1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,961 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,961
Reviews: 1,427
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 124
Gots: 143 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,961 | Reviews: 1,427 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nlmartin


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%

This beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a ruby opaqueness to light. The head was thin whiteness lasting the entire beer. Small amounts of clingy lace to the side of the glass.

Smell: The beer smells boozier than reality of the beer. Nice licorice and woody smells dominate.

Taste: Taste of coffee and roasted malty goodness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is velvety smooth throughout the drinking experience. Man this is a treat. A very good beer to drink several of.

11-23-2005 17:14:44 | More by nlmartin
Photo of GreenWBush


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one.

This evacuates the bottle a cola-rubied deep brown, with a sienna head that leaves pasty lace cling rings.

Hints of pumpernickel bread on the nose. Leather saddle, walnut, oak, licorice, red grapes.

The mouthfeel of this beer might be its most remarkable consistency; velvety, silken slickness. Wonderful.

The taste echoes a few of the nose notes with a great, tender roast/hop balance. Slight suggestions of peat, licorice, molasses.

Often overlooked...a damned fine porter.

11-22-2005 19:54:26 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Pitch black with ruby highlights. Tan creamy head that has a long lasting lace. Fruity, coffee, roasted malt, and slight bitter hop. The taste is a semi-sweet chocolate and coffee flavor. Course hops with a slightly salty and malty aftertaste. Medium bodied and very easy to drink. Hands down the best porter in America!

11-19-2005 08:46:43 | More by Luigi
Photo of neonbrown82


3.83/5  rDev -6.8%

This is a great looking porter. Pours to a nearly opaque black color with a thick fluffy tan head. No lace sticks, but the head seems to stay around forever.

The smell is very subtle. Smells like a a bit candy sweet with a little bit of smoke and roast.

The taste is also very sweet with a bit of chocolate with a light roast and smokiness. Has a little hop kick in the finish. Not very high in alcohol, but it tastes like it.

The body is medium to full with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Has a lingering hop and roasty bitterness in the back of the tongue. Quite pleasant, but my only complaint is that the initial taste has a sweetness that doesn't quite blend well with the bitterness in the back.

I would find this porter much more drinkable if it weren't quite so sweet. Other than that, it is a good beer. Now on to my cheese tray...

edit: Goes great with smoked summer sausage and hickory smoked gouda. The added smokiness and the palate coating cheese help to balance out the sweetness.

11-18-2005 05:26:03 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of Oxymoron


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Anchor Porter pours a rich black color that fairs well around the edges. It remains dark with very little color distortion if tipped. The head retention starts off good but quickly fades. Although it does ring around the edges and stay for most of the tasting. The lacing is limited.

The smell is strong in malt. Very rich with a coffee and roasted quality. Some creamy esters as well as lighter chocolate notes.

The taste is thick with malt and very creamy. Almost like a milk stout with a syrup kick. The malt has more of a chocolate sweetness and roasted combo. But darker hints of black patent as well as an English kick are noticeable as well. The after taste has a mellow spice to it

The feel of this beer is interesting as it seems like a much higher ABV but it isn’t and it doesn’t have the warm or hot feeling. I think the thickness and creaminess just give this a big good. Also the carbonation is light but right on for the beer.

A good chewy beer that I’m glad I picked up a six of.

11-16-2005 03:19:34 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

Appearance: Pours a rich deep black color with a half inch tan head at first pour. The head maintains for over a minute. The head never completely disappears...and leaves quite a bit of attractive lacing behind.

Aroma: Some biscuity toasty malt with some noticeable roast greet you in the beginning. There is some hops noticeable in there also, but they don't play a major role in the entire profile.

Taste: A bit of hops make their way out at the beginning of the profile, but they quickly subside to let the malt reign. There are lots of biscuity malts in this one along with a good bit of toast. The roast flavors are supportive, which makes this beer a whole lot more drinkable. There is a bit of floral hops to linger into the finish along with the chocolate.

Opinion: This is a very well balanced beer! A lot of Porters tend to be overly roasty and coffee-like. This one has enough to put it into style, yet maintains enough malt complexity to male it very drinkable. There are quite a bit of hops here, but the malt balance makes it all worth while. A very drinkable beer!

