Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and 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.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,494 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,494
Hads: 3,482
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 17.32%
Wants: 184
Gots: 395 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,494 | Hads: 3,482
Photo of NEhophead
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large 1" milky, tan head with very nice retention. Plenty of carbonation. Tons of thick lacing that sticks throughout the entire glass. Pitch black coloration.

Beautiful malt-chocolatey goodness in the aroma. A creamy coffee nose. Wonderful aromatics that beg to be tasted.

Smooth, espresso/coffee flavor with a hint of vanilla. Almost tastes like a homemade coffee milkshake. A nice sweetness that compliments the flavors really well. Faint warming alcohol presence.

Very balanced. Chocolatey smoothness; It's a malty porter but very mellow at the same time. Not too heavy at all.

It's a bold porter, but I can't see myself ever getting sick of this one. I would be very content drinking only these all night.

This really is what a porter should taste like!

 774 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Nice pitch black brew that leaves a short, creamy light brown head. Looks a lot like coffee to me.

Smell- Rich chocolate malt smells, very enjoyable to the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Creamy and malty. Very chocolate tasting and really rich for a beer. Complex flavor works on multiple levels. Finishes with a high level of sweetness.

Drinability- Too filling for more than a couple, but still a really great beer. Throughout drinking the appeal of Anchor Porter increases on my pallate. Not something I'd usually go for (a little too chocolatey and rich for me), but I still recognize a great beer.

 616 characters

Photo of JISurfer
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my fav beer from the group at Anchor Steam. It was a nice rich chocolatey smell, with a tinge of hops, and the heaviness of malt there as well. The big thing was the chocolate though. The head was a pillowy/frothy beast that lasted a long time and left a nice impression on me over it. The taste was another good part to the brew. It was similar to the smell, but wasn't as strong on the chocolate, and rather blended and balanced out well. As for drinkability, it was hard to put it down. I couldn't get enough of it.

 526 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Black with slight hint of red; topped with a 1/4 inch tan head.

Sharp raisin/prune aroma with a hint of chocolate underneath.

Roasted coffee flavors are the first to appear followed by burnt raisins and chocolate finish. An odd blend of flavors which make for an ok beer, but not one I would pursue in the future.

 364 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a little foamy tan head that dissolves fairly soon. Smells smoky, coffee, carmel, and a hint of dried fruits. All in all, the smell says, "Drink me!". Tastes of carmel, coffee, roasted malts, and a sweet finish bombards your taste buds. This is just a great porter. Really bummed to see the bottom of the glass. I rank this up there as one of the best. There's a reason why this continues to be the classic example of a porter.

 456 characters

Photo of ken3c
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown. Thin wisps of foam. This beer doesn't slosh so much as it jiggles.

Prominent chocolate smell.

Chocolate, nutty, rich, and delicious. The bitterness rounds out the flavor and balances well.

Well carbonated for this style but it contrasts well with the thickness.

It's hard to drink more than of these at a sitting but I'll look forward to having one six day in a row.

 395 characters

Photo of Gump
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anchor Porter
Deep brown pour with a head so dense it doesn't move.
Roasted malty aroma which smells like it has a high ABV. Good mouthfeel with an initially sweet carmel taste.
Some very complex tastes and smells come from this one. Licorice and bready flavors with a unique bittersweet aftertaste.

 303 characters

Photo of andyo
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured jet black with a grey head.

Smell reminded me of smoked wood. First taste of this beer had a real alcohol aftertaste that i was not too fond of. This beer got better as it warmed up. Lots of cocoa, faint hints of rum and fruit. Very round mouthfeel- balanced. Seems like a decent beer, but one I couldn't drink too many of. I wish I liked this beer more...just not my cup of tea...er...beer.

 401 characters

Photo of beertaster13
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark blackish/brown (coffee) color with a small cream tan head. Suprisingly not much lacing left on glass. Smells of smoked wood chips on a grill, earth tones and of course the roasted malt, mocha tone. Maybe a hint of honey or molasses. Taste is of grilled mocha chips and slight molasses. The malt sweetness is a flurish and the hops are a perfect balance to balance out the sweet taste. Full bodied and creamy porter, a drinkable porter for a dessert or with a meal, goes great with ice cream, couldn't drink more than 1 of these 22 oz bottles.

 554 characters

Photo of FormatKid
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this from Riverside Beverage as a part of a mixed sixer.

Pours out a nice solid black, ruby is only hinted at when backed by direct lighting. Perfectly formed light-brown head bubbles up a respectable 3 fingers-width. The lacing clings in chunky rings as the beer moves down the glass.

