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 Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easy drinking milder tasting well malted porter. Initial white head that dissipitates on top of coal black. Bit of molasses and roasted barley aroma. Tad of coffee and chocolate, tilted toward sweetness. Nicely and smartly carbonated. Quite the session ale.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: very dark. Little light passes. 2 finger frothy and long lasting head with lacing half way through.

S: mild roast, with hint of chocolate.

T: roast and caramel up front with a smokey finish. Kind of standard for a porter really.

M: little oily. Mild to moderate carbonation. Medium to full body.

O: a solid overall porter with no real memorable quality otherwise. Easy to drink.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated 12/7/11. I would assume this is a best by date.

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. A thick curtain of foam coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. Taste is of dark roasted malt and some toffee flavors. A mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty solid porter that is easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an excellent porter. robust, dark, and drinkable. pours a nearly black chocolate color with a tall and frothy off white head. smells richly roasted, hints of coffee and cocoa. flavor is great, really nice malt complexity and smoothness. the feel is exceptional as well, perfectly carbonated, highly sessionable. a dark beer with a full body that isnt filling in any way. i enjoyed this with a maple mango glazed mahi mahi on the grill, and it stood up well the smokeyness of the fish, but wasnt overpoweringly roasty to wash out the subtleties of the food. everything a good porter should be.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasted a lot like any other Porter I've had in the past. At least this is a slightly different change of pace for Sierra Nevada. This brew shows that there is more to SN than just Pale Ales and IPA's. This beer pour a rich dark brown with a foamy light brown head. The roasted malts are nicely balanced in this with the hops used in the brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yet very dark amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts and some hints of toffee and burnt malts. There are some hints of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels on the light side of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down very easily and is quite sessionable.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer a lot, probably one of my favorite porters. I think it just edges out Bigfoot as the best beer from this brewery. Just so well balanced and tasty and drinkable. So many flavors can be tasted and its all blended together wonderfully. I will be getting sixers of this in the future.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's about as true-to-style as you get. It's got all of the robust roasted grains, sweet barley malt base to offset the roasted coffee bitterness. Added cocoa for flavor and hops for balance. Light fermentation sourness and a mild lactose flavor for complexity. Despite the boldness, the balance and body lightens the impact and mellows out nicely. Though no dominating characters to mention, it's unfortunate that this beer is hardlly mentioned among the conversation of great Porter. It's deserving.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark mahogany hue, with red edges, and two fingers of foamy light beige head, which renders pretty consistent webbed lace around the chalice. It smells of very mild roasted malt, and earthy, weedy hops. The taste is lightly roasted, nutty malt, mild citrus, and earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium-light, and it finishes clean, getting drier all the while.

An adequate porter, the initial hint of hops pretty much fizzles, leaving a straightforward rendition of the style.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a brown/black color with a tan head that leaves spotty lacing around the glass

Smell: A nice blend of cocoa and fruity hoppiness

Taste: Strong coffee/mocha flavor on the front end with some fruity hop bitterness that kicks in very quickly; after the swallow, there is a smoky and slightly sour flavor that joins to add complexity; charcoal aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather light for a porter; more like a hoppy brown ale

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium black color porter with a medium size off-white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of roasted malt with a nice touch of coffee and chocolate. Taste is a well balance mix between roasted chocolate and coffee malt with some medium bitterness at the end. Another good well balance product from this brewery.

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Photo of oline73
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber to brown with a layer of off white head. The smell is mild with some roasted malt, dark fruit, and molasses. The flavor is bolder, but still not very powerful. Roast and dark fruit with a slight grain sweetness in the finish. The finish is roasty but mild. The mouthfeel is medium with lots of smooth carbonation.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from above the glass gives this porter a big rich light brown head that has some pretty good staying power above a dark brown colored beer with some reddish color coming through.

A light roasted caramel to or maybe with molasses in the aroma on this medium to full bodied beer.

A great full mouth feel and rich roasted caramel malt taste with some light molasses notes coming through.

A rich slightly dry aftertaste on this beer.

Good stuff.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours out a coffee, black color. No head to speak of. It left minimal lacing. It smelled very malty. You could taste the malt as well as a hint of coffee and chocolate. The beer was crisp but a little too heavy to consume many in a sitting.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my dad for picking this up at International Beverage Selections in Grand Rapids. Served in a Hill Farmstead Wine Glass.

Pours dark brown with very little head or lacing and a good swirl doesn't bring anything up. The nose is very mild chocolate and roast plus some residual sweetness. The taste is quite bland. THere is some mild chocolate up front followed by light sweetness and a bit of roast. Body is medium with a fairly-full finish. Not quite enough carbonation, however. A bit disappointing, but this finishes up the "Top Beers - Beers of Fame" for me. Would like to try every beer on the site with at least 1000 reviews.

