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

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,643 Ratings
Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,643
Reviews:
642
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
10.88%
 
 
Wants:
64
Gots:
171
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,643 |  Reviews: 642
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great drinker. Black with a flagship of a head, leaving some lace behind. Roasted aroma. Creamy mouthfeel, with a good roast and chocolate, and hops not forgotten, Goldings and Cascade.Nutty. Solid.The only acidic part only with the sediment at the bottle's end.

 264 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a 1 inch tan head that becomes a film on the top of the beer. Random streaks of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells kind of weak overall. Some roasted malt, graham crackers, and only a hint of any coffee/chocolate aromas. Taste is of roasted malt, bitter cocoa powder, slight coffee grounds, and a citrus zest hop finish. There is a very mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This is a light bodied beer with a crisp level of carbonation. Kind of watery for what it is. Overall, this is a decent porter but lacks many of the classic smells and tastes commonly found in the style. This is a beer I would like to try on tap to see how it differs from a different serving style.

 737 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy burnt caramel color with a red tinge and a lazy tan head. smells like bourbon, oak, and roasted malts. flavor has definite woody notes and vanilla is also present, although not sweet. smokey like charcoal and very very mellow. nice balanced hop vibe as well for a porter. mouthfeel is smooth like all of firestone walkers beers, with light carbonation. overall this is a nice porter for the wood beer champion, and a good example of the style.

 456 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep brown color with a really nice looking tan colored head on top. The lacing was very light but it did cling to the glass fairly well. The smell of the beer was toasted and burnt almost, there was a little bit of earth in there too. The taste of the beer gave off a well balanced flavor of roasted malts with a dry bitter finish. The mouthfeel of this pretty good too, it had a slightly creamy texture to it with a decent carbonation in there. Overall this brew is quite nice on just about every level. It's a solid porter for sure, this is probably worth trying if you haven't had it already.

 617 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown (near black) in color and poured with a finger high tan head. The head died down, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of roasted malts and molasses along with hints of chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink for the style because it’s lighter bodied compared to other porters.

 532 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very classy and bold Porter that hits all the style characteristics squarely on the head and in assertive fashion. Exquisitely balance and very smooth- this beer is a winner!

The dark brown beer shows near-brilliant clarity and with a glossy sheen. A firm tan head caps the beer and carries stubborn retention and leaving rings of lace with each sip.

Firm toffee and burnt molasses flavor carry early malty sweet taste with complements of bittersweet cocoa, bold roast coffees, oily walnuts, heavy toast, and light woody taste. Balanced hops only contribute to the woody, grassy taste with a mild citrusy counterpart.

Firmly malted, the beer starts and finishes very creamy and lush. But early malty sweetness fades nicely into a toasty-dry finish and light spicy hop bite.

Delicious and drinkable, this classy Porter belongs in the conversation with Founders Porter and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.

 907 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, thanks to doktorzee for packing this back from Cali for yours truly.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish brown hue, with two ample fingers of densely foamy, chunky beige head, which leaves some nice loosely honeycombed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells rather underwhelmingly of lightly roasted caramel malt, a bit of sweet biscuit, bittersweet cocoa, fleshy drupe fruit, and leafy, somewhat minty hops. The taste is mild caramel and toffee malt, medium baker's chocolate, a hollow musty dark fruitiness, and herbal, earthy hops.

The carbonation is quite understated, and very soft, the body a decent middleweight, decidedly smooth, and a fair bit creamy to boot. It finishes well off-dry, the subdued caramel and steady chocolate notes carrying this one through.

An interesting American-style porter - tasty, but weirdly too laid back, as the herbal hops don't really measure up, and the malt, while suitably beguiling, just seems a little too vanilla, for lack of a better metaphor. Agreeable enough, I suppose, but it needs more kick, and not necessarily in the ABV. Glad I got to try it, at any rate.

 1,144 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've yet to be impressed with the brewery but I like the style. Served refrigerator cold.

