1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Porter - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

875 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 875
Reviews: 415
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 20
Gots: 65 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 875 | Reviews: 415 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty dark black with almost no color at the edges. Thin mocha colored head reduces quick, leaving a few light strings of lace.

Upon pouring I was hit with a pungent acidic aroma that reminded me of green olives. There was also roasted malt and maybe some molasses or anise.

Flavor was pretty unique. Had a tangy sourdough-like acidity (maybe from the "old ale" aspect of English Porters?). Roasted malt and a touch of molasses. Hint of smoke, like pipe tobacco. Hops are there but unobtrusive. Good balance. Finishes clean, maybe a little too much so.

Carbonation is a bit sharp. Medium body.

Overall good, but not great. Complexity is decent, but the flavor is a bit on the weak side. I could drink a few with no problem, but there are better choices for the $$$.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ironbike1 for this bottle.

Poured from the bottle a deep dark brown with red highlights and a sliver of tan head.

Sweet aroma of roasted malts, dark ripe fruit, cocoa, and black coffee.

Black coffee upfront then reveals dark ripe fruits, dark chocolate, tobacco, and vanilla.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, with a light carbonation.

A pretty nice porter from the folks at Southern Tier. Easy to drink and enjoy.

Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark ruby hues. A thin tan head descends to thin wisps. Most of the few thin lines of lacing vanish.

The smell is of chocolate/coffee with some caramel. Earthy and citrus-y notes come through.

The taste is of black chocolate with roasted coffee. There's a touch acidity. Licorice with a hint of black olives come through as it progresses. Dark malt is nicely balanced by a citric bitterness. It has a bittersweet, long finish.


This is an American porter with a rich, pretty complex, maltiness with an American bitter touch and roastiness. Nicely balanced. A delcious porter!

Photo of seanpachefddfa
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance- Poured a black color with very little head. Not much lacing to speak of either.
Smell-chocolate and roasted malts up front with some nice coffee notes also.
Taste- Roasted malts and dark chocolate followed by a light smoke and a nut taste.
mouth feel- a medium body beer that is smooth and creamy.
Drink ability- Not the best porter I have had but good flavor and goes down very easy.

Photo of lpayette
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This porter pours a nice near black with a light light brown head that produces some good lacing. Somewhat creamy head... would love to try this on nitro.

The taste is where it's at on this one. Great roasty flavors with just a slight acidic quality that pops up close to the finish occassionally. light coffee notes. Not very chocolatey, but it's there. The mouthfeel is pretty solid and the drinkability high. This is a really good example of a porter.

Photo of dbatch
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass. This is the 2008 model, purple label, just picked it up yesterday.

A: A vigorous pour shows a nearly black brew, not opaque but not clear either, what little head formed was white and dissipated almost immediately. Lacing was not to be found and carbonation was not really evident, from looking at it you would think the beer was flat.

S: Dark roasted malts up front are strong, definitely smoky, with a licorice aroma as well. As the beer warmed, I detected a nice floral hop and slightly peppery aroma.

T: Both malty and nicely hopped at the same time, semi smoky, burnt licorice. As it warmed, a nice hop flavor became evident, along with some very faint blackberry flavor.

M: Very thin, decent amount of carbonation despite not seeing any in the pour. Does leave the mouth clean.

D: I think one or two in one sitting is the most I'd do. Its good, but not really sessionable.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly light brown bodied liquid with hues of ruby and amethyst around the edges (making the purple label apropos). A mild pour yields a nice one-finger head with average staying power that recedes and laves a nice layered, spidery lacing.

Aroma: Sweeter than it ends up tasting, with some nice lactic notes, and deep, smoky malt notes.

Taste: Mild and dry. Lots of heavily toasted bready notes with plenty of smoke and evem char, but no offensive or rough burnt notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth. Fairly milky/creamy

Drinkability: An average to slightly above-average porter. Nothing wrong with it but nothing outstanding either. Alcohol is, of course, just fine, and though I'd try it again if offered, it's not particularly outstanding enough to make me seek it out again.

