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 Beerandraiderfan
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another porter/stout that is equal parts brown and black. If I had to lean in one direction, I'd say 51% black, 49% dark brown, together at last! Solid thickness, good light brown/beige head on it, better than average retention, better than average sticky lace along the glass.

Aroma was all roast. Big malt, big roast. Straight forward, no adjuncts.

Taste, chewy. Chewy malt, roasted to near perfection. Clean for what it is. Not weighed down with exotic extracts of coffee or chocolate, sure, there is plenty of chocolate malt. This is nice and simple. A working man's porter. Straightup. Easy drinking. No harsh bitterness. Quintessential porter without the bells and whistles. Well balanced.

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Photo of beergoot
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown body crowned with a thick, creamy light tan head; clinging rings of foam down the glass. Mocha and coffee notes comprise the bulk of the aroma, coupled with hints of light chocolate notes and some barely perceptile woody hop scents. Solid roasted and chocolate malts dominate the flavors with a subtle hop bitterness backbone. Medium bodied, dry finish.

This is a very solid porter. It has excellent flavor and is well-balanced with nice complexity that lets you explore new dimensions to this beer with every sip.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a creamy/rocky tan head that leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Roasty, almost ashen, aroma with underlying chocolate elements

Taste: Black bread, up front, with a developing chocolate aspect; after the swallow, the chocolate and roasty coffee flavors take over

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Glad I had a chance to revisit this one as it was much better the second go round

Thanks, BlueOkie, for the chance to re-visit

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Photo of frankiepop
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is not a classic Porter, but its a good Porter especially for summer. I call it an American Neo-Porter. This Santa Fe Porter has a real refreshing quality.

The appearance was a little difficult to evaluate since it was served to me at an outdoor restaurant at night in Albuquerque. But it was dark lol. Nice head - nothing special.

Smell- Sweet Classic aroma of a Porter..maybe a little stronger. Thumbs up.

Taste- The flavor is not as strong and sweet as most porters, but it is flavorful, subtle, and with a nice smooth bubbly finish that is a lttlle bitter that's nice and refreshing.

So this Porter goes down with well with good summer jazz fest music with a little body to it. I recommend something like the classic Max Roach and Abby Lincoln lp We Insist: Freedom Now Suite or how about some Weather Report...?? Santana? Wilco??? hmmmm Counting Crows???? No CC would be tooo dreary for a nice refreshing summer Porter.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 12 oz. bottle into a 12 oz tulip.

Look- Opaque cola color with lighter highlights, finger and a half of mottled cocoa-powder brown head that falls quickly to nothing, leaving a few streaks of lace.

Smell- Cocoa, vanilla, roasted barley, fairly sweet. Swirling brings out a nutty aroma.

Taste- Starts with blackened grains and mellow tealike hops. Once this has faded it goes through a number of nutty/bready/toffeelike flavors, starting with the darker shades and ending with the lighter. Finishes with a bit of char and caramel. Aftertaste is of toasted crusty bread. Well-balanced, and the quality of the ingredients shows.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, moderate to heavy carbonation. Pretty smooth, but the carbonation leans towards prickly. Dry finish.

Overall- Pretty good. Not anything surprising, but solid nonetheless, and very reasonably priced. I'll probably pick it up again at some point.

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

A - Dark brown almost black color. A solid two inches of thick creamy white head after an attacking pour.

S - Coffee, chocolate, sweet malts, caramel, vanilla. This smells like a sweet breakfast drink. Very enticing.

T - Not as sweet as I would imagine which is a good thing. Mildy sweet up front with a nice balance of bitterness. Very smooth and drinkable. Medium bodied with nice balance.

O - This is a real nice Porter and possibly one of the best Porters I have had.

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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 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 tjsdomer2
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Quite dark. A very nice stout. A nice layer of white head. Definitely an enticing porter.

Smell: Perfect combination of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. Very standard porter smells done well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet coffee. Mocha- or caramel-like overall. Mouthfeel lacks a bit of creaminess though.

Overall: A great porter.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours solid black. If held to the light there is a little bit of a brown rim at the bottom of the glass. A nice off brown head forms on top of the beer.

The aroma is of roasted coffee and dark malts. It is strong and makes a good impression.

The beer is pretty normal for a porter. It tastes like coffee and finishes bitter. There are roasted flavors but not a lot of depth.

The mouthfeel is full and the body is medium.

Overall this is a good example of a porter. It is nothing to write home about though.

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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 CaptJackHarkness
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep ruddy brown with a thin and very short lasting dark beige head. Aroma of dark fig like fruits and malt. Taste is much better than I expected from the apperance and aroma. It tastes of dark chocolatey malts and dark fruitcake. It has a distinctly alchoholic bite to it. Finishes nicely with a light bitterness.

