Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

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1,222 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,222
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 46
Gots: 145 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

Slight malt Sweetness with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and herbal hops.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,222 | Reviews: 499
Reviews by Goosehunter75:
Photo of Goosehunter75
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

More User Reviews:
Photo of beaulabauve
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Weak watered-down brew, with no backbone.

Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a thin head that leaves a trace of lacing,aroma of coffee and fruit with some bitter chocolate as well but it is subdued.Taste has a fruity edge to it with some milk chocolate and earth it mingles pretty well together.A pretty solid porter what have liked a little more muscle to it but good none the less.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC

Arrived at the table in a tapered pint glass, showing off a very dark brown color and a modest 3/4 inch of creamy light brown foam. Head retention was decent on this and there was good lacing all the way down the glass.

The aromas on this were a little different as there seemed to me to be something on the order of molasses mixed in with a light mocha smells. There was something else reminiscent of black licorice but very faint. It all came together quite nicely.

The flavors for this weren't quite as complex as the aromas, but that doesn't make this brew bad by any stretch. Nice full mouthfeel combines with robust flavors of chocolate and light coffee. That creamy head foreshadows a similar silky texture as it wraps around the tongue while light carbonation dances across the taste buds. The finish starts a touch on the sweet side but goes dry pretty quickly with moderate lingering of coffee.

Complex, solid flavors, and smooth textures make this brew quite enjoyable. I only had one but it made an impression. Recommended to the porter lovers out there.

Photo of Todd
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Bottled on date stamped on the side.

Appearance: Very dark brown with ruby hues. Pours foamy and thick, then settles to a tan creamy, patchy lace.

Smell: Roasty, touch of smoke and light grain aromas.

Taste: Real smooth and creamy. Full-bodied and near robust. Carbonation is tight. Roasted malt flavours come forth first with a typical black malt astringency. The beer goes crisp, a bit dry. Chocolate, liquorice and dark fruit flavours follow within the beer's sweet malt profile. A touch of hop bitterness and flavour is present, mixing with the roasted astrigency to just about balance the beer. Aftertaste is dry with grain flavours.

Notes: One of the better Porters to have passed along my palate in a while. Just the right level of sweetness and astringency

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - Direct pour produced a minimal tan head that disappeared almost immediately. Very dark brown and opaque.

S - Roasted malt, dark chocolate, simple black breakfast coffee, hint of burnt caramel. Some hops appear in the nose as it warms in the glass.

T - Burnt toast, bitter chocolate. Bitter chocolate spread on burnt toast. An over-baked dark chocolate cookie.

M - Somewhat creamy with moderate carbonation. Reasonable body. Finish is drier than expected from the style, and disappears pretty quickly, making it seem thinner than it is.

D - Not smoked/burnt roasted enough to be an American pseudo-stout, but lacks any sweetness to balance the bitter chocolate taste like a good porter. Imagine drinking quite bitter dark chocolate without the melt-in-your-mouth creaminess.

Photo of tigg924
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark brown with a small head

Smell: malt, molasses, chocolate, and a taste of caramel

Taste: Not nearly as complex as the smell. cream in the beginning followed by an expresso finish

Mouthfeel: sharp, crisp, dry, medium bodied, with a bitter taste right before a sweeter finish

Drinkability: This is not a bad beer by any stretch. It is a victim of timing. I have had a lot of excellent porters lately and this is not up to the same degree. If this was in a variety pack, I would have fun consuming--however I am more likely to get one of those other porters as a single first.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the beer poured a dark brown with rust colored highlights when held up to a light. The head was thick, khaki colored and creamy.

The beer smells of roasted malts and coffee, which is also how the beer tasted. The taste also featured some chocolate notes.

This is my first beer from Left Hand and I have was very impressed. I would definitely order this again.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle poured into a nonic glass.

Mahogany with ruby red highlights,nice color. 2" creamy light tan head with good retention leaving a nice pillowy layer with spotty lacing.

Dark sweet fruity aroma,clean and pleasing moderate malty aromas carmelly with some cocoa and coffee. Hints of licorace and vanilla also.

Moderate roasty tastes with lots of cocoa/chocolate. Good balance with a clean pleasing citusy finish.

Very smooth with a lighter feeling body,colud pass for a brown ale. Easy drinking beer could put a few of these away.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color but some light will seep through when held up to a light source. A fingernail of off white head surrounds the rim and not even a quarter of the top. Aroma is sweet dark malt, plum, and faint leather. I taste sweet dark malt and faint smoke. There's a slight pine hop bitterness in the finish. The mouth is smooth and lightly chewy.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2/07/07. Pours a dark brown with a caramel bottom. Two-finger off-white head recedes quickly, but leaves behind a sheet of sticky lacing.

It's smells of sweet malt and cocoa, along with some grain. The flavor is dominated by the chocolate and roasted malt, along with hops and a bit of alcoholic sherry presence on the finish.

It's medium-bodied and easy drinking. Has nice complexity, as is oscillates back between the sweet/bittersweet and the roasted and charred elements. Would not turn one of these down.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with garnet hues around the edges. A light brown frothy head rises up minimally and settles to a fine cap of thin foam.

Aroma of roasty malt and cocoa, a bit of raisin.

Flavors of richly roasted dark malt, cocoa, and espresso. Some oak and charred bark, plus a cherry tartness in the finish. Mild hops flourish in the back of the mouth, cocoa lingers, followed by oaky notes.

Rich and fairly full mouthfeel. Tasty beer, very drinkable.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-transparent brown with a thick taupe head. Lots of retention and lacing.

Smells weakly of coffee and a little bit cocoa.

