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Sierra Nevada Porter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,426 Reviews
Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,426 | Ratings: 3,585
Photo of rorykanderson
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is so fucking consistent. Wherever I am in the country I feel confident picking up a cold sixer and its gonna be good beer. This Porter is no different; scooped up a six pack while on Oahu. Dark brown pour with a sudsy head that lingers. Foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aroma of molasses, coffee, roasted malt. Taste is roasted malt, light toffee, light caramel, faint coffee, wispy chocolate and a kiss of bitter hops. Mouthfeel is more watery than creamy; nicely balanced carbonation gives it a solid overall body. Great beer.

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Photo of moose1980
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth, well-balanced, with the medium-high carbonation lending to a dry finish and making for a very sessionable porter. Roasted malts and bitter coffee notes dominate. Seems like it would go great with a burger or soft cheeses.

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Photo of TH28
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle. Creamy white head that dissipated rather quickly. Pick up strong roasted malt and coffee aroma right away,Taste is sweet up front with very rich malt. Coffee really comes out at the end, with less bitterness than other porters. Finishes very smooth and clean. Medium body and well balanced. Overall, one of the easier drinking, better porters I’ve had.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada can't seem to make a beer that doesn't look impressive. This is one of those archetype west coast craft porters. Dark brown, full inch of tan head. Smells like the usual hallmarks of style, coffee, chocolate malts, burnt deep.

Taste, wow, Cascade hops and a nice bitterness backed up by a strong roasty presence. Not overly thick, these are fun in 12oz increments, no need for a Chicago pour here. Straightforward stuff, and quite the classic.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark and clear caramel colored beer with a tan head. The smell is toasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste is sweet and toasty with a nice malt flavor and coffee notes. A slightly bitter finish. Classic and tasty porter.

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Photo of ThemThangs
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Very balanced, not too bitter, not too sweet. The flavor notes mostly remind me of roasted nuts. Drinkability is quite high with this beer, I could drink more than one if these in one session and not get tired of it.

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Photo of Ferb
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an American porter that comforts, and isn't too pushy. It has a nice color and aroma, a good dark roasted malt flavor and just enough hops to keep the sweet in check. If you don't know if you like porter, or don't care for over-the-top stouts, this is one to sample to expand your tastes. I will often keep a six pack as an everyday beer.

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Photo of MACrist
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Nice rich dark brown, a touch of ruby up to the light. 2 + fingers of tan, creamy head that lingers all the way down. The beer leaves a nice thick lacing down the glass.
AROMA: A bit floral right away. Then a good amount of roasted, sweet, malt, dark bread, light chocolate and coffee notes.
TASTE: Caramel, sweet roasted malt, medium dark bread, a little coffee, a little chocolate.
FEEL: Med. thin to medium body, sticky up front and drier towards the finish. Decent carbonation.
OVERALL: Nice, easy to drink porter. Good body, not too thick for a porter, just right. I prefer Bell's porter because the chocolate and coffee notes from the malts are a bit more intense, but this is a nice beer.

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Photo of caribou43
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

In my point of view, it is a light porter, easy to drink. The color is black, brown and thin foam. Roasted malt but there is a side sweet, not bad, it could be more bitter in my point of view.

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Photo of drtth
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a dark brown, almost black color with a 1 & 1/4" light brown head that slowly receded to a think cover over the liquid an dleaving a ring of leggy lacing and foam around the glass. Sipping creates a collection of small speckles and legs of lacing.

The aromas include some chocolate or cocoa and some hoppiness.

The flavors have some cocoa and coffee along with some sweetness and fruity hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish begins with the sweetness and chocolate/cocoa sliding away to leave some light bitterness and something which seems almost but not quite charred.

This seems a well made porter that I'd be happy to have again. It would make an especially nice choice to serve with a backyard barbeque or sitting around after dinner with a plate full of cheeses and some good conversation.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The West coast version of a porter and this felt pretty good sipping this on a cold evening. Warms the body and the chocolate and coffee aroma would make for a great breakfast. At 5.6%ABV this one won't hit you too hard. Cheers!

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Photo of GreatStoutman
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber/brown from the bottle. One finger, beige head hangs on and leaves a light lacing.

Smells malty, but nothing too strong. Lightly carbonated and rather thin mouth. Taste kind of toasty and bitter, sweetness is there but nothing incredible. Its a well done porter but I'm having trouble getting excited about it.

Overall this is a good beer, and probably a good example of the traditional form, but its light and doesn't give me anything I would chase after.I really like SN, but this isn't their best, and not bad either,

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Photo of theskjoung
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark color. no prominent smell. It has a hint of chocolate and malty sweetness and toasty bitterness in the taste. The body is sort of light but not dry.

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Photo of aleigator
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roasted brown, filtered, with a solid beige head, which lasts pretty long. Sweet, roasted malts, bread and toffee. Smooth, oily mouthfeel, with a subtle freshness, due to the present carbonation. Malt defines this ale, its getting even more present in the end, with an upcoming burned toffee sweetness. Great balance between sweet and roast malt flavors. Subtle coffee notes add a pleasant complexity, which creates a warm, sweet impression on the palate. Taste doesn’t linger too long on the tongue, easy drinkable. Still, this beer leaves me satisfied, with an impression of a very well balanced porter.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Semi-opaque fairly bubbly deep mahogany with mountainous golden brown cap of great retention. Numerous ringlets and larger patches of exquisite lace. Roastiness and toffee, with trace cocoa, well-done meat, and leather aromas. Smoke tartness along the lines of coffee, perhaps tobacco and also toffee sweetness throughout to the taste, not much beyond that to parse out beyond minimal earthen hop flavors in the finish and mildly peppery sensation to accompany generally smoky aftertaste. Medium-bodied, a bit chewy, with very fine nitro-like suds at first, increasing in size as beer reacts to tongue and saliva. Has an almost underwhelming astringency to it.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark maroon with a creamy frothy light khaki colored head. Smells like roasted malts, burnt toast, chocolate, coffee, dark caramel, molasses, charred brown sugar, mild dark cherry fruit, with herbal earthy pine and woody grass. Tastes like charred roasty malts, burnt toast, chocolate, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, roasted coffee, mild dark cherry fruit, with some herbal pine and earthy woody grass. Feels light-medium bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice porter.

