Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Porter - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

128 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 430
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 18.81%
Wants: 21
Gots: 81 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Porter | 7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AndrewNations on 02-12-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Porter Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 128 | Hads: 430
Photo of seedyone
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Tan head ended in a thin film with very little lacing.Nice deep shade of ebony. Aroma was more molasses & roasted malts then chocolate. Nice to see a porter that isn't trying to be a stout. Careful with the ABV. It's very discrete.

 260 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1+ finger dark tan head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: initially, roasted grains; after that, distinct milk chocolate;

T: for a moment, milk chcolate and roasted grains; then it's all roasted grains; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied' moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: not very complex;

 380 characters

Photo of MichaelProcton
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque Chestnut brown with a thick, dark khaki head. Smell is dark and roasty, but there is a strange note that smells like...olive brine? The taste is rich, toasty chocolate, and the mouthfeel is heavenly. Thick, like drinking bread or even a dessert. Alcohol is not very present when well-chilled, belying the ABV. This is a really, really good beer. It has the character of a stout while maintaining the flavors of a porter.

 438 characters

Photo of Griffin2
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft in a pint glass at Blackfinn.
Pours dark brown/black with minimal head.
Smells of chocolate.
Taste matches the smell.
Nice thick porter.
I enjoyed this beer very much.

 180 characters

Photo of TWStandley
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent porter from a brewery I know little about. This one is packed with flavor - some nice sweet vanilla, bitter chocolate, and some roasted malts. It's about time a porter had some balls!

 206 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with just a bit of ruby around the edges. 2 finger light tan head recedes rather quickly leaving a bit of attractive lacing.

The aroma is of dark roast, dark chocolate and dark fruit.

Flavor is more dark malt upfront followed by malted milk and dried plums. Tart/sweet.

Medium full in body, with moderate carbonation. Slick rather than syrupy. A bit drying with decent warmth.

This beer is extremely well balanced. The flavor grew on me. Elegant.

 464 characters

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours dark, rich brown almost black with tan head that resolves quickly to fine lacing
Smell: warm it up a little and roasted malts, coffee, molasses
Taste: Malt, sweet with coffee and caramel notes, end notes of hops balance the profile and nice clean finish
Mouthfeel: medium bodied with minimal carbonation (think 2%milk texture)
Overall a very enjoyable porter, despite its ABV its well masked by the complex flavors. Thoroughly enjoyable and I’ll be happily stocking up on this one!

 502 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very roasty and malty. Tons of roasted malt, black pepper, brown sugar and notes of freshly baked pumpernickel bread.

Taste: Delicious! Tons of roasted malt, imparting a slight smokiness, some notes of coffee, brown sugar, and some subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, and very smooth, as there is hardly any carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a damn good porter. Nice roasty flavors, balanced with some good sweetness. If you’re a porter fan, you should definitely try it. I’ll certainly keep it as one of my house porters!

 892 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thin light brown head lays atop a dark body that looks black until held to the light.

Smoke, roast, toast, cherry, plum, and chocolate.

Medium body and carbonation.

Pretty solid porter.

 189 characters

Photo of uvachief
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Solid porter. Roasted malts and chocolate. Not too much or overpowering. Very easy to drink. Felt like it had a higher ABV than listed. Dark almost black brown. Got head that lingers. 12oz bottle.

 203 characters

Photo of delta490
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, impenetrable brown, with a thin tan head hanging around leaving soapy lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is deep and rich roasted malts with a faint earthy hint to it. The taste is big roasts as well, but with a subtle chocolate note. The body has just the right weight and feel, a little thick and silky on the palate. It is a delicious porter and the draft version is even better.

 399 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, no date, served in a Libby globe porter/stout glass.

Appearance: Black with the cola brown at the edges when held up to the light. Thin light tan ring at the edge. Thin sheets and strands of lacing that would very slowly dissipate.

Smell: Chocolate, fresh sawed wood, burnt sugar. This combo of smells is quite appealing.

Taste: Chocolate (milk and bittersweet), roasted malt, caramel, burnt sugar, hint of licorice, bitter finish - bitterness is part black coffee, part chicory, part English bittering hops. Some leafy tobacco notes as well. Bitterness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: Slick, and maybe a little chewy. Light carbonation that is on the tongue initially and then it goes away. Lingering stickiness on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: I had this without food and I wonder if it would go better with something, but I'm not sure what. By itself full of flavor with some notable bitterness which makes it a sipper for me and not something I would want more than one glass of per evening. Good marks for appearance, aroma, and taste, but the bitterness wears on me as the glass goes on, and the mouthfeel is a bit off. I think this needs a bit more carbonation and then overall it would be an even better beer. It's good, just not great.

 1,297 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 648 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 379 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 472 characters

Photo of challenja
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
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

 478 characters

Photo of JLaws
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 789 characters

Photo of nataku00
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
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

 714 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 402 characters

Photo of Mises85
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

 500 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | 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. [Revisited and revised with a bottle in Washington D.C. in June 2015.]

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. {not noticed at 2nd rating] 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.

 906 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

 948 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 849 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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

 373 characters

Photo of KajII
3.32/5  rDev -17.8%
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…


 1,065 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Porter from Port City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.