Porter | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,010 Ratings

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 06-16-2003

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Ratings: 1,010 |  Reviews: 443
Photo of dragonbrew
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer seems to be selling very well locally, in fact there were only two six packs left when I made a Saturday evening stop at the grocery store around the corner. I'd been wanting to try this one since I had it at the Tanglewood fest in the fall, but it never seems to be around. It's my lucky day and at $6.39 the price isn't out of touch.

As I poured I got the whole bottle into the pint glass with a nice brown 1" head, perfect. One thing I noticed about this opaque delight was that it had that cool characteristic, it had legs. I know that's more of a wine term, where there are streams of beer/foam that trail down the inside of the glass and stick. To me it just has a look of quality.

The aroma put off by this porter was reminiscent of mocha chocolate flavors similar to that of a stout, pleasinly matching it's creamy taste. The taste itself was interesting because at first touch in the mouth it came off as slightly bitter, but then went down smooth, weird how it switched over like that.

I mentioned before that I thought it was creamy, and it was, but I would have liked it a bit more if it had a slightly heavier mouth-feel.
This beer went down very smooth, which always amazes those who watch you drink porters or stouts because they all think it looks so heavy. If they only knew, their loss.

As you can tell I liked this beer, which is why I immediately had a second. I'm sure I will sample more in the future, gotta support the local boys!

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Photo of edchef1850
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this six pack of southern tier porter laying around for a while now and I finally got a chance to taste. I'm glad i finally did. This is a very nice beer, clean dark classic porter look in the pint.Appearance score took a hit because of packaging, some advocates might disagree with this but I feel that packaging of a product certainley sends a message to the drinker, you drink with your eyes first ,after all.That being said Southern Tier does a poor job with it's labeling, very generic and uninspired. This might be by design ,but I dont think it works .Fortunatley whats inside the bottle more than makes up for uninspired branding.The head could have been a little thicker, but ill take the blame for that, with a crumby pour. I like the balance in the mouth, nice toasty hints, some sweetness, yet clean and not overpowering. southern tier does a good job with their beers, and this one is no exception. I would love to try this on tap, as i am always partial to a pint in a pub on tap, it always seems to improve the overall experience.I would suggest this beer to all, it is a pleasant experience, and i'll be finishing thew six pack soon.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barely transparent, black topped with a thick froth of tan head. Great head retention, keeping a thick layer thourhgout, as wel as leaving a speckling of lace clinging to the glass. The aroma gives forth tons of roasted, charred malt, citric hops, and coffee. Pretty celan, only mild amounts of esters, with heaps of chocolate and blackened malt. The flavor opens with a charred coffee maltiness, quickly overtaken by an assertive citrus, piney hop flavor. Hints of plum and cashew, mostly an underline beneath the roasted malt bittersweetness. Lingering roasty and bitter hop flavor on the thingue. Excellent. I could drink this by the liter.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost black in appearance. A one finger light brown head caps the top. Retention leaves something to be desired and the lace is negligible. Nose is roasty and chocolatey and a little minty even. The taste is quite agreeable. I like the dry chalky mouthfeel in conjunction with the bitter roasted notes in the flavor. Chocoalate comes into play. And there's a great lingering bitterness after the swallow. This is a beer I'd dip into every so often were it available here.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice foamy tan head with a fairly black/brown body. I first noticed the coffe aroma. This is a very rich beer(not as rich as brooklyns black chocoalte) but the sweet chocolate taste really stands out to me. This isn't as distinct as the other southern tier beers as you are not knocked out and amazed by the potent hops and pine flavor but it is still a solid brew. I could very easily see myself picking up a 6 pack of this every 3 months or so.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A full, big-bubbled head of dark tan foam rises above an almost opaque black-brown body; yet the head retention is somewhat limited. Only glints of ruby-mahogany can be seen around the edges and base of the glass. The nose is rich and inviting with wafts of distinct bittersweet chocolate and toffee over more subtle notes of coffee. It's smooth across the palate with a medium-light body and restrained carbonation. The flavor is not as rich as the nose suggests it might be, but the same bittersweet chocolate, toffee, and mocha character remains. A delicate undercurrent of yeasty fruit and a splash of grassy hop flavor add some character; and a solid bitterness backs it leading to a very dry, powdery finish.

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Photo of granger10
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown color with a nice one inch semi tan head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate, and some floral type hops. Taste is of chocolate, roasted espresso, maybe some nuttyness in there underneath. Hops are there and provide a nice counterbalance to the sweet, roasted malts. Well balanced and smooth. Body is a bit on the light side. Kind of a simple beer with the coffee/chocolate dominance and balance all around, just a well made, easy drinking, sessionable porter. I'm really enjoying this Southern Tier sampler pack.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque mahogany with garnet highlights. The wheat toast brown head is compact and creamy with multitudinous surface pits. Impressive persistence. When it eventually begins to deflate, it leaves a decent display of ecru lace in shotgun-blasted sheets.

