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 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: 3,722 |  Reviews: 1,555
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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Photo of ivanwatling
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black with a crema like head, kind of like a large espresso.

Smell: Rich malts, probably chocolate malts I think. Reminiscent of barley wine and Old Peculiar. Very pleasant.

Taste: Deep, rich taste but a very bitter aftertaste on the first sip.

Mouthfeel: carbonation at nust the right level, but the bitterness puckers your pallate.

Drinkability: Would be a wonderful, deep, soothing, comforting brew if it weren't for that awful biterness.

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Photo of AllFineThings
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When poured, even lightly it produces a head that encompasses the whole glass, it settles into a two inch head that lingers for quite a while.

It smells of coffee, toffee, and chocolate.

Tastes like it smells, but better and is extremely smooth and creamy and has a medium body.

Is a great session beer.

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Photo of uustal
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a coffee colored two-finger head. Solid lacing and head retention. Aroma of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Very nice. Roasted flavor up front. Coffee and bitter chocolate. Dark fruit, black licorice and molasses present as you get further into the beer. Finishes back around with dry and burnt chocolate notes.

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

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a finger of mocha colored head that recedes after a short while.

S: Nose is quite roasty with some bitter dark chocolate notes. There's a touch of nuttiness along with licorice, toffee, and even a bit of sweetness.

T: Some bitterness up front with plenty of roasted malts, coffee, and bitter dark chocolate. There's a touch of licorice to go with some dark molasses sort of flavors.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: Pretty damn easy to drink and enjoyable porter, here. I'd gladly drink this beer again.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Big Z's for this one. OMJ in stipple on the back label. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Gentle pour yields an upward climbing frothy, 4 finger light mocha head with great retention. Beer is an opaque black. Definitely the darkest porter I've ever seen. Lacing is oustanding. Layered, frothy, great legs, and with incredible stick.

S: Nose is sublimely sweet. Liquorice, toffee, coca-cola, milk chocolate, and roasted malt. This one has a light tingle to it. Flavor is very subtle but delicious.

T: Opens chocolate, roasted malt, sweet liquorice, and a touch of cane sugar. Robust malt backbone. Roasted malt opens up a bit more towards the middle and becomes slightly tart before sweetening again. Chocolate and liquorice more pronounced towards the end. Finish is liquorice and coca-cola with a sweet, subtle, chocolate aftertaste that doesn't last.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Silky and oily in the mouth and goes down immensely smooth and slick. Finish is slightly accented with a clean aftertaste.

D: This beer is fucking outstanding. Hands down the best porter I've had and in the running for the best dark beer ever. I'd be happy drinking this and only this for the rest of my life. My new go-to beer for sure!

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz rounded bottle into a DFH Shaped Pint.

Pours a near black color, with a fluffy three finger dark tan head that leaves great lacing. Nice! Nice head retention.

Strong smell of molasses, maybe a small chocolate in there.

Nice strong malt bomb, very large amount of molasses flavor, sweet and rich, this fades to a slight chocolate and finishes with a bitter hop presence and a delicate roastiness. Superb.

Thick rich mouthfeel, not too heavy.

Very drinkable, one of the best porters on the market.

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Photo of midwestbrewers
2.85/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A: Very dark with a small 1/2 finger head. Not much lacing but beautifully dark.

S: This is a porter so there is immediately the roasted smell. Hints of toffee and maybe a little chocolate and caramel. Slightly hoppy as well.

T: (Drum roll) Lets first start by saying that each week I pick 6 new beers to try at the local liquor store. I picked this 1 up because I particularly liked the Anchor Steam. I am deeply saddened by the taste of this beer. To me this it is thin and watery. I've had winter warmers with more body. Nothing sticks out about the taste to me at all. A slightly smoky finish. The one up-side is that it is very smooth.

Overall I am very disappointed in this beer. After seeing the reviews I was rather excited. The smell, look, and drinkability are there but it lacks a taste. Glad I tried it but for sure a one time thing. Great beer Anchor Brewing.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark brown color with a nice thick tan head from a 12 oz stout bottle, with no ABV or freshness date. Good head retention with the beer turning pitch black once poured completely. The aroma is mainly malty, with hints of nuts, caramel and yeast with faint aroma of hops in the background. The taste is roasted malts/nuts with lingering chocolate and coffee aftertaste. Hops make their presence felt in every other sip, but otherwise it is a beautiful, silky rich blend of nuts, chocolate and malts which coat the palate. The taste definitely gets better as the beer warms up. The lacing is very good; everything about this beer leaves you wanting more. This is, in my opinion one of the finest porters available. Very high drinkability and is definitely a beer which I can have anytime, anyplace. A must-have for every porter lover; VERY highly recommended.

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