Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Porter - American
Ranked #218
Ranked #14,789
3.91 | pDev: 10.49%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: Porter is a testament to roasted malts which give it a rich, bittersweet and roasted coffee-like flavor that's a perfect complement to a variety of foods.

Before Sierra Nevada was a reality, our nights were spent perfecting homebrews and dreaming of starting a brewery. Back then, one of our favorites was a porter made with homemade malt roasted in our kitchen. Decades later, we still love the rich, bittersweet and roasted malt flavors of that original brew.
Reviews: 1,477 | Ratings: 3,738 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle dated 6/18/20

Clear, translucent brown ale with two fingers fine tan head. Full head and lacing.
Roast malt, gingerbread, earthy yeast aromas explode out of the bottle.
Nutty sweet roast malt, light hop kick, light char, coffee flavors, deepening as the glass warms. A yeast flavor that I seem to experience in a number of Sierra Nevada beers.
Light hop bitterness, medium feel, lasting carbonation
Substantial depth of flavors in a 5 % ABV ale. Very pleasant.

Feb 20, 2021
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backblast from Alaska

3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice roasty malt up front with some sweet earthiness mixed in. It has a light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation and a mild bitter end. The finish drops off quickly - too quickly actually. It really is a nice porter, but overall it's too light, could be so much more.

Feb 20, 2021
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jockstrappy from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coffee brown, ruby hues and a creamy tan head. Aromas are fairly muted, a roasted malt profile is there but I can’t really pick anything definitive. Flavors include roasty malt notes of coffee, raw cocoa and earthy nuttiness. Trademark SN floral hop bite makes a subtle appearance on the back end. Mild carbonation. Lingering bitterness on the palate.

It’s good for sure, not extraordinary or anything. As with any beer, freshness is everything. I would love to get some of this closer to the source to see the contrast in the flavors.

Feb 14, 2021
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stuffandthings from California

3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one in a blind taste test recently with 3 other porters and it just did not stack up. The look was different, the carbonation was different, the taste was bland in comparison. Not as good as I remembered.

Jan 02, 2021
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TheBricenator from Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown, almost black on the pour and deep ruby-red when held to light, with a frothy light tan head that settles slowly, leaving good lacing
Aroma: Roasted barley, chocolate notes, toasted nuts, warm brown bread, and some earthiness
Taste: Roast is the highlighted theme here. Tons of roasted barley, nuttiness, and even a light roasted coffee bean note hit hard up front and as those begin to subside, chocolate joins the mix. More roast goodness and earthy notes take hold and lead to the finish
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, medium-high carbonation, and smooth but slightly sharp on the finish from either the earthy hops or strong roast notes
Overall: This is tasty stuff. I hadn’t had this beer in almost two years as only one spot close to me has it in so when I saw bottles dated 10/9/20, I had to revisit and glad I did. A very well-made American porter with deep and rich malt flavors and enough earthy hops to keep it balanced. Throw in the very full body on this as well and you have yourself a winner. A classic and delicious to boot

Dec 21, 2020
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SimplySinister from Florida

3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A - Normal pour into chalice producing a dark colored, translucent brew sporting a small 1/8" inch quickly dissipating head. Low carbonation. Some lacing.

S - Yeast, malt, dark chocolate, and coffee notes. Licorice.

T - Coffee, cream, lactose, some chocolate notes. The aftertaste tends to linger and has an abrasive lactose quality.

M - Thin, relatively clean, somewhat refreshing.

D - This brew has many of the qualities of a milk stout without the robust body. All in all, this is not a bad brew. However, as far as styles are concerned, I feel this brew is a little mixed up.

Nov 26, 2020
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A truly pleasant classic right here.
Surprisingly dark black beer with a moderate off white head. Smells vaguely sweet and grainy with a touch of coffee and a touch of cola.
Taste follows with a sweet rich maltiness and a bit of cola on the edge.
Light and pleasant on the palate.
A wonderfully flavorful brew and a simple joy to drink

Jun 30, 2020
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MackT from Florida

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Expectedly dark. Quickly dissipating head, no lacing. Aromas of coffee & chocolate. Taste is not as robust as most other porters, mildly bitter. Mouthfeel is smooth. Aftertaste slightly bitter. This would be a non offensive Porter for those wishing to explore this style.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of ClareQuilty

3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Not boozy.

Almost syrupy but not strong.

Good with a meal or food but not necessarily a stand alone beer.
Body is neither weak nor strong; aftertaste much the same.

Mediocre but not bad.

Dec 12, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on draft 11/15/19 @ the Beer Temple.

A bit hoppy, but overall a well-crafted take on a classic style. Definitely a true American porter...I'd prefer it a bit maltier but this was very enjoyable.

Nov 17, 2019
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izraelc from New York

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not a typical porter. Pours dark. Odd smell. A very mild clean body. Slight roasted malt finish. Smooth. The malt could be more pronounced. It's good but not typical for the style.

