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

Dark Star PorterDark Star Porter

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201 Ratings
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Ratings: 201
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.71%

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: 201 | Reviews: 151 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of prototypic


3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's very dark brown in color (nearly black) with a minimal head. Retention was extremely short and no lacing lined the glass.

Smell: Big roasted malt aroma up front. Dark chocolate and coffee scents creep in and give it a very full and complex smell. Slight bit of a toasted nuts in there.

Taste: Espresso and coffee flavor really predominates and probably masks some of the other flavors. Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors are there, but certainly are a distant second to the coffee. Toasted nut flavors are barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's thin and light bodied. Probably a little too thin for this style. Carbonation level is pretty good. It's relatively smooth and drinkable. Drinkability is somewhat limited by the flavor. Overall, it's a decent offering. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 03:56:44 | More by prototypic
Photo of Tilley4


3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not quite an elite porter here.

Pours not quite black. Very dark brown with a nice little tan head.

Smells pretty smoky and rich. Roasted malt and chocolate.

A little thin in the taste department. Some roasted malts and chocolate but nothing really complex.

A decent porter, but nothing really special. I like their Bearded Pat's barleywine better.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 02:20:55 | More by Tilley4
Photo of JayQue


3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice porter, nothing that special. Pours a clear dark mahogany with only a few reddish highlights at the bottom of the pint glass. Head is tan, fairly small and fades fast. Not much lacing. Smell not really there, faint roasted malts. Tastes pretty good, roasted malt and some bitter chocolate. Very pleasant, very smooth. Slightly thin mouthfeel but aside from that, a nice drink. Very drinkable, a solid but unremarkable session beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 23:49:48 | More by JayQue
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Dark brown in color, and formed a small head.

smell - Roasted malts, chocolate, and cocoa.

taste - Roasted malt and a hop bite at the end. Nice balance here.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Very nice porter, would try this again if I could.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2007 18:47:01 | More by auxiliary
Photo of wspscott


3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in pint glass (best before 2/07 so take this with a grain of salt)

A: Nice tan head, creamy with a bit of lace left behind. Color is black, almost no light comes though. Looks like a stout.
S: Hints of chocolate with some roasted aromas coming through.
T: Lots of burnt coffee hides the chocolate smell, there is a bit of sweet fruit in the end, maybe cherries. As it warms up, a lot of the burnt flavor seems to fade.
M: Highly carbed, a little too much in my opinion. Nice mouthfeel but nothing special.
D: This is a nice beer but the burnt flavor subtracts from the enjoyability. It doesn't come across as a porter, there is a little too much of a stout. Probably worth trying but not worth seeking out. I will have to try a fresher sample (and update then) to make a good decision but I suspect this is not going to be one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 01:44:10 | More by wspscott
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is an espresso color with good carbonation. The head is close to 2 fingers, tan, fades mildly leaving a nice lace.

The smell is ok more sweet malt then anything but there are hints of char.

The taste is more burnt dark roasted coffee, and dark fruits.

The Mouthfeel seems this yet with good carbonation.

The drinkability is good, not a bad beer, I'm glad a tried it.

Prosit MK

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2007 21:32:21 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of kenito799

New York

3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before date March 2008. Purchased at BBC S. 4th St, Louisville.

Pours a dark brown coffee color, small tan head recedes to a ring, some tiny wisps of lace left.

Aroma is pleasant, chocolate and roasted notes. One the palate, all roasted bitterness, cocoa, both hop and char bitterness in the finish. A bit too much bitterness without a lot of complexity...certainly a decent beer but does not thrill. Likely better on tap, worth another try when at a BBC brewpub.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 00:47:42 | More by kenito799
Photo of IPAcraig


3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in Nashville. Watching Sopranos while pouring this into a pint glass.

Pours nearly black with a tinge of brown. The absence of any head makes this a less than an appealing looking beer.

Smells like a brown, slightly nutty, with a bit more malty sweetness. A touch of roastiness.

Fairly bland ... a bit of caramel with a touch of roastiness. A bit too sweet for my taste.

It has a nice medium thick body, which was pleasant and unexpected given the semi-blandness.

Meh ... I wont be seeking this one out again. But a fairly enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 01:29:24 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of brdc


4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2007 03:36:10 | More by brdc
Photo of TheBierBand


3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2007 04:59:46 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2007 00:21:17 | More by Gavage
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +16%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 06:34:51 | More by atsprings
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2007 00:44:24 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of Matthew


3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 19:59:27 | More by Matthew
Photo of JMD71


3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2007 20:00:11 | More by JMD71
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 04:08:09 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of UnionMade


3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2007 09:14:18 | More by UnionMade
Photo of MDekker


3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 02:51:01 | More by MDekker
Photo of ndekke39


3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 04:03:48 | More by ndekke39
Photo of geexploitation


3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 04:09:34 | More by geexploitation
Photo of mjc410


3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2006 03:31:06 | More by mjc410
Photo of John1985


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 22:29:36 | More by John1985
Photo of NEhophead


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 13:23:39 | More by NEhophead
Photo of gpcollen1


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 01:34:26 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of fightingwords


3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2006 18:28:28 | More by fightingwords
Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
82 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.