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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,870 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,870
Reviews: 1,422
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 113
Gots: 112 | 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: 2,870 | Reviews: 1,422 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Atlas1


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer that I had a week or so ago that I took notes on. Gotta love the Anchor BC. Some really solid beers coming out of San Francisco.

The Porter poured a deep dark brown, almost black, color, with a thick tan head on top that settled nicely into foamy clumps. At the base of my glass there were also some ruby/orange tints, and the beer left behind some lace as it receded. The nose was sweet, fruity, and malty. Some sweet chocolate, some vanilla, with a roasted candied suger scent as well. It had a very distinct doppelbock smell to it. The taste was rich and complex. Sweet up front with notes of chocolate, toffee, and bread, with a bitter, nutty finish. Mouthfeel was smooth and silky, but also dry and robust.

Man, what a nice beer all around. A great, highly drinkable porter. If you haven't had this, run out now and grab one.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 18:21:28 | More by Atlas1
Photo of Halcyondays


3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip glass,

A: Pours a very dark brown, it looks black at first sight, but a little wiggling around in the glass, reveals its true colour. Nice tan head, completes the deal.

S: Smells of coffee and dark bittersweet Belgian chocolate, with a bit of earthy hops and sweet sugar.

T: Big chocolate notes hit you first, with plenty of coffee, leaving a nice mocha note in the aftertaste.

M: Good for a porter, not overly robust, but medium-bodied and smooth.

D: A good, solid American porter from Anchor, any porter fan should try this, a microbrew classic.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2007 23:43:29 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of jkanavel


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

After drinking this I finally understood the term balance as applied to beer.
It had a great appearance, dark, with a nice mocha colored head.
The smell was quite nice but didn't leave much of an impression.
When I rolled this stuff over my tongue I was truly impressed. Figs, chocolate, malt, hoppy twang, just tons of wonderful flavors going on, all really well balanced. The balance here was just perfect. I just kept coming back for more. No one thing overpowered another.
It felt like silk going down, I could throws these back for eternity.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2007 02:23:14 | More by jkanavel
Photo of TexIndy


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a dating code that you can decipher from the notes on the BA Anchor page. It was a dark black color. It had a couple finger brown head that settled into a collar with some foam in center. Slight lacing. Aroma was chocolate, coffee and dark fruit sweetness. The taste pretty much followed the smell. Slightly bitter finish but not imposing in any way. Mouthfeel was just north of watery but south of creamy. Overall a good Am Porter and definitely worth trying. Doesn't blow me away so not sure I'd buy more for home but see drinking this if I saw it on tap. (4, RB-OAY, T, Y)

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2007 02:05:13 | More by TexIndy
Photo of Limberg316


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good but mostly average porter. It has a very good character, but it lacks abit of the smoky factor associated with most porters. Still easy to drink and flavorful with a healthy hint of caramel malts and alittle bit of chocolate malts. Not a bad porter overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2007 01:57:54 | More by Limberg316
Photo of putnam


3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My only gripe with this beer is its deep, aggressive, oily, lingering bitterness, like burning machine grease. Paradoxically, it creates a feedback loop; I need to drink more beer to rinse the aftertaste. Gradually I get used to it enough to finish the beer. The aromas are brilliant: vanilla grape jam coffee cream and cigarrettes. The texture is broad and drinkably shallow. Nice fruity tangy blackberry acidity informs the midpalate. Back off on the IBUs and this might be a perfect porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 18:56:27 | More by putnam
Photo of skineg


3.1/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Sexy black that I could not see though at all. Good 1/4 inch of head, but lack retention.

Smell:Hops smelled a little roasty, caramely, and a little biscuity. Hops has a floral and pine aroma with a hint of resin.

Taste: Decent (light) nutty and caramely taste of a porter at first but lacks any aftertaste. The complex flavors seem to die out fast.

Mouthfeel: Weak. Light carbonation, thin and a little flat but smooth.

Drinkability: The lack of flavor keeps this from being all that drinkable.

Comment: Their is a possibility that the bottle we had (me and a BA friend) was a little old, so another taste, down the road, may be something to look at. If this is the best that Anchor Porter can do, than this is a very average beer. Not bad, but certainly not good.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 02:21:26 | More by skineg
Photo of Wasatch


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, huge two-finger plus creamy tan head, which hangs around a long time. The nose is malty, nice touch of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is very nice malty, slightly sweet, good dose of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The finish is slightly dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, an very tasty brew from Anchor.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 01:43:59 | More by Wasatch
Photo of kernalklink


2.65/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew poured a crystal clear black- nice clean aromas; fruity malts, some burnt chocolate and a hint of alcohol. For me the taste as way too bitterl, even for an american porter. The mouthfeel was not very smooth, i felt a dry caustic bitterness through the entire bottle. There was no real roasted malt presence either, flavor was fleeting and unsatisfying. I can see how people loved this brew 20 something years ago when others were not available or as interesting, but now with so many more possibilities, im leaving this one on the shelf.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 19:35:36 | More by kernalklink
Photo of pojo41


