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: 3,666
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking to try this one for awhile. Bought a six pack and enjoyed this on Christmas eve. Enjoyed it for sure. May write more later. Glad that beer can ship far distances. Ha ha.

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Photo of Travis_B93
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love everything about it, the flavor the smell the after, didnt get to pour it so kind of sad about that but i imagine it looks as good as it tastes and smells. Great stuff very much recommend.

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Photo of craigmorris74
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A wonderful porter that tastes and feels more like an English style ale than modern American variants. Anchor porter is malt-forward and incredibly smooth and rich. A porter that you can have two or three of after a hard days work.

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Photo of TheBigBoy
2.94/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just so many porters out there that I like much more, if u like the standard dry taste & feel of Anchor Steam, the this porter may be right up your alley.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355 ml bottle, Bristol Beer Shop - Pours jet black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight bready feel at the back. Taste - sweet, richness, dark chocolate, light smoke/ash feel, dark fruitd, light dry bitter finish. Well balanced with a nice richness in the taste.

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

35cl bottle

Appearance: black with beautiful beige head. Medium carbonation.

Aroma: bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, woody, a very nice blend.

Taste: same as the smell with an extra slightly fruity note, like cherry or grape. Bitter chocolate, a bit smoked wood, coffee. Delicious. I didn't find it sweet at all.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, dry, with a bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Overall: my first American Porter ever, and a really great one. Found it very similar in every aspect to Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Part of a $10.99 make a 6-pack from Foodland
Dark black color
Smell of mollasses
Medium carbonation
Heavy mouthfeel
Rich chocolate, coffee, toffee taste
Overall a very enjoyable beer to sip on to enjoy the flavors.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good deep brown color here, you get similarities to the cherry coke head on the top at 2/3". Aroma of roasted and brown malt, chinook and cascade hops.

Taste hits a chewy mouthfeel, more coffee malt notes, brown malt, c hops. Its reliable. Some nutty aspect to it. its like they were able to use oats and smooth it out nicely. Relatively light mouthfeel for everything going on in here.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Opaque beer with a fluffy, light brown head. The beer leaves a curtain of lacing on the glass. The aroma is amazingly complex. I can pick out the nice roasted malts and sweetness but at times I get a wisp of smoke, raisins, figs, nuttiness, cocoa and fresh roasted coffee. The taste is the same as the nose with all of those flavors appearing in a super balanced way with the roast and raisin hitting the most for me. There is a nice hop and char bitterness at the end. The carbonation is amazing and makes this thing feel super creamy when you drink it. This is an amazing porter.

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Photo of Ferb
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a delicious porter that borders on stout flavors and intensities, especially in the darkness of the color and the heavy roast. Like Anchor Steam Beer, it manages to fit within the category but have it's own character that, compared to more balanced English porters like Samuel Smith's Taddy and St.Peter's, Old Style Porter, comes off as exuberant, or brash. It is one of the reasons I like porter so much, in that there are so many variations (without added flavors) within the style.

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Photo of LAp
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with a rapidly rising 2 finger khaki head. An outstanding smelling porter. Carries a much earthier, almost root-like black licorice element. The taste follows this profile, having a much less sweet profile than most porters, and relying on a similar licorice and toasted malt profile as the nose. The backend of the palate is a strong bitter note. Mouthfeel is appropriately thick and creamy. Overall, an exceptional beer, and a great change of pace from the trends of newer porters.

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Photo of g_rat
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: jet black, thin kakhi head tha dissipates slowly

Smell: toasted bread, caramel, slight smokey coffee notes

Taste: tastes quite different than it smells. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, dried fruits (raisins and figs come to mind), bitter coffee finish with a hint of tobacco

Feel: pretty smooth, somewhat sticky, above average carbonation for a porter

Overall: great beer, easy to drink, pretty complex flavoring. I definitely want to review this again

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Photo of Jaypeajus
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2nd Anchor offering. Into a pint glass at 50 degrees. Rich deep dark brown pour with light khaki mid soapy/creamy head. Smells great! Decadent toffee malts and roasted goodness. Yeasty, almost boozy bread smell. Tastes great too! Tons of lacing BTW. dark creamy chocolate on tongue, malts..everything listed in description. Feels quite smooth, creamy but not from over sweetness. Thin at first but as the full body rests in my mouth it seems to thicken up with a bit of warmth. Overall a great porter! A forgotten style for me lately as I've been drinking Imperial Stouts and IPAs, but this is a great beer to just enjoy.

