Porter | Eel River Brewing Co.

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266 Ratings

Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Certified Organic

Added by Reidrover on 07-12-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 266 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of mjl21
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottling info is given. Comes in at 5.8%.

A-Pours a dark brown with some red when pressed to the light. A darker version of Coke. Has a nice one finger off white head that sticks around.

S-Lightly roasted malts with some caramale sweetness.

T-Has a surprisingly sweet taste upfront and in the finish. In some ways it reminds me of a milk stout but not as creamy. Definite tastes of chocolate and roast malt.

M-Medium bodied. Sweet and does not dry out the tongue.

D-Very good drinking beer. Won't leave you feeling stuffed.

I always order this at my favorite Indian food place. Works very well with the spicy curries that I tend to order. It's also organic.

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Photo of nsmartell
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: A dark brownish/red color with no head at all.

Smell: Roasted malt with a hint of coffee.

Taste: More roasted malt, coffee, and bread.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium-bodied, but went down with a nice coating. Was looking for a bit more body here.

Drinkability: The best organic beer I have tried yet. Would definitely try again.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pitch black with ruby hints when held up to the light, with 1/4 inch of foam that quickly left.

S - deep roasted malts and whiffs of alcohol

T - roasted malts, hints of chocolate, almost a burnt flavor to it in the finish

M/D - not as smooth as I was hoping, but not bad tasting. The burnt finish leaves something to be desired.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Extremely dark purple body with a medium brown colored head standing about a half inch but fading quick.

S - Mild chocolate from long roasted malt.

T - Dark chocolate and coffee.

M - Bubbly to start offering a subtle coarseness throughout.

~ Not a bad brew but nothing spectacular either. I suppose it being organic is a draw but that's about it.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Total Wine. This bottle lists the alcohol at 6.3%. On to the beer:

That's a big, tanned white head on top this ruby ebony colored beer. Solid retention. There isn't much firepower in the nose, some backstrap molasses and little roasted notes. The flavor is on the roasty side of things, and quite dry. Astringent ground coffee dominates here. Some vague roasted flavor. Lacks the depth and sweetness I expect from a porter.

In short, a decent porter that lacks the wow component I like from one. But it did help wash down my dinner of burgers, baked beans, and onion rings.

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Photo of farrago
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice enough one finger head, disappears fairly quickly, lacing pretty but too not there for long. Relaxed, non-showy smokiness to the nose, dark chocolate and coffee ice cream nuances, no full bore roast, some cherry and cranberry fruit, allusion to honey dappled bread and oats, very little hoppy to be had. Medium-bodied, smooth and even throughout, no highs nor lows. The coffee, dark chocolate, mocha has more roast here than in the nose. The mineral water starts to take over during the mid-palate and brings with it some orange peel and metallic notes. The carbonation high enough that it never fully soaks into the tongue. Which, combined with lightish body might make this best served as a summertime porter. Mildly more grainy finish. Sort of dilute finish but does have good lift and inner mouth perfume.

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Photo of JayQue
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle bought at Chip's in Nags Head NC. Pours a black color with plenty of light coming through the glass when held to a light. Ruby color throughout from the light. A hard pour gives a one finger tan head with decent retention and some lacing.

Very little smell, some roasted malts. Mild taste, malt a little coffee and a light bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel was ok, not watery but not that rich or crisp either.

Drinkability is fairly good. An average porter.

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Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark mahogany color with a nice reddish tint. There is a one finger head that is foamy and bubbly. There is some clarity to the beer. At the bottom of the glass light passes through show the reddish hue.

Nose: Deep roasted malt, burnt sugar, chocolate, coffee. and spicy alcohol. Hints of citrus, esters, resin, sweet bread yeast, and phenols.

Taste: Deep roasted malt, burnt sugar, bitter sweet chocolate, coffee, and sweet bread yeast. There are notes of esters, resin, citrus, and some spices.

Overall: For an organic beer it is really good porter. Has a good mouth coating and it is slightly chalky. The finish is slightly bitter but hard to pick up.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown with some mahogany tinting to its body. Large fluffy dense foam of tanned sand sits upon the top quickly after a vigorous pour. Resides away to a thick skim always present and laces the glass with a nice sheeting that eventually breaks away to a few strings and spots.

Aroma is sweet and dryish of some roasted malt, chocolate, graham crackers, and notes of dried oats and cereal grains.

Taste is clean, simple, and dryish with some cocoa fluff, graham cracker crusts, slender bitter sweetness of semi roasted malt and has hints to some slight burntness and coffee. There's a nice overall tone to some dried grassy-like hops that add a nice little complexity to its middle and finish.

