Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor PorterAnchor Porter
3,721 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: 3,721 |  Reviews: 1,555
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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Photo of webbcreative
3.39/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

purs a nice, dark brown color, with a slight dark red color around the edges. 3 finger head, with really nice lacing throughout. First sip i thought this tasted a lot like a wine, its a little dry in the end. And has enough bitterness to balance out the hops but not to be overwhelming. not bad, but i dont think i would drink more than 2 in one sitting due to the dry wine taste i get from it, which maybe how porters are, as this is my first, i didnt know what exactley to expect from this one, eager to try more of this style though.

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Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown to black with a huge head

Smell: rich roasted malt and expresso

Taste: some dark chocolate with rich roasted malt, tobacco, and expresso

Mouthfeel: surprisingly smooth with some creaminess, medium to heavy body, crisp, slightly bitter finish

Drinkability: Very drinkable for a porter...I could have three or so...While not my favorite style, an excellent example of the style

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

Poured into a pint.

A: Dark brown. Light carbonation pours into a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles fairly slowly leaving a little bubbly carbonation. Spiderweb lacing remains as you drink it down, but eventually retreats into the body leaving a few spots here and there.

S: Dark roasted malt. Coffee, and bittersweet chocolate.

T: Roasted, charred malt. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and a hint of nuttiness. Tastes kinda' like it smells, really.

M: Robust and hearty. Full body really permeates the entire palette, and kinda' coats the inside of the mouth. The roasted chocolaty malt sticks with ya'. A subtly sweet finish.

D: Very nice. Good balance. Flavor and feel are exceptional.

Really good atmosphere. Nice look, and a really well-crafted nose. A little complexity in the flavor, and a hearty feel with a fairly strong alcohol taste, but not imposing at all. Great drinkability when it's all said and done. Really (really) good quaff.

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Photo of CityBoy1986
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

The pour is an almost black brown with a finger's worth of tan head. Retention and lacing are good.

The nose is a mixture of coffee and chocolate with a bit of toffee. The taste is more of the same with a mild bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a lot of carbonation--maybe a tad too much. Drinkability is high; I wish I had another.

This is a nice, solid porter. It will be making a regular appearance in my fridge.

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

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Almost completely dark, only a hint of ruby light come through when held up to a bright light. A thick tan head with lots of lace.
S: Hints of chocolate with some roasted barley in the back.
T: A hint of chocolate milk with some roasted bitterness. There seems to be some hop bitterness in the background, not obvious what type of hops.
M: Creamy with a high level of carbonation, comes across as a little too attenuated.
D: A very easy beer to drink and a great example of a porter, and a nice change of pace from a stout or brown ale. Highly recommended.

Just had after a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, the Anchor has a lot more yeasty fruitiness and comes across sweeter/less roasty. Also doesn't come across as over attenuated, actually seems a little "creamy" compared to the GL version (bumped up mouthfeel from 4 -> 4.5). Interesting comparison.

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Photo of SpecialK088
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on Tap in a pint glass

A-Nice deep coffee black with a 1 finger head and good lace.

S-very strong coffee/esspresso notes with a small chocolate hint

T&M-taste is much like the nose but not so in your face, nice bitter middle and finish little over carbonated but very smooth finish.

D-Easy to drink one or two in a sitting very smooth and sessionable

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

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance- standard brown-to-black body, with a tan head. Surprisingly, however, it is more opaque than many stouts I've had. Very interesting.

Smell- Very rich, deep malt profile. Caramel, coffee, and chocolate malt scents are all very noticeable.

Taste- matching the nose, a very strong, rich, deep and layered multitude of roast malt flavors. Coffee, chocolate and caramel all take their turn, as do more "malt malt" flavors. Swallow is chocolaty and rich, fading into a bitter-sweet aftertaste. This is a good example that rich chocolate profiles can be created without ever adding chocolate itself to the beer. Flavor-wise, I find it to compare fairly well to Ayinger Celebrator.

Mouthfeel- crisply carbonated, to keep it light. Texture is creamy and rich, and very very smooth. If you allow the carbonation to pass, the beer gets much heavier, but still remains creamy and smooth, just heavier.

Drinkability- very good. Wouldn't have any trouble sending another one down to keep this one company. Good thing it came in a six pack, is all I can say.

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

I love this beer. Living in Alabama, this is one of the best porters available in the state & is easy to find. The presentation is simple - a dark coffee-colored pour and a thick ivory head.

The smell is sweet, almost citrus-tinged. The taste is the best of a classic porter.

Very drinkable - a great buy.

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Photo of Oatsoda
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I like everything about its appearance: the bottle, the simple design of the label and the effect of pouring it into a glass. A dark coffee colored body lies below a thick, long-lasting rich brown head of foam.

It gives a sweet malty aroma.

The flavor reminds me strangely of breakfast: a cross of the flavors of wheat toast and black coffee.

It goes down smooth with what feels like a very light carbonation and little sense of drinking any alcohol at all.

This is a very drinkable beer that feels like home-- maybe because it comes from a place that's close to home...

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Photo of aletales
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a definite fan of Anchor. This porter was sweet and thick, though not syrupy, and it was balanced quite nicely with enough hops to be sensible. This little bottle entertains from the moment you pick it up off the shelf, throughout the pour of its sensuous black contents to the finish of this pleasantly thick beer down your throat. Great beer

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Photo of K7M
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very pleasing Beer, great color, smell and flavor. More of this will find it way into my home. If you like a dark beer with a full bodied flavor, you should experience a bottle, or two.

I purchased a six pack while TDY at another base and sincerely regret not purchasing more, this was one of many Beers that I selected that are not available here.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a bottle as part of a make your own sixer at World Market in Columbia, SC.

Pours an opaque dark brown, nearly black, with a creamy, foamy mocha head that retains well and leaves some very nice lacing.

Aroma is very coffee-like, roasted malts and chocolatey.

Great taste. Thick, rich, creamy. Weak coffee taste, smooth bittersweet, with some roasty malt flavor. Terrific balance. This is one solid brew. Superb drinkability.

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Photo of confer
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Once again thanks to Don H for the sample pack from his haul. A bottle of the Anchor Porter was included.
This is far from being my favorite style however, The dark chocolate color of the beer and the thick tan head were beautiful. I wasn't able to see through the pint glass.

The aroma was also above average. It was sweet and malty. I can smell molasses.

The taste is very smooth and only lightly malty. The malt taste jumps out quickly and fades just as fast.

As porters go, this is one I would drink again.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

Pours an almost opaque very dark brown color with dark ruby highlights and a one-finger brown head. The head eventually recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with molasses and mild hints of chocolate and coffee.

Tastes great. Lightly roasted malts and molasses kick things off, then mild hop flavors join in midway through the sip. After a nice bitter ending chocolate and roasted coffee flavors linger. This is a very flavorful porter.

Mouthfeel is good. My preference for stouts over porters stems from the lighter body, but this one has a good thickness and light carbonation that makes this better than average.

Drinkability is good. No one flavor is overdone here, which makes it very easy to drink. The low ABV only adds to this.

Overall this is a very good porter and I look forward to revisiting it in the future. Give this a try.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,721 ratings