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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,976 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,976
Reviews: 1,428
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 128
Gots: 152 | 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: 2,976 | Reviews: 1,428 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.73/5  rDev -9.2%

poored a nice dark brown / black with ruby hints in the light, a small tan head that faded but would make a comeback attempt after each sip.
smelled as best as I can put it like a porter should in a glass.
tastes as you would expect a porter to and also has another slight taste that I can't quite put my finger on, nothing bad but just sits there
has some body to it but isn't thick feeling
very nice to drink could have a few of these watching a game

11-05-2008 00:54:43 | More by sliverX
Photo of jujubeast6000


2.95/5  rDev -28.2%

Reviewed 9/26/2007 (bottle):

Pours a dark black-brown colored body, with a big light brown head. Good lacing. Dark heavy aroma, with chocolate and some alcohol. Chocolately roasted taste, and some alcohol. Soft mouthfeel, fizzy. Somewhat acidic with meat pizza. An okay porter.

11-04-2008 05:19:14 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of TheycallmeTim

New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

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

A--Pours a deep nearly black, with only a touch of dark ruby toward the bottom when you backlight it. Cap is small, a scant finger maybe, and a creamy burnt sugar. Didn't last long and left no lacing.

S--Maybe the pour wasn't vigorous enough, or it was too cold, because I didn't get much, especially compared with the taste. If anything I got a little plum and raisin, with some slightly more floral notes underneath.

T--Excellent. When cold this is more fruity and round, with some bee-yoo-tiful floral hop overtones. Once it warms though you get the full experience: nice bitter pull and roasted malt on top of all that other stuff. This one really opens up the spectrum toward the end, giving you coffee bitterness and even some black licorice or anise liquer hints along with a little tobacco leaf toastiness. If you have the patience let it sit on your counter an hour or so before imbibing. Well worth the wait.

M&D--Not overly carbonated, but not concrete in your mouth either. Great creaminess to it that smooths the ride--very refreshing.

Of all the American porters I tried, this one seems the most traditional, more Samuel Smith than Sixpoint. Very focused, and solid and smooth, on the grain. Maybe because it's older--is this the oldest porter America has that's still in circulation? In any event, it has the feel of a standard-bearer, the one to measure others in the style against.

11-03-2008 22:32:49 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Buggies


4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

A: Pours a deep dark brown which also shows a little ruby red when held to the light. Got about a 2 finger dark tan head. Leaves a good bit of lacing in my glass.

S: Smell is a bit weak for me. I picked up mostly malt with a little caramel in there.

T: Nice sweet malt flavors which gets finished nicely with a little hop bitterness. A little caramel and coffee present as well.

M: The best porter I have had. Nice and creamy. Medium carbonation doesn't get in the way.

This is simply the best porter I have had yet. It makes me interested in finding other porters to enjoy. I could definitely drink a few of these.

11-03-2008 03:10:53 | More by Buggies
Photo of djeucalyptus


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

pours a thick dark brown almost-black with garnet and ruby highlights with a fairly thick light coffee-cream colored head that was slow to deflate, leaving a thin but ever-present head down the glass. Lacing was spotty and minimal, but present none-the-less.

aroma is of a strong, traditional porter. roasted malt, hints of cocoa, and a fair bit of roasted coffee, verging on astringent bitter burnt coffee notes. Some bread and caramel round it out.

Roasted chocolate and caramel malt, sweet toffee, coffee, roasted coffee beans, and just a subtle hint of cocoa up front. A pleasant malt character runs throughout, with a definite spicy and hop finish at the end to give it a bit of character.

mouthfeel is impressive. A bit on the lighter side, but creamy from exceptional carbonation and just a hint of a drying finish which teams up beautifully with the hint of bitter pine and spice at the end. Impressive orchestration of a coordinated palette assault.

Drinkability is definitely high on this one. Every time I revisit it, I wonder why I don't buy it more. A bit lighter in flavor than some with a fairly traditional flavor profile, but it's done well. The mouthfeel is spot on, and this is just a flat out delicious porter that I could drink all day long.

11-02-2008 18:48:31 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of illidurit


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%

On tap at the brewery. Deep brown but clearly not black. Tan frothy head with some decent lacing. Fruity chocolate cordial aroma. Flavor is chocolate malt balls with a hint of red fruit and a nice roasty bitter finish. Light bodied and smooth, very drinkable. A porter with no frills, just quality.

