State Pen Porter | Santa Fe Brewing Company

very good
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State Pen PorterState Pen Porter

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A trademark beer of the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s master brewer, Ty Levis, the State Pen Porter has every reason to be one of his favorites. It is flavorful, swimming with notes of nuts and chocolate; it is drinkable, so drinkable that it is almost as if pint after pint were drinking itself.

Added by UberWasser on 04-14-2007

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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 336
Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.84/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My new go-to Porter now that I live in OK and can't get my east coast faves anymore (I'm looking at you Highland). Great balanced taste, super drinkable without being boring. Well done, Santa Fe!

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Photo of jmbranum
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptionaly good. One of the best porters i have ever had. Cola colored with a tan head. Toasty malt aromA. Flavor is majestic. Toasty, dark chocolate. Rich smooth texture with a nice bitter backbone.

Rich rich rich. Velvey goodness. Exquisitely good. A work of art. Rapturoulsy good.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.56/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

State Pen Porter pours a black color, with a small lacing head. There is a strong fresh coffee bean smell, with hints of chocolate. The taste has a strong coffee taste, very fresh, and has a nice bitterness, on a smokey malty backbone. Very easy to drink, has a nice full coffee taste. Overall I find this a very full and flavorful porter, a must try.

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Photo of wastedrockranger
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - poured into a 16oz mug coming out black with a cream colored head leaving a beige ring on the glass

smell - everything you would expect from a good porter. nutty, coffee, chocolately, with a little dash of the smokey smell.

taste - chocolate malt taste with some coffee hints and smoked nut flavors

mouthfeel - thick and creamy but refreshing. left my mouth feeling of a morish taste. meaning i need more of this stuff!

overall - a very good example of a porter. glad i found this one and will buy it again.

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Photo of J_T_Arlington
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like soda pop. Dark deep red when light is shone through. Has a two-three finger head that quickly diminishes to a thin ring.

Smells of honey, earth, and espresso.

Tastes of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee (maybe toffee, even). Something a little woody or oaky in there too. Mild hop flavor comes through at the end. Aftertaste of hops and dark roasted malts go away with seconds.

Feels like. Thick, and full-bodied.

Nothing revolutionary or out of the ordinary for a porter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I wouldn't hesitate to serve this at a party where porters were desired. I think this is a good benchmark porter by which to judge other porters. It has all the flavors and complexities that one would expect from a porter, and it does this well, but it does this without pushing the envelope or making experimentations. In this, it meets expectations without deviating from them.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.39/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While I wait for the water on my stove to boil...why not review a beer? Got this one while I was in Arizona two weeks ago. On to the beer:

The head forms low and slightly tanned on top this ebony liquid. Major coffee aroma upon first sniff. It mellows out...molasses and powdered chocolate tend to dominate the nose here, with a pinch of chocolate liquer. Rich and sweet upon my first impression. Mellow, yet there's some roastiness to it. It's medium bodied, with a mild carbonation. Flavors...cold coffee, chocolate syrup, low amount of roastiness on the palate. A faint kick of booze can be felt warming me on the inside. It becomes more chocolatey in both aroma and flavor as it warms.

I think this is my first beer from New Mexico, and I'm impressed. Just a well-balanced, enjoyable brew I could drink for awhile.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from Glenvargas (RB) in a trade.

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Smokestack goblet. Poured the darkest I've ever seen for a porter. While it is inky black, it has dark ruby notes when held up to the light. Aroma is roasty with hints of chocolate and what I think is mint. Taste is rich; chocolate and roasted malts with hints of cream. Mouthfeel is full. I would say this is more like a stout than a porter which is probably why I think it is one of the best porters I've ever drank.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's cache of bottles. I am not a frequent purchaser of bottles, but he knows to keep me focused, otherwise it would be all CANs, all the time. He also brings me widely varied styles, which is also good for this self-avowed hophead. Another life-long passion of mine is reading mystery, crime and detective novels and stories and I am immersed in the Akashic Books Noir series, so this fits right in.

The beer fit right into my glass, producing a pseudo-cascade that was eminently visible as it settled. I initially had two fingers of dense, light-tan head with good retention that began to produce some nice lacing as it slowly fell. Color was a deep, dark-brown with garnet highlights (SRM = > 34, < 44) and NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, light smoke, roasted nuts, and pine hops. For some reason, I tend to favor porters over stouts when I am faced with that type of choice, and this would be a good example. I just like the complexity of flavors in porters and now my mouth was beginning to water. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. The taste was nutty and chocolaty, kind of like a Reese's peanut butter cup, or chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Wow! Definitely not something that I would have picked up on my own, but a pleasant surprise all the same. Finish was rather sweet and I would probably recommend it more as a dessert beer than as a staple. Still, a very nice example of a Porter.

