Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

1,536 Reviews
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
With deep black color, a thick, creamy head, rich chocolate, toffee and coffee flavors, and full-bodied smoothness, Anchor PorterĀ® 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001

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Reviews: 1,536 | Ratings: 3,658
Photo of mempath
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

just outstanding to look at as it pours a liquid near-black that hints at red if held to a supernova...perfect, beautiful lacing, a dark cola head that settles in slow motion with a thickish center that maintains the mountainous/pyramid appearance throughout until it flattens into a respectable island of foam. wow.

smells of sweet roasted malt. toasty. coffee. chocolate. maybe dried fruit, nuts. very balanced and assertive but not overwhelming.

wow. all these years, had one at a party, maybe one at a Dead show almost 20 years ago (well, outside of it, with the drummers...), never stopped and focused on this, poured it, nosed it....the taste is simply perfect....all elements are in perfect synchronization. there's a full-bodied mouthfeel peppered with just enough carbonation that allows all those roasty-toasty effects to play out, sustain, assert and fade very slowly. it enters the mouth and just bursts all over the place....elements soon run off to their favorite tasting areas of the palate. a smart porter. very smart.

refreshing, sessionable, just about perfect. in every sense of the word. i'll have to get a case of this before winter and icy times are done. sorry i missed this at Yule. a perfect brew to share during the holidays. and it's not expensive...


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Photo of rex_4539
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now that is a world-class American porter.

Flavorfull aroma and great taste, amazing aftertaste.

Very drinkable beer. A must-have for porter lovers!

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Photo of MrHolland
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite brews.. started my craft brewery obsession.

Pours a dark black with ruby highlights around the edge of the glass with a big tan frothy head that retains through the whole beverage and laces the glass. Smells of sweet malts, alcohol, and just brewed coffee notes. Very rich earthy and smooth coffee notes in the taste of the brew. Feels like liquid silk going into the mouth.
Could drink one of these right when I wake up in the morning ;) Def. my favorite beer from my favorite style at the moment. Recommend ++.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is malt heaven!
Dark, rich, bitter, sweet--perfection.
Appearance: deep solid dark brown
Smell: Caramel and dates
Taste: perfect balance of deep, dark, and rich flavors finished with a nice bitterness
Overall: this is an amazing beer not to be missed. I have no favorite beer style, but this is on my list of favorite beers now.

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Photo of kidgloves2
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've tried countless porters. I keep coming back to Anchor and compare all other porters to it. I think this is a perfect beer IMO. My local beer store keeps it stocked for me.

I compare it to Guinness Extra Stout, but better.

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Photo of Dwtucker90
4.98/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Deep Ellum Dreamcrusher snifter.

Look: gorgeous jet black pour. Beautiful brown head of about an inch.

Smell: dark fruits, lots of malt and sweetness. Interestingly smells kind of similar to the Rocheforts I've had. Plum, molasses, caramel notes all over the nose.

Taste: lots of bready mealtimes. Plenty of molasses, brown sugar and alcoholic sweetness.

Mouthfeel: not as carbonated as I'd like but very sticky dark notes left all over the mouth.

Overall: very delicious beer. One of the best porters I've ever had. Interesting that it reminds me so much of the Rocheforts. Try this one when you get a chance.

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Photo of realbama
4.98/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

this is the best porter i've ever had. it begins with the look. dark black with a huge frothy head that almost turns a creamish/pink in certain lights. the smoothest, most complex porter out there. this is a must. if this is your first porter, as it was for me, you've blown it. you'll never find another like this one, everything else will be disappointing.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours nearly black in color with a large amount of foamy, creamy off white head. There was some lacing that stayed throughout the beer.

The scent is of dark fruits, chocolate, some alcohol.

The taste is of slightly sweet, burnt caramel malts; dark fruits, some chocolate, molasses, toffee, and alcohol.

Full bodied, very smooth and creamy, little carbonation.

This was almost a perfect american porter, the flavor was great, very complex. Also it was very easy to drink, though it is filling it seemed like every sip presented something new to taste.

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Photo of Belgur
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, this has to be, hands down the best tasting and appearing porter in the world !

I can not find one apologie for not running to the store and getting your hands on at least one bottle of this marvel.

Smooth, creamy, coffee, and stunning looks with a stiff caramel cream head makes this beer the worlds eight wonder. Say no more - get your hands on this !

