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: 181 | Ratings: 335
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.

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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.

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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 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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Photo of jellis00
2/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow! What a terrible porter. I am a huge fan of dark beers, but I would rather go sober than drink this beer again.

A: It pours fine, nice dark head.

S: I think it is a pleasant smell, with a hint of vanilla.

T: Horrible! God awful idea to mix hazelnut + a dark beer! I think chocolate, coffee, malts are good enough. The hazelnut overpowers the dark beer aspect, and you get the sensation of a really bad starbucks drink.

M: Well, it is not great. It does not settle in the mouth like most dark beers.

D: I will never buy this beer again. Period. I think the concept was good, but the actual mixture is nasty. The after taste is also unpleasant, it sorta leaves a gummy feeling in the mouth.

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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 glid02
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malts with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate. Also present are very mild amounts of nuttiness that intensify slightly as the beer warms.

Tastes OK. Robust roasted malt flavors with mild amounts of char and dark chocolate flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip the flavors sweeten a bit with hints of hazelnut that seem just a tad overly sweet. The hazelnut and roasted malt flavors carry through to a solidly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is on the harsh side.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was better than I'd anticipated but the hazelnut in the flavor profile seems as though it's added from concentrate. Certainly not a bad beer but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of BraveUlysses
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer smells and tastes sweet...not sure if I would be able to pick out the hazlenut flavors, but there's a very strong sweet presence, with a tiny bit of a hops twang at the end. It's a little bit artificial tasting though. Tasty, but in the kind of way some cheap Easter chocolate is knew it gets much better than this.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent...maybe a little thinner than I'd prefer, and drinkability is okay. I wouldn't want to drink more than a couple on a given night.

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Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured very dark amber (almost black) with a creamy beige head. The head didn't last that long but it left nice lacing patterns.
S: There are moderate aromas of hazelnuts and toasted caramel malts in the nose.
T: Hazelnut flavors really stand out in the taste, which aren't too overpowering and are balanced to some degree by the underlying malts. There are also some hints of roasted coffee beans. A slight amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with some dryness.
D: The beer goes down very smoothly; I could easily drink several of these in one sitting.

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Photo of Brad007
2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mild-brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. Looks about right for the style.

Aroma is sweet and full of caramel for some reason. Hmm. Not much else to be found.

Taste is sweet with caramel and brown sugar undertones. Seems a bit bland.

Carbonation is definitely a bit too high here. Makes it hard for the beer to go down.

Mediocre. I can find 5 better examples of this style.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.37/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany pour out of a 12 oz bottle. The head is creamy brown, but thins quickly.

Lovely aromas of toffee, nuts, and milk chocolate. Smells a lot like one of those coffee drinks with a bunch of fru fru stuff in it, in other words it smells good.

Tastes almost exactly like it smells. The finish is rife with coffee flavors. Hazelnuts are more present on the palate too, hits me with some Nutella action.

Two complaints, the sweetness is a tad much on my tongue, especially up front. Secondly, this beer is a little thin on the mouthfeel.

If you are in for some big flavors and you like dessert-style coffee drinks this beer is for you.

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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 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 ATPete
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

Pours a deep but still transparent brown color with a medium sized tan head. Booming nose of Coffee Mates extract, sweet brown sugar, chocolate covered pretzels and a nutty aroma. Lots of flavor, not too sweet, the hazelnut has a peanut butter like flavor about it. Maple syrup and coffee sweetener. Very rich in flavor with a medium body, i can really see and appreciate the flavor profile they were going for here. Very sweet and near cloying, hindering its drinkability. Worth a single bottle to split.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An intense hazelnut flavor and aroma layered on a pretty good,but fragile, Porter base.

The Porter base beer could be easily mistaken for a sweet English Brown Ale except for the mild Columbian coffee character. Without the hazelnut, the beer would fall flat, tasteless, and watery from mid palate on.

Hazelnut is where it's at. Intense nutty, buttery, toffee-like notes make the nose very rich, robust and inviting. The flavor is a bit more volitile but still bold and savory.

Though the body falks a bit grainy and thin, the beer holds up ok. Other than the waivering malt texture, the beer has no real flaws

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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 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 tedpeer
2.97/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Ridiculous off white head. 1/8 of liquid, rest of the glass is foam. Poured dark brown.

S - Hazelnut and roasted malt. Sweetness.

