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

Anchor Porter pours a heavy maroon from a dark brown 12oz glass bottle. Head went well over two fingers before melting down to wisps of foam and a well defined ring. The sides of the glass have a nice lace pattern on them as well.

Nose is a wonderful bouquet of figs, plums and a tawny port wine note as well. The sweet malt mingles very well with the dried fruit to give this brew a most delicious flavor.

Candy for the eye, the nose and the palate, Anchor Porter should please even the most critical amongst us, it has me.

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

Appearance: Very dark and opaque color. Lightly tan head of foam.

Aroma: Sweet caramel-chocolate malt aroma.

Flavor: Very rich, slightly sweet milk-chocolately taste, with a light amount of fruitiness. Hops are restrained, but a slight amount of bitterness at the end lends a small drying touch to an otherwise sweet finish.

Body: Creamy, chewy mouthfeel.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep brown color with a creamy tan head and sticky lacing. The head retention is low, but maintains a decent layer. Smells of malt, caramel roasted grains and coffee, with is a surprising presence of fruitiness. Flavor has a rich sweet start and a roasty hop finish. Palate is medium to full bodied, creamy and effervescent with a full lasting bite at the end. Anchor Porter maintains characteristics of a higher gravity beer with a good balance, and more chutzpa than many others of the style without going extreme.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently bought a six pack of this beer after hearing its attributes from many people. It met those remarks and is a solid brew.

Appearance is very dark brown-near black and let very little light though. A one-finger head that dissapated rather quickly but left decent lacing.

Smell is of toffee and caramel, very similair to SA cream stout. Taste is also similair to Sam Cream. At first very little carbonation detected, but when left for a minute on the palate this comes through just to the right degree.

This beer goes down very well and is great to just sit and enjoy. High quality.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spinnakers in Victoria imports this beer in and my father kindly procured some for me to drink. I had this beer years ago and forgotten how smooth this brew goes down. Big brown head on top of jet black body this is a pretty sight . The real clincher is the coffee and roasted barley nose that hints at the figs and chocalate notes in the first sip. There are very few porters this smooth and balanced and this is a direct relation to Fritz's admonition to qualtiy.

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

Anchor Porter (12 oz bottle):

Don’t know why, but I’ve not returned to this classic in a couple years or so. Dark brown pour, nearly black with a tight tan head. Very nice. Mocha aroma and the taste follows with mocha, toffee, and light burnt chocolate. Kind of thin, but the roastyness of the malt fills the palate and it’s just turns to easy dinkin’.


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Photo of tweeder263
3.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appeearance,,nice and dark 2 finger head looks good. Has a licorice smell took me a bit to figure out the smell.Decent mouthfeel not too chunky feeling, not too bubbly.I must say im not too big on the taste. The licorice smell is fine but i think the taste of it is too drawn out,,a little too sweet. Bummer i was expecting good things from this brew.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A really good beer from a really good brewery.

Pours a motor oil black with a dark tan head that just never goes away. Delicious aromas of chocolate, cappucino and apple. It tastes as good. Heavy on the coffee acids witha thick malty base and noted hops to keep your interest. The feel is a touch on the heavy side, though don't let this stop you from trying this great porter.
Still nowhere near as good as Atlantic Brewing's Coal Porter, but still a valiant effort.

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Photo of NYbeerwolf
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a first for me. I'd never had a porter and was surprised at how dark it was in the glass, like coca-cola. The head had a rich tan color that lasted for quite awhile- well carbonated.

The smell was of coffee, maybe a small hint of chocolate - nice.
When I tasted it there was a combo of coffee and smoke, not a long after taste, good finish. Man this is good for a fall day to watch football.

The mouthfeel was just right, pretty smooth and not offensive.
I think I could handle a few more of these, a keeper for the fridge.

I was sorry that I only had 2 bottles, not my type of beer but I'd
drink this one again for sure

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thin 0.5cm head is foamy, tan, never leaving. Body is dark brown, almost opaque. Aroma is typically porterish with direct barley flavors and a small lactic bite. Rich chocolate and anise flavors. Nice range of fruitiness reminiscent of a dates cake with lots of crust. Palate is thick, oily, sweet. Not much bitterness at all despite a gentle hop hint and apparent faint smokiness. I can understand its high rating, this is everything you want a porter to be. Classy and quaffable.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown / black with virtually no head. Minimal lacing as well. The smell is burnt, roasted grains with hints of coffee and cocoa as well. Some nice floral hops float in and out.

The first sip has a predominent burnt, almost smoky malt flavor upfront with a background melding of coffee, cocoa and slight hop nuances. Quite a bitter, burnt bread flavor with hints of molasses makes for a interesting porter.

