Point Reyes Porter | Marin Brewing Company

very good
55 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Point Reyes PorterPoint Reyes Porter

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 06-17-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 94
Photo of rambo10546
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this at the restaurant in Point Reys Station and in the bottle from the grocery in Point Reys Station.

This is one of the two best Porters I have ever tasted in my life. It is so smooth and creamy with a distinct coffee with vanilla and caramel overtones.
It is very dark and will not pass direct sunlight. It has a perfect head and holds it really well. It is so easy to drink it is like drinking iced coffee.

My only dislike is the price since it usually sells for $6.00 a bottle.
CAUTION - Do not buy this beer if it has not been refrigerated from the time it was made until you drink it. If left on the shelf at room temperature it will go bad in short order. The Bev-Mo in Encinitas refuses to refrigerate it and I refuse to buy it unrefrigerated. I have complained to Marin Brewing to no avail.

 813 characters

Photo of Sleestak
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deepest darkest black with a thick caramel colored head. Beautiful lacing. Roasted malts, licorice, coffee beans in the smell. Impressive so far. Tons of roasted malts, some coffee, slightly sour, even the licorice is there to an extent. Thick mouthfeel make this a decadent treat. Wow! I'm really enjoying this porter. I'm going to have to give this brewers other beers a try.

 377 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new Marin beer. I am constantly amazed how many different beers these guys brew, they are all worth trying – especially this one.

The Point Reyes Porter comes in a 1 Pint 6 fl.oz. brown glass bottle, with the usual generic Marin label.

The body of the beer is definitely Porteresque. It pours a very deep, dark, ebony brown, that has a dark tan, but smooth head. Looks quite the part at the start, but as the head vaporizes to a thin steady layer, it loses it visual appeal a little, and this just misses the perfect 5 for me. Has good inherent carbonation that is retained throughout the drink.

Tastes are of Three Threads, Entire Butt, Porter, whatever you wish to refer to is as. It has all the principal ingredients of a great Porter and demonstrates them very well. I feel that this is quite a traditional offering, and I respect the fact this fact, they have not made it easily drinkable, light or inoffensive. This is a very Bold Porter that has massive flavors that some may find hard to swallow.

It is believed that early “Porters” had a very lambic character, and sourness that was a distinct dimension of this beer style. I note with great interest, that a sour aspect does indeed actually run throughout this beer from start to finish. Neither offensive, nor dominant, but it is always inherent. This lactic aspect adds the character that would no doubt have come from the old beer used to create the original Three Threads offering.

Aside form that, a smooth, silky mouthfeel and a very malty dimension is prevalent in the beginning and this balances the lactic aspect well. This mix of wild flavors introduces the beer to the imbiber. Quite something. The middle has a strong roast malt dimension that is almost masochistic. As the beer finishes, a bitter lingering coffee finish is detectable. Overall, a very drinkable, self-assertive Porter that I like, for whilst it is self-assertive, it is not conceited, nor even boastful, but it does know its own strengths.

Wow, I am pretty stunned by this beer. I don’t know why, because I am definitely not a few hundred years old, contrary to popular belief, but I personally feel that this has quite an ‘authentic’ taste profile for a Porter. No proof though.

A very nice offering, something different, and a well balanced Porter for my liking.

 2,340 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ebony with a meager lightening at the margins, but only with bright sunlight behind the glass. I think it's safe to say that this is the darkest, most photophobic porter on the planet. The large, milkshake thick head puts many stouts to shame and deposits thick vertical ropes of lace from glass edge to melting crown. Point Reyes Porter may not be as gorgeous as Point Reyes National Seashore (hey, it's beer), but it is a great looking version.

I'm not surprised that a beer that looks as serious as this one looks smells serious as well. Generously roasted malt fills both nostrils with scents of dark chocolate fudge and ground coffee beans. A whiff of citric hoppiness tries to break through the maltiness and barely succeeds. I'll try to keep the stout comparisons to a minimum, but...

Now *this* is a porter! It's strains against the upper limits of the style without breaking into Imperial porter territory (whatever that is). The flavor is big, bold and rich. Roasted black malt holds sway and is the font of intertwining rivers of melted bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel and espresso with a grapefruit peel twist.

