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Dark Star Porter - Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Not Rated.
Dark Star PorterDark Star Porter

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218 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 152
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 9
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 07-30-2001

A rich and robust blend of light, caramel, and dark malts sets the stage for BBC Dark Star Porter’s robust presence on the palate. This smooth but robust porter has complex notes of chocolate and roasted grains balanced by additions of traditional English hops, creating a delicious chocolaty and smooth ale.

35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cresant for this one.
I don't know why, but I have to admit I had a negative bias against this one beforehand...
Boy, was that wrong!
Beautiful, classical porter appearance, pitch black with some reddish hues, a nice tan head that accompanied the brew all the way to the bottom, with some nice lacing going down the glass.
Robust aroma, malted, roasted, bittersweet.
Firm on the palate, it has a strong coffee taste, followed by other roasted malts, dark chocolate, sweetish at times, bitter at others.
Very impressive porter, deserving of others if I have a chance.

Photo of TheBierBand
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this place at the Cincinnati-Northern KY Airport (CVG) Terminal 2 and decided to check it out while waiting for a flight out.

The Dark Star Porter was served up in a 20 oz glass (shaped like a large pint glass - tapered). It arrived with a small 1/2" creamy off-white/tan head. The beer was very opaque dark brown/black.

The nose was typical porter with a good roasted malt dominating.

The taste was quite good. Robust for a porter. Nice roast malt and dark chocolate with just a hint of piney hops.

Mouthfeel was nice and robust with adequate carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite good. I could have enjoyed a few of these, but there were other styles I wanted to try.

Photo of Gavage
3.14/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 2" creamy head. Some mild lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malts are soft and barely detectable.

Taste: mild level of roasted malts, raisins, hints of dry bitter chocolate and graininess are balanced with a mild bitterness. Overall this was a bit too thin and weak in flavor compared to other porters.

Mouthfeel: lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Very brief aftertaste as the roasted malt tones linger softly on the tongue. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother and a touch dry at the finish.

Drinkability: so-so at best. This just didn't hit the spot for me personally since I felt this was a bit thin.

Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque black with a thin diminishing head. The aroma was of dark and chocolate malt with just a hint of pine hops. The taste was very well balanced between dark malts and bothe pine and citrus hops that were not afraid to do their job, even for a porter. The beer is light and crisp with a decent carbonation. This is a very enjoyable porter.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - dark mahogany colored, the reddish tint is hard to make out, but you can tell its inherently there, a thin caramel colored head sits atop, fed by unseen carbonation

S - dark toffee/vanilla flavored coffee beans aromas delight and dominate the nose, these sweet scents are distinct and poignant, quite nice. Roasted malts define the undertoned aroma with a slight alcohol kick backing that up

T - on the palate the taste transfers more to coffee grounds than coffee beans, the additional flavors, the vanilla especially, are still there, just diminished, the malt profile is diminished as well, with a surprising plain tea flavor

M&D - light bodied, but full flavored, smooth and easy down. a nice sessionable porter, i would definitely buy this again, and in greater quantities

Photo of Matthew
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours into my pint glass a deep brown color that is border line black. Very little head, more of a fine whispy covering in the center of the beer.
Lightly roasted grain comes through first with a hint of very light coffee that has an earthy character to it, almost like something you would find in a lighter roast coffee bean.
Light grain first that is separated from the roasted character that seeps in after the initial taste along with a bitter walnut like flavor. A small but recognizable hop pine like bitterness is faint in the finish.
This is a small bodied porter that could probably use a bit more carbonation.
Overall this is a pretty straightforward and tasty porter that is worth picking up. There are other porters that have more depth but this one is solid enough to revisit now and again.

Photo of JMD71
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Warriorsoul for this sample. Sampled & reviewed on 2/23/07:

Ap: Almost no head raised from vigorous pour. Deep mahogany brown. No carbonation evident. Past its prime or intentional?

Ar: Amoky, toasted roasted malts dominate. Some bitter chocolate in the background. Cocoa. Almost a bit of chocolate pudding.

Ta: Nice roasted/chocolate malt flavor! Nicely balanced malts with a good hop bite in the finish. Fully flavored & rounded. Good taste experience....

Mo: Medium to full bodied. Rich & coats the palette, but not cloying. Bitterness cleans off the palette with a dry finish.

