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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,643 |  Reviews: 643
Photo of GClarkage
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/09/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no visable freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown in color. Pours a quite large four fingered head and leaves lightly sticky patchy lace.

Smell- Non assertive, roasted chocolate malts and a bit of cocca powder. Hops are slightly detected.

Taste- Gets better as it warms and breathes. Very well blanced with mildly bitter hops coming into play from time to time. A dull-like chocolate base of malt is the main player.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation level. Fairly smooth, but a touch watery at times. Light hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- A decent porter. Plenty of better ones and plenty of worse ones. Drinkable though.

 749 characters

Photo of MisterClean
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Total wine, shared with a friend tonight.

A - Dark black body with a 2-finger mocha head. It dissipated fairly quickly.

S - Chocolate, dark cherres, pine, and flowery hops.

T - Chocolate, black patent malts, and earthy hops.

M - Balanced, but a bit of light alcohol aftertaste mixed with some earthy, maybe flowery hops.

D - Good, but slightly aggressively hopped with light alcohol. Truly indicative of a west coast porter.

 434 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for being a terrible fantasy baseball manager and thus providing me with this beer.

Pours a semi-dark brown with a creamy two inches of tan head. Head retention is excellent, with a very full lace and quite a bit of stick.

Aroma has some milk chocolate and a bit of roasted malt, and is also somewhat earthy and even musty. Not terribly robust for a robust porter.

Taste is more robust than the smell, with more prominent roasted malts, some caramel and a bit of chocolate. There is an earthy character to it, as well, and a peat sort of mustiness. I taste a bit of hops with just a hint of citrus, as well, but the malt profile dominates here. Roasted flavor lingers on the finish with what I assume to be a bit of hop bitterness, too.

Mouthfeel has a decent creaminess to it and is pretty smooth. It's medium in body, but feels a little light.

Solid beer. Nothing more, nothing less.

 912 characters

Photo of Night
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black / brown with crimson tints hiding near the bottom of the glass. Thick, solid, dark tan head with a fair amount of cream and bubbly pockets throughout. Lasts fairly long and leaves decent arcs of lacing. Aroma reveals chocolate, raisins, coffee, a hint of pineapple, and light charcoal. Mouthfeel is lighter to medium-bodied and just a little bit juicy. Light carbonation. Flavor is strong roasted barley: charcoal, steak, and resin with hints of bitter chocolate and metal. Finish brings an acidic coffee-like wash. Aftertaste is mild and bitter.

 563 characters

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

Poured for a little T.V. watching.

Pretty damn black. Hold it up to the light and can almost see a dark ruby hued edge. Good thick head. Looks creamy.

Smells of burnt malts. Maybe anise. Maybe smoke. Maybe coffee. Well, I was taking scent notes and realized I'd been sipping too so I guess these notes are now for smell and taste.

Started out a bit harsh, then warmed and became quite smooth. Too damn drinkable. 5.9% might as well be 0%. Continued warming makes it even smoother and creamier to the point of YUM.

Overall: nice

 531 characters

Photo of brdc
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Large capped bottle, courtesy of wastrinkensie.

Dark, redissh-brown, close to black body, little lighter and closer to red on the rims, with a light tan head, with little retention and average lacing.
Nice, if not powerful aroma, milk chocolate, some coffee, roasted malts.
Thin on the palate; taste is nice, but lacks power and depth; same chocolate, but here bittersweet, some roasted malts.
Easy to drink, lively carbonation, but is very far from a "robust" porter.

 472 characters

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

Pours a deep reddish black with a big fluffy off color head. The aroma shows a light roasted malt, with a slightly iron, metallic character. The flavor is delicate, surprisingly so, with a satisfying roasted malt character, with a light bite of alcohol and a pleasant bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is thin but slightly clingy with an aftertaste of fine cocoa. Good.

 375 characters

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

Pours a pretty nice head, had to be careful not to over fill the glass with it. Pretty dark but you can get light through it. Lingers on the side of the glass pretty nicely.

Good aroma of chocolate, bourbon, a touch of sweet caramel and malt.

Good sweet malt right up front being cased by dark bitter sweetness.

Good carbonation, smooth and an easy drinker. A great pint to warm up next to.

 394 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, near black in color. About an inch of head forms on the pour. Don't know what's going on in the smell, but it seems a bit "minerally". Taste is plenty of roasted malts and coffee. Plenty of carbonation with a full mouthfeel. Another good beer from Firestone. It would be nice to have their stuff distributed here.

