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 rfgetz
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous a dark brown with mahogany highlights, fingers worth of tan head, decent retention. Scent is of roasted grain, hints of cocoa and ground coffee, some chocolate milk like sweetness. Taste is not as robust as the name would lead you to believe, but all of the components of scent taste fresh and clean. Medium bodied, felt somewhat lighter for the style, but still heavy enough to coat the bottom of the glass when the drink was finished. Dry and lightly bitter finnish. Best drank close to room temperature as flavors develop more.

I'm very torn with this beer... i have never had a porter taste as fresh and as clean as this beer and all of the components of taste come through wonderfully - however, im wanting a bit more from it in scent, taste and body. A very nice beer, that if turned up a notch could rival the best porters out there.

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Photo of matjack85
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this big 22oz brown bottle for just $4.99 as part of the Binny's craft beer blowout sale for the month of April. Nice looking label but no freshness date or anything about the beer on it.

The beer poured a cola brown color with a 1½-finger mocha colored head, but it left no lacing whatsoever, which was a bit disappointing.

Mild roasted malt aroma with coffee and dark chocolate aromas in the background.

Big roasted malt taste with an almost equal dose of strong coffee. Also picking up some caramely sweetness and some bittersweet chocolate notes. Also get some wood barrel notes. Just enough hops to give it some bitterness. Nice complexity with the use of 5 different malts and the addition of wheat and oat flakes.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side but still very flavorful. Medium high carbonation works well in here.

Very drinkable and with its mild abv and light body, I had no trouble finishing off the entire bottle by myself.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another one that hit the east coast of PA. Poured it into my mug. Deep brown with ruby highlights.Thick creamy colored heading than settles to a thin lace.

The coffee aroma really stands out on this one.Chocolate is there to back that up along with a slight wood aroma.

Nice roasted and burnt malts,their is the slightest burn of alcohol but with something smaller in ABV this is unusual.This is rich malted and there is a slight hop bitterness as well.

Mouth has a nice creamy texture I would say full bodied.Great carbonation with perfect balance.A slight chew but not watery.

A solid porter from FW and am now glad they have entered our turf in eastern PA.

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

Dark brown body with a large offering of tan head.

I really enjoy the smell from this one. Iced mocha and toffee.

The coffee isn't as prevalent in the taste, but there's still good notes of toffee, caramel, and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is a little light, but otherwise has good carbonation and a slightly bitter finish.

It's a pretty good porter. The abv makes is easy to drink and there's not much to not like about this beer.

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Photo of biglite351
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - considerable light through the edges, mildly cloudy. Tall creamy off white head.

S - sweet malts and fruit, with something like a bock.

T - roasted malts with a bitter turn. Some fruit on the mix.

M - light coating and a mild tingle on the sides.of tongue.

O - not bad, but I would rather opt for many other brews.

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Photo of Tone
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/2 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, hint of roasted malt, hint of coffee, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, coffee, slight roasted malt, hops, hint of alcohol, hint of oatmeal, hint of wood, and hint of pale malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and great complexity and blend. I wish this was available in 6-packs - very good porter.

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Photo of cbutova
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black body with a light tan head that doesn't form up to a very big size but leaves a cool frothy ring and pillow. A few nice spots of lace.

S- Not a huge aroma but a nice blend of buttery caramel malt with a nice roast profile. A bit nutty and slight hops.

T- A nice roast malt profile with a pretty good deal of hops. The hops don't take the main stage but are more noticeable than many other porters. Nutty malt, cocoa, marshmallow and caramel.

MF- Creamy moderate body with a good amount of carbonation, it has a silky overall feel. Slight bitterness.

Overall I like this beer. It isn't very rich which makes it drink well for a dark beer. Balance of nice flavors.

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Photo of Phelps
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Not-quite-black brown, unlit, though there are dark copper highlights when the beer thins out. The frothy, dense head stands two fingers tall and recedes only slowly, becoming a silky top layer and leaving sticky walls of lace on the glass as it goes.

The nose: dark roast coffee, powdered chocolate, marshmallow, a very subtle smokiness. I’m not sure if this was aged with oak, but it smells like it. I wouldn’t be surprised — Firestone throws everything else in there.

Dark roast coffee and high-percentage dark chocolate in the flavor, along with a tiny lactic tinge and very, very subtle hints of sugar cookie. It’s a little thin and the finish is dry. Moderate acrid bitterness sits on the tongue between sips.

