Porter | Southern Tier Brewing Company

432 Reviews
Read the review
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 06-16-2003

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 432 | Ratings: 967
Photo of Roxie_B
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Looks: Opaque and deep dark brown, nearly black. Half finger of tan head.
Smell: Dark roasted malts, a bit acrid for a porter. Coffee, light weight in the aromatics department.
Taste: Sweet and bright. Coffee, lactic acid citrusy hops that put me in mind of mandarin oranges.
Mouthfeel: Bright and bubbly if a bit aqueous. A bit of a sting on the back end.
Overall: Drinkable and refreshing.

 396 characters

Photo of gonzo000
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A. Dark brown in color. Can see through if held up to light. One finger tan head that disappears quickly.

s. strong smell of burnt malt

t. Fine malt taste. Nothing special, nothing negative to say. Good flavor.

m. There is too much carbonation in this beer. Hard to get over the bubbly feeling.

o. Good beer. This porter would work well for warm days, as it is a bit lighter.

 380 characters

Photo of Jetulio
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml. bottle poured into a Snifter glass

Appearance... Black beer with foamy head colour beige of one finger aprox not lasting, a thin ring last until the end

Aroma...   Llittle touch of malt and a strong chocolate aroma

Taste... Some tea and pine notes and then hop , touch of bitterness lasting in mouth

Mouthfeel... medium/full body and soft carbonation

Overall... a very recomendable porter, a chocolate predominance with style.

 446 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (bottled on 01/28/14) served in a libby globe porter/stoue glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown to black on the table, cola brown with some ruby red highlights when held up to the light. Thin light tan head upon pouring died back quickly to form a thin ring only. Some small strands of lacing.

Smell: Some roasted malts and dark roast coffee. With a swirl, a definite metallic tang that then takes on some citrus notes.

Taste: A bit of sweetness having a bit of faint milk chocolate flavor. The sweetness quickly passes and then more bitter flavors arrive including pine, strong tea, citrus peel, copper, and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, approaching fizzy. Some smoothness and thickness under all the carbonation, but it's disturbed by the high carbonation. However, the carbonation does scrub the teeth and palate clean.

Overall / Drinkability: Hmmm....I wonder if this one is just past due with a bottling date of January. Still, there was an emphasis on robust and compared to many Southern Tier dark beers that I've had which are malt bombs, this is at the other end of the spectrum. Definitely a bitter brew, and perhaps a bit lopsided towards bitterness rather than "robust" as described on the label. It got better as it warmed up, but only so much. I may try again with a newer bottle and see if it gets more balanced or any better.

 1,374 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown color with a huge billowy brown tinted head. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a roasted malt smell with a rather strong showing of a caramel and toffee sweetness. Some other darker aromas of a light cocoa and a bit of cola are there along with some light dark fruit aromas of raisin. Some light coffee and a little bit of smoke round out the smell and while overall the aroma is somewhat complex, the aromas don’t really necessarily meld all that well together.

Taste – The taste begins thinner and somewhat more dry with a roasted malt flavor with some hints of caramel and toffee upfront. While it starts out weaker, the roasted flavors get stronger and stronger as the taste advances along with the caramel and toffee getting stronger as well. While the roasted and sweet get stronger a bitter coffee flavor begins working its way onto the tongue with some other flavors of a cocoa nature coming as well. The coffee remains rather light until the very end where it is met with some mild hoppy aromas of an earthy and herbal nature, which seem to accentuate the strength and bitterness of the coffee. With the slightly bitter nature of the coffee and hop and with the caramel dwindling a bit and a light bit of raisin coming to the tongue, one is left with a somewhat drier (for a porter) and slightly bitter but quite enjoyable roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is very thin for a porter with a carbonation level that is rather average for a porter. The moderateness of the carbonation is rather nice for the roasted, sweet, and bitter coffee flavors, but with that said a thicker body would have created a much nicer medium and mouthfeel for this brew overall.

