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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,143 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,143
Reviews: 1,444
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 137
Gots: 206 | 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: 3,143 | Reviews: 1,444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theopholis
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very dark brown with a healthy but loose, tan head. When held up to the light, it Head has a decent amount of staying power, and leaves behind a fair amount of lace.

Aroma - The best word for it is chocolaty. It's not overwhelming, but you don't smell much else. Maybe just a hint of malt sweetness and bittering hops.

Taste - I have to admit, this is the beer that made me fall in love with the style. But I've tried dozens since then. Having said that, It has a big roasty taste with hints of chocolate hidden in there somewhere. There's something in there that isn't quite right. A harshness. But it's still quite good.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel is just the taddest bit light for the style, but the carbonation is right on, and it works.

Drinkability - Like I said, I cut my Porter teeth on this beer. I love it, but a lot of porter drinkers find this one a tad harsh; and it is. Still pretty damn good tho.

theopholis, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of stevegamburg
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured very dark with a beautiful thick head that didn't seem to dissipate. Smelled of roasted malts and molasses. The taste did not disappoint with a nice balance of roasted malt and dark fruit. Had a great mouthfeel and finish.
This is an awesome porter. Treat yourself - you won't regret it.

stevegamburg, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was black with a nice beige head. The smell was faint of spices? floral? The taste is malty and slightly bitter. It is malty, chocolaty and has a nice balance of hops. The mouthfeel is full and creamy – very nice. This is a great porter that is something I’d recommend often if possible.

barefootbrewer, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of NClifestyle
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours up an almost black color, deep blood red highlights in the light, huge head of light brown foam, creamy and lumpy on top, medium sized bubbles underneath.
Smell is cocoa and sweet bread, dark fruit as well. Something liquor like in the mix.
Taste is sweet and dark chocolate at the start, raisin aspect, before moving over to dryness and sharp hops at the swallow and in the aftertaste. Very roasted and coffee-ish. A hint of alcohol also creeps up. The aftertaste lingers, and is nearing the harsh level, however, I've not had a beer in a week, so it could just be me.
The beer has a decent amount of carbonation, possibly even more than a typical porter. Medium to full in the mouth, and still a bit creamy. Nice.
I would like to have this on tap, but I'll have another bottle tonight, and would go for it again in the future.


NClifestyle, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of chuckm
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite porters with no bitter aftertaste and a strong smooth feel. Highly recomended flavorful beer that will go great with strong and spicy foods. While I wouldn't grab this after mowing the yard on a cool fall evening you can't do much better.

chuckm, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of BBM
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown almost black, with ruby highlights and a sandy colored head. The aroma is faint and not really noticeable. But there are faints hints of coffee.

The flavor is a very well-balanced mixture of chocolate malt, subtle hops, and espresso. Quite a complex flavor. This beer never tries to get ahead of itself or be something it's not; it's a porter, through and through, which is a good thing. Too many American porters enter a hopping contest and it kills the integrity of the style, in my opinion. However Anchor's version stays true, making it a very enjoyable brew.

BBM, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of meadhead
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seems like a Silky smooth
roast chocolate espresso - subtle port wine
hard to describe
yet with an all around ease on the palatte

Pours a beautiful deep black- brown
with a very slight burgundy tone
and nice light tan head

drinkability is exceptionally smooth
with that mysterious slight "port-wine like" finish

somebody throw me an anchor or I might
drift into port...
but seriously,

this stuff is good
with a nice complexity for a porter
and an all around
thinned creaminess to it
I woke up with the unique aftertaste
the following day at work

and I'm still haunted by it!!

meadhead, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, 16 ounce shaker.

A - Dark, Dark brown (nearly black), with a nice two finger dark tan head. Held up to a light, the bulb is visible through the brew but with a dark brown/reddish appearance. A great looking porter.

S - Chocolate malt goodness.

