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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,869 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,869
Reviews: 1,422
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 113
Gots: 111 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,869 | Reviews: 1,422 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dismal


4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a black extremely dark brown color with a one finger tan head that quickly fades away but leaves some lacing down the glass but not much. The smell is sweet and the smell of chocolate comes to mind and caramel. The taste is similar with the chocolate and the sweetness. Has some roasted taste to it as well. I think a hint of coffee is there but it's not very strong. The taste of this one is really good. The mouthfeel is a little above average. Kind of a medium bodied feel to it but not like this needs to be thick or anything. The drinkability of this beer is high. I find myself going through a glass very quickly and wanting to grab another. Overall a great porter, probably one of the best I've had recently.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 18:22:50 | More by dismal
Photo of SFBeerGuy


4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- Poured a deep brown/black color with a generous 1.5 inch froth. Tan, light brown head slowly receded leaving behind sticky lace.

S- Chocolate and toffee on the nose with bittersweet caramel. Nothing overpowering.

T- Smokey malt and bittersweet chocolate. Mild tannins towards the end which help draw out the bitterness. Chocolate stays in the mouth from beginning to end. Small coffee bitterness creeps up in the finish alongside the bittersweet of the chocolate. Delicate balance and compliment between the bitterness of the hops and malt which is almost indistinguishable.

M- Slight tannin bite at the back end following a refreshingly crisp carbonation.

D- The hop bitterness of this ale is more evident after the first few sips as it lingers behind in the mouth. That said, this Porter is very drinkable and extremely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 06:38:54 | More by SFBeerGuy
Photo of Rodekill


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is an American classic. It's really its own thing, as other robust porters tend to have more roasted malt character than Anchor Porter.

Great head retention, nice lacing, perfectly carbonated.

Coffee, molasses, and bitter chocolate all come into play on your palate.

This is one complex beer: the aroma and flavor meld perfectly for a total sensory assault, in a good way!

This is not a session porter, but should be sipped and savored. It pairs well with spicy food, as well as pasta and chocolate.


Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 01:10:16 | More by Rodekill
Photo of pants678


4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Took this one straight from the bottle, there wasn't a pint glass around. From memory it's opaque black with a beige head that maintains well throughout.

It's an open smell, a hint of freshly brewed coffee and a tinge of carmel.

There are layers of flavor, starting with a sweet chocolate in front of a strong coffee that ligners with a sticky aftertaste. There's almost a salt undertone through out, a consistent base. It adds a baltic sensibility and pungency.

It's like a cool ocean breeze felt on a pier at midnight.

Carbonation is but a light tingle, it's just a bit of laced distortion that helps bring this brew together.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 06:37:01 | More by pants678
Photo of katan


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Certainly dark and opaque, this thing appears thick. The head formation is very strong and mocha in color. Well retained.

S - Has a hair of the roasted malts you would expect from a porter. Almost the trademark Anchor moss earthy smell hanging around as well.

T - Starts off with a sweet steam flavor - hard to describe but I can get it from other steam beers. Almost a peat-moss flavor to me. A fair amount of bitterness is present in the early flavors and builds even stronger. Aftertaste is light, just a bit of bitterness.

M - Carbonation bite is light on the tongue. Does leave a fairly oily film on the tongue after drinking.

D - Moderate drinkability. I do think it is better than most porters of similar style. ABV is manageable. Flavors are not overbearing.

An interesting beer - it seems to carry the steam characteristics from our friends at Anchor into a normal beer style.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 03:46:55 | More by katan
Photo of rkinsella


3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Almost jet black, thick tan head, good lacing.

Licorice and dark fruit were the most dominant on the nose. Not much coffee aroma for a porter. A bit of molasses too. Maybe a whiff of alcohol?

Good sweetness upfront, dried fruit and licorice again were very present, long bitter finish with a bit of coffee on the very end.

Mouthfeel was somewhat heavy, smooth, medium carbonation.

Drinkability is on the low side for me. Complex and rich, more of a sipper.