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Photo of Plumbwader
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours out a wonderful deep reddish black with an incredible long lived tan head. It has very light carbonation and is an incredible example of the style. This beer will keep calling back to you I guarantee you. It doesn't even sit heavy in your stomach so it has excellent sessionability for a porter. This is in my top 5 beers for sure! Let this bad boy warm up. The closer it gets to room temperature, the smoother and creamier it gets. Mmm, mmm, good. I want another one!

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Photo of tomParis
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown with a light (for a porter) head. Smells amazing, chocolate with hints of molasses and lightly toasted malt. Taste is very chocolaty with some really complex sweetness in the background and moderate bitterness to balance it out. Absolutely delicious. The mouthfeel is a little thin, and extremely smooth. Best stout or porter I've ever had.

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Photo of ordybill
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. This is the best porter I have ever had. An incredibly smooth flavor and texture. You cannot go wrong g with this beer

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from short fat 12oz bottle; dark oily brown pour, black in the glass showing a little dark brown in light with a thick fluffy brown head that leaves lots of big lacing. Smells incredible; like no other porter I've had. Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, raisins, oh lord this smells good. Smell rivals BCS. Taste is as complex as the smell; dark fruit, slight bourbon (that "old banana" flavor), coffee/bitter chocolate roasted malt and loads of sweetness. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. This is the standard by which I will measure every porter I have from this point on.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black body with mahogany glints at the edges. Big, frothy, dark-tan hot-cocoa head fades to a lovely 1/4" capper with some lacing.
Smell: Kahlua, cocoa, smoke, french-roast coffee, dark/ripe stone fruits, sweet toffee/butercotch malt. Delightfully complex....could sniff this all night.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Slick, creamy semi-sweet and smoked malt start, subdued carbonation allows the smoke and fruity tones to linger with a medium-bodied feel. Finish is semi-dry with bitter hops and burned sugars that allow the smoke and dark fruits to linger. This is not a light stout, it's a porter.
Drinkability: Have been searching for a stunning porter... this may be the one that I judge all others against. I will return to this often.

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Photo of itrainedcold
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is currently my favorite beer. I use to drink Guinness for my dark beer pleasure but this has such a nicer taste. Guinness is more milder than Anchor porter. Sierra Nevada porter has more of a bite and isn't as smooth as Anchor. It has a dark robust flavor and bitterness. A great beer for anyone who enjoys the darker malt side.

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Photo of dauss
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Standard Anchor bottle offering in the shorter more slender bottle. Production: 9J7

Appearance: Pours very dark brown, with light just barely getting through near the edges of the glass. A large tan head forms easily. Retention could use a little work, light lacing on the glass.

Smell: First whiff you get the roasted malts with a light hint of alcohol. With a deeper inhale you just get an incredible amount of chocolate.

Taste: Full mouthfeel with plenty of roasted character and the perfect amount of bitterness to balance out the sweetness from all that malt. Carbonation is a little on the light side, but it just makes the beer that much more silky smooth and rich.

Notes: Just came back into distribution in Colorado and couldn't want to buy myself a case. I think the head retention could use a little work, and I would prefer the beer to be a little fulller in the mouthfeel, but I'm just splitting hairs. Here you have it, the gold standard for the American Porter. Everything is just so nicely balanced between the roast, malt sweetness and the bitterness. The overwhelming chocolate in the nose is just bliss. I could drink this all day and in any season.

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Photo of DarrellK
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorites and scores highly becasue of the consistency of the brew over the years, it never disappoints. Visually there is a medium thick head on top of an opaque dark brown to black body that is quite still after the pour. The aroma maintains throughout and is rich and almost coffee like. The mouth has a lot of body, not syrupy, but full. The taste evolves a bit from a still tinge of chocolate bitterness at first but as it warms it becomes sweeter. The best analogy is pehaps a Heath Bar. Only a slight chill is needed for serving, maybe 55/60F. Pils specialists may think it is too rich but it is very high quality to me.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazed I hadn't reviewed this beer before. It was my favorite during a lonely winter spent living in an old farm house in Western Oklahoma in 2001-2002. Was lucky that the closest decent liquor store (45 minutes away) stocked this beer.

