69%

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A trademark beer of the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s master brewer, Ty Levis, the State Pen Porter has every reason to be one of his favorites. It is flavorful, swimming with notes of nuts and chocolate; it is drinkable, so drinkable that it is almost as if pint after pint were drinking itself.

(Beer added by: UberWasser on 04-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 118 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SPThirtyThree


1.93/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Back when I lived in Austin, a guy from work brought a sixer of these in, and I remember it being tasty and delicious, so it will be nice to try it again and give it a proper review...

A: State Pen Porter pours deep, dark brown with a creamy, one-finger, beige head. The cap contains big bubbles interspersed in a thick cream.

S: Maybe my snifter is dirty, but the most noticeable odor is bandaids. Very little else is apparent.

T: More band-aid tastes. Mostly phenolic. WTF?!

M: Slightly creamy, but the mouthfeel is overshadowed by the awful flavor.

d: Low: see below.

I was excited to retry this beer with a computer in front of me for review; however, this time around, this bottle has gone awry. It tastes very medicine-y and slightly like vinegar. The roasty character and mouthfeel are good, but this bottle has obviously become infected... :( Most aspects of the beer are fine, so I suspect that the failure happened during bottling, when the beer had already developed most of its character.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 03:11:08 | More by SPThirtyThree
Photo of Hojaminbag


2.53/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks go out to Santa 2010 GabrielM for this beer.

State Pen Porter has a dark brown to black body with a substantial brown head and decent retention and lacing.

The aroma has mostly dark malts with roasted, coffee and chocolate scents. There is also a hint of sourness lurking in the background.

The beer opens up with loads of roasted malt, a slight dark bread flavor, and then transitions into a little bit of chocolate and good bit of coffee. Next comes a flash of sourness, and at this point I'm really digging this porter. The finish, however, has something strange going on. I can't put my finger on the flavor, but it reminds me of over-ripe fruit without a specific fruit characteristic to it. With every sip I like the beginning, but notice the finish even more.

Mouthfeel is nice; creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation.

State Pen has the making of a great porter, but it is held back by an unpleasant flavor that is just off.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 17:53:04 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of JoeAmerican77


2.73/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First off I'm wondering if something was wrong with mine because my grade is dramatically lower than most. I guess thats the beauty of personal palate though.

Pours out the expected pitch black, with some cherry hues where light dared penetrate. Two fingers tanhead.

Smells of base malts and cocoa puffs, kinda nice childhood flashback.

Slight tin flavor at the offset, then roasted malts cocoa and thats it. Very simple, and honestly not that impressive.

Feels like a porter very creamy with some nice medium carbonation to it.

I do not know if I could recommend this to someone. In the state of CO you really could have a much better porter without looking too hard. But then again, you will never know until you try it.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 23:44:23 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of mooseisloose


2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

More BOTMC, love this style, time to give it a whirl. Great label, its got to be good. Popping the top I smell a cornucopia of flavors choclates, toasted malts, chaulky hops, the whole enchilada. Pours like motor oil into a tulip glass with a nice thin tan head. There is no light coming through this brew. First sip is a little thin in the mouthfeel department with a little too much carbonation. Makes it tough to get the full flavor with a high carbonation. Taste is not as complex as I expected but more steady throughout, roasted malts with a bitterness in the background. Sure this isn't a porter light suitable to serve to inmates? Not much here after I got charged up by the cool label. Tasty but not worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 23:45:28 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of chocosushi


3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz->Oktoberfest Mug

A ~ Pours dark brown with a great cap of brown head that's gone in 60 after leaving globs of foamy lacing about the glass that is on par for the style.

S ~ Vanilla extract, weak coffee, dark malts

T ~ Starts a little too sweet. Reminiscent of Diner Coffee with too much french vanilla added to it...Herbal/Earthy hop flavors in the midst of the sweet flavors. Malt & lactose sweetness make up the bulk of the body.

