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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: 155
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 9
Gots: 14 | 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: 155
Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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 pixieskid
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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 dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
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 metter98
4.04/5  rDev 0%
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 Beerenauslese
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark body with a tan head. Poured into a snifter, ample foamy head. Decent retention with some lacing.

Smells of sour fruit, roasted malt and coffee, a little botanical like juniper.

Nice tasting slightly sour porter, lots of coffee, some chocolate and a little juniper.

Body is medium and creamy mouthfeel.

A decent porter, but more in Danish than American style. Good, not remarkable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recent bottle from Premiere Gourmet. Pours thick black. A Denmark biased porter (which often have a bit of an odd taste but let's go with it), thick very roasty, unfortunately following an imperial porter. Good drinkability, with some bitterness. Roasty aroma.Some chocolate and coffee.

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Photo of kscaldef
2.87/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Very dark with an excellent head of dense mocha foam. Lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malts with a touch of brightness. Slight banana esters.

T: Dark, nutty, roasty coffee. Moderately high bitterness.

M: Medium carbonation. Full, rich body.

O: Not particularly wowing me. More bitter than I think a porter ought to be, and fairly one-dimensional.

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Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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%
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 Flounder57
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
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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Photo of Jeffo
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
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 jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
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 lacqueredmouse
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West, in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a deep, dark black; yep, opaque, deep, black, and opaque (did I mention opaque), with a ridiculously large head of mocha-beige foam that forms as a dangerous crescendo and threatens to overwhelm the lip of the glass. Lacing is excellent, as is the weight of the body, given what it is. Looks good.

Nose is smooth and roasty, but to be honest, a little generic. Sure, it has the pleasant clear dark malt characters, a mild nuttiness to cut through and an all round smoothness and roundness; but haven't we all seen this before? It's solid. Check. It's decent. Check. But I'm also a little bored by it.

Hmm, I have similar sentiments about the flavour, although it's solid, again. Surprisingly, it lacks a little body, and the nutty sweetness that was present on the nose abandons it here, leaving the roast and the dark ashy bitterness to do most of the work. There are other interesting notes though, including a flash of liquorice through the mid palate and an odd saltiness towards the finish. It's interesting, but not coherent enough as a whole. Feel is light but pleasant.

Overall, it doesn't quite work. There's a dearth of sweetness in the body that it really needs, meaning it leads too strongly with the ashy roasted character, but has nothing to carry it. In some senses, it feels to generic; in others it needs to be pulled back.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev -1%
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 -1%
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 zeff80
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
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 RblWthACoz
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
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 AgentMunky
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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 beergoot
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
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 +10.9%
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 Mebuzzard
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
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 champ103
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A large tan head rises to over two fingers. Rings of stick lace are left behind.
S: Light roasted malt and chocolate up front. That quickly fades to an acidic twang. Even slightly metallic.
T: Follows the nose with roasted malt and coffee up front. Acrid, with a metallic twang. Even acidic in the finish. I am not a big fan.
M/D: A medium body that is overly sticky. Fairly syrupy. A slow sipper. The alcohol is very noticeably.

Overly alcoholic with an acrid, acidic and metallic twang that I am not a fan of. not something I wouldn't purchase again.

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Photo of popery
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours wall-to-wall black and looks heavy. A brown head, quite dark, blossoms up slowly and builds to a surprising mass. The aroma is strongly roasty, but there's a core of caramel and licorice sweetness. Hops are also fairly strong and contribute an herbal, mineral aroma. Dark chocolate and coffee also pop up a bit. The taste reinforces the dominance of roast and hops in the beer. Despite that, it's rather sweet and drinks relatively smoothly for the big bitter flavors. The finish is all roast, hop bitterness and dark chocolate. Little alcohol to be found. Mouthfeel is creamy at first but ends a bit harsh. It's a good beer, though a bit roasty and hoppy for my taste.

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Photo of Bung
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
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 LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -1%
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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Black Ball Porter from To Øl
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.