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Photo of katybee
2.89/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

pours translucent dark brown; minimal head dissipates quickly

no smell to speak of, except light scent of bitter malt

predominantly bitter malt, with no hint of molasses or raisin....upon warming it becomes more than a little sour bitter, with no herbal tones

light to medium body, almost watery thin; clean, not smooth or creamy; the carbonation goes flat

not a sipping beer...drink quickly before the flavor and texture disintegrates; the carbonation holds this together......flavor is simply malt and bitter, no nuances........will never try this again

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Photo of VDJ104
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really love this offering from Sierra Nevada just an all around good Porter. Decent amount of carbonation some might consider it a bit light. But if you wanted a beer with a nice roasted malt flavor but aren't in the mood for something super heavy this is it.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've been starting to explore more of SN's offerings. Better late than never, right? This porter is a fine example of how SN is an above standard brewery. Roasty goodness. Not as thin bodied as some porters can be. Sierra Nevada is =becoming a favorite brewery of mine.

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Photo of Kubishark
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't trying to do anything other than be a good, simple, satisfying porter. And it succeeds. Looks almost black, smells like roasted malt, tastes the same but with a slight bitterness that balances well, feels medium bodied. It's not so heavy so that I'm full after just one. For me this is a really stellar porter at a good price to enjoy on a chilly evening.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark brown with a light brown off white head. The smell is roasted malts with coffee and bakers chocolate. Taste follows suit, but is not as rich as the smell leads on. The feel of this beer is light and seems almost watered down. Overall the feel is the only drawback for me, but it is such a big drawback that I don't think I would purchase this beer again.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Perhaps the last piece in the Porter puzzle comes from Sierra Nevada, a brewer I have long admired from afar in my home country of Oz-stralia. We know upfront that Sierra Nevada is well known for any beer with the words “pale” and “ale” in them, but how well do they approach the Porter style - with a slam-dunk like the equally-impressive-at-brewing-pale-ales Founders, or with a beer that is barely recognisable as a Porter like the example I just tried by Anchor? I suspect they’ll fall in between those two, but there is only one way to find out (aka ‘the fun part!’).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Quite light, more like a hazed darkened Amber than the usual black/browns you would get from a Porter - that in itself is a worrying sign of things to come - with a 2 cm wispy off-white head that sticks around well. Way too light is the final verdict here. 6/10.

S: Aroma is definitely more in the Porter ball-park than Anchor’s offering - with a dusty chocolate, earthy coffee aroma, and some lingering coffee cherry notes. I scored the Anchor higher because I like molasses, and that had bags of it, whereas this aroma is more in the right direction it definitely is lacking some heft. 7/10.

T: The above aromas are present in the flavour (with some added camp-fire smokiness) however it never really lifts the game from the aroma and is most certainly lacking in the flavour department. To wit - I’ve had better Australian Porters/Stouts than this, and Australia is hardly a Mecca for Porters. 7/10.

M: Body is much better than the Anchor lot - with a mid to light, borderline medium body, light carbonation, eminently drinkable but not Founders smooth (not many beers are Founders smooth). 7/10.

D: Sierra Nevada’s least impressive beer? I can safely say “umm, sure, why not” I may be assassinated (beerlitically) for saying this but this is by far the worst SN brew I’ve had so far, however that isn’t saying too much as all their other brews have been so bloody brilliant, they just dropped the ball on this one as far as I’m concerned. I’m not overly disappointed though, there are plenty of awesome Porters out there and there’s little need for SN to fill this niche for me, as long as they keep up the standard they’ve been keeping with their Pale Ales and IPAs I will continue to be a happy man. 6/10.

Food match: Despite (or due to) being a watered-down version of a Porter this brew would work well at that most classic of backyard functions - the BBQ.

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Photo of Lahoi
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great beer with just a few shortcomings.

Very dark. Decent beige head that dissipates to nothing more than a collar within a few minutes. Lots of lacing.

Smell is quite simple. Too simple, maybe. A little sweet, a little toasted. Not bad.

Taste is more complex than the smell. Toasted, sweet, a little bitter in the finish. Good stuff.

I was hoping for a tad more body. It's not light, but it could be a little creamier. Well, the first half anyway. The second half was better. Perhaps the first half was too cold. I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the beer. In fact, the last few ounces were the best.

For me, very similar to SN stout. The stout is a little sweeter, while the porter is a little more on the bitter side. This is a solid beer.

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Photo of PhillyRiver
2.86/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into porter glass. First beer of evening.
This is the second Sierra Nevada beer I thought was overrated. (The other was an IPA.) Doesn't pour as dark as some other porters, head doesn't linger (lacy though), prominent cardboard taste. Meh, sorry.

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Photo of LennyOvies
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- Very dark brown almost no light can go through. Beige creamy head.
S- Smooth toasted notes, coffee. Perceptible sweetness, caramel.
T- Black toast, coffee, roasted malt.
F- Smooth, crisp, a bit dry.
O- Very nice porter, a go-to for me.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,585 ratings.
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