Overall – The look and taste of the brew are really fantastic. If it wasn’t for the lackluster smell and feel this could easily be a top class year round porter. Overall it is well worth a try though if you get a chance.

 2,155 characters

Photo of Grugalug
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

A-It is a very dark ruby red with a half finger of off-white head. The head lingers a bit, and leaves quite a bit of really attractive lacing. Very few bubbles rising to the top. Looks quite nice.

S-Big malt presence. Quite a bit of caramel and a bit of toffee as well, which surprised me. No coffee or chocolate that I can detect. A really nice sweet malt aroma, but just the slightest bit of roasted malt. No hop character in the nose. Overall smells quite inviting.

T-Very satisfying. Where there was virtually no coffee on the nose, coffee-like bitterness is quite present and very nice. Hop bitterness is also present and is a great balance to the caramel-like sweetness. Again, no chocolate that I can detect but nonetheless very nice.

M-Lower levels of carbonation make this beer feel substantial. Certainly not chewy, but nice and just a nice amount of body.

O-A very nice example of the American take on the porter. While porters are not terribly bitter, they can be a bit intimidating to the newcomer. This would probably be a great choice for someone just getting their feet wet, and it is definitely complex enough to satisfy someone craving something with some complexity. Very nice.

 1,227 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A half-inch, creamy, light chestnut head slowly drops a fine coating of lacing on a Dogfish Head snifter. Silky dark brown (SRM 33) to very dark brown is essentially black in the glass.

Dark roasted coffee dominates, yet acerbic detergent cannot be dismissed. Warmth does bring out a light aroma of baker’s chocolate.

This Porter opens with roasted malt and coffee grinds. Sweetness does keep the roasted flavors in check, while the finish repeats several times with deep roasted bitterness. Warming brings out light hop bitterness and flavors, such as grapefruit and pine resin.

A medium body is lifted by prickly carbonation while the alcohol is more prominent than expected. This beer is somewhat astringent with a course texture that approximates brushed wool.

This porter is best paired with food, probably something sweeter, such as Kansas City BBQ ribs.

 868 characters

Photo of Emnmarko
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 4/26/13. Enjoyed 3/10/14

A- Dark and clear with a red hue. A one finger head dissipates almost immediately.

S- Dark roasted malts, dark fruits and a hop backbone. Smells quite good.

T- Well this is disappointing. This has the making for an impressive brew but someone fell asleep at the helm. Your typical porter flavor with a heaping helping of water. Completely underwhelming. Too bad.

M- A little light per style. A little watered down here too.

O- Ok at best. Probably the worst porter I've tried. Not my typical response to a southern tier brew and that's unfortunate. No flavor, no body. Oh well they still get my business for their IPA selections.

 670 characters

Photo of Mojo
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head glass

A - deep obsidian black with a one finger light brown head, fairly decent retention and lacing

S - weaker nose than I expected. Mostly coffee and chocolate and maybe an earthy note

T - lots of notes present here, caramel, coffee, chocolate, roasted nuts, molasses, black licorice, and a slight smoky flavor.

M - full and satisfying

O - a little less roasted than Smuttynose robust porter but probably better balanced.

 463 characters

Photo of FLima
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown color with a thin beige head with low retention.
Roast and lightly smoked aroma with notes of coffee and chocolate.
Flavor of coffee, earthy hops, roasted and smoked malts, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, nuts and wood. Very dry aftertaste with a residual roasted and woody notes.
Light body with appropriate carbonation and slightly acid.
Decent Porter, very enjoyable with very present coffee notes. It is a flavorful brew with medium complexity, but not really robust as the label says and not with a unique taste.

 530 characters

Photo of patpbr
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black with a tan head.
S - Roasted, Coffee, Chocolate
T - Follows the nose with a strong malts, coffee, chocolate, hints of vanilla and hops.
M - Medium body with a semi bitter bite.
O - A good porter but is lacking some bold characteristics.

 262 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Roasty, molasses, caramel, smoke, chocolate, and molasses.

