Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

3,684 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: 3,684 |  Reviews: 1,545
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Tulip.

A. 3 finger light tan colored head. Thick lacing. Great retentinon. Color is very dark brown/black.

S. Wow. I was impressed with what this beer smelled like. Big roasted malt flavor. Has a chocolate smell to it. Nice hop bitterness. Great smelling porter. Nice big aroma.

T. Taste is also very good. Nice roast malt flavor, a little bit of coffee but not a lot. Has a bit of sweetness to it.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Lingering sweetness.

O. Really good porter. Fits what I think of when I think of a Porter. Good aroma and flavor. Surprised that I was missing out on this for so long.

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Photo of zimm421
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Appears a nice, solid brown to black color with a finger and a half of thick brown head that leaves great lacing and really sticks around.

Nose is full of roasted malts, chocolate and a slight note of alcohol. Not overpowering, but definitely enjoyable. The taste is sweet, with chocolate and lots of roasted malts. There is some coffee-like bitterness at the end but it is fairly muted. Good flavor profile, just seems slightly muted.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but not quite creamy. Medium bodied, low carbonation and a slight stickiness. Overall, a good porter and enjoyable to drink on this cool night. Nothing that blew me away, however, was expecting just a bit more from this.

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Photo of acbe
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Appearance was black with a little head that stayed for a while.

Smell: I'm not one to pick out many smells, but this beer smells really good. I can pick up some chocolate notes.

Taste: Well balanced. Not hoppy or too sweet. Taste of some chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The taste stays on the tongue for a few seconds and has a good aftertaste. No tartness.

Overall: I'm a fan of the Porter style and think this is the best Porter I've had. This is a really good beer. Hard to believe it's so easy to find.

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Photo of Vengeance526
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a medium sized tan head that retains nicely and leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt with hints of chocolate and coffee.

Tastes of chocolate malt upfront with toffee, nuts and a touch of coffee in the back.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. Good porter overall.

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

22oz bottle (code 1AS) poured into an imperial pint glass.

Chocolate bronw color with glowing red edges and a beautiful tan 4-finger head, looking creamy and delicious. Great sticky lacing all down the side of the glass as the head slowly recedes.

Aroma is clean and watery. Some faint dark bready malt aroma but pretty subtle, even as it warms.

Taste is clean, crisp, and light for a porter. It's robust but not overpowering. There's a roasty quality common to porters but also almost something fruity going on here.

Overall this is probably a decent porter. This has never been a favorite style for me and this is not doing anything to persuade me otherwise; still, I'm glad Anchor is still putting out solid brews and was happy to finally try this one.

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Photo of metal850
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a three finger tan/brown head which lingers and leaves nice lacing. Color is dark brown almost black with red highlights.

S: Dark malt aroma and dark fruit eaters, slightly sweet and chocolate.

T: Plums and dried fruit, slight roast aftertaste, malt sweetness (supposedly there are a lot of hops in this but I don't taste them I wonder about the age of this)

M: low carb with a medium high mouthfeel.

O: For me this is as good as a porter gets.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic glass

A- Poured a dark brown, almost black, with a three finger fluffy and creamy mocha colored head

S- Sweet English malts, not much else

T- Sweet English malts, dark fruit, some bitterness, a hint of roasty notes

M- Silky, creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Soft on the tongue

O- A nice porter that was sweeter than I expected, but had some good balance with the bitterness, not really much roastiness though.

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

Really good Porter!!!! I am enjoying my run through the "Beers of Fame". Pores a dense dark brown with almost no light getting through. Big light tan head with excellent retention. Huge rings of thick lacing.

Strong aroma for a porter. Roasted malt, chocolate malt and the kind of spiciness I associate with holiday/Christmas beers.

Taste is very good. A wonderful blend of roasted malts, chocolate malts, molasses, and spices. Mouthfeel is good for a porter. Not too thin and not too rich. There is a touch of bitterness at the end that cuts the sweetness of the beer. Nicely carbonated and crisp.

One of the better porters I have had.

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

A-Pours a dark cola color. Almost no highlights on the outskirts of the beer. Huge creamy head forms from the pour. Head refuses to die down. Heaps of lacing. Looks a root beer float.

S-Cocoa and coffee. A standard, yet flavorful porter aroma. A bit nutty. Slightly grainy. Good aroma. All about the roasted and chocolate malts.

T-Pretty nice flavor here. Cocoa, bitter dark chocolate, coffee beans. Syrupy. Brown sugar. I get some raisins in there too. Flavor hits the spot but still remains mellow and drinkable.

M-Medium body. Lighter carbonation. A bit of sugary stickiness.

