Porter | Port City Brewing

136 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 472
Photo of Onenote81
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark black pour. Small mocha head. Nose is of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee. Good body. Decent carbonation; creamy finish. Hefty. Great roasted flavors abound. Mild cocoa finish. Alcohol is not noticeable. Really a good beer that hit the spot. Perfect cure for my roasted-fix.

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

12 oz bottle into tulip.

A: dark opaque brown body with a light brown, tightly bubbled head. retention is decent as in the lacing.

S: chocolate and vanilla. coconut and sweet brown sugar. lots of sugar.

T: similar to the nose, plenty of chocolate on the palate. bitter dark chocolate. coconut. coffee and a little bit of tobacco. the residual sugar is definitely present. maybe a little too much....that may be the only complaint i can formulate from this body. sugar and chocolate into the finish.

M: moderate carbonation, but still smooth. medium bodied.

D: full-flavored without being cloying. definitely my favorite of the year-round lineup from port city. worth trying if you can get it.

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Photo of maximum12
2.42/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Andrewnations for this 12 oz. bottle. Split with my wife.

Pour is black & lively. Smell is a sucker full of bitter coffee & dark chocolate. Rather potent.

Port City Porter kicks hard. The roast stumbles over the line of char & into an ash, which does it no favors. It's accompanied by a severe bitterness lined with a faint counter of chocolate. The aftertaste is hard water, like the well draws from my grandpa's place up near Bemidji, & lends itself to a sharp, metallic aftertaste. Blech.

This beer is all sharp elbows & fingers in the eye. Every component is rough-edged & unfinished, which might work, but they all seem to be shouting at cross-purposes rather than working to get Obama re-elected. Honestly, I'm not going to finish the 6 ounces in my glass. Disappointingly poor.

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Photo of ckollias
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with amber highlights. Huge brown, frothy, 3-finger head that slowly dissipates into a solid lace leaving a nice trial down the glass.

S: Strong toasted malt aroma with a solid coffee background. Hints of chocolate malt and caramel in the background.

T: Smooth coffee flavor with a great toasted malt background and caramel mixed in.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent porter! Really smooth with great flavors and aromas.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - nice dark black beer with light brown 2 finger head. Really nice porter/stout look to it.

S - Fabulous smell with chocolate, malt, chestnut grove on a fall day roasted scents.

Taste - matches the smell, with wonderful balance of chocolate, and dry roasted notes on the palet. 7.5% ABV is well disguised. Some crisp dryness in the finish with a hint of bitterness but subtle.

Mouthfeel - Moderate body. A little dry on the palet to finish.

Overall - One of the finest porters I've sampled so far. Very enjoyable beer!!!

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Photo of Dave1999
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark brown almost black colour with a small tan colour head.

The smell is chocolate and sweet malts.

The taste is smooth chocolatey and malty with a slightly bitter after taste.

The mouth feel is medium with very light carbonation. Feels creamy and smooth.

Overall a very nice porter not particularly complex but great tasting. Hides it's abv very well, was surprised to see it was 7.5%.

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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 lackenhauser
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, bordering on black though somewhat muddy looking. Nice cocoa head on top. Decent roasted aroma, faint chocolate and marshmallow notes. Mild roasted flavors with definate chocolate notes. Soft, grainy flavor. Solid hop presence for sure. Very nice, full body. Has a great softness in the mouthfeel. Just a great porter all in for me. Might catch up in a hurry at 7.5% but very rich and enjoyable all around.

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

A - Pours an inch of creamy tan head into my oversized tulip. It's got nice retention and leaves some decent lacing as it settles. The beer is a medium-dark brown.

S - Brown sugar, chocolate, and sweet malts make up the aroma.

M - Medium in body, light-medium carbonation. The beer has a nice silky smooth feel with a creamy finish.

T - The beer begins with sweet malts which intertwine with milk chocolate. It's followed up by some roasted notes and more malt sweetness into the finish. There is a very light bitterness with the finish.

This is a great porter. The body is perfect and it's got great flavor and appearance. This beer impressed me, coming from a brewery I hadn't heard of before.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mug.