Nov 15, 2019
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I consume my share of porters in the fall and winter and this one is pretty good, though it lacks greatness. One flaw is that it is a little thin mouthfeel for a porter. The taste is solid, but the roasted malt is not as prominent as it is in some other porters that I prefer. It's solid, but I can usually do better in the style.

Sep 05, 2019
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DFred from California

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours up beautifully dark with a thick two-finger tan collar. Nice balance between malt and hops--tastes similar to Sierra Nevada Stout--just slightly less hops coming through. Overall very good.

Jul 08, 2019
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AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Jet black with 1" of brown foam and very sticky lacing.
N: Loads of roast, malt, smoke, coffee, and some chocolate.
T: Follows the nose, such a smooth rich roasted flavor with outstanding malty goodness, some coffee and chocolate.
M: This is so clean and smooth, this is a benchmark beer others should shoot to replicate.
O: Loved it, sadly its not around much but if it comes out I suggest stocking up.

Dec 20, 2018
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the_awesometeer from California

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is very dark brown with a tan fizzy head. The beer smell is lighter than I expected a light roasted aroma with very light hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is similar to the smell but with a stronger chocolate flavor. The beer is creamy and smooth but fairly thin.

Nov 22, 2018
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RaulMondesi from California

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If night time is the right time, then pouring Sierra Nevada Porter is mighty fine. Dark and supreme, is Raul in a dream? Smell of roasted malt, drinkin’ this probably makes you really smart. So I take a sip, as I sit, and I am perfectly content to be.

Oct 19, 2018
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lpd3 from New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent. Complex. Malty yet just enough hops to give a pleasant bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Brown with a little red under strong light. Delicious smell. Love it. Big wine store had lamentable beer selection. But this was there, dusty in the fridge. What a find.

Sep 19, 2018
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EMH73 from New York

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with red highlights, a half inch tan head that leaves a ring of spotty lacing. Smells and tastes of lightly roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee and the slightly presence of hops. Medium bodied for the style, light carbonation, mildly creamy mouth feel, slightly dry finish.

Aug 30, 2018
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown with a large tan colored head. The aroma is chocolate, roasted malt and some hops. The taste is fantastic, a great blend of roasted malt chocolate and hops.

Jul 25, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 5/13/18 (67 days ago) poured into a tulip pint glass at fridge temp 5.6% ABV. The beer pours bright dark brown, with reddish light brown highlights and sticky chocolate tan colored head. The head recedes to a thin film and leaves a spotty wall of lacing. The aroma is malty chocolate and a hint of roast. The taste is dark chocolate malt, roast and the slightest amount of twang on the back end. There is a minimal amount of earthy hop in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. Overall, excellent. It's a shame this beer doesn't see better distribution. Recommended.

Jul 09, 2018
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

L---Darkest brown color. Thick tan head faded to a cap quickly and left excellent lacing.

S---Lighter smell than I was expecting. Roasted malts with coffee and a touch of chocolate.

T---Rich with chocolate, burnt malts and a little bit of coffee. Really well balanced.

F---Not as full as I was expecting. Goes down easier than it probably should.

O---A very nice porter by a very nice brewery. Simple, but high quality. A good example for others to follow.

Jul 04, 2018
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This classic micro pours a rugged
and dark brownish black with a very nice head of off white foam that
settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and sports some nice sudsy lacing.
Nose of coffee, dark fruits, dark cocoa powder, and touches of char
mingling with sweet dark malts. Flavors exceed the nose with presentation
of a solid English/American style porter with cola and cocoa mixing
nicely with dark coffee and touches of raisin and char with wafting
vanilla notes. Excellent mouth feel; medium full body, medium carbonation
that is lively enough to make this an excellent session brew, and a rich
malt driven finish.

Overall, a SOLID porter from a great little brewery.


Jul 02, 2018
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spectru from Florida

3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark beer with a creamy head, lacy; Rich malty aroma, dark smelling; Decidedly coffee or mocha flavor, tasty; mouthfeel is foamy, creamy, smooth; A good, rich beer.

Mar 31, 2018
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Bottled on 'PKGD 03/28/17 0543'.
Clear, ruby brown colored body. One finger beige head settles to bubbly, thick cap. Scattered areas of lacing.
Aroma of dark roasted malt and sweet chocolate.
Taste is that of a classic dark roast beer, darker roasted malts combined with coffee, with supporting hops. Bittersweet overall.
Medium mouth feel. More to the dry side.
Excellent beer for pairing with a wide range of food, including savory meat and cheeses.

Feb 25, 2018
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ckornmannn from Washington

3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a bottle: dark auburn color. Not much lacing and below average head retention. Not too much aroma wise, fermented grain. Roasted malt and coffee dominate the taste. Surprisingly light bodied for a porter. This is good, but black butter porter is better!

Feb 14, 2018
Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 3738 ratings