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

Not Rated.
Dark Star PorterDark Star Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

152 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 152
Hads: 222
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 15.15%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 152 | Hads: 222
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque, ruby-accented mahogany. Light is just visible all the way through the glass when it's held up to the bright afternoon sun. The head is dark tan edging into light brown and is on the large side. It persists nicely, never falling lower than a half-finger, and deposits an average amount of lace in the process.

The nose is enjoyable; mostly 'coffee with cream' along with a good deal of roasted malt. Accent aromas include chocolate and the barest whiff of hops. This is a very good porter. Oddly enough, chocolate is more bold on the palate and actually overpowers coffee. That's a good thing. Generally speaking, I prefer chocolate-dominant porters and stouts to coffee-dominant ones. The level of roastiness is just about perfect for the style.

Those sneaky hops are still there, providing a counterpoint to the roasted malt and lightly sweetened chocolate. The mouthfeel manages to be smooth and somewhat rich, stopping short of actual creaminess, and the carbonation is spot-on. The bubbles are barely noticeable, just how I like 'em. Drinkability is very good; the bottle was gone in no time.

Dark Star is a wonderful porter from the Bluegrass state and those of you who have ready access should be grateful. As I am grateful to SheepNutz for giving me the opportunity to sample this delicious beer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours very dark into a Belgian glass. Half finger of mocha head end up at a sparse covering. Active carbonation is seen around the edges, feeding the head.

Aroma - dark roasty coffee/chocolate. Good, deep aromas, how a porter oughtta smell.

Taste - charcoal, burnt coffee beans, a down to business porter. Some mild sweetness and very mild hopping. Ends on a smoky note. I dig it.

Mouthfeel - good weight for the style. Fine feeling all the way around, what a gem!

Drinkability - easily my favorite from BBC. Serious taste, not too heavy, not too high in hooch. Yum.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a clear dark-brown with ruby accents, forming a tall, rocky tan head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is satisfying with pleasant notes of mild sweet green hops, deeply roasted grains, bitter cocoa, dark coffee and husky grains. As I swirl the glass, there is an undeniable odor of horse shit, tobacco, and walnuts, and it's not just my imagination. Mouthfeel is piquant and nearly spritzy with brisk water and a slightly less than medium body. Taste begins with some medium intensity spicy floral flavor hops, followed by tart roasted grains, thinly brewed full-city roast coffee, and some pleasant apple and pear esters. The finish is semi-dry, woody, and brisk with high carbonate water accenting the grainy bite. As it warms, black walnuts make an anticipated entrance.

This is a decent porter, but it just doesn't do much for me. Very middle-of-the-road. I would prefer more body and roasted character, a smoother mouthfeel, and less hop flavor. The horse-shit aroma only bugs me if I swirl the glass. Still, it's enough to keep me away from a 2nd bottle.

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Photo of drewbage
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Provided by the kind auspices of a ground trade in Cincinatti by brewdlyhooked13. (Check him out if you run to that city.)

Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle, in my 16 oz San Francisco Strong Ale glass.

Aroma is sweet, fruity and slightly winey with a smell of old grapes with slightly puckered skins. Apples are the dominant fruit of the aroma. As the beer warms, a larger coffee roast starts to round through the edges and appear throgh the rest of the fruit.

The flavor is immediately a blend of hops, apples, rusty apples and hops. But the growing roast character quickly wipes all but the hops off the palate.

Finish is strongly roasted with just a bit of butter in the touch with a long roasted acidic burnt bite that keeps going to the final touch.

Interesting bit of an American porter.

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Photo of yankeeheel
2.71/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful dark brown/black with a fluffy soap suds espresso colored head.

Smells weakly of coffee. Perhaps a little toasted.

Tastes very weak and metallic. Washed out weak coffee flavors try to break through but are squashed down by this overwhelming metallic twang. Very weak on the porter flavors.

Moderate in mouthfeel, also way too much fizz here.

Sorry, this one is not for me.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby brown with a tan head that dwindles pretty quick, but it dows leave some nice tightly packed fine lacing all around my chalice. Aroma: Not getting too much strong tones but there is a nice mellow mixture of milk chocolate and very mild coffee roasts. Taste: Has a peculiar chalkiness in the finish but before that it starts as a relatively sweeter porter with the dry finishing notes of the deep roasted malts mild coffee tone to it with the creamy chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied porter not bad a bit overcarbonation, not overly impressed. Drinkability: A decent session porter I wouldn't shy away from this one next time I see it but there are many better offerings out there.

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Photo of aracauna
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown colored body with a timid and fleeting head. The aroma is a bit sharp and roasty with a little chocolate. The same follows into the flavor with a little toasted bread flavor in the middle. This is not a bad porter, although it is slightly metallic toward the end.