The nose is very nice and has enough guts that I don't have to bathe the tip of my nose to appreciate its character. Chocolate-covered hops are uppermost with notes of black coffee zipping this way and that.

Still going strong. Alhough it doesn't strike me as a 'robust' porter, as the brewery claims, the medium body still manages to convey plenty of mouth-filling flavor. The hops are still front and center without dominating the whole. Ground coffee beans have now surged and are neck and neck with melted bittersweet chocolate and roasted barley

This is a well-crafted beer. All of the flavor elements work together in perfect harmony and the smooth, light-enough-to-be-gulpable-but-full-enough-to-bathe-the-tongue body is just right. I'm having trouble finding much to criticize. Uh... this is only a 12 oz. bottle?

Southern Tier Porter isn't a big porter and it certainly isn't a 'robust' one. It is, however, delicious and is just light enough that several could disappear without a second thought. Too bad I only have this one. If I lived in their distribution area, I would never be without a few sixers of Southern Tier beer. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle.

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Photo of SCW
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at... where else? Spuyten Duyvil.

I think I've had half a dozen or so of Southern Tier's offerings, and this beer was my favorite.

The appearance was noteworthy. This most have been a brown porter, because it basically looked like a dark brown ale. There really was no hint of deep brown/black in this beer, but rather it was pretty much a dark red to brown.

The aroma was fine. I got a lot of chocolate malt and some aroma hops as well, all in addition to a subtle addition of black patent malt. Very enticing.

The beer tasted great. It was really well balanced, and there was a toffee flavor that went well with a nice addition of flavor hops in the end.

The beer was a bit thin-bodied, but then again, it probably is appropriate for the style.

Overall, it's a pretty good session ale. I could definitely see myself having a few pints of this. Recommended.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger tan head that fades slowly leaving an even lace. Black - nearly opaque. Good carbonation, heavy bodied. Nose is a smokey roast. Starts with a roasted coffee flavor, finish has a slight bitterness. $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle from Hoosick Street Discount Bev. Troy, NY.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i quite enjoyed this one, moreso than i would have expected from the reviews of it thusfar (though not scathing, it seems most find this one to be fairly average). it pours a lovely dark, dark brown/ruby colour with a decent sized (yet only moderately sticky) off white head. the smell is of roasted, burnt malt, earth, and a touch of semi sweet chocolate with a hint of coffee somewhere. good but a bit thin, though it should be so (i think) for a porter. the flavour is a mixture of roasted malt, smoked bitterness, toasted bread, etc. and, again, remains thin, but thick enough to hold it's own. i liked that this one doesn't try to go big and pose as a stout. it's flavourful and definitely easy to drink. recommended.

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Photo of bultrey
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This porter is a dark brown bordering on black, with a nice tan head that settles down to just a whisper, but lasts the whole beer. I smell anise and chocolate in the nose. This is a very fresh tasting beer, with good roasted chocolate malt, and I would say fairly aggressive hopping for a porter. It does not have a particularly creamy mouthfeel; in fact, it's a little bit thin, but that does serve to make the beer drinkable. The aftertaste is coffee and the finish is dry and rather refreshing for a dark beer. This would make a great session porter, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else this brewery has to offer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 ounce brown glass bottle. A dark purple neck and obverse label has the words Southern Tier Brewing Company. The main label also has the words ‘Porter Dark’ and ‘Real Beer’. No strength or freshness listed.

Appearance: Dark chestnut brown body that exhibits ruby mahogany hue when held to the light. Creamy thick, egg-white stiff tan colored head that laces well. Nice carbonation levels and a decent presentation.

Nose: Coffee nose, with some light dark chocolate hints. More nutty and toffee aromas as it warms up.

Taste: Nice hit of roasted malts, some toasted hops, and a dark chocolate middle. Scorched coffee, dry bitterness and a light but sticky bonfire toffee feel at the end. Lingering coffee bitterness. Nutty at times.

Mouthfeel: Lovely and creamy at first, but the coffee bitterness can leave a scorched earth feel at the back of the mouth which dominates a little too much.

Drinkability: I managed the one 12 ouncer quite easily, but the dry burnt roasted bitterness has a feeling like I swallowed a mouthful of instant coffee granules at times, and this would bother me in the longer time I think.

Overall: I initially though that this looked like a great Brown Ale when I poured it, yet the more I worked my way through it, I wondered if I had a Brown Ale with an incorrect label, especially as the nutty aspects break through as this warms. Porter Dark or Brown Ale?? Different, but nevertheless pretty decent.