Mouthfeel is good and carbonation is not overwhelming. It goes down smooth and hits the spot...pretty much perfect for the style. Drinkability is good and this would make a tasty session if I was in the mood. If you enjoy porters, this one is worthy of a try.

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Photo of stevef
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown almost black. Head is light and a creamy brown color. Smells slightly of coffee and roasted malt with a fruity aroma too that I can't identify. No noticeable hop aroma. Tastes are heavy on roasted malt, with a slight hint of coffee and raisins. Hops are not noticeable until toward the end and then just a little bitterness that gradually gives way to a slight malty sweetness. This beer has an extremely interesting finish with an ongoing battle of the taste buds - bitter hops, no sweet malt, no bitter hops, nope sweet malt... A very enjoyable brew I'll come back to.

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Photo of SteveP
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. "Wholly superior in every respect." I love the way brewers enthuse about their beers. I bet he also tells his wife he's got the biggest spoon in the world. Brewers, they're a bit like lawyers - you can't trust 'em.

This is a damn tasty brew - full of roasty flavours and chocolate flavours, quite smoothly done. Nice winey quality - with just a hint of soft fizz. A very pleasant and easy drinking porter - not complex or demanding, just plain old fashioned tasty. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bukowski's in Boston.

Wonderful brew! Not sure why I chose it off the menu at Bukowski's, but I'm certainly glad I did. Great looking beer, rich dark color, with a chocolate milk looking head. Sweet, fruity smell and deep rich taste. Substantial body and mouthfeel, yet suprisingly drinkable. I will be looking for this one again in the very near future and expect it to become a winter staple for me.

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Photo of bashiba
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to talk my local bowling alley into stocking this for me, now it is my new regular bowling beer. Let me tell you there can't be a much better bowling beer out there. An all around very good porter that is just a little easier drink than some. Makes a great Session porter.

The appearance is spot on black with a nice thick tan head the takes plenty of time to settle.

The smell is a great mix of Burnt Malts, Coffee, and some bitterness.

The taste is spot on for a porter. Nice Coffee, Some Caramel Malts, a little chocolate, some black bitterness and just enough hops to balance it out.

It has a very nice creamy mouthfeel and great drinkability.

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Photo of karengarys
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my few regularly stocked favorites.

It pours very dark, leaving a nice head that is light brown and moderate fluffy.

Carmel and banana aroma come to mind. A very nice smell.

The mouthfeel has a nice texture. Creamy. Fizzy. Smooth. It remains full throughout the entire time it is in your mouth, even as you swallow. It does not dissipate on the way down. Really cool.

The taste is amazing. I am not a porter person, but this is not the typical coffee bitter flavor I expect from a porter. It is sweet, malty, carmely, and has just enough hop to balance it. The hop is the kind I like, too - it is not the bitter type, it is more of a dry and refreshing hop. It is really good.

The finish is a continuation of the mouthfeel. It fizzes at the back of the throught on its way down. The back of the tounge senses a slight smooth coffee flavor as it disappears.

It does not leave a bad aftertaste. If there is any, it is somewhat sweet and acceptable.

This is a regular in my cooler.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my alltime favorite porters. It packs lots of deep flavors including roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, with a pinch of hops for bitterness and fragrance. It pours with a thick brown head that just sits there over a mysterious brown almost black body of flavor. The flavors swirl all around the tongue and fade with a bit of hoppy aftertaste. I also love it in a bottle. I always recommend it as a classic dark beer.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

