Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

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1,525 Reviews
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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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Reviews: 1,525 | Ratings: 3,609
Photo of tazzman
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

malt has an acidic burnt taste which over-rides the smoothness, I love a rich roast taste of toasted bread, but this roast went just a tad to far giving it a burnt taste

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: brackish and very dark brown but not quite pitch black nice off white light tan inch head on the pour settles down to a quarter. Beer laces nicely as i drink it.

S: light licorice roasted malts slight toffee with some coffee roast

T: slight corn grain taste some of that roastiness surprising lack of sweetness but the end finish with a little bit of sugar lots of carmel and corn grain taste again

M: fairly thin lots of carbonation interesting on a porter finishes on the dryer side

O: I'm not that taken with this beer. I'd be hard pressed to identify it as a porter if it were a blind taste testing the malts are strong on it but more like lageresk in taste rather than roasty.

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Photo of everyman
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"Anchor Porter® became the first modern American porter style beer when it was introduced in 1972." This beer is still the benchmark. I try just about every porter and stout I can find, and Anchor's porter has become the favorite when talking basics--sessionable and lower abv. This beer anchors on the malty side. Its mouthfeel is creamy and it's even a tad sticky. I like that the foam blooms beautifully and rises as high as can be desired. Let it set and that foamy head will settle thick and cream-like. There's a simplicity to the flavor. I really don't detect coffee or caramel straight forward. Instead, the taste is more of a medium roastiness. There's a tinge of hop as well in the flavor, albeit its supposedly hopped at a high rate. If there's something more to know, I would say that this beer is more old school ale than the American ingredient bombs that have dominated the craft scene in recent years.

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Photo of Hayley_86
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A nice but slightly watery taste.Not really getting the chocolate or coffee flavors I read others about. Maybe I will give it another try and update the review when necessary.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.56/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Represents the style of a dry, bitter porter well. (Just not my cup of tea personally .) Must compliment the head on this beer however; Most impressive: lacing decent as well. Absolutely no sweetness/choco for me in this one, although others have experienced those notes.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

5/2/15 (Bottle) - Pleasant chocolate, coffee and roast aromas. Nice dark pour with tan head. Sweeter tasting than I expected, aromas captured well in the taste. Very smooth going down. Overall good beer.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Dark brown color with a huge, creamy, tan head. Good retention and a bit of lacing on the glass. Very inviting. Aroma doesn't jump out at you, but rather subtle hints of chocolate and cola. Roasted grains and chocolate in the flavor. Super smooth, medium bodied, and easy to drink. Not the most complex dark beer, but well made and hard to find any faults. One of my favorite porters.

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Photo of Buck89
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Nearly opaque dark brown beer with a creamy light tan head. Muted aromas of toast, coffee, and some floral hops. Nice roasty taste that followed the nose, with a clean bitter floral finish. Creamy mouthfeel and a dry finish.

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Photo of drmeto
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big, creamy,beige head
-medium to strong hop bitterniss for a Porter
-on the sweeter side for a Porter
-low carbonation
-light,watery body
Overall pretty good, but lacks body

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Convincing black color. Classic tan head.

Smells kind of stinky, stale, bitter: hints of marijuana. Not super pleasant.

Mild on the approach, building toward a moderately intense, bitter finish of malt and licorice and just the very barest hint of sweetness. More interesting, better than regular Anchor Steam, for sure.

Carbonation is very subtle. Body of the beer itself is just a bit richer than moderate.

Overall this is a pretty good porter, it comes together well. Not a first choice ("Hi, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter") but this is quite serviceable indeed.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

really nice dark brew. surprising fullness, creamy head. coffee, dark chocolate; balanced smoothly. great with food, by itself, or in a shoe. this stuff is what some porters wish they were. slightly sweet, malty mouthfeel makes this an easy drinking porter. will buy again.
-12 oz bottle in a chalice-

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Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful dark pour with a thick, creamy head. Smell is remarkable, taste: distinct. The lacing is noticeable. Begins sweet, finishes hoppy. Each sip is more intriguing, as complex, and as satisfying as the one before. Normally I don’t notice, but the label design is about as cool as they come. The bowling pin shaped bottles are cool, too. I’m a fan of everything about this beer.

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Photo of CMroz
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Extremely smooth porter. Completely black and opaque with a beautiful creamy head. Subtle sweet fragrance of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is round and full with an alcohol finish balanced with a bit of sweetness.

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Photo of 14erFan
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of this beer before and grabbed it only to round out an assembled six pack. But, wow, what a nice surprise! I really enjoyed it and find myself agreeing with the BA Score - Outstanding! The rich flavor was so well balanced, it was gone before I knew it.

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Photo of CtyLineBeerBlog
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

- dark brown, almost black body. Two finger length foam head.

S - dark chocolate, coffee....because San Fran

T - black coffee; no cream, no sugar

F - Really drinkable. Nursing it as usual but very easy to drink. Still creamy even with the coffee taste

O - Must try porter, even if you don't like dark beers. Really rich flavor, just cook up a steak and you're good to go

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Photo of marieli
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. 52d. Smell is malt with a little caramel-like aroma. Taste is on the clean and lighter side. Some slight bitterness that is well balanced. Overall a very versatile porter and very drinkable under many conditions. I liked it a lot and this would be a solid choice if Black Butte was unavailable.

