Port City Brewing

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American Porter
Ranked #55
Ranked #5,319
4.04 | pDev: 9.9%
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 547 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Large mocha colored head with good lacing over a dusky body. Aroma of roasted malts, molasses and bittersweet chocolate with a mild metallic off-note. Modestly hopped, lactose-like sweetness with hints of dark fruit. Medium bodied, moderately carbonated mouthfeel leading to a long lasting finish.

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Photo of josanguapo
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

De Beer Republic. En copa Teku. Preparando segmentacion de red. Porter muy correcta, con ricas notas tostadas. Se bebe sin dificultad aunque le falta un plus de excelencia para resultar sobresaliente

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Photo of paging12
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smell of cocoa nibs, shaved chocolate, toffee.
Taste of coffee, chocolate raspberry. Just a touch shy of cake. Maybe if the mouthfeel was a touch heavier...chocolate syrup, brandy, rum, tiramisu.
Warm, but not hot.
The taste lingers. The sweetness laces the mouth, maybe just a touch of cloying.
This beer is as close to perfect as a beer can get.

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paging12 from Virginia, Jan 19, 2020
Photo of MoMaMe
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark, like cold brew coffee, with very little head. Mild lacing that dissipates
Smell: molasses, chocolate,
Taste: same as smell, molasses, dark chocolate, mild sweetness, dates,
Feels: decent carbonation, medium to full body,

Overall, a very nice and pleasant porter.

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MoMaMe from Maryland, Aug 30, 2019
Photo of sulldaddy
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling a cold 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The beer has been in my fridge for quite a while.
The beer pours a solid dark cola color with minimal beige foam bubbling up and fading quickly to the wispiest of edge layers.
The aroma is malty and features roasted malt notes with some dark chocolate notes as well. Not really any hop character here and the nose isnt very robust, although a little molasses note shows up as my glass warms a bit. No hint of the 7.2 % ABV.

First sip reveals an average body with fine yet fairly prickly carbonation. Texture is smooth and the beer drinks very easy.
Flavor is similar to nose, not terribly robust but full of malt. I get some molasses note and a good dose of roasted malt too. There is a bit of dark cacao note and some faint coffee character too. I dont get any hop note and the booze is hidden. This is a solid porter with good malt character. Not too complex but it is well made. Glad to have had a chance to try this brew.

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Aug 18, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. Jet black opaque body with a cap of light brown foam that settles into a ring. Smells of bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, earth, smoke and roasted malt. Taste adds some dry dark fruit into the mixture with increased roasted malts and chocolate, plus the finish is very heavy and robust, very satisfying. Feel is heavy, robust, roasted, and all things dark but does thin out a little.

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jul 06, 2019
Photo of woodsman13
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a roasty, slightly smoky porter with a good amount of pleasant bitterness and moderate malt. It's got a bite.

Not really a coffee or chocolate or oatmeal porter. Not syrupy either which is nice.

You also get some notes of raisin and black bread. I'm even going to say some burnt marshmallow.

Light body with lowish carbonation.

Editorial: This is a great porter, and somewhat unique in today's market. There are too many porters in the coffee/chocolate/oatmeal category and I like a bitter, smoky entry like this. Reminiscent of The Alchemist's Beelzebub.

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Photo of Speartron
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful Porter. Can't find anything wrong with it. Very smooth to drink, and very rich. Caramel and espresso on the nose. Dark chocolate with hints of caramel. Espresso after taste. Reminds me of chocolate covered coffee beans. Very, very drinkable.

$9.99 for a 6pk. Fantastic for the price.

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Speartron from Maryland, Aug 21, 2018
Photo of Trailboss76
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fabulous dark chocolatey brown color with a malty aroma you don't have to stick your head in the glass to smell. Medium tan - brown rustic looking head. Depth of flavor in its own world of Porter. It tasted great alone but then also paired up well with a medium rare "black n blue" bacon burger at Capital Ale House in downtown Richmond, Va. Simply one of the best beers I've ever had!!

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Trailboss76 from Virginia, Mar 13, 2018
Photo of PhilHeinricke
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My First Love

A restaurant nearby has been selling craft brew for years. I used to go there and get a thick rich dark beer. I fell in love with the beautiful black color, the porter smell and taste and the almost syrup-like feel. Then the craft beer craze started, and I tried a lot of different beers and drank a lot of IPA. I kind of drifted away from the dark porter, and truth be told, the microbreweries that have sprouted up don't brew porters.

