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State Pen Porter - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
State Pen PorterState Pen Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

126 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 126
Hads: 291
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.42%
Wants: 13
Gots: 30 | 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 291
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a brown 12oz bottle - Pours a dark brown - close to black color. Smells lovely with coffee and deep roasted malts coming through. Very below average carbonation. First sip is both sweet - all coffee and roasted malts but could use a stronger malt backbone. Weak mouthfeel as it appears to be slightly under carbonated. I would really like to try the Imperial version of this! (380 characters)

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. (618 characters)

Photo of jake87
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L. Black with a thick tan head
S. Toasted malts followed by a faint floral sweetness
T. MMM-mmmh Toasty malts and nuts fading into a strong mocha coffee flavor
F. Light carbonation flowing into a very smooth mouthfeel with no stickyness

A very good beer, I would buy a keg of this stuff and have a mug or two every night. Definately worth a try. (346 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled out of the bottle after it was dragged 3000 miles across the US back to Vermont! Poured an opaque black with a brown meniscus and a khaki head. Weak retention of the cap but laced in thin bands. Aromas of coffee, bakers chocolate and charcoal. Very dark and ominous (State Pen like?) flavors for a porter and more suggestive of a stout. Again, dark chocolate, bitter espresso, roasted malt and some liquid smoke. Medium to heavy body and light carbonation. Bitter finish coats the tongue. Drinkable and deep, a good example of the style from my itty bitty hometown. (573 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 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 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 tronester
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red/brown, almost opaque. The head is medium sized and has very small carbonation bubbles, looks almost like a nitro, but it says bottle conditioned. Smells of chocolate. Taste is of coffee, chocolate, with a hint of malt sweetness. There is just a touch of earthy hops flavor, but the bitterness from the hops is there. There is also a hint of acidicness, but it isn't anything bad. A surprisingly dry beer as well. Mouthfeel is very smooth, carbonation levels are low and soft. A pretty drinkable brew, probably my favorite Santa Fe Brewing beer so far from the sampler pack. (590 characters)

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

Pours opaque black with only the faintest light coming through the deep brown around the edges of the glass. Big frothy tan head that leaves some lacing.

Black coffee and fruit smell. Bit of a buttery smell in there as well.

Taste is complex. Starts off with a berry flavor complimented by a roasted coffee, them melts into a sweeter, licorice like taste. Finish leaves a coffee-licorice-alcohol bitterness. Really interesting.

Very smooth and nearly full-bodied. Bigger than many porters.

I enjoyed this. The licorice-coffee-fruit taste is unique and quite satisfying. It'd be a good after-dinner drink. (609 characters)

Photo of BigRedN
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is black (I can not see through it) with my pour producing a nice thick brown head, at least an inch in height. Head slowly fades to a solid covering that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, primarily burnt chocolate. There also seems to be some funky earthy/oily scent.

Taste: Roasted malty body wtih a slightly bitter finish. Typical porter flavors, but this has an added something (like the smell there is something a little earthy here, smoked peat?). Slight booziness to this as well.

Mouthfeel: Near full in body, natural low carbonation. A bit oily/slick going down with a little alcohol heat in the throat and chest.

Drinkability: A nice easy drinker (great on a cold March night with outside temps at freezing). Relatively high alcohol content (>6%) keeps this a nice sipper. I bought one bottle as part of a mixed 6-pack. This is one beer that I would buy a whole six pack of. (974 characters)

Photo of rowew
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (811 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from Glenvargas (RB) in a trade.

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Smokestack goblet. Poured the darkest I've ever seen for a porter. While it is inky black, it has dark ruby notes when held up to the light. Aroma is roasty with hints of chocolate and what I think is mint. Taste is rich; chocolate and roasted malts with hints of cream. Mouthfeel is full. I would say this is more like a stout than a porter which is probably why I think it is one of the best porters I've ever drank. (489 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 JoeyBeerBelly
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass.

A - very dark brown, almost black with a fluffy tan head which fell to a layer that left some good lacing behind.

S - roasty aroma.

