Porter | Port City Brewing

137 Reviews

Brewed by:
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AndrewNations on 02-12-2011

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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 474
Photo of cjgiant
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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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Photo of q33jeff
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
samsmith33 (730) - - MAY 13, 2015
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.


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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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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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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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Photo of mac31
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sweet cooked caramel with roasty and chocolate body. The coffee interplays and compliments the chocolate body. Hops are earthy and mildly bitter. The bitterness flares up, but then falls off rather quickly fading in to the finish. There is vanilla in the finish. Lingering coffee in the finish as well. Thin, light bodied. Upon further assessment, the body has a touch of creaminess to it, which is a pleasant component of this beer. The flavors are all balanced. This beer is a straight forward, but supremely drinkable. Alcohol is well covered, but does the job. I bought two bottles. My only regret is that I didn't buy more!

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass.

L: Midnight dark. Big light tan foamy head with good retention, lacing, ring.

S: Roasted dark malts and grains, slight molasses or brown sugar

T: Follows nose, mostly the grains. A little bit of clove-like spice creeps in.

F: Well-balanced, not very complex, but that's OK. Medium-bodied, stronger carbonation than you might expect for decent drying on finish.

O: Very solid effort.

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours quite dark with a thin head. There is evidence of carbonation bubbles running up the side, even in the dark pitch of the drink.

Aroma is of roast coffee and hops. Even a bitter citrus coming through. No chocolate, and this is not very roasty-smelling.

Taste is of a heavy-ish lager, yet feel is thin, almost like a Coke. I get a sharp clean fruit, and toast and coffee in small degrees. Malt but it's not burnt or overly creamy. Subtle. Not really any chocolate to speak of either. Drinks like a lager, clean, with some smoke and a hair of sour pumpernickel. It all feels lighter than it looks, and there's a sweet bitter in the aftertaste that's more oily than bread. Hoppy without being overboard on that.

The very subtle tastes were underwhelming and nothing quite resolved for me, although all was generally pleasant. The booze (7.2) is hidden but sneaks up on you. The warmer it is, the alcohol sweetness seems more pronounced. Easy to sip for sure.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black with a small tan head. Smells of smoke and molasses. Taste follows nose with a hint of cloves and heat. Feel is creamy with a bite from dissolved carbon. Would definitely get again.

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Photo of seedyone
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Tan head ended in a thin film with very little lacing.Nice deep shade of ebony. Aroma was more molasses & roasted malts then chocolate. Nice to see a porter that isn't trying to be a stout. Careful with the ABV. It's very discrete.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1+ finger dark tan head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: initially, roasted grains; after that, distinct milk chocolate;

T: for a moment, milk chcolate and roasted grains; then it's all roasted grains; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied' moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: not very complex;

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Photo of MichaelProcton
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque Chestnut brown with a thick, dark khaki head. Smell is dark and roasty, but there is a strange note that smells like...olive brine? The taste is rich, toasty chocolate, and the mouthfeel is heavenly. Thick, like drinking bread or even a dessert. Alcohol is not very present when well-chilled, belying the ABV. This is a really, really good beer. It has the character of a stout while maintaining the flavors of a porter.

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Photo of Griffin2
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft in a pint glass at Blackfinn.
Pours dark brown/black with minimal head.
Smells of chocolate.
Taste matches the smell.
Nice thick porter.
I enjoyed this beer very much.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent porter from a brewery I know little about. This one is packed with flavor - some nice sweet vanilla, bitter chocolate, and some roasted malts. It's about time a porter had some balls!

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Photo of obywan59
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with just a bit of ruby around the edges. 2 finger light tan head recedes rather quickly leaving a bit of attractive lacing.

The aroma is of dark roast, dark chocolate and dark fruit.

Flavor is more dark malt upfront followed by malted milk and dried plums. Tart/sweet.

Medium full in body, with moderate carbonation. Slick rather than syrupy. A bit drying with decent warmth.

This beer is extremely well balanced. The flavor grew on me. Elegant.

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

Appearance: pours dark, rich brown almost black with tan head that resolves quickly to fine lacing
Smell: warm it up a little and roasted malts, coffee, molasses
Taste: Malt, sweet with coffee and caramel notes, end notes of hops balance the profile and nice clean finish
Mouthfeel: medium bodied with minimal carbonation (think 2%milk texture)
Overall a very enjoyable porter, despite its ABV its well masked by the complex flavors. Thoroughly enjoyable and I’ll be happily stocking up on this one!

update: As I continue to educate myself on beer, I continue to gain an appreciation of this porter. Hands down one of the best American Porters I've had.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very roasty and malty. Tons of roasted malt, black pepper, brown sugar and notes of freshly baked pumpernickel bread.

