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Sierra Nevada Porter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,425 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: 1,425 | Ratings: 3,591
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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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Some great chocolate notes in the flavor go a long way in accenting the roasted malts. I'd say this is better than Sierra's stout, and is a great example of what I usually look for in a porter.

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Photo of bark
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The colour is very dark brown, almost black (80 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is airy and beige. It sinks slowly leaving thick lacing.

The smell is smooth and roasted. Red berries, caramel, pumpernickel, some clean sweetness. Hints of caramelised orange peels and clean bitterness.

The taste is balanced with a notable bitterness, roasted malts, caramel, black toast and hints of charcoal. Medium body. The aftertaste got clean bitter notes in the background, hints of pumpernickel rye bread, toffee and dried red berries. The creamy finish reminds of caramel ice cream.

The carbonation is medium to strong, the small fresh bubbles short-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth and a little dry.

Theis porter is very clean and highly drinkable. A true classic!

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.07/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours an extremely dark amber color and a small cream-colored foam with some bubbles.
Smell is poor, somethink like a decaf (mild coffe and some roasted malt)
Tastes like malts and coke, it's actually ok, but not very pleasant.
Feel is only good thing here; the beer is somewhat balanced and have a nice bitter end.

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Photo of Mosant
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I bought a 6 pack of 12 oz bottles.
Appearance: pours dark golden syrup colour with good off-white head. Looks good.
Aroma: mild coffee aroma present as well as toasted malts coming through.
Flavour: great bitter coffee flavours and nice bitter finish. Very enjoyable.
Overall: I really liked other SV beers I have tried so I was looking forward to this one. It did not disappoint. While I have had better dark porters from Aussie craft brewers this is still a very good one by comparison. Looking forward to the next bottle!! (Now!).

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Photo of Gajo74
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A solid Porter from Sierra Nevada. Pours a dark brown. A big woody aroma ,as well as malts, coffee and alcohol. Lots of roasted malts and wood, in the taste, are consistent with the aroma. Creamy and smooth feel, medium bodied to light, pretty drinkable.

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Photo of fscottkey
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: [4.50] Dark brown cola color. The beer has a nice 1/2 finger of head. The head is tan and looks dense and rich. The head makes nice arcs of lace on the glass. The bottle lists the ABV (5.6%) and a born on date (11/05/14)

S: [4.50] Nice rich roasted and coffee notes. I had to double check the bottle to make sure it was "porter" and not coffee stout. It really has a nice bold roasted coffee aroma!

T: [3.75] The is coffee up front. I also get some subtle chocolate. The mid to late is roasted malts. The is a bit of sweetness late also.

M: [4.00] The carbonation is a bit above average. The body is slightly creamy and medium.

O: [4.00] I am impressed with this beer. It is rock solid. At 5.6% I could session a few of these together on a cold winter night. It is not excellent in any category - but it is very good in all of the categories.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark color. Convincing. Pale tan head. Fine, reasonable persistence.

Smells a bit stale, but not lager-y.

Taste has a pleasant maltiness, but then a bitterness that doesn't entirely fit right with the rest of the beer.

Feels pretty good in the mouth.

Unfortunately this is consistent with my other impressions of Sierra Nevada - other than Bigfoot (good stuff!) I respect their beers more than I actually enjoy them.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the Winter Snowpack
Noted on 11/19/2014 – Sierra Nevada balloon glass

A: Super dark brown with some garnet hues as the light permeates the glass. Another thick heady production of light khaki cream over top. Retains for quite a while until sinking back into the glass. Lots of soapy lace left splashed upon the glass walls.

S: Dark roasted malts dusted with brown sugars and nutty cocoa powder. I get some mild bitter coffee notes in the nose with a finish of some stone fruit like esters. A touch earthy and a touch of roast char to it. Not bad at all and encompassing all the key characteristics for the style.

T: Dark roasted malts evoke some mild coffee and cocoa notes with a light smokiness coming through on the back end. Good dose of earthy hops lends a subtle bitterness that drives through to a dry roasted finish. Very mellow and easy drinking with some really nice balance.

M: Moderate to lightly filling with a smooth consistency provided by the carbonation. Lightly bitter and dry in the finish. Pretty clean and rounded out in the end.

D: A very satisfying take on the style. Sessionable with a smooth and well crafted approach. Nice roast flavors in good harmony without much else to overcomplicate things. Sierra Nevada does not produce a single bad beer.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and thick. Liked the taste and feel, personally not one of my go to beers but still a very nice selection. I definitely prefer the stout instead, delicious.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color. Head large, beige.
The smell of rich caramel, roasted malt notes, gentle plum and raisin.
The flavor is richer than the aroma. We have a caramel, prunes, raisins in the background appears weak coffee, brown bread and little notes of chocolate. Porter from the Sierra Nevada is very smooth, almost velvety, drink it easily. Bitterness in the finish is delicate and very pleasant. On the downsides I could mention, too much saturation, and alcohol, which is strongly felt.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,591 ratings.
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