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Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

906 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 906
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.86%

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 906 | Reviews: 455 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mistro


3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black Jack has a nice dark complexion right out of the bottle. Smells of a dark roast of coffee with hints of cocoa present. Taste is nutty and filled with coffee, with the chocolate coming in late with a bitter hop finish. A good porter, remarkably easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 04:50:43 | More by Mistro
Photo of metter98

New York

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but is clear very dark reddish brown when held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted chocolate malts are present in the nose.
T: Compared to the smell, the taste seems to have stronger flavors of chocolate malts and less in the way of roasted malts. The hops lend a light amount of bitterness, which is most noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this porter to be very easy to drink. I would definitely consider this beer to be sessionable. The aromas and flavors from the chocolate malts are particularly inviting.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 19:40:37 | More by metter98
Photo of Mojo


3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - pours up a deep mahogany brown with a creamy light tan head about two inches in height, not much in the way of retention or lacing.

S - kind of one dimensional, mostly a mild chocolate smell

T - very malt forward with a lot of chocolate notes. Finishes with a slight roasted taste.

M - kind of thin and watery.

O - This is an easy drinking beer. I would drink more of these without hesitation. My problem is that it is just born to be mild and doesn't really distinguish itself.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 04:14:32 | More by Mojo
Photo of mattLummus


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really good Porter. Light head and nutty aroma. Mild carbonation and a really smooth body. Dark roasted flavor offset with a soft sweetness, taste some vanilla. Finish is nice and bright with a little bitter hoppiness. Great beer with balance in taste and body.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 03:15:31 | More by mattLummus
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of 04/23/2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Left Hand Brewing Co.'s year-round line up. My bottle lists a 6.80% abv rather than 6.40% abv. Expectations are above average since I've been generally impressed by this brewery.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola mahogany colored body with some ruby highlights when held to the light. One finger of small khaki-tan foam head. Looks pretty good.

S - Smell is of dark malt roast, chocolate, cream, coffee beans, & some citrus / herbal hop presence on the end.

T - Taste is of dark chocolate bitterness, coffee bean & dark malt roast, herbal earthiness, and just a twang of citrus on the finish. Very dark, robust, and flavorful.

M - Feel finishes smooth and creamy. Full-bodied, yet still light and drinkable, with excellent carbonation.

Overall, I would say this was one of the better porters that I've had in recent memory. Very deep, dark, and robust. This definitely hits the spot on a cold winter's day. Recommended.

Left Hand Brewing Black Jack Porter ---4/5.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 04:05:45 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of CFHMagnet


3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An aggressive pour gets me just a tiny bit of head that is gone as soon as it is poured.

Smells of well toasted malt, with chocolate and a kiss of coffee.

Toasty malt mixes well with chocolate and a bit of coffee. Subtle but very good.

The body is medium-heavy. The feel is very smooth.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 04:59:30 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of SPThirtyThree


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought the label read "Black Sack." I'm not touching that one...

Pours murder black but lets a few jets of deep ruby through when held to the sun. A thin, half-finger head quickly drops leaving some ramdon swirls of bubble film and a lumpy collar. The lack of head retention seems to be an obvious fault.

Smells malty, roasty, and clean. I let it warm to about 50°F and now I'm being rewarded for my patience. Chewy toffee, fig, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and all the usual players in a delicious roasty beer, alongside a slightly floral hop that's present, but certainly takes a backseat to the dark malts. Some salty coconut as well.

Black J(s)ack tastes just as the nose suggested, though perhaps a bit more acrid than I'd hoped. Starts sweet and malty, finishes dry and chocolatey, with just a hint of smoke. It's quite straightforward, but very delicious. The finish is so dry and crisp and has such a good, mocha aftertaste that I keep going back for another sip.

The body is medium/thin, and the carbonation is low, but I think both of these attributes really highlight the smoothness of the beer and let the flavor stand with less distraction. There's a roasty bitterness towards the finish that dominates the mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is great. I would say it's pretty drinkable, although it's very filling. I would recommend to anyone looking for a dark, roasty 'Robust Porter,' and will definitely buy again. Certainly a contender for my 'go-to beer' for the upcoming winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 22:57:09 | More by SPThirtyThree
Photo of Mikecap


3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours black with two fingers of foamy brownish head that fades to a nice chunky lace on the sides of my glass.