T - Hazelnut, chocolate, roasted.

M - Thin. Overcarbonated.

D - Well, once you can pour it, it's just ok.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown, nearly opaque. Modest head, some pretty good lacing. Aroma is tangy, with a nutty, hazelnut background.

Flavor is like the aroma. Acidic, stout-like flavors. Lacks the strong roast and meatiness I like to taste in an American porter. Mouthfeel is okay, kind of weak and watery for a porter. Earthy, hazelnut flavors kind of dominate the palate. Interesting, and it works in a beer. Would be even more persuasive a brew if more substantial porter characteristics were intact.

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Photo of SykDoc
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I'm not sure what happened when I read other reviews but this beer had a gigantic several inch head that was hard to control. It was mocha colored and eventually reduced to a minimal lacing. It was a deep brown in appearance.

The aroma was primarily that of hazelnut. A very mild amount of roasted malts. Not overly strong either.

The taste was overwhelmed by hazelnut. It wasn't bad but just too much of one thing. A mild roasted maltiness again lingered.

The mouthfeel demonstrated a high level of carbonation that also may have detracted from other flavors. Somewhat sticky with a sweet aftertaste that lingers.

Overall, this does not impress. It would have been poured down the drain except my wife and I shared it. It was one dimensional and did not provide a bit more of the porter flavor I would have liked.

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Photo of Durge
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black brown color, thick and covered with a modest light tan head and showing fair lacing. The aroma is as advertised, hazelnut, along with some buttery malt, very nice, not overwhelming at all. The taste brings more of a lemon hop along with a more subtle hazelnut tone at the back of your mouth, not dominating. It's bitter and sweet at the same time and a bit cloying. There's some grassy coffee going on here, not at all a typical porter by my experience but a nice version none the less. The dryness hangs on your tongue. Carbonation is very fine and tingly, a little thin, fair drinkability but no classic session brew. Sweet malt becomes more evident as it warms, the hazelnut is subtle throughout. Very interesting, recommended for a try.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sea Dog in Topsham. Served in a standard pint glass.

Pours a good, dark brown that's a bit opaque. Head has a quality similar to root beer but surprisingly thicker and with a maple walnut ice cream quality. Decent lacing.

Scent has clean, tannic-free dark malts with a hit of caramel. Hops are of the nobler English variety - maybe a little grassy. Slight hint of chocolate and roasted hazelnut is a nice kicker. Velvety on the nose.

A pleasant surprise - this doesn't have that tinny, metallic, thin after taste that some light porters do. Malts are prevalent, fresh and very smooth with a hint of dry slate. Grassy hoppiness is balanced nicely with the hazelnuttiness. Slight caramel and molasses - maybe minimal mocha texture. Finishes full yet clean.

This has a nice body for a porter but after about 1/2 a pint it does get a little on the weighty side. The flavor profile is solid but just a little behind its weight class. Still, surprisingly creamy.

For some reason I liked this a lot more than I expected to. It had many of the favorable elements of a straightforward Porter and the nuttiness helps. Still a little heavy towards the bottom of the glass but a very good option at the old favorite from the late 1990s, the Sea Dog.

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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 Boppar
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Sea Dog in Brunswick. Served in a pint glass.

A: It's a pretty porter. Looks like molasses. Has half a finger of tan head on it.

S: Smells like roasted malt, some molasses, and a faint hint of hazelnuts.

T: The taste was actually a little disappointing. While I really like that the hazelnut taste does not completely dominate this beer, I was not pleased with how late in the game the hazelnut arrives, or the seemingly artificial taste it has, or the slight tang it leaves in your mouth after the finish. Certainly not a bad porter.

M: A touch too carbonated, but other than that it seemed about right for the style.

D: The hazelnut taste prevented me from getting more of these, but overall it drinks like a porter.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving notes - shaker glass, room temp, hand pumped cask ale.
A - Nutty with a hint of chocolate.
A - two fingers of thick (small bubble) head, opaque body with ruby on the edges. Head lingers nicely.
M - thin body and light carbonation. Nice creaminess from the head.
T - nuttiness on the front of the tongue followed by chocolate then light roast and sweetness near the back. A bit of taste of the foam lingers on the roof of the mouth.
D - Cask conditioning gives a wonderful creaminess and drinkability to this beer. I could have several of these.

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Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter from Sea Dog Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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