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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

1,576 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,576
Reviews: 633
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 65
Gots: 161 | FT: 5
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: 1,576 | Reviews: 633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GuisseppeFranco
3.5/5  rDev -10%

GuisseppeFranco, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of spark3148857
4/5  rDev +2.8%

spark3148857, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of quetzal013
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Why do you drink beer? I don't have one reason. I started thinking about a treatise on why, but this does not appear the time since I'm reviewing via iPhone HID (human interface device).

This is my first experience with walkers reserve, don't know why, just is. I don't think I'm "pretentious", but people probably rarely think they are. I believe this is a fantastic beer. Appeared a nice dark brown, low to med head. Not a thick beer. There was lacing, but nothing you would wear to consumate a marriage. Just a solid looking beer.

Nose, again, modest but reliable. This beer seems like the friend you call when you need to move. Not flashy, but hard working. It won't judge you, it will just be there when you need it. There are subtle coffee and roasted malt notes.

Tastes like a benchmark beer. For sure there are better, but don't knock this porter for presenting a very nice flavor profile... And with the ABV, give Firestone Walker credit. Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, subtle bitter hops.... Wonderful beer.

What do you say about a beer that is very balanced, stylistically spot on, sessionable, affordable, available, and enjoyable? I say, thank you and FUSL.

quetzal013, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of tony223366
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

A: Gorgeous and tight 3 fingers of tan head. Really fluffy at the top. Primarily it's full of extremely small bubbles. Some sticky lacing is already apparent. Color is extremely dark, no light will get through it. That being said there is the tiniest hint of red. Good looking beer.

S: Pretty standard porter aromas. Some light coffee and chocolate. Getting some dark fruits but mostly just the rich malt. Not getting any real hop aroma's. I'd say this solidly falls as average for a porter aroma.

T: Actually quite good and refreshing. Some really nice rich coffee and chocolate flavors. The dark malts really come out to play here. Some richly dark caramel too. The hops are playing around in the background... enough to lend some complexity throughout but not enough to really be noteworthy. The bitter is not too strong but just a bit. The finish is surprisingly clean for a porter. It starts out a little on the sweet side and finishes a little on the bitter side. Could use just a hint more of a roasted flavor.

M: Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Very good carbonation.

O: This is a very drinkable porter. It has some lightness to it and none of the flavors are too in your face. The smooth body with the good carbonation really adds to the drinkability. I actually don't hate that it's not smokier or have more roasted flavors. It keeps this beer refreshing and very easy to finish this 22oz.

tony223366, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Rayek
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Poured into a Nonic, the beer emerges a deep mahogany hue that borders upon black. A dense cream head slowly falls to a patchwork quilt of foam. Decent lace was left behind.

First off, there a bit too much fizz going on here. The tingly carbonation gets in the way of the flavors. Letting the beer breath a bit helped. Espresso is the primary theme here. Coffee and baking chocolate do most of the work. As the beer warms, a black tea bitterness comes through. The beer gets a bit acidic late.

Overall, the body kills this for me. The rest of the beer is quite god when you get the fizz out of the way.

Rayek, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of AngusOg
3.5/5  rDev -10%

AngusOg, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of jackrodgers77
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

jackrodgers77, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of TastyIsBeer
3/5  rDev -22.9%

TastyIsBeer, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of shanblur
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%

08/25/11 printed on bottle. Poured from 22oz bomber into a snifter. A - Black with some dark brown highlights around the edges. Minimal tan head leaves moderate lacing. S - Chocolate and a minimal hops aroma with a slight roasted malt component. T - Minimal chocolate flavors and a slightly bitter finish. Nothing really jumps out at you. M - Smooth and velvety. Gentle carbonation. A nice porter, but not unique enough for me to try again. My least favorite beer I have tried from them.

shanblur, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of siddhartha
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

siddhartha, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of WMEugene
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

A - Pours a very dark brown with a cream colored thick and billowy head. Awesome lacing.

S - Roasted malts, some cocoa. A little earthy. Not terribly strong, but pleasant enough.

