Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,737 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: 3,737 |  Reviews: 1,561
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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Photo of nickthetick
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a completely opaque black into a sierra nevada balloon with a finger and a half of khaki head. The head dissipates quickly and leaves a thin layer with a lot of lacing left on the glass.

S: dark sweet chocolate and espresso notes. Toffee and some smokiness and grassy hops.

T: coffee and dark chocolate are big up front, sweetness like toffee and caramel. Big roasted malt flavor and not a big hop profile but there is some bitterness in the back; overall like a bittersweet bakers chocolate.

MF: medium to light body and dry. Effervescent and smooth.

D: great porter from a brewer with a huge american craft history at a great price. An easy buy again when looking for a porter.

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Photo of MadCat
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with a good brown head. Head lasts a decent amount of time

Smell: Nice roasted malt smell

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, hints of caramel, some roastyness

Mouthfeel: Crisp carbonation, somewhat thick, very pleasant

Drinkability: If you like porters, this is high on the drinkability scale. Goes down easy, leaves you wanting more.

Overall, excellent. This is a good example of why I love porters.

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Photo of Buddha22
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW! This beer goes down like nothing I have ever tried. It is as drinkable as it gets. Taste is molasses with a burnt malty finish. The after taste is quick which creates your mouth wanting for more. And smell has hints of roasted coffee and toffee flavors. Glad I tried this at the early age of 21. Now I have a whole new appreciation for beer and especially the porter style. Bravo Anchor.

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz bottle into nonic pint glass.
Pours a deep dark black color with huge creamy tan head.
Smell is nice, chocolate, dark malts, toffee, smells great
Taste is the same as nose. Coffee, chocolate, sweetness but not overly sweet.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth
Overall, a great porter, delicious and could be addicting. Good brew.

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Photo of Jayhawk
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Guinness pint glass. Head was incredibly tall at first settling into a nice 1.5" head that lingered for quite some time.

Smells is wonderful - chocolate, cream aroma with slight coffee overtones. However, there is an overt sweetness which is a preview of things to come.

Taste is good...not too bitter, sweet ( too sweet for my taste). Tastes of chocolate, toffee and dark malt. Not too bitter but a hint of hops. I'd almost swear there is milk sugar in here if I didn't know better.

This is an edit of my previous review. After the first one, I thought it was sweet, but not too sweet and said it ranked up there with Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter...however, having a second, and trying a single another day - I find this porter way, way too sweet.

If you want the perfect porter I'd say go grab a Taddy Porter. Want to try very good US porters? I'd recommend Bully Porter or Sierra Nevada Porter. If you like really sweet porters - this one might just be for you.

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Photo of beerdrinker123
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a virtually pitch black, I can see a slight brown tinge to it at the bottom of my pilsner glass, but when held up to the light, its black as night. It also has copious of creamy tan head that hangs around for a while and leaves tons of lacing. This beer looks amazing.

The smell reminds me alot of shiner bock, but much richer, can't say I am very impressed with how this smells though. All I can pick out is the malted barley and some hops.

Flavor wise it improves a little, but its not exceptionally smooth or complex. I can pick out a toffee/caramel flavor but it finishes with a bite of hops. Has a slightly roasted quality to it with some hints of dark fruit, but those notes are pretty minor.

The carbonation is interesting, but a little too fizzy for me, I feel like this beer has a watery quality to it which I don't particularly like in a porter. It starts out watery, then the carbonation kicks in. This beer is also extremely filling.

I would not recommend drinking this very cold, its much better on the warmer side.

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

App: WOW so black it almost hurts your eye seeking color. FANTASTIC

Smell: Somewhat of a woody arroma not all too bad kind of nice. Hints of a spice makes you look for more

Taste/MF: Nice suttle earthy feel. few nots of a distant spicey again doesn't coat the throat like you would think but has a nice smooth flow to it

Overall: not a bad brew. Will let it sit a bitmore cause it could be drank at a nic warm temp. Is filling on a cold day nice overall brew

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Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black in the glass. Completely opaque with only the slightest f mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy, pillowy yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with chunky lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of silky chocolate, toffee, toast, oatmeal in the nose as well as some faint earthy hops. The chocolate presence is very prominent, balancing out the smokey/roastiness quite nicely.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a lot of roasted and silky chocolate malt flavor. Surprisingly hop forward with a much stronger bitter, earthy pine profile than the aroma suggests. A bit more roasty and dry than I expected with hints of roasted coffee bean, luscious chocolate, burnt toast and oatmeal. There is a slight lactic cream presence mid-palate that adds to the complexity and balance, making this beer pretty quaffable. The maltier flavors open up as it warms but it's still a bit too bitter for my liking.

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

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a deep not quite opaque black with a thin light tan head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is cocoa and dark malts. The taste is a nice blend of ddark malts, chocolate malts and a bit of coffee. The beer is on the light side of medium with smooth carbonation. This is a very enjoyable porter, one I would certainly have again.

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Photo of SnowGoon99
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours simply black with a large tan head that lingers down the glass. Aroma is out of this world. Some roasty and toasty notes with some tofee and hints of chocolate. Also some hints of floral notes. Simply incredible.

Flavor is no slouch either. All the aroma notes come through along with some caramel notes. Only ding is that it's a little too sweet but it's still awesome. Mouthfeel is also great. Definitely doesn't lack in the body department and that's very surprising for a 5.5% beer. Usually you see that in the higher alcohol beers. The sweetness in the flavor does detract from the drinkability somewhat. But you still would end up ordering a second pint.

Overall a wonderful beer. Needs only slight tweaks to it and that's being overly critical. Just a great beer and an incredible one for the price. It's just a steal.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,737 ratings