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Anchor Porter - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,494 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,494
Hads: 3,484
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 17.32%
Wants: 184
Gots: 396 | FT: 3
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.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,494 | Hads: 3,484
Photo of dmgeng
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this several months ago but didn't review it and when getting another six pack to make "craft" black-and-tans I figured I should review this.

A - Nice black color. Mostly clear but difficult to see from the color. Tan head with medium staying power. Medium lacing.

S - Strong malty aroma with caramel/chocolate/roasty tones. The chocolate and malty aromas standout above the roasted character which is a nice change from most porters/stouts.

T - Much like the smell the caramel and chocolate flavors stand tall. The roasted character is there but really is secondary to the sweeter and more robust flavors. The flavor is very similar to a southern brown but with more chocolate and roasted character and overall more complexity. The bitterness is there from the hops and roastiness but they provide balance to the sweeter flavors.
M - Moderate mouth-feel. medium carbonation perfect for drinkablity. The substantial body with a lower alcohol makes this brew a delicious beer.

Overall, this is probably the best regular porter you can buy. Even thought the ABV is only 5.6% you could never have guessed that from the flavor impact and body exuded by this beer. There is plenty of the flavor to keep you picking it up for the next sip but with the lighter abv it makes it a great substitute for a big bold stout if you are eating or drinking with friends.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of Gajo74
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown and nearly black color. Thick head brown and white head retains well as a creamy and frothy lace that reminds me of a cappuccino. Aroma has sweet malts, sugars and coffee tones. Taste has malty sweetness, elements of fruit and coffee. Has a slightly dry and bitter finish that balances it nicely. Had it with a chocolate cake; a perfect pairing! Great feel! Medium bodied but very drinkable, almost refreshing like a lighter beer.
A good find from Anchor; a brewery that has yet to diss appoint me.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Unclear bottling date as some of it is smudged over. Poured into a snifter 12/1/2014.

A- Dark brown, opaque and nearly black body accompanied by a minimal, thin mocha head with little retention time. Splotches of lacing. [3.75]

S- Rich dark fruit, a small amount of roasted malt, a good bit of floral and piney hop aromas. Very heavy on the dark fruit, which surprises me as I'm more used to heavier roast in my porters. Smells very rich and even a bit decadent, indeed. [4]

F- Dark fruits, raisins, bitter earthy and piney hops. The bitterness is a bit astringent, to be honest. Leaves a good bit of resin on my palate which doesn't seem to mesh that well with the dark fruits. A small bit of roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate. I see that they are taking the west coast approach to their hop schedule but I am not a fan of the combination of pine and dark fruit here. [3.75]

M- Medium bodied, creamy, smooth and sticky. Aftertaste isn't quite my cup of tea with the dark fruits mixing in with pine bitterness, it is a bit astringent and catches me off my guard. Keeps this one a sipper, honestly. [3.75]

O- Decent porter, I wanted to like this one a lot more but I don't think the dark fruit malt sweetness mixes in that well with the pine hops. I'll have to pass on this one in the future. [3.5]

Final score: 3.75

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Photo of DaveBar
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased a single at the LCBO. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a ton of brown head that stays forever. Very dark brown almost black color

S- Good nose. Lots of malt.

T- Rather easy drinking. Light almost. Good nuts and coffee. Very mellow. Almost too mellow

M- Fairly light for a porter. Brought the score down a bit

O- Pretty good porter. Enjoyed a lot but will not buy again

Food Pairing

This pretty good porter went well with..... Roasted pork sandwiches


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Photo of BGDrock
4.1/5  rDev 0%

Appearance: deep, dark brown, with ruby hue at the edges; thick, fine head the colour of espresso crema

Aroma: chocolate, clove, light overall; lactose; caramel

Taste & Mouthfeel: semi-sweet chocolate chips, marshmallow; there's a lightness to it, an airiness - medium-light body, fine carbonation; dry, bitter finish as you'd get from coffee, but sweeter - that surgary note is the backbone really, rounding out the full, roasty flavours

