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

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,643 Ratings
Walker's Reserve - PorterWalker's Reserve - Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,643
Reviews:
642
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
10.88%
 
 
Wants:
64
Gots:
172
For Trade:
5
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Ratings: 1,643 |  Reviews: 642
Photo of Crosling
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, bordering on black. Stale dark malt aroma, with notes of mild coffee and chocolate. Flavor is very light and mild, with light notes of cocoa and vanilla. Unfortunately, it tastes and smells dead, in spite of it being unfiltered and bottle conditioned. This thin bodied effort is a major disappointment.

 320 characters

Photo of Troyone
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color, minimal tan head, evident sediment in bottle, and can't see the action.

Roasted malt aroma with maybe some molasses and florals.

Roasted malt taste, with coffee, some chocolate, butter background, and mild hop florals.

Full bodied, resinous, bready, buttery, with soft carbonation.

Session Porter that is well balanced.

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Photo of midaszero
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear ruby body with one finger of tan head and not much lacing

S - Sweet caramel and malts

T - Roasted chocolate and coffee. A little sweet on the back. Leaves an aftertaste like you just took a drink of black coffee.

M - Medium body with high carbonation

D - Very easy to drink and damn enjoyable

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

A- Black porter with red highlights when held to the light; deep straw head.

S- Malt with a touch of yeast in the nose; maybe a touch of roast

T- Roasted coffee, sweetness way in the back, a touch of bitterness; finish is a good balance of sweet and bitter

MF- Silky, with carbonation bite

D- Nice session porter

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as part of a recent BIF and was excited to finally give it a try. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/19/2009.

Nice and very dark pour here with a rich dark brown color that no light could penetrate. This was a monster looking porter I have to say with a menacing two inches of foam on the top of it that cascaded down the sides. The aroma was of light vanilla, lots of oak and woody notes, and hints of molasses and caramel. As it warmed some nice roasted notes start coming off of it. The flavor was as rich as the aroma with lots of sweet malts, hints of roasted notes and a nice bit of caramel and molasses. Light vanilla, not as much as I would have hoped for peaking through. A nice full bodied porter, nothing here was really overwhelming. This was about as solid as a big porter you are going to come across. I would have no issue with trying this one again any day.

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Photo of JBogan
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black. A small tan head leaves very little lacing behind.

Coffee and chocolate are the main aromas to greet your nose, as well as the predominate flavors to tickle your tongue. There's even a bit of cola taste as it warms. No sign of alcohol.

Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected. A small amount of carbonation was there, and the beer went down smooth.

Overall this was a fairly easy drinking porter. For some reason this beer reminded me of what I would call an Abyss Jr. It had the same traits as that highly rated beer, just not as developed. It might be a bit more interesting on tap or even aged.

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Photo of prototypic
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a very dark mahogany color. There's very little light getting through at the edges giving off a few garnet highlights. A tan head sits atop. It's about a finger and a half deep. Retention was relatively short and light, spotty lace remained.

Smell: Chocolate malts come through loud and clear here. They're sweet smelling and blend very well with a notable amount of roasted malts. Roasted coffee is present, but as a secondary component. Smells like it plays its complementary role perfectly. There's some light vanilla that emerges toward the end. This isn't a particulary deep smelling beer, but it's got a nice smell to it.

Taste: It definitely ramps up here. Chocolate and roasted malts rule the day. Chocolate is the stronger of the two and gives it a slightly sweet flavor. Roasted coffee is indeed very flavorful and complements the strong malt flavors nicely. There's some light vanilla that's a welcome addition. The x-factor of this one though is the really nice oak flavor. It adds a lot to the flavor and easily drives it to the next level. It's flat out excellent. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's got a lighter body that's close to medium, but not quite. Honestly, it's the only thing that's "off" in this beer. It needs some thickening. Despite that flaw, it is relatively smooth. Carbonation is modest and helps in that regard. Drinkability is excellent. This has got a really great flavor and low abv at 5.9%. I regret not picking up more.

Walker's Reserve is excellent beer. I honestly was not expecting it to be this good. I think it'd be improved with a little more body, but it's damn fine as it is. I sat on this bottle for a while. I just wasn't expecting that much. I'm more than happy to be proved wrong. Lots of win in Walker's Reserve. Find a bottle. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of far333
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, nearly black with ruddy highlights at the bottom of the glass. A big thick light brown frothy head worth two fingers rises up and slowly settles back leaving ringlets of lace.

