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 colts9016
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a beer mug at about 50 degrees.

Appearance: There is a one finger head that is tan, bubbly, and foamy. The beer is a deep dark brown almost black. The clarity is opaque. There is carbonation bubbles on the sides of the glass. The head has some retention.

Nose: A strong black malt aroma with molasses, chocolate, coffee, and sweet anise.

Taste: A strong black malt with chocolate, coffee, molasses, and anise. There is a strong roasted grain, close to a burnt note. There is a slight dryness to the beer. The is a sweet note to the beer.

Overall. The mouth feel is coating with a touch of astringent. The finish is slightly bitter and dry. The body of the beer is medium thickness. This is a robust heavy malt ale that is smooth and easy to drink. A very nice robust American porter. I enjoyed this beer very much.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - black color with a fluffy tan head that hung around for most of the glass leaving chunks of sticky lacing.

S - rich roasted coffee aroma.

T - dark roasted coffee, malty sweetness and a light bitterness on the finish.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

D - a very good flavorful porter that's very easy to drink.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown body with amber highlights around the edges. Head is tan and fluffy with an initial height of two fingers. Head dissipates to a thin, creamy, crown and drags tons of sticky lace.

Smell: Grainy malts, dark chocolate, holiday spices (which I recognize from their most recent OSA), fruity esters, and something that resembles champagne and/or lager yeast.

Taste: Lots and lots of toasted malt, chocolate, those same holiday spices (cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger maybe?), red currants, and black coffee. Aftertaste is filled with roasted malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Rich, malty, and creamy with a nice crisp finish. Coats the mouth well and goes down very smoothly.

Drinkability: All of the malt makes this a pretty filling porter, but it's still delicious and great for a rainy day.

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Photo of Brew33
3.01/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After reading the reviews for this beer I had high hopes. I was quite disappointed after trying it.

Pours almost black, thin tan head. The smell was very subdued. The taste was boring to say the least. Slightly roasty, some caramel malt. Watery, bland. Decent lacing though. Slightly sweet... BORING!

One of the most middle of the road Porters I have ever had. Anchor continues to disappoint me.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tasted this Anchor Porter during lunch at John Steven Ltd, in Baltimore; this reveiw is based on my notes. Anchor Porter opens with a billowy beige head crowning a pitch black body - this beer is completely impervious to light.

A thin strip of the head is retained throughout the quaff and there is a minimum of lacing that clings loosely to the glass - eventually, it does evaporate into nothingness.

There is a slight molassess note that accompanies a rather buttery coffee taste, which ends in a quick bite of malty sweetness.

This is an inviting beer to please the palate. It is a well structured body, but it does not test you. It is a fine and smooth porter that has a heavy mouthfeel that is backed with a quick kick of alcohol. Let it sit; do not drink it cold. This porter must mellow; let it and you will savor a wonderful quaff.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with an average light brown head . Aroma is roasty, and sweet.Flavor is sweet caramel and banana with hints of molasses and caramel. The finish is dry and quite bitter. The body feels pretty full, sticky mouthfeel would have liked a little more carbonation. A very good porter that I will buy again for sure.

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Photo of LilMatrix
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark with slight hints of amber. The head is lively and the lacing is wonderful.

S - Roasted malty goodness, sweet, with slight coffee and dark fruit notes.

T - Chocolatey, roasted malt sweetness (bit caramely), with a pleasing bitter sweet aspect. Slightly hoppy finish... delicious.

M - Rich, full, velvety, creamy & chewy. Carbonation lifts and lubricates as the brew goes down.

D - Oh man... this is a great porter. Easy to drink and so so delicious... Will definitely be having again.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as could be with no light penetrating, even when held up to light source. One finger brown head with tons of little bubbles. Leaves excellent lacing as well.

S - Rich roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate and roasted nuts. Very full nose. A light underlying earthy spiciness.

T - Rich and somewhat bitter maltiness initially. Lots of roasted malts a little bittersweet chocolate. A very earthy and bitter finish with the bitterness almost being too much.

M/D - Very full bodied and creamy. Easy sipping with a good level of carbonation without being overwhelming.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Huge, dimpled, latte-brown head leaves great sparkly lacing in dimpled stein. Opaque dark brown body

S- Roasted malts smell like coffee. Sweet marshmallow malt flavor

T- More marshmallow malt sweetness along with bitter roasted flavors and bitter hops.

M- Medium mouthfeel slides over the tongue well

D- Good drinkability for a porter

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a shorty bottle, Anchor Porter resembles cola with a hit of coffee in the glass. Nice head that sticks quite well.

