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Walker's Reserve - Porter - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,502 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1502
Reviews: 633
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%


Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A singularly distinctive beer that represents our finest brewing efforts, Walker’s Reserve is a elegant dark ale featuring robust flavors of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. This brew employs five specialty malts, as well as oat and barley flakes, for added complexity and flavor.

(Beer added by: Jason on 11-15-2002)
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Ratings: 1,502 | Reviews: 633 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Village Tavern and let me say this about that. This robust porter could be the best out there and definitely better then the bottle not that there is anything wrong with the bottle.
Recieved from the waitress in a nice goblet and had a rich deeper brown color. A thin small head sat on top which was quite dense and never fading. It had avery light beige color and was striking. Carbonation looked to be very nice.
Aroma was rich with roasted malts, chocolate malts and hints of coffee. There is also a underlying sweetness too.
Taste is thick and robust on the palette.
A rich complex taste of roasted malts sweet milk chocolate and espresso. Underneath is another layer of flavor thats sweet and softer, light oak, molasses, vanilla. It enhances the bold malt flavors and brings them into balance.
The beer slides down with no effort and has lingering bitter aftertaste from the abundance of rich malts.
Perhaps i lucked out and this keg was recently tapped but I'll tell you what: this was definitly the best porter I've had to date.
Search it out and try on tap and you'll agree or your money back!

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 14:20:57 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Firestone Walker's Taproom, Buellton.

Pours a dark black color with a small but slightly foamy medium tan head which leaves just a bit of lacing. Great aroma of roasted malts and coffee. Taste is similar, but with a bit of sweetness to it - not creamy, but perhaps a bit chocolate-ish? Smooth and medium-bodied, but doesn't feel heavy at all. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Really great flavor and great to drink too - wish this was available in the bottle down here! Really fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2010 01:43:30 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint glass. This beer is very complex and can be fully appreciated at a warmer serving temperature.

The beer poured a three to four fingered head. There is a molasses smell from the head which adds lemon as the beer warms further.

The color is a deep dark chocolate.

The tingling mouth feel tastes mildly bitter on the back of the tongue.

The finish is a malty chocolate with a hint of almonds.

Firestone Walker is one of my favorite breweries. This is an excellent beer, and I will try it again in the near future.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 01:42:27 | More by brureview
Photo of Neorebel
Neorebel

New Jersey

4.66/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Walker's Reserve Porter pours a sexy dark brown with ample tan suds resting on top. It's almost Cola-like. Looks perfect to drink! One inhalation of the sumptuous scents coming off this brew and I can already tell it's going to be a real treat. I am picking up chocolate and caramel, hops, and what I would call something similar to a hot cereal with cinnamon added. Wonderful! Spectacularly, the flavors themselves outshine the splendid aroma. Toffee, light hops, some fruit esters (apple?) and grainy cereal malts all blend together in a fine balance. For such a low ABV, this sure feels decadent enough. Must be those five specialty malts providing the added 'wow factor.' The finish is somewhat dry, and the beverage coats the palate well. Walker's Reserve Porter is hitting just the right spot on this fall evening, but I foresee drinking this again and again in the future, for any night.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 05:12:53 | More by Neorebel
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a pub glass. Tall light tan head has a thick and creamy consistency. It's like a whipped cream. Great big chunks of foam stick to the glass with each sip. Body color is a solid black center with mahogany highlights around the edges.

Smell has a warm roasted malt aroma. Nice toasted bread with a coffee and cream sweetness. Taste is a little on the sweet side, but the roasted bitterness and a hint of hops keep everything in balance.

Mouthfeel is chewy and creamy. It was like it was nitro infused. In fact, if this was on nitro tap it would be mind blowingly creamy. This is a fantastic porter and I am glad it is now available locally

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 03:07:25 | More by bort11
Photo of Uanof
Uanof

Texas

4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent porter in all of it's greatness. I must admit the ratings don't lie, slowly receding two inch frothy head, solid black color, faint toffee to the nose, medium body with slight dryness to the mouth and flavors of toffee and bittersweetness complement in the palate very nicely. Super enjoyable, highly recommended for anyone who's new and old to craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 07:21:49 | More by Uanof
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black with a solid head at pour. Head remains mostly around the rim of the glass. Some chunky lacing is present.

S: Really good - malts and an overwhelming chocolate aroma - somewhere between sweet and dark.

T: roasted malts up front followed by chocolate and malts on the back. Lots going on and really, really good.

