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Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,052 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,052
Reviews: 466
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 36
Gots: 78 | 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:
Slight malt Sweetness with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and herbal hops.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,052 | Reviews: 466 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -19.4%

t0rin0, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

djrn2, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

zestar, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Left Hand in August 2009.

Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head. The smell is of roasted malt with a little bit of chocolate. Some fruits and breadiness as well. The taste is similar--nice and simple to drink without too much complexity. The body is full and is fairly drinkable for a porter--not too dry.

Thorpe429, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

metter98, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown with more than its fair share of ruby highlights; the modest cap leavessome strands and dots behind

Smell: Brown bread and chocolate, with a hint of caramel

Taste: Rather chocolatey, up front, with a growing grainy /hoppy flavor that cuts into the sweetness by mid-palate; after the swallow, an acidic coffee dimension joins the profile, but the underlying chocolate sweetness drives home in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit aqueous

Overall: Easy to drink and has a nice chocolate flavor, though it is lacking in complexity

brentk56, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Russet with pumpkin orange edges. Porters that are this clear and this, uh... non-brown... always make me wonder about their seriousness as porters. Give me opaque walnut any day. The head is also disappointing. Toasted bread ecru in color, it's about as far from thick and creamy as possible. It's also a pathetic lace generator. I'm not feeling good about this.

The nose is actually pretty good. It smells like cocoa powder with the merest whiff of coffee with cream. Although deeper and richer would be better, what has been provided is more than adequate.

Black Jack is definitely a graduate of the 'lighter porters are better porters' school of brewing. Given the body, it's amazing that there's as much flavor as there is. Unsweetened chocolate with a splash of coffee and a minimal light fruitiness make up the flavor profile. A little stray hoppiness struggles to be heard on the finish. Bitter and sweet are roughly equal and both are at a low ebb.

A more substantial body would help this beer a great deal since the basic flavors are good ones. They're in dire need of a more sturdy vehicle, something to transport them with style and allow them to remain on the taste buds for longer than an instant. While not quite a dark mild, Black Jack is on the wimpy end of the porter scale... as if that point wasn't painfully obvious by now.

Left Hand is capable of brewing outstanding dark beer (Imperial Stout) and lousy dark beer (Milk Stout). Black Jack Porter falls somewhere in the cavernous middle. It's okay, I suppose, and should be acceptable to a wide range of beer drinkers, but I'm trying my damnedest to suppress a yawn.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A much better beer than what I was anticipating. A rich black malt, chocolate, and milk sweetness to the nose. Thick and dark, almost black with a soft creamy, lightly tan head. Tastes creamy and bold without heavy sweetness or body. Chocolatey, robust, toffee, and espresso flavored. A nice lactose sweetness softens the beer considerably, offering a fermented sourness. Creamy and smooth texture. Finishes lightly chocolatey, modestly sweet, and clean for a porter. Hinges on a milk stout, otherwise, a terriffic porter.

BEERchitect, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So another in the line of regulars from Left Hand graces my glass. This one I was looking forward to as the Porters have always been a favorite of mine. This one poured a nice thick dark brown with a large creamy tan colored head on the top. Great retention let it hang around for what seemed like forever before finally being nestled down into just a thin layer across the top. The aroma was very full and sweet. Lots of chocolate roaming through it along with a touch of coffee and lots of sugar. A slight smoked presentation as well. The flavor was also very full for a porter. This almost had a stout like feel to it as it was very thick and full with a great robust profile. Lots of chocolate and coffee notes dominated it. Overall it was hard to believe this was actually not a stout. It was so full bodied, a really great porter. This would make an excellent addition to a winter lineup. A great beer and something that I will defiantly be looking forward to trying again.

mikesgroove, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +7.5%

jaydoc, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Lee.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a small off-white head.

S: Pretty typical porter aromas on this one. Starts off with a lot of roasted malt as well as some coffee. There is a mild licorice note, a touch of molasses and some earthy hops. Not a very intense nose.

T: A sort of surprising dark fruit flavor to it. Sweetness in the form of toffee which is counteracted by the mild coffee flavor and the roasted malts. Just a very light flavor of licorice and molasses.

M: The body is sort of light for a porter with a medium carbonation.

O: This wasn't too bad. I don't know if I'd seek it out again, but it was respectable.

womencantsail, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep brown color, the head was thin with a creamy tan color. The smell of the beer had some nice roasted notes without much of any hop aroma. The taste of the beer was probably the best part, it's was sort of creamy and lightly roasted. The mouthfeel was soft, gently carbonated and smooth. Overall this is a good brew in my opinion. I could see myself Drinking this one again.

Knapp85, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a medium-sized, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Somewhat mild aroma, with notes of dark malts, earthy chocolate, and one single coffee bean.

