Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

3,689 Ratings
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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Ratings: 3,689 |  Reviews: 1,546
Photo of obrike
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bought a single at World Market in Round Rock.

Charcoal look, creamy tan head, leaving very clingy lacing throughout. Very pretty.

Catching a whiff of sweet toasted malt, a bit of caramel as well.

Taste follows scent. This is a tasty porter. The creaminess of this one is excellent. Goes down super smooth. A bit of a bitter kick goes well with the sweet malt. Drinkability in this one is top notch as I kept wanting another sip as soon as i put it down.

A tasty porter to say the least. A bit pricey, but worth it.

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Photo of match1112
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: black as can be with a finger and half of light brown head.

s: roasted malts, coffee, some sweetness from fruits maybe and a touch of hops.

t: roasted coffee with a sweetness to it that is just awesome.

m: super rich and creamy not too thick.

o: one of the top five porters i've ever had the pleasure to taste.

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

Thanks to pmsawyer for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a standard pint glass, the brew appears a very dark brown nearing black in color. A rich mocha head sits atop the brew more than a finger strong and maintains fairly solid retention throughout the entire experience. The cap leaves a webbing pattern and patches of lace-work wherever it touches the glassware. When held to the light, it shows off a lighter brown clarity around the edges and a deep ruby coloration through the body. A fantastic looking brew right here in my glass.

The smell of this brew has a familiar aspect to it that pretty much nails the whole spectrum of what I enjoy about porters. The initial aromas of this brew are of dark roasted grain smelling of coffee and chocolate. The dark grain quality gives way to a bit of dark fruited aspect reminiscent of raisin or plums with a sweetness that contrasts the dark roasted quality. More sniffs reveal a bit of mineral aspect as well a light sour twang and some citrus to fruity hops come across towards the back. The last thing filling out the nose is back to the start with a rich cocoa character that is very nice. Once the brew gets warm, it picks up a bit of black licorice note that is enjoyable.

The taste of this brew takes every descriptor from the aroma and brings it on with an even more bold focus in the flavor. Roasted grain imparts a flavor of coffee and chocolate. A fruited flavor is present mid palate tasting of a mixture of raisin, plums or prunes. The fruited quality really livens up the taste and makes this roasty brew quite approachable. More sips reveal a light mineral aspect and a bit an acidic touch of lactic character that is not quite sour but it is sharp enough to be noticed through the dark roasted quality of the grain. My guess here is this is a bit of sour mashing utilized in the brewing process as a throw back to the heritage of this style. The backend of the flavor has a bit of hop inclusion that is both citrus-like and fruity that does a perfect job of contrasting the dark richness of the roasted grain. I really enjoy how the bitterness of this brew comes forward seemingly from nothing but the level of the roast of the grain yet hops are present with a flavor that is distinguishable and not at all conflicting. Once the brew gets warmer, it takes on a new depth showcasing a bit of black licorice notes.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a thick, smooth texture in the mouth. The 5.6% abv is well integrated in this brew and makes it go down quite easy. Everything about this offering just hit the right way for me. In a time where all the neat-o brewing techniques and gimmicks seem to be the newest fad in the brewing world, it is nice to sit down and enjoy something that is adjunct and gimmick free. I really, whole heartedly enjoyed this offering from start to finish. Thank you Pete for sharing this with me. Quite an exceptional offering right here that I admittedly have overlooked and taken for granted.

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Photo of pBRale
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 10-6-11
Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Pours black--but is actually a dark brown--with a huge 4-finger light cocoa head that slowly fades but has great retention and leaves several thick rings of lace down the glass.

Smell: Lots of nice toasted malt aroma, along with some chocolate notes and a distinct bready aroma.

Taste: Dark toasted malt, a nice bready quality, a hint of something that imparts a bit of sweetness. The finish is crisp and dark. A hint of coffee in the after taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, and a crisp finish. Slight coffee lingering after the finish.

Overall: A great porter that has a great deep toasty malt character and leaves the mouth craving more.

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Photo of tony223366
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my beer journal. Reviewed on August 11, 2011.

A: Very, very dark. No light is getting through this bad boy. Fantastic fluffy, creamy head. Really sticks around and is easily 2 fingers. Looks great offset with the blackness of the beer.

S: Lots of dark fruity notes in this one. Hints of coffee and some rich, dark malts.

T: Some sweetness from the malt, but only briefly. Then it hits with the dark fruits and turns into a slightly molasses-like flavor and has a great bitter finish. Very smooth finish.