There is a distinct molasses aroma with dates and candied fruit. The flavor is of dark chocolate and smoke, with a bit of rum. candied plums and prunes, raisins and dates, with a thick oily finish that gives way to a nice drying finish. Hops are in there, and compliment everything nicely.

A very good porter that includes all the essential flavors well.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours an off white 1/4 inch head that quickly fades. Black in color but when held up to light , very dark brown can be seen.

Some malts are smelled, also a weird metallic smell to it. Also faint chocolate is smelled.

First taste is some burnt coffee malts with some medium bitter hops. Aftertaste is smoky

A bit overcarbonated mouth feel. Slightly creamy but light bodied.

Very drinkable, session beer. A somewhat simple porter though. Nothing fancy, good but would not be my first choice for a porter

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Photo of oomir11
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz glass bottle in a frozen mug. No freshness date on bottle.

Appearance: Solid black with a tan brown head that leaves moderate lacing.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate with roasted nut undertones.

Taste: Caramel, chocolate, nutty with hints of coffee. Excellent taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth and refreshing. Low carbonation and no too viscous.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm amazed at the rating of this beer! I'm realy not that impressed.

The aroma was pretty good.

Nice dark color with a tan head is to be expected, but the flavor was terrible.

Sorry if I offend anyone but... I didn't like it. And there was a little harshness on my palate. Didn't like this porter.

Maybe I got a bad bottle or something. Maybe I should try this again...

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Photo of kinger
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was able to stumble upon this at a local store, haven't seen it anywhere else. So glad I picked some up because this is one helluva porter. Black pour, nice brown head and decent lacing. Bitter-sweet scent, nice roasted malt nose. Incredibly thick and smooth, outstanding on the palate to say the least. Lots of roasted malt with plenty of chocolate and mild coffee flavors mixed with just the right amount of hops. This is a beautiful beer.

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

12oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. The least drank, for me, of the Anchor beers.
Bottle Graphics: 4/10.

A: Dark ghiradelli melted milk chocolate with a lustrous off white head.

S: Caramel and chocolate. A bit of roasted and charred nuts. The bitter hops come across as burnt as well- I like that, gives it some characther.

T: Roasted malts with chocolate undertones. Tastes that brought out pictures of a campfire with roasted marshmallows and the burnt crisps that are on the edge of an overcooked mallow.

M: Smooth texture, mildly carbonated, nice body. This is what you think of when you think porter.

D: Not being a porter junkie in the slightest, this is one that I would still have a hard time passing up seeing on draft. Also one of those beers where if you see at an xmas party, you'd be stoked.

This was better on the Anchor tour in SF, not sure if it was just fresh or maybe just in my head. I'm not unwilling to admit that the atmosphere may have played a part. A compliment is that it portrays character that usually needs a higher abv.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured coal black into my Duvel tulip glass. Holding up to a light, no translucence at all. About a finger of reddish brown head that provided nice lace along the sides of the glass and good retention.

Smells like roasted malts, dates, chocolate and coffee. Scent really opens up as you let the brew warm up a bit.

Taste is malty, chocolaty with coffee hints along the finish. Very good drink with a nice clean finish and no alcohol burn.

Full body, creamy and smooth in the mouth. Silky smooth going down the throat.

Great drinking Porter. Easy to knock down two or three at a time.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.84/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours black with a light tan head. Aroma of raisins. Flavor of raisins, molasses, chocolate. This is a raisiny beer. I'm not getting this beer, but it might be old...but for now I'm not a fan.
Aroma: 5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 12/20

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Photo of Graham5161986
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a thick black with a two finger dark tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves a bit 'o lacing on the glass. Smell is, surprisingly, of ripe fruits up front (strawberries, raspberries) with some coffee and subtle chocolaty notes in the background. Up front, again, the fruity, caramelly-sweet fruits hit your palate and fade into a nice chocolatey, espresso finish with a touch of bitterness from the hops on the linger. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a ton of crisp carbonation on the back end which makes the finish quite clean. A very good porter - definitely the best of Anchor I have tried so far. Very drinkable, I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor porter is a solid black with a fluffy, creamy tan head that sticks around for a while. It smells mildly of coffee in a wooden basement with a tenor fruity note in sea air. The flavor starts with a snap of uglifruit, fading to citrus skin and chocolate with coffee lingering underneath. It's big and chewy, like a porter should be. If someone asked me, "What's a Porter like?", I'd give that person this beer.
(rated Feb 2, 2007)

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Photo of msolar
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark but looks like it has a thinner body than a stout - very liquid, almost like soda. Strong chocolate undertones, with a hint of roasted malt and coffee. It has a very silky feel and medium-to-full bodied with light carbonation. Great flavor - slight chocolate with a nice nutty aftertaste. A sweet malt flavor becomes apparent after some time. Pretty high drinkability since it tastes very good and isn't quite a full bodied beer.

