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

Tap, City Beer Store. Very good porter. This beer pours dark brown, black in the shade, with a nice tan head. The aroma is mostly chocolate, roast and coffee. It's a nearly ideal balance for a standard porter. The flavor is balanced, not too sweet, not too dry. The hops are relatively light, allowing the malt to take center stage. It's just an easy drinking, well-made beer, the kind of porter that every brewpub tries to make but rarely gets just right. This is a good beer and I'd love to have it again sometime.

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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 xhcadamx
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - As black as they get for a robust porter. slight brown at the edges only if held up to light. Nice tan head with EXTREME lacing.

S - Coffee, Chocolate, and a little burnt malt. Smells delicious

T - Lots of coffee upfront with some chocolate. Very bitter at the end.

M - Surprisingly thin for the flavor but very welcomed as thick chewy beers get tiresome to drink

D - I had three at the brewpub and it was time to go. I wish I could have had three more

I love porters and stouts but I end up getting tired of the sweetness. This beer had the perfect amount of bitterness.

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

Currently on tap at Toronado in SF. Glad I stumbled on to this one. Perhaps one of the most well-made "regular" porters I've had.

A: Basically black, with a big thick frothy white head.

S: Classic porter aromas of chocolate and coffee.

T/M: Rich and robust coffee and chocolate flavors. Has the perfect amount of carbonation so it never becomes too intense on the palate. Good creamy mouthfeel.

D: The definition of drinkable for a porter.

This is just classic. I didn't know Russian River made this but I'm now glad to know they do.

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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 BIll_Currie
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

yeah. not much to say here other than just another great beer from russian river. stood in line for pliny and tried this one too. great porter. smelled good and tasted better

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, served in a pint glass.

A - Very dark brown, nearly black. Small one-finger head, the color of mocha. Doesn't stick around too long. Some bits of patchy lacing on the glass.

S - Roasty toastiness. Lots of sweet milk chocolate and dark roasted coffee, with hints of earthiness in the back. It's a little muted but otherwise smells great.

T - More bitter than sweet, but I love the way that the sweetness of the chocolate flavor contrasts with the bitterness of the roasted coffee flavor, with vanilla somewhere in between. The earthy notes contribute to the dryness. This is maybe the best non-BA porter I've had to date.

M - Thick and creamy at first, then it dries up in the finish. Although it makes it almost chalky at times, for some reason it's not unpleasant.

D - Just about off the charts. With the low abv and big flavor, I could sit and drink this all day. The only thing preventing me from doing that is it being tap-only at the brewpub, and there's just too many other quality choices to work my way through.

O - A great porter. I'd love to bring a growler of this home with me next time I'm here. I hope they decide to bottle this soon.

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

On tap at Vinny's place.

A - Pours a dark mahogany, four fingers, and takes forever to dissipate. Leaves some nice lacing too.

S - Coriander, clove, light roast coffee, and toffee.

T - Chocolate, coffee, grassy hops, just really good.

M - Very filling, full mouthfeel.

D - So good for a porter. Not overly hoppy either.

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

Had this on-tap at the brew pub. What a great porter! Just a near perfect blend of roastiness, hoppy bite, solid malts, and smoothness. Not over the top, not extreme, just very well balanced with nice depth. Dry, but not hollow. No grainy sourness at all, and the grain is not over roasted and bitter, but deep in flavor while still imparting a mellowness. Judicious use of hops ensure a nice bitter backbone that isn't overdone, and a slightly piney juiciness that is quite appetizing. I've always resisted ordering this when at the pub, just because there are so many other "more interesting" options, but this is another great beer from probably my favorite brewery, and I'm glad I ordered it.

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

Big thanks to Adam for sending me a growler of this brew - it seems to have been on-tap for a while at Russian River, but there are very few reviews so far. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Two and a half fingers of frothy mocha foam that has excellent retention and nice lines of lacing. Transparent dark brown-black color with lovely ruby highlights when held up to the light.

S - Dark malt roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, but a surprisingly high-presence floral hop character that surpasses the listed 41 IBUS. Reminds me of the dark IPAs I've tried - Iniquity/SSR sort of thing. Really potent!

