Porter - Russian River Brewing Company

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75 Reviews
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Reviews: 75
Hads: 279
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 18.08%
Wants: 160
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 06-14-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 279
Photo of TheRealBigC
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite simply one of the best porters I've had in recent memory. A similar experience came to mind from a small brewery in Chicago called Revolution (Eugene is the name of that one). Apparently the smaller breweries really know how to make a good porter.

This one is robust and just thick enough. Creamy, but a smidgen of bubbles and a huge roasty, chocolatey taste. A great beer and an easier drink for those looking to have a modest session at RR.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a coca-colored dark brown color with a lot of foam sitting atop. It has a big roasty aroma—very roast-forward—and the flavor follows suit with a defining roast and some unexpected chalk. I found this rough around the edges, surprisingly, and it didn’t work for me. A rare disappointment from Russian River.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in half-pint glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 14 April 2012.

A: Creamy, off-white head. Nice tracing on the surface. Opaque, Coca-Cola brown.

S: Roasted chocolate malt. Soft and sweet, but pretty typical for a porter. Nice.

T/M: Damn good! Chocolate malt is slight chalky, with an excellent aftertaste of light coffee and dark chocolate. Roasted and pleasant. Lingering aftertaste; very drinkable.

O: Great porter, lightly hoppy, but still not my favourite. I would definitely have again, and recommend it to anyone who wants an excellent example of a benchmark porter.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA.

Pours a really nice amber-brown hue, with a touch of red when held to the light. Body is relatively light. Head is amazing, a solid firm but clear, persistent beige. Lace is incredibly solid. It's a pretty amazing looking porter.

Nose is something of a disappointment, truth be told. There's some mild grain notes with a touch of sweetish biscuit or graham cracker. There's an odd hint of savoury fruit, a little like stewed tomatoes.

But it's uphill from there (and how). Mild, smooth chocolate entry on the palate leads to a gorgeous, roasty warmth on the mid, giving smooth hazelnut overtones. Finish has a slight bite of subtly bitter roast along with more cleansing, mellow nuttiness. Finish is capped with a clean bite of roast. Awesome stuff.

Feel is surprisingly light, but with a slight tingle to energise the palate.

Lovely. Just lovely stuff. Smooth and drinkable but with stacks of complexity and richness. Love it.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint of this at the brewery. Pours jet black with white head. Tastes very roasty with a smooth finish. Some nice chocolate notes with a hint of smoke. I would love to make this a regular beer to drink. I hate Canada a lot. A very session able porter.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass on tap at the brewpub.
A: Pitch black, but only a thin head
S: Typical porter with roasted malt notes along with a
bit of coffee
T: Tons and tons of chocolate, along with coffee, some roasted malt and a bit of hops
M: Smooth, balanced, but just a bit of a kick from the carbonation and hops
O: A really nice porter, easy to drink but extremely flavorful

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Served a dark brown black with a bit of red coming through around the edges and a finger of frothy chocolate head atop. Head fades at a normal pace leaving some nice lacing behind.

S - Aroma is full of roasted caramel malts and coffee. Touch of chocolate as well with a bit of earthy hop.

T - Starts off with a mix of some roasted sweet caramel malt and a touch of coffee flavor. Through the middle some chocolate malt and a touch of earthy hop comes through. Finish is a mix of lots of roasted malts with a bit of chocolate and coffee lingering.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth with a toasty and dry mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable. Really nicely balanced and smooth porter. The flavors are a good mix of rich and very sessionable.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap served in a pint glass

A - Slightly clear dark black with a ruby tint. One finger ecru head with moderate head retention and moderate lacing.

S - Faint nose of dark chocolate, malt.

T - Amazingly deep and complex stout with heavy dark chocolate, coffee, malt, roasted espresso with a nice bitter finish. Just a touch of booze. Don't let the nose fool you this is a monster of flavor.

M - Full body, moderate carbonation.

O - Amazing, one of the best porters and quite a surprise when you smell it. Tastes so fricken good and looks like the belle of the ball.

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Photo of nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

On tap poured into a pint glass. Beer poured dark brown, almost black, with half a finger of tan colored creamy head. Nice lacing as you drink from the glass. A few bubbles visible at the edge of the glass.

Nose is pungent, nicely roasty, with roasted coffee, malts, but not very darkly roasted as there is no astringency. Light bittersweet chocolate and grassy hops helps to balance the roast.

Taste like the aroma, roasted coffee and malt, creating some slight dark fruit flavors. Light grassy hop bittering as well before the sweeter roasted malt brings some bittersweet chocolate flavors. Finishes dry with lingering light roasted and grassy hop bitterness.

