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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,010 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,010
Reviews: 1,435
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 131
Gots: 160 | 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: 3,010 | Reviews: 1,435 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cheers2beers
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall Wiezen glass

Appearance: Deep ruby to black color. Excellent three finger off white head that didn't leave for the entire drink.

Smell: A nutty cocoa aroma is detected. Coffee notes, prunes and believe it or not a little alcohol.

Taste: Wonderfull chared and burnt character, chocolate notes, slightly nutty. A definite bittering hop presence is felt to contrast nicely with the semi-sweet malt. Slightly abbrasive

Mouthfeel: Medium silky body. Oily and smooth but the film that is left behind in the finish is not pleasant at all.

Drinkability: Not one of my favorite styles but it was a relativaly easy quaff. Not really refreshing or filling. I was expecting more, especially from my boys at Anchor.


cheers2beers, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of scooter231
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very very dark, practically opaque, a pretty brownish head. Nose is filled with raisins, chocolate, and coffee. Raisiny sweetness dominates everything though. So sweet. Taste is on the bitter, burnt side, with espreesso-like qualities. Coffee. Some dark fruits. A bit shallow in flavor- I expected more. Perhaps this isn't the freshest bottle ever...

Mouthfeel is sudsy and carbonated, a nice feel going on. Drinkable for a porter, yes- it's just not what I hoped it would be. I'll have to try another batch of this at a later date...

scooter231, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of 1759dallas
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers and has been for a while. Pitch black with a foamy head this beer just looks good from the start. At first you get that roasted flavor followed very quickly by malt. Slight coffee taste but not as much as most porters. The best part is the finish of this beer. Leaves you with a smooth malty feeling aftertaste. You cannot wait to have another drink. Like most porters in my opinion better served around the 55 F mark. Great porter and a great beer.

1759dallas, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of mcowgill
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown almost black with a very large creamy tan head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is of dark malts and molasses. The taste is very malty with just enough hops to balance it out. There is kind of a coffee flavor as well. The mouthfeel is chewy and carbonated. This is a very good beer that I am drinking for the first time. It's goes down very well.

mcowgill, Feb 25, 2006
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 1" tan head. Dark, dark brown almost black porter. Faint ruby highlights. Very dark porter. Good retention and nice thick lace.

S - Mild roasted notes. Honey. Some faint fruit. Very low aroma -- not indicative of the flavor to come.

T - Coffee. Malt. Chocolate. Earthy root. Molasses. Alcohol.. Raisins. Some smoke in the finish. Nice bittering from the roasted malt as well as the hops. Some residual sweetness in the finish.

M - Nice, rich, round full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel. Medium level of carbonation.

D - Excellent drinkability. Very well done. Layers of flavor. Not a baltic porter, but I think if it wanted to it could easily become one. One of my very favorite American porters.

Photo of wcudwight
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a lasting 1/2" coffee colored head. Smell is of roasted malts and caramel. The taste is very true to the style, but with a nice added complexity. The taste is sweet up front with very rich roasted and coffee flavors in the middle and a nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and nicely carbonated. Drinkability is outstanding. This is a pretty widely available beer. If you have not tried it yet, go and get it now. You will not be dissappointed.

wcudwight, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of ElGordo
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brownhue topped by a pretty tan head that diminishes but doesn't disappear. Superb, rich aroma of dark roasted malt, raisins, prunes, some dark chocolate and a touch of grass. Palate is initially sweet with lactose and roasted malt, with undertones of milk chocolate and raisins. Finish is more of the same - tasty, sweet, and creamy. Body is silky and creamy - damn good. I'm almost mad at myself for not having tried this years ago. I'm a definite fan.

ElGordo, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of barleyman
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle into my straight sided tumbler. No yeast left in the bottle. Very dark head that quickly subsided into Brussels lace.The color is pitch black, no light comes through.The smell is bread, and chocolate roast malt. The taste is of chocolate malt with perfectly balanced hop note. The mouthfeel is thick, but right for porter. The drinkability is good; rich, but not at all overpowering. Thank you Fritz Maytag.


barleyman, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black... light has no place here... laces the glass like a gay frenchman on a bender.
Tastes almost... Belgian; definitely some dark fruit notes, predominantly raisins; deep roasted malty flavors. Hops play a key role here, keeping it from being overtly, overly sweet. Dries up the experience just enough. The odors mirror the taste.
Rich and chocolaty. Spikes of brown sugar from time to time.
This is a way good porter. Anchor's best beer in my experience. A special beer.

ommegangpbr, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep dark brown with a dark head. head foams down but a layer does sit on top through the beer. good lacing.

Smell. lots of licorice smell and roasted malts. a hoppy tanginess is there too. Also has some coffee, toffee and a little sweet vanilla.

