Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,722 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: 3,722 |  Reviews: 1,555
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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Photo of goalie33
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 15oz mug.
A) Pours black in color, not light comes through the beer. Thick, creamy tan head about 2 fingers thick sits on top. Some caarbonation can be seen in the beer, but it's really to dark to tell how carbonated it is.
S) Big chocolate notes on the aroma, roasted malt, a bit of coffee.
T) The taste starts out with the big chocolate and bitter roasted notes that dominate the aroma. The taste then shifts to a slightly fruity sweetness with a bit of a hoppy flavor. The finish returns to the roasted floaviors and slight bitterness of the beginning, although much more mild.
M/D) Medium to full body, doesn't really coat the mouth but the flavor isn't thin either. Not much in the way of prickling from the carbonation. Very smooth, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of duffcalifornia
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (bottled Aug 4 2010) into a pint glass.

A: The deepest of reds, barely translucent. Had a frothy super-light-tan head of an inch which receded fairly quickly with ok lacing.

S: Smelled of chocolate and...grape juice?

T: Tasted of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Flavor was very lacking - not much up front or on the finish.

M: Medium, with a bit too much carbonation for my tastes with a beer this dark.

D: This is an easy beer to drink. If it elicited any emotion out of me at all, I'd drink it all day as it's extremely sessionable. Instead, this beer leaves me with just apathy.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice black color with ruby highlights. Foam is a nice mocha color with at least an inch of diameter.

S - Smells of slight roast, bit of toffee, caramel, and just a slight bit of raisin.

T - Wow smooth. A bit of cocoa and chocolate and a slight bit of dark fruit. Very little roast and bitterness wow this beer is such a complex yet smooth take of the style.

M - Medium yet drinks pretty smooth. Love it.

D - I would consider highly getting this again. Drinks so smooth and full of all kinds of flavor. Great porter!

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Photo of shand
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

This very dark beer pours with a huge mocha head that easily expended the top of my glass. Lacing is good, and retention is also good. The smell has sweet toffee, roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. A little sweet-smelling for my taste, but still good. The taste, however, isn't as sweet as it might seem. There's some solid roastiness as a backbone, there is some serious sweet toffee as it goes down, but the aftertaste is a very solid blast of bitter coffee aftertaste that makes me want to go back for more.

The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated and fairly full bodied, very nice. The drinkability is stellar. A very good porter from Anchor that I highly recommend.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is an almost opaque black; the beer turned a dark ruby when I held it to my lamp, so a substantial amount of light passed through. Two fingers of thick, tan head developed and dissipated slowly to leave trails along the glass, a spotted lacing, and a thick cappuccino ring around the edge.

Smell: My first whiff was a pleasant mélange of chocolate (much like cocoa), sweet caramel, and toffee. As the beer warms a nice coffee bitterness announces itself, as well as some dark fruit like plum and raisin.

Taste: The mouthfeel is not as thick as I was hoping, but it is still creamy and smooth, much like oatmeal stout. My first sip mirrored the taste: a nice blend of chocolate, sweet caramel, and toffee. A roasted coffee bitterness emerged on subsequent sips and remained throughout the pint. The dark fruit plum and raisin from the smell were also present in the taste. Each sip is followed by a nice bitter aftertaste that lingers in the back of the mouth.

Drinkability: Frankly, I am a little disappointed; I remember it being much better from the tap -- obviously -- at Anchor. However, it is still a good brew.

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Photo of joepais
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a good porter. I poured it into a IMP pint glass and was greeted with a two finger tan head that stuck around for a while. The body was black on this brew no surprise there. The nose was full of coffee and roasted malts . Flavors were just like the nose coffee and chocolate notes abound. The mouthfeel was ok but need some more body. Easy to drink I could have a few in a sitting

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is jet black, with a dark tan, thin head that quickly dissipates into a ring of film. Held up to the light, the beer has brown highlights in the coloring around the edges. The beer has smeels of caramel, sweet malt, and a bit of hops. The initial tastes are sweet and light, followed by a quick transition into a bitter-hopped and coffee flavoring. The beer is light in mouth in comparison to other porters, and very crisp and sharp on the finish, with toasty flavors lingering in mouth a bit. A toasty and very light coffee aftertaste, and not overpowering at all. This is a pretty easy beer to gulp down if you aren't paying attention. Interesting, but I have had other porters I care more for.

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Photo of bisonkron
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - looks amazing. thick brown head that fades slowly. slight carbonation.

S - toffee, roasted malts, chocolate milk

T - Caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, sweet, slight hoppiness, very smooth

M - medium creamy body, still smooth. amazying.

