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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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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 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 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 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 Ineedabeerhere
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #250, thanks to Chris for the growler! From notes during a double brewday.

Great appearance, nice pop when we opened the growler, great sign for heat this was shipped in. Pours black into tulip with huge beige head composed of tiny bubbles, great retention and impeccable lacing.

This beer is really kind of interesting. It's not particularly dominant in any one way that you might find a porter- it has a subtle hop character in the nose, delicate roasted note with chocolate and malty base in the taste. Low level of bitterness, but just enough to balance. Somewhat creamy in mouthfeel, but still somehow remains light on the palate. Supremely drinkable, I think we killed this growler in less than a half hour while eating some steaks. Nearly textbook porter in my book, though not necessarily striking or overly assertive in any certain way. But how can I fault it for that? Another amazing brew by Russian River.

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

Served on-tap in a pint glass at the Toronado in SF.

A: Black as night with an excellent head.

S: Burnt coffee with a hint of chocolate.

T: A very, very good porter. Roasted coffee, smokiness, a bit of chocolate with a bitter finish.

M: Creamy, smooth, medium-bodied.

D: A great porter, I'd like to see this around more often.

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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 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 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 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 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 BrewerB
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Triple Rock in Berkeley, CA.

Appeared a night black color with a light tan head. Great foam retention.

Aroma included hints of coffee, light smoky/charcoal, chocolate, and plenty of roast. Mild hop presence but I couldn't pick out the nuances.

Deliciously roasty and robust with loads of coffee and chocolate flavor. Moderate level of bitterness paired nicely with the malt backbone.

Medium/medium-full body, moderate carbonation, smooth.

Were my brother and I not on a time crunch, I'd have loved a couple more pints. Easily one of the better robust porters I've sampled.

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