Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

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3,193 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,193
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: 3,193 | Reviews: 1,449 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.)

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of veinless
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.

Photo of Rayek
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Anchor Porter pours nearly pitch black into my nonic. A voluminous tan head starts rocky and dense. It slowly falls to a lumpy blanket of foam while leaving clumps of lace in its wake.

Smells most excellent. Baking chocolate dominates and is propped up by molasses, vanilla, lemon and light burnt wood aroma. When the beer hits the mouth I was quickly struck by hyperactive carbonation. Letting the beer breath for awhile calmed things down a bit. With the carbonation at least partly out of the way, the flavors came through. They don't quite live up to the promise of the nose, but are good nonetheless. The lemon and chocolate from the nose do the most work. Balance leans toward bitter side, but only a little. The beer finishes quite dry and a little acidic.

The carbonation is the only thing holding this beer back. I'm guessing that my bottle was an exception to the rule.

Photo of lawlerj
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug from a 12 oz. bottle.

Deep, dark brown w/ a nice tan head, about two fingers, that lingers. Leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

The aroma is strong on coffee with a bit of bittersweet chocolate (that's actually what I noticed on my first whiff).

The taste is actually not as complex as I thought it would be. It has the coffee & chocolate notes with a bitter bite to it that I like.

This beer is definitely lighter bodied that I had anticipated. Having that said, the carbonation is very nice and gives a nice pop that compliments the lightness of the beer.

Overall, an enjoyable porter and goes down smooth because of the lighter character. I'll definitely have to explore more porters.

Photo of farrago
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gargantuan head, even with a measured pour, easily fills a third of the glass with densely packed microfoam, more peaks and valleys than dimpling, benchmark retention, shit ain't going nowhere. the lacing produces broad, sticky streaks here and little of effect there. Pretty much jet black to onyx colored liquid, sliver of dark zinc orange at the bottom, The nose is much more sour and penetrating than many of its ilk, as if it wants to show sour milk next to the powdered cocoa and caramel. slight pickled quality to it, the more you sniff it the more you realize that it has a lean, semi-defiant attitude that almost wants to play down any roast to toast as well as plum, cherry, apricot scents and leave it all to the standoffish malts to win the day. In the mouth the sourness doesn't try to hide, lemon and orange front and center, herbal streak there too. Hard breakfast pastry character to it, not soft like a croissant but not entirely charmless either. Loads of cocoa powder and cofee, heavy duty, coats the peach, apple, pear fruit close to fully. Has a distinct personality, something I'm willing to accept readily, still not a beer that seems interesting in crafting a fully enjoyable experience.

Photo of zhanson88
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: Anchor Porter pours a very dark brown color, which appears almost black in the glass with faint ruby highlights. About 1.5 fingers of light mocha colored head form, which has very nice lacing and retention. Super looking beer.

Smell: Chocolate malts and light coffee definitely are the predominant components of this beer. I don't get even a lick of roastiness, which I find interesting. Different than most porters that I've experienced, but not at all bad. The hops are also interesting to me. I would definitely call them herbal rather than floral, as they lend less of a grassy or sweetness component.

Taste: Dark and chocolate malts, as well as coffee provide a good deal of initial bitterness and a hint of sweetness. On the back end those herbal hops hit which lend a lightly tangy bitterness. The finish is a light coffee-hop combination. Pretty nice. I would call it a pretty rich porter, minus the sweetness factor that normally goes along with that term. It's mostly bitterness in one form or another from start to finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The body is between light and medium with a medium amount of fine carbonation. It doesn't hit creamy for me, but still decent. This is definitely a tasty, drinkable porter from Anchor. I find it pretty unique in subtle ways, which is very refreshing. A good take on the style.

Photo of AwYeh
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with crimson highlights; two fingers of foamy, frothy tan head rest atop the beer. Great retention and decent lacing.

S: Lots of malts here- dark fruits (dried berries, currants), bread, brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate. A light earthy hop presence is detectable, if hard to identify behind all the sweetness.

T: Sweet and tart- there's a ton of dried fruit flavor upfront here, along with hints of chocolate, coffee, and more brown sugar. As this warms, it's a little too sweet for me; wishing there was a little more balance. Lingering tangy/sweet flavor.

M: Medium/full-bodied, with light/moderate carbonation. Smooth and slightly creamy; built to go down easily.

D: Mouthfeel almost brought this up a bit, but I can't get past the overly sweet taste. Again, this isn't a bad beer; there are just 1. better tasting porters out there and 2. sweet porters with more balance, which temper my likelihood of picking this one up again.

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

Anchor porter

S Wow, huge sweet barely with huge vanilla and bread notes from the malt. The hops are in there doing some of this but I can't place them. Exceptional aroma.

L Dark brown pour, an amazing head fills the glass, deep chocolate milk in appearance, lacing all over the place, thick creamy.

T Wonderfully complex mix of barely hops and malt. The hops are just strong enough that they give a fruity flavor to the beer, but subtle enough to not bite. Sweet toffee and caramel mixed in this citrus hoppy beer. My favorite style? No. My ideal beer? Nope. The best porter I've had? Very possible.

M OK this beer could use a bit more body. A touch too watery. That said creamy carbonation, and just amazingly smooth to drink.

D I think this beer is ideal in a small serving. The flavors start to wear on me as I drink more. The sweetness is a bit too much, but the first 4-6 oz are just wonderful.

I've not heard that many people talk about this beer, but I'll just say that people should be. An amazing porter rivaled by few.

Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,193 ratings.