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Black Duck Porter - Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Duck PorterBlack Duck Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

40 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 185
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 23.37%
Wants: 14
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bonbright7 on 08-24-2009

A black ale that puts the flavor of the malt front and center. It has a mild hop character that balances strong notes of cocoa and hints of coffee. A full-bodied roasty treat that finishes dry. Pairs well with chocolate, BBQ, as well as fresh shellfish.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 185
Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Off aromas with mollasses. Somewhat thin porter. Good looking retained head. Bitterness in finish and malt.Thx americo.Its quaffable ("quakable") beer.

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Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber in color. A thin layer of beige bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There is a light aroma of bitter and dark roasted malts in the nose.
T: There are flavors of dark roasted malts and notes of bitter coffee in the taste. These are incredibly well balanced and seem to be in harmony. There is a moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is a little bit of dryness in the finish.
D: This is a solid drinking porter that I would definitely have again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +0.5%

an outstanding glass of porter here, looking dark as pavement from the tap, with a mocha cream head on top and a deep dark complexion that flashes milk chocolate brown to obsidian black. the nose and taste are in line with one another, loaded with coffee notes and bitter roasted barley. it could be called a stout and not be off, its got the body and the roast levels for it, but it maintains its drinkability with a very clean finish from a robust yeast strain and a minimal hop profile. i think its very authentic, but also very rich and perfect for the new england autumn, which is fast approaching. so smooth in mouthfeel, just puffy like a marshmallow on the palate, but loaded with the dark malt character. one of the better homegrown porters ive had this year, and a great first impression was made here on me by the greenport harbor folks. looks from their listing like they do some cool stuff too.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from beerloserLI. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, light coffee, herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity/earthy yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, light coffee, herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, light coffee, herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and slightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is an awesome English porter style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity/earthy yeast flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Whole Foods on Columbus Circle in NYC. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, Black Duck was dark brown with one finger tan head on top. Good retention, lasting for at least half of the glass, before slowly reducing to a thin cap on top. Foamy lacing left behind.

S: Lightly roasted malt, a little bit of chocolate and cocoa, and a hint of smoke actually.

T: Similar to the aroma, lightly roasted malt and chocolate. There is a surprising bitterness at the end.

M: Medium bodied with active carbonation. Has a bitter and slightly dry finish.

O: Great flavor for a low abv beer. Another surprising gem from a brewery I had never heard of.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Barcade in Brooklyn, NY. The beer is near black with a half inch of head. Ample lacing on the pint glass. The aroma offers chocolate, malt, roast. A bit of cocoa in the flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Pretty smooth on the palate. Overall, this was ok. Hard to pass up a cask ale.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at Steinmann Deli in Yorktown, NY ($11.99)

Near black, dark tan head, that stays nicely.

More then a hint of chalky chocolate in the nose.

Robust and flavorful porter. More chocolate, dark malts, smoke and some vanilla to add to the complexity. Would do well with some BBQ, or a chocolate desert.

Enjoyable, clearly a quality creation in brewing. More good beer from Long Island NY

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint at Astoria Bier and Cheese on a Sunday afternoon. Overall, this was just a nice smooth, yet roasty porter. There was a mild, underlying creaminess that should come with an English porter. There's no hops presence, but the barley brings a great mix of light espresso, blackened toast, and touch of dry, dark chocolate. Order a pint if you find this on tap.

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Photo of biegaman
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black Duck isn't quite black all the way through; proper backlighting reveals this sooty, dark beer to have some clarity after all and, wouldn't you know it, even a little cassis-like colour in the form of highlights. Regardless, it looks as it should for a porter, especially with that appropriately foamy, grey-tinted head.

Once you lend the beer your nose don't expect it back. As long as there's liquid in the glass Black Duck owns both nostrils as well as your entire attention. The roasty, mocha-like maltiness is topped with evergreen needles - is it Christmas already? This porter has the fragrance of a balsam fir.

