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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,065 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,065
Reviews: 1,438
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 132
Gots: 185 | 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: 3,065 | Reviews: 1,438 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of phishgator
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is into an Imperial pint glass; nice thick carbonated tan head. the opaque brown shows no light through it and the head stay thick throughout the session. The smell is of rich roasted coffee almost burnt. The taste is much the same as the smell. The roasted coffee dominates with tones of malt and a strong presence of hop bitterness at the end; there seems to also be an astringent taste that I can't place. This astringent taste feels acidic in the mouth and the body can leave you full after just one or two. Still an excellent porter for anytime of the year.

phishgator, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of unknownlamer
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was an interesting beer. It poured a dark brown with a perfectly sized light brown head. It smelled really nice too with sweet caramel, fruit, and roasted malt smells coming through. It looked and smelled delicious. Even as I drank it the lacing was thick and sticky. Visually it was a work of art.

The taste, however, was boring. It has a bit of a roasty and toffeeish flavor without any real complexity, and no real bite at the end (even for a porter). It was quite a bit thinner in the mouth than I expected too.

The one thing it has going for it is the way it pairs with food. I drank a bottle of this with some roast beef and they worked really well together. Still, that doesn't make up for the overall blandness. This isn't worth $10 a six pack to me.

unknownlamer, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of Phatz
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: This beer comes in a very unique short stubby bottle. A good addition for bottle collectors.

Appearance: This beer pours motor oil back, with a slight red hue (maybe mahogany). Looks black as it sit in my beer stein. Huge 3 finger muddy brown head, very thick. Nice lacing.

Smell: I got little out of the smell. It was not very aromatic, but after searching I did find a bit of burnt chocolate, toffee and a distinct toastedness to it.

Taste: Sweet smooth malts and maple syrup. It had a bit of 'red' to the malts (whatever that means). The aftertaste had a bit of green floral hops that left a slight bitter taste on the tip of your tongue. Overall rather balanced.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin; light / medium; OK for an American Porter. (I tend to prefer the English). The mouthfeel was creamy and very smooth, also a bit syrupy.

Drinkability: Not incredibly interesting but adequately tasty and quite easy to drink. That makes this a very good everyday porter but nothing super special.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of maek228
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a porter by which all others could be judged by

Appearance: Dark black with a thin one finger head. Sadly, this head did not last long at all. By my third sip the head thinned out considerably. Next time, I'll give it a harder pour.

Smell: What a strong and wonderful scent this beer gives off! The smell is sweet, chocolately, and mildly robust. It smells of rasperries swimming in a pool of dark chocolate and capucino.

Taste: The coffee characteristics take the forfront, but they are backed up by hints of dark chocolate and earthy flavors. This paves the way for medium range hops that linger in your mouth and mesh with the coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel: crisp carbonation. for a porter this is refreshing

Drinkability: I could session this porter.

maek228, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ohhh yes!! Never tried the Anchor porter, only had their steam beer and that was a long time ago. Pours a nice almost black in color with a tan head. Taste is incredible, cocoa powder, raisins, roasted malt all blends perfectly. Finishes a bit sweet. I love it!! A bit pricey but worth seeking out.

Manosbeeroffate, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of Muddybuddy
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is opaque and clean looking around the edges when held to the light. No cloudiness at all, but rather a reddish brown just visible. Small to medium sized bubbles create a dark tan head that remains for quite a while (10-15 minutes) and leaves "islands" of foam afterwards. Lacing appears as I drink.

The aroma is that of a low hops bitterness with a higher bitter or toasted grain smell. There are notes of chocolate like a dark chocolate cake maybe and the estery smell of black cherries.

The flavor is smoky like a well toasted ryebread with the grain flavors showing through, not the yeast. Slightly chocolate with some acidity like a coffee. There is slight alcohol warming, but ever so small.

The mouthfeel is thicker with carbonation at a lower level. It is just about right as it tickles the palate but dissipates very quickly leaving the flavors of the beer.

Overall this is a very drinkable beer as far as darker beers go. This could even be a session beer depending on your tastes.

Muddybuddy, Dec 07, 2005
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,065 ratings.