T - sweet roasted malt flavor, hints of coffee and chocolate, very light bitterness on the finish.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.

D - easy to drink, but it might be a bit too sweet to have more than 1 or 2. (404 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the newest breweries available at Beertopia in Omaha, this was the pick of the litter according to the staff. It's a good porter. Nothing special, really, but it exceeded my expectations. I'm not disappointed, and I may even try singles of the others.

The beer pours to a black color with a big ruby hue. Shows fairly clear through the light, but still heavily shrouded in deep brownish reds. A little tan head caps the beer and recedes almost immediately to a film over the top of the liquid. Leaves a meager lacing.

The smell is kind of non-descript. Perhaps my sample is still a bit cold to fully unlock all of the potential, but usually there is at least SOMETHING to work with. As it warms, there is a subtle hint of chocolate and black patent malt with a little bit of copper. Very hard to gather much from the nose, however.

The taste is much more fulfilling than the nose. The roasty flavors explode on the palate. Roasted Barley, Black Patent, chocolate, coffee, ash, light smoke, burnt caramel / toffee, hazelnut. Has a light bitterness in the finish, but the hops flavors are indistinguishable. It's a good drinking beer, nonetheless, but not much different from your regular random-beer-off-the-shelf variety porter.

The mouthfeel is thin, about where it should be, but the carbonation is maybe a little more sharp than I like for a porter. The light body combined with the light roasty flavors is mouthwatering, however. Every time I have a porter I think to myself, "I should drink more porters." But alas, there are few that really stand out from the others. Kind of a moot point, however, because I haven't had a porter than I didn't care for (at least that I can recall). (1,699 characters)

Photo of mattster
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 fl oz bottle into Nonic Glass.

Nice dark coffee brownish/black color, no head a little lace on top.

Smell is mostly malty/barley. When I opened the bottle, I got a slight whiff of plastic, but didn't smell it in the glass.

Taste is of nice dark barley and hoppy malts. Hints of chocolate, mocha and a woodyness make this a pleasant taste.

Very smoth beer. Nice body would leave me to believe that it is more than the 6.4% as noted on the label, but alcohol taste is not present.

All In all, an good brew from Santa Fe. (538 characters)

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

P: 12 oz. brown longneck bottle, 6.4% Alc. by Vol.

A: Pours a very dark and shiny pour with a finger of burnt caramel colored foam head that lowers to a scant cover

S: Roasted coffee, roasted grains and a slight sweetness.

T: Nice roasted coffee and chocolate with a slight sweet milky aftertaste, which is dry on the palate.

M: I found the flavor profile good to the mouth. I will be having another and be happy that I will have a great tasting porter.

D: This is a good session porter. Although not a huge taste explosion in the mouth I would proudly serve this to guests as I will keep some on hand and would order if I saw it on a beer menu. (651 characters)

Photo of dhilltop2000
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pretty dark black with some ruby accents when held up to the light. Head was abundant at first but subsided rather quickly into a medium-light sudsy layer which remained for the rest of the beer. Nose is a little earthy with some grassy, barky hints but mostly a truffle-coffee-hop nose. Taste is a little too thin from what I was hoping. A hoppy taste is definitely noticed in the mix with the porter. Medium to light bodied for a porter but has enough flavor to make it interesting. (490 characters)

Photo of jhammerly
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (552 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)

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 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 (340 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 Graham21
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of Bobikel
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a .5 liter goblet

Appearance - Deep black liquid with no light penetrating. A small noisy/chunky head the color of toffee quickly recedes, leaving a little lacing in its wake.

Smell - All the porter smells are here: burnt toffee, chocolate, fery light plum, and even lighter yeasts.

Taste - Very good porter with smooth roastiness up front which settles into a deep dark fruityness. Very slightly metalic in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Thick and round, but with a higher than normal (for a porter) carbonation, which pricks the top of the tongue just a bit to much for the style. Although, not overly intrusive.

Drinkability - A very even and smooth drinker. Not to strong flavor wise, but still complex enough to retain interest. Nicely done. (766 characters)

State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.