1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,066 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,066
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,066 | Reviews: 1,438 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrived at table in a 23 ounce glass black as tar. The light showing through the glass had a slight reddish tint in the black beer. The head lasted throughout the sample and let lacing on the glass. The aroma was hops, fruity with hints of roasted/chocolate. The flavor is roated and hoppy bitterness. Also you find chocolate in the flavor. Those flavors last into a smooth bitterness that makes it hard to decide if the finish is bitter due to hops or due to roated. The body is good and the drinkabiltiy is good as well.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil. Christ, it's beautiful! Black with thick creamy brown head. lacy. Settles a la Guinness but more quickly. A perfect looking brew. Smells smoky and lightly of chocolate. Very nutty smelling.

Taste has lots of that nutty flavor to it as well. Malty with coffee flavors. Also some hints of bitter chocolate but the nuttiness rules this beer. Bitter-sweet finish. Smoky with a thick mouthfeel. Damn this is a good porter. Complex and just plain tasty. Very drinkable for me.

Haven't picked any of this up in years. Not the best but a great robust big porter.

ViveLaChouffe, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of Dubblebock
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow...this is one meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy beer. This is probably Anchor's most muscular offering in terms of taste. It's a dark, rich, and creamy brew, full of malty flavors and well-carbonated. I enjoy this beer whenever I can get it. It's fantastic to spend a little quiet time with....maybe the evening newspaper or a good book. I wouldn't use it as a session beer, but I could see throwing one or two of these back on a dark, stormy night...fireplace roaring....dog at my feet...

It opens with a distinct wallop of malts on the nose. Slight hints of fruit are there, but the roasted malts soon overwhelm any other tastes. Bitter at first, it evened out over the course of the mug. Sample pours with a creamy head that didn't hang around as long as I would have liked. Taste was dominated by the malts, the roasted grains lending rich character to the beer. Mouthfeel was awesome. This beer has an incredible natural carbonation. Drinkability was good, but I'd have a hard time downing more than two or three of these at a sitting. It's a fine beer to appreciate, but the malts would begin to overwhelm me over time.

Dubblebock, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi-sweet aroma of dark roast and slight fruit.
Huge full tan head. Black as night, with brown-red hues in the light.
Very good dark malt and roast flavors. Fairly simple really, but rich, without being sweet and a satisfying malt dryness with long lingering. Some fruitiness present, esp. as it warms.
Quite thick at first, but seems thinner when finishes. Has a somewhat gritty quality.
Very good porter.

garymuchow, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thick tan head that leaves a little bit of lace on the glass as it subsides slowly. This beer is black with a hint of ruby light that can be seen when you hold this up to the light. Aroma is rich with dark carmel malt and a touch of chocolate. Taste is rich and smooth which begins with dark sweet malt that is covered in a dry chocolate which balances perfectly. The mouthfeel is perfect as it gives this brew a smooth creamyness during the initial taste and also adds a bit of flavor to linger on the tongue which makes you want to take another drink. Very high drinkability as this is a very flavorful session beer that goes down well with only an average level of alcohol.

RenoZymurgist, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of BeerBard
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There was a knock on the door...so I opened the door slowly, and there was this dark ebony-colored woman there...staring straight at me and foaming at the mouth a bit. I didn't know what to think, so I collected my senses and "took in" the situation slowly. I could smell something nice, kind of caramel-like, or like toffee. I suspected it was her perfume? I mean she looked rather pleasant despite the foaming, so why couldn't she have toffee perfume on her? I don't know why, but I felt I should lick her to test my theory...so I did! My mouth was instantly filled with a rich syrupy flavor of the same coffee (and maybe chocolate too?), that I'd smelled. It was simply wonderful! I felt I was transported to Heaven, but realized a moment later she had slapped me on the head and had started runing away. I ran after her, my tongue wagging like a hot dog...I wanted to drink all I could from her chocolaty chalice! But she was faster than me and got away. Now, whenever I wanted to be transPORTERed to a better place, I think of her and the pamphlets she left on my doorstep as she ran away leaving me longing for her. She was in a class by herself.

