Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter | Sea Dog Brewing Company

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut PorterSea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter
339 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 339 |  Reviews: 181
Photo of TrevorGW
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap. Was shocked to see it on tap where I found it, so I figured I'd give it a try.

The body is fairly thin for a Porter. Not much follow-through from the grain bill. The Hazelnut flavor tastes authentic but it dominates too much. No hop detection.

I'm not sure that I would have this again. It is not a bad beer at all. The main problem is that you won't be able to stop feeling like you are drinking a stale iced coffee. It's a relative problem, but it will affect many drinkers.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black color with no shades of any other color. There is very little carbonation that creates a bairly existent thin tan head, with a fair amount of retention.
Smell is slightly toned down. There is a good amount of hazelnut to the nose. The incredibly nutty smell dominates anything else in the smell.
Taste is also dominated by the hazelnut. I am not a big nut guy, but there is enough chocolate malt and slight hop to give a little more to this taste.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin for a porter. There is a bit of chewiness to it, making it not as smooth as I would like.
Drinkability is average. There is a good hazelnut taste to this beer. I do not like hazelnut too much, but if I were a fan I could see myself really enjoying this beer.

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Photo of stockingcpl
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This brew pours with a very thick head that sustains for quite a while. Extensice lacings. The color is a deep chocolate, almost ebony, and is semi-translucent. Excellent so far.

Smell: The aroma is sweet chocolate. Toasted malt is also present.

Taste: Amazingly deep roasted chocolate taste. Turing the sustain the hazelnut comes out. Really, quite an interesting porter flavor. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation rolls well on the tongue and mixes with the chocolate to give quite a fonderful feel. By the time the carbonation tapers, the hazelnut kicks in. I was impressed. This is not so stout a porter as to be opressive.

Drinkability: The drinkability on this selection is quite high because the brew does not sit heavy on the stomache. The alcohol is fairly low, so the drinker is left wanting another. That in itself is good enough to rate this brew highly.


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Photo of Kingdom4aPint
2.91/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Standard pint glass applied...

Pours very dark brown with fluffy beige head...minimal lacing. Nutty aroma with some chocolate. Very buttery initial taste and then cruising into nutty. I guess I don't appreciate the hazelnut hence the 2.5 rating here but I will say that the taste seemed to get better the further down the glass I went. Mouthfeel was pretty solid, medium body and oily feel, minimal carbonation. Drinkability average as while I could see myself having several I really just wouldn't want to. Worth a try, I guess but there are better out there.

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Photo of Bung
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown pour with a whitish head. Roast malt, earthy aromas. Hint of the hazelnut. Light roasted malt flavors, some mocha accented with the nuttiness. A little lighter bodied than I would like. Clean finish. Something different in a porter, which is nice to see. Worth a try.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
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 DMcPhee33
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark brown, near black. A nice head is retained for a while.

The smell is awesome. I'm biased here b/c I love the smell of Dunkin's hazelnut coffee and this is almost indentical.

The taste is sweet, with an abrupt dry finish. Begins with roasted malt, then a quick kick of hazelnut and a trademark Ringwood yeast finish.

Mouthfeel is a little bit more syrupy/thick than your average porter, I'm guessing this is due to the hazelnut flavoring.

I could definitely have a few of these, but depending on the night I think the sweetness & mouthfeel could catch up quicker than others.

It's very different, not like any other porter I've tasted. The smell, color and initial taste would get me to order another round or two, though I have other favorites for the style.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a little skeptical when I saw "Hazelnut"...
Beer pours a nice clear mahogany brown and produced a frothy sculputured head. As the head receeded it laced the glass and remained as a light tan ring that clung to the walls of the glass.

Flavor was surprising-- although it's not particularly a "hearty" porter. The hazelnut flavor is not particularly overwhelming. It adds enough to the foundation of the flavor to bolster the somewhat one-dimensional character.
The hazelnut combines with the bitter hops to build a satisfying start.

Finishes with a collapse of the hazelnut-bitter but lingers cleanly.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant-- this beer has a subdued character.

Drinkability is good-- flavor bekoned me to keep going, hoping that the beer would open up to more. Alcohol content is not so strong that I was welded to the seat after a bottle (or two).
I wouldn't hesitate to buy another six-pack.

