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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: 117
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 FormatKid


4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this from Riverside Beverage as a part of a mixed sixer.

Pours out a nice solid black, ruby is only hinted at when backed by direct lighting. Perfectly formed light-brown head bubbles up a respectable 3 fingers-width. The lacing clings in chunky rings as the beer moves down the glass.

A dark fruitiness is the first thing I pick up in the nose, plums possibly. Sweet delicate chocolatiness and coffee backs it up, along with a faint alcohol smell and raisons.

Definitely a little different than any porter I’ve tasted before. There is more of a dark fruity/raison flavor than I would expect. Chocolate and coffee tones are there but a bit more subdued and play the back to that dense fruitiness. Sweet all the way through practically with only light twangs of earthy bitterness at the edges. Aftertaste is long-lasting, sweet and dense with light tones of grape-skin. Mouthfeel is a tad lighter than I would like, but it’s bearable.

This is most likely the most complex porter I’ve sampled to date. It’s deep, sweet, fruity, and robust….Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2004 03:03:01 | More by FormatKid
Photo of dedalus


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful beer. in the low light it filled the glass with deep black, and crowned off in a fluffy, off-white head that diminished to a thin cap by the time i got to the bottom of the glass.

lots of roast in the nose, with some dryish hints of cocoa and coffee. just a hint of sappy hops lurking under the broad, dark roast aromas.

aggressive carbonation slightly mars the mouthfeel. i also found myself wishing the beer were a bit thicker, but that might push it into stout territory, depending on the criteria by which you differentiate porters from stouts.

gorgeous flavors. black coffee and chocolate dominate, but the sappy bitterness of the hops comes through just enough to balance the roast and sweetness. reverse olfaction awakens some dark fruit (figs?) and some sweet, grainy, oatmealy flavors.

a must-have porter. some will enjoy the stingy carbonation more than others, but this is an assertively flavorful beer that can stand alone or accompany a good bowl of bean stew, chili, or vanilla bean ice cream.



Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 15:54:37 | More by dedalus
Photo of henrysunset


3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep as night with a nearly an inch nice tan head of medium-sized bubbles. Head fell quickly leaving fine lacing on glass.

Smells dark like a stout, hint of orange or apricot as well as the expected chocolate scents.

thin but tasty; same "bite" in the back of the throat as anchor steam's regular brew, but with a wonderful smooth choco/coffee aftertaste.

good value and very tasty. Will definitely be back for more. It tastes liek a perfect dessert beer, and it's priced to drink regularly.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 05:15:44 | More by henrysunset
Photo of PSUDREW


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Wow, I am VERY impressed with this porter.

It pours a pitch color. No light shall pass throught this thing. Also, a thick, creamy, frothy tan head on top of this beast. mmmMMM

The smells woody-spicy mix, very interesting

Now for the tase. It is a creamy, interesting mix of carmel, coffee, coco, with a nice hoppy bittering for effect. It has a dry, vannilly finish, which completement the main tastes very very nicely. I am very impressed with the bledning of flavors in the over-all product. Anchor proves themselves with this beer!

Thanks nvsblman for this one!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2004 02:53:00 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Have to give ANCHOR a 4.5/5 appearance since this is a solid dark, black with a khaki tight ¼ “ head cover. There is NO carbonation. Whao! This is almost as black as WEYERBACKER Black Hole. The retained head is like sand colored paint on used motor oil. That is the darkest lace I’ve ever seen.

Scents are a cross of deep mature malts and sweet woody hops. This is a somber Porter, almost an antique these micro-days.

Tastes of vanilla ice cream and roasted malts. 5.6% ABV. Bitter front taste aplenty, but finishes to a dark coffee. More of a roasted malty taste that pushes the hops out of the picture.

Last swigs: Just a quality all around solid tasty Porter. ANCHOR put craft beer on the map, baby!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 21:06:40 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


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

Pours into my glass like midnight oil and produces a generous caramel-colored, rocky head. The smells are fighting against the active smells at the bar. My nose picked up a major chocolate and coffee influence with an overall earthy smell.

The taste is wonderful - a full bodied, rich almost dessert beer. It is a great combination of chocolate malts, prune, and coffee-style bitters. The beer moves slowly over the tongue and swallows like a creamy milk stout. This beer was wonderful and I immediately ordered another one.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2004 16:44:07 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of RootedFool


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

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours black with a ruby-flecked mahogany aura. The head is a quarter inch tall, creamy, frothy, chocolate milk in color and leaves some nice pasty swaths of lace on the glass.

Smell is rich -- light chocolate, light coffee, a dash of prune juice, I even pick up on hints of caramelized banana. Overall: sweet, with a crusty bitter shell.

Taste opens with a deep, roasted bitterness that almost immediately sweetens up in the middle -- espresso slightly sweetened with caramel -- and closes on burnt chocolate and espresso splashed notes that linger long on my palate. Wonderful.

