Porter | Eel River Brewing Co.

264 Ratings
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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

For Trade:
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Ratings: 264 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, lots of nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, lots of toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, with a nice tone of caramel/toffee/malts. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first Eel River brew.

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Photo of QuentinCompson
4.11/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into pint glass

A - milkshake looking head, down to a finger, brew reddens on a candle

S - dark cranberry, black cherries

T-M - Malty, fruity, grainy, hoppy, thick, good...

D - Tasty brew. Am liking this more than other porters, currently...

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Photo of jwc215
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a frothy, espresso-like head that stays. Frothy lines stick somewhat unevenly at first, but become thick, even rings as it progresses.

The smell is of sweet toffee with an underlying smokiness. Some metallic tinges give it a bitter balance. Subtle smokiness and late raisins give it some dimension. Semi-sweet finish.

Medium-bodied, close to full with some creaminess.

Far from perfect, but nice and drinkable.

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

A: Poured a dark cherry-cola with a 1 finger creamy, dirty tan head that receded to a thin sparse layering.

S: The nose was sweet and sugary coffee with a light dry creamer and roasted grains that provided a truly excellent aromatic experience.

T: The initial flavor started out with rich, dark espresso beans with light creamer and sugar. The coffee flavor truly shines with a deep, smooth and just plain delicious flavoring. On the finish was a fresh dark coffee bean bitterness that lingered and faded every so gently reminding you of the rich, dark treat this beer really is.

M: medium-full, silky, with dark black coffee and a nice lingering bitter roasted fade.

D: Very good drinkability. A truly rich and dark treat and fine example by style.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
2.81/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pretty nice looking dark, dark brown colour with hints of ruby when held up to the light, Head is creamy and has moderate retention time. A decent amount of residue is left on the glass after each sip.

Aroma is a bit disappointing: some chocolate and earthy notes, and perhaps some coffee, but there's also a bit of a funky, well, funk to it that sort of reminded me of a pair of sweaty, dirty socks. Not pleasant.

The flavour is more of the same, although a bit better than the aroma: the dirty sock thing is still present but much more subdued than in the aroma. Coffee seems to step up a bit more here and malt flavours are more burnt (and harsh) than roasted. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit hit despite a fairly low alcohol content, and a bit too carbonated at times as well.

Overall, this wasn't a porter I was overly impressed with. Some tweaking here and there could make this one work, but as it stands it's all over the map a bit too much, and that funky aroma/taste needs to be reeled it. Not awful, but borderline average and not recommended.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Eel River- Porter

A- Deep red almost black with a good frothy head. Nice lacing too.
S- Burnt coffee beans and cola syrup?
T- Sweet flat cola syrup with a heaping dose of burnt black coffee. Slight touch of black strap molasses.
M- Sweet and syrupy up front with a sharp bitter body and bitter/ acidic feeling in the throat.

Overall- Drinkable but just barely. This has to be bad. Their other offerings are pretty good. I would avoid this.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.06/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appears a deep ruby when held to the light very dark porter with a large tan head forming thick and dropping quick. Left behind I note evenly clung thin speckled lacing on my chalice. Aromatics on this one mild roasted dark chocolate and stale coffee bitterness along with some astringent metallic qualities. Not much in the way of hop aromatics gotta love those limited organic hops. Flavor is a mess of dirty burnt roasted malt off with raw coffee roasted bitterness over percolated under sweetened this one makes me cringe a bit. After seeing reviews of the Imperial stout and Baltic Porter I figured they had a way with the darks, but this porter definitely lacks in more than one way. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is light giving the brew a watery thin texture compared to most full porters, finishing bitterness clings to the palate and won't let go. Scrape your tongue or get a chaser after this one. Drinkability is pretty weak I can't say it's good just because it's organic, I want some cohesive flavors this is one dimensionally burnt flavor doesn't do anything for me.

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Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 3" fluffy and merangue-like head that lasted for several minutes. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: nice full aromas of dark chocolates and some malt sweetness.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, hints of coffee, molasses, and bits of vanilla are most noticeable. A nice floral bitterness brings the sweetness into check. Flavorful and just enough toasted flavors to make this very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth from start to finish. The flavors linger softly on the tongue into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: a tasty porter that is better than most other organic beers on the market. Easy to quaff and worth a try.

