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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,149 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,149
Reviews: 1,445
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 137
Gots: 207 | 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
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Ratings: 3,149 | Reviews: 1,445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bayougutter
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark opaque brown with a two finger head with a free pour. Nice lacing for entire beer.

Smell is dark malts, molasses, hint of smoke.

Taste followed smell, a little sweet[ in a good way] with a little coffee on the end. Nice

Mouthfeel was medium, crisp throughout.

I was pleasently surprised by this brew, I dont like sweet beers and I wouldn't call this a sweet beer. But there is a sweet smeel and a sweet taste. The brew comes together in a very good way. Worth a try.

bayougutter, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some chocoalte. Taste is good, malts, some chocolate, slightly sweet, very flavorful. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a beer worth seeking out.

tone77, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of NickRivers
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A&S - Pours an amazing non-transparent black with a beautiful dark tan head, not to much lacing. Smells of mostly yeast, a little alcohol, and some roasted grains.

T&M - Very crisp throughout, very smokey and roasty, a little bready, little sweet on the front with the slightest coffee on the back.

O - an amazing porter yet alone an amazing beer.

This is my 4th Anchor beer. Picked a 12oz. up at CostPlus World Market. Quick note on them: An amazing store, lots of brewery name beer glasses, lots of hard to find brands like Deschutes and DFH, tons of imported 750ml bottles including some Trappists, AND they sell single beers. Anything from NewCastle to Red Seal Ale. An excellent way of trying beers you wouldn't be able to drink a six-pack of. Back to the beer. Beautiful black color, looks lovely in a snifter. Just a few points off perfect. I couldn't get much flavor besides the roasty malts and yeast. Forgive me if im wrong. Either way amazing beer. ill defiantly pick up more. I would buy a sixer of this even though it would take me a while to finish it due to a queue of lighter beers, but every time I see a CostPlus I won't think twice about a picking up a single to enjoy by a fire. Stay thirsty my friends.

NickRivers, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep, nearly opaque brown, producing a finger of nice tan head. This slowly fades, leaving just a bit of lacing.

Dark malts define the smell here, with hints of light sweetness reminiscent of fruit and molasses.

All of the malts from the aroma come through nicely in the flavor. Just a bit of roastiness, supported by some creamy sweetness, dark fruit, and toffee.

Medium-bodied and smooth, with a good carbonation level, this is a very pleasant drink.

Quite a nice porter, overall. It has good flavor, excellent drinkability, and I'd gladly have it again.

Pellinore1, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of bum732
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Dark chocolate with some fruity esters, some coffee roast, some woodiness, chicory perhaps.

L: Black with tight tan head, ok retention, good lacing.

T: Fruity citrus malt with a light coffee backbone. Dry cocoa powder quickly follows the citrus medium bitterness. Finishes with some roasty dryness. Some woodiness persists, light ceder or pine perhaps.

M: Creamy medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Great porter, loved the citrus and roastiness. I really enjoyed the woodiness as well, not sure if they used norther brewer hops similar to Anchor Steam. Overall, a very unique and great porter.

bum732, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - It pours a tidy deep brown-black, opaque except at the edges, and is capped with a punctilious tan head. Lacing is minimal.

S - The aroma is quite fruity and soft, revealing berry-like notes associated with English Ale yeast. Hop presence is integrated in the aroma to the point that it is difficult to discern specific aromatic contributions from it. Notes of light roast and dark chocolate emanate as it airs out. All in all, it smells quite good.

T - The taste has a larger amount of bitter and roasty than the aroma; yeasty fruitiness is still heavily (and delectably) in play. Sweetish stone fruit flavor is discernible immediately, followed by notes of roasty grain, hazelnut and cocoa, and finishing with a woody, hoppy bitterness.

M - The feel is just about medium, softly carbonated, refreshing and enhancing overall.

