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

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

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very good

1,605 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,605
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 64
Gots: 168 | 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: 1,605 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keanex
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep black with a deep garnet through a light. Thick tan head appears.

S: Slight hops with a light roasty smell and hints of chocolate.

T: Watery up front with slight hops into a roasty dark chocolate finish.

M: Medium bodied, actually light up front, with medium carbonation.

O: This is a decent porter, but nothing to seek out again. I much prefer Founders Porter to this, it tastes similar, but more of a full flavor.

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

22oz bottle ((if there was a bottling date on the neck, it has been rubbed off - but purchased in March 2011) poured into an imperial pint - just like on the label. Pours a deep cola brown with a thick khaki head - settles nicely w/ sticky lacing around the glass. A reddish glow shines up from the bottom of the glass where light reflects through.

Aroma is sweet dark roasted malt.

Taste follows nose - dark, sweet, roasty, a little bitter. Caramel, toffee, clean water. Clean dry finish, balanced.

Overall this is a smooth, drinkable, classic porter.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- 2010 bottle of Walker's Reserve Porter, but definitely does not say "Robust Porter" on label.
Pours a dark, but see through rootbeer color with a 1-1/2 finger tan head that disappates rather quickly. Light lacing.

S- Not bad. Faint hint of coffee. Perhaps a bit of tobacco.

T- Weak. Just does not cut it. Have had better Porters.

M- Light carbonation. Rather thin.

O- Does nothing for me. Having said that....it looks like I blew it on this one. Should have drank it "fresh". Bottle must have gotten lost in my stash. Guessing that I purchased it over 6 months ago. Will try next release.

Photo of d4114
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.

3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber to snifter. Sampled 5/2/11.

A: Pours with 1 finger of creamy light brown head that diminishes quickly. The body is very dark brown - if not black - with ruby highlights. As the volume of beer decreases, the dark brown color changes to mahogany.

S: Fairly standard nose. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, cookie, grain, paper and lactose. Earthy yeast while lightly musty.

T: Similar to the nose but lacking depth of flavor. Better on draft. I think I read somewhere that this beer is blended with another that's spent time in bourbon barrels. If that's the case, the result is too subtle for me to have noticed.

M: Medium light body. Creamy texture and average carbonation.

O: Just a notch above average. I'd pay money for a draft serving, but I think I bought my last bottle of Walker's Reserve. It's ok, these guys don't have to do everything amazingly.

Photo of chicagoabbot
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz chug into a giant snifter...pours a nutty brown that coalesces to black in the glass with a shimmery head that isn't huge but is sufficient. Classic porter nose, dark and not too heavy. Well balanced on the tongue. Goes down easy. Glad they didn't make this too strong. Mouthfeel is energetic. Very clean well-rounded porter. A little more expensive than many of its caliber, but not outrageous. Will drink this again.

Photo of BigMike
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark chocolate brown with some lighter brown around the edges. A thick creamy tan color head of 2 fingers tops it off. Leaves great looking lacing through out the glass.

S: Your typical porter nose. Dark roasted malts. Coffee notes, some like smoke and chocolate.

T: Same as the nose. More of a smokey coffee presence. Tons of roastiness.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Rich and creamy. Good carbonation. Not much alcohol presence but smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: One of the best porters i've had. Definitely up there with Founders and Edmund Fitzgerald.

Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown near black, one finger tan head, some sticky lace on the glass. Smell is fairly roasted, coffee, light milk and dark chocolate, lightly nutty, light dark fruit notes. Taste is full of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, light coffee in the finish, caramel, finish is fairly hoppy a little unexpected but welcomed. Medium active carbonation, lightish feel, light to medium body, fairly good feel for style but lighter feeling carbonation would have gone a long way I think. This is a very tasty porter that gets better as it warms, glad my buddy brought this back from California and I'm glad its now available in Buffalo so I can revisit this down the road.

Photo of PhatMatt905
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Rubey red color. Little to no head in my glass.

S-Raisins and earthy hops. With slight citrus notes in the back. Some roasted malts like caramel and toasted brown bread.

T-Strong bitterness thoughout. lots of rasin and caramel notes. Loveley earthy flavours finishing with nice oak tannis on the tounge. Leave a dryness that makes you want to take another sip.

Photo of srandycarter
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Prune juice color.. brown, small light tan head.. some cling lace.

S - Chaulky cocoa, light toasty malt.

T - Nice and very malty. Cocoa comes through nicely.

M - Light to medium body. Decent carb, good balance.

