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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter | Sea Dog Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
79
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177 Reviews
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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sea Dog Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
177
Ratings:
329
Avg:
3.46
pDev:
20.52%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
28
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 329
Photo of silentjay
2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

seems like they got rid of the "riverdriver" moniker.

pours a deep brown with a thin and quick-lasting khaki head that leaves behind decent lacing.

wow... nutty. smells like a nut brown ale kicked up a few notches. Rogue's hazelnut brown nectar comes to mind, but this seems like cheap hazelnut extract added. very sweet smelling. like the fake hazelnut syrups used by cheap coffee places to make regular coffee into hazelnut coffee. However, it is very aromatic as I can smell it from feet away. the sweetness and artificial aromas hinder it quite a bit.

roasted nuts. week old hazelnut coffee with hazelnut flavored coffee-mate and tons of sugar. a bit of burnt and astringent flavors come through and linger well after the swallow.

thin for a porter with little to no carbonation and a watery finish.

I think it would be a good gimmick for someone who is not a fan of beers, but it lacks in complexity relying on the artificial hazelnut extract flavors to really carry this beer. I'd drink again if this was offered for free and nothing else was available.

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Photo of andrewinski1
1.64/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle just says "Hazelnut Porter." Poured into a pint glass. The color is dark brown/black with a small light tan head.

The aroma is dinstinctly Shipyard. Butterscotch and yeastyness dominates the aroma. Chocolatey porter aromas are hardly detectable. I'm bummed.

The taste starts out with bitter ash and char, with some sweet malt notes. This quickly turns into a bomb of Ringwood.

The body is light to medium, with lots of carbonation that compromises the drinkability.

This is too much Ringwood for me. I am dumping this and having a homebrew.

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Photo of kjyost
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Happy Harry's Grand Forks, Sourh. Notched BB A-12, poured into a perfect pint glass at ~5C

A: Ruby red edges and brown through the middle. Clear, with a touch of tan head that drops quickly which leaves a ring and no lacing.
S: Roasted malts, and as the beer warms the hazelnut opens up in the nose.
T: Initially it came off almost acrid from the roasted malts, but as the beer warmed it improved substantially, with hints of hazelnut, caramel and a biting bitterness that seems out of place (likely from that roasted malts).
M: The weird bitterness is the last thing to hit and lingers. Otherwise a pleasant, almost creamy beer.
O: I was looking forward to this and was glad I let it warm, otherwise I would have thought it awful. The hazelnut is a little more subtle than I would have liked, and the bitterness is off-putting. A couple subtle changes could make this an excellent beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at brew pub in northborough

fizzy smaller head fades quickly with a bit of lacing over dark mahogany molasses brown colored beer, hint of light.

Nose brings hazelnut and chestnut aromas right off the bat, some light porter aromas with some dark malts, brown sugar, caramel, light toffee, hint of creamy dark porter almost chocolate malt. Plenty of light ale like aromas.

Taste brings chocolate a first, biscuit and powdered chocolate like a cheap kit kat, then some hazelnut, chestnut and overall nutty flavor. Then caramel, toffee, brown malts, a bit sweet, bit of a toasty reddish malt. surprisingly hops kick in with bit of earthy and almost grassy hops and a decent bitterness. Finishes drier with a fairly bitter spicy hop kick, and some lingering caramel, hazelnut, and brown malt flavors.

Mouth is med bodied, dec carb.

Overall not bad, hazelnut is toned down which is nice that it doesn't overpower, and plenty of nutty malts and nice brown malt porter like flavors.

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Photo of rundocrun
2.99/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with deep crystal-clear amber highlights when held to the light. Has a finger of khaki colored head that fades moderately fast. Decent lacing down the side of the glass.

S - Smells of a slightly sour, medicinal and nutty take on a doppelbock. I'm assuming it's the hazelnut flavoring that's contributing to the "off" smell I'm getting from this beer. Really quite unfortunate because I've enjoyed other hazelnut ales (Rogue). Very mild hints of alcohol and fruity red wine mixed with milk chocolate.

T - Sweet and nutty up front. Quickly followed by a surprisingly bitter burnt grain flavor. Has a definite diacetyl (buttery) presence that's a little off-putting--almost like drinking liquid chocolate buttercream frosting. Bitterness rides through the finish with some mild acidic coffee notes and chalky dark cocoa. I'm a little disappointed in the hazelnut character here. 1. Artificial-tasting. 2. Not enough of it.

M - Thin body. Prominent carbonation. Has quite a dry, but clean finish.

