Pilot Rock Porter | Caldera Brewing Company

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Pilot Rock PorterPilot Rock Porter

Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 11-18-2004

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 153
Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can. Dark ruby-brown pour with a tall tan head. Roasted grains, cold brewed coffee, chocolate, licorice and some subtle green hop. Medium bodied and medium carbonation with a roasty bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown with a fat tan head and a sultry ruby glint.

Brisk nose because of the hop. Cool light herbal. Light sweet cocoa. Roasty malt softened by a bit of caramel. Grassy hop with full malt flavors. Crisp bitter finish . Robust coffee lingers in the aftertaste. Medium body.

he willamette hop has a scent that is fresh and a touch fruity. It's hard to describe but even though it smells "fruity" it does not smell like any fruit. It's listed as a bittering hop. It's as though grass and pepper surround thiis fresh white cone that is crisp and "juicy." (There's that word juicy ) It adds softness to the body of the beer unobtrusively. The floral is the crisp fruity-ish scent. You can just taste it as the beer finishes. Crisp subtle hop. The roasty malt has a powerful full flavor and bitter edge and comes to the finish vibrant and without sugar or thickness in the mouthfeel. Has lovely caramel in it that is not too strong. Caramel can be light or heavy, stiff or more supple and smooth. In this beer it gives depth and dimension to a complex malt. That hop as much as the malt character accents dryness. If the beer was bigger abv it would not have been as dry and with a bittersweet chocolate taste to finish it. It becomes fragrant with nuts and a bit of light char as it warms and also has a light fruity ester from yeast that reminds me of dark grapeskin. More mild and much less hoppy than your average American style porter, this one has finesse and drinks happily. So happily! Outstanding and it's easy to see why this won the category. It's frank, straightforward and has a lovely layered flavor to the malt without heaviness. The finish is expert and so clean that it has a thinnish "porter" like feeling. No flavors from alcohol, no mouthfeel from alcohol. Outstanding!

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- black color, thin head that dissipates quickly
S- chocolate, roasted malt
T- chocolate, roasted malt
M- medium to full bodied, kinda in between
D- very good. I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of TrueOregonian
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Poured with a half inch head.
Appearance is completely black

S- dark chocolate, roasted nut, some coffee but chocolate and roasted nut are at the forefront

T- roasted nut is the most predominant taste and the Chocolate is definitely there also. Some espresso added in

F- dry finish

After only a few sips I know this is a great porter. Simple but gives you everything that a porter should give you and it does it with a nice smooth finish.

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Photo of GentleKnight1
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at the Saloon in Amersfoort for 6 euros. Head dissipates quickly. Color is very good. Taste is good but could be thicker. Good caramel, low carbonation.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

COD 9/9/15. Pours very dark brown but not quite black. World class head volume and retention, poor lacing.

Very good nose of chocolate, light roast and caramel.

Light medium body that is smooth, yet a bit thin. Light carbonation that is lacking and well below normal.

The flavor profile is good. The taste follows the nose in terms of flavors, but lacks intensity and separation. Bitterness is very light as is the sweetness provided for balance. This is an average porter at best.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can

I bought this about a month and a half ago, strait from the brewery. I’m assuming it should still be fine.

A smooth pour yields a very small film of head. I’ll admit I didn’t give a lot of effort during the pour to get head, but it was such a smooth pour. Regardless, there should be more than this. I have a feeling it was more the beer anyways, I could hear the head fizzing, and within seconds it was gone. The beer looks like soda now. The body is an extremely dark brown, almost black. Visibility is zero. So far not a good looking beer.

The smell is nice, but faint. Slight roastyness, with a nice subtle chocolate presence. I mean, I really hesitate to give this beer a 4 for smell, because the smell is just so damn small. But it smells good, and it makes me want to drink it.

The taste is good, but very standard. Very similar to the flavor, chocolate, and a small roasty flavor hit first. Followed by a sweetness. Finishing with a nice dry bitterness, that is very small, but lingers for a second. I will say this, for being simple, the flavors do a nice job of hitting you all the way through the beer. Again, I hate to give this beer a 4 for flavor, because it's just not very exciting, but it's a good beer, so what the heck.

The mouthfeel is ok, it's not thin, but definitely not thick. It's probably about right for a porter, but I'd like something a little bit thicker, I'm not drinking a black lager here. Carbonation is medium-low.

The drinkability is through the roof. This beer is damn crushable. 6% isn't huge, but still.

The appearance turned out pretty darn bad. Zero lacing. 1.5 cause it isn't see through?

