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Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,704 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 PorterĀ® 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: 3,704 |  Reviews: 1,551
Photo of MaineBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with toffee color head. Leaves light lacing as the beer is consumed.

Roasty toffee and nut flavors come through in the first sip.As I continued, a coffee and chocolate flavor started to linger. The aftertaste is slightly acidic and the beer itself is quite carbonated.

Very nice Porter.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours burnt brown with a fluffy light tan head that lasts. toffee and malt on the nose. toffee and vanilla malt sweetness with a light bitter coffee finish. soft velvety mouth feel paired with the sweet and light bitter balance makes this an extremely drinkable porter.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a deep brown color, with tanned head and fair lacing. Aroma is of dark fruit, juicy malt with a touch of nuts and yeast. Medium body with sweet malt, dark fruit and espresso coffee fill the mouth. Nice long dry finish. Great porter.

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Photo of beerphan
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
OAF is 'dotted' onto the label
(after a little digging on the website, that code is deciphered as Brewed on: April 6, 2010 )

Pours a dark brown with bright scarlet streaks in the light. A huge mocha heads sits atop before slowly deflating to a solid quarter inch film. I have two of these and I tried like hell to get the 2nd pour not to foam as much. I failed. Badly. Lace is deposited in random chunks and not so random droopy dots.

Nose: Toffee, sweet all around, light powdered cocoa

Creamy medium body, feels good in the mouth. A great mix of sweet slightly roasted malt flavors including chewy caramel combining with powdered cocoa and just a twinge of coffee. A short tart burst of citrus shows itself but is barely noticed. An underlying bitterness balances things out, but stays out of the way and seems simply along for the ride. Finishes semi-dry and leaves a nutty sweet flavor dancing across the taste buds.

Wow, what a great Porter. Anchor has been doing it a long time and they do it well. Hopefully it stays that way, with the changes and all.

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Photo of steveh
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My 200th review at BA, and one of my all-time favorites from way back. I used to drink this so often I could actually identify it blind. I haven't had it in a while, so 200 is a good reintroduction.

A -- Deep, dark black with ruby highlights with a dense dark tan head that cascaded nicely when poured vigorously and holds up well, leaving good lacing down my pint glass.

S -- Earthy malts with roasted overtones, slightest of citrus hops peeking through, vague dark fruit esters.

T -- Roasted malts up front that blend into bittersweet chocolate notes with mild citrus characters and dark fruit notes back, finishing with a coffee-like roastiness and burnt grain aftertaste. All of this very well balanced without anything being overpowering -- just smooth, robust and flavorful.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth to slightly syrupy with a heavy, full body.

D -- This is the prescribed beer for a cold winter evening. Not too extreme, very roasty without being harsh and slightly sweet in balance, full of character without being overwhelming -- delicious, outstanding beer. Wow, I really forgot how good this is.

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

12oz from a six pack. Bottled about four months ago.

Pours dark brown, solid head, some lacing.

Smells like molasses, roasted barley, hint of chocolate.

Tastes like those things in the nose, very robust in flavor for its ABV. Some burnt flavors, but the oat-like molasses flavor kind of dominates here.

Mouthfeel is a bit creamy.

I like this beer, but it's somewhat unusual in flavor for a porter. Rich, for sure, but in a bittersweet, burnt kind of way. I'm most of the way through my 6-pack and I can't decide how I feel about this. Certainly not awful at all, though.

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Photo of Mancer
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown color with a two finger high light brown head. The head dissipated to a ring of lace and clung lightly to the glass. The initial smell of the beer was that of sweet caramel and roasted malts. The initial taste of the beer was slightly sweet caramel, light coffee beans, and finished with a nice roasty presence. The brew had a full body with light to medium carbonation.

Overall, this is a fantastic porter, definitely one of my favorites. The flavors mesh very well together and the body of the beer takes the cake. I'd recommend this one to all the porter lovers out there.