Warming brings about an emboldening of the already terrific flavor. I was going to say that Point Reyes manages to retain its porterness (porterability?) despite its taste bud saturating flavor and medium-full body, but now that I think about it, I would probably identity it as a stout if blinded. If I like my porters to be this stout-like, do I actually like porters at all? Hmmm...

The mouthfeel is the least stout-like thing about this beer. Having said that, it's still bigger than many stouts and is as lushly creamy and as posh as all but the world's best porters. The fact that it firms up a bit with warming makes the bump in score an easy one.

Marin Brewing Company is a solid Left Coast brewer. I especially like their IPA and Mt. Tam Pale Ale. Nothing, however, prepared me for the style-busting magnificence of Point Reyes. This is one of the best American Porters in existence, hands down.

 2,046 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a luxurious deep brown to almost black with gigantic tan head. Nose is outright amazing with roasty malts, and some bacon bits like aromas too from all the roast. Lighter bodied than anticipated, but there's a smooth and rich roasty flavor that carries through nicely. It's surprisingly drinkable for all that roastiness. Nice beer.

 338 characters

Photo of ironlung
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black. No light makes it through. Nicest head I've seen on an MBC beer! No lacing.

S: Totally roasted malt. Chocolate with hints of molasass. (is this a stout?)

T: Very creamy smooth porter. Not too sweet not too smokey.

M: Flavor definately lingers. I exhale and taste black liquorice. Not heavy at all.

D: Another 6%er form MBC. If this is your style than you'll really like what Arnie has done here.

 413 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear black brew with a large brown head. Impressive looks.

Smell is roasted malts and light acid scent. Some smokiness and a little bit of mint and a hint of citrus hops. There is a faint metallic scent in here but I am REALLY trying to pick out all the scents.

Taste is a shock at first, moderate strong wine like acid that reminds me of black Colombian coffee. The acid bite gives this beer a sensation of a lightness. Flavors of cola and coffee dominate here. Hops mostly make them selves known as bitterness in the aftertaste. Chocolate and milk flavors appear later as nuances to the base flavor of coffee and acid.

Mouthfeel is creamy somehow while tasting light. A Jedi mind trick, or the effect of the acid level?

I am surprised that I have to give this beer such a high drinkability score but the acid bite makes this very refreshing.

 864 characters

Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of Marin brews....I think.Poured a deep deep dark brown near black except a bit of ruby tint when held up to the light, a rather large mocha colored head atop.First whiffs I got were of cocoa with a big roasted malt aroma becoming more pronounced after the pour like French roast coffee mixed with cocoa very nice.A very dry porter at times almost raw in character bitter unsweetened chocolate and and earthy tones with that espresso roast coffee flare finishing woody with hints of raw nut.A bold tasting dry porter very nicely done I like the dryness of it,top notch in my opinion.

 598 characters

Photo of mickeymac
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost black with just a trace of brown, this beer pours with a big foamy tan head. The head sticks around and sticks to the glass, leaving considerable lace. It's a very nice-looking beer. The smell is an interesting mix of roasted malt, dark fruit, and a charcoal-like smell. The taste is bold and assertive yet somehow smooth and mellow at the same time. The hop bitterness seems to sneak as time passes, rounding out the roasted flavors nicely. The mouthfeel is expansive, with each sip seemingly turning into a mouthful. Marin never fails to impress.

 555 characters

Photo of Reidrover
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from 22 oz bomber.
What a beautiful beer to behold, dark,dark brown almost completely black , massive frothy.bubbly light brown head. Nice.
aroma is good of dark chocs and roasted malt, some lactic aromas but pleasing .
Knock out taste of esspresso coffee, reeally dark bitter sweet Belgian chocolate.Gooseberry like sweetness at the edge of the mouth..bitterness from the roasted malts abounds in the after taste, quite impressive.
Good mouthfeel, smooth and not boring.
A good porter indeed..liked it and found it on par with Deschutes Black Butte.

 563 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Vendome, poured into an imperial pint glass, on to the beer:

Lovely to look at. Pours thick and black, as black as midnight in the glass, and the head is tan. My nose is getting lots of charred wood, bit of soap. Bits of cocoa. To the taste...more charred flavor. It's semi-sweet upfront and so damn smooth. There's some mild hop flavor in this porter, which starts to gain momentum in taste. Finish has notes of ground coffee lingering on the palate.