Taste is also heavy on licorice and toffee. pretty hoppy too. small coffee flavors, but they come through more in the aftertaste, as well as bitter chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel is good. great balance and good carbonation. a full flavor, but not very full. its good.

Overall a great porter. very solid beer, and pretty available. not a bad price either.

acrawf6, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of maddamish
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Minimal head but it laces nicely.

If molasses is your thing then please step up and try this beer.

This porter tastes like it smells and smells like it tastes. Which isn't a bad thing but the taste is a bit watered down. There are some background coffee notes going on here but the molasses is taking center stage here.

Not a bad beer but it is a bit one noted. Not much depth otherwise.

Breakdown: A one trick pony that does it's one trick very well.

maddamish, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of PatYoda
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Anchor Porter. A regular in my beer fridge, this is definitely a desert island beer for me.

Appearance is very dark brown with a cream colored head that sticks around as a ring around the glass for some time. It leaves no lacing.

The smell is richly inviting. Warm, malty breadiness surrounded by dark ripe fruit. There is some coffee in here, and definitely some caramel. Also tons of sweet milk chocolate. So complex and decadent.

The taste is simply spectactular. Imagine a chocolate caramel brownie dipped in some red wine to start. Then throw in some sort of herbal/spicy hoppiness and maybe some cinnamon. Very sweet, and balanced only by a mild hop bitterness in the finish and the herbal character. This beer just begs you to drink it for dessert along with some chocolate covered strawberries and see if you can survive.

Mouthfeel is very full and thick with adequate carbonation to keep things moving. The keyword here is rich. It is so rich that this is the only thing that hinders its drinkability. Other than that, I could have several in a night. This is simply a world class porter.

PatYoda, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An often overlooked great beer. Everyone should keep stock in their fridge. Pours a nearly-opaque brown-black with hints of dark ruby highlights. Moderately carbonated and shows good proteins and retention. Smells unmistakenly chocolate and coffee with a light toffee sweetness and a mild lactose softness. Tastes boldly of bittersweet cocoa, columbia coffee, roasty and toasty. Lightly hopped for balance, but not flavor. A soft sweetness lingers into the aftertaste. Has a full, rich, soft feel to the mouth with a lightly roasty bitter finish. The acidity seems a bit high, combined with roastedness and a light scrubbed carbonation, are the only factors keeping this beer out of my top 10.

BEERchitect, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Dark brown coffee, just light enough so you know it's not a stout -- but pretty dark all the same! Light brown crater-pocked head. Aromas of coffee, caramel and earthy (almost like compost) hops. Earthy pine bitterness from the hops is the first thing I notice about the taste. A caramel malt sweetness climbs aboard after rounding the horn with a metallic bite at the finish, which is followed by an espresso roast aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel for the most part with a satisfyingly dry finish. This is simply a superb porter -- one of the best I've ever had. It's pretty rich for a porter which shaves a couple points off the drinkability for me, but damn fine nonetheless. Damn fine, indeed...

orfeu, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
No freshness, batch number on back label.

Dark brown, not quite black in color, with some amber highlights. Half inch thick creamy tan head. Some sticky, delicate lacing that disappears quickly. Strong aromas, roasted malt, dark fruits and lots of molasses. Very nice! Quite a different taste from other porters I've sampled. Not so much coffee and chocolate, but the flavor concentrates more on the roasted malts, licorice and dark fruits. Very flavorfull!! Nice creamy smooth mouthfeel, with just the right amount of carbonation. Awesome drinkability, not heavy and a low abv., a definite session brew. An excellent offering from Anchor and one I highly recommend!

BigDaddyWil, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of Enola
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good porter. The bottle says it has a thick and creamy head but I did not get that result. The color is deep burgundy with just a bit of light coming through. The smell is of chocolate, scotch and is also a bit like Pepsi. The taste is of oatmeal and it also has the scotch in the background. The mouthfeel is smooth with just a bit of twang. Typical for the style. I would drink these again but not on a regular basis, not because of the beer but the price. Anchor beers are some of the most expensive beers in this area. But I will have one again sometime.

Enola, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of doubleipa
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I'm starting to explore "porters" I tried this at a local pub. Dark brown, almost black. Big roasted coffee aroma. First sips were not impressive as the beer was too cold. After it warmed up, the taste improved, but still didn't really impress me. Maybe I had too many porters earlier in the day (Alpha Klaus and Alaskan Smoked). I think I'll try to re-rate this beer when my taste buds aren't tainted by hops and smoke.

doubleipa, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of beeroclock
2.98/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, typical porter color that pours almost black. Tan head that doesn't last long and leaves a slight ring on the mug. Deep roast scents with an almost floral type hint. Taste is a bit disappointing, I went to World Market hoping to get a London Porter and they were out so I picked this up and I wish the London Porter was there b/c this doesn't quite cut it. Its a malty flavor and a little too bitter for me. Coffee hints & something else, kinda like the smell almost floral. Its not the easiest to drink but I will make due for the next 5 that are remaining.

beeroclock, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice porter brown that lets through little light; The head is very slow to form, but once it gets going, it froths up to a thick, creamy outta-control tan. It hangs around for ages, leaving a complete wall of rocky lacing in its wake.