M: Perfect carbonation from front to back. Good heft.

O: Awesome brew and at this ABV almost sessionable with loads of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 01:07:33 | More by Oakenator
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous black beer with tan head that is generous upon pouring. Nose is loaded with delightful nougat with a background of chocolate - 3 Musketeers bar all the way. Palate offers a big, bold roasty malty flavor with bitter dark chocolate. Hops help round it out, but this beer is a Dark Chocolate masterpiece. Medium body. Long chocolately aftertaste. Excellent beer, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 02:08:11 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of dfillius
dfillius

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive foil sealed bomber opened and poured into pint glass.

A: Dark brown with red edges when held to the light. 1/2 finger of tight fizzy foam. Good head retention.

S: Oatmeal is the predominant smell. Lactose is evident as well, and a smoky oak aroma is lurking in the background.

T: Smoky with a nitrogen stout finish. Coffee is definitely in the mix as well.

M: Very much like a nitrogen stout. Quite smooth and milky, it feels like it is smoothly dripping off the edges of my tongue

D: Very pleasant, delicious

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2007 19:14:02 | More by dfillius
Photo of theopholis
theopholis

California

4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours into the glass as a very black beer with deep burgandy on the edges if you hold it up to the light. Has a decent tan head with a lot of staying power and a decent amount of lace.

Aroma- Very strong chocolate/cocoa nose with some roasted malts in there. No hop aroma. Just a hint of malt sweetness. Very enticing.

Taste- Fairly chocolate at first and throughout, but as as the taste progresses, you start getting the roasted malt overtones. Some malt sweetness sneaks through to. Again, no hop flavor, but none was expected. For taste, this is about as high as it gets without getting a 5.

Mouthfeel- Wow. This stuff is creamy, velvety. Lots of body with a good level of carbonation. It's worth trying this stuff just for the mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I gotta say, I'm not a big Firestone fan, but this stuff is freaking good.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 01:23:45 | More by theopholis
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Major thanks to EinWeizenbitte for sending me one of these.

Appearance - opaque, a strong backlight shows some mahogany through the edges. Light mocha cover maintains a thin depth while painting some nice lace on the glass.

Aroma - roasty, almost smoky/gunpowder malt character, a mellow undercurrent of coffee and bittersweet cocoa powder. Sets up and resolves to include some grassier/hemp aroma, even a touch of floral or soapiness at times. Impressive for an RP.

Taste - fully flavored roasty malts outta the gate. Robust it is. A light char on the swallow, perfectly balancing the malts. The swallow stays roasty and flat-out delicious. It loses nothing into the aftertaste and lenghty finish.

Mouthfeel - very smooth, holding down the crisp carbonation a bit, which I prefer. Nice solid body, too, doesn't miss a step.

Drinkability - not aged is whiskey or bourbon barrels, no ridiculous hop levels or additions of chocolate and such, and still such a tasty beer at an approachable abv. If I were king I'd drink two or three bombers in one sitting out by the royal pit fire...or if they'd just distribute this to the Cincy area...hint hint ;-) Wow, spiffy extra - thanks much Eric, what a beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 16:17:18 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of ZorPrime
ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is black, but not very dark. Beige foamy head on top of it. Dense looking head and it's tenacious which make it very sticky. The aroma is roasted malts, some light notes of chocolate. Nice aroma. In the mouth the beer taste is coffee grains with a nice hoppy finish. Intense in the taste if you compare with the aroma which was in the low intensity realm. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent. Some piny notes, in the mouth, as the beer warms a little bit.

Overall this is a good porter with some roasted notes plus a hoppy finish (resinous).

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 18:01:54 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of JamnesCameron
JamnesCameron

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an english pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown with reddish highlights around the edges. Big tan head that drops slowly, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of dark cocoa, light roasted coffee, and chocolate malt. No real hop aroma.

First sip is of light roasted coffee, dark cocoa, and a touch of sweetness. Nice level of carbonation. Short, bitter, roasted finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, and creamy from the carbonation.

Very drinkable porter. Alcohol just of the edge of making this a sessionable beer. Could enjoy sipping a few of these over the course of an evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 01:48:56 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Liquors 44 Northampton, MA. 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Neck dated 03/05/11.

Pours a thin but solid black with 1.5 inches of cappuccino-colored head. Smells nice and roasty, toasty right off the bat. Palate is like deliciously strong coffee. Super extracted coffee, but not muddy or ground-like. Awesome! Big full mouthfeel, but medium bodied and creamy luscious carbonation. Nice bitterness and a little pulling acidity too.