Thanks to the Evil-Davo from the Dark-Side for this “Porter Dark cum Brown Ale” sample! Cheers Mate.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1/2" tan head, which laces quite well. A barely translucent reddish dark brown brew, with a slightly smoky coffee dark malt aroma. Reminds me of a lighter bodied Guinness, but tasting with more coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pretty good. Nothing much detracting here, but not much to honk the horn about either. An acceptable porter.

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Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Chunky froth that leaves a tan lacing behind. Nearly black in color … sure what the hell, it is black.

Smell: Minty, root-like with a sweet roasted aroma.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with a smooth bitty mouth feel. Burnt yet not astringent … tad smoky with charred malt flavors throughout. Clean malty palate, hops are mild with a slight balancing act with the malt. Finishes with a wet charred flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: A very interestingly layered porter, quite flavorful yet not robust at all. I paired this with some smoked cheddar and rye crackers.

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Photo of heidelbeerg
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one on tap. Poured dark brown/black with a thin head. Pretty much opaque. Smell and taste were both roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel was a little thin for what I was expecting. Overall very drinkable. I like this style and could drink these all night. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of cbl2
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


After a hard pour, beer produces little to no head, and is not quite as dark brown/ruby as is to be expected by the style. Too much light gets through this one.


Sweet roasted malt and chocolate are the predominant odors. More reminiscent of a milk stout than porter.


Smoky in character, with a definitely sweet malt presence on the tongue. Not as complex and chewy as I like my porters, but thoroughly drinkable.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an inky brown; no light comes through. Modest tan head that leaves a patterned lace. The aroma is of peaty malts. There are some hops behind it all. First taste is very smoky, like ashes in the fireplace. Second taste too. Dark roasted coffee, but no sign of those hops. A little too much carbonation for a porter that's on the heavy side.

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Photo of necoadam
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a black color with a big amount of carbonation. A little surpised by the carbonation because porter's shouldn't have this much carbonation to them. Smell consisted of roasted coffee and grains. A little bit of hops can be detected as well. Taste was a little lackluster I thought. Coffee flavors come through with some hop bitterness and a touch of grainy flavors as well. Aftertaste had some coffee and roasted flavors in it. I've had their mild ale and pilsner and this porter is a little weak. Nothing seems to mesh together in here. I'll pass this beer next time.

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Photo of Stimack
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this brew last night at Mahar’s, served in a 12 oz. Bottle. The beer poured to a opaque brownish/black color with a nice bubbly, 2 finger, dark tan head that has great retention and breaks down to great lacing for the entire brew. The aromas of this brew roasted malt with coffee, chocolate and other earthy smells dominating, a very nice smelling brew! The taste of this brew has a lot to do with the roasted qualities experienced in the aroma with some highlights of chocolate and caramel in the middle. The backend was a mixture of the caramel and a nice hop. Over all I liked this brew, little on the thin side but enjoyed it as the temps where up a bit! During the colder months I think I would reach for something a little more robust. Looking forward to trying some of there other offerings.

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Photo of Running4beer
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out dark brown almost black with a reddish glow when held to the light, medium tan head that fades to a lace. Aroma is a roasted coffee sweet malt with a bit of chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma roasted coffee and chocolate malt. I was expecting a little more flavors more robustness to this porter but regardless it was still quite tasty. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and very easy to drink more than one. Not a bad porter but it's lacking something.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. The color was dark brown, with a bit of head. The smell was a nice coffeeish bitterness. The taste was very bitter...a nice coffeeish taste dominating the sweetness. Mouthfeel was a bit thin. As for drinkability, could have a few.

Though not their best beer, Southern Tier still continues to amaze me. This brewery is a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover, since the contents within far exceed the label outside. A good if not great dry porter, and I'd probably still have one again.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark dark almost black color with an average head of a tan color. The smell was aromatic with strong hints of coffee and roasted malts. The taste was of roasted malts and coffee. I thoroghly enjoyed this porter. It was very smooth and easy to drink. It also has a nice warm feeling. I like that.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep coppery brown with a thick beige to tan colored head. Rather hoppy smelling for a porter, roasty and malty smelling, too. I just noticed the hops first. Tastes rather malty and roasted malt notes, coffee, chocolate, and other typical porter notes, only a bit subdued. Slight watery aftertaste, but doesn't interfere with the overall experience. Good porter in the context of knowing it's ABV is low. Could drink this one all day, but I'm not going to.

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Photo of aaronh
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown body topped by a rather thin tan head that quickly fades to nothing, even with an agressive pour. A bit of a sweet chocolate aroma, but overall fairly faint. The taste is also rather uneventful. Theres a decent amount of bitterness, but also a touch of wet cardboard. Carbonation is a bit light, bordering on flat. Slight roasted notes on the aftertaste, but it starts tasting a bit like watered down cola with a cigarette butt floating in it. Still better than most macro offerings, but perhaps a "tier" below the other offerings I've tried from this brewery. Not bad, but definitely not a stellar example.

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Porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,010 ratings