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Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,702 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: 3,702 |  Reviews: 1,551
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.5/5  rDev +10%
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 +8.1%
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 -0.5%
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 +10%
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 -2.7%
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 +13.7%
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%
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 +16.1%
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 -1.5%
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 +4.6%
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 +14.9%
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, biscuit...it 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 +4.6%
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%
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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Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Initial review dated 12/19/2008:
WHOOOOAAA, this is WAY overrated. This is only a slightly above average beer and an average porter. Maybe I got a bad keg or something. Taste is fairly flat and one-dimensional. Malty flavor, a little smoke, not much else. Nothing interesting on the mouthfeel - pretty standard. Actually tastes a bit like Anchor Steam, which is a little odd for a porter.

UPDATE 8/21/2009:
Tried this again at the brewery and it’s actually not bad at all. Must have been dirty tap lines or something last time. Still has that Anchor Steam taste to it that sort of dulls the flavors. Must be their yeast. Has nice roasted malts as well though with some chocolate, and has a smooth, creamy palate with soft carbonation. I would put this in the "pretty good" range overall.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into large tulip

Pours a deep browned color which borders on blacked out. A thick layer of slightly tanned head rests on top, retaining for a while before slowly fading out.

A dash of dark fruits in the nose, mixed with candi sugar and plum. Roasted malts, molasses, and faint chocolate, slightly sweet.

Nice roasted dark malt flavor up front, which is quickly enveloped in dark fruit. Hints of plum and dates with some burnt sugar notes. Slightly sweet, but mellowed by the malt backbone, which also harbors notes of chocolate, molasses, and nuts. Finishes sticky and bit dry.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, soft and sticky on the tongue. A pretty solid porter, and the addition of dark fruit flavor was a welcomed surprise.

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Photo of Herky21
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Wonderfully dark porter. Light colored head contrasts to the body. Sticks to the sides of the glass and doesn't move as you drink.

Smell: Strong roasted, caramelized scent. Slightly sweet undertones, what you'd expect from a porter. Not the most aromatic, but a good aroma.

Taste: It's a straightforward porter, but done so well. Captures that roasted and caramelized flavor. Almost seems to have some undertones of coffee. A nutty afterbite as well.

Mouthfeel: As the head suggests it sticks in your mouth. Heavy body carries the roasted, sweet malted tones. Really lingers.

Overall: Obviously I really loved this beer. It embodies everything I look for in a porter. The balance is right on. Sweet, bitter, and a great mouthfeel.

Comments: Thank you Anchorsteam. This is one of a few beers I will buy again. And for an avid beer taster, I don't do that often.

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Photo of DavidST
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle int a pint glass, bottled on 1JS which I assume means January of 2011.

This pours a very dark almost pitch black color with a large mocha head. The smell is of molasses, caramel and dark chocolate. Feel is medium to thick. Taste is of bitter roasted malts, coffee, a little sweetness and a hint of alcohol burn on the way down. Overall this is a big quality porter, one I'll definitely get again.

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Photo of bitzbach
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful coffee color with slight head. Chocolate and coffee tones make this a solid beer. Very drinkable, Not quite as heavy as a stout but has all that big flavor. I love it!! This is what porter/ beer making is or should be about. I always say, use proper glassware. It'll improve most beverages.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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%
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 +9.3%
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 -3.9%
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 -4.4%
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 +5.9%
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 -13.4%
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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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,702 ratings
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