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

Not Rated.
Dark Star PorterDark Star Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

215 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 215
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 8
Gots: 5 | 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:
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 added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 07-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 215 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass from the bottle the BBC Dark Star Porter pours a very dark brown, with not much of a head at all. What little head there was disappeared very quickly. It smells very nice, like coffee, chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt. The taste is mainly chocolate malt, with some roasted coffee flavor too. There's a bitter aftertaste that stays around a while after drinking the beer. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, but this is a very drinkable beer. I'd recommend this to anyone to drink, it's a good selection from BBC. I remember having it on tap a few years ago at the BBC brewpub, so I think I'll have to make another trip to Louisville and try it on tap again.

bluejacket74, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of DuqTroops
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - black, but a lighter black than I normally see with porters. little amount of head atop

Smell - chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste - was ok, not the greatest tasting porter, but was worth a try.

Drinkability - I probably won't have this one again.

DuqTroops, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review of the bottled version. I had this on tap at the brew pub in January. Then my daughter, who lives in Louisville, brought me a six-pack recently.

Almost identical to what I had at the brewery.

Appearance was dark and shimmering nearly opaque mahogany, with an nice bumpy two-finger head that faded to a solid ring and left lots of thick lacing.

Smell was lots of molasses, but there was a complex fruitiness there that came up pretty much missing in the taste.

Taste: the first, middle, and last notes were all the same -- just dark molasses malt, which is fine, but it missed the complexity that was there in the aroma.

Mouthfeel was nice and round.

Drinkability, in my estimation, was better than the draught version. I think this porter needs to sit for a while.

ColoradoBobs, May 17, 2006
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The porter pours a deep dark mahogany brown bordering on black but there's almost no carbonation. Even with a vigorous finish to the pour there was at best a thin collar of bubbles that instantly disappeared.

The nose was pleasant with a good dark caramel aroma mixed with a toasted note. Only a little sweetness in the smell.

Flavor was pretty run-of-the-mill for a porter with a few caramel notes, a strong focus on roasted, coffee-like flavors and note much else. No hopping that you'd notice and very little sweetness either.

Mouthfeel was disappointing. The porter was thin - as if they'd taken a standard porter and watered it down a bit. Light bodied, no residual sugars to leave a coating on the palate and very little carbonation to add any sparkle. The finish is a roasted grain bitterness (light, like everything else) but it doesn't leave you wanting more.

Not much to recommend in this beer except that it would make a good session beer. With a light body it's not very filling, low carbonation and a light, inoffensive taste it'll take a lot to really notice this beer.

RedwoodGeorge, May 09, 2006
Photo of skizziks
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a nonic. Moderate hard pour was necessary to raise a 2inch head of dark tan foam. A lot of big bubbles mixed with a lot of tiny creamy bubbles. Good lacing as it falls. The beer is an almost-but-not-quite opaque deep mahogany. Very nice looking beer.

Clear roasty aroma with plenty of milk chocolate, vanilla, and a little smoke. Very tasty smells.

Flavor is surprisingly weak on the front. Some sweet, a little chocolate and light roast coffee, slightly tart. Most of the flavor is coming from the aroma. Finish is dry with a little tannic bite.

Light body, a little watery.

I am a bit disappointed in this beer. I remember it as being quite a bit better in the past. The label has a best before date of last month so I suppose it could be a little past it's prime, but it has been in the fridge since well before. Not a bad porter at all, I'll have to get more to make sure this bottle wasn't off.

skizziks, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I had this beer years ago at a Louisville Cardinals football game. I vaguely remembered it being good but was still skeptical when I saw it on the shelf at the distributor in Ohio last weekend.
I know porters aren't generally big head beers but I was still disappointed to see the cap fail to cover the top during the pour. Basic dark color. The nose was much more complex, featuring coffee and a little caramel in layers. Possibly the best smelling porter I can remember.
The taste is oppossed to the nose in that while full and rich, has more sour characteristics than sweet, with almost an oatmeal stout thing happening in the beginning of the sip. The aftertaste is tasty and longlasting. Mouthfeel is brisk but fits very well with the taste.
I can definitely recommend this Bluegrass selection. It isn't much to look at but it has it where it counts. I will definitely be on the lookout for this in the future.

