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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,911 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,911
Reviews: 1,423
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 118
Gots: 123 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,911 | Reviews: 1,423 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of karengarys


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my few regularly stocked favorites.

It pours very dark, leaving a nice head that is light brown and moderate fluffy.

Carmel and banana aroma come to mind. A very nice smell.

The mouthfeel has a nice texture. Creamy. Fizzy. Smooth. It remains full throughout the entire time it is in your mouth, even as you swallow. It does not dissipate on the way down. Really cool.

The taste is amazing. I am not a porter person, but this is not the typical coffee bitter flavor I expect from a porter. It is sweet, malty, carmely, and has just enough hop to balance it. The hop is the kind I like, too - it is not the bitter type, it is more of a dry and refreshing hop. It is really good.

The finish is a continuation of the mouthfeel. It fizzes at the back of the throught on its way down. The back of the tounge senses a slight smooth coffee flavor as it disappears.

It does not leave a bad aftertaste. If there is any, it is somewhat sweet and acceptable.

This is a regular in my cooler.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2004 00:42:15 | More by karengarys
Photo of farHillsBrewer


4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my alltime favorite porters. It packs lots of deep flavors including roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, with a pinch of hops for bitterness and fragrance. It pours with a thick brown head that just sits there over a mysterious brown almost black body of flavor. The flavors swirl all around the tongue and fade with a bit of hoppy aftertaste. I also love it in a bottle. I always recommend it as a classic dark beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2004 02:24:30 | More by farHillsBrewer
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

here's what i love about anchor brewing: they don't try to brew anything weird like dfh or over the top like stone (not that there's anything wrong with either of those things), but rather, they concentrate on simply brewing world-class, damn tasty brews that are very faithful to their respective styles. the anchor porter is no exception. it pours a dark as hell brown to black colour with a big ole foamy off-white head. the aroma is off chocolate, malt, burnt wood, earth and a touch of caramel. simply solid and good all around. the flavour is spot on for a porter: it's big but not huge nor overwhelming. there's also a nice creamy texture to this one. the creaminess is mostly chocolate in nature and is complimented by a nice dose of burnt/roasted malt flavour. caramel is intermingled here and there as well as a touch of coffee and alcohol. spot on flavour, for the most part. i really have no complaints about this brew whatsoever. it may soon become a regular in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2004 20:57:05 | More by guinness33
Photo of tjd25


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice velvety brownish head, dense and lasting, on a very dark purple/mahogany color. The smell is complex and interesting: some fine chocolate trufle, some vinous notes of porto, and hints of overripe red fruits. The taste reproduces this complexity: chocolate and coffee have a deep effect on the tongue and the palate, being very smoky and roasted. A certain saltiness bites the tongue and makes this beer reminiscent of the sea(?), light hints of coconut announce the more fruity aspects of the brew together with sweet notes of citrus. Mouthfeel is great, sharp and consistent. Greatly robust and woody. A bit doughy. Nicely hoppy too. A pretty intense experience. It's like this beer were saying "there'll be no white flags and no peace talks". It doesn't let up. This is a beer for fighters, hunters and lovers. It probably doesn't fit in my favorite beers category, but I can definitely appreciate its qualities.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 22:33:31 | More by tjd25
Photo of crookedhalo


4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby brown with a volumnous light tan head. Served at about 55 degrees. Nose is toffee, coffee-ish and roasty malts; slight hoppy undercurrent, but predominantly malty and rich smelling, with a slight notion of toasted marshmallow. Roasty malt astringency hits the palate first, then the dark malts and light berry notes kick in, and finishes off with a slight hop dryness and further suggestions of chocolate and coffee. One of the better domestic porters out there. Flavors meld together well, especially at cellar temperature. Very smooth and enjoyable. Subtler carbonation is appropriate for this beer. I've done some vertical tastings between English porters and American counterparts, and I always seem to prefer the aggressive roasty maltiness of the domestic porters. I guess I'm just a patriot...

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2004 07:16:55 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy and thick but not too tight foam top and pitch black brown body. Nose was distinct, of sharp mint and rich vanilla, blowing off and already beginning to lighten the brew.

Total smoked layer that starts in the mouth and blows out into the throat, like charred bacon smoke. Candy sweet taste appears as another layer but is not overwhelming or syrupy like other porters. Rich roasted flavor and body fill the mouth. Carbonation level is great for a porter. Cleanish finish, but some dry hops lower their heads in as well.