4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Black as night with a creamy off-white head. Wonderful roasted malt, slightly sweet flavor with just a hint of hops. Smooth as cream. I think this is a truly excellent beer. I just have to have this every once in a while. Thank god we can get this in Mississippi.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 02:04:31 | More by pojo41
Photo of biggmike


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

Poured a very attractive dark brown to black color with tan head that stayed around for a little while. The aroma of this beer is of choclate and coffee. Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation level that is correct and makes this very smooth. Flavor is also of choclate and coffee. A very nice flavorful porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 19:57:28 | More by biggmike
Photo of meechum


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Has a dark black almost like coffee look to it with a medium thickness to it

S - Could smell the roasted malts and chocolates a slight caramel smell to it I thought very good

T - Slight hops up front giving way to the roasted malts and finishing with a chocolate sweet taste (it was great)

M - Smooth with just the right amount of carbonation not overly done

D - This was a great drink and I enjoyed every sip. I did notice that it got better as the glass warmed up. Not too heavy in alcohol content to overpower the tastes but ends with a touch of the warmth from the alcohol

Overall this was a wonderful beer and the reason why I love porters

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2007 13:54:14 | More by meechum
Photo of jdg204


3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first porter review, I'm very excited to finally get a chance at one of BA's best. Also experiencing my 2nd brew from one of the classic American breweries (the first being the famous Steam), definetly have to check out others (have my eye on Old Foghorn).

Appearance - Very dark black consistency comes as no surprise though it has a ruby tint as it's held up to the light. Develops a nice thick, brown head when poured correctly, head which sticks around and latices.

Smell - The first sign of richness, a bold roasted, chocolate/licorice smell lets you know this is a serious brew.

Taste - WOW this bad boy is RICH. Very strong coffee notes with a roasted nut undertone and some seriously sweet malts. The coffee and chocolate leave behind a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The aftertaste is really quite pleasant and for such a strong brew it's quite smooth.

Drinkability - This is a big brew and probably a bit too rich for everyday comsumption, but I'm one who tends to enjoy stouts over porters so I'm a bit biased. Still this is a seriously good beer and I'd be happy to lift one with a friend whenever I get a chance. I'll definetly have to give more porters a chance after this pleasant experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2007 01:16:17 | More by jdg204
Photo of akorsak


3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The porter is a deep dark red color, full of murkiness that causes the ale to look black as coffee. The head was round about 1 finger and has laced nicely in the glass.

S: The nose is strong on chocolate malts, much stronger than I expected. The roasted malts give the ale a nicely rounded chocolate flavor. I was expecting more hop aroma though.

T: Sweet chocolate dominates and defines the body, creating a flavor that is dark without the usual roasted elements of a porter. Here, the chocolate malts crowd out any roasted malt elements, making a smooth chocolate flavor that lacks the sharper edge of most porters. The porter also lacks a distinct hop element that I expected from a west coast porter.

M: The mouthfeel is dominated by the sweet chocolate flavors, although I'd love some hops to punch it up a bit.

D: The abv is moderate and the chocolate malts are a nice flavor. I would not turn this down.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 23:27:57 | More by akorsak
Photo of umustdrink


4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black in color, deep ruby red on the edge when held to light. Light brown head fades to a quarter inch. Lacing is minimal, small spots, intermittent.

S - Bitter caramel and bready toasted malt, dark fruits and a light creaminess.

T/M - First sip was a surprise. Starts light feeling with a very prominent, almost hoppy carbonation bite immediately followed by powdery semisweet chocolate, toasted malts and hints of grapes that are almost raisins. Finish is very chocolaty and heavy on roasted malts.

D - Overall a very nice tasting Porter. I would definitely recommend this and I will probably have it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 00:24:45 | More by umustdrink
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$1.99 at Total Wine (& More) in Kennesaw, GA.

Appearane: Pours a dark brown body with a small, beige-colored head.

Smell: Creamy chocolate maltiness with bright, tart-smelling raisin fruitiness.

Taste: The taste of chocolate-coated raisins, like a glass filled to the brim with Raisinets. Hints of tobacco and citrus on the sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly, I'd say its almost a medium-full body. Very creamy and smooth. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: This is actually alot better than I thought it'd be.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 00:34:21 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's July 4th and I wanted something very American. I looked for the Liberty Ale, but couldn't find it, instead settling for this, which I think was an equally good choice.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the very classic-looking bottle. One inch head dissipated within a minute on top of a very deep ruby colored brew. Looks almost black, but held to light the ruby notes come through.

Smell: Fantastic notes of milk chocolate and caramel come through at first after agitation. A bit of malt comes through after settling for a bit.

Taste: Hits the mouth with a quick hoppy punch leading to slight toffee flavors, finishing with strong coffee notes. I loved the taste here.

Mouthfeel: Slight carbonation dies off after 2 seconds leaving a silky smooth feeling that lasts after swallowing. Leaves the mouth surprisingly clean, even after the strong notes found in the taste. I expected the aftertaste to linger for a while, but it was quite pleasant.