I had just visited a local craft brewery, and all they had were the same old same old. We went to Trader Joe's on the way home, and whenever I'm at TJ's I pass by the beer section. They had this porter. TJ's carries a lot of cheap stuff that can be awful, but I was in the mood for porter at the time. I debated getting it, but Precious said why not.

This pours out a beautiful, thick black color with a sizeable head. You have to pour it carefully. It has a wonderful porter aroma and a feel almost like light cough syrup if they made light cough syrup. And the taste, o that wonderful taste. It reminded me of the old days. Gots ta git me some more of this.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A: Nice chocolate pour produces a quarter inch dark khaki head that had a firm cream texture and was moderately lasting. Weak lacing on the vessel, faint instances of carbonation.

S: Sweet milky chocolate aroma has a bit of milky/lactose scent, particularly coming on strong on the trial end. Soft roasted chestnuts, with an overall light to moderate appeal. The aroma dies rather quickly. A light roastiness ensures, with no alcohol detection from the 7.2%.

T: Nice rich chocolate sweet cocoa flavor, that was rather pronounced, unlike the nose. Milky chocolate sweetness is followed by a soft roasty bitterness and soft fresh coffee. Earthy bitterness, silty roasted hop flowers, freshly grounded coffee beans on the finish provide a good balance and counter to the sweet start. Silky wood ash hints. Milky roasty warmth on the hold.

M: Medium body weight, some bubbly texture with a nice lingering silky ash bitterness lacing the tongue post-swallow.

O: Overall after a rather mundane appearance and aroma, the flavor steps things up a notch, with a fresh milky chocolate flavor and robust nature. An ensuring soft roasty bitterness ensures a balance on the finish providing a good drink-ability rate. The overall perception is one of a standard pub fair, nothing spectacular, but does have a nice transition and variation from start to finish. The alcohol is very well managed, with the beer's finish being the rewarding factor here with milky highlights. Good try.

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beerthulhu from New Jersey, Mar 03, 2018
Photo of DoctorZombies
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black draft pour with ruby edges; beige head; decent cap retention of loose bubbles leaves solid ring and light lacing. Sweet malt nose. Light bitter roast and sweet malt taste. Medium light feel; moderate carbonation. Overall a good porter with lite bitter roast linger; no hint of ABV; very drinkable.

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Photo of StartedwithSAM
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 fl.oz. bottle
Bottle on date shown as 12/15/17
Poured into a nonic pint glass

The beer appears to be black in-color with light ever-so-slightly penetrating the edges, the head is a finger's width, foamy small bubbles, with little to no lacing.

A strong, roasted malt nose, cocoa, slightly bready and trace earthiness, slate(?)

Medium to Full-bodied, almost creamy mouthfeel with a little carbonation bite.

Taste corresponds to the nose of the beer as roasty, cocoa, with trace, perpetual earthiness.

Overall a robust interpretation of the style but well done, a solid local one that always has a place in my fridge.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, no date

Extremely dark brown, bit not quite black, cream colored head. Earthy, roasty aroma. Taste is a nice balance of mild chocolate sweetness and dry roasty espresso flavor. Medium to full bodied, smooth feel.

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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania, Nov 28, 2017
Photo of Act25
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Instant like. Try 24.

a): Pours like a stout, sporting black- brown body, with dense energetic head that lasts and laces.
s) Smoke & peat predominant, over coffee, fruit.
t) Smoke, roast, toast - at first: followed by complex see saw of coffee, bitter chocolate, malt, and grassy/fruity/bitter hop. A flavor bomb with no false notes; makes you want to taste vs other great porters (Carton, Founders, etc).
f) Mid- to full body with ample carbonation and dry tickling bitter finish.
o) Sum is greater than the parts. Must try.

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Act25 from New Jersey, Oct 18, 2017
Photo of cyclonece09
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a fluffy light brown head. Smells of dark roasted grain, little chocolate. Tastes of chocolate and dark grain, nice balance. Beer is light bodied and very easy to drink, good carbonation. Overall, an above average beer.

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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin, Oct 09, 2017
Photo of VoxRationis
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; bottled 5/16/17.
A: Pours black with evidence of yeast floating in the mix; full inch, dark tan to mocha brown head with low retention, but some lacing.
S: Aromas of chocolate and coffee predominate, with spicy and woodsy notes. Bitterness fully in balance with flavors.
T: Sweet up front with flavors of coffee greater than dark chocolate. Maybe a little raisiny.
M: Full bodied with nice effervescence.
O: A very nicely constructed and basically much of what I look for in a porter. Kudos!

