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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
87
very good

1,545 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,545
Reviews: 633
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 62
Gots: 155 | FT: 7
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: 1,545 | Reviews: 633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 00:10:08 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

09-26-2012 23:24:10 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 01:33:36 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2.8%

11-21-2011 00:12:41 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2009 15:32:37 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 15:49:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 22:44:08 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 06:01:51 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

11-18-2011 00:06:03 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 00:14:34 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 21:15:29 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 18:17:15 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10%

01-21-2012 20:48:54 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2010 07:01:53 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -10%

01-13-2012 05:40:32 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +2.8%

12-04-2011 23:13:47 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev +2.8%

11-17-2011 02:48:46 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4/5  rDev +2.8%

11-12-2013 01:20:37 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

10-27-2013 21:15:45 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

03-09-2013 23:45:44 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 20:52:35 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.5/5  rDev -10%

04-09-2014 00:09:02 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 08:08:35 | More by Knapp85
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It had nice retention but left very little lacing.

S - Strong chocolate notes dominate the aroma with toffee and caramel malt.

T - Good chocolatey flavor with toffee and caramel added more sweetness. There was just enough bitter hop bite to balance things out.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty tasty ale. A nice robust porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 00:54:04 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transfers placidly into a hefty mug, tawny glints of mahogany at it's edges, black in the center. Sticky khaki liddage. Frothy lacing all around. The head eventually breaks up in the center, leaving a khaki coastline around the edges. A second pour rekindles the foam, and forms a convex dome that rises above the lip of the glass momentarily.

Very dry, roasty toasted malt aroma. A classical porter, nothing really jumps out at you.

Dry roasted malt, clean and roasty, with little aftertaste at all. Thankfully not sweet or cloying, a big boy porter. Flavor is a little bit mellow, seems to focus on the black patent malt, roastiness in a vacuum. Some molasses and honey essence. Dry with very little residual bitterness, just a touch.

Very drinkable, a west coast challenger to local midwest favorite Edmund Fitzgerald...

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 04:11:44 | More by emerge077
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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,545 ratings.