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Photo of machostacos
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip. Batch number on back of the bottle, no freshness date.

A: Completely opaque black - this is one dark porter! A thick two-finger dusty & slightly soapy tan head forms that slowly shrinks down to a thick film that hugs the glass. Nice lacing.

S: Lots of licorice-infused molasses up front, dark sticky fruits, a hint of coffee bitterness (with a mild smokey quality) and a light chocolaty sweetness at the end. There is an ethereal fresh hop presence that wraps up the whole package. Very intriguing - can't wait to dive into this one!

T: Licorice and molasses up front, a flash of sweet chocolate with a hint of the dark fruits, followed immediately by bitter roasted coffee. Mildly bitter and somewhat dry finish from the lasting roasted coffee notes that lasts just long enough. Delicious!

M: Appropriate for the style: medium bodied with just enough carbonation to liven it up a bit on the palate. Feels a tiny bit watery. A little more thickness would be ideal for me (I like beer you can chew on), but there's really nothing amiss here.

D: This is a fantastically drinkable beer. Rich, full flavor (though not nearly overpowering), near-perfect finish (makes you want to take another sip!), yet subtle and lithe enough to not weigh you down. And at 5.6% ABV, a couple wouldn't hurt.

This porter feels a lot like a time capsule to me in that it seems to be a beer brewed in the heritage of the original porters of old while still retaining the truly American interpretation; it carries with it a timeless quality as a previous reviewer noted (and I agree entirely.) This is my first Anchor Brewing experience, and it is surely an impressive one at that. A fine porter - I would definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of herman77
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Near black with a thick, three finger, light tan head. Good lacing.

S: dark roasty malts, a hint of coffee and sweetness. A little on the weak side for a porter.

T: Heavy roasted malts, a touch of lactose like sweetness and bittersweet chocolate. Herbal hops on the backend. A little dry in the finish. A rich and hearty porter.

M: Medium to fuller body. Moderate carbonation. Some creaminess to it.

D: A tasty and pretty well balanced, rich porter.

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Photo of Rhettbuck
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good beer, not my favorite. A bit bitter in the aftertaste. Would have preferred a slightly sweeter taste. There are vanilla and carmel notes to the flavor. However, the taste seems to dissolve quickly. The color and smell is of carmel. Not much carbonation to the beer. I would probably buy this beer again, but not for a while.

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

Split a bottle of this while leaving Napa Valley (it was the best/most interesting beer in the corner store). Pours a creamy brown colour with thick tan head. Smells of a nice coffee and chocolate roast combination, without being too much of either. Really smooth mouthfeel. This would easily be an every day porter for me if we had access to this in Ontario.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a 355 ml brown bottle that came in a 6 pack. Pours out a deep dark translucent brown (can almost be mistaken for black) that produces deep ruby highlights when held to direct light. Massive tall creamy off white head that very slowly settles to a thick chunky cap. Lots of intermittent lacing.

Sweet alcohol and molasses on the nose, dry roasty notes, hints of carob and chocolate, hints of coffee.

When it comes to the flavour...um, wow! That was my initial reaction, and coming back to it that's how I still feel towards the end of the glass. Starts with clean dry toasty and roasty malt, while a sticky sweetness creeps in during the middle, finishing with a well tempered dose of burnt malt and char, while in the aftertaste the soft palate hosts the dry roast while the back of the tongue carries the lingering sweetness. The dryness eventually wins out.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, more slick at first then becomes creamy smooth on the swallow, low carbonation.

This is one of those rare beers that truly lives up to the legend and the hype behind it. A remarkable Porter on its own merits, it also comes across as greater than the sum of its parts as well. Worth seeking out and worth revisiting if locally available.

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Photo of DKMonroe
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got six of these from the store in Fort Oglethorpe GA. The bottle as my wife puts looks like the shape of a catchup bottle. It's sure is different, but I like the shape.

