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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

638 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 638
Hads: 1,630
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 65
Gots: 174 | 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:
Beer added by: Jason on 11-15-2002

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.
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Reviews: 638 | Hads: 1,630
Photo of Uanof
4.61/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent porter in all of it's greatness. I must admit the ratings don't lie, slowly receding two inch frothy head, solid black color, faint toffee to the nose, medium body with slight dryness to the mouth and flavors of toffee and bittersweetness complement in the palate very nicely. Super enjoyable, highly recommended for anyone who's new and old to craft beer. (369 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown to black color with a small brown head that leaves a small lacing
S-roasted coffee with a slight hop and malt aroma
T-roasted coffee and malt comes in at the front then you get a nice hop bitterness in the aftertaste that stays with you til the end along with a slight chocolate flavor
M-full body and medium carbonation
T-I love the balance of this beer, I tasted the roasted taste and a coffee taste along with the nice hop bitterness was great (459 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Euclid Hall and served in a tulip. At first I thought it really should have been served in a pint glass but this was complex enough that a tulip was nice. Dark brown-black color, small head. Aroma was malty, hints of cocoa. Flavor was a really nice mix of wood and dark malts. It was surprisingly complex, I didn't remember it being do good in the bottle. (365 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A:
Pours a dark cola black with a nice inch tall tan head that eventually becomes a relatively healthy film and a little ring around the glass edge. Okay retention (head pops right back to full size with a little swish in the glass); spotty but substantial lacing.

S:
Oats and honey on the whole. Almost reminds me of a barn in that respect. Caramel and chocolate malts, tire, a hint of alcohol sourness, licorice, dirt.

T:
Rich and smooth with lots of dark, nutty flavors. Dark bread, oats, nuts, weak coffee, and the tiniest hop astringency at the end.

M:
Smooth and slightly creamy. Coating semi-sweetness that gets a bit sticky but doesn't wear you out. Medium bodied. Fabulous.

O:
Really fine Porter!
This is a delicious and thoroughly enjoyable beer. It is not the most over-the-top beer and honestly some may even find it on the verge of boring; but for what it is, it is very good.
It is all right looking and has a lovely and complex aroma. The taste and palate are where it really shines. In both cases this is because it is so 'together' that it is hard to find anything wrong with it. The taste is so 'together' that I have a hard time picking out individual flavors beyond the lovely and whole mixture that it is (maybe my tongue is having an off day...) and the mouthfeel is so complete and drinkable-but-filling that it seems to be a perfect beer to have a few pints of at the pub (which I have been lead to believe is an important characteristic in English styles).
Would definitely have again; worth trying, a standard-bearer for sure. (1,558 characters)

Photo of blindtiger24
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber ported into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque color with a mocha head that is frothy and soapy and clings in splotches on the side of the glass. Soda-like carbonation that fizzes in small batches and pokes through the head.

S: Slight aroma of anise, coca nibs, graham cracker, and cherry cola.

T: A fairly bitter and smoky porter that imparts some sweetness. Dark cherries, slightly burnt toast, pepper, dark, bitter chocolate and some toffee.

M: Creamy most of the way through with a brief singe of bitterness from roasted malt and chocolate. Some smokiness in the finish as well. Carbonation is noticeable throughout and helps lighten this up from being a full-on full bodied beer.

O: A pretty looking beer that has enticing scents and awesome mouthfeel. Smokier than I was expecting, which isn’t a bad thing, but if not for the carbonation the overall experience might have too much spice and be over-drying. (947 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours black with a little plumb color when held up to the light. There is a thick, persistent, mocha colored head and thick lacing which stays on the glass until the end.

The smell is burnt malts, burnt coffee and chocolate. There is a slightly boozy smell as well as a toasted oat smell.

Taste follows the nose; it is heavy on burnt coffee and burnt malts. There is chocolate as well as a little booze. There is also a light smokey flavor.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, this beer goes down easily with no aftertaste.

Overall this is a very good, very smooth porter. Those who are put off by heavy burnt taste and bitterness of other porters might like this one; it goes down smoothly. (705 characters)

Photo of
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Surprisingly dark- a light-absorbing brown, sticky tan head. Cool display of entropy with a rough pour- sheets of carbonation falling below the head, only to suddenly rise again. No signs of carbonation visible after that. Artwork is identical to most other F.W. brews, but clean and appealing.