Overall: wonderful, pure chocolate flavours, like chocolate milk in beer form, so obviously better; light, flowing body make it incredibly easy-drinking

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Photo of keithmurray
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance - dark brown/mahogany beer with tan head

Smell - cola, nuts, dark chocolate, roasted barley, cocoa

Taste - dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, cola, roasted barley, vanilla

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, balancing bitterness in the back, flavors linger nicely

Overall - world class porter that I will always keep on hand. Price and availability considered, there aren't many porters out there that are better

Price Point - $8.99/6 pack 12 oz bottles

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Photo of BrewChatKen
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Color is black with a creamy beige head. Nice body to this beer with a bit of a creamy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Aromas of chocolate malts and roasty coffee/espresso. All of that very much carries through to the palate with a subtle hop bitterness and a clean finish. It looks like a big beer but drinks closer to a session beer. Great flavor and an all around great beer.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle into nonic pint. best before "8 2016". consumed october 27, 2014

a: a nice deep brown coming out of the bottle, then builds up into a very black body. brown hues at the bottom. a nice and fluffy two fingers of quickly-dissipating coffee-looking head that leaves behind some great lacing

s: caramel, roasted malts, and raisins up front. chocolatey coffee follows

t: malty sweet dark ale flavours (toasted bread, caramel, raisins, chocolate, coffee), with equally strong floral hop notes (very similar to the liberty ale, kinda awkward) and subdued smoky, roasty, woody bitterness accents around mid-to-late palate

m: harsh medium-plus fizzy carbonation and feels watery

o: i wish there was a bigger roasty character here, and the floral/mildly fruity hop presence could be toned down a few notches. still a tasty, well-rounded, and sessionable beer. improves quite a bit as it warms, so make sure you do that

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Photo of Lemke10
4/5  rDev -2.4%

This pours a dark brown color with a foamy, light brown head. The aroma is mild with caramel malts and sweet malts. The flavor is big and bold for a porter with a thinner texture that finishes slightly chalky. Really well made for a porter style brew. A must try for any porter lover!

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Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev 0%

A:very dark brown almost black with thick creamy head(3/3)
S: smells of dark acidic malt with notes of licorice and a little bit of coffee and caramel (9/12)
T: caramel maltiness blends into drinkably Light flavors(16/20)
M: very creamy upfront but dry on finish (5/5)
O: that caramel really caught me by surprise a very drinkable beer and full of flavor too (8/10)

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Photo of MonkeyDunk
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from 22 oz

Pours an opaque black with a thick creamy tan head. It's fun to watch the head grow and ripple like seafoam on the surface when you first pour it.

Cherry, cinnamon, bread, nice sweet maltiness, fresh floral hops

Balanced and rich, a full spectrum of flavors: sweet, tangy, bitter, even perceptible spice. It's incredible how the hops work with the malt in this beer--creating a unique flavor that jumps out right away, much like oranges. The tang with the bitter, floral hops and crystal malt sweetness also gives it a dark fruit impression in the background, blackberries, cranberries, concord grapes, raisin, black currants. A bourbon depth and boozy twang grow with each sip. A mild cinnamon spice. There's also a vegetal component, a bit like celery, artichoke, and licorice. Interesting finish--Chocolatey, with sharp bitterness of raw cacao.

B: Medium bodied, glad the mouthfeel isn't as thick as the head. Surprisingly not too carbonated despite thick head, which works well with the style.

O: As do many other reviewers here, I love this beer. Anchor Brewery never seems to fail. It makes me want to get on the several-month-long list to tour the facility and see how they brew.

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Photo of swooshjtb
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

This is one of my favorite porters. Always pours with a thick tan head that lingers all the way down the glass. The roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavors are very abundant with each sip, but it is not overly sweet and off putting like many porters on the market.

