State Pen Porter - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
State Pen PorterState Pen Porter

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BA SCORE
86
very good

125 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 125
Hads: 284
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 6.28%
Wants: 13
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: UberWasser on 04-14-2007

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.
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Reviews: 125 | Hads: 284
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, and slight smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and quite easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle. (571 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a creamy/rocky tan head that leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Roasty, almost ashen, aroma with underlying chocolate elements

Taste: Black bread, up front, with a developing chocolate aspect; after the swallow, the chocolate and roasty coffee flavors take over

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Glad I had a chance to revisit this one as it was much better the second go round

Thanks, BlueOkie, for the chance to re-visit (522 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with a nice, volumptuous pour that shows a good viscous quality with dark brown colors, froathy head formation that rises above the beer, and retention that could have done better. Still, a bit of lacing left behind. A pretty standard Porter look, but already I'm expecting a heavy texture on this one.

Aromas of cocoa and chocolates, heavy roasted chocolate, burnt toast, and a lot of caramel scented malts. Medium breadiness and yeastiness also found in the nose along side of some low-lying fruitiness (plumbs, dates, and figs)

Flavors of caramel and toffee malts lead the way but the coffee and chocolate notes soon catch up. Big flavors from these roasted/toasted grains dwarf the more subtle fruits, nuts, and bready notes burried deep within.

The body is where this beer is at. Very expansive and creamy; but also with a heavy, full, and rounded weight similar to Oatmeal stouts. Alcohol warmth cuts through the caramels and chocolates and makes the malts easily drinkable.

A very nice Porter that could push the envelope a bit further but really doesn't show many flaws.

Thanks BlueOkie! (1,117 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown that just about obscured all light from the glass. A nice three inch head of off white foam that came up the side of the glass and hung around for a good bit before finally settling down into the glass and leaving behind tons of side glass lace.

The smell was loaded with chocolate. Rich notes of sweet chocolate that were blended in with a touch of burnt coffee grinds balanced throughout the profile. Really nice profile here, with the dark yeast strain that really showed off some nice fruit and cocoa notes, especially as it warms. The flavor was more of the same, rich, with a health does of chocolate (618 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a tan, foamy, one-finger head that left nice lacing.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and had floral notes.

T - It tasted of roasted malt (burnt toast flavor) and had a bitter hop kick.

M - It was crisp yet soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice porter. Great label, too. (344 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a bubbly, light beige head.

Smell: Roasty, chocolaty aroma with pleasing, pointed notes of both licorice and black coffee.

Taste: Blending of sweet roasty malts along with tastes of coffee, chocolate, and licorice. Restrained roasty bitterness. The chocolate component grows and swells into a choco-coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite good! Very tasty and keenly drinkable. I would definitely welcome another. (511 characters)

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. (668 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (945 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and thick nice creamy beige foam. Lots of roasted malt and dark caramel. A good impression of coffee, too. Great mouthfeel with some substance and plenty of carbonation. Flavors seem to rise up to take the edge off the sweet malt. A nice bitterness starts on the tongue and provides a long aftertaste. A hint of butter with sharp tangy flavors as well. Dark toast but not too much charred taste. Seems to have the best qualities of a rich Porter and a hoppier Stout in one totally drinkable package.

From a 12 oz bottle bought in Santa Fe six months ago. (560 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a real thin tan head. Nose is super sticky sweet. Coffee is there too. Chocolate appears later on. Flavor is thick with dark chocolate. Robust malty tones. Feel is thick on liquid and a low but appropriate carbonation. Very easy to drink and very nice. (275 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle conditioned & purchased @coaltrain here.

Pours mahogany with 1 finger of mocha colored head. No lacing or head retention

S: Slight coffee notes & iron

T: Singed coffee & iron up front. Roasted grain & bitter chocolate as this warms. A little booze warmth/burn also surfaces. Finishes a little grainy with some booze warmth & loads of coffee ( not a great thing IMO)

MF: Oily , slick with low carbonation

Drinks fairly easy despite some burn presence. Will interested to track the flavor profile as this ages, since this bottle conditioned. A good porter from a part of the country that surely needs one, but what's the story with the name? (663 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours dark brown to black with a nice sized beige head. The aroma is chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. The flavor is roasted malt, coffee and some citrus hop bitterness at the end of the flavor. The mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is low. (258 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Fresh 2011 bottle brought back by Nick's dad from New Mexico. Poured into two globe glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, borderline black, rustic hues around the upper edges in the light. Fizzy, slightly off-white head with tight bubbles does dissipate rather quickly. Looks very carbonated without much lace sticking around. Head retention is okay, just a thin ring.