S: Layered dark malts, some chocolate. Deep and enticing.

T: Bitter chocolate, dark malt backbone. Hops play into the bitterness. Somewhat short finish. For such a dark and powerful brew, I'm surprised at the average ABV.

M: Almost foamy, creamy. Very fine carbonation, just enough to give it spirit and keep it well away from being flat.

O: Awesomely dark, deep beer that definitely works as a winter warmer, despite the arguably low ABV. Almost a stout, this porter has character and quality in every inch of it. Recommended! (829 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute.

a: Dark ruby with an inch and a half tall tan head which receded to thin surface foam and a little spotty lacing.

s: Dark fruit.

t: Mild dark malt and some tinges of raisin. Initial smoky finish turns dry.

m: Light, especially for a porter. Almost watery, but not enough to detract from the drinking experience.

o: A very easy drinking and pleasant porter, milder tasting than most. Would make a fine dinner accompaniment but is also sippable on its own. "Elegant dark ale" is a good summary. Worth paying the six bucks for every once in awhile. (608 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 5.20.2013

Appearance - dark mahogany body with fluffy tan head

Smell - molasses, chocolate, toffee

Taste - molasses, toffee, hint of coffee, some woodsiness in the finish

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, good flavor, picking up some oak/ wood in the finish

Overall - maybe not the best value, but a good porter that I'm glad to have tried

Price Point - $5.99/22 oz bottle (402 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station on 12/21/13. Reviewed from notes. Poured into a small Belgian tulip glass. I was also told while having this that FW has decided to discontinue this beer. It's quite a pity, because this is the first time I've had it and I feel like I've waited far too long. It is an excellent beer. Anyway, onto the review...

Appearance - Body is a dark brown, like taupe, and atop it sits a frothy head of ecru (yellowish-grey light brown/tan). I had to look that one up to find the color shade that most fit. Head is about a finger and a half thick and dissipates after a couple minutes, leaving a healthy mottling of lace all around the glass. The mottling is complex enough that it's hard to make out the rings as I drink the liquid down, but they are certainly there.

Smell - Nothing really blows me away with the aroma. Pretty standard notes of fresh-brewed coffee, baker's chocolate, charred bread and some nuttiness--perhaps some walnut. Even a little earthiness, like fresh peat, but faint. But the roasted grains are the predominant profile here, even if the entire aroma is a tad subdued.

Taste - Here, many of the same notesare present, but more obvious. The overwhelmingly predominant flavors are wonderful notes of fresh-toasted bread, like you get when you turn the toaster to the darker setting and pull the bread out right before it turns into a nasty charred mess. You get the complex roasted flavors from the grain, like fresh buckwheat biscuits, and the faint cacao and coffee grounds make their presence felt, but in a supporting role. I don't think I've had a more "toasty" tasting beer, and I mean that in a very good way. In some ways, it's nice to taste a porter that does a couple of profiles so well, without the dark fruit or licorice elements that are common in many of the same style.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Full enough to provide a little chewiness, but not overpowering or difficult to get down. Highly drinkable for a dark beer and a dry, but not overpoweringly so, finish.

Overall, I must again express my regret at waiting so long to have had this beer. And if what I've heard about it being discontinued is true, that only magnifies said regret. I will definitely have to grab another bottle or two and since there isn't really a large hop profile to this American porter, perhaps I can sit on one for awhile and prolong my enjoyment. Either way, if you haven't had this beer and you fancy yourself a fan of the style, make no delay and grab a bottle NOW. (2,541 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Firestone Walker Porter
Into my chalice pours deep brown/ bear black, somewhat opaque. Slim tan-colored head.
Light coffee notes and chocolate, a grassy earth, almost a hint of hops somehow, dark fruit (plum-like).
Tastes like a roasted flavored porter, more along the lines of coffee as opposed to chocolate. Nice overall, drinkable, yet nothing of distinction jumps out at me. In other words, ill remember a nice porter, but have no distinct character in which to refer. Smooth enough, medium/ thin side, medium to light carbonation. (537 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a nice deep brown color with a hug light brown colored head. The head fades relatively quickly at first, but leaves a rather persistent small one finger head of foam. This small bit of foam does eventually fade however leaving a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is nice of sweet and roasty smells. The roasted malt aromas are a blend of chocolate and toasted malt while the sweeter smells are of caramel and some toffee. Along with these aromas are some other smells of a yeasty nature as well as a bit of an oaky and woody smell which when combined with the rest produce a rather nice smelling concoction.

