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: 341
Photo of hopflyer
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 1/20/17. Obtained from beer of month club but received after 1/20/17! Shouldn't matter with this being a porter.

Pours cola brown with red highlights and light tan head.

Smells very nutty, and a little light roast coffee.

Taste is a little sweet and includes the nut flavor. Some subtle cocoa along with slight coffee like bitterness.

Feel is lighter side of medium bodied and lower side of medium carbonation. A bit light bodied but alllows it to be very drinkable.

Pretty good above average porter. Carries some good combo of flavors well within an easy drinking light bodied feel.

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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 jeranbrews
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - dark cherry cola body. Thick creamy fine bead beige head and good lacing. Some continued carbonation. 4

S - sweet creamy toffee and faint roasted cocoa. Whole wheat pancakes. 3.75

T - bitter. Tobacco and old coffee. With momentary sweet moment of cheap imitation maple syrup. 3

M - creamy smooth thick effervescent. 4.25

D - tastes were mediocre but overall experience was pleasant. Would buy again if on sale 3.5

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass, with a half finger khaki head that dissipates to patches and light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt and cocoa, lightly nutty. Flavor is dark toasted malt with a hint of char, coffee, hint of licorice and dark fruit. Medium bodied with a pleasant light creaminess. A nice North American style porter with a good blend of coffee and malt char flavors and hints of fruit that make the finish quite satisfying. Well made and enjoyable.

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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 rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

More black and brown, brown of a lighter shade on the head, lace and retention were excellent. Tons of roast is the grant total of the aroma.

Very chewy mouthfeel, lots of malt, chocolate malt. Kept the ibu's in check despite high roastiness. Well done every day porter.

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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 DelMontiac
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I received State Pen Porter in a care package from my buddy, Sean. The color is a nice standard cola brown topped off by two fingers of mocha which quickly fizzles down to a light skim of fine bubbles. Lace is widely spaced and spotty. Aromas are of two primary components - nuts (pecan and walnut) and cocoa powder. Maybe a hint of vanilla creme brulee if we want to sound all sophisticated here. This beer has some tongue appeal as well. Hints of chocolate cake , English toffee, and caramel are the primary characters. Hints of vanilla latte seep through at the end. This porter is pretty typical is body, but a bit more prickly on the tongue which I feel interferes with the various stages in flavor change, especially when cold. Not so much of an issue upon warming during the last quarter of the glass. Overall, I think this is a good porter. Maybe not my first choice in porterland, but definitely worth a look if you fancy walking the cell block Santa Fe style.

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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 BranfordBound
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drank from the 12oz into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown with not much head or lacing. Smells of sweet roasted malts, some nuttiness. Carries over to the flavor. A sweet porter with a lighter and thinner body. Notes of chocolate and molasses. Roastiness not very perceptible. An OK porter overall.

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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 OKbrew89
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Color is black with a tiny tan head that leaves a small ring of lacing at the top of the glass. Aroma is oaky with notes of coffee and chocolate. Taste is a oaky, slightly smoky, body with subtle notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Medium body and medium-light carbonation with no aftertaste. Very smooth and slightly silky in texture.
A good, classical porter that is definitely quaffable. Hits all the right notes and is a year rounder.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A sound, if unspectacular, porter. Handful of burnt-sugar valences, a dash of wood-smoke, a bit of mocha undertone, and a nice dry, fairly carbonate finish. Deep brown color, with espresso-foam head; very nice mid-brew coffee and chocolate-covered-raisin nose; appropriately moderate thickness and creaminess for a porter, which just enough abv (6.4%) to impart weight without rendering it unwieldy. All-in-all, a well-done, straight-up porter.

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Photo of 1Bonehed
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

LOOK: Poured into 25oz mug down the side & finishing with center pour. Left a little more than finger worth of this medium/dark tan head which was quite thick in appearance which dissipated relatively slowly leaving a nice cascade of lacing. Body was very dark, nearly black with slight mahogany/amber hue to it.

SMELL: Dark roasted coffee aroma with a bit of bitter chocolate & somewhat malty. Couldn't really isolate any particular aromas specifically, everything kind of blended together. None of the aromas really jumped out at you, wasn't a very strong smell profile.

TASTE: The taste was similar to smell profile, but considerably more prominent. Strong dark roasted coffee & bitter chocolate flavor with a hint of dark fruitiness. Very slight nutty & somewhat unique light smoky after taste. The malt really balanced out the flavors nicely & the alcohol was just slightly noticeable near the finish.

FEEL: I guess, if there was anything to be disappointed about, it was the mouth feel. Contrary to it's look, smell & flavor, it actually came across to me as being a bit watery. Was really looking forward to that creamy medium/heavy texture that just wasn't there. It was a very drinkable beer, but a bit light on the palate for what I expected.

OVERALL: I really enjoyed this beer. Would I buy it again...SURE. Would I recommend it to a friend...ABSOLUTELY. It's up in the "Looking forward to drinking another one" category, so yea, good beer in my book. Especially, if you looking for a somewhat heavy flavor profile, but don't want a "heavy" beer.

Hope you enjoyed the review...CHEERS

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Smith conical pint glass.

Look: Rich dark chocolate color, through the light more ruby appears. Cream colored head that holds well, lots of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, burnt coffee beans, faint black licorice?

Taste: Said burnt malts, burnt toast, coffee, licorice, slightly boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light, boozy, alcohol really comes through.

Overall: Even at "only" 6.4% this feels boozy. Otherwise an average porter, good coffee notes.

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Photo of Suds
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a black brew...capped with a tan head. Appropriate appearance, with a nutty, chocolate-like, and coffee scent. Some roastedness, but it isn't as in-the-face as some porters. The taste is balanced...some malt, and a decent smokey character. The body is full and smooth...almost silky. Good, but not outstanding.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, and slight smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and quite easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

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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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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%

From the bottle, the beer poured a dark black with a centimeter of foam. Roasted coffee and chocolate dominate the aroma along with some lingering barley hull. Nicely roasted malt swarm the palate up front, depositing a little bite through the center. It finishes with hint of hops, although a dash more would be great. A smooth enjoyable way to end the day.

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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 Greenchileman
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Other than the one brewed by Bells, this is my favorite Porter out there. Wonderful aroma, taste, aftertaste, you name it. The only problem is that Santa Fe Brewing doesn't sell their beer in Georgia, yet. I say yet, hopefully, because if they did, I would buy it. For not, however, I haul this and their Imperial Java Stout, and Happy Camper IPA back to ATL in my checked luggage. Please Santa Fe Brewing company, please start selling your beer in GA. At least in Atlanta!! Have a great day everyone.

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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 JDababneh
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a pretty nice beer. This pours a nice dark brown color with a tan head. You have the nice smell of malts, caramel, and chocolate. Just like the smell, you can taste the malts, caramel and chocolate; what I think you should expect from a porter. Drinking the beer left a lingering taste in the mouth with some bitters at the end.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded stemmed British ale glass

Pours a dark cola brown capped by a one and a half finger light beige head. Average retention, little to no lacing. HInts of toffee, roasted malt, and bakers chocolate on the nose. Roasty dark chocolate malt, hints of caramel, and nutty cashew-like notes. Medium body, fairly high level of carbonation especially for a porter that adds a bit of crispness. Overall, a decent porter that is smooth, however it leans to being a bit overcarbonated for a porter.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - dark brown color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-roasted malt, chocolate, earthy

T-roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, earthiness, slightly bitter finish

F- medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O- a decent porter with good balance

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State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 341 ratings.
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