Anchor Porter
Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #26
Ranked #3,228
4.12 | pDev: 11.17%
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
Notes: With deep black color, a thick, creamy head, rich chocolate, toffee and coffee flavors, and full-bodied smoothness, Anchor Porter® is the epitome of a handcrafted dark beer.

A blend of specially roasted pale, caramel, chocolate, and black malts, along with our top-fermenting yeast, creates complexity without bitterness. The brew is hopped at a high rate, and naturally carbonated. The result is dark in the glass, but surprisingly light on the palate.
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Reviews: 1,597 | Ratings: 3,849 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a foamy tan head. Aroma of dark malts; cocoa, chocolate, coffee, nut, caramel. Nice dry Porter flavor. Slight bitterness. Finishes really clean. Nice medium body. A delicious example of a Porter.

Jul 19, 2021
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Shiredave from New York

4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stamped code on back reads PK GO 041620
Tan head above a deep. dark brown but clear beer. The head slumps quickly to a ring and film.
A swirl kicks up the foam and allows the sweet charred grain aromas out. Molasses and maple, campfire and singed spruce tips.
Rich flavors of grilled cherries and leather, scorched sugar and red wine tannins. Just on the edge of sour notes move in mid swallow, slightly astringent bite at the back. Sweet and dry the hops lend a firm bitterness to the smokey malt base.
Body is light - medium - rich in flavor not heavy in body.
A classic Porter bordering on robust. Obviously not a fresh bottle yet still more than enjoyable.

Mar 21, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

(355 ml bottle). Pours with a large tan head, colour is very dark, nearly black (= very, very dark ruby when held to the light). Lovely complex aroma where coffee, dark chocolate, prunes, oak and sandalwood shine through. Flavour is initially sweet and mellow, then a distinct bitterness comes through. Coffee notes are dominant. There's something undefined strange in the aftertaste that keeps me from giving it a straight "5". Still, this is a top class porter!

Mar 21, 2021
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brewme from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reminded of this beer by the How many Beers of Fame have you reviewed? post. Surprised that I have not reviewed this before, have had many times, looking forward to getting again soon.

Mar 20, 2021
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FBarber from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Anchor Porter pours a dark brown color. Opaque, but still thinner in appearance. Lovely thick khaki head forms on the beer - about 3-4 fingers - and then dissipates leaving a thin layer of velvety foam on top of the beer. The aroma on this is dominated by a strong sweet caramel character. Caramel malt, sweet chewy caramel, and secondary to that stronger note you get notes of roasted malt, toffee, cocoa, and a hint of coffee-like notes. Its honestly kind of sweet on the nose which I wasn't really expecting.

The flavor then follows the nose with a strong caramel toffee character to the beer. Notes of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a light piney hop character all cascade across the palate. Its mildly sweet. Feel is light to moderately bodied. Very silky smooth and velvety on the mouthfeel. Sprity, but balanced carbonation.

Mar 14, 2021
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Black with a two finger light tan head

S- Roasted malts, some chocolate, dark fruits, some toffee, a little earthy.

T- Roasted malts, some coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate, touch of toffee, some sweet biscuits, earthy.

M- Smooth, medium body, high carbonation.

O- A tasty and nicely balanced Porter, easy to drink.

Mar 13, 2021
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown appearance with an average size tan head and modest lacing. Whiff of acetone early on in the aroma before returning to the more identifiable traits of roasted malts and earthy hops. Taste maintains the roasted malt characteristics along with a hint of dark fruits and caramel. Floral, resinous hops are held in check but still noticeable. Medium-to-full bodied mouthfeel leading to a lingering finish.

Feb 23, 2021
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RedbirdRona from Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am big fan of the anchor steam and christmas ale but this was my first time trying the porter. Look was a dark coffee color with a small tan head. Smell was caramel roasted biscuits. Taste is a combination of roasted malts, smoke, and small hop finish. Feel was crisp and drinkable especially for a porter. Overall, I really liked this porter and felt like it was a good national example of what a porter can/should be.

Dec 04, 2020
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ABrewOrTwo from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love Anchor Steam but didn't love this as an example of a porter. There's a hoppy note to this that feels a little strong for the style. I also get a sour/tangy flavor when it hits my palate. I get some dark roasted grain, coffee flavors on the back of my palate after swallowing, but I'd rather have them up front in a porter.

I agree with jwp77 "In my opinion, the hops flavor and charred flavors are just a bit too strong".

I prefer a porter with more coffee notes and creamier texture. This isn't a bad beer, but it kind of feels like a "summer" porter, if there is such a thing. Drinkable and goes down fast, leaves a sweet molasses taste in your mouth. Decent, but not great.