Overall - There are just a few too many things that are "off" with this beer for me to give it my full blessing. The aroma is not quite what I'd want for a hazelnut anything (let alone a porter). Taste is also all over the place.

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Photo of Jammies
3.19/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark brown with a think layer of foam that slowly dissipates.

S- nutty with some caramel undertones

T- slightly nutty taste with a strong coffee resemblance

M- watery and light. the malt is a bit overwhelming and lingers

O- not bad. more of a coffee taste than a hazelnut.

 287 characters

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.

 613 characters

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 Pintofbrown
2.65/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Very dark ruby body with ruby highlights. Everything through the glass is only a rough outline. The tawny head is very fizzy and soft. It gets to about 1 finger and then breaks down quickly, lacing on the side of the glass is soapy and also has a problem sticking around.

Smell: It is a mix of bread malts and hazelnut flavor. There are some hints of brewed coffee. Also get the suggestion of milk and caramel malts. Not picking up any hop profiles.

I think this smell works out pretty well. It is really, really sweet. More like a hazelnut cappuccino really than a beer. It makes me wonder if this is going to translate well in the tasting.

Taste: Astringent. That is the first word that comes to mind. This is waaay too harsh. Honestly, if you’ve ever brewed coffee in a dirty coffee pot and thought it smelled all right, right up until that first sip, that is what this reminds me of. Dang.

Hazelnut in the flavor? No. There is a sort of hazelnut in the aftertaste. But it is backed up by and almost overwhelmed by an earthy and completely unappetizing burnt coffee flavor. There are also notes of alcohol in a 5.7% alcohol beer. What?

Absolutely everything that smells good on the nose is not in the drink.

Mouth feel: Watered down and way too bitter.

Overall: This is my first Sea Dog brew and I am not really happy. Very few things make me as grumpy as drinking a bad beer. This definitely counts. Look, the nose on the hazelnut porter is pretty good. It is sweet, there is hazelnut, and it makes you want to drink it, but once you do you almost immediately feel tricked.

This beer needs to be smoothed out, the malts need to be much more pronounced, and the hazelnut really needs to be there. And the smoky porter flavor they are going for just ends up tasting like a bad batch of coffee.

I really wish I was exaggerating, and I really wish Sea Dog had made this interesting sounding beer work.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Black with a brown ring at the bottom. 1/4 inch head and some retention

Smell: Very subtle yet nice hazelnut with hints of dark chocolate and vanilla

Taste: Wow overpowering sweetness from the hazelnut. It is a one way street with the flavor. Hazelnut, hazelnut and more hazelnut

Mouthfeel: A little watery for a porter and the carbonation is a tad to high for my liking

Overall: Kind of a hard beer to drink because of the sweetness and high carbonation. So far my experience with hazelnut in beer is less than appealing.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – Massive creamed coffee head with what appeared to be light to moderate carbonation, glass clinging lace at first all disappeared, nice foam layer was retained on top, a clear dark brown brew 3.5
S – Slightly sweet malts coffee & hazelnut notes, with a bit of chocolate and oil 3.5
T – Hazelnut, coffee, roasted malts, I like that the sweetness in scent does not present as much in the taste, a well built porter that has good drinkability. Very slight smokiness. I noticed a musty earthiness coming out as it warmed. 4
M – Medium body and overall thin but still with good flavor 3.5
O – There is something meaty about this porter. Thin but nice flavor and body, a good porter but not an outstanding one. 3.5

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What's better than beer....having a neighbor who's wife signed him up for monthly beer club and he can't drink them fast enough....that is where I come in....I should be a Super Friend and have a seat at the Hall of Justice....any way he didnt want his Sea Dog Hazelnut...I stepped in. The appearance was a dark amber...not quite opaque...the white head was interesteing to me...I was expecting more ecru. The nose was no question...hazelnut! There were also hints of roast. The flavor/taste was very good, but the body was lacking. The flavor screamed hazelnut coffee...I think Starbucks would be impressed....just wish it had more body. The mouthfeel was fine...very light porter...easy drinking. Worth a try....no question.

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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.

 838 characters

Photo of greybeardloon
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Best before April 2012.

A: Clear, dark brown. Translucent for a porter. Nice thick head that hangs around for a while, but I'm not getting much lacing.

S: Pretty subdued smell. Nuts, vanilla, and brown sugar.

T: More vanilla than hazelnut, but otherwise the flavor is pretty meager. A bit of roast, some wet, burned toast and a faintly bitter and metallic finish. There's also something weird in there that I can't identify. In spite of all that, the hazelnut isn't overwhelming, and the bitterness is pleasant.

M: Very thin and bubbly for a porter.