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Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with "best before July, 04" date on label. Pours an opaque, deep brown, nearly black, color with a short lived tan head. Some webs of sheet lace were left behind. Nose was somewhat subdued, with burnt coffee highlighting a background of smoke, cocoa, and anise. Mouthfeel is creamy, with medium carbonation and a mild bite from the hops. Taste is based on caramel malts and is highlighted by dark roasted coffee, a hint of bittersweet chocolate, some smokiness, and some underlying floral/herbal hops. Finishes with a dry and bitter chocolate aftertaste that lingers for quite a while. A middle of the road porter that is very drinkable with its light body and absence of anything to overwhelm.

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Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky muddy brown color with a low, beige head that sinks quickly. Aroma is hops backed with cocoa and raisin. Flavor is complex, with many nuances jumping out at different times. Initially caramelly, followed by cocoa with some chalkiness. This morphs to bitter coffee as it rolls toward the back of the mouth. The finish brings out raisin and molasses, and a hop bitter lingers in the back of the throat. Medium carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Fine webbed lacing all around the glass. Nice selection, could use more roasted maltiness for my tastes.

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Photo of Reneejane
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Though I'm not an enormous fan of porters, the BBC Dark Star Porter was surprisingly good. It poured a clear dark brown color. I don't remember much about the head. It tasted bitter with a noticeable but slight sweetness. It was fairly malty but it didn't seem as heavy as some other porters I've had. We had this at a hotel bar and it made us go try out the rest of their lineup at the brewery.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is a burnt burgandy black toned liquid with slivers of deep ruby red sparkling inside. Soft and puffy tannish head that sits thick for a brief stint, fades to a loose collar and thin broken haze on top, lace in sparatic strings and globby spots. Smell is slightly burnt roasted malt with touches of cocoa, some light dark caramel and coffee beans with some light spiced nuttyness. Taste has a nice overall tight and lasting little roastyness, slighty burnt, slightly dark roast coffee note. Light hop bitterness builds within the roasted malt base and adds a bit of sharpness, but keeps a spicy herbed surface that is benefiting the dry flavor profile and helps to purge the palate. Finishes very nice with milk chocolate coming in with a cocoa powder-like feel and texture in the drying aspects which also has some coffeeness and nutty drying mixing in there which dissipates nicely off the palate. Feel is medium bodied, clean, dry, roasty, and altogether smooth. Goes down with amazing ease and has a relaxing bite and complexing subtleness in its drying. A very nice porter! Thanks Brent!!

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Photo of beerguy101
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark black color. Medium head. Aroma is malty with a touch of dark fruits. A medium bodied porter. Malts are slightly roasted, with a touch of fruitiness, kind of sweet. Hops are a touch spicy. Kind of a middle of the road porter. There is a slightly weird taste that I can’t place, but it doesn’t detract too much from the beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid offering from this brewer, the body is decently dark without being opaque and it comes with a noticeable chocolate head and OK lace effect. The nose is mostly of roasted caramel malt and this parlays into the flavor as well. The richness is somewhat less than desired because the body tends to be a bit too thin and just a tad watery. Drinkability is quite good as this is not as heavy, filling, or heady as some competing beers of this style.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark brown in color, with a fizzy and short-lived tan-colored head. Nose is of roasted coffee, burned walnuts, bitter chocolate, and sweet caramel. Flavor follows suit. Brisk dark chocolate flavor, with a supporting cast of caramel sweetness, roasted nuts, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Crisp and dry aftertaste. The flavor got much better as this beer warmed. The higher temps really smoothed everything out in the flavor profile. Slightly fizzy mouthfeel and medium-bodied. Good drinkability, especially as it warmed. Not too heavy.

Another solid offering from the BBC.

Another big thanks for AKSmokedPorter for this one.

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Photo of aaronh
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark caramel color topped by a light tan head. Head shows good retention, maintaining a collar throughout the duration of the glass and a nice film atop the beer. Strong roasted malt and coffee aromas intermingled with dark fruits and a touch of hops dominate the aroma, but wisps dark chocolate and sweet cream appear as well. Smells more like an imperial stout than a porter. The taste is dark chocolate, fruits, coffee, roasted malt, and a strong bitter finish. Almost like eating chocolate covered coffee beans. The roasted coffee notes linger in the aftertaste. I'd prefer just a touch of sweetness to balance out the dark flavors and this would be about perfect, as this one is rather dry. Still very enjoyable and a very good porter. The mouthfeel is solid, with a good creaminess and moderate carbonation. The drinkability is pretty good, especially if you like a long roasted aftertaste. This is a very solid offering from Bluegrass, and I look forward to trying some of their other beers.