Best porter I've ever had -- full of character, depth, thoroughly interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 00:26:27 | More by RootedFool
Photo of cerevisiaephilus


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very nice nose on this beer. Sweet notes. Not so much chocolate or roasty in the nose. Some good caramel notes. Flavor is very nice, but I couldn't tell it was a porter. Very subdued chocolate and/or roasted flavors. I taste a lot more caramel or maybe munich malts than dark ones. Very little hops, nice sweet finish with just a touch of darker malts behind the tongue. Really has a nice body as well, very smooth. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2004 03:11:04 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of jimdkc


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown with a smallish, creamy brown head that soon fades to a thin film. Smell is sweet roasted malts. Taste is roasted malt, mild dark chocolate notes, with an earthy, herbal hop bitterness at the finish. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Dry finish. Overall, a very good example of an American Porter. I'd buy it again!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2004 11:49:29 | More by jimdkc
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark brown with garnet highlights. It's very nearly opaque and is, therefore, one of the darker porters that I've seen. The light brown head is on the large side, is somewhat stiff and leaves lace in chunky, broken rings. The nose could be stronger: roasted malt with some chocolate and a whiff of hops. I had to get my nose deep into the glass to appreciate those aromas. Perhaps it'll open up with time and warming.

This is one flavorful porter! It tastes like well-kilned black malt, chocolate liqueur, weak coffee, hops and a little smoke swirled in for good measure. I got all that at an estimated 55 degrees, so this should be quite the flavor bomb closer to room temperature. It starts out sweet, becoming less sweet as the mouthful progresses, but never does achieve dryness. The mouthfeel is impressively smooth and creamy and the relatively low ABV makes it quite the session beer.

I'm impressed. I'm a lover of IPAs and I like Anchor Liberty Ale, but Anchor Porter just might be the better beer. It hits all the right notes from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2004 23:27:04 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of necoadam


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

Anchor is really starting to grow on me. When I first tasted their steam beer, it took awhile to get used to the taste. Now that I had their porter beer, I might actually their barleywine, (I dislike barleywines though). This poured out a nice black color with a head that went away quickly. First thing that hits the nose is the toffee and caramel. Perhaps a hint of butterscotch as well, but very faint. Taste is superb. Nice roasted malts make up this brew. Some toffee is also present, but not much. It's also very smooth and creamy. Probably rivals the Taddy Porter for one of the best porters out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2004 00:53:27 | More by necoadam
Photo of rdrummer

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark, brown to black pour with slight reddish tinge when held to the light, almost opaque. The dark tan head is large and the tannish lacing pronounced. The aroma is one of chicory and coffee with a slight caramel undertone. The main taste is a big hit of grainy malt with definite coffee flavors. This is a thick, wonderful beer in the mouth. I very well brewed porter. One that tastes good at first drop and improves as it warms. It almost demands a second.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2004 23:32:39 | More by rdrummer
Photo of brewQ


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

A strong chocolate colored head looks tasty. The aroma is not particularly strong but is pleasant and malty.

I've been sampling a few Porters lately and really like this one's flavor. Nicely balanced, sweet but not cloying of the senses.
That seems to be key. This is a drinkable porter that is not watery.

I have to admit I am a big fan of Anchor products. I don't think I have had one I did not like. They were also a great tour stop a few years back.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2004 14:18:51 | More by brewQ
Photo of Southernbrew


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost completely black. Small brown head.

Smells of sweet malts and slight caramel, touch of fruit.

Medium body, light carbonation. Light fruitiness, touch of caramel-sweetness and roasted coffee. Goes down very smooth. Medium aftertaste of roasted coffee.

Fantastic porter, perfectly balanced in every way.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2004 17:27:09 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of coasterfreak75

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was excellent, very dark brown bordering on black with a nice one inch head that faded to a light ring of foam. The smell was very malty lots of sweet overtones, very slight burnt sugar smell. The taste is where this porter left alot of others in the dirt. Very sweet start and just the right amount of hop bite in the middle followed by a clean sweet finish. This may be the best porter I've ever tasted. A very drinkable beer, very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 01:14:04 | More by coasterfreak75
Photo of AndIWantYou


3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautifully black in the glass, tastes of roasted coffee, hops, and a bit of an alcohol flavor. Also a bit of a vegetable flavor, but not in a bad sense. I like this beer quite a bit and appreciate the complexity of flavors that Anchor has put together. My only problem is that I don't smell as much in the vapors as I taste in the liquid.