Photo of Proteus93
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this bottle handed to me last night by dkachur (maybe it's poison!) Thanks, Dan.

A: Cola coloured as it pours, pretty much black in the glass - some ruby highlights that are noticable in the sunlight. A creamy, sandy head recedes fairly slowly, leaving a solid cover over the brew.

S: Some nice roasted malt scents, creamy chocolate and coffee, a sweetness almost like a touch of overripe fruit, and something kinda like spearmint leaf.

T: Malt, chocolate, aging coffee ground. A little bit of tartness - overripe plum. A little leafiness.

M + D: A lighter body, with a touch of creaminess in there for good measure. Not the most extraordinary feeling, but not too bad and accessible. It could potentially be a nice session choice, though I think that, personally, it would be one of those "Oh, I haven't had that in a while" kind of choices.

Photo of JayQue
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/black color with enough highlights shining through when held up to the light to outline the glass in red. Small to Medium size dark tan head with average retention and lacing.

Mild smell of roasted malts, bitter chocolate. Smell followed up in the taste. Surprisingly rich flavor of dark fruit, bitter chocolate roasted and bready malt.

Mouthfeel was thin. The flavors were strong and up front but the overall effect was a slightly watery mouthfeel. Lacked richness and coating of the tongue.

Drinkability is pretty good. The light mouthfeel that I see as a weak point might translate as making this more of a light session beer.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - opaque black up top, some burgundy notes around the thinner bottom of the glass. A light mocha cap of almost two fingers. It falls back to a thin cover, leaving a nice pattern of lace behind.

Aroma - good roasted malt, fresh coffee aromas. Holds good intensity as the beer set up.

Taste - dark roasted malt, this one is all grain. Very roasty with an aftertaste of char on the swallow. A tasty burnt flavor that I normally don't go for, but for whatever the reason it blends in very well here. A lengthy aftertaste, maintaining its burnt grain character.

Mouthfeel - carbonation is crisp but dulled through the solid body.

Drinkability - one of the better porters I've had in a while. More a colder weather kind of beer, I bet it's be good with some ribs or anything off the grill.

Photo of bobsy
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with a substantial tan coloured head. More or less a textbook appearance. Coffee and chocolate in the aroma, as well as some hops. Roasted malt flavours dominate the front of the sip, transcending through some bitter chocolate to a hoppy finish. Smooth on the palate, but perhaps a little too thin for my tastes. Solid drinkability.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a mixed twelve pack (also a road trip acquisition) I discovered this NY state gem. Poured out of the bottle a dark, near black brown like Coca Cola complete with reddish hues on the meniscus. Thin tan head unfortunately did not lace much nor retain well. Understated aromas of milk chocolate, sweetened coffee and liquid smoke. Flavors were dominated by coffee, milk chocolate chips (y'know, the Nestle kind!), biscuity malt and some weak hops. Slightly woody like oak and a little nutty as well. Long chocolate finish. Medium/light carbonation and a good but not great mouthfeel. Very sessionable for a porter but not great for New England standards.

Photo of biegaman
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lemon trimming and butterscotch edges add highlights to the top and outer dimensions of this otherwise deep and dark coloured beer. It is more of a dim brown, and although very dark indeed, it is not black. I'd have preferred a little foam with the bubbles, but this looks alright all the same.

Hints of smoke, burnt toffee, bitter chocolate, and plenty of dark caramel means this certainly has all the elements it needs to smell great, although I wouldn't consider the aroma much more than nice. It fails to jump out and seduce you, but still makes for something nice to hold under your nose.

The flavour is full of chocolate chips. It is without its usual cookie/biscuit accompaniment and tastes more like a bitter, unrefined bakers chocolate. The generous hoping which has begun to fade in this bottle imparts a faint note of mint.