D - Pretty tasty, and low abv... A nice offer.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brew, almost black, with a nice creamy two finger high tan head. Good retention, but little lacing.
The smell is rather weak. Some coffee and malt flavors are noticeable, as well as some fruity flavors.
The taste is all coffee and caramel up front. In the middle the roasted malts balance the sweetness somewhat. In the end the sweetness takes over again and there is also a faint citrus flavor present throughout the tasting, like from fruity hops.
Overall a medium bodied Porter, very drinkable and worth trying.

Photo of zoolzoo
2.88/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, almost black. Slightly off white head, foamy, good retention

S: Faint nutty aromas, smoke, roasted malt, weakness.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, lots of char and roast...somewhat astringent. I feel like I'm picking up some hop residuals as well. Unremarkable.

M: Too light in body, carbonation is medium high. Could do well with more weight.

O: Average at best, not one of FW's stronger offerings.

Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks pest for this extra.

A - Pours a dark brown color with a light tan froth about an inch thick. A nice ring sticks around with some froth sticking to the glass.

S - A nice dark roasty scent with some coffee beans and hints of dark chocolate.

T - Roasty bomb for sure with coffee in there as well. Not much else for me though.

M - A little thin but well carbonated with an interesting smooth fizz feel.

O - Its pretty good.

Photo of raznug
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This pours like a good porter should brown in color with reddish hues when held up to the light topped with a ½” dark tan head that dissipates rather quickly.
Smell: Roasted and chocolate notes dominate the nose followed by hints of bitterness (hops possibly).
Taste: It has a blend of roasted and a bitterness that comes from the malt, I didn’t enjoy at first but as the beer warms I am warming up to it, very tasty beer.
Mouthfeel: It feels rather thin on the palate but the flavor lingers rather nicely.

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

I poured this bottle into a snifter. On the pour I got a couple fingers of tan head on the very black body.

I get some decent coffee notes in the smell. There wasn't much more than that.

The very drinkable body had an enjoyable flavor of coffee and caramel. The flavor wasn't very strong. It was nice as an accompanyment to my steak.

At $6, this is a very good deal for a porter of this quality. I thought it was pretty good.

Photo of morebeergood
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle for $5.99. Seemed like a good deal for such a popular brewery. Served into a Brooklyn Brewery goblet. Very dark brown body. Nice looking light tan head forms and sticks around for a bit. Noticeable lacing on the glass. A great looking beer. Smell was a lot like of espresso and black licorice, but not very intense. Taste was very pleasant. Lots of notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Just a slight bitterness on the palate at the end. Mouthfeel was glaringly thin. If you are going to call it a "robust porter", then I would expect it to be robust. On the contrary, it was more like a black ale. In the end, I really liked this beer, but I would have loved it if the body was beefed up just a bit more.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: deep brown/black body, trace tan head, no lacing

S: roasted nuts, mild cocoa nibs, caramel, toffee,
hint of coffee?

T: mild sweet cocoa front, roasted nuts + malt
mild bitter coffee finish

M: med/light body, prickly/bubbly mouth

O: My 1st FW offering that I was disappointed.
Perhaps, if someone rarely drank Porters
this would be fine, but I love them and this
is lacking the smooth/creamy mouth feel.


Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, hazy brown colour, with a filmt but fine ring of coffee-coloured foam at the edges of the glass. Minimal body, minimal lacing, and, in fact, the lack of any sort of head forming is a bit of a disappointment. Otherwise, it's alright.

Nose is pleasantly balanced between a sharp coffee bite, and a smoothness of creamy vanilla. Mellow and light, but pretty well representative. There's a touch of thick, slightly goopy under-attenuated malt to it, but otherwise, it's nicely held together.

Light and pleasant on the palate, lifted by a decent jolt of roast grain bittersweetness on the back. Initial characters of dusty cocoa and light roast coffee get taken on an upswell in the bitterness stakes. Feel is light throughout, which is fine for the style, and accentuates the sharp roasty, charring character in the finish. I can see a bigger version going for something bigger, with more sweetness to compensate as well.

Overall, a nice brew, and one that is surprisingly gentle and drinkable. Despite this, it packs plenty of flavour, and feels pretty solid throughout.

Photo of BHOBS
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled in a 17oz snifter...

A: Super brown. Not quite black, but close. Pours with a small amount of cream colored head, which dissipates in a few minutes.

S: Mostly roast with a small amount of bitter chocolate. Typical porter on the nose.

T: Forward roastiness and cocoa with a distinct sweetness to it, almost like it has a small amount of a brown ale character to it. Very balanced on sweet to roast flavor. Not high ABV, so no glaring alcohol presence in the taste.