Nov 06, 2020
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours almost black in color with a nice two finger espresso head.
S: Smells somewhat smoky, has roasted malt aromas, dark chocolate & dark fruit aromas as well.
T: Taste pretty much follows the nose, there is just enough hoppiness to give it a slightly bitter finish.
F: Full-bodied with a creamy feel to it.
O: Very impressed with this porter, my favorite part is the smoky & bitter finish, not to sweet.

Oct 17, 2020
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ManlyWealth from Georgia

5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The epitome of an American Porter from the very dark coffee color pour/appearance to the healthy, light chocolate color head, a classic porter aroma, a world class Porter taste (coffee, chocolate bitter with a very subtle fruit note-cherry) and full bodied mouthfeel, this is what a cold Porter is all about! Keep up the outstanding work Anchor Brewers! I now have a go to Porter.

Sep 10, 2020
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Steve555 from Wales

4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown body foamy head, well carbonated. Lasting head and lacing. Smells of not a huge deal, some dark fruits, yeast. Taste is sweet malts, coffee, cherries, and chocolate, assertive hops and a little bit of sourness comes through as well. Lovely beer.

Jul 05, 2020
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ForetSaison from California

4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another fantastic brew from Anchor Steam. I am not a big fan of porter style beers, but I do crave 'em every once in a while. In this beer you will find everything you're looking for in a porter. It is dark, with a surprisingly large head of foam. It doesn't have a distinct smell (maybe it's just my nose because I've been snorting a lot, LOL), but it has a very rich and smooth, full-bodied flavor. A little bit of trivia for nerds, it's been brewed since 1972.
Welcome to American porter.

Apr 09, 2020
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PathofChaos from Maryland

5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a silky, midnight ebony with a distinct tinge of mahogany. A voluptuous khaki head rises to crown this kingly beer. Its everlasting retention laces down the back of the glass like a foamy, royal mantle, completing the coronation.

Proffers a comforting aroma of wood smoke, oak barrels, stone fruit, and finishes with a serene breeze of cold milk chocolate.

So soft and cozy on the tongue, its like laying down on a king-sized bed with luxuriant satin sheets. A flowing medium body, unimpeded by its river-smooth pebbles of carbonation. The smoke lingers like a good tobacco.

Earthy chocolates and a woodsy, sugarless caramel are balanced by a backdrop of roasted malts, bright coffee, and charred hops.

Mar 24, 2020
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jwp777 from Oklahoma

3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle, could not find the date.

Extremely dark brown with a dark reddish hue as well. Head is about 1 finger and retains fairly well. Some lacing.

Aroma is earthy, roasty, with clear evidence of chocolate. Malts are present but hops are surprisingly a bit strong.

The taste is fairly complex. Roasted coffee, some chocolate, malts, and hops are the main stars. In my opinion, the hops flavor and charred flavors are just a bit too strong - stronger than in most porters I have tried.

Upside to the high carbonation is that it feels quite light. The bitter aftertaste does have a negative effect on the feel for me.

Overall, I cannot say I am impressed, but obviously from some ratings below this is a well respected beer, so maybe I just don’t get what was being made here. I may try and taste this one again another time.

Feb 15, 2020
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/1/19

Pours a dark brown with deep maroon accents and topped with a dense, multiple fingers of dark khaki froth; great head retention proceeds to a moderate cap and medley of stringy lacing painted around the glass.

Aromas of crisp malted chocolate touched with a hint of dark cherry are strong to open, while herbal hops build from the background from the middle onward; earthy, roasty malt and nutty pine accentuate the close.

Taste behind with a steady roasand tone supported with light roast coffee and cherry skin; cacao husk develops a drying semi-char along the palate, and herbal hops flutter through the finish while a lingering fresh dark chocolate tone lightly coats the throat.

Mouthfeel offers a medium-light body with a lightly frothed carbonation a consistent presence throughout; roasty char levels the mid-palate before an oily consistency sneaks it's way in alongside subtle bittering to a surprisingly clean finish.

A stalwart of a porter filled with equal parts roasted/hoppy tones as nuanced, malty sweetness. The bittering can feel somewhat overwhelming at times, but offers its own sturdy nuance, and never compromises the hearty drinkability of the overall beer.

Jan 04, 2020
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip. Purchased within the past month, but dated just over a year ago.

L: Black body with ruby glints; two fingers of dense light brown head that displays tremendous retention and thick sheets of lacing. Gorgeous.

S: Dark chocolate and black licorice are the dominant notes. A hint of almost cinnamon spice as well, with some faint hoppy resin. Quite nice.

