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 infi
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

Dark-brownish color, looking like soda in the glass. Decent amount of carbonation. Nice bubbly tan head arises from the pour with low retention. No lacing left afterwards. Smell is very muted: some roasted malt sweetness, very minimal amount of coffee grounds and chocolate notes. Definitely could use more in this facet.

Lacks a bit in taste as well. Unfortunately, watered down in flavor. Some roastiness in the malt backbone with very little black coffee astringency. Some sweetness to the taste as well, but overall very unilateral. An average tasting porter at best.

Kinda thin for my liking in the mouthfeel. Would've liked it to have been a bit more silkier and smoother in feel. Carbonation really is evident in mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, but not too eye-opening.

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Photo of azdback
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Deep dark brown. Not quite black, but really close. The head is light cocoa colored and a huge three fingers, it also appears very frothy and sticky. Let's see what it leaves in the glass....A great patch work it leaves.

Smell is sweet of molasses and some coffee also. I smell some bread yeast flavors. Not much else comes to me.

Taste is about the same as the smell. A bit sweet from what I taste as burnt sugar and some light roasted coffee flavors. A bit of tartness comes late.

Mouth is full and rich. Carbonation is good. A bit thin at the very end but not unlike a Porter should be.

Overall I am happy I picked this up. A great representation of the style and (especially for FW) a very moderately priced bomber. I highly recommend this to any one that has access.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color with a tight mocha head that fades quickly leaving little lacing.

Smells of coffee and slight chocolate notes.

Tastes of good roasted notes with some underlying sweetness. Malts have tones of coffee, bitter sweet chocolate, and some brown sugar. A definite sweetness emerges and adds to the mix. A touch of citrus hops comes on the end as well.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

A very good beer that has nothing wrong with it, but it also doesn't wow.

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

poured into sam adams pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown that is similiar in color to cola. 2 fingers of whitish tan head that has nice sticky lacing on side of glass.

Smell: Fresh roasty malts.

Taste: Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, and moderate astringency noted in the aftertaste. This porter has a taste and smoothness similiar to an oatmeal stout; (not sure if Firestone Walker brewed this beer with oats or not).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, but very close to full bodied. Moderate and lively carbonation.

Overall: A solid porter, u can session a bomber yourself quite easily. Nuff said! Cheers!

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Photo of jsh420
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours deep dark brown with a 1+ finger tan head which left lacing rings all down the glass

smells of milk chocolate roasted

taste is like the nose - semi sweet milk chocolate upfront then come the roasted malts with a little coffee - this is how i want a porter to taste like

mouthfeel - ligher body with good carbonation that gives it fuller feel and oh so smooth and creamy

overall this is a great porter but i do have take off some for being a bomber only when there are so many other great porters in sixers

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Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark and not quite opaque with deep red/brown highlights. Fine beige/tan cap, good head retention with lots of sticky lacing. Chocolatey aroma, quite malty, Mild roast with a hint of vanilla. Plenty of malt in the flavor too, roast and chocolate, a bit of toffee, balanced by moderate bitterness that carried along some citrusy hop character. Medium to full bodied with average carbonation. Slightly astringent from the dark grains. Overall, really well put together. There was a lot of malt presence, nice balance from hops, and it was tasty from start to finish.

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Photo of ejeffer11
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle purcahsed from the wine and cheese place (great place for online purchases) -

Black to brown appearance. Certaily not too dark. Nice two finger head on the pour. Looks promising. Some chocoalte wafting up from the pour. Taste is solid and what you would hope for from a a nice porter - bitter chocolate, cocoa and very easy drinking. A solid offering which I imagine would be quite enjoyable cask conditioned. The moderate alcohol would allow for a few of these to be handled pretty easily. Look forward to trying the other FW brews in the cellar.

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Served at fridge temp

A- pours a really nice dark dark reddish brown with a thin finger off white tan head that doesn't stick around. Not much lacing.

S- Roasted malts with a good amount of hop presence in there surprisingly. Slight chocolate and coffee notes in there as well.

T- dark roasted malts with a really nice mix of dark chocolate and slight coffee. definitely some hops in the flavor as well as a slight wood like flavor but very faint.

M- medium bodied with moderate coronation and a nice bitter finish.


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Photo of Satchboogie
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (dated ) poured into a balloon tulip.

A: Pours black (dark brown when held to light), 2.5 finger light mocha brown head. A fairly tight head. Dissipates very slowly. Leaves good lacing.

