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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

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3,238 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,238
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 149
Gots: 257 | 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: 3,238 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zorro
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black beer with a substantial brown head. I can't pass light through it.

Smell is substantial. Lots of strong fruit scent here. I can pick out banana, raisin, figs, mint, chocolate and a little scent of herbal hops. Fairly sweet smelling with a clear scent of molasses.

Taste is full and intense. Lots of malt flavor and a rich chocolate flavor greets you at the start. The fruity flavor of a British ale yeast is strong here. Mild acid snap in the finish makes this beer more refreshing than expected. Banana bread with chocolate best describes the flavor. The taste of preserved fruits, spice and malts all combine to make a beautiful melody on your tongue. After this warms up a bit the more bitter flavors of coffee and the herbal hops become more pronounced than the sweet aspects of this beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy like a milkshake, thick to begin with the carbonation fluffs up the perception of thickness even more.

Very drinkable brew, Very tasty and has no real flaws. Not very costly either at $9 a six pack a bargain for a world class beer. Do I like this better than the their Victory ale? I refuse to choose between them.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks and pours like a Guinness, just with a slightly foamier head. Smells and tastes wonderful, like a whiff of Hershey bar hiding a more subtle sloe gin cherry. The texture is a little bit grainy, yet also mellow. Not a harsh note to be found. This is indeed one of the world’s great porters.

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

presentation: anchor's typical 12oz. short stubby bottle with an old paper colored oval label on the front. etch-line illustrations of barley and hops decorate the label and surround an anchor in the center. anchor's description of their porter is printed on the neck label. no abv displayed, and again there's an indistinguishable perforated number within a rectangular box on the back label.

appearance: dark, dark brown, almost black with a light tan 1 inch head in a stein mug. head is airy on bottom and tight and pillowy on top. head drops somewhat quickly and laces just ok. there are barely apparent dark red highlights.

smell: sweet malt and lightly chocolatey. caramelly as well. some light coffee aromas, but not as expressive as in other porters. there is another aroma that rears it's head late, but i didn't have enough left to identify it.

taste: lightly sweet caramel and chocolate with a good balance of hop bitters. grainy with some grapes or raisin flavors. finishes sweet and lightly roasty. lightly bitter-sweet molasses in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel: light and crisp for a porter. carbonation is a little abrasive as well. rolls around cleanly in your mouth, however, and swallows well.

drinkability: very drinkable. light airy mouthfeel helps this go down easy. tasty and balanced with very little noticible alcohol. be careful with this one! good session porter.

overall: probably my favorite offering from anchor. like most porters, this becomes more appealing after warming, and as drinkable as this is, you better have six.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours an opaque black color with a large tan head. The aroma is rather disappointing. The aroma is very matly, but not roasted malt. Some chocolate tones are present, but they are subdued. The taste is sweet with some chocolate flavors. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation for my liking. Overall, this beer seems very ordinary to me, and not very good.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap last night at Copra in Baltimore. Poured just a tad too cold into your normal pint glass. Pours pitch black with a dark tan head. Didn't get enough head on the beer for retention purposes, but the lacing was evident even from a small ring.
Smells darkly malty with the whole host of requisite aromas, just a bit of dark chocolate bitterness lingering.
Mmm, Starbucks coffee drink crack...Coffee and espresso with cream and chocolate. No need for crazy bitterness here, just enough as you would get with some nice Belgian chocolates.
Mouthfeel was nicely chewy medium, not watered down and just right. A nice sweetness and bitter chocolate lingers in the mouth. Very drinkable.

Overall: Wow! I don't remember the last time I had this brew, but it was just amazing last night. Blows just about most porters completely out of the water. And this from a macro micro..

Photo of nortmand
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as Shaft with a tan head and some lacing.
Some chocolate bitterness initially in the smell, with a huge, rich chocolate presence.
Very nice sharp roast flavor up front, which spreads into a chocolate caramel deliciousness. Then comes some unpleasant fusel flavors. Ends with a clear, sharp bitterness to contrast the chocolate richness earlier.
Rolls over the tongue with a nice mix of smooth richness and tiny bubbles.
Very dry, drinkable porter. Another nice beer from Anchor.

Photo of wedge
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a foamy tan head and nice sticky lacing. Smells of toasty maltiness, toffee, and slight coffee sweetness. Rich, sweet malty flavor - toffee, roasted - well rounded. Chewy, full, smooth mouthfeel.

Impressive porter all around - very drinkable. Recommended.

Photo of tastybeer
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks black/very dark brown (lets no light through), with a delectable cocoa colored creamy head. Smells like a toasty combination of toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, and some dark fruit aromas. Taste comes as a smooth sensation filled with toasty malts and bits of dark bittersweet fruits. This turns briefly into creamy toffee and then smooths out into roasty maltiness. There are small hints of chocolate and nut. Finish carries some hop bitterness and then smooths out with the maltiness. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with some chewiness. Medium to full in body and ultra good drinkability.

