As I am drinking this bottle of Anchor Brewing’s Porter and writing up this review, Mrs. G-LO is fast asleep in the room above me. Tomorrow morning at 8:30, she will be flying to San Francisco for the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting (sounds like fun right?). It would have been great to join her in San Francisco for part of the trip (I’ve never been there), but due to work obligations (it’s budget season!), I wasn’t able to take any time off.
In honor of her journey, I decided that I would review this beer from San Francisco’s very own Anchor Brewing. I figured that if I couldn’t try this beer in its natural habitat, I may as well try it at home.
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.
Anchor Porter® became the first modern American porter when it was introduced in 1972. As we celebrate its 40th anniversary, our porter continues to reward those who look beyond its intimidating appearance to discover its smooth, full-bodied drinkability. Anchor Porter® is the definitive American Porter.
Let’s find out if this beer is an American classic or simply just another beer…
- Appearance: Deep, dark mahogany color with a bit of light brown coming through at the edges when held up to the light. Thick, one inch tan head that dissipates slowly. Good bit of sticky lacing.
- Aroma: The nose is not nearly as robust as I would have expected when I first poured it, so I decided to douche it up with the camera while this beer warmed up a bit. Letting it sit was a good move! The classic Porter coffee and chocolate notes are front and center. The coffee is of the American roast variety, i.e. it reminds me of the Ellis or Lacas brand coffees that I have had on numerous occasions at one of the many Diners in the Philly/South Jersey area, and the chocolate is of the semi-sweet variety. Also getting hints of raisins and dried apricots.
- Taste: Medium bodied, i.e. not too watery and not too thick. Lightly carbonated with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. A good bit of dried fruit sweetness at the onset followed immediately by a small dose of hoppy bitterness. From the middle to the finish, the roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate take over. Leaves you with a soothing coffee aftertaste that lingers for a few minutes.
- ABV: 5.6%
While I have had the Anchor Steam Beer on a few occasions over the years, for whatever reason, it wasn’t until recently that I started to dig deeper into the rest of Anchor Brewing’s line-up, and boy am I glad I did! In the past five months, I have grown to really appreciate their Christmas and Liberty Ales, and I am happy to report that their Porter is also supremely delicious. It has everything you look for in a dark beer but without the high octane punch of a Russian Imperial Stout or a Baltic Porter. Don’t get me wrong, I have grown to love those big beers, but they’re not something that I would want to drink on a daily basis. For those times when I crave a dark beer, but don’t want to go overboard, Anchor Porter is definitely worth considering. The verdict: a true American classic!