M: Medium body and very smooth. Lots of carbonation helps to carry this beer through.

O: This is very good. Maybe not quite as good as Black Butte in my book but not by far.

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Photo of stabzmcgee
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate aroma with a hint of smoke. Appearance is dark brown, almost black with a brown leather colored head. Taste is caramel malts with hints of coffee. Palate is smooth and creamy with a hint of carbonation. Overall a very good porter. Glad we have it regularly.

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

Nearly an inch of fluffy tan head that settles very slowly, leaving excellent, clingy lace on the glass. Dark brown, almost black beer that's totally opaque.

The aroma hits with strong malty notes first, some roastiness, and a touch of coffee as well.

The taste turns it around, with the roastiness up front, followed by a coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavor. Hops are present but at a very subdued level. There's a faintly metallic note in the finish that's also vaguely present in the aroma. Not too much to be an annoyance, but it's there.

The mouthfeel on this beer is a winner, with solid carbonation and a very creamy feel. Nicely bubbly and alive on the tongue. It's not thick or viscous but it's not watery as some lesser porters can be. Full and pleasing.

What an excellent beer. Maybe my favorite porter overall. So delicious, so easy to drink. The only knock, and it's a small one, is that vaguely metallic note, but I'm nitpicking. It really is barely noticeable.

This one hangs in there year after year while more hyped brews come and go. A true classic of the style.

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

A- This beer is very dark, the perfect color for a porter.

S- Fruit and roasted coffee

T- Hints of the fruit, but mostly the roasted taste and it is very rich.

M- Heavy and creamy

O- A beautiful and delicious beer. One of the best porters that I've ever had, but I'm not really a porter guy.

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

been sitting in the fridge decide to crack this one open after a long week at work. poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
appearance dark almost like a black hole .
for me its a mouth watering combo of roasted coffee and malts that makes this beer enjoyable. taste makes me regret finishing it. for me this is a top notch.

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

Anchor's classic -- Porter.

Poured a rich black color from the bottle with hints of red and cherry undertones with a creamy, frosty head.

Smell is rather hoppy for porter... yet plenty of malt is present as well. Nicely balanced, nothing overpowers here. Just a wonderfully smooth porter.

Nicely done, and if you're ever in SF a must-have on-tap find.

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Photo of Forb
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at the Slowdown - Omaha, NE...

Appearance: A dark brown body with a ruby outer showing minor head that proves to be creamy.

Smell: Roast malt, definite dark fruits, and coffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really smooth and creamy body here with a chewy character full of that sweet yet strongly roasted flavoring of coffee and molasses.

Overall: A GREAT rendition of a porter here.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wish I always had a bottle of this for when anyone badmouthed American beer.

Fantastic, what a roasted full on flavour, what a mash.

It pours dark and tickles the tongue all the way down keeps it head and out performs many others.

The aroma hits you has your mouth heads for the lip of the glass and the taste lingers with charcoal tones and coffee hints.

Not enough availability in the U.K. is my main gripe :D

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

Ba Review #68
Served On: 9/24/2011
Glassware: Pint Glass

In the spirit of the upcoming dark beer season; I decided to review the Anchor Porter.

Look: The beer poured a super dark brown – almost black. I could not see light through the glass at all. The head was a thick fluffy darker tan made up of really tight bubbles. The retention was phenomenal.

Smell: Dark chocolate and roasted malts dominated the nose. A slight floral hop note and dark caramelized fruits were also present in the aroma.

Taste: This beer had a super creamy mouth feel. The head retention seemed to add an almost ‘ice cream’ quality. First on the palate was plum or raison that transitioned into a sweet dark chocolate. A hop bitterness hit just before a semisweet roasted malt aftertaste. The creamy head lasted until the regrettable end of the serving.

This is probably, hands down, the best porter I’ve had to date. Anchor seemed to do everything right with this offering (no surprise there). This was a real treat!

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Photo of jellis00
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good beer. I would say that the undertones can get the best of it sometimes.

A: Dark and stays dark

S: Pretty fruity

T: It is pretty good. I like it when it is especially cold, which masks some of the fruity textures.

M: Kind of thick, like a syrup.

O: I would drink this Porter over a lot of others, but it is not my favorite. It is a good drink.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is a strong earthy malt smell, the head a generous creamy beige color and it lasted to the bottom of the glass! (A first!)

Surprizingly a bit too bitter and acidic for my palate, an aftertaste of french roast coffee beans. Distinctly yet indefinably different from English Porter's I have sampled!

Overall, I would suggest that you try it and decide for yourself!

