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Porter - Port City Brewing


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

281 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%

Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AndrewNations on 02-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 281 | Reviews: 116 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark (SRM 30) velvety, chocolate brown. A thin, fine, tan head quickly dissipates to a ring, leaving slight lacing on a Dogfish Head snifter.

Sweet malted chocolate with light, coffee liqueur. Warming brings out a roasted malt.

The flavor profile follows the nose, but adds bitter black coffee. Sweetness is present in the background and the finish is short.

Light, prickly carbonation interrupts a medium body. The texture is watery with a hint of alcohol. Warmth brings out a slight astringency.

I’m not sure I would call this robust, but it is easy and enjoyable. Enjoy this Porter with friends and lively conversation or a ball game.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 22:41:42 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Mojo


3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - dark black pour with a two inch foamy head, some retention and beautiful lacing.

S - subtle but nice nose including chocolate and coffee.

T - raisins, molasses, soy sauce, chocolate, coffee, licorice

S - good carbonation, small aftertaste

O - not a bad porter, but not the best I've ever had either. Worth a taste though for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 04:42:43 | More by Mojo
Photo of Rifugium


3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at the brewery

Easily my favorite beer that PC had to offer. Dark brown-black pour with a solid cap of foamy tan head that retained well and laced the glass. Dark malt sweetness in the aroma, notes of cocoa and ash. More dark roasty malts in the taste, nice semi-sweet chocolate profile, with a little coffee bitterness. Pretty good. Medium body, solid mouthfeel for the style, overall a good porter. If I had to revisit a PC brew, it would be this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2013 07:51:53 | More by Rifugium
Photo of challenja


4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle Poured into a Sam Adams pub glass.

A: black dark Sacloth that repels all light.

S: dark plum. Dark roast Colombian coffee. Burnt twig. Brown sugar.

T: dark chocolate Malts. Raisin, plum, 90 Percent cocoa, Colombian dark roast coffee and Graham cracker.

M: smooth. Perfect carbonation and mouthful for a porter.

O: this beer really shines through as a perfect example our a a super solid Porter. Alexandria you just shocked me. Time to visit the brewery. Enjoy

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 01:03:09 | More by challenja
Photo of JLaws

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft to compliment a bacon infused burger.

Poured a hearty dark brown with a lighter brown head (it was dark outside for what it's worth). Looked like a delicious "desert" beer.

The smell was mild, hints of chocolate and coffee were present but not strong.

The flavors present in the taste were much stronger than the small. Chocolate, coffee, malts, possible espresso all mixed together for an amazing beer. I wanted to savor every sip of this delicious beer (knowing it was the only one I'd have), but I could not drink it slow enough.

The feel was nice. Medium viscosity, low carbonation made for a velvety smooth feel which complimented the taste.

I'd put this in my top five beers. I'm a huge porter fan and this would replace my go-to if I could find where I live.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2013 19:47:36 | More by JLaws
Photo of nataku00


3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, opaque with a finger of tan color creamy head. Head dissipates to a thin collar leaving some light lacing.

Nose is roasted malt and coffee, with some sweet baking chocolate and graham cracker as well. Not too aromatic, even as the beer warmed a bit.

Big dark roasted malt and coffee forward, lightly bitter from burnt flavor before mellowing to sweeter fruity coffee flavors and baking chocolate. A little bit of a graham cracker spice as it sits on the tongue. Medium finish with just mild roasty flavors lingering.

Lighter side of medium body with a nice soft carbonation contributing to a creamy mouth feel. A solid porter

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 02:46:56 | More by nataku00
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown, almost black. Small head and not much else.

Smell - Chocolatey. Very nice. Bit of licorice.

Taste - Chocolatey again, but less rich. Some caramel. A little cola. Slight toasty malt and a kick of coffee in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - This is solid. Nothing over the top. Really high quality.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 00:15:59 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Mises85


4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer was pitch black/motor oil color. Nose reminds me of a good cup of espresso, some dark chocolate, and dark malts. The best thing was the hop character being pronounced. The malt didn't take everything over and leaving the hops as an afterthought. Not too sweet either which is good because I am sensitive to things being advertised as sweet as it would be probably too sweet for me.

some cocoa aftertaste. medium bodied. Good carbonation.

An excellent porter and will definitely have again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2013 20:37:23 | More by Mises85
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated, recently purchased 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Consumed immediately after, and compared to, a Mad River Steelhead Porter.

Pours a very dark reddish brown that is nearly black. Small tan head has very poor retention but some decent lacing is left behind.

Nose has chocolate and roasted malt with a significant bit of somewhat fruity and somewhat disagreeable alcohol esters. The alcohol is much less noticeable in the flavor, which hits the tongue too sweet and stays that way until the lightly smoky aftertaste. Hints of brown sugar and over-ripe plums. Tastes way better than it smells.

Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Smooth.

