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Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

1,518 Reviews
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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
With deep black color, a thick, creamy head, rich chocolate, toffee and coffee flavors, and full-bodied smoothness, Anchor Porter® is the epitome of a handcrafted dark beer.

A blend of specially roasted pale, caramel, chocolate, and black malts, along with our top-fermenting yeast, creates complexity without bitterness. The brew is hopped at a high rate, and naturally carbonated. The result is dark in the glass, but surprisingly light on the palate.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001

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Reviews: 1,518 | Ratings: 3,587
Photo of Jacobob10
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Dark brown color with a huge, creamy, tan head. Good retention and a bit of lacing on the glass. Very inviting. Aroma doesn't jump out at you, but rather subtle hints of chocolate and cola. Roasted grains and chocolate in the flavor. Super smooth, medium bodied, and easy to drink. Not the most complex dark beer, but well made and hard to find any faults. One of my favorite porters.

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Photo of drmeto
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big, creamy,beige head
-medium to strong hop bitterniss for a Porter
-on the sweeter side for a Porter
-low carbonation
-light,watery body
Overall pretty good, but lacks body

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Convincing black color. Classic tan head.

Smells kind of stinky, stale, bitter: hints of marijuana. Not super pleasant.

Mild on the approach, building toward a moderately intense, bitter finish of malt and licorice and just the very barest hint of sweetness. More interesting, better than regular Anchor Steam, for sure.

Carbonation is very subtle. Body of the beer itself is just a bit richer than moderate.

Overall this is a pretty good porter, it comes together well. Not a first choice ("Hi, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter") but this is quite serviceable indeed.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

really nice dark brew. surprising fullness, creamy head. coffee, dark chocolate; balanced smoothly. great with food, by itself, or in a shoe. this stuff is what some porters wish they were. slightly sweet, malty mouthfeel makes this an easy drinking porter. will buy again.
-12 oz bottle in a chalice-

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Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful dark pour with a thick, creamy head. Smell is remarkable, taste: distinct. The lacing is noticeable. Begins sweet, finishes hoppy. Each sip is more intriguing, as complex, and as satisfying as the one before. Normally I don’t notice, but the label design is about as cool as they come. The bowling pin shaped bottles are cool, too. I’m a fan of everything about this beer.

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Photo of CMroz
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Extremely smooth porter. Completely black and opaque with a beautiful creamy head. Subtle sweet fragrance of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is round and full with an alcohol finish balanced with a bit of sweetness.

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Photo of 14erFan
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of this beer before and grabbed it only to round out an assembled six pack. But, wow, what a nice surprise! I really enjoyed it and find myself agreeing with the BA Score - Outstanding! The rich flavor was so well balanced, it was gone before I knew it.

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Photo of CtyLineBeerBlog
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

- dark brown, almost black body. Two finger length foam head.

S - dark chocolate, coffee....because San Fran

T - black coffee; no cream, no sugar

F - Really drinkable. Nursing it as usual but very easy to drink. Still creamy even with the coffee taste

O - Must try porter, even if you don't like dark beers. Really rich flavor, just cook up a steak and you're good to go

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Photo of marieli
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. 52d. Smell is malt with a little caramel-like aroma. Taste is on the clean and lighter side. Some slight bitterness that is well balanced. Overall a very versatile porter and very drinkable under many conditions. I liked it a lot and this would be a solid choice if Black Butte was unavailable.

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The tan-colored head is dense and rocky; the body is pitch black. In the aroma is bread and bread crust with some caramel which becomes more like butter toffee after a couple minutes. The malt in the flavor is not as intense as expected, and there is considerable influence from the woody, piney hops. Only somewhat roasty, and the sweetness is quite mild. Some slightly astringent, coffee-like bitterness. The finish is lightly sweet and grainy. The body is on the light side with some crispness and subdued carbonation.

A very gentle but pleasantly flavored porter. The aroma was bready and caramel-like at first, but it took on more of a buttery character shortly thereafter. It judiciously covers all the bases, resulting in a balanced, palate-friendly brew.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle into a wine glass.

I haven't seen this brew before at my local shops...Don't ask me why! Getting down to the brew is my calling. First off, this brew pours very dense and dark brown (almost black), with lighter brown hues around the glass. Nice soapy khaki head laid on top with majesty! Very outstanding!