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Photo of biggmike
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer courtesy of a trade with barefootbrewer. This beer poured an attractive brown color with tan head that dissipated fairly quickly. Aroma was of sweet roasted maltiness. Flavor was also malty and sweet with a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel was good and was a smooth drinker that I would recommend.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.09/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a brown color with a thin tan head – tight bubbles. The aroma is sweet, malty and roasted. The taste is big of malty and sweetness with a definite roasted flavors noticeable. The mouthfeel is very full and creamy. It holds up well to the bold flavors. Overall, this is an excellent porter with a great mouthfeel – one I would recommend.

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

*I liked it and would not buy it, unless i was at a pub*

app: (waiting for massive head off a small, medium/hard pour to settle.. hope this is not infected)
nice deep amber garnet color, almost looks more like an amber or brown ale. shimmers in the light though. huge fluffly head that is a light tan color.

smell: some soap and flowers.. very faint malts they smell sweet and toffee like, not earthy smoke. does not smell dark either, the smell and the color are one in the same except that the smell is not captivating.

taste: tastes ok! some butter in the finish, actually adds a nice richness to a kinda mild beer. there are no off flavors, moslty malts in the mouth, but very mild, it is indeed more like a brown ale, but a good one, balanced well, and.. enjoyable, just weak. the back of the mouth does start to pile up a bit of bitterness as you go, gives it a hint of depth.

mf: to thin and carbonated. it does have a nice silk to it.

drinkable??: very much so. even.. chuggable.

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

Pours a hazy, murky brown/ruby/black sludge-y color (without the viscosity) with thin, lightly tan head into a tumbler (boo! tumblers! down with tumblers! grr, tumblers!)

Smells.... delicious! Raisins and coffee...

Apparently I poured this waay too cold... first sip is a slap of roasted bitterness and nothing else, almost astringently... just... never mind. Much better as she warms.

Yeah, as it warms some chocolate notes start showing up in the nose, and the flavor mellows out and gets a bit of a mocha hint to it... but it's not BIG enough, the bitterness is still sharp, not as smooth or well-rounded as I would like. The hints of the right flavors are there, and it's not THIN per se, but the bitter and strong flavors all seem to sit in the back of the mouth, which leaves me feeling like, strangely, this is watered down.

I'd love to have an organic West Coast stout or porter to have as my standard evening fare... but this ain't it.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out dark, but clear around the edges, black ruby with a tan creamy head.

Smell. The dominant flavor i get is chocolate and malt. Small roasted malts, and a touch of vanilla coffee bean.

Taste. Flavor has more roasted malts (and a little bit of smokyness) than any other flavor, but i still get chocolate- milk chocolate. Also seems to have a small milk stout/lactic characterictic to it. But the flavor is very mild and smooth. As it warms, i get more sweetness. Aftertaste is dry and smokey with just a little bit of a creamy coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel. Body is good and creamy. on the fuller side, but not heavy on the palate. It is very normal and appropriate for the style.

Overall, a very smooth and creamy porter/beer. Nice flavors that i think compliments one another. Bitterness is as a modest level, but still present. I think this is one that have the flavors to be a nice light digestif and/or paired with fruits (i keep thinking rasberries) and chocolate (perhaps some bitter dark chocolate).

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

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut brown body with a fizzy, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Predominately roasted malt aroma with hints of roasted nuts, light coffee, and toffee with a dusting of cocoa.

Taste: Again, more roasted malts with a mild sweetness and, again, flavors of roasted nuts, coffee, and just a little bit of toffee and bittersweet chocolate. There's a crisp, refreshing toasty quality to it. The finish provides a nice amount of espresso-like roast. Some hops at the tailend, but they're faint at best.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Soft carbonation. Slightly chalky.

Drinkability: A fine little porter that's enjoyable all the way through to the end.

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

Presentation - poured from a 12oz brown bottle lacking freshness dating
A - Deep brown with a cream colored head that produces a copious amount of lace

S - Nice roasty Mocha notes and sweet cream. A goodly amount brown malt scents

M - Medium roasted texture and slightly dry and spicy

T - Brown malt dryness and sweet coffee-like flavors w/ light pine hop tinges.
A basic american porter -good malts, sweet finish and easy to quaff with niced dark malt sweetness.

D - A middle of the road ale with organic as a selling point, extra points added for mother nature. Nice woody hops- I'd try it a second time around.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color was a medium dark brown with a reddish hue. The smell of roasted malts, sweet chocolate and a hit of caramel.

The flavor was of sweet roasted malts and bitter/sweet chocolate. Also, a sort of sweet cola flavor and a hint of candy fruit.

Not a bad porter. I like it because it didn't have a really bitterness to it and the warmer it got, the better the flavor.