A: Pours a one finger head of good cream, good thickness, and impressive retention - though the ABV is merely average. Colour is a predictable solid nontransparent black. It's about standard for a porter, which for me means it's appealing. The head itself is of dark off-white colour. I prefer them tan but I'm nitpicking.

Sm: Cream, vanilla, caramel, and some chocolate. A bit milky as well. Roasted barley is sorely missed. A light to mild strength aroma, and a pleasant one. To style, and rightly so. I'm slowly getting excited for this beer.

T: Chocolate dominates, with caramel (most notable on the climax and as it dies through the finish), milky notes, hints of oats, and cream. Fortunately the chocolate is not too rich. A well balanced beer all around. It hits the notes it needs to but doesn't make any risky choices, playing it safely to style. No alcohol or yeast come through - not that they should. It delivers on the promise of the aroma, but doesn't surpass expectations. The cream on the open is a great introduction to the beer, but fades all too quickly. Not a whole lot of layering happens here, but as aforementioned the balance is right so it matters little. I enjoy it. Very pleasant indeed.

Mf: A touch coarse on the open, but all around indisputably smooth and wet. The thickness is near perfect to support the flavour profile. It's a bit creamy but not as much as would be ideal. Complementary of the flavours all around, and brewed with care.

Dr: A very drinkable, average ABV porter that will satisfy fans of the style. I could drink it all night. I'd love to try it on nitro-draught if it's available. This is the first beer from Firestone Walker I've had that has been anything more than mediocre, and it makes me excited to try more beers from their reserve series.

It wouldn't age well - the ABV is too low.

Would pair well with mild chocolate or restrained truffles. Perhaps barbecue.

B

 2,204 characters

Photo of oline73
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet.

Appearance: This beer Pours a murky dark brown with a finger of fluffy, off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet from the grain with some roast. Nothing really stands out here, but it's not bad either.

Taste: This is a smooth one, some roast and a mild sweetness. This doesn't have that full flavor that shows up in the best porters. Mild dark chocolate and bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy, smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a solid porter. It has most of the things you'd look for, but I would have liked some more chocolate notes.

 669 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate color with ruby highlights; the tan head pancakes the liquid and leaves many clumps of foam behind

Smell: Chocolate, oak and coffee

Taste: Lots of surprises here; starts out with the anticipated chocolate flavor and adds some oaky complexity but by mid-palate, the hops jump to the fore, adding a pithy balance; a touch more vanilla and oak builds in the aftertaste but they are dominated by the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat aqueous

Overall: In a sense, this is the father of the black IPA, with the major difference being the amount of chocolate in the malt bill; in any event, I don't think the flavors work together particularly well so the beer just doesn't match up to some of the others in its category

 782 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transfers placidly into a hefty mug, tawny glints of mahogany at it's edges, black in the center. Sticky khaki liddage. Frothy lacing all around. The head eventually breaks up in the center, leaving a khaki coastline around the edges. A second pour rekindles the foam, and forms a convex dome that rises above the lip of the glass momentarily.

Very dry, roasty toasted malt aroma. A classical porter, nothing really jumps out at you.

Dry roasted malt, clean and roasty, with little aftertaste at all. Thankfully not sweet or cloying, a big boy porter. Flavor is a little bit mellow, seems to focus on the black patent malt, roastiness in a vacuum. Some molasses and honey essence. Dry with very little residual bitterness, just a touch.

Very drinkable, a west coast challenger to local midwest favorite Edmund Fitzgerald...

 829 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of sublime creamy black chocolate with light lactose notes and light dry roasted malt with floral coffee notes. Taste is a rich mix of creamy black chocolate with light residual sugar coming through as lactose notes with a dry floral finish with some coffee notes and zero astringency. Body is quite full with good creamy texture and good carbonation. Easily drinkable with good amount fo complexity.

 526 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,643 ratings.
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