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 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: 1,540 | Ratings: 3,666
Photo of silenius
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 4NW

Pours a dark, dark brown with only a hint of translusence around the edges. The head is a nice frothy mound of tan foam. It laces the glass.

Smell is chocolate malt-o-meal, molasses and a hint of coffee.

Taste is a wonderful mix of light chocolate and hops. Coffee notes on the end leave a nice bittering dryness. I occasionally get a hint of a metallic bite.

Mouthfeel is slightly sharp and a little thin feeling. Strange with so much taste going on.

Nice drinkable beer, but after one or so I find myself looking for something different.

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nearly pitch black body, and a generous amount of creamy, tan head. A good amount of lacing coats the glass. Wonderful malt aroma, roasted barley, sweet molasas, slight estery aroma too. Sweet and smokey taste up front. Some bitterness comes through at the end, but only enough for some balance. Very full feel in the mouth, and creamy. Leaves the mouth a little dry at the end. Drinkability is excellent, really a great all around brew.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz with no dates listed.

So brown its almost totally black with a big head of light tan that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Good retention.

Smells of cocoa, caramel, and a touch of west coast hops. Very nice.

The roasted malts and chocolate notes take over when tasted. There's some hop in the finish, but only briefly. Balanced? Oh yeah!

Nice full mouthfeel. Big but not oily. A beer this good is indeed drinkable, very drinkable.

This could be one of the best Porters available.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is great stuff! Attractive bottle, poured ink black. Almost no head at all. This stuff almost smelled like smores. Plenty of chocolate, toffee, semi-sweet chocolate, carmel, coffee, you name it. Just smashing!! A bit more hops in the taste than I'd care for, but in light of everything else, this is just delicious. Smooth, pleasant mouthfeel. Not too heavy. This is great stuff. Brilliant!

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

A very dark brown beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big foamy brown head, with some nice lace. There is a good roasted malt aroma with a sweet nut like background.The flavor is full of roasted malt assertiveness. With chocolate and licorice note bouncing off your tongue and a nice bittersweet coffee finish.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes scribbled down last night.

Poured a dark brown with a rich, creamy head that left wonderful lacing. The smell was a very solid, but not incredibly inviting cocoa presence. The taste was pretty good, but was missing an extra kick. The chocolate notes were great, and mixed well with the almost sweet nuttyness, but it needed something else to push it over the edge. The mouthfeel was incredibly lucious and creamy, just like a porter should be. I love my porters, and tonight I got to try the Smuttynose Robust Porter. It's definily better than this one, but this is also a solid choice.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from from the standard 12 oz'er, this brew pours a deep opaque black emanating a prominate creamy head which subsides to a thin layer. Leaves a nice lace after drinks.

Smell hints at deep hops, raisins, and smoke. This porter has a medium body, and leaves a slight astringent tinge on the corners of the tongue. Taste is pretty rich, but not overbearing. Strong hop flavor followed by a residual sweetness, almost chocolate like although I'm sure there is no chocolate in it. This is the porter paradigm. A subtle yet complex flavor that is quite drinkable. Well worth a try. Cheers

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours very dark and similar to a stout. However, the toffee-colored head does not retain itself as well. The lace is quite sticky and sticks to the edge of the glass. The aroma is of toffee and vanilla. the flavor has just a mild hop kick, but is nicely balanced with the malt. Also present is a very mild chocolate teaser and an unfortunate (but slight) burnt rubber taste. The mouthfeel is just slightly bitter from the hops, but has a very pleasant and satisfying heavy feel. this would make a great beer to introduce a dark beer to someone. Nothing overwhelming, but very mellow and balanced.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep,deep brown color. Borders on black but just not quite there. Good sized head that is gone fairly quickly. Nice,somewhat sweet aroma. Port like. Hints of chocolate,cinnamon and licorice. Big roasty malt flavor. Somewhat grainy. Subtle chocolate in the backround. Theres a "hashness" I have always found to this beer-its very slight and underlying but its there. Not unpleasant just a certain characteristic of the brew. Never found it in any other porters. Maybe its how the roasted malt comes thru? Wonderful body. Very full for the abv. A classic beer like almost all the other Anchor products. I havnt had this for ages-need to get it regularly.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with reddish purple tints. Nice tan head that doesn't budge. Sticks around as I write this. Exciting scent. Roasty malts up front with a fruity sweetness and grapey winelike aroma. Bitter hops detectable too, as are notes of sugary plums and berries. The head still hasn't shrank any and I still haven't taken a sip... Nice well balanced and full flavored taste. Toasty malts are there but don't hog all the space. Plenty of room for the bitter hops. Complex flavors. I'm picking up on root beer, creamy milk, sweet plums and other fruits, and maybe just the perfect tiny hint of chocolate. Smooth and creamy medium to full mouthfeel. This is a great example of a session beer that is well balanced yet complex and interesting at the same time. A great example of a porter.

