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

Not Rated.
Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,598 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,598
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 64
Gots: 167 | FT: 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,598 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great drinker. Black with a flagship of a head, leaving some lace behind. Roasted aroma. Creamy mouthfeel, with a good roast and chocolate, and hops not forgotten, Goldings and Cascade.Nutty. Solid.The only acidic part only with the sediment at the bottle's end.

Sammy, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

t0rin0, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a 1 inch tan head that becomes a film on the top of the beer. Random streaks of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells kind of weak overall. Some roasted malt, graham crackers, and only a hint of any coffee/chocolate aromas. Taste is of roasted malt, bitter cocoa powder, slight coffee grounds, and a citrus zest hop finish. There is a very mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This is a light bodied beer with a crisp level of carbonation. Kind of watery for what it is. Overall, this is a decent porter but lacks many of the classic smells and tastes commonly found in the style. This is a beer I would like to try on tap to see how it differs from a different serving style.

UCLABrewN84, May 25, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.8%

djrn2, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -10%

zestar, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10%

acurtis, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a chestnut brown with a nice tan head.

S: Dark malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee notes.

T: Some coffee flavors with some dark malts creating roasted flavors.

M: Quite dry; medium-bodied.

D: A good porter, but not particularly drinkable.

Thorpe429, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown (near black) in color and poured with a finger high tan head. The head died down, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of roasted malts and molasses along with hints of chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink for the style because it’s lighter bodied compared to other porters.

metter98, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10%

GRG1313, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.8%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate color with ruby highlights; the tan head pancakes the liquid and leaves many clumps of foam behind

Smell: Chocolate, oak and coffee

Taste: Lots of surprises here; starts out with the anticipated chocolate flavor and adds some oaky complexity but by mid-palate, the hops jump to the fore, adding a pithy balance; a touch more vanilla and oak builds in the aftertaste but they are dominated by the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat aqueous

Overall: In a sense, this is the father of the black IPA, with the major difference being the amount of chocolate in the malt bill; in any event, I don't think the flavors work together particularly well so the beer just doesn't match up to some of the others in its category

brentk56, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very classy and bold Porter that hits all the style characteristics squarely on the head and in assertive fashion. Exquisitely balance and very smooth- this beer is a winner!

The dark brown beer shows near-brilliant clarity and with a glossy sheen. A firm tan head caps the beer and carries stubborn retention and leaving rings of lace with each sip.

Firm toffee and burnt molasses flavor carry early malty sweet taste with complements of bittersweet cocoa, bold roast coffees, oily walnuts, heavy toast, and light woody taste. Balanced hops only contribute to the woody, grassy taste with a mild citrusy counterpart.

Firmly malted, the beer starts and finishes very creamy and lush. But early malty sweetness fades nicely into a toasty-dry finish and light spicy hop bite.

Delicious and drinkable, this classy Porter belongs in the conversation with Founders Porter and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.

BEERchitect, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of sublime creamy black chocolate with light lactose notes and light dry roasted malt with floral coffee notes. Taste is a rich mix of creamy black chocolate with light residual sugar coming through as lactose notes with a dry floral finish with some coffee notes and zero astringency. Body is quite full with good creamy texture and good carbonation. Easily drinkable with good amount fo complexity.

Phyl21ca, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque mahogany with cherry tobacco trim, topped by a large, tight-bubbled, stubborn head of golden beige. Even though it's disappointing initially, by bomber's end there's a fair amount of thick lace in blurred rings. Firestone Walker calls Reserve a robust porter and describes it as "somewhere between porter and stout". If the appearance is any indication, that's right on the money.

Bittersweet chocolate dominates the nose, with freshly roasted coffee beans running a close second. There aren't many other aromas (hops for instance), but then this is one of those dark beers that doesn't need much else. The uncluttered, straightforward beauty of roasted barley is all that is required.

As goes the nose, so goes the flavor. Walker's Reserve is closer to a porter than it is to a stout, although it's my kind of porter... the best kind of porter... the big, bold, richly flavored kind of porter. The beer is well-malted, with gobs of dark caramel, dark chocolate and black coffee roastiness. For that we can thank the murder's row of malts: crystal, chocolate and black patent, among others. There's also wee bit of vanilla, although I can't say that I taste whatever might have been imparted by oak aging.

Sweet and bitter fight to a draw, with my taste buds being the only clear winner. Unlike the aroma (nope, still not there) I can appreciate the grapefruit zestiness of Cascade hops on the palate. They contribute behind the scenes, but that contribution is, I believe, still essential in adding some measure of complexity to the flavor profile. They become even bolder on the finish. As is usually the case, they outlast the malt.

There isn't a thing wrong with the mouthfeel. It may not be as robust as my idea of a robust porter, but it's much more full than your garden-variety porter. While it stops short of chewy, it's smooth, supple and a delight in the mouth. As a result, drinkability is increased in a beer that was already flush with it.

Walker's Reserve is identified as the flagship beer of Firestone Walker Brewing Company. And a fine flagship it is. It has no weaknesses and is a well-crafted, delicious American porter. Even though I haven't quite drained the last ounce yet, I'm already wishing I had another bottle waiting in the wings.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10%

ygtbsm94, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.8%

jaydoc, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as part of a recent BIF and was excited to finally give it a try. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/19/2009.

Nice and very dark pour here with a rich dark brown color that no light could penetrate. This was a monster looking porter I have to say with a menacing two inches of foam on the top of it that cascaded down the sides. The aroma was of light vanilla, lots of oak and woody notes, and hints of molasses and caramel. As it warmed some nice roasted notes start coming off of it. The flavor was as rich as the aroma with lots of sweet malts, hints of roasted notes and a nice bit of caramel and molasses. Light vanilla, not as much as I would have hoped for peaking through. A nice full bodied porter, nothing here was really overwhelming. This was about as solid as a big porter you are going to come across. I would have no issue with trying this one again any day.

mikesgroove, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

kylehay2004, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a creamy off-white head.

S: Quite roasty with a bit of char to it. There are some sweet caramel and bread notes as well.

T: More roast with some char, molasses, and toffee. A decent breadiness and sweetness to it.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Nothing really out of the ordinary.

D: I'm not exactly what sure makes this "reserve", but it's not a bad beer. Easy enough to drink, but not really worth the price.

womencantsail, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep brown color with a really nice looking tan colored head on top. The lacing was very light but it did cling to the glass fairly well. The smell of the beer was toasted and burnt almost, there was a little bit of earth in there too. The taste of the beer gave off a well balanced flavor of roasted malts with a dry bitter finish. The mouthfeel of this pretty good too, it had a slightly creamy texture to it with a decent carbonation in there. Overall this brew is quite nice on just about every level. It's a solid porter for sure, this is probably worth trying if you haven't had it already.

Knapp85, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reoasted chesnut brown with a nicely formed tannish colored one finger head that held nicely thru the duration,seems a bit lighter in color than most of the style.Roasted nut,earthy hops,and bitter chocolate in the nose,not much sweetness with a nice mix of roast and somewhat raw earthiness.Mild molasses-like sweetness and big earthy hops upfront on the palate,a finish of bitter chocolate and more raw earthy hops.This is an American hopped up porter,I liked it it's solid.

oberon, Apr 09, 2012
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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,598 ratings.