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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

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3,304 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,304
Reviews: 1,473
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 155
Gots: 284 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,304 | Reviews: 1,473
Photo of Faulconerbrewing
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a very dark brown, almost black in color with minimal head. The head that is present is a dark coffee like color hinting to the dark roasted malts

Smell: The first whiff has strong hints of fruityness and your nose fills with a flavor reminiscent of molasses. It took me a while to figure it out, but it was very pleasant.

Taste: Maltiness is the first thing I tasted. But soon after the molasses appeared again and took over. Anchor did a great job of keeping the stongest flavor prevelant in all aspects, while still bringing some of the traditional malt charicteristics to your taste buds. Very well balanced

Mouthfeel: There is hints of carbonation in this beer, as keeping with the style. The beer flows effortlessly to the bakc of the mouth and grabs at your taste buds when appropriate.

Drinkability: I have to admit, this being the first Anchor Porter I've had, I was not expecting this type of flavor from a porter. That being said....I loved it! The balance of the true to character maltiness with the added fruityness and molasses flavors really impressed me. I'm on #1 now....but I can promise you this 6 pack won't last long. I'll be making this a staple in the beer fridge!

Photo of sfsean
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a great porter. I have been a fan of Anchor brewing and this porter is tops.

Beautiful black color when poured into glass. And the aroma is very mild. Enjoyed this on a really cold night and I couldn't have picked a better porter. I could be wrong, but this porter was almost sweet. Good meal in a glass.

Photo of dnichols
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured a deep black with a moderate tan head that lingered before settling into a ring around the collar and supporting a modest lacing with short legs.

S: The dark roasted and sweet malts give off aromas of a dark fruits and spices inspired by the floral hops.

T: It began with a sweet roasted malt flavors with an undercurrent of hops that supported a bite of coffee flavor, as well as black pepper.

M: It was creamy and medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation and slight sweet and sour aftertaste.

D: It is a simple and easy to drink beer that due to its moderate profile and low ABV would make an acceptable session brew.

Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my pint glass. This beer is a dark brown, almost black color with a tan head 1/3 inch when poured. Settles to virtually no head and very little lace. Malty aromas with some fruit, maybe raisins or plums and a faint trace of hops. I wish the smell was stronger overall. Tastes very malty with hints of chocolate, raisins, and a bit or caramel, once again rounded out by a trace of hops. has a smooth, and frothy, lightly crisp mouthfeel with a medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable. Overall a pretty good here, but I was expecting a bit more from Anchor Steam here.


Photo of jar2574
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Midnight black, with thick, purplish/cream colored head. The head really clings to the sides.

Roasted malts in the smell, but there isn't a strong smell to this beer.

Very smooth and creamy. Malty, with no acidity.

The smoothest porter I've ever had. Very enjoyable. The taste and smell aren't that distinctive, but it's a very smooth, enjoyable drink.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottling code printed clearly.

a: Dark brown borders on black. Off-white head, patches of lace.

s: Figs, raisins, molasses, toffee.

t: Sweet toffee, caramel, figs, raisins, with just a kiss of hops in the finish. A different porter, not as roasty/smokey as many, more toffee than most. Very good balance.

m: Exceptionally smooth. Carbonation is just right.

d: Wow! Nothing against Anchor, but I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary from their porter. But this, this is a very good porter. Terrific flavor, great smoothness, supreme drinkability. A great brew. My only question is why, with this being sold in every liquor store, am I just now trying this?

Photo of mellocello2003
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - gorgeous! A spectacularly stable head and great lacing.

S - smell of figs, banana, and raisins.

T - creamy raisins, malty cinnamon. Ending in sharp hints of tobacco.

M - creamy at first, thick and coating, lip-smacking lovely end.

D - perhaps the best porter I've had.

