Porter - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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421 Reviews

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Reviews: 421
Hads: 921
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 22
Gots: 95 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WesWes on 06-16-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 421 | Hads: 921
Photo of Naes
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is black with reddish hues around the edges. It has a large frothy head which is light tan and quite sticky, that laces well. There is also a good amount of carbonation that sticks to the side of the glass.

The smell is of roasted malt with hints of coffee and a little bit of chocolate hides in there as well.

It tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee. The aftertaste makes way for the roasted malt (not as present as the aroma suggests) and a slight presence of hops. Overall, it is a wonderfully blended flavor.

Its mouth feel is smooth, medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

This one is a highly drinkable porter. If you dig the porters, I highly suggest this one. (694 characters)

Photo of jimbotrost
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased 3/04 and sampled 8/04 (notes). Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights, very nice. Creamy head is full and carbonation is medium, nice for style. Nose is excellent with roastiness and hints of chocolate. Dry coffee flavor and a chalky mouthfeel. Finish is even more stout like, but is a great brown porter. (316 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a little lighter and a litter more clear than your typical porter, but still dark brown. Not that all porters have to adhere strictly to the usual style characteristics (dark, malty, robust, to name a few) but this just seemed to come up short in my opinion. Taste had a nice singed malt taste, but there was also an odd rootbeer flavoring that I wasn't interested in. Also, this was way more carbonated than I think a porter should be. Didn't really want to drink more after one. Plenty of better porters out there, but don't forget about the other good brews that Southern Tier puts out. (597 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a room temp bottle in a pint glass.
The beer pours a dark chocolate brown with a 1 cm soft creamy beige head foaming up easily. The head fades very slowly to a sturdy surface layer and leaves tightly packed lacing as it recedes.
Aroma is mild with toffee, roasted malt, a bit of chocolate and some lite grassy hops.
First sip reveals a soft creamy body with prickly carbonation that stings my tongue a little.
Flavor is roasted malt and even a bit of smokiness up front, this gives way to some sweet chocolate and finishes with some coffee mixing with a bit of grassy hops. Slight drying on the finish as well. Overall it is a very easy drinking beer that goes down nicely and is flavorful. A nice porter that I will try again. (745 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brew remaining from a previous trade w/ shippos.
Pours black w/ just a hint of light passing through on the edges...half a finger of beige head w/ an agressive pour. The cling is thin and goes bye-bye fairly quickly.
Faint aroma w/ mainly roasted malts...a hint of dark chocolate in there.
Taste is also very subtle...a hint of smoky flavor going on.
Bread-like yeast flavors mixed in and no sweetness detected at first, but appears somewhat once this puppy hits room temperature.
Mouthfeel is thicker than I was expecting and the carbonation is decent.
Although this brew is not "wowing" me, I am really enjoying it and can make this a session brew w/ no effort.
Score must suffer due to me having Smutty's Robust Porter last night...tough act to follow.
I really like all of the ST brews I have tried to date...keep 'em coming. (839 characters)

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

Creamy coffee colored head. Some thin lacing with average strength. Nearly opaque, deep brown in color.

Hazlenut, coffee syrup, espresso, and some dark chocolate. Semi-sweet but also a touch of roasted malt.

Dark chocolate and light espresso/mocha; very creamy and milky. Followed by a mild sweetness, grape and cherry. Very dry hop bitterness. Coffee, hazlenut, and dark chocolate aftertaste.

Full bodied; creamy and milky on the palate. Thin on the palate for the style.

A pretty middle of the road porter. More milky than I'd like or expect from the style. (571 characters)

Photo of dragonbrew
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer seems to be selling very well locally, in fact there were only two six packs left when I made a Saturday evening stop at the grocery store around the corner. I'd been wanting to try this one since I had it at the Tanglewood fest in the fall, but it never seems to be around. It's my lucky day and at $6.39 the price isn't out of touch.

As I poured I got the whole bottle into the pint glass with a nice brown 1" head, perfect. One thing I noticed about this opaque delight was that it had that cool characteristic, it had legs. I know that's more of a wine term, where there are streams of beer/foam that trail down the inside of the glass and stick. To me it just has a look of quality.

The aroma put off by this porter was reminiscent of mocha chocolate flavors similar to that of a stout, pleasinly matching it's creamy taste. The taste itself was interesting because at first touch in the mouth it came off as slightly bitter, but then went down smooth, weird how it switched over like that.

I mentioned before that I thought it was creamy, and it was, but I would have liked it a bit more if it had a slightly heavier mouth-feel.
This beer went down very smooth, which always amazes those who watch you drink porters or stouts because they all think it looks so heavy. If they only knew, their loss.

