State Pen Porter | Santa Fe Brewing Company

very good
138 Reviews
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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: 337
Photo of Vancer
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer send by naproxen in the Nobody wants to see a naked beer geek BIF - thanks again!

Almost black pour into the Corsendonk tulip glass, tan head appears but subsides in a few minutes, leaving bits of lace here and there.

Nice powdery aroma of burnt toast with a sturdy dose of malt. Classic taste of sour ale with hints of dark chocolate, anise and fig. Rich and smooth body with a chalky finish.

Tasty little porter - enjoyed it.

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Photo of bonkers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I received this as part of a BOTMC. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a jet black with ruby highlights, moderate white head. There are roasted chocalate notes in the aroma. The flavor consisted of bitter chocolate. The brew is light bodied, lightly hopped and easy drinking. A solid porter, but not outstanding.

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Photo of WJVII
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOM May 2009
It was suggested to try this brew at several temps and I had a few from my BOM so I did just that. My review is at a moderate coolness as that was what I enjoyed best. I had brew in the fridge let sit out for about 10 minutes, poured and let sit another 5 before enjoying. I had also tried strait out of the fridge (half bottle) then let the other half sit about 25 minutes before sampling.

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a dark brown cola color with a light tan head that rose quick with the pour and dissipated just as fast with light lacing. The aroma was very roasted malt heavy with hints of chocolate and toffee. There was a little bitterness in the nose as well. The taste was dry right off the bat and I notice the alcohol in the finish. The brew was lighter than I would like and the chocolate malts tasted burnt. Decent brew, but have had better in the style.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa Fe- Penn State Porter

A- Dark deep cola brown with a moderate size tan head. Good thick ringed lacing around the top half of the glass.
S- Dusty dry cocoa powder, chocolate malt, and molasses.
T- Sweet chocolate malt with dry truffle cocoa and a touch of molasses. Slight grassy hop presence.
M- Good thick chocolate malt with a nice tangy earthy grassy hop finish.

Overall- Another decent offering from Santa Fe. Not an A+ beer here, but a good solid drinkable porter!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nearly black color with a thin, fine-bubbled light tan head. Not much foam, even with an aggressive pour. Retention and lacing are both decent.

Smell is mostly of roasty and milk chocolaty malts. Fairly straightforward, but what is there smells pretty nice. Nose is more akin to a stout than a porter, I don't get any fruitiness or toast.

Tastes pretty good as well. By far the best brew from Santa Fe I have had. It's pretty one-dimensional, with chocolate and cocoa dominating the taste. Has a few hints of dark berries and honey with a mild hop bitterness at the end. I would have never guessed the ABV is above 6. I would say this a nice surprise and would be happy to have this on tap after hitting the slopes at Taos.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12 oz. bottle on a recent Arizona visit, bottle poured to a pint glass.

A: An extra park porter, virtually 'black' but for slender ruby shards cutting through the edges of the glass. Not a huge head, but the 1/2-finger is creamy and mocha-colored, leaving jagged bands of clinging lace ans a swirl of film as it drops.

S: Has a mineral/chalky aroma, followed by chocolate and hints of vanilla. Maybe a little oxidation, a touch of souring and cardboard.

T: A sweeter chocolate, lightly smoky. An idea of burnt coffee grounds, bits of spice, a hint of tart apple (?).

M: Very smooth, perfectly velvety feel. A creamy, medium-bodied porter, feels/finishes nearly perfectly. 6.4% ABV is hardly notable.

D: Would have this again, it's got a good balance, nice sweetness and finish.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.22/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Nicely, it pours solid black. One-finger head of tan foam forms and rapidly dissipates, leaving a crescent of film on top. After a few minutes this, too, fades away. Lacing is okay, but slippery.

Big dark roasted malt nose. Notes of milk and dark chocolates. Light hints of capuccino. Hints of molasses and traces of brown sugar. Slight nuttiness.

Dark roasted chocolate malts. A touch of coffee. Toasted nuts. Slight hint of smoke.

A weak medium body. Very thin, almost watery. Carbonation is totally off.