O - This is about as solid as a brew can get; the balance is sublime, the sensory element is pleasant in any situation (i.e. can be drank anywhere, anytime, all-weather), the price is right, availability is prevalent, et al. Hypothetically, this beer could be improved in all aspects: better head retention and lace, more intensity or dynamic in the nose, additional complexity to the flavor, Belgian-style creaminess or English-style smoothness in the feel; in reality, however, this is all nitpicking and hair-splitting. This brew is nearly perfect.

ktrillionaire, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of legalpete19340
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured very dark brown into the glass with a huge three finger head that took forever to fall. It coated the glass like a blizzard and laced beautifully.

S: Not getting much here. Better let it warm up. Mostly molasses with a little smoke. Roasted malts finally come out.

T: Incredibly smooth. Mellow dark roasted malts blend with bitter coffee flavors and finish with a kick of sweet malt like unfrosted chocolate cake.

M: A little more than medium with chewiness and great carbonation. Perfect.

O: Smooth dark flavor without any burnt notes. There is a noticeable lack of hop dominance which makes me happy. Seems too many porters today are overhopped. Superb beer. This is insanely drinkable. Just rediscovered my favorite porter.

legalpete19340, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of Manoftyr
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a nearly black chocolate brown color into the glass giving rise to two fingers of khaki colored head, the head is persistent and leaves excellent lacing even as it recedes all the way down to a thin film. Quite a looker here.

Aroma-Smells a bit like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown ale to me, I get lots of nuttiness and darkly roasted malt, some light sweetness; almost cocoa like.

Taste-Follows the nose with the same aforementioned nuttiness, dark roasted malt and chocolate; some light hoppiness is thrown into the mix as well.

Mouthfeel-Medium full bodied with modest levels of carbonation.

Drinkability/overall-A really solid porter, definitely in the upper echelon for the style, that goes down easy and enjoyably.

Manoftyr, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of grittybrews
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Could have sworn I'd already reviewed this! Poured a deep cola black into a tulip with two fingers of dark khaki head. Very nice roasty aroma of semisweet chocolate, coffee, and a hint of nuttiness.

Moderate carbonation and an ultra-creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Smooth chocolate and coffee flavors up front followed by a slight charred/smoky quality mixed with hints of caramel sweetness. Mild bitter quality returns the finish.

Hadn't had this in a while am I don't remember it being this good. Balanced, full-flavored, but quite light and easy-drinking.

grittybrews, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of output01x
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A modest pour yields a full 2-finger creamy tan head sitting upon a near black murky-looking body. The head recedes slowly leaving clumps of foam clinging to the sides of the glass. When the head finally recedes to a thin dusting, it continues to leave excellent lacing.

Aromas of dark roasted malts with hints of milk chocolate and nuts strike my nose, making my mouth water. A light hopiness is also slightly apparent.

The flavor follows the nose almost perfectly. Roasted malts, chocolate, and a nice nuttiness tingle my taste buds quite nicely. The hops, while not immediately apparent, do a great job of keeping the malts in check and raising drinkability.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation makes this a nice thirst-quencher for such a dark beer. Crisp and refreshing, this beer coats your mouth nicely but is not sticky in the least. Any more carbonation would make this porter too cola-like.

output01x, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of Dunkelhund
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Porter is an excellent beer. The first time I drank this I immediately considered it a personal favorite. It pours a very dark color with a substantially thick head of brown foam and has a slight sweetness to the dark, roasted malt aroma.

It breaks across the tongue with a thick silkiness and a wave of microscopic bursting bubbles. The deep, roasted character of the porter is strong and consistent throughout, but the initial hints of sweetness gives way to a mildly dry bitterness that rides out the finish. I like it.

(This is my opinion, and any similarities to your own may have been intended and/or unintended by the author of this review. In order to fully appreciate this Original American Craft Beverage I suggest you go out and try it yourself.)

Dunkelhund, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of wingman14
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small mocha head. The dominant smell is a dark roasted malt with some sweet notes. The taste start sweets with great malt flavor. This one has a subtle smokiness to it, then finishes sweet. The mouthfeel was impressive, smooth with great depth of flavor. This is an easy drinking porter, it doesn't sit heavy like some darks, but still has nice body to back up the style. Worth checking out.

wingman14, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of MonkeymooTJ
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Creamy caramelly head, more bubbly than foamy. Deep dark body resembling dark roast coffee. Hints of dark amber show through when held to the sunlight


Roasted chocolate malts are the dominating aroma with just a twinge of caramel. Herbal hops do come through as well in a balanced abundance.


