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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.
very good

1,541 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,541
Reviews: 633
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 62
Gots: 153 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,541 | Reviews: 633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dhren1979


3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 20oz Bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark brown with 1 1/2 inches of toffee colored, foamy head. Head retention is good.

S: Sweet chocolate but is quickly over taken by a smokey aroma. Bitter hops can be detected.

T:Smokey chocolate can coffee flavors but none are strong. I personally like a good Porter to have a stronger chocolate flavor. Oh well. Slight bitter dry finish but smooth.

M: Well balanced, medium body brew. Creamy in a way.

D: Very easy drinker, but I preferto sip my Porters. Overall a solid Porter. I did expect this beer to be much more complex and more memorable due to the beer's maketing/label and overall hype.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 04:18:49 | More by Dhren1979
Photo of Stigs


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber and a Want, graciously sent as an extra from vkv822 - thanks buddy!

served in a 12oz tulip glass

A - pours with a bit over half an inch of tight, frothy dark tan colored foam. the beer is very dark brown, just a bit of red through the edge of the glass. some wet lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

S - roasted malt, hints of crisp minerals, toasted almonds and nuts, milk chocolate...very pleasant and smooth.

T - begins with a marriage of lightly roasted and semisweet chocolate malts. a light mineral taste settles in alongside a *very* subtle tartness like classic English porters. subtle floral, leafy hops kick in near the end.

M - a touch thin in the body, with moderate carbonation. slightly chalky as a porter should be, with the mouth left slightly sticky and chewy.

D - solid beer all around, not sure what the "reserve" distinction is about but i'd be happy with this in my mug almost any night.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 04:45:41 | More by Stigs
Photo of Brewbro000


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown from the bottle with a short (half finger) off white head. Lacing is solid from sip to sip. Smells of sweet roasted malt with some roast/toasted malts in the finish. The finish is a little too sweet. Tastes of sweet malt with a hint of chocolate and caramel. Mouthfeel is pretty darn good with a smooth rich vibe, and mild carbonation that makes it almost like drinking coffee. Drinkability is low despite the low alcohol content. This beer falls apart in drinkability due to how sweet it finishes. Making it hard to finish a full bomber. Good beer otherwise!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 03:54:27 | More by Brewbro000
Photo of twiggamortis420


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

22 oz bottle courtesy of readbaron, thanks Baron! Pours a deep black color with an immensely creamy tan foam. Excellent retention and lacing. I am not usually one for perfect scores, but a porter will never get better looking than this.

Hops are surprisingly prevalent - fruity and a bit piney. Dark chocolate, light on the roast and some bready yeast that also seems to throw off a fleshy fruit aroma.

Roast comes out plenty more in the flavor, along with some toasted cocoa and definite hop bitterness. Sweetness is low and body medium. Robust is a fitting descriptor, and the flavors could easily handle another point and a half ABV without showing it. It is balanced for the most part, but I could use a bit more sweetness...which would also lead to a fuller, creamier body. Pretty good beer, but does not really do anything great to make this a beer I will actively seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 05:20:49 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of lechroy


2.48/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What happened here. No balls to this beer. After having a nice afternoon with some darker brews, this one stood out like a sore thumb as weak at the knees. Chocolately aroma was quaint but the flavor was thin with little malt and a deadpan finish. I really wanted to like it, but it was honestly quite empty of flavor (read:watery) and was left unfinished at the table

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2011 08:00:01 | More by lechroy
Photo of DovaliHops


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had to buy one and review it since it got fancy new labels. Pours a dark brown color that appears dark red when when held up to light. Medium tan colored head. Scent is very well balanced and complex. Nice chocolate, coffee, and vanilla aromas with just a tad bit of roasted chestnut. Taste is well-balanced as well, but just a bit watered down. All the flavors in the aroma come through equally in the taste. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but I don't think this one was meant to be super thick. Drinkability is fairly high.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 05:35:34 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of Spider889


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was one from my Chicago haul last month.

Live review.

I love the label, very classic and simple; nice paper grain akin to what DFH uses. (The label on the BA photo is outdated) Pours a thinner looking dark brown which gathers black in my snifter. The carbonation immediately seems heavy as I get a tall head that continues growing for a few seconds after the pour stops. Man oh man, this leaves really intricate soapy lace embroidered all over my glass.

The aroma is much fainter than I would prefer, but it's not too difficult to pull out some tobacco and dark malt. Sweet toffee and light char make up most of the malt. Coffee grounds make up the rest.

This is a really succulent porter. Only a few others that I've had tasted better than this. Rich coffee and cracked wheat, mild notes of rye and heavily roasted barley all come together beautifully. You get a little bitterness on the back of the tongue going down and it finishes with sweetened dark chocolate.

Very smooth this beer is. The carbonation appeared heavy, but instead it is just a hair strong. That being said, the beer is still pillowy on the tongue, part of me wants to suggest there might be some oats used in this recipe. The beer is on the lighter side of medium bodied.

