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: 475
Photo of kylehay2004
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery tap room in Alexandria, VA.

A: single finger tan head on a very dark brown body with hints of light getting through. Scattered lacing.

S: roasted malts, dark chocolate and subtle fruitless.

T: roasted malts, lots of milk chocolate, hint of vanilla and again a subtle citrus fruitiness. Coffee notes late in thefinish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Oily and coats the palate.

Overall: a very flavorful porter with a nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color (some faint traces of amber are visible near the corner of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a finger high tan head that faded away but left rings of bubbles around the edge of the glass and down the sides.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and raisins in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts and raisins; there are some hints of malty sweetness, but this is balanced off with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The bee is very easy to drink because of the good balance between the flavors.

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Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a stout, with a midnight brown colored liquid and a massive head; plenty of stickage and lacing

Smell: Vaguely roasty and fruity, with a bit of a smoky character

Taste: Roasty and toasty, up front, with a growing chocolate character; by mid-palate, there is a subtle hop character that adds a distinctive balance; coffee elements appear after the swallow and lead to a lengthy finish that incorporates all sides of the flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: What a really nice porter and easily the best of the beers that Port City brews

Thanks, bobertkuekn, for the opportunity

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Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dyan for this one. Can't say I've heard of this brewery before.

Appearance: Black as pitch with a lasting brown head that leaves some lacing behind as it descends.

Smell: Pretty strong hard water character here, quite mineral. I'd guess English yeast, too. It's got a fruity, toasted bread quality that reminds me of fruitcake, along with molasses-like sweetness. Takes a while to open up, but it's pretty decent once it does.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very mineral again, with a nicely balanced malt character that's an even mix of toasted, bready flavors and rich roastiness. It's a sweeter porter, but fitting of the strength. There's some plum and date fruitiness in here too. The finish is solid, displaying some pleasant roasted bitterness along with more semi-metallic mineral flavor, and faint acidity from the dark malts.

Overall: Pretty solid stuff. The water profile is a bit too metallic for my liking, but otherwise it's a good beer.

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Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown with just a small layer of light tan head. The head goes away after a while.

Smell: Some roast with lots of dark chocolate and some sweet dark fruit. Definitely grain forward.

Taste: A lot like the smell, which is a positive. I'm getting dark chocolate and roasted grain up front. Just a bit of sweetness along with some dark fruit. The finish is roasty and a touch bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A very good porter with nice balance. I enjoyed the dark chocolate notes and found it easy to drink. I would have another.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Evening Star in Alexandria. Served in a pint glass.

Pour yields a nearly-black brew with a good light mocha head, a finger or two to start. Good retention and a bit of lacing on the glass as the head meanders its way down into a thin collar that sits atop the beer for most of the way. The nose brings forward some nice roast to begin, which is then followed up with some light chocolate and a dollop of espresso foam.

The flavor first hits with a fairly-strong roast presence that coats my mouth and dries my cheeks out a bit. After a moment, this sensation subsides and there's a smoothnesss coming from chocolate in the midpalate, and then finally ending with a bit of medium-roast coffee beans in the finish. At that point, the roast kicks a bit back into gear. Nice combination and melding of flavors. I wouldn't mind a touch more residual sweetness. Overall, a very nice beer and something I'm glad to have so close to home.

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first try of this NOVA brewery.Poured into a standard pint nearly black except for a tinge of ruby when held to the light,a 1/2 finger deep beige head atop,quite a dark pour.Molasses sticks out most in the nose along with some chocolate and faint coffee roast.Coffee is much more prominent on the palate with milk chocolate and molasses-like sweetness.A nice creamy feel to the beer makes it glide down easily,it's a nicely balanced porter it's got some real sweetness but the coffee/roast balances it out nicely,a solid porter.

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Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated, recently purchased 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Consumed immediately after, and compared to, a Mad River Steelhead Porter. [Revisited and revised with a bottle in Washington D.C. in June 2015.]

Pours a very dark reddish brown that is nearly black. Small tan head has very poor retention but some decent lacing is left behind.

Nose has chocolate and roasted malt with a significant bit of somewhat fruity and somewhat disagreeable alcohol esters. {not noticed at 2nd rating] The alcohol is much less noticeable in the flavor, which hits the tongue too sweet and stays that way until the lightly smoky aftertaste. Hints of brown sugar and over-ripe plums. Tastes way better than it smells.

Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Smooth.