Smell: Lots of chocolate up front with hints of roast and coffee, also some earthiness from the hops. A decent aroma and what I'd expect from a porter brewed with chocolate and espresso.

Taste: Chocolate, a good deal of it with a nice balance of mild hoppiness and a bit of coffee. Could use a bit more coffee to me but still tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very drinkable with a creamy texture and smooth finish.

Overall: A solid porter that is definitely worth a try. I was hoping for a bit more of the espresso component but the chocolate through in a nice porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 16:32:38 | More by Mikecap
Photo of MrBoz21


4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Light comes through and creates ruby/black hue. Pours with stiff beige head that quickly settles, leaving minimal lacing.

Smell: Notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee. Refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Semi-dry, not slick. Moderate carbonation.

Taste: Nutty/chocolate/coffee maltiness. Mild roast and very drinkable.

Overall: A bit dry and unsubstantial for a porter, almost comes across as a roasty black lager (with less carbonation). Style aside, the beer is drinkable and tasty and 2-3 can be quaffed in a sitting. At 6.4%, this is a very smooth and balanced.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 01:29:51 | More by MrBoz21
Photo of ryan1788a5


3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown with burnt red hues. Off white head is very short lived. a thin, broken ring of lacing remains.

S: Carob, cola, brown cocoa powder. Hints of berry. Faint earthy yeast. Good, but a little muted.

T: Carob and nutty yeast. Brown cocoa powder. Cola. Hint of leather. Fig and faint berry. Tame roast going into the finish. Carob and faint charcoal in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Very creamy. Low carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

O: More in the vein of an English brown porter, which I was not expecting. No bells and whistles, but it's tasty and very approachable.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 23:24:47 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of donteatpoop


4.36/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The last new beer that I tried has been the only beer I've bought from my last four outings. Generally I try to mix it up now and then, alternating from 3 solid beers with an occasional new one thrown in. But lately all I've been drinking is Left Hand's Black Jack Porter.

Chocolate, toasted malts, and coffee balanced by a dry hop tinged lightly with bitterness. Wonderfully complex flavor and thick and chewy on the palate.

I've read some bad reviews about it claiming that there isn't enough flavor in it. I strongly disagree. I think maybe people are drinking it too cold. It's best lightly chilled, like 50-55 degrees or so.

Left Hand Brewing Black Jack Porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 04:51:14 | More by donteatpoop
Photo of Goosehunter75


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a chocolate color with an almost ruby hue to it. Also has about a half finger off white head with ok retention

S - It has a nice roasted aroma with hints of toffee and chocolate

T - Very tasty. I'm impressed. Big toffee and caramel flavors upfront followed by roasted malts and a very slight chocolate taste

M - A lighter porter. Not watery tasting or feeeling but not your typical medium to heavy porter either. It does have a nice mouthfeel and is extrmely smooth!

O - A very drinkable porter. Would even call it sessionable. It has outstanding flavor and it is very smooth. Definately a keeper!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2013 12:52:49 | More by Goosehunter75
Photo of ALZ

New Mexico

3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A decent but not outstanding porter. Chocolate color with not much of a head. Smells biscuity with a few hints of chocolate. Kind of lacking in taste; follows suit with the scent and malty with a little bitterness at the end. It's not very strong or full-bodied compared to other porters I've had. Quaffable but not something I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 20:27:05 | More by ALZ
Photo of tronester


3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a Dark ruby/brown with a thin tan head. Aromas of Christmas spices and a hint of coffee. Taste begins with some tart fruit, followed by some dark chocolate, finishing with a piney, earthy, woody bitter finish. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a good Porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 01:18:18 | More by tronester
Photo of Maakun


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle in pint glass. Not much of a head. Colour is very dark, somewhere between cola and strong black coffee.

Smell has biscuits, chocolate, tobacco, coffee, some fresh fruits.