Overall this was a very flavorful porter, and well crafted indeed. It's surprisingly has almost a "liquor taste." And the strong licorice notes almost seemed to pull the balance. Has the huge flavor of a Imperial Stout, or Baltic Porter. I see it as an after dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 01:39:50 | More by rkinsella
Photo of Kromes


3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured black with red fringes. Thick head that quickly died down to a thin line of bubbles. Looks very cloudy, but I can see through a little bit. Aromas are of coffee, sweet malts, a little bit of hop that was kind of skunky (this went away after a while). The initial taste was burnt coffee and chocolate then a sweet tangy fruit flavor kicked in with a little bit of hop in the background. The aftertaste was bitter burnt cofee with the sweet and sour tang. Kind of out of place. The beer also felt thin and watery just before the carbonation kicked in and filled it out. It has a unique flavor and is somewhat drinkable, but the tang kind of threw me off.

I tried looking for a date on the bottle but could not find one. Well there was a 6 . . T on there, but I don't know what that means. I love Liberty Ale and Anchor Steam, so I am assuming that this might be an old or bad bottle as it didn't taste right. I think I picked this up off a shelf in the back of World Market. I won't be going there for beer again. I'll give this another shot if I see it at a different store.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2009 00:17:08 | More by Kromes
Photo of IronCitySteve


4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A really dark brown color, almost black color, with some vague reddish undertones. A nice tight brown/tan head with ample lacing.

S: Mostly malt scents, molasses, nuts, dark fruits and some chocolate. Gets more predominant once it warms a bit, but nothing real overwhelming.

T: Taste is much better than the scent lets on. Very robust and mixes quite well. Lots of coffee, toffee (which I could not smell), brown sugar and bread.

M: A really nice creamy mouthfeel, not chewy. Really decent carbonation.

D: A very nice Porter, relatively low ABV. If you enjoy Porters, this is a definite must try, easy to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 11:29:32 | More by IronCitySteve
Photo of NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Nice light tan head. Very dark almost completely opaque.
s: Very light roasted malts.
t: Roasted malts, light coffee bitterness. Doesn'
m: light bodied. But flavor sticks around.
d: Sip or gulp, you can go either way. I want more.

I am not disappointed at all with this one. Very good and satisfying; even ice cold.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 00:54:20 | More by NiceGuyMike
Photo of bamadog


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. This is my first offering from Anchor and I have to say I was not disappointed. I will likely be in the market for some more after this - I know it sounds kind of silly since this is one of the oldest craft brewers in America, I guess I'm a bit behind the times?

Appearance: Poured a very dark brown/black with a one finger pock-marked light tan head with a decent retention that eventually faded to a moderately thick skim and ring (which eventually just faded into the ring around the rim); a loose foam clings to the sides of the glass on the swirl but quickly rejoins the ring and leaves the sides clean.

Smell: Malty and bready (if I had to guess, I would say wheat bread), a little sweet like caramel and burnt sugar -- a little reminsicent of a Scotch Ale in these last two scents that eminated from the glass.

Taste: Sweet and malty, burnt sugar and caramel are very present, a little bready but the malty sweetness really took this over. A very different tasting porter compared to what I'm used to. Definitely not unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination, just different.

Mouthfeel: A little light, body is a little thin, but not watery; a little creamy -- very nice overall and it leaves the palate a little moist at first and then it eventually fades into a fair coating of the palate. I really appreciate the creaminess - this is something that the body of porters should definitely have in my opinion. Just about perfect...

Drinkability: Moderate -- nice and sweet, and the bready flavor is nice, but doesn't keep up with some of the porters that I've sampled, but definitely better than some of the others as well. In terms of taste, it's good and unique, weight is good as well -- filling but not heavy. A great beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 01:37:15 | More by bamadog
Photo of abar22


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Sensory glass

The Anchor Porter came out of its bottle pitch black. When held to the light you could get spots of red breaking through. It poured a 2 finger billowy tan head. The head slowly settled into a rocky cap with healthy, thick lacing.
All sweet dark fruits in the smell; raisins, plums, grapes.
The taste takes on the same qualities as the smell. Plums, raisins, grapes are all over the front and middle of this one. A slight hop bitterness is there in the end to balance it all out. Roasted malts fill in the aftertaste. *The fruits really come out as this thing warms. Excellent at all temperatures...
Creamy mouthfeel rounds out a fantastic porter.
For my tastes this beer is excellent one at a time but its wine like fruit tastes keep the drinkability down for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 21:41:52 | More by abar22
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB June 2009, served cool in a straight pint glass.