Taste: Smoky, molasses, chocolate, roasty, caramel, stale, a little sour, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, smoky bitterness, and very drinkable.

Overall: Pretty enjoyable and delicious porter. These guys seem to do everything solid. More please.

 597 characters

Photo of delta490
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a deep brown, clear in certain light. A light tan head is present at the beginning and quickly fades, leaving every so slight bits of lacing

S- deep roasted notes of coffee with hints of alcohol

T- roasted malt dominates, but there is little subtlety. It's good, but not great.

M- a little thinner, even slightly watery

O- There are definitely some good parts of this beer and worth trying to add to a collection. But not the absolute best porter I've ever had.

 475 characters

Photo of mitch3114
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter glass.

Very fresh bottle. Brewed 09/04/13. Less than a month! I really like the date stamp on the bottle. Very simple and easy to read. Other breweries should follow ST's lead on this...

A-looks like a typical porter. The color is a little lighter than I expected. It was a dark brown on the pour. When it settled it was a little darker. It ended up being a dark brownish black. The head looked really nice and was about an inch thick. Light tan, thick and stayed around for awhile. Even after 15 minutes there was still a ring around the edge of the glass.

S- This brew smells really nice. It smelled much hoppier than I expected. Chocolate, malt.

T- Bitter from the roasted malt. Just a little hops. Not like the smell. Chocolate. Earthy.

M- Quite thick. Thicker than I expected. Nice mouthfeel.

O- Overall, this beer was ok. I think I was expecting more as I like this brewery a lot. For a porter the smell and the mouthfeel were great, but it just seemed pretty ordinary and not very memorable. In this day and age with so many different breweries sprouting up everywhere, an ok beer from a great brewery doesnt quite cut it-for me anyway. I will never buy this again. However, if I am at a restaurant and it's the only craft, I would get it. But that's not saying much.

 1,314 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 1/21/2013. Pours crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, toffee, coffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, floral, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, toffee, light coffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, toffee, light coffee, biscuit, and light nuttiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes; with a good sweet/roast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice porter style. All around good balance and robustness of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,234 characters

Photo of curasowa
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark ruby color with a thin cap of tan head that fades to a ring.

Aroma: Roasted malt and cocoa powder

Taste: Rich roasted malt up front with lots of chalky cocoa mixing in. Some earthy bitterness shows up in the middle and then fades in the finish, which is chalky and slightly astringent.

The Rest: Body is just on the thin side of medium. This is a balanced, no-frills, straight-up Porter that checks all the boxes of the style and is pretty delicious. It doesn't overpower or overwhelm and is very sessionable.

 536 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours completely black and devoid of all light, like tar, with a finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly faded to a thin halo of foam that gripped the glass.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malt, but that’s about it. For a porter, it’s not that impressive. It contains none of the roasted coffee or dark chocolate that I’m used to in other porters.

Taste: A lot like the aroma, lots of roasted malt and barley, but not much else. Again, none of the subtle (or intense as in some porters) coffee, chocolate, vanilla, burnt sugar, nutty notes that I’m used to tasting in porters. The beer tastes good, but as a porter goes, it’s pretty thin and a little disappointing. No finish whatsoever.

Mouthfeel: Thin, and watery, with not much carbonation.

Overall: Southern Tier’s porter tastes very pleasant, but it is very forgettable. Actually for a porter, it’s pretty weak. I really miss the roasted coffee chocolate, vanilla, burnt sugar, nutty notes that I’m used to tasting in porters. In my opinion, the beer actually makes a better schwarzbier than a porter.

 1,127 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No ruby porter color here. This thing is so ruby it's black/purple. Good looking in color it does lack a significant head. The carbonation is so excited that it rises to the surface and then pops.

Very thin in scent there is a light malt, tea leaf and chocolate aroma.

Chocolate malt hits the forefront with a dry, bready finish. Cracker like dryness and hints of roasted coffee sit deep in the background.

Overall, so much for the robust on the label. This is tasty, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't grab me like I had hoped.