Taste: Delicious! Tons of roasted malt, imparting a slight smokiness, some notes of coffee, brown sugar, and some subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, and very smooth, as there is hardly any carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a damn good porter. Nice roasty flavors, balanced with some good sweetness. If you’re a porter fan, you should definitely try it. I’ll certainly keep it as one of my house porters!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thin light brown head lays atop a dark body that looks black until held to the light.

Smoke, roast, toast, cherry, plum, and chocolate.

Medium body and carbonation.

Pretty solid porter.

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Photo of uvachief
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Solid porter. Roasted malts and chocolate. Not too much or overpowering. Very easy to drink. Felt like it had a higher ABV than listed. Dark almost black brown. Got head that lingers. 12oz bottle.

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Photo of delta490
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, impenetrable brown, with a thin tan head hanging around leaving soapy lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is deep and rich roasted malts with a faint earthy hint to it. The taste is big roasts as well, but with a subtle chocolate note. The body has just the right weight and feel, a little thick and silky on the palate. It is a delicious porter and the draft version is even better.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, no date, served in a Libby globe porter/stout glass.

Appearance: Black with the cola brown at the edges when held up to the light. Thin light tan ring at the edge. Thin sheets and strands of lacing that would very slowly dissipate.

Smell: Chocolate, fresh sawed wood, burnt sugar. This combo of smells is quite appealing.

Taste: Chocolate (milk and bittersweet), roasted malt, caramel, burnt sugar, hint of licorice, bitter finish - bitterness is part black coffee, part chicory, part English bittering hops. Some leafy tobacco notes as well. Bitterness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: Slick, and maybe a little chewy. Light carbonation that is on the tongue initially and then it goes away. Lingering stickiness on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: I had this without food and I wonder if it would go better with something, but I'm not sure what. By itself full of flavor with some notable bitterness which makes it a sipper for me and not something I would want more than one glass of per evening. Good marks for appearance, aroma, and taste, but the bitterness wears on me as the glass goes on, and the mouthfeel is a bit off. I think this needs a bit more carbonation and then overall it would be an even better beer. It's good, just not great.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark (SRM 30) velvety, chocolate brown. A thin, fine, tan head quickly dissipates to a ring, leaving slight lacing on a Dogfish Head snifter.

Sweet malted chocolate with light, coffee liqueur. Warming brings out a roasted malt.

The flavor profile follows the nose, but adds bitter black coffee. Sweetness is present in the background and the finish is short.

Light, prickly carbonation interrupts a medium body. The texture is watery with a hint of alcohol. Warmth brings out a slight astringency.

I’m not sure I would call this robust, but it is easy and enjoyable. Enjoy this Porter with friends and lively conversation or a ball game.

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Photo of Mojo
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - dark black pour with a two inch foamy head, some retention and beautiful lacing.

S - subtle but nice nose including chocolate and coffee.

T - raisins, molasses, soy sauce, chocolate, coffee, licorice

S - good carbonation, small aftertaste

O - not a bad porter, but not the best I've ever had either. Worth a taste though for sure.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at the brewery

Easily my favorite beer that PC had to offer. Dark brown-black pour with a solid cap of foamy tan head that retained well and laced the glass. Dark malt sweetness in the aroma, notes of cocoa and ash. More dark roasty malts in the taste, nice semi-sweet chocolate profile, with a little coffee bitterness. Pretty good. Medium body, solid mouthfeel for the style, overall a good porter. If I had to revisit a PC brew, it would be this one.

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Photo of challenja
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle Poured into a Sam Adams pub glass.

A: black dark Sacloth that repels all light.

S: dark plum. Dark roast Colombian coffee. Burnt twig. Brown sugar.

T: dark chocolate Malts. Raisin, plum, 90 Percent cocoa, Colombian dark roast coffee and Graham cracker.

M: smooth. Perfect carbonation and mouthful for a porter.

O: this beer really shines through as a perfect example our a a super solid Porter. Alexandria you just shocked me. Time to visit the brewery. Enjoy

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Porter from Port City Brewing
4.04 out of 5 based on 474 ratings.
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