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Photo of cokes
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Onyx topped with a fat tan pillow.
Nose full of plum, toffee, mocha, and ash.
Begins with supple dark fruitiness, all raisins and plums, with notions of singed pears. Chocolate later, joined with toffee and whispers of coffee. A lactose sweetness fades to caramel and vanilla bean. The toffee smothered dark fruit are the ringers here. Hops are modest and only provide a backdoor dryness and phantoms of grass.
Rotund in the mouth, but moderately carbonated. It's big and bold without excess weight.
A classic example of the American Porter, and a homage to its British, and possibly Baltic forebearers. This is choice stuff.

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Photo of ramrod666
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this porter pours as black as midnight with a tight tan head that retains rather well . laces like a mutha. smell was of chocolate and coffee although not very bold. maybe that thick head was retaining the smell? taste is nice. a creamy up front with bold coffee and cocoa towards the finish. more sweet than dry. mouthfeel is not a heavy as expected, but coats the mouth well with terrific flavor. drinkability is good. i could easily have quite a few of these in a sitting.

note: flavor becomes much bolder after warming. i suggest letting it sit for 15-20min before drinking.

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

Pours a beer black as the night. A milk chocolate brown foam settles on top and stays there quite long.

Smell is immense. Just during the pour chocolate lingers in the nose. Then comes coffee, some toffee sweetness with raisins and milk in there.

Taste comes first with milk chocolate and burned malt. Theres some sourness to it and chocolate hanging over it.
Soon theres more of that bitter and burned malts together with chocolate covered raisins, hops and more dark chocolate to it.
Finishes quite dry but sitll milky, leaves the mind ready for another sip of this great beer.

This really tastes more like an sweet stout. Amazing though!

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Photo of MobBarley
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one is good...though a little more stoutness would have helped. Pours deep brown with shards of crimson coming through. Smell is rich and regular for a porter...a little vitaminy maybe. The taste is nice except for the noticeable twang of alcohol in the mix with luscious toasty malts and cannabis-like hops presence. Finish is clean and the mouthfeel is good...really a little too thin for me, though. Drinkability is quite good. I can imagine myself lusting after one all day out in the cold and really relishing it when I returned. Good stuff, as one might expect for this storied brewery; weak for the style.

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Photo of beersarang
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark dark brown almost black with a tan head. Leaves adequate lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smells citrucy with toasted malt notes and hop aromas.

Tastes complex and malty with roasted flavor. Quite roasted indeed. Hop bit terness somewhat overwhelms the malts giving this beer an intense palate. Very rich and somewhat uncharacteristic for a porter.

Mouthfeel is creamy with appropriate carbonation.

Due to the richness of this brew the drinkability is sub average.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/17/05- Purchased at Barbara's Fishtrap in Half Moon Bay, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle, not sure if there was an expiration date or not. Poured into a small 10oz glass.

Appearance- Deep dark brown, almost black used motor oil color. Nice 1/2 inch tan head and decent lacing.

Smell- Decent amount of dark roasted malts. Smells very sweet.

Taste- Lots more dark chocolate flavors than I expected. Tastes more like a stout to me than a porter. Decent amount of roasted coffee bean taste, but overall a nice sweet taste of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Lightly carbonated and a bit of a semi-full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- May be the best porter I have had to date. Probably because it tastes more like a stout to me and is really sweet flavored unlike many porters I have had. My fiancee likes this one too, so this may become a staple around the household.

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Photo of hero27
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very, very dark reddish/brown. You could say "black" for simplicity's sake, though. The head is very creamy, tan in color, and the size is decent with a strong pour. Dissapates slowly, but surely. Leaves respectable lacing on the glass.

Smell: For some reason, I couldn't pick up much from this brew. Faint aroma of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Typical porter smell, but could be more unique and more strong.

Taste: I'm not crazy about porters but this tastes really nice and rich. Somewhat complex yet simple enough to enjoy without being overwhelmed. Can definitely pick up a variety of tastes, from molasses, figs, prunes, raisens, caramel, etc..

Mouthfeel: Very creamy & smooth. Bitterness is minimal, which is surprising to me considering this is a rich porter, but seems very well-balanced. Goes down great.