A: the beer lands in my pint-size glass a charming dark brown hue carrying a 5cm-thick and tight tan froth with great retention.
S: a soothing sour edge of dark fruits (black prunes and raisins mainly) cuts through the mixed maltiness (with hints of tarred malts, toffee and nut syrup) laced by a moderate aroma of US flowery hops; as the frothy head retreats slowly, the jammy fruitiness tunes up and renders a really pleasant, fruit-malty theme.
T: a lightly-effervescent swallow of mainly sour dark fruits is closely followed by bitter-sweet dark malts with plentiful hints of smoked prunes, old bitter chocolates, leather, smoked nuts, black cherries and black malts, while in the aftertaste an almost herbal yet also flowery hop bitter-sweetness levels with the lingering fruity sourness, together resulting in a really long and aromatic finish deeply felt down the sides and rear of the tongue.
M&D: soothing carbonation never turns too high, just in place to back up the delicious, moderate-bodied flavour. All in all, this beer performs slightly better than Sierra Nevada Porter that I had last night, in that an even better balance is demonstrated here, while the slightly chewy, herbal-bitter finish makes the drink an ever-so-quaffable one.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 18:52:18 | More by wl0307
Photo of hardy008


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours black with a little reddish brown visible when held up to the light. Has a foamy two finger head which stays and leaves a nice lace on the glass.

Smell- Malt and coffee

Taste - Some what sweet with a little bitterness. Malt, caramel, and coffee.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and creamy

Drinkability - A high quality beer which is highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 22:41:36 | More by hardy008
Photo of IMincedTheKing

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer. It pours black, though when held up to the light, the edges of the glass are a brilliant ruby. The creamy, tan head hangs around with no thought of leaving, and lacing nigh coats the glass.

The aroma, however, is thoroughly underwhelming. I pick up a faint scent of malt and hops and an off note I find strangely reminiscent of cola.

There is a slight coffee taste as it first hits the tongue, but I mainly taste chocolate and toffee. This is quite a sweet brew, and any bitterness is so mild as to only compliment the other flavors. Surprisingly, while it feels rich, creamy, and smooth in the mouth, I find the overall flavor a tad weak--every time I took a sip, I expected something more.

If I was in the mood, I could definitely knock back a bunch of these--it's a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 10:27:39 | More by IMincedTheKing
Photo of morebeergood


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered a bottle at Sibling Rivalry in the South End. Waitress poured into a tall pilsener glass. Not ideal but acceptable. Dark brown color. Smallish white head. Slight smell of cocoa. Smooth coffee flavor present with the first sip, then a bit of maltiness at the back end. Not as thick as other porters I've had recently, but I would not expect that from Anchor. A very drinkable porter, the kind that you would not be afraid to order on a warm evening. A very versatile beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 22:43:43 | More by morebeergood
Photo of endincolorado


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Opaque black, with tan head and sticky lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt, light cocoa and hop-bitter background

Taste- Roasty malt, light flavors of chocolate and cocoa (not as strong as they could be) excellent hop-bitterness to balance. Tight, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- a little light for a porter. substantial enough to enhance drinkability, but leaving me wanting more at the same time.

Drinkability- Pretty high for a porter, a sixer of this would be great for a party...

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 03:22:00 | More by endincolorado
Photo of TheBear11D


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and not a beer you can see through. Features a decent wet sand looking dark tan head.

Smells like a caramel chocolate coffee. A very faint hint of bread.

Tastes kind of like a watered down mocha. You can pick out some chocolate and coffee flavors but the don't stand out and seem fairly weak.

Somewhat thicker than thin body and quite smooth.