 338 characters

Photo of edmedina
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour gives off about 3 fingers worth of head. The color is almost a black but you do get some light in there. So I guess that makes this a light brown. Aroma is light, hints of malt and caramel can be found. First taste and immediately you are hit with the malts but then I start to pick out almost a burnt caramel or coffee taste. The after taste doesn't last at all like a heavy porter or stout. Instead it is dry almost carbonated. It's actually a pleasant after taste really. This is my first beer from Firestone and I've heard many great things from them. If this is any indication, I can't wait to get more of their offerings.

 632 characters

Photo of Mauerhan
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured slightly agressive. nice two and a half finger head. deep brown color with dark ruby highlights when held up to light.
head fades to a nice film over the top of the beer. lacing is decent. a little quick on the fade yet some lacing retains for quite some time.

smell is good. light hints of caramel, chocolate, and delicious roasted malts.

taste is good. i get the malts and caramel up front. decent aftertaste. lingering malts play with the back of my mouth.

mouth feel is good. decent carbonation with a very smooth feel. goes down easy. i have no problem going back for more.

 596 characters

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 08/30/08.

Pours a deep dark brownish black color. A moderate pour produced a three finger tan head. Aromas of toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of sweet caramel.

Taste is lots of toasted malt and lots of sweet milk chocolate. Some subtle vanilla and caramel flavors as well. Just a bit on the sweet side but it's not bad.

Feel is medium body. It's smooth and creamy. Just a tad on the thin side. No lingering aftertaste. Drinkability is also very good. It goes down very smooth.

 537 characters

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

Pours extremely dark brown, approaching black, with creamy head that fades quickly to a thin cap. The smell has some light aromas of licorice, chocolate, a bit of sour grain, and some light malt. The taste is very creamy, but a bit light as well. Some more of that licorice throughout, as well as quite a bit of grassiness, cocoa notes, and lightly roasted grains, as well as a touch of fresh cream. The mouthfeel is soft and creamy, perhaps a bit too soft. There is some bitter bite there, but it is very restrained. Still, there is something comforting and alluring about the flavor and creaminess that makes it very satisfying. Pretty nice, and at 5.9% somewhat sessionable as well.

 685 characters

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

Pours a dark brown with a thinner tan head. Nose is fairly strong coffee and malts. Flavor is a real nice and smooth mix of coffee and some mild molasses. Just a nice balanced flavor. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is a bit full with a slight bite, but it is fairly smooth. Very nice to drink. A really smooth porter that you could easily go all night on. Try it for sure.

 386 characters

Photo of gpcollen1
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took me a while to get this brew in the lineup and get a few minutes to enjoy it. This one pours very dark with a huge head that eventually gets back to a soft mocha skim on top. Aroma is dark and bittersweet chocolate with a hint of brandy with ripe sweet fruit.

To the palate with lots of chocolate only pushed aside by a wave of carbonation. A silky smooth river of toffee and coffee candies follows and ushers in a pleasant dryness. Full on the tongue yet smooth and slippery enough to be drinkable.

This is one fine brew hat I wish I had a few more of.

 560 characters

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

Firestone Walker- Reserve

Bought this bomber ($5.99) at Grape & Gourmet, Virginia Beach.

A- Deep dark brown with a smooth tan head. Solid lacing.
S- Dark chocolate, coffee beans, and vanilla. A bit light on the nose.
T- Sweet smooth dark chocolate with hints of light roasted coffee beans, vanilla, oak chips, and licorice.
M- Very smooth and slightly sweet. slight chalky dry cocoa finish.

Overall- Big smooth flavors make this very drinkable. A good session porter.

 470 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
2.86/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber, from BevMo Huntington,

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a full tan head, medium retention, looks like a good porter should in a pint glass.

S: Light roasted malts, chocolate.

T: Flavour consists mostly of roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate, typical porter flavours, on the light side though. Hints of licorice, molasses, and wood notes evident as well.

M: Really fizzy, for a beer labeled as a Robust Porter, it needs to be robust.

D: Not one of Firestone's best, there are much better American versions on the market, average drinkability at best.

 574 characters

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

I got this brew (because the Royals beat the Angels) from IntriqKen, Thanks Ken!

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - dark brown color with a tan foamy head that left thick trails of lacing.

S - coffee, chocolate and bourbon.

T - dark roasted malt and that oak barrel aged flavor with some espresso coffee-like bitterness on the finish.