Light to medium body with good fine carbonation creating a creamy mouthfeel. Very nice porter.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River.

Dark brown hue. Khaki head rises about an inch. Smells of roast malt and hints of cocoa and coffee. Flavors are standard porter. Bitter hop bite mixed with dry cocoa powder and roast coffee. Medium body with mild carbonation. A decent porter.

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Photo of jethrodium
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours brown with a decent sized light tan head that has good retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a decent roastiness, some caramel, a bit of coffee, and some hints of chocolate. The initial taste has a light sweetness with some roasted coffee. A bit of caramel and some chocolate. Some more roastiness on the finish. Quite dry overall. Medium body, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Quite a nice beer. Not terrible complex, but very well done. I would certainly enjoy having this regularly.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a nonic pint glass at Russian River in Santa Rosa. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice cream, decent thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Milk, coffee, roast, chocolate, toffee, and light nuts. A moderate strength aroma. Maybe there's some cream in there.

T: Nicely chocolatey (though not particularly rich), with depth in terms of caramelized malts and light nuts. Light cream notes are also present, joined by the other notes from the nose to form a very well balanced brew. Built nicely, but without anything special or unique.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice cream. Complements the flavours and style well.

Dr: Very drinkable. Slides right down. I'd have it again, but Russian River has better beers. Give her a spin if you're lucky enough to find her. Fans of the style rejoice.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewpub.

Pours a dark brown with a creamy light tan head. Roasty aroma with caramel malt, bitter chocolate, coffee and light vanilla. Coffee and roast malt with light smoke and licorice in the flavor. Creamy, medium body with light carbonation. Starts sweet and finishes mildly bitter. An above average porter, but nothing too remarkable. Prefer Edmund or Everrett much more than this.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Served a dark brown with lighter edges. Dark tan head.

S - Strong coffee and chocolate. Nice aromas.

T - Spot on same as the smell, which a good thing.

D - Average body and carbonatin for a porter. Slight hint of bitterness.

O - Maybe the surprise of the day for me.

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Photo of bkrueger
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewery on 11/15, poured into a pint glass. Notes written on a coaster.

Appearance - Dark black, quarter of an inch of creamy espresso colored head which dissipated quickly.

Smell - Espresso roast, burnt malts, chocolate.

Taste - Espresso, carbonated bubbles of burnt malts, lots of slightly hoppy espresso with a bite. Finishes creamy but with a ton of hoppy bite.

Mouthfeel - More carbonation and less of a chalky feel that many porters have. It has a very full mouthfeel that is almost creamy lactic but still has the slightly hoppy mouthfeel which is coming through from the taste.

Overall - Very good. I love getting something here that never makes it into bottles for distribution, especially when it is delicious. If you see this beer give it a try because it is a very good porter.

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Photo of cbutova
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Russian River brewery. Notes from SF trip.

A- Pitch black with a small light tan head. Creamy ring leaves tons of fine lace rings.

S- A nice blend of roast malt and cocoa powder up front. Smoke and some dark fruit give it a nice complexity.

T- A phenomenal blend of roast malts, decadent cocoa powder, and smoked malt. Dark fruit notes round off the flavor.

MF- Creamy rich feel with silky carbonation. Roast acrid bitterness feels nice with the flavors.

Flavor is out of this world. A rich, dessert type Porter that is also dangerously drinkable. This beer is a world-class example of the style.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased at the brewery. Poured into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a creamy chocolate-brown head that slowly faded into a wispy film. Great spots of bubbly lacing were left down the whole glass.
S: I get light smoky and roasted notes with a hint of coffee and dark chocolate. Once this beer hit room temperature I got a few notes of herbal hops.
T: Follows the nose with very creamy yet roasted flavors of chocolate a just a hint of coffee. There is a sweetness to this brew as well, and I also get a hint of vanilla. The finish has a very nice hoppy bitterness to it, and the aftertaste is roasted and lingers long after the swallow.
M: Exceptionally smooth and creamy mouthfeel, low soft carbonation, and a good chewy viscosity to the body that makes this a pleasure to drink.
O: A very smoky, creamy, smooth and roasted porter, and definitely in my top 3 for the style. It’s a shame this is not regularly bottled as one could drink this all day.

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Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review dated 1/13/2009.

On tap at Toronado in SF. Nicely done porter, one I could drink all night. Dark brown, nearly black in color with tan head. Coffee, bitter cocoa, and roastiness on the aroma. Same on the flavor, lots of coffee and some licorice. Smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown beer with a tan head that left some nice lace on the side.

S - Great roasted malts with some cocoa and coffee. Little bit of vanilla in there, this smells very nice.

T - The taste does not disappoint. Coffee and roasted malt with a little bit of cocoa. Slight bit of smoke and a little bite on the finish. Goes down easy.