T - Big roasty flavor over a chocolate malt backdrop. Espresso flavor is present. Some sweetness but nothing that is "too much" just a nice, balanced flavor.

M - A nice, rich feel that really makes this brew a pleasure to drink.

D - Malty, rich, robust dark beer = definitely a drinkable porter. At 5.6 % abv, go ahead and have a few.

EStreet20, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a Nonic)

A- This beer pours a black densely opaque body with a faint light red glow at the narrowest part of the glass. There is a creamy light tan head that last and last creating a sheet of head on the glass with each sip. Too dense to see any carbonation.

S- This beer has a creamy smell of smooth dark malt with a hint of graham and nougat. There is some caramel malt notes as the beer warms as well.

T- This beer has a big chocolate malt roast with some hints of dark backers chocolate in the background. There is some soft notes of caramel malt and black malt aswell. The finish has a nice bitterness from black malt and green hops with a pine quality to it.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a nice slightly creamy texture that thins out in the finish.

D- This beer has a good rich flavor with some nice hops to clean up the finish making it very drinkable. This beer is a true porter and not just a watered down stout that I have tasted so many of lately.

rhoadsrage, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of Melchizedek
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pretty opaque black with a little murky reddish-brown visible around the edges; head forms enthusiastically, a lovely cappuccino color with lots of cohesion, settling into an immortal cap that leaves plenty of sticky, even lace.

Aroma is a bit subdued, with slight coffee, caramel, a nutty character, maybe some yeasty bread. Silky smooth in the mouth, with sweeter flavors coming to the fore, but moderated by a good noticeable hop bitterness, sort of floral and maybe even a touch resiny. A little anise comes into the mix. Finish has a bit of a dark fruit flavor to it and maybe something almost peanutty.

This is lovely, and probably a much better sample than my on-tap review. I could do with a bit more coffee/dark chocolate and bitter notes, but this is a thoroughly pleasant porter.

Melchizedek, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of diablo14
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was absolutely stoked when I found out that Purvis Cellars in Melbourne were getting some of this (and other Anchor brews) in for a bit of a one off treat. And what a treat it has been! For the last 12 months I have been drinking this, courtesy of a good mate who was smart enuff to buy up big.

Plenty of intensity about this beer, from its dark brown hues and tan head to the dry but smooth hop finish. The smell is a veritable cornucopia of aromas, plenty of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and some sweet brown sugar tinges. The big mocha flavor is backed with hints of dried fruits, malt biscuits, molasses and condensed milk. Fairly full in body for a porter, this merely serves to compliment the hops at the finish, leaving a dry yet tasty and brilliantly smooth climax to the experience. My tip is not to let this get too warm otherwise it can get a little on the sweet side, apart from that, there's plenty going on from start to finish to hold the attention of the drinker.

A fantastic porter and a fantastic beer to boot. Will definitely make its presence felt in the company of ANY beers you might be drinking during a session.

diablo14, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of david131
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a velvety smooth black liquid, with a light caramel head. The head disapates and leaves a good amount of foam on top, but no lacing as it works its way down the glass. Light only penetrates the edges of this beer.

S- I could not pick up a lot at first, but as it warms a lot more becomes apparent. Some brown sugar, molasses, some dark dried fruit. There is something special to this porter.

T- Sweet at first then the roastiness shows up. More brown sugar and dark dried fruit. A little caramel and coffee and chocolate.

M- The mouthfeel is one of the highlights of this beer. Velvety smooth, a lot more meaty than your average porter. The carbonation is perfect, just enough to accentuate the flavor.

D- I was very surprised by this. This has replaced Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald as my favorite porter. I kept reaching for my pint. It was gone pretty quickly.

david131, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's been quite some time since I had this one, so I thought it was time to taste it again and review it.

Pours a really dark brown/black color with a very nice tan/white head.

Aromas are a bit of cola, biscuit, and sweet dark malts.