Sure, it's drinkable, but I won't be running back to it any time soon. Nice starter porter for your BMC friends.

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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 stephens101
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the great things about beer is the abundance of styles available. I haven't haven't had a porter in a while, and even though it's not my favorite genre of brew, I'm thankful it exists, because (pardon the cliche) variety is the spice of life. This one pours impremiably black. A dense, deep tan head grows quickly to the rim of the pint, halts for a few seconds, and slowly fades, leaving a skinny sheet of lace behind. The smell is not overly bold, but hints of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, burnt sugar, and pine float to the nose. Tastes of roasted malts, caramel malts, more dark chocolates, and some spice, which adds a nice affect. Everything mixes together quite nicely on the palate, and this one suffers from none of that waterery essence that some porters tend to have. This is a surprisingly good, medium to heavy bodied porter that lacks nothing in the taste department, yet remains quite drinkable.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 15 Oct 2008.

Served in a shaker pint glass. Small light brown head. Dark brown, almost opaque. Roasty sweet, coffee and chocolate aroma. Deep mocha flavors with a hint of tobacco and smoke. Roasty and coffee throughout. Ethanol subdued but shows up at the end. Aftertaste is somewhat tart. Slightly sticky mouthfeel. Med-heavy body.

Thought this was slightly better than the imperial version.

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Photo of Jyubei
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. A black brew with a tan 3/4 in. head and good lacing.

S. Toasty, nutty and some sweet maltiness.

T. Strong mocha coffee, slightly over roasted nuts, but good. A hint of toffee in the aftertaste.

M. Very smooth going down, with a hint of stickiness after swallowing.

D.A highly enjoyable brew that goes great with Italian.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a bubbly, light beige head.

Smell: Roasty, chocolaty aroma with pleasing, pointed notes of both licorice and black coffee.

Taste: Blending of sweet roasty malts along with tastes of coffee, chocolate, and licorice. Restrained roasty bitterness. The chocolate component grows and swells into a choco-coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite good! Very tasty and keenly drinkable. I would definitely welcome another.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a brown 12oz bottle - Pours a dark brown - close to black color. Smells lovely with coffee and deep roasted malts coming through. Very below average carbonation. First sip is both sweet - all coffee and roasted malts but could use a stronger malt backbone. Weak mouthfeel as it appears to be slightly under carbonated. I would really like to try the Imperial version of this!

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Frothy tan head that doesn't lack very long, leaving only a thickish collar. No lacing in this glass.

I sniff roasted malts and a significant fruit presence that doesn't quite make up for the fact that it's not particularly strong.

Quite sweet, full enough but about medium for style. Sticky and long lasting action on the palate, which is both a positive (nice bitterness) and negative (DMS is overpowering).

And here lies the rub: there is a significant amount of off-flavors involved here. The roasted character is pleasant, but the finish is thin and weak, and acrid enough that I don't care to have another.

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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 thekevlarkid
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled out of the bottle after it was dragged 3000 miles across the US back to Vermont! Poured an opaque black with a brown meniscus and a khaki head. Weak retention of the cap but laced in thin bands. Aromas of coffee, bakers chocolate and charcoal. Very dark and ominous (State Pen like?) flavors for a porter and more suggestive of a stout. Again, dark chocolate, bitter espresso, roasted malt and some liquid smoke. Medium to heavy body and light carbonation. Bitter finish coats the tongue. Drinkable and deep, a good example of the style from my itty bitty hometown.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a real thin tan head. Nose is super sticky sweet. Coffee is there too. Chocolate appears later on. Flavor is thick with dark chocolate. Robust malty tones. Feel is thick on liquid and a low but appropriate carbonation. Very easy to drink and very nice.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a tan, foamy, one-finger head that left nice lacing.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and had floral notes.

T - It tasted of roasted malt (burnt toast flavor) and had a bitter hop kick.

M - It was crisp yet soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice porter. Great label, too.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured some sweet malt, chocolate and coffee.

The taste was upfront burnt grain, with elements of caramel, coffee and smoke.

The mouthfeel was average for the style.

Overall a tasty and robust porter. A touch sweeter than most examples.

