Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,735 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: 3,735 |  Reviews: 1,560
Photo of DoktorZee
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap in a pint glass.

A - nice solid black brew with a fluffy tan head that resolves after 5 min with a fair amount of lacing.

S- nose is a bit subdued, with a hint of breach malt as the primary character

T - very nice chocolate malt dominates and endures. Not much for hops and only a hint of bitterness. Seems really well balanced.

M - mid range on the tongue hint of carbonation and a hint of heaviness - nice balance between the two

D - shockingly drinkable - could put down a bunch of these

Very nice beer - solid and delicious.

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Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The neck label has a nice description of the beer and there is a bottle code (OFJ) imprinted on the back label.

Appearance: It has a dark brown/black body with deep crimson highlights and a tall three finger beige head on top. The head is slow fading and thick. It coats the glass as I tip it to my mouth and leaves thick splotchy lace patters behind.

Smell: The nose is malty sweet and roasty with caramel, toffee, bready and light toasted bread notes with a hint of chocolate.

Taste/Palate: It's sweet up front with lots of deep malty texture in a full body. Roasted grain, toasted bready notes, caramel and toffee blend with mild bitterness from the mostly hidden hops and finish a little dryer but still with some residual sugary sweetness. It has a smooth full feel with light carbonation.

Notes: Overall it's a well made and very enjoyable American Porter.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with 2 finger head

Smell: coffee, mocha, oats,

taste: mocha, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth,

Drinkability: nice well rounded porter. nothing sets it apart from the other drinkable beers in this style.


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was very nice, deep and dark brown in color with a nice head of tan that took shape across the top of the glass. Rich lacing then came forward and draped the entire insides of the glass. Aroma is typical for the style again with nice notes of coffee and chocolate malts. Hints of light grain and a brown sugar touch as it warms. Towards the end of the session we started to pick up hints of smoke. Smooth, delicate flavor as I take the first sips. Nice roasted notes start to come through now, hints of cocoa, light brown sugar touches as well. Very interesting. Not the most complex thing in the world, but still very solid. Smooth, medium body has a nice bit of carbonation to it and this keeps it feeling fresh and new. Nice easy, smooth, and clean sipper, I would have no issue at all with having a couple of these as they went down quite nicely.

Overall a very solid ale here, nothing over the top or out of the ordinary, just a solid after dinner treats.

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Photo of cyrock1
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep Brown with a one inch tan head.

Smell: Roasty and toasty malts with some mild malted toffee.

Taste: Roasted malt with hints of coffee ice cream. A malted sweetness gives way to some mild bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation lifts the malt flavor up and then slams it back into the tongue before it is washed off by some light hops.

Drinkability: There is a mild hopiness that lingers smack dab in the middle of the tongue for just a little too long, otherwise I would rate this beer a little higher.

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Photo of sdj5
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks very dark brown, possibly red. The head is one finger and has a light brown/red color.

S: Sweet, candy, syrup, coffee

T: Very sweet, estery, hop bitterness on the end that counteracts the rich flavor of the beer

M: Full

D: Actually would be easy to have multiple despite the rich taste.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled August 7, 2010.

Pours dark brown with a large foamy light brown head that leaves some really clumpy rings of lacing on the glass and holds a small cap.

Aroma is dark fruits such as prunes, figs, and raisins, roasted malt, some chocolate, a bit of coffee, caramel and toffee round things out. Very good strength.

Flavor mostly follows suit with a good dark fruit presence up front then some chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, caramel and toast. Moderately sweet, low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat creamy, medium carbonation.

An excellent Porter I've enjoyed many times in the past but never got around to reviewing. Good stuff!

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

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a tall pint glass...

The beer was black, there was just a sliver of light that shines through the edge of the glass with brownish, red hues. The head was tall, filmy and tan colored. I could smell lots of roasted malt, molasses, chocolate and a dark fruity presence. Tastes roasty, there is some licorice and molasses, raisin and bitter coffee. The liquid is smooth and silky, it has low carbonation and a thick medium body. The rich flavor and full body prevents me from drinking very many at a time, it's very enjoyable though.

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Photo of Oldscramch
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice easy dark brown pour. Started with a finger plus coffee-and-cream head that faded to half that and light tan. Looks black in the glass, with dark ruby showing through.

Smell: Slightly malty, but still sweet. Hoppier than the taste.