Drinkability is good, I won't have any problem polishing off this bomber by myself. The price is right too, $7.99 if I remember correctly. That said, I need to remind myself that for roughly the same price I can get a sixer of Edmund Fitzgerald, which is easily the better brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 07:45:22 | More by Spider889
Photo of Gobzilla


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

A: poured a dark brown in color with reddish amber brown highlights and had a very thin head leaving almost no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: oat grains were noticeable on the first whiff with caramel notes, faint brown sugar, coffee, and traces of roastiness.

T: some hop character comes out in the taste with caramel, brown sugar, maple, roasty accents and a touch of underlying chocolate notes.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild roasty, hoppy and thin finish.

D: was drinking pretty good but was really thin and lacking in the robust area like the beer suggests.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 07:07:57 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of sweemzander


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a rather dark brown color with tiny red highlights. Produced a huge foamy tan head with superb retention behind it and tons of lace.

(S)- A nice mellow roasted profile with raisins. Some dry yeasty bread-like components.

(T)- Similar to the smell. It has a really nice combo of roasted malts and a dry nutty raisin profile with a dry finish; tiny hints of cocoa on the finish too.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Smooth, yet a mild richness and a good roastedness.

(D)- A great porter. Smooth and mellow, yet rich and roasty dry. Not overly complex, but it kept me interested with each sip. A good drinker for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 01:50:30 | More by sweemzander
Photo of chilly460


3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown, honey brown and red highlights at the edges. Medium tan head quickly dissipates to a thin cap, minimal lacing.

S - Get some dry wood, and leather. Some plain bread malts. Minimal spicey hops. Not a big aroma.

T - Earthy hops hit immediately, but definitely not overwhelming. Transitions into a subtle wood taste with even malt tone, somewhat roasted finish. A very "dry" tasting beer for me.

M - Thought this was OK for the style, light to medium body, medium carbonation.

D - A sessionable beer for sure, no taste or characteristic is overwhelming so I could drink several.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 22:29:23 | More by chilly460
Photo of crossovert


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle.

IT pours a dark brown with a foamy tan head. The head has a frothy top and slowly recedes.

The smell is f table sugar, chocolate, and a hint of roastiness.

The flavor is rich and roasty with notes of chocolate and coffee. the mouthfeel is over-carbonated. It has an annoying prickle to it that I don't really like.

It has it's flaws but it is a solid American Porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 07:06:57 | More by crossovert
Photo of madvermin


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

Poured dark leathery black, with some red showing through in the light. About a half-finger of light off-white head that laces averagely.

Nose is woody and toasty, with coffee and dark roasted fruit. Chocolate is evident as well.

Taste follows, with lots of roasty malt, a nice raw coffee bean middle, and hints of dark fruit throughout. Oatmeal-stoutish sourness comes in nicely, and is then killed by chocolate, which then lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is nice and rich to match the full-bodied flavor, and carbonation is initially a bit too strong for me but levels out quickly. Drinkability is great for the style, especially considering the 5.9% abv. Had this out of the bomber, this beer would be perfect in sixers.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 04:57:14 | More by madvermin
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My bottle didn't have the word "robust" on it, but I can't find an entry without it so I'll review it under this beer assuming it's the same thing.

The beer has the classic look of a porter with a dark brown, semi-transparent body and a nice head without much retention. The smell is roasty and toasty as is the taste. None of it all that remarkable for a porter except that it is all done well. There are no flaws in this beer and that makes this one exceptionally drinkable. I know there are better porters out there and I've had many of them, but if I were to go out to get one to just sit down and drink without having to think too much or work at exploring the nuances of the taste then this is the one. Open it, pour it and enjoy it. Don't overthink this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 04:19:03 | More by Naugros
Photo of Pellinore1


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, just barely translucent brown into a pint glass. Two fingers of very light tan head fade eventually to some nice lacing.

The smell is pleasant, but seems a little faint. Dark roasted malts are there, and maybe just a hint of bread.

This beer opens with nice toasted grain, then gets into slightly creamy coffee notes. The finish is dry, roasty, and just a little bitter.

Medium to full-bodied, with an almost creamy texture, this beer is pleasant on the tongue. Quite drinkable as well, an easy session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 04:14:41 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of smakawhat


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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

This is a really good looking beer mostly because of the body. Out of the bottle its a standard brown off the pour but the body gives off this incredible dark DARK red which highlights with cherry hues. It at first appears dark walnut but gives to me what is an extreme red. The head is surprisingly a very faint light tan, about three fingers, with some good retention and some decent initial lacing. Head bubbles are not totally uniform to some extent. Really impressed by the color of the body on this beer.

Bouquet has a simple creamy hot whipped chocolate, but at first not much else. Subsequent whiffs give of a smell of white/malt vinegar. Perhaps some small tobacco in the back.