T - Nice and smooth malt flavor. Some sweetness and chocolate flavors, but this is a very mellow tasting and delicious Porter.

M - Medium to full bodied. A little creamy, smooth and extremely drinkable. Great carbonation. Well done.

O - Walker's Reserve is a top-notch, excellent Porter. It's extremely drinkable and tasty. Highly recommended.

WMEugene, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of MisterKilderkin
3.5/5  rDev -10%

MisterKilderkin, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%

A little darker than the most middle of the road brown, nice head on top of it, looked real good, cherry cola type head. Aroma was muted I thought, nothing off, but not enough roast, but also wasn't over the top with it to where there was a ton of bitterness either.

Small amounts of roasted chocolate malt, nuts, hops to a larger degree, didn't really pick up any wood/barrel notes out of it. Pretty tame stuff, the usual suspects in it. Tastes like what a lot of people are calling black ipa these days, because the mouthfeel wasn't huge, complex or anything else in significant form.

Beerandraiderfan, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of rappmann
3.58/5  rDev -8%

From a bottle dated 05/12/2011

A- Pitch black nice two finger tan head, decent lacing

S- Bitter chocolate, faint coffee, nice maltiness comes through

T- Bitter chocolate and heavy coffee

M- Way overly carbonated made it somewhat thin

O- Good porter not one i would seek out again persay but I would like to try it on tap

rappmann, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of DCon
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Shared a 1 PINT, 6 FLUID OUNCE (650ml) bottle of this w/ ChrisF @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO. Poured from the black waxed top, white/gold labeled bottle w/ the Bear & Lion throwing up fists into a 10oz Stange Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- The aroma is roasty but very faint. Has a light amount of coffee and black malt character but no hop either. Everything is on-que for a Porter but just doesn't have that extra kick...

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, dark tan head that has great retention. Has a very dark brown colored body with an opaque color (but clear when held up to the ceiling lights). Leaves semi-dark lacing that stayed thick on the glass.

Flavor- A very nice strong malts porter sits in front of me. Has nice roastiness but very subtle and well blended with the hops. Has a light-medium bitterness level at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Extra Smooth, Creamy, and has tons of grain and malt in the finish with coffee flavors added in.

Overall Impression- A very smooth and easy to drink Porter! I actually would recommend this one to those who can't take coffee infused (from the roasted malt, burnt malt) tastes in porters because of its creaminess and drinkability. Surprised this is my first time enjoying this one! Will be going back to enjoy a 22oz bottle with myself now!

DCon, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of greenmonstah
2.6/5  rDev -33.2%

Review from old, rather sparse, notes

A - Pours a black color with 2 fingers of head and average lacing.

S - Mellow chocolate with bitter coffee tones. Roasted malts are subtle background players.

T - Taste of roasted malts with a nasty soapy character. Really unenjoyable. Chocolate and coffee notes can't get past the strong soap. Perhaps something is wrong with the bottle, because I can't believe this beer could be well regarded.

M - Soapy and slippery. Medium body with a soapy slickness.

O - Huge disappointment. Almsto undrinkable. Perhaps FW has an issue with QA.

greenmonstah, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of groetman
3/5  rDev -22.9%

groetman, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of muletrane
4/5  rDev +2.8%

muletrane, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of awhipker
3.5/5  rDev -10%

awhipker, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of ckollias
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

Enjoyed this 650ml bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark brown almost black hue with amber lights. Has a 2-finger, tan head that quickly dissipates leaving a decent trail down the glass and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Great chocolate, coffee, and malt aroma through and through.

T: Similar to the smell lots of coffee and chocolate here. It is slightly sweet with a great malt backbone.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent porter – especially after a meal.

ckollias, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured out of a 22oz bottle into my duvel snifter

A- pours an amber brown that settles black with a 2 finger tan head after an aggressive pour. Decent lacing.

S- a bit of chocolate Touch of earthy, almost chalkiness from the oak barrel fermentation, caramel, missing a lot of roastiness t hat I expected, but the oak adds a unique, almost nutty , character.

