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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,021 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,021
Reviews: 1,435
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 130
Gots: 163 | 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: 3,021 | Reviews: 1,435 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of MrHolland
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite brews.. started my craft brewery obsession.

Pours a dark black with ruby highlights around the edge of the glass with a big tan frothy head that retains through the whole beverage and laces the glass. Smells of sweet malts, alcohol, and just brewed coffee notes. Very rich earthy and smooth coffee notes in the taste of the brew. Feels like liquid silk going into the mouth.
Could drink one of these right when I wake up in the morning ;) Def. my favorite beer from my favorite style at the moment. Recommend ++.

MrHolland, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of zerk
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/black... almost opaque, with a thick tan head that recesses to just a ring around the outer rim of the glass. Leaves tons of lace. Aroma is rich and malty with touches of espresso. Flavor is a burnt/sweet mix of coffee, charcoal, coffee and malt, with a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and sticky. This is a very nice session beer, although I do have to admit that I was a little dissapointed that it didn't have a more prominent hop profile (being a West Coast Porter and all.)

zerk, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 12 oz. Rich dark brown. Minor brown head, dissipates to a thin crown. No action in the glass but it still looks alive.

Smell – Roasty and earthy malts and a hint of chocolate. Very inviting. Hint of the booze as it warms.

Taste – Rich and roasted malts, earthy and almost dirty, but in a good way. Hints of coffee.

Mouthfeel – Smooth. Full body, thick and rich. Perfect balance.

Drinkability/Notes – One of, if not the best porter I have ever had. Goes down easy, sessionable, tasty, all round great beer. (no freshness date, some kind of batch marking)

akajimmyd, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an opaque blackish-brown with a thick and foamy light tan head, lasted quite nicely, heavy lacing from the fallen head. Smells like the typical porter, of dark chocolate and roasted espresso beans and malty with a slight bitter tinge. Smell is much weaker than the taste, which is a mirror sense of the smell only deeper and more complex, finishes sweet after a bitter beginning. Bitterness is similar to that of a shot of straight black espresso, but falls off into the malt and sweetens. Mouthfeel is watery thin yet slick and syrupy on the tongue thanks to the low level of carbonation present in this brew. Drinkability nothing special, marks with other porters in my book, a little above average. All in all a nice take on the American Porter.

danielocean03, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark brown black color and leaves a small layer of foam. Appearance is very nice, smell contains roasted barley, slightly burned and in the back some oily notes, the smell I suspect from roasted oats. Taste is bitter, dry and burned, some liquorice notes. Carbonation is very fine and very pleasant in the mouth. The only minor critisism I have is that it is a little bit too sticky.

Absumaster, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a Very dark, opaque. I could not see through it when I held it to a light. Fine head that goes quickly to lacing.

s Dark chocolate malt. The aroma biscuity

t The sweetness that you would associate with a porter is very subtle. The taste is actually more dry than sweet. The taste is robust not fruity. Taste is more of hops then of sweet bmalted barley.

m The mouth feel is great. It is viscous and corbonated. It feels very refeshing in the mouth

d A very drinkable beer. The more I drink it the more I like it. Nice balance between sweet and bitter.

CDBeerDisappear, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of battlekow
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was happy to find a good selection of Anchor's distinctly-shaped bombers down at Sam's in Chicago. Here at Discount they only sell the Small Beer in that size, and who the hell wants that?

I didn't really cotton to the Anchor Porter at first, as it seemed primarily musty, but it's growing on me. A rather modest, porter, it features some mellow chocolate and coffee notes with flashes of spicy hops and some butteriness.

As an added bonus, it really looks great--check out the picture on their website, it's mouthwatering.

I still feel it's lacking on the smell, especially to style; I get mustiness and brown sugar, with little roastedness. "It is aesthetically pleasing and wholly superior in every respect," claims the neck label. Dunno about the latter, but it sure is pretty to look at. Overall, seems like fans of milk/sweet stouts would enjoy this one more than people who like a nice robust porter.

battlekow, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from a 6-pack, poured into a pint glass.

A: Color is a deep, dark brown. Head is thick and stays for decent amount of time with a color of deep beige. Leaves a thick even lace on the glass.