O: Darker, sweeter, softer, less smoky and less hoppy than the Mad River it is worth trying but certainly not as good as the Mad River.

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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 mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Some grainy aroma. A nice hint of dark caramel, but more of a dry porter. Nicely malty, fairly full body. Some bitterness rolls in, enough to provide balance with the roasted malt fullness.

Pleasant fizzy mouthfeel, almost creamy. Very pleasant overall. Dark brown, nearly black, in the glass. Attractive touch of foam. Sort of fruity and bitter, with quite a lot of flavor. A little salty on the tongue. Grainy taste to provide a little rustic touch. Carbonation is very nice. Great for sipping, with a little more complexity than you often find in a simple dark beer. Very clean and well made.

A really good example of an American Porter. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Food and Friends in Philadelphia.

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Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my Otter Creek pint glass. Dark brown in color with a thick and frothy tan head to it. Decent head retention and a little lacing.

The aroma has a milk chocolaty character to it mixing with a little roasty, bitter flavor. Just a hint of a tart fruit presence to it. Pretty nice aroma for the style.

The taste has a bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it throughout it. I get a little more of a sweetness up front while a bitter, rpasty flavor comes out in the finish. It finishes on the dry side with a little bit of a roasty, coffee like flavor coming through as well.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it's a solid version of the style and probably my favorite from Port City so far. It has a nice range of chocolaty and roasty flavors to it and is pretty drinkable overall. It rivals Williamsburg's Washington Porter as my favorite local porter, but may not surpass it.

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Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown where no light passes. Excellent beige head that leaves extensive spotty lace.

Sweet berry smell in he background of the milk chocolate

Relatively thin to this otherwise sweet porter with an alcohol kick. Again, lots of mIlk chocolate.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very deep dark brown, small tan colored head, not a lot of lace, pretty clear

SCaramel and chocolate predomintaly, with a touch of roasted coffe and an ever so slight hoppy back. Very nice, lots of caramel and roasted malts, with a nice hoppy back. Dry finish. Lots of sugar, very good. Uber smooth, a very good feeling porter. Not too thick, just about right to be totally sessionable. I thought the decent carbonation played a good roll here

Great, a very sessionable porter. Not heavy enough to distract you or bog you down, I could put down six of these with some ease.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Think it was Andrew that sent this to me. Thanks.

A: The pour is almost black with a couple fingers of off-white/khaki head.

S: There is a surprising amount of smoke and wood aroma to this beer. Quite a bit of ash to it with a little bit of chocolate and plenty of roasted malts.

T: Dark chocolate and nut shells open up the flavor on this beer. Plenty of roasted malts with a light ash and a substantial oak flavor. A bit of a sawdust sort of flavor to it.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: Really a weird flavor. If you like the smokier and heavily roasted beers, than perhaps you would enjoy this one.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 02/20/11 notes. Poured from a growler into a pint glass 2 hours after picking it up at the brewery.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one finger of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, nuts, and chocolate. Nuts come out in the smell a lot, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, light sweet chocolate, and bready malts. The taste is very roasty, and enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Super smooth and creamy, very easy to drink.

d - Overall I think I liked this best of the four Port City brewing beers. I enjoyed the nuts in the smell and the roastiness in the taste, and though the mouthfeel was great. While it's a pretty basic porter, it's definitely well done and something you can have a few of. Would certainly get again.

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

On draft at Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria, VA.

The beer appears opaque and nearly black in color. The light tan colored head is about a finger thick and fades to a thin, wispy layer after a few moments, leaving a fair amount of lacing behind it. The aroma brings roasted malt and light coffee notes, as well as melted chocolate. I found the flavor very enjoyable, with everything I detected in the aroma coming together nicely in the flavor profile. The feel was a bit on the thin side for a dark beer weighing in at 7.5%, but overall, I thought this was a good offering from a solid new local brewery.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown, almost black. Small head and not much else.

Smell - Chocolatey. Very nice. Bit of licorice.

Taste - Chocolatey again, but less rich. Some caramel. A little cola. Slight toasty malt and a kick of coffee in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - This is solid. Nothing over the top. Really high quality.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Stoney's Pizza in DC into a Nonic pint glass. Left me a good 10cm head, nice!

Leaves a simple dark walnut brown. Head is a nice tan cocoa light brown with very tiny soap like bubbles. There is minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell is very muted. A small roast sense with weak coffee. It's a good nose but real small and very closed though, nothing really jumps out here.