Strong grassy hops of a mild bitterness are recognizable immediately. A very slight roasted coffee flavor does make it through, but is shadowed by the more dominant hops


Smooth and medium body pleasantly coats the mouth without leaving a lot of bitterness on the tongue


I would judge this a well put together porter. The only negative i could find is that I feel there could have been a better balance between malts and hops. This is just nitpicking though because the difference is so slight. I would not hesitate purchasing another 6 pack

MonkeymooTJ, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of ntatum
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown with reddish hues when put near light.

It smelled of rich malts and chocolate with just a hint of coffee.

The taste mirrored the smell. The taste is very chocolaty, malty and some nice coffee/espresso at the end.

It was surprisingly not too heavy and would have like to have had one more.

I haven't had a lot of Porters but I really enjoyed this beer and it will definitely be a re-buy.

ntatum, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor's always been a standby for a decent session ale, let's see how the porter ranks.

A- Pours a deep brown with a massive burnt head. A thin layer of foam lingers for a while, too.

S- Aroma is syrupy: carmel laced with some copper and thick malt sweetness. Hints of chocolate on the nose.

T- A heavy hand of sweet syrup fills the palate with laces of coco and carmel throughout. Steers clear of being too heavy and balances with a nice dry hop finish.

M- Surprisingly light and mildly carbonated, this beer won't way you down which is a plus.

Overall I gotta say it's a decent porter to standby - not too complex and smooth all the way around.

ManuelHerrera, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, code of 0N3, bottled on November 30th, 2010, bought as a single at World Market. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half frothy tan head. The head stays around for a long time, and there's a lot of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruit. The taste is similar to the aroma, but the dark fruit flavors (plum, raisins) and bittersweet chocolate flavors are the strongest, and some burnt/charred malt flavors are noticable too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth, slick and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall, I think it's a good brew. I'd definitely buy this again.

bluejacket74, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: It pours black with red highlights with two fingers of tan head that recedes into a 1/4 inch film that lasts throughout with wonderful lacing.

S: Smooth dark fruits, lactic cream, light cocoa, and a little roastiness.

T: Smooth, sweet dark fruits, vanilla, cream, and lovely hazelnut. This is pure bliss.

M: This is so silky smooth with its slick, medium-light body and lightly creamy finish.

O: It is without a doubt, the best porter I've ever had - which is a very bold statement.

bucklemyshoe, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of chilly460
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown pour that produces a huge fluffy, three finger, off-white head with great retention. This is what beer in a beer commercial looks like.

S - Sweet smelling, toffee and caramel malt with some nuttiness. Maybe some vanilla.

T - Toffee and caramel in the front, with a touch of roast malts. I get some definite nuttiness, and a spiciness, like nutmeg or allspice. Very buttery as well. Flavors are all mild though, no single one leaves a strong impression.

M - Medium body and carbonation, and somewhat lighter on the palate.

O - Solid brew really, easy to drink, pretty complex for the style. Could just use more "punch" to the flavors to be an elite porter.

chilly460, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of secondtooth
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black upon pouring, with a thick head of tan foam. Huge lacing. Looks good.

Aroma is sweet, almost bourbon or woody. Heavy malts.

Flavor is dark chocolate, a little coffee, and some wood. I get a little bitterness in the finish. Light in body and easy to drink.

Respectable, but I much prefer other Anchor offerings.

secondtooth, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Chizoad
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This came out of the blue at a place that usually has only the worst macro beers. The waiter was walking by with a bottle of it for someone else and I had him bring over the last two bottles for me and my friend. They were not wasted on us, that's for sure.

Very nice deep brown color with a tan head that settled down to a small layer of foam. I guess the restaurant only has pilsner glasses for their beer, but it looked great where you could kind of see through the beer at the thinnest part of the glass.