A dark fruitiness is the first thing I pick up in the nose, plums possibly. Sweet delicate chocolatiness and coffee backs it up, along with a faint alcohol smell and raisons.

Definitely a little different than any porter I’ve tasted before. There is more of a dark fruity/raison flavor than I would expect. Chocolate and coffee tones are there but a bit more subdued and play the back to that dense fruitiness. Sweet all the way through practically with only light twangs of earthy bitterness at the edges. Aftertaste is long-lasting, sweet and dense with light tones of grape-skin. Mouthfeel is a tad lighter than I would like, but it’s bearable.

This is most likely the most complex porter I’ve sampled to date. It’s deep, sweet, fruity, and robust….Excellent!

 1,089 characters

Photo of dedalus
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful beer. in the low light it filled the glass with deep black, and crowned off in a fluffy, off-white head that diminished to a thin cap by the time i got to the bottom of the glass.

lots of roast in the nose, with some dryish hints of cocoa and coffee. just a hint of sappy hops lurking under the broad, dark roast aromas.

aggressive carbonation slightly mars the mouthfeel. i also found myself wishing the beer were a bit thicker, but that might push it into stout territory, depending on the criteria by which you differentiate porters from stouts.

gorgeous flavors. black coffee and chocolate dominate, but the sappy bitterness of the hops comes through just enough to balance the roast and sweetness. reverse olfaction awakens some dark fruit (figs?) and some sweet, grainy, oatmealy flavors.

a must-have porter. some will enjoy the stingy carbonation more than others, but this is an assertively flavorful beer that can stand alone or accompany a good bowl of bean stew, chili, or vanilla bean ice cream.



 1,050 characters

Photo of henrysunset
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep as night with a nearly an inch nice tan head of medium-sized bubbles. Head fell quickly leaving fine lacing on glass.

Smells dark like a stout, hint of orange or apricot as well as the expected chocolate scents.

thin but tasty; same "bite" in the back of the throat as anchor steam's regular brew, but with a wonderful smooth choco/coffee aftertaste.

good value and very tasty. Will definitely be back for more. It tastes liek a perfect dessert beer, and it's priced to drink regularly.

 500 characters

Photo of PSUDREW
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Wow, I am VERY impressed with this porter.

It pours a pitch color. No light shall pass throught this thing. Also, a thick, creamy, frothy tan head on top of this beast. mmmMMM

The smells woody-spicy mix, very interesting

Now for the tase. It is a creamy, interesting mix of carmel, coffee, coco, with a nice hoppy bittering for effect. It has a dry, vannilly finish, which completement the main tastes very very nicely. I am very impressed with the bledning of flavors in the over-all product. Anchor proves themselves with this beer!

Thanks nvsblman for this one!

 577 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Have to give ANCHOR a 4.5/5 appearance since this is a solid dark, black with a khaki tight ¼ “ head cover. There is NO carbonation. Whao! This is almost as black as WEYERBACKER Black Hole. The retained head is like sand colored paint on used motor oil. That is the darkest lace I’ve ever seen.

Scents are a cross of deep mature malts and sweet woody hops. This is a somber Porter, almost an antique these micro-days.

Tastes of vanilla ice cream and roasted malts. 5.6% ABV. Bitter front taste aplenty, but finishes to a dark coffee. More of a roasted malty taste that pushes the hops out of the picture.

Last swigs: Just a quality all around solid tasty Porter. ANCHOR put craft beer on the map, baby!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

 746 characters

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my glass like midnight oil and produces a generous caramel-colored, rocky head. The smells are fighting against the active smells at the bar. My nose picked up a major chocolate and coffee influence with an overall earthy smell.

The taste is wonderful - a full bodied, rich almost dessert beer. It is a great combination of chocolate malts, prune, and coffee-style bitters. The beer moves slowly over the tongue and swallows like a creamy milk stout. This beer was wonderful and I immediately ordered another one.

 527 characters

Photo of RootedFool
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours black with a ruby-flecked mahogany aura. The head is a quarter inch tall, creamy, frothy, chocolate milk in color and leaves some nice pasty swaths of lace on the glass.

Smell is rich -- light chocolate, light coffee, a dash of prune juice, I even pick up on hints of caramelized banana. Overall: sweet, with a crusty bitter shell.

Taste opens with a deep, roasted bitterness that almost immediately sweetens up in the middle -- espresso slightly sweetened with caramel -- and closes on burnt chocolate and espresso splashed notes that linger long on my palate. Wonderful.