M - Medium bodied, fairly creamy, softer carbonation.

O - The first dark beer by Russian River I've had and it lived up to the reputation of the brewery. Easy to drink, and to drink a lot of. Would gladly have this again.

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Photo of Dobby
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is truly a hidden gem at RR. Everybody comes for the IPA's and AWA's but this is right up there with the elite brews they offer.

A: Dark brown with a little light peeking through.

S: roasty goodness along with some chocolate notes

T: Pretty sweet imho for a porter but not in a bad way. Definetly some chocolate in there, but overall just some great malty goodness that leads to one decadent beer.

M: Smooth and creamy, spot on for a porter

O: You wont mistake this porter for a stout, its made perfectly to fit the style. A hidden gem for sure at RR and one I always bring a growler of home when its on tap.

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Photo of portia99
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received in a great trade with Arbitrator. Thanks a ton for this one! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours an extremely dark brown color, almost black with a thick finger of dense dark tan head that lasts for a couple of minutes before falling to a skim coat with a thick collar and leaving behind some spiderwebs of lacing on the glass. Body of the beer is dark but quite clear when held to the light.

S - Fruity hops, roasted malt, a bit of coffee, toasty malt.

T - Nice hoppy presence - fruity and grassy mainly. Good, medium level hop bitterness...just enough bite to them. Roasted and toasted malts, coffee, a hint of sugary sweetness. Bitter hops in the swallow.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation that gives a somewhat creamy feel with a light tingle added in. Bitter roasted malts and hoppiness linger after the swallow. Nice and roasty.

D - Going excellent as a post coffee brunch drink in our post BBF tasting. Shared among several BA's that universally thought this was outstanding. Great drinker, could easily have a lot more of this.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like how there's a picture of a bottle of this beer and one review for a bottle, the rest are growlers and on tap. Apparently one bottle of this beer was made.

Beer is on tap, half pint at the brewpub. Beer is dark brown to black with a thin tan head that breaks and leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation appears to be low to moderate.

The aroma is malty with roast and a little bit of hops. Smells really nice.

Beer is light to moderate in body and creamy with some ashy bitterness at the back of the mouth, not in a bad way. Its relatively smooth with some sweetness up front, not much happening in the midpalate, overall its a decent porter. I'd have it again for sure.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was so disappointed I didn't try this beer the first time I visited this first-class brewery, so it's only natural I try it my second time I'm in Santa Rosa. This beer pours a dark brown, almost black with a nice tan head. The scent is so wonderfully sweet with hints of burnt almonds and peanuts. I also get some nice espresso and chocolate notes. Very aromatic porter. The taste is just what I was hoping for. Very full-flavored and complex. Nice nuttiness with sweet chocolate and espresso. A bit of bitterness as well which adds to the well-roundedness of this brew. Mouthfeel is not too watery (like the OVL Stout...want to give that beer one more chance before I review it...wasn't too impressed). The mouthfeel is almost perfect with a creamy finish. Great drinkability. Possibly the best Porter I've had...along with Founders Porter.

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Photo of littlesgtpepper
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the Russian River Brewery in a 10oz glass.

Black as the hell gates of doom, this beer has no head and I couldn't see through the beer when I held it to the light.

The smell is intense, with strong espresso, bitter chocolate, and heavy roasty malt. A tiny hoppy smell but faint.

This beer actually matches pretty close to the aroma, which is strange, but with a heavy dose of nuts, like cashews and walnuts. I've never tasted this strong of a nut flavor, not even in any browns I've had. A wonderful flavor!

This porter will shoot up near the top of my list as a near-perfect porter. The only problems with this beer is the mouthfeel, which is so heavy it's like drinking milkshake and the drinkability. One 10oz glass of this is more than enough.

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Photo of berkey
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64 oz Russian River growler filled 09/19/10 consumed and reviewed 09/20/10. Poured into an RR branded glass of course.

Aroma is roasty with an unexpected slight floral character. Sweet underpinnings of chocolate do a much better job keeping the roast from dominating than I remember from previous tastings.

Flavor is very consistent with the aroma. Chocolate is still subtle and relegated to the background allowing the roasty but not necessarily coffee-like characteristics shine without dominating. Aftertaste on this beer is fairly astringent but less so than many familiar American Porters.

I've had this numerous times at the pub but this is much better than I remember. Always thought this was a solid porter but not as great as some other versions I had tried. Possibly because this is the first time I've had this as my only beer of the night and not after one of my favorite Russian River palate destroyers. Whatever the reason, this was among the most enjoyable porters I've had. Nearly finished the growler myself in one day.

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Porter from Russian River Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.