This is a damn-near-perfect Porter. Well-fucking-done Walker!

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 04:41:56 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of nezelrac
nezelrac

New York

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a snifter

A - dark brown with mahogany highlights; nice dense bubbly head with good retention and some lacing

S - delicious aromas of dark malt, toffee, coffee, caramel; dark chocolate notes; some hops lurking in the background; really inviting

T - layers of malt flavors - caramel, toffee, toast; also some dried stone fruits and chocolate; the mid-palate picks up some significant richness; good length, too

M - really very smooth despite the firm edge from the dark malts; good CO2 - moderate-low;

O - this is excellent porter! great job

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 18:26:17 | More by nezelrac
Photo of d4114
d4114

California

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pretty much jet black but not quite, no light coming through.
Finger of thick tan head nice lacing.

S- Interesting, really like a toned down imperial stout. Sight roast on the smell but big wood and vanilla notes. Really inviting smell.

T- Getting big oak and tobacco flavors, really wood like in general. Not getting much of the vanilla I got on the nose. Has a charcoal and burnt character running through the whole palate. Very big flavor on this while being easy to drink it no problem like a porter should be.

M- Its seems there's a nice feel to this beer under all the carbonation, found it distracting because I felt it cleaned out the flavors pretty fast and made it too dry.

O- Really enjoyed this a lot. This is the most woody beer I've had and I really liked how it all came together really nice, minus the mouth feel, impressive beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 22:16:50 | More by d4114
Photo of constantine_272
constantine_272

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, lets no light through. Extremely viscous. Light tan foam with extremely low foam.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Dark caramelized sugar and vanilla.

T: Sweet and chocolatey with sweet burnt sugar and grain. Tons of chocolate malt and dark roast flavor without the caustic burnt flavor. The roasted grain is accompanied with a mild smoky flavor. A mild sour bitterness washes away the full body cleanly. Beer finishes with a mild saltiness. Extremely smooth despite the huge full body, phenomenal. Great balance of sweet malt and hop.

M: Thick and syrupy, but its cleaned up will by the carbonation. Finishes fast, but leaves a mild sugary coat over the tongue.

O: Absolutely delicious. Tons of flavor but none too overpowering. Just the right amount of hops to balance out the big sweet chocolatey flavors. My main complaint was that the beer looked flat in the glass with so little head.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 05:09:38 | More by constantine_272
Photo of LeahM
LeahM

New York

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark brown with hints of red, thin tan head with short retention

Smell- dark chocolate and coffee notes, with malty burnt undertones

Taste- first taste is light, sweet, and yeasty giving way to a more bitter, creamy chocolate coffee taste. Long sticky chocolate aftertaste. Very pleasant

Mouth- creamy at first with a sticky lingering aftertaste

Overall- a delicious, balanced Porter with sweet, dark and bitter all working together and strong chocolate notes. Highly recommended as a winter Porter.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2013 20:12:15 | More by LeahM
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
BurgeoningBrewhead

Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black into a 34oz mug, with a relatively thick light tan head. Smells clean and metallic, with coffee and chocolate undertones. Tastes thick and sweet, almost like an oatmeal stout at first; then fades into subdued roasted malts and chocolate. A great, full-bodied porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 02:34:59 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of tapman
tapman

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, violet body with a chestnut head of creamy foam that wallpapers the glass with lacing.

Cocoa, mineral-like aroma. Subtle, round hops. Hint of spicy pepper notes in the nose. A little fruitiness in there as well (from the yeast?).

Full roast flavor from roasted barley and a hint of a something between pilsner and roast, perhaps a low caramel. Has a mineral presence that brings out the earthiness and spiciness of the hops.
Tastes pretty traditional, i.e. a lot of pilsner and a little bit of roasted barley for the grain bill.

Pretty bubbly for a porter, imo, but not necessarily watery.

Looks amazing and is fairly consistent in quality after that. Nothing to set it apart other than they hit the style on the nose.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 02:14:58 | More by tapman
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5.25 bomber from Rutherford Wine.

Black/dark brown body with ruby highlights. Big billowing light tan foamy head. Good strecthy lacing.

Enticing coffee aroma, big time roast, supported by deep chocolate notes.

Taste follows the nose, with deep rich roasty coffee coating the tongue, with peaks of chocolate. Earthy hop bite at the swallow.