Hops can deceivingly pass for so many other things - in this case it's not tropical fruit or green tea but instead great big northern climate trees: spruce, pine, cedar, oak. It has not just the outdoors-y forest character of the foliage but the dry woodiness of the bark as well as the resinous nectar qualities as well.

Even the faint smokiness seems loosely reminiscent of a campfire or barbecue wood chips (think alder or hickory). The combination of these features, along with a considerably light body, makes this American Porter taste like a borderline Black IPA (impressive considering this bottle isn't exactly fresh).

All this talk about hops isn't to say there's no maltiness; conventional tastes of coffee or dark chocolate can certainly be appreciated. But given it's 4.7% at fighting weight don't expect a heavy-pounding porter. This has bold New World character but is Old World in terms of being approachable and sessionable.

There's also a little dark rum-like sweetness and spice, perhaps an ode to the rum running boat after Black Duck named. Mixing it with cola and bitters is doing the beer a disservice but probably makes a decent cocktail. However you wish to enjoy this beer I'm confident you'll do just that. It's real good stuff.

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Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

Poured an oily black hue with a one finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a robust roasted malt with the accompanying coffee and charcoal notes.

The taste consisted of an upfront roasted grain with a residual smokiness.

The mouthfeel was clean and finished dry. Good carbonation.

Overall a superior porter. Enjoyed fresh from the source.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty middle-of-the-road, classic American porter that’s very well-made if not totally exceptional. This growler pour was black with a smallish off-white head, some spotty lacing and fair retention. Typical aroma; roasty, a touch of chocolate and coffee; some trace aromatic hops lending a light floral touch.

It’s certainly a tasty porter in the traditional mold; mild chocolate and coffee notes peak out underneath the dominant roasted, slightly charred malt flavor. Again there is a hint of hoppiness giving the taste a bit of shape but remaining unobtrusive. The body and carbonation are both pretty much average for the style. Fairly dry and clean drinking.

Overall the experience wasn’t bad but not quite as enjoyable as the draft version; I may have spoiled myself a bit since that original pour with a wide range of quality porters and perhaps gotten a little more discerning.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Village Tavern in Geneseo, NY.

This one pours a glossy dark black, with a quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells great, nice mix of chocolate and coffee in unison, with some roasted malt as well.

This is definite a simple classic porter- nothing you won't see elsewhere, but the balance is what the key is here. All of the flavors are bold, especially for the ABV, and in harmony with each other- chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Nice stuff.

This one is medium bodied, pretty thick considering the ABV and whatnot, with a fairly creamy mouthfeel.

A really nice porter, and a good introduction to this brewery.

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Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found at The Beer Bar in Manhattan and served in a large chalice this porter has a solid black brown appearance with a respectable light chocolate colored thin layer of foam and excellent lacing. The aroma suggests a boozy chocolate malt with a hint of grassy hop. The flavor brings much more of a charcoal grass blend and very little chocolate. It seems to have an odd swampiness to it, a bit like stagnant water, that isn't wowing me but it generally overcomes this to provide an overall okay taste. The grassy hop slides into a sort of herbal idea in conjunction with the alligator water element. The booziness from the aroma also dissipates as you adjust to the flavor of this medium bodied brew with a midland, slightly resinous feel. As porters go I can't help but wish this had a bit more malt centric flavors and the tainted water thing does it no favors. If the off flavor is intended, then I'd have to say, don't waste your time. But if it was just a bad line or something, this might have potential. It may be an overhopped outcome but as one who worships hop indulgence, I have to doubt that. I'm going to assume something was a bit off in this first sample but it makes it hard to judge.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 32oz growler of this last week at whole foods in downtown nyc (in fliptop growler). Poured into ommegang tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark almost black, deep reddish brown. Had a thin cream colored head that evaporated pretty quickly.

