Overview for the American Porter

The American Porter is a malty dark brew whose palate is complex and flavorful dark malts and varying hops. Historically, it’s an aggressive variant of the English Porter and Pre-Prohibition American Porters. It’s more assertive than an American Brown Ale but not as strong or bitter as the American Stout.

Style Expectations

A substantial, malty dark beer with a complex and flavorful dark malt character.


Medium brown to very dark brown, often with ruby- or garnet-like highlights. Can approach black in color. Clarity may be difficult to discern in such a dark beer, but when not opaque will be clear (particularly when held up to the light). Full, tan-colored head with moderately good head retention.


Medium-light to medium-strong dark malt aroma, often with a lightly burnt character. Optionally may also show some additional malt character in support (grainy, bready, toffee-like, caramelly, chocolate, coffee, rich, and/or sweet). Hop aroma low to high, often with a resiny, earthy, or floral character. May be dry-hopped. Fruity esters are moderate to none.


Moderately strong malt flavor usually features a lightly burnt malt character (and sometimes chocolate and/or coffee flavors) with a bit of grainy, dark malt dryness in the finish. Overall flavor may finish from dry to medium-sweet. May have a sharp character from dark roasted grains, but should not be overly acrid, burnt or harsh. Medium to high bitterness, which can be accentuated by the dark malt. Hop flavor can vary from low to high with a resiny, earthy, or floral character, and balances the dark malt flavors. The dark malt and hops should not clash. Dry-hopped versions may have a resiny flavor. Fruity esters moderate to none.


Medium to medium-full body. Moderately low to moderately high carbonation. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth. May have a slight astringency from dark malts, although this character should not be strong.


Black Butte Porter

American Porter  •  Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte Porter, an American Porter by Deschutes Brewery is smooth and creamy with chocolate and coffee roast meeting a mild hop bite. Read More

Night Swim

American Porter  •  Coppertail Brewing Co.

Night Swim is an American Porter by Coppertail Brewing Co. that tastes of burnt coffee and piney hops with a hint of dark chocolate. Read More

Robust Porter

American Porter  •  Smuttynose Brewing Company

Robust Porter is an American Porter by Smuttynose Brewing Company that blends coffee grounds, roast malt, and floral hops with dark chocolate and caramel. Read More

Sweet Baby Jesus!

American Porter  •  DuClaw Brewing Co.

Sweet Baby Jesus! is an American Porter by DuClaw Brewing Co. that features coffee roast atop flavors of peanut butter and chocolate. Read More

Mocha Porter

American Porter  •  Rogue Ales

Mocha Porter is an award-winning American Porter brewed by Rogue Ales that is a balanced blend of coffee roast and sweet dark chocolate and caramel. Read More

Roebling Vanilla Espresso Imperial Porter

American Porter  •  Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House

Roebling Vanilla Espresso Imperial Porter is an American Porter brewed by Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a nonic pint glass from a bottle. Appearance The Porter pours a mahogany hue and is topped by a thick cap of tan-colored foam. The retention is short-lived and doesn’t leave behind any lace or residue. Aroma The roasted aroma has a slight sweetness to it that makes it smell like soy sauce. Flavor Hints of chocolate and raisin mix with brown bread and transition to a more pronounced flavor Read More


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