S: Heavy roasted malts, huge floral/leafy hops, medium-roast coffee, chocolate, oak.

T: Robust roasted malts is right. A sharp bite of dark roasted barley and floral hops first hits the palate. Milk chocolate and a little coffee comes flooding in behind the bite, bringing about a very creamy, soft, and slightly sweet flavor and texture. The sweetness is a combination of milk chocolate and toffee. There's plenty of oak popping in and out with a really raw, fresh cut flavor. The oak and vanilla dominate the finish. The bitterness from the roasted barley and hops doesn't really subside at all, it's rides the top of the palate all the way through the finish. Very hoppy and bitter finish. The aftertaste is the lingering raw oak and toffee.

M: Medium body, fairly high carbonation (within reason). Fairly creamy and smooth, though there is a good bit of bitterness and raw wood that breaks it up a bit.

O: Fairly complex flavor profile, though it's very robust. Hoppy, bitter, lots of raw oak. But I do really like the toffee, chocolate, and coffee elements. A little smoothing out fine tuning would make this a great porter.

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Photo of Briken
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with big frothy tan head, good retention and decent lacing. Light chocolate and roasted aroma. Roasted malts and light grapefruit with a hint of chocolate and vanilla in the end. Pretty clean finish with light lingering. Thin and smooth with light bite.

Great drinking with a little hoppy/roasted for a porter. You don’t mind because it doesn’t linger long or dominate like in many porters. Past that there are some nice extended flavors to add to your enjoyment. A great all around porter not to miss out on.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, opaque with a light brown layer of head and sticky lacing.

S - Smells of chocolate powder and some vanilla scents. Light aromatics on this porter really.

T - Tastes of mild powdery chocolate, vanilla and some dry oak wood. Pretty light for a porter but nice sweet soft food flavors about. Faint roasty grains.

M - This one has a pretty dry and roasty mouthfeel to it. Its very smooth and light on the tongue too. A mellow and soft dark beer.

O - A porter on the milder side, the body and feel gave this one a nice touch. A light nose and a milder taste werent terribly favor with me but I liked it nonetheless.

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Photo of nuggetsofnectar
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Capones:

App: Deep murky brown...nice full inch deep tan head that settles to a 1/4" cap and good lacing

Smell: sweet caramel, java, and cocoa....vanilla tanins and earthy hops in the back...very pleasant

Taste: a little underwhelming...but a some good roasted oats....coffee in the aftertaste...earthy hops , not the most complex thought

Mouthfeel: A bit thin....and again the complexity is lacking

Overalll: A solid porter but nothing I would seek out necessarily....Victory at Sea has me sold though!!!!

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Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bomber, picked this up at Ramsey Liquors in NJ.

Appearance is dark brown with a good sized tan head to it. Smell has espresso, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Robust Porter tastes fantastic. I get more of the more of the roasted malts, dark chocolate specifically, coffee, some hops. MF has a rich, velvet texture. All in all, a very nice porter from FW.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tumbler pint glass.

Pours a dark brown with red hues and a finger and a half of light tan head. Good lacing.

Nose is espresso, dark roasted malts, some bitter chocolate, some caramel and molasses, and just a bit of hop aroma.

Caramel, chocolate, coffee and cream come through in the taste. Sweet up front, ends bitter with some of the hops again coming through at end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth and creamy. Really excellent in this department, exactly as it should be. Bitterness at the end leaves the mouth slightly dry but not overwhelmingly.

Overall this is pretty damn good. Drinks very easily and the ABV won't knock you on your ass. It's a fine porter. First time I've seen FW in the Philadelphia area. Hoping some more of their beers make it here soon.

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Photo of vkv822
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.
2010 release.

Pours black with just the faintest dark brown edges when held to the light. It has a thick tan head that leaves nice webbed lacing.

Subtles cocoa, mocha and roasty nut notes come through in the nose and taste.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, though the fairly active carbonation makes it seem a bit lighter.

Overall it was a decent and enjoyable porter, though nothing too outstanding or memorable.

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Photo of Florida9
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown. Forms a good finger or two of tannish head. Reduces down to a thick surface coating. Lots of lacing.

S: Some roasted malts and a little coffee.

T: Roasted malts, but the flavor fades quickly. Cola. Lightly sweet, maybe a little raisin. Mild, but perceptible, bitterness.