Best porter I've ever had -- full of character, depth, thoroughly interesting.

 743 characters

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very nice nose on this beer. Sweet notes. Not so much chocolate or roasty in the nose. Some good caramel notes. Flavor is very nice, but I couldn't tell it was a porter. Very subdued chocolate and/or roasted flavors. I taste a lot more caramel or maybe munich malts than dark ones. Very little hops, nice sweet finish with just a touch of darker malts behind the tongue. Really has a nice body as well, very smooth. Very drinkable.

 431 characters

Photo of jimdkc
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown with a smallish, creamy brown head that soon fades to a thin film. Smell is sweet roasted malts. Taste is roasted malt, mild dark chocolate notes, with an earthy, herbal hop bitterness at the finish. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Dry finish. Overall, a very good example of an American Porter. I'd buy it again!

 323 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark brown with garnet highlights. It's very nearly opaque and is, therefore, one of the darker porters that I've seen. The light brown head is on the large side, is somewhat stiff and leaves lace in chunky, broken rings. The nose could be stronger: roasted malt with some chocolate and a whiff of hops. I had to get my nose deep into the glass to appreciate those aromas. Perhaps it'll open up with time and warming.

This is one flavorful porter! It tastes like well-kilned black malt, chocolate liqueur, weak coffee, hops and a little smoke swirled in for good measure. I got all that at an estimated 55 degrees, so this should be quite the flavor bomb closer to room temperature. It starts out sweet, becoming less sweet as the mouthful progresses, but never does achieve dryness. The mouthfeel is impressively smooth and creamy and the relatively low ABV makes it quite the session beer.

I'm impressed. I'm a lover of IPAs and I like Anchor Liberty Ale, but Anchor Porter just might be the better beer. It hits all the right notes from start to finish.

 1,068 characters

Photo of necoadam
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor is really starting to grow on me. When I first tasted their steam beer, it took awhile to get used to the taste. Now that I had their porter beer, I might actually their barleywine, (I dislike barleywines though). This poured out a nice black color with a head that went away quickly. First thing that hits the nose is the toffee and caramel. Perhaps a hint of butterscotch as well, but very faint. Taste is superb. Nice roasted malts make up this brew. Some toffee is also present, but not much. It's also very smooth and creamy. Probably rivals the Taddy Porter for one of the best porters out there.

 609 characters

Photo of rdrummer
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark, brown to black pour with slight reddish tinge when held to the light, almost opaque. The dark tan head is large and the tannish lacing pronounced. The aroma is one of chicory and coffee with a slight caramel undertone. The main taste is a big hit of grainy malt with definite coffee flavors. This is a thick, wonderful beer in the mouth. I very well brewed porter. One that tastes good at first drop and improves as it warms. It almost demands a second.

 461 characters

Photo of brewQ
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A strong chocolate colored head looks tasty. The aroma is not particularly strong but is pleasant and malty.

I've been sampling a few Porters lately and really like this one's flavor. Nicely balanced, sweet but not cloying of the senses.
That seems to be key. This is a drinkable porter that is not watery.

I have to admit I am a big fan of Anchor products. I don't think I have had one I did not like. They were also a great tour stop a few years back.

 460 characters

Photo of Southernbrew
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost completely black. Small brown head.

Smells of sweet malts and slight caramel, touch of fruit.

Medium body, light carbonation. Light fruitiness, touch of caramel-sweetness and roasted coffee. Goes down very smooth. Medium aftertaste of roasted coffee.

Fantastic porter, perfectly balanced in every way.

 323 characters

Photo of coasterfreak75
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was excellent, very dark brown bordering on black with a nice one inch head that faded to a light ring of foam. The smell was very malty lots of sweet overtones, very slight burnt sugar smell. The taste is where this porter left alot of others in the dirt. Very sweet start and just the right amount of hop bite in the middle followed by a clean sweet finish. This may be the best porter I've ever tasted. A very drinkable beer, very refreshing.

 454 characters

Photo of AndIWantYou
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautifully black in the glass, tastes of roasted coffee, hops, and a bit of an alcohol flavor. Also a bit of a vegetable flavor, but not in a bad sense. I like this beer quite a bit and appreciate the complexity of flavors that Anchor has put together. My only problem is that I don't smell as much in the vapors as I taste in the liquid.

Overall a fine porter to be enjoyed again sometime.

 394 characters

Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,494 ratings.