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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: 154
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 9
Gots: 13 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 154
Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with a thumb of mocha colored head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Charred grain & coffee, a touch of baker's chocolate too up front. Cococa dominates as this warms

T: Follows the nose, very dry, some woody hops. Gets very dry as this warms, leafy hops mix with charred grain, some dark fruit buried deep. Finishes drier than the Saharah, with black currants & charred grain & much smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied, very creamy, pretty good balance

A nice porter, but nothing special, took a chance, they can't all be gold. Too dry for me

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Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a two finger high dense dark tan colored head. From the initial looks of this beer, I would assume it was stout and not a porter. The head has excellent retention properties and took a long time to died down, consistently leaving a thick coating of bubbles on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of burnt malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. I found this to be a tough category to judge because if you look at the beer's opaque appearance you would initially think it feels thin for the style, but if you close your eyes it feels like a typical porter. The roasted malts lend dryness to the finish.
O: If you're looking for a beer that's packed with flavors but retains the lighter-bodied nature of a porter, this is a beer for you. It is also quite drinkable because no alcohol is noticeable in the taste.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Glad to try a fresh batch of this To Ol standard.

This porter pours…black, ladies and gentlemen, we've got a black pour here, can you believe it?! Tan head starts at a good 3 fingers, ends as a patchy cap leaving bits of lace.

Nose of chocolate fudge, roast, touch of molasses, dark bread, good dose of resiny and minty hop, citrus, light alcohol.

Taste is a touch roastier with some smokiness coming into play, pretty hoppy for a porter with grapefruit, pine and herbal hops coming through. Notes of brown sugar, caramel.

Smooth and lighter-end mouthfeel, very proper for a porter. Kinda bitter and dry with very light alcohol warmth.

At 8% it leans towards a stout but the porter feel is nicely kept in tact. Solid all around, extra hops aren't a detraction, pretty drinkable for 8%. Good stuff.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick, rich, dense khaki brown head that is long lasting and looks like the top of a chocolate milkshake.

Smells as good as it looks with a rich, medium assertive mocha coffee nose with chocolate light black cherry tones.

Mouthfeel is lightly creamy and filling, rich and bold with nice carbonation and very nice balance.

Flavor profile is all rich black coffee with creamy mocha tones from the nose. Finish is all bitter coffee that goes to grapefruit skin.

I can't figure out why this is called a Porter. This is as deep, rich and blackly bold stout that is pretty nice all around. This may be the perfect example of "arbitrary labeling" in some stoutes and porters. Whatever it is, nice effort

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black, two fingers mocha head, great lacing.

S - Fragrant alcohol hits first giving way to chocolate chip cookies, toasted grains, dark fruits, bitter hops.

T - Burnt brown sugar, tons of bitter hops, dark chocolate, dark fruits, oatmeal, roasty coffee finish.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - Very hoppy porter, a unique take on the style.

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Photo of babaracas
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly opaque dark brown, one finger thick light brown foam, lots of spots of lace left on the glass. Smell: roasty, molasses, earth and licorice. Taste: roast, dark chocolate, citrus peel, caramel, earth and anise notes. Creamy, nice carbonation, mild alcohol hit.

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Photo of drmeto
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

-pours the darkest of brown with nolight coming through and a huge,frothy,khaki head
-slight smoke,oats,grainy,coffee,chocolate,anice
-anice,oats,coffee,slight smoke,brown sugar,licorice
-full body
-low carbonation
-no alcohol detectable

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with just the slightest hints of dark reddish brown and light amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface. The beer has a finger tall dense dark tan (almost mocha) head that slowly reduces to a small patch of thick large bubbles and a very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts, burnt malts, and chocolate. Very light notes of alcohol in the aroma.

T: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts and burnt malts with lighter amounts of dark bittersweet chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some moderate dryness in the finish.

O: This is very enjoyable and easy to drink - nice complex flavors and aromas with a lighter porter body. The beer looks impressive as it looks much heavier than a traditional porter (more like a stout) and the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

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Photo of corby112
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous, dark chocolate brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with a two finger frothy mocha head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves large chunks and streaks of lacing in it's path.