A: Pours a very dark, almost black color. The head is a mocha shade, a little under 3 fingers, with average retention and lacing.

S: Has the usual roast, coffee, and chocolate, but this one seems to have an additional earthy/mineral note. Nice smell.

T: About the worst I can say is that it's really not that different than a lot of other porters I've had. Still, this one's executed impressively. It does feature a vaguely salty character to it (similar to soy sauce) that meshes well with the roasty base. Otherwise, the usual roast, coffee, and chocolate are the main basis of the flavors here. It's nature is easygoing rather than explosive.

M: Not the heaviest porter in the world, which is good. Drinks and finishes like a porter should, which means its medium bodied with a dry, bittersweet, slightly vegetal finish and lowish carbonation.

O: I enjoyed this. It measures up nicely to some of the better porters I've had (even if it doesn't quite outdo them), and it's well worth a purchase. Pair it with pulled pork/chicken BBQ.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown/almost black color with a thin, fluffy tan head that dissipates to almost nothing and minimal lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts; coffee, chocolate, rich earthy notes.

T - A nice blend of coffee and chocolate malts; a very rich and rewarding taste. Nothing complex, but very enjoyable.

M - Slightly heavier than medium bodied, pretty smooth and drinkable. A little creamy.

O - Port City's Porter is an extremely well-done and solid brew. It's a fantastic example of the porter style and Port City's best year-round beer.

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

A: Very dark black in the glass, the head is light and fluffy and a nice tan color.

S: Deep chocolate aroma. Like cocoa powder, with a hint of floury bread dough. Perhaps a hint of black licorice, or some roasted grain.

T: Yum, pretty good. Malty and roasty, with some nice coffee and chocolate notes.

M: Medium thick in body, the carbonation is fine in size and lends a bit to the creamy mouthfeel.

O: Overall a pretty nice brew. It's hitting the spot for a dark beer, although may be a touch on the cloying side.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Thorpe429 for providing this in a recent trade.

Nice looking pint. Thin finger+ head, but with a lot of staying power and structure. Really dark color for a standard porter. No light getting through anywhere. A touch of tan lace left behind.

Aroma is of chocolate with a hint of anise or licorice. Thick in your nostril.

Oohh, nice little Porter. Dark chocolate, deep chewy dark malt flavor and a touch of molasses and black licorice. The aftertaste is a little charcoal like, but rounded.

Smooth and thick bodied with just a touch of carbonation to bring some brightness to the taste.

I really like this beer.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes on 03/04/12:
Bottling code on the bottom of the bottle: 2061 B2 1835; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch of light tan creamy head with pretty good retention; Almost black with very little light managing to come through; Some partial rings of lacing left behind

S - Smell is a bit faint overall, but pleasant; Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, floral aromas, tobacco, and just a bit of coffee and anise

T - There's quite a bit more roasted coffee in the flavor, accompanied by a small wave of bitterness and a bit of underlying sugary sweetness; Lots of earthy/woody flavors come after the coffee with just a bit of chocolate and anise lurking behind

M - Low to medium carbonation; Just under full bodied; Very rich and creamy mouthfeel that isn't too thick and leaves the mouth fairly dry

O - I thought this was a pretty solid porter, with its strengths being its flavor and creamy mouthfeel. The aroma seemed to be a bit weak, but that certainly doesn't take away from the superb drinkability and tasty flavor profile. After getting to try all of Port City's year-round offerings, this one is my favorite for sure.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Union St.
A perfect black with a dark khaki head that just hangs out. Lacing normally found in awesome west coast IPAs
Dark coffee, chocolate on the nose. Potent.
Huge dark chocolate and coffee evenly. A touch of hop to balance and perfect carbonation. Medium full to full bodied.
This is what I want in a porter. I thought I'd had some awesome porters, but this sets a new bar. A must try.

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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 4thelvofbeer
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice Porter! Port City has some really nice beers, and their Porter is a great example. Even better because the brewery is in Alexandria, and that's where I live right now, so it is easy to find in bottles and on tap! I had this beer on tap a few times at Hank's Oyster Bar in Old Town and bottles a few times as well.