Taste starts sweet, with dark fruits and dades, a light touch of citrus. Not that big on malts, but I get a nice taste of sweet biscuits. Then some chocolate, very dark and bitter. Something slightly burned, tobacco and some ashes. Finishes with a nice hoppy bitterness with a slight hint of grapefruit.

Mouth is medium, not that much carbonation, it's actually a little dry... Not what I'd expected, but I quite enjoy it.

Overall this is a vey enjoyable beer. Love the complexity of the taste!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 18:51:11 | More by Maakun
Photo of jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of March 2013, so it's a little out of date. ABV is stated as 6.8%. Picked up a while back from Trembling Madness in York and stored in my garage. I hope it hasn't deteriorated unduly. For some reason there is a squid on the label....

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark reddish-brown hue with light carbonation. Yields a decent head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of roasted malt with hints of burnt grain, mild coffee, chocolate, faint molasses and earthy yeast. Initially a metallic note was present but it disappeared after a while. Understated but pleasant.

Tastes of roasted malt with a dry bitter finish. Notes of burnt grain, mild coffee, subtle chocolate, a hint of molasses/caramel and earthy yeast. Dark and well-attenuated, with a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and slightly tingly, with decent carbonation but a rather insubstantial body for the style. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of bitter roasted malt and earthiness.

Not bad but not exceptional. Looks a bit lacklustre, though the aroma is nicely rounded. Flavour is OK but not amazing - it lacks depth. Body is a bit too thin. A worthy effort, but it doesn't match the best porters I've tried - increased fruitiness in the flavour/aroma might improve it. There is the possibility that it has faded over time, although it doesn't seem off. Worth sampling, but no need to hunt it down.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 00:48:34 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of shand


3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Left Hand Milk Stout is ubiquitous now. Everywhere you look, it's on nitro tap, and the Nitro bottles bring the experience home. Black Jack Porter doesn't get that kind of attention at all. It's the black sheep of the Left Hand lineup. Black Jack Porter pours a red-tinged deep brown with a couple fingers of head. The aroma is coffee and roast forward, a little on the burnt side, and there's something sweet here that doesn't quire meld. The taste is actually rather similar to their Milk Stout, just take out the lactose and push the coffee to the forefront instead of the chocolate. It's been a while since I've had a non-nitro Milk Stout, but I remember the normal variant having a similar mouthfeel - creamy and lightly carbonated. The drinkability is solid. Overall, Black Jack Porter was a good drink, but I'll take the Nitro Milk Stout over it every day.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 23:45:45 | More by shand
Photo of NateEmz


4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a beer mug.

I have been eyeing this beer at my local liquor store for a few weeks now and decided to give it a go. I usually like my Porters so I was anxious to give this a try.

Pours very dark with little head. Smells of chocolate and caramel. Could sit and smell this beer all night, absolutely love it. The taste was as equally impressive. Caramel flavor with just minor bitterness. Very drinkable and found myself downing an entire 6 pack before I knew it. I'm looking forward to trying more from Left hand.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 01:23:39 | More by NateEmz
Photo of captenaj


3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Seems thin and flat with a minimal head. Color is a beautiful deep brown, almost black.
S: Rich coffee aroma with a hint of chocolate.
T: Malty coffee and some chocolate. The alcohol is obvious but not over powering.
M: Thin and watery.

I enjoyed this beer but was a little disappointed. Perhaps I was mentally comparing this to Left Hand Milk Stout, one of my favorites, and it falls short. Overall, a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 00:33:03 | More by captenaj
Photo of DiscGolfRobot


3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served around 50 degrees in an american pint glass.

A: Brown with a slight reddish hue. One finger light tan head that quickly dissipates. Clarity is a bit opaque.
S: Malty sweet aroma. Light grain and roast. Small amount of esters from an English yeast. After a few drinks I can notice a bit more roast and some chocolate notes coming forward.
T: Strong initial toffee and caramel flavors followed by darker toasted and roasted notes.
M: Initially feels a bit heavy but some bitterness and carbonation at the end cleaned most if that up. Body is medium as well as the carbonation. Flavor lingers just enough on the back of the palette not being cloying.
O: Good solid porter that I could have a few of.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 02:45:59 | More by DiscGolfRobot
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a goblet.
The beer poured with moderate size, irregular tan head over the top of a very dark but clear brown body that looks nearly black in the glass. The head settles to a partial coat at a rather fast pace, but then lingers and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

Aroma - Roasted malt with a hint of hops and faint notes of chocolate and warms sugars.

