Sierra Nevada Porter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
3,633 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-09-1999

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,633 |  Reviews: 1,438
Photo of gordavidson
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep, ruby red/ leather brown with quite a bit of light coming through at the edges. The thin, light brown head is rather creamy and has good retention.

S- Caramel, sweet coffee, and a touch of earthiness.

T- Sweet coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel. Roasty, but not very extreme. The sweetness is nice.

M- Smooth with spot on carbonation. A little on the thin side, but it doesn't bother me.

D- A tasty but not necessarily a unique take on the style. Just what I look for in an American Porter.

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Photo of Bizz88
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a really dark mahogany with red tones on the edges with a nice two fingered creamy tan head, nice sticky lacing throughout the glass. Aromas of smokey malts and expresso coffee. Thought it was a little watery for a porter but that was made up with a nice burnt carmel flavor. Medium weight with nice carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of scarletfire79
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nutty brown/black. nice head that leaves soft lacing. a roasted hoppy aroma with a touch of sweetness. the taste is really balanced. nothing jumps outs at you but everything is in its right place. very sessionable, very good. all in all one porter that could stay in my fridge all the time.

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Photo of baseballrock
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - dark brown almost black with a deep ruby hue. pours a half in head.

s - umm, toasty malts. some espresso notes are detected that make the aroma very pleasing.

t - a very well balanced porter. big roasted malt flavor with super sweet dark chocolate cocoa flaver. it finishes with a hop linger that pairs well with the malt flavor.

m - a stated before very balance and very delicious.

d - SN porter, its good to drink a few with dinner or one after dinner. either way it will be enjoyable for all.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very deep brown, near black color. Had about a fingers worth of lightly tanned head. Classic porter appearance.

S: Big roasty aroma, dark chocolate malts and some coffee. A hint of toffee and caramel, but the roast quality is the winner here. Deep and dark and inviting.

T: Bitter roastiness on the tongue, with some dry cocoa and black coffee. Has a bit of a coffee grind flavor. Good bite from the hops as well.

M: A bit drying as it hits the tongue and roof of the mouth. The roast tends to bring a bit of astringency.

D: A very easy drinking porter that is brimming with flavor. Solid porter from SN, just like every other beer they make.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sierra Nevada shaker pint glass.

And, thanks to the greatness of ChurchKey, I got to take the glass home with me. Yay! Anyway... This guy pours a translucent amber brown with about a finger and a half of ecru froth on top. Imagine a very dark (...and headless...) mad dog. ...Something like that. The nose is composed of roasted, toasted malts, caramel, puffed rice, and a tiny bit o' funk. Bootsy would be proud, but only a li'l bit. Oh well. The roasted malt aspects come through on the tongue as well, along with some walnut, toffee, and a very slight stripe of floral bitterness. It all makes for some very tasty porter-y goodness. With a medium body and very low carbonation, everything goes down all silky smooth. Mmm-hmm. And, with the free glass, things seem even better. I reiterate: Yay! Get some!

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Photo of mytireisfat
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass..

A: 3 finger head that retains well. black color with red tent. little to medium lacing.

S: Sweet and dark malty flavor.

T: Same as smell with a nice roasted malt finish. you can also taste hops and a bit of a coffee note.

M: Picking up more hops flavor. well carbonated. medium body.

D: Real easy to drink. i would drink again. seems a bit light for a porter.

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Photo of bnes09
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Midnight black brew and completely opaque. Nice light tan head with sticky, creamy lacing.

Aromas of dark fruit, molasses and roasted malt rise up from the brew.

Roasted flavor is bold with lots of rich dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. I can also taste some raisins near the end. Finish is very smooth and the roasted flavor never lets up.

Medium bodied with ample bubbles to bring the flavors to the palate. Very smooth texture throughout the experience.

Drinkability is extremely high thanks to the rich flavors and smooth feel. Very satisfying, even on a summer day. Lots of bold flavors and another masterpiece from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of SteveS1
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Very dark brown, nearly black, light tan foamy head.

Smell: Faint chocolate, bitter dark malts

Taste: Heavy roasted/burnt malts all throughout. Spicy hops follow as it goes down. Aftertaste is roasted bitterness. I would liken this to a straight piece of baker's chocolate, flavored with the slightest bit of citrus.

Feel: A bit creamy, plenty of carbonation

Drink: It's easy to drink and not nearly as rich and malty as some porters.

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Photo of jampics2
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A few 6oz pours into a tasting glass at the Heinen's Sierra Nevada VS Smuttynose Smackdown.

Dark brown with too much amber in the mix. An OK looking porter but not a work of art like Great Lakes Ed Fitz or Founders Porter.