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Photo of Carolvs
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

This may be my favorite Porter of all-time. Poured from a single bottle into an ale glass. A beautiful, foamy, caramel head immediately billowed-up and laced all the way down the glass as I imbibed. Silky smooth on the mouthfeel and not a trace of bitterness from initial mouth contact to swallow to aftertaste. This one truly lives up to 'The Bros' rating of 99.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of caramel-colored head that dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the way of aroma at all. I get some faint notes of roasted malt, imparting some subtle notes of toasted dark bread, dark chocolate and smoke.

Taste: Wow! What this beer lacks in aroma, it more than makes up for in flavor! Lots of bready, roasted malt flavors, imparting notes of toasted dark bread, a touch of smoke, and lots of brown sugar-like sweetness. I get some faint flavors of licorice, dark molasses and a touch of coffee. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, with some pretty good carbonation. With an ABV of 5.6%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an outstanding porter! Great, bready, sweet flavors of roasted malt and brown sugar! Recommended!

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Photo of kkleu357
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%

From notes on 11/19/13

Really dark. Lots of flavor. Has a roasted malt flavor, but is also sour and tastes like alcohol. Kind of reminds me of a barley wine.

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Photo of MalterMatthau
4/5  rDev -2.4%

P: "Anchor" in cornflower blue handwriting on a papery label, other colors true on a nice print job that recalls the olden days, pictorial representation of anchor occurs three times on bottle.

A: Approaching black in color with amber hues on the edge. Very nice, is this a "beer ombre," and what is the best example of this effect? Liquid changes shape in different glasses but retains same volume until consumption.

S:Hint of good whiskey or brandy mixed with toffee and caramel.

T: Cream toffee&caramel followed by aftertaste whispers of a burned chocolate chip cookie, last drink in glass curiously has no aftertaste but achieves a lingering cream soda that fades into a sweet short-term memory.

Notes: Best American porter until I know otherwise.

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Photo of REGreenBTRB
4.18/5  rDev +2%

A: 3.75 - Pours very dark though not completely black. There is a little bit of a dark amber tint to it. About a two-finger head, very creamy looking.

S: 4.25 - A lot of dark roasty malt. You also pick up some sweet chocolate.Also a little dark fruit. Smell lovely!

T: 4.5 - SO tasty. Immediately you pick up the roasted malt and hint of chocolate. The malt is very present. Full of flavor. The dark fruit comes through as well. This is what I'd expect a porter to taste like. Very nice.

M: 4.25 - Very easy drinking. It's a little thin, but really smooth. Medium carbonation.

O: 4.18 - Overall it is a really nice beer, and something I'd certainly have again.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%

PoUrsula opaque black. The huge khaki head remains as a thick cap on top and leaves thick curtains of lace.

The smell is a balanced mixture of coffee, chocolate, wheat bread and faint vanilla.

The taste is also well balanced: chocolate, coffee, vanilla and a slightly bitter finish.

The texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Well balanced is how I'd describe this brew. All the aforementioned flavors and aromas working together in harmony with positive results. A very impressive American porter.

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Photo of TheCondor
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

After having mixed experiences with other Anchor products, I decided to pick this up in a mix and match. Its a porter, so it can't be that bad.

Appearance - Pours a deep brown to almost black color with a thin half finger head. Pours almost the consistency of syrup, looks so thick and creamy. Leaves a decent lace on the side of the glass as well. Pours much like a porter is supposed to pour.

Smell - The nose is magnificent! Crazy amounts of dark fruits, coffee, malts, molasses, so complex. If the taste is anywhere near as good as the nose, this will be one incredible brew.

Taste - The taste is even better than the nose. I knew this beer was going to be a game changer from the first drink. Dark fruits are the biggest part of the beer, paired with smooth molasses, malts, coffee, and caramel.This is seriously one of the most magnificent tasting beers I have ever had in my entire life.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, big, rich, creamy. Finishes so smooth and thick, its unreal.