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Photo of DaveMarner
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a rich dark choclate color. Medium amount of a light brown head.

S - Some chocolate and sweet molasses.

T - Just a touch of hops initially. Then a bit of sweetness. It finishes with a hearty maltyness of barley.

M - Smooth feeling as it rolls over the tongue. A good amount of carbonation, definitely not lacking.

D - A very solid porter. Easy to have several of these. I will be drinking this again.

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Photo of biggmike
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very attractive dark brown color with a nice off-white head that hung around a while. The aroma was roasty with some dark fruit undertones. Roasted malts and coffee come through on the palate. Mouthfeel was nice and it left nice lacing around the glass. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep cola, almost black, with a nice light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of roasty coffee and cocoa smells. Very nice aromas come from the glass everytime I put my nose up to it.

T: The taste is full on roasted coffee with chocolate and a bit of vanilla on the finish. This is up there with some of the better porters I've ever tasted.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy. The carbonation leaves bigger bubbles in the mouth...if this has smaller bubbles it would have scored a bit higher.

D: Very tasty and I was surprised I liked it so much. Great porter that I would buy all the time if it was available.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kevin hooked me up with this beer recently, much to my surprise. It's a new brewery and a new beer and I'm looking forward to it! Thanks again, Kevin.

Pouring into a New Glarus pint glass. Dark mahogany with great clarity and a thin, well-retained medium tan head.

Roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate. Slightly earthy.

Slightly sweetened hot cocoa up front with a brewed coffee following behind. Light toffee noted. Heavily toasted malts. Earthy hop, medium level of bitterness. Medium finish leaves a lingering chocolate on the palette.

Medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation.

Overall this is a great introduction for me to this brewery! Solid malt foundation includes cocoa/coffee with a hint of dark fruit. Enough hop flavor and bitterness to keep a pleasant level of drinkability. Well done!

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Photo of jake87
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L. Black with a thick tan head
S. Toasted malts followed by a faint floral sweetness
T. MMM-mmmh Toasty malts and nuts fading into a strong mocha coffee flavor
F. Light carbonation flowing into a very smooth mouthfeel with no stickyness

A very good beer, I would buy a keg of this stuff and have a mug or two every night. Definately worth a try.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a wine glass. No date.

Appearance - Black body. Pours two finger light brown webby head with decent lacing and moderate retention.

Smell - Very peppery. Roasted coffee. Oaky. Some alcohol and very slight dark fruit.

Taste - Dark fruit turns into peppery cardboard, then finishes metallic with a dark fruit and coffee aftertaste. Mostly dry but with some noticeable malt here and there.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Creamy and only slightly solvent.

Overall Drinkability - Could use a little more malt balance. Otherwise a decent to good beer.

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Photo of IronLover
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to black in color. Poured with a healthy beige foam that slowly reduced to a thick cap that left sticky lacings on the glass. Dark roasted and burn malt aromas with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Body is on the heavier side with a creamy feel up front and aggressive carbonation thru the middle. Dark and burnt malt flavors up front with a hint of sweet chocolate before hop bitterness rolls thru the middle. Coffee flavors transition from the bitterness along as a smoked flavor slowly rolls to the end. Finishes with a bitter coffee and burnt malt aftertaste. Nice body and flavor complexity.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you n8dietz for the pick-up.

Very darl cola brown color with a one finger head and an almost uniform film of foam after numerous sips.

Great roasty malt raomas of light coffee bean, cocoa powder, and what seem to be some yeasty roasted fruits as well.

LOve the upfront roasty malt kick in the mouth that follws through to the finish with velvety smoothness. The roasted mlats have you standard coffee and chocolate flavors, but that creamy texture just melds everything together so well. This would be my choice for a session porter, if the abv. was as a little lower.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the best NM beers and also easily found on tap and most supermarkets in NM. Pours black and has a nice tan head. This is great example of a lowish ABV beer that is full of flavour and has a great mouthfeel. The roasted notes are not overbearing but assert theirselves enough to make this beer interesting. I love the finish as the chocolate flavours came together with the hops and the malt to create a beer worth drinking

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the delicious La Choza restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The beer arrived with a great, frothy, khaki-colored head that had some crystal-like radiance within it. Lots of sticky lace stuck to the sides of the glass as the beer dissipated. The liquid was pitch black and opaque.