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Photo of SheepNutz
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer in a nonick pint glass poured from tap. It pours a dark black with 1 finger of medium tan head. There is a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is not as strong as other porters, but it has a good burnt malt and caramel smell. The taste is very malty with molasses and roasted coffee in the taste. The body is a little weak, but isn't really bad. The drinkability is very nice for this fairly smooth porter.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprised I was, but very happy to know that some excellent beer is coming out of the Bluegrass State!
Appearance: tawny brown color, with a large, puffy, cocoa-colored head that softly, beautifully crumbles down.
Aroma: a perfect, subtle blend of chocolate, coffee, cream, with a hint of nuts on the side, and a fair whiff of bitterness.
Taste: mouth-filling on first sip and swallow, engulfs the realm of senses, full-bodied, dark, delicious. Excellent texture, big, and giving, while taking, a perfect pull and play on the mouth and tongue.
Rolls around inside, bounces and bumps, takes it's sweet time, and absolutely satisfactory.
Eternal, lush, rewarding chocolatey finish, with some fruity notes jutting in at the end.
One entirely excellent porter, not too bitter, and not too sweet. Goes down good as gravy. I would have this often, if I could.
Much thanks to Marc77!

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Photo of proc
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4's across the board for this one. Poured out to a nice, black color with a decent aroma of chocolate and malt. Taste is well balanced with plenty of rosted malt backed up by just the right hop presence. A very, easy to drink porter. Porters don't seem to get enough time in my 'fridge. Time to change that. I paired it up with a filet mignon I had just grilled. It was a very good compliment to the beef. I'd drink this one again.

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Photo of marc77
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Two notches shy of black, with brilliant flashes of clear deep garnet when held to light. Thick, fluffy, light tan head leaves dense, muddled lace. Dryish, slightly burnt roasted malt and understated powered cocoa dominates the aroma; dark caramel malt is secondary, but adds a toffeeish undertone. Hints of sweettart prune esters add contrast. Caramel sweetness initially in flavor is offset by a burnt combination of black patent and a rounder, slightly smokey dark roast coffee note. Hop bitterness builds on the roasted malt foundation and adds a sharp, but herbaceous edge that serves to both dry the flavor profile and cleanse the palate. Both malt and hop bitterness subside late, allowing soft, milk chocolate to surface and meld with the mild, tracely tannic coffee presence to lend a lasting impression of Mochachino. Very well attenuated, almost dry stout like in mouthfeel, but this inobtrusive lightness doesn't detract from the dark malt and coffee character. Finishes mostly dry, with slightly nutty, woody hints of chicory along with bitter baker's chocolate. A delicious, well rounded porter that's not a "java" porter outright-- coffee is present as an undertone. Light on the palate and quaffable, indeed.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a good head that leaves a little lace and some stays to the end. A very dark, almost black, ruby color. Nose is sweet nutty. Starts as a mix of hops and malts and ends with a hoppy finish. Reasonably smooth, a good porter, medium body - definitely not chewy.

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Photo of TPoling
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBC Dark Star Porter pours a deep black with reddish tints when held to the light. A quarter-inch head became a memory in 15 seconds. The aroma was of chocolate malt with some hay in the background.

Malt and hops married well from up front to the aftertaste and some fruit flavors crept in midway through, only slightly marring the rich chocolate malt character.

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Photo of LarryKemp
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This robust porter a very dark black with a fine tan head. The lace clung to the glass. The aroma was malty with a fair amount of chocolate in the nose. The taste was by far the best part of this beer and maybe the best tasting porter I have had in a long, long time. The flavor is quite complex and in NOT subtle in any aspect. The first thing that grabbed me was the sharpness from the roasted. The flavor started dry and finished the same with a hint of chocolate. The warmer the beer gets the more the malts come out in both the aroma and taste. The one chocolate playing upon the other. The mouthfeel was a disappointment. It was moderate at best but actually was more light. I highly recommend this truly exceptional beer for all but particularly those who enjoy a fine complex dark beer.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark black with brownish edges. Also produced a pletiful tan head that had better-than-usual retention (good lacing too). The aroma was very roasty with burnt cocoa and sharp coffee. The taste was awesome, the same roasty qualities with a rich coffee, very slight hoppiness, and an overall smooth, heavy mouthfeel. A very good porter - very rich, hearty, satisfying, delicious, balanced...I could go on and on.

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Photo of Lupe
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with some ruby highlights that shine through when held up to the light. Small head that did not last, some sporadic lacing. Roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, and some spicy hops in the backround. Medium bodied with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Coffee flavor dominates with notes chocolate. Finishes with a sharp bitterness, coming from the roasted malt, and a mild herbal hop taste. A very nice porter, easy to drink and tasty. Not too heavy, would make a nice substitute for coffee in the morning. Quality brew, only low point is head retention.

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Photo of zerk
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black... just a touch of amber showing through, with a persistant tan head that leaves rings of lace down the glass. Aroma is malty... a bit of chocolate with a subtle spicy hop backbone. Flavor begins malty with a touch of carmel... then becomes coffee-like and a bit astringent. Finishes with some herbal spice and bitterness. Has a somewhay prickly moutfeel with a medium to full body. A very interesting porter from a good regional brewery. Cheers!

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Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
82 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.