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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

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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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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 154
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 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 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 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 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 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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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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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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Black Ball Porter from To Øl
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.