Smells of roasted malt and some chocolate notes. Coffee and hops. Above average but this old dog is showing its age.

Taste is nice. Certainly one of the best in the Sierra stable. Smooth with nice roasted malt that gives coffee and chocolate notes. Some caramel and mild to moderate hoppy bitterness. Flavors just aren't as kicked up as the modern day happy hour heroes.

Mouthfeel is too light. Medium light at best. Nice carb, better than I thought. Just not as substantial as the beers it no doubt inspired.

OK, so this is a seminal beer (that sounds so fucking gross) in the history of American craft brewing. But it's showing it's age. A decent offering that is timeless in it's own right, leagues above schwilly offerings from other large breweries, but the bar has been raised. Still something I would drink again, though by no means a first choice.

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Photo of pennywhistle
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty decent. In the greater Sierra Nevada context, I give it an A, but compared with my favourite porters and stouts like Speedway, more of a B+. It was a little too watery, although it had a great light flavour of raisins and coffee. For a relatively cheap beer, it was good.

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Photo of beer2day
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown. Almost black. Two finger dark cream head with very nice retention. Thin, sparse lacing clings all the way around the glass.

Big roast coffee nose. Chocolate sneaks in as well, lending sweetness to the profile.

Smooth creamy hit, followed by a chocolate bite - the kind from nice dark chocolate. Nice mix of hops and coffee in the finish. Just a little too twangy for my tastebuds, but very tasty otherwise.

Feel is spot on for a porter. Just the right creamy balance against the flavor. Not nearly as thin as the modern porter style seems to favor.

Very easy to drink even on a moderately warm day.

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

Very dark brown with red highlights. Lively tan head that goes quickly and leaves some lacing. Aroma is roasty choco-malt. Taste is similar to the smell with some dark chocolate and coffee. The hops are just enough. Slightly dry bitter finish. Mouthfeel is good but just a bit too much carbonation for me. I can think of a few Oregon Porters I prefer but this is an easy drinker and I certainly wouldn't say no if offered one any time.

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Photo of Briken
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The SN porter is a dark brown with red highlights and a little clarity at the bottom topped with a good fluffy tan head. A slight molasses and malty aroma is present. A tight chocolate malt taste hits first with a little roasted malt taste in the background. There's a light hop bittering balancing the malts. A slightly fuzzy, high carbonation feel matches the hop bitterness.

This is a very well balanced porter. I love the hop presence and while the feel is a little fuzzy, it really goes well with the hops. I mostly tasted the chocolate malts in this, not so much a toffee as the bottle describes but it nevertheless is a great porter I would love to sit around and drink a few.

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Photo of regspeir
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle into a standard pint glass.
An aggressive pour produced a two-finger mocha head. Brew was deep brown with ruby edges and clear carbonation. Nose was roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium to light. The taste is almost a cocoa powder, caramel with a slight hop bitterness. There is not a terribly complex set of flavors nor any real progression but the flavors are pleasant enough. And, at 5.6%, definitely session-able.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice ruby brown color with a finger of off-white head. Foamy lace coats the sides of the glass.

S: Coffee, roasted malt and chocolate - pretty much what I expect from a solid porter.

T: A strong flavor of roasted coffee immediately hits the tongue before transitioning into hints of dark chocolate towards the finish. Some hops also make an appearance in then finish and contribute a little bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, but a little too much carbonation IMHO.

D: A solid go to porter. Still, with Edmond Fitzgerald readily available in my area, I don't frequent this beer often.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown color with lots of ruby highlights around all edges... Not particularly as dark as most porters, but this is just fine for the style. Big fluffy off white head with nice lacing.

Smells uber roasty, with hints of chocolate and a slight bit of black coffee. I love all three, so this scores high with me. A tiny bit of hops show up to do a little balancing act with all those other bold flavours.

Taste is right there with the smell. It's really roasty with the malts, theres the chocolate hints and a coffee/hop bitter finish. It's great.

Leaning toward medium, but could be a little heavier on the feel, but wonderful none the less.

It doesn't get much more drinkable than this. Its another wonderful sierra nevada beer.

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Photo of portia99
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pour a deep brown color with good clarity (as far as I can see anyway) and some light ruby highlights when held to the light. A finger of dense tan foam sits on top with some pretty good staying power. Some sparse lacing coats the glass as the head and liquid level fall in the glass. Never really dies completely - a nice, thick coat covers the surface throughout the entire glass.

S - Good roastiness up front - both dark malt and coffee like roasted aromas. A bit of green and earthy hoppy aromas but the roasted aromas really shine here.

