923: Anchor Porter

Name: Anchor Porter
Brewery: Anchor Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Francisco, California
Style: American Porter
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.6%
First Brewed: 1972

Tasting Notes
Pours rich and black, and the burned cereal and heavy hops give it a bitter bite. There’s a sweetness, too, and plenty of rich chocolate and toffee, making it great with chocolate cake.

Ricky’s Thoughts
I have had this beer several times. I LOVE this beer. I love everything they make out west, and this one is what got me hooked on Anchor beers. This is their best, though. I am so glad this one is in the book. There are actually several Anchor beers in the book. But we have a fridge full of porter, so tonight I grabbed this one.

In the Glass: It’s thick, dark, and has an impressive head. The lace is not thick, but creamy and makes me think of a good root beer. Did you know they make home brew root beer kits? We actually made our first beer from a kit. Sheryl got me a class and everything. It was a ton of fun.

Nose: You get a lot of dark fruit, caramel, salt, and some bitter sweetness on the nose. It makes me think porter, that’s for sure. Like all the beer we drink, it’s right out of the fridge. As this beer heats up, it will get better on the nose and the plate.

Flavor: The beer slides across the palate with a smooth, silky motion. Then you are hit with the sweetness as you begin to swallow. The aftertaste is dry, sweet, and has a bit of tang. That tang isn’t the booze, as this has a very low ABV IMO. But the flavor in the aftertaste sticks around and makes this beer special.

Mouthfeel: As the beer moves from the tip of the tongue through the back of the throat, you get like fifteen things going on. It’s unreal. The mouthfeel is enough. I don’t need the flavor with a mouthfeel like this.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is sweet at first, then gets deep and dark… almost like eating some dark chocolate. As this beer heats up, the flavors explode on the palate and the darker and deeper the aftertaste gets. It’s unreal. I just love this beer. I am normally not a fan of porter, but this one is at the top of my list.

I have been to San Fran, but never to the brewery. Maybe we need a 1001 Bottles field trip. Care to join us? Bottoms up people!

Anchor Porter – The bottle says: “San Francisco’s famous Anchor Porter rand is made in one of the smallest and most traditional brewer s in the world by brewers of Anchor Steam. Our old-fashioned porter is virtually handmade, with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. We use 100% malted barley, generous amounts of fresh, whole hops entirely natural carbonation and a simple, natural rewind process which is like no other in the world. The deep black color, the thick, creamy head and the intensely rich flavor of Anchor Porter, made in San Francisco since 1974, have earned this delicious and unique brew a worldwide reputation for outstanding quality. It is aesthetically pleasing and wholly superior in every respect.

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
Ricky said we have a lot of porters in the refrigerator waiting to be drunk, so apparently we are doing a porter tonight.  That’s ok; I like porters.  This one looks like it pours out into the class very dark.  Typical, I mean, it’s a porter, right?  You can’t see through it at all, and while mine seemed to have little head, Ricky’s had a lot more.  Did I say dark?  Well, basically this beer is black.

The first thing that hits my nose when I take a whiff of it is chocolate – a very strong scent of chocolate.  Second smell, and… just chocolate.  Sniffing this beer is like smelling a piece of dark chocolate.  Once again, that’s ok.  I like porters AND I like chocolate.  I hope it tastes as good as I expect it to.  I guess we’ll see.

Well, it does taste very chocolaty.  While I like the beer, it definitely smells better than it tastes, in my opinion.  It tastes somewhat chocolaty, but it’s very bitter.  I guess I should expect that, right?  Dark chocolate IS bitter.  But I don’t know… it’s just not the right combination to me.  It’s an ok beer, don’t get me wrong.  It’s actually just not the right combination for me.  I like porters that are rich with flavor.  Heck, that’s why my favorite beer is a porter.  Maybe this one is just too much dark chocolate and therefore, too bitter.  It just doesn’t quite hit the spot the way I’d like to.  It has flavor, but bitterness is the first taste that hits me, not the flavor.  I’d like to taste something besides bitterness in a beer that smells this good.  But the bitterness is just too overpowering – it keeps you from tasting much else.

I might buy this beer again in a pinch, but it’s just not at the top of my list.  And I had such high hopes for it.  I think that affects my rating a lot… if the beer sounds and smells good, and doesn’t live up to its taste, that’s big to me and affects what I think of it, even if it might be an ok beer.  Oh well.  Until next time!

Parting note: I am editing this post after tasting and writing it and my beer has heated up a bit.  It’s actually better a little bit warmer… not enough to change my rating, but possibly enough to make it one I would buy again.  There actually starts to appear a flavor (as opposed to just bitterness) after it gets a bit warmer.

Rating: 3/5

922 bottles of beer on the wall…

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