Really never a dull moment drinking this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2004 18:22:17 | More by donnebaby
Photo of clvand0


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, dark color with a short, brown head, but a small amount hangs around. Nice chocolate, malty aroma and very little coffee. Low carbonation, but it's there. The flavor is mostly comprised of a malty, chocolaty flavor - very similar to the aroma. Roasted malts with an even bitterness. Very good and extremely smooth. One of my favorite porters to date.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 05:48:29 | More by clvand0
Photo of HardTarget


3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Slight chocolate, chocolate malt, creamy nose that I associate more with a Stout than a Porter.
Appearance: Black as night with only some carbonation bubbles showing up with serious back lighting. A dark tan head started but quickly calmed down to a thin cover. Slight edges of light come through on sips that look like Coke.
Flavor: Smells like a stout, tastes like a porter. More chocolate flavors come out in the taste, but so does the “dusty” or earthy taste I associate with porters. Nicely roasted malt flavor and a good balance of hops. There is a slight cola taste as well. Overall a fairly mild but complex taste that lingers nicely.
Mouthfeel: Medium- medium heavy body that triggers a slight chew, a bit fizzy and numbed the front of the roof of my mouth and lips. The carbonation level backed off deeper into the beer.
Overall Impression: I’m in the mood for a dark rich beer, and I sure found one. Great full taste, well balanced, roasted but not burnt. It’s filling as well, so it is tough to go for drinkability. This 1 pt. 6 oz. will scratch my beer itch nicely, but I could see revisiting this one again. A great American Porter, but not the best.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2004 03:37:18 | More by HardTarget
Photo of TongoRad

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Re-review on 2-17-06 due to a fresher sample

label dated 5NO (November 15, 2005)

Pours a dark, rich brownish black color with a tall cappucino colored long-lasting rocky head.

Aroma is magnificent- deep, complex and mature yet delicate and airy at the same time. Coffee, cocoa, dates, licorice, butterscotch and dried flowers combine in perfect unison.

The palate may be the real star here. It is not as complex as the bouquet but makes up for it with texture- sultry liquid velvet. Mocha is the dominant flavor component but the spices, fruit and flowers show up in the background. Respectable bitterness from hops and roasted grains is clean and quenching. Diacetyl comes on late into the first glass and continues through to the second.

What a beer- robust but not overly assertive, and it has a great personality to boot.


Pours a nice dark brown/ black color with a thick tan head.

Mild mocha-like aroma with some fruit and caramel in background.

Rich caramel flavor up front with chocolate and coffee backing it up. Nicely malty. Hops are there but unobtrusive. There is a lingering roast malt finish.

Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 17:18:07 | More by TongoRad
Photo of mntlover


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a beautifuk black with a fluffy tan head that leaves a good dose of lacing. Smells of toased malt with hints of caramel, coffee, toffee and fruit. Smells creamy and tasty. Taste is sweet malt flavor followed by lightly burnt malt with touches of caramel and coffee flavors. Finishes lightly bitter coffee flavors and hops. This is one good medium full bodied brew a nice solid porter. Drinkability is great this is a fine porter forgot how good it was, will not forget again!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2004 19:50:00 | More by mntlover
Photo of mynie


4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Goodness me. Pours as black as night with ruby hedges showing if it's held up to light. Pretty. Big head that stays and lacing to boot.

And it smells great. A twinge of coffee. A bitter and sweet smell. Not bittersweet. Bitter AND sweet. The scents do not counteract each other in anyway. They coexist in perfect harmony.

Taste smooth, very creamy with strong traces of chocolate and coffee. Maybe a hint of earth? Sometimes soil tastes good, though. The best part about this beer is the taste is leaves in your mouth after it's gone. It tingles, makes your mouth seem vaccous and makes you crave for more.

FULL body. Great body. This is the Halle Berry of beers. It's got that kind of body. Goes down smooth.

This is fine, fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2004 07:24:28 | More by mynie
Photo of twi1609372


2.6/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i know i will be the only "bad" review for this beer but i just didnt like it. looks nice, semlls nice, but i cant agree witht he taste. thick, but thick isnt always bad. just a bit too strong for my taste, maybe, but i like other dark beers, i am just unable to reconcile this taste as good in my mind.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 17:51:39 | More by twi1609372
Photo of surfmeister


3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big ,dark, bubbly volcano of brown to black lava. Massive foamball which threatened to explode from the glass. Malty, chocolatey aromas that fill your nose. Tastes of malt, coffee, chocolate, somewhat sweet with mild counterbalancing bitterness. Quite a taste experience. I, however would not want to drink many of these robust beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 05:23:50 | More by surfmeister
Photo of Ricochet


4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't pour beers so they have a head really, or very little. The one way I know this beer is something special are when small round bits of this beer form at the top of the glass. I have had only a few that did this, the Samuel Adams Triple Bock would be the most recent memory.

Smell is complex, like a fine wine, light fruity flavor but nothing else takes center stage.

Mouthfeel is excellent. There is so much flavor in this beer , leaves like a sweet tasting bourbon . Foams up on the tounge.

Taste? What can I say. By far the best porter I've had to date. It has notes of chocolate, notes of Trappist Ales, notes of coffee, just a bit bitter, and wrapped up with a perfect chocolate aftertaste.

I'd rank this as the best, traditional porter beers. As for my favorite porter, I respect the craft. Drinkablilty was only a 4 because I wouldn't enjoy more than one at a time in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2004 04:58:38 | More by Ricochet
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now I know why its their best rated beer. A superior porter, with all of the Anchor creamy easy on mouth mouthfeel/flavour. One of the few porters I desire again. Mocha bittersweet rather than chocolate and still rich, not too toasty coffee. Just easy and smooth. Roast, anise nice at end of meal, carbonation on tongue as it sooths it.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2004 04:24:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of Hibernator


4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I served this 12oz beer in a pint glass. Absolutely beautiful head. Around 3/4 -1 inch thick head.

