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

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Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter
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 lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown color with some red highlights. Thick tan head, a little bit of lace.
Nice roasted malt aroma. Lightly burnt coffee, sweet chocolate.
Very much chocolate in the taste. Espresso. A bit of tobacco.
Medium-bodied, sweet.
Very easy to drink.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Large tan head with shaving cream consistency. The beer is only slightly transparent, giving off a dark brown and red color.

S - Simply amazing malt aroma! Chocolate ice-cream, burnt toast and very distinct crystal malt aromas explode from the glass.

T - Very highly kilned, roasted crystal malt flavors rule the palate. Walnut, grassy, butterscotch and cocoa powder flavors play supporting roles, alongside a firm bitterness.

M - Full and a bit dry.

O - I enjoyed this more than most porters I've had. Roasty, dry and full of malt flavor.

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Photo of nasty31
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz poured into nonic.

A- Very dark brown ruby color with four finger loos head. no real retention.

S- I get a heavy roasted malt smell with a tad bit of hop presence.

T- Nice chocolate flavor blended with a roasted malted barley flavor. Has a good hop backing to it also.

M- Very thing for a porter pretty big downfall on this beer.

O- Good everyday porter still love my founders porter the best though.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

553rd Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

App- A deep mahogany brown with lots of garnet mixed in. Nice Two finger head with spattered cling. A pond like foam top of head remains.

Smell- You can tell it's a porter but everything was very light. The roast is paper thin with a mild and aromatic hop note.

Taste- Very tame all the way around. The malts are bit small but tasty. It's not spice or pepper but something with sort of flavor is there to me. It's tasty as mentioned but just to reigned in for me.

Mouth- Light bodied, pretty med/ high carbonated. leaves a wet malty roast taste.

Drink- One of the better intro porters I can think of but I don't know if I've changed and need punch in the face the flavor or if this is that light I don't get enough flavor. I'd have this again on tap to pair with a nice dinner.

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Photo of bbkd3b
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A thick, frothy tan head compliments the dark brown body in the bottle. Vaguely transparent in appearance, the head disappears after a short while, leaving no lacing to speak of. Attractive combination of oatmeal, coffee, and dark chocolate scents form a potent nose.

The oatmeal slides on the tongue, but as the beer warm its flavor subsided a little. What was left was a mocha-like flavor of heavy coffee and dark chocolate tastes that caressed the tongue. No dryness or alcohol to speak of, and as expected from a porter, there's no bitterness to detract from the malty tones. What it lacks in variety is made up for by the strength of the flavors.

Overall/notes - Definitely a beer to warm a bit before its consumed. Walker's Reserve may not quite live up to the other beers I've had from Firestone, this certainly is no slouch. Great combination of maltiness and drinkability.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a jet black thick creamy tan head that last a good while. There is a gentle carbonation that trails of the side of the glass.

S- The light note of roasted black malt is very mellow with no bitterness and is pretty dry and clean.

T- The dark dry roasted flavor has some grapefruit notes to follow with a dark roasted finish and no real bitterness. There is a black malt flavor that lingers for a moment.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a fizz note on the tongue and it takes on a slight creamy quality when it is pretty warm. No alcohol heat noticed.

O- The light flavor has some nice dark and dry hints but it is really thin and the aroma is very light. I think this might be a nice beer on cask to bring out some more subtle notes but it is just to light in the bottle.

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Photo of Dan3279
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to share a bomber of this porter with a few friends last night. I had the bottle poured into a snifter glass to find a deep dark brown body that left a nice brown colored one inch head. The aroma was awesome with strong hints of roasted malts and chocolate.

The taste was awesome, extactly what I expected from Firestone Walker. The taste hits you just like the nose with the cholcate upfront followed by the roasted malts and hints of coffee. The beer has a nice medium body balanced with some bitterness. It was extremely easy to drink and it would be very easy to drink the entire bomber in one sitting. Just an excellent all around porter and I wish I could get it here in Ohio whenever I wanted it.

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Photo of peabody
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a rich coffee color with one finger of suds. Slight lacing.
Smell is coffee and mocha chocolate. Slight fruitness in the raisin/date catagory.
Taste is very clean and crisp for a porter. Quite Quaffable is this brew. Coffee notes and slight sugar/malt. Nothing overpowers here, really nicely balanced beer.
Mouthfeel is a bit boring because of the cleanliness.
Overall a Good rating for this great porter.
Firestone has some good beers for sure.

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Photo of pburland23
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into my dimpled Guinness mug.

