Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

1,536 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,536 | Ratings: 3,659
Photo of Arthuros
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This classic porter Sans Francisco delivers!

Deep black color, tiny head and medium carbonation. Great feel, as a porter should have, rich and creamy.

Taste is crisp, black and burnt chocolate is very present, as well as in the nose.

I like it.

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

Pours a dark brown color with khaki colored head. Roasted malt, coffee, and raw cocoa on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied porter, nice smooth mouthfeel. Finishes with a nice roasty character.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Porting anchors may not be the best thing for your lower back, regardless of your age. But, hey, what do I know? Anyway, this stuff pours a matte black-brown topped by over a finger of light sandstone foam. The nose comprises mild cola, light molasses, cocoa powder, and a bit of vague fruitiness pervading the background. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some mildly earthy hops coming through in the finish. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thin, fluid feel. Overall, a decent porter, but the lack of body and middle-of-the-road flavor combination keep this porter from achieving memorability.

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Photo of T_Hass
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Lost Abbey taku glass from the bottle. Pours a beautiful dark leathery brown with a thick khaki head comprised of small fine bubbles that linger. The beer smells of caramel malt and brown sugar and taste is much of the same. I get a nice carmel start with a nice raosty finish. a very nice full beer to have at the start of fall. The only thing lacking is the mouth feel. Slightly thin for my liking but highly carbonated. Overall this is a bit of a surprise. Its a constant on all the shelves I might have to pick this one up bit more frequently.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Anchor Porter, the latest on my ever-slowly-growing Christmas list of Anchor beers is (as will be the next beer I review) an anomaly - a blip stylistically - from a brewer better known for another beer type (in this case their patented “Steam Beer”). With the trepidation of a beer explorer going into the jungles of Porter from a brewer that is knowingly focused on another style, and armed with terribly conjured metaphors, I ventured forth... will I ever see my loved ones again? Perhaps I shall write them a letter.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Dark, hazed cola body with a massive 1 inch tan head that slowly settles down to a centimetre, in the process confusing my American readers by mixing Imperial and metric measurements - bad beer! 8/10.

S: Unroasted coffee beans, chocolate and dark fruits give this Porter a touch of English Strong Ale, hint of molasses brings us back to the US of A. Further whiffs (and as is trademark to my reviews: taking too long in writing my thoughts and letting the beer warm considerably) releases a lot more molasses, to the point that you would think this beer was a Southern gentleman who enjoys repeating the word “molasses” with an added grunt ad nauseam. 8/10.

T: Flavour is molasses up front with dark fruits, some nuttiness (interesting) and earthy/herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Overall flavour is more like a Strong or Brown Ale than a Porter, and as such creates a distraction for a well-versed Stout drinker like myself. Where are the heavier/darker flavours of coffee/chocolate characters I wonder? Aftertaste is a bitter herbal note. Not a fan of this Porter. 6/10.

M: Watery, mid to light bodied with a wafer-thin carbonation... it is indeed lacking here over other Porters I’ve had. 5/10.

D: Don’t get me wrong, I do like a good English Strong Ale (I regularly keep Hook Norton’s Twelve Days in my fridge) but this Porter is so far off style it’s difficult to recommend it over other Porters like: Founders, Harviestoun, Samuel Smith’s or Fuller’s London Porter... I can easily keep naming decent Porters et al. - all of which have the classic Porter flavour profile that I know and love, trust me on this reader - I know a good Porter when I taste one, I have the same ability with Dalmatians (knowing them when tasting them). 6/10.

Food match: The overt (unroasted!) maltiness of this brew would suit game bird.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

very dark in appearance, it has a sweet carmely smell to it which is very enjoyable. the taste is similar to the smell except it has a metallic aftertaste which brought the score down.

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Photo of GuitarIPA
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle
L - black with thick, fluffy tan head
S - coffee, cherry, tobacco
T - chocolate, cherry/tobacco, coffee,
F - rich, very well carbonated - tingles
Very enjoyable - ranking with my favorite stouts

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Photo of PhillyRiver
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into clean porter glass.
L- Pours dark brown, black in glass. Barely a glint of light getting through narrow bottom of glass, unlike several other porters I've tried in this glass. The head is gorgeous, thick and fluffy, about two fingers, makes soft lace rows on the glass as you drink, like a parfait. Quite beautiful.
S- best smell of a porter I've had. Molasses is strongest.
T- more bitter than I like, touch of earwax. Complex and interesting all the way, though. Lively natural carbonation.
F- rich and smooth.
Surprised at difference between smell and taste. Possibly my newbie palate is not developed enough, as I see this beer is rated very highly. I would have it again another day, though I don't want to drink two of them in a row today. And now, back to golf. Go Jordan and Jason.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

from a single into a Bell's snifter
a: dark brown/black with a 2 finger khaki tight bubbly head that leaves nice lacing
s: mainly sweet toffee and toast, with something else in there that is pretty sweet...licorice? Raisin? Maybe molasses. Just a hint of chocolate. Not very roasty and not at all bitter, though the more I inhale, the more I get a faint wisp of coffee that tries to come through.
t & m: nice, substantial, and smooth body, medium to low carbonation, fairly light. Good integration of flavors but not much roasty warmth and not much from the tingle on the tongue and no edge to the flavors. Lots of molasses and a little cold-press coffee.

Not at the top, but still very good

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Photo of frozyn
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pour very dark black with a thick, creamy tan head that reduces to a ring around the edge. The smell is intensely malty, with molasses and a slight ripe plum aroma.

The taste is very malty, with molasses and slight caramel/chocolate notes. The fruity plum aroma comes through as well, though not so clearly plum-like to me. Warmth brings an earthy/woody note to the back end that is strongest when the carbonation ramps up on the tongue. There's a distinct burnt/roasted edge to the maltiness that adds to a quite complex taste profile that I find fantastic.

The carbonation level keeps this at more of a medium body: without it, the creaminess and smoothness of the beer would take it up that notch to full. I think I would have preferred it with a little less carbonation, but at the same time find it nice and refreshing.

A great porter and a wonderful introduction to a classic American brewery. Time to find more from them!

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Photo of Treyliff
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a deep black, nearly opaque, with a creamy two-finger khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, leaving some lacing behind

S- caramel/toffee forward aroma with undertones of chocolate & dark fruit. Light roasty malt

T- sweet caramel/toffee malt flavor up front follows the aroma, followed by notes of chocolate, fig & raisin. Light roast on the finish with a hint of coffee

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel & a silky finish, high drinkability

O- full flavored, yet easy drinking creamy porter

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Photo of rockinbrewer17
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The smell and taste of this beer are slightly above average in my opinion. The alcohol stands out big time compared to most porters I've had. The saving grace of this beer is the creamy texture. I'd buy this again, but wouldn't call it a "go to" porter.

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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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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,659 ratings.
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