1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,033 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,033
Reviews: 1,435
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 132
Gots: 167 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,033 | Reviews: 1,435 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is an almost opaque black; the beer turned a dark ruby when I held it to my lamp, so a substantial amount of light passed through. Two fingers of thick, tan head developed and dissipated slowly to leave trails along the glass, a spotted lacing, and a thick cappuccino ring around the edge.

Smell: My first whiff was a pleasant mélange of chocolate (much like cocoa), sweet caramel, and toffee. As the beer warms a nice coffee bitterness announces itself, as well as some dark fruit like plum and raisin.

Taste: The mouthfeel is not as thick as I was hoping, but it is still creamy and smooth, much like oatmeal stout. My first sip mirrored the taste: a nice blend of chocolate, sweet caramel, and toffee. A roasted coffee bitterness emerged on subsequent sips and remained throughout the pint. The dark fruit plum and raisin from the smell were also present in the taste. Each sip is followed by a nice bitter aftertaste that lingers in the back of the mouth.

Drinkability: Frankly, I am a little disappointed; I remember it being much better from the tap -- obviously -- at Anchor. However, it is still a good brew.

TheQuietMan22, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of joepais
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a good porter. I poured it into a IMP pint glass and was greeted with a two finger tan head that stuck around for a while. The body was black on this brew no surprise there. The nose was full of coffee and roasted malts . Flavors were just like the nose coffee and chocolate notes abound. The mouthfeel was ok but need some more body. Easy to drink I could have a few in a sitting

joepais, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is jet black, with a dark tan, thin head that quickly dissipates into a ring of film. Held up to the light, the beer has brown highlights in the coloring around the edges. The beer has smeels of caramel, sweet malt, and a bit of hops. The initial tastes are sweet and light, followed by a quick transition into a bitter-hopped and coffee flavoring. The beer is light in mouth in comparison to other porters, and very crisp and sharp on the finish, with toasty flavors lingering in mouth a bit. A toasty and very light coffee aftertaste, and not overpowering at all. This is a pretty easy beer to gulp down if you aren't paying attention. Interesting, but I have had other porters I care more for.

GarthDanielson, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of bisonkron
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - looks amazing. thick brown head that fades slowly. slight carbonation.

S - toffee, roasted malts, chocolate milk

T - Caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, sweet, slight hoppiness, very smooth

M - medium creamy body, still smooth. amazying.

D - very drinkable, could have 3 or 4, although i have a limit of 2.

Great beer, got me interested in craft brews, and I'm still going back to it when i can.

bisonkron, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. A very nice looking porter.

The aroma is heavy on the raisins. but there is also some roasted malt and chocolate mixed in. Besides the raisins, there is some other dark fruit mixed in, including dark cherries.

The flavor is raisins, dark fruit, grapes and roasted malt. I also get a little bit of anise and some iced tea notes. Very strange, but it all works pretty well together. I have had this beer numerous times and I never remembered it having this flavor profile. There is a little bit of charred malt/smoke at the end of the flavor when the beer warms.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of HBeezley
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First let me say that I don't really like porters. Let me also say that I am trying to give porters a decent shot. Recently, I have been enjoying heavier beers (like stouts and such) where as I used to hate them. Really, I have only had about two different porters (other than this one) and neither ones I cared for - although I had tried them both when I had not had a good heavier beer and so I was biased. So I am giving this porter a shot to redeem my bad porter experiences and hopefully enjoy them.

Looks beautiful for a dark beer! Pitch black with a head that looks like someone put way too much milk in their coffee.

Smell is...well, nothing that impressive. Kind of disappointing for a porter. I expected it to be reeking of smoky flavor (maybe that's a good thing though since I am trying to introduce myself to good porters) and it mostly just smells like roasted malts - which is remarkably simplistic - beautiful, actually.