Light, massaging carbonation with rather high fizziness. The body, like the flavor, is thin and a little watery. The finish cleans the flavor off the tongue between sips.

Overall, a completely average porter. I usually like Firestone’s stuff, but it seems like they just phoned it in with this one.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a clouded nut brown with a thin crop of tanned head. Retains with some film and leaves a few spots of lacing behind.

Pretty subdued, which was surprising considering their other beers...Hints of hop bitterness paired with roasted nuts, slight coffee and chocolate sweetness, malted bread.

Lighter roasted malts with some edges of hop bitterness. Very nutty with some softer chocolate sweetness. Touches of coffee and espresso. Faint caramel and bready malt. Finishes a bit sweet and nutty.

Medium bodied, decent carbonation, a bit chewy, fairly smooth on the palate. Drinks decently, but i thought this was kind of mild for Firestone Walker. Perhaps it wasn't fair that I drank this after Abacus, but I was still wanting more.

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Photo of Blanco
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Near black with solid off-white head. Smell is mute and almost similar to an irish stout, the malt somewhat shows through. Taste again, similar to an irish stout, dry with roasted malts coming through in the end. Somewhat thin mouthfeel. Overall, a decent brew, somewhat straddles the worlds of irish stout and porter. Decent sensationable brew, but I wouldn't expect more than that from this one.

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Photo of mmercede
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door.

A: Solid black with some caramel near the edges. Very small head which settles to less than an eighth of an inch with no lacing. Nothing spectacular, but not bad.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, light piney hops, dark chocolate. Not a ton going on. Pretty average.

T: Wow, I did not see this coming. Dark espresso with cream, toasted amber malt, dark bitter chocolate, complex piney bittering hops, maple syrup, and coconut upfront. Finishes with an amazing toasted oak flavor which is perfectly balanced with the other flavors. Definitely a nice crisp, dry finish. This beer defies many of the issues I have with barrel aging. Many beers have no tact with the use of oak. However, this particular example is balanced perfectly.

M: Light and creamy. Similar to a carbonated cappuccino. The carbonation adds to the nice dry finish which many porters lack.

O: The aroma and appearance were very average. However, the flavor was the best of any porter I have ever had. Pumped to drink this one again!

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a dark chestnut brown with some slight reddish hints on the edges. It pours a nice light cream head that recedes quickly but leaves some slight sticky lacing.

S - Slight fresh baked bread notes. Some slight milk chocolate cake notes are present as well. There are some nice slightly roasted notes but its not as burnt as other porters.

T & M - A watered but delicious sweetness comes up first. Some milk chocolate and slight caramel notes. Very yummy sweetness and fresh toasty bread are up front. Then there is a nice roasty and slightly burnt coffee finish but it is not too intense. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with some nice roasted notes.

O - Its a good porter but I expected a lot better from FW. I love their beers and this one left me wanting more.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - nice blackish brown brew with no light getting through and a foamy white head on top that sticks well to the glass.

S - chocolate, coffee malts and a bit of hop in there as well. very inviting.

T - good malts here with some chocolate and coffee that sneak into the background. everything feels just a little bit watery though. expecting a bit more pop here.

M - good carbonation here. the brew feels a bit coarse in the back but i think that works well for it.

O - a good brew i've heard a lot of good things about this brewery and though this hasn't disappointed i dont think it quite lives up to the hype.

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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 Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle poured into a pint glass. Served at room temperature.

Appearance: Dark brown in color with a beige two finger head. Recedes into a nice lacing and coats the glass nicely.

Aroma: Cocoa powder, caramel, and a nice hint of smoke in nice balance. A touch of char rounds out the aroma quite well.

Taste: Smooth smoke and dark chocolate notes are the most prevalent. Caramel, char and a touch of vanilla provide a nice backing. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and creamy upfront. Medium bodied, but with a slight dry finish.

Overall, a really impressive stout and up there with many of my favorites in the style and another really quality beer from Firestone Walker. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(22oz bottle). Pours dark brown with khaki head. Aroma has wood, coffee and dark chocolate. Taste is roasty bitter with a nice malt backbone with the roast reappearing on the tail. Medium bodied with oily texture. Finish is bitter and dry. Pretty good beer.

