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Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

503 Reviews
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Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

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

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Slight malt Sweetness with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and herbal hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 503 | Ratings: 1,324
Photo of Jeffsta1
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A bit pale for a porter. Brown with hints of red.

Malty bouquet, with hints of sweet corn (?!). No Pilsener notes, at least.

Decent taste. Not especially intense. Malty, hints of chocolate, licorice. True to type, no mistaking this for a stout.

Slightly resinous hints on the finish.

Nice mouthfeel, richer than the color suggests, a bit more carbonation than I prefer.

Overall a decent porter. Nothing to write home about, but fine to buy again if one is in the mood for a porter and there's no better alternative on the shelf.

Downgraded on second try of this. Don't re-buy.

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Photo of beergoot
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Reddish-hued brown body; thick, dense off-white head. Mild wood ash and mild chocolate aroma. Faint presence of charred grain; light bitterness; bitter chocolate. Soft and mild body; weak and watery; mostly dry finish.

It's definitely a dark ale yet lacks the flavor and body of a real porter. Other than the ABV, this brew lacks depth and character with the flavor and body. If you're looking for a session Cascadian dark ale, perhaps this would fit the bill, but if you're in the mood for a luscious, sumptuous classic porter, you are advised to look elsewhere.

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Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Don't be fooled by the BA score of 84. This is literally a perfect porter. The first time I had it, it blew me away. The second time I had it I got it on tap at a bar and it was even better. Smooth and chocolatey with a roasted coffee aroma, it was nearly too beautiful to drink. As the beer warmed up the flavours became even more pronounced. This beer is beyond a score of 84, I'm not exactly a 'beer expert' but I know that everyone I know who has had this porter has raved about it. Go out and give it a try.

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Photo of Trueant1
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice off white head that dissipates quickly. decent lacing. Brown color on the pour sits in glass almost black. Smells of sweet raisins, cocoa, and some off flavors of , hmmm how can i describe? "dank"
Tastes of old coffee, red wine, sweet figs, and pepper.Very robust flavors in your face. If this one were a double...it would become an Old Rasputin. Very sweet porter...a tad too thin for my liking. but Very solid brew overall.
Great job again Left Hand!

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Photo of interzen
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Look: Struck me as being rather light for a porter - dark, translucent brown with some nice ruby highlights. Fairly thin, bubbly head with good retention. Not much in the way of lacing - some, but not much.

Smell: My immediate thoughts were that it smelt a bit like a watered-down version of Sam Smiths Chocolate Stout. Perhaps a bit unfair, but a fairly good point of reference. There's quite a chocolatey aroma, along with some coffee notes and the barest hint of hops. Roasted malt smells, if they were there at all, were not evident.

Taste: More coffee than chocolate, with a bit of zing from the hops. There's a hint of slightly medicinal herbs too - think in terms of liquorice or sasparilla - it doesn't dominate by any means, but it's just 'there' and enough to add a bit of extra interest.

Feel: Medium body with fairly light carbonation - the coffee and chocolate flavours make it feel a bit 'chalky' in the mouth, but the flavour profile makes up for it. Nice bitterness in the finish.

Overall: Another win for Left Hand in my book - it doesn't displace their Milk Stout as my favourite Left Hand brew but as porters go this is a mighty good one.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby color. The head is one and a half fingers high, and off-white in shade. The retention isn't anything special, but it has a nice texture. Streaks of lacing stick to the glass. (3.25)

Smell: Nothing impressive, unfortunately. I get some notes of brown sugar, along side some subtle milk chocolate. Some light floral hopping comes through, as well. This aroma just doesn't pop at all. (2.75)

Taste: The flavor doesn't pop, either. Starts with a little brown sugar, and finishes with some chocolaty roast. Hops are moderately light yet evident. Welp, that's about it. Pretty damn boring if you ask me. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, it has a neutral finish (neither overly sweet nor dry). On the other hand, vibrant carbonation helps it go down easily. It doesn't feel like nearly 7%...then again, it doesn't taste like 7%, either. (3.25)

Overall: Meh. While there's nothing really wrong with it, it's just really dull. With all the great porters on the market, there just isn't any reason to revisit this one. (2.75)

2.83/5: Whoops, I just went bust

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bit light for a porter, has some auburn notes, little to no head retention at all. Aroma is malty and sweet. Tastes very simple for a porter. Everything about this beer is a little bit thinner than what I was hoping for. Good carbonation. Overall not bad, but there are definitely a lot of better porters out there.