I'd certainly put this on tap at home - I could drink it for a while in the winter.

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

Appearance: Nice tan head that settles into a solid lace. Very dark brown almost black.

Smell: Wonderful caramel malts with subtle notes of coffee and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet caramel with a touch of smokey malt.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with body that you can bite down on.

Drinkability: One of my favorite porters this is definately what a porter should be.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Doing a porter tasting tonight, English up against American. Representing the English is Sam Smith's Taddy porter, reping the good ol' U.S. of A. is none other than San Fran's Anchor Porter. Up first, Sam Smith

Very dark, very clear, ruby brown and topped with two fingers of soft and bubbly beige head, that might not sound like an appealing description and that's because it's not. Head is a cap and there is little in the way of lacing.

A bit winey/vinous like Sam Smith's brown ale, the difference this time being the sweet scent of silky sweet chocolate and toffee, this sweetness is balanced by a mix of ground coffee beans and mixed nuts. Understated and appetizing.

Smooth as silk as it hits the tongue, carbonation more akin to a cask ale than from a carbonated bottle and as a result only works to enhance the feel of this beer. Flavor is mild as to be expected and is a mixture of sweet dark fruits (raisins and dates), bittersweet chocolate, and coffee. More fruity and slightly nutty than the possibly distracting chocolate and coffee. Maybe not sour enough to be truly authentic tasting english porter but the mixture of roastiness and creaminess makes me not care too much now well certain guidelines are followed.

Very impressed, one of the better bottles of beer I've sampled in a number of weeks. Nice, understated and complex flavor profile coupled with a smooth, yet lively, mouthfeel makes for one impressive beer.

Now a quick hop over the pond for the American version.

Haven't had this one in quite a while, remembered it being excellent back then, let's see how it is now.

Pours a bit darker than the Sam Smith but not by much, dark ruby, but really more a clear dark brown. The biggest difference between the two is the head. Thicker and lusher head on this guy, which I am guessing is on account of the increased levels of hops in the American version of a porter than the English version. Still, you don't hear me complaining about how this beer looks.

Aroma is a bit blander than I remember from my past experience and quieter than the English version in pretty much every aspect. Sweet, roasted chocolate maltiness, toffee, slight breadiness, really just meh.

So far this beer has taken me by surprise. It is really quite understated, similar to the Sam Smith though a bit less vinous. Carbonation is a bit higher as well as bitterness. But the malt sweetness and chocolate and toffee sweetness remains, less fruity, a bit more nutty, and a longer, tobacoo-like finish, but not much, just seems a bit lacking, at least compared to the Sam.

Drinkablility is a bit above average. This beer has a number of things to offer, decent complexity, smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel and wrapped up in a nice looking package. But again, the taste of this beer seems a bit lacking from what I remember, it seemed snappier, had a bit more of a biting mouthfeel and toastier in flavor.

Looks like the the English win this bout of the porters. But I would give Anchor porter another shot, maybe this bottle I have here is a bit old, but I can't tell.

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Photo of armock
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured a black color with a light brown head that leaves lacing

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off chocolate scents

T - Follows the nose of roasted malt chocolate flavors

M - This beer felt a little watery with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a good porter didn't blow me away but its still a tasty beverage worth trying sometime

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Photo of magictrokini
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Why does Anchor feature its pedestrian steam beer when everything else they make is excellent? Pours deep brown with a short tan head. Coffee, cocoa, roasty malts, hazelnut, and musty wood. Excellent, creamy mouthfeel. Rich chocolate, coffee, and malt throughout with nuts, barley, and a tiny bit of smoke. Delicious.

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Photo of Greggy
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a nice fluffy two finger head, tan in color. The body is brown with just hints of ruby when held up to the sun-shine. Nice lacing coats the glass.

S- Nice roasty grains, chocolate, caramel, toffee, molasses. A touch boozy.

T- Starts out with a nice roastiness, hints of smoke, some drying hops, creamy toffee, and caramel.

M- Here is where I have trouble with this beer. The carbonation seems awfully high and is just a bit to aggressive on the palette taking away form the rest of the beer.

D- This is an ok porter, but I was pretty let down. Because of the carbonation problems, I can't see this being terribly drinkable.

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