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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

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3,277 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,277
Reviews: 1,468
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 150
Gots: 269 | 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: 3,277 | Reviews: 1,468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black... light has no place here... laces the glass like a gay frenchman on a bender.
Tastes almost... Belgian; definitely some dark fruit notes, predominantly raisins; deep roasted malty flavors. Hops play a key role here, keeping it from being overtly, overly sweet. Dries up the experience just enough. The odors mirror the taste.
Rich and chocolaty. Spikes of brown sugar from time to time.
This is a way good porter. Anchor's best beer in my experience. A special beer.

Photo of acrawf6
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep dark brown with a dark head. head foams down but a layer does sit on top through the beer. good lacing.

Smell. lots of licorice smell and roasted malts. a hoppy tanginess is there too. Also has some coffee, toffee and a little sweet vanilla.

Taste is also heavy on licorice and toffee. pretty hoppy too. small coffee flavors, but they come through more in the aftertaste, as well as bitter chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel is good. great balance and good carbonation. a full flavor, but not very full. its good.

Overall a great porter. very solid beer, and pretty available. not a bad price either.

Photo of maddamish
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Minimal head but it laces nicely.

If molasses is your thing then please step up and try this beer.

This porter tastes like it smells and smells like it tastes. Which isn't a bad thing but the taste is a bit watered down. There are some background coffee notes going on here but the molasses is taking center stage here.

Not a bad beer but it is a bit one noted. Not much depth otherwise.

Breakdown: A one trick pony that does it's one trick very well.

Photo of PatYoda
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Anchor Porter. A regular in my beer fridge, this is definitely a desert island beer for me.

Appearance is very dark brown with a cream colored head that sticks around as a ring around the glass for some time. It leaves no lacing.

The smell is richly inviting. Warm, malty breadiness surrounded by dark ripe fruit. There is some coffee in here, and definitely some caramel. Also tons of sweet milk chocolate. So complex and decadent.

The taste is simply spectactular. Imagine a chocolate caramel brownie dipped in some red wine to start. Then throw in some sort of herbal/spicy hoppiness and maybe some cinnamon. Very sweet, and balanced only by a mild hop bitterness in the finish and the herbal character. This beer just begs you to drink it for dessert along with some chocolate covered strawberries and see if you can survive.

Mouthfeel is very full and thick with adequate carbonation to keep things moving. The keyword here is rich. It is so rich that this is the only thing that hinders its drinkability. Other than that, I could have several in a night. This is simply a world class porter.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An often overlooked great beer. Everyone should keep stock in their fridge. Pours a nearly-opaque brown-black with hints of dark ruby highlights. Moderately carbonated and shows good proteins and retention. Smells unmistakenly chocolate and coffee with a light toffee sweetness and a mild lactose softness. Tastes boldly of bittersweet cocoa, columbia coffee, roasty and toasty. Lightly hopped for balance, but not flavor. A soft sweetness lingers into the aftertaste. Has a full, rich, soft feel to the mouth with a lightly roasty bitter finish. The acidity seems a bit high, combined with roastedness and a light scrubbed carbonation, are the only factors keeping this beer out of my top 10.

Photo of orfeu
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Dark brown coffee, just light enough so you know it's not a stout -- but pretty dark all the same! Light brown crater-pocked head. Aromas of coffee, caramel and earthy (almost like compost) hops. Earthy pine bitterness from the hops is the first thing I notice about the taste. A caramel malt sweetness climbs aboard after rounding the horn with a metallic bite at the finish, which is followed by an espresso roast aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel for the most part with a satisfyingly dry finish. This is simply a superb porter -- one of the best I've ever had. It's pretty rich for a porter which shaves a couple points off the drinkability for me, but damn fine nonetheless. Damn fine, indeed...

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.07/5  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!

Photo of Enola
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of doubleipa
3.97/5  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.

Photo of beeroclock
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.94/5  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.

Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
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...

Photo of pjwilson
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of jlh8643
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of Jredner
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of Byeast
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of pentathlete
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of MrHolland
5/5  rDev +22%
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 ++.

Photo of zerk
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
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.)

Photo of akajimmyd
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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)

Photo of danielocean03
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of Absumaster
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of battlekow
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,277 ratings.