10-30-2008 08:08:49 | More by illidurit
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

4.15/5  rDev +1%

A rough pour creates a full inch of mocha colored foam that sits above a black beer with ruby highlights. Some good gobs of lacing left behind as well.

Smells of chocolate, acidic coffee, and a healthy hop bitterness. The aroma is somewhat muted, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Tastes wonderfully of the chocolate malt. Some browned sugar and the slightest bitterness to balance the beer. Much more chocolatey than in the nose. Fairly sweet. Deep rich sweet taste of chocolate and cocoa.

Mouthfeel is medium and comes off moderately carbonated. Very drinkable. A great beer to have around as fall has settled in and winter begins knocking at the door.

10-30-2008 00:36:19 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of edbeer

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%

This was a little lighter in body than I had expected it to be, but that's no fault of theirs. Overall this was great and definitely a repeat offender.

A: Pours a near-black with garnet tones. A big, creamy, foamy tan head with great retention and lacing.

S: Dark malts, coffee, and toffee, with hints of brown sugar, dark fruit, and alcohol.

T: Lots of sweet, dark malts, with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, and molasses. Some herbal/citric notes accompany the hops in a finish that gradually builds. Some burnt and toasted flavors along with some alcohol at the finish.

M: Very creamy and a bit chewy. Tight carbonation and a dry finish.

D: A nice balance of subtle flavors with a very smooth, inviting mouthfeel make this a very good porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 21:06:04 | More by edbeer
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Pours a near-black with garnet tones. A big, creamy, foamy tan head with great retention and lacing.

S: Dark malts, coffee, and toffee, with hints of brown sugar, dark fruit, and alcohol.

T: Lots of sweet, dark malts, with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, and molasses. Some herbal/citric notes accompany the hops in a finish that gradually builds. Some burnt and toasted flavors along with some alcohol at the finish.

M: Very creamy and a bit chewy. Tight carbonation and a dry finish.

D: A nice balance of subtle flavors with a very smooth, inviting mouthfeel make this a very good porter.

10-26-2008 00:14:50 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of WJVII


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a dark coal color with a fat chocolate head that leaves nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The smell is full of robust malts and some deep notes of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is full bodied and full of chocolate and balanced well with mild hops. This brew has a wonderful mouthfeel and the aftertaste is mildly sweet. This is an excellent example of a strong porter.

10-23-2008 22:54:35 | More by WJVII
Photo of sgoodship


4/5  rDev -2.7%

I'm very familiar with Anchor Steam - it's very mainstream in Chicago. This was my first legitimate look at Anchor Brewing.

A: Purchased a 1pt. 6 fl.oz. bottle at EV1 in Evanston. It poured a lovely dark brown - almost black . Burgundy glow against the light. The head was a finger high coffee stained cream fluffy head that left fantastic lacing. As the head dissipated, a nice thin head stayed throughout.

S: Caramel malt, a little bread, coffee. Some pleasing sourness. Good familiar porter smell - not that bold.

T: Initially, I found the carbonation inhibiting my taste. I let it bubble off, so that I could enjoy. Dry front, then a hint of dark fruit, some of the sweet caramel malt payoff and then quickly to the coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Finish was a hint of hops and the aftertaste felt like a mix of hop sourness and burnt molasses. Well balanced overall.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. If you don't pay attention to the carbonation, the drink is actually quite creamy and smooth.

D: A lovely porter. A little too much carbonation for my taste and the aftertaste was a little too burnt for my liking. Not taking away from the quality of this brew - really awesome and I'd be happy to have one anytime.

10-23-2008 01:56:11 | More by sgoodship
Photo of loosey

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +14.8%

sudsy cottony brownish whipped cream on top of a dark brow pint, slight hints of ruby in the light, this thing will make your mouth water, the head will lace like a down comforter

smell is caramel and chocolate, like those candies that old people keep in their house but without the dust, tobacco tar, and menthol smells mixed in, some astringent coffee smell of roasted malt also

taste is burnt sugar, toffee, fresh coffee, raisin, all the great things about roasted malt are here, then its almost milky, like a chunky bar, then finish it off with some faint spicy hops, a slow 'wah wah' like growing bitterness (if you've ever done inhalants you know what i mean)... this tastes fantastically

carbonation level is just right, enough to keep the head lacing and slightly bubble of the bitter dark roasted taste, creamy and medium bodied, slightly cloying, finishes slightly dry but refreshing

overly drinkable

uh... this is too good... this might cure hernias, it might also make you immune to your boss, and is definitely the thing to drink directly after any incident involving a significant loss of blood

10-21-2008 04:50:09 | More by loosey
Photo of Bockrules

New Mexico

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a very dark brown with a tint of amber. So dark that even when I hold it up to a lamp, no light gets through. Very impressive light brown fluffy head which stays all the way down the glass. Leaves behind great lacing, especially in the lower half of the glass.