M ~ Finish is nice. Too effervescent, which doesn't play well with the sweetness. Needs more dry roasty bitterness.

D ~ Wouldn't revisit, but not a drain pour by any means. Worth a shot, but maybe get a single to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 21:00:22 | More by chocosushi
Photo of coldmeat23


3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Nicely, it pours solid black. One-finger head of tan foam forms and rapidly dissipates, leaving a crescent of film on top. After a few minutes this, too, fades away. Lacing is okay, but slippery.

Big dark roasted malt nose. Notes of milk and dark chocolates. Light hints of capuccino. Hints of molasses and traces of brown sugar. Slight nuttiness.

Dark roasted chocolate malts. A touch of coffee. Toasted nuts. Slight hint of smoke.

A weak medium body. Very thin, almost watery. Carbonation is totally off.

Sure, it's drinkable, but I won't be running back to it any time soon. Nice starter porter for your BMC friends.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 15:13:29 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of deebo


3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear. Black with tints of brown. Pillowy carbonated tan head with staying power that laces the pint glass nicely.
S-Really nice-moderate roast dark malt dominates. Caramel and toffee notes present with a hint of flowery hops.
T-Yep, tastes like a porter, dark malt dominates, a little burnt.
M-Moderate carbonation, medium bodied, lacks creaminess. Smooth finish with just a hint of bitter bite.
D-Average for a porter. Alcohol is well hidden.
O-A nice porter-well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 23:25:01 | More by deebo
Photo of Graham21


3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Dark, almost black in color. mm head nice and off white. good lacing.

The nose is very nice. Rich dark malt and coffee scents. some floral aromas with a hint of nut and malts.

Very pleasant flavors. Not as deep and rich as expected. Carmael and coffee flavores. Lots of nutiness. almost too sweet. Good carbonation, but lacking in other areas.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 03:56:09 | More by Graham21
Photo of Padron4KM


3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. No freshness date noted. Dark brown with ruby highlights.
Creamy tan head leaves patchy lace.

Roasty chocolatey aroma, touch of vanilla extract.

Flavor is alcohol, chocolate, vanilla, with a hint of bitter coffee on the finish.

Body was a bit thin and the alcohol was quite noticeable, losing points on drinkability

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 05:35:49 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of frankiepop


3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is not a classic Porter, but its a good Porter especially for summer. I call it an American Neo-Porter. This Santa Fe Porter has a real refreshing quality.

The appearance was a little difficult to evaluate since it was served to me at an outdoor restaurant at night in Albuquerque. But it was dark lol. Nice head - nothing special.

Smell- Sweet Classic aroma of a Porter..maybe a little stronger. Thumbs up.

Taste- The flavor is not as strong and sweet as most porters, but it is flavorful, subtle, and with a nice smooth bubbly finish that is a lttlle bitter that's nice and refreshing.

So this Porter goes down with well with good summer jazz fest music with a little body to it. I recommend something like the classic Max Roach and Abby Lincoln lp We Insist: Freedom Now Suite or how about some Weather Report...?? Santana? Wilco??? hmmmm Counting Crows???? No CC would be tooo dreary for a nice refreshing summer Porter.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2012 16:11:31 | More by frankiepop
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun


3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours solid black. If held to the light there is a little bit of a brown rim at the bottom of the glass. A nice off brown head forms on top of the beer.

The aroma is of roasted coffee and dark malts. It is strong and makes a good impression.

The beer is pretty normal for a porter. It tastes like coffee and finishes bitter. There are roasted flavors but not a lot of depth.

The mouthfeel is full and the body is medium.