Tastes nice and malty up front with quite an assertive, astringent oaky bite to it. Slightly acidic ripples of charcoal come to mind. Finishes nice and smooth with just an essence of the cafe and chocolate ebbing away.

Mouthfeel is just a scant thin for a baltic porter.

It's a nice beer after a long week.

Photo of niknar
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A pleasant porter with a very dark brown color. I was a little disappointed by the head however, as it disappeared quickly. I am assuming that my glass was thoroughly clean, but there is a slight chance that this may have affected the head.

The aroma is dinstinctly marked by chocolate and roasted malt. It was quite sweet and enticing, but almost dominated by the chocolate alone. It seemed to me as if there was a slightly fruity element underneath the chocolate that was just dying to be released.

Taste is quite nice, though the chocolate flavors seem to be a little over-done for my personal tastes.

The only notable black mark against this otherwise fine beer is its mouth feel. I would describe it as thin... definitely not what you expect out of a porter style beer.

Depsite the lack of body in this beer (a significant factor to my personal enjoyment of porter styles), it is still quite good. This is my first experience with the Left Hand Brewing Company, and I would definitely like to try more of there offerings.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

English Porter, not my style. Looks ok, kinda dark, thick, we're off to a good start.

Taste, eh, why do all English Porter's taste like a little bit of licorice and rubbing alcohol?

Mouthfeel, well, mahogany accompanies the licorice and alcohol. Not too drinkable.

Photo of ADR
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short but staying caramel head. Unexpectedly light in color, amber. Nice malt/carbonation balance (not highly carbed). An initial dark malt, intersected by a side-cutting tofee and coffee sweetness. Overall, a distinctly sweetened coffee flavor. A little thin. Nice.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a dark mahogany with ruby highlights it's hard to call this porter black especially when held toward the light. It forms a creamy light khaki colored head that dwindles typically with non descript even fine lacing. Aromatics offer up a touch of black licorice aka anise, with a roasted malt character bringing out some dark chocolate and mild coffee accent notes. Herbal hops in the back ground, a bit of caramel complements the party as well. Flavor brings out the dominant caramel presence with a touch of roasted malt characteristics including the mild coffee and dark chocolate, again a mild herbal hop bitterness in the finish for some balance. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated, there is a harsh bitterness that is left on the palate giving me an aftertaste that I don't truly care for between sips. Drinkability overall is decent not my favorite dark that's would have to be their milk stout, but this will do for now average dark brown/porter style ale.

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  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.

Photo of Aahstone
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Recommended. Not my favourite porter but certainly one to come back to. Not as flavoursome as the 6.8% ABV might suggest.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer has a deep brown almost opaque crystal clear body with some tiny bubbles visible. The head is a thin creamy light tan with some big bubbles that last for a bit.

S- This beer has a soft smooth brown malt aroma with a hint of sweet molasses.

T- This beer has some nice roasted and burn malt qualities with a brown malt finish. The finish is slightly sweet but very soft. As it warms there is a note of roasted coffee in the grain that is nice.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a bit of a watery texture at the finish. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- The slight sweetness and darker malts add some interest but the finish doesn't offer much.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown beer with a strong creamy tan head. As light hits the edges the beer reveals leathery brown and garnet highlights. The head dissipates to a collar and bubbly island mixed with some fine lacing.

Smell is rich with dark chocolates with a decadent sweetly scorched malt then in the second sniff its... musty malts. I'm slightly confused by this one, in one whiff its great and then in the next it smells like stale beer. It is more good then bad but it's got to make you wonder.

Taste is buttery sweet with a nice touch of bitterness. A big burnt malt taste gives a nice smokiness to this beer. There are some dark bittersweet chocolates following the initial taste that subsides quickly to a slightly sour finish. Mouthfeel is moderately dry with a tiny bit of smoked chalkiness.

Not bad for a porter. I like the simple flavors that make up the layers of this beer. Dark but not too dark, sweet but not overly saccharine, bitter but not too sour. I think this is a good workhorse of a beer. It isn't a very big or innovative porter but it has my thumbs up.

Photo of FleeVT
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle; bottled on 01/12/08
A: Poured a dark coffee color with a little light penetration. Not much head to speak of.
S: Sweetened coffee and malt dominate with a smoky backdrop.
T: All the smells come through on the palate. First comes coffee, followed by the malt and maple syrupy sweetness, finishing with a slight hop bitterness. A longer finish than I would have expected, but it's great. Fantastic balance in this one.
M: Nice smooth beer with medium to heavy body, for a porter.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that completely dissolved away into a few wispy clouds of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Pretty weak in the aroma department. I do get some faint notes of roasted malt and a touch of brown sugar, but only very faint notes.

Taste: Not weak in the flavor, though! This beer is delicious! Strong flavors of roasted malt, imparting notes of toasted pumpernickel bread and a slight touch of coffee, followed by lots of brown sugar-like sweetness, a touch of star anise or licorice, finished by a touch of nicely balanced floral hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and very creamy as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 6.8%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a damn good porter! Great flavors of toasted malt and brown sugar! Delicious!

Photo of weonfire
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown almost black. Light penetrates through. Pencil head. Dissipates after 1 min.

S - Smokey, Chocolate, carmel maybe?

T - A bit smokey. Slight burnt taste- but less than other porters, which is a good thing (the burnt taste i find very bad)

M - Fuller then other porters. Thin. Low viscosity.

O - I have never been impressed with a porter and this once again does not fulfill that task. Average at best. Luckily, this isn't real smokey. In a list of porters I may choose this but overall I would not order this again.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,222 ratings.