Poured it into a snifter and got a frapichino colored head that started about 1.5cm, and almost went away to a little island in the middle left by the etch I guess. The color in a dimly lit room was almost black, though holding it up to light you can see some red light trying to get through.

Smell was awesome, last beer in the house I was hoping it was good. Got some fruity hints, with some figs or raisins, and of course the roasted malts.

Taste of the fruit, some coke, and maybe coffee, not hugely complex but gets its point across. And its creamy to boot!

This is a great brew, and I have a few left. ;0)

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Photo of beagle75
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Opaque, black color in the full glass with over one finger of lofty, persistent, beige foam head. Light is able to penetrate at the edges of the glass, revealing clear, dark brown color. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Sugary roasted malt and sharp earthy minerals are at the center of the smell, with some fresh grass also detectable. Just a whiff of acidic cola is present.

T: Begins off-dry, nutty, with acidic dark-roasted grain and dark fruit emerging soon after. Flavor turns more sweet in the brief middle, then heaviness of the roast fades to much drier charcoal bitterness in the finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, equally wet and creamy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: It is easy to believe that this beer is a likely glimpse into porters past as the qualities found here conjure a timeless feeling while remaining characteristically Anchor. Common threads exist here between other darker offerings, such as the holiday seasonal--this porter is convincing as a darker, unspiced sibling of their "special ale". Expect effortless versatility in food pairings; I served it with braised chicken and pureed sweet potatoes to good effect.

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Photo of magine
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stange glass.

Pours a near black, like very dark soda. Has a thick chunky dark tan head. Great thick chunky lace rims the edges and stays behind. Massive island nearly hits the nose as I sip and enjoy. Excellent looking brew.

Brew smells malty and can detect a nice hop presence as well. Barley, chocolate, nutty,hoppy. Very smooth and clean nose. Excellent nose for this one.

Wow tremendous flavors; smokey barley malts, sweet dark fruits, sweet burnt chocolate flavors and hops. Slight bitterness in the end. Clean dry finish. Has a very clean easy drinking fell and a truly stellar flavor. Great balanced mouthfeel, smooth and sessionable. I could drink this porter at a BBQ in 95 degree weather and it would fit right in. Taste is tremendous.

Wow, this is a tremendous brew. A highly sessionable, easy drinking, great looking brew. This and Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald are the best porters I have had to date. World class stuff here.

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

Amazed I hadn't reviewed this beer before. It was my favorite during a lonely winter spent living in an old farm house in Western Oklahoma in 2001-2002. Was lucky that the closest decent liquor store (45 minutes away) stocked this beer.

Very pretty inky black beer with a giant tan head. Leaves lots of Belgian lace behind. Excellent malty/toasty aroma.

The flavor, oh the flavor! Creamy softness matched with toastyness and tang. Mouthfeel factors in right away with this gentle soft smoothness which is then layered on top of some toasty but not burnt notes. There is raisins, burgandy wine, a tiniest whiff of dark chocolate and espresso, just the right amount of hops in there somewhere, and some citric tang that lingers and lingers and lingers.

Extremely drinkable. This is the prototype of what a porter should be. World-class beer for sure.

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Photo of Samp01
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark mahogany with a long lasting tan head. Nose is roasted malts, caramel. Taste is roasted malt, sweet caramel some hints of roasted esspresso and some bitterness. Palate is full body, thick texture, with good carbonation. Finish is bitter sweet caramel malts, with some roasted esspresso. Overall a well balanced and tasty brew.

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

Poured a 22oz bottle into a shaker.

A: Pours a near black with a nice little mocha head and a little lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts and coffee.

T: Taste closely follows the smell; the malts come first with some bitter hops in the middle and the coffee lingers in the aftertaste.

D: Good and drinkable and at the ABV, that is somewhat to be expected.

Overall: A nice tasty porter. It lacks any mind-boggling characters, but it is subtly complex. Definately worth checking out.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - Huge three-finger head. Looks like a light brown sponge. Very slowly dissipates by collapsing toward the center. Lots of lace on the sides and big island of foam in the middle. Almost black in color and solidly opaque.