S - Roasted malts with toffee and caramel. Hints of coffee with a soft sweet background. Really nice balance. Not as overpowering in the roasted or coffee direction like a lot of the other Porters you see a lot of these days. Seems like the sweetness in the background mellows it out a bit. Really nice smelling beer.

T - Watered down a bit for my tastes, but all malts in the flavor. Some of the nose can be tasted in the flavor, but more in the background. Malt for days. Pretty bitter too.

M - Little watery. Leaves a really dry after feel. As it opened up and warmed, it felt a lot more even, but had a bit of a sour feeling.

D - Overall pretty easy drinker. Not a bad porter, but a bit on the watery and bitter side for my tastes. Good one for the style and worth a try for Porter fans.

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Photo of Gmann
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color with a nice creamy tan head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is of roasted malt/barley, some tea notes, and a light touch of smoke/wood.

The taste has a nice wet wood and smoke flavor to go along with a mild roasted malt flavor. There is a tea like sourness towards the end. Some hints of bittersweet chocolate pop through.

Moderate to full feel, definitely a heavier porter. Tingly carbonation helps breakup the heavy body. Finishes with a roasty bitterness.

This is a dang flavorful porter and at a low ABV so it gets bonus points. I really like the woody/light smoke flavor. Best that I have had from this brewery.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/30/2009. On tap at the brewery. Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and sweet sugary malt. Flavor of burnt roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and pretzels. Ok but a little bland. I was hoping for a touch more flavor and a stronger palate from this one.

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Photo of david18
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a sixteen ounce glass of this at Rattle n Hum in New York City. Greenport has been making quite a splash in New York as of late and has given the other Long Island Breweries a run for their money. This porter is, in my opinion, their best and one of the better English Porters I've had.

Pours a dark, reddish brown with alight amount of carbonation and good lacing along the side of the glass.

Aroma is smokey and very good. You can detect wood as well as dark malts and hops.

Flavor is quite intense, especially considering the low alcohol content. Very complex with alot going on.

Overall, as very good beer and one that I'll have as often as I can find it.

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Photo of CHickman
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown which almost looks black except at the edge of the pint glass where light hits the brew and gives a reddish mahogany brown color; nice 1-2 finger creamy/foamy tan head that had a lot of bubbles in it and faded slowly and left decent lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, syrup, earthy notes, oats, lightly roasted malts, piney hops, herbs, rye bread, yeast and a sweetness like brown sugar or cocoa powder. The fruity notes were the most surprising part and a very nice change of pace; it's almost like a lingering floral hop sweetness hangs around for nice balance.

Tastes like it smells with dark fruit, syrup, lightly roasted malts, cocoa powder, earthy notes, oats, cold coffee, piney hops, herbs, rye bread, chocolate malt, chalky yeast and a sugary sweetness. The bitterness is mild, but just enough to snap the sweetness and get back towards the porter basics. The hoppy sweetness makes it sessionable.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, with mild carbonation, a light body and a slightly bitter finish. It flows down with ease as the hop sweetness brings out nice fruit to balance the malts and mask the low ABV.

Not a traditional malt bomb with a ton of roasted malt flavors, but I've always found this beer very enjoyable and easy to drink. It's a great year round option.

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Photo of socon67
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown, with a brown foam. Plenty of lacing.

S - Smells of cocoa and roasted malt.

T - Pretty tasty. Some sweetness that is kinda like belgian chocolate. There is a roasted malty flavor that continues throughout. Gives off a little smoky heat at the end.

M - Feels a bit heavier than it is. Really hits the tongue with both sweet, smoky, and bitter notes.

O - May be my favorite Greenport Beer. Really a solid porter that anyone who enjoys the style would like.

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Photo of Kendo
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black, with a small tannish/light-brown head on top that settles quickly to a thin film. Some rings of lace

S: Nice nose - chocolate and coffee and roasted barley and maybe even molasses. Good porter scents, and a strong nose at that.

