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Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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1,529 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: 1,529 | Ratings: 3,621
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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Photo of markman
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Porter (12 oz bottle):

Don’t know why, but I’ve not returned to this classic in a couple years or so. Dark brown pour, nearly black with a tight tan head. Very nice. Mocha aroma and the taste follows with mocha, toffee, and light burnt chocolate. Kind of thin, but the roastyness of the malt fills the palate and it’s just turns to easy dinkin’.


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Photo of tweeder263
3.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appeearance,,nice and dark 2 finger head looks good. Has a licorice smell took me a bit to figure out the smell.Decent mouthfeel not too chunky feeling, not too bubbly.I must say im not too big on the taste. The licorice smell is fine but i think the taste of it is too drawn out,,a little too sweet. Bummer i was expecting good things from this brew.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A really good beer from a really good brewery.

Pours a motor oil black with a dark tan head that just never goes away. Delicious aromas of chocolate, cappucino and apple. It tastes as good. Heavy on the coffee acids witha thick malty base and noted hops to keep your interest. The feel is a touch on the heavy side, though don't let this stop you from trying this great porter.
Still nowhere near as good as Atlantic Brewing's Coal Porter, but still a valiant effort.

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

This was a first for me. I'd never had a porter and was surprised at how dark it was in the glass, like coca-cola. The head had a rich tan color that lasted for quite awhile- well carbonated.

The smell was of coffee, maybe a small hint of chocolate - nice.
When I tasted it there was a combo of coffee and smoke, not a long after taste, good finish. Man this is good for a fall day to watch football.

The mouthfeel was just right, pretty smooth and not offensive.
I think I could handle a few more of these, a keeper for the fridge.

I was sorry that I only had 2 bottles, not my type of beer but I'd
drink this one again for sure

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thin 0.5cm head is foamy, tan, never leaving. Body is dark brown, almost opaque. Aroma is typically porterish with direct barley flavors and a small lactic bite. Rich chocolate and anise flavors. Nice range of fruitiness reminiscent of a dates cake with lots of crust. Palate is thick, oily, sweet. Not much bitterness at all despite a gentle hop hint and apparent faint smokiness. I can understand its high rating, this is everything you want a porter to be. Classy and quaffable.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown / black with virtually no head. Minimal lacing as well. The smell is burnt, roasted grains with hints of coffee and cocoa as well. Some nice floral hops float in and out.

The first sip has a predominent burnt, almost smoky malt flavor upfront with a background melding of coffee, cocoa and slight hop nuances. Quite a bitter, burnt bread flavor with hints of molasses makes for a interesting porter.

Mouthfeel is good and carbonation is not overwhelming. It goes down smooth and hits the spot...pretty much perfect for the style. Drinkability is good and this would make a tasty session if I was in the mood. If you enjoy porters, this one is worthy of a try.

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

Pours a very dark brown almost black. Head is light and a creamy brown color. Smells slightly of coffee and roasted malt with a fruity aroma too that I can't identify. No noticeable hop aroma. Tastes are heavy on roasted malt, with a slight hint of coffee and raisins. Hops are not noticeable until toward the end and then just a little bitterness that gradually gives way to a slight malty sweetness. This beer has an extremely interesting finish with an ongoing battle of the taste buds - bitter hops, no sweet malt, no bitter hops, nope sweet malt... A very enjoyable brew I'll come back to.

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Photo of SteveP
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. "Wholly superior in every respect." I love the way brewers enthuse about their beers. I bet he also tells his wife he's got the biggest spoon in the world. Brewers, they're a bit like lawyers - you can't trust 'em.

This is a damn tasty brew - full of roasty flavours and chocolate flavours, quite smoothly done. Nice winey quality - with just a hint of soft fizz. A very pleasant and easy drinking porter - not complex or demanding, just plain old fashioned tasty. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bukowski's in Boston.

Wonderful brew! Not sure why I chose it off the menu at Bukowski's, but I'm certainly glad I did. Great looking beer, rich dark color, with a chocolate milk looking head. Sweet, fruity smell and deep rich taste. Substantial body and mouthfeel, yet suprisingly drinkable. I will be looking for this one again in the very near future and expect it to become a winter staple for me.

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

I was lucky enough to talk my local bowling alley into stocking this for me, now it is my new regular bowling beer. Let me tell you there can't be a much better bowling beer out there. An all around very good porter that is just a little easier drink than some. Makes a great Session porter.

The appearance is spot on black with a nice thick tan head the takes plenty of time to settle.

The smell is a great mix of Burnt Malts, Coffee, and some bitterness.

The taste is spot on for a porter. Nice Coffee, Some Caramel Malts, a little chocolate, some black bitterness and just enough hops to balance it out.

It has a very nice creamy mouthfeel and great drinkability.

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

This is one of my few regularly stocked favorites.

It pours very dark, leaving a nice head that is light brown and moderate fluffy.

Carmel and banana aroma come to mind. A very nice smell.

The mouthfeel has a nice texture. Creamy. Fizzy. Smooth. It remains full throughout the entire time it is in your mouth, even as you swallow. It does not dissipate on the way down. Really cool.

The taste is amazing. I am not a porter person, but this is not the typical coffee bitter flavor I expect from a porter. It is sweet, malty, carmely, and has just enough hop to balance it. The hop is the kind I like, too - it is not the bitter type, it is more of a dry and refreshing hop. It is really good.

The finish is a continuation of the mouthfeel. It fizzes at the back of the throught on its way down. The back of the tounge senses a slight smooth coffee flavor as it disappears.

It does not leave a bad aftertaste. If there is any, it is somewhat sweet and acceptable.

This is a regular in my cooler.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,621 ratings.
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