A mild porter with some well-placed hops. Good stuff.

 520 characters

Photo of mjl21
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a pint glass. Comes in at 6.2%.

A-It was a tad dark at the pub, but based on the lighting it looks black. It has a half finger sandy head that is the result of a short pour. Not much lace is left.

S-Lots of malt. It is equal parts sweet chocolate and roast malt. As it warms it begins to smell more like a mocha with some extra chocolate thrown in. Hard to pick up on the hops.

T-Lots of sweet chocolate malt hits first. The roast malt provides a really nice backnone. The sweet malt is more prominent throughout each sip and the roast malt really shines after it has gone down. As it warms I do get a touch of lemon sourness.

M-A fuller bodied beer that is not overly heavy. It is nicely carbonated, smooth, and finishes dry.

D-A very good porter for those that like a sweeter porter.

Always enjoy this beer. Deserves all of the accolades that it has collected over the years.

 919 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a stout-like obsidian with a tan head that persists well and leaves some splashes of lace

Smell: Roasty aroma with plenty of dark chocolate, too

Taste: Starts out with a roasted flavor with some chocolate sweetness; mid-palate, some fruity flavors creep in to round it out; the finish brings back the chocolate and fruit, with some coffee bitterness on the roof of the mouth

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very tasty porter that is incredibly easy to drink

Thanks, BeerRun13

 549 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle this one steamed and oozed an off white head that slowly rose out of the bottle. Even decanted carefully into a Duvel glass the head rose up and left huge bubbles as it kept expanding. Looked sort of like a swiss cheese. I have never seen one quite like this before, it gets marks for uniqueness. Color was a dark brown, and unlike most browns this one was attractive. However the head just sat there. I considered eating it with a spoon, but after about 10 minutes it settled down and left big hunks of lacing behind. Nose to begin with was chocolate malt, After the head had settled and I swirled it in the glass I picked up burnt woods, and coffee. Mouthfeel was creamy, in fact almost oily. Flavor was dominated by those Smokey chocolate malts. Finish was very long and dry. A very well done porter. I would say don’t drink this too cold.

 863 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

received this one a couple months back but just got around to tapping it yesterday. Served chilled and the entire contents poured into a tall 24oz glass, this one was consumed on 04/29/2009.
The pour was very nice, with a rich, dark black color and no light shining through on this one at all. Really nice head of tan that was easily a couple inches high at first, slowly settled down into a nice pillow that laid across the top and thoroughly coated the inside of the glass. Rich dark chocolate and roasted coffees are the first things that I am picking up in the Aroma. Really nicely done with hints of caramel and smoked malts, there is almost a peat like smell to it at times, especially as it warmed up. Equally well done as it transfers over to the flavor. Smooth, mellow, creamy, this was a very session able porter. Rich chocolate notes, hints of smoked malts, nice touches of coffee in the finish which left a slightly dry and bitter taste as it rolls away across the tongue. Very smooth and very enjoyable,
Overall while not the most complex thing in the world, this does have a lot going for it. Very rich and smooth and very well done, I would have no issues at all wit trying this one again any day of the week. One of the most solid, and well put together porters in a long time.

 1,303 characters

Photo of germaniac
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark brown, almost black. Head starts out billowy and bubbly, then quickly dwindles down to almost nothing. The nose is roasty, with sweet dark chocolate notes. Tastes of roasted malt, with a rich chocolate creaminess. There's just a touch of bitterness, to round out an overall smooth, delcious porter. This is one I wouldn't mind spending a few pints with. Purchased from the Elk Grove BevMo.

 400 characters

Photo of mattffrost
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into bottle.

Appearance Beer is a very dark cloudy brown. You can see tiny little brown bubbles that are lighter than the beer kind of cool Hardly any head that is a light brown color.

Smell Chocolate with roasted coffee smell. Roasted Malt present.

Taste Less sweet that I expected based on the chocolate smell I thought it would be sweeter. To me is a good thing its less sweet. I taste chocolate, a bit of a bitter finish but not to much. Very rich beer with a syrupy type feel to it with the low carbonation.

Mouthful Low carbonation with a good blend of not being to sweet.

