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Black Ball Porter - To Øl

Black Ball PorterBlack Ball Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

97 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.85%


Brewed by:
To Øl visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ingredients: Water, malt (pilsner, smoked, chocolate, cara munich and brown), roasted barley, rolled oats, brown sugar, hops and yeast.

(Beer added by: bark on 03-08-2011)
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
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...

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 18:36:22 | More by Jeffo
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 22:38:28 | More by jdhilt
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 04:13:06 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 03:33:21 | More by Dope
Photo of tony223366
tony223366

California

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2012 05:03:20 | More by tony223366
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 01:45:59 | More by zeff80
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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).

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 06:10:59 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 06:19:11 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 21:07:18 | More by beergoot
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 02:23:41 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 00:37:54 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 01:49:31 | More by champ103
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 05:04:27 | More by popery
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 02:08:47 | More by Bung
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 05:15:05 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a mikkeller stemmed glass. The brew appears a very dark brown to black color with a light ring of brown clarity around the edges. A brown cap sits atop the brew that slowly recedes leaving patches of lace sticking to the glass. A swirl revives more than a finger of dark brown froth back to the surface.

The smell of this brew is licorice with char and earth. A bit if tobacco and some citrus-like coffee bean quality. Some citrus hopd are also noted overtop of dry burnt grain quality. Very roasty with minerals and sulfur included as well.

This brew is quite bitter with burnt grain that imparts a char-like feel that is bitter and drying somewhat like chewing on cacao. There are some strong notes of bitter coffee that fades to earthy quality. Some veggie hop aspects are noted towards the back that augment the overall bitterness. The aftertaste is dry and burnt.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. A bit harsh and acrid thy has lots of ashy components to it. The bitterness of the char to the grain and hops is quite bold and doesn't blend together that well. Not a bad brew, it is worth trying if you get a chance but once was enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 15:52:15 | More by stakem
Photo of PeterIngemi
PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 00:57:09 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Abysmally black body with a thick tan head. Thick chocolate and toasted caramel aroma with piney hops and a slight alcohol twinge. Burnt chocolate flavor starts things out, followed by alcohol burn, and bitter chocolate/ caramel lingers.A hint of bitter, piney hop oil towards the end, too. Feel is a little thick, despite the alcohol content and flavor. Medium finish.

There are many reviews suggesting this shouldn't be labeled a Porter. I think that just goes to show how much To Øl really made this their own recipe. There is a definite feeling that the hops are much more present than most other Porters out there, but I wouldn't say it's a Stout or a Black IPA, as the hop presence doesn't lead it in one direction or another. This is simply an interesting take on an American Porter by a Danish brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 15:32:29 | More by Philousa
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 07:03:52 | More by corby112
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 03:56:24 | More by gford217
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2011 01:34:41 | More by avalon07
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.03/5  rDev -1%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 01:14:25 | More by GRG1313
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Kinda thought this thing was some sort of Mikkeller collaboration due to the similar labeling, but instead found a new brewer. Right on. This stuff pours a bleak black-brown topped by over a finger of sienna foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, roasted malts, spruce tips, light molasses, light pine, very light balsa, and a small touch of dark chocolate powder. The taste holds notes of bitter dark chocolate, minty pine, balsa, brown sugar, molasses, roasted malts, light bitter coffee, and a twinge of orange rind. The bitterness is clearly on display here, pushing the traditional boundaries of the style. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta-kinda dry finish. Overall, a pretty solid porter, one that goes for the bitterness without getting all of those other ancillary hoppy notes. The cocoa and roast are still there, but clenched together as joint runners-up.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 03:30:16 | More by TMoney2591
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Black Ball Porter from To Øl
90 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.