Anchor Porter

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Rating: 4.3/5 (4 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Anchor Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: California
  • Style: American / Robust Porter Porter
  • Malts: 2-Row Pale, Caramel, Black, Chocolate
  • Hops: Northern Brewer
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Light Roasted Coffee, Herbal
  • Preferred Glass: Nonic Pint
  • Food Pairing: Pot Roast, Chocolate Desserts
  • PHM Grade: A

Anchor Porter

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In the midst of sampling their Christmas Ale (’99-’11 vertical) I took a break to indulge on this wonderfully crafted dark ale.  I’ve had this beer before, but it has been a few years since.  I wanted to revisit it for a few reasons:  1) it is good beer and 2) it is a great beer.  First brewed in 1972 Anchor stakes its claim that this was “America’s first modern porter.”

From the rich froathy pour this beer commands respect, yet at the same time is so inviting (especially on cold nights).  It probably has something to do with deep garnet hue topped by the dense creamy tan head.  No matter how you pour this beer looks good.  The head lasts and laces on the glass as you casually sip.  While it looks like a big stout, you will found its aroma and flavor to be different.

Wafting huge notes of chocolate, roasted grains, slightly burnt toast, deep toffee, and an herbal sweetness Anchor does not mess around.  The aroma of Norther Brewing is hidden behind the layers of malty goodness, but they do give off a similar smell to the Steam beer (since they both use the variety exclusively).  Nice smooth richness acts as the invite which is then backed by the bold roasty aromas if you let your nose linger in the glass.  Porters are known for having a pleasant coffee-like quality and this beer greets you with what smells like a morning blend.  Lighter with more caramel notes.

The tastes is right up, if not better than, any porter on the market.  I’m pretty sure I could do a blind taste test against GLBC Edmund Fitzgerald with my Dad and he would not be able to tell the difference.  Both are benchmark examples of the style.  Deep roasted malt notes provide great body and depth for this beer throughout each sip.  The flavors were robust, but the yeast profile made this smooth bready aspect that lent for a moderate mouthfeel.  Not in a heavy way though.  This beer is very drinkable and given the abv you can enjoy a few.  The finish is on the dryer side like a Dry Stout, but the body is astringent.  Rather, it has some deep caramel and toffee notes along with a herbal spicy and mildly pine hop profile.  I definitely enjoyed the finish on this beer and the aftertaste is chocolaty.

This is a MUST try in my book if you like darker ales.

Anchor Porter, 4.3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
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