Dr: Smooth drinking. Nice & easy. Not too rich to detract from the drinkability, but rich enough to measure up as a robust porter.

Comments: Flavors nicely melded & work well in combination. One of the better examples of the style that I've sampled. Wish it was available in MA!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a thin but dense off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet and malty with dark fruits and coffee with a little chocolate. There’s a touch of hops in the background, but not very much.

T: The taste is very smoky and malty with a lot of dark fruit flavors (raisins, dates & berries). There’s a little bit of coffee & chocolate that some in after the initial burst of fruit. The hops presence is very mild. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, good kick & good representation of style (even though I think this one might shade more toward the Baltic style). I could drink a few of these and it’s a good beer, but it wouldn’t be the first porter that I would choose.

Photo of UnionMade
3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany brown, almost black. Thin head with minimal lacing. Light aroma with hints of coffee, english hops and walnut. Surprisingly weak flavor. Dry all the way through, with a very light, uninvasive presence. Mild, dark roast coffee, a hint of plum and walnut, finishing with vague herbal hopping. Very, very dry and nutty. It's ok, but kinda bland and underwhelming.

Photo of MDekker
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one for Christmas from my Kentucky-dwelling brother. Pours out nearly black with hints of dark brown; practically no head. Smells of bread, dark chocolate, and the similar dark roasted aromas. Upon tasting I think of mossy soil and mostly generic dark roasted flavors. A little flowery, but not much. Could pack a lot more interest for a porter. Moderately bitter finish. Thin and watery in the mouth; needs more carbonation. Not great, not horrible.

Photo of ndekke39
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank a 12 oz bottle of this with a May 2007 best-by date. Pours an opaque black with a thin, tan head. Decent retention. Smells of roasted coffee, toasted grain, some dark chocolate. Tastes much of the same - coffee, chocolate, dark toasty flavors. Not as strong as I would like. Mouthfeel is good, a tad on the watery side. Overall, an okay example of a porter - not nearly as strong and complex as I would like.

Photo of geexploitation
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark coffee brown with caramel highlights and nice lacing from the head. On the nose, some nice malty chocolate notes and bitter roasted malts. Typical aromas but well done. The palate follows the nose, with some nice bitterness from the malts throughout and a tinge of initial acidity that I assume is from the hops. Nice mouthfeel, perfect weight and carbonation. This is just a really solid porter, true to style and very sessionable.

Photo of mjc410
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Cincinnati Airport location, in a shaker.

The beer had a near opaque body, with ruby highlights. It formed a slight off-white glass ring, from the stadium pour. It did form some nice sticky and stubborn lacing. The nose had a light roasted, dark chocolate scent. The mouth was medium, with a very low carbonation. The beer didn't pair well with pulled pork, but was alright by itself.

Photo of John1985
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a deep brown color with a good head that dies down with some decent lacing. Faint malty aroma, good roasted malt flavor that is balanced bitterness at the end. Rich mouthfeel but not cloying. This ale is pleasantly drinkable. This tastes like a porter should. Good stuff.

Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a becker.
Best before 12.2006.

Near opaque, dark brown in color. Creamy, tanned head that fades on impact, but remains as an intact sheet. Patches of condensed lacing with decent strength.

Sweet milk chocolate aromatics; very creamy and milky with notes of caramel. Rich and creamy.

Caramel and milk chocolate flavors up front; mellow, malt richness but touches of semi-sweet, light cream. The floral hop character is very earthen, dark, and intense. The bitterness is crisp and filled with notes of pine.

Full in body; rough and gritty on the palate. The hop bite outweighs the rich and creamy malt character.

Not a bad Porter, but nothing that memorable. Too heavy on the hops at the expense of what could be a rather nice, rich and creamy maltiness.

Photo of gpcollen1
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice and dark on the pour with a small head. Mild roasty aroma - nothing too overpowering.

A light coffe taste - maybe a bit watery. Medium carbonation - a bit of a fizz to the tongue.

An easy drinking beer with nothing standing out too much - nothing bad and nothing stupendous.

Photo of fightingwords
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a freshness date of Jan '07 into a 16oz pint glass.

A--Poured a super dark brown. Looks completely opaque in the glass, but up to the light just a bit of a hazel color sneaks through. Filtered appearance. Head was a nice, brown egg-shell color. Frothy with good ring like lacing. Started about 2 fingers and faded to a film after a drink or so.