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

Nice toasty porter. Only other beer I've had from Sante Fe is their rather impressive canned IPA. This one meets that standard. Great mouthfeel. At 6% ABV this is milder tasting than expected, but great flavor. My nose is a little stopped up so I won't judge the smell. I'm getting nothing, but that's me, not the beer.

I really like this porter. A great choice for a cold rainy night.

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

A - 12oz poured into New Belgium globe. Pours dark cola brown with a finger-thick tan head, little lacing

S - Cocoa powder, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate. Really dry.

T - Malted milk balls, light espresso, cream, a little vanilla. Little bit of roasted coffee bitterness & hops on the back end.

M - Full-bodied and creamy, very drinkable.

O - Got this as a trade extra from Robtobfest (thanks!) and really enjoyed it. Would definitely buy more if given the chance.

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

Look: Black in color with a brown ring on the edges. 3/8 inch head and good retention with some spotty lacing

Smell: Great coffee nose

Taste: Roasted malt with a touch of ash and some subtle coffee and tobacco notes

Mouthfeel: Close to medium body and medium carbonation and a carbonation bubble tingle

Overall: I think this is a very good and underrated beer. Highly recommended

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Photo of mactrail
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and thick nice creamy beige foam. Lots of roasted malt and dark caramel. A good impression of coffee, too. Great mouthfeel with some substance and plenty of carbonation. Flavors seem to rise up to take the edge off the sweet malt. A nice bitterness starts on the tongue and provides a long aftertaste. A hint of butter with sharp tangy flavors as well. Dark toast but not too much charred taste. Seems to have the best qualities of a rich Porter and a hoppier Stout in one totally drinkable package.

From a 12 oz bottle bought in Santa Fe six months ago.

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Photo of deebo
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear. Black with tints of brown. Pillowy carbonated tan head with staying power that laces the pint glass nicely.
S-Really nice-moderate roast dark malt dominates. Caramel and toffee notes present with a hint of flowery hops.
T-Yep, tastes like a porter, dark malt dominates, a little burnt.
M-Moderate carbonation, medium bodied, lacks creaminess. Smooth finish with just a hint of bitter bite.
D-Average for a porter. Alcohol is well hidden.
O-A nice porter-well done.

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Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/2 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of roasted malt, hops, slight alcohol, sweet malt, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, hops, hint of alcohol, sweet malt, and a hint of dark citrus. Overall, better than average, backing any outstanding qualities.

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

Thanks Jon for sharing this one.

This pours almost black with some brown highlights and a short khaki head. On the nose there is a delicious aroma of cocoa and roasted malt. There isn't a whole lot of breadth but the depth is outstanding. In the mouth those chocolate flavors intermingle with some dark fruit. There is little hop presence but some bitterness from the roasted malts to balance things out. The body is medium with a smooth carbonation and medium finish heavy on chocolate.

Overall, this is a nice porter, sweeter than the Ed Fitz take on the style but still a really nice beer.

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Photo of DavidST
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, coded bottle date. This pours a dark coke like color with an okay tan head which has good retention. The smell is a little light, but good, roasted malts and a little coffee. The feel is medium, but the carbonation makes it a little creamy. The taste is good, some roasted malts and a little smoky flavor.

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

nice pour with a good head good laceing. Has almost a chocolate cola like taste but a little burnt with a slight frutienes Smell about the same
Overall a good slightley different tasting stout would drink agian prolly wouldnt buy a whole case though

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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 ShanePB
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Fresh 2011 bottle brought back by Nick's dad from New Mexico. Poured into two globe glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, borderline black, rustic hues around the upper edges in the light. Fizzy, slightly off-white head with tight bubbles does dissipate rather quickly. Looks very carbonated without much lace sticking around. Head retention is okay, just a thin ring.

S: Roasted chocolate malts, dark roast coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate and some bitter notes. Very rich, robust, dark aromas without being overwhelming on any front. Towards the back end a bit of vanilla seems to creep out.

T: More of the same from the nose, roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate make their mark. Mid-palate has some caramel malt flavors, toffee and a bit of a bitter roast. After the swallow, a certain "green" bitterness is on the palate seemingly from some hops which is nice and helps break up the dark flavors.

M: Way too carbonated, thin and fizzy on the palate. Feels more like a highly carbonated soda than a beer. To me, Porters should have a robust medium body with a certain slickness or creaminess to them; something I don't get here.

For a standard Porter, this is really well done. The flavor profile doesn't have anything offensive or off about it, and is quite flavorful. Not my favorite style, but this was an easy one to split and I wouldn't mind drinking it again. Tone down that carbonation and this is a winner.

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