here's what i love about anchor brewing: they don't try to brew anything weird like dfh or over the top like stone (not that there's anything wrong with either of those things), but rather, they concentrate on simply brewing world-class, damn tasty brews that are very faithful to their respective styles. the anchor porter is no exception. it pours a dark as hell brown to black colour with a big ole foamy off-white head. the aroma is off chocolate, malt, burnt wood, earth and a touch of caramel. simply solid and good all around. the flavour is spot on for a porter: it's big but not huge nor overwhelming. there's also a nice creamy texture to this one. the creaminess is mostly chocolate in nature and is complimented by a nice dose of burnt/roasted malt flavour. caramel is intermingled here and there as well as a touch of coffee and alcohol. spot on flavour, for the most part. i really have no complaints about this brew whatsoever. it may soon become a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of tjd25
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice velvety brownish head, dense and lasting, on a very dark purple/mahogany color. The smell is complex and interesting: some fine chocolate trufle, some vinous notes of porto, and hints of overripe red fruits. The taste reproduces this complexity: chocolate and coffee have a deep effect on the tongue and the palate, being very smoky and roasted. A certain saltiness bites the tongue and makes this beer reminiscent of the sea(?), light hints of coconut announce the more fruity aspects of the brew together with sweet notes of citrus. Mouthfeel is great, sharp and consistent. Greatly robust and woody. A bit doughy. Nicely hoppy too. A pretty intense experience. It's like this beer were saying "there'll be no white flags and no peace talks". It doesn't let up. This is a beer for fighters, hunters and lovers. It probably doesn't fit in my favorite beers category, but I can definitely appreciate its qualities.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby brown with a volumnous light tan head. Served at about 55 degrees. Nose is toffee, coffee-ish and roasty malts; slight hoppy undercurrent, but predominantly malty and rich smelling, with a slight notion of toasted marshmallow. Roasty malt astringency hits the palate first, then the dark malts and light berry notes kick in, and finishes off with a slight hop dryness and further suggestions of chocolate and coffee. One of the better domestic porters out there. Flavors meld together well, especially at cellar temperature. Very smooth and enjoyable. Subtler carbonation is appropriate for this beer. I've done some vertical tastings between English porters and American counterparts, and I always seem to prefer the aggressive roasty maltiness of the domestic porters. I guess I'm just a patriot...

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Photo of donnebaby
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy and thick but not too tight foam top and pitch black brown body. Nose was distinct, of sharp mint and rich vanilla, blowing off and already beginning to lighten the brew.

Total smoked layer that starts in the mouth and blows out into the throat, like charred bacon smoke. Candy sweet taste appears as another layer but is not overwhelming or syrupy like other porters. Rich roasted flavor and body fill the mouth. Carbonation level is great for a porter. Cleanish finish, but some dry hops lower their heads in as well.

Really never a dull moment drinking this beer.

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Photo of clvand0
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, dark color with a short, brown head, but a small amount hangs around. Nice chocolate, malty aroma and very little coffee. Low carbonation, but it's there. The flavor is mostly comprised of a malty, chocolaty flavor - very similar to the aroma. Roasted malts with an even bitterness. Very good and extremely smooth. One of my favorite porters to date.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Slight chocolate, chocolate malt, creamy nose that I associate more with a Stout than a Porter.
Appearance: Black as night with only some carbonation bubbles showing up with serious back lighting. A dark tan head started but quickly calmed down to a thin cover. Slight edges of light come through on sips that look like Coke.
Flavor: Smells like a stout, tastes like a porter. More chocolate flavors come out in the taste, but so does the “dusty” or earthy taste I associate with porters. Nicely roasted malt flavor and a good balance of hops. There is a slight cola taste as well. Overall a fairly mild but complex taste that lingers nicely.
Mouthfeel: Medium- medium heavy body that triggers a slight chew, a bit fizzy and numbed the front of the roof of my mouth and lips. The carbonation level backed off deeper into the beer.
Overall Impression: I’m in the mood for a dark rich beer, and I sure found one. Great full taste, well balanced, roasted but not burnt. It’s filling as well, so it is tough to go for drinkability. This 1 pt. 6 oz. will scratch my beer itch nicely, but I could see revisiting this one again. A great American Porter, but not the best.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Re-review on 2-17-06 due to a fresher sample

label dated 5NO (November 15, 2005)

Pours a dark, rich brownish black color with a tall cappucino colored long-lasting rocky head.

Aroma is magnificent- deep, complex and mature yet delicate and airy at the same time. Coffee, cocoa, dates, licorice, butterscotch and dried flowers combine in perfect unison.

The palate may be the real star here. It is not as complex as the bouquet but makes up for it with texture- sultry liquid velvet. Mocha is the dominant flavor component but the spices, fruit and flowers show up in the background. Respectable bitterness from hops and roasted grains is clean and quenching. Diacetyl comes on late into the first glass and continues through to the second.

What a beer- robust but not overly assertive, and it has a great personality to boot.


Pours a nice dark brown/ black color with a thick tan head.

Mild mocha-like aroma with some fruit and caramel in background.

Rich caramel flavor up front with chocolate and coffee backing it up. Nicely malty. Hops are there but unobtrusive. There is a lingering roast malt finish.

Very nice beer.

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Photo of mntlover
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a beautifuk black with a fluffy tan head that leaves a good dose of lacing. Smells of toased malt with hints of caramel, coffee, toffee and fruit. Smells creamy and tasty. Taste is sweet malt flavor followed by lightly burnt malt with touches of caramel and coffee flavors. Finishes lightly bitter coffee flavors and hops. This is one good medium full bodied brew a nice solid porter. Drinkability is great this is a fine porter forgot how good it was, will not forget again!

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