Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,735 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: 3,735 |  Reviews: 1,560
Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Nice light tan head. Very dark almost completely opaque.
s: Very light roasted malts.
t: Roasted malts, light coffee bitterness. Doesn'
m: light bodied. But flavor sticks around.
d: Sip or gulp, you can go either way. I want more.

I am not disappointed at all with this one. Very good and satisfying; even ice cold.

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Photo of bamadog
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. This is my first offering from Anchor and I have to say I was not disappointed. I will likely be in the market for some more after this - I know it sounds kind of silly since this is one of the oldest craft brewers in America, I guess I'm a bit behind the times?

Appearance: Poured a very dark brown/black with a one finger pock-marked light tan head with a decent retention that eventually faded to a moderately thick skim and ring (which eventually just faded into the ring around the rim); a loose foam clings to the sides of the glass on the swirl but quickly rejoins the ring and leaves the sides clean.

Smell: Malty and bready (if I had to guess, I would say wheat bread), a little sweet like caramel and burnt sugar -- a little reminsicent of a Scotch Ale in these last two scents that eminated from the glass.

Taste: Sweet and malty, burnt sugar and caramel are very present, a little bready but the malty sweetness really took this over. A very different tasting porter compared to what I'm used to. Definitely not unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination, just different.

Mouthfeel: A little light, body is a little thin, but not watery; a little creamy -- very nice overall and it leaves the palate a little moist at first and then it eventually fades into a fair coating of the palate. I really appreciate the creaminess - this is something that the body of porters should definitely have in my opinion. Just about perfect...

Drinkability: Moderate -- nice and sweet, and the bready flavor is nice, but doesn't keep up with some of the porters that I've sampled, but definitely better than some of the others as well. In terms of taste, it's good and unique, weight is good as well -- filling but not heavy. A great beer overall.

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Photo of abar22
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Sensory glass

The Anchor Porter came out of its bottle pitch black. When held to the light you could get spots of red breaking through. It poured a 2 finger billowy tan head. The head slowly settled into a rocky cap with healthy, thick lacing.
All sweet dark fruits in the smell; raisins, plums, grapes.
The taste takes on the same qualities as the smell. Plums, raisins, grapes are all over the front and middle of this one. A slight hop bitterness is there in the end to balance it all out. Roasted malts fill in the aftertaste. *The fruits really come out as this thing warms. Excellent at all temperatures...
Creamy mouthfeel rounds out a fantastic porter.
For my tastes this beer is excellent one at a time but its wine like fruit tastes keep the drinkability down for me.

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Photo of wl0307
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB June 2009, served cool in a straight pint glass.

A: the beer lands in my pint-size glass a charming dark brown hue carrying a 5cm-thick and tight tan froth with great retention.
S: a soothing sour edge of dark fruits (black prunes and raisins mainly) cuts through the mixed maltiness (with hints of tarred malts, toffee and nut syrup) laced by a moderate aroma of US flowery hops; as the frothy head retreats slowly, the jammy fruitiness tunes up and renders a really pleasant, fruit-malty theme.
T: a lightly-effervescent swallow of mainly sour dark fruits is closely followed by bitter-sweet dark malts with plentiful hints of smoked prunes, old bitter chocolates, leather, smoked nuts, black cherries and black malts, while in the aftertaste an almost herbal yet also flowery hop bitter-sweetness levels with the lingering fruity sourness, together resulting in a really long and aromatic finish deeply felt down the sides and rear of the tongue.
M&D: soothing carbonation never turns too high, just in place to back up the delicious, moderate-bodied flavour. All in all, this beer performs slightly better than Sierra Nevada Porter that I had last night, in that an even better balance is demonstrated here, while the slightly chewy, herbal-bitter finish makes the drink an ever-so-quaffable one.

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Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours black with a little reddish brown visible when held up to the light. Has a foamy two finger head which stays and leaves a nice lace on the glass.

Smell- Malt and coffee

Taste - Some what sweet with a little bitterness. Malt, caramel, and coffee.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and creamy

Drinkability - A high quality beer which is highly drinkable.

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Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer. It pours black, though when held up to the light, the edges of the glass are a brilliant ruby. The creamy, tan head hangs around with no thought of leaving, and lacing nigh coats the glass.

The aroma, however, is thoroughly underwhelming. I pick up a faint scent of malt and hops and an off note I find strangely reminiscent of cola.

There is a slight coffee taste as it first hits the tongue, but I mainly taste chocolate and toffee. This is quite a sweet brew, and any bitterness is so mild as to only compliment the other flavors. Surprisingly, while it feels rich, creamy, and smooth in the mouth, I find the overall flavor a tad weak--every time I took a sip, I expected something more.

If I was in the mood, I could definitely knock back a bunch of these--it's a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered a bottle at Sibling Rivalry in the South End. Waitress poured into a tall pilsener glass. Not ideal but acceptable. Dark brown color. Smallish white head. Slight smell of cocoa. Smooth coffee flavor present with the first sip, then a bit of maltiness at the back end. Not as thick as other porters I've had recently, but I would not expect that from Anchor. A very drinkable porter, the kind that you would not be afraid to order on a warm evening. A very versatile beer.