BeerBard, Oct 25, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany with a big foamy cracklin head. Smells very subtly of coffee and nuts.

The taste is something to behold. A slow wave of coffee turns to chocolate turns to cherry bathes your tounge. Incredibly smooth, dark, and complex. I don't hand out 5's for taste freely, this gets one. Mouthfeel is dead on for a porter. Solid, without being overbearing. Carbonation is moderate at best, whch suits this beer well.

A stellar porter. I kick myself for walking by it at the store so many times.

yankeeheel, Oct 23, 2003
Photo of edchicma
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm.. another great offering from Anchor. Beautiful almost black color with a nice head.... Some lacing ..Nice malty aroma....taste was extremely balanced with no excessive malt or hops...nice mouthfeel...extremely smooth....drinkability was above average.

edchicma, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of Nytemare
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at The Flying Saucer in Addison Texas. Arrived in a pint glass. Very dark brown with a tan head. Not much head, but a little. Smelled of dark ripe fruit and roasted dark malt. Tasted much the same. Very sweet ripe fruit up front with a roasted dark malt back bone. Rich and creamy mouthfeel. Very full bodied. I like this porter. Not the greatest I've had, but it's good. I think I prefer this from the bottle, and next time I get it I'll review the bottle, but this was still good. Maybe it was a little outdated and that's why it wasn't as good, I don't know, but alas, still a tasty brew.

Nytemare, Oct 13, 2003
Photo of DESTRO
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out almost complete black with a small brown head that leaves a nice lace. smells of sweet molasses, chocolate and fruits. a nice fruity taste (figs) teamed with a sweet molasses/burnt chocolate flavor and little hops for a slight spicy kick. nice and smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation that makes the toungue tingle. awesome beer with some real strong flavors going on. good stuff.

DESTRO, Oct 10, 2003
Photo of silks636
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle. Cryptic Anchor bottling code on label.

Appears dark brown to near black. Edges of the glass fade to a translucent black cherry red. Rocky taupe head with a light red tint. Excellent retention and sheets of sticky lace. A quick smell reveals chocolate, coffee, and a touch of fruit and alcohol. Taste starts off heavy with chocolate malts which remain present throughout. Toward the end, a more burnt chocolate with molasses, coffee, and grain flavors prevail. Gentle hops are barely detectible. Finish is pleasantly dry with a burnt aftertaste that quickly subsides.

This is the brew that comes to mind when I think of Porter. Surprisingly drinkable for something so rich. A little on the sweet side for my tastes, but a solid offering nonetheless.

silks636, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of Dmann
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came well recommended and it did not let me down at all. It poured a very dark brown with a nice big brown head that lasted quite awhile before leaving a nice lace around the glass. The smell was more on the chocolate side but still had a little coffee scent as well. The taste had a slight smokyness to it that was very pleasing and the burnt chocolate flavors really stood out for me. The mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I was expecting from a beer that poured this thick, but it was very nice. This is one of the most drinkable porters I have had and I will most definantly get it again.

Dmann, Oct 05, 2003
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I’ve always liked Anchor Brewing’s beer. Their porter is no exception.

In my opinion it’s not the “best” porter I’ve quaffed, I consider it a consistent above average brew. I find Anchor porter’s faults minor. In fact, I use it as a reference with which to compare other porters.

It pours from the bottle with a certain “heft” that makes me anticipate a definitive beer experience..

The chocolatey liquid dives into the glass with an effervescence that coalesces into a creamy head. Although somewhat short lived, the light brown foam laces the walls of my tasting glass.

The beer’s mild nose emits aromas of toffee, caramel, smoked malt and coffee. The aromas are not vibrant, but their presence does foretell the flavor that lies ahead.