T: On that first sip, the first impression is more about the feel than the taste - it's a bit thin. Flavors include roasted barley, some generic fruity-ness and a touch of char. Good for a porter, but the taste doesn't live up to the nose. Finishes a bit sweet.

M: As noted above, a bit thin and watery in feel, makes the body seem light overall. Carbonation is a bit too active as well.

O: Started out well, with a nice look and good porter nose, but loses steam in the taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of Amalak
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had out of a growler that was purchased off the tap at the brewery.
A. Extremely dark brown, basically black. Beautiful, thick foamy tan head and a ton of lace.
S. Thick, nutty chocolate scent.
T. Has a good sour chocolate taste. Basically like chocolate milk with a hint of alcohol.
M. Burt. Muddy. Thick.
O. It's your prototype porter.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a standard pint glass. The brew glowed the deepest brown color, showing a thick haze but no sediment. A one finger tall tan head stood firm, showing average retention. Rings of lacing were left around the glass as it disappeared. Carbonation appeared average. The nose was of adjuncty grain, with barley and a rye-like bite. Thick roasts and char came through on the back, with vinegar sours to cut. A light booze seeped out with warmth. Our first impression upon sipping was of a deep bitterness of malts, with a certain muddy quality about them. The flavoring opened up with an apparent alcohol from the outset, mixing with darker, sour malts, and a hint of smoke. The middle took the sourness to the peak, with light citric hops for the balance, and a crashing follow through of adjuncts and metallic coffee bite. The finish was with soy sauce saltiness, seaweed, more vinegar, char, and surprisingly calming lactics. The aftertaste breathed of herbal darkness, apple sweetness, and of course, more of that souring char. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was lower. A sour coating was left around the mouth, which became slick and dry to the tongue. The beer was watery at times, but there was still decent slurp and smack. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the pleasant mix of malts, and ultimately how smoothly the beer drank. The grain profile showed many faces, with rye, earthiness, and even that dog food graininess, but in a good way. The nose was found to be mild, and things lightened up too much in the taste at times. The sourness was also getting up there, with a pretty acidic finish, but really it was an appropriate, decent beer for the style.

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Photo of albern
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First a word about the brewery. This is a very interesting, no frills, compact, easily accessible brewery that offers sample tasters of its four ales. You literally walk into the wide open front doors and you belly up to the small bar. There are four taps at present, which also seconds as a growler station. The owner was pouring the day I went there. There is one brewer, no assistants, so the quality rests with him. The Harbor Ale is their flagship beer, but I find the Black Duck Porter the most interesting.

According to the brewer, he's aiming at a cocoa powder like chocolatey flavored porter with no adjunct beyond the malt variety. Through roasted malts, chocolate malts, brown malts, and others, I believe he has succeeded admirably. There is a teeny bit of hop in the finish, just to tighten things up, but this beer is really a simple enough porter that has a nice sweetish base, some drying elements underneath, a nice hop kiss in the finish, and just lots of chocolatey, mocha, cocoa powder substance.

The beer has a very nice thick frothy head with some caramel aroma in the nose. The lacing and billowing is quite evident. It's an enticing beer, the best that this small, new, compact brewery has to offer, and a real seeker-outer. The distribution isn't much beyond Greenport, but they will be on their way if they keep making beers like the Black Duck. There is a pumpkin ale coming out in a couple of weeks.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark reddish brown with a good head.
Smell - toasty sweet smell
Taste -very toasty with some sweetness.
Feel - crisp with a bite
Overall - love it

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Photo of Tschnab
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark almoost black but deep ruby when held to the light. Tight bubbles make up a a dark tan head and some sticky lace.

S- hint of vanilla with milk chocolate and burnt toast and espresso.

T- classic porter taste here, although it leans on the sweeter side. Not as roasty as I would like, but it is incredibly smooth and goes down the hatch with ease.

O- A local treat that has me thinking that Greenport is a place I should be keeping an eye on.

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Black Duck Porter from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.