Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

1,540 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 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001

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Reviews: 1,540 | Ratings: 3,667
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now I know why its their best rated beer. A superior porter, with all of the Anchor creamy easy on mouth mouthfeel/flavour. One of the few porters I desire again. Mocha bittersweet rather than chocolate and still rich, not too toasty coffee. Just easy and smooth. Roast, anise nice at end of meal, carbonation on tongue as it sooths it.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: single finger head on a dark body with red hues made by the passing light.

S: there are distinct vanilla and chocolate notes in this one which are more stout like. Lacks smokey or roasted notes one would expect.

T: roasted malt, vanilla and smokey flavors. Dark chocolate notes and mild hop bitterness are also in the flavor.

M: medium body. Some porters are too light but this one is done right. moderate carbonation.

Overall: I am not a big fan of porters but this is one of the better ones.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Small random dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted dark malt, dark fruits, and some slight cocoa and vanilla aromas. Taste is of roasted dark malt, cocoa, vanilla, and a slightly sour dark fruit flavor. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good porter but the sour/fruity aspect was unexpected.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

just an extremely well crafted porter. pours near black, darker than most, with a nice tan head two inches tall. smells malty and acidic, but the flavor is not astringent at all. more roasty, notes of coffee, chicory, even baked dandelion root and bockish springtime malts. some gentle hopping in the background, but this one features the roast. mmm. mouthfeel is ideal for a porter. creamy and expansive in the mouth, with plenty of bubbles and a glorious complex but balanced finish. i love everyting about this beer from the packaging to the buzz. its great. ultra sessionable, and for ten bucks a sixpack, you really get a high quality product. perfect for a late winter evening. world class in my book, a better version of the classic english porter.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This porter pours out with a very dark brown body with a tan colored head on it that fades after drinking a few sips. The aroma is kind of a little bit like old leather to me and roasted malts. Not much else on the nose. The flavor was roasted, and a little bitter and dry in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side for a beer of this color. It's not bad but I feel that there are more impressive porters out there.

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Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is near black in color (traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a two finger high creamy tan head that has good retention properties, consistently leaving a layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The smell is rather sweet yet is also quite interesting because it has contrasting aromas of licorice.
T: Like the smell, the taste is also sweet but is much more complex with flavors of chocolate, licorice, molasses and toffee.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer goes down very easily and is quite flavorful, making it very sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An often overlooked great beer. Everyone should keep stock in their fridge. Pours a nearly-opaque brown-black with hints of dark ruby highlights. Moderately carbonated and shows good proteins and retention. Smells unmistakenly chocolate and coffee with a light toffee sweetness and a mild lactose softness. Tastes boldly of bittersweet cocoa, columbia coffee, roasty and toasty. Lightly hopped for balance, but not flavor. A soft sweetness lingers into the aftertaste. Has a full, rich, soft feel to the mouth with a lightly roasty bitter finish. The acidity seems a bit high, combined with roastedness and a light scrubbed carbonation, are the only factors keeping this beer out of my top 10.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, a single from Zyn's wall of single orphan goodness in Calgary.

This beer pours a clear, very dark ruby-brown colour, with three fingers of billowy, creamy, and bubbly beige head, which maintains some solid retention, eventually giving up some nice layered hanging webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly roasted grainy malt, a bit of dry chocolate, ethereally funky yeast, today's coffee, and musty floral hops. The taste is dry chocolate, gritty pale malt, a bit of coffee grounds, mildly sour black fruit, a hint of lactic acridity, and floral, leafy, bitter hops, with a near-silent echo of background warming alcohol.

The carbonation is average, just a tight frothiness emanating throughout, the body more or less dense in its quotidian medium weight, a tad creamy, and mostly just plainly smooth. It finishes clean, with that fruity, chocolaty malt squaring off against the softly bitter, almost citrusy, floral hoppiness.

A pretty decent porter, so suitable for such a rainy autumn day. The undercurrent of fruity and (maybe milky?) sour notes adds a pleasant further dimension to the solid malt/hop interplay. Sure went down easy, this one did - too bad I only procured the one.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an inky black/brown color with some ruby highlights; the massive tan head retains nicely and leaves plenty of lace behind

Smell: Toffee and plenty of dark fruit (dried plums and cherries)

Taste: Starts out with a sweet toffee flavor and adds the dried dark fruits to the mix through mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a touch of roasted coffee bitterness; the finish, however, returns to the dark fruit flavor

Mouthfeel: Just above medium thickness with modest carbonation

Drinkability: The fruity flavors dominate this porter; different and quite enjoyable

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Photo of kojevergas
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the shape and feel of Anchor's bottles. Also dig their distinctive labels. Artful simplicity. I'm hoping this beer lives up to that maxim. Acquired at a local SoCal beer store; I don't recall the price. "2YP" on the back of the label. Naturally carbonated. 12 fl oz brown/black glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap ("Use Opener") served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high; I've heard a lot of great things about this beer.

