Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 165
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 75 | Hads: 285
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.

 908 characters

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.

 564 characters

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

Notes from a couple weekends back, enjoyed on tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: Dark brown/black, no transparency I could see. 1/2 inch of creamy white head that left wisps of lace.

Smell: Roasted grain and cacao, dry and bitter, earthy. Bold for a porter.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich, earthy and dry. Roasted barley meets coffee and baker's chocolate. Not terribly sweet, and full on the palate for the style. Bittersweet earthy finish with lingering roastiness. Very good stuff, one of the best American porters I've tried.

 522 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off a big thanks to Adam for sending this one my way, and a big thanks to Masterski for telling me I needed to track this one down! Served cold and poured into a pint glass, I enjoy this one as I type on 06/24/2009.

Fantastic pour here. Perfect in every way for the style. Deep, dark brow, which is essentially black with only the slightest bit of dark chocolate highlights peaking through. A huge head of tan forms on top and only slightly settles into a thick cushion with soo much side glass lacing, it is literally absurd. Rich aroma of cocoa, light notes of coffee and a touch of molasses. As it warms some light tobacco, and peat notes start to perk out, roasted malts at their finest, but no sign of the hops as of yet. As I go in for a sip the smooth, creamy, rich feel of this one really starts to bowl me over. Stuck somewhere between a porter and a mil stout, it is sublime. Rich cocoa just spreads over the tongue from the very first sip. Light touches of vanilla, molasses and a touch of roast coming through nicely. Then it hits, a smack of of piney hops as the flavor fades. Long notes of dark chocolate linger long after the last sip.

Hot damn I am glad I got ahold of this one. One of the best, most easily sessionable and richest tasting porters I have ever come across! Go get this one

 1,312 characters

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

On-tap 2/5/10 at the brewpub.

A: The pour is a deep, dark brown color with a finger's worth of tan foam.

S: Great notes of coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate. There is a slight smokiness and even a touch of vanilla.

T: The flavor is a bit more heavy on the coffee and roasted malt with less of a chocolate presence. The smokiness is there as well, but once again just provides a bit of complexity. There's also a slight bitterness on the finish.

M: The body is on the full side of medium with a moderate level of creamy carbonation.

D: Quite a complex and delicious porter. I have been looking forward to trying this one for some time and it did not disappoint.

 667 characters

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.

 858 characters

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.

 324 characters

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.

 1,556 characters

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.

 684 characters

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.

 1,063 characters

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.

 402 characters

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.

 696 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Two pints consumed on tap at O'Brien's Russian River night. It's black with a creamy light brown head. The nose is roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee with a subtle astringency. The flavor is equally impressive, displaying a perfect balance between roasted mal, chocolate, and coffee, with a light bitterness. The finish is roasted, earthy, and bitter chocolate with a dash of coffee. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. Excellent.

 440 characters

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.

 975 characters

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.

 885 characters

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.

 329 characters

Photo of corby112
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown with deep mahogany edges when held to a light source. Completely opaque with a two finger frothy, soapy light beige head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that streaks the glass with sheets of soapy lacing.

This beer has a wonderful nose. The perfect amount of roasted malt balanced out by lots of chocolate, caramel, toffee, hazelnut and slightly burnt bread. Smokey enough without dominating the aroma.

Slightly smokey medium body with the perfect balance of sweet chocolate, caramel and toffee and slightly bitter roastiness, bitter hops and lactic creaminess. Very complex, extremely well balanced and insanely quaffable. One of the best examples of the style I've ever had. Not to extreme yet not to light bodied. I could session this beer all night. Highly recommended!

 836 characters

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.

 305 characters

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado San Diego.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of rich roasted malts with good amounts of dark and milk chocolate aromas backing things up. As it warms very mild amounts of vanilla make an appearance.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors with almost no char kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are good amounts of dark chocolate with sweeter and smoother milk chocolate flavors not far behind. Midway through the sip hints of earthy hops and vanilla flavors make an appearance, carrying through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this proves that RR isn't all hop bombs and wild ales. A very well done and very drinkable porter, well worth a shot if you can get your hands on it.

 1,000 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Alex for shipping this from RR and Sean sharing it with us yesterday.

The perfect porter session beer, makes me think this is what a good small pub English beer tastes like.

A dark brown pour, tons of carbonation in a light tan head, good retention and lacing...Aroma and taste are similar and awesome. Light coffee, nice roastyness, super tastey and super easy to drink. Kept coming back to this growler throughout the night.

Get some of this right away.

 473 characters

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.

 492 characters

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

This beer was on tap at RRBC the last time I was there. However, they also had Sanctification and Consecration at the time (right after they debuted Consecration), and so, I wasn't interested in anything else, not even Pliny the Elder. Watching the reviews slowly come in, I realized I'd made quite the blunder by passing on it. And then, a growler shows up on my doorstep, quite unexpectedly from the ever generous largadeer who tossed this in as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks, Chris!

The pour is quite gorgeous, dark brown with reddish highlights and a dense light brown head capping it. Retention is excellent, as is the lacing.

This is everything I want a porter to be. Rich with a blend of coffee grounds, dark chocolate bitterness, a delicate creamy character, there's also a light, minty hop character in the back along with a little vanilla. Top notch stuff.
The palate opens with a fabulous blend of smooth coffee, a nice cocoa bitterness, both countered by a mellow caramel-like sweetness. Creamy with a mellow earthy character mid-palate, this beer finishes dry with a lasting chocolate-like bitterness. While just a touch sweeter than most porters out there, this is beautifully executed. Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation, despite being poured 18 days back, this is a top notch porter, probably my favorite along with the Edmund Fitzgerald. Outstanding drinkability, I could quaff this entire growler with no issues.

 1,455 characters

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.

 799 characters

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.

 570 characters

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.

 590 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Porter from Russian River Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.