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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

1,579 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,579
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 65
Gots: 162 | FT: 6
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: 1,579 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
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 philbertk
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Walker's Reserve Robust Porter--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 5.90% ABV. 45 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Foamy lacy light tan head. Dark ruby edged black color. Bottle Conditioned Sediment dust. Burnt toasted chocolate hint floral hop front. Dry rich crusty burnt hop infused mild chocolate espresso rich Bottle Conditioned wood aged complex Porter-Stout body. Tangy clean dry hop spice end. Complex-tasty. Sampled 6/28/2010. 2 @ $4.99 Each.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company--Walker's Reserve Porter--Proprietors Reserve Series--2011 22 oz. Bottle. 5.80% ABV. 45 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Tight dense lacy lasting light coffee head. Dark bronze pour. Almost opaque ruby edged dark black color. Soft hop light toasted mild cocoa Porter front. Soft mild sweet slightly creamy mellow roasted chocolate hint black bread body. Sediment dusting. Easy cloying mild roasted malt spice mild hop end. Smooth tasty very well balanced hoppy toasted biscuit Porter. Sampled 2/11/2011. Purchased for $4.99 @ QFC--Ballard, Seattle on 2/11/2011.

philbertk, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of weazal
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blue Palms Firestone event

SMELL: A rich and sweet aroma of primarily coffee and dark and sweet chocolate.

TASTE: The body is smooth and deliciously thick. Reminds me of molasses. The flavor is of light coffee and has slight bitter notes at the end.

weazal, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, 1/5/10 is stamped on the bottleneck.

Not an overly red or dark Porter with a nice creamy head, it does have very nice lacing.

Sweet toffee, cream, coffee, chocolate, earthy hops, all adding up to what an American Porter should smell like.

Cocoa powder, herbal and earthy hops, roast, and wet earth make this a good Porter. It is not overly sweet.

Pretty average mouthfeel overall. The carbonation falls off too quickly; a problem I think I can attribute to the nucleation ring in the Sam Adams glass.

Good average Porter that isn't widely available or very affordable. May I suggest Black Butte? This is good and approaches the quality of the aforementioned beer.

brewerburgundy, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of blackc5
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle at 50F into a pint glass.

A - Ends up being the best feature of this beer. Dark brown to black, with some incredible looking foam and great lacing.

S - Very mild aromas of the roasted malts and some coffee. Not much going on here - pretty underwhelming.

T - Decent, but average porter. I was expecting more from Firestone, and the 'Reserve' name doesn't really seem well suited to a porter that is simply average in taste.

M - This is above average, with a perfect amount of carbonation and a generally thick and silky texture. Somewhat dry finish.

D - No overall complaints as I finished the bottle easily, but it surely wouldn't rate as an above average porter for me. Needs a lot more going on flavor-wise. Bolder and more complexity, espeically given the Reserve tag.

blackc5, May 28, 2010
Photo of theghost3
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, opaque brown almost black. There's a 2-finger khaki head and lots of layered lacing. Great start.

The smell is very subtle--some dark chocolate and burnt toasted malts. The taste is more apparent than the scent, but not much more. There are flavors of molasses, burnt toast, and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is terrific--smooth, thick. Carbonation is not too biting but not too subtle, just right. The carbonation sticks on the tongue for a while with a slightly bitter aftertaste--nice.

This is a very drinkable porter. I just wish the smell and flavors were a little more apparent.

theghost3, May 27, 2010
Photo of MenloBeer
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown, small head hangs on, just barely, but leaves decent lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt, touch of molasses, bittersweet cocoa, hint of coffee, with a vague, mild hop scent. A little bit of toasted biscuit.

Taste - Kind of what you would expect: malt at first, with the cocoa and other flavors coming from the rear. Hops get drowned out a little bit. A nice example of what a porter can be, but not over the top or crazy.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation, not too heavy, and not too dry. Well done with the unfermented sugars.

Drinkability - A little sweet for my personal palate, but that's me. This beer not being overly heavy, I have sipped a few over the course of a cool night with no problems.

Serving type: bottle

MenloBeer, May 26, 2010
Photo of dfbvFBFBDFBDFbVb
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought a bomber of this at the brewery while passing by this weekend. Was excited to try it as Union Jack is one of my fav's.

Great looking beer in the glass. Head and all was right there. Smelled decent. Disappointed with the over all taste. Seems like a weak attempt at a Black Butte clone. A little too creamy without enough bite, bitterness or choco to balance it out. As another reviewer stated, I cant put my finger on it. I expect more from a "Reserve" beer especially from FW. Would not buy this one again although I still love FW brewery. Stick with the staples, guys.

dfbvFBFBDFBDFbVb, May 10, 2010
Photo of Dlish
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells light citrus hops, sweet toffee or caramel flavors. Taste creamy bit of toasted coffee and just a bit of hops. After taste of coco powder and toasted coffee. A well balanced porter, everything is in check, all the right flavors are there and nothing is out of proportion, other than the mouth feel, it could be improved, but i can't put my finger on exactly what.