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Photo of 10Crumra
3.14/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured the beer from a 12 oz bottle into a pub glass as suggested on the bottle. I also tried to match the bottle’s suggestion of a drinking temperature between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

The beer poured a dark brown with a thin layer of slightly tan foam which quickly disappeared leaving only a slight ring of lace.

It had a caramel smell with hints of something I could not quite pin down, it was like a bitter coffee smell with a fruity twist.

I found the taste underwhelming. It wasn’t bad per se but I though it lacked any strong flavors. It was slightly bitter. I would describe the taste as slightly creamy and roasty with occasional hints of chocolate. I was disappointed that the caramel smell didn’t come through in the tasting.

The beer had a light to medium feel with minimal carbonation. I found it to be surprisingly watery.

Overall I found the beer to be somewhat disappointing. It did not have any particularly bad qualities but it did not give me much of a reason to come back for more. I would drink it again but I won’t be actively searching for it.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Sampled last night on 12/2/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Pours a very dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights in color, very close to black. Has a thin beige head with some spotty lacing seen when sipped. The aroma is of dark roasted malts, cocoa, and a hint of vanilla. More going on with the taste with a hint of black coffee and even a wee bit of black licorice in the mix. A tasty Porter that isn't over done at all. Medium+-bodied with perfect carbonation. Really liked this one!

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Photo of Immortale25
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Bottleneck says Best By 04/05/15.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small specs behind on the glass.

S- Cocoa, mild vanilla and a tinge of booze.

T- Flavor is balanced between bitter and sweet with the dark roasted malt creating some milk chocolate notes along with the aforementioned vanilla.

M- Slick with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A straightforward porter that leans more toward the chocolaty side but isn't very sweet.

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Photo of Kris450
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

This was HEAVY. A meal on its own. I love and have had many porters, but this one seemed denser than normal. Rich chocolate and Carmel notes. I will say, the label had me slightly confused. The "J" kind of looks like an 'S", and I'm genuinely uncomfortable drinking something called "Black Sack." Ami alone in this?!

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Photo of ColdOneKev
4/5  rDev +7.5%

A - Black body, white head really pops in contrast. Low lacing.
S - Cocoa, coffee. Sweet chocolate, not really any roastiness.
T - Chocolate, dark malts, coffee. Really well balanced.
M - Medium/thick body. Feels like it could be a stout. Coats the palate. Coffee bitterness lingers.
O - One of the better porters I've had in a while. My favorite character is the smoothness of the body.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BBD 3/09/15. Very dark amber pour, but not opaque, with a dark ruby element. Below average head, lacing and retention. Very weak nose of roast and chocolate over a mineral note. Nice medium body with a touch of creamy texture. Below normal carbonation with minimal effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is outstanding - intense, balanced and complex. It begins with bitter dark chocolate that flows into a blend of light roast and coffee. The middle is moderate hop bitterness over a light sweetness with nut and grain characteristics. The finish is somewhat clean with a slightly astringent note.

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Photo of corywalston
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A. Slightly aggressive poor ¼ inch white/tan head. No carbonation. Amber in color.
S. Sweet, soy sauce, malt.
T. Cola, light chocolate. The soy sauce is only in the smell. Cannot taste the alcohol.
M. Refreshing, watery. I have to stop myself from slamming the whole glass because it goes down so quick.
O. Slightly above average porter. I would recommend to porter drinkers. Pretty decent buzz for 6.8%. The label is awesome like the rest of LF labels.

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Photo of horshack7
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rather dark almost black with shades of mahogany. On top is a light beige head only a finger thick.

Aroma: Espresso in the front with dark chocolate in tow. Slight burnt hop notes, dark roasted malts all through it.

Taste: Very sweet and bready a little bit like brown bread and molasses. Chocolate malts, roasted hops, lots of espresso. The mouthfeel is smooth with a light dry finish.

