Walker's Reserve - Porter | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
642 Reviews
Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A singularly distinctive beer that represents our finest brewing efforts, Walker’s Reserve is a elegant dark ale featuring robust flavors of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. This brew employs five specialty malts, as well as oat and barley flakes, for added complexity and flavor.

Added by Jason on 11-15-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 642 | Ratings: 1,641
Photo of micromaniac129
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Village Tavern and let me say this about that. This robust porter could be the best out there and definitely better then the bottle not that there is anything wrong with the bottle.
Recieved from the waitress in a nice goblet and had a rich deeper brown color. A thin small head sat on top which was quite dense and never fading. It had avery light beige color and was striking. Carbonation looked to be very nice.
Aroma was rich with roasted malts, chocolate malts and hints of coffee. There is also a underlying sweetness too.
Taste is thick and robust on the palette.
A rich complex taste of roasted malts sweet milk chocolate and espresso. Underneath is another layer of flavor thats sweet and softer, light oak, molasses, vanilla. It enhances the bold malt flavors and brings them into balance.
The beer slides down with no effort and has lingering bitter aftertaste from the abundance of rich malts.
Perhaps i lucked out and this keg was recently tapped but I'll tell you what: this was definitly the best porter I've had to date.
Search it out and try on tap and you'll agree or your money back!

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Firestone Walker's Taproom, Buellton.

Pours a dark black color with a small but slightly foamy medium tan head which leaves just a bit of lacing. Great aroma of roasted malts and coffee. Taste is similar, but with a bit of sweetness to it - not creamy, but perhaps a bit chocolate-ish? Smooth and medium-bodied, but doesn't feel heavy at all. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Really great flavor and great to drink too - wish this was available in the bottle down here! Really fantastic.

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Photo of brureview
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint glass. This beer is very complex and can be fully appreciated at a warmer serving temperature.

The beer poured a three to four fingered head. There is a molasses smell from the head which adds lemon as the beer warms further.

The color is a deep dark chocolate.

The tingling mouth feel tastes mildly bitter on the back of the tongue.

The finish is a malty chocolate with a hint of almonds.

Firestone Walker is one of my favorite breweries. This is an excellent beer, and I will try it again in the near future.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.66/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Walker's Reserve Porter pours a sexy dark brown with ample tan suds resting on top. It's almost Cola-like. Looks perfect to drink! One inhalation of the sumptuous scents coming off this brew and I can already tell it's going to be a real treat. I am picking up chocolate and caramel, hops, and what I would call something similar to a hot cereal with cinnamon added. Wonderful! Spectacularly, the flavors themselves outshine the splendid aroma. Toffee, light hops, some fruit esters (apple?) and grainy cereal malts all blend together in a fine balance. For such a low ABV, this sure feels decadent enough. Must be those five specialty malts providing the added 'wow factor.' The finish is somewhat dry, and the beverage coats the palate well. Walker's Reserve Porter is hitting just the right spot on this fall evening, but I foresee drinking this again and again in the future, for any night.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.66/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black with a solid head at pour. Head remains mostly around the rim of the glass. Some chunky lacing is present.

S: Really good - malts and an overwhelming chocolate aroma - somewhere between sweet and dark.

T: roasted malts up front followed by chocolate and malts on the back. Lots going on and really, really good.

M: Perfect carbonation from front to back. Good heft.

O: Awesome brew and at this ABV almost sessionable with loads of flavor.

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Photo of bort11
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a pub glass. Tall light tan head has a thick and creamy consistency. It's like a whipped cream. Great big chunks of foam stick to the glass with each sip. Body color is a solid black center with mahogany highlights around the edges.

Smell has a warm roasted malt aroma. Nice toasted bread with a coffee and cream sweetness. Taste is a little on the sweet side, but the roasted bitterness and a hint of hops keep everything in balance.

Mouthfeel is chewy and creamy. It was like it was nitro infused. In fact, if this was on nitro tap it would be mind blowingly creamy. This is a fantastic porter and I am glad it is now available locally

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Photo of Uanof
4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent porter in all of it's greatness. I must admit the ratings don't lie, slowly receding two inch frothy head, solid black color, faint toffee to the nose, medium body with slight dryness to the mouth and flavors of toffee and bittersweetness complement in the palate very nicely. Super enjoyable, highly recommended for anyone who's new and old to craft beer.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous black beer with tan head that is generous upon pouring. Nose is loaded with delightful nougat with a background of chocolate - 3 Musketeers bar all the way. Palate offers a big, bold roasty malty flavor with bitter dark chocolate. Hops help round it out, but this beer is a Dark Chocolate masterpiece. Medium body. Long chocolately aftertaste. Excellent beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of theopholis
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours into the glass as a very black beer with deep burgandy on the edges if you hold it up to the light. Has a decent tan head with a lot of staying power and a decent amount of lace.

Aroma- Very strong chocolate/cocoa nose with some roasted malts in there. No hop aroma. Just a hint of malt sweetness. Very enticing.

