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Porter - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

75 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 75
Hads: 285
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 18.31%
Wants: 163
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: 285
Photo of Chambic
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01.28.10 at Pi Bar

A: deep, deep black; head dissipates quickly, with heavy lace

S: rich cocoa

T: less cocoa, more coffee, like a bitter dark roast that stays on the back of the mouth

M: fizz hangs out along the roof of the mouth

D: pretty damn good

I didn't even know this beer existed! It's not my favorite RR, but only because there are too many RRs I love.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours almost black. It's a dirty, dark brown with reddish hues. There is a very light tan head. Leaves some sticky lacing. The head sticks around.

S: I am pulling those traditional porter notes: light roast coffee, some chocolate, some nuttiness, etc. Smells pretty middle of the road.

T: The taste is more brown ale than porter. It's actually very nutty. I do get that light roast coffee. Leads to a little bitterness on the tongue. Then you get some dusting of cocoa in the mid-palate. The finish is fairly dry.

M: This is a medium body

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

On tap at RR

Pour was a dark cola with a nice creamy head that lingered, even leaving some lacing. Great retention.

Lots of roasted malts and dark fruit with a light coffee.

Very dry, lots of roasted flavor with a very light smokiness. No real hop flavors stood out. This was all roasted flavors. Light coffee hidden through out.

Light body, a bit thin, very porter like. Nice mild carbonation.

This struck me more as a stout and not a porter. I was expecting a sweetness but this lacked that. It was ok, I doubt I try it any time soon.

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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 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 StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

for as much as i liked their stout, this one seemed generic and unimpressive to me on the whole, although based on scores here i think the masses disagree with me. this auburn tinted brown ale has a rusty slightly tannic hot sparge type finish to it. sometimes a product of an englsih ale yeast, sometimes a flaw, hard to tell which here. plenty of chocolate malt without a ton of roast or ashy bitterness, which is a pleasant quality for drinkability. nothing about it really stands out, save a little lingering caramel malt in the finish, but the body seems thin for a porter and the carbonation is minimal. where the simplicity of the stout was a success, its less fun in this brew. i can see it as a good early fall beer, but it wont stand up in cold weather when i like porters best. maybe im being too critical, spoiled by all the great beer at this place, but this one was forgettable in their lineup.

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler at Dyan's the other night.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with very good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, though I thought it a bit light. I got some noticeable coffee, coupled with some light, peppery bitterness, but not much else. The beer has a bit more flavor on the palate, and there is a roasty quality to it that I like. The flavor profile otherwise replicates the nose, and the beer is on the dry side as porters go. Mouthfeel is light, though still pretty full, with a good finish. I am assuming the alcohol is pretty low in this beer (now confirmed) and drinkability is pretty good.

A nice enough beer, but one easy to overlook, I think, in the impressive stable of beers from Russian River. Judging from other reviews, I have to wonder if the beer had deteriorated just a bit when I sampled it the other night.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewpub. Dark brown with a beige head. Creamy chocolate and roasted malt aroma. Lots of chocolatey and toasty malt flavors with a hoppy, bitter finish. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A really tastey, hoppy take on porter, though it might be even better with a beefier malt profile.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ the brewpub - served in a 10oz nonic.

Clear dark auburn body suffused with ruby highlights. Small beige head dissipates to a creamy uniform collar. Nice pasty lacing.

Roast malt, peach pits, and faint tobacco in the nose.

A touch of coffee, black bread, and hazlenuts on the palate. Faint cocoa in the finish. Fruity, malty, and straight-forward with a medium-dry finish.

Very slightly astringent, moderately carbonated, and medium-bodied.

Better paired with food, but still a decent example of the style on its own. I prefer a bit more roast and depth of malt complexity, but others might find this less drinkable if the flavor profile were to move more in that direction.

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Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the RR brewpub in Santa Rosa.

A: dark brown, nearly opaque but clear. Somewhat weak head still leaves very good lacing.

Aroma: as expected for style: a role model.

Flavor: refined dark roastd malts; fine London style porter

Feel: smooth; medium body; medium-low carbonation.

O: mainstream but high quality.