Taste: Slightly malty, sweet, only slightly hoppy.

Mouthfeel: A little light, little carbonation.

Drinkability: Sippable, drinkable, gulpable, it's smooth.

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Photo of HaysAmerica
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served out of bottle @ 49F, pours into a good 2 -3 fingers tan head. This one was opaque in color w/ hints of deep ruby when held up to the light. Pretty good lacing down the glass. Coffee & milk chocolate are in the nose w/ some hops that I can't identify. A slight toffee aroma as well, just slight though. Tastes a little spicy from the hops & a has a dry aftertaste. Caramel malt is present & has a mildly sweet middle. When left on the palate, a burnt malt character come in w/ a quick finish. Has a fair amount of carbonation & keeps a slight head throughout the sitting. Mouthfeel is good in my opinion & is medium bodied overall. This is a great beer on a cold, rainy, or overcast day. Glad I have this one to keep me company. I'm a big fan of Porters & Stouts - this one will have a place in my regular lineup of beers. Prosit!

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Photo of hophopandaway
2.7/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was really disapointed by this beer. Had it on tap at the anchor brewery.

Look is a bit on the thin side, not the opaque colour I expect from a porter and almost see through. Kept it's head okay and some lacing.

Smells okay with a bit of coffee and molases, but no dark fruit.

Taste is pretty one-dimensional with a hint of coffee and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is the most dissapointing bit about this beer, it felt almost like drinking fizzy water and I'm not a uge fan of carbonation in porters and stouts,

Slips down okay but I think this is a pretty poor example of the style. I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is near black in color (traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a two finger high creamy tan head that has good retention properties, consistently leaving a layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The smell is rather sweet yet is also quite interesting because it has contrasting aromas of licorice.
T: Like the smell, the taste is also sweet but is much more complex with flavors of chocolate, licorice, molasses and toffee.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer goes down very easily and is quite flavorful, making it very sessionable.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Dark brown pour that yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with great retention. Black body with no visible carbonation. Head slowly fades to a good, full wisp and leaves some lacing clinging to the sides. A slight wisp and ring remain until the end and leave some decent lacing down the sides. Good looking brew.

SMELL: Quite a sweet smelling nose, if that makes any sense. Some toffee and caramel malt, along with some freshly baked bread and some roasted nuts. Slight notes of vanilla, milk chocolate and nutmeg as well. Definitely different than your average porter, but bold and intriguing.

TASTE: Follows the nose nicely. Sweet for sure, with toffee and caramel in the forefront. Some definite fresh bread and roasted nuts come through the middle into the finish, with some bitter sweet chocolate and nutmeg as well. Bolder aftertaste lingers nicely, with sweet caramel, toffee and milk chocolate accompanied by a note of hop bitterness. Different, but quite enjoyable for sure.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation, and somewhat lighter on the palate. Silky, yet not quite as creamy and smooth as hoped. Goes down fine and lingers in the mouth. Finishes somewhat dry on the palate. Could use a little more weight and be a little creamier for the style.

OVERALL: Solid brew overall. A creamier, fuller palate would have helped, but this was still a very enjoyable and drinkable beer non-the-less. A unique brew within the American porter category, but one that is definitely worth checking out if you get the chance. Recommended.

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Photo of yisseroff
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a creamy foam light-brown head that stayed along for the ride and left some lacing along the way.

S- Fresh bread

T- Chocolate, roasted nutty, and bread. Sweetness lingered right before the finish. For the second half of the beer there was some awesome chocolate liqueur taste going on. Dug that.

M- Silky cloud. That's all I have to say.

D- This is my favorite porter (so far). I'm just loving this beer right now.

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Photo of zrab11
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a beautiful dark brown with a magnificent 3 finger head that stays with the beer almost the whole time.

S-isn't as rich as some porters i've tried but has a nice sweet coffee smell

T-hits the palate with a bit of bitterness then transforms into a nice creaminess as it goes down. Has a hint of chocolate too

M-medium body with alot of carbonation

D-one of my first porters to review but am impressed... wouldn't say I would choose this beer after having just one sip but if you sit down and enjoy a whole glass you realize this is a great Porter

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This is one fantastic looking porter. Huge creamy tan looking head that just won't stop. Finally settles out to a thick cap atop a nearly opaque body, ruby highlites when held to light. Lacing almost coates the entire glass.