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Photo of mothman
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

This pours a nice thick tan head that laces slightly. The color is a rich, dark brown that you cannot see through.

It is well balanced between hops and malts. The smell and taste were of carmel notes, and a hint of citrus was present.

Mouthfeel was very rich. A medium body with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, for the price this is a solid porter. Easy drinking with some nice flavors.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 2/20/2013. Pours lightly cloudy reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, chocolate, toast, brown bread, toffee, floral, roast, light coffee, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes with moderate earthy hops; and good strength. Taste of caramel, chocolate, toast, toffee, brown bread, roasted malt, light coffee, floral, and herbal earthiness. Fair amount of earthy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, toast, toffee, brown bread, roast, and hop earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of dark/roasted malt with moderate earthy hops; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, smooth, and crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice porter style. All around nice balance of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of tan foam on an opaque black body. The head settles slowly and leaves a nice pattern of lace on the glass.

S - Sweet and malty, caramel and toffee with a hint of chocolate. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Brown, malty flavor up front with caramel and light coffee flavors. Some chocolate comes out in the middle and is replaced by stronger, but still somewhat mild coffee in the finish along with mild hop flavor and some malt bitterness. Mocha and a cola-like flavor linger on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Quite drinkable with a nicely balanced malt profile that walks that thin line between brown and black that we often call porter.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown with some red highlights witha nice creamy tan head.The aroma was chocolaty and a little nuttyThis porter has definant hoppiness in the finish thats for sure,but it has the roasted nutty malt character to begin with.A pretty good balanced porter,maybe one of the hoppiest I have had and I really liked it..

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in color- opaque - with a thin, creamy tan head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace.The aroma is of a toasted cereal and lightly caramel malt that's ever so lightly backed by earthy and floral hops. The body is medium with a very fine and gentle carbonation that gives it an impressive smoothness in the mouth. The flavor starts lightly sharp with some roasted notes, followed by some bittersweet chocolate and grainy sweetness as it crosses the palate. It finishes with a lingering, acridic/burnt roasted note and some minimal earthy hop flavor that becomes somewhat astringent. Solidly bitter, but still well balanced.

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Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz undated but very recently purchased brown bottle served n a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A: very dark reddish brown; nearly opaque but allowing enough light to pass through to create nice deep red-orange highlights. Fine tan head with good duration.

Aroma; roasted malt with some spicy hops and a hint of smoke.

T: A rich, dark-roasted malt flavor with a clear addition of spicy hops; hints of smoke, charcoal and coffee, especially in the finish. Excellent use of hops IMO.

M - Excellent carbonation. Medium body.

O - Porter is a style I usually find unappealing, but there are exceptions (e.g., Rogue Mocha Porter; Sam Adams Holiday Porter) that I like alot. This beer is not among those at the top of my list, but is a very good porter that I would be happy to have again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a medium-sized, foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, roasted dark malts and chocolate with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is smoky and malty with flavors of roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and a touch of dark fruit. There’s a decent background of hops for the style that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this beer is exactly what you would expect for a porter, but there isn’t anything about it to me that makes it stand out amongst the others. Overall, however, it’s a pretty good beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some amber + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy tan head that slowly reduces to medium to large sized patch of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with the slightest hint of chocolate and coffee.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts with very light flavors of burnt malts, toffee, coffee, and chocolate. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which does not linger for too long.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and extremely enjoyable to drink - this one is just about sessionable. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and the slightly lighter mouthfeel makes it very easy and pair well with food.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown, near black body with a tall, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat roasty nose smelling of coffee grinds and notes of unsweetened chocolate earthy hops.

Taste: Predominately roasty and bitter, the beer yields some light hints of pale malts, chocolate malts, and caramel. Almost nil sweetness which quickly fades away, leaving the roast, earthy bitterness to take us to the dry, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Just a tad thin, a tad simple, and just not what I'm really looking for in a porter. On to their stout!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with ruby highlights. I can't quite see all the way through the beer, even with backlighting. The cap is ecru in color and looks sticky and faintly rocky over time. It fades to a thin, covering film and leaves broken rings and small sheets of lace on the glass.

Hops are the first thing that I notice in the nose. Not because they're overpowering, but because I didn't expect them to be present in a porter. The usual aromas of roasted malt and coffee are definitely present, but the hops have their say.

This beer has an interesting two-phase palate profile. Initially, the malty flavors of coffee and chocolate dominate. As they fade, the softly citric hops fade in and gently take over. Hops dominate the finish as well, but are fairly understated. The mouthfeel is medium for the style, though I find myself wishing that it was a little more substantial. Just personal preference.

Sierra Nevada Porter is a solid drinker with an interesting and delicious flavor profile. I'm glad that it's so readily available because I could easily make it my regular porter.

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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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