daliandragon, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with solid amber to ruby highlites with a 3 finger head that settles to a healthy tan cap over the beer. Solid looker, though could be a shade darker. Nose is solid, with moderate to solid roast notes, leaving impressions of coffee, though with a lighter nuttyness hanging below it. I enjoy the aroma of this one. Flavor presents a more nutty profile, with roasted character being more prevalent in the aftertaste. The flavors here could be a touch more bold. I'm getting more of an American Brown vibe from this than a porter. That being said, this one still tastes good. Feel is solid moderate with a touch of creamyness and a light-moderate carbonation. Sold and where I expected it. Overall, this one deliveres, but slightly underachieves as a porter. Call this one Dark Star brown ale and I'd be more satisfied. Still nothing that sticks out as a flaw, just needs a bit more behind it.

kmpitz2, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of kmpitz2.

Pours a deep dark brown with a small tan head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell is slightly sweet and malty with a rich cocoa aroma.

Taste is malty and rosty upfront with a large dose of coca that follows through to the swallow. Finishes dry with a lingering cocoa roastedness.

Carbonation is fine, body seems a little light.

A nice, drinkable porter. I would like to have just a bit more uumph in the body....

MaltyGoodness, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of palma
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour creates a great looking head. Plenty of lacing.
Roasted malt aroma, peanuts, burnt sugar and maybe some nutmeg? A noticeable metal aroma too, which isn't really my cup of tea.
Taste consists of dark malt flavors up front. Significant bitterness towards the end. Dryer than most other porters Ive had. Smokey aftertaste. Pretty nice mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation and easy drinking. A solid porter. I would drink this again.

palma, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of arizcards
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received a gift from my friend Mr. Doyle from his beer of the month club back in December. Beer best had by June '06.

Beer pours a deep brown with a decent head that is floating on top. Nose is a slight hint of the chocolate malts. Taste starts nicely with a compliment of those chocolate malts and ends well balanced with a chocolate dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is very good, velvety smooth and creamy. Drinkability is good. This is an extremely smooth drinking beer that is definitely worth a shot.

arizcards, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of nota
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours almost black, but held to the light you can see a ruby appearance. Frothy brown head with little to no lacing. Very soft carbonation. Smell has hint of roasted coffee. Taste consist of coffee and caramel with a smoky like aftertaste. An enjoyable beer.

nota, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of stouty1
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

re-review, 2/1/06
I tried another bottle of this tonight and used a pint glass this time. The head poured so thick, I had to make three pours. Dark creamy foam that never seemed to disappear. Beer still tastes like burnt malt, but I definitely am getting a better feel for this the second time around. I increased the drinkability from a 2.5, but everything remains the same.

I had a hard time getting a nice full head pouring it into my snifter. Wrong glass for this beer?? It dissapated rapidly to a small ring arond the rim. Appearance is definitely dark witha hint of red. Looks like any other average Porter.

Taste is a burnt maltyness. Leaves your mouth with a wetness that is not the normal effect I get from a Stout-like beer. Carbonation is nice. I cannot taste any chocolate, just a burnt sensation. I thought it was pretty tasty, in the beginning, but drinkability seems to be getting worse as I go.

stouty1, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of ism
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly opaque dark brown with ruby hues, topped by a 2-finger tan head, low retention, little and spotty lacing. Roasted malts impart coffee and chocolate notes, with a touch of hop freshness. Good carbonation precedes a thin body, mostly malt with astringency and an odd metallic graininess as it develops. Goes down smooth with more of the astringency emerging.

