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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,278 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,278
Reviews: 1,468
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 150
Gots: 270 | 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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Ratings: 3,278 | Reviews: 1,468 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Prufrock
3.2/5  rDev -22%
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.

Photo of klewis
3.65/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of Brodirt
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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

Photo of ski271
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of phishgator
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of unknownlamer
3.37/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Photo of Phatz
3.61/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of maek228
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of Muddybuddy
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. with some code on the back. Pours like a stout - black with the faintest hints of red when held to light. It's topped with a 1 finger brown head that leaves a big collar and some good lacing. Smells of caramel, chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, plums, tart apple, and perhaps some buttery notes. Tastes like burnt malts, coffee, chocolate-covered cherries, and a bitterness from the hops, burnt malts, and coffee. The bitterness lingers awhile. The body is creamy and full, thick like a milkshake. A top-notch brew.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a Pint glass from the bottle.

It pours a great dark color with a good tan head with fantastic retention. The color is almost completely opaque. The smell is a fantastic blend of hops and malts. The taste exhibits the same characteristics as the smell. There is a much welcome bitterness and delightful sweetness. Roasted malts are also detectable. The beer feels fantastically thick and carbonated. I find this to be a fantastic brew that can be drank night after night

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

Picked up a bottle at AJ's in mid August for $1.59.

Poured black as night with a nice off white head leaving a nice lacing behind. Nose is of chocolate malts, almost a sweet coffee smell. Taste starts with the chocolate-coffee malts and finishes with a nice dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is nicely full for the style. Overall drinkability is near perfect. I am happy to know that I have another one in the fridge awaiting!

Photo of jmz62565
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark black with a two finger creamy head.This has a real strong coffee and malt smell.The taste is very malty with coffee and a sweet aftertaste thats very nice.This is a very good tasting beer.The m/f is medium and fills your whole mouth evenly.I really enjoyed this and would recommend it.

Photo of nlmartin
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a ruby opaqueness to light. The head was thin whiteness lasting the entire beer. Small amounts of clingy lace to the side of the glass.

Smell: The beer smells boozier than reality of the beer. Nice licorice and woody smells dominate.

Taste: Taste of coffee and roasted malty goodness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is velvety smooth throughout the drinking experience. Man this is a treat. A very good beer to drink several of.

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

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one.

This evacuates the bottle a cola-rubied deep brown, with a sienna head that leaves pasty lace cling rings.

Hints of pumpernickel bread on the nose. Leather saddle, walnut, oak, licorice, red grapes.

The mouthfeel of this beer might be its most remarkable consistency; velvety, silken slickness. Wonderful.

The taste echoes a few of the nose notes with a great, tender roast/hop balance. Slight suggestions of peat, licorice, molasses.

Often overlooked...a damned fine porter.

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

Pitch black with ruby highlights. Tan creamy head that has a long lasting lace. Fruity, coffee, roasted malt, and slight bitter hop. The taste is a semi-sweet chocolate and coffee flavor. Course hops with a slightly salty and malty aftertaste. Medium bodied and very easy to drink. Hands down the best porter in America!

Photo of neonbrown82
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great looking porter. Pours to a nearly opaque black color with a thick fluffy tan head. No lace sticks, but the head seems to stay around forever.

The smell is very subtle. Smells like a a bit candy sweet with a little bit of smoke and roast.

The taste is also very sweet with a bit of chocolate with a light roast and smokiness. Has a little hop kick in the finish. Not very high in alcohol, but it tastes like it.

The body is medium to full with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Has a lingering hop and roasty bitterness in the back of the tongue. Quite pleasant, but my only complaint is that the initial taste has a sweetness that doesn't quite blend well with the bitterness in the back.

I would find this porter much more drinkable if it weren't quite so sweet. Other than that, it is a good beer. Now on to my cheese tray...

edit: Goes great with smoked summer sausage and hickory smoked gouda. The added smokiness and the palate coating cheese help to balance out the sweetness.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Porter pours a rich black color that fairs well around the edges. It remains dark with very little color distortion if tipped. The head retention starts off good but quickly fades. Although it does ring around the edges and stay for most of the tasting. The lacing is limited.

The smell is strong in malt. Very rich with a coffee and roasted quality. Some creamy esters as well as lighter chocolate notes.

The taste is thick with malt and very creamy. Almost like a milk stout with a syrup kick. The malt has more of a chocolate sweetness and roasted combo. But darker hints of black patent as well as an English kick are noticeable as well. The after taste has a mellow spice to it

The feel of this beer is interesting as it seems like a much higher ABV but it isn’t and it doesn’t have the warm or hot feeling. I think the thickness and creaminess just give this a big good. Also the carbonation is light but right on for the beer.

A good chewy beer that I’m glad I picked up a six of.

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

Appearance: Pours a rich deep black color with a half inch tan head at first pour. The head maintains for over a minute. The head never completely disappears...and leaves quite a bit of attractive lacing behind.

Aroma: Some biscuity toasty malt with some noticeable roast greet you in the beginning. There is some hops noticeable in there also, but they don't play a major role in the entire profile.

Taste: A bit of hops make their way out at the beginning of the profile, but they quickly subside to let the malt reign. There are lots of biscuity malts in this one along with a good bit of toast. The roast flavors are supportive, which makes this beer a whole lot more drinkable. There is a bit of floral hops to linger into the finish along with the chocolate.

Opinion: This is a very well balanced beer! A lot of Porters tend to be overly roasty and coffee-like. This one has enough to put it into style, yet maintains enough malt complexity to male it very drinkable. There are quite a bit of hops here, but the malt balance makes it all worth while. A very drinkable beer!

Photo of timbeer
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sometimes it's a mistake to expect too much from a beer. You hear great things about it, so when you try it your expectations are so high it is almost impossible for the beer to live up to its advance billing, and you end up disappointed.

The Anchor Porter does not have this problem. This is a truly excellent beer from the first sip. A confident beer, which, unlike many high-rated American beers, does not rely on extreme bitterness or high ABV or some other exaggerated quality to give it distinction. It aims to be a rich, full-bodied porter, and it hits the mark.

It pours a dark, creamy brown. Not much to the smell, in my opinion. The mouthfeel is very full, and about as unwatery as you'd like. Every drop seems to have a rich taste. And the taste is excellent - slightly bitter chocolate, a touch of coffee, hints of fruit - maybe plum or apricot (or pluot, actually). The aftertaste lingers, allowing you to contemplate the range of flavors for minutes after each sip - so drink slowly. Goes down easy and is quite fulfilling.

Photo of LordChesterfield
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is the best porter I've ever had. It's actually a session porter, you can drink this tirelessly. Pours a typically black with tan head and smells deliciously hoppy and burnt. Contains a slight smoked flavor, a little burnt, and it's so complex that you can't explore all of the flavors in one sitting. I find that once the taste and smell is incoded into my memory, the second session is even more enjoyable. I learn more about it's nuances every time I drink it. A ballsey yet drinkable porter. Expensive but worth it. It doesn't mimic the traditional porter exactly, but it couldn't possibly be mistaken for anything else. The beer is helping to expand the style's horizons. Recommended.

Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,278 ratings.