Light aroma of roasted malt, cocoa and fig.

Rich flavor of dark malt, milk chocolate, charred oak, smoked meat, morphing to darker flavors like bitter chocolate and espresso. A tart cherry twang emerges in the finish, and puckery oak lingers.

Mouthfeel is full, moderate carbonation leaves a creamy mouthfeel followed by a dry finish, a bit tannic.

Great mix of flavors, very drinkable. I would say a good sipper, but I'm gulping my way through because it's so tasty. Thanks to barleywinefiend for passing this one my way.

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Photo of jgap
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours with a large amount of head with pretty good retention. Eventually fades to a thin lace. Color is a light brown toffee. Smell is light hops and coffee. Taste is light, a little too light, pretty watery. Roasted coffee, slight toffee but not a whole lot of flavor. Firestone Walker is a great brewery- needless to say, this isn't their best showing.

 354 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle.

Pours with a medium brown head, moderately carbonated. Opaque, almost black color. Smell is light, sweet and acidic, reminiscent of cold coffee. Flavor is light, mostly roasty coffee with an oaky finish. Not bad, but not very interesting either. Alcohol and oak become more prominent as it warms up.

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Photo of drunkmonk
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown. Light chocolate brown head gives way to ring around the glass. Roasted malts, and chocolate aromas. There may be some oak aroma's way deep down there. Flavors mirror the aroma's with some ample hops finishing things off. Roasted nutty flavors linger on the palate. Mouthfeel is thin and very slick. Good porter.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 12/28/2008 (bottle):

Pours a very dark red brown color body, with a big foamy craggy tan head. Some alcohol, strong coffee. A little dusty sweet chocolate aroma, not too strong. Watery palate. Weak roasted coffee taste, a little bit of chocolate. Nice sipping beer.

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

pours a vibrant but dark brown hue in the glass with highlights of amber and caramel. A beautiful light-mocha colored two-finger head has fair retention and leaves behind some impressive sheets of lacing down the glass.

aroma is roasted goodness all the way. hints of bakers cocoa and subtle roasted coffee beans intermittently show up, as does just a hint of hops.

Taste is heavy on the roasted malt notes with a definite helping of dark chocolate and just a bit of coffee. Caramel sugars and a touch of cream as well. The finish is a beautiful robust roasted bitterness aided by some nice clean piney hops.

Mouthfeel is deliciously smooth and drinkable. Clean and crisp. A touch on the thin side, but it makes it significantly more sessionable. ample carbonation holds everything together nicely.

all in all, a great sessionable porter. Lighter on the whole and true to the general Firestone mantra. Very well put together and clean. Not a thick, chewy, alcoholic beast of a beer. A bit more subtle. Definitely worth trying, and i'm sure i'll revisit this one occasionally.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark beer. Pours a nice finger and a half of creamy foam and stays throughout the beer.

Smells of coffee and roasted malt.

Has a major coffee-like taste with hints of chocolate. If you like black coffee, you will love this Porter.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel and definitely gets smoother on the palate once it warms.

It's an ok Porter but I feel there are much better one's out there.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.59/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance was the plus for me. The color was a deep brown with a fair amount of tan foam that disapated after awhile. Also, there was a fair amount of lace of the side of my glass, a Plus.

Now the smell of roasted malts was pleasant, except then I could smell the piney aroma of IPA hops. I don't want to smell IPA hops in my Porter.

The taste with first sip was of roasted malts, and that lousy bitter IPA hoppy flavor, with just a hint of chocolate. The second sip and beyond was strickly roasted malts and the bitter hoppy flavor.

This is not what I expected in a Porter. Is that what they ment when they bottled and call it "Robust Porter"? You can have it!

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

From a 22 oz bottle purchased locally. Aroma is full of roasted coffee and chocolate. Color is a deep ruby brown with a creamy tan head that laces well. Flavor is more roast coffee, with a strong toasty malt backbone. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. It works well with the malt. Some citrus hop flavor in the finish. Clean, dry and creamy. Overall very complex and well balanced.

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

Had this on tap the other night, found it in a bottle today. I figure this is a good way to start of what will be a cold weekend here in Northern California.

Pours a very dark brown color with a thick sizable off white head. Looks inviting.

