Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

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3,190 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,190
Reviews: 1,449
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 137
Gots: 224 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,190 | Reviews: 1,449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeriacor
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black as coffee, with tainted brown white 1/4 inch head that fades slowly, lacing great.

Smell: Smells of dark fruits, malts, chocolate, and brown sugary delicious cakes.

Taste: Dark, rich, bitter. That bitterness comes not so much from hops as from coffee. Deep and richly complex with coffee, dark chocolate, toasted malts and nuts, faint blueberry, and toffee. The tastes linger on the tongue. Extraordinary and complex to the extreme.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, quite smooth. And syrupy, but not too syrupy. Somewhat bitter, but not overwhelming.

Overall: Let me put it this way: the best porter I've ever tasted. Very deep and enriching, while smooth and perfectly drinkable. It's like candy to the beer drinker (without all the sweetness). A must try for any lover of dark beer.

Photo of harrymel
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours beautifully dark brown with excellent clarity which reveals underlying cherry tones. three finger mocha head falls to a quilt of the same which remains through the life. Cobweb lacing.

S: Coffee, molasses, dark malts. Hints of creamy vanillla and white cake smells to me. Very nice nose. Hints of cocoa perhaps as well.

T: Finest hint of earthy, noble hops over the strong bone of a dry, coffee like porter. Outstanding flavor profile. Not my favorite, but very, very good.

M: creamy yet dry mouthfeel. Middle of the line body with lower carbonation. Sticky and dry finish. Makes me want more immediately.

O: Cheers to Fritz and the guys. This one's a winner.

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark black that light will not penetrate with a thick, creamy light brown head. The head retains about a centimeter that does not go away and looks like the head on an ice cream soda...delicious. Can't really distinguish much from smell, just grains. The first sip is delicious. This is definitely an excellent porter. It tastes like coffee and chocolate with just enough hops to balance. It has sweetness, but it's not as noticeable as the espresso bitterness, which in itself is not overwhelming, but it definitely defines the taste of the beer. Overall, this is exactly what I want in a porter. What a great example of the style.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice deep brown with a 1.5 finger tan head. The head is solid foam. Great retention, and left sheets of lacing.

S: Light coffee and chocolate, a little bit of grain, some brown sugar, and slight roasted malt.

T: Slight roasted malt, hints of cocoa and coffee. A little bit of brown sugar. Not a ton going on really.

M: Medium bodied and pretty smooth.

O: Good, but not great. A solid porter that was a little boring for me. Would be a good introductory porter.

Photo of engagechad
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Anchor porter, lots of build up for this one..

Pours AWESOME, massive pillow like foam that was thick and beautiful. Dark, dark beer, great lacing. Smells of licorice, dark fruits and molasses.. big on the molasses. Taste SOO smooth.. Probably the smoothest porter I've ever had. Not much as far as hop bitterness.

Overall I would buy this again, 6 at a time, however it's not the perfect porter for me because I prefer to have some spicy hops going on ala founders.

One of the best though.

Photo of smwesson500
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't very sure about this beer at first. The first taste I took was of very dark malts and grains and almost seem too stout. But upon finishing the bottle, I had fallen in love with this beer. Pours black, smells like a guiness. Taste is not for the faint of heart with the dark grains and malts. Good mouthfeel in balancing the carbonation and the taste.

Glad I tried this beer and glad I got the 6 pack instead of the single...

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Founder's snifter

Pours black with an amazing four finger thick tan head. Vicious bubbly head with a pillow of foam. Splendid head retention. It refuses to subside.

Smells of roasted malts with a slight fruity finish. Has that signature anchor steam aroma. Piney hop aroma blends nicely with the roasted malt. The steam carbonation is apparent just from the smell as it leaves a tingling sensation in the back of the throat

Tastes just as it smells. Roasted malts and piney hops combine to make this porter great. Each sip is followed by a blast of carbonation which seems to work wonderfully in Anchor beers.