Flavors are quite malty, but not overdone. This seems to follow the British Style of a Porter a bit. Beer is a tad toasted, sweet, and with light roasted coffee like finish. There is just a hint of hop bitterness and a dry like quality on the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite good. Beer is a bit light, but it has a good full mouthfeel.

Drinkability is where this beer really shines. This is an excellent lighter yet very tasty session worthy porter. Anchor scores another winner.

flexabull, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- About a 1/4"-1/2" tan head on a black body with brown hues.
S- Chocolate, nutty, roasted. Very light hops, almost no hops.
T- Nice chocolate flavor. Kind of follows the smell. Light roasted, bit nutty. Light grass hops to help balance it out a bit. A bit of a lingering bitterness on the tongue. Sweet but a kind of dry taste also.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is a excellent porter. Very nice easy drinking. It will fit my crave for porters perfectly especially at the price.

BlindPig, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nearly black dark brown body with ruby highlights as put to light. Pours a moderately sized head the color of chocolate milk which then recedes to 1/4". Spotty, scattered lacing. The big aromas that come out first are of chocolate, molasses, and toasted bread. Some roastedness comes out a bit, but it isn't all that prevalent. Some underlying fruit and cookie dough. The flavors in this blend so fluidly that it takes some concentration to pick out the flavors. Starts off with a bready pumperknickle flavor and dark chocolate with hints of cane syrup. Some ale fruitiness is present in the middle and this rounds out with a dry and bitter finish, thanks to the PNW hops. Some citrus and pine lingers on with nutty flavors. Overall, the malt is rather chewy. Mouthfeel is moderate in body, almost leaning toward thin, but the carbonation could use a little toning down. Firm drinkability.

goochpunch, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of scorched
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason or another, I had been putting off purchasing this beer. Now, having had it, I wish I hadn't.

It pours a deep, dark color with little to no head.

The smell is quite nice, definitely using black patent malt, which is heavily evident. Its pretty much all I can smell in it.

The taste also reveals heavy use of black patent malt. It is very smooth with a hint of nuttiness. Fantastic

Mouthfeel is really smooth. It swirls around on the palate, flavors abound.

Drinkability on this beer is high, in my opinion. If you like a porter, this one is definitely on the top of my list.

scorched, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the last of a six pack of this stuff my brother and I bought for Christmas but never made it through. I've enjoyed this beer many times, I'm surprised I never reviewed it before.

Features an outstanding coal black body with a handsome finger plus of long lasting brown head and already impressive lacing. The nose is burnt coffee, sweet sugars and thick, dark chocolate. Extremely impressive.

Taste is giant and bold coffee with late hoppy balance that carries across to the aftertaste. Surprisingly strong and brisk flavors for the style but easy to get used to. The downfall iis the thin, brittle moutheel that can't quite handle the flavor overload.

This is a really good beer, but just short of great. It is very easy drinking for a porter, with less tthan six on the boozeometer.

daliandragon, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black with a nice fat two finger head of fluffy tan cream. Lots of sticky lace. Beautiful. This is an example for all other porters.

S - Coffee and chocolate cream. Rich malty scents with toasted cereal grains, hard chocolate candy, raisinettes, dates, and marshmallows. This is quite complex, but not quite perfect.

T - Coffee and bitter dark chocolate along with some pretty roasty flavors too. Tangy and bitter. A bit odd and off-balance. Nowhere near as good as the nose.

M - A bit thinner than I like a porter to be, and a bit undercarbonated too. The finish is a little bit dry with a long lasting aftertaste.

D - Descent. Sort of weird-tasting IMO. Not bad, but very dissapointing to taste this after such a beautiful presentation and aroma. :(

pmcadamis, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nearly black dark reddish brown. Clear but a pretty short transmission depth. About two fingers of long lived head that leave scattered thin specks and streaks of lacing down the glass.

S - A slight smoky character over a chocolatey, nutty and biscuity aroma with some faint molasses underneath.