S - Nice sweet smell of burnt malt with notes of chocolate. Could still be stronger.

T - Sweet chocolate up front, followed by a very smooth roasted cocoa body. A little of a bitter-sweet chocolate flavor in the finish with a mild bitter-sweet aftertaste. Quite Good.

M - Quite creamy and medium-full bodied. This suits the style well, but could still stand to be creamier.

D - Another highly drinkable porter, I could easily see drinking a few of these during a cold winters evening with friends. However, at $10.00 a six it's much more expensive and not nearly as good as Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Unfortunately, I can only get that back out west, so I guess I'm stuck with this porter here. Still a great porter, just not a steal...

10-14-2008 01:27:39 | More by Bockrules
Photo of DVTO2


4/5  rDev -2.7%

I'm still new to reviewing beer but not to drinking it. Also, I haven't had a lot of porters. There was a lot of carbonation when I poured the bottle into a glass. After it settled down, I was a little dissapointed; not that it wasn't good but not an exceptoinal taste in my opinion. There is a dark richness, maybe some coffee undertones, but the finish was a bit on the bitter side which I wasn't expecting. It's not that I don't like bitter as I am partial to IPA's, but it seems to outweigh the dark rich, complexity I was hoping for. Still, a very nice, drinkable beer.

10-11-2008 21:07:00 | More by DVTO2
Photo of TucsonPIRAAT


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

12oz Bottle acquired from the one and only Tucson PLAZA, the only place to purchase Beer in Tucson. Poured into a hand crafted polish beer mug.

A: Wow a truly dark brew from the bay area. Light barely escapes the dark complexion of this Porter, Ruby and cherrys in the light. Cream colored head with various sizes of carbonated bubbules. Head is not so stubborn, but the lace sticks with its base and swirls beautifully.

S: Caramel, Molasses, Toffee, and the faintest hint of Alcohol, Coffee? perhaps.

T: The initial carbonation attacks the taste-buds, but the fullness of the malty porter taste covers every taste receptor. I think less carbonation would be nice, maybe I will wait a while to finish this beer. Bitter hops on the aftertaste, but There is a nice balance with the malts and molasses of the porter. Wow, what a beer!

M: I still think it is too carbonated, I was expecting a mouthful more like Porter's old viscosity, but I guess these are different beers for different times. There is still a fullness to the taste and the mouthfeel, which really activates the whole mouth.

D: Good Beer to drink, nice and balanced, tasty, but one to definitely savor, and most likely best on a cold San Francisco day.

Their Be Pirates after that Beer!

10-08-2008 20:50:49 | More by TucsonPIRAAT
Photo of treyrab


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%

Had this at Zeno's Dark Side Day last night and had it served into a pint glass...

A: A nice light brown with a nice light khaki head. Much lighter in color than I was expecting. To be comparable, looks like a brown ale more than a porter. Does not lace at all.

S: Light smelling chocolate and cocoa powder. Not very robust in the nose, but has the essential chocolate, cocoa, and minor roast that is needed for the style.

T: Very, very light for the style. The flavors are not lacking though, as it is a nice blend of chocolate and light cocoa. Not kick you in the face flavor, but it is pretty decent for how light it is.

Overall, the mouthfeel was a bit light for the style, but not a bad porter by any means.

10-05-2008 15:18:19 | More by treyrab
Photo of Buebie


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle. No freshness date, but a code on the back lable, 8MZ.

Black in color with a red glow when held to light.
2 finger fluffy cream/ brown colored head.
Clumpy lace, great retention. Lookes like an ontap pour.

Smell is really fruity, roasted apples, raisin? roasted grains, mild mocha aroma.

Sweet up front with a carbonation zing to the tounge. More roasted grains with a dark caramel flavor. All the flavors come out and meld well together, not one more then the other.
Finish is dry and fruity with a roasted malty linger.


10-01-2008 04:21:54 | More by Buebie
Photo of nickynick


4.15/5  rDev +1%

Anchor Porter poured a nice dark brown, appearing black. Ok head as well. Smell seemed a bit faint. Hints of chocolate. Taste was very good. Coffee up front, followed by hints of chocolate. Mouthfeel was good as was the drinkability. This was a very nice porter, full flavored but easy to drink.