S: Roasted chocolate malts, dark roast coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate and some bitter notes. Very rich, robust, dark aromas without being overwhelming on any front. Towards the back end a bit of vanilla seems to creep out.

T: More of the same from the nose, roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate make their mark. Mid-palate has some caramel malt flavors, toffee and a bit of a bitter roast. After the swallow, a certain "green" bitterness is on the palate seemingly from some hops which is nice and helps break up the dark flavors.

M: Way too carbonated, thin and fizzy on the palate. Feels more like a highly carbonated soda than a beer. To me, Porters should have a robust medium body with a certain slickness or creaminess to them; something I don't get here.

For a standard Porter, this is really well done. The flavor profile doesn't have anything offensive or off about it, and is quite flavorful. Not my favorite style, but this was an easy one to split and I wouldn't mind drinking it again. Tone down that carbonation and this is a winner. (1,420 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's cache of bottles. I am not a frequent purchaser of bottles, but he knows to keep me focused, otherwise it would be all CANs, all the time. He also brings me widely varied styles, which is also good for this self-avowed hophead. Another life-long passion of mine is reading mystery, crime and detective novels and stories and I am immersed in the Akashic Books Noir series, so this fits right in.

The beer fit right into my glass, producing a pseudo-cascade that was eminently visible as it settled. I initially had two fingers of dense, light-tan head with good retention that began to produce some nice lacing as it slowly fell. Color was a deep, dark-brown with garnet highlights (SRM = > 34, < 44) and NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, light smoke, roasted nuts, and pine hops. For some reason, I tend to favor porters over stouts when I am faced with that type of choice, and this would be a good example. I just like the complexity of flavors in porters and now my mouth was beginning to water. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. The taste was nutty and chocolaty, kind of like a Reese's peanut butter cup, or chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Wow! Definitely not something that I would have picked up on my own, but a pleasant surprise all the same. Finish was rather sweet and I would probably recommend it more as a dessert beer than as a staple. Still, a very nice example of a Porter. (1,500 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy, almost three-finger thick, light brown colored head that clings quite thickly to the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes. The beer is a nice, burnt, dark chocolate color, but if held up to the light it shows a dark, brilliantly clear, ruby colored luminescence in the depths of its dark body. The aroma has a nice roast fruitiness to it that is noticeable upon pouring it. Other aromas of chocolate, well toasted grain, burnt cherry & berry notes and lightly roasted coffee beans are noticed upon deeper inspection. The roast / dark malt notes can get a little sharp / harsh at times, but overall this is quite a nicely aromatic nose.

Lightly sweet, with quite a bit more body fullness than I was expecting. The sweet malt notes feel velvety even and this beer coats & clings to the mouth like one would expect of a much bigger beer. There seems to be a bit of an off flavor here, which is really a shame as the richness of this brew was really quite something. This off flavor is very subtle, but seems to contribute a mix of flavors reminiscent of burnt, cooked cabbage / broccoli and perhaps something a bit like spoiled watermelon. Up front this beer has a rich, chocolate flavor to it, but it gets more roasted and slightly burnt towards the finish where it picks up some roast bitterness, a light burnt grain acidity, flavors reminiscent of black and darkly roasted coffee. As the beer warms up a bit it loses a bit more of the previously subtle off-flavors and becomes even more like a chocolate elixir.

This would be an incredibly good Porter if not for that bit of off character. The texture is very nice (not too heavy, but still rich and satiating) and this beer reminds me quite a bit of Fullers London Porter, but more roasted.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (1,803 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black ruby with brown highlights around the edge. Not very thick looking as the head seems to break up after a 3 finger presence.

Aroma is slightly burnt toast, chocolate, black instant coffee and some dark fruit without much sweetness.

Flavors go from more chocolate favored to coffee to dark fruit. Nothing really stands out and the move across flavors is seamless and quick. A dark toast malt background really plays nicely with the dark fruit finish.