Overall a fine porter to be enjoyed again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 01:10:51 | More by AndIWantYou
Photo of sulldaddy


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

I pour this brew at room temp into my snifter. A soft creamy, tan head foams up about 1 inch easily. The brew pours jet black and no light gets through the glass.
Aroma is mostly malt with chocolate and roastiness dominating. Also some general sweetness, molasses or burnt sugar?
Very faint earthy hop character comes through as well.
First sip revelas a rich thick body with creamy texture, soft gentle carbonation is present.
The flavor is rich and dominated by malty chocolate and roasted malt hits. Again faint earthy hops come through. This brew is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Glad I grabbed one of these.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2004 04:18:16 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a black color with a thin tan colored head. Some very light lacing developed on the glass just above the surface through the drink. The aroma is of roasted malt and some sweetness. The flavor is great as the roasted malt is balanced with mild coffee and chocolate tones, and maybe a hint of molasses (or something else producing some light sweetness).

The mouthfeel is smooth and carbonation levels were nice. This is a medium bodied beer. Great drinkability as I could have several of these in a session. One of my favorite porters.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2004 12:46:23 | More by Gavage
Photo of Beersignal

Quebec (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark as unsweetened chocolate, gives off ruby highlights like an LBV port wine when held to the light. Creamy beige colored foam adorned the top of the beer but disappeared too quickly leaving behind only a thin film. An elegant bead emerged from the glass for the duration of the assessment.

1st smell yielded aromas of malt, demererra sugar, alcohol and faint aniseseed. Quite pleasant! In the follow-up semi-sweet chololate and hints of toffee could be detected along with distant odors of smoke and black cherries. This is a beautifully complex beer.

Medium to full bodied beer, fully textured and creamy as it dispersed in my mouth. The tastes were as varied as the aromas. Toasted cereal, malt, alcohol and fruit (cherries, raspberries, and bananas) all were followed by bitter chocolate in the back. The aftertaste was a long, powerful and sustained bitterness, reminescent of a good barleywine, accompanied by mild tartness.
Huge finish!

Very enjoyable beer as a desert or nightcap. Complex, big and flavourful, easy to pin down its different smell and flavour components. Gains a great deal of complexity as it warms from cellar temp. to room temp. I have two left... will miss them when they're gone (not available in Montréal! That's a crime)

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 16:10:18 | More by Beersignal
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours a black color and is topped by a thick, creamy, paper-grocery-bag brown colored head. Sweet roasted malt, molasses, coffee, and chocolate aromas emanate from my glass. A medium level of body and a fruity sweetness marry well with the other flavors that are in the beer. Roasted notes are here but somewhat subdued, notes of chocolate, and lots of dark fruit are here as well. A very well integrated porter that I can always count on and enjoy. Early on this was one of the best porters out there, and it still can hold its own against today’s contenders for the porter crown.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2004 19:36:27 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of pheurton


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

extremely dark bodering on complete black except for a few ruby brown highlights when held to the light. tight and creamy light brown inviting head, that does a good job of hanging around. roasted barley, cocoa, and light herbal hop nose. full, chewy body with what seems like the perfect level of bubbles. full roasted barley flavor with significant but not over the top chocolate notes. finishes dry with an herbal hop twang. the end of the glass leaves you begging for more.

if there's a better version of a plain porter out there, i've yet to try it. an exceptional beer that gets high marks for its overall flavor, body, and drinkability. a winner for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2004 21:07:20 | More by pheurton
Photo of simmons

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a really nice tasting porter and has a great feeling when it slides on down your throat. When poured it is a nice dark beer with a pretty good lasting head. The taste stays strong to a porter and just is really tasty. You can taste the malt all throughout the beer and it has a good blend of hops thrown into it to level it out just right. This is my idea of a great porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2004 19:49:07 | More by simmons
Photo of Mark


4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid beer from Anchor. Deep dark color, thick tan head, nice lace. Subtle roasted flavor complimented by restrained bitterness. Chewy mouthfeel yet not filling. A very nice drinkable porter. I prefer the taste of this beer to say Fullers or Deschutes.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2004 22:56:49 | More by Mark
Photo of jackndan


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Anchor Porter: from a nice looking sloped brown bottle. Pours a deep brown, with a hint of garnet when held up to a strong light. The head ain’t much to write home about, a fairly aggressive pour left only an inch of head, which settled fairly quickly to a thin skin on the top.

The aroma was quite strong, and I’m able to smell roasted malts even when the glass is sitting at least 18 inches away.

The initial impression is a very silky smooth and rich mouthfeel, allowing the roasted malts to really assert themselves. There is a light carbonation that interestingly allows the aftertaste to cling for a substantial period of time. This is a robust, very tasty porter, with very nice roasted malt tastes, and a bit of hops to add a wee bit of balance. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2004 22:58:25 | More by jackndan
Photo of mschofield


4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very well carbonated deep brown/black, with a creamy four finger dark khaki head. Leaves thick blotches of webbed lace.
Robust caramel and roasted malt aroma, flowery and earthy in the back.
Very richly flavored, chocolate, anise, caramel, like a dark chocolate covered caramel. Burnt bread bitterness.
Would match well with BBQ or chili.
Medium body, smooth, light bite, great the first time, and great after you've had a few.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 22:37:35 | More by mschofield
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,911 ratings.