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A porter has a wide range of flavors, but the key difference that distinguishes it from "stout" is a lack of roasted barley. So, don't be confused, this brew is black as ink, but with a lite mouthfeel and rich flavor, with aromas of cocoa, coffee, and fresh San Francisco fog.
The American porter is a juiced up version of the English porter - more of everything basically. They range from very sessionable to big barrel-aged beers. Lots of aroma and flavor of smoke, roast, cocoa-like sweetness and with all the fullness of the hops and dark malts. Drier and more bitter than a stout, but less creamy and rich. 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.