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

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Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter
Very Good
1,644 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: 1,644 |  Reviews: 643
Photo of BretSikkink
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
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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Photo of brew3crew
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with a light tan head
S-not much other than slight malt and coffee hints...
T-very strong coffee taste to it. Love this taste!tastes like a bold cup of coffee. Nice roasted taste.
M-medium body and smooth
O-pleasant suprise very nice coffee taste. Would like to have again

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
bottled date is a tough read, but my best guess is 09/22/10.

pours a translucent dark brown, sits an opaque black yielding 1 and 1/2" creamy/foamy, khaki toned head. excellent retention and a-one lacing. very nice presentation.

nose is a bit of a disappointment in that it's decidely on the muted side. notes of roasted malt and bitter chocolate, maybe a hint of coffee. not bad by any means, just middling.

taste is a step up, albiet a slight one. chocolate and roasted malts are more pronounced and there's a suggestion of hops in the background. no question this is a decent tasting brew, i was just expecting more... probably a case of the brewery being a victim of its own success, seeing as i was so blown away by their other offerings.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall this is a solid, very drinkable porter, but not one i'd go out of my way to obtain.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer, turns a little bit ruby on the edges. Camel colored head rises up a good two fingers and leaves some spots and chunks on the side.

S - Like a good porter. Bit of roast, some caramel and toffee. Malty, with some dark chocolate. Quite solid.

T - Taste is very much with the nose. Roasted, but this is a definite porter. Very full flavor for something that is less than 6% ABV. Caramel, toffee, and a little bit of coffee. Solid, not great, but good example of the style.

M - Medium carbonation, full bodied.

O - Not a bad beer, good flavor and a good example of the style. Wouldn't necessarily find it again, but it's pretty good beer.

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Photo of pants678
2.84/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Opaque, near black with a lighter brown thick head in a tulip glass. Foam has good retention.

Dark chocolate and coffee aroma, very malty, kinda of like bread.

Roasted, not charred, a smooth chocolate more so than coffee. Simple beer with highlights of nuts or fruit, a prominent vanilla with a very easy finish. Could use some edge, stronger hops or spice.

Heavy and creamy, almost more of a stout. So soft that it's not so approachable, really.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, this porter settles very very dark brown with amber edging along the sides. 2 fingers of thick off white stacked upon the elixer. This is a rather light colored porter and I am interested about this.

Some toasted malt is noticed along side some vitter coffee notes that a a bit faint but inviting still to say the least.

The taste is roasty and toasty all around, offering flavors of light smoke and roasted coffee. There is a very light hop bitterness masked underneath the balanced malt characteristics.

The mouthfeel is crisp with ample carbonation yet full and chewy . A great dessert brew that is presenting robust characteristics.

Overall. Badass porter and I cant wait to see more FW in the Chicagoland area!

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Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Leafy roastiness, some coffee notes.

L: Black, ruby highlights, tan head, nice retention, great lacing.

T: Dry roasty malt with an earthy bitterness. Clean through the semi-dry roasty finish. Slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium-low carbonation.

A very solid, dry, hoppy porter. Great!

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Photo of muttyd
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a a deep brown with a finger-thick tan head. Very roasty aroma. Smells like a bag of roasted & chocolate malts and ground coffee. Very faint earthy hop aroma behind it all as well. Flavor is as expected: big toffee/chocolate malts, coffee, and some smoke. Finishes very roasty and bittersweet. Slight earthy hops in the finish as well. Creamy mouthfeel and well carbonated. Overall, a solid American porter.

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Photo of bort11
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a pub glass. Tall light tan head has a thick and creamy consistency. It's like a whipped cream. Great big chunks of foam stick to the glass with each sip. Body color is a solid black center with mahogany highlights around the edges.

Smell has a warm roasted malt aroma. Nice toasted bread with a coffee and cream sweetness. Taste is a little on the sweet side, but the roasted bitterness and a hint of hops keep everything in balance.

Mouthfeel is chewy and creamy. It was like it was nitro infused. In fact, if this was on nitro tap it would be mind blowingly creamy. This is a fantastic porter and I am glad it is now available locally

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Photo of jwinship83
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle that looks a little different than the one pictured. drank out of my firestone walker pint glass.

A- this one pours out a dark cola colored body with some ruby red highlights along the edges of my glass. nearly opaque. a coffee colored head forms on top and takes its time falling. small rings of lacing are left behind.

S- lots of dark roasted malts are the first things to greet my nose. after that i get some chocolate (both milk and dark) and some coffee at the end. like the name suggests, this one smells robust.

T- the taste starts out with the roasted malts that i could smell. nice and dark tasting without getting close to the burnt stage. after that i get some dark and milk chocolate which adds a small level of sweetness to this. lots of coffee and earthy hops finish this one out.

M- medium bodied, bordering of full. somewhat dry. somewhat bitter. well carbonated.