Photo of JamesS
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent opaque coloring with a great tan head and excellent lacing. It has a very nice scent, a deep aroma with hints of coffee and bourbon. Excellent porter taste, a nice dark beer with good coffee/burnt grain flavors. Very smooth, and very drinkable.

Photo of findlayfan
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another old friend I've recently got reaquainted with.

Poured a nearly opaque black/brown with a 1" fluffy tan head.

Burnt chocolate malty nose - almost made me drool.

Slightly fizzy in the mouth, with a nicely balanced sweet bitterness.

Left a bit of lacing on the glass. Only had one the other night, but this could be a very sessionable porter.

Since I still have some left, I'll have to do a head-to-head against my all-time favorite, the GLBC Edmund Fitzgerald.

Now THAT'S a winter evening to look forward to!

Photo of becktone
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Eye: Pretty much black as far as my eye can tell, maybe molasses brown, but that's still pretty close to black. Head has staying power, is cappuccino brown in color, is creamy in appearance and leaves great lacing. What more can you ask for?

Nose: I get chocolate and roasted/burnt notes from this brew. There is also a good amount of sweet malt aroma in there as well, hops are background in the nose. Also dark candy and fruit aroma in there too, bit of vanilla as well. Overall excellent aroma, not nearly as potent as I would like but still very appetizing.

Tongue: Wow! this is a great porter, nice and complex too. Sweet malt hits the tongue along with some vanilla flavor and a hint of dark fruit. Chocolate is also present, a nice counterpart for the slight hint of vanilla. Burnt notes are also present-roasted grain bitterness. This is one hell of a beer.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: In the mouth this beer is full bodied, smooth, creamy....well it feels just as it looks! It has a bit of a drying quality to it that I'm associating with the burnt grains/roasted grain bitterness. Once that flavor hits as one is swallowing it, it seems to lend a drying character to the beer. This is one beer that I'll definitely be buying again, perfectly suited for cooler-cold weather.... fantastic beer nonetheless.

Photo of shabbtastic
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown with ruby ridges. Nice white foamy head that fades to a mid size cap. Pretty average lacing with tons of tiny bubbles.

S - Chocolaty malty aroma radiates from the glass. Toasted malt picked up as well. Smells very warming.

T - Starts out big and malty with chocolate galore. Mid way through it gently brings forth a nice roasted coffee bean balance. Finishes with toasted / roasted malt back.

M - Pretty damn good, full bodied with good carbonation made the brew dance on the tongue.

D - Solid Porter all the way around. I'm glad I have two left! This does remind me of SN Porter a lot, another great brew.

Photo of cracgor
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark black with barely a red edge and a thick bread loaf of tan head on top sticking to the glass. A rich spicy aroma of hops comes out of this beer. Kind of reminds me of their christmas offering as far as the smell. Drinking this beer blows me away. It has an exceptional flavor of roasted malt with just the right touch of hops for me to get a good balance. The hops linger after finishing the beer, leaving a woody flavor on my palate. Good/appropriate mouthfeel, and I could really drink this beer all night and not tire of it.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours from a very attractive bottle with hardly any head and no lacing. A few stray bits of off-brown foam float around and the beer itself is almost black, totally opaque.

Smell- Dark heavy cellar smells, roasted nuts, and a tang of alcoholic freshness.

Taste- Very well balanced and smooth. No discernible chocolate or roasting, rather mild sweetness and a bit of carbonation. Hints of nuts and coffee.

Mouthfeel- The carbonation pop is interesting very refreshing. Good palate coverage.

Drinkability- A very balanced, drinkable beer. Not too heavy which is good, not overpoweringly sweet either, worth a try.

Photo of Gehrig
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just delicious, Anchor Porter. Two fingers of tan froth top this nearly black gem. The nose is a little subtle for me, but nonetheless good--chocolate, nicely malted, hints of coffee and caramel. Quite flavorful--the chocolate is prominent, but coffee emerges, some caramel, overtures to fruit even in this rich, complex porter. Nicely done.

