Sierra Nevada Porter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada PorterSierra Nevada Porter
Very Good
3,667 Ratings
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:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,667 |  Reviews: 1,450
Photo of lpotter
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of NCbeerpirate
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of rrryanc
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of victory4me
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Travisnin
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Jspriest
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of datalager
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of harrymel
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled early August, 2011 A: pours dark brown with a finger of tannish foam which falls over a couple minutes to a sheet of the same. Spotty lace. Limited clarity. (3) S: Nice sweet dry black malt comes up accented with cocoa, coffee and hazelnut. (4) T: Nice and bready with toasted oat flavor and some slight sheet grass. Just a hint of nuts and cereal. (4) M: Creamy and full bodied with moderate, yet prickly carb. Semi slick finish. (4) O: Well done, as usual from SN. Great porter. (4)

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Photo of trevorjn06
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany/brown with a small, tan head that lasts. Some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dark roasted coffee, a hint of crackers and light caramel in the background.

Taste is roasted and dry. Begins with roasted malts, moves into coffee and a bit of toffee with that cracker-like aspect coming back. Towards the finish some dark chocolate and hop bitterness appears and coffee lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/low carbonation. Very light astringency.

Overall an good American porter. Dry, roasty and easy drinking.

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Photo of patm1986
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown. some thin foam. it looks like a solmn wave upon a pale shore.

roasty, hopp, meaty, grainy, oaty, specifically a little mesquite aroma. 

grainy. some sweetness. a bit more hoppy than matly or a dead balance.

oily then dry nice carbonation.

if i'm a sailor, i'm there.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark, clear amber with limited cappuccino coloured head.

Roasted malt notes in the aroma, with hints of smokiness, cloves and nuts. There’s a lot going on in the taste, but not as robustly well balanced as the Sierra Nevada Stout which I enjoyed at the same time as this porter (wanted a direct comparison). A sweeter finish with none of the west-coast hop citrus notes for which I’d hoped.

Still a great beer, but if given a choice, in the future I'll focus on their stout!

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Photo of UnderPressure
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark brown with a tan two-finger, fluffy, foamy head.

Malty, caramel, and bread aromas.

Wow, a really great grainy, bready flavor. I'm not used to drinking a lot of porters, and it's not really sweet like I expected. This beer is more about the "grainy" taste. You can really taste the grains.

A medium body carries this beer well. And it's pretty dry for the most part, with some slight bitterness on the back end.

I've been turned off of porters for a while, after drinking some subpar examples. I think this one has turned me back on to the style.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been on a bit of a porter kick and surprisingly this is easily the least flavorful and interesting example of the style I've had in recent memory. Sierra Nevada is obviously quite reliable. I'm surprised at the description of this beer's appearance by others because my bottle poured a dark brown with reddish highlights and I could clearly see my fingers on the other side of the glass. Little head falls quick and not much lace.

Aroma is very mild, faintly toasty and roasty; hints of toffee and coffee....taste is very much the same, with a very modest roasted character and restrained bitterness. Not much in the way of chocolate or coffee flavors; certainly not bad but very much on the lighter side of the ledger. Finish is nice enough, medium carbonation; fairly dry.

This is a highly drinkable lightweight porter but it fails to deliver on the roasted malty taste I look for in this style. Perhaps a good introductory selection to porters but will fail to excite more adventurous drinkers.

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Photo of kdawg105
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
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 ZenAgnostic
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. No obvious date.

Appearance - Very dark brown/black body. Tan billowing pancake batter head with sticky lace.

Smell - Roasted malty sweetness. Faint, almost-not-there coffee. Faint butterscotch. Pretty mild.

Taste - Toasty grain. Almost burnt. Stale bitterness. Pretty mild. Nice toasty malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Slight bite. Kinda watery.

Overall Drinkability - Decent.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Suprised I haven't reviewed this before. Deep brown with amber hues, has a high clarity in the light. Decent tan foam with good retention. Lightly roasty aroma with toffee, very clean for Porter.