D- nice and easy to drink with an almost sessionable ABV. something different and flavorful for an affordable ($5.49) price. ill be checking this out again.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice mild porter.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Old fashion English design over the image of a full pint and the name of the brew surrounded by Walker Firestone´s bear and a lion. Notes bottling date (09/22/10) Shows 5.8% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown pour with softer brown edges, nice frothy head, fair retention, surface memory and a bit of lacing.

S - Soft roasted nose with a touch of chocolate, and coffee. Nutty insinuation.

T - Good roasted profile, soft but pleasing, with coffee and chocolate, and a hint of fruit in the horizon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation, fairly smooth.

D - Solid flow, a bit too tamed for my liking but it feels rather balanced.

Notes: Of the little Firestone Walker I´ve been lucky to try this is probably the least memorable. It still feels rather well brewed, and it has a nice subtle quality to it.

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

Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep, opaque, chocolate brown. Minor chestnut brown hues along the edges. A one finger of light brown, foamy head sits on top. Head recedes quickly leaving sheets of thin foamy lacing.

S: Nose is big roasted malts, lighter toastiness and definite coffee presence.

T: Taste starts with light toffee flavoring with a cocoa. Roasted malts move in to give a more robust flavoring, mingled with a lighter toastiness and a bit of bitter chocolate. Finish has a strong coffee presence, with a touch of earthy hops and a bit of caramel sweetness in the aftertaste.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, nice crisp start to this and dries out in the middle and finish.

O: Goes down very easy, quite tasty, mild kick, not too filling, and a very nice representation of style. A touch hoppier than most porters, but I liked the hop bite in this, it lightened up the beer and makes it one to really sit with for an evening.

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Photo of vande
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night with a light layer of foam... Exactly what a porter should look like.

S: Chocolate, malty with some coffee mixed in...

T: Followed the nose. Very pleasant... can't shake the hints of coffee that the nose offers...SOme bitterness mixed in with some carmel/toffee.

M:Coats the mouth. A good, medium body. Feel the carbonation.

O: Very, Very drinkable. Split it with co-workers tonight. 5.99/bomber -- can not go wrong!

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It had nice retention but left very little lacing.

S - Strong chocolate notes dominate the aroma with toffee and caramel malt.

T - Good chocolatey flavor with toffee and caramel added more sweetness. There was just enough bitter hop bite to balance things out.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty tasty ale. A nice robust porter.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a cola brown with a creamy head that retains GREAT.

light sweet toffee and roasted malt. faint booze as it warms.

this has a pretty nice size roasted flavor through out. a light sweetness with a subtle touch of vanilla and toffee in the finish. faint citrus hop aftertaste.

nice moderate body. not thin and watery like many porters, but not stout like thick. its pretty dead on. mild to moderate carbonation. bit of a sticky sugary feel.

this was good, not sure if it is "reserve series" but a solid porter. very drinkable.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours black with a just off-white head, two fingers, subsiding and leaving some lace in the process. On the nose is toasted malt and coffee, not a very overwhelming nose. In the mouth the flavors burst out a bit: two layers of bitterness, roast bitterness up at the front and some prickly pine bitterness further back. There is dark chocolate that fills out the flavor as it warms a bit, always with the toasted malt hanging in there. It's a little thin in the mouth with some buzzsaw carbonation, which I can't figure if I like or not. Overall this is a solid porter, very solid. I just wish this didn't cost $7 for a 22.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark coppery-cola while exiting the bottle, deep black in the glass accompanied by 2 inches of bronze-tan rigid foam head that stays about quite nicely. Thick splattery of foam sticks rather well to the glass.

S: Light coffee-roast and dry chocolate malts provide gentle accents. Overall the strength is fairly light and restrained.

T: The flavor is rich coffee-chocolate roast, much more so then the nose led you to believe. Roasted barley, with a bit of light smoky quality is finished off by a touch of campfire minearlity. Dark fruit and coffee grinds come about as well with a strong sense, especially on the swallow.

M: tight and bubbly form the carbonation, with a full bodied affair that finishes out with a dry earthy roast finish.

D: Nice porter that will make you keep on sippin to enjoy its heavenly deep roast flavors. 5.8%abv seems about right here, good for a second or third, its that deep earthy roast bite on the swallow that will make you keep coming back for more.

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Photo of gopens44
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a growler fill of this at Capitol Ale House in Midlothian, VA on March 15th, 2011.

A - Nice dark, dark brownish black with a rather exciting mocha colored foam head that settled to a haze rather quickly

S - Didn't have too much jump out at me here. Just the coffee and hints of dark chocolate. Maybe something there that reminded me of mineral water as well.

T - Very similar to the nose, in that the coffee taste was there (not overpowering like a stout) with faint hints of chocolate and leather

M - This one begins with a pleasant silkiness to it and finishes as a not so full bodied thing. Carbonation level was pretty nice. Not too much, not too little, just right. Aftertaste wasn't too overpowering either, but left a little sweetness on the tongue.