Served cold, straight from a cooler, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a five finger lovely khaki-tan head of good cream, good thickness, and great (~7+ minute) retention. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Light uneven inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. The head has a soft frothy consistency that's rather appealing. A spot-on appearance for a porter. Looking good and inviting so far.

Sm: Dry roasted malt, dark malts, hints of chocolate malt, cardboard, and brown sugar. Molasses, dry dark fruit - like emaciated cherry. The dryness of the aroma really holds back the muted plum and raisin. Caramel. Perhaps toffee. I like the roast, but it is rather muted and even a bit cardboard-y. It's a rather dry aroma. It's not subtle, just muted and timid. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Fine roast. Dark plum and raisin. Vague light molasses. Dark malts, chocolate malt, a bit of biscuit malt perhaps. A bit bready. Good body. Not too sweet nor too bitter. Any hopping is very mild and probably generic floral in character. Caramel. I really dig the dark fruits - that's unique for a porter. But the rich dark malting and vibrant chocolate I expect from a good porter is missing here. I do like the roast - which is so often missing in porters. Overall, it's quite balanced. Fairly complex for a porter. Even a bit subtle. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. A bit of brown sugar comes through on the finish, which complements the plum nicely.

Mf: Nicely dry and coarse for a porter. They're so often too smooth and wet, but this porter is probably coarser and dryer than your typical oatmeal stout. Complements the flavour profile quite well. Ideal carbonation. Good full body. Great thickness. Nicely done.

Dr: A very drinkable porter with an excellent price point. This will be my go-to porter alongside Deschutes' Black Butte. I love the subtle dark fruit and the roastiness, but it's not without its flaws. Very well executed for a porter; amongst the best I've had. But far from perfect, or even world class territory. I'm confident there's a far better beer to be had in the style, but this one is lovely. Doesn't quite live up to its reputation, but it's very solid stuff. I'd definitely get this again.

Low B+

I'm confident beer biscuits made with this would be fantastic. This would be great in a stew as well.

I like it both cold and warm; it's interesting to see how the dark fruit opens up as it warms.

Drank great from a conical pint glass. I'd recommend a nonic if available. That or a dimpled mug.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate brown in the nonic, translucent around the edges with a beautiful two-finger light tan head that clings to the glass. Chocolate, caramel and faint butterscotch aromas waft from the glass. There's a subtle roasty, charred undertone buried beneath the dessert-like scents. It presents a similarly decadent profile to the palate; bold flavors of chocolate, caramel and carob balanced by a roasty bitterness and earthy hop bite. The mouthfeel is creamy and full for the modest ABV, and the finish is pleasantly dry and mildly bitter. I never seem to tire of this one; a microbrew classic.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a slightly above average foamy head with good retention. Aroma of roasted malt is well blended with some flavourful coffee. Taste is a mix between well balance roasted malt and coffee with a medium bitter finish. Body is real creamy and quite full. Probably one of the best porter I have had so far.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium sized light brown head just kinda sat there for a bit before it started to slowly fade into a pretty decent lacing above a dark brown to almost black colored beer.

A roasted to almost burnt dark chocolate malt aroma that transfers well into a rich roasted dark chocolate with a little coffeeish taste coming through. A very tasty and easy drinking porter.

A rich full bodied beer with a lightly bitter roasted dark chocolate aftertaste that lingers a while. A very worthy addition to any list a beer drink might have or make.

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a burgandy hue with a hint of ruby. It had a thick, caramel-colored head that left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and chocolate. There was also a slight grassy hop aroma.

T - It tasted of bittersweet roasted malt. It had a coffee-like kick. There was also a hint of fruity flavors.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good porter. Yet another great product from Anchor.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to my dad for picking this up at International Beverage Selections in Grand Rapids. Served in a Hill Farmstead Wine Glass.

Pour yields a very dark brown-colored brew with a really nice tan head and quite a bit of lacing. Solid retention as well. The nose brings forward some light chocolate and roast. There is also a bit of toffee and caramel lingering in the background. The taste is similar, leaning more toward the chocolate with a bit of malt sweetness. Body is too thin and undercarbonated. Not my favorite from Anchor.

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Photo of mothman
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams senosry glass.

Dark maroon/opague color. Head is a nice fluffy tan color. Lace is pretty good.

Aroma is of chocolate and roasted honey nut. Taste is of honey and roasted sweetness carmel.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and the alcohol becomes present at the end.

Overall, this is an excellent porter. Great to the style, a nice honey and carmel taste makes this a great brew!

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/26/2012. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, molasses, dark bread, raisin, light roast, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark bready malt and light roasted notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, molasses, chocolate, toffee, dark bread, floral, light roast, raisin, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, molasses, dark bread, light roast, raisin, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome balance and complexity of dark and bready malt flavors; with good roast/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent porter! All around great balance and complexity of bready and dark malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a big, two finger head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The rocky head dissipates slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - A light roasted malt note with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and a hont of molasses. Subtle spicy notes of licorice, anise, and a bit of a nutty aroma.