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Photo of ThemThangs
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Oh man this is pretty good. Has kind of a unique smell to it that reminds me of red twizzlers, also makes me think of some of the British beers I've had. Tasting notes remind me of chocolate, caramel, cola, dark coffee, and char. Very faint hints of alcohol. A little bit of lingering bitterness in the finish. Gets sweeter and the bitterness goes away as it warms. I bought quite a few porters recently and most were disappointing, but I am enjoying this one. Every beer I have tried from this company thus far has been good. Served in a tulip glass.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Clear 14.75-oz. porter/stout glass
From: Bine & Vine in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.79 (10 pct. off for 6-pack deal)
Purchased: May 4, 2016
Consumed: May 19, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on Dec. 14, 2015

Can’t remember ever enjoying an Anchor beer and I don’t expect that to change with this porter, but I’ll keep trying.

Poured a mahogany color with 3-to-4 fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. Average spotty lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled roasty malts, sticky toffee, spoiled dark plum, fig, raisins, hints of roasted nuts, dry chocolate, rough molasses, cocoa and unknown hops. Almost reminded me more of a dry stout. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted better than the nose and more like a porter. Got roasty malts, bitter dry chocolate malt, dry cocoa, dark plum, raisins, hints of dark fig, charred molasses, toast, muted black coffee, dark toffee and unknown generic hops that you find in cheap-ass beer (thinking DieselPunk Porter). (Taste - 3.75)

Medium-to-full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish. (Feel - 4.00)

Might have underrated this slightly overall, but just slightly. Maybe the best Anchor beer I’ve had though. (Overall - 3.75)

3.76 | 85 | B+

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Huge, fluffy, khaki head, dark brown to black beer, nearly opaque, great lacing

S: Sweet maltiness almost like pastries, chocolate

T: Real sweet malts, once again like a chocolate donut or something to the like, little bitterness at the end of the taste, almost a dark chocolate bitter aftertaste that lingers

M: Medium

O: You can just tell this is a quality beer from all aspects. Really nice porter, one of my favorites of the style.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little metallic, but right for traditional English style. Overall, smooth, sweet, yet balanced by roasty bitterness, and a great classic example of a well made Porter. Cheers!

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, mostly opaque, with hints of red highlighting the only light getting through. Tan head, very fine bubbles, and a ton of lacing.

S - Roasted malts in the form of semi-sweet chocolate, a bit of molasses, alcohol when cold but this fades as it warms.

T - Toffee, caramel, chocolate and cocoa powder, molasses and freshly baked wheat bread. Close is a bit more bitter, with hints of coffee.

M - A touch sticky in the open, a bit drying in the close.

O - A well-crafted porter, with lots of good stuff. Not particularly complex, but tasty.

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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 Beginner2
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Released first in 1972, this may be the Daddy of all American porters.
And it is still the standard to beat. What other beer has been chased for 44 years ?
With 1510 reviews, I am not going to tell you anything new in Anchor's Porter. But I will say that its taste is among the most balanced. And in the mouth, this high carbonation ale (which usually bothers me) somehow emerges smooth.

However if you want to consider a far, far more respected opinion, MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave this Porter 2.5 stars of 4 and called it "rich, creamy, faintly herbal that might be described better as a bottom-fermenting medium stout."
Reviewed in the "1001", Anchor Porter still deserves unquestionably to be on the list.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
1.98/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.5

Update 9/10/16 : I'm editing this review as the last 3 six packs I've had of Anchor have been extremely hit or miss. Deny my claims if you will, but certain bottles taste off, metallic, or even infected. I cannot place a finger on it. Some taste like straight coffee, others like straight fig, and some just taste like old rotten fruit drizzled in chocolate. I have tons of stand-bys, none of them have had this swing in quality. So it's not just my taste buds. Sorry anchor, you've gone from my favorite porter, to one of my least favorites. I never know what I'm gonna get when I pop that cap. 3.15 overall, sunk from 4.39. The Overall score is reduced considerably because it's a mystery in that bottle.


I contacted Anchor, they confirmed it was an infected batch. Popped my last three in a row. Tasted each one. Sour, smoked, gross. My whole six pack went down the drain. Just disgusting and sour. They sent me a shirt, pin, bottle opener, and sew-on patch for my troubles. No check for free beer though. Anyways, I won't be revisiting this one, ever, and may only choose to buy their Old Foghorn from now on. Sorry Anchor. I'm glad you took care of me but you still lost a customer for the most part. Regardless, still better than some beers even when

This review is from a decent one I had awhile back :

The pour is magnificent in the tall pilsner glass. Dark chocolate brown with no light escaping; the head is gigantic taking up most of the glass and providing a beautiful chocolate-beige shade. Each "top off" looks like a science experiment as the head forms bulbous and almost overflows. I love it.