The faint flavors prevent the brew from being noteworthy, however, is still pretty enjoyable. I am just left wishing there was more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 01:13:11 | More by TheBear11D
Photo of rwrk42

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to almost black in color. Sticks to the glass on the way down
Smell: Faint smell of coffee and caramel
Taste: Smooth with tastes of toffee, caramel. Malty with a nice sweetness and the right amont of hops to equal it all out.
A very nice Porter which I would highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 00:28:02 | More by rwrk42
Photo of riboflavin88


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost black. Two finger ivory head with a hint of light brown

S: Coffee with caramel and a hint of hops beneath it all

T: Up front is dark chocolate and toffee with some malt sweetness, faint floral hops are also present

M: Very smooth and heavy, good amount carbonation

D: Overall, a great porter with very unique flavor profile. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting especially during dessert. At the price I found it at ($3.99/pint) I will make this a regular buy.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 01:16:42 | More by riboflavin88
Photo of Troyone


4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a hint of an amber hue, minimal tan head, did not notice any sediment, and too difficult to see any action.

A bready roasted malt aroma with lots of florals.

Sweet roasted malt flavor, almost burnt, chocolate and coffee background, and has a lot of floral hop flavors including mild pine.

Full bodied, resinous, bready, slightly buttery, with soft crisp carbonation.

Very good session Porter, smooth, malty with florals, and has a sweetness throughout all the way to the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 01:33:59 | More by Troyone
Photo of CHSLBrew


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Black beer, nice ruby highlighting. Frothy and dense dark tan head, very sustaining.

S-Chocolate, prominent and alone, with hints of estery aromas.

T-Chocolate, toasted malt and a slight roast. Some fruity notes ease in. A good amount of bitterness with a slight earthy/resiny hop character. The taste finishes bitter, slighly malty, but over pretty clean/dry.

M-Lighter medium body, carbonation is light and comforting.

D-Grrreat. Okay, I'm not Tony the Tiger, but this beer is very enjoyable and easy to drink. A great representative of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 22:11:45 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black with a shapely, thick creamy head. Sort of what I'd expect from an Anchor porter. Really creamy looking, really delicious looking.

Aroma is of light mocha/vanilla. Nothing too strong or prevalent. A bit "sour" or tangy.. unconventional for a porter.

Taste is fairly neutral. Some hints of chocolate malt, with a medium bitterness and creamy finish. Could honestly use some more flavor.

Medium body, goes well with the creamy aspects of the beer. Fun to drink, but not delicious. I think Yuengling's porter has more flavor and is a lot cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 06:59:17 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of RickS95


4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice-sized tan head. Dark caramelly, chocolatey, oily look. Looks like a man's beer.

Chocolately malts and hops in the nose, like a dark beer should smell. Smooth and creamy in the mouth. Great lacing.

This is a great tasting porter. Initial taste is kind of sweet, malty, roasty; before giving way to the bittering of the hops. The bitter, while not overpowering lasts well into the aftertaste, along with a little warming of the alcohol.

Simply a fantastic beer...words are not necessary, just try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 03:13:33 | More by RickS95
Photo of association330


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark brown to nearly black with two appealing fingers of mocha-colored head. Reduces to a thick cap in about five minutes, with nice lacing.

S - Dark fruit, molasses, dark-roasted coffee, burnt malts and caramelized sugars.

T - Dark fruit, dark-roasted coffee, unsweetened chocolate, burnt malt. Finishes crisp with the right amount of hop balance and a lingering, sour coffee bitterness with a hint of prunes.

M - Hefty carbonation lends to a very creamy, smooth swallow. Body is towards the heavy side of moderate.

D - A very nice take on the porter style. I could drink this all evening.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 05:55:33 | More by association330
Photo of kemoarps


4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful pour, deep cola, with a lightly reddish hue at the edges. decent creamy tan head, with good lacing and reasonable retention.
The smell is beautiful and malty, sweet and creamy. Lets you anticipate what you are about to enjoy.
This is a very tasty beer. burnt chocolate malts are most the most immediate note, with a slightly oily hop in the finish. Sweet caramel somewhere midbody, overall a good balance and a positive tongue experience.
the carbonation dances across the tastebuds, and it's mostly pretty round, but the abovementioned almost oily seeming finish threw me off a little bit.
Sits in my stomach, so I wouldn't want to drink TOO many of them, but overall, I could enjoy a couple. Pretty typical of a heavier beer, though, so you can't hold that against it.

This was one that I decided to take a flyer on one day, and am VERY glad I did. It's a great beer, and I'll surely be getting it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 01:26:09 | More by kemoarps
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,869 ratings.