Tastes like real nice roasted cooled-off coffee that has about five sugar packets. Or maybe even honey instead of sugar? The malt is there. The hops are [unexpectingly] there. Maybe some other hint of something that I could not even try to put my finger on? But it's nice. A little sweet, but nice. I was slightly dissapointed that the smoky flavor wasn't there until the aftertaste, but that was nice and subtle - which makes a very drinkable brew!

Overall, it's good! Let he redemption begin!

HBeezley, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of beerdepartment
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - debatable black; coffee color. Appetizing froth.

Smell - gentle raisin malt; soft spice.

Taste - nice initial soft flavor of malt and roasting, followed by tartness, bitterness, and then burned vegetable.

Mouthfeel - very effervescent; balanced nicely with some good malt texture; highly recommend the froth.

Drinkability - quite drinkable; I will have some more.

beerdepartment, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of crayolahalls
1.25/5  rDev -69.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Everything was set for this to be an enjoyable experience. I was at a favorite pub, ordered awesome food, had good company, and was feeling alright.

This Anchor Porter was the first beer I ordered. I am not usually a fan of domestic porters, but I have found a couple I like. Upon initial inspection the bottling was fair. A squat dark bottle with bright label. Artwork was on par with any micro. It didn't look cheap or sloppy.

The bottle was served chilled. The glass was not. I poured out half the contents and watched a decent 3/8" tan head develop on a full pour.

The first sniff I took of this beer was awful. It reeked of Coca-Cola. I let the glass sit a few minutes longer to come up in temperature. The second smell was just as gooey. I was not impressed, actually I was starting to worry. I decided to taste this little porter.

After one solid swig I knew there was going to be problems. The taste was sweet, almost sickly for a porter. It was the right temperature, but it was failing to the level of Schlitz or Milwaukee's Best. True drivel. At $4.25 for the bottle I decided I should really push through and see what would happen.

The flavor developed much further on the second drink. Admittedly, I took a couple quick drinks at this point to try move to a more trusted brewer. One after another I was wholeheartedly disappointed. I was not getting any coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dirt, or even respectable bitterness. There was nothing redeeming to it. It was offense after offense of a bland beer that hearkened of a home-brew made from 10-year old liquid malt. It was two-dimensional beer horror.

I kept wondering if Anchor had created this porter just so they could say they have one. It tastes desperate. This truly was the little porter that couldn't.

In all fairness, I will probably try this beer again when I can verify the age of the batch and how it was handled post brewery.

crayolahalls, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of kinupanda
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours near black with a light tan head that is prominent on the pour but dissipates relatively rapidly. The scent is a very lightly toasted malt smell with some toffee, and is very subtle with some sweetness. The initial taste is sweet and tart, and not overwhelmingly rich; it features a slight cacao taste with a light coffee flavor. The carbonation is light and first but becomes more noticeably bubbly during the sip, and there is a lingering tart aftertaste on the back of the tongue, almost reminiscent of a hoppy Dr Pepper. Overall this is an enjoyable porter that is rich but not overtly heavy, and gets better as it warms slightly.

FourthBeer potential: VERY HIGH, as a subtle, non-imposing porter that is good as a closer.

kinupanda, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a completely opaque black into a sierra nevada balloon with a finger and a half of khaki head. The head dissipates quickly and leaves a thin layer with a lot of lacing left on the glass.

S: dark sweet chocolate and espresso notes. Toffee and some smokiness and grassy hops.

T: coffee and dark chocolate are big up front, sweetness like toffee and caramel. Big roasted malt flavor and not a big hop profile but there is some bitterness in the back; overall like a bittersweet bakers chocolate.

MF: medium to light body and dry. Effervescent and smooth.

D: great porter from a brewer with a huge american craft history at a great price. An easy buy again when looking for a porter.

nickthetick, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of MadCat
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with a good brown head. Head lasts a decent amount of time

Smell: Nice roasted malt smell

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, hints of caramel, some roastyness

Mouthfeel: Crisp carbonation, somewhat thick, very pleasant

Drinkability: If you like porters, this is high on the drinkability scale. Goes down easy, leaves you wanting more.

Overall, excellent. This is a good example of why I love porters.

