Sierra Nevada Porter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
1,431 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

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Reviews: 1,431 | Ratings: 3,614
Photo of righlander
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Amazing... Jet black with insane lacing, minor head.

S- Amazing... black patent, chocolate and very hopped maybe some coffee.

T- Amazing... chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasty, citrus and hoppy... You got a problem with that?!

M- Amazing... serious...really nice. Medium bodied.

D- Amazing... 5.6% Drinkability anyone?

Notes to self: Simply amazing. In my opinion, the best porter out there. If you haven't tried it, you hate your life. I left a lot out of this review... so go try it and try to tell me im wrong about an A+

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Photo of beckscrusader420
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had to give this beer a perfect score. It goes to show that in your local warehouse type liqour stores you see sierra nevada at 6.99/sixer as there are other beers ranging from 8.99-14.99. I'd have to say that Sierra Nevada Porter is a great beer to have during dinner. Its an extremely robust dark porter beer that can't be beat. I'll be reviewing the Pale Ale as well although I prefer this one.

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Photo of kdawg105
4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer! It is very stout like with lots of malts. It has a very dark appearance which fits well with this style of beer. It has a very nice smell of sweet coffee like malts wit a finish of hops. It taste great almost as if you were eating candy. It has a light mouthfeel which makes this an all around good beer!

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Photo of 12stepCornelius
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer after making a create-your-own variety six pack at my local market. I served this from a 12 oz. bottle into a pub-style standard beer glass and just got done drinking it.

The appearance of it was dark, almost completely black. The head was a very deep tan almost beige color, about 2 1/2 fingers and was very creamy. The head dissipated after a bit, but mostly stuck around at 1/2 a finger, leaving lacing at the beer diminished.

The smell was straight up coffee, malts, and toffee for me. With a good bit of roastiness that was oh so present. I was very impressed with how accurate the smell was to the description of the ingredients used and was surprised by how pleasant it was.

This has to be one of the most flavorful beers I've ever had. I'm new to trying different beers having recently turned 21 and the taste of this just about blew my socks off. Coffee, cream, toffee, and dark roasted malts. Man it hit the spot. I'm a fan of the darker beers like Guinness and whatnot so this was right up my alley. The finish is that of a deep, bold bitterness that warms your throat and leaves a slightly smoky taste in your mouth. Somewhat sweet but not too much at all.

The mouthfeel was very smooth and also creamy. It has a bit of carbonation at the back of the sip, but otherwise this is a fairly flat beer if you were to compare it with a lager. Very nice.

Overall this has now got to be one of my top five beers. Something I will come back to every so often and savor again. I will reiterate in saying that I just turned 21, so my experience with different beers is lacking so others might know of better porters than this. I've tried the Anchor Porter as well and while that one was good, SN's porter brought more to the table in terms of what I expected a good porter to taste like. I'm used to Keystone and Bud Light, so this is shaping up to be a very interesting brew exploration experience for me to say the least.

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Photo of papollo
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the treats of my visits to the west coast include purchasing a six or two of SN Porter. This beer sits with me, and the aftertaste pleases long after the session.

I'm not into noting overtones, notes, etc. I like dark beer, the darker & more robust the better. This beer pleases on many levels - pours like ink, smells slightly bitter, taste is robust and very pleasing.

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Photo of pbrian
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It has that signature Sierra crispy freshness(?) that makes you wonder how Sierra ALWAYS puts a quality craft brew in your glass. The porter looks beautiful in the glass, the tan head lasts to the bitter(pun intended) end. Astringent/tannic burnt malt flavors give way to cascades to produce a double bitter hit. This six is disappering quickly.

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Photo of oelergud
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark brown bottle, twist off cap and a blue and gold label, no freshness date. The beer is dark ruby with a light tan head, good retention.

Smell: Roasted malt and good hop in the nose.

Taste: Definitely some roasted malt in this brew, sweet lingering aftertaste that changes to mild bitterness after swallowed.
Smokey and malty, very pleasant flavors along them citrus, roasted coffee and some chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, a chewable beer.

Drinkability: I could drink this beer every day and I almost do, the beer has a strong character and to me has more of a kick than other brews with higher % alcohol.

Notes: Very good with a few morsels of dark chocolate and a good alternative to the more expensive Taddy Porter.


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Photo of SAxDRC5
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Brown, not quite opaque. small tan head, little to no lacing.

S: roasted cofee, malts and chocolate. slight pine hops scent

T: almost exactly the same as it smells. not as strong as i was expecting. very good though

M: good, but more carbonated than i would prefer.