09-30-2008 13:31:03 | More by nickynick
Photo of BigJim5021


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

It's been a few years since I first wrapped my lips around Anchor's Porter and this stuff is just as good as I remember.

The stuff pours the color of onyx with a pretty tan head. The lacing is persistent to be sure.

The smell is dominated by roasted, burnt malt and the taste is similar. There is, however, something else lurking in the background as the beer finishes slightly sour (in a good way).

This stuff goes down smooth and is probably the most drinkable porter I've had to date. I definitely waited far too long to grab this stuff again. Great beer.

09-17-2008 04:19:25 | More by BigJim5021
Photo of tugdriver7


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

I'm on a bit of a porter run lately, ever since someone (thanks CB!) left one in the fridge. So I dug a bit deeper into the BA recommendations and pulled Anchor Porter off the list (since I knew I could find it here). The reviews mentioned a definite hops presence... something I had not yet tasted in a porter. So I bought some and tried it. Definitely different--unique (in a good way)--and drinkable. Deep brown (to black) in the glass with a massive head of tan foam (like its Steam Beer cousin) that provided a nice lacing throughout. Roasted (without being smoky) malt in the nose and initial taste, but the fruity hops flavor kicks in almost immediately and really softens the smoky roasted flavor. It's like two beers in one. And the rich flavor of the porter is perfectly balanced. Very enjoyable. Another "hit" on my list thanks to the recommendations from BA.

09-14-2008 04:14:08 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of jsprain1


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%

I had mixed feelings about the other Anchor beers I tried. Thought I would take a gamble on the porter. Good payoff.
A- A strong looking dark porter with deep red on the edges and a long lasting head, with good retention.
S- Strong coffee and caramel scents along with a little bit of a burnt smell. Also a little bit of alcohol in the end.
T- Started with a coffee and alcohol (but in a good sense) taste initially. Moved to a bit of the caramel taste, but finished with a strong burnt coffee taste.
M- Fairly strong bodied, but not quite as heavy expected. Also, it seemed a little over-carbonated. Generally a decent mouthfeel though.
O- It is in the upper realm of drinkability for porters. Its smoothness and good taste made it a beer, that while maybe not a session beer, would still merit the opening of another.

09-13-2008 05:08:24 | More by jsprain1
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

This beer pours a very dark brown color. The head is a beautiful color that left lacing down the glass. The aroma is toffee, sweet fruit, with a hint of coffee from the dark roasted malt. Smooth on the palate with nice medium mouth feel. Coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit with some broad slightly biting malt underlying it all. Hops provide some pleasing balance without being overwhelming. Dry in the finish, drinkable, complex and tasty. One of the best porters I have had lately.

09-10-2008 23:54:19 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of brewmudgeon


3.15/5  rDev -23.4%

3 A dark. that's about it. no lacework.
3.5 S familiar. molasses?
3 T coffee, some sweet toasty malt. too simple. sweetness not balanced by enough else.
3.5 M nearly medium-bodied
3 D struck me as boring but competent. will try again sometime and see if maybe i missed something.

09-09-2008 18:13:03 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of SimplySinister


3.8/5  rDev -7.5%

A - An opaque nut brown. Nice head and good lacing. Perfect amount of carbonation.

S - The smell reminded me of Samuel Smith's Nut brown somewhat. Hits of malt, chocolate, caramel, and nuts.

T - Above average. Sweet, nutty, and malty. Somewhat of a lingering aftertaste of malted barley, but still good. If it wasn't for the packaging I would never expect that this beer is an American made Porter.

M - A little thin, but the consistancy adds to the refreshing quality of this beer.

D - After about 3 of these I tend to shy away. The sweetness of the beer makes this not very sessionable for me. However, that doesn't mean the beer isn't extremely sessionable for a hardcore porter fan.

I'm not a huge fan of Porters, but I truely like Anchor's Porter. This is a really good beer regardless of genre. This is a world class porter.

09-08-2008 23:21:31 | More by SimplySinister
Photo of dwpiercetx


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%

Bought this at a Whole Foods...BEER ALLEY(aka yum)

A- Solid brown...couldn't even see through the skinny part of a pilsner glass. Darker tan head...true porter looks

S- roastedness of the grains permeate from it.

T- Good bitterness to it. Hint of the sweet from the malts and nice aftertaste.

M- Smooth and creamy. Solid for a porter.

D- Definitely will buy this again because it's a solid beer.

Go out and buy one...now!

09-02-2008 03:49:43 | More by dwpiercetx
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,976 ratings.