Taste – The taste begins with roasted brown bread and sweeter chocolate flavors mixed with some caramel sweetness. Other sweeter flavors of toffee come to the tongue shortly after the initial tastes, giving a more buttery and smooth flavor to the brew. More toward the middle of the flavor profile some vanilla and more cocoa come to the tongue along with the emergence of a light level of earthy hop. The hop remains rather light, bittering the brew only ever so slightly. Toward the end, some coffee flavors as well as a nice oaky taste comes to the tongue adding a little bit more bitterness. Even with the coffee and hop, the taste is still very smooth and one is left with a smooth, rather sweet and lightly bittered and roasty flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the lower side. The lower carbonation is rather nice for the darker flavors, as well as the bit of oak taste more toward the end of the taste, nicely allowing those flavors to be sensed. A bit thicker of a body would likely be slightly better for the style, but at only 5.8% abv the creaminess of the brew is quite respectable.

Overall – A pretty nice porter overall with some nice oak/woody tastes and a good balancing bitter flavor to the sweet and roasted malt backbone. For a porter of only 5.8 % the beers flavor profile was quite robust and made this brew a pleasant drinker. (2,193 characters)

Photo of burnerfinger
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. Got this at the supermarket, the display show "reviewbeer" rating as 100, so I knew I had to get this one.

poured from the 22 oz bomber into my mew Belgium goblet:

A dark like a cola - completely opaque. slightly THIN head left light lacing

S a bit metallic, with malty sweetness

T a bite along with sweeness - but somehow lacking any flavor

M outstanding - creamy and good

D average at best - WAY south of "100" (438 characters)

Photo of Duane_Opfer
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 8/16. Consumed on 10/27. Written from notes.

A - Dark brown with purplish hue. Moderate poured yielded 1.5 fingers of light tan frothy head. Lasting head. High carbonation. Could see carbonation streaming up sides of glass despite dark color.

S- Not overly fragrant. Hints of roasted coffee and vanilla.

T - Roasted malts, toffee, coffee, with a slight tartness and a soapy bitter finish.

M - High carbonation and lightly bodied. Somewhat sticky.

O - Somewhat dull. Not overly fragrant and soapy flavor in taste not very appealing. Too thin. Too many good porters and stouts out there to have this again. (659 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a dark cola color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, a hint of coffee. Taste has some hops, bitterness, a bit of coffee, not overly flavorful but very easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer. (278 characters)

Photo of LeahM
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark brown with hints of red, thin tan head with short retention

Smell- dark chocolate and coffee notes, with malty burnt undertones

Taste- first taste is light, sweet, and yeasty giving way to a more bitter, creamy chocolate coffee taste. Long sticky chocolate aftertaste. Very pleasant

Mouth- creamy at first with a sticky lingering aftertaste

Overall- a delicious, balanced Porter with sweet, dark and bitter all working together and strong chocolate notes. Highly recommended as a winter Porter. (519 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous black beer with tan head that is generous upon pouring. Nose is loaded with delightful nougat with a background of chocolate - 3 Musketeers bar all the way. Palate offers a big, bold roasty malty flavor with bitter dark chocolate. Hops help round it out, but this beer is a Dark Chocolate masterpiece. Medium body. Long chocolately aftertaste. Excellent beer, in my opinion. (383 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice chocolate brown color with a massive head that was slow to settle to a thick cap. Massive amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is a bit weak but I do pick up some dark malt. Also get some grassy, herbal qualities.

Good flavor of dark malt. Hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Low hop bitterness and flavor which is not surprising considering the indeterminate age of the bottle. Roasted qualities are kept to a minimum.

A smallish beer but considering the ABV I am not shocked. Nice carbonation that is lively without being harsh.