A very nicely balanced porter that I could easily drink all night long. More please.

Photo of Fugazme
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. Opaque. I had to squint to see any light pass through. What light that did pass through produced touches of amber. Also tilts to amber. About 1/2 inch head that dissipated quick. Sticks decently to the glass.

Smell is malty. A touch of molasses. Sweet and somewhat fruity. Slight coffee.

Taste is of coffee and malt. Well-balanced and a good mouthfeel.

I do like it!

Photo of quasimoto
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very black porter. No light passes through this. very little head, but maybe I poured it to cautiously. The aroma is great. There is sweet malts, fruit and licorice. The taste is even better. There is chocolate, more like bakers cocoa. actually its like chocolate covered cherries. Licorice, molasses, and sweet vanilla. The mouth feel is light and silky. very little carbination. The after taste is exceeedingly pleasant. A top notch porter.

Photo of fisherman34
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Virtually black with a tan head. Licorice is the dominant aroma here, with other malty notes of roasted nuts and caramel. There's tons of licorice flavor too, with some chocolate flavors also entering the picture. There's a bit of soft fruit in there as well. Good mouthfeel and a long satisfying finish Great stuff.

Photo of drunkensailor
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tried this beer a few times now and have to say I really enjoy it. Its a rich black color with almost a caramel colored head, average dissipation time. The taste is thick with the characteristic burnt notes of the porter with definate chocolate hints. Very great beer to drink for any occasion, I've used it to take a few friends now to the "next level" and each one has really enjoyed it.

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

Ah how I love the Anchor bottle shape..wonderful.
well this is an extremelly lovelly beer to look at dark dark brown, fantastic looking tan head..just fills up my glass like it should!
Good potent aroma of roasted, toasted malts, somewhat milky..and baking chocolate in the back.
Nice satisfying chocolaty taste, dark-semi-sweet.. Some restrained flavours of dark ripened fruits..black cherries, figs and dark purple plums.creamy finish.
Great on the palate..very creamy and smooth
A wonderful example of a porter..I have to wonder why I have never had this beauty before. This is an American classic every bit as much astheir Liberty Ale.

Photo of Citadel82
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This to me is the best domestic Porter that I have tried.

12 ounce bottle purchased at Buy-Rite in Atlantic Highlands.


Pours a deep chocolate brown with a short-lived creamy tan head that left lots of clumpy lace.

Aroma is chocolate, coffee, fruity ale yeast and traces of floral hops.

Taste is black coffee, dark fruit and sweet caramel.

Mouthfeel is medium, with the slick brew sticking with some persistence to tongue and palate.

Very drinkable though a tad pricey.

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

12 ounce bottle, batch 5M9 punched into the back label.

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thin lacy tan head. Good sticky rings left on the side of the glass by this beer. No light comes through this beer.

Smell: Slightly toasty malt nose with mild woodiness and some raw fruit flavors light figs and plums. Also has some light coffee ground scent.

Taste: Very roasty with a flavor wheat toast crust, light sourness and sweetness, clean dark maltiness. A bit of oat bran flavor and dryness. The ending on this beer is magnificent and subtle. Slight fig flavor and a bold sweetness with a toffee chcaracter to it. It ends with bold hop bitterness, some light coffee flavor and more syrupy sweetness. Light lingering malt aftertaste with a slight toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth maltiness feels great on the palate with some slight syrupy sweetness but no cloying. Very clean aftertaste and feel.

Drinkability: Good all around solid beer. Good balance to flavors and nice feel on the palate. I was very impressed with this beer. Nice and tasty.

Photo of Brian700
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with a mocha colored head that fizzles down to a ring around my glass. There is some mild lacing.

The aroma is malty and chocolatey.

The taste follows the nose mostly, malty and chocolatey and there is a little hope bitterness in the finish. I also pick up on a little bit of esters in some dark fruit flavor as well. There is also a hint of alcohol in the finish.

The mouthfeel is nice. Medium/full body with medium carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. I love it, it's great. I highly recommend it.
Good mouthfeel.

Photo of fretlessman71
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Pretty sure it was BrewDog who sent me this one… many thanks.

Anchor was the 2nd porter I ever got to try – it was the beer that showed me there was somewhere else to go besides Sierra Nevada. I had no idea…

APPEARANCE: BLACK. One of the blackest porters I’ve ever seen. Only the faintest hint of mahogany showing through the edges. Head color is reminiscent of a stout, much darker than normal. Tight, creamy head; great lacing.

AROMA: Chocolate and dark fruit (dates? prunes?), little bit of alcohol maybe. Not much in the way of hops, but who cares? My nose just started drooling! (Sorry…)

FLAVOR: Very nice dark fruit sourness, dark chocolate, coffee, a little red wine as well. It’s a really nice balance, actually. Simple description, complex flavor mix. Wonderful! Relatively sweet finish. Hops take a backseat on this one.