Very pretty inky black beer with a giant tan head. Leaves lots of Belgian lace behind. Excellent malty/toasty aroma.

The flavor, oh the flavor! Creamy softness matched with toastyness and tang. Mouthfeel factors in right away with this gentle soft smoothness which is then layered on top of some toasty but not burnt notes. There is raisins, burgandy wine, a tiniest whiff of dark chocolate and espresso, just the right amount of hops in there somewhere, and some citric tang that lingers and lingers and lingers.

Extremely drinkable. This is the prototype of what a porter should be. World-class beer for sure.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. A cross between reddish and blackish color. Has a thick tan head, which isn't too bad. Smells of malts. Taste of Chocholate and caramel. Mouthful, well the malted and roasted items do the talking. Drinkabilty is wonderful. An everyday american porter

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Photo of Herky21
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Wonderfully dark porter. Light colored head contrasts to the body. Sticks to the sides of the glass and doesn't move as you drink.

Smell: Strong roasted, caramelized scent. Slightly sweet undertones, what you'd expect from a porter. Not the most aromatic, but a good aroma.

Taste: It's a straightforward porter, but done so well. Captures that roasted and caramelized flavor. Almost seems to have some undertones of coffee. A nutty afterbite as well.

Mouthfeel: As the head suggests it sticks in your mouth. Heavy body carries the roasted, sweet malted tones. Really lingers.

Overall: Obviously I really loved this beer. It embodies everything I look for in a porter. The balance is right on. Sweet, bitter, and a great mouthfeel.

Comments: Thank you Anchorsteam. This is one of a few beers I will buy again. And for an avid beer taster, I don't do that often.

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Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark-brown in color, light/medium head which retains into a nice, clingy lacing that stays throughout the glass.

S: Brownies and roasted coffee.

T: Brownies....chocolate, light roasted coffee, bready aftertaste, very light caramel, malts are present from beginning to end.

M: Creamy, very light carbonation, ends up being very milky in the afterfeel, like drinking brownies and milk.

D: This is by far a porter from beginning to end, there is no disquising this. The uniqueness of the flavor is the crispness and overall lightness. This is a porter that could end up being a devoured six-pack before you know it. By far my favorite porter on the planet.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderfully complex, balancing roasted maltiness, mild hops, acidity and a particular floral character that I believe is related to the yeast, as with the Anchor Liberty Ale. A desert island brew (assuming that island has winters).

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very inky dark black/brown with a very nice fluffy light brown head that pillows over the top of the glass. Nose is excellent, it's light and a bit bitter/smoky, just how I want a porter.

Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy, it's super rich and smooth. Taste is equally tasty. There is a slight hint of iron on the finish, but other than that it's probably the best porter I've ever had. Mouthfeel could be a little thicker, but other than that this is perfect. Nice light coffee finish as well.

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Photo of Surefire
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best porters I've ever had. Highly recommended.

A: Dark, slight light at the corners. No flaws.

S: Coffee dominates

T: Creamy, coffee, chocalate, nice malt sweetness, with a hint of hops.

M: Creamy and heavy to full body.

D: Extremely drinkable. Creamy with heavy body, but also well balanced.

I highly recommend this porter as an easy drinking yet flavorable ale.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! At room temperature you could almost be fooled into thinking you was drinking some fancy schmancy homemade soda pop with root extracts. THis here is real deal fellas...

Big time fan of Anchor Steam beer and I've had this porter on several occasions now and don't know why I haven't reviewed it. My favorite porter...what can I say...I know I know I sound real brand loyal being as that Anchor Steam is my all time favorite beer in THE WORLD! Nope...not me you'll just have to believe me...I've been special ordering this beer for three years now whenever the urge strikes me to have a porter. Yup I order a case and it goes so fast! Before I can review. It's the slightly stlitled balance of leaning towards chocolate coffee mountain one minute and then headed for wild weed valley the next. Malts always win in this one but the hops try to stand pack up after ever KO. Did I just taste vanilla?

It's really really good beer. I love this beer ice cold with barbecue chicken and a sweetish sauce and I love this beer room temperature with rocky road...

I actually like the sweetness of this beer...the malts come in a caramel canoe and leave in a spray of steam...this beer has one of the all time great finishes at 45 degrees Fahrenheit...

BOomshakalaka...this one's nice nice!

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,658 ratings.
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