Overall this is a good beer. It's very safe, and borderline boring. But it hits the right notes, and is in no way bad. Nothing wrong with having a sessionable porter. I should add that I would definitely consider this beer fresh.

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Photo of tigg924
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear, dark brown in color, with 1/2 inch head. Taste is milk chocolate, roasted malt, with a touch of coffee and dark chocolate. Sugary/creamy taste at the end. Medium bodied and sweet. My type of porter..not overly roasty or coffee forward. I like this one and would pick it up again.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not as hoppy as I feared it would be as a west coast Porter. Slightly more bitter than some porters, but well-balanced and very drinkable. Malty and delicious. I could easily drink these all night.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 FL OZ can
Served in a snifter

This beer pours very dark brown in color with ruby highlights. It is topped with two inches of tan head that leaves little lacing.

It has a nice aroma of chocolate and roasted malt.

It has chocolate flavor and some cocoa flavor. There is some unsweetened chocolate bitterness in the finish.

It has a rich, full, creamy mouthfeel.

This is a solid porter. It has a great mouthfeel, and the taste is good enough to have another.

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Photo of cbutova
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Can pours into a tulip with a black body and a tall off-white head rising to just about two fingers high. Good head retention to a cap of thick frothy texture. Thick lacing webs immediately with more outstretched ones below.

S- Aromas on the medium browned to dark side of the malt spectrum with toastiness and roastiness off the top. Toasted nuts, charred barley, medium Crystal grain sweets, raisin and a hint of coffee and chocolate come to mind. Fades out a lot with time.

T- For whatever reason the flavor shifts a bit further into the blackened end of the spectrum with bitter dark chocolate, burnt grains, coffee and roast barley a bit more prominent here. Beyond those are notes of molasses, medium caramelized sugars, toasted almonds/nuts, browned bread, cherry and raisins. Touch of earthy hops to balance.

MF- Light-medium overall body thickness for the style with a medium-high level of carbonation creating a slight lack of support for the roasty flavors. Texture is slightly fizzy and frothy adding to the previous point. Ends with a cocoa bitterness.

Easy-drinking American Porter which brings on the toasty to dark burnt malts but leaves something to be desired thanks to a body that comes off as somewhat thin.

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Photo of Arthuros
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate brown color, tan head that lingers and leaves creamy lacing. Aromas are of molasses, roasted malts and coffee. Flavor is similar, with chocolate aftertaste. Some sweetness. Medium body and medium carbonation, but creamy feel. Little hoppiness, except as a late aftertaste.

Overall a really good porter, with delicate balance.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark brown pour with a tan one-finger head. Aroma of roasted malt. Taste has a strong hoppy and roasted bitterness upfront. Roasted flavor becomes stronger as the beer warms.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours chocolate brown with a 2 finger tan colored head. Head is semi-dense and recedes to a thin layer of creamy foam. Minimal lacing left behind.

Medium roasted malt, mild coffee, and molasses on the nose. A bit of caramel and cream.

Smooth combination of semi-sweetened coffee and roasted malt. Caramel, chocolate, and molasses.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy, smooth mouth feel. Just a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Really well down porter. Smooth, balanced, and very drinkable.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a chocolate chestnut colored body, with a very large (and overflowing) mocha colored head. Lace is left in waves and explosions.

Smells like an IPA... it's full of hop and light roast coffee and chocolate faintly trail. Some cured meat from a meat locker as well.

Mostly charred and baked malts with a hint of cocoa, and a citrus hop finish and notes of cocoa.

Feel is right for the porter style, it's got proper creaminess and depth. Dryness is sorely lacking however.

I didn't feel this porter was balanced. I pulled it out of the fridge after being there and cold for weeks, and I still feel I'd need to stick this in the freezer to chill the off-flavors here. A major hop bomb that should have been more focused on chocolate and malts.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decent session porter.

Dark brown color. Fine foam, not a lot, not super persistent.

Malty smell. Neither intense nor complex, but nothing off, either.

Taste is mild, malty not hoppy, a bit of coffee.

Mouthfeel is fine, moderate to moderately rich.

Finish has a bit more bitterness than fits with the rest.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Caldera Pilot Rock Porter has a very thick, beige head, a dark brown, almost black, appearance, and thin lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark coffee, dark chocolate, and brown bread crust. Taste is of those elements, with sweet sugar, molasses, and maybe black cherry skin. Mouthfeel is medium, and Caldera Pilot Rock finishes sweet and highly drinkable.


