Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter | Sea Dog Brewing Company

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

Brewed by:
Sea Dog Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is one of a kind! Four different malted barleys combine to create a distinctive, full-bodied beer with a roasted nuttiness, uniquely enhanced by a hint of hazelnuts. Smooth and creamy with the nose of the Willamette hop, this porter is a beer style unto itself.

Added by Dogbrick on 12-16-2002

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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 333
Photo of yesyouam
4.38/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter is a dark brown to black ale with a creamy, blotchy, mossy beige head. It leaves great lacing. The aroma is of chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, biscuits and crackers. It is roasty and slightly sweet. The hops smell a little medicinal. It is medium-bodied and pretty smooth. It's a little chewy and a little slick. It has a full dark roasty flavor. It starts with hazelnut and maybe vanilla, then it turns a bit salty and then bitter, like juniper. The flavor elements are all pretty independent. This is much better than the first time I rated it. That last bottle must've been skunked!
(rated Jan 8, 2008)

[First rating: 7 Aug /2007] Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter is a deep solid brown ale with a hue that's leaning toward aubergine. The head is tan in color, splotchy and lively. The retention is great. The aroma is very hard to miss: hazelnut and coffee with maybe something minty in there. It has a medium-light body with a dry, slightly numbing, finish. The flavor is not focused like the aroma. The coffee aroma doesn't translate to a roasty flavor here. Diacetyl is present. The flavor is a little... barfy. There is a chemical off-flavor here that I can't place, but can smell after I've tasted it. Is it skunked? A bad bottle? I've had this before and it was good. [Aroma: 7; Appearance: 4; Flavor: 4; Palate: 3; Overall: 9]

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Photo of smakawhat
4.36/5  rDev +26%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap from the pub in Topsham ME. Filled to the rim with no head what so ever...

Appearance is a gorgeous dark walnut with red hues, and some visible carbonation. Bubbles are tan, but highly missing. Perhaps if this was a better pour I could rate this higher for this category but no...

Really good nose on this one, big roast characteristics and malt. Delicious nuts like a big mixed bowl.

Taste is a wet nut characteristic and soda. THere is some malt sweetness in the mid palate and some carbonation tingle on the tongue which is neat. Beef jerky, small malt backbone, and club soda all rolled into one with a taste of fresh brewed big pot coffee.

Very interesting unique porter I would really dig another on tap!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.32/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Sea Dog in South Portland, the beer was served in a pint glass. It's a nice, dark brown coloring with ruby highlights on the edges, and a thick, off-white head that starts at a frothy two inches and settles quickly into a film, clinging the glass the entire time you drink. The nose is mocha and hazelnut, with a creamy and rich feel to it. The flavors are coffee and nut, with a smooth richness and slight smokiness. Very tasty. The aftertaste is a 50/50 blend of smoke and hazelnut sweetness. Delicious! The finish is smooth, and the nut lingers quite a bit. Very well blended brew.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown with medium head that disappates

Smell: like hazelnut--truth in advertising

Taste: I taste hazelnut, burnt caramel, and dark cocoa

Mouthfeel: light and smooth for a porter with a sweet finish

Drinkability: I think this is one of Sea Dog's better offerings. I could drink this all night. There is the sweet pronounced hazelnut taste but the flavor of a porter is not lost here. i could see how not everyone would like this, but I enjoyed it a lot.

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Photo of bsend
4.27/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle straight to a Guinness glass.

Upon pouring this beer looked to have a complex, darker brown color. Small amounts of head.

Smelling this beer, I really noticed the blatant, yet controlled hazelnut and some lighter elements of coffee and toffee. Overall really pleasant.

The first sip reinforced the smell. Mellow, soothing hazelnut can be tasted. The hazelnut mixes really well with the porter, providing an excellent matrimony between the two flavors. Reminded me of having Sunday morning coffee with the family.

The mouthfeel was also quite well balanced. It wasn't viscous and sludge-like nor was it too watery. An excellent mix.

I loved this brew quite a bit. There is no problem with enjoying a six pack of this. It lets you know you had a solid beer without completely filling you up. Unfortunately my main source for this beer no longer carries it. Definitely a shame as it was a wonderful addition from Sea Dog.

Final Thoughts - Definitely give this beer a try. It is a well balanced beer, and an excellent addition in the porter department.

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Photo of horshack7
4.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The color of this beer is a very dark black with a red tint rather appealing. Upon pouring the head rentention lasts only a few minutes but yet it has a very creamy texture. Lace sticks to the glass from start to finish.

Aromas carry hints of chocolate and malt which i thought was well balanced.

Overall the mouthfeel was a very nice medium body a decently smooth. Sea Dog did very well with this porter a well crafted brew.


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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my friend, Scott, for hooking me up with this brew.

