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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

(Send Samples)
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 katan
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint. bottle indicated higher ABV at 6.4

A - Pours a fairly deep black with only amber highlights around the edges. Head formation is strong, 1/2" at its peak, down to a well retained 1/8" . Lacing is light. Mocha color.

S - A malty nose, lots of chocolate, a little bit of yeast breadiness and just the lightest hint of some roast.

T - Starts off smooth and malty, lots of chocolate, even a hint of nut. Mid-stream the bitterness shows and a fair amount of complimentary hops. Not enough to move the beer from its malty base. Yeast is present as it rolls into a smooth sweet finish.

M - Moderate beer body, moderate to higher carbonation. Creates a light mouthfeel. Very clean, no alcohol warmth, stickiness, or retained bitterness.

D - Easy drinking porter. Very smooth. ABV is higher than stated, but low end of sessioning. Moderately filling, reflecting some of the carbonation. Goes well as a cooler weather beer. (936 characters)

Photo of jbphoto88
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours dark and bleak like it's namesake. Almost completely black with yellowish red highlights. The head is soft and quick to form but the tan bubbly lace fades too soon for my taste.

Nose hits me with some coffee right away and then moves into some dark chocolate roastiness. I can tell by the scent that this is going to be a beer that tastes like a glass of charred and roasted grains... That's a good thing.

Bold grain body that really uses roasting to make it's point. The taste starts out in coffee town and slowly moves into bittersweet chocolate village. After those two tongue punching flavors I get a hint of dark candied fruit that makes me think more imperial porter or stout then just regular old porter. Well done!

Love the flavors but the feel of this beer slips a little for me. I'm not a coffee or chocolate eater so the dominating flavors also have a dominating bitterness. To me it's like sipping cold, old black coffee. The finish is really abrupt too. It starts to develop a sweet grain vibe but it never materializes which is truly a shame. That's not a deal breaker in my book. This is a great beefy porter chock full of big flavor so I can overlook the poorer finish. (1,206 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.6/5  rDev -31.9%
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. (949 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep cola, almost black, with a nice light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of roasty coffee and cocoa smells. Very nice aromas come from the glass everytime I put my nose up to it.

T: The taste is full on roasted coffee with chocolate and a bit of vanilla on the finish. This is up there with some of the better porters I've ever tasted.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy. The carbonation leaves bigger bubbles in the mouth...if this has smaller bubbles it would have scored a bit higher.

D: Very tasty and I was surprised I liked it so much. Great porter that I would buy all the time if it was available. (722 characters)

Photo of SamN
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours very dark brown, nearly black. Dirty tan head is thick and sticks around. Smells of roasted coffee, dark earthen tones. Very good porter aromas, if not a little faint. Taste is a gritty coffee and bitter chocolate taste. Less sweet, more grainy and roasted, nice mellow bitter malt finish. Not too heavy, not too bitter, not too sweet. Rides a nice mellow line. Feels a little thick, somewhat gritty. Great porter mouthfeel.

Delicious and wonderfully crafted. An easy 'A' for Santa Fe. (501 characters)

Photo of DaveMarner
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a rich dark choclate color. Medium amount of a light brown head.

S - Some chocolate and sweet molasses.

T - Just a touch of hops initially. Then a bit of sweetness. It finishes with a hearty maltyness of barley.

M - Smooth feeling as it rolls over the tongue. A good amount of carbonation, definitely not lacking.

D - A very solid porter. Easy to have several of these. I will be drinking this again. (442 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the best NM beers and also easily found on tap and most supermarkets in NM. Pours black and has a nice tan head. This is great example of a lowish ABV beer that is full of flavour and has a great mouthfeel. The roasted notes are not overbearing but assert theirselves enough to make this beer interesting. I love the finish as the chocolate flavours came together with the hops and the malt to create a beer worth drinking (438 characters)

Photo of deereless
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
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 (580 characters)

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

Poured into a perfect pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany with great clarity for a bottle conditioned beer. A Small but firm cream tinted cap slowly falls to a thin film. Leaves some lace behind.

S: Lots of molasses and chocolate in the nose, plus just a bit of espresso.

T: On the sweet side, but not overly so. The molasses and chocolate from the nose come through strong, especially the molasses. The bitterness is slightly burnt and just high enough to offset the sweetness. Gets a little acidic in the finish.

M: The medium body has a heft that makes the beer feel stronger than it is. The carbonation could stand being toned down.

D: This is a nice porter. It's sweeter than most American Porters and made me quite happy. I'll be picking it up again. (755 characters)

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. (1,007 characters)

Photo of beeragent
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown, forming a 1/2 inch mocha head, with medium spots of lace on the glass.

S - Light aroma of roasted malts and coffee. Nothing new or exciting here.

T - Roasted malt, coffee, some bitter cocoa, and a hint of metal in the finish. Not as robust as I expected. The roasted malts and coffee dominate the flavor, but not so overpowering as to hide the complexity of flavors. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable. Very low hop presence, may a bit flowery in the finish.

M - Medium bodied just as a porter should be. Good amount of carbonation.