Feel is boldly medium with a nice fluff and roasty texture that keeps a smooth milky residue and tender bite to it.

A decent drinking porter here thats got a bit of complexity to it and has a wholesome, well made nature about it.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-Dark brown beer, rather opaque so that it at times appears black. Even with this opaqueness, the beer shows an abundance of garnet highlights. Off-white head reduced quickly to very little.

S-Subtle, yet substantial, amount of enjoyable roasty/black and chocolate aromas.

T-Thick roasted and blackenned malt flavor, along with some chocolate. Hints of an almost semi-sweet maltiness appear. Some nice bitterness, from both the roast and hops. No hop character to perceive.

M-Moderately high carbonation, perhaps a bit too high. Even with this, the body feels a bit too thin and slippery.

D-A nice hearty porter. Perhaps a bit thinner than desired, but this didn't directly affect the overall enjoyability of this beer. Easily consumed and enjoyed.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber pours into my glass a chocolate brown color with quite a bit of clarity letting a lot of light through. A red hue is there along with a quarter inch of off white head. Aromas start with a light roasted grain upfront along with notes of chocolate and a mild coffee and cream aspect as well. Reminiscent of toasted bread and somewhat one dimensional.

First sip brings a toasted grain malt body upfront, seems like a mix between light and dark malts possibly here. Somewhat roasty it leads into hints of chocolate, light coffee and some cream as well as a bit of fruitiness on the back of the palate. Mild hops bring in some bitterness on the end. Not really any depth of flavor here and is quite weak when compared to a standard porter.

Mouthfeel has a certain thin quality that is coupled with fast moving carbonation to give it a bit more oomph and some creaminess. Overall though, I was looking for a little more body here. I applaud this brew for being organic, which is always cool, however as a porter it falls a bit short and ends up being boring and more of a porter "light" than anything else. Thanks to kmpitz2 for grabbing me this bottle to sample.

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Photo of nickfl
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Small, off white head with decent lace. Dark brown body with good clarity.

S - Light chocolate aroma, very mild hops, not much else.

T - Light and malty with a touch of chocolate. The finish is a bit bitter, mostly from malt instead of hops.

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

D - A nice, mild porter. Nothing is exceptional here, it is well balanced and drinkable, but it lacks any spark that would make it worth coming back to. An unusually average porter.

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Photo of hellomcfly
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up incredibly cheap.

Pours nearly pitch black. A fairly aggressive pour left a minimal head that dissipated quickly. There is a little bit of lacing present, but not much.

Smells primarily of roasted malts. There's a bit of coffee in the nose as well and a faint smokiness.

Again roasted malts and coffee. Perhaps a bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

D - Pretty approachable and easy to drink at 5.5% abv. Not very complex. Would not seek it out again but it was well worth what I paid for it.

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Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness info to be had. 22 ounce bomber, looks like a porter, color wise. Muted head, minimal spotty lace. Nose of roasted malt. Notes of chocolate, vanilla, cafe au lait. Chalky, drying hops keep things pleasant. Fairly thick body wise. Pleasant enough, but in the final analysis, this one rates as a middle of the road creation, nothing too special going on here. It was only $4.79 for the bottle, so perhaps "you get what you pay for"

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Photo of cvfish
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a moderate brown color with sandy highlights that produced a small tan head that had little retention and left no lacing along the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were pretty uninspiring, a little roasted malts

T - The taste of this beer had a light, iced coffee taste, hint of roast, and a small bit of dark fruits on the finish

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a thin to medium body and was bubbling with a lot carbonation, more than I like for the style

D - A very watered down rendition of a porter, kind of like porter light to me, would have to pass over this for a more robust, malty one

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The aroma is nice but light, it smells like chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, I can also taste some smoke and there's also hops noticable in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's somewhat silky but also seems a watery to me. Drinkability is OK, it's smooth and not hard to drink at all. Overall I think this is a decent enough beer, but it's not something I'd make a point to buy often.

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Photo of nekronos
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not the best porter but considering it is an organic beer it is nice. Very somky smell and very sweet aftertaste. It has some oxide alike features, proper of a beer this tpe. Reminds me good IRish stouts, alhtough, of course, it is not one. Good to drink on a cold night.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought in a stubby bottle, one of two offerings from this brewery at my usual beer store.