I taste smoked malt, hops and a smattering of coffee flavors all bound by a bitterness with some minor acidity classically characteristic of the porter brewing style. The taste signature of brown ales I’ve sampled present themselves in this beer. In many ways, this beer is somewhat of an enigma. As I understand it, porters were traditionally blended ales and light ales, but Anchor Porter whispers “stout”, then in the same breath “brown ale”. Perhaps that’s the true nature of a porter.

The beer is lighter bodied than other porters I’ve tasted. Personally I find the heavier bodied porters more appealing. I’m willing to admit my love of the Stout brewing style invokes a certain prejudice when tasting dark colored beers.

The mouthfeel is very pleasant. The unmistakable ale presence along with the malt and bitterness notes on my taste buds dissipates into a clean lasting finish. Alcohol is not as prominent as I might have anticipated.

In conclusion- I could drink quantities Anchor Brewing’s porter everyday without tiring of it.

gueuzeonhigh, Oct 04, 2003
Photo of steelreign
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my. Believe the hype. This is one of those brews that come around once in a lifetime in the sense that it really tastes like no other porter I have ever had. Dark brown pour with off white head that stays around for a little bit, then goes. A whirlwind of aromas...toffee, caramel, coffee, roasted nuts, hops, wow! Just fantastic.

The aromas translate almost identically to the taste. Very nice blend of sweet malty toffee, hops, cocoa, and coffee. Not bitter at all, prominent display of malts. Sweet to an enjoyable level. Smooth, almost effortless consumption - perfect carbonation. So quaffable and oh so enjoyable. To find a better porter will be quite an achievement!!

steelreign, Sep 29, 2003
Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights. Danse light brown head formed quickly and eventually settled into a nice sized ring. Sweet prune and plums in the aroma. Flavor reminded me of dry roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate. Left a drying bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Medium bodied... almost medium-full.

jreitman, Sep 29, 2003
Photo of Kwak
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The small little brown bottle could barely hold the flavor back. I popped the top to let this one breath and like a smack in the face I caught the aroma of toffee and caramel.
I poured it and was shocked by the red/dark brown color, a thick tan head formed as the silky smoothie liquid settled the taste was almost thick and chewy the lightly burnt malt mixed with the perfect balance of hoppes made this one creamy beer. The was a slight fading toffee taste that lingered in the finish. I would definitely go back for seconds!!

Kwak, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of Stingray5
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours black with a substatial tan head. Very nice. Nutty, smokey, dark fruit aroma. A certain fluffiness to the mouthful that is quite pleasing. Taste is a nice bitter malt with dark chocolate and espresso notes. Finishes with more bitterness and hops, yes hops, provide a really nice balance.

This is my first Anchor. It certainly will not be the last.

Stingray5, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of SetarconeX
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Delightfully dark, with a wonderfully dark brown head. A good looking little beer, to be sure. The smell's malty and nicely toasted, and the taste follows almost exactly. Somewhat sweet up front, with a toasted finish that seems to completely lack bitterness.

This brew is the quintessence of good porter. Nothing unusual or unique, but instead takes the standards and does them to perfection. A lot of beers could learn from this one.

SetarconeX, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of woemad
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A superb porter, among the best I've sampled. Poured a deep dark black with a rapidly dissipating tan head. Smell is of dark fruit toasty malt and dark chocolate. Flavor is a delightful mix of toasted malt and dark chocolate, with a little bit of raisin lingering in the background, finishing with a delightful dryness. The mouthfeel was very creamy, and I would rate this as one of the most drinkable porters I've encountered.

woemad, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of Andreji
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#7 of the All americans.

Pours a thick and completely black tone with a chocolatey brown medium head, that, as it fades leaving only a small coating and ring with a tad of lacing, becomes more and more tan.

Nice strong smell, prevailing are the hops, but with a few coffee and chocolate perceivable aromas, and some malt.