T - Sweet caramel and cola notes up front with a hint of brown sugar. Licorice pops up in the middle along with more cola character. The malt darkens somewhat in the finish with a bit of bittersweet chocolate and more anise, balance by mild malt bitterness. LIngering dark malt character grows more complex in the aftertaste with notes of coffee, licorice, cola, and light smoke.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable, the malt is perfectly balanced by the roast character with just a touch of hops to bring everything together. This is one of the very few porters that really stands out as stylistically different from a stout. The roast character is quite subtle and only really comes out in the finish. Dark sugar characteristics dominate with a spiciness that seems to be more in line with what a porter would have traditionally been expected to taste like. A nice, drinkable beer and a good reminder of why Anchor has withstood the test of time.

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Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a real deep brown with a small almond colored head that leaves some decent lacing,the aroma is of deeply roasted malt and a little earthiness.The taste is a variety of different flavors,some roasted malt in the start with a almost caramel sweet middle ending woody and smoky,Real nice body feel one of the best American porters that I have had.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter. "4JX" stamped on back label.

Pours very dark brown with a tan head that quickly reduces; fairly good lacing nonetheless.

Aroma: mild with more dark fruit than expected.

Flavor: richer and less sweet than the aroma suggests. Hints of dark bread, raisins, and light spices, with some bittersweet chocolate and a touch of coffee in the finish.

O: excellent porter, if not a great as the best (e.g., Fullers).

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is a clear, exceptionally deep mahogany with ruby highlights. It's foamy tan head holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. The nose suggests cocoa and dark chocolate. The body is medium/full; and it's quite creamy in the mouth - enhancing its malty flavor and adding greatly to its drinkability! The flavor starts with some dark toffee and fruit, followed by a Cappuchino-like creamy malt as it crosses the palate. Notes of chocolate and black coffee appear in the long lingering finish along with some herbal hop flavor and a mild bitterness. It becomes dryer and roastier as it lags. It has a sweetness to it, but it's not a sweet beer. It's well rounded, and very well balanced. Rich, creamy, and strong; it's one of the best porters brewed in the U.S. and absolutely worth trying.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown/near black, with several fingers of robust mocha-colored head. This maintains a creamy richness that throws up a foamy cascade of sticky lacing. The aroma smells of coffee, chocolate, green citrus, and some leafy notes. This unfortunately doesn’t have a whole lot of power to it though.

The taste is cocoa powder, roasted coffee, green citrus, and a touch of sweeter caramel. A lot of ripe and fruity citrus starts to emerge as this warms. This finishes dry and roasty with some lingering earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the tongue before becoming more of a firm creaminess across the back of the palate.

Despite the nose not cooperating for some reason, this was pretty darn good. Lots of sweetness, roast, and fruit are present, as is a firm hop profile to add some crispness in as well. Drinkability is pretty good considering the richness of the flavors. I’ve had better experiences with this beer in the past but I’m still confident in saying that this is a go-to Porter when you need one that is full flavored and easy drinking.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from a 6-pack, poured into a pint glass.

A: Color is a deep, dark brown. Head is thick and stays for decent amount of time with a color of deep beige. Leaves a thick even lace on the glass.

S: Malty, dark chocolate & roasted coffee aroma with a combination of sweetness and bitterness.

T: You definitely taste the strong coffee flavor. It’s almost like you’re drinking black coffee rather than beer. The smell had me expecting a much more bitter taste, but what bitterness it starts out with, fades as you get half-way through. There’s a thick sweetness in the after-taste.

M: As you pour it you would think it’s going to be thick to drink, but not so. The consistency is a good middle-of-the-road. Not too thick, not too thin. Very smooth with little carbonation, this goes back to what I mentioned earlier about it seeming like black coffee rather than beer.

D: The sweetness and smoothness disguises the alcohol content, which makes it very easy to drink. However, I could also see where some people might not like the sweetness enough to drink a lot in a sitting.

I decided to try the beer thinking it would be very hard to find anywhere else around here. Now it's all over the place in this area. However, there are many other beers I would drink above this one.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque dark black in color with some light hints of brownish amber at the edges of the glass when held up to the light. The beer has a two finger tall pillowy tan head that slowly reduces to a dense patch, a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Not the most intense aroma but a quite enticing smell to this beer. There is the expected dark roasted malts but there is also an element of sweetness like from molasses and some moderately strong aromas of licorice/anise.

T: There is a far amount of complexity to the flavor that builds from what is in the smell. The beer starts with some light flavors of dark roasted malts and then the sweeter notes come into play. There are notes of chocolate, molasses, toffee, and brown sugar. Finally, there is a quite strong flavor of licorice/anise that lingers.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This beer has a very nice complexity of smell and taste that makes it very enjoyable. The beer is pretty easy to drink and could easily be sessionable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Grove in San Francisco. Pleasant roast malt flavor with a zing of tartness. Caramel gives a nice sweet tang anlong with the dark and slightly charred flavors. Just a hint of hops gives a bitter finish. Winey with raisins and figs, but all very restrained. Pleasant quaff and glad to taste it on tap again. It was the great Western dark beer during the brewing dark ages.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,667 ratings.
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