The beer is light bodied, dry, and only lightly bitter. It drinks on a level that many more mainstream drinkers will appreciate. That said, they pack a nice amount of flavour into that and this is something that would make a wonderful 'cross-over' beer for commercial lager drinkers.

Southern Tier's Porter Dark (as oppose to "porter light"?) is a less than spectacular beer from an otherwise spectacular brewery. It is an average porter and if you are someone getting into craft beer or beginning to explore dark beers than this is a great place to start. Do it, come on over, join the dark side!

Photo of kirok1999
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark brown with a slight foamy head.
Smelled of sweet coffee and a bit of chocolate.
Tasted the same but a little milder than the smell. There's chocolate and coffee and some mild sweetness but the best part is the smell.
The carbonation is a bit high for my expectation of a porter. There's an average, mildly watery mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable as it's totally inoffensive.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottled with tonights dinner of Latin American cuisine, at The Mission in Syracuse.

Poured a dark brown with about 3 fingers of tan head, head lasted quite some time.

Smells of coffee, malt and some dark chocolate. As the beer warmed it developed a scent of oatmeal, and the same is true for its flavor.

Taste is bitter with streams of coffee and chocolate, roasted malts dominate and as the beer warms it takes on a slight flavor of oat.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is a bit higher than what I like in a porter but its perfect here and blends very well.

I've had better porters but this isn't bad. Drinkability is good but I don't think I'll find my way back to this one.

Photo of Riverwarrior
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S = Mocha and hops.

T = Roasted malt flavor upfront with cocoa in the middle. Piney hops shows up near the end. The finish is fairly bitter.

MF = A little thin and is highly carbonated.

Overall, this is a decent American Porter that is worth trying.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fantastically over carbonated, a careful pour yields six-fingers in height of lightly browned, tan colored froth. The beer is a near black, dark brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, deeply ruby tinged color when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of sour, tart notes up front with rich, chocolate and roast grain notes towards the end. The chocolate aromatics are quite nice and there is a really expressive, toasted malt not that is a mix of coffee, browned bread crust and browned biscuits. The initially noticed, sour fruitiness becomes less noticeable as my nose get used to it, so I am able to focus on the malt character much more.

Light and quite fruity tasting up front; it tastes a bit like fermented prune juice in some ways, but does have a noticeable roast character. The finish, in addition to a sort of moldy note, has a solid bitterness that is a combination of hop and roast grain. Roast grain notes of black coffee, light dark cocoa and a deeply toasted, complex grain character. The initial, excessive carbonation knocked all of the CO2 out of this beer so that it is quite smooth and quaffable; this pairs quite well with the light body.

While clearly heading south (better check those bottling lines) the sourness and touch of funk seems to work for the most part in this beer. I am actually enjoying the beer, this is something a bit like I would imagine a blended Porter would be like; young fresh beer blended with old, funky brew to create a more complex, yet still quaffable product. Should I even be encouraging the brewery to clean up their QC regimen cause this isn't half bad.

Photo of generallee
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a dark opaque color with a thick foamy tan head. Its head hangs on for awhile and leaves nice rings of lace behind on the glass.

Smell: There is a nice roasted malt aroma with sweet molasses and just a hint of citrusy hops.

Taste/Mouth feel: The favor is full of dark, roasted and malty flavors with burnt caramel and molasses sweetness. Mild bitterness is supplied by a light hops presence that adds some balance. This is all wrapped up in a very drinkable medium body with a pleasant smooth mouth feel and carbonation.

Notes: Drinkable and full of flavor, nice!

Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beertruth, beer is truth and the truth shall set you free.

Tonight the forecast will be dark, with brown highlights and no head. Looks like a dark deep cherry red wood.

Smells sweet, cocoa, hops in there too. Kinda like a hop fudge sundae.

The taste isnt as big as I thought it would be. Pretty tasty though. Bitter, but not as smooth as anderson valley's porter. Choco-coffee flavors.

Burnt cocoa aftertaste, dry, pleasant coffee tastes.

