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Black Ball Porter - To Øl

Not Rated.
Black Ball PorterBlack Ball Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 159
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 9
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
To Øl visit their website

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bark on 03-08-2011

Ingredients: Water, malt (pilsner, smoked, chocolate, cara munich and brown), roasted barley, rolled oats, brown sugar, hops and yeast.
View: Beers (127) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 159
Photo of jvillefan
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Despite the fact that To Øl claims that this beer is a porter, this beer is more like a black IPA then a porter. There are definite malty tastes to it that could make it a porter, however, the predominate taste is very hoppy which is why I believe it is more like a black IPA. The appearance is very dark with a thick brown head. The maltliness adds viscosity to the beer which contributes to the thick mouth feel. Overall this is one of the best beers I have had to date.

Serving: Tap

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Photo of beergoot
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gloriously opaque with a rich, creamy tan head that stubbornly clings to the glass.

Gently burnt toast and dark roasted coffee predominate the aroma. There is a hint of chocolate in there, too. Hops are well-hidden in the grains, but one can detect a slight floral character.

Rich chocolate and cocoa predominate the flavor. A subtle and smooth bitterness sneaks its way into the taste midway through and lingers softly through the finish.

Full-bodied in nature, rich and oily, with a smooth, velvety sense on the tongue.

This is one excellent porter. Satisfyingly complex yet balanced and very easy to drink. Well-worth checking out if you're in the mood for an intensely satisfying dark ale.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, smoky aroma has a strong overtone of sweet chocolate and quality roast coffee plus a hint of molasses. It pours opaque sable just a flea’s eyebrow above black with a thick and rather persistent tan head. Smoky, woody flavor has licorice, coffee, chocolate, molasses and toffee - not too sweet and rather lip-smacking. Smooth, firm-bodied texture has a good fizz to it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Geers in Ghent. Why didn't they tell me this was going to be that good? Poor customer service...

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A brown pour yields a larger, medium looking, creamy, fluffy, tan head with great retention. Transparent black body with some decent carbonation up the middle of the glass. Head slowly fades to a big foam cap and coats the sides of the glass. A good, full cap remains and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Looks really good.

SMELL: Dark and roasted malts, dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Hints of leather as well. Bold enough as well.

TASTE: Dark malts, roated malts, cocoa powder and some smoky leather flavors. Very flavorful up front. Lots of bitter cocoa, coffee and smoky notes. Big and lingering aftertaste is bitter with plenty of roasted, smoky and chocolate flavors with just a touch of caramel sweetness as balance. This is way too flavorful for an 8% porter.

PALATE: Full body with medium levels of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes just slightly sticky. Full with enough weight and a great finish. Phenomenal.

OVERALL: A stellar offering. I was not expecting this to be that good. A great porter look, a pile of flavor balanced extremely well, and an wonderfully full and heavy mouthfeel for the style. One worth checking out if you can, and getting in quantity if you are so fortunate. If only they had told me...

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Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a tumbler at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC.

Off the pour a great chocolate milk brown head is given, all very uniform and one finger sized with lots of staying power. Great big black/brown walnut body color all uniform throughout. While drinking, lots of concentric lacing and circles along the glass. One sexy looking drink.

Nose is a great milky char with some roast characters also. Milk gives hints of cream, but also a big char roast dry powdery sense, almost embers.

Taste is light bodied with a killer roast character in mid palate. Chocolate milkyness, tobacco feeling, and an incredible balance of hop finish bitter.

Overall just a great winning beer here. This great marriage of roast and malt, and hop in a porter is just fantastic.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Nearly black pour with a beautiful two finger caramel colored head with great retention and insane lacing. Dark roasty nose with with hints of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and just a touch of smoke and hops. The taste is big and rich for a Porter. Tons of cocoa right off the bat along with hints of dark chocolate, smoke, coffee, caramel, and a surprising Black IPA hoppiness you don't typically find in a Porter. The mouthfeel is full bodied, thick and creamy, with a unique subtle hop bite on the finish. This is as close to a perfect 5 mouthfeel as I've ever had. Overall this beer exceeded expectations in every category. I'm not a huge fan of Porters, but this stands out and really has a lot of Stout and Black IPA character to it. Highly recommend!

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Photo of avalon07
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick consistency. There was a huge, foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing. A great-looking beer.

S: A nicely understated aroma of malt, chocolate, hops, and sugar.

T: Tasted of malt, a little coffee, chocolate, hops and brown sugar. Not that it had a huge amount of hops, but it was more than I expected. A well-balanced, flavorful, and focused porter.

M: A generally well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an easy to like, well made beer. Very drinkable.

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Photo of dar482
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark black/brown.

The aroma has roasted malt, chocolate.

The flavor follows with a robust roasted malt, tons of roasty coffee. Coffee bitterness, earthiness, burnt malt on the end. A very robust beer with a good bitterness. Tons of coffee flavor.