Taste- Fairly chocolate at first and throughout, but as as the taste progresses, you start getting the roasted malt overtones. Some malt sweetness sneaks through to. Again, no hop flavor, but none was expected. For taste, this is about as high as it gets without getting a 5.

Mouthfeel- Wow. This stuff is creamy, velvety. Lots of body with a good level of carbonation. It's worth trying this stuff just for the mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I gotta say, I'm not a big Firestone fan, but this stuff is freaking good.

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Photo of dfillius
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive foil sealed bomber opened and poured into pint glass.

A: Dark brown with red edges when held to the light. 1/2 finger of tight fizzy foam. Good head retention.

S: Oatmeal is the predominant smell. Lactose is evident as well, and a smoky oak aroma is lurking in the background.

T: Smoky with a nitrogen stout finish. Coffee is definitely in the mix as well.

M: Very much like a nitrogen stout. Quite smooth and milky, it feels like it is smoothly dripping off the edges of my tongue

D: Very pleasant, delicious

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Major thanks to EinWeizenbitte for sending me one of these.

Appearance - opaque, a strong backlight shows some mahogany through the edges. Light mocha cover maintains a thin depth while painting some nice lace on the glass.

Aroma - roasty, almost smoky/gunpowder malt character, a mellow undercurrent of coffee and bittersweet cocoa powder. Sets up and resolves to include some grassier/hemp aroma, even a touch of floral or soapiness at times. Impressive for an RP.

Taste - fully flavored roasty malts outta the gate. Robust it is. A light char on the swallow, perfectly balancing the malts. The swallow stays roasty and flat-out delicious. It loses nothing into the aftertaste and lenghty finish.

Mouthfeel - very smooth, holding down the crisp carbonation a bit, which I prefer. Nice solid body, too, doesn't miss a step.

Drinkability - not aged is whiskey or bourbon barrels, no ridiculous hop levels or additions of chocolate and such, and still such a tasty beer at an approachable abv. If I were king I'd drink two or three bombers in one sitting out by the royal pit fire...or if they'd just distribute this to the Cincy area...hint hint ;-) Wow, spiffy extra - thanks much Eric, what a beer.

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Photo of d4114
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pretty much jet black but not quite, no light coming through.
Finger of thick tan head nice lacing.

S- Interesting, really like a toned down imperial stout. Sight roast on the smell but big wood and vanilla notes. Really inviting smell.

T- Getting big oak and tobacco flavors, really wood like in general. Not getting much of the vanilla I got on the nose. Has a charcoal and burnt character running through the whole palate. Very big flavor on this while being easy to drink it no problem like a porter should be.

M- Its seems there's a nice feel to this beer under all the carbonation, found it distracting because I felt it cleaned out the flavors pretty fast and made it too dry.

O- Really enjoyed this a lot. This is the most woody beer I've had and I really liked how it all came together really nice, minus the mouth feel, impressive beer.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is black, but not very dark. Beige foamy head on top of it. Dense looking head and it's tenacious which make it very sticky. The aroma is roasted malts, some light notes of chocolate. Nice aroma. In the mouth the beer taste is coffee grains with a nice hoppy finish. Intense in the taste if you compare with the aroma which was in the low intensity realm. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent. Some piny notes, in the mouth, as the beer warms a little bit.

Overall this is a good porter with some roasted notes plus a hoppy finish (resinous).

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an english pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown with reddish highlights around the edges. Big tan head that drops slowly, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of dark cocoa, light roasted coffee, and chocolate malt. No real hop aroma.

First sip is of light roasted coffee, dark cocoa, and a touch of sweetness. Nice level of carbonation. Short, bitter, roasted finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, and creamy from the carbonation.

Very drinkable porter. Alcohol just of the edge of making this a sessionable beer. Could enjoy sipping a few of these over the course of an evening.

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Photo of nezelrac
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a snifter

A - dark brown with mahogany highlights; nice dense bubbly head with good retention and some lacing

S - delicious aromas of dark malt, toffee, coffee, caramel; dark chocolate notes; some hops lurking in the background; really inviting

T - layers of malt flavors - caramel, toffee, toast; also some dried stone fruits and chocolate; the mid-palate picks up some significant richness; good length, too

M - really very smooth despite the firm edge from the dark malts; good CO2 - moderate-low;

O - this is excellent porter! great job

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Photo of LeahM
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark brown with hints of red, thin tan head with short retention

Smell- dark chocolate and coffee notes, with malty burnt undertones

Taste- first taste is light, sweet, and yeasty giving way to a more bitter, creamy chocolate coffee taste. Long sticky chocolate aftertaste. Very pleasant

Mouth- creamy at first with a sticky lingering aftertaste

Overall- a delicious, balanced Porter with sweet, dark and bitter all working together and strong chocolate notes. Highly recommended as a winter Porter.

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Photo of tapman
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, violet body with a chestnut head of creamy foam that wallpapers the glass with lacing.