MadCat, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of Buddha22
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW! This beer goes down like nothing I have ever tried. It is as drinkable as it gets. Taste is molasses with a burnt malty finish. The after taste is quick which creates your mouth wanting for more. And smell has hints of roasted coffee and toffee flavors. Glad I tried this at the early age of 21. Now I have a whole new appreciation for beer and especially the porter style. Bravo Anchor.

Buddha22, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz bottle into nonic pint glass.
Pours a deep dark black color with huge creamy tan head.
Smell is nice, chocolate, dark malts, toffee, smells great
Taste is the same as nose. Coffee, chocolate, sweetness but not overly sweet.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth
Overall, a great porter, delicious and could be addicting. Good brew.

BayouBengal1537, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of Jayhawk
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Guinness pint glass. Head was incredibly tall at first settling into a nice 1.5" head that lingered for quite some time.

Smells is wonderful - chocolate, cream aroma with slight coffee overtones. However, there is an overt sweetness which is a preview of things to come.

Taste is good...not too bitter, sweet ( too sweet for my taste). Tastes of chocolate, toffee and dark malt. Not too bitter but a hint of hops. I'd almost swear there is milk sugar in here if I didn't know better.

This is an edit of my previous review. After the first one, I thought it was sweet, but not too sweet and said it ranked up there with Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter...however, having a second, and trying a single another day - I find this porter way, way too sweet.

If you want the perfect porter I'd say go grab a Taddy Porter. Want to try very good US porters? I'd recommend Bully Porter or Sierra Nevada Porter. If you like really sweet porters - this one might just be for you.

Jayhawk, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of bens0n
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a virtually pitch black, I can see a slight brown tinge to it at the bottom of my pilsner glass, but when held up to the light, its black as night. It also has copious of creamy tan head that hangs around for a while and leaves tons of lacing. This beer looks amazing.

The smell reminds me alot of shiner bock, but much richer, can't say I am very impressed with how this smells though. All I can pick out is the malted barley and some hops.

Flavor wise it improves a little, but its not exceptionally smooth or complex. I can pick out a toffee/caramel flavor but it finishes with a bite of hops. Has a slightly roasted quality to it with some hints of dark fruit, but those notes are pretty minor.

The carbonation is interesting, but a little too fizzy for me, I feel like this beer has a watery quality to it which I don't particularly like in a porter. It starts out watery, then the carbonation kicks in. This beer is also extremely filling.

I would not recommend drinking this very cold, its much better on the warmer side.

bens0n, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of JCBears
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App: WOW so black it almost hurts your eye seeking color. FANTASTIC

Smell: Somewhat of a woody arroma not all too bad kind of nice. Hints of a spice makes you look for more

Taste/MF: Nice suttle earthy feel. few nots of a distant spicey again doesn't coat the throat like you would think but has a nice smooth flow to it

Overall: not a bad brew. Will let it sit a bitmore cause it could be drank at a nic warm temp. Is filling on a cold day nice overall brew

JCBears, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black in the glass. Completely opaque with only the slightest f mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy, pillowy yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with chunky lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of silky chocolate, toffee, toast, oatmeal in the nose as well as some faint earthy hops. The chocolate presence is very prominent, balancing out the smokey/roastiness quite nicely.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a lot of roasted and silky chocolate malt flavor. Surprisingly hop forward with a much stronger bitter, earthy pine profile than the aroma suggests. A bit more roasty and dry than I expected with hints of roasted coffee bean, luscious chocolate, burnt toast and oatmeal. There is a slight lactic cream presence mid-palate that adds to the complexity and balance, making this beer pretty quaffable. The maltier flavors open up as it warms but it's still a bit too bitter for my liking.

corby112, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a deep not quite opaque black with a thin light tan head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is cocoa and dark malts. The taste is a nice blend of ddark malts, chocolate malts and a bit of coffee. The beer is on the light side of medium with smooth carbonation. This is a very enjoyable porter, one I would certainly have again.

atsprings, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of SnowGoon99
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours simply black with a large tan head that lingers down the glass. Aroma is out of this world. Some roasty and toasty notes with some tofee and hints of chocolate. Also some hints of floral notes. Simply incredible.