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Photo of Offa
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pleasant, light porter, not great but enjoyable and very drinkable. The hzelnut quality is thankfully rather light, just enough to add a faintly different character and dimension to it without being too stringly hazelnutty.

Very dark reddish brown, it has a large tan head that slowly thins to a small head and it leaves some decent lace.

The aroma is predominantly hazelnut with a little toasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. It's not bad, but a bit too hazelnutty for my taste.

The taste is hazelnut up front but this soon to a light hazelnut accent on mostly toasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate. It has nice, light sweet-bitter balance. The feel is somewhat thin yet at the same time feels a bit oily, especially as it warms.

Light, mild, and fairly simple, it is nevertheless reasonably interesting and enjoyable, neither bland nor unpleasant.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown that shows great ruby highlights when held to light. Fluffy off white head that sticks around for a while. Smell is malty, buttery with faint nuttiness. Taste is buttery, and lackluster. A bit of bitterness lingering in the aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel and body. Not all that great for a porter. Maybe a light brown, I missed any dark malt flavors in this one. I can't see any reason to buy this one again.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a garnet brown with a thick, full head, creamy on top with bigger bubbles at the edges.
Smell is malt, toffee, apples, grape, hint of peat.
Taste is malt, coffee, smoke, oak, vanilla, hops in aftertaste with alcohol.
Medium body, tight medium effervescence, somewhat crisp, with a smooth, mellow finish. Another solid brew from Sea Dog.

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Photo of changeup45
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was Sea Dog RiverDriver Porter. Didn't see anything to do with Hazelnut... Anyways, not bad for a Porter. Pours a syrupy deep brown color, tan head and small amounts of lacing. Lots of chocolate in this beer! Roasted chocolate with malts. Maybe a little thin on the mouthfeel, but pretty good and warming.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a small, fizzy, off-white head. Rather cola-like in appearance.

Smell: Chocolate, roasty maltiness with a mild scent of roasted nuts.

Taste: Sweet-tasting cola and cocoa blend with the underlying taste of roasted hazelnuts. Slight spicy hoppiness, very minor bitterness present. Slight astringency creeps into the drying finish upon warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation, though a bit fizzy.

Drinkability: A simple porter with a hazelnut twist. Fairly easily drinkable though.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a nice brown garnet tinged color with a tan head that recedes to lacing. the aroma is nice and malty with a decent hazlenut aroma... not that I've sniffed a lot of hazlenuts lately, but the sweet malt, and nut smell doesn't deliver in the taste catagory, maybe it's a little cold yet, but the mouthfeel is good with a bit of malt, but more co2 bite than I'd expect from a porter... a good drinkable beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.53/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

They must be recipe sharing with Kennebunkport Brewing because it tasted almost the same...not a good thing either. Poured dark brown in appearance with a decent head. Smell was unspectacular...some hazelnut presence with malty notes. Taste was only average with some undiffrentiated malt presence and a slight finishing bitterness. Roasted malts was there but that about it. Watery and thin. Mouthfeel was medium and unspectacular. Didint realy want to finish mine.

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Photo of jenbys2001
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I sampled this beer from a cask at Oldsmar Tap House, and I have to say it tasted much better in that incarnation than the reviews here suggest. However, I've come to the conclusion that I'm really not a fan of porters. This particular beer looked, smelled and tasted nearly identical to an iced Starbuck's latte. It was dark and creamy and had a nutty, chocolate, chicory flavor to it. Any fan of a porter should try it as it was one of the better porters I've had, but I didn't care for it.

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Photo of Murchmac
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like a root beer float when you pour it.

Smells like a hazelnut coffee when you smell it.

Tastes like a really bad hazelnut porter beer.

Weak mouthfeel. Does have some lingering burnt malt tastes which I wish they would make the body of the beer. If they did this it would be much more interesting.

Tastes like somebody poured hazelnut extract into each bottle of this beer.

If you like hazelnut, you will like this beer. It does mellow into something tolerable.