O: Darker, sweeter, softer, less smoky and less hoppy than the Mad River it is worth trying but certainly not as good as the Mad River.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 23:21:26 | More by chinchill
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into a Voodoo snifter.

Pours a 1 finger creamy, mocha head with good retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is thick and layered with great cling. Thin, oily legs too. A great looking beer.

Nose is chocolate, cocoa, and roasted malt. Some mild tartness from the nose nicely complements the sweetness. Mildly aromatic.

Opens roast, liquorice, chocolate and cocoa. Some roasted malt tartness in the middle balanced by chocolate sweetness. End is rich and robust with a hint of fudge and molasses. Finishes sweet with a roasty, chocolatey aftertaste. I like it.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with some bubbles in the mouth and bubbly and prickly going down. Messy finish with a lingering, prickly aftertaste. Solid.

A pleasant surprise. This beer has a nice simplicity of flavors that complement each other very well. The body is a bit carbonated for my taste but definitely heavy enough. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 23:26:07 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of scottbrew4u


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear black liquid with bubbly tan head that settled nicely to a thin layer of bubbles. Good lacing on the sides of the glass as you drink.

S: Burnt and roasted barley, cocoa, molasses and burnt raisins and a slight hint of smoke give a full on aroma experience. Tough to sniff the hops out of that malt base but light herbal aroma.

T: Cocoa, burnt and roasted barley that rides in on a big wave and lets in a touch of dried plums and figs with an edge of smoke. Slight spice kick from the hops. Hearty with each sip and it resumes my interest without being too sweet. Good balance here.

M: Medium to full body with a prickly carbonation that is working for this beer.

O: Nice solid porter with substantial flavor and decent balance. The higher alcohol goes pretty under the radar and after one of these I immediately wanted another.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2013 01:28:24 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of wisrarebeer


4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria.

A: near opaque, jet black, with a head that lasted nearly all the way to the bottom of th glass
S: traditional nose, roasted malt
T: well-made and tasty, good roasted malt and more in the tradition of a British porter with malt forwardness
M: full and creamy
O: surprisingly easy drinking for ABV, definitely doesn't taste like a 7.5% beer

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2013 17:28:19 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a very dark brown with a light ruby hue and an average (1-2 finger) cocoa brown creamy head that slowly receded, down to a semi-thick film and medium collar which allowed for some good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted stale bread malt, resin hops and an earthy yeast with notes of bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit (prunes), a bit of smoke and a woody alcohol tinge.

The taste was very malty and extremely roasty with a touch of chocolate from the start, becoming rather bitter with a hint of overripe fruit and a bold alcohol presence at the end. The flavor lasted for what seemed like forever, with the roastiness fading away as a harsh alcohol bite hit you in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and dry in texture with a bold lively carbonation.

Overall this was a very bitter and roasty brew with a big alcohol presence and a decent drinkability, although the overripe fruity taste it possessed was just a bit too much…


Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 18:02:02 | More by KajII
Photo of Anker13

District of Columbia

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2/10/13 Port City Brewing Company | Porter | Growler

Appearance- Deep deep brown, not quite black, tan lacy head, completely opaque

Aroma- Chocolate is most pronounced, roasted coffee, toasty, slight hazlenut, nutty, earthy

Mouthfeel- moderate-high CO2, pretty smooth, well balanced, warming alcohol

Taste- Very tasty! Chocolate upfront that turns into a malty / roasted barley center. Finish is bittersweet chocolate, maybe a little burnt coffee?

Residual- bittersweet chocolate lingers, not coating or drying, pleasant aftertaste

Overall- I’m a fan of this beer. It’s a malty and robust porter, really enjoyable during the winter months. Easily my favorite offering from Port City

Serving type: growler

02-10-2013 23:12:30 | More by Anker13
Photo of SlothB77


3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Chocolate black with very light tan foamy top. Thumb and a half of foam.

S: Smell of raisins, honey, tea, currants, grapes.

T: Raisins, tea, toasted bonfire, milk chocolate and very dry finish of chocolate chip cookies/white bread/crackers.

M: Full- bodied, medium carbonated, slightly bitter and slightly acidic. Slick with no heat.

O: At first I thought the flavor was too subtle and the bite too dry. After a second bottle I no longer find the flavor lacking or without distinction. Definitely a good drinking man's porter with a flavor that one can adapt to without being overpowered.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

01-19-2013 00:11:07 | More by SlothB77
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Charcoal black

SMELL: Roasted grain, chocolate, burnt sugar, black currants, woody hops, mild spicy alcohol

TASTE: Brown malt, bready, dried grass, creamy, malted milk balls, herbal hop, warming alcohol, burnt raisins, mildly charred finish

This one sort of sneaks up on you: a sleeper beer, in a way. First comes off as a no-frills Porter, but then slowly unfolds into a complex ale. Very robust, but still gentle on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 03:47:44 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of clayrock81


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish brown body with one-finger tan head that dies quick with lace on top of a classic porter aroma of roasted, burnt caramel malt along with chocolate and some breadiness, and possbily molasses, toffee and touch of hops. The taste and mouthfeel are textbook as well; light to medium body that goes down smooth that is a mix of sturdy, roasted malts for a backbone, very minor crisp hops to give a snap of a finish rather than let it be murky, and there is a good chunk of sweetness thanks to caramel and chocolate notes. Just a great porter that is easily sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 14:35:21 | More by clayrock81
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to LarryByrd for this nice extra!

poured into beer stien.

