Wachusett Black Shack Porter - Wachusett Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wachusett Black Shack PorterWachusett Black Shack Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

142 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wachusett Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-29-2001

Chocolate, coffee, and oatmeal flake undertones give this porter its delicious flavor. Its dark complextion and bitter hops give it character.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 86
Reviews by mikesgroove:
Photo of mikesgroove
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark, but obviously clear brown, almost black. Very large tan head graced the top, eventually faded down to just a slight ring around the outside of the glass. No glass lace and little carbonation,.Smell very sweet, lots of caramel and roasted coffee, a touch of chocolate perhaps. Very nice light feel. Good carbonation kept it feeling alive and allowed the flavors to really pop. Nice burnt caramel sugar and a touch of chocolate. Very nice dry piney hopped finish

More User Reviews:
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is almost jet black in its depths, with a ruby highlight around the edges. A solid, dense, chunky head of beige coloring sits atop the brew showing no intentions of going anywhere. Aromas of mocha and cream, both subtle and smooth. Very inviting. Flavors are heavy coffee and roast, with a solid chocolate blend throughout that gives you a mocha/cafe latte type feel. Definite roast/smoke character, which balances the sweet and bitter character from the coffee and dark chocolate profiles. The aftertaste is dark roasted coffee grounds, with a kiss of dark chocolate. The finish is slightly dry, with a rich, roasty kick at the end. Solid brew.

Photo of Brad007
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a two-finger head into my glass.

Roasted malt and coffee/dark fruit flavors greet the nose like a long-lost friend might.

Not roasty like a stout but it's still there. Very clean. Simple. Like a porter should be?

Lingering light roastiness with a hint of dark fruit, etc. The fancy, schmancy language doesn't quite capture the essence.

This is a porter, my friend. Drink up and enjoy. In the age of double this and imperial that, you just can't go wrong with a simple porter. I know that I enjoy a few beers similar to this and for that, I give it a good effort for drinkability and versatility!

Photo of Marty
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The second beer I've tasted from this brewery. What a great surprise! My introduction to Wachusett came through their Blueberry Ale, which left a lot to be desired.

This beer poured with a surprisingly full and fluffy tan head that left a nice sticky ring on my glass. Sweet and complex, with a nice tingly aftertaste. This is a super-drinkable porter.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown long neck bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Rich, dark brown, nearly black in colour. Pours a nice brown head that dissipates into a ring lace.

Smell: Roasted malt, earthy charcoal, mild buttery and faint hops in the aroma.

Taste: Sturdy medium body. Smooth mouth feel, with an up-front roasted malt twang. Mild smoked notes follow, with more robust roasted malt flavours, dark fruit/semi-dextrin sweetness and a touch of earthy charcoal. Hops are there and do well to balance with the bitterness of the roasted malt. Semi-clean and pleasant aftertaste on the palate.

Notes: Loads of great flavours going on, which makes for a complex and interesting porter to drink.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle, part of a 12pack sampler. In a pint glass the beer was a dark reddish brown with a thick tan head. What I perceived in the aroma was roasted malt, nothing else. Taste was an improvement, bitter coffee, chocolate. Still, I thought this was a bit on the tepid side, and would probably look for other porters first.

Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one local porter that brings me to ask my self “Why don’t I drink this as much as I should?” Roasted flavours are very complex and the smoothness is very remarkable. Even the head retention is an eye catcher and dark tan rings down the glass.

Photo of Billolick
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer with freshness dating, again without any indication of which year. Pours typical porter dark amber, low carbonation, minimal head and tiny bubble film left behind. Sweet malty nose. This one is a bit thin in the middle, mild notes of maple, vanilla and just a hint of some roastyness. But, this brew doesnt seem to hit the mark, perhaps just a smidge too sweet in the finish and too watery in the mid section.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap on this very fine St. Patty's Day at Red Bones.
Pours a very dark brown, almost black w/ just a hint of amber hue shining through w/ help from light.
Aroma is very faint w/ just a touch of malt and coffee.
Taste is where this beer is at...a nice smoked malt flavor, w/ a hint of coffee and chocolate. This beer is not bursting w/ any of the above mentioned ingredients, but it is well balanced and really enjoyable to consume.
I have had my share of growlers from the brewery and this puppy on tap is spot on.
Not too thin..not too thick and perfectly carbonated to down these one after another.
A real nice beer from Wachusett.