Drinkability: Pretty heavy, but I could down a few of these without a problem. Even though the taste is very stong, it's not a barrier to enjoying the brew. Very very nice. Will buy again - this might become addictive....

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2007 22:11:41 | More by BucBasil
Photo of Commandogeraldo


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

Had a six-pack of this in my fridge for a while, so this review is based on my overall experience with the sixer. This stuff always drinks very smoothly, major chocolate flavors with a sweet/spicy finish. Think clove, nutmeg, that kinda thing. Very very dark in the glass, works well right out of the fridge, only gets better as it warms up. Definitely one of my go-to beers.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2007 19:52:59 | More by Commandogeraldo
Photo of jayfarley3


4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. It poured a jet black with a nice tan head. Smells is slightly fruitly with a rich malty scent. Taste is of a creamy chocolatley coffee with kind of a sweet taste at the end. Mouthfeel is pretty light compared to other porters i have had. This is a very good beer, i will most likely drink it again, it would make an excellent porter to try if you have never tried one before.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2007 10:33:55 | More by jayfarley3
Photo of willjschmidt


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a jet black color with a tan head.

S: Slightly sweet caramel and roasted malts.

T: An exceptional porter. Smooth, well balanced, and very flavorful. The flavors are fairly complex yet rather subtle. Roasted malts, slightly burnt chocolate, slightly sweet caramel and toffee, all followed up with a light hop presence to balance things out.

M: Nice mouthfeel; slightly chewy, active carbonation and silky smooth.

D: Very drinkable due to the delicious, yet subtle flavors. I could easily put down several of these. Full, tasty, silky smooth and well balanced. An exceptional American porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2007 03:20:44 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of lonestar4lunch


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

Anchor's Porter is what all other American Porters are judged against.
It pours a nice black color with a nice 1 inch head ends up just lacing around the top. The aroma is outstanding. Somewhat sweet along with the roasted malts and just a hint of coffee. The taste starts with some bitterness and hops. I am getting some roasted coffee dryness in the end with a touch of the bitterness still lingering around. A touch of toffee every once in a while. Just the right amound of carbonation when it's all said and done.
Very well done and quite drinkable for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2007 05:09:24 | More by lonestar4lunch
Photo of Damian


4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits, Somerville, MA

Poured a deep black with ruby-colored highlights when held to the light. The one-finger mocha-colored head was creamy and frothy and slowly faded to thick film that lasted the entire drink. Small patches of lacing trickled down the sides of the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet and intense. Smooth bittersweet chocolate was most apparent, followed by brown sugar, molasses, dark stone fruits, subtle spices and a rummy alcohol quality.

The flavor was subtle initially but came out substantially as the beer warmed. Rich, creamy, chocolate malts appeared up front with coffee, dark chocolate and a subtle hoppiness (just enough for balance) appearing mid-palate. The hops carry into the slightly bitter, espresso-like finish. A touch of alcohol warmth appeared in the back of the mouth. Notes of roasted coffee lingered in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was creamy and frothy, but a bit thin.

Overall, this porter was outstanding. In many ways it mimics a much "bigger" beer than it is, yet it is nevertheless amazingly smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2007 14:45:41 | More by Damian
Photo of BMoney575


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-11-07

Pours very dark with little bits of red on the sides and bottom. Tan head bubbles quickly away leaving decent lacing.

Smell is super sweet and malty, lots of chocolate and a little smokiness at the end.

Taste is just like the smell at first, followed by a nice hop balance in the middle. The finish is silky smooth with a little bit of coffee and smoke.

Mouthfeel is perfect! Not thick like a stout, but with enough meat to be very smooth and coating.

Drinkability is very good, malty but with a well-balanced sweetness.

Overall, one of the best porters I've had. Flavorful, but with just the right amount of thickness and lightness.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 23:56:20 | More by BMoney575
Photo of mdm46410


3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. This porter poured a solid black with a thick tan head. Some light lacing is left behind. Faint roasted malt aroma with some chocolate and hops. The flavor is outstanding for a porter. It consists of a nice chocolate taste, along with sweet roasted malts, and some subtle hop notes. Very smooth. Medium-bodied with a decent mouthfeel...maybe a bit thin. All that said, this is a solid effort from Anchor Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2007 23:01:59 | More by mdm46410
Photo of Bitterbill


4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Liquor Shed in Casper.

This pours from 12oz bottle a very dark brown with a small tannish head of foam. It shrinks to an island in the middle and it has good lacing.

The smell has a lot of chocolate and sweet malt with just a whiff of some hoppy goodness.

The taste is very big and very nice. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt and some good coffee notes as well. Smooth yet full flavoured. Swishing the beer in my mouth, I get a more pronounced hop bitterness that really balances and goes well with the sweet start that I got. Man...this is a *great* Porter. The mouthfeel is elegant and the carbonation is just right and the finish has a nice bitter zing to it. I haven't bought a sixer of this in years and that makes me shake my head in disbelief.

Bottom line: This is a world class American Porter that just about anyone can find in the US. Highly recommended!!

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 20:15:55 | More by Bitterbill
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,870 ratings.