A very good porter. Might be better fresh than the aged bottle I drank. Would buy again. (659 characters)

Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed November 1, 2013. Bottled (08/16/13). Poured a 650 ml into a pint glass (1.5x).

A: Extremely thin 1/2 fingered head that quickly dissipated down to nothing. Pitch black body that shows light carbonation rising at the very top.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, leather, and even a slight coffee is present.

T: The roasted malts are at most present. Leather with toffee, breads, and all roasted coffee follows. Where I expect dark chocolate to linger on the tongue it is instead a burnt/toasted quality with a hint of bitter hops.

M: The body just doesn't match the taste. This should've had a thick body, but at most it was medium. That carbonation does have its sizzling carbonation on the mouths and lips.

O: This just felt like a porter that tried to be a stout, but stayed a porter. (803 characters)

Photo of Neorebel
4.66/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Walker's Reserve Porter pours a sexy dark brown with ample tan suds resting on top. It's almost Cola-like. Looks perfect to drink! One inhalation of the sumptuous scents coming off this brew and I can already tell it's going to be a real treat. I am picking up chocolate and caramel, hops, and what I would call something similar to a hot cereal with cinnamon added. Wonderful! Spectacularly, the flavors themselves outshine the splendid aroma. Toffee, light hops, some fruit esters (apple?) and grainy cereal malts all blend together in a fine balance. For such a low ABV, this sure feels decadent enough. Must be those five specialty malts providing the added 'wow factor.' The finish is somewhat dry, and the beverage coats the palate well. Walker's Reserve Porter is hitting just the right spot on this fall evening, but I foresee drinking this again and again in the future, for any night. (894 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with an off white head. In the nose, roasted malt, chocolate raisins. In the flavor, roasted malt, dark fruit, and a bit of earthy hoppyness. Toasty dark malt notes. Crisp light to medium bodied feel. Overall, this is a nice sessionable porter. Would have this again sometime. (301 characters)

Photo of mikeborglum
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours pitch black with slight tan head and light lacing. Muted aroma but hints of chocolate and coffee as you would expect from the malts and roasted barley. Bittersweet taste is an epic battle and the taste buds are enjoying it...some saltiness also present. Medium body with an oily texture and soft carbonation. Great drinkability with nice long finish. (369 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle bought online from Brewdog.com

Poured a deep dark burgundy red / almost completely black colour... Dirty tan head poured very fairly thick and foamy with a meringue like top.. this faded slowly to good one finger covering... some decent lacing clings to the glass throughout...

Aroma - Roasted chocolate maltiness, light toasted coffee beans, some leathery and slightly sooty notes, toasted bread, burnt toffee, treacle, earthy / cardboard hints, roasted nuts, some sticky plum and date fruitiness, black cherries, some alcohol just noticeable...

Taste - Lots of toasted dark chocolate malt bitterness, some piney hops, brown sugar, earthy, strong espresso coffee, dried coffee grains, toasted nutty sweetness, some treacle, faint anise...

Feel - Smooth initially then a little sharpness come through... medium bodied... a pretty quaffable brew at 5.8%...

Overall - An excellent good Porter... definitely recommended... (937 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours opaque dark brown with very little head and good lacing.

Smell is a nice mixture of coffee and chocolate.

Taste follows the smell with the coffee being slightly more dominant than the chocolate with some smokey malt bringing up the rear.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a porter.

A very nice American porter. Not too heavy. Flavorful and refreshing. (364 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into footed tulip.

A: Black. Pours a 1+ finger, foamy, brown white head. Settles fairly quickly, leaving a thick beer ring as it does. Persistent sparse lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, oak chips, dark chocolate, butterscotch, and a very little black licorice.

T: Pungent malt grains. Oaky coffee and malt and a little peat.

M: Full, thick, and hearty. Lightly bitter finish. A bit shallow.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is pretty strong. Dark and intimidating. Foamy head, and some decent persistent lacing. Nose is distinct combination of coffee, oak, chocolate, butterscotch, and licorice. Well-balanced combination. Pungent malt grains, with some wood and peat. Hearty, with a bitter finish. Overall, this is a good quaff. (754 characters)

Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 638 ratings.