S--Rich esspresso roasted malts. Not many hops to speak of, just warm chocolate, nut, and coffee odors. Not too bold, not too soft.

T--Strong malty flavor, kind of grainy and I could swear it had a fruity flavor somewhere in it. Dark unsweetend chocloate and earthy grains finshed with a little bit of bitter hop flavor.

M--really smooth, but a bit on the lighter side. Finshed just like it started, and my only complaint other than being a bit light is I felt like it had an oily feel in my mouth.

D--I could really drink a lot of these. Their body doesn't waver, and the taste is enough to keep you going. If you really like this style though, you might find it gets a bit boring.

O--Its an okay porter, from a mid-level brewery. Its not their best offering, and it doesnt hold up well to the really famous porters like Fuller's or Edmund Fitzgerald, but it's a nice take on the style. I wish it tasted as good as it looks.

Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the airport in Cincinati

Pours mahogany with a 1" off white head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Slight fruittyness & some roasted grains

T: Fruitty up front then roasted malt & grainyness, with some hop bite. Finishes fruitty with a slight choclate flavor

MF: Light to medium bodied with good carbonation

Drinks okay, just an okay porter

Photo of eballard
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a light brown head. The head settles into a nice lacing. The beer has a nice roasted malted hops smell with a hint of coco. It has a nice blend to its taste not too over powering and it has a clean after taste. It’s a smooth and creamy beer with a clean feel and a good finish. I would say there isn’t much spectacular about this beer but it is a great tasting quality porter. Defiantly worth a try.

Photo of ybnorml
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown beer with bright ruby highlights. Has a thick creamy light brown head with very good lace. A delicious roasted coffee character dominates the aroma with hints of milk chocolate and vanilla in the background. The mouthfeel was a little light for all that aroma. The major flavor characteistic would be light bittersweet chocolate. With just a hint of snappy hop bitterness on the finish.

Photo of Tallboy
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into my pint glass it was a deep dark black with a thick beige head with decent lacing.
Smell: Roasted full malts and earthy hops with just the right touch of chocolate and tofee, made just opening the bottle worth the purchase price alone.
Taste: A complex porter with ample dry roasted malts, that compliment the chocolate and coffee flavors perfectly.
Mothfeel: Was strong and full bodied with noticeable carbonation
Drinkability: Recomended to me from my local beer seller as a "Try it you'll like it". And I must say I indeed was verry impressed with both the aroma and the taste of this beer, and would recommend this to anyone who likes a good Porter.

Photo of asabreed
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very very dark with thick rings of lacing left and a thick chunky mocha-colored head. Looks like a porter that I definitely want to drink.

Smell: Roasted malt, slight dark chocolate and light coffee, a bit of nice dark berries, and some slight hops.

Taste: What this mostly lacks is a long lingering finish, but as is, this is a solid brew. I like the fruitiness of the berries, along with the mild chocolate and coffee flavors also. Finishes with those attributes and a bit of hops. Like I said, a longer finish would be awesome, but this is a solid porter.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full without sticking to the teeth, and it's fairly silky to boot.

Drinkability: A solid porter that's very easy to drink and easy to make a session out of. Solid on all accounts I think. My second Bluegrass brew and another that I've really enjoyed.

Photo of phisig137
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color, with a thin head. Some light gets through, and no lacing is present.

Aroma is chocolatey and semi-sweet, with overtones of caramel. Pretty nice.

Flavor is again slightly sweet, and has notes of thin french press coffee. The finish is dry, and dominated by a roasted grain bite. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, although the flavor lingers for quite some time. Drinkability is excellent.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark rich color with a nice head that keeps its retention. Smell is very malty with touch of coffee. Taste is a lot like an espresso with a light hop note. Mouthfeel is full but not as heavy as expected. This is a delicious beer that would be quite drinkable often.

Photo of tfp4268
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, ruby against a light, with a one finger head that goes down to lace in about 2 minutes.

Smell is malty, with a wee little bit of chocolate.

Taste follows the smell, with a pretty bitter finish, a little too much bitter for the body of flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin for a porter.

Altogether, not a bad brew, quite drinkable. I'll have to head up to Louisville to try this on tap.

Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
82 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.