11-15-2005 01:46:12 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of timbeer


4.58/5  rDev +11.4%

Sometimes it's a mistake to expect too much from a beer. You hear great things about it, so when you try it your expectations are so high it is almost impossible for the beer to live up to its advance billing, and you end up disappointed.

The Anchor Porter does not have this problem. This is a truly excellent beer from the first sip. A confident beer, which, unlike many high-rated American beers, does not rely on extreme bitterness or high ABV or some other exaggerated quality to give it distinction. It aims to be a rich, full-bodied porter, and it hits the mark.

It pours a dark, creamy brown. Not much to the smell, in my opinion. The mouthfeel is very full, and about as unwatery as you'd like. Every drop seems to have a rich taste. And the taste is excellent - slightly bitter chocolate, a touch of coffee, hints of fruit - maybe plum or apricot (or pluot, actually). The aftertaste lingers, allowing you to contemplate the range of flavors for minutes after each sip - so drink slowly. Goes down easy and is quite fulfilling.

11-13-2005 01:35:58 | More by timbeer
Photo of LordChesterfield


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%

Wow, this is the best porter I've ever had. It's actually a session porter, you can drink this tirelessly. Pours a typically black with tan head and smells deliciously hoppy and burnt. Contains a slight smoked flavor, a little burnt, and it's so complex that you can't explore all of the flavors in one sitting. I find that once the taste and smell is incoded into my memory, the second session is even more enjoyable. I learn more about it's nuances every time I drink it. A ballsey yet drinkable porter. Expensive but worth it. It doesn't mimic the traditional porter exactly, but it couldn't possibly be mistaken for anything else. The beer is helping to expand the style's horizons. Recommended.

11-10-2005 06:40:41 | More by LordChesterfield
Photo of jamie2dope


4.78/5  rDev +16.3%

This is probably my fourth or fifth time treating myself to this beer, and I have to say that I like it more every time I drink it. It pours a dark brown, nearly black color with a reddish hue toward the bottom of the glass. Smell is heavenly: rich rich dark chocolate, coffee, cherry, plum, grapes and a slight medicinal cough syrupy aroma.The taste coincides with the smell: nearly perfect. Sort of reminds me of a big cherry cordial. Mouthfeel is medium/large making it not difficult to drink, but still could easily fill you up. This is one of my favorite porters ever so I pick up a 6er of it for myself whenever nothing new strikes my fancy.

11-10-2005 01:26:44 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of bahumutx


4.45/5  rDev +8.3%

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with a two finger creamy head which is a creamy chocolate in color and dissipating very slowly. Very dark in color with some ruby highlights along the edge. Very nice lacing along the edge of the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, Coffee and fruit smell are the most prevalent. A roasted malt smell is also present.

Taste: A coffee taste is the first thing that hits my tongue and then some bitterness at the end. There are also hints of sweetness as the beer warms. The toffee and chocolate are becoming more pronounced.

Mouthfeel: Nice thick Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Very enjoyable.

This is my first anchor beer and look forward to trying the rest of their selection.

11-08-2005 02:27:13 | More by bahumutx
Photo of Shovelbum


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%

A thick cocoa head sits like a dallop of ice cream over the body that only recedes after leaving plenty o’lace. Deep black body with ruby edges. Smells of toasted malt, mild fruit and coffee. Smooth. Tastes slightly bitter with notes of toffee, sweet and toasted malt and fruit. Complex and full bodied. Light carbonation and smooth body, but there is a lingering bitterness.

This was my gateway drug so-to-speak. Drinking this beer opened my eyes to the beauty of craft beer—and after that there was no looking back. I can’t stress enough the amazing balance between the sweet and toasted character this porter achieves.

The quintessential American porter.

10-27-2005 01:03:33 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of bjohnson


4/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a dark brown/mollasses color with a thin head. Roasted malt aromas with hints of caramel and coffee. Flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, bitter coffee and a slight burntness. Hoppy twang in the finish. Another winner by Anchor--Good session porter with a nice balance.