S- Lots of layers in the nose. Vanilla & chocolate is what I pulled out first. Caramel nougat, lightly roasted coffee and a bit of licorice. Rich sweet smell, very good!

T- Crazy how balanced this is. More on the sweeter side, but there's just enough roast & coffee bitterness to stop this from becoming cloying. Vanilla & chocolate linger in the aftertaste.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Unbelievably smooth, it's quite a bit richer than you'd think for a medium bodied porter.

D- This might reignite my former love affair with porters. Hope to hell that this stays on the shelves at my local store.

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Photo of DJED69
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an exceptional Porter. I'm typically not a huge fan of the style, but find Anchor's version excellent. Pours almost black, yet light can pass through and shows a nice reddish hue. The off-white head is thick and creamy. The beer drinks very well, presenting dark roasted malt flavor, coffee, cocoa and hints of bitterness. There is a nice bit of sweeness in the brew as well---but just a hint---not cloying at all. Frankly, this reminds me of a great Irish Dry stout with much more body and flavor. This is a beer I crave come cool weather. Definitely worth a shot, a classic brew.

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Photo of Brunite
2.43/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Very dark...almost opaque. Nice tan head leaving good lacing.

S: Faint vanilla. Sweetness.

T: Much sweeter than I'd expect from a porter. Mellow in flavor. No bitterness, roasted notes, or tang that I would expect....just a light sweetness.

M: Smooth...creamy. Dry on the finish.

D: This just struck me as too sweet and one dimensional. Nothing special at all.

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Photo of Prospero
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with two fingers of carbonation or so. The color is a dark brown with a bit of deep ruby when held to the light. There isn't much a nose on this beer, just a hint of sweetness, very much like caramel and roasted malts. Taste is a nice rich malt flavor with some bitterness and some signs of coffee. A nice full-bodied porter for the winter. One of my go-to porters.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a light tan head. Aroma is barley, and sweet banana, with a bit of chocolate. Taste is similar with barley, more chocolate and the fruity banana sweetness. Good thick mouthfeel with a long finish that is a little dry. Overall not super complex, but a very solid porter.

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Photo of beerbeas
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks amazing, almost like a root beer float. Thick tan head.

The smell is so tantalizing, I love it. It smells like french press coffee and espresso, hint of dark chocolate, and a very small catch of ethanol.

The ethanol can be tasted more than it can be smelled, a little too overpowering, but otherwise delicious.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hadn't had an Anchor Porter in years, so I picked up a sixer a couple of weeks ago. I remember loving these before I gave up beer for 12 years. These and Abita Turbo Dogs (which I thought were porters then) were my favorites of the style.

Appearance is spectacular. Black as coal with a huge frothy, root beer-float type head. It leaves tons of thick lacing in my Duvel tulip glass.

The aroma is of well roasted malt, bitter chocolate and espresso. The taste is similar. The bitter flavor contrasts a velvety smooth mouth feel for a great porter experience.

These are actually better than I remember, which is rare in my experience. A really wonderful porter.

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Photo of Morey
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours one shade shy of pitch black. You can see a little bit of light when the beer is held up directly to it. Nice light brown head which consist mainly of tight tiny bubbles. Good head retention.

The aroma is roasty and slightly fruity with ripe black mission figs and dates coming to mind. Reminds me a bit of OSA but milder.

The taste is a good mix of hops, roasted malts, and dark bittersweet chocolate. Smooth finish.

Medium mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation.

I could easily drink a few of these.

Morey's Bottom Line: I can't say for sure, but I'm betting that the recipes for this and their Christmas Ale have a few things in common. Very nice Porter. Anchor has been around a while, and this is still one of the better examples of the style.

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Photo of assmandugle
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a giant tan head. It as a soft dark chocolate smell to it. It tastes similar with a coffee like taste and feel while in the mouth. The after taste is a bit sweet and vanilla like. It goes down really smooth would be a good late evening snack beer or a good cold night beer.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an almost black body with a 1 finger tan head that sinks slowly. Bits of lacing here and there.

S - Tangy coffee, creamy chocolate, vanilla, very rich and acidiic.

T - Creamy toffee covered in chocolate, sweet and tangy, roasted coffee beans, raisins, has an acidic bitterness but doesn't bother the other flavors. Finishes with hints of tannin.

M - Medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy feel.

It's hard to describe the way these flavors meld together in perfect harmony. One of the best American Porters out there.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,735 ratings