F - medium/full bodied, smooth and creamy feel.

D - smooth, easy drinking brew.

 430 characters

Photo of trackstar1043
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown almost black with just the faintest hints of ruby at the edges. Slightly disappointing minimal head and lacing.

S - Robust and smokey, with burnt bown sugars, dark fruits and malty. Has a semi-sweet aroma.

T - Not as robust as the nose let on, but a balanced brew of dark smokey malts, rasins and plum, a bit of spice at the end and a sweet lingering of burnt brown sugar, molasses.

M - Full bodied and very smooth finish with a nice aftertaste.

D - Easy to drink but a bit heavy for an everyday drink, good porter.

 542 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Chestnut brown... fat, bubblebath head of light tan or perhaps more of an offwhite

S: Quite light. Toasted malts, a light coffee aroma. Some of the oakiness comes through as it warms.

T: This gets a little more interesting as it warms, as well... the brew almost seems to depend on that. Deep roasted malts, a note of bitterness, subtle chocolate flavours, and almost a charred oak.

M + D: The carbonation adds a prickly attitude, which works well in this case. As for drinkability, it goes over as well - if it's at close to room temperature, all seems to be great. Colder temperatures seem to take a lot out of this one, and makes for a bit of a bland experience.

 673 characters

Photo of bulletrain76
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the FW taproom. Dark brown with a beige head. Roasty chocolate aroma. Roasty chocolate flavors without too much bitterness. Slight acidity. Medium and smooth body. Nice, solid porter. Rerate: On tap at Zodo's. Pure chocolate goodness. Really good stuff.

 264 characters

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

A- Pours a dark reddish brown with a huge light tan head.

S- Nice coffee-like roastiness with a substantial piney hop background. Notes of sweet fruits are evident as well. Great American-style porter aroma.

T- Very similar to the smell. The malt is roasty with coffee and bitter chocolate flavors, while the hops add a nice piney touch. Moderate bitterness on the finish, not harsh at all.

M- Kind of light in body, but high in carbonation. Almost too high, in fact.

D- Not bad at all. I'd have another. I don't know what the ABV is, but I doubt it's more than 7%. I wouldn't consider this a session beer, but I could have a couple in a sitting.

Very solid American porter. It's not the biggest or most complex beer I've had, but it gets the job done. If you're looking for a nice porter with a great flavor, pick this one up. Recommended.

 845 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at Firestone Walker Tap Room, Buellton, 05/25/08.

A very clear, dark brown brew with good carbonation that leads to a one finger tan head. The head subsides soon to a ring of foam that provides good lacing to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma of chocolate malt, a little smoke.

Texture is smooth, if a little thin (most porters strike me as thin, though).

Smoky palate notes of chocolate and roasted malt give way to a stronger black coffee note with accompanying bitterness that doesn't last very long. Mild and drinkable overall.

Sometimes, we beer geeks forget how hard it is to pull off a near flawless, well-presented example of a style. This is one such beer.

 677 characters

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

Thanks goes out to largadeer for the opportunity to consider this one.

Pours a clear dark brown color with mahaogany hues and a stiff full finger tan head that fades slowly leaving a bunch of Belgian lacing. The smell is an earthy aggressive chocolate malt caramel mix. Well carbonated, the mouth feel has a nice tang of hops that lightens is up some. The flavor mirrors the nose and it has a nice roasted aftertaste that lingers appropriately. A real easy drinker. Recommended.

 479 characters

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

22oz bomber into nonic.

Dark almost opaque malts with some ruby red showing up at the bottom. A one finger light brown head slowly settles to a thin cap, with a thick rim pressed up against the glass. Walls of stringy lacing.

Light roasty malts with a noticeable amount of chocolate. A touch of vanilla is in there as well.

Some roasty malts set up the base of the drink, with a little bit of dark coffee that tastes like it was stirred with a stick coated in chocolate. Some of the oak can be tasted, rendered as a little vanilla. The lightest bit of hops show up giving it a little balance. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is the lingering dark malts with a little vanilla.

A pretty well rounded beer. You don't usually see porters aged in barrels. This is usually reserved for Strong Ales, Russian Imperial Stouts, and Barleywines. There was a small taste that I couldn't put my finger on, maybe the vanilla, that gave the beer a slight off taste. I think this is a personal preference, and not necessarily a poor trait of the beer. Try it for yourself. Recommended.

 1,101 characters

Walker's Reserve - Porter from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,643 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.