10-25-2005 23:36:49 | More by bjohnson
Photo of kmpitz2


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours deep brown to black color with very slight ruby hues ar the edges to show its not black. A 2 finger tan head falls to a modest coating over top of the brew. Lace coats the entire glass as I drink it. Nose is more in the dark fruits than other American porters that I can recall. There is a lesser roasty malt in the background, but the sweet dark fruit is most prominent. Flavor is much more roasty than the nnose. It starts as a nice balance between hearty roasted malt and figgy sweetness, but moves to a slightly chocolate and roasted finish. Very tasty. Feel is thick with a light to moderate carbonation. Very solid beer. It is not staying in my glass very long. This will be high on my radar this fall and winter.

10-24-2005 23:33:50 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of radshoesbro


4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

wow! what a tremendous head! poured this barely trying to obtain any head and got one that was at least three fingers high and left loads and loads of lacing! smells remind me of sweet fruits and malts. tastes creamy and sweet with molasses and figs and lots of other great things! damn this is great. has a medium bodied feel with a fantastic finish and a very sweet feeling is left on the tounge. really great beer!

10-24-2005 16:53:17 | More by radshoesbro
Photo of PBRstreetgang


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours nearly black, with mahogany highlights. The two-finger head has a brown sugar hue, and shows decent retention with lots of sticky lacing. Full chocolate malt and toffe aroma. Rich black patent flavor and unsweetened chocolate leave a bittersweet and dry aftertaste, but it lacks the hop flavor commonly found in american style porters. Residual finish, but the full body and medium carbonation provide a satisfying mouthfeel that make this very easy to drink.

10-21-2005 17:36:22 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of Gritsak

West Virginia

3.93/5  rDev -4.4%

A- dark chocolate brown with a creamy tan head. retention is great

S- strong roasted chocolate notes with coffee beans and toffee also present

T- bitter sweet chocolate taste. nice and malty with roasted coffee flavor also right up front.

M- extremely smooth and creamy. at first i was hoping for a little more carbonation but after having one a night for the past couple nights the mouthfeel has grown more on me.

D- depends on your personal preference here. for me itsjust above average drinkability. i think more then a couple at a time and i would be enough.

10-19-2005 03:48:34 | More by Gritsak
Photo of cubedbee


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours a pitch black with two fingers of dense beige head, good retention. Smell is a slight coffee, bitter chocolate, cocoa, slight floral hops. Taste is a mix of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and a bitter dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy smooth. This is a very drinkable beer, nice dark chocolate flavor but very drinkable smooth mouthfeel. One of the better porters I've had.

10-09-2005 20:46:51 | More by cubedbee
Photo of texashammer


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

From a 22oz bottle into my favorite snifter, pours a deep black color that shows no light. Huge, enormous brown head (very dark tan?), rocky and big, fades slowly into lace. Smells of coffee, mocha, tiny bit of chocolate, maybe some sassafras like root beer? Creamy coffee. Tastes of more coffee, more mocha; sweetened coffee; some bitterness in the roast but some sweetness too. Very roasty. Licorice in the finish. Smooth and slightly spritzy mouthfeel. Very, very drinkable!

10-03-2005 01:15:51 | More by texashammer
Photo of pweis909


4.3/5  rDev +4.6%

Am homebrewing an ale that may end up with strong porter qualities. Decided I should sample some porters. This is my first porter in ages, and I loved it.

Appearance--Nice strong milk chocolate foamy head with lasting power, sitting above a dark chocolate liquor. Sorry. Porters make me think chocolate, but in this case, it's appropropriate. Read on.

Smell -- Sweet malt, spices, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste -- Loved the malt. Also hints of chocolate again, spices. Alcohol is noticeable. Light hop finish.

Mouthfeel -- full bodied

Drinkability -- I'd have another. In fact, I did. The complexity of taste is well balanced. I really savored each sip, and at the finish, looked forward to the next.

09-30-2005 15:42:18 | More by pweis909
Photo of waldowin


3.55/5  rDev -13.6%

Pours a thick, thick opaque black, with thin reeds of red around the edges if you were to hold it to a light. Massive three-finger tan head that slowly (very slowly) fades to a ring, and stays all the way down. No lacing.

Smells like someone melted a dark chocolate bar into an espresso. Not very complex, but appealing.