Taste: Dark malts with a small handful of roasted grains. Semi-sweet chocolate flavor along with a decent amount of sweetness. Very light bitterness, just enough to help balance things out. Hint of coffee with two teaspoons of sugar added on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Just a touch watery.

Drinkability: A solid porter that's certain to make for easy drinking.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

oberon, May 16, 2004
Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

They're givin' this out cheap now, so I decided to give it a go before my world is rocked by '80s music. It pours a dark ruby-tinged black-brown topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light coffee, dark chocolate, and a decidedly light twinge of pine. The taste holds notes of mild roasted malts, milder coffee, cocoa, and some light spruce bits. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a pretty standard, nice, unoffensive porter. Straightforward all the way.

TMoney2591, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, soapy, bubbly, cream colored head. There was minimal lacing.

S - It smelled roasty with sweet notes of chocolate, toffee and caramel.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate with a bittersweet kick. It had a mild herbal hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied porter with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice porter. I like the fact that is English-styled.

zeff80, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big beer for a porter, felt more like a stout to me on all counts. smells like very strong coffee, english dark malts, and burnt sugar. flavor is huge espresso notes up front, mellowed out by a nice chocolatey smoothness and some noticable hops in the finish. mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied, i was in this particular instance hoping for a more sessionable porter, but not the case here (although i did manage most of my sixpack nonetheless). super thick, almost sludgy at times, again much more like a stout, but im okay with that. overall i am not disappointed with this beer, it definitely pushes the envelope

StonedTrippin, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of light tan head that rests on top of a very dark brown body with slear, amber highlights. The foam settles at an average pace and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

S - Light roasted malt with notes of chocolate, licorice, red apple yeast, and a hint of smoke.

T - Dark caramel and milk chocolate comes out first. There is a little bit of licorice in the middle and some dry molasses. The beer finishes with a bit more chocolate and some fruity, red apple notes as well as light bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a nice, well rounded porter. It has a nice level of malt complexity with notes of licorice and smoke, though its sweetness and restrained roasted character prevent it from being mistaken for a stout.

nickfl, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

WVbeergeek, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The smoky and malty taste hits with a strong flavor of black coffee up front along with back ground flavors of dark fruit & dark chocolate. There's a mild hops presence that is about right for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this isn't a bad beer but there are definitely several other porters that I would pick first.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown. Tan-nish head that actually sticks around for a while, even as it falls. Nose is like mildly scented dark chocolate bits that my mother used to cook with. Flavor is surprising. Smooth and even with a more robust chocolate and roasted bean flavor than I had expected. There is almost a sweet fruit edge to it. I want to say there are very slight cherry hints, but that still might be over-exaggerating. Feel is very smooth. Goes right down. On the end of the liquid feel it seems to get a slight bit watery. I still say it is good though. Very drinkable. A pretty robust porter and one that definitely has enough character to justify trying.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Slatetank, May 15, 2013
Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 07 011 07, fresh beer yeah!

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of puffed up tan colored head. Above average lacing & good head retention

S: Roasted malt & a slight alder or beechwood smokeyness.

T: Chocolate, roasted grains & smokeyness up front. As this warms, I get dryness, a little molasses, some oaky notes & baker's chocolate. Finishes with espresso, charred (not burnt) grain

MF: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation & a nice chewyness, plus some good oilyness

Drinks too easy for the abv, this & , Odells Cutthroat, New World (Avery) porter are two of the better porters on offer from the centennial state IMO. Would pair great with dessert or game (might marinade some elk steaks I have in this)

russpowell, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, with ruby tinges, and a firm, fine, crackly cream-colored head. There's something sadly amiss in the aroma department, though: I expect bigger, bolder flavor in a robust porter, but the espresso, cocoa elements I so enjoy are being a bit shy. They're there, but they're awfully soft.
Mouthfeel is decent, balance is right on target for a porter, nice bitterness on the palate. Hops fade some in the finish, I could have used a bit more. Some chocolatey flavor lingers on the palate, but, again, not enough.
This one landed at #39 in Stuart A. Kallen's 1997 book "The 50 Greatest Beers In the World" with Samuel Smith's at 7 and Geary's at 34. I'd have to disagree. It's good, don't get me wrong, but I've been drinking a lot of Anchor Porter lately.

feloniousmonk, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of Rifugium
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with a small cap of beige head; moderate retention and a bit of lacing. Dark malts in the nose, typical of a porter, fairly roasty, coffee notes, toasted bread. More of the same in the taste, toasted grains and malts, caramel, notes of coffee and cocoa, decent balance of sweet and bitter. Body was on the lighter side of medium, carbonation was moderate. Not a bad beer overall.

Rifugium, Jan 10, 2013
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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,052 ratings.