Aromas are rich, some chocolates, roasted malts, and dark sugars.

Taste is nice and full flavored. Some dark chocolates, burnt sugars, oak, and some creamy malts. Finish is thick, and crisp, with a nice bitter mineral hop bite that helps round out the dark sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's thick, but not to heavy. About right for a robust big porter like this.

Nice drinkability... nice porter. I will definitely grab this one again when I am looking for a porter. A bit on the heavy side to make this one sessionable or a frequent drinker, but it tastes great on a cold winter day.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber - no freshness info.

Pours an opaque deep brown into a pint glass with an inch or so of tan head. Head reduces in a few minutes and offers some sticky lacing for most of the glass.

Smells of dark chocolate and coffee with some hops underneath. A surprising sense of alcohol given its relative lightness in the ABV department, and particularly since it is a dark brew. As the carbonation decreases, it smells more and more like their Pale or Union Jack. Don't know what that element is, but it ain't good, and seems oddly unnatural.

Taste follows with mostly chocolate notes. Otherwise the beer is sweet and unrefined in my view, just not a great deal of depth, rather simple. Offers a decent feel and a moderately lingering finish, perhaps a bit thin. Drink is decent.

This brew may sneak iinto the 'Robust Porter' ABV range, but is otherwise not too robust in flavor.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to my buddy Eric for hauling this from Cali!

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with a finger of tan head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Cocoa & a bit of coffee

T: Cocoa & coffee up front, plus some dryness. Roasted grain & some mocha as this warms. Finishes dry with a bit of leafy hops & apricot fruittyness blending with roasty grain

MF: Medium bodied, pretty smooth with moderate carbonation

Drinks easy enough, a solid porter

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent brown, thick head. Smells of hay. Liked the chocolate malts and hops, but thought the mouthfeel was a little light for a porter. Chose this today 'cause I needed a light alcohol beer for the PM. Not bad, not great--did the trick.

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

This is a really sturdy porter, with a stiff tan head and lots of lace work on the glass, and a coffee aroma. Solid, malty flavor with a coffee bitterness, with some oak and dark chocolate notes. A rather smooth finish for all those strong flavors, and a little less bitter than the typical porten. Very drinkable, but will put hair on your chest!

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Photo of magictrokini
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer keeps getting better each time I try it. Pours dark brown with a very short brown head. Toasty malt, oak, cream, chocolate, tobacco, and coffee. Taste is sharp with more bitter coffee, dark chocolate, oak, and some maple syrup and a cascade hop finish. Very nice.

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

A: snifter. pours pitch black like old motor oil. nice pale khaki colored head, decent retention rate and a lot of independent lacing.

S: roasted malts, light sweetness in the nose. good roasted malts, with some chocolate, toffee, and a touch of caramel.

T: very nice tasting porter. roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and some light coffee notes. exactly what a porter should taste like.

M: smooth and mellow mouthfeel, dead on carbonation level for the style. robust, but mild bodied. very nice.

D: solid porter. easily drinkable, perfect feel IMO, and a great rep of the style.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber received in a trade with skadoesntsuck. Into a pint glass.

Appears dark brown with ruby highlights and a once inch thick creamy light tan head. A bit of lacing but not too much.

Aroma is mild but there are notes of chocolate, a bit of ripen fruit, and a light roasted coffee.

Taste is initially chocolatey leading into a nutty middle with a light roast bitterness akin to weak coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty creamy and smooth. Quite drinkable.

Fairly good porter overall. Not the best of this style but it's certainly worthy.

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Photo of SaucyA
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Into the snifter. 1 finger of off white foam atop an extremely dark brown base. Almost black. Head retention isn't a strong suit. Slight bits of lacing.

S - Relatively muted. Mostly muted roasted malts. Notes of crappy milk chocolate. I smell none of the oak they claim to condition this in. Pretty non-descript and boring.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, stale coffee, a slight sourness. For having such a hefty malt bill and aging it in oak, it's awfully boring.

M - Too thin, especially for having oats in it... carbonation is okay though.

D - About the only thing this beer really has going for it is it's relatively low abv, and lack of taste. Sure, it helps drinkability but I'd drink Edmund Fitzgerald over this any day.

Notes: I had high expectations for this and was let down. It's not gross, but it's nothing standout, especially being an oak conditioned porter.

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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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