Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

3,692 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: 3,692 |  Reviews: 1,547
Photo of DKMonroe
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
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 -3.4%
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 +8.5%
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%
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 +3.2%
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 -2.4%
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 +12.9%
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 -4.1%
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 +9.8%
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%
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 +12.4%
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 +3.7%
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 +4.1%
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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Photo of bnes09
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant ink black color with red hues when poured. Thick tan head which sticks around forever and leaves a creamy lace.

Lots of roasted and nutty aroma. Hint of bourbon.

Coffee and dark chocolate roasted flavors start it off with a wonderful bitterness. Smooth malt backbone holds the beer together. Some sweet molasses, licorice and roasted almond characters add an extra edge. Semi-dry and delicious roasted finish. Very well balanced.

Medium-bodied and slightly lighter than some other porters I've had. Low carbonation. Creamy, slick texture.

I'm very impressed with this offering. Tons of interesting flavors which get along well in the same glass. Sometimes a good porter just hits the spot!

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Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen glass, after work. It's been to long.

Anchor Porter is a dark beer, the liquid is a black color that sports some dark orange spots towards the top and edges. A thick looking beer with a thick, tight cream/tan head about an inch in stature. Pokadot spots. Scents exude roasted malt, chocolate, coffee grinds, cream, and a bouquet of hops to round it out. Dark fruits with some warming, kinda rotted, nothing large though. This is a nicely rounded porter for such low strength, Up front a mix of vanilla/cram and roasted malt, followed by chocolate/coffee, finished with dark fruit and licorice in the end, although minimal. All in all a tasty treat. The body is built up for the low ABV output, that for one is impressive. A silky body thats a strong medium build and slight carb in feel. A very respectable porter and my favorite offering from this brewery.

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Photo of sasquatchsb
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle to pint glass

A: deep espresso brown, thick head

S: sweet, chocolaty, fruity, some apple notes

T: a fruity, chocolaty, roasted body with a slightly bitter finish

M: thick, smooth, and creamy, hands down the creamiest feeling beer I have ever consumed out of a bottle

D: Absolutely. But I am partial to darker styles.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown color; ruby on the edges when held to the light. Poured a 1 finger brown head with excellent retention. Lots of sticky lace in wide sheets.

S: Coffee, chocolate and burnt toast. Very rich and hearty.

T: Bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Burnt toast and an underlying smokiness. Big and lingering flavors.

M: Light to medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth and silky.

D: Very drinkable. Flavorful and smooth.

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Photo of nkersten
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into leffe glass, black body with 1/4 inch mocha head that fades nicely and leaves lots of lacing. Smell is perfect porter - sweet malts, rich chocolate and caramel, followed by earthy hops. Taste is very mild considering the smell - very rich mocha chocolate flavor, some balancing bitter hops. Mouthfeel is medium/light bodied with medium carbonation. This is an excellent example of an American Porter, drinkability is great.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint. Pours two shades shy of black with an opaque clarity. Head is two inches, khaki-colored and rocky. Head slowly collapses to half its volume within minutes. Thin, concentric bands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Not much happening with the nose - some faint, roasted malt character and perhaps a hint of lactose sweetness. Flavor profile expresses light, roasted malt, a hint of cocoa, a slightly metallic character and perhaps some nuttiness. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively, effervescent carbonation. All and all, not a bad porter, but carbonation is a little too assertive, approaching fizzy, and the flavor seemed just a little off.

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Photo of Shrews629
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Full, lush, creamy, cream colored head. Color is almost pitch black. Just the faintest dark red, ruby highlights around the edges. This brew looks outstanding. The head is really sticking around and it leaves a copious amount of lacing.

Smell - A rich chocolate and coffee malt comes to the forefront of the nose. The smell is also evoking a roasted and smokey hint that is very delightful.

Taste - The taste is very similar to the smell by recalling the chocolate and coffee. Not overly sweet but just enough sweetness for a teasing. The smokey flavor adds enjoyment by appearing in a delicate way in the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium to Full mouthfeel. Chewy and very smooth. Creamy. The coating of the tongue and throat are very delightful as it hangs around easily until the next drink.