Easy drinking, fine porter (492 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.39/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While I wait for the water on my stove to boil...why not review a beer? Got this one while I was in Arizona two weeks ago. On to the beer:

The head forms low and slightly tanned on top this ebony liquid. Major coffee aroma upon first sniff. It mellows out...molasses and powdered chocolate tend to dominate the nose here, with a pinch of chocolate liquer. Rich and sweet upon my first impression. Mellow, yet there's some roastiness to it. It's medium bodied, with a mild carbonation. Flavors...cold coffee, chocolate syrup, low amount of roastiness on the palate. A faint kick of booze can be felt warming me on the inside. It becomes more chocolatey in both aroma and flavor as it warms.

I think this is my first beer from New Mexico, and I'm impressed. Just a well-balanced, enjoyable brew I could drink for awhile. (821 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle, it poured near black with a short tan head. I found this beer to be a typically tasty and standard American porter. Drinkable and full of dark roast coffee, cocoa, and burnt grain. The body is lighter than most, but that just makes this a good candidate for a session beer. There's nothing terribly outstanding or different, but it's a clean, solid beer. (371 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly dark cola color with pretty decent head retention and good lacing. The nose isn't bad, showcasing a lot of roasty malt, dry hazelnut, coffee and considerable licorise. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, but I have to say this beer is pretty well crafted for a 5% abv. beer. By that I mean there's a considerable amount of flavor, and what I get is interesting and complex. The beer starts off with some light, sweet licorise, but I then get some light coffee, dark (dry) chocolate and a touch of hoppy bitterness in the finish. In fact, the finish is actually pretty dry and fairly fulll. The mouthfeel is a bit thin I guess, but that's hard to avoid in a 5% abv. porter. Drinkability is quite good. Not only does the beer have a fairly low amount of alcohol, but there's enough flavor to keep me interested.

While hardly anything mind blowing, I was nevertheless quite impressed with this porter. Really wish this beer was available in my neck of the woods... I'd be buying this by the 6 pack and 12 pack during the winter holiday months. Impressive. (1,092 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured some sweet malt, chocolate and coffee.

The taste was upfront burnt grain, with elements of caramel, coffee and smoke.

The mouthfeel was average for the style.

Overall a tasty and robust porter. A touch sweeter than most examples. (351 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/2 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of roasted malt, hops, slight alcohol, sweet malt, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, hops, hint of alcohol, sweet malt, and a hint of dark citrus. Overall, better than average, backing any outstanding qualities. (419 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another porter/stout that is equal parts brown and black. If I had to lean in one direction, I'd say 51% black, 49% dark brown, together at last! Solid thickness, good light brown/beige head on it, better than average retention, better than average sticky lace along the glass.

Aroma was all roast. Big malt, big roast. Straight forward, no adjuncts.

Taste, chewy. Chewy malt, roasted to near perfection. Clean for what it is. Not weighed down with exotic extracts of coffee or chocolate, sure, there is plenty of chocolate malt. This is nice and simple. A working man's porter. Straightup. Easy drinking. No harsh bitterness. Quintessential porter without the bells and whistles. Well balanced. (698 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you n8dietz for the pick-up.

Very darl cola brown color with a one finger head and an almost uniform film of foam after numerous sips.

Great roasty malt raomas of light coffee bean, cocoa powder, and what seem to be some yeasty roasted fruits as well.

LOve the upfront roasty malt kick in the mouth that follws through to the finish with velvety smoothness. The roasted mlats have you standard coffee and chocolate flavors, but that creamy texture just melds everything together so well. This would be my choice for a session porter, if the abv. was as a little lower. (579 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown; very little light coming through other than on the edges. Poured a 1 finger light-chocolate head that dissipated to an even skim. Laced in thin, wide rings.

S: Coffee, chocoloate and burnt toast. Faint floral hops with underlying sweetness of molassas and wet grains.

T: Sweet malt more prominent than aroma. Also bitter chocolate and coffee. Rich toasted malts ahead of an even lingering bitter. Slight warming alcohol.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Rich, smooth and dry until the alcohol bite at the end.

D: Very flavorful with a good balance. (567 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer disembarks the brown 12 ounce bottle a deep brown with some ruby highlights, the head is typical in size, the color a nice tan color and the texture creamy, as it erodes the lace forms a thin and somewhat patchy sheet. Nose is toasted grain, hints of coffee and a bit of bittersweet chocolate, quite pleasant to the schnozzle. Start has a decent grain presence, sweet with a bit of burnt grain bitterness, light to moderate in feel. Finish is nicely hopped, with the sweetness and the bitterness sticking to the end, dry aftertaste, and a nice porter overall, not as heavy as most, but that's not a bad thing in my book. (629 characters)

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State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.