O/D-I have not been very impressed by Anchor beers. This one is blatantly my favorite. Pretty good. Not exceptional but I respect why this is one of the main cogs of the style.

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Photo of Erish
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass. I could not decipher the date code: ONJ.

A: dark mahogany color, thick, billowing, and creamy head slowly falls into a thick and luxurious cap, the lacing is generous and tenacious. I'm not sure how they could make it look better!

S: slightly burnt caramel, vanilla, coffee, maple syrup, molasses.

T: the toffee, caramel, and vanilla notes are strong up front, the middle shows a mild herbaceous hop character and pleasing bitterness, the finish is long and gently bitter.

M: medium to full-bodied, silky to creamy texture, moderate carbonation. This 5.6% ABV beer feels better on the palate than many high gravity beers I have tried.

O: a solid effort from Anchor Brewing, and a wonderful take on a classic style. They helped start the craft brewing revolution in America, and they continue to make top quality beers.

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Photo of IPA35
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nearly black beer but when you hold it near a light it is infact very dark brown. Tan head.

It smells like a stout but more mild.
You get nice sweetness from the darker malts but this is less roasted than a stout. Still the stout aromas such as coffee and dark fruits (raisins).

The taste is very balanced, it is sweet, has a nice fruity dark malt flavour to it and as a nice hop bitteress in the back that becomes less as the beer warms up. A delicate combination of sweet and bitter. This is good stuff.

A creamy beer with low/medium carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer, I prefer it over most stouts I had and I wouldn't mind drinking this again. And I got another porter coming up...

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

One of my favorite go-to porters! This brew poured up near black with a mocha-colored, very foamy head with amazing retention and lacing effects. Aromas of caramel, coffee, toffee, dark fruits (figs, raisins), and a touch of molasses. Flavors of the same in a medium-bodied brew. Extra creamy and smooth with just a touch of a hoppy bite to make for a clean, refreshing finish. You can’t go wrong with this porter!

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

Poured from a bottle out of the beer fridge at 45 degrees into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a rich chocolate brown liquid with a full 2-finger foamy mocha colored head. Spotty lacing remains as the head recedes.

S: Dark fruit, sweet roasty aromas. A bit of that "Steam" grassy-type of flavor profile in there as well.

T: Follows the aroma with more dark fruit and molasses. Chocolate flavors come through the middle and finishes roasty with some light coffee notes. Aftertaste is more roasted coffee.

M: A bit watery up front, very creamy with fine carbonation. Finishes a bit oily, but fairly neutral overall.

O: A decent porter here. A thinner flavor profile than I would like, but it suits the beer well. A solid B rated brew. There are definite similarities between this and their Steam beer, but I prefer the porter. This doesn't quite stand up to other notable heavyweights in the Porter category, but it's not a bad choice if nothing else is available.

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

Bottle from crackedkettle.
Look: the beer pours very dark-brown color with a small brown head
Smell: Roasted malts, caramel, coffee and some chocolate
Taste: Malts, caramel, grains, coffee and chocolate. Nice hoppy bitterness in aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium creamy body and medium-low carbonation
Overall: Very nice beer, not too complex, but very drinkable

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Photo of doughanson78
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown, maybe black. Huge three finger, fluffy, tan head, with good retention and awesome lacing.

S: Chocolaty. Light roasted malts. Very light coffee. Nice light dark fruit aroma, maybe raisins or figs, that I haven't gotten in a porter before.

T: Kind of light at first with some roasted malts coming through. Light chocolate and caramel. The hints of the dark fruit come through just barely. Pretty sweet, edging on to sweet. A very light hop bitterness towards the end, finishing with a slight bitter coffee roast.

M: Thin for a porter. Maybe a tad much on carbonation. Lacking a creaminess.

O: A decent porter. Nothing wrong with it. Very drinkable. A slight twist with the dark fruits from other porters I've tried. Would purchase again.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a tight, tan head that leaves a ring of lacing.

Smells of light roasted notes.

Tastes of a solid wave of roasted notes with some hops on the end. Notes of coffee and chocolate lead off. A bit of dark fruit to it as well. Hops add a little bitterness on the end with a bit of herbal notes.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very good porter that is a good example of the style.

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Photo of airforbes1
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown (nearly black), with tinges of red appearing when held up to the lead. The head is copious and billowy. Despite my slow pour, it nearly overflowed my glass. Nice. I detect a lot of dark fruit in the nose, which makes me eager to take a sip.

When I dive into it, I get a lot of fig, as well as a touch of chocolate. The mouthfeel is quite slick, which makes it an easy sipper, despite the darkness. The hops make just enough of a presence to prevent this beer from being too fruity. Personally, I love this beer, although those who prefer their porters and stouts to be hoppy might be disappointed.