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

Appearance- Opaque black, with tan head and sticky lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt, light cocoa and hop-bitter background

Taste- Roasty malt, light flavors of chocolate and cocoa (not as strong as they could be) excellent hop-bitterness to balance. Tight, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- a little light for a porter. substantial enough to enhance drinkability, but leaving me wanting more at the same time.

Drinkability- Pretty high for a porter, a sixer of this would be great for a party...

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Photo of TheBear11D
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and not a beer you can see through. Features a decent wet sand looking dark tan head.

Smells like a caramel chocolate coffee. A very faint hint of bread.

Tastes kind of like a watered down mocha. You can pick out some chocolate and coffee flavors but the don't stand out and seem fairly weak.

Somewhat thicker than thin body and quite smooth.

The faint flavors prevent the brew from being noteworthy, however, is still pretty enjoyable. I am just left wishing there was more flavor.

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Photo of rwrk42
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to almost black in color. Sticks to the glass on the way down
Smell: Faint smell of coffee and caramel
Taste: Smooth with tastes of toffee, caramel. Malty with a nice sweetness and the right amont of hops to equal it all out.
A very nice Porter which I would highly recommend.

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Photo of riboflavin88
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost black. Two finger ivory head with a hint of light brown

S: Coffee with caramel and a hint of hops beneath it all

T: Up front is dark chocolate and toffee with some malt sweetness, faint floral hops are also present

M: Very smooth and heavy, good amount carbonation

D: Overall, a great porter with very unique flavor profile. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting especially during dessert. At the price I found it at ($3.99/pint) I will make this a regular buy.

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Photo of Troyone
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a hint of an amber hue, minimal tan head, did not notice any sediment, and too difficult to see any action.

A bready roasted malt aroma with lots of florals.

Sweet roasted malt flavor, almost burnt, chocolate and coffee background, and has a lot of floral hop flavors including mild pine.

Full bodied, resinous, bready, slightly buttery, with soft crisp carbonation.

Very good session Porter, smooth, malty with florals, and has a sweetness throughout all the way to the aftertaste.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Black beer, nice ruby highlighting. Frothy and dense dark tan head, very sustaining.

S-Chocolate, prominent and alone, with hints of estery aromas.

T-Chocolate, toasted malt and a slight roast. Some fruity notes ease in. A good amount of bitterness with a slight earthy/resiny hop character. The taste finishes bitter, slighly malty, but over pretty clean/dry.

M-Lighter medium body, carbonation is light and comforting.

D-Grrreat. Okay, I'm not Tony the Tiger, but this beer is very enjoyable and easy to drink. A great representative of the style.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black with a shapely, thick creamy head. Sort of what I'd expect from an Anchor porter. Really creamy looking, really delicious looking.

Aroma is of light mocha/vanilla. Nothing too strong or prevalent. A bit "sour" or tangy.. unconventional for a porter.

Taste is fairly neutral. Some hints of chocolate malt, with a medium bitterness and creamy finish. Could honestly use some more flavor.

Medium body, goes well with the creamy aspects of the beer. Fun to drink, but not delicious. I think Yuengling's porter has more flavor and is a lot cheaper.

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Photo of RickS95
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice-sized tan head. Dark caramelly, chocolatey, oily look. Looks like a man's beer.

Chocolately malts and hops in the nose, like a dark beer should smell. Smooth and creamy in the mouth. Great lacing.

This is a great tasting porter. Initial taste is kind of sweet, malty, roasty; before giving way to the bittering of the hops. The bitter, while not overpowering lasts well into the aftertaste, along with a little warming of the alcohol.

Simply a fantastic beer...words are not necessary, just try it.

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Photo of association330
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark brown to nearly black with two appealing fingers of mocha-colored head. Reduces to a thick cap in about five minutes, with nice lacing.

S - Dark fruit, molasses, dark-roasted coffee, burnt malts and caramelized sugars.

T - Dark fruit, dark-roasted coffee, unsweetened chocolate, burnt malt. Finishes crisp with the right amount of hop balance and a lingering, sour coffee bitterness with a hint of prunes.

M - Hefty carbonation lends to a very creamy, smooth swallow. Body is towards the heavy side of moderate.

D - A very nice take on the porter style. I could drink this all evening.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful pour, deep cola, with a lightly reddish hue at the edges. decent creamy tan head, with good lacing and reasonable retention.
The smell is beautiful and malty, sweet and creamy. Lets you anticipate what you are about to enjoy.
This is a very tasty beer. burnt chocolate malts are most the most immediate note, with a slightly oily hop in the finish. Sweet caramel somewhere midbody, overall a good balance and a positive tongue experience.
the carbonation dances across the tastebuds, and it's mostly pretty round, but the abovementioned almost oily seeming finish threw me off a little bit.
Sits in my stomach, so I wouldn't want to drink TOO many of them, but overall, I could enjoy a couple. Pretty typical of a heavier beer, though, so you can't hold that against it.

This was one that I decided to take a flyer on one day, and am VERY glad I did. It's a great beer, and I'll surely be getting it again.