Malts, smoke, chocolate and molasses, but none of it was really powerful like some of the imperial Russian stouts.

Similar flavor to the nose, and a hint of bitterness for balance.

Creamy, oily mouthfeel that remained thick, and went very well with a steak.

I have only had Anchor's Steam Beer (which I don't care for), and am very happy I tried this. It is an outstanding porter.

Chizoad, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of thatlongname
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful, almost jet black pour. Medium Khaki head with good lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee tones. Some crystal malts as well.

Taste: Nice and complex. Starts with the hops, the middle is the roasted malts and ends with the malts (Maybe a little espresso flavors too). Beautiful brew.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. I've grown to like this in my porters. It's like food.

Drinkability: I would definitely drink another. This beer is interesting because each sip is a slightly different experience than the last. I notice something new about the flavor that may have been hidden on the last sip.

thatlongname, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Huge billowing caramel head on a black brown-ruby body. Great retention and lacing.

Smell - A great smelling beer. Loads of sweet caramel and coffee maltiness.

Taste - Nice and complex. Hits you slightly sharp, with a small nip of alcohol up front, then pulls back and has a smooth, velvety finish. Bitter coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Great creamy texture.

Drinkability - This drink is great on its own and would be my go-to session beer when it comes to porters/stouts. However, I'm sure this beer would go GREAT with a meal, and I can't wait to pair it. I can just tell it'll really work well.

ZenAgnostic, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to my dad for picking this up at International Beverage Selections in Grand Rapids. Served in a Hill Farmstead Wine Glass.

Pour yields a very dark brown-colored brew with a really nice tan head and quite a bit of lacing. Solid retention as well. The nose brings forward some light chocolate and roast. There is also a bit of toffee and caramel lingering in the background. The taste is similar, leaning more toward the chocolate with a bit of malt sweetness. Body is too thin and undercarbonated. Not my favorite from Anchor.

Thorpe429, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of jbphoto88
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautifully dark porter in rich brown. So dark that you can't see through it and covered with a tan, sudsy head. Very pretty brew that begs to be drank.

The nose is not one of my favorites. It's slightly stale smelling of watered down malts, light coffee and chocolate. There is a nice dose of a cream scent that makes up a little ground. Not bad smelling but a little weak and light for a porter.

Hello sweet dark porter, where have you been all my life? This beer tastes amazing! The nose devices the senses but the flavors are bold and beautiful. Rich roasted malts accented with chocolate and coffee. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel is equally outstanding with a nice creamy texture. Smooth and lightly carbonated an absolute dream to sip. This is one of the best beers not only from anchor brewing but also in the porter style. Tasty and decadent with very simple flavors done extremely well. A great brew that you need to try.

jbphoto88, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this multiple times and always enjoyed it so I decided to finally pick a single up to review.

Pours a dark blackish brown, with faint deep maroon translucence visible only at the edges and in the light. Head is ample and three-finger. frothy, milky light tan and leaves some elegant lacing: rungs and spots both. Very, very good looking beer, and is very close to perfect in my book.

First smell yields a lot of nuttiness and roasted malt. Some dark fruit, namely cherry and plum, are integrated well into the toasted scents. Get a slight whopper smell too.

Taste is very smooth and balanced, with a fair amount of bitterness following a meld of roasted grains and malt that stays away from getting chocolate like. The lead into the bitterness is decidedly coffee-esque though and very pleasing. Milky flavor present in the nose is almost entirely gone, which I was sad to see. Sweetness in the finish is very well done though, and goes well with the bitterness. Aftertaste is coffee-like and delicious. Watery character at the end is a little bit off-putting, and hurts both the taste and mouthfeel a bit, but it isn't a deal breaker. Also wish the fruits in the smell were more present in the taste as well, as it could have added to this already high-quality brew.

Other than that, the feel on the palate is solid, if not spectacular. It leaves a bit of coating post-sips, and is creamy at times. Drinkability is very good, and the abv keeps this sessionable. Love having this beer available for cheap all the time, it really is a fantastic standard porter.

madvermin, Mar 13, 2011
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,149 ratings.