Appearance: black bodied beer with small and thick cap of medium brown head. Drops down to very thin cap.

Smell: chocolate, molasses and dark fruits. Its primary smell is both sweet and malty.

Taste: dark fruits the most promenant flavor here. They start the beer off and continue throughout the beer until the finish when they slowely fade away. The finish fades into a mild sweet roasty char note with molasses. Its interesting flavor profile for a porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Its a touch thin for the mouthfeel. The carbonation has a little bit of a prickly bite to it.

Overall: Nice porter. Nothing that wowed me from this beer, but its still tastey and unique in its own way. I would even put this beer into the English Porter category.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 13:14:47 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of MDDMD


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-cocoa, coffee, dark roasted malt, vanilla

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, nice bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and slightly viscous mouthfeel

O-a good solid porter with nice flavor and body

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 00:32:31 | More by MDDMD
Photo of spark3148857


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown verging on black, but with some ruby edges. Two finger tan head. Nose is average with slight hints of chocolate and coffee. I also pick up a little dark fruityness, very subtle. Taste is great...dark bitter chocolate, some coffee bitterness and a good roasted backbone. A solid porter. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 18:41:38 | More by spark3148857
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce botte into a pint glass.

Pours dark black, very little brown, light brown foam. Some bubbles. Milk chocolate / caramel nose. Full rich taste, here the coffee comestrough. Smooth and creamy. Chocolate too. Rich mouthfeel. Quite good.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 13:46:31 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Beer_Runner

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No bottled on or enjoy by date on the label.

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass resulted in about one finger of thick, clumpy light mocha colored head that has good retention and lasted almost the entire session. The brew is a deep, rich brown and opaque.

S: The aroma is dark roasted and slightly smoky malt; and, there is also a slight hint of a Belgian-type yeast underneath the rich malts.

T: The taste follows the aroma. It begins with a pleasant, dark roasted malt and a little earthy hops bitterness compliments the dark roasted, coffee-like malt flavor. There is also a touch of bready yeast near the end.

M: It has a medium heavy body and a very soft, smooth, and creamy feel. There is only a little carbonation, which is just right for this beer.

O: This is an outstanding example of a classic porter. It hits all the right porter notes and hits them well. The soft and creamy mouth feel is also a very nice added touch in this porter. The beer does not try to do any wild; rather, it is a solid, straight-down-the-line classic porter. It is a beer everyone should try as an example of an outstanding porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 00:40:15 | More by Beer_Runner
Photo of Arithmeticus


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: solid black; very nice, thick and creamy head; interesting to see all the bits of floaties
S: roasted malt; sweet aroma; pretty standard for a porter
T: rich, chocolatey flavor; dominated by the roasted malt; pretty sweet; not much in the way of hops; the booze is well masked

One of the best I've had from this genre

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 03:26:23 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of DavoleBomb


4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of frothy tan head. Retention is below average, but a short ring of lacing is left nonetheless.

4.5 S: Wow is this powerful. Unyieldingly grainy with equally potent chocolate. Toasty after that. Mild roastiness. Coffee with cream. I love the nose on this. It's both bold and well integrated.

4.5 T: Taste is just as impressive. Again a HUGE graininess. This is certainly the grainiest porter I've ever had and I love it. Lots of chocolate with coffee with cream underneath. Again just a mild roastiness, but it works so well. Sweet, hearty neutral maltiness. Just so good. Love this.

5.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Both creamy and silky smooth. Awesome here.

5.0 D: This is one of those beers that you need to buy lots of random beers to find a hidden gem. This is a hidden gem. I could drink this all damn night. I think SteveFinny sent me this, which means I'm even more indebted to him than I already am. This is a killer beer. Get it, drink it, love it.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 02:07:28 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of kylehay2004


4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery tap room in Alexandria, VA.

A: single finger tan head on a very dark brown body with hints of light getting through. Scattered lacing.

S: roasted malts, dark chocolate and subtle fruitless.

T: roasted malts, lots of milk chocolate, hint of vanilla and again a subtle citrus fruitiness. Coffee notes late in thefinish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Oily and coats the palate.

Overall: a very flavorful porter with a nice mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2012 17:12:36 | More by kylehay2004
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Porter from Port City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.