The appearance was a dark black/ruby color. I taste an intense mix of hops, chocolate and hints of coffee flavors. All of these complexities make one serious beer.

The taste is so good...rich and creamy. Smooth mouthfeel. This is a quality beer and one of my favorite Porters to date.


Serving type: bottle

07-08-2004 00:21:37 | More by Hibernator
Photo of NEhophead


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large 1" milky, tan head with very nice retention. Plenty of carbonation. Tons of thick lacing that sticks throughout the entire glass. Pitch black coloration.

Beautiful malt-chocolatey goodness in the aroma. A creamy coffee nose. Wonderful aromatics that beg to be tasted.

Smooth, espresso/coffee flavor with a hint of vanilla. Almost tastes like a homemade coffee milkshake. A nice sweetness that compliments the flavors really well. Faint warming alcohol presence.

Very balanced. Chocolatey smoothness; It's a malty porter but very mellow at the same time. Not too heavy at all.

It's a bold porter, but I can't see myself ever getting sick of this one. I would be very content drinking only these all night.

This really is what a porter should taste like!

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2004 00:31:54 | More by NEhophead
Photo of Gagnonsux


4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Nice pitch black brew that leaves a short, creamy light brown head. Looks a lot like coffee to me.

Smell- Rich chocolate malt smells, very enjoyable to the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Creamy and malty. Very chocolate tasting and really rich for a beer. Complex flavor works on multiple levels. Finishes with a high level of sweetness.

Drinability- Too filling for more than a couple, but still a really great beer. Throughout drinking the appeal of Anchor Porter increases on my pallate. Not something I'd usually go for (a little too chocolatey and rich for me), but I still recognize a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2004 22:22:02 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my fav beer from the group at Anchor Steam. It was a nice rich chocolatey smell, with a tinge of hops, and the heaviness of malt there as well. The big thing was the chocolate though. The head was a pillowy/frothy beast that lasted a long time and left a nice impression on me over it. The taste was another good part to the brew. It was similar to the smell, but wasn't as strong on the chocolate, and rather blended and balanced out well. As for drinkability, it was hard to put it down. I couldn't get enough of it.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2004 18:01:32 | More by JISurfer
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Black with slight hint of red; topped with a 1/4 inch tan head.

Sharp raisin/prune aroma with a hint of chocolate underneath.

Roasted coffee flavors are the first to appear followed by burnt raisins and chocolate finish. An odd blend of flavors which make for an ok beer, but not one I would pursue in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2004 19:11:01 | More by cbl2
Photo of mattcrill


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a little foamy tan head that dissolves fairly soon. Smells smoky, coffee, carmel, and a hint of dried fruits. All in all, the smell says, "Drink me!". Tastes of carmel, coffee, roasted malts, and a sweet finish bombards your taste buds. This is just a great porter. Really bummed to see the bottom of the glass. I rank this up there as one of the best. There's a reason why this continues to be the classic example of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2004 04:11:22 | More by mattcrill
Photo of ken3c


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown. Thin wisps of foam. This beer doesn't slosh so much as it jiggles.

Prominent chocolate smell.

Chocolate, nutty, rich, and delicious. The bitterness rounds out the flavor and balances well.

Well carbonated for this style but it contrasts well with the thickness.

It's hard to drink more than of these at a sitting but I'll look forward to having one six day in a row.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2004 04:35:30 | More by ken3c
Photo of Gump


3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anchor Porter
Deep brown pour with a head so dense it doesn't move.
Roasted malty aroma which smells like it has a high ABV. Good mouthfeel with an initially sweet carmel taste.
Some very complex tastes and smells come from this one. Licorice and bready flavors with a unique bittersweet aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2004 00:55:37 | More by Gump
Photo of andyo


3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured jet black with a grey head.

Smell reminded me of smoked wood. First taste of this beer had a real alcohol aftertaste that i was not too fond of. This beer got better as it warmed up. Lots of cocoa, faint hints of rum and fruit. Very round mouthfeel- balanced. Seems like a decent beer, but one I couldn't drink too many of. I wish I liked this beer more...just not my cup of tea...er...beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 00:12:20 | More by andyo
Photo of beertaster13


4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark blackish/brown (coffee) color with a small cream tan head. Suprisingly not much lacing left on glass. Smells of smoked wood chips on a grill, earth tones and of course the roasted malt, mocha tone. Maybe a hint of honey or molasses. Taste is of grilled mocha chips and slight molasses. The malt sweetness is a flurish and the hops are a perfect balance to balance out the sweet taste. Full bodied and creamy porter, a drinkable porter for a dessert or with a meal, goes great with ice cream, couldn't drink more than 1 of these 22 oz bottles.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2004 22:38:38 | More by beertaster13
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,911 ratings.