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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 barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at RR for PtY Release 2010
Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a nice tannish head. Nose is chcololate and roasted malt. Taste is lots of chocolate, some coffee, roasted malts well balanced. It is medium bodied, creamy, dry finish. Drinkability is good, very good. Just a good balance of booze, malts and flavor.

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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 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 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 neenerzig
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am visiting my very good friend Jon Passow who lives in Willits, CA, which is a town in Mendocino County and we jaunted down to Santa Rosa for the day. It is about am hour and a half south of where he lives. And so we are sitting at the bar at Russian River Brewing Company as I write this. I have had many of their beers and decided to write a review of this one. Served on-tap to me in a nonic pint glass, this beer draws a very dark brown, almost black color with a nice just slightly off white head that is a good 1/3 inch thick when first served to me with excellent retention. Eventually settles to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass along with good spots of surface foam and good lacing. Aromas of dark, toasted caramel and chocolate malt along with hints of coffee notes. The taste is pretty much the same, with dark roasted caramel malts and hints of chocolate and coffee that is rounded out with a nice mild hop presence. Has a somewhat crisp, slightly frothy and creamy, pith, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in an excellent manner. A very good, solid Porter overall. Worth a try for sure.

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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 JWD
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the younger/consecration release,

A- Black and very inviting, nice medium tan head that disipated fairly quick.

S- Very robust, i have had founders porter lately and this is the benchmark!! Close but not quite!!

T- Good but once again second to the founders offering.

M- Good but not very thick, however let a very flavorful leftover in the mouth/palate!!

D- Great, i could drink this all day long, just not he best when i thin of a robust porter.


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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 BierJager89
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, I am surprised and delighted to see that this is bottled, or at least once was.

A: Pours a nice ruby red in a small glass, black in a pint glass, with a brown head.

S: Roasted malt, medium-roast coffee and chocolate notes in the nose.

T: Flavor is the same roasted malt, coffee and chocolate (though definitely dark chocolate in the flavor), and it has a great roasty aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: Definitely recommended. A great example of the porter style.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Russian River

A: Pours deep brown, little light passes through, with a creamy light brown head that settles and laces well.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, and a little dark fruit.

T: Roasted malt, coffee, smokey, earthy, and a little dark fruit.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Very solid drinkable porter. My glass became empty almost too quickly.

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Photo of billab914
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into my Flying Mouflon glass. Pretty close to black in color with a dense foamy head filling the top two inches of the glass. Really good lacing to it and great looking beer of the style.

The aroma has some cocoa, roasted malts and caramel all coming out. I get a bit of a sweeter, almost milk stout quality to it as well. A little bit of a coffee flavor peeks through. Smooth, sweet and slightly roasty. Pretty nice aroma for the style.

The taste shows a little more roasted malts with notes of coffee and dark chocolate. The finish brings out more of the sweeter cocoa and a little caramel. The dry, roasted flavors linger into the finish. Great range of flavors to it and nicely balanced.

The mouthfeel is a little thin feeling but it does have a decent creamy, silky feel as well. Carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a really good porter. The aroma was good but it seemed to lack all the bold flavors that came out in the taste. Really good beer overall though, it definitely competes with some of my favorite porters out there.

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

Swank Russian River swingtop growler thanks to WesPatrick down here in Cola-town. Split two ways - hmm!

A. Big head (for a porter) rises up then falls fast to just cover the surface of this clear, deep tobacco brown ale. Pretty, nothing special.

S. Cool, clean, roasty. Well balanced and full of cocoa, roasted grain and earthy notes. Reminds me of Foothills Peoples Porter. Grows as it warms. Quite solid - no flaws.

T. Flirts with being English, lightly hopped, very harmonious flavors intertwine in this softly delicious porter - you have medium amounts of cocoa, a bit of licorice, a dash of sourness (interesting), some char-roast, brown nutty malt, extremely flavorful. Reserved, avoids being too roasty or hoppy like many US porters are wont to do. Very nice example of a US brewer flexing his muscles.

M / D. Very smooth and easy to drink, low to middling carbonation. No surprises, classic Porter stuff here.

Russian River has made a very good porter here, but to be honest it's not worth making a big effort to obtain. This isn't any better than say, Founder's offering, but that itself is high praise. If I lived out in Vinne's territory I'd drink this often.

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