This could be better carbonated, though it is no slouch. Yet that doesn't change the fact that Anchor Porter has created a terrific, flavorful, easy-to-consume porter that ranks well with its American contemporaries. Not the top porter I've had, but well worth trying and enjoying.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: nice deep brown/black with a thick tan head that leaves a sticky coating on the glass

s: simple and clean: some light coffee malts with a little bit of alcohol warmth; some spiceyness as well as vanilla as well

t: again, really simple but good and well-balanced; some earthy tastes as well

m: so good; perfect natural carbonation; great creamy mouthfeel

d: so simple yet so delicious; well-balanced and near perfect

Photo of albern
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What more can one add here. The beer pours a thick, chewy, very dark roasted color with some reddish hints if held up to the light. The head is modest but a nice brown and it does retain and lace around the edges. The smell is delightful. This is sweet biscuity malts, chocolate, molasses, and caramel. The consistency is medium bodied, very creamy, and modestly carbonated. The carbonation is just right in that it's not over the top, nor flat. The taste is good, but I will part company a little with many of the reviewers in that the hoppy and almost citric bite detracts from the dextrin sweetness of the malts and the chocolate and caramel flavors. There might be some fig or apricot (what I call heavy fruit) flavors but only a tinge. The chocolate comes through as things settle a bit. The beer could be considered balanced, but there may be just too much hoppiness in there for what I was expecting. The taste is a small let down from the wonderful aroma of the beer. As for aftertaste, this is quite mild and the drinkability factor is good. One could have quite a few of these without worry. The ABV is light enough that you could indulge.

Photo of bobsy
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

650ml bottle picked up in the brewery's hometown and enjoyed back in Toronto.

VERY dark brown pour, verging on black, but revealing ruby at the edges when held up to the light. The mocha head laces prodigiously until it settles down to a wispy film for the last half pint. The aroma of rich roasted caramel malts is paired with a herbal hoppiness and figs.

The initial taste again reveals the caramel, but this is soon cut into by the leafy hops, which lend a pleasant bitterness to this drink. In fact, this is probably the only porter I've had where the hops have been given this prominence. Adding to this the melange of well-meshed traditional porter flavours of roasted malts, chocolate and mild coffee, and you have a winner. The mouthfeel is smooth, with perfect carbonation for the flavour. Dangerously drinkable.

This is an excellent hop-forward porter which still maintains an excellent balance. In the craze for the extreme and new classics like this should not be overlooked.

Photo of 86sportster883
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Anchor Porter is one of the best. I had forgotten how good, how balanced and how incredibly drinkable. The Anchor Porter achieves this without gimmicks, smoking, barrel-aging or coffee/chocolate/chicory/etc. additives. It's just a great porter that hits all the right notes and leaves you wanting for more.

It looks like a good porter, with a big tan head sitting atop a dark brown body. The aromas are an intoxicating blend of big roasted malts, toffee, sweet ripe dark fruit and a touch of alcohol. The body is smooth but not overly full.

The taste is pure enjoyment with aggressive dark malts being balanced by just enough hops, but never losing the upper hand. Dark chocolate, toffee, fruit, and other roasted malt flavors are followed by a drying mildly bitter finish.

For a beer style flooded with excellent examples the Anchor Porter is truly one that stands out.

Photo of knephews
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours one of the best, if not the best "heads" that I have ever seen, on any beer - thick, creamy - like melted ice cream, cappuccino like, slow to dissipate (be careful not to pour it too fast), hugs the side of the glass. The body of the beer is dark black.

S: Slightly Coffee-esque but not overpowering with a hint of sweetness.

T: The taste is a perfect combination of black coffee/Toffee, dark chocolate and burnt hops with a touch of caramel sweetness to lessen the bitterness. The favor is at the same time complex, layered and perfectly blended. A True Porter!

M: Smooth, full-bodied but not heavy.