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

The tan-colored head is dense and rocky; the body is pitch black. In the aroma is bread and bread crust with some caramel which becomes more like butter toffee after a couple minutes. The malt in the flavor is not as intense as expected, and there is considerable influence from the woody, piney hops. Only somewhat roasty, and the sweetness is quite mild. Some slightly astringent, coffee-like bitterness. The finish is lightly sweet and grainy. The body is on the light side with some crispness and subdued carbonation.

A very gentle but pleasantly flavored porter. The aroma was bready and caramel-like at first, but it took on more of a buttery character shortly thereafter. It judiciously covers all the bases, resulting in a balanced, palate-friendly brew.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle into a wine glass.

I haven't seen this brew before at my local shops...Don't ask me why! Getting down to the brew is my calling. First off, this brew pours very dense and dark brown (almost black), with lighter brown hues around the glass. Nice soapy khaki head laid on top with majesty! Very outstanding!

The aroma is awaiting my approach! This hits in a melody of rich roasted malts that are having a party in my nostrils. There's milk chocolate and cocoa slapping my nose hairs around for fun. Nice rich coffee overtones awakening my senses. Fruity yeast esters in the background. Yeah, this is pretty outstanding and impressing me with each step.

The flavor shouldn't be any different...right? Wham, bam thank you ma'am! This is reallying hitting the spot tonight! The flavor matches the nose with every detail. Hits first with a decent amounts of residual sugars that's backed with cocoa and coffee roast. Fruity esters come in and play around with you toward the finish. This finishes pretty dry with a bitter-sweet flavor and some leafy/resinous hop undertones in the aftertaste. The feel is all light with tight tingly carbonation.

Overall: If this was the same recipe in 1974....this is all I would've drank (Ballantine included). This is a complex little brew and would have me coming back for more. There's nothing to complain about this Porter, it's easy drinking, Roasty and damn enjoyable! This brew is Recommended!

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice black pour with huge 4 finger carmel head lacing after every drink
Smell cant pinpoint but slight bread hint carmel taste hatd to discribe but slight bread and not sur what else feel has slight tingle on tongue great porter on cold ass day that started out -12 below

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

-exactly like a porter, pitch black with a light tan head that retains very nicely
-very roasty and malty
-taste like a porter but nothing stands out
-thick and very smooth
-a good porter taste like a porter should but nothing stands out to me, hoped for more flavor

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Photo of Foxybrau
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with a nice foam head. Banana nut bread, black cherry on the nose. The taste is bitter black coffee and toasted grains. A touch of sweetness and dark fruit are there, but mostly a very straightforward brew. It's tasty, strong, and smooth. This one will get me venturing into the world of porters a bit.

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Photo of SFNC
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At the Flying Saucer, Raleigh, NC on draft.
Pours a dark opaque brown with a nice light tan head, minimal lacing.
Smells lightly of roasted grains, faintly of coffe. Maybe that my nose is dried out from a full winter's of furnace air.
Taste is robust roasted grains and a light coffee burn. Nice and simply, not too much going on with complexity. Still, quite solid.
Thicker than most Porters, light carbonation. Agreeable.
Overal, a very solid Porter. If a traditional Porter is a no nonsense workingman's beer, this is a good fit.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Rich dark brown verging on black with slight ruby tints against the light. Thick latte foam head with pretty good retention that leaves sticky clumpy lace.

smell - Chocolate and toffee are the first things to strike me here but there is also some really great fruity aromas like a fruit salad at this. Plenty of banana and cherry so there is also an element of banoffee pie here. Put simply this beer smells great.

Taste - Rich and luxurious coffee flavour with great toffee mixing with some wonderful dark chocolate bitterness. Mild smokey roast malts mixed with that great fruit profile identical to the aroma, banana and cherry dominating but evidence of prune coming through at the end. Excellent sweet bitter balance and again put simply a great beer.

Mouth feel - Seriously smooth, silky even with a full body and very decent lingering power! This one is neither drying or cloying just smooth and tasty.

Overall - Very well balanced and packing lots of flavour this beer paired very well with Dutch pancakes with loads of cheese. If this beer is a hallmark of Anchor's brewing then I have high hopes for the steam beer and barley wine!

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Photo of leantom
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Here goes:

A: Beautiful. Black with a slight red hue. Pours a massive head with a great amount of lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit in this one: prunes, raisins, plums. Also a fair amount of licorice and chocolate. Great.

T: Follows the nose. Great dark fruit taste interspersed with some licorice and spice.

F: A little light, but I'm not complaining.

O; Great beer.

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Photo of LordofthePings
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best porter I've had so far. I was ready to give up on porter until I tried this one. Nice and simple, clean, well made. No bells and whistles, just a great tasting example of the style. Well balanced, will buy again when I see it. Allowed to warm to near room temp before drinking.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,609 ratings.
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