T - Dark roasted malts up front...not getting any of the coffee'ish notes that were found in the aroma. Moderate bitterness level with some greeen, grassy and earthy hop flavors too. A bit of caramel/toffee malty flavors too. Nicely balanced.

M - A bit thin for the style and for my tastes. Carbonation is moderate and gives a good sparkly tingle all around the mouth. Some bitter dark roasted malts linger well after the swallow.

D - Pretty good overall. Flavors are nicely balanced and of moderate intensity. All blend together well. At 5.6% alcohol, moderately sessionable and of only average strength. This sems like it would go well with bbq and grilled items. An enjoyable porter that can be enjoyed throughout the night.

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

(From pre-existing notes)

Appearance: Very, very dark brown, with mahogany/ruby coloration around the edges. A 1-2 finger light tan head. Lacing present, but not prominent.

Smell: Molasses up front, behind it are roasted hops, a slight, secretive coffee, and a fruity chocolate scent.

Taste: The roasted flavor definitely hits first, followed by a slight coffee, and then fading into the caramel/molasses sweetness after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, not very thin. This is a little different than the stouts I prefer, slightly thicker and more biting.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable, a robust porter that has all the right stuff to make it a solid B to B+. Could use some more smoothness and drinkability, as it gets tiresome, but a fantastic sipper. Not my session beer, though. Hope to try the SN Stout.

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Photo of Smile
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, slightly below room temperature.

Appearance: Dark brown in color, sort of like cola. Good looking, fluffy light-brown head, 2.5 fingers tall. Belgian lace clings to the side of the glass the whole way down.

Smell: Roasted malt.

Taste: Bitter-sweet roasted malt taste. I love this beer because it has a very nice balance. The hops come through with just the right amount of bitter, citric taste. The roasted/burnt malt taste is obvious in the aftertaste. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Perfection.

Drinkability: This beer is so delicious; I could drink it forever. Especially on a cold night, trying to keep warm and cozy.

This is a great porter. Sierra Nevada sets the standard with this one. This beer will definitely be seeing me again.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice light porter.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Reddish brown Sierra Nevada seal label, with brewing vegetation and a mountain scenery around beer ingredients. Brief neck label describing the composition, and intent of the brew. Lacks date of bottling, and notes Alc. by Vol. (5.6%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown/black pour with brown edges, nice frothy head, fair retention, surface memory and a bit of lacing.

S - Roasted scents with a couple of touches of coffee. Rather subdued.

T - Nice roasted profile, with a small touch of caramel and a bittersweet notes.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

D - Nice if completely unremarkable.

Notes: Change a bit the hop bill, reduce the malt slightly and this is a light version of their already mild mannered stout? It´s pleasing, and good quality but not particularly exciting.

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Photo of alcurtsinger
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Had around a 2 finger head. Good head retention and mostly opaque.

S: Not great a picking out smells yet. I would say roasty, some chocolate and some hops.

T: Strong flavor, but not too strong. Roasted malt and some dark chocolate.

M: smooth and medium bodied.

D: Fairly drinkable, wouldn't want more than 3 in one sitting though.

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Photo of BayerischBier
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a some nice tan head.

S - Some American hops in the smell; toasted dark malts dominate the aroma

T - touch of chocolate and lots of toasted malt. Hops are coming through as a bit citric.

M - Surprinsingly thin/medium bodied with low to average carbonation.

D - The medium body makes it a very drinkable porter. Very fast drinkability so better pace yourself.

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Photo of dfillius
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger cream/tan colored head with great retention. I can see through the clear dark brown liquid like it was a dark nut brown. Pretty, but more transparent than I expect from a porter.

S: Roasted malt, coffee. I just slaughtered a chicken, so unfortunately, that smell is dominant on my hands. A slight citrus hop is apparent in the aroma too. UPDATE 11/30/15: rich creamy lactose-like aromas as well

T: Smoky, chocolate, slight coffee, lactose. Good, but not great. Estery alcohol. Diverse flavor is nice, though I can't place why I am thinking that this beer is not my favorite. UPDATE 11/30/15: Quite nice flavor comes together well and I am much more ken about the flavor profile now..

M: Creamy, very smooth

D: Good and enjoyable. I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶I̶'̶d̶ ̶o̶r̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶o̶n̶d̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶b̶u̶y̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶i̶x̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶.̶ UPDATE 11/30/15: I would order a second of this though probably would still not make this a purchase of 6. I'm glad I revisited this one.

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Photo of tone77
2.96/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is, well, missing. Basically oderless. Taste is mild, malts, some hints of chocolate, finishes slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this makes for a mediocre offering.

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Sierra Nevada Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,633 ratings.
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