D: finished one, could have a few more for sure.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's hard to add anything apart from numbers to the previous reviews. What can you say about a beer as good as this that hasn't already been said? Dark beers such as stouts, porters and milds are amongst my favourites, and this one delivers in spades. A beer like this makes you wish that the water supply was still as dodgy as it used to be, which is why people would drink beer at breakfast, dinner and tea, instead of a glass of h20. I'm only about halfway through this bottle but I know I've had a beer, and a good one. It's almost a meal in a glass, and yet I could drink this all evening. The nose, the taste, the mouthfeel and the appearance are world class. I should add that I'm drinking this at around 45°F, which is about midway between American and British beer temperature. I think it enhances the flavour.

I can't wait to try the stout.

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Photo of Charles5773
4.76/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Size 12 fl oz.
Appearance dark with roasted malts that give it a sweet chocolate flavor.
Smell some roasted toffee.
Taste Sweet with chocolate hints yet a tiny bit of bitter from American cascade I do believe hops. But leans more toward the toffee sweet chocolate side over all. So more sweet than bitter Yet not too sweet.
Mouthfeel very smooth then a hint of bitter with a sweet finish.
Overall I had Sierra Navada's Pale Ale and hefeweizen but this Porter is far above them All Period.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.76/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This a good every day porter. Nice color and nice head. Smells isn't the best, but it taste very smooth and can't get much smoother than it. Exceptional mouthful wanting more and more with each mouthful. A porter to drink every day at any time for any occasion. This is the porter

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Photo of theteleman
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

6 pack purchased at Vons in Scripps Ranch CA. Pours dark brown with a big fluffy brownish tinged head. A very nice looking beer. Down to the last third now and lacing is very nice, retaining all the way from the top of the glass down to the liquid itself. An earthy, malty smell. Mouthfeel is very smooth, similar to a brown ale, some smokey flavors coming through on the taste as well as some chocolate and coffee. Excellent beer, very pleasent to sip on during those winter nights.

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Photo of tobyandgina
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have tried a few beers from Sierra Nevada and they always seem to impress me. They continue to impress with Sierra Nevada Porter.

Color: very dark and chocolatey
Head: nice and thick upon pouring
Smell: a hint of coffe and chocolate - quite delactable!
Taste: little tingle on the sides of the tongue - great mouthfeel, very, very smooth, chocolatey, coffe taste, virtually no aftrertaste, extremely bold in flavor and yet very light. My wife and I really enjoyed this one. Try It! You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of leokbelo
4.74/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a wonderful, almost black, dark brown, nice 2 inch head that lingered on. Delicious chocolate and coffe on the nose. Taste like a proper Porter (or American Porter) should taste: Rich roasted malt, bringing the chocolate and coffe in again.
HIGHLY drinkable!
An excellent Porter, one that everyone should try. One of my very favourites, if not THE one!

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Photo of fretlessman71
4.73/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: MMMmmm… this was my all time favorite beer for the longest time. Not sure if it’s changed; just been trying a lot of other stuff lately.

APPEARANCE: Dark, dark brown – just the tiniest bit translucent. Dense tan head that looks like I could balance a stack of quarters on top of it.

AROMA: Espresso and dark chocolate, some hops coming through. Black malt seems to shine through a little stronger here.

FLAVOR: Semisweet chocolate and strong cold coffee wash over the tongue with a slight molasses kick in the middle. Hops balance the malt better than the Flying Walendas, or whoever they are… not too much, not too little. Just perfect. Somewhat sticky sweet on the finish, but all that does is make me want to take another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light weight; lots of carbonation, but somehow the bubbles are so tiny that it doesn’t feel like a mouthful of foam. Very well done.

DRINKABILITY: This beer still ranks as one of the 5 I’d like to have with me on a desert island… if I could rig up electricity and a refrigerator. 5.6% ABV means that I’d have to stop at two… or maybe not…

OVERALL COMMENTS: After all these years, Sierra Nevada has still got it. One of the best beers I’ve had – STILL.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Adil for sending me this one. I was looking forward to tasting this Porter.

Dark black color with some red on the edges. The head is brown, dense and made of little, very fine (small), bubbles. As always from Sierra Nevada, the head sticks well to the glass. The aroma is malty, grilled (roasted) malts more precisely. Notes of coffee but not overwhelming, just enough to make it smell very good. I get some chocolate notes too. Wow, very nice aroma. The taste is mainly roasted malts with some light notes of coffee. At the end, I get some smokiness... awesome. Exceptional taste. I wish I could get this one all year here...

Mouthfeel is creamy and the finish is dry with a bitterness just well balanced. Excellent beer! Thanks Adil and Cheers to that!