Overall, this one isn't bad at all. It's not going to be the first Porter I jump to, but it's low ABV and unassuming characteristics make it nice for a few at a time without any negative effects.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep brown hue with chestnut highlights and two fingers of stiff sudsy beige head. Lacing is pretty good.

Smell -- Roast malt, coffee, molasses, cocoa, and earthy hops, and pine boughs. Lacking in dimension, but solid.

Taste -- Molasses, coffee, dry cocoa, roasted nuts, an abundance of earthy hops. The earthy hop bitterness might be slightly more than I like int he style, but definitely keeps the malt sweetness in check. Very reminiscent of the Trader Joe's Brown Ale (brewed by FW), but higher quality.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with medium-high carb. Feels overcarbonated. A distraction.

Drinkability -- Overall, not bad. The mouthfeel is definitely a detraction, but overall it serves its purpose. While I think it's outshined by other year-round porters, I'd probably still grab this in a pinch. Certainly worth one's time.

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Photo of aasher
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a light and pretty thin mahogany in color with amber highlights and a one finger beige head. It poured very thin for a porter and never actually got to being dark brown or black. It smelled of roasted malts, light coffee, oak, and slight dark fruit. The array of aromas was pleasant and a little different than what I expected. The flavor wasn't quite up to par but it was solid. It featured light, almost watery coffee, oak, and sweet dark fruits. It was interesting to say the least. It drank pretty smoothly, light in body for a porter though. It could definitely be a little heavier, a little thicker. This beer was just ok. It didn't feature a single aspect that you'd want to revisit, especially for the price.

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

A - Pours a dark ruby brown color, letting just a little light come thru when held up to the light. The 2 finger foamy brown head disipates quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

S - Dark fruits, plums, and chocolate. I could smell this right when I popped the top.

T - Nice notes of chocolate, butterscotch, coffee and roasty fruits. Really matches the smell nicely.

M - Light mouthfeel, with average carbonation.

D - This beer is very drinkable. Actually, at 5.9% I could probably drink another one tonight...

*This is actually one of the better robust porters I've had.

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

Bomber, poured into an imperial pint

Appearance- Pours a very deep brown, with a nice 2 finger khaki head. Good retention with some sticky lace.

Smell- Strong toasted malts, slight roast. Caramel, slightly nutty. A little earthy & citrus hops.

Taste- Toasted malts, subtle coffee and chocolate. Strong notes of caramel and molasses. A dry cocoa like presence in the middle of the drink. Earthy hops show up towards the finish with a splash of citrus fruit. A slight mineral like quality to this as well.

Mouthfeel- Lighter for the style, with fairly high carbonation. Not to the point of watery, but could use a bit more body.

Overall- A very nice porter. Could have a bit more "omph", but now im just nit-picking. A fairly priced bomber too, I would drink this again.

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Photo of tapman
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, violet body with a chestnut head of creamy foam that wallpapers the glass with lacing.

Cocoa, mineral-like aroma. Subtle, round hops. Hint of spicy pepper notes in the nose. A little fruitiness in there as well (from the yeast?).

Full roast flavor from roasted barley and a hint of a something between pilsner and roast, perhaps a low caramel. Has a mineral presence that brings out the earthiness and spiciness of the hops.
Tastes pretty traditional, i.e. a lot of pilsner and a little bit of roasted barley for the grain bill.

Pretty bubbly for a porter, imo, but not necessarily watery.

Looks amazing and is fairly consistent in quality after that. Nothing to set it apart other than they hit the style on the nose.

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

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Pours with surprisingly little head, pours basically black, but has some attractive slow continuing carbonation. Smell is surprisingly muted (might be a little too cold) -- I smell yeast and a little roasty malt.

Taste is also surprisingly muted -- again, might open up as it warms up. I taste nice coffee and smokey roasty malts, though.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry. Quite drinkable porter. I like it, I'd have another.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into an imperial pint.

Bottle dated: 12/15/10

A: Pours, with a rather typical porter thinness, a dark cola-brown color with some faint rusty-red at the edges and bottom. 1 1/2 fingers of tan head builds quickly on top before melting down to a messy skim and sticky collar that manages to leave quite a bit of lace in the glass.

S: Roasty malt, dark chocolate, and a suprising amount of fresh piney hops. A minor blast of brown sugar towards the end of the bottle.

T: Same as above with an even greater emphasis on the hops. The dark chocolate of the smell takes on a cocoa and slight fudge flavor, but only after it warms considerably.

M: Very thin when poured cold. As it warms it thickens and the hops lay a nice prickly base all over my tongue.

D: A very good Porter but maybe a little too one note? Maybe I've just been spoiled by the amazing Porters over at The Funky Buddha...

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Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,644 ratings
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