Enjoying a bottle 18 Feb 12. Tasting notes:
A: Nice dark brown and carbonation
S: Malty chocolates...
T: A really smooth easy drinking Porter
M: Again, smooth and silky
O: A really nice Porter with a great flavor

The tap beer is really similar and extra smooth.

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

Reviewing from notes 2/6/2012

A: Dark brown, almost black, with a finger's width of brown head. After receding to a thin layer on top of the beer the head lasts forever, and leaves a good deal of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Darkly roasted malts, coffee and molasses. Not a whole lot of complexity to the smell, and I wish there was more.

T: Lots of caramel and burnt sugar, and coffee. The dark roasted malts from the aroma bring a lot of malt bitterness. After the initial flavor from the malts the beer just sort of fades away. I wish there were more hops to combat the maltiness, because without them the beer seems disappointing.

M: Heavy body with moderate carbonation.

O: This beer seems to be straddling the line between a stout and a porter. The heavy malts are in the realm of stouts, but the hops and body are a lighter; more like a porter. I wish it would go one way or the other, because it is just slightly out of balance.

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Photo of Guden
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Fully opaque black with a nice two finger light tan head.

S- Not very strong but whats there is awesome: roasted malts giving off chocolate, coffee, smoke and to smaller amounts raisins and figs.

T- Not quite as complex or interesting as the nose. Solid roasted malt profile that hits the back of the tongue with a little bit of roasty bitterness. Tasty but nothing amazing.

M- Medium body and medium carb lets this one hit the tongue in the right places and go down nicely.

D- This is a good beer all around but something keeps it from being great that I can't quite put my finger on. Still a solid choice of local porter.

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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 Loveyourbeer
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Fireflies in Del Ray.
A: poured very dark, minimal head, decent lacing
S: strong, "meaty", some chocolate in there.
T: I enjoyed this thoroughly, both by itself and with a meal. Lots of flavors going on here but it really works. Some bitterness at the end. Didn't really taste the alcohol here.
M: very smooth but also substantial
O: this is the best of the Port City beers. I will be drinking this again and again.

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Photo of LaCoursiere
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gwillyb for this bottle. No bottled on or best-by date.

A - Poured into a tulip glass. Almost black with a light tan 1/2-finger head. The head dissipates quickly and there is little lacing.

S - Great roasted malt aroma with nice bready malt notes shining through the primary roasted and toasted background. You can really smell the barley in this. Not much aroma from the hops, perhaps a bit of earthiness.

T - Notes of coffee in the roasted malts with mild herbal hop bitterness in the finish. There is little sweetness, but what i there has a molasses hint.

M - Light for a porter with good smoothness and light carbonation. A little bit of alcohol warmth.

O/D - I would recommend seeking some of this out. It is a really nice interpretation of the style, with great malt and hop balance and smoothness. The carbonation is nice and light which makes the flavors shine.

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

Grabbed this on tap at the Chesapeake Room in DC.

Port City is a great up and coming local brewery, and the Porter is clearly their best offering. Pours chestnut and black - pure Porter, almost stout-like. Head is light brown, and hovers at two fingers. Nose was extremely malty, I get a lot of chocolate here, with some clear coffee notes as well.

Taste is pure porter, strong maltyness, coffee, chocolate - a great beer with a good piece of meat in my mind. I love the fullness of this beer - its smooth, and a great drink.

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Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Since Port City is local, I almost always like to wait to get their entries on tap before reviewing them. I had this at the Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge.

A: Poured as black as night, with the thickness being most gooily evident as it sloshed back and forth inside the glass. The head was about a couple of shades lighter than the liquid below it.

S: This was understated, yet effective. It was sort of a roasted pork sirloin and high grade coffee combo rolled into one.

T: On the taste, I got a good bit of a fruit component that when combined with the milk chocolatey goodness, I could have sworn that I just ate a bowl of "Fruity Pebbles" with chocolate milk and a cup of coffee.

M: Pretty thick, but not quite into "Dark Lord" territory, and there was lots of splotchy lacing, a slight bitterness left of the palate afterwards, but with an overall smooth finish.

O: This one is available all over town and never fails to disappoint!

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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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Porter from Port City Brewing
4.04 out of 5 based on 472 ratings.
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