Deep roasted malt aroma that's slightly smokey with some hop bitterness and subtle sweetness. Strong dark malt presence with hints of roasted coffee bean, toast, dark chocolate, toffee, hazelnut and oatmeal.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture and an intensely deep roasted malt character. There's a blast of dark roasted malt with hints of burnt toast, oatmeal, dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean. This is followed by a touch of sweetness and hop bitterness providing subtle balance but the flavor is dominated by the roasted flavors. Some slight alcohol heat in the finish but overall the ABV is nicely masked. Still, it is so toasty that it borders on harsh. Pretty tasty but could use some more balance.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Brewery flute. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black. Thin fine brown head that dissipates slowly, leaving nice lacing. Aroma of dark sweet and roasted malt. Flavor dominated by roasted malt with some char and dark dried fruit. Finishes clean and mellow. The roast and charr are nicely supported by the malt and flavors are well integrated. Medium bodied with some creaminess. A very nice, pleasant porter, flavors are robust enough to verge into stout territory. I enjoyed this Danish porter brewed in Belgium.

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Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast

Poured pretty much pitch black even when held up to the light... Dirty burnt brown head poured a big, thick and bubbly then faded fairly quickly to decent thickish covering.. lots of patchy sticky lacing...

Aroma - Roasted chocolate maltiness, strong charred coffee beans, cocoa, light liquorice, leathery and slightly sooty, toasted bread, burnt toffee, treacle, earthy / cardboard hints, roasted nuts, some sticky plum and date fruitiness, black cherries, some alcohol just noticeable...

Taste - Lots of charred roasted dark chocolate malt bitterness, sooty, some piney hops, very earthy, strong espresso coffee, dried coffee grains, toasted nutty sweetness, some treacle, faint anise...

Feel - Smooth initially then a slight sharpness comes through... medium bodied... a pretty quaffable brew considering it is 8%...

Overall - A very good Porter... definitely recommended...

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Photo of WunderLlama
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass

This porter is as dark and black as oil. Pours a thick billowy brown head. Great lacings

Aroma of roasted malts,more sweet chocolate than coffee, whiff of alcohol.

Alcohol on the front of the tongue, smooth roasted malts, more coffee than chocolate on the taste, slight bitterness on the back of the tongue, slight bitter after taste. Full mouthfeel.

It's good but the alcohol detracts from the flavor.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a big and very dense mocha colored head. Fades slowly, leaving a nice patchwork of lacing behind.

S: Smoky with some dark chocolate. Maybe a little bit of oatmeal?

T: Lots of chocolate and smoke with some oatmeal to smooth and balance it out. Just a hint of brown sugar.

M: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied, bordering on the thicker side.

O: Not a bad porter. Given the ABV and the oatmeal presence, it's basically a smoky oatmeal stout.

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Photo of tony223366
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: First of all there is an awesome head on this beer. Really thick with great retention. Light brown color. The beer itself is really dark brown (near black) with no light coming through at all. There's a fair amount of sediment in the bottle. Man that head really makes this beer look tasty.

S: Tons of chocolate and really roasty coffee. Maybe some piney hops. Some more earthy qualities too. The alcohol comes out at the finish too. Smells really tasty too!

T: This beer really creeps up on you. At first it seems like the flavors won't be too robust, but as it travels over your palate you get the full range of complexity that this beer has to offer. You get huge notes of rich, dark chocolate followed by that smoky french roast coffee and a light but bitter finish of hops.

M: Light to medium carbonation with a nice thick mouthfeel. Turns creamy as it travels around my mouth.

O: This is a superb porter. Rich and complex, this beer isn't for someone looking for a refreshing american porter at the end of the night. The alcohol is out there as well as all of the rich flavors. Would pair very well with desert.

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Photo of Jetulio
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml. bottle poured into a snifter glass

Appearance....... Oily black beer with foamy head colour beige of 3 fingers aprox

Aroma............... Toasted malt, coffee and smoky aroma predominance

Taste........ Some malt and notes and then hop with touch of alcohol lasting in mouth all the time.

Mouthfeel........... full body and soft carbonation

Overall............ Good porter, strong personality. Great with smoked salmon over soft cheese.

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Photo of pants678
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black with hardly any head.

Anise, bitter hops, malt. A plus nose like Al Farouq Aminu's a plus defender.

Staining dark, roasted malt and cascade (?) hops. Hops a little stronger than the malt, could stand to be sweeter. Real dark chocolate flavor, tastes like 80% cacoa. Sharpness from the alcohol.

Heavy, stout-ish.

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Photo of Ruds
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Cask, Pimlico Feb '12

Pours to a very dark brown to black colour with a thinnish tan head.