The mouthfeel and drinkability are hands down the best qualities in this beer. Very creamy and smooth. One of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

Overall, Anchor Porter may not have the rich flavors of the best American Porters, but it's mouthfeel and drinkability are world class and it's plenty delicious too. It resembles an English Porter much more than an American one.

Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ODO date code. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured black with a four finger tan head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, dark chocolate, and subtle caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Both the flavor and aroma was quite complex making this one quite enjoyable and kept you guessing on what you would pick up on next. I wouldn't have tried this one had it not been on the Hall of Fame list if I'm honest. Really glad it is readily avaliable in my area. An absolute must try for sure and might even make a decent gateway brew.

Photo of snogglethorpe
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not normally such a fan of porters, but this was pretty good, much roastier and with more body than others I've had. Almost black with a thinnish tan head, a nice amount of flavor, and well-balanced between the roastiness, a little sweetness, and the slightly tart/acidic flavor I normally associate with a porter. Very drinkable.

[Despite the other reviews saying this is hoppy, it wasn't apparent to me ...]

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

Poured into a pint glass with nice puffy aggressive and persistent light tan head on top of a dark body.

Nose of nice roasted malts, lightly sweet, maybe molasses.

Clean roasty and toasty. Nice prickly carbonation and medium body. There's a bit to this one. Maybe some burnt molasses?

Overall clean and quaffable. Distinctly a porter and quite drinkable.

Photo of nkronma
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown deep mahogany , nearly black with a nice light brown head. Good retention and average lacing.

S - Clean and crisp, malty with spices, and a touch of coffee bitterness. A bit woody with hints of sweetness, maybe molasses.

T - Very smooth English porter taste. A bit of bitter coffee taste at the end, but makes for a good finish. A slight smoky flavor.

M - Very smooth, crisp finish.

O - Overall a very good porter. Slightly more bitter and smoky than I look for in a porter. Still a well brewed beer.

Photo of Knapp85
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This porter pours out with a very dark brown body with a tan colored head on it that fades after drinking a few sips. The aroma is kind of a little bit like old leather to me and roasted malts. Not much else on the nose. The flavor was roasted, and a little bitter and dry in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side for a beer of this color. It's not bad but I feel that there are more impressive porters out there.

Photo of uberez8
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this the other night to finally give it a try and I am definitely impressed by this brew. Had a good, dark brown appearance with a clean two finger head. It smells of a porter but nothing too special in the olfactory realm. Now as for the taste and mouthfeel, this is where it truly shines. Intense smokey flavors of roasted malts balanced perfectly with a light hop finish; truly pleasing after each sip. The mouthfeel was smooth as silk and never felt overly heavy, even when nearing the last drop. I've always been a huge fan of their Anchor steam beer but I have found this one to be just as wonderful and complex.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter - Best by date 1 J K ?

A: Poured a shiny black with one finger head that dissipated into a thin creamy lacing - decent webbing as it lowers in the glass,
good carbonation.

S: Not much going on here -light roasted malts with a slight hint of anise.

T: Roasted malts in the forefront with slight coffee hints,slight anise - a little bit of raisin, light hops ,smoky notes as well .

O: Overall this is a silky smooth porter, just enough char taste and light smokiness , light and well blended coffee flavors with a well balanced creaminess . I would have this again.

Photo of greenmonstah
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - Dark brown, nearly black with a finger of light brown head. Good retention and average lacing.

S - Clean and crisp, with a touch of coffee bitterness. A bit of an English Porter scent to it. Molasses?

T - Taste follows the nose, with the clean English taste coming through strongly. Almost tastes like pennies. Very tasty, but a bit off for an American Porter. Very little coffee flavor to it.

M - Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Finish is crip and perfect.

O - OVerall a very good porter, but in many way it is closer to an English style porter than an American style Much closer to Samuel Smith's than to Great Lakes.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber to a brown-ish/ black color, with a tan head. In the aroma, roasted malts and a nice coffee presence. In the taste, small pine hops, coffee, and a roasted malt. A hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry coffee and pine like aftertaste. Nice coffee presence and nice pine hops, I dig it!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,190 ratings.