Drinkability - I really, really, really like this brew. I haven't had a tremendous amount of Porters in my life, but this one has to be at the top of my list of ones I have had thus far. Perfect for those late Autumn and Winter days and evenings. Easily drinkable. This is a beer that I will have to visit every year at some point or another. Thanks Anchor.... for brewing it.

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Photo of Axic10
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with two fingers of khaki colored head that settles down after awhile. Leaves nice lacing throughout the drink.

Smell: Cocoa, roasted malt, some coffee and some slight fruity sweetness (not a lot, but just a hint).

Taste: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee. This starts off semi-sweet and finish bitter - think dark chocolate, not hops bitter. Very nice porter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and robust.

Drinkability: With an iconic brewery like Anchor you don't get a lot of gimmicky beers, what you get are really good examples of the style. I often over look their beers, but every time I go back, I am never disappointed. I've already finished off half of the six pack I bought last night, but I will definitely start keeping this in the regular rotation.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with tall dark head that left nice lacing
S - dark coffee bean and sweet caramel, along with burt roasty malt, very subtle chocolate
T - stronger coffee flavour with burt malt and caramel hints
M - chewy velvet smooth, thinning on the finish
D - a straight ahead no frills porter that represents the style well, goes down very smooth, a sessionable porter

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. 9NK punched in the label (Nov. 11, 2009).

A - Pitch black, the mild pour continued to inflate a large three-finger khaki head. A bit of cascading occurred before the head showed an incredible display of endurance. Thick lace is left on the glass as well. Brilliant.

S - Sweet but equally tart Belgian-like fruit esters give the rich roasted malt nose some interesting counter-parts. The raisin and plum add to the bitter-sweet chocolate and burnt toast aroma well. Hints of dark, maduro tobacco leaf are also present.

T - Heavily roasted malts have a beautiful complexity of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, tobacco, and mocha with molasses hints. The fruitiness comes in again with a touch of raisin and plum. No real hops are tasted here. The roastiness keeps the sweetness at bay.

M - Very dry and loaded with acrid bitterness, Anchor's porter is rich and smooth. Medium-full-bodied and completely loaded with flavor, it has a nice feel.

D - As complex and wonderful as this beer is, I personally find it to be a little on the dry, bitter side. A bit too much for me to have more than one pint of. It's a fantastic beer regardless.

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Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a big, two finger head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The rocky head dissipates slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - A light roasted malt note with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and a hont of molasses. Subtle spicy notes of licorice, anise, and a bit of a nutty aroma.

T - Sweet caramel and cola notes up front with a hint of brown sugar. Licorice pops up in the middle along with more cola character. The malt darkens somewhat in the finish with a bit of bittersweet chocolate and more anise, balance by mild malt bitterness. LIngering dark malt character grows more complex in the aftertaste with notes of coffee, licorice, cola, and light smoke.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable, the malt is perfectly balanced by the roast character with just a touch of hops to bring everything together. This is one of the very few porters that really stands out as stylistically different from a stout. The roast character is quite subtle and only really comes out in the finish. Dark sugar characteristics dominate with a spiciness that seems to be more in line with what a porter would have traditionally been expected to taste like. A nice, drinkable beer and a good reminder of why Anchor has withstood the test of time.

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Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a DFH Pint Glass

Deep Darkness- like what all us Phillies fans are experiencing this week in the City of Brotherly Loss...THICK, two finger (and I have large fingers) head, nice and tan on a sea of blackness.

I smell hints of vanilla, and characters of cocoa and chocolate pudding. And some sweet malts! This brew has a VERY intriguing aroma.

Malts on the front of the taste, along with slight bitter bite; very light chocolate, and a very medium body.

Mouthfeel of this brew is very good- fizzy, yet light for a very dark beer. A bit of silkyness, but balanced with the fizz.

Someone gave me this bottle to try- I wish I had a four-pack! This is a good everyday dark beer as it's well balanced and not too overpowering.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,692 ratings.
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