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Porter - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

327 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 16
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
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: 327 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GregSVT
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has aromas of cocoa, vanilla, slight coffee, and chocolate malts. Kind of faint but what is there smells nice.

T: The taste is a bigger version of the nose. Nice flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and a slight coffee element.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy.

O: Tasty porter and about par for the style. The higher ABV is no where to be seen which is great.

GregSVT, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of jjboesen
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%

Porter being my favorite style, I was anticipating this one as it is brewed locally - and, of course, I am always seeking out new ones to try.

It pours out a quick head that dissipates into a translucent foam atop a foreboding body of molasses colored goodness. From the bottle, which this reveiw is based - though I did enjoy one on tap soon thereafter, there emanates sweet notes of brown sugar and (obviously) molasses. Nice, but not the strong point, here. The taste, therein lies the rub; it consists of a yummy blast of cocoa, dark chocolate and chewy malt, all of which soaks into the tongue. There is a beautiful coda of balanced chewiness with a subtle bittersweet fade. If you see it, get it. If you love porters, thank me. Cheers!

jjboesen, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

Port City Porter looks pretty good. The body is black and completely opaque. The head is brown and fairly thick looking, with pretty good lacing.

Lots of roast in the aroma, with bittersweet chocolate and some sweetness.

Leads off with a good bit of sweetness in the form of toffee and dark bread. Bittersweet chocolate comes next, followed by a good dose of hops. A little bit of grapefruit, resiny pine and a lot of bitterness. Roasted malt is not as prominent as in the aroma, but it is certainly noticeable. There is just a hint of sourness in the background. The finish mixes roasted malt and lots of hop bitterness.

Smooth, full body with above average carbonation.

Port City Porter is a pretty good porter, that has a pretty good balance between malt and hops.

Hojaminbag, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of Spider889
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

Another nice extra from bobertkuekn.

Pretty plain looking label, no freshness date. Poured into a snifter.

Black with decent clarity visible off the pour. A short hot cocoa colored head rises slowly but fades fast.

Smells excellent. Coffee rises up swiftly, from afar. Upon closer inspection fudge and sweet peanut hull aromas really make this beer smell delicious.

The flavor is spot on for a porter. Nothing out of the ballpark, but very satisfying, with absolutely nothing to complain about. Mild bitterness, light char with a robust dark maltiness.

Smooth, creamy, with low carbonation. The only issue is the 7.5% abv. It seems a tad higher than is necessary.

Overall I wasn't expecting much, and instead have found a very solid porter. This is always a nice revelation, because every brewery makes a porter, but few come close to the flavor and complexity of Port City's porter.

Spider889, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

This beer poured a very attractive deep brown, almost black color and produced an awesome brown creamy head about two fingers high. It dissipated relatively fast and left little lacing.
Very attractive!
The smell tells of roasted malts , caramel and honey.
Tasting the beer, the roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors meet you up front. In the middle this will be sweetened up by caramel, milk chocolate and some honey. At the end I detect even a little hop, which adds greatly to the balance of this masterfully crafted brew. Congratulations to a great porter! I certainly this beer as a must try!

Hopfenpeter, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Great presentation. Rich chocolatey blackish-brown. A 1.25 finger head on a good pour fades quickly, and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Grainy grass. Touch of sweet malt is present, as is a pretty heavy dose of earth.

T: Not too charry here, it's actually somewhat smoky yet quite quaffable. I don't detect any of the 7.5% ABV, as it finishes dry and toasty.

M: Could be a bit thicker, yet it remains easy to put back. This beer is better on tap, though the bottled version is certainly no slouch.

O: Port City's Porter represents what Bill and his team are trying to accomplish: high quality ingredients = high quality drinking. I'll be the first to say there's nothing extreme about it, yet it's just a damn nice porter. Well done, guys. I'll continue to proudly ship this around the country as an extra with my trades.

Rhettroactive, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev +2%

A: This poured a black mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with a little citrus hops and molasses.
T: It tasted like dry dark chocolate and roasted coffee with cream, and a bit of molasses. It had a mellow bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Light body.
D: This was a very nice porter. The smell and body were only good, but the taste was great. The alcohol was well hidden too, so it was easy to drink. Recommended.

Pencible, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

12oz bottle into my Otter Creek pint glass. Dark brown in color with a thick and frothy tan head to it. Decent head retention and a little lacing.

The aroma has a milk chocolaty character to it mixing with a little roasty, bitter flavor. Just a hint of a tart fruit presence to it. Pretty nice aroma for the style.