Overall - One of the overall best beers I have ever had. Enough said. It is incredible, oustanding, unrealistically good.

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Photo of Gear54
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: dark black pour with thick kaki head and more lace than I've seen on a glass in a while.

S: roasty Carmel's and coffee. No hop aroma in the nose.

T: roasted malts dark chocolate and coffee

M: very smooth.

O: this beer deserves it's high marks.

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Photo of mthomp081
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - dark brown, near black, creamy tan head, patching lacing

S - coffee, molasses, caramel, black malts, candied sugars

T - roasted malt, coffee, sweetness from some dark fruits like figs and dates, molasses, slight bitterness

M - medium to full bodied, some carbonation, chewy, creamy

O - Really great porter. Great combination and balance between the smell and taste from the roasted malt malts to the sweet molasses/caramel and dark fruits. Would certainly drink again,

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Photo of Anmaglahk
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I bought this because of the simplistic bottle and the fact it was a porter. There is nothing simplistic about this beer.

I poured it from a bottle into a Sam Adams glass. The beer has a dark chocolate color, with about 3/4 inch of head. The aroma is that of dark chocolate and coffee.

The taste cannot be adequately described by my words. This is simply the best porter I have ever tasted.

This is just a wonderful beer. My words can't do it justice. #InLove

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Photo of Paincane
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Almost black body capped by mocha head. Excellent lacing and head retention.
S: Roasted malt, cocoa, cafe and smoky aromas.
T: Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, smoky flavors.
M: Smooth, dry and creamy beer. O: A big creamy tasty Porter that is easily drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into imperial pint glass.

A: Abysmally dark brown, nearing black. Some ruby red highlights around the bottom of the glass when held up to my iPhone flashlight. A large mocha colored head starts out large, but fades down to a 1/4" creamy cap leaving vast amounts of lacing down the glass. A work of art in a glass.

S: Lots of dark roasted malts with some bittersweet cocoa, definitely closer to bitter than sweet though. A little bit of smokiness and some faint hop presence. Not overly complex or unique, but the aroma is strong and deeply enticing.

T: Man, oh man, this flavor is blissful. It's initial impression is sweet, but quickly fades. Dark roasted malts are rich and powerful, with some mild black coffee notes. The bittersweet chocolate fades back in towards the end, and the finish is primarily roasted malts with a strong smokiness. Complex; boastful; delicious.

M: Mouthfeel is solidly medium, smooth with lots of creaminess, but stays casual enough to quaff with relative ease. Low-ish ABV makes it a choice session beer.

O: I've heard this beer roll off the tongues of many a craft drinker, oft times with great praise following. Embarrassingly, it has taken me this long to try it—and for that, I'm kicking myself in the ass. It's so easily accessible here that I've often overlooked it, but now that I've finally grabbed it, I'm in love. It's everything I look for in a porter. Huge, rich flavors, with a solid mouthfeel and sessionable qualities. Sorry, Guinness, but I think I've found my new black beauty.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Finger worth of head on the pour which settled in to the edges of the glass while drinking. Above average active carbonation for the style. Some sticky lacing left behind.

Smell: Mossy hops mesh well with a bright malt sweetness. Espresso notes with some dark chocolate bitterness. There is an amber malt, toffee like sweetness on the body. A familiar yeast profile of Anchor beers shows up and adds a unique layer for a porter.

Taste: Toffee, Oats, and a unique yeast brightness really blasts on the front. Mossy hops and untamed oak opens up on the body. The finish is just the body slowly dying out with hits on oak and toffee popping up occasionally.

Mouthfeel: Much brighter and active on the palate then I expected. Carbonation fits. Some coffee ground dryness is left behind.

Overall: This was really something different. I expected the stout-ish porter that some many brewers are making but this is tough to really put a finger on. Odd but worth a shot.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,494 ratings.