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

very good
1,643 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,643 |  Reviews: 643
Photo of denver10
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice, dark brown color. A off white head, that was made of thin and prickly bubbles, stuck around for a decent period of time. Smelled pretty clean of roasted malt, some vanilla, and maybe some cocoa. The roasted malts were a little stronger in the flavor than I would have liked. It didn't taste like they used much finesse when applying the roasted malts, seemed a little heavy handed. Maybe that was the goal though. The other flavors, some vanilla, maybe some dark fruits, some cocoa were there but definitely took a little bit of a backseat to the roasted malts. Mouthfeel was too effervescent for my tastes, at least for a porter, and I wouldn't have minded a little more thickness from it. Overall, this is a decent porter but a bombers worth is more than I really need in a sitting. Better porters out there and one of FW's weaker beers, IMO.

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Photo of kiki3drt292
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Sierra Nevada Porter.

A: Dark hazy brown with one-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes and left a nice film. Good lacing.

S: Clean malt, coffee, and vanilla.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Coffee, vanilla, and citrus hops. Well balanced, but somewhat mild.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Really smooth.

O: I like the nose and flavor of this porter. It's really smooth too. Overall, I liked this one better than the Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of MeisterSmudge
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of lovindahops
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- walker's reserve pours a brown with a thin layer of mocha foam. Fair lacing is alongside the glass

S- some cocoa nibs and vanilla notes are partnered with the roasted malt. Warming and inviting

T- the roasted malt is coated with the same cocoa taste. Good flavor that is expected from FW. I would like a little more excitement like some espresso

M- creamy on the palate. Good carbonation too

O- not my ideal porter but still very drinkable. If you like the straight roasted malt flavors, give this a try

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Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of drtth
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a very dark brown with a 1/8” off white head that recedes fairly soon leaving lacing on the sides of the glass, mostly speckles and leggy spider web. For about the first 1/3 of the beer sipping leaves a few scattered patches of lacing.

Smell: The aroma is simple and clean with touches of chocolate, coffee and vanilla..

Taste: The flavors are rich and complex with some roasted malt in the beginning and lightly citric hops emerging mid-way through. There is dark chocolate and dark caramel here with the light grapefruit of the hops providing a lightly bittered counterpoint to the light sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with light but persistent carbonation. The finish is medium long and begins with sweetness from the malt which gives way to the floral touches from the hops and ends lightly bittered and dry.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a beer where each sip invites the next and it’s easy to lose track of how much one has had. I’ll certainly be willing to have more of this one. My overall impression is that this is a well made porter worth seeking out and having when one is in the mood for a porter. While there are a few other porters I’d prefer this one is just fine and well worth trying and revisiting.

 1,413 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Walker's Reserve Porter has a dark brown body and two fingers of brown head. The head is rocky and substantial-looking, and it has very good retention and leaves a fine sheen of lacing on my glass.

The aroma has a lot of roasted malt, a dash of hops and a notes of both chocolate and coffee.

Roasted malts definitely dominate the flavor here, with loads of them. They are balanced out by a pretty good hop bite, that has some grapefruit and resin mixed in with a decent amount of bitterness. A little bit of dark fruit lingers in the background, but it is faint. In addition to the roasted flavors, a little bit of dry chocolate and coffee come through, with some molasses in there as well.

Full-bodied and smooth, Walker's Reserve Porter has a solid mouthfeel.

This is a beer I have tried a bunch of times and assumed I had already reviewed; I'm glad I checked after having a couple pints of this, because this is a good porter.

 933 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Yabev15
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of alpinebryant
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep dark brown with a healthy mocha head, heavy lacing

S: Bitter bakers chocolate, roasted malts, some sweetness but mostly cocoa and coffee

T: There is some sweetness to this porter but overall I am slightly disappointed. Firestone makes some great beers, this is good but not at the same level as some of their other regular lineup. Slightly vegetal roasted malts, cauliflower and some cocoa. A bit of stale coffee and a decent malt profile, but mostly bitterness and tannic / dry to my mouth with ashiness at the end.

M: Medium body with high carbonation.

O: Definitely not impressed. I would take a Sierra Nevada porter over this 10 out of 10 times at a lower price point and much more readily available.

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Photo of StoryOfTheGhost
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown/black with copper head.

S- coffee, malts, some sweetness, maybe vanilla, I couldn't tell, faint chocolate

T- Roasted malts, light coffee, some cocoa. I am not a fan of porters, but I respected them. This was enjoyable for a style that I am not typically a fan of. Leave it to Firestone Walker to make me enjoy a porter when it is not typically one of my favorites

M- Full body, carbonated, but not too carbonated.

O- Value was great. This is a steal for 5 bucks.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1.5" mocha head with good retention. The body is a burnt umber brown dark as coffee. Smell was lighter than I expected, just a little malt. Taste also has milder than expected malt, and there's some cocoa but it's nowhere near the stronger expression of cocoa or chocolate I've gotten from peer porters. All in all it's a pretty simple porter, still quality and enjoyable but not at the upper level.

 408 characters

Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of RodSmith
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Suds
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep, blackish-brown colored beer...it's head is initially thick and luxurious, but falls quickly to a wispy lace. The aroma is great: oak, earth, roasted malt, black malt, must, a bit of dark fruit skins. Nice. The taste is balanced, if a bit oily. Earthy and dark. Lots of bitterness. Full in body. This is a very enjoyable beer, with lots of interesting, multi-dimensional flavors.

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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.

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Photo of Pjev11
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass from bottle. Very dark with tan head that dissipated quickly with interesting lacing for such a subtly hopped beer.

Smells very dry with some chocolate notes. Tastes much the same. I was expecting a bit more. There are better porters out there, but maybe the packaging misled me. If this was in a six pack, I might find it a pleasant beer to come back to. But since it's called "reserve" and sold in a 22 oz bottle, I'm a bit underwhelmed.

 463 characters

Photo of teromous
2.53/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is a very dark brown color, on the verge of being black. It is opaque, with a thin tan head that gives minimal lacing.

S: I pick up a rich caramel smell, light notes of coffee, a resinous smell, and slightly metallic. All scents are fairly subdued.

T: I get very light coffee flavor, tied with roasted grains. The roast flavor isn't very pronounced. There is a light tinge in the beer, slightly metallic. Taste is very thin in this beer, but it's not horrible.

M: It has a light bitterness and is smooth without being too sticky or slick. It feels very light in body, as if it has been watered down some.

O: Overall, I would say this is not a horrible porter, but I would not drink it again unless somebody bought it for me. I would not recommend it to a friend. It is thin and lacking in complexity.

 816 characters

Photo of kevgod
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of blackwingedhorde
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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!

 359 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Salty Pig in Boston.

A: Served in a pint glass, the beer is dark reddish/brown with a small tan head on top. Decent retention, slowly reducing to a thin layer on top. Sporadic lacing.

S: A combination of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and a some lightly roasted malt. Overall it seemed to be a little weak though.

T: A bit more flavorful than the nose lead on. A good bit of roasty malt/toasty bread, some coffee, and to a lesser extent cocoa.

M: Medium bodied, slightly bitter, but relatively smooth.

O: Not bad, expected a bit more based on the other beers I have had from FW thus far. Good, but not great, especially the weak nose.

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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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