Over all great porter from Firestone.

Dlish, May 09, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark brown which turns to a ruby red when held up to a light. About a finger of quickly dissipating head is achieved which leaves decent lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts, bittersweet cocoa, burnt coffee, and just a slight hint of hops.

Taste - Similar to the nose. Nice, full malty taste up front followed almost immediately by dark chocolate, cocoa, and coffee flavors. There is also just a hint of vanilla. A nice, but subtle, hop kick brings up the end of the sip. To be honest, there is nothing "crazy" in the flavor/taste of this beer, but I think that is what makes it so good. Just a damn good porter.

Mouthfeel - A bit light, decent carbonation, and finishes with just a touch of dryness.

Drinkability - A very solid porter. This is very enjoyable as my night cap and is extremely quaffable and easy to drink. Being outside on this cool, Southern California evening makes this beer that more enjoyable. In the future I will pick this up again if I see it.

SpdKilz, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Krevee
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown translucent brown, with a light brown or beige head. Has moderate lacing that quickly falls.

S - Smells of roasted malts and coffee with a bit of cocoa

T - Taste is actually sort of opposite of the smell. It has a stronger cocoa presence with some roasted flavor. And finishes with a bit of coffee/roast/cocoa flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is silky and thick with lights amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth.

D - A nice representation of the porter style. A nice drink for a cool evening. I would defenitly have this beer again. I don't know how many I would have in one night. But overall it was satisfying and had a good taste.

Krevee, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of imperialstout27
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into pub glass.

A: Rich, inviting dark brown w/ medium beige head. The head dissipates after a couple minutes, but a collar persists as you drink down the glass.

S: Lots of chocolate malts upfront on the nose. It's a sweet smell, similar to high quality, lightly-milked chocolate. Tiny hint of alcohol.

T: Chocolate maltiness dominates. The sweet-bitter balance is quite good, with the chocolaty sweetness hitting first and carrying through to the fade while the bitterness hits its stride at midpalate and holds into the aftertaste. Coffee notes developed more as the beer warmed. Good rich, full flavor.

M: The silkiness and creaminess of this medium-bodied porter is the first thing I notice as it opens on the palate, even before the initial flavors. I like it - very nicely done.

D: I found this beer drank very easy when on the cooler (but not cold) side. As it warmed, the sweetness became a bit much. It's an enjoyable beer and I'll buy it again, but after one bomber I'd probably reach for something else to change the pace. But overall, a solid and worthy porter.

imperialstout27, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of boatshoes
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this as part of a random box of beer from papollo, thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a translucent dark mahogany with about a finger and a half of off white head. Dies back fairly quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. Fair amount of carbonation beading up in the body of the beer as well.

Smell- A solid amount of hearty smelling roasted malt with a nice coffee characteristic and perhaps a bit of cocoa powder as well. Not an overpowering nose but contains some nice elements.

Taste- A solid porter. A fair amount of roasted malt tinged with a coffee bitterness. Less of the chocolate characteristics present that I thought I detected in the nose. Not overly complex but decent all around.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Nice mouthfeel with enough heft to keep it from being thin but still goes down easy. Shared the bomber with a friend and it was easy to put away the glass I had.

Overall, a solid porter. Not the most exciting or complex one I've had but enjoyable on the whole.

boatshoes, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Greg for sending me this one as an Extra! From notes on 3.21.

Pours nearly black with a tight 2 finger foam, impressive weblike lace lasted for a moment, but then disappeared.

Aroma had a bit of a bright citrus/earthy hop kiss at colder temperatures, but as it warmed it was all chocolate and roast. With a little bit of a french roast coffee. The taste is mostly chocolate, roasted malt and some root beer mixed in mid palate. A little acrid in the finish, but I don't mind.

Low-medium carbonation, near perfect substance in the mouthfeel, maybe just a fraction too thin. I enjoyed this bomber over the course of an hour and it was very pleasant. I could see picking this up again if it were available out here.

Ineedabeerhere, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of froghop
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

clear dark brown with a red tint when held to the light, a medium size khaki head, and some lacing.

smell is of some cour malt, and some cocoa.

taste is a little watery, sour malt, cocoa, almost cola like, and a little caramel.

overall just an average porter.

froghop, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Vicious pour netted two full fingers of soft brown foam. That head decayed slowly and drug a ton of lacing, eventually settling as a splotchy, bubbly cap. Body appeared opaque at first, but showed brown and orange shades when held to light. Looks great!

Smell: Cocoa powder and chocolate malt, toasted bread, I wanna say coconut, and light sea salt. Mellow and balanced, nothing outstanding.

Taste: Mainly chocolate malt, but there's some nice hop resin coming through in the finish. I also get salt and toasted grains. Moderate bitterness. I dig it, but as with the smell this doesn't stand out at all.