A good nose on this one, albeit not as complex as I'd hope for. I got coffee and dark roasted malt notes, followed by sweet notes of vanilla and toffee.

The taste is a step up, however, as all the above-mentioned characteristics make their way around my palate, with a few additional notes. My tongue first detects the dark roasted malts, then the sweet vanilla and toffee, but then then the coffee and some brown sugar linger on the back of my tongue.

State Pen Porter is smooth enough, has some creamy aspects, but is a bit more carbonated than I'd like. The beer finishes sweet, which I liked.

I think this is a tasty beer and certainly one I could go to regularly. It's smooth and easy-drinking, yet has plenty of flavor. Plus, there's enough complexity to keep me interested. I endorse.

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Photo of TheStoutLord
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Very dark brown with a tannish head that leaves lacey.

S: Smells nutty with a lot of roasted tones, along with a hint of chocolate. The roasted maltiness really comes through on the smell though, which is very nice.

T: Malty and tasting of roasted nuts. So good, exactly what a porter needs in terms of malt levels and bitterness. The complex elements of chocolate, and a little caramel I think coupled with the highly prominent roasted malts makes this beer. Somewhat reminds me of Santa Fe's Nut Brown, but much better in my stout-biased opinion.

F: Kind of light for a porter and very drinkable. The 6% ABV is completely unnoticeable.

O: What a great porter. I would definitely buy it again if I had the chance.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this is a very dark amber ale (almost black) and is topped off with a lovely dark tan head that has hints of red hues in it. The head itself is very bubbly, thick and creamy with a thick wall of lacing…the head also sticks around for a while(starts off at about two and a half fingers and withers out to about one finger(and I have fat fingers). Roasted malts caressed by mild hops aromas fill the air, and they aren’t alone either, sweet floral aromas mixed in with coffee beans and chocolate make your mouth water. Crisp at first, refreshing, slightly bitter overall this is a good porter. Its got a medium body and the flavors are plentiful, Mild, mild hops, some citrus zest comes through and it has almost no alcohol flavor in its aftertaste. This is one good beer! I will definitely look for this one again.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black color into a glass with a little head that leaves moderate lacing around the glass.

Smells rather feint, of malts, coffee and chocolate.

Tastes very much like it smells except the flavor is very solid. No noticeable taste of alcohol, although it has the flavor of a stronger porter.

It is very watery and lightly carbonated. For a beer with this much flavor, I would have expected a moderate body, but I did find it goes down extremely smoothly, and thus quickly.

I received this in a beer of the month mailing and was quite pleased. I would gladly buy this again if I ever find this in a store, but I don't think it's available in Massachusetts yet.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Santa Fe State Pen Porter

A slow pour generated a big, dense tan head that with great retention. Poured from a 12oz into a straight sided pint glass. Lots of taffy-like sticky lace,and the head stays all the way through. Very dark brown with golden edges.

Aroma is roasty, with some molasses and grain. Faint floral hops give a nice balance, as well as some dark chocolate notes.

Taste is roasty, sweet malty, and some molasses. Some powdered chocolate, and some hop spice is there to balance out the sweetness and the roasty malts, and some bitterness from the roasting as well.

Mouthfeel is solid, medium to full bodied. Alcohol seems to be hidden pretty well, no presence is made at all, even as it warms.

Good beer, nothing amazing, but good for sessioning, even with the elevated ABV.

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Quick Take: The big brother of this brewery's Nut Brown Ale! This version has a near-black mahogany color, okay aroma and boasts a balanced, malt-forward stance for the style.

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Photo of tpd975
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice rich dark matte black hue with a nice tall mocha colored head. Wonderful retention with nice sheets of lace.

S: Wonderful roasted aromas. Nice dark malt, coffee, and rich bakers chocolate.

T: Very roasty and good. Coffee up front with a huge blast of roast. The chocolate is in the middle with hints of char. The finish is roasty with more coffee, and more deep roasted malt.

M: Medium in body, smooth, crisp and tasty.

D: Really good porter. Could drink it all night long. Love the level of roast in this one. It is very aggressive without being over the top.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a beige head and brown color. Aroma is dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla and caramel malts. Flavor is reflective of the smell, with a nice cocoa finish. Mouthfeel is light for style but within bounds. A tasty, complex and satisfying Porter.

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State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 336 ratings.
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