O: I was expecting to not like this at all, but it actually wasn't offensive.

 632 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Best by April 2012?!?

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown with thin light brown head. No lacing.

Smell: Hazelnut, caramel, milk chocolate, molasses. Uh oh, this is going to be sweet.

Taste: And it does start off sweet with hazelnut, caramel and chocolate. Then it surprisingly turns fairly bitter with coffee, English-style hops and a strong roasted bite. I actually like the sweet part of the beer better (unusual for me).

Feel: Moderate carbonation, somewhat creamy body but too thin. The body does not quite support the very dry finish. Too astringent.

Overall: I expected this to be a sub-par Porter, and it is, but not in the way I expected. I was worried about the sweetness, but it is the harsh finish that bothers me (and I like strong IPAs and Stouts). I would have preferred if this was simply sweet and decadent. Ultimately it has a decent taste, but I have little desire for more.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Date: 28 May 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Poured gently for a 2-finger head, reduces to nothing, lacing is super sticky, color is clear deep brown.

Aroma of swiss chocolate and slight hazelnut. Maybe a touch of coffee with a background of dark malt.

Taste is moderately high in caramel with a touch of hazelnut. Dark malts are not very noticeable.

The bitterness left on the palate is okay, and described as pale caramel. Not a bad beer, but probably would not seek out again.

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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.

 572 characters

Photo of Tballz420
2.94/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance of this brew is like a cola, or pop, as normal people say, in a glass. As far as i can recall from the last time i had a pop in a glass, there was a short-lived fizzy tan head on top of a fairly translucent brown colored brew. Scent is mainly chocolate malt. Kinda has the same "water" taste as the other beer i had from this brewery, again, not meaning "watered-down," but rather a distinct water. A probably-now-defunct brewery from iowa used to have a similar taste. Aside from that, its got the chocolate malt and a bit of hop bitterness, but these could be enhanced to further this beers development. I dunno, not bad i guess.

 646 characters

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.

 688 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.22/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle sampled on May 1, 2011. It pours brown with deep ruby red hues and a thin head. The aroma is more vanilla than hazelnut although the hazelnut is there in the mix. The body is about average for a Porter. The taste has little to do with the Porter Style. It is kind of like a creamy vanilla taste with no smoke and milder malts but it does have a slight hop bite on the end. For a Porter, I was a bit disappointed but it did have a solid vanilla thing happening.

 487 characters

Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some coffee. Taste is good, coffee and roasted malts, I'm not really tasting much from the hazel nut, but very flavorfull anyway. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

 298 characters

Photo of cooch69
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Porter pours a deep brown with some amber showing through when held up to the light.

Nose is roasted malts and a concentrated dry, roasted hazelnut scent.

Wow this hazelnut flavoring is pretty obvious in the taste. It's almost like the fruit beers in which they put so much fruit in it that you can't actually taste the base of the beer. But the sweetness of the malts as well as a slight roastiness comes through in the finish.

A different Porter and one that I enjoyed but on this night of porters Southern Tier reigns supreme.

 539 characters

Photo of momobono
3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance 3.5/5 - Dark brown to red, no sediment. No floating carbonation. Thin beige-colored head which dissipates quickly.

Aroma 4/5 - Sweet, caramel malt smell. No real hop aroma. Notes of hazelnut aren't overpowering.

Taste 2/5 - Tastes a lot like drinking a Starbucks iced black coffee - too sweet and candylike. The hazelnut hits like a ton of bricks, evolving into a wine-like character before bitter coffee character comes up the back. Slightly acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 4/5 - Heavier, but still smooth. Stays that way towards the end of the beer. Carbonation is too light.

Drinkability 3.5 / 5 - A bit of warming at the end. Not much else here.

Overall: A little too sweet for my tastes, but I would be able to stomach it again.

 746 characters

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 SnowGoon99
3.66/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Bangor location into a mixer glass.

Off the tap there was no head whatsoever (thank you crappy bartender) but the color was right on for a porter. Aroma was ok. Not anything great but there were no flaws. Kinda just typical roastiness you'd expect from a porter. Unfortunately no hazelnut.

Taste was really good. No hazelnut to be had but a really good porter nonetheless. Roasted notes with a little bit of caramel to back it up. Perfect amount of attenuation didn't make it too dry or too sweet. Might've done something with the water though. Just ok on the drinkability. Certainly drinkable but i don't think i would've ordered a second.

Overall not a terrible beer to have at the pub but wouldn't buy it at a store. No hazelnut at all. If they just said it was a porter that would be fine. I'm all for subtlety but this is taking it a little to far. A nice beer just not great.

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.
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