The aroma is awaiting my approach! This hits in a melody of rich roasted malts that are having a party in my nostrils. There's milk chocolate and cocoa slapping my nose hairs around for fun. Nice rich coffee overtones awakening my senses. Fruity yeast esters in the background. Yeah, this is pretty outstanding and impressing me with each step.

The flavor shouldn't be any different...right? Wham, bam thank you ma'am! This is reallying hitting the spot tonight! The flavor matches the nose with every detail. Hits first with a decent amounts of residual sugars that's backed with cocoa and coffee roast. Fruity esters come in and play around with you toward the finish. This finishes pretty dry with a bitter-sweet flavor and some leafy/resinous hop undertones in the aftertaste. The feel is all light with tight tingly carbonation.

Overall: If this was the same recipe in 1974....this is all I would've drank (Ballantine included). This is a complex little brew and would have me coming back for more. There's nothing to complain about this Porter, it's easy drinking, Roasty and damn enjoyable! This brew is Recommended!

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice black pour with huge 4 finger carmel head lacing after every drink
Smell cant pinpoint but slight bread hint carmel taste hatd to discribe but slight bread and not sur what else feel has slight tingle on tongue great porter on cold ass day that started out -12 below

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

-exactly like a porter, pitch black with a light tan head that retains very nicely
-very roasty and malty
-taste like a porter but nothing stands out
-thick and very smooth
-a good porter taste like a porter should but nothing stands out to me, hoped for more flavor

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Photo of Foxybrau
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with a nice foam head. Banana nut bread, black cherry on the nose. The taste is bitter black coffee and toasted grains. A touch of sweetness and dark fruit are there, but mostly a very straightforward brew. It's tasty, strong, and smooth. This one will get me venturing into the world of porters a bit.

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Photo of SFNC
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At the Flying Saucer, Raleigh, NC on draft.
Pours a dark opaque brown with a nice light tan head, minimal lacing.
Smells lightly of roasted grains, faintly of coffe. Maybe that my nose is dried out from a full winter's of furnace air.
Taste is robust roasted grains and a light coffee burn. Nice and simply, not too much going on with complexity. Still, quite solid.
Thicker than most Porters, light carbonation. Agreeable.
Overal, a very solid Porter. If a traditional Porter is a no nonsense workingman's beer, this is a good fit.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Rich dark brown verging on black with slight ruby tints against the light. Thick latte foam head with pretty good retention that leaves sticky clumpy lace.

smell - Chocolate and toffee are the first things to strike me here but there is also some really great fruity aromas like a fruit salad at this. Plenty of banana and cherry so there is also an element of banoffee pie here. Put simply this beer smells great.

Taste - Rich and luxurious coffee flavour with great toffee mixing with some wonderful dark chocolate bitterness. Mild smokey roast malts mixed with that great fruit profile identical to the aroma, banana and cherry dominating but evidence of prune coming through at the end. Excellent sweet bitter balance and again put simply a great beer.

Mouth feel - Seriously smooth, silky even with a full body and very decent lingering power! This one is neither drying or cloying just smooth and tasty.

Overall - Very well balanced and packing lots of flavour this beer paired very well with Dutch pancakes with loads of cheese. If this beer is a hallmark of Anchor's brewing then I have high hopes for the steam beer and barley wine!

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Photo of leantom
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Here goes:

A: Beautiful. Black with a slight red hue. Pours a massive head with a great amount of lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit in this one: prunes, raisins, plums. Also a fair amount of licorice and chocolate. Great.

T: Follows the nose. Great dark fruit taste interspersed with some licorice and spice.

F: A little light, but I'm not complaining.

O; Great beer.

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Photo of LordofthePings
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best porter I've had so far. I was ready to give up on porter until I tried this one. Nice and simple, clean, well made. No bells and whistles, just a great tasting example of the style. Well balanced, will buy again when I see it. Allowed to warm to near room temp before drinking.

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Photo of Baramour
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The first beer I fell in love with. The owner of the bar near where I used to work ordered me a case every month because he knew I would come in and drink it.

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Photo of Tred420
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this guy while working on a table. My wife enjoys poters so I only got to drink half of it :( It was a nice smooth feel with a decent aftertaste that lingered for a while. Very happy with it.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderfully complex, balancing roasted maltiness, mild hops, acidity and a particular floral character that I believe is related to the yeast, as with the Anchor Liberty Ale. A desert island brew (assuming that island has winters).

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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 ordybill
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. This is the best porter I have ever had. An incredibly smooth flavor and texture. You cannot go wrong g with this beer

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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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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,518 ratings.