Beer pours a deep, dark, opaque black. When head up to the light, you can see trances of dark brown around the edge of the glass, but not much. Pour created a little more than a finger light brown head. Head retention is pretty good as well.

Smell is dominated by roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. At the end of the inhale, I caught some citrus hops. Nice smelling beer.

The taste was surprising. There was an upfront mineral quality to it which reminded me of an oyster stout. There's also a sizable chocolate, coffee and hops presence. At the tail end of the sip, there's a touch of malty sweetness that ties the flavor quite well.

The mouthfeel is pretty thin for a porter...a little disappointing. The carbonation is middle of the road. It doesn't add anything to the mouthfeel for certain.

Overall, this a good porter. Not the best American porter I've had, but certainly a very good one. I'm glad to have Firestone Walker in Pennsylvania. They have not disappointed me yet.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in my CL tulip. Pours one shade darker than cola with a dense, fizzy, three inch, khaki-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid, quarter inch cap. Thick loops and slashes of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Not much happening in the nose - a suggestion of roast and perhaps chocolate malt. I also get a faint metallic quality. Taste follows nose - roasty at the start and finish with dull chocolate notes forming the backbone. There's also a trace of lactose creaminess towards the middle. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to light) with an active carbonation that falls short of being lively. Carbonation levels are consistent from beginning to end. A decent porter, but nothing to write home about. There are definitely better values out there and I found this a bit steep at $7.99 a bomber.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at McKinnon's in Salem, NH(!) Pours a virtually opaque black body with a good inch of khaki-colored head. Fresh citric grassy hops dominate the aroma, though coffee and caramel notes try to creep in to balance it out. Coffee, caramel, citrus, grass, cattiness - all these invade the palate at the same time and at the same strength. Medium to full in both body and carbonation. Every sip invites another. Huge flavor makes it seem like it's heavier than it is. That said, it's very balanced in a way that I've seen in few other beers. Absolutely awesome. Unique compared to the style and on the whole.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is dark brown and transparent, for the most part. The head is about 1/4" and leaves a fair amount of lacing behind. The aroma brings some light roast and coffee. The flavor is somewhat bland and unexciting. Everything seems subdued. The feel was a big drawback, as the beer is simply too thin. I've had some really terrific beers from this brewery, but this one, while not bad, per se, falls a bit short in my book.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber shared care of wishuwerebeer, thanks Bryan. Poured into a pint, this brew appears a very dark brown color with a creamy tan cap that holds strong. A webby pattern of lace sticks all across the glasware. When held to the light, some ruby red clarity shines through the body.

The smell of this brew is fresh roasted grain with hints of chocolate and coffee. There is a faint mineral quality along with citrus hop inclusion. Light fruity accents are across the back highlighting the sweeter side of the nose.

The taste is dark and roasted with heavily Kilmer malts. There are fruity ester flavors that mix with hops which taste more citrus-like. There is a mild tang about this brew that blends with the fruity flavored hops and alcohol. Faint licorice notes are evident along with some mineral character.

Overall this is not a bad brew. It is well balanced and easy drinking with the alcohol being well integrated with only slight hints to the flavor. The alcohol doesnt provide much of a warming effect which increases it's overall drinkability quite a bit. This is just a well made and easy drinking brew. It is worth seeking out and having a try. It is medium bodied and modestly carbonated.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brownish black poured into a pint glass. Smell is slightly grassy with semisweet chocolate. Taste is fairly light with some watery chocolate and roasted malts. This is very easy to drink with a low alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is light and fizzy. Average porter.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights for the beer's color. Three fingers of head after the pour, that recedes to a nice film after the a few sips and retains throughout.

Roasty malt of coffee and mostly chocolate, dry. Smells like an awesome session Porter.

Roasted chalky malty, chocolate, coffee, and minerals. The finish is particularly dry. The midle has some chalky texture.

Thiss beer is simple, but simply awesome!! I hope this beer goes in to year round production, available in IL. A top session AP.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a pint

Appears a somewhat opaque chestnut brown with mahogany highlights throughout. The cap stood a solid one finger and receded slowly. Some mild lacing.

Dark chocolate, cherries, oak, vanilla and some roast. A solid aroma on all fronts with everything in near equal portions.

The flavor profile followed the nose. Coffee and dark roast with chocolate throughout. Cherries poke through the middle while oak and vanilla come out in the finish.

A medium body Porter with a smooth feel. Carbonation was on point. Overall, this was enjoyable and a Porter I would welcome in my glass anytime.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown w/ a sliver of caramel head which disappears immediately. Good carbonation and lacing. Decent looking beer for the style.