Drinkability. One or two of these is plenty. A nice after dinner beer or you could pare it up with a dessert.

 703 characters

Photo of Mark
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Since visiting the Marin Brewing Co. pub I have been trying more of their beer. This porter poured a deep brown and the head was tan. The head did disapate to a thin layer, lacing was wispy and scattered. Smell was roasty as was the taste. A very smooth subtle porter, along the lines of Anchor. Velvety mouthfeel and subtle carbonation, plus the above mentioned smoothness, all add up to a soild drinkable porter. Very nice.

 429 characters

Photo of baiser
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown colour, with a thick, frothy tan head. Wonderful lacing and great retention. Roasted aroma, chocolate and toffee. Taste was very nice. Toasted grain, coffee, some underlying dark fruitiness. A certain hoppiness gives this porter an interesting flavour. Finishes dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and this is a pleasure to drink.

 360 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again that exemplar color for a “Porter or a Stout”, Black Walnut brown, to ebony with a elephantine, head, and lace so thick you can cut it with a knife, both light chocolate in color. Lightly toasted grains, coffee, and caramel and quite sweet is the nose. Start is quite sweet with the top middling in feel, the finish purposeful in its hop spicy bite, the carbonation apropos to the style, a quite dry aftertaste that is long lasting, a “Robust Porter” to be sure, and one that is a treat to quaff.

 511 characters

Photo of Stoneman78
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer won Gold in the Robust Porter category at the 2007 GABF
750ml poured into Duvel tulip glass.
A- Pours a pitch-black hue with brown highlights, head is brown, foamy and pillowy monster that is reminiscent of a Wendy's Frostie, good retention, moderate lacing on the glass
S- Nose is big time malts- cocoa, coffee, molasses, brown sugar, some dark chocolate bitterness and a touch of citrus in the background (reminds slightly of a Karl Straus chocolate-orange porter firkin)
T- Initial taste is bitter dark chocolate and espresso, followed up by some tart and dark fruit flavors (fig/plum/cherry) that are a bit of a surprise, and finishes with slight hop dryness
M- Surprisingly light-to-medium bodied, texture is watery-to-creamy, and carbonation is subtle
D- Solid and tasty porter that is easy to drink, I think it captures the style well but is not ground-breaking on any front, a touch too bitter for my taste, but a good overall performer
Buy Again? Undecided
Persona Score- 82/100

 997 characters

Photo of juhl31
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks taps

-black like crazy, good retention, would get a 5 with better lacing

-some roasty in there. not as much going on as i would like. opened up some as it got warmer though which brought it up to a 4

-roastyness for sure and very balanced

-sits with me a bit. good

-smooth, easy, not throwing a ton at me. clean all the way through

 343 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as a midnight buh-lack eggplant violent violet hue topped with a frothy faded beige tan cratered cap. 4.5 due to a dark buh-lack used motor oil curtain.

Nose is a buttery toffee and maple syrup covered buttered pancakes. Darn near but NOT stout like.

First swigs: Dry bitter vanilla English style porter. Kudos! Smooth grain waffle drenched porter. Bitterness edges off with a baker's chocolate and dry hot chocolate powder. A middle of milk chocolate, ice cream and vanilla yogurt.

Feel is medium bodied with a long linger of dry powdery loitering. Solid body.

Last swigs: Solid porter worth a shot. Well worth the duckets.

 642 characters

Photo of mactrail
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About the most distinctive flavor of dark roasted barley I can remember. Nice balancing act between the sweet malt and the black charred flavors. Near black with a brown edge in the Leffe goblet. Nice and sudsy with a fine carbonation on the tongue. I like this more as I sip on it. Really a big mouthful of flavor. Nose of caramel with some hoppy resins. Moderate bitterness. A little sour burnt malt taste, but just enough to give it an edge.

22 oz bottle from Beer Revolution in Oakland. Not a bad deal for $4.99.

 517 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, very nice carbonation, huge creamy tan head, which leaves a big thick creamy sticky lacing behing. The nose is malty, lots of chocolate/toffee/caramel notes. The taste is big and malty, lots of chocolate/toffee. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first Marin brew, and it's pretty tasty, recommended.

 326 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Point Reyes Porter from Marin Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.