Smells - coffee, very muted chocolate, a tiny bit of smoke and a slightly tangy quality that is...

Echoed well in the flavor. This porter has a slightly toasty, coffee flavor which is piled upon by a tangy, hard to describe flavor - I agreed with other reviews before reading any. There's a slight licorice kind of quality that is distinctive, tasty, and interesting.

This has quite a thick mouthfeel for a porter - it's almost a stout, and is thicker than many stouts I've tried. It's got a smooth character that is very slightly chewy and finishes pretty crisp.

Yummy porter! Definitely better than many and I'm sure it deserves its reputation as a classic.

Tupperwolf, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pouring liquid from the bottle looks a deep brown and once in the glass looks quite black. The foam is a light brown shade, that is really just a crust that dissipates to a foamy ring over time. The smell is sweet and tangy, with chocolate and coffee flavors, and perhaps some fruitiness in there also, although I can't pinpoint it. May some licorice aroma too? The malt flavor is full and sweet. Hints of coffee and chocolate with a nice dry bitterness. It's almost a bit tangy also, different than many other porters. The flavor is very similar to the 2005 Our Special Ale for Christmas. It has a rich full mouthfeel, slightly chewy and with nice carbonation. Quite drinkable, not very alcoholic, a nice porter...

bennetj17, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of pjwilson
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Pours a devilish dark black with a fantastic tan head that stays for the ride. Could be the darkest porter i've seen.

smell: sort of roasty malts off in the far distance. Most up front is the yeast however. Not much is really coming in here though.

taste: well they may have revivied the style (and cheers to that) but this is far from your typical American Porter. Now, I wouldn't knock 'em for that, but I can't help but think about how inappropriate the yeast is for this style. The sourness of the yeast is the dominating player here. The roasted malts play a very small role here, suprising givin' the color. Frankly, with my eyes closed I'm not tasting a porter here at all, more like Anchor Steam with a hint of roast. Just calling it how I see it. In fact i'm certain that is what this beer is. However, Anchor Steam is perfect on it's own and this isn't an improvment.

mouthfeel: fine....for a steam beer, something a bit fuller would work here though.

drinkable: yes. It's a drinkable beer, but I won't be getting it again soon. Whatever style this is, I just don't really like that much, too much yeast not enough roast or something.

This beer grew on me. My mistake was drinking it too warm. This one is better right out the fridge.

pjwilson, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of jlh8643
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with no freshness date into an imperial pint glass. A nice 1" tan head sits on top of a black body, which one would expect from a porter. After about 5 mins the head sinks down to a small cap. Dark bitter chocolate malt dominate the nose with hints of coffee there too. After first sip the choc/coffee maltiness linger with some kind of astringency that almost leaves me tasting something that reminds me of mint. Carbonation if just about right on being just enough. Like other reviewers I wish the body was a bit fuller in the finish. Overall a very good drinking beer that I'd be happy drinking anytime.

jlh8643, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A venerable old standby for me. I find Anchor Porter in the strangest places and I always quaff it down if it is availible among the normal macro lineup. Great body and texture. less flavor than i think it should have, somewhat muted somehow and doesn't show off the roastiness/coffee flavors as much as I like in a porter, but still a great beer that I will always go back to.

Jredner, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of Byeast
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint , out of the nicely designed and labeled bottle , very dark and opaque black. Head is exellent , about 1 1/4 inch , tanish color similar to the main color of the label , and it sticks around as 1/4 inch the entire way through leaving slight lacing. Taken to the nose , smells of dark roasty malt , slight chocolate , and a hint of toffee or butterscotch. Very pleasant and welcoming. Taste is rich, hearty malt at first with a little bit of chocolate , then the whole hops kick in nice. Slight Bitter , dry finish of coffee and subtle toffee. ( not very sweet though) . Nicely carbonated and silky mouthfeel. This is one great American Porter. World class brew from a world class brewery. Super dinkable.

Byeast, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of pentathlete
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous inky black with an antique white head and chunks of sticky bubbles on the sides of the glass. Smell is a baking chocolatey licorice, cakelike, inviting. The taste hampered a bit by an unexpected thinness. Malty chocolate, somewhat sweet flavor. Nutty bitterness balances everything out. Mouthfeel is medium, yet too thin for what I would like, but still satisfying. An easy quaff, a great regular drinking porter.

pentathlete, Jan 22, 2006
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,010 ratings.