S - Malty, cafe-au-lait, a hint of well-done caramel and toasted almonds. Dark, dried fruit like raisin also shows up in the nose as it gets warmer.

T - Caramelized, almost burnt brown sugar; milk chocolate; light-to-moderately toasted malts; hints of butterscotch up front. French-roast/espresso coffee, dark chocolate and dark biscuit in the finish.

M - Creamy to start with good carbonation and solid structure. Nice body gives way to a clean finish that lets the bitter chocolate linger with the roasted malts.

D - Easy to enjoy several of these, as each quaff moves easily and pleasantly from sweet to bitter without tasting the extremes of sugar or hops. Just the right amount of roasting makes this clearly a porter, not a slightly less-roasted stout in disguise. Consistently one of my favorite porters and what I reach for when I want a sure thing.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GL Edmund Fitzgerald is my usual porter, but Wegmans was out so I decided to give this another try after a very long hiatus.

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Motor oil in color with a very nice head that is a little lighter in color than most porters. Nice lacing for the style as well.

Great aroma, very heavy cocoa notes. Tastes a bit too roasted but very tasty. Mouthfeel great for the style. Not as drinkable as other porters.

This oldie but goodie will be in my cooler weather rotation from here on out.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown beer with some ruby high lights.
A large foamy head thats a nice taupe color and very dense.

A rich roasted malt aroma.
Complex roasted malt taste that has hints of chocolate and espresso followed up with a nice jolt of hop bitterness.
A nice rich mouthfeel with a dry finish smooth .
Drink well my friends

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. A cross between reddish and blackish color. Has a thick tan head, which isn't too bad. Smells of malts. Taste of Chocholate and caramel. Mouthful, well the malted and roasted items do the talking. Drinkabilty is wonderful. An everyday american porter

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Mug
Poured from a 12oz glass

A: Pours a deep black color with a slight reddish hue. Pours with thick creamy head that is a malted tan color. Leaves a considerable amount of brownish lacing

S: Deep caramel and dark chocolate scents

T: Wow, incredible taste, deep coffee notes sweetened slightly by caramel or possibly even maple notes

D/M: A different kind of carbonation tingle, really hits the center of the tongue. drinks very smooth, with a great depth. Leaves a nice smoothness on the pallet

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Photo of lester619
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque jet black with faint redish highlights. Thick pillowy chocolate milk colored head and great lacing. Smell is a great mix of sweet chocolate malt and strong bitter coffee. Some smokey burnt toast smells are in the background. Awesome. Fantastic tasting porter. Robust burnt smokey malt flavor balanced with a very smooth and sweet chocolate. Expresso flavors are abundant. There is just enough hop biterness at the end to balance. The roasted sweet malty flavors are allowed to do their thing. Great thick creamy chewy mouthfeel makes it satisfying without being too heavy. Goes down nice without being a gut-bomb. This might be my new favorite porter. Excellent beer.

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

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint glass. dating code translates to 2010 FEB 10.

pours out a nearly opaque black, but actually reviels a dark ruby red in the light. big rocky, frothy tan colored head with some really nice retention. lots of sticky lace as well.

the aroma displays a lot of dark fruits, mostly dried prunes, figs, and raisons, lots of roasted malt, and lots of molasses. reminds a bit of both the anchor bock and anchor x-mas ale.

a lovely combo of dark fruits, molasses and roasted malts. very nice. a little brown sugar, and a touch of a roasted coffee flavor.

soft, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. very smooth going down. medium to almost full bodied. a bit of a prickly carbonation. slightly astringent.

drinks pretty easy, exspecialy on those cold nights. might feel a touch heavy in your stomach after a bunch of these however.

this is truly a great tasting porter. it was kind of hard for me to grade, i was torn in a lot of categories between 4's, 4.5's, and 5's. highly recommended

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,704 ratings
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