A really well done porter.

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Photo of ADZA
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great name great brewery and pours a luscious pitch black hue with a three finger chocolate laced head and lacing everywhere and yeah it's a looker alright,the smell dark chocolate mixed with a rich smokiness just like a fresh cigar along with a slight herbalness,the mouthfeel is light bodied yet lush and creamy and the tastes are a beautiful combination of sweet and bitter with an ever present smokiness that really keeps it all in check and overall I'm sold with this one and honestly as it says close to perfection porter is not far off the mark cheers.

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Photo of Rutager
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous dark brown, pretty much black in the glass with almost two fingers of thick and frothy brown head. Smells of charred malts, cocoa and molasses with a touch of anise and dark fruit. Super roasty dark malts on the tongue without the astringent feel that often companies. Good amount of hops there too and just enough sweetness to keep the bitterness in check. Very well done. Cheers for the recommendation, Kris @ brewery creek.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip from a 11.2oz bottle

A- pours deep brown that settles black with an impressive three finger chocolate brown head. Head disapates slowly leaving an impressive lacing, looks delicious.

S- roasted chocolate, touch of smoke, touch of vanilla, nice full aroma, smells creamy and delicious.

T- starts chocolatey, then roasty notes reminiscent of coffee, and a touch of smoke, blends with a nice hop bitterness , very well rounded.

M- creamy medium/full body, medium/light carbonation, perfect for this beer, carbonation accent the slightly bitter finish and scrubs the palate clean.

O- An Amazing porter, complex and delicious while maintain a nice level of drink ability, a very well rounded brew, everything works together so nicley.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a cooled 11.2 oz bottle into a pub glass.

A: Pours a dark brown with a lovely tan head that maintains well and laces beautifully. A great-looking beer.

S: Notes of coffee and toast dominate with a touch of chocolate and booze.

T: Nice notes of dark chocolate and coffee with some toast. Toast and dark chocolate settle on the palate and linger there. A tiny bit of coffee and roast bitterness on the back end, but not an unpleasant one.

M: A great porter body with a touch of crisp carbonation to accent the malty smoothness. An easy, enjoyable beer to pull on.

O: A thoroughly enjoyable porter with great flavors. The 8% isn't at all boozey past the light whiff in the nose. I would happily drink another.

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Photo of Nutwood
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle into a room temerature shaker pint

A: Black Ball Porter reveals a tar brown-black, or dark shellac color going down the side of the glass. Filled glass is very deep mahogony to black opaque. Head is dense and mocha in color, leaving moderate lacing down to a solid, lasting cap. A light swirl will revive a bit of head.

S: The nose is light, understated waft of roasted malt, coffee, molasses and floral hops at tap temperature, becoming only slightly more intense as it warms.

T: Black Ball Porter presents a robust roasted malt core, surrounded by enhancing notes of chocolate, a hint of coffee, molasses, and floral as well as bitter hops. Well-toasted dark bread is central and assertive, but not overpowering, with the other flavors in balance with each other as supporting characters. As with many porters, there is an ever-so-slight touch of tartness at the finish. All flavors integrate nicely into a smooth , unified beer taste that belies little, if any alcohol.

M: Medium-full with the noticable added smoothness of oats. Soft carbonation compliments the well-blended flavors. A slight dry finish leaves the palate ready for more.

O: I feel this is an outstanding example of the style. The rich, smooth, well-balanced and well integrated flavors, complimented by the perfect body consistency, make me want to savor this beer. There is a refined, solid yet soft character to Black Ball that isn't often found in other porters, that often lean towad a cripsness, or bring a little to much bite on the finish. Spend a little time and let this one develop through the temperature curve and you will be rewarded.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a thick porter, with a consistent body and a fair bit of a smoky tone to it that is something I usually don't appreciate as much in a beer, but I can dig it here on this one. The highlight of this beer is it's consistency. The detractor seems to be a somewhat too high carbonation. But overall, this is a pretty good porter. Worth trying (as long as the place you get it from is charging a reasonable price for it).

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Photo of cbutova
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks once again and again and again to Chico1985 for hooking me up and sharing this brew. To Ol is gaining some points in my book lately and hopefully this keeps that trend up.

A- 12oz bottle poured into a snifter with a very large head, over two fingers with a thick frothy consistency. Head retention is rather good. Lacing seems endless from the large ring and ample pillows residing on the glass in large sheets and meandering webs.

S- Inviting dose of charred grains with a fair amount of hops on the back end for me. Deeply blackened barley provides a burnt, roasty edge with luscious chocolate notes coming after that. Earthy and citrus hops.

T- Chocolate really gains some strength here with a milk chocolate and bittersweet cocoa powder presence from the roasted grains which also leave charred/burnt barley, espresso, heavily toasted notes and a bit of a bitter astringency. A hint of smoke and dry dark fruits (tiny hint) as well as earthy hops which seem to lose steam here.