M: Medium, but on the thinner side. Appropriate carbonation.

O: A solid porter that offers a nice balance of flavors and bitterness.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes had on tap at Monk's.

appearance: dark brown with red hue and a 1 finger mocha head

smell: caramel, mocha, roast

taste: roast, caramel, mocha with a dry bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: an average porter with a lot of roast overtones.


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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint on tap at memphis.

A- two fingers of tan head upon arrival that has solid holding and a few spots of cascading lace. Murky dark brown brew with a red brown glow at the edges.

S- nice roasted malts and a bit of blackstrap sweetness. Some dark fruits in the back and a bit of burnt nuts.

T- one of those brews that match up so perfectly with the nose that it amazes you. Lots of roast and a simple background molasses sweetness. The fruits and nuttiness play their roll. Its all rounds it self out with a long roasted nut finish.

M- a step or two above medium in body with a bit less is carb. Semi dry finish.

O- a tasty porter that hits all the right notes and can be an every day beer.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.1/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark brown with a thin beige head. No lace and one misshapen swirl of retention like some one spit in my glass. My girlfriends pour looked so much better than mine. +.5 for potential?

Aroma is really weak roasted malt and vanilla. Taste is similarly weak roasted cola. Horribly thin and watery, both taste-wise and in body - like someone deluded a porter with spring water.

WTFF&W? My initial reaction is that his is one of those big beers that sat on the shelf for way too long but F&W hasn't been in MA long enough for that to happen. Huge letdown from what I've found to be an otherwise stellar brewery.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Back in Johnstown, Pennsylvania AGAIN...for business. Had dinner at the Boulevard restaurant...AGAIN. This night they had the Firestone Walker's Reserve Robust Porter....ON TAP! The color was dark amber with generous white head that laced well. The nose was weak...hints of malt and caramel. The taste included a rich malt, hints of coffee and earth. The mouthfeel was good thank to the light ABV. This beer is worth a taste and definitely a SESSION!!!

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Photo of CMW
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a chestnut head that maintained its size for some time.

S - Chocolate, coffee, and hops.

T - The taste was similar to the nose with the flavors listed. There wasn't anything earth shattering with the taste, it was just good.

M - A little lighter than I expected. Not watery, but not creamy either.

O - A very good beer that I will drink again without hesitation.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Limited notes from the other night at my friends house

A - sits dark brown and clear. big head with retention and lighter lacing

S- nutty and malty. Not really getting much more than that.

T- malty and medium roast taste. little nutty too

M- feels lighter and thin on the mouth with a smaller carbonation.

O- not a bad porter. Good deal for a $6 bomber

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Photo of TheDTrain
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The train makes a quick pitstop in Cali to try Firestone
Walkers Reserve Porter. Thanks to BeerFM Andy for sharing this brew!? Nice dark dark java brown color but not much in nose....a few hints of coffee, malts & earth tones. Taste is big and dirty but with nothing that is really pleasant on the senses. A big & bold porter with undertones of coco, molasses, & coffee but far too muddled and unfomfortable to be enjoyed.

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

22oz Bomber poured into an Imperial pint glass. i paid 6.99 for it in Delaware.

A - Pours cola color with a 1.5 finger creamy, tan head that dissipates to a thin residue on the surface. A little lacing on the glass

S - faint roasted malt scent with chocolate and coffee notes.

T - I could see drinking this Porter anytime. If not outstanding, it is at very least a pleasant drinking experience. Flavors of coffee, chicory with a prominent bitter roasted malt and chocolate milk finish.

M - Light carbonation, medium-bodied as might be expected from a Porter, and a bitterness that hangs on the tongue.

O - I enjoyed this Porter quite a bit, even though it wasn't the best I've had. The Brewmaster, however, can be proud of the results. I would try Walker's again if the opportunity presented itself. Decent price point too, even though others on this site got the same bottle for two dollars less.

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Photo of superdavex
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one at the local gas station for 4.99 without knowing anything about it but from the look of the label it had a real classy sort of feel and that's exactly what you get here. A very solid, if unspectacular brew. This is the type of beer I'd literally drink anytime, even for breakfast. It has just the taste, mouthfeel, smell etc...you'd expect from a porter, no surprises but you may find yourself extremely pleased as it's a prime example of how a beer should be made. They have a couple others at the gas station, I believe the Double and single IPA's which I plan on sampling very soon. Cheers Firestone, well done.

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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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