Cocoa, mineral-like aroma. Subtle, round hops. Hint of spicy pepper notes in the nose. A little fruitiness in there as well (from the yeast?).

Full roast flavor from roasted barley and a hint of a something between pilsner and roast, perhaps a low caramel. Has a mineral presence that brings out the earthiness and spiciness of the hops.
Tastes pretty traditional, i.e. a lot of pilsner and a little bit of roasted barley for the grain bill.

Pretty bubbly for a porter, imo, but not necessarily watery.

Looks amazing and is fairly consistent in quality after that. Nothing to set it apart other than they hit the style on the nose.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5.25 bomber from Rutherford Wine.

Black/dark brown body with ruby highlights. Big billowing light tan foamy head. Good strecthy lacing.

Enticing coffee aroma, big time roast, supported by deep chocolate notes.

Taste follows the nose, with deep rich roasty coffee coating the tongue, with peaks of chocolate. Earthy hop bite at the swallow.

Rich smooth mouthfeel, almost Imperial Stout like.

Overall, a highly desireable and enjoyable porter, heartily recommended.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown to black color with a small brown head that leaves a small lacing
S-roasted coffee with a slight hop and malt aroma
T-roasted coffee and malt comes in at the front then you get a nice hop bitterness in the aftertaste that stays with you til the end along with a slight chocolate flavor
M-full body and medium carbonation
T-I love the balance of this beer, I tasted the roasted taste and a coffee taste along with the nice hop bitterness was great

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black into a 34oz mug, with a relatively thick light tan head. Smells clean and metallic, with coffee and chocolate undertones. Tastes thick and sweet, almost like an oatmeal stout at first; then fades into subdued roasted malts and chocolate. A great, full-bodied porter.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, lets no light through. Extremely viscous. Light tan foam with extremely low foam.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Dark caramelized sugar and vanilla.

T: Sweet and chocolatey with sweet burnt sugar and grain. Tons of chocolate malt and dark roast flavor without the caustic burnt flavor. The roasted grain is accompanied with a mild smoky flavor. A mild sour bitterness washes away the full body cleanly. Beer finishes with a mild saltiness. Extremely smooth despite the huge full body, phenomenal. Great balance of sweet malt and hop.

M: Thick and syrupy, but its cleaned up will by the carbonation. Finishes fast, but leaves a mild sugary coat over the tongue.

O: Absolutely delicious. Tons of flavor but none too overpowering. Just the right amount of hops to balance out the big sweet chocolatey flavors. My main complaint was that the beer looked flat in the glass with so little head.

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Photo of newsage
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another solid beer from Firestone Walker. This is a great clean tasting porter, Smooth like velvet and a little bit of chocolate and oat but less heavy than an oatmeal stout but thats because it's a porter! With that said one of the best porters I have Tried. I also like Sierra Nevada porter, Mad River Steel head Porter, and Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter too!

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Photo of grover37
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A 22oz bottle picked up from D'vines for $5.90 poured into a Hoegaarden glass. Glad to see Firestone Walker in DC, especially at a reasonable price. Had this one at Churchkey last week and really liked it.

Appearance (5): Pours a dark brown with ruby around the edges. A finger and a half of mocha colored head reduces to a thick layer on top. Very nice head retention and very full lacing all the way down the glass.

Aroma (4): Mostly milk chocolate and cocoa nibs, but also some light roastiness. Not much in the way of hops, but maybe some pine once it warms a bit.

Taste (4.5): The strong chocolate hits right away with some charred dark malts on the back end. A bit of sweetness in the finish with the char lingering but not overwhelming. A very pleasant after taste.

Mouthfeel (4): Very wet, especially up front. Medium to low carbonation and medium bodied. Creamy and mellow.

Overall (5): All the flavors meld together beautifullly. This is smooth and chocolately and very drinkable. I loved this beer when I first tried it at Churchkey and I like it even more once I got to sit down and have a full serving (got a 4oz sampler previously). I think a B+ is doesn't do this outstanding beer justice.

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Photo of BigBarley
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, black, almost jet black, though a very slight visibility around the edges when held up to light. Thick, tan foamy head. Smells like roasted malt, somewhat sweet with caramel or toffee notes, and a biscuity nose. Tastes like bitter, dark malts, sweet, with a touch of coffe and roasted character all over. Extremely drinkable, with just a touch of carbonation and a velvety feel. Amazing porter in my opinion.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Liquors 44 Northampton, MA. 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Neck dated 03/05/11.

Pours a thin but solid black with 1.5 inches of cappuccino-colored head. Smells nice and roasty, toasty right off the bat. Palate is like deliciously strong coffee. Super extracted coffee, but not muddy or ground-like. Awesome! Big full mouthfeel, but medium bodied and creamy luscious carbonation. Nice bitterness and a little pulling acidity too.

This is a damn-near-perfect Porter. Well-fucking-done Walker!

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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,641 ratings.
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