T - A dark molasses flavor, but not sweet at all, with a strange, yet pleasant tartness. Slightly biscuity with a bit of a nutty alcohol on the finish that meshes with the tartness for an almost puckering ascerbic bitterness.

M - Carbonation is a bit high, otherwise smooth, thin and very refreshing.

D - This is a very drinkable and sessionable porter. A fine american example of this classic style. I didn't expect a lot from it, but I was pleasantly surprised

mrasskicktastic, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of loren01
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with good sized tan head, good lace down the glass.
S: Caramel smell, malty sweet. Slight hop smell
T: Smokey, chocolate flavor. Slight hop bitterness, dry finish
M: Medium bodied, dry aftertaste
D: Pretty good porter, smooth and very flavorfull. Would get this again

loren01, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AP: Pours a thick, dark-brown color with a frothy two-finger thick mocha-cream colored head that is impressive. Displays excellent retention qualities. The creamy head lasted til' the very end.

Nose: Herbal hop>Hearty oats 'n Grains style malted barley scent with molasses and a caramalized scent underneath.

Taste/MF: A full body brew that is thick, smooth and creamy but still delivers a good bite. This brew displays wonderful hearty and smoked malted barley flavor that includes an oats 'n grains taste with burnt molasses-like sweetness. The Herbacious hop flavor adds excellent balance to the brew and ends with earthy flavors and a slight sweetness.

DA: I dig the style and this is a mighty fine Porter.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big tan head, a bit moussy and with good retention. Beautiful red/brown color with brilliant clarity.

A bit of alcohol evident in aroma at first pour. Some coffee, and other dark malt notes. Minimal to no hop. Aroma pleasing and to style, with possible exception of the apparent alcohol.

Smokey/malty up front, with an alcohol-like flavor matching the aroma. Malt is well balanced by bittering hops, and while the finish isn't dry the lingering taste is of a mild, smoky maltiness. Hop flavor is subdued.

Medium body and carbonation. Fairly creamy with a hint of alcohol warming. No astringency - very gentle and pleasing on the tongue.

Overall a big porter full of flavor. Flavor is balanced, but wouldn't mind a bit moe hop flavor. A very nice, but not overpowering beer.

mpyle, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of lpayette
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Perfect porter color. Near black, but hues of brown and red evident on the pour. The head is sizeable and responsive to the strength of the pour. Little brussels lace however.

Smell- Chocolate pudding, chocolate malt- not too burnt - good for a porter. Little evidence of hops or anything else. Simple, yet inticing.

Taste- bold flavors, but not overdone to bring it into stout territory. Very approachable. Chocolate, subtle hops. Somewhat herbal with a vague creamyness.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation is dead on. Medium-full body. Ends just a tad bitter.

Drinkability- Overall a very good beer. Delicious. Need to get this more often.

lpayette, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of HossMcGraw
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very decent porter here, but a bit too sweet.

AP pours a very dark brown color bordering on black, with a half inch tan head and great lacing. The aroma is very malty and sweet with a bit of spiciness due to the hops. Taste is initially sweet malty molasses and is followed by a dry hop bitterness. Well crafted, but this borders on cloying.

Mouthfeel is a bit too thin and lacks carbonation, but for some reason the drinkability is quite high due to the dry finish and low ABV. An outstanding porter, but just a bit sweet for me.

HossMcGraw, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of OatmattStout
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man how have I passed this one so many times on the shelf. Love porters and love Anchor beers and this one may be their best.

Poors with a thick and pillowy toffe colored head that hangs on for a while and renders nice chunky lacing on the glass. Smell of sweet fruits and chocolate malt. Mouthfeel is superb, rich and creamy. Taste is complete with sweet and roasted malt, dark chocolate and an almost port finish. Hops are perfect for balance with this porter.

Love this one and it will be a staple when I'm looking for a porter.

OatmattStout, Dec 25, 2006
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,143 ratings.