S: Malty, dark chocolate & roasted coffee aroma with a combination of sweetness and bitterness.

T: You definitely taste the strong coffee flavor. It’s almost like you’re drinking black coffee rather than beer. The smell had me expecting a much more bitter taste, but what bitterness it starts out with, fades as you get half-way through. There’s a thick sweetness in the after-taste.

M: As you pour it you would think it’s going to be thick to drink, but not so. The consistency is a good middle-of-the-road. Not too thick, not too thin. Very smooth with little carbonation, this goes back to what I mentioned earlier about it seeming like black coffee rather than beer.

D: The sweetness and smoothness disguises the alcohol content, which makes it very easy to drink. However, I could also see where some people might not like the sweetness enough to drink a lot in a sitting.

I decided to try the beer thinking it would be very hard to find anywhere else around here. Now it's all over the place in this area. However, there are many other beers I would drink above this one.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

big chubby bottle poured into a pilsner.

pours pitch brown with an inch of bubbly tan head. leaves a thin webbed lacing.

toasty caramel and chocolate aromas. buttered popcorn and toffee in there as well. nice complex aroma.

boy is the taste a disappointment. not bad, but was expecting a lot more heft to this one; certainly doesn't live up to the "intensely rich flavor" promised on the label. roasted, slightly burnt malts are there, with a slight touch of coffee, and a hint of molasses, but it's all relatively weak. relatively uninteresting porter.

Prufrock, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of klewis
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a fluffy tan head. Some lacing left on the glass.

S: Smells predominantly of dark chocalate and roasted malt with some coffee and hop aroma thrown in.

T: It seems like there's some flavor deep inside that wants to peek its head out but is a little shy. Hints of coffee and caramel in an otherwise subdued taste.

M: Smooth, with a medium body and subtle carbonation.

D: Not the best porter that I've had, but very "drinkable" in the sense that it goes down easily and quietly.

klewis, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of Brodirt
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Anchor beers....and their Gin too. That said, I just dont get Porters in general...they are never bad and never overwhelming... I need to examine this a bit more to see why but here was another good example of getting what you expect.

Dark rich thick body and head. Chocolate maltiness throughout. Creamy thick mouth feel and slight overall bitter aftertaste. Smell is mildly sweet and mildly bitter. All in all another good porter.

Brodirt, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is another beer that I've enjoyed for some time now that I can't believe I've never jotted down a line about. Maybe there are some beers that after the first sip I just don't think about anything except how outstanding it is.

Rocky tan head that maintains throughout leaving behind plenty of DNA for further review.

has a bit of that samuel smith type yeast in the nose that is pleasant and damn tasty. Odd but there is even a subtle juicy fruit smell that tries to sneak past the thick malts and has marginal success.

Incredibly smooth, Rolls around with ease and coats entirely on the palate. Just enough of a twang to keep it from being too rich. My lowest ranking being drinkability is first of all way above average but its a touch bulky/meaty and fills me up pretty fast.

Notes: At this point I put this porter as the american standard to strive to get close to.

DogFood11, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an inky black/brown color with some ruby highlights; the massive tan head retains nicely and leaves plenty of lace behind

Smell: Toffee and plenty of dark fruit (dried plums and cherries)

Taste: Starts out with a sweet toffee flavor and adds the dried dark fruits to the mix through mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a touch of roasted coffee bitterness; the finish, however, returns to the dark fruit flavor

Mouthfeel: Just above medium thickness with modest carbonation

Drinkability: The fruity flavors dominate this porter; different and quite enjoyable

brentk56, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost completely black, with a medium-sized, creamy, tan head that has good retention. Excellent lacing. The smell is of very smooth dark malts and caramel with a little fruit and a slight citrus kick. The taste is mostly marvelous roasted malts. Toasted marshmallow, coffee, chocolate, and light fruit. The finish is lightly floral and spot on for bitterness. It has a medium-full body, creamy texture and soft carbonation. I had no idea that this beer was this good. Could be a little bigger and fuller, but otherwise it’s a well-rounded porter and a real treat.

ski271, Dec 28, 2005
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,021 ratings.