MF- Fairly thick bodied overall with a puffy creamy smoothness (oats come into play) helping with delivery of the massive roastiness. Carbonation is probably a shade above a medium level and it all ends with a deep roasted bitterness.

A roasty monster of a Porter but one I will certainly revisit in the future. A touch of smoke, large chocolate presence and a very silky body from some oats. BLACK indeed and quite good to boot.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Premiere Gourmet in Amherst, NY.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a fluffy mocha-colored head, and a lot of sticky lacing.

Smells pretty strongly of roasted malt, with some additional chocolate, roasted coffee beans.

The roasted malt is the strongest flavor here, and it's really nice. The chocolate is strong too, but not particularly sweet, more bitter and unsweetened than anything. Some espresso bean bitterness as well. All in all, it's a very tasty but bitter porter.

This one is slightly thinner than I'd expected, but still very drinkable. It's got a lower amount of carbonation, with a creamy but dry mouthfeel.

This is an excellent under-the-radar porter.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Black indeed. Two fingers of thick, tight, mocha head with great retention.

S: Chocolate malts are strong and can be smelled from far away. Some roasted malt, but not much else. Porterish.

T/M/O: Tasty! Rich and luxuriously smooth, with just a tad of carbonation to keep things interesting. Much like the smell -- roasty and chocolatey. Perhaps the best porter I've tasted. Highly recommended; would drink again.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours beautifully with tons of lasting lace.

Smells rich, cocoa, burnt malt, slight plum.

Tastes like one hell of a smoked porter. Burnt chocolate, coffee, dry hops! Goes down smooth, with a nice, moderate thickness.

I really, really enjoyed this one! I'd recommend pretty highly.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous jet black with just the barest hint of ruby and creamy piles of cappuccino-colored head that is rock solid and instantly sheets.
Smoke and meat on the nose with maybe some pine tar but otherwise no sign of hops.
Unsweetened licorice in a big way with some fig and black treacle then resin and orange rind hops push their way through.
Herbal green finish and loong bitter linger that can only come from roast plus hops.
Medium, lots of chew, yet dry, slight heat.

Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade

Incredibly dark, with the stickiest black notes like asphalt in summer yet dank US hops still make themselves heard. And yet so not a Black IPA.

3rd outstanding beer in a row from To Ol, these guys are setting the pace.

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Photo of BlazerT
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pitch black with big, three fingers, mocha head, medium lasting, good lacing;

S: roasted malts, decent amount of dark chocolate and hoppy aroma - some tropical fruits (mango, passion fruit), also
some smoked hints

T: fresh, fruity and hoppy, bitterness from hops and roasted malts, some coffee and dark chocolate
hints, medium bitter finish;

M: full body, creamy, almost oily, medium carbonation, low alcohol warmth;

O: Really complex and well balanced beer - the perfect balance between hops and roasted, burnt notes, very drinkable;

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Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick brown with a creamy fat head of chocolate colored foam that is too lazy to fall. Soft nose with dark chocolate and a brief whiff of mint. Rich dark creamy milky chocolate, some hop araoma and roasted malt. Bread. Smells like a milkshake. Taste is dry roasted malt, coffee, the sweetness of the chocolate and a bit of cream. Full creamy mouthfeel. Slight bitterness on a dry finish. Something brown and leafy in there and a bit of herbal. Rich and smooth. It's beer cocoa.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Roasted dark chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, black licorice, roasted coffee, touch of vanilla and dark fruits.

T - Roasted dark chocolate and caramel malts, roasted bitter coffee, black licorice, molasses, earthy hops, some vanilla, hint of dark fruits.

M - Medium-plus bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a roasted and sweet finish.

D - Nice american porter. Good complexity and balance.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a large tan head.
Nose shows complex roast with roasted coffee notes and a little chocolate, bready and nutty malt. Tempting.
Rich flavours. Heavy roasted malt, liquorice, roasted coffee, smooth booze.
Smooth body and carbonation.

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Photo of Bung
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Thick black pour, layered light tan to dark tan head. Good retention.

Aroma, Roasty malt and dark chocolate. Some molasses.

Taste, a roasty beast, dark chocolate, cocoa, anise. Light hops, coffee, cocoa finish.

Solid medium body maybe more. Nearly creamy, coating and pretty dry. Drinks easy, but it ends up being a bit of a sipper.

Very good, just more stout than porter like.

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4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap. Shaker glass. Enjoyed on jul´12. Pure black headed by tan froth. Thick crown is creamy & leaves copious lacing spots & rings. Burnt coffee & roasted malt aromas with herbal/floral touches to the nose. Burnt flavors from a firm malty backbone with intense underlying licorice notes. Velvet palate. Full body, soft carbonation. Long bitter finish & roasted coffee on the aftertaste. Refreshing as a Porter should be no matter how high ABV is.

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Black Ball Porter from To Øl
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.