M: Has the perfect viscosity to it. Right there in the middle, not too thick, not too thin, coating the glass as you sip. Carbonation is just a touch on the heavier side, but not offensively so.

O: Great porter. I dont usually seek out any porters, but I always seem to enjoy most of what FW puts out, so I grabbed one. I poured the whole bomber down my gullet pretty easily... I dont know if I would pick this up again, as its not my preferred style, but it was an interesting and very drinkable beer to try out.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours nearly black. When held up to the light it is actually a very dark brown. Tan head is creamy and leaves much lacing. The head simmers, then retains for most of the glass.

S-Not too powerful in the nose. Roasty and some light coco/chocolate. Mellow nuttiness as well.

T-Roasty and a bit chocolatey. This is the nuttiest porter I have ever had. Tastes like a chocolate covered nut. I enjoy the nutty flavor but am a bit surprised by it. Flavor is mellow but subtly tasty.

M-Creamy feel. One of the creamier porters. Nice feel. Mellow bubbles. Slick and almost stout like. Medium bodied leaning toward heavy.

O/D-Pretty decent beer. Easy to imbibe and the creamy feel is enticing. Overall, a pretty good porter. Flavor is good but not great, but the mouthfeel is awesome. Great on tap.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Two inch khaki-colored head. Good retention. An even coating of delicate, tiny-bubbled lacing remains on the glass.

S: Cola-like sugary sweetness, dark chocolate, confectioners sugar, touch of vanilla, malt balls. Underlying whiff of plum and berries. Very sweet on the nose.

T: Very sweet and sugary up front. Woody tastes overtake the sweetness and provide some welcome balance. Plum and currant darkfruit flash quickly over the tongue. Woody and smokey tastes build again. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans come to the forefront just before the finish. Dries a bit and finishes with lingering smokey tastes.

M: Medium bodied. Low level of carbonation pricks at the tongue. A bit velvety.

O: Good, but nothing remarkable. Very, very sweet on the nose, but thankfully that doesn't fully carry over into the taste.

Notes: A solid enough porter. Certainly wouldn't mind drinking it again, though I don't feel the price is justified.

Photo of Jeffo
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber courtesy of smakawhat in a recent trade. Thanks for all the brews man!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-thick, fluffy, light tan / off-white head with very good retention. Clear black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good full wisp and clings to the sides. A splotchy wisp remains until the end and leaves some dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking brew.

SMELL: Medium nose of dark malts, caramel, and some dark chocolate. A light touch of smoke in there too. Nice, though a little too mild.

TASTE: Dark malts, caramel notes, and some dark chocolate on the swallow. Follows the nice nicely, though has a little more boldness that the nose lacked. A medium but persistent aftertaste has dark malts, some cocoa powder and some nice, bitter chocolate. A touch of black licorice lingers as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Light on the palate, semi-creamy, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: A good, solid porter that I’d gladly have again. The nose could be a little bolder and the palate slightly heavier, but otherwise, this is another impressive and enjoyable brew from Firestone Walker. Thanks for the bottle Smakawhat. Recommended.

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

Pours a hazy cola brown but black in glass. Bubbly khaki head with fairly low retention and lacing.

Nose is pretty much one note. Dark malt, faint chocolate.

Nice robust flavor and balance. Mild dark chocolate and roasted malt and nuts.

Medium bodied, maybe a touch on the thin side. Medium carbonation.

Overall a good but not amazing porter. I've had this many times and feel like it was better than this. I gotta try again and re-review in the future.

Photo of drcarver
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep brown body with medium brown highlights. small light brown head with a mix of large and small carbonation. fades quickly with bits of lacing across the top. Classic

S - roasted malt and char. sweet, caramel notes. coffee hints.

T/M - deep flavors of roasted malt. creamy. bitterness towards the end from the roast and reminiscent of coffee. alcohol hints at the nose. dry finish with a long lasting aftertaste.

O - a nice classic porter.

Photo of skibumma70
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a classic Robust Porter. Nothing over the top in any flavors here, with light hints of coffee and chocolate. The look of this beer is very dark, with a thick tan creamy frothy head that doesn't quit. It is what every porter should look like. The smell is very pleasing of morning coffee. The mouthfeel is above average for a porter, it is as creamy and smooth as it looks. Each sip goes down very easy... It's (sip) a pretty (sip) good beer (sip). It's (sip) better than (sip...sip...sip) I thought (sip) and gets (sip..sip...sippp) better as it warms up (gulp...)!

Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,605 ratings.