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

On tap at a beer festival poured into a sampler glass. From notes: Poured dark leathery black, with some red showing through in the light. About a half-finger of light off-white head that laces averagely. Nose is woody and toasty, with coffee and dark roasted fruit. Chocolate is evident as well. Taste follows, with lots of roasty malt, a nice raw coffee bean middle, and hints of dark fruit throughout. Oatmeal-stoutish sourness comes in nicely, and is then killed by chocolate, which then lingers in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and rich to match the full-bodied flavor, and carbonation is initially a bit too strong for me but levels out quickly. Drinkability is great for the style.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at ChurchKey in DC tonight.

a - Pours a dark mahogany color with a reddish tint. One inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, toasted malts, chocolate, and nuts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, caramel malts, toasted malts, andf light chocolate.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a nice porter. Roasted notes dominate the nose and taste, but some nice chocolate as well. Would have again.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Reid - thanks!

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with large amounts of light chocolate and slight toffee. Also present are very slight hints of nuttiness, kind of an English Brown/Porter hybrid.

Tastes more porter-like than it smells, though not by much. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by milk chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip hints of sweeter toasted malts work their way into things. Near the end of the sip slight amounts of toffee make a brief appearance before earthy hops dry things out a bit, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed with the simplicity of this beer and how well it was executed. A very clean and old-school porter that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of ms11781
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A huge foamy tan head develops almost immediately and makes me back of the pour because it reaches about 3 and a half fingers and meets the top of the glass. It has excellent retention, not all 3 and half fingers stay put but it takes a while to dwindle down and a nice fluffy cap of foam is present throughout. Great foamy lacing is left on the glass.

The nose it tough for me to even pick up at first. It improves a bit as the beer warms but even then it's somewhat weak. A slight bit of some dark roasted malt and maybe some chocolate are picked up when the beer does warm but there's not much else to speak of.

The taste follows along with the nose but is a bit stronger. That still doesn't mean that there's a ton of flavor though. There is an added coffee flavor that differs from the nose. The roast malt character is there and can even seem a bit charred at times. The chocolate is present too and provides a bittersweet finish.

Medium body with medium carbonation. I'm torn here because the beer feels smooth and creamy, almost silky at times yet the lack of flavor seems to give the illusion that it's thinner than it is.

Overall, the appearance and mouthfeel are good and maybe above average for the style but the flavor and aroma are lacking. It's an ok take on the style but not something I'd go out of my way to find again.

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

Sand-colored head clings to the glass, pulling back from a full finger at the pour. Underneath is an abyss of dark brown, with only thin orange ring peeking through the bottom of the glass.

Burnt toast, vanilla, tobacco smoke, but rather subdued in the nose.

Tobacco smoke is oddly apparent to the tongue - I like it, but it's definitely unique. Coffee and cedar underneath that, ringing of a West Texas forest fire.

Clean and dry finish, leaving only a hint of charred toast behind. More reserved in the mouth than a stout, but with similar characteristics.

Given that it's under 6%, I could probably enjoy a lot of the FW Porter - easy to drink, but best on a cool spring evening, bidding winter farewell.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice hearty looking dark ruby brown with a good sized light khaki head.
the aroma is sort of like a toasted malt ball. there seems to be a touch of citrusy hops as well. the aroma really dies with the head.
the taste is a little sweet with some solid toasted maltiness, a hint of black licorice. that's followed up with some herbal hops and a moderate bitterness. with warmth a soft chocolatey flavor develops.
it's medium bodied with mellow carbonation.
overall a nice example of an american porter. something i noted though: unlike many similar beers this one is better at somewhat lower temps.

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Photo of centbeerfest
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Great deep dark color. Almost ink like. Tan head a bit thin.
Taste was mellow and enjoyable but not deep. A bit of toasted graham cracker flavor and some coffee. Good balance if not a little less than I was hoping for on the finish.
Very enjoyable, just not what I expected from a reserver porter.
Take home scale, I would leave it on the shelf.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown color tinged with a lava-red halo 'round the edging. Not the darkest porter on the market, nor is the head overly tall and robust. However, it's fairly lacy by the bottom of the bottle and the overall look is pretty decent.

Nose is semisweet, with baker's chocolate and espresso beans leading the charge. Hops are characteristically muted, as Firestone Walker beers tend to be. Roasted to splendor.

The flavor is fairly bold and well, robust, but also somewhat watery. Malty notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and burnt toast mingle with caramel, toffee, and crystal malt. More hops here than the nose, lending credence to the roast bitterness and tipping the scales over sweet.

Finishes semidry, with a slightly hoppy citric note but also with a roasted barley twang. Slightly south of "Robust" in my opinion, but still very good for the stated style. Great beer.

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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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