T: Licorice starts things off in a big way, with dark roast coffee and baker's chocolate close behind. An almost minty touch of herbaceous hops adds a bitter tinge to a finish that was already leaning toward astringency from the heavily roasted malts. A distinct cola flavor develops as it warms, along with a sarsaparilla-like touch of piquancy. Oversteeped black tea and more cola on the finish. Full-flavored and highly complex, but a bit heavy on the astringency for me.

F: Medium-bodied and frothy. Decent body for the style, but a bit overcarbonated.

O: I really enjoyed digging in to this one, but I don't need a sixpack. It's great to revisit a dry, bitter, complicated American Porter from time to time.

Beers of Fame tick 187/250. Cheers!

Dec 31, 2019
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MNAle from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rich aroma, if not too strong. Sweet caramel, raisins, chocolate.

Deep dark brown, nearly opaque even with a backlight. Tall, thick and creamy milk chocolate colored head that takes its time receding, leaving behind rings of lacing and an uneven bubbly top of the remaining head.

Rich taste as well, dark fruit, chocolate, and smooth initially, with some bitterness coming through in the middle, leading to a relatively dry finish and bitterness lingering on the tongue, along with the very flavorful malt body - again, hints of caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, and roasted malts.

The body is medium, tending toward substantial, especially for a porter.

Overall, a well-constructed porter. Rich and complex flavor, good body, roasted malts complemented by sweet caramel, raisins, and chocolate, moderated by the hop bitterness. The finish is relatively dry, but with hints of the sweetness remaining.

Top notch. Extremely enjoyable and flavorful.

Nov 18, 2019
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ATL6245 from Georgia

4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Jet black, but clear. Nice thick, mousse-like tan head with excellent retention. Tight compact bubbles

Aroma: Pleasant roasty malts, with coffee and cocoa notes.

Taste: Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee tastes. Mild bitterness; but well balanced. Medium sweet.

Mouth feel: Soft, creamy mouth feel with a medium length finish. Light carbonation

Overall: An exceptional American Porter. Very pleasant and satisfying to drink. A staple to have in your fridge for porter selection. Not much to pick at with this one. Noted that one reviewer gave a pretty poor score and stated that it is too bitter for a Porter. That is not accurate. Anchor is an American Porter, not a British Porter. It can have more bitterness.

Oct 29, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/10/15; drank 1/23/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE tan head (careful pouring!); frothy lace.

Oats, cream, root beer & faint coffee notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Cream, oats & root beer flavors up front; bitter black coffee notes on the finish.

Flavorful yet sessionable; nicely done.

Jul 23, 2019
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Nass from Florida

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This beer is way too bitter for a porter folks. Man I tell you this beer taste more like an English Bitter than an American Porter. I like a little bit of dark fruit notes in my porter or stout from time to time but this beer taste like bitter fruit cake turned up a notch or two. If your into beers that pack a HUGE dark fruit presence then this beer will undoubtedly tickle your fancy but not this fella right here. This beer is missing the rich roasted malts that porter have as well as some bakers chocolate notes or maybe a slight coffee note, or maybe some caramel or molasses, this is just a one dimensional mess that I don't want to be on as far as i'm concerned. I don't know maybe i got a bad batch or something because other reviewers on this website are giving this beer a good score. Cheers! D

May 14, 2019
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't have especially high expectations when I recently bought a bottle of this beer. I used to drink Anchor Steam in California in the late 1980s, but craft beer has progressed a great deal since then. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this beer and I would buy it again. It featured a nice roasted bitterness with something...I want to say caramel?

Apr 26, 2019
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Beer_Right_Back from Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We are sure that their are better porters on the U.S. market, but we couldn't think of any too quickly. Anchor has done an amicable job of finding a great, complex porter flavor.

Feb 20, 2019
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Mashtun_Martian from Massachusetts

2.53/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

If you like a very bitter aftertaste in a porter than you’ll like this. I believe a porter should have less bittering hops in order to make the dark malts really shine.

It also seems a bit overcarbonated, but I think the bitterness is also making that more apparent. All in all, I’m not very impressed.

Jan 21, 2019
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mothmanscott from Georgia

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear deep brown with garnet highlights, producing 2+ fingers of mocha, somewhat lasting, foamy head that leaves a beautiful coating of lace. Aroma is toasted pumpernickel, rich dark fruits, dark chocolate, roasted nuts and toffee with hints of licorice and thin coffee. Taste is roasted and bold being semisweet dark chocolate, rich dark bread, raisins, overripe plums, roasted nuts, char, toffee and a hint of smoke. Finishes sweet, bready, chocolatey and fruity with a kick of spice. Aftertaste is a diminished version of the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, creamy, smooth, dry and a little chewy. An excellent American Porter and good example of what it was like before craft started experimenting with so much added coffee and chocolate.

Dec 30, 2018
Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 3849 ratings