Tasty at the beginning but too odd, and gets worse as the glass empties. A little too watery for the style, as well.

ism, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of hanco005
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of my Microbrew of the Month club. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A—deep, dark brownish, black color with ½ inch creamy tan foam head

S—strong coffee and caramel malts, very fragrant with some mocha aroma as well, mild sweet smell

T—big and strong coffee and cocoa flavors, malty as I expected, a nice bittersweet finish

M—smooth and creamy with mild carbonation

D—an excellent brew…to me, it is like drinking a cold espresso. Could drink several more as I really enjoy the coffee and cocoa combo.

hanco005, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown with slight hints of garnet around the edges. Solid head, tan in color, with scattered, spotty lacing which soon dwindled away to a thin ring of bubbles around the glass.

Smell: Delicate aroma of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts.

Taste: Light flavors of cocoa powder, sweet dark malts, coffee, and a few smokey notes, and coupled with a light hop and grain bitterness. Other than that, this beer finishes dry and with a decidedly metallic finish. Unfortunately, this porter is a bit watery; the flavors seem muted. I even left the beer sitting in my mouth for a few minutes, waiting for flavors to magically emerge. Regrettably, this doesn't work.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin and fairly carbonated.

Drinkability: A nice, simple, eminently tolerable porter. What more could you ask for?

ChainGangGuy, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love the British Broadcasting Company so I was delighted to see they also brewed, but you’d think they’d be based out of London and not Kentucky oh well.. Roasted coffee beans aroma. Brown/black with a frothy head. Chocolate malt and some unexpected tobacco tinged flavor. Not a bad flavor just a little unexpected. A very nice sipping beer that finishes well.

Jredner, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of NClifestyle
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

got this in a trade from brent (thanks).

pours up a very dark, almost black color, thick off-white head of foam with a chunky top and large bubbles. ruby highlights around the edge, sheets of lace, a layer of foam stays atop the beer.
smell is pretty great. similar to chocolate milk with toffe and coffee. i like.
taste is not quite up to the smell. very malty, but slightly astringent, somewhat grainy after the coffee flavor. the front of the mouth is ok, pretty good, actually. in the back is where the problems begin.
creamy, medium mouthfeel. almost no carbonation. nice.
drinkability would be higher without the rough tang in the back of the beer. if it's hops, it's a hop i haven't come across, and i don't like it in my porter, thank you very much.


NClifestyle, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of xtacyturbo
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass, served at about 45 degrees.

Dark Star pours a very dark brown, almost black. At first it was topped with a half-inch thick creamy head that quickly settled to a foamy ring.

The aroma- roasty toasty, smells of roasted malts and coffee, with a hint of unsweetened cocoa- and not much else.

Taste-wise, just roasted, roasted, roasted. Very dominant flavor of roasted malts. Not much hint of coffee or chocolate at all, and not much hop flavor either. Doesn't carry a very complex flavor; I swirled this one around in my mouth many times searching for something more, but it just wasn't there.

Dark Star hits the tongue with a prickly carbonation. It leaves a slick, wet feeling on the palate that I don't particularly like, and wasn't as dry as I had expected from the style.

It's quite drinkable when cold, but drinkability declines as it warms- a pattern opposite what I usually prefer. It's unfortunate that this happens, as when drinking a brew of this style I don't like to hurry.

While it sounds like I'm trashing it, Dark Star is fairly tasty, but not my top pick. Definitely better than your average beer, but there are many better choices out there. I was hoping for the best after finding this beer from my hometown of Louisville, but next time I think I'll try one of their other styles.

xtacyturbo, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of sulldaddy
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle courtesy of kmpitz2.
I am pouring at room temp into a pint glass.
The beer pours a deep rich dark brown with only hints of mahogany at the edges of the glass. A creamy beige head of 1 cm foams up easily and clings to the sides of the glass as it recedes slowly to a sturdy surface layer.
The aroma is roasted malt predominantly with hints of chocolate and caramel as well. No hop presence that I can detect.
The first sip reveals a silky smooth body with fine yet tingly carbonation.
The flavor is similar to the nose, all malt. I get some sweet chocolate up front then roasted malt and some burnt caramel. The roasted flavor lingers on my palate for a bit. The beer is very easy to drink and I think I could down a few of these quite happily on any given nite. There is no hint of alcohol anywhere and the smoothness and good flavor make it a winner!