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Photo of delta490
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a slightly ruby tint. A fizzy light tan head all but burns off but still leaves some small soapy lacing. The aroma is nice, with both deep roasted malt and some chocolate, which becomes more pronounced over time. The taste is a little less robust than the aroma, providing the same qualities just a little washed out but with a little earthy hops. The body is thinner and has a little carbonated bite to it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored beer with a medium sized brown colored head.

Smells of roasted malt and coffee with a faint carrot scent. Not super aromatic though.

Starts out semi sweet with a strong coffee flavor. Noticeable hops mostly citrus. Faint sourness but it isn't much. Moderate bitterness. Mostly this is a coffee flavored beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a mild coffee tasting porter.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this at Garage in Philly, but they either do not have an off-license or they have a policy against it. This elevated it onto my CANQuest (tm) want list and it was finally fulfilled by a young lady in Oregon who wanted some Smuttynose Bouncy House.

From the CAN: "Oregon Brewed Porter"; "Go Skiing [-] Go Fishing [-] Go Snowboarding [-] Go Biking [-] Go Rafting [-] Go Flying"; "This Robust Porter was Brewed and C[AN]ned by: Caldera Brewing Company; "'Live Product. Keep Cool, Just Like You'".

I was anxious to get this one started, so once the Crack! had happened, I CANmenced an inverted Glug that actually started to get away from me until I backed off. I was a little late and got a wee bit of overflow to go along with the three-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head that fell while I typed. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and mahogany highlights. Nose had a roasty smokiness along with a dark chocolatiness and a whiff of fresh coffee. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was chocolaty, but more like milk chocolate and accompanied by a smoky, light bitterness. Jesus! This was so eminently drinkable that it was causing me to question my hophead status. Finish was semi-sweet with lingering flavors of charcoal, chocolate and coffee. I could have had this for breakfast in lieu of coffee!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A great classic look in the glass. Creamy capped light mocha head, big and three to four fingers tall with a flat top and thin bubbled complexion. Excellent red hued mahogany body, dark but with some clarity held up to the light with these gorgeous red edges and hues. Pretty much a great looking porter.

Great hints of chocolate milk on the nose at first. Some good grain and milky sweetness, a bit toned down on the charring but really impressive, with a hint of simplicity on the aroma, perhaps a little clove in there too. Excellent.

Palate comes out a little minor acrid in flavor, but plenty of classic chocolate notes. Body is more milky and lactose like sweet. This really reminds and tastes more like a milk stout. Slightly big sour acidic and very wet palate but not a total loss. Excellent aftertaste that really opens up slowly after awhile though.

Not really what I expecting in a porter. An ok beer, but not what I had in mind.

 1,000 characters

Photo of jmbranum
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought in a 12 Oz can in okc. Enjoyed in an Amtrak sleeper car en route to Chicago.

Pours a lovely dark black with a small light tan head.

Subtle cocoa aroma.

Flavor is very smooth. Picking up notes of cocoa, cream, almost like a cold cappuccino. Slight toastyness. Just a little bit of hops in the background. Lingering balanced bittersweet notes.

Very, very smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of Kaiyotee
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown/black; foamy; large head
Smell: Roasty; hints of sweet cocoa
Taste: Strong roasted flavor with coffee and chocolate
Feel: Foamy; medium carbonation

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Photo of nmann08
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a can, pours a dark cola brown with a light tan head.

The nose is roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, just a faint hint of coffee. The flavor is mostly dark malt, chocolate, a little burnt coffee. The finish has a hop bitterness to it, a bit thin. Overall, this is very basic and non-offensive. A good beer.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. The head is light tan in color and peaks at about a finger's width before dying down in fair time to a broken layer of surface suds and a small ring around the edge. Small, spotty lacing with little stick.

Smell - Mild aroma that consists of milk chocolate with lesser notes of coffee grounds, cocao nibs and with a light earthy hop character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Smooth, moderate flavor that's quite chocolate-centric. Milk chocolate is the predominant character, then lesser notes of cocao and coffee hit mid-taste to bring a touch of bitterness and balance. Earthy, leafy notes hit in the finish along with a touch of smoke to give this one a nice, interesting aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with low carbonation. Smooth, silky texture. Falls a tad flat in the finish.

Overall - Despite this porter's flaws, it's got a nice chocolate-driven flavor that's just complex enough to keep it fresh sip after sip. Price dependent, I'd buy a sixer to give it another go.

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Pilot Rock Porter from Caldera Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 153 ratings.
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