MOUTHFEEL: One of the creamiest beers I’ve ever had. Not too foamy or carbonated, not flat, not too heavy or light. As close to perfect as you could get.

DRINKABILITY: Such an interesting brew, and at 5.6% ABV I could stand to have a few. Very pleasant from first sip to last.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Really nothing to complain about; great nose, wonderful mouthfeel, terrific example of a “fruity” porter.

Photo of dciskey
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Black with a touch of brown if you hold it up to a light, big brown head that reduces to a thin layer and leaves a lot of itself on the sides of the glass. Smells like roasted malts but also something sweet, maybe molasses?

Tastes similar to the smell with a bit of a hop kick that fits right in. A touch of chocolate comes out when the beer gets that close to my nose too. Good, slightly chewy/thick mouthfeel but slightly drying; I've felt the same drying senstation from Anchor Steam. For that reason I wouldn't want more than one or maybe two but this is a good beer to end an evening on; I can definitely see myself wanting it again.

Went back to check the code on the bottle: it says 4G5, meaning August 5th of 2004. I didn't notice anything off, so I'd say this beer holds up pretty well nearly a year after being bottled. I'll have to try to find a fresher sample sometime to compare.

Photo of paterlodie
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice brown and lasting head leaving laces and a coffeblack beercolor. Nice arome giving loads of roastmalt, caramel and next to that good fruityness with lots of banana but also a litle citrussy. Overal complex but fresh nose. Taste is fully burnt, malty again caramellic but also sweet and bitter. Roast is hanging majorly with good bitterness next to it. Litle too sweet IMO but great oily and coffee mouthfeel that's quiet easy drinkable and overal a good beerIMO.

Photo of palliko
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is nearly black with crimson highlights. A creamy-brown head reduces to sticky foam. Aroma has cherry, roasted malt and raisins. Initial taste contains a sweet malt, molasses, dark chocolate, lemon, and herbal hops. Carbonation is good. It finishes with roasted malts and coffee. Wow! Great complexity and one of the best porters out there!

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last time I had this classic was at the brewery's own tap room after a tour. Very fresh and very good. Let's see how a well-traveled bottle compares. Pours a forbiddingly dark brown, sealed by a solid inch of clingy, sandy brown head that lasts a while. Aromas of roasted barley, dark chocolate, and sweetish raisins/toffee are offset by a smooth mocha coffee bitterness. Rich roasted malt flavors up front. Smooth, chocolatey, perfectly sweet, with a hint of smoke. Very nice. Sweetness is near-perfectly balanced by a big wave of hop bitterness. I can almost taste the resin through the roasted coffee. Finish stays bitter, but with latent milk chocolate and toffee sweetness. Medium-full bodied with a smooth feel. One of the best porters I've ever had.

Photo of mdagnew
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle from the Vineyard Belfast

Poured very black with a slight hint of dark red when held up to the light. Poured with a nice creamy, tan head which is quite big to start but settles down to a thin layer - beading is quite small.

Aroma - Very fruity (dark fruits - possibly prunes ?). Raisin. Nice smell of roasted malts and coffee. Slight chocolate hints too..

Taste – Quite sweet and fruity with an underlying bitterness. Aniseed. Roasted maltiness.

Feel - Very smooth with only slight carbonation.

Overall - an excellent porter, very drinkable. Another great brew from a Anchor...

Photo of Vancer
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crap ! Another no date bottle, oh well. Still a nice black with tan head pour Very malty aroma and taste …..but the it had a funky sour dough finish. Still tangy with a little bite to it.. Thick and rich, overall a good one to quaff .BUT ! Worked on an Avery Porter before this one and it wins my head to head completion.

Photo of whynot44
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, deep reddish brown color with a creamy tan head.

Aroma is sweet roasted malt and strong coffee.

Taste starts out with sweet malt, then espresso coffee finishing nicely bitter with a little more hops than usual in a porter.

Very smooth, tasty.

Photo of kpantz
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: Solid porter. Deep flavors and great aroma. Rests beautifully on the tongue. Didn't blow me away, they don't always have to in order to earn a good rating!

Appearance: Pours a nearly opaque, deep chocolatey brown. Nice, tan head that doesn't disappear. Nice lacing, too.

Smell: Roasted coffee, chocolate.

Taste: Hits like a stout, but doesn't linger like a stout. Great bitterness from both the coffee flavor and from the hops. I was surprised by the alcohol flavor; after all, this is only 5.6% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, smooth, smooth. Light carbonation allows the complexities of the porter to shine undeterred.

Drinkability: Maybe it's just me, but I can't see this one as one to drink more than one of at a time. Could be the stout-y hints, but it's just a bit too heavy to drink in multiples. I'm switchin' to an IPA after this one!

Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,238 ratings.