Aromas of hot cocoa mix, coconut, Christmas-like aromas of warm fire; porterhouse steak aromas, dates, chocolate-black licorice. I wish it were louder but this is quite amazing as is.

And the flavor brings it around full swing. Oh my goodness. It's very bitter - but let me explain. It's got lots of coffee, smoked meats, peppermint, hot chocolate, with a distinct hop bitterness that stays throughout the taste pulling up acidity from the coffee notes to accentuate the bitterness. This is not for the light hearted. It is, however, for porter lovers and I'm gladly part of that circle.

Feel is super creamy, with a mild dazzle of carbonation underneath to keep it pumped. The finish dries and leaves a coating on the tongue.

Overall, while it's a sipper, it's not limited to that. It drinks easy but to really enjoy it you'll want to sip this slowly, preferably in front of a fire or around good conversation with family and friends. (Compared to other porters : Black Butte is more sessionable and easier drinking with a lighter mouthfeel; Founders has more chocolate flavor and less bitterness but less dispersion of flavors across the whole tongue; Mudpuppy Porter is a malt lovers heaven and continues to be my favorite, but still does not hold a candle to the complexity represented here...)

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cola with a few-fingers of latte-foam head that recede to a finger but persist. Lots of lacing.

An interesting almost brown-bread or brown rice smell and flavour. Lots of bitter caramel, bitter chocolate. Quite hop-forward and herbal, doughy, yeasty. And yet it's also surprisingly drinkable, going down quickly and cleanly. Balanced, moderate body and carbonation. The whole affair is quite nice--I'm a fan, though I'm not sure we're in "world class" territory, here.

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Photo of brap
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I remember when Anchor Steam was probably my favorite domestic way back in the day, it was one of those revelation beers you try as a kid after endless cheapo lagers and say "Holy crap, beer can actually have some character and taste good.".

My tastes changed a bit but I can't believe I somehow managed to not have the Anchor Steam Porter until recently.

This was a great porter. Chocolate and fruti undertones and was a bit more bitter (in a good way) and had more complexity than other porters I've had recently, which really appealed to me. Will most definately drink again.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle into a conical 2/3 pint glass. Paid £2.19 for a single bottle.

Pours an opaque, dark brown, almost black body, that when held to the light displays dark plum tinges against the edges of the glass. A one-finger in height, tan coloured, bubbly head reduces quickly to a patchy film, leaving thin streaks of modest lacing.

Dark roasted malts and lightly roasted coffee beans lead the relatively subtle nose. A small amount of woody hops become more noticeable in the background as the beer warms. Similar to the aroma, dry, dark malts lead the taste upfront, while touches of slightly sweeter toasted grain and vague dark fruits follow shortly after. Towards the middle, lightly roasted coffee enters, along with mildly bitter, herbal, earthy, and woody hops that last through to the finish. In the mouth, a light to medium body and excellent carbonation give an enjoyably slick and smooth feel, drying out just a little towards the end as dark roasted malts linger on the palate.

Overall this is a good but unremarkable beer, nicely balanced, easy drinking and reasonable value for money. Its mild flavour profile and general inoffensiveness probably make it an excellent accompaniment to a meal, but I can’t see myself picking up another bottle to drink again on its own. For this purpose, given the choice, I’d much prefer a Founders’ Porter.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby colored edges, creamy, fluffy, frothy, tan colored head, got lots of lacing, head dissipated into a mocha colored soapy film, great head retention, this looks really good.

A: Roasted malts, chocolate, some coffee, dark fruits, lot of aroma coming off this beer.

T: First impression, this is very drinkable and smooth, light on the palate, roasted malts, barley, hint of chocolate, slight coffee, dark fruits come through a little stronger than the aroma, hit of moderate bitterness in the middle, finishes dry with an aftertaste of coffee and chocolate, very tasty.

M: Medium to light bodied, doesn't really fall into either category, dry finish, very drinkable.

O: Very impressed, what a great tasting porter, very balanced, flavorful, light enough to have a few, a new go to cooler weather beer for me.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,666 ratings.
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