Mouthfeel: Light to moderate carbonation with a pretty milky body. Very smooth and balanced. Aftertaste showcases the entire flavor profile and lasts for a long time. Very nicely done.

Drinkability: I wish there was something more special about this porter. It's well made and very smooth, but also forgettable. Won't be worth another growler fill, but I'll likely be ordering this again in one of the local bars.

ThreeWiseMen, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of tuckevalastin
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark ruby red with a big foamy tan head

S: A sweet roasty malt smell comes foward first. There are some light coffee and chocolate tones as well.

T: Nice roasted malt flavor. Decent coffee hints and some slight hoppiness in the finish.

M: Smooth and medium bodied. No burn and little bitterness.

D: Not high on alcohol, not high on hops, and easy to swallow. Very drinkable.

Overall, I'd definetly drink this one again but I wouldn't bother to seek it out. Not a bad beer at all just not an outstanding one. Would be a great go to beer in an area where there is a large supply of it.

tuckevalastin, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of rpstevens
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Portsmouth tulip. The pour yields a black beer that lets a little light through some hazy brown edges. There is a coffee ice cream colored thin head that quickly fades to a thin cap on the beer. There is a nice amount of oily/bubbly lacing left behind.

The smell is vanilla, roasted malt, mild coffee and some bitter chocolate. Underneath there is a nice sharp oak character.

The taste is roasted malt and acrid coffee, followed by vanilla sweetness and hints of the barrel. The over-roasted coffee character is followed by a strange emptiness, the flavor is definitely lacking something, before the vanilla and barrel finish it off.

The beer is medium bodied and well carbonated, the alcohol is well integrated into the beer and the flavors are well balanced. If it weren't for the strange void mid-palate this would be a really good porter.

rpstevens, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inflatablechair brought this bottle to dinner a while back.. Thanks a ton Sam. Reviewed from notes.

Tan head.. nice retention... Brew is black.

Dark malts with a bit of black tea in the nose.. oaky .. coffee and lite chocolate

Flavor mirrors the nose with more of a chocolate quality.. a little plum.. and some minor vanilla. rich malts throughout.. a bit too bitter could come from hops or dark malts.. not sure.

Medium body with smooth small bubble carbonation.

Thanks Sam.. This brew was off my radar.


JohnGalt1, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled tonight on draft at British Bankers Club in Menlo Park.

Pours a dark chestnut/caramel brown and is almost completely opaque except for slight hazelnut brown hues when held to a light source. Thin half finger beige head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring.

Slightly roasty malt aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel, hazelnut and subtle hops.

Well balanced medium body that's in the fuller end and not as roasty as I expected, which is a nice surprise. Lots of silky milk and bitter dark chocolate maltiness along with hints of caramel, toffee and subtle hops. There is a nice lactic creaminess that balances out the roasted character, creating a smooth, quaffable beer.

corby112, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of hrking
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this last night with my friends at Savage's Ale House. This is one of those beers that when you drink it seems to be one that is brewed to BJCP guidelines. Nose is not much and literally no hop presence which is really ok for this style. Finishes dry as it goes down and doesn't leave anything lingering to savor because it finishes so dry. Some roasted malt flavors coming in to play with a slight sweetness that is to be expected from the style but overall an average porter.

hrking, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of beertunes
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a very deep brown, almost black, with just enough translucence to allow the beers clarity to show. Just over an inch of deep tan head dissipated at a medium pace and left a little less than medium lacing.

A full, well-rounded, rich aroma featuring much roasty goodness wafts over the nose. The flavors are also mostly rich, roasted malts, with a nice zing of hop and just a touch of coffee.

The body was very good, full, rich, smooth and surrounding without being heavy or clingy. Drinkability is excellent, if available to you this should be your go-to porter. Overall, an excellent beer worth the effort to seek out.

beertunes, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber served at cellar temp. Poured into a tulip, really wanted to open up the aroma here. Deep clear ruby brown with a large fluffy tan head. Aroma is mostly cocoa with some tart red fruits and an unwelcome copper note. Flavor is toasted bread, semisweet chocolate, light caramel, a touch of roast, and vanilla. Not very robust, despite the name. Body is thinnish but the oats make this pretty smooth to drink. More body would make this a very solid beer.

illidurit, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the HorseBrass the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with impressive head retention and lots of sticky lacing all around. On the nose I get a huge aroma of espresso coffee and licorise, along with some chocolate, vanilla and underlying roasty malt. Flavors replicate the nose, with the moderate sweetness countered nicely by the hoppy bitterness, leading to a dry, roasty finish. There is also more of a chocolate and vanilla flavor to this beer then I was expecting based on the aroma profile. The beer finishes with some light bitter hoppiness, and I'm enjoying the light creamy mouthfeel, and fairly long finish. Drinkability in this beer is quite good, with the alcohol barely more then an afterthought.

This is a solid, well made porter from Firestone.

John_M, Dec 03, 2009
Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.