sulldaddy, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of swid
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer #7 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Bluegrass Dark Star Porter pours a (upon first glance) black color into my pint glass; when held up to the light, a dark brown/ruby color becomes evident. Atop the nearly (but not completely) opaque porter rests a 1", light brown head; this soon collapses down into a thick, soapy ring. Moderate carbonation and light lacing. The aroma is quite average: Chocolate and roasted coffee notes are present, as is a restrained "earthy" smell. That's it.

The taste is better than the smell, but not the appearance. The flavors seem to be a jumbled mix of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toasted malts, and a mild floral bitterness; no one flavor dominates overall. Mouthfeel is quite light; the acidity of this beer combines with the lightness and fizziness of the mouthfeel to mount a small attack on the tongue. Finishes crisp, and leaves an acidic/coffee aftertaste.

This was my first beer from Kentucky; it started out with a great deal of promise once I poured it in the glass. However, I found myself liking it a bit less with each sip. I can't recommend it, given the large number of (in my opinion) better American stouts out there. However, as always, YMMV.

swid, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single, hauled by kmpitz2

is this one named for the dead song or is that strictly a coincidence? either way...

appearance: dark, almost pitch black, maybe a ruby tint, just maybe...very light brown head and creamy lacing

smell: cocoa powder, roasted malts, some coffee bean, a dark fruitiness going on in the background, earthy

taste: burnt coffee, cocoa powder, dark roast, dark fruit, some mild hoppiness, toasted malts...somthing missing here i think

mouthfeel: not as creamy as i'd like

drinkability: pretty drinkable

dirtylou, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of nlmartin
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: At first glance poured a perfect black; however, upon further looking definately had a ruby opaqueness. Minimal head that was colored off white.

Smell: The expected chocolates and coffees are pleasantly in place. Small amount of fruity goodness drifting in the background.

Taste: The expected chocolates and coffee are there along with a pleasant butter scotch taste.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: Somewhere between watery thin and light bodied. The buttery texture probably moves it towards light bodied. Maintains a sort of fizzy carbonation during drinking.

nlmartin, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of Morris729
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, color with a tall pillowy tan head that coats the walls of the glass with sheets of lace as it recedes. Nose is chocolaty roasted malts along with a touch of earthy peat. Taste begins with sweet malt and burnt coffee followed by unsweetened dark chocolate and dusty cocoa. A mild herbal hop bitterness is present in the finish along with more of the same burnt coffee that was present upfront. Not great, but worth a try if you get the chance. Thanks to yakko for the sample!

Morris729, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being from the distribution area, this is a beer that I have enjoyed ofter, buy only lately found new appreciation. It's big on the roasted barley, chocolates, and coffee flavors. More subtle in the nutty, barley, and toffee flavors. The BBC 'Americanized' this style by loading it with hops--so much that the tan head shows a slightly greenish tint. It's aromas are what you'd expect from a very hoppy porter with slight acidity and bittering from grain or husks. It's moderately thick and creamy. Finishes quite dry, despite the big sugars. Has a slight metalic flavor and shows some roughness in the swallow.

BEERchitect, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
2.48/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

courtesy of BiF 18 and lackenhauser

thick brown pour with no head or lacing. aroma smells like a mix between dirt and grass... some sweaty aromas and a bit of maltiness to go along with all the weirdness. tastes better than it smells, although it has a very penny-like aftertaste. in the foreground are light notes of roasted malt and european hops. a little too crisp and bubbly for my tastes, and overall too light for me as well. not a beer i'd revisit. maybe a bad bottle, but ill have to see this on tap in order to attempt a rereview.

goodbyeohio, Aug 26, 2005
Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
82 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.