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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: 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 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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Photo of dukedevil0
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super thanks to Alex (masterski) for contributing the growler to my first new beer Sunday.

A: pours a dark brown with a nice khaki head and a little lacing in the glass.

S: smells surprisingly like some hops, some chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee

T: tastes initially like chocolate, then some hop profile that is muted but bitter, slight coffee finish

M: pretty typical for a porter, creamy enough but not thick

D: easy to drink because there's zero alcohol flavor, it tastes solid enough to want to drink more

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Photo of Offa
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a characteful, very solid, well-rounded porter that is fairly standard yet very well made.

Black, it has a medium-small tan head slowly shrinking to a wispy ring and leaving a little lace.

The aroma is dark toast, roasted coffee, prunes. It's good but pretty simple and standard.

The taste is fuller and more interesting, sweet and bitter in good balance, with both dark and milk chocolate, toasty character, light prune elements, hints of spice, licorice and pepper. It is not very complex, but has good complexity and the overall character is assertive while still being restrained, holds up well, and is well-integrated and balanced. It is very drinkable.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz tap pour into a nonic. 5.70% ABV, 41 IBUs, On-tap at Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, CA.

A - RR Porter arrives at my table with a totally black body and a thick tan head. It left fantastic lace all over the glass! Sexy.

S - The overarching toastyness keeps it's presence even through the chocolate roasted malts and low dry cocoa dustiness. Minute hops appear on the finish.

T - This porter tastes delicious with a deeply roasted coffee and chocolate malt with a dry cocoa finish that fades to an earthly hoppy flavor.

M - Porter is medium-bodied with a smooth texture leading into a dry hop/roasted bitter finish. Great feel to compliment the flavor.

D - I think the hops come out a bit more than I'd like in this beer but it's a fantastic porter with good drinkability nonetheless.

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Photo of photomike
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very deep clear ruby color with an incredible creamy head. Crazy thick head which never seems to dissipate. Tons of lacing. The perfect porter appearance.

Smell is really roasty with some woody smoke and stale coffee grounds. Biscuity and satisfying.

Taste is nice as well. Roasty, milky, and slightly smoky with a distinct but well-integrated hop presence, particularly in the finish.

Medium bodied, I expected a slightly richer experience based on reviews. Nice bright carbonation is a touch much, especially considering that I've had the growler for 4 days prior to opening, but overall, not bad at all; for the style, this is right on.

Insanely drinkable. I'm halfway through the growler by myself, and the last couple pints will be no sweat. Delicious and easy-drinking.

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Photo of far333
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft at the mother ship. Dark brown and opaque with an oatmeal colored head that lingers long and leaves ringlets of lacing all around the glass. Low aroma of toasted malt and toffee. Rich flavor of toasted malt, some cocoa and leather, light bitterness, some cocoa. Rich and full mouthfeel. Delicious, awesome beer.

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