Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

Porter | Russian River Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
76 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
290
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
18.35%
 
 
Wants:
170
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
PorterPorter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 06-14-2004

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 290
Photo of williamjbauer
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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 popery
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 516 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 563 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 995 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Alex for shipping this and Hopfather to me to open up on a random Sunday with some friends. Cool RR growler into various tasting glasses.

A - Pours black, off-white head, good retention on top as the cap and some slight lacing here and there along the sides.

S - Roasted malts, woody notes, some coffee, some smoke in there as well.

T - Basically what is smells like. Roasted malts character, some smoke, oak, very slight coffee. Not hoppy at all, which is awesome but then again, not too malty. Pretty much, right down the middle of awesome.

M - Light to medium, yet rich and smooth with light carbonation, perfect for the style.

D - Very solid and I just kept drinking glass after glass. I have always wanted to try this one and I think I liked it better then I thought I would. RR is basically the best brewery out there. The make awesome sours, hoppy IPA/DIPAs, and this masterpiece. Excellent.

 915 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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.

 763 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 323 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit, how do I get more of this beer! On-tap at Toronado currently. Perhaps my new favorite porter, and a complete standout.

Pours an awesome black color with a dark tan head. This is a porter? Obsidian black.

Stouty, cocoa-esque chocolate, coffee roastiness ... great creamy mouthfeel, one of the best for the style I've ever had (it's not a thick, chewy stout, but for a porter, it's robust, creamy, and smooth) ... mmmm.... The flavor is great, and while it smells good, the aroma definitely doesn't clue you in on the robust taste you're about to enjoy.

Surprisingly thick. Really more stout than porter.

 617 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 271 characters

Photo of WeisGuy
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this a few times at the brewpub, the most recent being last Saturday. From notes:

a - pours a deep brown only a few shades short of black with a creamy, one-inch tan head, nice retention and excellent lacing

s - big notes of deeply roasted malt, dark chocolate and cream/vanilla, hints of smokiness and earth, really jumps out of the glass

t - much like the aroma, big roasted malt and dark chocolate and cream up front with a bit of bittersweet chocolate on the mid-palate, some bitter coffee notes mixed with a vanilla creaminess trail into the finish, very complex and well-integrated flavors all the way through, alcohol not that noticeable

m - medium-to-full bodied, moderate carbonation, pretty smooth on the palate though, not a whole lot of alcohol warming

d - very drinkable porter, pretty easy and well-balanced on the palate, flavors are very complex and interesting without tiring out the palate

Easily one of the best porters I've ever tasted. Really incredible stuff that I hope more people get the chance to try.

 1,042 characters

Photo of Offa
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 669 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
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?

 1,228 characters

Photo of portia99
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 1,083 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of far333
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 325 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
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

 549 characters

Photo of ONUMello
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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

 377 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 268 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 843 characters

Photo of neenerzig
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 1,162 characters

Photo of nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 783 characters

Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 1,175 characters

Photo of MisterClean
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 324 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 384 characters

Porter from Russian River Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.