The taste has a bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it throughout it. I get a little more of a sweetness up front while a bitter, rpasty flavor comes out in the finish. It finishes on the dry side with a little bit of a roasty, coffee like flavor coming through as well.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it's a solid version of the style and probably my favorite from Port City so far. It has a nice range of chocolaty and roasty flavors to it and is pretty drinkable overall. It rivals Williamsburg's Washington Porter as my favorite local porter, but may not surpass it.

billab914, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Godot
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%

I just realized that I live within a mile of this brewery (I'm new to the area) and figured I would give it a try. Picked up a six pack of the porter at Rick's. Pours an opaque black with a thick brown head that slowwwwly drops and leaves plenty of lacing. The smell is roasted coffee and graham cracker with a little bit of vanilla. Definitely has me excited for my first sip. The taste is everything I want out of a porter. Its complex but balanced with a toasted darkness that is warm and welcoming. Finishes slightly bitter. Alcohol is mostly masked except for a little hint at the end that seems to say "aren't I sly." I could easily drink a six pack of this on a cool fall night and promptly fall asleep in my chair. That being said it is currently 99 degrees outside and I am still enjoying this beer. Highly recommended.

Godot, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of BennyL1
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Thanks to Thorpe429 for the bottle. Into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This brew pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a slim tan head. Not a whole lot of lacing but it is there.

Aroma has a very nice roast aspect to it. Hints of chocolate and some espresso in there too. The wonderful roastiness of this beer really hits you after the first taste. That is followed up with some coffee and chocolate to finish it off.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with a medium body. Nice carbonation in there as well.

Overall a very solid and robust porter and a very nice take on the style.

BennyL1, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - poured into dfh snifter

This beer is damn near perfect. Pours a deep dark brown with minimal light edges, dense head with perfect lacing. Smells of brown sugar and molasses with toasty chocolate. Tastes beautifully bitter for an am porter with a dry finish.

This is a beer that you should trade for if you can't get it wherever you are.. I intend on visiting this brewery.. soon!

engagechad, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%

very deep dark brown, small tan colored head, not a lot of lace, pretty clear

SCaramel and chocolate predomintaly, with a touch of roasted coffe and an ever so slight hoppy back. Very nice, lots of caramel and roasted malts, with a nice hoppy back. Dry finish. Lots of sugar, very good. Uber smooth, a very good feeling porter. Not too thick, just about right to be totally sessionable. I thought the decent carbonation played a good roll here

Great, a very sessionable porter. Not heavy enough to distract you or bog you down, I could put down six of these with some ease.

mikesgroove, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

Growler from Whole Foods in Charlottesville.

Pours with a finger of tan head on an opaque brown body. Solid lacing.

Roasty, slightly meaty nose with some nutty coffee.

Taste is oddly tart, there's citrus in here somehow, but a lot of dark, roasty malt as well. The citrus is really curious, but not objectionable. Not sure what to make of this, but it's a solid porter.

Mouthfeel is a bit foamy, but pretty standard.

It's a decent porter with some unexpected citrus. Not much more to say!

zaphodchak, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of argock
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.80.

A: Black with the lightest amount of ruby-brown at the edges with a 1-finger beige head with average retention and pretty spotty lacing.

S: The aroma is not quite as substantial as it needs to be but does exhibit dark chocolate/cocoa, roasted grains, light caramel. and earthy tobacco hoppiness.

T: The flavor, on the other hand, delivers a punch and then some. The dark maltiness provides a lot of raisiny, fig flavors which falls away to cocoa, espresso, and some hazelnut. The roast character is subtle and not at all acrid, and the hoppiness settles in at the finish with a tobacco earthiness without being ashy. There is a hint of fusel alcohol as you work your way through the portion.

M: A rounded, medium-full body with light carbonation lends a smooth overall quality to this brew. There is a light chalkiness in the finish that is a bit due to the rough edge of alcohol.

O: A really nice porter from Port City. I have only tried two of their brews, and they were pretty far off the mark with their IPA, but this porter is really a nice beer. I think they could idle back on the ABV and dark maltiness to a 6.7% type of beer and not lose anything except this light booze nature to this brew. I liked this beer quite a bit and will be looking to it when I want a robust porter with a more tobacco, nutty edge to it.

argock, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of localone703
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

This is a fantastic robust porter - it drinks a bit like an imperial stout without being as rich or strong, but being rather close to that.

I like the seamless chocolate/coffee aromas and flavors - great to braise beef in, pour in a pot of chili, sip with a sweater and book by a winter fire, or have with a grilled hamburger.

It's amazing they could get this so right and yet get the IPA and Pale Ale so wrong. Let's hope the wit beer keeps their books balanced because I don't see the other three doing it.

localone703, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -13%

Think it was Andrew that sent this to me. Thanks.

A: The pour is almost black with a couple fingers of off-white/khaki head.

S: There is a surprising amount of smoke and wood aroma to this beer. Quite a bit of ash to it with a little bit of chocolate and plenty of roasted malts.

T: Dark chocolate and nut shells open up the flavor on this beer. Plenty of roasted malts with a light ash and a substantial oak flavor. A bit of a sawdust sort of flavor to it.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: Really a weird flavor. If you like the smokier and heavily roasted beers, than perhaps you would enjoy this one.

womencantsail, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +2%

Bottle courtesy of the ever-generous Michael Thorpe. Served in a Jester King snifter.