Burnt caramel, toffee, sugars and dark malt on the nose.

Roasted malt dominates the taste along with a little coffee, hops and licquorice and a hint of tobacco which leaves the aftertaste quite earthy and bitter-sweet with some bitter cocoa thrown in.

Medium bodied beer with some carbonation.

Overall a decent porter and one I would return to.

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Photo of zeff80
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a three-finger light brown head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Good chocolate, toffee and caramel flavors with a touch of smokiness. It had a light bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty porter. I like the smoky kick to it.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid brew from a new (to me) brewer--I'm told he's kinda/sorta like a gypsy brewer akin to Mikkeller. Not sure...let's check the website.

Dark dark ruby pour, brown tinge. Off-brown/tan head, nice and foamy. Lacing is good

A smoky porter right here. The little bit of smoked malt comes through in the nose and flavors. Both have hints of chocolate, molasses and coffee. A bitterness that seems at first to be dark chocolate leaves a bit of a piny residue. Seems sharp, but the smoke persists. A nice umami presence makes this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque black with a foamy super dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, unsweetened cocoa powder, and coffee bean aromas. Taste is much the same with dark cocoa, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice aroma but some fairly intense roast and hop flavors.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle, part of a swath of new To Øl offerings to suddenly show up on Alberta bottleshop shelves this week.

This beer pours a fairly solid black abyss, with very bare basal red cola edges, and four hefty fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rocky beige head, which leaves some sudsy exploded cloud lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of powdered bittersweet chocolate, gritty, grainy caramel malt, earthy yeast, dry cafe-au-lait, black licorice, and musty, leafy, and mildly floral hops. The taste is sharply toasted, grainy pale and caramel malt, edgy, slightly phenolic yeast, dry Scandinavian licorice 'candies', dry chalky cocoa, and plain leafy, weedy, and lightly perfumed hop bitters.

The carbonation is rather weak in its plainly rendered frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight for the style, and sort of smooth, as the char and the hovering booze both take their toll here. It finishes off-dry, mostly, the cocoa and coffee essences more or less running the show, all under the watchful eye of Big Booze.

Overall, a nicely roasted big-boy porter, the various flavours all coming out to play. Not sure where the name of this one comes from, but I'm guessing that it's another one of those slightly lost in translation Danish-English things.

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Photo of gford217
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

Pours close to black in the glass with a huge thick tan head which leaves that nice coating of foam along the sides along the way.

Aroma is pretty damn hoppy for a porter with lots of green floral hops, pine and herbal notes. There is some heavily roasted malts and cocoa powder but the hops are what jumped out for me.

Taste also starts with the floral hops but has a heavier roasty malt backbone, with an almost chalky character from the bakers chocolate. Finish is hoppy and roasty all in one.

Mouthfeel is dry, roasty and slightly bitter. NIce soft carbonation.

This is a seriously hop forward porter. Lots of green floral hops, herbal notes and heavily roasted black malts.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a few sips and thought it was lacking a little something, decided to pair it with a couple of red-velvet cupcakes my lady made yesterday (un frosted, just like I like em').

Pours about as dark as an imperial stout; 2 finger tan head with firm bubbles; dissipating slowly leaving a decent little head throughout.

Nose: milk chocolate, roastiness, hints of coffee and smoked malt.

Taste: roasted malts upfront with a coffee like bitternes, some bakers chocolate and burnt malts; finishes with a touch of smokiness, a slight salinity, and a somewhat chalky/earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel; pretty full bodied and somewhat slick...pretty much what I would have expected for the "style".

Overall; a little too one dimensional and roasty overall but paired with my dessert it was pretty damn good. Solid night cap to a shift at the beer bar...

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Photo of jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a four finger brown head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Baked chocolate nose and flavor is baked-burnt chocolate. Higher ABV is hidden. $6.49 for a 330ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a super two finger mocha head that has reduced a little. It s a pitch black color with no clarity or signs of carbonation. Nice and clumpy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Chocolately and bready malts, roasted coffee, and some smoke.

Taste: mocha, chocolate, and bready notes up front. Whoa!!!! Bitterness and camp fire smoke kick in for a little bit too. Lingering bitterness is bit much at the end.

Mouthfeel: smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, a little chewy, and easy to dirnk.

Overall: A nice porter we have here indeed. I wish there was a little more sweetness to balance out the btterness and smoke, but I am still happy with this brew overall. Happy to have scored this beer for a good price.

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