Rich smooth mouthfeel, almost Imperial Stout like.

Overall, a highly desireable and enjoyable porter, heartily recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 04:07:17 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of BigBarley
BigBarley

Texas

4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, black, almost jet black, though a very slight visibility around the edges when held up to light. Thick, tan foamy head. Smells like roasted malt, somewhat sweet with caramel or toffee notes, and a biscuity nose. Tastes like bitter, dark malts, sweet, with a touch of coffe and roasted character all over. Extremely drinkable, with just a touch of carbonation and a velvety feel. Amazing porter in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2013 13:53:59 | More by BigBarley
Photo of a0lbudman
a0lbudman

Alabama

4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown to black color with a small brown head that leaves a small lacing
S-roasted coffee with a slight hop and malt aroma
T-roasted coffee and malt comes in at the front then you get a nice hop bitterness in the aftertaste that stays with you til the end along with a slight chocolate flavor
M-full body and medium carbonation
T-I love the balance of this beer, I tasted the roasted taste and a coffee taste along with the nice hop bitterness was great

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 00:56:12 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of grover37
grover37

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A 22oz bottle picked up from D'vines for $5.90 poured into a Hoegaarden glass. Glad to see Firestone Walker in DC, especially at a reasonable price. Had this one at Churchkey last week and really liked it.

Appearance (5): Pours a dark brown with ruby around the edges. A finger and a half of mocha colored head reduces to a thick layer on top. Very nice head retention and very full lacing all the way down the glass.

Aroma (4): Mostly milk chocolate and cocoa nibs, but also some light roastiness. Not much in the way of hops, but maybe some pine once it warms a bit.

Taste (4.5): The strong chocolate hits right away with some charred dark malts on the back end. A bit of sweetness in the finish with the char lingering but not overwhelming. A very pleasant after taste.

Mouthfeel (4): Very wet, especially up front. Medium to low carbonation and medium bodied. Creamy and mellow.

Overall (5): All the flavors meld together beautifullly. This is smooth and chocolately and very drinkable. I loved this beer when I first tried it at Churchkey and I like it even more once I got to sit down and have a full serving (got a 4oz sampler previously). I think a B+ is doesn't do this outstanding beer justice.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 21:54:51 | More by grover37
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station on 12/21/13. Reviewed from notes. Poured into a small Belgian tulip glass. I was also told while having this that FW has decided to discontinue this beer. It's quite a pity, because this is the first time I've had it and I feel like I've waited far too long. It is an excellent beer. Anyway, onto the review...

Appearance - Body is a dark brown, like taupe, and atop it sits a frothy head of ecru (yellowish-grey light brown/tan). I had to look that one up to find the color shade that most fit. Head is about a finger and a half thick and dissipates after a couple minutes, leaving a healthy mottling of lace all around the glass. The mottling is complex enough that it's hard to make out the rings as I drink the liquid down, but they are certainly there.

Smell - Nothing really blows me away with the aroma. Pretty standard notes of fresh-brewed coffee, baker's chocolate, charred bread and some nuttiness--perhaps some walnut. Even a little earthiness, like fresh peat, but faint. But the roasted grains are the predominant profile here, even if the entire aroma is a tad subdued.

Taste - Here, many of the same notesare present, but more obvious. The overwhelmingly predominant flavors are wonderful notes of fresh-toasted bread, like you get when you turn the toaster to the darker setting and pull the bread out right before it turns into a nasty charred mess. You get the complex roasted flavors from the grain, like fresh buckwheat biscuits, and the faint cacao and coffee grounds make their presence felt, but in a supporting role. I don't think I've had a more "toasty" tasting beer, and I mean that in a very good way. In some ways, it's nice to taste a porter that does a couple of profiles so well, without the dark fruit or licorice elements that are common in many of the same style.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Full enough to provide a little chewiness, but not overpowering or difficult to get down. Highly drinkable for a dark beer and a dry, but not overpoweringly so, finish.

Overall, I must again express my regret at waiting so long to have had this beer. And if what I've heard about it being discontinued is true, that only magnifies said regret. I will definitely have to grab another bottle or two and since there isn't really a large hop profile to this American porter, perhaps I can sit on one for awhile and prolong my enjoyment. Either way, if you haven't had this beer and you fancy yourself a fan of the style, make no delay and grab a bottle NOW.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2013 17:11:55 | More by LambicPentameter
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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.