 532 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 12 ounce brown glass bottle of "DARK ROBUST PORTER" served in a snifter.

Appearance: Very dark and reddish mahogany body that looks nearly black but is clear and has exceptional ruby-mahogany edges. Creamy tan colored head soon reduces to a ring but leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Medium and dark roasted malts with light spicy hops and hints of coffee and roasted nuts. Aroma strengthens and improves with warming.

Taste: Hops contribute a nice bit of spiciness and lead to an excellent sweet/bitter balance, but the flavor is clearly dominated by roasted malts. Mostly a dark roast and there's a touch of smoke in the finish, but no unwanted burnt flavors. Roasted nuts, dark malt and an abundance of coffee in the lingering and mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth, with a medium+ body and near perfect carbonation.

O: a relatively gentle, subtle and refined American porter with admirable balance and complexity. Not as rich or strong as a typical Robust Porter.

 1,015 characters

Photo of gcamparone
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Pours a deep brown body with a small white head that reduces quickly and leaves little lacing. Nice color.

S- Big milk chocolate and coffee notes, pretty nice smelling.

T- Subtle coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla notes with a cardboard-like phenolic finish. Not too flavorful but the flavors that are there are good. Aftertaste is roasted malt.

M- Thin-ish but drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall not a bad porter - the shining point is how easy it goes down. Could be a little more robust, considering the label says "robust porter". Worth a try.

 603 characters

Photo of Danderson
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had to pour a little vigorously to get any head, which was light and thin. Perhaps it's my mood (long day at work) but the smell was perfect - smooth, soft, creamy-chocolatey. At first, seemed to go down more smoothly than expected, but by the end, noticed the carbonation (not bad; just seemed to change over time). It was a little colder than was necessary; still regulating the beer fridge, so that may have dampened the flavor a bit, but still felt that it had a distinct light-chocolate/coffee taste.

 505 characters

Photo of shand
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Southern Tier Porter pours deep brown with a finger of head - about standard for the style. The aroma is sweet and roasty, with a bit of chocolate. The taste is where things get a little weird. I'm not sure if it's an over-roast flavor or some sort of coffee addition that adds a touch of acidity that is rather distracting during the sip. After that passes, it's pretty solid porter territory, with a nice strong roast through the finish. The mouthfeel is thin and a bit too highly carbonated, and the drinkability is solid. Overall, an average porter that has a few flaws that really hold it back.

 599 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap The Vital Spot in Geneseo, NY.

Pours out black, not the darkest black, but still pretty dark. One inch mocha head, with some good lacing.

Smells like chocolate, coffee, smoke, and roasted malt.

The taste is similar. No one flavor stands out above the rest, it's just a well-integrated set of flavors in this porter. The aforementioned aromas are the set of flavors, as well. Slight hop bitterness, but not a whole lot.

Medium bodied, feels good. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation.

An overlooked but great beer from Southern Tier.

 550 characters

Photo of mooseo
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Dark black-brown with a very small light tan head.

S - Subtle aroma of light roast, chocolate, and black coffee.

T - A delicate but tasty blend of roasted malt, faint dark chocolate, and coffee. Finishes with a touch of bitterness and burnt smoked wood flavor.

M - Rather light/thin mouthfeel. Smooth. A bit acidic, especially in the finish.

O - Just an 'ok' porter. The mouthfeel is a little odd and a bit too thin. Not much here in terms of complexity or robust flavor. But what remains is still a rather pleasant, drinkable beer that I would have again if the opportunity presented itself.

 625 characters

Photo of SEG1975
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a chilled pint glass

Opaque dark brown with decent amount of head that diasappeared quickly.

Decent aroma with a strong bitter chocolate / coffee scent

Mouthfeel is smoothe, but not as thick as I was hoping for

Taste: Coffee undertown is more dominant than the bitter chocolate. Malty, but not overpowering.

Over all a decent Porter that I have found is best served slightly chilled.

 400 characters

Porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.