D - Good flavor and a bit more complex than a usual porter IMO, or maybe its that the flavors blend a little better and compliment eachother rather than cover. As far as the metallic taste I detected at the beginning, it should be noted this beer was transported in a car from New Mexico to Texas, so I'm almost thinking a little oxidation may have occurred from the heat. I also wish the aroma could have been a bit stronger. This beer is still a great example of a porter! (1,082 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 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 EgadBananas
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, near black, slight ruby around the edges. Big tan head, with lots of lacing and good retention.

Sell is of fresh cocoa and roasted malts. It's pleasantly sweet smelling, but not overboard. There is a tiny bit of coffee present.

The taste is more bitter chocolate, and roasted, toasty malts. Notes of espresso are there as well. There is a bit of a balancing bitterness, but hard to tell if it's do to the coffee tastes or a hop presence. Either way, It works well.

The feel is medium bodied, slightly sticky, and creamy.

This is a very solid porter that hits the notes that I like most about the style quite a lot. (631 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Dirty Game for the brew

A - Translucent nut-brown, with decent khaki head but no lace.

S - Nutty and roasty, fairly mild, but quite well-apportioned. Some cocoa and maduro tobacco notes develop in the nose, too.

T - A bit of a shallow dynamic, but the basis is quite nice: lots of milk chocolate flavor, some roasty malt and coffee notes; the whole thing comes together nicely. I could drink a few of these.

M - Porter. Mmmmm.

D - One of the better Porters I've had recently. Not terribly deep or complex, but quite well-made and apportioned. (561 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into the bottle a deep, rich black color, topped off with a good finger and a half of dense brown foam. I didn't get a lot on the nose here, just a little metallic note that messed with the subtle roasted malt. On the palate however, huge dark chocolate, roasted malt and subtle molasses. The texture here was almost velvety. A very good porter. (351 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 Bizz88
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this brew to have tones of a nutty bitter- sweet chocolate with smooth textures and a slightly bitter finish. Bottle reads 6.4% alcohol by volume. But this is just the first bottle.

On subsequent bottles, this Porter held its own on drinkability and taste.

Will drink again. (283 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Dave.

Pours a dark brown body. Aromas of cocoa and coffee. Milk chocolate and dark coffee on the palate too. Very smooth with low bitterness.

It doesn't have the creamy feel of Anchor Porter or the balancing hop flavor of New World Porter. What saves State Pen from mere mediocrity is its smoothness and drinkability. (326 characters)

Photo of Flashsp2
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Santa Fe State Pen Porter

A slow pour generated a big, dense tan head that with great retention. Poured from a 12oz into a straight sided pint glass. Lots of taffy-like sticky lace,and the head stays all the way through. Very dark brown with golden edges.

Aroma is roasty, with some molasses and grain. Faint floral hops give a nice balance, as well as some dark chocolate notes.

Taste is roasty, sweet malty, and some molasses. Some powdered chocolate, and some hop spice is there to balance out the sweetness and the roasty malts, and some bitterness from the roasting as well.

Mouthfeel is solid, medium to full bodied. Alcohol seems to be hidden pretty well, no presence is made at all, even as it warms.

Good beer, nothing amazing, but good for sessioning, even with the elevated ABV. (796 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 jmbranum
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptionaly good. One of the best porters i have ever had. Cola colored with a tan head. Toasty malt aromA. Flavor is majestic. Toasty, dark chocolate. Rich smooth texture with a nice bitter backbone.

Rich rich rich. Velvey goodness. Exquisitely good. A work of art. Rapturoulsy good. (286 characters)

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. (664 characters)

Photo of zdk9
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours black- no highlights- pretty dark for a porter without looking particularly viscious. A finger of cocoa colored head that dissipates quickly, but does leave some nice lacing on the glass.

S- Roasted grains. Some chalky coffee. There's almost a dustiness to the smell- I wouldn't call it musky, but maybe like flour dust, or grain dust? I can also smell that sweetness- molasses or brown sugar, as the beer warms

T- A much better taste than smell. There's roasted grains again- with a prominent taste of toasty popcorn, which is very intriguing. Also some brown sugar melting into bourbon booziness- it's a pretty bold flavor compared to the rest of the beer, but good.

M- Thicker and syruppier than a standard porter, but very fitting for the taste of the beer.

D- It's interesting, and unique. Not super complex but I enjoy it quite a bit. (854 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in the Beer of the Month package.

Pours brown/black (can't see through it) with a 1 inch creamy tan head that looks like a chocolate shake; smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and some fruit.

Tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, burnt wood chips, coffee, licorice, toast, a hint of caramel and some fruit (fig or plum?). A heavy beer with light carbonation and a dry finish that tails off with coffee and the burnt wood flavor. Decent lacing, it sticks to the sides as the beer goes down, as well as leaving some milk like texture on the tongue (in a good way).

This is a light brew for a porter, that goes down easy and has some nice complex flavors. As it warms the alcohol content starts to peek through, but it's not overbearing. Overall a pretty good beer that had a nice taste and went down well. (822 characters)

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