The taste, dry and slightly carbonated, with a nice coffee like flavour and much of the malts to be present. A well balanced bitterness at the end, relatively sharp and just a bit sour.

This is a good american beer, worth having.

Andreji, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of indiapaleale
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Anchor porter is a well balanced and very flavorful porter. It has a nice dark amber tint and a great feel in the mouth. I love the way Anchor packages its products and the labels just make it look like a quality beer, and it is. Pour this one into a nice glass and enjoy.

indiapaleale, Aug 28, 2003
Photo of MediocreatBest
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

my frst Anchor brew...not as thick as many other Porters, but by no means watered down....Coffee taste and smell, but an oddly potent taste of alcohol, it might sound like a negative, but it isn't really potent as much as it is more noticable the in most beers...overall a good beer, and easy to drink, but not the best of porters...

MediocreatBest, Aug 27, 2003
Photo of far333
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dar, dark brown with garnet coming out where the light can get through. A brown head sits atop, but quickly settles. Aroma is faint, but smells of molasses and fig. Flavor is sweet coffee and brown sugar, with raisin and prune. Finishes with some molasses flavor and a bitter coffee and raisin flavor lingers. The aftertaste sweetens and warms the back of the mouth with dark brown sugar. Very well-balanced and smooth, with moderate carbonation and smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Too bad I have just this one bottle.

far333, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of ngandhi
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The starless night slowly overcome by clouds. Black body. Enticing tan head that settles down to an off-white eighth to quarter inch. A little fizzy, but not as much (as bad?) as Sierra Nevada Porter.

Smell: Dark, dry malt.

Taste: There's almost a sweetness garnered from Anchor Porter's dryness because it's so damn juicy like a stoved virginia flake pipe tobacco. Rich roasted malts that call into question the line between porter and stout.
Light phenol. Nutty. A lot of coffee and subdued chocolate comes out with the beer's creaminess. Finish is burnt, but controlled.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy but goes down without a hitch; a bowling ball down a well-greased lane.

Drinkability: Anchor Porter weighs a little heavy in the stomach and was a moderately difficult midday drink for me with a meal (I'm a vegetarian). This would gorgeously complement any rare or medium rare steak or, better yet, a nice piece of lamb (both of which I used to eat a lot of). Though I think all good beer stands on its own, there's no doubt that the right food would help bring some delicate sweetness out of this beer that is otherwise short. The alcohol content is perfect; exceptional brewing technique and standards. Certainly not an all-day drink, but on an early fall night, as the dead leaves just begin to hit the air, this would be spectacular.

Notes: I prefer a slightly sweeter, less burnt style. but Anchor Porter is part-and-parcel what a porter should be, an expert execution of style. The malts are thick and chewy and eventually overpower each other which is why I know there's better out there. The bottle says the beer is balanced with hops, but I have a tough time finding them -- perhaps only there for bittering.

Pull the boat into harbor, throw down your Anchor, and stay a while -- the water is fine.

Relax, relax.

ngandhi, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of StevieW
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. A pleasant surprise at Jim and Nick's Barbecue in Birmingham, AL.
Dark, shiny, deep brown color. Nice huge foamy fluffy beige head, creamy and about a 1" thick. Great looking beer in a pint glass. Full roasted bitter smell. Subtle smooth bittersweet chocolate as well. Super smooth taste is a combination of the same bittersweet chocolate and snappy hop bitterness to clean things up. Carmel and toffee sweetness also add to the flavor experience. Sweetness and bitter hop smack seem perfectly balanced to me. Just the right touch of roasted bitterness as well. Sharp bitterness and soothing chocolate finish, with hints of toffee as well. Tastes and smells erupted as the glass sat a bit. Medium to full bodied.Very good beer, and one worth trying. I have passed over buying this many times, thinking I would eventually enjoy it someplace on tap. I should have never waited so long. An american classic.

StevieW, Aug 23, 2003
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,066 ratings.