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

App-black with tint of brown in light, 1 finger head which quickly subsides, film sticks to glass side...looks inviting

Smell-malty, roasty, chocolatey

taste-sweet and roasty, very balanced with slight hop aftertaste

Mouth-smooth tingly carb on tounge, medium body

Drink-good beer, above ave porter, great value

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Photo of Magpie14
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a delicate fluffy creamed suntanned head. The upper 1/4 of the glass was assaulted by strands, chunks, and blobs of sticky lace. Body is dark brown with chestnut and sepia hues around the rim and base of the glass, pretty dark for a porter

S: cooked and darkened malted barley, earthy hops, and dutch cocoa

T: a very affectionate porter with some very nice flavors. The first thing to mention is the soft dry natural flavors throughout, very earthy. Roasted malts are mixed with chocolate, molasses, burnt caramel, and paired with a slight astringent fruit finish. I think the earthy notes I continue to sense whirling about my mouth are augmented by the laid-back seasoned hops

M: silky and smooth, sweeter flavors are in tact and make a perfect companion for drinkability. Carbonation is spot on as well within the husky medium body

D: hands down a great example of a porter. Great balance!

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

I needed a break from hop intense beers, so I decided to hit the Porters again.

Poured a lavish black with brown burgundy hues just around the edges of the glass, (bottom for the most part) with ample head and little retention. Head disappeared after about a minute.

Aromas of roasted malts are dominant with small nuances of molasses and brown sugar.

Taste was very malt forward with smooth flavors of burnt malts with some hints of dark chocolate and a creamy and delightful finish.

Had a very nice thick body for the style, made this beer standout amongst other Porters I've had recently.

High drinkability, although they are very filing.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into dimpled mug

A: Great, thick black, didn't let any light through even around the edges. Poured a 2 finger beautiful tan head that developed some good texture and then stuck around. At first there was only a little lacing, but that got better as the beer went down.

S: A good malty nose. Some roasted character and a little caramel after scent

T: Malty, with a little burnt taste that actually works well. In the aftertaste there is a little ginger ale or fruity taste. Maybe some black pepper as well.

M: Very smooth and rich, not much bite or fizz at all.

D: Good, but it is filling. From past unreviewed experiences

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Photo of seanyfo
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured aggressively into a bitburger branded chalice.

A- Jet black body, with mocha chocolate 3 creamy finger head. Lacing good and head retention good to average

S- Lots of roasted malt notes

T- Lots of roasted malt notes, creamy finish, not much lingering flavour

M- Full body, moderate carbonation, creamy

D- A solid average porter, a nice roasted malt creamy flavour with solid mouthfeel

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Photo of washburnkid
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

Considering how close I am to SF, and how much I love me a porter, I can't believe how long it took me to try this beer. It wasn't until after trying Anchor Steam that I finally picked up a six pack of the brewery's porter, and I still revel in that decision.

A: Black/brown beer with ruby hues, with two fingers of light brown/cream head that has exceptional retention, leaving beautiful lacing throughout the pint glass.
S: Aromas of toffee and coffee malts dominate in the nose.
T: Sweet malts finishing in burnt, bitter dark chocolate/cacao
M: Heavy body, like smooth molasses coating the mouth
D: Thick and powerful. Filling and flavorful. One of my favorites and an easy recommendation for anyone!

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into US Pint

A: Nearly black with fluffy, 1.5 finger head that dissipated slowly while coating the glass

S: lightly roasted mail with a bit of banana sweetness and very little in the way of hops

T: Slightly sour, definite banana and coffee notes...very yeasty to my tongue

M: Smooth, perfect carbonation, a bit of dryness but pretty neutral

D: this is a smooth, rich and satisfying drink. Sign me up. The only thing that has me a bit confused about is the banana. I'm wondering if that is just this bottle, the batch, or the brew...i'll have to buy more to find out :)

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

12oz bottle, served in a Chimay glass at 51°F

A: Brownish thick head. Pitch black liquid. Looks like liquid dark chocolate :)

S: Reminds me of a trappist dubbel or a strong dark belgian abbey ale. The yeast contributes with a hint of plums and perhaps even dates. Definitely dark chocolate and caramel/toffee

T: Wow, really full flavor! Dark chocolate and coffee. Very malty (loads of chocolate malt, hints of black patent - perhaps even a liiittle roasted barley too?). Very little bitterness, weak hop aroma (if any at all). The head on this beer is to die for, wonderful creaminess and stay-in-thereigness (thanks to Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters for this term =D). Light alcohol finish which balances the overall sweetness.

M: Thick and full. It's hard to determine the amount of CO2 since it's so dark, but the head is there and it feels good, so I'm satisfied nonetheless.

D: I can taste the alcohol bitterness more and more for each sip, but that does not affect the taste of the beer in a bad way. It just comes as a surprise. The maltiness of the beer is astonishing at first, but falls behind in the finish. Perhaps my taste buds go into shock? :)

Summary: Lovely chocolate aroma, very malty taste and hints of dark fruits (probably the yeast). Thick creamy head and very low bitterness and very little hop aroma. Some alcohol bitterness in the finish balances the mouthfeel. I'll definitely buy it again!

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,735 ratings