Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

3,678 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: 3,678 |  Reviews: 1,542
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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Photo of davexisxrabid
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Very dark brown, almost black, reminiscent of a stout. Small white head that fizzles down quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Very sweet aroma of caramel malts, slightly roasted and smokey.

Bold smokey flavor, roasted malts, and good even hops round it out.

Light on the tounge although the malty flavor does stick around. Good carbination.

Very drinkable although perhaps the smokey characteristics might make it a bit too much to make this a session beer. All in all a very good porter, however and I would definitely have more than one in a night!

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

I love Porters. I have had this one many times before but many years ago before I was a BA. This time, the review counts...

A - Beautiful. Dark brown to almost black. Very little light comes through. No head so no lacing but that is ok.

S - Smelled it as it was being poured into my glass. Good sign. Robust. Strong. Inviting. All the signs point to "Drink Me", I have to listen to the inner self and drink this beautiful beer.

T - I am not let down. Excellent. Strong porter. Very strong. Almost a stout. Coats the mouth and throat as it makes its way to my stomach. Wonderful. Man....I love a good strong tasting beer. What a wonderful job Anchor does. Smooth. Creamy. Bitter. Some chocolate malt and hops bitterness. Excellent winter beer...and it is snowing out...Perfect! Merry Christmas to me!

M - Creamy, sweet, bitter...all is welcome in this glass. Excellent. Expensive but well worth it.

D - A little high on the alcohol level but not enough to make me turn away. Love it.

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Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark-brown in color, light/medium head which retains into a nice, clingy lacing that stays throughout the glass.

S: Brownies and roasted coffee.

T: Brownies....chocolate, light roasted coffee, bready aftertaste, very light caramel, malts are present from beginning to end.

M: Creamy, very light carbonation, ends up being very milky in the afterfeel, like drinking brownies and milk.

D: This is by far a porter from beginning to end, there is no disquising this. The uniqueness of the flavor is the crispness and overall lightness. This is a porter that could end up being a devoured six-pack before you know it. By far my favorite porter on the planet.

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

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams senosry glass.

Dark maroon/opague color. Head is a nice fluffy tan color. Lace is pretty good.

Aroma is of chocolate and roasted honey nut. Taste is of honey and roasted sweetness carmel.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and the alcohol becomes present at the end.

Overall, this is an excellent porter. Great to the style, a nice honey and carmel taste makes this a great brew!

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

A - This beer poured brown with some red highlights that produced a tan fluffy head that lasted and left good looking lace on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced were roasted dark malts and coffee

T - The taste of this beer was a great mix of roasted malts, some slight coffee, and subtle bitter chocolate, not a lot of sweetness that was good

M - The body of this Porter was everything that I expected, smooth and creamy with a medium to heavy body, accompanied by slight carbonation

D - Of the Porters are distributed in La., this one is definitely my favorite, the taste and body was everything I love about the style, and it makes a great sessionable beer

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured black color with medium tan head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Aroma was full with malt, hops and sweet. Medium to full bodied.
Medium to heavy complex flavor with same tones as aroma and smooth rich finish of moderate duration.

The finish was not as full as other porters.

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Photo of Tbn2
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Transferred from bottle to my favorite pint glass and served it up with a New York Strip. Body of the beer is nice black with some mahogany hues on the side when back-lite. Two finger tan heads rises to the top, settles to a thin layer, and leaves slight lacing all the way down.

Smells great. Actually reminds me of the smell of Auntie Annes Pretzels. Smells of caramel, burnt sugar, fresh toasted grains, and coffee are most prominent. Taste matches the smell and finishes with a great smokey flavor. The hops are in the background, but provides a good, crisp, dry finish.

The body of the beer is right one. I bought this to sit outside on a cold winter night and smoke on a cigar after dinner and it is just perfect for that.

If you are looking for a good porter, this one won't leaving you wanting more.


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Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark opaque reddish color with a thin cherry tan head.