A - Thin tan foam that settles to a thin ring, leaving a few spots of lace. Dark brown/near-black solid body that doesn't get any lighter at the fringes.

S - Roasty, milk chocolate, some sugar and buttery notes, as well as some dark fruits. Quite sweet and fairly English in character.

T - Taste is also heavy on milk chocolate, nuts, dark fruits, and light coffee bitterness in the finish.

M - Zesty moderate carbonation, medium body, and somewhat dry finish. Alcohol isn't apparent at all.

D - A very enjoyable porter that is more English than American thanks to the fruity yeast. It was easy to put down my 4oz and I'd gladly take a six-pack of this for an after-dinner beer.

MasterSki, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

A - Black beer with a small hrad that fades to a tight ring.

S - Dark fruit and roasted notes.

T - This one has some nice roasted notes and a bit of sweet dark fruit. It's a pretty full beer for the ABV on this. Lots of malt and chocolate.

M - Decently full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Actually a pretty good beer that I enjoyed a lot.

AgentZero, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of SummitVA
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

A - Opaque black pour with moderate carbonation.

S - Chocolate, maple syrup, stone fruit, faint alcohol heat.

T - Huge chocolate, brown sugar, sweet malt, stone fruits, roast, and a bit of coffee. Rougher graininess. More bitter than I was expecting; this lingers in the aftertaste, along with the syrupy sweetness.

M - Medium bodied.

O - Very nice surprise from Port City. Solid Porter that I will seek out around town. Cheers,

SummitVA, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of MrOH
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%

Any darker brown and you'd have black. Thick finger of tan head with little retention. Spotty lace.

Dark chocolate, freshly ground coffee. Dark fruits: cherries and overripe plum. Excellent.

Lots of dark chocolate and the aforementioned fruits. Smooth but with a nice tang at the end. Just enough hop bitterness to keep everything from being sweet, but there is no real bite.

Full bodied and super smooth. Low carbonation to keep it that way.

Damn fine robust porter. I may have a new homer favorite.

MrOH, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of BurpingtonDC
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%

Tried this at The Chesapeake House on 8th street in Capitol Hill.

A - Black as oil and twice as nice.

S - The smell was an intense melange of raisins, coffee, chocolate and a touch of alcohol. Maybe a little orange peel.

T - An absolutely delicious Porter, though on the sweet end of the scale. Again, raisins, coffee, chocolate, orange and toffee infuse the mouth with rich flavor.

M -Slightly syrupiness, and mild carbonation conspire to create a substantive brew.

O - When I think Porter I think of the dryer varieties, and this is my preference, but Port City's Porter is so rich and complex that it's hard not to come away impressed. A very enjoyable drink.

BurpingtonDC, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev 0%

Reviewed on 5-21-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured one finger of foam, dark brew with a decent lacing ring with carbonation present

S – Malts, brown sugar, coffee aroma

T/M – Medium bodied with sweet coffee and brown sugar taste

D – Good tasting brew, easy to have more than a couple. I would have this brew again. I recommend it

FreshmanPour77, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +2%

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color (some faint traces of amber are visible near the corner of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a finger high tan head that faded away but left rings of bubbles around the edge of the glass and down the sides.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and raisins in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts and raisins; there are some hints of malty sweetness, but this is balanced off with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The bee is very easy to drink because of the good balance between the flavors.

metter98, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of Clydesdale
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

A: Pours a nearly opaque dark brown. Very little light shines through, even when held up. A fairly tall, light brown head bubbles up with a dense, frothy consistency. Retention is sturdy, and some decent lace is deposited as the head recedes.

S: Some roastiness, along with a firm chocolate note. A bit of light coffee. Some alcohol is noticeable, along with some background brown sugary sweetness.

T: Moderately roasty/toasty flavors up front. Slight burnt notes. On the sweet side for a porter, with a definite molasses/brown sugar flavor. Chocolate flavor is firm, with slight complementary notes of coffee. Bitterness is mild - definitely a malt-forward porter. Alcohol doesn't dominate, but it is present in the finish.

M: Medium body overall. Carbonation is a bit lighter than medium. A slightly burnt/roasty feel, along with the aforementioned alcoholic presence.

D: An enjoyable, chocolaty robust porter from Port City. It borders on boozy for the style, but manages a well-integrated malty profile. There are better American porters out there, but this is a very worthwhile beer nonetheless.

Clydesdale, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of goldbot
4.08/5  rDev +2%

Pours thick and pitch black. Small brown head that dissipates fairly quickly. Nice aroma of dark chocolate, well-roasted coffee beans, perhaps a hint of caramel maltiness. The flavor matches nicely - more chocolate and coffee and roasted malt. Rich and full mouthfeel. This beer has a great, assertive flavor but it is never overwhelming - very well-balanced and easy-drinking.

goldbot, Jun 03, 2011
Porter from Port City Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.