S- Mainly chocolate, coffee, malt, slight hint of hops, maybe a little oak in there as well. Exactly what I'd expect, but it's really on the weak side. If it was stronger and more robust I would up the score considerably.

T- More of a hops kick w/ the taste. Coffee, chocolate, malt are all still there, but it's a completely different profile than the nose. Wish the taste was a little more robust, but it's decent for the style.

M- Very smooth, w/ hops aftertaste. Hops bite up front, then smooth hops/chocolate/coffee feel at the end. Coffee sticks around forever.

O- Nice offering. Wouldn't pick this up again, but it's because of the style, not the beer. This is a solid porter. Not the best I've had, but it's good. A little on the thin side though, and not very warming or robust. Cheers.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall a pretty boring thin porter.

Beer is brown / dark and mostly clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Beer smells like a diluted coffee.

Beer is thin and a little ashy on the finish, moderate to light in bitterness, the forward is a little watery and plain. Not too impressed guys but I suppose there is nothing wrong with the beer overall.

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Photo of matty
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colored beer witha slowly fading creamy head,Aroma is pretty much toasted malts.Taste is toasted malts with a little bit of cocoa and coffee grinds.Overall a decent beer that doesn't really do anything to separate it from other porters.I would recommend and would purchase again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of garuda
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle, bottled-on dating stamped on neck

A - Deep ruby with a thick tan head that has good retention and leaves webs of lacing down the glass.

S/T - Some chocolate notes and creamed coffee, but mostly roasted malts. Some earthy hop and dark chocolate bitterness through the finish. Neither are as "robust" as the name implies. The aroma was very weak. I really had to search for it.

M - A bit on the thin side for a porter and very low carbonation makes it seem a little watery.

O - Tasted good, but overall a little disappointing. The 22oz bottle format will probably prevent me from buying this again.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown color with a fair amount of garnet highlights. You can nearly see through the body when you hold the glass to direct light; the center of the body becomes all garnet & ruby. 1.5 fingers of camel colored head forms in tiny, tiny bubbles. Tight but soft, plenty of lace. Good looking beer.

The nose of Walker's Reserve screams porter. Lots and lots of roasted malt character: ashy chocolate and dustings of coffee grounds. There's a distinct chewing tobacco component to the nose. Something creamy, too... like marshmallow. There's hops here, earthy ones. Aromas of topsoil and dried leaves. This has pretty much everything I could ask for from a porter in terms of aroma. My very favorite porters have a more complex hop character, but Walker's Reserve shows quite quite nicely with its balance.

I immediately pick up on some muted dark fruits that I didn't smell at all; distant fig/blueberry. But that's really an accent for the coffee grounds roasted malt character that rightfully dominates the palate. Marshmallow, I'm sure of it, lends a nice, creamy counterbalance to the roast. Earthy, tobacco-like hop flavors do just fine on the initial attack, but get a bit awkward on the midpalate; a bit plasticky. That awkward plastic character stays for the finish, and is really the only thing holding this good porter back from being better than just "good."

Walker's Reserve feels like a true porter should. It's on the very light side of medium-bodied and has plenty of carbonation to carry those roasted flavors across the whole mouth. Overall, this is a textbook example of what a good porter should be. The only flaws that it has are small ones that prevent it from being great.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my 13 oz tulip. Bomber marked towards the top just neck. Nice dark brown, with a 3 inch tan head. Lots of sticky lacing, attractive. Smell pretty mild, some hints of chocolate & coffee. Faint hops, some breadyness. Taste maybe a little stronger then smell, all the same flavor. Body good for the abv, but I like it more chewy. Great Porter, but porters aren't my favorites. Nice drinkability.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Batch. The reddish to dark brown poiur leads to a long lasting, thick, foamy tan head. There seems to be a lot going on the aroma but nothing that jumps out. There's some smoky malts, yeast, roasted coffee, and raisins but it all melds together well. The body tended to be thinner than I had hoped. The taste is also quite subtle and mild with a bit of malts, yeast, and a pleasant hop ending.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Walker's Reserve Porter (it doesn't say "robust" anywhere on my bottle) is a tasty and not overly complex porter. This would be a great beer to have on draught at a bar.

A: Black colour with a decent 4 mm head that fades to reasonable lacing. 3.5

S: Coffee smell that is slightly bitter. Very earthy. 4

T: Bitter coffee with a hint of burnt malt. This is a nice, simple porter. 4

M: Thick and foamy. 5

O: Nice and tasty. Not overly complex. 4

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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,643 ratings
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