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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.

211 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 211
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.71%
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: 211 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruachan
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

my server gave me a to-the-brim pour but the guy next to me at the bar was drinking the same thing and had a nice head with some great lacing. deep, dark, but not opaque, with some garnet hues. i didn't get much an aroma since the head was nonexistant, but what did come through was decent

a little thin on the tongue, so the flavors were not concentrated. still a nice session porter, though

bruachan, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice, earthy black malt scent that is roasted and dry. There is also some hop aroma as well. The taste is good. It has a smooth and rich patent and roasted malt flavor that goes down with ease and finishes dry and earthy. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a fine American porter. It has good aroma and taste; an excellent sessions ale.

WesWes, Apr 08, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity... Best before May, what I assume is 05, since 02/03/04 weren't marked, and there isn't a spot for 05.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a little 1/4" of tan head over the clear mahogany brew. Head, although diminutative, seems to stay constant, with average lacing for the style. Aroma is dark, roasty grains. Taste is dark malts, with a citrus note in the middle, then fades back to the slight coffee bitterness and chocolate sweetness battling it out. Mouthfeel is excellent, extra smooth, and the drinkability is great as well. Worth seeking out.

ppoitras, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice black pour with deep ruby highlights when held up to the light. A tan head appears and falls to leave a nice ring. Lovely coffee tones waft into my nose, like I just opened a can of Folgers. HInts of cocoa and toasted barley. Very enjoyable nose.

First sip opens with a bitter coffee, there's a lot of burnt grains in there as well as hints of chocolate. I seem to sense a bit of lactic creaminess in there too. The nose is bigger than the flavor here and while it's enjoyable I was expecting more.

Mouthfeel has nice creamy aspects as well as a good medium body. Good for the style and seperates it from the stouts. I could have a few of these in one sitting...but it's not one I would search out. A good porter overall. Thanks to merlin48 for the opportunity to sample this brew.

orbitalr0x, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of mntlover
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a fairly dark drown with light reddish brown tints around the edges has a finger sized tan head that falls to a cap of foam, spotty lace. Aroma is slightly subdued coffee hints on lightly toasted caramel malt light pine hops some hints of chocolate. Taste is lightly roasted malts some light caramel sweetness still present light coffee flavors and bitterness and hints of chocolate and hops finish it off. Overall not a bad porter but nothing to jump up and down about, riding the middle lane between sweet and bitter. Mouthfeel is almost medium not a very robust porter. Drinkability is good, not exciting but very drinkable

mntlover, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of alexgash
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown body with maroon edges and a thick, creamy, tan head. Good lacing.
The nose is made up of near-curdled chocolate milk, light tin, and minor roasted barley notes. Reminds me of a toned-down Viking Whole Stein with that sour tang.
Soft, sweetish milk flavors up front. Notes of chocolate come through mid-palate. Lightly bitter and roasty into the finish. Has an overall metallic echo to it. Finish is a tad bitter with lingering roasted sweetness. Not that impressive, but decent enough. Medium-bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Thanks to kmpitz2 for this bottle.

alexgash, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark color with a moderate tan head that sticks around. The aroma is dark and roasted malts and a little chocolate. Nice. The flavor has a lot of roasted malt character, but there is also some smokiness that makes things interesting. This is a pretty good porter. I'll probably have this again.

clvand0, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep maroon and mahogany with black streaks. Cream colored one-finger head leaves rings of lace on the glass.
Aroma of dark chocolate, roasted chestnuts and some dark wheat bread.
Flavors of chocolate and depply roasted coffee prevail. Little bit too much of charcoal hit and little too much roasted malt but not a bad offering.
Mouthfeel is highly carbonated maybe too mcuh so. Slightly sweet and chocolately aftertaste that is very pleasant. Thick beer.
Drinkability is good. Great if you consider it was an airport bar.

CRJMellor, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of bditty187
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Largely brown, close to black in the middle with ruby highlights, especially when held to a light. The appearance is not as dark or dense as many Porters I’ve seen. An off-white head of a finger quickly formed and then rapidly faded away to a foamy cap, thicker around the edge of the glass. The head retention could have been better. Subsequent lacing was spotty and it didn’t cling well. The bouquet is soft with notes of coffee and chocolate being the focal point. It seems like the coffee has just a touch of cream in it. The nose really isn’t that complex nor is it that potent. There is an invitation but all it really says is, “I’m a Porter.” I translate that to “drink me.” So I do. The palate is straightforward and simple, however this doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty. This is a good Porter. The malty flavors, like the nose, are coffee with a dash of cream and some stray chocolate notes and a small amount of roast. Towards the finish a fair amount of hop bitterness is found. The hops seem to impart a small amount of grassy flavor. As the aftertaste is formed a muddled dry, milky, malty, roasty taste settles on the tongue. This could be improved. The mouthfeel is a bit slight, it isn’t grossly thin but it is rather weak for the style. The carbonation is moderately low but workable. This plenty drinkable and likeable enough to drink again but I can think of many other Porters I’d pull off the shelves before this one. However if it were not for SheepNutz I would have never tried this one at all, so thanks!

bditty187, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 30, 2004
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Mitchster, Apr 20, 2004
Photo of drewbage
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

drewbage, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
2.68/5  rDev -26%
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.

yankeeheel, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

WVbeergeek, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of aracauna
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

aracauna, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

merlin48, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

far333, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of Reneejane
3.8/5  rDev +5%
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.

Reneejane, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
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!!

tavernjef, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

beerguy101, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

AtLagerHeads, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

OldFrothingSlosh, Sep 07, 2003
Photo of aaronh
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

aaronh, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

SheepNutz, Jun 27, 2003
Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
82 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.