D - very drinkable, could have 3 or 4, although i have a limit of 2.

Great beer, got me interested in craft brews, and I'm still going back to it when i can.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. A very nice looking porter.

The aroma is heavy on the raisins. but there is also some roasted malt and chocolate mixed in. Besides the raisins, there is some other dark fruit mixed in, including dark cherries.

The flavor is raisins, dark fruit, grapes and roasted malt. I also get a little bit of anise and some iced tea notes. Very strange, but it all works pretty well together. I have had this beer numerous times and I never remembered it having this flavor profile. There is a little bit of charred malt/smoke at the end of the flavor when the beer warms.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of HBeezley
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First let me say that I don't really like porters. Let me also say that I am trying to give porters a decent shot. Recently, I have been enjoying heavier beers (like stouts and such) where as I used to hate them. Really, I have only had about two different porters (other than this one) and neither ones I cared for - although I had tried them both when I had not had a good heavier beer and so I was biased. So I am giving this porter a shot to redeem my bad porter experiences and hopefully enjoy them.

Looks beautiful for a dark beer! Pitch black with a head that looks like someone put way too much milk in their coffee.

Smell is...well, nothing that impressive. Kind of disappointing for a porter. I expected it to be reeking of smoky flavor (maybe that's a good thing though since I am trying to introduce myself to good porters) and it mostly just smells like roasted malts - which is remarkably simplistic - beautiful, actually.

Tastes like real nice roasted cooled-off coffee that has about five sugar packets. Or maybe even honey instead of sugar? The malt is there. The hops are [unexpectingly] there. Maybe some other hint of something that I could not even try to put my finger on? But it's nice. A little sweet, but nice. I was slightly dissapointed that the smoky flavor wasn't there until the aftertaste, but that was nice and subtle - which makes a very drinkable brew!

Overall, it's good! Let he redemption begin!

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Photo of beerdepartment
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - debatable black; coffee color. Appetizing froth.

Smell - gentle raisin malt; soft spice.

Taste - nice initial soft flavor of malt and roasting, followed by tartness, bitterness, and then burned vegetable.

Mouthfeel - very effervescent; balanced nicely with some good malt texture; highly recommend the froth.

Drinkability - quite drinkable; I will have some more.

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Photo of crayolahalls
1.27/5  rDev -68.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Everything was set for this to be an enjoyable experience. I was at a favorite pub, ordered awesome food, had good company, and was feeling alright.

This Anchor Porter was the first beer I ordered. I am not usually a fan of domestic porters, but I have found a couple I like. Upon initial inspection the bottling was fair. A squat dark bottle with bright label. Artwork was on par with any micro. It didn't look cheap or sloppy.

The bottle was served chilled. The glass was not. I poured out half the contents and watched a decent 3/8" tan head develop on a full pour.

The first sniff I took of this beer was awful. It reeked of Coca-Cola. I let the glass sit a few minutes longer to come up in temperature. The second smell was just as gooey. I was not impressed, actually I was starting to worry. I decided to taste this little porter.

After one solid swig I knew there was going to be problems. The taste was sweet, almost sickly for a porter. It was the right temperature, but it was failing to the level of Schlitz or Milwaukee's Best. True drivel. At $4.25 for the bottle I decided I should really push through and see what would happen.

The flavor developed much further on the second drink. Admittedly, I took a couple quick drinks at this point to try move to a more trusted brewer. One after another I was wholeheartedly disappointed. I was not getting any coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dirt, or even respectable bitterness. There was nothing redeeming to it. It was offense after offense of a bland beer that hearkened of a home-brew made from 10-year old liquid malt. It was two-dimensional beer horror.

I kept wondering if Anchor had created this porter just so they could say they have one. It tastes desperate. This truly was the little porter that couldn't.

In all fairness, I will probably try this beer again when I can verify the age of the batch and how it was handled post brewery.

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

This beer pours near black with a light tan head that is prominent on the pour but dissipates relatively rapidly. The scent is a very lightly toasted malt smell with some toffee, and is very subtle with some sweetness. The initial taste is sweet and tart, and not overwhelmingly rich; it features a slight cacao taste with a light coffee flavor. The carbonation is light and first but becomes more noticeably bubbly during the sip, and there is a lingering tart aftertaste on the back of the tongue, almost reminiscent of a hoppy Dr Pepper. Overall this is an enjoyable porter that is rich but not overtly heavy, and gets better as it warms slightly.

FourthBeer potential: VERY HIGH, as a subtle, non-imposing porter that is good as a closer.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,722 ratings