As you can tell I liked this beer, which is why I immediately had a second. I'm sure I will sample more in the future, gotta support the local boys! (1,476 characters)

Photo of edchef1850
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this six pack of southern tier porter laying around for a while now and I finally got a chance to taste. I'm glad i finally did. This is a very nice beer, clean dark classic porter look in the pint.Appearance score took a hit because of packaging, some advocates might disagree with this but I feel that packaging of a product certainley sends a message to the drinker, you drink with your eyes first ,after all.That being said Southern Tier does a poor job with it's labeling, very generic and uninspired. This might be by design ,but I dont think it works .Fortunatley whats inside the bottle more than makes up for uninspired branding.The head could have been a little thicker, but ill take the blame for that, with a crumby pour. I like the balance in the mouth, nice toasty hints, some sweetness, yet clean and not overpowering. southern tier does a good job with their beers, and this one is no exception. I would love to try this on tap, as i am always partial to a pint in a pub on tap, it always seems to improve the overall experience.I would suggest this beer to all, it is a pleasant experience, and i'll be finishing thew six pack soon. (1,160 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barely transparent, black topped with a thick froth of tan head. Great head retention, keeping a thick layer thourhgout, as wel as leaving a speckling of lace clinging to the glass. The aroma gives forth tons of roasted, charred malt, citric hops, and coffee. Pretty celan, only mild amounts of esters, with heaps of chocolate and blackened malt. The flavor opens with a charred coffee maltiness, quickly overtaken by an assertive citrus, piney hop flavor. Hints of plum and cashew, mostly an underline beneath the roasted malt bittersweetness. Lingering roasty and bitter hop flavor on the thingue. Excellent. I could drink this by the liter. (643 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost black in appearance. A one finger light brown head caps the top. Retention leaves something to be desired and the lace is negligible. Nose is roasty and chocolatey and a little minty even. The taste is quite agreeable. I like the dry chalky mouthfeel in conjunction with the bitter roasted notes in the flavor. Chocoalate comes into play. And there's a great lingering bitterness after the swallow. This is a beer I'd dip into every so often were it available here. (472 characters)

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

Pours a nice foamy tan head with a fairly black/brown body. I first noticed the coffe aroma. This is a very rich beer(not as rich as brooklyns black chocoalte) but the sweet chocolate taste really stands out to me. This isn't as distinct as the other southern tier beers as you are not knocked out and amazed by the potent hops and pine flavor but it is still a solid brew. I could very easily see myself picking up a 6 pack of this every 3 months or so. (454 characters)

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

A full, big-bubbled head of dark tan foam rises above an almost opaque black-brown body; yet the head retention is somewhat limited. Only glints of ruby-mahogany can be seen around the edges and base of the glass. The nose is rich and inviting with wafts of distinct bittersweet chocolate and toffee over more subtle notes of coffee. It's smooth across the palate with a medium-light body and restrained carbonation. The flavor is not as rich as the nose suggests it might be, but the same bittersweet chocolate, toffee, and mocha character remains. A delicate undercurrent of yeasty fruit and a splash of grassy hop flavor add some character; and a solid bitterness backs it leading to a very dry, powdery finish. (714 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown color with a nice one inch semi tan head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate, and some floral type hops. Taste is of chocolate, roasted espresso, maybe some nuttyness in there underneath. Hops are there and provide a nice counterbalance to the sweet, roasted malts. Well balanced and smooth. Body is a bit on the light side. Kind of a simple beer with the coffee/chocolate dominance and balance all around, just a well made, easy drinking, sessionable porter. I'm really enjoying this Southern Tier sampler pack. (543 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque mahogany with garnet highlights. The wheat toast brown head is compact and creamy with multitudinous surface pits. Impressive persistence. When it eventually begins to deflate, it leaves a decent display of ecru lace in shotgun-blasted sheets.

The nose is very nice and has enough guts that I don't have to bathe the tip of my nose to appreciate its character. Chocolate-covered hops are uppermost with notes of black coffee zipping this way and that.

Still going strong. Alhough it doesn't strike me as a 'robust' porter, as the brewery claims, the medium body still manages to convey plenty of mouth-filling flavor. The hops are still front and center without dominating the whole. Ground coffee beans have now surged and are neck and neck with melted bittersweet chocolate and roasted barley

This is a well-crafted beer. All of the flavor elements work together in perfect harmony and the smooth, light-enough-to-be-gulpable-but-full-enough-to-bathe-the-tongue body is just right. I'm having trouble finding much to criticize. Uh... this is only a 12 oz. bottle?

Southern Tier Porter isn't a big porter and it certainly isn't a 'robust' one. It is, however, delicious and is just light enough that several could disappear without a second thought. Too bad I only have this one. If I lived in their distribution area, I would never be without a few sixers of Southern Tier beer. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle. (1,439 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at... where else? Spuyten Duyvil.

I think I've had half a dozen or so of Southern Tier's offerings, and this beer was my favorite.

The appearance was noteworthy. This most have been a brown porter, because it basically looked like a dark brown ale. There really was no hint of deep brown/black in this beer, but rather it was pretty much a dark red to brown.

The aroma was fine. I got a lot of chocolate malt and some aroma hops as well, all in addition to a subtle addition of black patent malt. Very enticing.

The beer tasted great. It was really well balanced, and there was a toffee flavor that went well with a nice addition of flavor hops in the end.

The beer was a bit thin-bodied, but then again, it probably is appropriate for the style.