Notes: A very good example of the style and quite drinkable. I will certainly pick this one up again. Cheers.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%

This isn't my favorite Left Hand beer, but it's a pretty good porter nonetheless. Has the requisite coffee and chocolate flavor of a porter, but not as smoky as some. Probably would go for their Milk Stout if given the choice between the two.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%

Thanks for tossing this my way Pete! Enjoyed from a left hand globe.

Brew pours a watery black with a thin off grey head that doesn't hang out long but leaves some spotty lace.
Nose is roast and char with chocolate backbone.
Taste is pretty down the middle with a good amount of porter char and roasted chocolate. Mouth is cooling and char and very porter like. Nothing really fancy about this, just a run of the mill porter. No big coffee, no deep chocolate, no vanilla...good, not great.

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Photo of Act25
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%

Left Hand is always near front but not front of pack. This beer included. Very solid, would try again, juicy - great aroma - body - mouth feel.

A: 4 - Nice lacing and body, browner, tawnier than other porters.
S: 3.9 - Pungent, astringent, char and chocolate.
T: 3.7 - A nice solid porter, a bit sweeter and less complex than the best, but solid.
MF: 3.8
Overall - suggest a blind taste test with Anchor Steam, Smutty nose, and others.

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Photo of ordybill
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into pint glass. Aroma- Strong scent of coffee with a fruit finish and some chocolate tossed in for good measure. Appearance- This beer is a dark amber with a small head Taste- Solid flavor medium sweet beer. Palate- a full bodied beer lightly carbonated Overall- a really good porter, I enjoyed it immensely.

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fairly light pour, clear deep brown with minimal head that dissipates to nothing. Aroma is chocolatey and nutty, with a hint of roast. Deep caramel emerges. More deep chocolate and bitter roast, with toffee notes and a slightly bitter finish. Lots of chocolate.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: [4.25] Beer has a dark to black complextion. Held to the light there are cola colored tinges on the edges. There is a 1/2 finger of creamy eggshell head. It doesn't last too long but it leaves some lacing clinging to the glass as it disappears. The bottle lists the ABV (6.8%) but I cannot find a date code.

S: [3.75] Toasted marshmallow. Vanilla. Toasting coffee beans.

T: [4.00] My immediate thought was lactose sugar. Dairy creamer, Some bitter in the middle. Caramalized sugars.

M: [4.25] The beer has nice heft and coats the tongue. The carbonation is right. It is really quite pleasant to drink.

O: [4.00] This beer has a something under the taste and smell that I can't exactly place. Overall it is really nice. It comes across as 4 parts sugar, 2 parts cream, 1 part coffee. The combination gives a sweet and creamy brew that has undertones of coffee. It would be a really good beer with dessert.

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Photo of Jackson2014
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A fairly tasty but one dimensional porter.

Dark pour, is not as dark on further examination. Not a lot of carbonation but is a little froathy looking.

Not much smell

Taste is creamy smooth cream. Chocolate and coffee as well.

The medium bodied porter has a creamy mouth feel than manages to finish fairly dry.

Overall I like this beer but it is a little boring.

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Photo of califunflyindog
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this on a trip to AZ. Was hoping for a a flavorful, slow drinking porter for a night under the stars, but was somewhat disappointed.

A: little to no head. fizzy. looked a bit too much like soda in a glass.

S: bread and nuts. A little bit of sweetness. Milk chocolate. Not too much here, but Im more worried about taste.

T: Not bad at all, but somewhat watery. Not very strong, and a bit too sweet. Think coffee with cream and sugar, as opposed to a black dark roast.

M: Drinks more like a dark lager. a little more carb than necessary, but not overpowering. Thin. Aftertaste becomes sweet before you can really taste any accents.

O: I can't say this is a bad beer, but it pales (literally) in comparison to many other porters. Decent for the price (paid ~11 for the 6 in a low tax state). Might be better with a light meal, and definitely one that can be consumed in high volume. Alcohol is certainly present. If you're looking for a full bodied, knock-your-socks-off, dark flavor, I wouldn't recommend. I would bring to a party, but it didn't satisfy my craving.

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Photo of Mistro
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.