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Photo of loren01
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark reddish cola colored, very small head and no lacing
S: Smells actually a lot like a Coke, slightly sweet and cola smell
T: Dark chocolate, slightly fruity, roasted maltiness.
M: Medium bodied, too much carbonation.
D: Not a bad porter, but not real good either.

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Photo of BurnsTau
3.01/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with tan head.

Smells are coffee and roasted malts, normal porter aromas, but kind of laid back for the style. Taste is the same, roasted maltiness up front. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery. I am a big fan of porters, but this one just isn't balanced that well and I would like a bit more sweetness.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I do believe this is my first organic pilsner although I could be wrong. Eel River pours a murky, dense dark brown with ruby highlights. Head diminishes to a cap in under a minute. Coffee and chocolate provide the highlights in the nose along with roasted malt.

Coffee and roasted flavors are the standouts although late hop balance is noticed and appreciated. Overall, the taste seems to be holding something back; it's not bad, just a little lightweight. Texture, in contrast, is thick, with an oily, almost gummy quality that prolongs the coffee and malty flavors in the aftertaste. Carbonation could be turned back a notch, however. This is an enjoyable but unspectacular porter that is worth trying but unlikely to become a favorite, at least for me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkest tawny that becomes dark cherry when backlit with sunshine. It's amazing how much the color changes when going from indirect to direct lighting. The pale caramel cap is densely creamy and looks like it belongs on a double stout. It's a pretty capable lace generator as well.

I caught a whiff of something semi-troubling when I cracked the crown. Now that I've turned my attention to the nose, I can appreciate that same sour funkiness that I've smelled in other organic beer. Thankfully, it doesn't completely overwhelm the chocolate maltiness that identifies this as a porter.

While the sour intruder is still present on the palate, it's even more in the background. It does, however, effectively keep me from loving what's happening to my taste buds. Since this is my first Eel River beer, I have no way of knowing if what I'm tasting is a brewery trait (due to the yeast perhaps?) or if I got a bad bottle. I'm guessing it's the former.

Bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and vanilla do their best to carry the load. The moderately bitter char from the malt, or maybe it's the bitterness from the hops, helps to cut through the tartness and neutralize it to some extent. I'd love to see what Certified Organic Porter would taste like without the sourness.

The mouthfeel is par for the American porter course. It's reasonably smooth and acceptably carbonated; pretty tepid praise, I know. I keep waiting for it to give me a little chewiness as I get into the bottom portion of the bottle. I'm still waiting and I only have a few swallows to go.

The words 'certified organic' might carry a lot of weight with some beer drinkers. Not with me. I'd much prefer a beer that tastes good, as long as no baby seals were harmed in the brewing process (I'm as environmentally conscious as the next guy). Eel River Porter is a decent version that never came close to wowing me. Maybe the rest of their lineup will be more exciting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a creamy tan head that leaves some shards of lacing

Smell: Earthy aroma blended with coffee and a touch of chocolate

Taste: Starts out with a milk chocolate flavor that builds nicely in the middle; after the swallow, the roasty coffee flavors jump to the forefront and join the sweeter chocolate elements

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy; moderate carbonation but a little thin

Drinkability: A fine porter and one of the better organic beers out there

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Photo of RonTugnutt
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass. sizeable head, looks thin with little lacing. smell is very smooth, balanced roasted malt and barley with pretty much no noticeable hop aroma. tastes damn good, very smooth with a medium body. again, roasted flavors pretty much typical of a good porter. what sets this one apart is the smooth, creamy texture, far more than i am used to of a porter. feels great, lingers well, quite drinkable. overall i would say that this is a very tasty, very drinkable porter.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a dark brown with hints of red. The head is small and lace is minor.

The smell is has a good mix of roasted malts and chocolate flavors. The taste starts with some dark malts and finishes with chocolate and a mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is somewhat light but still nice. Drinkability is very good.

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

This beer is very dark brown with a smell head. The smell is caramel like. There is a huge oatmeal taste. A light hint of chocalate as well. The mouthfeel is fair with a slight aftertaste. The drinkability is good. Slightly above average for the style.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.31/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to enola for the bottle.
Dark brown with a huge 3 finger creamy tan head. Finally recedes to a 1/2" or so and maintains it's integrity.
Not much in the nose. Coffee and maybe a hint of lactose.
Mmmmm! This is delicious. What a pleasent suprise! Chocolate, Caramel, coffee. Very dry and lasting aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy.
This is an excellent beer. Now only if I could find me some more.

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Porter from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.57 out of 5 based on 264 ratings.
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