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Photo of mshallah
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby with that classic Sierra Nevada label and packaging. Pours dark brown with reddish edges and has a great looking creamy, fluffy head. Looks delicious. First aroma to hit is a lime citrus sweetness and tang from the fresh domestic hops. Underlying cocoa, Dark chocolate and banana bread aromas along with a mellow roast coffee. Taste is the roast malt and cocoa flavors to start leading to a medium long finish highlighted by the lime accented hops. A very well balanced flavor profile. Easy to drink and not too heavy this dark delicious brew is actually quite refreshing. Would love to try it with BBQ.

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Photo of russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing this beer was like running into an old flame and finding her better looking, single and still interested! Bought a sixer on a whim and was rerewarded

Poured Mahagony brown to purplelish, heading to inky blackness. Chunky tan/brown head retained impressive head and lacing all the way down the glass. Nice gas beads bubble to the surface right up to the last swallow

Taste: roasted grains, choclate, and hop bitterness on the tounge and throat. Licorice and slight nutiness assert themselves

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with great balance, carboantion levels perfect

I liked this as much as any beer I've had in the last few months.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nearly black though with a little light it reveals it's truly a deep brown. Head settles to a creamy cap that almost looks nitrogen-produced--impressive. 

Smells of oats, biscuits, and roasted coffee

Exceptionally smooth texture and a full body (though not thick or syrupy). 

Taste is basically spot-on to the aroma. Full flavored yet not as assertive as their stout. The bitterness is really kept in balance as is the malty sweetness. Overall it finishes pretty dry, making for a drinkable beer. Not even picking up on any yeast-derived fruitiness.

Just a clean porter! I'd have a hard time picking a winner between this and Anchor's porter. Excellent beer.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Translucent brown/black with a hint of ruby color and a beautiful two finger, finely bubbled head. Everything you'd expect from a modern porter.

Magnificent aroma- roasted malts dominate, but there is also a significant presence of floral/spicy hops (willamette) and caramel. These elements are so wonderfully complementary and well knit.

The palate is full flavored, crisp and dry- a tough thing to pull off with this much finesse. The roastiness carries through to the end, leaving you with a lingering espresso-like flavor in your mouth. It is at just the right level without being overdone.

This beer is a classic and hasn't lost a step. Superb!

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a good amount of tan creamy head.

The scent is of coffee and chocolate.

Roasted malts are most apparent in the taste, as well as, the tast of coffee, some chocolate and bitter hops.

Medium bodied and smooth, good carbonation.

Very tasty porter with lots of flavor, if this was available in my area I would definately buy again.

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Photo of david18
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite Porters, the Sierra Nevada Porter and Stouts are what really got me interested in the style. Both are very dry and aromatic with great hop bitterness. The porter is a very dark brown and is not so strong that you can't drink a bunch of it in the right season. I think one of the best in the category.

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Photo of swede96
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours up a rich black body with a 1 finger tan color head. Only reason I do not give it a 5 is because of the thin head.

Smell: First thing I smell is a hint of hops with just a little coffee in the background.

Taste: To get the most flavor out of this beer do not drink ice cold. It must me around 45 degrees to get the full flavor of the malt and coffee with just a hint of is a wonderful flavor.

Mouthfeel: All I can say is it has a very balanced mouthfeel and flavor.

Drinkability: Is exceptional, the alcohol content not being too high, but again it is not the same beer ice cold as it is at about 45 degrees, this brew goes down very smooth with plenty of flavor. Great beer.

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Photo of BryanCarey
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Porter is a dark, rich, tasty ale. Held up to a light, it shows the brown colors but also a reddish hue as well. The aroma is malty and earthy. The head on this beer is very solid and sturdy and lasts a very long time. The foam leaves lace on the glass, as you consume the beer. Even the last few drinks of this beer will have some signs of foaminess.

This porter offers a taste that is complex, with the flavor of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, and even a little bit of smokiness. And, of course, no Sierra Nevada product would be complete without the taste of hops. The malty taste dominates, but you can definitely taste the hops.

Sierra Nevada produces many great products, but Sierra Nevada Porter is one of the brewer's best, and it's one of my favorite porters in existence. The combination of chocolate, malt, hops, coffee, and other complex flavors make for a delicious treat any time of year, and for any occasion.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a deep rich dark brown color with a mocha creamy head. NIce lacing down the glass. Clear beer with dark red abd black hues.

Smell: Smells exactly like a tootsie roll mixed with some bourbon. Nice wintery, aromatic toffee, espresso and chocolate aromas.

Taste: Tastes like a mix between a tootsie roll, espresso and chocolate milk with bourbon. Excellent flavor that lingers on and on.

Mouthfeel: Just a hair thin for the flavors comming through. Carbonation is spot on. Would be better a little warmer.

Drinkability: I would limit this to the colder months, though the abv isnt tremedously high, it could be drank summer nights. A full bodied great porter and near perfect example of the style.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,614 ratings.
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