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Porter - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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887 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 887
Reviews: 419
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 19
Gots: 76 | 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
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Ratings: 887 | Reviews: 419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brianh78
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a big fan of porters to begin with, but I just had to try/review this one...

Appearance: deep brown with red tones when held to the light. It creates spots, not a lattice, on the glass. The head is very thin and dissipates quickly.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee prevail with some toasted maltiness and a slight bitter note

Taste: sweet-ish. The coffee flavor comes first, then settles to a roasty malt, and finishes slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: it sticks with you, even though it's a little thin.

Drinkability: it's a decently tasty porter and is slightly filling. I could only drink one.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

More clarity than I was expecting given the emphasis of the word "dark" on the label... Maybe that was for people who don't know that porters are dark. Finger of tan head that was quickly fleeting, left slight residual lacing along the glass.

Heavy coffee notes hit the nose.

This is a very unbalanced porter, the roasted malt coffee taste is far more bitter than it should be and the hops are practically non existant.

Great mouthfeel, very thick and creamy on the palate; pleasant after taste, and a nice level of carbonation.

I doubt I'd drink more than one of these... Unless I was desperate.

Photo of jmalex
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've made my way through a good portion of Southern Tier's bomber offerings. Now I'm trying to sample as many of their standards as I can.

APPEARANCE: Pours a deep dark brown with reddish highlights into a Sam Adams glass. The head almost doesn't completely form and settles out as a medium collar with a few rogue bubbles.

SMELL: Moderate-strength aromas of black malt and coffee are most prominent. Sitting back a bit is the full spectrum of chocolates to toffee to caramel. It's all balanced by the most subtle of hop aromas though it doesn't take on any specific flavors.

TASTE: A little odd. All of the expected rich and dark flavors are severely lacking in intensity. The caramel is low, the coffee is bitter, and the chocolate is non-existent. The finish gives a lasting bitterness and astringency which has a significant dose of hop flavor. Bitterness is at a higher level than I'd expect, which there's nothing wrong with, but coupled with a lack of malt sweetness, it's a little jarring.

MOUTHFEEL: Lighter bodied than I'd like, but not excessively so. Carbonation is lower as well, but likewise still within proper bounds.

DRINKABILITY: Better than it sounds. The lighter body helps it go down easy (not that that's what I was looking for). No issues getting through a glass of this... unless, of course, you start thinking about all the better porters you could be drinking.

Eh, not the best beer I've had from them for sure, but it's still a decent choice. That said, there's so many others I like better, and I'll be sticking with those.

Photo of bigdeuce
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great looking pour, big head, nice lacing. Some chocolatey malts with a nice nutty goodness. A bit metallic, however. A nice porter though, nonetheless with some boldness and maybe some figs. A bit sweet on the nose, some nice bitterness on the back end. A dry finish, maybe a bit unrefined. Worth a shot.

Photo of yesyouam
4.48/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(a second tasting, Apr 25, 2008) Southern Tier Porter is a nearly black, dark reddish brown ale with a thick, fluffy beige head that has excellent retention and leaves excellent lacing on the glass. The aroma is fresh and roasty like coffee and chocolate. Smells great! It is medium bodied, very smooth, and the finish is dry. It tastes great! It has an excellent roasty flavor that exhibits great balance. That's what a porter is supposed to taste like!

(first tasting, Apr 19, 2008) Southern Tier Porter is a dim, dark red ale adorned with an eggy beige head with oily bubbles that stays put and crusts up on the glass. Very handsome. The aroma is muted, grainy, roasty, fresh and dry. It if full bodied and fluffy in the mouth. The finish starts with a sharp bitter snap and then turns silty and dry. The flavor is quite well balanced. It doesn't lean toward coffee or chocolate; it's just dark roasted malt here. The end of the taste gets alkaline. The hops kick in to bring me grassiness and set the malt on a spin toward salmiakki. This is an ideal porter.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another of ST's beers that I can only seem to get in their mixed twelve pack.

Medium brown hue with ruby highlights. Very speedy film of foam after the pour that diminishes to nothing quickly. Good roasted malt araom has notes of faint crushed mint hops and medium brownie. Great roasted flavors i thi beer. Sessionale brownies, a little coffee and dark chocolate. Good session beer. Southern Tier needs to put this porter in six-packs for IL.

Photo of mdm46410
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle and served in an English pint glass. This beer poured a sleek, near-black with some mahogany highlights around the edges of the glass. A thin head of tan foam quickly faded away, leaving little lace. The aroma included freshly gound coffee, milk chocolate, and some caramel. Mildly roasty. The flavor contained some moderately bitter coffee and roasted malt, along with a balancing hop bite. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and had light to moderate carbonation. Not bad. A pretty standard porter.

Photo of yossarian14
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a dark dark brown porter, nothing getting though until you hold it to the light. Dark brown highlights the edges and the bright white light shine red through the thick black coffee. I got minimal head with some spotty lacing. Coffee and dark chocolate dominate the aroma with a roasted maltiness holding it together. Tastes roasty toasty and a little burnt. Theres campfire smoke and espresso. mmm.
The mouthfeel is just right for the style. Any fuller body and I'd feel like I were drinking a stout. But this is medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Very drinkable and right up my alley. A nice example of an American Porter.

Photo of Minkybut
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer poureda really dark black rich looking brew with a tan creamy head. The head decayed really fast though and was gone by the second chug. The smell of the beer was slighly sour which worried me there for a minute. But upon tasting the beer had a nice dark roasted coffee taste that was quite good. I will uy again.

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color and a somewhat thick texture. There was a huge, tan-colored, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: Aroma of malts, chocolate and a little coffee.

T: A fairly well done taste. Roasted malt, chocolate and some coffee.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer. It goes down easy and has a nice quality about it.

Photo of tmitch75
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up as a bonus in a glassware swap from BA ironbike1. I believe their artwork has been updated since the photo, the current label is black and purple.

Pours a deep pitch black color, the little light that does get through is a dark dark brown. Minimal chocolate brown head disappears quickly.

Roasty chocolate on the nose, it's a nice creamy smell, with a touch of coffee.

Chocolatey flavor too, but there's a lot more there... oak, vanilla, dark fruit, and a bit of smoke.

Good medium body with a creamy smooth texture. This is a very good porter, big ups to ironbike1 for the gift!

Tasted on 11/30/08.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quick review into my notebook.

A- Milk chocolate color, clear with reddish hues to it. Head is patchy and made of loose bubbles.

S- Roasty and sweet, milk chocolatey still, and creamy. Definitely reminds me of chocolate milk.

T- Roasty and a touch of smoke. A little watered down and not very complex. Not much hop backing and one dimensional.

M- Thin and watery, medium carbonation.

D- Decent beer, no bells and whistles, just middle of the road.

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!

Porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 887 ratings.