T - More flavor than suggested by the aroma, including a stronger (but mild) spicy hop presence, and notes of toffee, caramel, licorice and roasted nuts. The beer finishes with a light bitterness and a subtle touch of smoke. Overall, excellent sweet/bitter balance. No burnt notes.

M - Medium body is about average for style. Moderate carbonation is well chosen, adding some light pricking to an otherwise creamy smooth feel.

O - This is a nice, well rounded porter. Not particularly strong, rich or complex, but easy drinking, tasty and well-crafted.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 02:09:39 | More by chinchill
Photo of CaptMaelstrom


3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass.

A: Not much head or lacing to speak of. Dark brown-red in color, transparent all the way through.

S: Best part of this beer, unfortunately. I get a big cocoa/baker's chocolate smell up front, with a little bit of a sweetened coffee smell. None of the herbal hops that were advertised.

T/M: This beer is kind of watery, and maybe I'm partial to stouts, but I've had some really full feeling porters lately that this just doesn't match up to. I do get some toasty coffee and some cocoa notes and the carbonation isn't overkill, but this beer doesn't have much lasting power.

O: Maybe this beer was designed to be a session beer? I can't help but long for creamier, richer, more complex beers like Old Rasputin or Greenman's People's Porter after drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 23:57:09 | More by CaptMaelstrom
Photo of KFBR392


3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Looks like what a porter should. Very dark but definitely not the pitch darkness of an imperial porter or stout. About a half finger of lacing on the pour which dissipated and was not present throughout.

Smell: There is a slight malt sweetness here. Mild burnt toffee and some light to medium chocolate in the back of the aroma. Nothing to go crazy about and really is not a major player with this brew.

Taste: The biggest thing that jumps out to me is the slightly artificial sweet caramel malt flavor. Really bright, almost much to bright for me. Underneath the sweetness is some subtle hop bitterness. Leaves a chalky flavor on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Not great, a light body surprisingly brings some sour tones on the palette.

Overall: Not crazy about this brew. Not something I would buy again, but is decent overall. For a similar price go get yourself some Founders Porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 03:28:16 | More by KFBR392
Photo of LuDookie

4.73/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I can't believe this beer got such a low average. I put this beer very close to the Left Hand Milk Stout, if not better.

Poured this from the bottle into a mug.

It didn't look too dark pouring nor thick, and had no head....all gigs....but it's no pale ale!

It smelled like a typical Porter, no funky sweetness or aromas.

It tasted great...Smooth, somewhat hoppy with a nice roast, and a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel was smooth, with light to moderate carbonation.

I was surprised by this beer. It tastes better than its name suggest, which told me it might be a bit bitter being a black jack. It is incredibly smooth and rich.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 01:24:37 | More by LuDookie
Photo of BlackBelt5112203

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, cream-colored head. Decent retention but not much lacing. Clear with some appreciable bubbles through the darkness. I’d like for it to be a bit darker with some better head retention, but it still looks good.

S – I definitely get cocoa and coffee at first sniff. The more I smell it, some caramel and toasted, nutty malts join the party, too.

T – It starts off sweet with cocoa and caramel, followed by some toasted malts and a hint of licorice. Soon after the initial sweetness, a smooth roasted coffee bitterness comes into play. Some earthy hop bitterness may be there, as well.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with pretty good carbonation, a somewhat creamy and mouth-coating feel, and a bittersweet and wet finish. I can’t pick out a particular flavor that lingers more than any others, but the entire taste of the beer just seems to stay on the tongue for a while.

O – I was pretty impressed with this porter. Normally, I think of porters as thinner versions of stouts with less robust aromas and tastes. Not so with this beer. While the appearance has me wishing for more, the aroma and taste is pretty damn good. The mouthfeel is one of the best around for a porter as far as I’m concerned. This one is not thin by any means. This is an all-around very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 04:01:55 | More by BlackBelt5112203
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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 906 ratings.