Overall this is a good example of a porter. It is nothing to write home about though.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 00:38:27 | More by LeeryLeprechaun
Photo of joshuadlight


3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost completely black, but yields when held up to bright light. Decent head and lacing. There are minor notes of what you would expect from a standard porter or stout, but nothing stands out. Very reserved coffee and roasted malts aromas and flavors are present, but not enough to be enjoyable. Its drinkable, to say the least, nothing is strong enough to be offensive. Its a decent session brew that I like to have on the mountains, but I won't keep it in a regular rotation at home.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 03:58:49 | More by joshuadlight
Photo of jnezda


3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz to pint glass. Poured a luscious dark brown, almost black with very little light allowed through. Thins dark eggshell head that was fine in texture and faded quickly while leaving little to no lacing. Aroma was dark roasted malts with hints of coffee and chocolate. The toasted/roasted flavor went right along with the smell and was pleasant to taste but seemed a bit watery for a porter. The flavors were full but I was hoping for a bit more body from a porter. All in the beer seems representative of an American Style Porter and when looking for a dark full flavored beer that sits lightly on the tongue and stomach this would be a good choice.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 06:13:27 | More by jnezda
Photo of andrewjraab


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown almost black color. A solid two inches of thick creamy white head after an attacking pour.

S - Coffee, chocolate, sweet malts, caramel, vanilla. This smells like a sweet breakfast drink. Very enticing.

T - Not as sweet as I would imagine which is a good thing. Mildy sweet up front with a nice balance of bitterness. Very smooth and drinkable. Medium bodied with nice balance.

O - This is a real nice Porter and possibly one of the best Porters I have had.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 00:50:48 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of rowew


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, cap has the new mexican flag. Nice triangular label with a prison, abv marked - no date to be found.

Appearance: Very dark, just the slightest hint of red around the edges when held up to the light. Medium head fades to almost no lacing.

Smell: A bit of a sour aroma dominates, but there is some roasty smell and a bit of coffee there too.

Taste: Mouthfeel is relatively thin, with an average carbonation level. Flavors are a nice combination of malt with just a bit of roasted flavor.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - I do wonder if the slight sour flavor was intended, or if this sat on the shelf a bit too long (from what I've seen it doesn't move too well in Colorado, could be due to a higher than average price tag). Unfortunately, no date - so no way of knowing.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2008 01:14:26 | More by rowew
Photo of Lawl3ss


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 12 oz. bottle into a 12 oz tulip.

Look- Opaque cola color with lighter highlights, finger and a half of mottled cocoa-powder brown head that falls quickly to nothing, leaving a few streaks of lace.

Smell- Cocoa, vanilla, roasted barley, fairly sweet. Swirling brings out a nutty aroma.

Taste- Starts with blackened grains and mellow tealike hops. Once this has faded it goes through a number of nutty/bready/toffeelike flavors, starting with the darker shades and ending with the lighter. Finishes with a bit of char and caramel. Aftertaste is of toasted crusty bread. Well-balanced, and the quality of the ingredients shows.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, moderate to heavy carbonation. Pretty smooth, but the carbonation leans towards prickly. Dry finish.

Overall- Pretty good. Not anything surprising, but solid nonetheless, and very reasonably priced. I'll probably pick it up again at some point.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 06:03:37 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of wagenvolks


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Diggin' the triangular Santa Fe labels.

State Pen, with its dark coffee color, pours nicely but fails to build much of a head despite my attempts to harness the vigor of gravity during its evacuation. Nevertheless, small, sandy-taupe bubbles form a retained collar at the edge of the glass, thanks in part to a lively carbonation level. Not a whole lot going on aromatically, but what's there is pleasing. Roasted tobacco leaves and charred earth blend amidst a backdrop of pale chocolate malts. A faint kiss of pungent hops settles within the graininess.