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1 inch head, clear

Smell: roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt and dark coffee

Mouthfeel: light bodied, smooth, minimal carbonation

Drinkability: This one drinks like a dry Irish Stout, more than a porter. This separates it from other American Porters I have had. It is very good and I could have two or three.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The final beer in my "mixer sixer" was this porter. Dark color, it had a robust, non-watered down taste. Roasted malts, nuts, toffee, the works. With just a litttle enhancement, this beer would have been spectacular. It warmed my cookles during an April snowstorm.

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear coppery amber, with 2 fingers of frothy light mocha head. This retains with a smooth and creamy looking ½ finger of foam, leaving back some sudsy lacing that sticks. The aroma smells of molasses and coffee, with a touch of cocoa powder mixed in and then some leafy smelling accents that hang on the edges. This also has a bit of a mineral edge to the nose but it eventually dissipates for the most part. The stickiness of this is what sticks out the most.

The taste features much more of that hop profile here, with a green citric bite that sends a leafy bitterness out into the mouth. This is surrounded by more of that molasses-like sticky sweetness and roasted coffee notes that mix in but the hops return in the finish, leaving this dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bit of a prickle to it but majority of the carbonation has more of a firm creaminess to it that fills out the edges of the mouth.

Beyond some minor issues with the nose, this was a pretty darn solid American Porter, with that combination of molasses and coffee really taking to this a good place. A solid hop profile lends this some crispness on the palate, while the creamy body on this helped everything go down smooth. This was good.

Photo of jmerloni
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Creamy dark brown with huge tan head that has great retention and laces quite well.

S - Toffee and chocolate and dirt. Smells robust.

T - Chocolate and toffee with some coffee and nut flavors with a mild bitterness on the end. This is pretty good but a bit dull. A little grittiness in the texture.

M - A little weird and overcarbonated for a porter. Not totally balanced and surprisingly light. It would be better off less carbonated and as creamy as it appears.

D - Very drinkable. I don't know the ABV but I don't feel much of anything after one and that taste was pretty good. I will be getting this brew again. One of the better beers I've had from Wachusett from the 4 I've tried from them. Great.

Photo of edchicma
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice appearance...decent head and laciness. Chocolate to black appearance. Malty aroma,,,flavor was initially mild with a roasted malt kick at the end. Mouthfeel was mild and a bit chewy, would have preferred a bit more smoke flavor...Easty enough to drink..a decent porter worth a try.

Photo of GRG1313
2.48/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black/dark brown with a tan head.

Nose is salty carmel in character.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with no character whatsoever.

Flavors are weak and thin and of green bitter coffee with a weak herbaceous character that is unpleasant and vegetal.

Finish is green vegetables and herbs. Not one to try again for me.

Nothing redeeming. Went back to another bottle with same result.

Photo of aepb1
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with a tan head and phenomenal retention

S- Roasty malts and some hops too

T- Roasted malts up front and a smokey bitterness finish

M- Smooth medium bodied with good carbonation

D- Very complex flavors and the smoothness combine to make this quite drinkable

Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good robust porter. Definately worth a try for porter fans.

Photo of fitzy84
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured with a magnificently dark appearance. Thick, creamy look to it, solid black with creamy side lacing and a thin brown-chocolate colored head. Aromas were sweet mixes of dark and milk chocolates, nuts, malts, coffee all roasted together. Taste and mouthfeel were great compliments with a roasty, creamy texture helping out a generally nutty sweetness. Overall, a great porter.