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Photo of pens44
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For reasons unknown, I was pessimistic about trying this beer. Although I knew it wouldn't matter if I did not like it since I received the bottle in a monthly beer exchange with friends. I poured it after dinner into an old german glass stein. By the Beard of Zeus! The glorious dark color and creamy topping was tantalizing. I was very pleased with it's drinkability. Porters and BA ratings are both new to me so I'm not sure how to rate and hesitate rating with any "5's". I'm not sure I have the discernable palate and ability to identify key notes as many BA members do, but I believe an earthy and slightly coffee flavor was detected. Subtle sweet/bitter taste. Awesome drink. Cheers!

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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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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 ThaCreep
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Black but not opaque. Nose of mocha, but the grenadine subtle when it dives for the first time his nose in the drink. Finally, there is little substance in the mouth and a lack of an obvious body wear. We feel of course the roasting and the force of the water that gives a taste of both hard and sour beer. But it also feels a lack of strength and class bitterness this beer in the category of low porters.

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Photo of Buttermaker
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It seems porters are a little out of vogue these days with ipa's, double ipa's and imperial stouts grabbing all the attention and tap space. Which is why its a perfect time to rediscover the balance and simple pleasure of a good porter...and they don't get any better than this. Anchor Porter is one of the classics that defines the style. The delicious sweetness is perfectly offset by the bitterness of the roasted malt. The flavor is rich but not cloying. Beguiling coffee notes on the nose and tongue. This is easy drinking. Enjoy!

Recommended Music Pairing: Concert for Bangladesh - Various Artists

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque purple-tinted chestnut brown topped by a large and long-lasting creamy light tan head.

Nose is unique, roasty but lacking sharpness. Smooth and rounded, with notes of creamy milk chocolate, mixed berries, earthy hops, and a bit of a minerally twany. Rich caramel and toffee malt notes underneath.

Sweet on the palate, as unique as I remember from the first time I had this. A quick bit of roast up front, faintly coffee-ish, followed by rich caramel and toffee, a definite English feel. Finishes with a unique raisin note before fading into a soft bitterness--from hops or roast, I don't know.

Medium bodied and soft, with a faint touch of oiliness. Stands off on its own in the realm of porters, a beer to drink when you want this specific beer and not just a porter generally. I'm not a huge fan of it, but I can't say there's anything terribly wrong with this beer.

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

This beer pours a dark brown color with a light brown head about 1.5 fingers thick. the smell is rich roasty malt with hints of chocolate. the flavor follows suit with a semi sweet roasty malt base and hints of dark chocolate. the mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium body. overall a really great beer.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid black with a tan head.

Smells of sweet malt, smells like Anchor porter.

Tastes of sweet, roasty malt...bittersweet up front, finishes with coffee and chocolate notes.

Creamy, medium body...just perfect for the flavors. Rich but not heavy.

What can I say? This is a classic to me...the litmus of porters. It is more than the sum of its parts. It taste like Anchor Porter, a flavor unto itself.

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Photo of CrystalShipMS3
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure that I have the eloquence to describe how amazing this beer tastes and smells. I might try to come back to it just to do it justice. But in the mean time:

Pours dark brown with red highlights in the light. Tan head is one to two fingers. Looks delicious.

Smells of very dark and yet sweet chocolate liquor and some coffee.

Taste? The taste is that of pure deliciousness. I love it for it's depth of cocoa and coffee and sweet complex malts... but as I said I do not possess the palette or vocabulary to describe what makes this beer so amazing to me. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, but trust me; the words "really really good" come to mind, yet don't do it justice.

Feels very creamy at first but becomes just a bit flat. I'd like it to retain that cream like consistency a bit longer. Would be great from a "nitro-tap"

Overall it's one of my favorites and it is a great session beer. I'd be willing to drink it all night.

If I haven't already convinced you to pick up a six pack then you are an idiot. This beer is fucking delicious.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Extremely dark brown in color. Thick foamy tan head with outstanding retention. Tons of lacing all around the glass.

S - Pick up lots of roasted malts with some caramel sweetness. Also getting undertones of dark chocolate and sour coffee. This kind of smells like cola actually.

T - Light roasted malts, sweet caramel, some toffee. Not getting chocolate anymore but the coffee still there. Still I'm reminded of flat cola. I dig it. A little sweeter than most porters.

M - A bit light for this sorta thing. Seems to be pretty soft and a bit slick. Carbonation is ok.

O - This is a typical run of the mill porter. Average at best. A good beer to be had though.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,689 ratings.
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