The flavor starts with a somewhat watered down maltiness, but immediately picks up with notes of black pepper spice, toasted patent malts, Baker's chocolate, and a tinge of earthy hops. My rating for the taste would be in-between a 3.5 and a 4.0, but this time leaning toward the lower range. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, is spot-on for the porter style with a medium-light, bubbly body that dries on the finish with a hint of sourness. All in all, a respectable American Porter, but not a standout for its style. Drinkable, but State Pen is probably not something I'd purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 04:15:18 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from jhammerly, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very creamy with roasted coffee, chocolate, dark malts and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is full of milk chocolate, coffee and roasted malts with a little smokiness and dark fruit. It seems a little creamier than most porters that I’ve had. There’s a mild hops presence that provides a little bit of balance, all of the flavors fade into a slightly chalky after-taste.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, sticky and very dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good representation of style, nice kick, it’s a good beer that I could drink a few of, but there are definitely a few others that I would choose first within the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 02:54:11 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of BretSikkink


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Frothy tan head that doesn't lack very long, leaving only a thickish collar. No lacing in this glass.

I sniff roasted malts and a significant fruit presence that doesn't quite make up for the fact that it's not particularly strong.

Quite sweet, full enough but about medium for style. Sticky and long lasting action on the palate, which is both a positive (nice bitterness) and negative (DMS is overpowering).

And here lies the rub: there is a significant amount of off-flavors involved here. The roasted character is pleasant, but the finish is thin and weak, and acrid enough that I don't care to have another.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 04:50:26 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of deereless


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick and creamy head with decent retention, dark brown to light black in color, good lacing - 4.00, S: Dry chalk and chocolate milk on the nose, I also pick up what smells like milk duds, faint ash in the depths of the nose, some caramel sweetness - more sweetness than I'd generally expect from a Porter - 3.75, T: Coffee and toasted grains are quite noticeable on the palate, subtle sweetness like aged raisins - 3.50, M: Thinner mouth feel than I generally expect from a porter though it is a bit creamy, slight grittiness - 3.00, D: A decent porter, quite drinkable - 3.50

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 00:31:09 | More by deereless
Photo of yuenglings


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

nice pour with a good head good laceing. Has almost a chocolate cola like taste but a little burnt with a slight frutienes Smell about the same
Overall a good slightley different tasting stout would drink agian prolly wouldnt buy a whole case though

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 00:46:36 | More by yuenglings
Photo of jhammerly


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice opaque body with a two-fingered head that is a light cocoa hue. The head dissipated after a few minutes into a thin film. Roasted malt dominates the nose with a touch of coffee and a sweetness of chocolate. The same goes for the flavor but with some hop tingle added to the mix and slightly sweeter than what the nose let on. (This is my second bottle and I'm tasting a a medicinal aftertaste with this one that I didn't taste in the first). A semi-creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish. A good beer that I will pick up again when I get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 03:26:05 | More by jhammerly
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 15 Oct 2008.

Served in a shaker pint glass. Small light brown head. Dark brown, almost opaque. Roasty sweet, coffee and chocolate aroma. Deep mocha flavors with a hint of tobacco and smoke. Roasty and coffee throughout. Ethanol subdued but shows up at the end. Aftertaste is somewhat tart. Slightly sticky mouthfeel. Med-heavy body.

Thought this was slightly better than the imperial version.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 05:24:30 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of TMoney2591


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to papollo for this bottle!

The first chip in my recently-acquired New Mexico iceberg. It pours a nearly opaque, very dark brown, highlighted in deep garnet, topped by a finger or so of light tan foam. The nose comprises oats, roasted malts, puffed rice, and a very light twinge of coffee. The taste is very similar, with a very wheaty/grainy gelatin suspending a decent amount of light roasted malts. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a decent porter, but not one to write home about, due to the somewhat tame flavoring and overall dull experience.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 04:40:24 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of chanokokoro


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded stemmed British ale glass

Pours a dark cola brown capped by a one and a half finger light beige head. Average retention, little to no lacing. HInts of toffee, roasted malt, and bakers chocolate on the nose. Roasty dark chocolate malt, hints of caramel, and nutty cashew-like notes. Medium body, fairly high level of carbonation especially for a porter that adds a bit of crispness. Overall, a decent porter that is smooth, however it leans to being a bit overcarbonated for a porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 03:58:34 | More by chanokokoro
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.