Photo of Murph
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head that lasts almost all the way down while trailing a nice lace. Roasted maltiness and chocolate are big in the nose with some very faint coffee aromas. Sweet chocolate tastes are the first to arrive on the tongue. There is also some nice creamy and smooth roasted malt flavors with a slight coffee taste at the end that makes for just a slightly bitter finish. The brew loses a little on the mouthfeel because it is just slightly thinner than it really should be. Exceptionally drinkable, especially if you catch it on a nitro tap. This is one of the better porters in New England and should definitely be tried if you get a chance. Thanks to the Bierman for the brew.

Photo of MJR
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an extremely dark brown with touches of red. A tan head starts off well, but disappears soon after. Laces the glass fairly well.

Smell: The smell that stands out the mostly, oddly, is a nutty one. There's also a day-old coffee aroma, but it plays backup to the nuts...what a weird statement!...

Taste: What was hinted at in the aroma, was delivered in the taste: nuts and coffee, along with some roasted character. There's a slight touch of sourness towards the end, but it fails to take attention away from the other flavors. I find it a little lacking in complexity, but it's not bad...

Mouthfeel: On the thiner side of medium bodied with a semi-dry, crisp mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Average... It's not a bad beer, but it lacks in both complexity and mouthfeel. While you can find a lot better porters than this one, I wouldn't refuse it if offered.

A thank you goes out to Mike (kunzbrew) for 'accidently' sending me this one!

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Big ol' mocha colored head recedes slowly. The beer is very dark in color. Nice retention.

s: very roasty and earthy with a nice piney hop aroma and some cocoa dust...nothing exciting but good balance and decent smells going on

m: high-medium carbonation, but smooth...body a light medium. a little thin overall

t: Medium roasts dominate and block out pretty much all else. A little watery just after the sip, but the hop flavor gradually grows, and the finish becomes a dry roast with a moderate bitterness. Not bad but a little 2-D.

d: pretty easy to drink, but i have to take into account the fact that i'd be bored after one or two

from bjohnson for my bombing

Photo of Brent
2.58/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looked great in the glass - black and quite stout-ish. Flavor started out quite well - roasted malt, charcoal and a slighty smokiness. Unfortunately, this beer fell apart at the finish, with a musty, carboard oxidized flavor. Consumed just a little past the "best-by" date, so age should not explain the problem. Others reviewed this favorably, so perhaps my sample was exposed to high temperature. Started out strong, but crashed and burned at the end.

Photo of auxiliary
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Poured dark black color, with a nice large tan head.

smell - Roasted malts, smoky smell.

taste - Lots of roasty floavors here, with some hop bite at the end. Smoky taste too.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Easy drinking, nothing interesting, was ok. Record tells me, that American Porters are ok, I think I like English porters better.

Photo of marc77
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown. Garnet haze when held to light. Thin, well retained uniform tan head. Loose lace remains. Soft, light roast coffee upfront in aroma is sharpened by black patent and stately chocolate malt. Becomes more burnt and carbonaceous as it breathes. Snap of sharp, singed malt initially in flavor mellows into a sweetened mocha like combination of toffeeish dark caramel, mild coffee and bittersweet chocolate malt. Black patent derived smokey tartness darts in mid palate along with mild hop bitterness, lending a lingering dryness. Lightly bodied overall, with a soft, almost airy mouthfeel. Finishes with a snap of residual sweetness but otherwise quite dry, with fleeting hints of powered cocoa and pre ground coffee. A well rounded porter with a mild, well integrated, but "instant" like coffee presence. Quite dry and thirst inducing. Not a showstopper, but quite tasty indeed.

Photo of Genuine
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black with a 3 finger tan head with awesome retention and lacing down the glass, very beautiful.

smell - smells just like I thought it would...smokey, maybe a hint of chocolate, some earthyness.

Taste - this one follows the nose as well, very nice malts and earthy tones that meet up with with coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel - I felt as if this one was on the lighter side. Definitely not what i was expecting, I thought it was going to be much heavier/thicker but i was wrong...but it's easy to drink.

drinkability - having a few of these with friend would be no problem whatsoever. Very nice sessionable porter for sure.

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Wachusett Black Shack Porter from Wachusett Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.