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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 UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Canned on 12/3/13.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted nut, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, coffee, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice roasted malt and toasted nut qualities all around.

Serving type: can.

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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 chinchill
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can.

Aroma: Exceptionally rich and strong dark roasted malts; lightly spicy.

Flavor: l;ess intense than the aroma. Leaves a mild, lingering, dark roast aftertaste.

Feel: near creamy smooth; medium body and carbonation that may be a touch too high.

Flavor: touch of coffee after some dark chocolate. Negligible burnt toast.

O: a very fine porter ... and in a can :)

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Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with a thumb of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee, roastyness in copious amounts

T: Coffee, roastyness, a little bit cocoa up front. Coffee, roastyness, woody hops & just a little mocha as this warms. Finishes dry, roasty, a little sweet

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, nicely balanced

A well put together porter with some serious coffee undertones to it. Not sure why it's so flipping expensive though. Over $ 12 a sixer. A very pleasant surprise

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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.

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Photo of Gavage
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: deep black with a 3"+ tan colored head that lasts. Thick lacing coats the glass.

Smell: nice roasted malts and coffee are easy to pick up.

Taste: this was like eating a loaf of pumpernickel bread. Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolates, molasses, and a hint of nuttiness rounded it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Medium bodied like a porter should be, not some stout-like meal. Bread and roasted tones linger briefly on tongue.

Drinkability: very easy drinking as this is flavorful without the heavy body. Definitely a nice brew.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is the same, chocolate, roasted malts, a touch of coffee, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a satisfying beer.

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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 flagmantho
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, dark amber-brown with ruby highlights. Body is haze-free with a pretty strong effervescence and a thick finger of creamy tan foam. I think it's quite attractive.

Smell: nice and malty with a sweet chocolate element and a light roastiness. Not especially complex, but well-crafted I think.

Taste: toffee, caramel and chocolate start out the flavor, which is followed up by a roastier, ashier element. I actually quite like it -- I could find myself drinking a lot of this.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a pretty good creaminess. I can dig it!

Overall: this is a pretty great porter. It's quite different from its Oregon cousin, Black Butte, but it shines almost as bright in its own way. Good stuff.

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Photo of dar482
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark brown color.

The aroma has roasted malt, a light sweetness of coconut, toasted bread, and cocoa.

The flavor follows with that light "sweetness" with cocoa, lightly roasted coffee. There's milk stout qualities onto a bitterness of roasted malt.

The beer has a great balance between brown ale and a medium roasted malt. A well made beer for the ABV.

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Photo of avalon07
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a quarter inch of creamy, off white head that quickly dissipated. Almost no lacing to speak of.

S: A very underplayed aroma of malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Tasted of chocolate, roasted malt, light hops, and some coffee. The overall flavor is a bit on the thin side, with none of the ingredients really shining through.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a very thin, watery finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This feels like a half finished beer. It's not necessarily bad, but could have been better.

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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 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.

 1,234 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap an opaque deep sable with a minimal head, but the latter may be an artifact of te pour. Smoky aroma has tones of molasses and high-quality coffee. Absolutely delicious flavor has roast coffee, chocolate and molasses components and is just slightly sweet - and superb! Smooth, fizzy texture is extremely pleasing. If you visit the Pacific Northwest, look for this one!

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin head on a black body.
The aroma is excellent. Roasted malt and vanilla.
The taste is also roasted malt with some mild coffee notes and a little bitterness to round it out.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
A "go-to" porter.

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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 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 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 Reidrover
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wonderful fluffy full headed porter. Great esspresso aromas, roasted coffee. Salty under taste..this is minor yet sets the theme for the porter..the saltiness makes you gulp more of the chocolaty ,.coffee goodness. Great drinking beer..with great backing.

 255 characters

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 RedDiamond
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pilot Rock is brown with ruby highlights and sports a thin head with no lace. It started with a nice roasted aroma and flavor. But these initial selling points lacked sustain. Most dimensions are otherwise customary with a slightly thin body.

Served on tap at the Siskiyou Pub, Ashland, OR.

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Photo of hophugger
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great color, deep chocolate brown. Head is average, disappating fast but leaving very nice lacing. First aroma as I opened the can was a little skunkiness but that quickly left and I had a great aroma of sweet malts and definitely chocolate. Nice creaminess/bitterness blend in the taste. Cocoa leads the way with a touch of milky creaminess following close behind. Also, tastes a little like hot chocolate but not quite as rich. Overall, a decent porter...

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Photo of Kendo
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottom of the can says it was canned on 2/10/14; consumed on 4/26/14.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is very dark brown, bordering on black, but when backlit it's clearly brown with ruby-ish hues on the edges. A half-finger of tan head sits on top and leaves behind a little bit of lace.

S: Mainly roasty but with some underlying sweetness as well. Roasted coffee beans and molasses comes to mind. Some chocolate malt as well. Good porter nose.

T: Unfortunately, the thin, watery body doesn't live up to the nose. Tastes of roasted barley, coffee and some modest chocolate malt, but the overall impression is one of weakness/thinness. Finishes with a modest roasted char taste lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Thin, even for a porter. Gives the impression of being watered-down.

O: I bought this to bring to an outdoor, multi-day music festival, wanting some variety in cans. This will fit the bill for that, as I expect to be drinking all day and the lighter heft of this won't slow me down. But the overall impression is hurt by the watery/thin feel.

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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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