Taste is a mellow somewhat coffee roast to it. Very mellow beer. Some kind of dry like grain husk quality, with a bit of a slightly wet body into borderline milk stout territory.

It's a good porter but I am not that excited by it for wanting to have it. The beer looks great though.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 21:14:44 | More by smakawhat
Photo of emerge077


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
Photo of dtivp


4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a nice two finger tan head with good retention and very nice lacing.

The aroma of chocolate with a slight roasted malt.

THe taste followed the nose with a sweet chocolate with some roasted malt and then finished with a slightly bitter dark coffee.

Mouthfeel was medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation, very creamy and smooth.

This is a very nice easy drinkable porter. It was also my first taste of a Firestone Walker Beer and I hope to have the opportunity to sample some of their other styles of beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 02:03:36 | More by dtivp
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color with a 1" tan colored head.

Smell: mild chocolate and a hint of coffee are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: mild roasted malt tone with nice dark chocolate, a hint of coffee, and some earthy qualities arrive late. Bitterness is mild overall.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and a bit creamy late. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: this beer was very easy to drink. It's well balanced and enjoyable. Nice sessionable porter.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2011 20:14:23 | More by Gavage
Photo of JamnesCameron


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 samie85


3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a cola colored brown with two fingers of light brown head.

S-Smells of chocolate, a little bit of roast, and an earthy and slightly floral hop nose.

T-Chocolate with a light bit of roast and an earthy bitter note on the finish.

M-Pretty smooth and medium bodied with with medium carbonation and a little too much dry on the finish.

D-Not a bad beer per se, but I feel like I've had this a porter a few times before. The price point and the packaging especially suggest that this is a porter that's special in some way, but it's not.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 03:39:18 | More by samie85
Photo of gregshead


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thin dark brown pour into a snifter glass w/ a half finger of head.

S: Roasted grain and maybe some subtle vanilla?

T: Strong grains w/ almost a charcoal/smoke flavor. Some good hops balance/finish this porter at the end.

M: A little light on the carbonation but not offensively so. Nice thin feel.

D: I enjoyed this balanced porter. If I see it on tap and feel in the mood for a porter I would not hesitate to get it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 05:50:37 | More by gregshead
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma gives me some mild chocolate, coffee and creamy vanilla smells. Doesn't smell like a whole lot; fairly muted to be honest.

The taste gives me mostly chocolate and some hints of coffee. The coffee comes mostly in the aftertaste. Slight bitter aftertaste. As this warms the tastes become more pronounced.

This is pretty smooth for a porter. Moderate carbonation.
Overall, this is a decent porter. It's really nothing special though. Has been on my list of things to try for a while. There are just too many good porters out there that this just doesn't measure up. No need to revisit this however. This costs too much and is too difficult to find that it just isn't worth it for what you get.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 22:54:27 | More by claspada
Photo of billab914


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Surly nonic pint glass. It poured dark brown in color with a fluffy tan head filling the top inch. The head settled to a thin layer, which stayed well into drinking it. Some pretty good lacing was left as well.

The aroma has a nice mix of chocolate to it. It has some of the milk chocolate as well as some hints of some bitter sweet, baking like chocolate to it. just a bit of roasty flavors to it as well. Pretty nice aroma for a porter.

The taste shows some nice smoother chocolaty notes to it along with a modest, bitter, roasted malt, slight coffee like flavor. It has some sweeter milk chocolate to it as well as a darker, more bitter chocolate flavor. The range of chocolate flavors is definitely nice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. It has a bit of a creaminess to it as well that I really like in the style. Personally I'd be fine with a little less carbonation though. Drinkability is pretty good, It had some great flavors to it and was a very easy drinking beer overall. Very nice porter overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 00:27:16 | More by billab914
Photo of djbreezy


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

Served at Bailey's Taproom in Portland, OR.

appearance - dark, tan head, frothy

smell - coffee and roasty malts

taste - caramel malts, chocolate malts and coffee blended in a creamy fashion

mouthfeel - creamy and oily, light/medium body (appropriate for a stout)

drinkability - a good, flavorful stout, fw style

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2010 17:26:50 | More by djbreezy
Photo of flagmantho


3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: completely dark body which allows some ruby through when held up to the light. Head poured one finger of pillowy tan foam. A solid looking beer.

Smell: light roasted-grain aroma with a hint of tartness. Not exceptional, but a perfectly reasonable porter.

Taste: roasted grains with a little mocha character with atop a rather tart backbone. There are a touch of earthy, vegetal hops and a nice balancing bitterness. It's not bad, but the flavor seems rather sharp, even for a robust porter.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a pretty solid level of carbonation; there is a nice, creamy texture here which I quite like.

Drinkability: this beer is not perfect, but it seems to be an all-round decent drinkin' beer. I wouldn't mind having this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 16:19:39 | More by flagmantho
Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,541 ratings.