First taste and sensation is fizzy and prickly carbonation. Lucking some of the roast comes out in mid palate, even with some small mild chocolate notes. Some slight hop bitters too in the finish, but there's also a little bit of heat on this. The mouthfeell is also a bit wet and leaves a slightly cola like finish.

Well it's ok and good to drink I guess but probably not a personal favorite that I would jump back on and have again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of the ever-generous Michael Thorpe. Served in a Jester King snifter.

A - Thin tan foam that settles to a thin ring, leaving a few spots of lace. Dark brown/near-black solid body that doesn't get any lighter at the fringes.

S - Roasty, milk chocolate, some sugar and buttery notes, as well as some dark fruits. Quite sweet and fairly English in character.

T - Taste is also heavy on milk chocolate, nuts, dark fruits, and light coffee bitterness in the finish.

M - Zesty moderate carbonation, medium body, and somewhat dry finish. Alcohol isn't apparent at all.

D - A very enjoyable porter that is more English than American thanks to the fruity yeast. It was easy to put down my 4oz and I'd gladly take a six-pack of this for an after-dinner beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at RFD, went there with a friend from out of town, served in a shaker pint glass. Beer is brown / black with almost no head, no lacing, low carbonation. Looks like beer.

Aroma is sweet and chocolaty, smells nice!

Beer is medium to light in body, no carbonation on the palate. It's sweet and chocolaty on the tongue, nice finish, mildly bitter. The best beer I've had from them overall. I'd be more interested to try beers from this brewery after this beer. Nice job!

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Photo of yourefragile
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a viscous, opaque dark chocolate with a dense, creamy tan head. Average retention, fading to a bubbly cap with minimal lacing. Aroma leans toward sweet rather than roast, with molasses and milk chocolate dominating. Mild roast blends in the background and is overall very pleasant. Creamy, medium thick body with light carbonation on the palate and a dry, bittersweet finish. Flavor is more roasty than the aroma and less sweet as the cocoa and chocolate takes on more of a powdery dry aspect, than a syrupy sweet. Little dark fruit or hop presence, and overall gets a little boring by the end of the glass. A nice launch beer and close to being a great porter.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish brown body with one-finger tan head that dies quick with lace on top of a classic porter aroma of roasted, burnt caramel malt along with chocolate and some breadiness, and possbily molasses, toffee and touch of hops. The taste and mouthfeel are textbook as well; light to medium body that goes down smooth that is a mix of sturdy, roasted malts for a backbone, very minor crisp hops to give a snap of a finish rather than let it be murky, and there is a good chunk of sweetness thanks to caramel and chocolate notes. Just a great porter that is easily sessionable.

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

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Great presentation. Rich chocolatey blackish-brown. A 1.25 finger head on a good pour fades quickly, and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Grainy grass. Touch of sweet malt is present, as is a pretty heavy dose of earth.

T: Not too charry here, it's actually somewhat smoky yet quite quaffable. I don't detect any of the 7.5% ABV, as it finishes dry and toasty.

M: Could be a bit thicker, yet it remains easy to put back. This beer is better on tap, though the bottled version is certainly no slouch.

O: Port City's Porter represents what Bill and his team are trying to accomplish: high quality ingredients = high quality drinking. I'll be the first to say there's nothing extreme about it, yet it's just a damn nice porter. Well done, guys. I'll continue to proudly ship this around the country as an extra with my trades.

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Photo of avalon07
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick, muddy consistency. There was a small amount of creamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: A nice, typically porter-like aroma of malt, coffee, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of coffee, chocolate, grain, malt, and mild hops in the finish. This is a good, well-rounded flavor. It won't knock your socks off, but it is nice.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a super dry, crisp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solidly made, easy to drink porter. Doesn't deviate from the style, but it is well done.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to LarryByrd for this nice extra!

poured into beer stien.

Appearance: black bodied beer with small and thick cap of medium brown head. Drops down to very thin cap.

Smell: chocolate, molasses and dark fruits. Its primary smell is both sweet and malty.

Taste: dark fruits the most promenant flavor here. They start the beer off and continue throughout the beer until the finish when they slowely fade away. The finish fades into a mild sweet roasty char note with molasses. Its interesting flavor profile for a porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Its a touch thin for the mouthfeel. The carbonation has a little bit of a prickly bite to it.

Overall: Nice porter. Nothing that wowed me from this beer, but its still tastey and unique in its own way. I would even put this beer into the English Porter category.

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Porter from Port City Brewing
4.04 out of 5 based on 475 ratings.
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