Lightly sweetened toffee malt with faint suggestions of bitter chocolate. Moderate bitterness at the back, with a bit of dryness. Alcohol is not noticible. The mouthfeel is solid, medium bodied, with hearty carbonation. Definitely not heavy or too thick.

This is a very drinkable, well-balanced Porter that is often overlooked. Perhaps a little too strong for a session, but I could enjoy a few of these. Recommended.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

pours a dark, cola-like brown while yielding a 3/4" light tan head. average to slightly below-average lacing and lacing in patches.

nose is a bit on the subtle side, offering roasty notes first and foremost, followed by some coffee and a hint of chocolate. also pick up on a slight hoppy presence.

flavor follows the aroma with roastiness, coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of hops. medium-light bodied mouthfeel - a bit thin - with average carbonation.

overall i find this one to be a relatively tasty, above average porter. nothing crazy delicious.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 221 of 2011 (August 9).

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a healthy, toffee-colored head.

Smell: Smells of roasted, toasty malts and dark chocolate.

Taste: Tastes of rich, roasted malts. A slight bitter bite - not so much from the advertised "American hops," but rather from the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth, yet full and rich. Perfect for the cold, rainy weather. Slightly bitter aftertaste, but nothing offensive.

Overall: Another solid offering from SN!

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out dark brown in color with deep red hues. The head is khaki colored and foamy. Retention is superb and leaves uneven streaks of sticky lacing.

S - Upfront there is a nice balance between hops and toasted malts. Light coffee and semi sweet chocolate and grains with a citrus bite. Neither one over powers the other.

T - Very coffee like in taste. You also get your bitter/sweet chocolate. There toasted grains in the middle with a coffee and hops bitterness that stays through finish and lingers for awhile.

M - Very soft on the palate. Carbonation is played well. Just enough to keep it interesting but toned down enough to keep the smoothness.

O - Lots of coffee and chocolate in this one. Sure you get your roasted grain profile but when it comes down to it the coffee is dominant with a chocolate side kick. Hops is integrated well. Just enough to keep the coffee in its place and give a little balance.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poursa deep, dark brown. Can't see through it. Big frothy head that is tannish/brown in color. Good lacing.

S- This smells delicious. Definitely notes of coffee and chocolate on the nose. Mainly coffee with the chocolate just a hint afterwards. There is also a little bit of malts in there.

T- Very prominent coffee and burnt malt flavors. Comes right at you with those flavors, followed closely by the hops. The bitterness is decently strong, but cuts the burnt and coffee flavors and gives it a nice crisp finish with little after taste.

M- Somewhere between an IPA and a stout in weight. The frothy head adds a nice balance to the somewhat light body, but the overall affect on mouthfeel complimentary.

Overall, this is a solid example of the American Porter style. It's an above average brew that doesn't try to do too much. It is what it is, and I like when they keep it simple.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally had a chance to pick this up and give it a go - from Totowa, of course. I wasn't sure how well Sierra Nevada would tackle a style like this but this was a very enjoyable beer and as several other reviewers have mentioned, this is great example of what a Porter should be.

The pour was nice and dark to this - brown with garnet edges. I had to stop with just a bit left in the bottle as the head filled up quite a bit of my pint glass and there was a bit of sediment at the bottom too. Not a big deal but I'm guessing that it had to do with the age of the beer. Anyways, this had quite a malty feel to it and the first thing I felt was chocolate. More milk than dark but both were certainly there. This was not as full as I thought it would be and it wasn't as roasted as other Porters that I've had, either. It was only in the aftertaste that the earthy hops faintly emerged and even so, they didn't last for very long.

Even though I only bought one bottle, it would be easy to down quite a few in a sitting. Now that the weather is cooling off, I may give this a go again. It's mellow and the alcohol was barely discernible - good signs that this Porter, like a lot of SN's other offerings, has a lot going for it!

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,667 ratings
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