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VoxRationis from New York, Aug 23, 2017
Photo of lastmango
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured black with a frothy tan 3 finger head. Aroma was avery faint chocolate. Roasted malt, dark chocolate flavor with a bit of red wine aftertaste. Medium -heavy body and light carbonation. Very nice but not real complex.

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lastmango from Pennsylvania, Aug 16, 2017
Photo of Sleepy_Conscience
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm not a porter guy. I got this at a Friday night wine, beer and music thing by my apartment. It was 95 degrees outside, not exactly porter weather. Still drank three. It was that good.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer pours a a creamy off-white slightly tan head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a dark brown and Ruby that looks very nice. Smell and taste are good. Balanced notes with a present roasted malt combined with a caramel malt. Light chocolate but not invisible. Moderate bitter hop note adds some nice variety to the dominant hop presence.

Body is on the border of heavy and medium; balanced even if malt dominant. Fizzy carbonation. Good feel. Good body.
A fantastic porter. Complex, yet simple. Good notes. Go for it.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Re-review (on tap):
Black body with a beige, leaning tan head that lasts, even if the lacing in produces recedes slowly between sips. Feel is a tad slick, medium, and fairly dry.

Nose is coffee roast with a hint of char and an indication of bitterness. Taste is mildly astringent coffee and roasted malt lightened by an light, indistinct fruity note (yeast or hops I can’t tell).

Increased my rating from before. Little more fruity and not getting the “woody hop” notes. Those aren’t the reasons for the upticks, though - I just believe it is a more quality beer than I had previously.

On tap at brewery:
Pours a lovely near black. By the time I got the beer, the head had settled, but was still nice looking. Little soapy, somewhat creamy, but a nicely lace-producing tan.

Nose loses me a tad. It's not very powerful even if it checks the porter boxes. Having just had a much lighter porter up the road, that beer was much more fragrant. More roasty than anything, there's a lightly floral hop note.

A nicely medium body supports a roasted malt flavor that was indicated in the nose. Bitter in the end (watered down ash and woody hop notes), it is a roasty to burnt toast treat until then.

A solid representation for sure, but I've had beers in the style that hit higher notes in each category. Little more raw than Black Butte, not as smooth (but to style in my mind, not as bitter) as Founders.

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cjgiant from District of Columbia, Mar 11, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass.

Aroma is chocolaty, toasty, smells great.
Appearance is dark black with medium Tan head. White globules of sediment hover and make it look sloppy.
Taste is smooth coffee and chocolate. Toasted barley. Raisin and fig late.
Full Bodied mouthfeel.
An overall nice porter.


On tap, uno.

Upping look # since the strangeness mentioned from 2015 bottle does not exist here. Tasty porter.

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q33jeff from New Jersey, Dec 31, 2016
Photo of Guppy314
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle, pours brown almost black and opaque. Head is tan, thin, but long lasting. Aroma is malty. Fulsome malty flavorfulness with hints of burnt coffee and non-sweet toffee. Would pair well with beef in a heavy meal. Although this porter is solid, the depth/complexity of either the Founders Porter or the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter are superior.

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Guppy314 from District of Columbia, May 18, 2016
Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark brown body with thick frothy light brown head after aggressive pour, long lasting, good lacing

Smell: roasted grains; caramel; coffee grounds

Taste: sweeet malts with bitter roasted grains in the back; not overly bitter, but pretty well balanced; some hoppiness, but just enough to detect; excellent...one of the best porters I've had in a long time.

Mouthfeel: thin on this one, but I think because I poured too aggressively. The others were a bit creamier.

Remarks: Had this first on tap at Port City Brewing. Thought it was good enough to buy a six pack.

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IchLiebeBier from Virginia, May 18, 2016
Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting Porter out of Alexandria VA. Black with a nice thick tan head. Just a slight hint of dried/fermented fruit in the nose. The taste is well balanced between chocolate malt, mild hops, and just the slightest hint of that fermented fruit again, but not too much to handle. Drinkable like a Porter should be. Would definitely drink again.

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johnnyd10vt from Oklahoma, Apr 27, 2016
Porter from Port City Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 547 ratings