I thought this was an average beer all around. Nothing too spectacular about it. solid mouthfeel and drinkability though. As it warmed and I got to the bottom of the glass I felt the alcohol kick was a tad too strong, especially for only being 5.5% ABV. A decent porter, wouldn't seek it out though.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, clear mahogany with a decent tan head that dissipates quickly. Little lacing.

Smells of thin, sweet malt with some chocolate notes. Not a whole lot there. Tastes similar in the sweet sense, but with a hint of smokiness and some bitterness at the end. Meh.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Not what I would want in a porter. Overall, a very mediocre brew.

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Photo of Sammy
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with initial white head that dissipitates quickly. Smells like roasted barley and tastes like organic oats or flax. Drinks with some thickness to it.OK but certainly light on malting and the like. Was not greatly drinkable.Above average carbonation

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a. pours a rich dark brown with ruby highlights, fairly clear and glowing red when held up to a light. A nice ruddy mocha head grew to a good two fingers and slowly deflated, leaving a solid half-finger of foam and some average lacing.

s. mild malt, bittersweet chocolate, dried cranberries, roasted barley, bitter coffee, a touch of smoke and dust. Not as powerful as I'd have liked, but not bad.

t. roasted malts, burnt toffee, burnt caramel, toasted raisins, dark cherries, and hints of dark chocolate. A bitter, hoppy, sour fruit finish.

m. Not bad, a bit high on the carbonation though... almost fizzy. Medium body, not watery or slick. Fairly average for a good porter, aside from the bubbles.

d. meh. I could drink a few of these, but the bitter and sour fruit notes were slightly unfriendly. Maybe i just wasn't in the mood. On the whole, it just wasn't very impressive - middle of the road aroma with some relatively mild flavor. Not bad, but I probably wouldn't really seek it out... didn't really impress.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I like the device that these guys on the label are using to shoulder the barrel of beer. If only we had a similar rig in my fraternity, we wouldn't have had to tap so many foamy kegs that were jostled and dropped by my drunk buddies. Ingenious.

A - A nice thick chubby finger of dense tan foam perches atop a purple-brown brew that looks black when not in direct light. I would describe this color as black-cherry. Lots of really thick creamy lace is left on the glass, and this head has some of the best staying power that I've ever encountered.

S - Medium roast American coffee and brown bread, with a little hint of brown sugar. By American coffee, I mean brown slightly watery stuff that allows you to see through the pot. This is a major point of contention at work, so many people make coffee that is the strength of weak tea. Give me dark creamy espresso any day. This has a bit of a musty attic smell that isn't all that great either.

T - Tastes MUCH better than it smells! There is a dusty dirty taste, like when you ride a dirtbike and have your mouth and nostrils filled with dust-boogers a the end of the day. This earthy note is well matched with a brown sugar easy drinking malt flavor and some grassy hops. Nothing spectacular here, but it's pretty good.

M - Light bodied, crisp, and relatively clean for the style. Carbonation is middling, and the finish is neutral with a nice lingering brown sugar and dirt flavor.

D - Not a complex sipper that will wow you with flavor, this is a nice session brew that could be drunk all night. Good stuff that I would buy a sixer of to take to a party...especially a fall wiener roast or tailgating party.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass, opaque dark chocolate color, khaki colored thin head...standard stuff for a porter.

Smells of roasted malty, touch of chocolate, abit sour.

Taste is good, but not very complex. A good session porter. I'll drink the rest of the sixer, but probably won't seek it out in the future.

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Photo of Shiredave
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Simple label design doesnt say much about the beer other than its organic certification.

It pours a rich, mahogony brown color, clear with garnet hues glinting under with a tall tan head. Some specks of lace trail as the foam slumped to a dense film.

Strong coffee aromas come forward as it warms along side hints of fudge thrown on a smoldering fire. Light aromas but very porterish.

Flavors of burnt pretzels and more coffee - dry and chalky , almost too dry stout-like but still tasty with more body that a dry stout. But not quite enough body for a solid porter - a very good Brown Porter - certainly not robust. Great hop aftertaste and bittering - again, maybe a bit too hoppy but I like it.

A very good session porter - great dark grain flavor and left coast hop rate - lacks a little body and sweetness that would balance this out better for me. Still, I could pound a few pints of this.

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Photo of iceball585
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, half finger thick head that lowered to a thin lacy cover

S- Black coffee, dark malts, milk chocolate, sweet, slightly creamy

T- Baker's chocolate, coffee beans, creamy, oats, toasted nuts, hint of smoke

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, mildly bitter finish

D- Worth trying

I would consider this a pretty average porter. Nothing really jumps out and grabs you but it's still decent to drink.

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Porter from Eel River Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 266 ratings