T - There's a citrus hoppiness that comes out here that isn't really present in the smell - some tangerine-like notes. There's also a healthy complement of baker's chocolate, maltiness, (although not quite as roasty as the smell), and just hint of the coffee flavor. Very nicely balanced - it isn't the richest flavor but it's highly satisfying for an American Porter.

M - The mouthfeel is probably the least satisfying part of the brew - I wish I'd gotten to try this one on cask. It's a little bit thin, but thankfully not overcarbonated. There's also a bit of grittiness that is reminiscent of drinking powdered cocoa.

D - This is incredibly drinkable stuff - one person could easily kill this growler. Not harsh bitterness, great flavor, low ABV, moderate carbonation - all the things I want from a session porter.

It's lovely to see Russian River doing something different in style, and kicking ass while doing so. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Gusler
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ O’Brien’s San Diego
The beer in its comforting pint glass appears black as midnight, the head a soft chocolate crown, the lace a concealing curtain to drape the glass. Nose is sweetly malt, nicely toasted grain, fresh and inviting with the start sweet and malty, top is moderate in feel. Finnish is benign in its acidity, the hops delectable, dry and somewhat sweet aftertaste, a damn good porter in my book, and had to have three or four pints as it’s just too good to pass up.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the RR brewpub on Dec. 18th. From notes.

A: Pours a dark, but ultimately clear, burnt brown color that leans toward black in the center of the glass where it is thickest. The server brings it with a finger of tan head that retains excellently while I work on something else. In all, probably about 10 minutes of retention, and it leaves suds down the glass to boot. Wow.

S: Roasted grain is very strong in the nose; it's chocolatey second, with a bitter earthiness that follows behind. Very pungent and bold.

T: Like the nose, it begins with a rich, roasted flavor that transitions beautifully into bittersweet cocoa and a not-insubstantial coffee element. The hops are well chosen here, and they close out the flavor with a dry bitterness that pulls into the finish to couple with more roast. Despite this, the overall impression is one of sweetness, and even the girlfriend enjoyed this very much.

M: Smooth and creamy. Fuller-bodied than medium, and a tad thicker than I was expecting. It finishes nicely and is easy on the aftertaste.

D: Very high. It's really damn tasty for a 6% porter. I always talk about the RR sours and IPAs; where the hell has this one been and why didn't anyone tell me about it?

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Photo of mjl21
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a pint glass. Comes in at 42 IBUs and 6.30%.

A-When presented, it is very dark. Due to the dim lighting in the brewpub, I could not tell if it was dark brown or black. Has a really nice fluffy one finger tan head that sticks around. Lacing covers a huge portion of the glass.

S-Lots of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate are to be found. Being as it is from RR I also get some pine and citrus hops.

T-The hops present in the nose are upfront, but quickly give way to the malt. The sweet and roasted malt play very well off of each other. It is quite reminiscent of a good cup of coffee cut with some cream, sugar, and a tad bit of chocolate.

M-Full bodied and smooth from the nice amount of head that sticks around.

D-I put into my iPhone notes under this category that it is a damn good porter. I think that about sums it up.

I really dug this beer. You don't think of porters and stouts when you think of RR, but this one delivered. A growler of this will be picked up in the near future.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this today at Russian River Brewery. It was part of the sampler.

Appearance- black color, nice head

Smell- roasted malt, coffee

Taste- roasted malt, coffee

Mouthfeel- full bodied

Drinkability- Excellent, I loved this porter. It was awesome.

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

On tap and on Cask obriens 15th annv, cask was a step above the keg version. Dark coco malt coffee. Richness to it. Top porter I've ever had. Great complex mid palate and nice finish. Texture was of course amazing as the cask conditioning really made this stand out. Keg version missed some of that but had all the complex aroma and mouth filling joyness. Really enjoyed this beer.

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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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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 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 Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of wavers1. Opened and shared at Dark Lord Day 2010.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a nice tan head.

S: Plenty of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Nothing too complex, but very well done.

T: Similar to the nose in characteristics. Nice depth of the present flavors. Nothing earth-shattering, but at the same time very nice for the style.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable, especially for the style. Thanks again to wavers1 for getting this out to me, as this is one I had been waiting to try for a long time.

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