Overall, it's a pretty good session ale. I could definitely see myself having a few pints of this. Recommended. (901 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger tan head that fades slowly leaving an even lace. Black - nearly opaque. Good carbonation, heavy bodied. Nose is a smokey roast. Starts with a roasted coffee flavor, finish has a slight bitterness. $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle from Hoosick Street Discount Bev. Troy, NY. (289 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i quite enjoyed this one, moreso than i would have expected from the reviews of it thusfar (though not scathing, it seems most find this one to be fairly average). it pours a lovely dark, dark brown/ruby colour with a decent sized (yet only moderately sticky) off white head. the smell is of roasted, burnt malt, earth, and a touch of semi sweet chocolate with a hint of coffee somewhere. good but a bit thin, though it should be so (i think) for a porter. the flavour is a mixture of roasted malt, smoked bitterness, toasted bread, etc. and, again, remains thin, but thick enough to hold it's own. i liked that this one doesn't try to go big and pose as a stout. it's flavourful and definitely easy to drink. recommended. (722 characters)

Photo of bultrey
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This porter is a dark brown bordering on black, with a nice tan head that settles down to just a whisper, but lasts the whole beer. I smell anise and chocolate in the nose. This is a very fresh tasting beer, with good roasted chocolate malt, and I would say fairly aggressive hopping for a porter. It does not have a particularly creamy mouthfeel; in fact, it's a little bit thin, but that does serve to make the beer drinkable. The aftertaste is coffee and the finish is dry and rather refreshing for a dark beer. This would make a great session porter, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else this brewery has to offer. (625 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 ounce brown glass bottle. A dark purple neck and obverse label has the words Southern Tier Brewing Company. The main label also has the words ‘Porter Dark’ and ‘Real Beer’. No strength or freshness listed.

Appearance: Dark chestnut brown body that exhibits ruby mahogany hue when held to the light. Creamy thick, egg-white stiff tan colored head that laces well. Nice carbonation levels and a decent presentation.

Nose: Coffee nose, with some light dark chocolate hints. More nutty and toffee aromas as it warms up.

Taste: Nice hit of roasted malts, some toasted hops, and a dark chocolate middle. Scorched coffee, dry bitterness and a light but sticky bonfire toffee feel at the end. Lingering coffee bitterness. Nutty at times.

Mouthfeel: Lovely and creamy at first, but the coffee bitterness can leave a scorched earth feel at the back of the mouth which dominates a little too much.

Drinkability: I managed the one 12 ouncer quite easily, but the dry burnt roasted bitterness has a feeling like I swallowed a mouthful of instant coffee granules at times, and this would bother me in the longer time I think.

Overall: I initially though that this looked like a great Brown Ale when I poured it, yet the more I worked my way through it, I wondered if I had a Brown Ale with an incorrect label, especially as the nutty aspects break through as this warms. Porter Dark or Brown Ale?? Different, but nevertheless pretty decent.

Thanks to the Evil-Davo from the Dark-Side for this “Porter Dark cum Brown Ale” sample! Cheers Mate. (1,571 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1/2" tan head, which laces quite well. A barely translucent reddish dark brown brew, with a slightly smoky coffee dark malt aroma. Reminds me of a lighter bodied Guinness, but tasting with more coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pretty good. Nothing much detracting here, but not much to honk the horn about either. An acceptable porter. (478 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Chunky froth that leaves a tan lacing behind. Nearly black in color … sure what the hell, it is black.

Smell: Minty, root-like with a sweet roasted aroma.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with a smooth bitty mouth feel. Burnt yet not astringent … tad smoky with charred malt flavors throughout. Clean malty palate, hops are mild with a slight balancing act with the malt. Finishes with a wet charred flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: A very interestingly layered porter, quite flavorful yet not robust at all. I paired this with some smoked cheddar and rye crackers. (646 characters)

Photo of heidelbeerg
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one on tap. Poured dark brown/black with a thin head. Pretty much opaque. Smell and taste were both roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel was a little thin for what I was expecting. Overall very drinkable. I like this style and could drink these all night. Certainly worth a try. (295 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


After a hard pour, beer produces little to no head, and is not quite as dark brown/ruby as is to be expected by the style. Too much light gets through this one.


Sweet roasted malt and chocolate are the predominant odors. More reminiscent of a milk stout than porter.


Smoky in character, with a definitely sweet malt presence on the tongue. Not as complex and chewy as I like my porters, but thoroughly drinkable. (463 characters)

Photo of longpondbeerman
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an inky brown; no light comes through. Modest tan head that leaves a patterned lace. The aroma is of peaty malts. There are some hops behind it all. First taste is very smoky, like ashes in the fireplace. Second taste too. Dark roasted coffee, but no sign of those hops. A little too much carbonation for a porter that's on the heavy side. (345 characters)

Photo of necoadam
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a black color with a big amount of carbonation. A little surpised by the carbonation because porter's shouldn't have this much carbonation to them. Smell consisted of roasted coffee and grains. A little bit of hops can be detected as well. Taste was a little lackluster I thought. Coffee flavors come through with some hop bitterness and a touch of grainy flavors as well. Aftertaste had some coffee and roasted flavors in it. I've had their mild ale and pilsner and this porter is a little weak. Nothing seems to mesh together in here. I'll pass this beer next time. (578 characters)

Porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.