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Photo of BeerFanDan17
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice dark hue with a frothy head. This was a veru tasty porter with an obvious infusion of hazelnut. Initial flavor has hints of roasted malts, and dark chocolate. Once swalled, the aftertaste is one of sweet coffee, toffee, and hazelnut.

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Photo of Maudite
2.82/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hmmm... Not really sure why I got this one. I'm not a fan of "flavored" beers, that is to say beers with flavoring added (unless it is from adjuncts, not just a liquid flavoring). Shared this one with my brother yesterday, drank from two little brewery taster glasses.

A- Thin, light/see-through brown, a shade lighter than Newcastle. Head was here and gone, little lacing.
S- Smelled strongly of hazelnut, letting me know before my first sip of the flavoring added. I was afraid it would be syrupy...
T- Not as hazelnutty as I had expected, still inadequate. Not much of a porter to begin with, little hop presence, subtle nutty taste.
M- Fine feel in the mouth, nothing lingered, thankfully. Not too carbonated, not too thin. Fine bodied, I suppose.
D- I'd try someone else's rather than getting my own.

Didn't hate it, definitely didn't love it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.71/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass. It looks good, but I think it all goes downhill from there.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains caramel, hazelnuts and coffee.

T: The taste is malty and smoky with flavors of coffee, caramel and hazelnuts but there's a metallic bite that throws it all off. It's not as sweet as I had expected, which is a good thing, but it does start to come on a bit as you continue to drink it. There's mild hops presence that is about at the level you would expect from a porter. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, sticky finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, the hazelnut flavor seems like a good idea, but it doesn't seem to do much for this particular beer. I didn't get anything out of this beer that would make me want to drink it again.

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Photo of NitroGen
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 12 oz longneck brown bottle "Best Enjoyed before 10-08", so I have 8 months to spare!

P: pours a watery dark iced tea with one finger of tan foam that quickly settled to a scant cover and minimal lacing.

S: Spices and earthy smell with feint alcohol

T: Starts out with roasted grains and a unique taste..ok it is the hazelnuts at the finish. While this may sound bizarre, I can only taste this one while in the mouth, as it leaves almost no aftertaste.

M: Really really thin mouth feel with the flavor being very fleeting.

D: Feel I could drink this one all day long, but with such little flavor why bother?

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Photo of brentk56
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly clear garnet with an oversized head that retains and laces very well

Smell: One whiff reeks of plastic phenols and another of hazelnut; the more the beer sits, the more the hazelnuts come through; very odd

Taste: Opens with a nut bread flavor that becomes bitter in a nut skin fashion by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a brief appearance of caramel malt, followed by a hazelnut flash, but the finish re-affirms the nut skin bitterness

Mouthfeel: Very odd mouthfeel; thin and moderately carbonation but leaves an odd coating on the lips and tongue

Drinkability: A promising idea, but too many flaws to count

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown with some red showing from the light and some lacing.

As you would expect, this beer smells and tastes nutty. A pretty sweet tasting beer with hints of chocolate and coffee and, of course, hazelnut. The taste is pretty decent but seems a bit thin for a porter so if you're looking for a more filling porter, this might not be the best choice, but if looking for a nutty experience, I can easily recommend this.

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Photo of Floydster
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased from Cooke's Family Market on sale for only fifty cents in the bottle bin

Poured into a mug with a dark brown color, not far from black with a 1/4 creamy vanilla colored head, left minimal lacing, could see through it when held up to the light

Smell was full of nuttiness and roasted malt, not much else going on here though, a little bit of honey aroma as well

Taste was super dry, left a chalky taste in the mouth, definitely could taste the hazelnut, pretty one dimensional, just an average porter, could taste small parts of chocolate and hints of coffee but the malt was full of roastiness for the most part,

Not much carbonation but a thick full body

Could drink many of these, maybe another one or two, just heavy stuff even though the ABV is relatively low

Cannot beat the price I got, but other than that, I would recommend several other porters ahead of this one, still glad to see this one made all the way to California from Maine though

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Photo of Minkybut
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice dark mahogany color. It poured a big pretty tan head which unfortunatly fell fast. the beer did have great lacing. The taste of this beer was a little sweet as would be expected from this type. I like a hazelnut brew. This one had just enough nutty taste to do the trick. i will buy again.

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 339 ratings