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

A - Pours near black with two fingers of creamy head. Leaves some nice lacing behind.

S - Smell is relatively subtle, but definite notes of chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Taste is fantastic. Wonderful blend of roasted malt with some nice hop bitterness for balance. Creamy and bright at the same time.

M - Medium creamy mouthfeel with some lingering earthiness on the tongue. Very nice.

O - A very well crafted porter that would be easy to sip all day.

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Photo of BigE90
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: a dark black with very little light getting through this, on the darker side for a porter

s: not a lot coming through but a little malt and a little chocolate

t: wow, this is sweet, a very clean finish, taste some molasses or dark brown sugar with the just slightly roasted malt taste coming through to. A very taster porter, really can't get much hops out of it though.

m: perfect for a porter, not super thin just the right balance of density

o: a very good porter, better than most. Would definitely have again as along as Deschutes BB was not on tap as that is my go to porter.

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

Poured from a 350ml bottle into a chimay goblet.

A: black/dark brown, a creamy lasting head leaving a lace as you drink.

S: A dark-sweetness common in porters. Pleasing with a hint of alcohol.

T: very malty, a burnt taste and a vague dark malty sweetness. would be overbearing if not for the subtle hops.

O: A very decent porter. Different from your average English porter but I still like it.

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

An opaque and darkest brown brew is topped by a magnificently thick and tall dark beige head that lasts and leaves slathers of hanging lace on the glass as it slowly diminishes.

A light aroma of caramel and chocolate is tinged with an even lighter scent of roast.

Happily more roast in the taste than in the bouquet, and it joins with dark caramel, a hint of tart yeast, and some bitter chocolate flavor to provide a delicious treat. Very clean and balanced, with a finish that is just juicy enough. As it comes to room temperature the flavors intensify, and a bit of herbal bitter comes into it that makes it even better.

Mouthfeel is not as viscous as some in style, medium carb., and a finish that is very fine, if not epic.

A very fine beer, one of the ten best American Porters I have tried, though closer to no. ten than no. 1 for sure.

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

603rd Review on BA
Draft to Pint
@whole foods HB

App- A nice dark brown with a very fast receding one finger head that leaves a sheen of bubbles down the glass. Great cling to the glass.

Smell- A lot of roast with a nice hop back. No real burnt notes but more mellow and bright.

Taste- Follows the nose and is quite bright on tap. Has a fresh nutty flavor with a subtle malt and smallish hop kick to balance it out.

Mouth- Medium bodied and a medium high carb level with a nutty aftertaste.

Drink- A very tasty little beer. Was nice to find it on tap. Its light, smooth balanced and brighter than most.

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

100th review.

It's a cold wet summer day in the San Francisco bay area. This is a rarity so I figured I'd crack a warming porter from San Francisco Anchor Steam Brewery. Steam beers are always enjoyable and the Porter uses the same steam brewing process that the anchor steam common uses.

The appearance is dark brown with slight red hints. A nice billowy 1/2 inch head pours looking very malleable. I feel if I put my finger in the head it would stay. The head is tawny brown in color and retains beautiful bunching up around the sides of the glass.

I get a wide range of warming smells from this Porter. The beer is immediately sour and somewhat reminiscent of a Guinness stout. Some of the aromas I discern are earthy tobacco. Espresso is also a notable smell.

I taste notes of mocha, fruity espresso and anise. I taste barreled bourbon The beer is extremely bitter in a dry way with a chalky feeling . The beer isn't overly sweetened and the mouthfeel is leathery and chewy. I appreciate the natural level of carbonation. I really love the body on this beer, it's a great sipping beer for a cold day.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.01/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a super-dark mahogany with ruby undertones. Head is rich and frothy; a perfect tan color. Lots of bubbles in the head.

Smell: Slight amount of bourbon within a woody chocolate forest. Some raisin bread or sweet bread and a coffee undertone. Smells just a little too sickly sweet with those purple fruits.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is fairly sour to me, and somewhat thin. Some dark chocolate, a lot of bourbon-barrel flavor. Cloying sweetness. Not terrible, but not great for a porter, imho. Beer leaves an uncomfortable oil on the tongue and leaves a corn-syrup coating on the palate.

Overall: Not a bad *brew* I suppose, but no better than average overall. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch code on back label.

Pours super dark brown. A tan head stays and coats the glass. Smell is coffee-like malts, a bit of booze as well. Taste is sweeter than the smell, some anise and dark fig taste as well as some dark cacao. Good taste. Feel is a bit "hot" for a porter, imo. A good drinker, not superlative of the style, imo, but very good.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,684 ratings.
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