Tastes like over-roasted coffee, dark chocolates, malts, and a finish of hops that just fight the rest of the taste, and are almost salty (chinook hops maybe?). The taste is great, it's when the hops hit in the back of your mouth that the flavor goes a bit odd.

Thick, bubbly, chewy porter, that thins drastically at the back of the mouth. Carbonation is mild, and spot on.

If it wasn't for the bitter/sour hops wash, this beer would be very drinkable. As it is, it's a good sipping beer, and a nice change of pace from the norm for me. Wouldn't make it my daily drinker though.

09-30-2005 09:33:56 | More by waldowin
Photo of chOAKbarrell


4.18/5  rDev +1.7%

Anchor chose an appropriate name for their brewery, as it has turned out to be exactly that - an anchor for the craft beer industry. You can always count on them to make a delicious, satisfying product.

This fine porter is a black beauty whose smell only hints at the treat to come. If there was a beer dictionary, it would be appropriate for under the definition of "porter" to say "see Anchor." Everything about this beer is on point - from the deep black hue to the chocolate & roasted undertones in the flavor. Also - very subtle carbonation that dies away as the beer washes down your throat. Excellent for a heavier, darker beer such as this.

This beer is a delight to drink and I will be enjoying it for many years to come.

09-28-2005 23:57:45 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of tempest


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

Dessert anyone?

Poured very dark, almost black body with a medium brown head that slowly disipated, laving a little lace.

Rich sweet roasted malt aroma. As a lover of rich and sweet beers, I can't ask for much more out of the smell except maybe a tad more complexity.

Followed by a rich, notes of chocolate, caramel and coffee. Sweet with a bit of a dry finish that reminds me of semi-sweet chocolate. Also a little bitter and with a little something that hints at fruit.

A tad thick, but nothing I wouldn't expect for such a rich and sweet beer. Slight carbonation is pleasant and it all goes down pretty easy.

Very drinkably for such a great porter, but dont start your meal with it. Forget chocolate mousse, this is all you need for dessert.

09-26-2005 19:00:05 | More by tempest
Photo of Gusler


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

As I was once a resident of the Presidio, as in the Army type resident, I was pleasantly introduced to one of the best all round breweries IMHO. Anchor; now remember this was in the early eighties when craft beer was a rare commodity, although I was a steadfast Jack Daniels drinker also in those days, so I did not always drink beer.

The beer evacuates the 12-ounce brown stubby bottle a deep brown to almost black, the head a light chocolate crown to ride upon that sumptuous dark body, the lace a tight girdle to surround the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma, hints of caramel and toasted grains, chocolate tones also present, and start is sweet with a delightful malt presence, the top medium in feel. Finish is delectably acidic; the hops spicy and pleasing with the chocolate malt taste present to the desert dry end, a fine representative to the style and a beer and brewery I can always trust.

09-25-2005 23:28:27 | More by Gusler
Photo of Zorro


4.53/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a black beer with a substantial brown head. I can't pass light through it.

Smell is substantial. Lots of strong fruit scent here. I can pick out banana, raisin, figs, mint, chocolate and a little scent of herbal hops. Fairly sweet smelling with a clear scent of molasses.

Taste is full and intense. Lots of malt flavor and a rich chocolate flavor greets you at the start. The fruity flavor of a British ale yeast is strong here. Mild acid snap in the finish makes this beer more refreshing than expected. Banana bread with chocolate best describes the flavor. The taste of preserved fruits, spice and malts all combine to make a beautiful melody on your tongue. After this warms up a bit the more bitter flavors of coffee and the herbal hops become more pronounced than the sweet aspects of this beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy like a milkshake, thick to begin with the carbonation fluffs up the perception of thickness even more.

Very drinkable brew, Very tasty and has no real flaws. Not very costly either at $9 a six pack a bargain for a world class beer. Do I like this better than the their Victory ale? I refuse to choose between them.

09-25-2005 01:02:46 | More by Zorro
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Looks and pours like a Guinness, just with a slightly foamier head. Smells and tastes wonderful, like a whiff of Hershey bar hiding a more subtle sloe gin cherry. The texture is a little bit grainy, yet also mellow. Not a harsh note to be found. This is indeed one of the world’s great porters.

09-22-2005 14:11:06 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,961 ratings.