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Photo of tronester
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red/brown, almost opaque. The head is medium sized and has very small carbonation bubbles, looks almost like a nitro, but it says bottle conditioned. Smells of chocolate. Taste is of coffee, chocolate, with a hint of malt sweetness. There is just a touch of earthy hops flavor, but the bitterness from the hops is there. There is also a hint of acidicness, but it isn't anything bad. A surprisingly dry beer as well. Mouthfeel is very smooth, carbonation levels are low and soft. A pretty drinkable brew, probably my favorite Santa Fe Brewing beer so far from the sampler pack.

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Photo of budsboy
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with only the faintest light coming through the deep brown around the edges of the glass. Big frothy tan head that leaves some lacing.

Black coffee and fruit smell. Bit of a buttery smell in there as well.

Taste is complex. Starts off with a berry flavor complimented by a roasted coffee, them melts into a sweeter, licorice like taste. Finish leaves a coffee-licorice-alcohol bitterness. Really interesting.

Very smooth and nearly full-bodied. Bigger than many porters.

I enjoyed this. The licorice-coffee-fruit taste is unique and quite satisfying. It'd be a good after-dinner drink.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is black (I can not see through it) with my pour producing a nice thick brown head, at least an inch in height. Head slowly fades to a solid covering that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, primarily burnt chocolate. There also seems to be some funky earthy/oily scent.

Taste: Roasted malty body wtih a slightly bitter finish. Typical porter flavors, but this has an added something (like the smell there is something a little earthy here, smoked peat?). Slight booziness to this as well.

Mouthfeel: Near full in body, natural low carbonation. A bit oily/slick going down with a little alcohol heat in the throat and chest.

Drinkability: A nice easy drinker (great on a cold March night with outside temps at freezing). Relatively high alcohol content (>6%) keeps this a nice sipper. I bought one bottle as part of a mixed 6-pack. This is one beer that I would buy a whole six pack of.

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Photo of rowew
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, cap has the new mexican flag. Nice triangular label with a prison, abv marked - no date to be found.

Appearance: Very dark, just the slightest hint of red around the edges when held up to the light. Medium head fades to almost no lacing.

Smell: A bit of a sour aroma dominates, but there is some roasty smell and a bit of coffee there too.

Taste: Mouthfeel is relatively thin, with an average carbonation level. Flavors are a nice combination of malt with just a bit of roasted flavor.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - I do wonder if the slight sour flavor was intended, or if this sat on the shelf a bit too long (from what I've seen it doesn't move too well in Colorado, could be due to a higher than average price tag). Unfortunately, no date - so no way of knowing.

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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 Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy, almost three-finger thick, light brown colored head that clings quite thickly to the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes. The beer is a nice, burnt, dark chocolate color, but if held up to the light it shows a dark, brilliantly clear, ruby colored luminescence in the depths of its dark body. The aroma has a nice roast fruitiness to it that is noticeable upon pouring it. Other aromas of chocolate, well toasted grain, burnt cherry & berry notes and lightly roasted coffee beans are noticed upon deeper inspection. The roast / dark malt notes can get a little sharp / harsh at times, but overall this is quite a nicely aromatic nose.

Lightly sweet, with quite a bit more body fullness than I was expecting. The sweet malt notes feel velvety even and this beer coats & clings to the mouth like one would expect of a much bigger beer. There seems to be a bit of an off flavor here, which is really a shame as the richness of this brew was really quite something. This off flavor is very subtle, but seems to contribute a mix of flavors reminiscent of burnt, cooked cabbage / broccoli and perhaps something a bit like spoiled watermelon. Up front this beer has a rich, chocolate flavor to it, but it gets more roasted and slightly burnt towards the finish where it picks up some roast bitterness, a light burnt grain acidity, flavors reminiscent of black and darkly roasted coffee. As the beer warms up a bit it loses a bit more of the previously subtle off-flavors and becomes even more like a chocolate elixir.

This would be an incredibly good Porter if not for that bit of off character. The texture is very nice (not too heavy, but still rich and satiating) and this beer reminds me quite a bit of Fullers London Porter, but more roasted.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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