Flavor is no slouch either. All the aroma notes come through along with some caramel notes. Only ding is that it's a little too sweet but it's still awesome. Mouthfeel is also great. Definitely doesn't lack in the body department and that's very surprising for a 5.5% beer. Usually you see that in the higher alcohol beers. The sweetness in the flavor does detract from the drinkability somewhat. But you still would end up ordering a second pint.

Overall a wonderful beer. Needs only slight tweaks to it and that's being overly critical. Just a great beer and an incredible one for the price. It's just a steal.

SnowGoon99, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of ivanwatling
3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black with a crema like head, kind of like a large espresso.

Smell: Rich malts, probably chocolate malts I think. Reminiscent of barley wine and Old Peculiar. Very pleasant.

Taste: Deep, rich taste but a very bitter aftertaste on the first sip.

Mouthfeel: carbonation at nust the right level, but the bitterness puckers your pallate.

Drinkability: Would be a wonderful, deep, soothing, comforting brew if it weren't for that awful biterness.

ivanwatling, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of AllFineThings
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When poured, even lightly it produces a head that encompasses the whole glass, it settles into a two inch head that lingers for quite a while.

It smells of coffee, toffee, and chocolate.

Tastes like it smells, but better and is extremely smooth and creamy and has a medium body.

Is a great session beer.

AllFineThings, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of uustal
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a coffee colored two-finger head. Solid lacing and head retention. Aroma of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Very nice. Roasted flavor up front. Coffee and bitter chocolate. Dark fruit, black licorice and molasses present as you get further into the beer. Finishes back around with dry and burnt chocolate notes.

uustal, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a finger of mocha colored head that recedes after a short while.

S: Nose is quite roasty with some bitter dark chocolate notes. There's a touch of nuttiness along with licorice, toffee, and even a bit of sweetness.

T: Some bitterness up front with plenty of roasted malts, coffee, and bitter dark chocolate. There's a touch of licorice to go with some dark molasses sort of flavors.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: Pretty damn easy to drink and enjoyable porter, here. I'd gladly drink this beer again.

womencantsail, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Big Z's for this one. OMJ in stipple on the back label. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Gentle pour yields an upward climbing frothy, 4 finger light mocha head with great retention. Beer is an opaque black. Definitely the darkest porter I've ever seen. Lacing is oustanding. Layered, frothy, great legs, and with incredible stick.

S: Nose is sublimely sweet. Liquorice, toffee, coca-cola, milk chocolate, and roasted malt. This one has a light tingle to it. Flavor is very subtle but delicious.

T: Opens chocolate, roasted malt, sweet liquorice, and a touch of cane sugar. Robust malt backbone. Roasted malt opens up a bit more towards the middle and becomes slightly tart before sweetening again. Chocolate and liquorice more pronounced towards the end. Finish is liquorice and coca-cola with a sweet, subtle, chocolate aftertaste that doesn't last.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Silky and oily in the mouth and goes down immensely smooth and slick. Finish is slightly accented with a clean aftertaste.

D: This beer is fucking outstanding. Hands down the best porter I've had and in the running for the best dark beer ever. I'd be happy drinking this and only this for the rest of my life. My new go-to beer for sure!

SpeedwayJim, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of BranfordBound
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz rounded bottle into a DFH Shaped Pint.

Pours a near black color, with a fluffy three finger dark tan head that leaves great lacing. Nice! Nice head retention.

Strong smell of molasses, maybe a small chocolate in there.

Nice strong malt bomb, very large amount of molasses flavor, sweet and rich, this fades to a slight chocolate and finishes with a bitter hop presence and a delicate roastiness. Superb.

Thick rich mouthfeel, not too heavy.

Very drinkable, one of the best porters on the market.

BranfordBound, Dec 18, 2010
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,033 ratings.