T- starts with chocolate and mild roastiness, there is a touch of hops in the middle, a taste of earthiness, none of the flavors are bold but they all blend nicely, the oak integrates thought the taste almost blending everything together. Again I feel the oak adds an almost nutty character.

M- light/medium bodied with medium/high carbonation. Finishes dry, the carbonation scrubs your palate before the next sip.

O- A good porter that i feel oak had an interesting jnfluence on... One that I have picked up before and will pick up again, although I wish it had a tiny bit less carbonation and a bit more roastiness.

PeterIngemi, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of bump8628
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

Cocoa brown, lots of carbonation produces 2-3 fingers of tan foam. Diner coffee, unsweetened chocolate, and a bit of burnt sugar. Hop bitterness settles on the tongue for a few seconds before being scrubbed away by the load of carbonation. Dry finish with some lingering earthy hoppiness. This was just so-so. Too thin, too dry, and too carbonic. A bit disjointed too. FW makes some great beers, but Walker's Reserve isn't one of them.

bump8628, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of TangTKE402
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into a beer mug. Dark chocolate in color, with a milk chocolate, 1-finger bubbly head. The head dissipated fairly quickly, and there was barely any lacing.

S: Deep and inviting, with plenty of roasted malt notes. Notes of semi-sweet morsels, coffee, toasted caramel malt, and just a balanced hint of earthy hops.

T: Dark roasted malts up-front with a smooth, sweet, almost berry-like finish. Roasted caramel and chocolate malt notes dominate the flavor, with some nice flavors of coffee ice cream with dark chocolate chips, and a finish that tastes slightly of raspberries. It's a smooth, even, mild Porter that has likely been mellowed by the barrel-aging.

M: It's a bit thin in the mouthfeel department: silky, a bit nondescript, and overall light. Not what I would expect from a robust-smelling porter such as this, but perhaps it has mellowed a bit too much.

O: This is a fine porter, smooth, malty, refreshing on a cool day, but overall nothing out-of-the-ordinary. I'd gladly pick this beer up over many other porters, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it.

TangTKE402, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -8%

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've yet to be impressed with the brewery but I like the style. Served refrigerator cold.

A: Pours a one finger head of good cream, good thickness, and impressive retention - though the ABV is merely average. Colour is a predictable solid nontransparent black. It's about standard for a porter, which for me means it's appealing. The head itself is of dark off-white colour. I prefer them tan but I'm nitpicking.

Sm: Cream, vanilla, caramel, and some chocolate. A bit milky as well. Roasted barley is sorely missed. A light to mild strength aroma, and a pleasant one. To style, and rightly so. I'm slowly getting excited for this beer.

T: Chocolate dominates, with caramel (most notable on the climax and as it dies through the finish), milky notes, hints of oats, and cream. Fortunately the chocolate is not too rich. A well balanced beer all around. It hits the notes it needs to but doesn't make any risky choices, playing it safely to style. No alcohol or yeast come through - not that they should. It delivers on the promise of the aroma, but doesn't surpass expectations. The cream on the open is a great introduction to the beer, but fades all too quickly. Not a whole lot of layering happens here, but as aforementioned the balance is right so it matters little. I enjoy it. Very pleasant indeed.

Mf: A touch coarse on the open, but all around indisputably smooth and wet. The thickness is near perfect to support the flavour profile. It's a bit creamy but not as much as would be ideal. Complementary of the flavours all around, and brewed with care.

Dr: A very drinkable, average ABV porter that will satisfy fans of the style. I could drink it all night. I'd love to try it on nitro-draught if it's available. This is the first beer from Firestone Walker I've had that has been anything more than mediocre, and it makes me excited to try more beers from their reserve series.

It wouldn't age well - the ABV is too low.

Would pair well with mild chocolate or restrained truffles. Perhaps barbecue.


kojevergas, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of caljrjr
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

caljrjr, Jan 23, 2012
Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,576 ratings.