D: Very good! With an ABV of only 5.6 %, makes a good session beer. I just picked up a case for myself recently to enjoy while watching the NFL playoffs.

Overall: A world class Porter! I have tasted other Porters and this is, without a doubt, one of the best Porters, if not the best, in the world.

Photo of PhageLab
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Dark brown brew with a single tip's worth of head, which settled to a small layer of froth and rode the whole way down. Lacing was there but spotted.

S - Potent chocolate hop combination smell. Also hints of pine and....cinder? Not sure but it's a very nice aroma.

T - Creamy initially, then chocolate malts in the middle, and an aftertaste that's both bitter and slightly smoked. Nicely balanced and quite tasty.

M - Light to medium bodied. Nice carbonation, and a decently dry finish.

D - Very good, this is an impressive porter and a sure bet. Definite recommendation here, can't wait to restock.

Photo of Natural510
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, foamy, sweet, tangy, thick, delicious.

The presentation of this porter is impressive, with a dark, opaque appearance and carbonation which lasts to the end.
The scent is sweet with fruit & molasses.
It is quite full-bodied in flavor as well...the molasses is coupled with a distinct taste of black cherries and tangy citrus with dry coffee-like aftertaste.
Lasts long in the mouth, and very drinkable due to the fact all its qualities meld together smoothly. This should work as an all-purpose dark beer, as it is both smooth and multi-faceted enough to keep any beer connessieur interested throughout.

Yet another high-quality offering from the Anchor company.

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a thick beige head that leave significant lacing on the sides of my snifter.

The aroma is very intriguing, like a caramel infused with dark fruits. Traces of vanilla and coffee give added depth. Definitely a good smelling beer, can't wait to sip.

The flavors start out with sweet malts and more dark fruits and a hint of molasses. A slightly bitter chocolate pops up for a second and then fades into a lightly toasted finish with hints of spicy hops.

Mouth feel is incredible, smooth and rich with a slight tingle from the moderate carbonation.

Overall an incredibly good porter. I dould drink several of these and never grow tired of the aromas and flavors.

Photo of jkdrummer
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not a big porter fan. Most porters are overly sweet or too burnt tasting but not with this beauty!

Pours a nice thick head that's tannish but almost brown. It's a rocky head with not much lace. The color is almost black with a little ruby when held up to the light. The taste though is fantastic. Not burnt and almost chocolate like. A slight bitterness without being in the way. Almost like a light coffee-ish stout.Very sweet and overall, the best porter I've had in a long time. Highly recommeded.

Photo of mnj21655
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle poured into a shaker pint glass at Sunset Tap & Grill

Poured a very dark brown in color with some ruby highlights at the edges when held to the light. About a finger of light brown head with a bit of lacing. Aroma was mostly of roasted malts, namely chocolate and a touch of black patent. Hop aroma was negligible and covered by the maltiness of this brew. Taste was good, chocolate, a touch of caramel, some burnt malts, dark fruits, and some subdued hoppyness. Mouthfeel was good, medium-ish body and carbonation. Drinkability was quite good, i really enjoyed this brew. No major faults, just a solid porter that I might use as a benchmark from now on.

Photo of cookin420
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pured into a pub glass.

pours black with oranges peeking through. Head is like root beer, and wicked thick. Hmmm The label is the exact color of the head. coincidence? Thick, sticky lace all over the glass. (I'm reviewing this from notes and just caught myself salivating heavily)

Smell is heavy roasty with a sweetness like a freshly brewed caramel latte. I smell alcohol and unadulterated malt.

Taste is really tasty roasty notes but the sweetness is not as present in the taste. More of a dry, roasty flavor almost a stout-like dry taste. the sweetness is a fruity one creating a truly unbelievable balance. Anchor makes ridiculously good shit. Without exception.

Mouthfeel is that silky, buttery, goodness that anchor is king of producing.

These are quite drinkable. Not heavy or too meaty to drink a bunch of.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,304 ratings.