A - Dark like a rich coffee. Very nice looking beer with a very light tan head.

S - Hazelnuts up front with rich malts lingering around.

T - Very nice flavor. First time I've had a nutty porter, and I'm a big fan. Really love the way the hazelnut blends with the dark porter. Very similar to the Rogue Hazelnut, but much smoother, and the hazelnut doesn't seem to linger as long.

M - Smooth going down with a decent amount of carbonation.

O - Went into this tasting not expecting much and was really shocked at how good this beer is. Not sure the availability of this in Southern CA so I'm glad I was able to get my hands on it. Leaves me really curious to try their other beers.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my pilsner style sampling glass. Thin head that quickly disappears. Thin sudsy film left on top of the brew. Scents of hazelnuts and sweetness are easily noticed. Taste is mellow for a porter, again sweet nutty flavors along with some caramel, and dark chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is smooth. This is pretty drinkable beer, I will easily enjoy drinking this one.

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Photo of CopperBrewer
4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful dark brown color, with a nice low head that lingers at the edges. Nice clarity but the color is so dark that you can barely tell.

Aroma: Roasted nut aroma with strong notes of hazelnut. The roasted notes commonly found in a porter are also clearly noticeable.

Flavor: Great hazelnut presence that, even though it is naturally flavored, doesn't taste artificial or fake at all. The hazelnut flavor blends very nicely with the roasted malts as well. It is a very nice pairing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a nice carbonation level. Has the feel of a robust porter, not a brown porter. Very easy to drink.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. I was afraid that it would end up being very artificial due to the flavoring but instead it tasted just what I expected it should taste like. A great accompaniment to beef and ice cream, quite the versatile beer!

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Photo of Thads324
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : pours a deep dark black with quickly dissipating tan head. Leaves a few large tan bubbles in the center. A nice edge of red surrounds the tulip.

S : wow, it really smells like chocolate covered hazelnuts. deep rich nutty aroma with a hint of sweet malt mixed in. no hop aroma to speak of.

T : A bready malt profile to begin with, transcends into a heavy and rich hazelnut flavor. Chocolate dominates as well, but blends very nicely with the hazelnut flavor. There is a slight hop bitterness at the end of the brew.

M : low carb and a good easy drinking beer. freshness that lingers

Overall I really enjoyed this one. The flavors are intense, so you can't really drink a bunch all night or anything. Nicely balanced and has everything you need a good porter, then suped up with a chocolatey hazelnut treat. A return beer for sure.

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Photo of u2carew
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.
A) Pours with a two finger head. Head is tight, fairly creamy and tan in color. Settles just a bit. Lacing is semi sticky. The body is dark mahogany.
S) Nutty - hazelnutty. Some chocolate. Bread.
T) Hazelnuts are prominent and wrap in subtle chocolate notes, but after a few swigs the hazelnuts are drowned out by the porter-esque tones: smoky, cocoa, some coffee and roasted grains. Finishes with very light hops.
M) Medium to full bodied. Refreshing up front. Crisp in the finish. Mildly gritty.
D) A well craft porter. True to form and recommendable.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears to pour a thick black, but closer inspection shows it to be a dark cherry brown.

Smells sweet and malty with a chocolatey roasted scent as well.

The sweetness makes a quick appearance up front, but doesn't stick around for long. It is immediately taken over by the nutty coffee taste which starts sweet, but finishes bitter.

It has a good Porter feel, easy on the carbonation and very smooth going down.

I could enjoy a few of these on a cold night. Definitely worth a try if you enjoy a nice Porter.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.07/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in the Bangor location. It is a deep brown in color with a thick white head. The aroma is that star of a buttery hazelnut. The taste is sweet and finishes with a roasted bitterness. This beer is easy to drink and finishes nice. What i like about this beer is that its sweetness to start is paired with the hazelnut aroma and then turns roasted. To truly appreciate this beer you need to have it in a snifter or similar glass.

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Photo of bewley
4.07/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium-dark amber fluid fills my glass with a smooth creamy tan head that lasts all the way down.

Smells of hazelnuts, caramel and burnt leaves (slightly).

I'm not a big fan of nut flavored things in general, but this tastes pretty good. It's not overbearing--a bit thin--but quite pleasant nevertheless.

I think I will have another.

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Photo of FLima
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black reddish color with a one finger head with short retention, but with a constant plate and leaving some laces.
What a delicious and unexpected aroma. Hazelnut is quite predominant here, also it has strong notes of biscuit, grains, wood chips and vanilla.
Bold flavor of roasted malts, lots of hazelnuts, spices, herbal and earthy hops, charred wood, chocolate, ashes, yeast and roasted coffee beans. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting bitter roasted note.
Light body with appropriate carbonation and a creamy sensation.
Definitely a nutty Porter. Bold aroma and flavor with tons of hazelnut that feels natural. This was a nice pleasant surprise which is underrated in my opinion. I was under the impression that they did enhanced the formula, this one has a more similar profile to Rogue John John Hazelnut.

