American Porter

Glassware: Shaker pint
  • USA
  • Ale
  • ABV = 4.8 – 6.5% (Normal to elevated)^
  • IBU = 25-50
  • SRM = 22-40

A moderate-strength dark American ale with a complex and flavourful dark malt character and pronounced bitterness.

Stronger with more bitterness, more dark malt character and a drier finish than English Porter. Less strong and assertive than American Stout.

Appearance:

  • Colour^ = Brown to black
  • Clarity = Can be opaque; if not, should be clear

Key Aromas & Flavours:

Aroma
  • Malt = Moderate; coffee, dark chocolate, often with a lightly burnt character (Optional: grainy, bready, caramelly, or toffee-like malt in support)
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Low to high; resiny, earthy, or floral. May be dry-hopped.
Flavour
  • Malt = Moderate; coffee, dark chocolate, often with a lightly burnt character
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Low to high; resiny, earthy, or floral
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Pronounced
  • Balance = Ranges from even to towards the bitterness, from both hops and roasted malts
Aftertaste/Finish

Ranges from dry to medium-sweet, often with a grainy, dark malt dryness.

Mouthfeel:

  • Body = Medium to medium-full
  • Carbonation = Medium to high
  • Alcohol warmth = Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth.
  • Astringency = May have a slight astringency from dark malts, although this character should not be strong.

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = 2-row or pale ale base malts, plus roasted malts (typically black or chocolate malt)
  • Yeast = American or English ale yeast with a clean or lightly fruity profile
  • Hops = American hops are typical, but English hops may be used for finishing (aroma)

Historical Development:

A stronger, more aggressive version of English Porter developed in the modern craft beer era.


Commercial Examples:

Anchor Porter, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter


^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.


Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.


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