S: Dried fruit on nose, some rum raisin, and a slight chocolate malt presence.

T: Dry bittering hops with a smooth texture. Mouthful is moderate, warm chocolate with a spicy hop tand that really stands out for the finish. Rum raisin and alcohol upon warming and finish, well balanced, with a nice grainy feel as well.

M: Leaves a dry malting coating on tongue as well.

D: Overall a good drinkable session porter.

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

Thick and puffy tan head, like an ice cream float. Dark dark brown. No shine, no transparency. Head sticks around.

Sweet smells of burnt brown sugar. Not saccharine. Actually has the aroma of a Scotch ale.

Very sugary, sweet carmelized malts. Brown sugary and toffee. Just a bit smoky. The roasted bits are overpowered by the sweet. Toffee, caramel; a hint of decaf at the finish.

Feels thick and chewy. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was a Scotch ale. Really somethin'.

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

Sampled from bottle.

Poured a dark black color with a large sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of caramel and chocolate (stornger on the caramel side). Very light coffee in the taste. I was also getting some raisins in there. Light bitter finish.

Notes from 09/17/04.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a clear plastic cup (hey, I'm at a motel...sue me).

Despite the lackluster glassware, Anchor Porter is a beauty in the glass. A thick wisp of creamy tan head retains effortlessly atop an opaque cola body that lets in hints of burgundy at its edges. Excellent lacing and--wow, this head isn't going anywhere! The aroma delivers more dark fruity esters (raisin and currant) than I'd been anticipating, but it's a welcome fragrance. Honey biscuit malts provide a nice balance with a touch of musky, earthen hops.

Great flavor to this porter--powdered chocolate nibs mixed with raisin rum and sweetbread. Hops chime in for a lingering, bitter finish that coincides with some roasted chocolate and dark coffee notes. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a gentle carbonation level that pairs nicely with the medium thickness. However, a bit of chalkiness lingers in the body, which gets a bit distracting. Still, Anchor Porter is a classic and well-crafted brew that I'd enjoy purchasing again.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an absolute jet black with ruby edges. Large foamy tan head that retains as good as any I've seen. Nice spotty webbing on glass edge.

Smells of chocolate, sourdough, and some grape.

Taste of bitter chocolate, slight cola-like flavor, and some raisin. I dig this.

Excellent mouthfeel, with almost perfect drinkabilty, save for the heaviness. I like this porter. I would get again, and again, and again...

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Photo of nick76
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice and quite unique. Lots of deeply roasted caramel malt flavor along with raisins, chocolate, and coffee. It has a nice sweet aroma and bittersweet chocolate finish as well. This is a great example of a porter in appearance as well as taste and smell; I would drink one of these anytime.

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Photo of BronYrAur
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Anchor Porter really looks great out of the bottle. The head is fluffy and creamy and smooth and has quite good retention, leaving thick lace rings as the beer recedes (which happens very quickly).

Smell. Not much to note here. Some bittersweet chocolate and coffee upon pouring, but not much is perceptible after that aside from a little malty sweetness.

Taste. Really quite excellent. The one thing I noticed about this is the liqueur-like notes and the fact that it really seemed to me almost more of a stout than a porter. Quite different from the standard run-of-the-mill porters out there. The slightly fruity sweetness that is evident up front is quite different from any other porter I've ever tasted. The roasted bitterness soon takes over, with hints of chocolate and coffee. The flavor profile is incredibly unique and robust.

Mouthfeel. One of the smoothest and creamiest porters I've had the pleasure to drink.

Drinkability. Pretty good. However, it is a bit strong in flavor and not exactly something I would drink too many of in one evening.

Anchor Porter is probably my favorite of the style that I've had thus far. Not that I'm particularly experienced in the style having only had a handful of others before this one. However, at $11/6 it is a little pricey. One taste reveals why, so this one is well worth the purchase price.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,678 ratings.
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