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Photo of BeerFan95
4.02/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A slightly opaque medium brown body. Had a thick light brown head that faded to about a half inch coating. Lace was decent.

S - A nice balance between roasted malts, coffee and chocolate and some mild caramel. There was a nice nutty quality to it.

T - Initially It was sweet like chocolate which gave way to a more roasted coffee flavor finishing with a great hazelnut flavor.

M - Light, easy to drink and smooth. Had a nice dryness to it in the after taste.

O- A well balanced porter that had great malt flavors and was really rounded out by the hazelnut finish.

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Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent sized light brown head takes its time to settle into a pretty decent lacing above a deep reddish brown colored porter.

Rich roasted malt and the hazelnut overpower any other aromas that might be coming off of this beer.

The taste is more hazelnut with a richer roasted malt taste in comparison to the nose, maybe the hazelnut dies out, either way I enjoyed this beer.

This beer has a nice full bodied mouth feel with a dryish aftertaste that is still rich in roasted malts with a hazelnut lacing.

Not for American lager drinkers that's for sure, they'd have to work their way up to something like this.

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Photo of jhoban19
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. paired with a grilled pork loin and arugula salad with goat cheese.

A: pours a rich dark brown with caramel foam, 2 fingers worth. foam settles into a nice ring that lasts throughout most of the foam. lacing is minimal.

S: hazelnut coffee, with some chocolate and vanilla. I also detect a bit of whiskey/bourbon aroma, but it's fleeting.

T: rich coffee taste, with quite a bit of sweetness from the hazelnut and vanilla. the hazelnut becomes more prevalent as the beer warms, and the bitter coffee flavor sneaks back around near the end of the pint.

M: teetering on the edge of full bodied, very smooth with just a hint of coffee aftertaste. carbonation is just right.

D: I enjoyed this sweet porter. I didn't find the hazelnut to be overpowering and it wasn't too sweet. the balance between the bitter coffee and the sweet hazelnut/vanilla was just right.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. The beer smells mostly like hazelnut, with some coffee and roasted malt in there too. It tastes the same way that it smells, mostly like hazelnut and malt. It's mostly sweet, but there's a slight bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light/medium, also a bit slick. Drinkability is good, but I don't know if I could drink more than 3-4 of these at a time. With that being said, I thought it was good and I would drink it again.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think porter will be my favorite beer this winter. It has a dark, malty character while being very drinkable. When i opened this beer and smelled it and I was overwhelmed by the dark roast aroma. the low abv makes it a great afternoon drinker when it's freezing out.

I will get this again.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three-finger light brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Nice deep amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet hazelnut nose. Starts sweet, chocolate/hazelnut flavor is right up front but not overbearing - hops are balancing, finish is clean. $1.25 for a 12 oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= very dark amber-chestnut, nice foamy beige head dissipating in a minute to plentiful lacing and slight rimming.

S= plentiful hazelnut and dry dark chocolate. Smells like a fine Belgian hazlenut-chocolate bar.

T= first a good slurp of the foamy head with massive hazelnut and dry dark chocolate, wow! Love it. Hints of hazelnut liqueur, shades of Frangelico. Robust malts filling it out nicely, with modest yet balanced hops florals and bitters.

M= slightly astringent or maybe just dry on the lips, some chewy dry-chocolate hazelnut malts.

O= very creative and somewhat unique in my experience. Would be great with chocolate cake or any dark dessert. Might go well with roast beef.

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Photo of The_Hucklebuck
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a clear dark brown look, and a super Hazelnut flavor and smell! Also tastes like Roasted Coffee!

It's a good beer but I wouldn't want more than one or two. I got it in a mixed six pack, and even though I'm a big fan of there Blueberry Wheat Beer, I think it's been there done that on this one!

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Photo of auxiliary
3.96/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - black color nice large mocha head that settled to a ring. Little specks of lace.

Smell - lots of hazlenut smell here. Some roasted malt and chocolate.

Taste - roasted malt and hazlenut taste here

Mouthfeel - medium body

Drinkability -interesting porter. Not that bad,I love hazelnut so I am a fan here.

1st review on my ipod .not bad!

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Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chesnut brown with reddish highlights thruout with a thinner but very well retained almond colored head.The hazelnut is really prevelant in the nose somewhat buttery with some caramel as well.Not as sweet as I thought it would be judging from others reviews and Iam happy about that,big roasted buttery hazelnut flavor with a touch of caramel but it dries out pretty well with a pretty raw earthy finish.A little pickly in the mouth but all in all I would say its a pretty flavorful easy drinking porter,I would buy again.

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 333 ratings.
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