Drinkability: Not quaffable in vast quantities, but certainly a nice winter porter or nightcap. Relatively easy to drink for a porter. Price is a bit high, i believe I paid $9 for a six-pack..

Overall, a solid offering from Anchor. Definitely one of my favorite porters and I would recommend that everyone give it a try.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, opaque mahogany--almost black--with a dense, rocky, two-finger expresso crema head with superb retention. Thick lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Malty and sugary with a slightly sulphur/molasses scent up front, followed by dark fruit (fig, raisin), leather (?!) and a hint of burnt malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is fantastic, dense, smooth and a bit syrupy. The flavor is deep and dark, with equal parts caramel, burnt sugar, raisin, figs, unsweetened chocolate and a hint of expresso. The finish is bitter black malt, dry and slightly astringent.

Drinkability: I love the beer, but it's a bit heavy to session. Still, very satisfying brew--I think it's Anchor's best.

This beer is a great example of why you shouldn't overlook the obvious. Living here in SF, this beer is everywhere, and I'd gotten to the point where I tuned it out. One day after a long, cold ride, looking at the taps, it just seemed right. I was absolutely blown away by the heft and smoothness--I couldn't believe I'd denied myself this pleasure for years. Don't forget the basics, kids.

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

One of the American classics, this stuff has been delicious for over 20 years! Standard small bottle sampled, pours almost black with a dark tan head. Moderate lacing. Nose of cocoa. Medium bodied, lucious smooth mouthfeel, creamy on the tongue, rich flavors of coffee, cocoa, taffee and caramel. Lightly hopped, finish is more cocoa, powdered sugar and coffee. Tasty creation, always a good selection

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Photo of smcolw
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice tight beige head. Very dark brown in color. Nice lace that lingers on the glass side.

Very fresh smelling beer. Well balanced aromas; the malt is crisp and clean--chocolate and cream. The hop is subtle but distinct. There is a small touch of yeast, too.

Lots of chocolate up front. Hop bitterness comes mid-taste and remains throughout the swallow. Full bodied with high carbonation, this is a rich brew. The aftertaste is largely hop, but sweet carmelized sugar comes through as a balance. The bitterness lingers long after the sweetness dissipates.

This is one of my favorite porters. Rather than being a "light stout", this beer is full bodied and flavorful with a higher hop presense and less burnt flavors.

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Photo of BeerBob
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Porter pours a heavy maroon from a dark brown 12oz glass bottle. Head went well over two fingers before melting down to wisps of foam and a well defined ring. The sides of the glass have a nice lace pattern on them as well.

Nose is a wonderful bouquet of figs, plums and a tawny port wine note as well. The sweet malt mingles very well with the dried fruit to give this brew a most delicious flavor.

Candy for the eye, the nose and the palate, Anchor Porter should please even the most critical amongst us, it has me.

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

Appearance: Very dark and opaque color. Lightly tan head of foam.

Aroma: Sweet caramel-chocolate malt aroma.

Flavor: Very rich, slightly sweet milk-chocolately taste, with a light amount of fruitiness. Hops are restrained, but a slight amount of bitterness at the end lends a small drying touch to an otherwise sweet finish.

Body: Creamy, chewy mouthfeel.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep brown color with a creamy tan head and sticky lacing. The head retention is low, but maintains a decent layer. Smells of malt, caramel roasted grains and coffee, with is a surprising presence of fruitiness. Flavor has a rich sweet start and a roasty hop finish. Palate is medium to full bodied, creamy and effervescent with a full lasting bite at the end. Anchor Porter maintains characteristics of a higher gravity beer with a good balance, and more chutzpa than many others of the style without going extreme.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently bought a six pack of this beer after hearing its attributes from many people. It met those remarks and is a solid brew.

Appearance is very dark brown-near black and let very little light though. A one-finger head that dissapated rather quickly but left decent lacing.

Smell is of toffee and caramel, very similair to SA cream stout. Taste is also similair to Sam Cream. At first very little carbonation detected, but when left for a minute on the palate this comes through just to the right degree.

This beer goes down very well and is great to just sit and enjoy. High quality.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spinnakers in Victoria imports this beer in and my father kindly procured some for me to drink. I had this beer years ago and forgotten how smooth this brew goes down. Big brown head on top of jet black body this is a pretty sight . The real clincher is the coffee and roasted barley nose that hints at the figs and chocalate notes in the first sip. There are very few porters this smooth and balanced and this is a direct relation to Fritz's admonition to qualtiy.

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