Their special big beers have bold tastes, I wished these ones did too. Still, strong like bull.

Photo of PBBC
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, ruby highlights, nice grey-tan head that disappears quickly.

Smell is sweet, slight caramel, with a nice tinge of roasted chocolate, almost a fruity aroma.

Taste is excellent, feels thick across the tongue with burnt caramel tastes, slight bittersweet chocolate... burnt, almost ashlike taste lingers with the light hop presence on the sides and back of the tongue.

Overall... great example of porter, sweet, not too dry... would definitely buy again.

Photo of zdk9
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a shade of black with some ruby highlights showing through. Head was somewhat feeble to start off but is leaving stronger lacing than expected.

S- Roasted nuts, slight butteryness (almost walnut oil), just a tad of fruit.

T- Quite bitter. Good amount of roasted malt flavor. After careful searching I can find the hops flavors- grapefruit and orange. Nice balance.

M- This is a rather creamy beer which doesn't really fit my palate for a porter. Some sharper carbonation is in order.

D- A good offering but not one that sparks my interest terribly much.

Photo of blakesell
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a very dark brown, near black with a red hue shining clearly through the beverage. The head is a finger of creamy tan foam with lacing glued to the sides.

Smell- Roasted malts with a pretty fair amount of hops on the nose. Light frutiness with hard water minerality and olives? Greek olives? I'm losing my mind.

Taste- Rich roasted malts giving way to those fruity yeasty esters of lemon, ginger, and hops with a smooth floral feel of rose water and light bitters.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, slightly sticky, not warming, crisp, medium full bodied and medium on carbonation.

Drinkability- The bottle is much smoother than the tap which tastes much different. This beer was somewhat cool, but not worth more visits on this handle.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cola-like darkness with a thin head that reduces to a thin film in a minute or so. Looks as much like an average black lager as it does a boring old porter. Not too exciting, nothing glaringly wrong either. I guess not all dark beers qualify as seductive and entrancing abysses.

Smoky malts come to the fore of the aroma, giving a kind of woody/campfire vibe. Some dark fruit way in the background, sort of berry-like.

Flavor definitely delivers, balancing charred malts, coffee and dark fruit/berry. More character emerges with its interesting char/milk finish. As the liquid holds in the mouth and the flavors do their thing, it seems a big juicy porter...then dries very quickly after the swallow.

Mouthfeel unfortunately lays on the thin side while also having too much carbonation. Not a hugely off-putting texture, but kind of a letdown considering how tasty it is.

Some so-so qualities and some very good qualities. But it's the flavor that counts, and I'm not surprised Southern Tier pulls through again on that front. They need to do a Baltic Porter.

Photo of hellcatsjg
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ragaeagainst123 for the trade

Appearance: What you would expect. Dark black beer with a good amount of white head. Head disappears and there is not much lacing to speak of.

Smell: Roasted coffee is strong, with a decent amount of malts and a slight bit of hops as well.

Taste: Very nice porter. Roasted coffee takes the lead along with the malts. There is a nice balancing bitter hop flavor that goes well with the coffee. Tastes like a creamy cup of bitter coffee, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with maybe a bit more carbonation than I would like. Bitterness lingers in the mouth and may not appeal to everyone.

Drinkability: Very good porter. The good aspects of the style are at the forefront and there is a good hop flavor as well. Recommended.

Photo of animal69
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked up their sampler pack, this was actually the 3rd. in my line-up ; pours a deep orangish-brown w/ a thin creamy tan cap which left a fair amount of lacing in my nonic ; a moderate smell, a sweet darker grain smell, a bit like coffee & toast, a faint piney hop note in there as well ; a rich dry, nutty flavor from the onset, a slightly sour note to it as well, some darker fruits and touch of alcohol in the finish ; light-med bodied w/ a creaminess that was surprising, a decent co2 level prob. helps ; a very drinkable brew, prob. in the top 5 Am. porters i've had...

Porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.