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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 kemoarps


3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with a thing creamy head. Head retention and lacing are pretty good.

The nose is fresh and smoothe. Primarily composed of burnt malts with almost a hint of dark fruits hidden in the shadows. Smells crisp.

Following the nose (big ups Toucan Sam), it's a surprisingly crisp brew for a porter. The burnt malts aren't overly musty, and that light fruit undertone carries through. There's some cocoa but it's not particularly strong. Just a hint of spice in there as well.

Thinner than I expected, but certainly not watery, it's almost like a crisp summer take on a porter. Surprisingly drinkable and smoothe. I like it. It's not as good as some other porter's I've had and I still like their Milk Stout better, but this one has kind of grown on me.
Definitely give it a shot (even if just for the bottle art alone: I love the labels Left Hand puts out). Not one that necessarily warrants a fervent hunt for, but certainly worth drinking. Might be good for those who are not accustomed/who aren't super big into big dark beers (aka an intro porter to get a friend newly hooked??).

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 21:05:11 | More by kemoarps
Photo of soju6


3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a mahogany color with a tan ead that fades slowly to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of chocolate, coffee and some roasted malt.

T: Taste is a mixture of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. There is a nie bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and a bit creamy.

O: Not bad for the style. Not overpowering just an enjoyable Porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 10:17:30 | More by soju6
Photo of thegodfather1076


4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Label artwork is fresh and intense visually. I really really like the way Left Hand does their labels.

Appearance - Pours a dark root beer brown with a 1 finger tan airy foam head which stick around for a bit before dissipating into a light foam ring. Light lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell - Smells of toasty smokey toasted caramel malts and very slight hints of cherry. Hints of dark chocolate are evident as well.

Taste - Tastes of smokey roasted caramel malts that give way to a smokey coffee bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Medium to light bodied with light carbonation.

Drinkability - Very drinkable in my opinion. The flavors and smell are very nice and blend together excellently. The lighter feel of this beer leads me to say a 6-pack would go down very easily!

Overall a very solid porter which I enjoyed greatly and would definitely recommend trying if given the chance. Classified as an "English Porter" which would be my first as far as I know.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 02:16:00 | More by thegodfather1076
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

P: Very thin with no head, cloudy dark but not transparent. Looks like watered down cola.

S: Sweet caramel, vanilla, roasted nuts, prunes, subtle spice and a touch of coffee.

T/M: Big bitter sweet bite of floral hops, roasted malts, caramel, spice and vanilla. Surprisingly effervescent with apple, pear traces of butterscotch and pepper on the finish.

O: Solid porter but didn't really care for the mouthfeel or the floral hops in this combo.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 01:43:14 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of bump8628


3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black Jack isn't bad beer, it's actually pretty decent beer, but it's too light even for English-style Porter. More like an English Brown with it's crystal malt driven backbone. Toffee, caramel chewiness, a hint of nutty roast in the background. Mild hopping with an earthy spice current just beneath the maltiness. With the exception of the Fade to Black Series, Left Hand beers seem to be getting dumbed down slowly over the years - just sayin'.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 20:17:29 | More by bump8628
Photo of enfield249


3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A pours a deep ruby red, with 3 fingers of tan kahki foam.

S - Not much. Nothing offensive, just a litte roast malt.

T - First I get malts, sweet,slight coffee. Not very full flavored.

M- Straight up medium. Slight astringency, but it's from the malts rather than hops.

O - a nice middle of the road porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 00:25:23 | More by enfield249
Photo of dmfrench


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet yet dry, creamy yet thin fruit and cocoa porter

A: Not quite opaque black body (actually a clear dull ruby when held to a light), topped with a fleeting one finger tight khaki head.

S: Dry cocoa is the dominant expression, with a bit of sweet and slightly sour dark fruit and some dusty hops and spices sitting on top.

T: Again, dry cocoa greets you up front and persists all the way through the finish. Sweet rather than sour apricot and/or plum is apparent, making up half the body, and the now more spicy than dusty hops balance out the fruit sweetness well. Finish is on dry cocoa and spices. A good flavor set, but I'm left wishing that the malt foundation was a bit stronger.

M: Just a bit on the thin side, but still creamy and mostly satisfying, with enough texture to feel in a slightly dry presentation.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 00:53:05 | More by dmfrench
Photo of Blueribbon666


4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Part of the Left Hand sampler 12-pack I picked up.
Pours a rich black, brownish/ruby color into pint glass. Very little brownish head that dissipates quickly.
Smells of roasted malts, slighty smokey, with hints of coffee, licorice and semi-sweet cocoa.
Taste/mouthfeel; Good full rich, roasty malts with a bit of smokiness in the front, a bit of spiciness like licorice/anise, little carbonation before finishing clean.
Overall another solid entry from Left Hand, a good english porter that has a lil more in the body, mouthfeel and abv than normal but these are all a plus and very well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 12:30:56 | More by Blueribbon666
Photo of 57md


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dark brown, almost black with ruby tones. There was a finger of head at the beginning, but there was little retention. However, this offering left some nice lacing.

There is a very mild coffee nose to this offering. Some light chocolate comes through in the flavor along with classic roasted bitterness. The bitterness comes on stronger on the finish which is the best part of this offering.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 07:54:46 | More by 57md
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 20:03:00 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of divineaudio


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. bottled on 1/17/11.

a - pours a murky, reddish brown color and gave me a thin cap of tan head that dissipated quick. leaves a few legs of lacing in the glass.

s - roasty sweet with big chocolate aroma. faint grassy hops and faint fruitiness.

t - nice chocolatey malt with lighter fruity notes, presumably from the wheat. as it warms, a bit of spiciness comes out. herbal bitterness is there in the finish, but subdued. well balanced.

m - medium in body with enough carbonation to make it feel lighter. slightly sticky.

o - enjoyable and a solid example of the style. really a well executed and easy drinking beer. will certainly be buying more of this.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 05:25:59 | More by divineaudio
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. One finger of frothy tan head with average retention and minimal lacing.

3.0 S: Not a lot going on here. Faint caramel and mild toasty roastiness. Maybe a hint of chocolate underneath.

3.5 T: Taste is a bit better. Moderate malty sweetness, which is more than the nose suggested. Caramel and chocolate are way more abundant. Light roastiness. Not bad.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light, but satisfying creaminess.

3.5 D: Decent porter. Nothing really stands out, but it's an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 00:52:20 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of bigbluebeerguy


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Rich brown color with nice ruby highlights when backlit. One and a half finger sandy colored head, nice and bubbly. Recedes slowly but leaves little lacing.

Nose is mostly semi-sweet chocolate and a little espresso, just a little of the milk-like sweetness.

Taste improves on the nose a little. Initial chocolate, toffee sweetness gives way to some roasted coffee bean bitterness that lingers.

Feels a touch thin to me. I would have preferred a little more lasting sweetness, less astringency.

Overall, not a beer I would seek out, but I would like to try it on tap if available.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 01:56:40 | More by bigbluebeerguy
Photo of undeadozzy


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Vigorous pour resulting in an awesome frothing head, almost like something I'd see on a Guinness. Deep brown/black hue, completely opaque. Nice and dark, looks like we're off to a good start so far..

S - Picking up on faint smells of dark chocolate, raisins, dried fruit, and something almost like raisin bread. Very friendly on the nose, but I wish it was a more powerful odor.

T - Delicious. Tastes exactly like it smells. Very smooth dark taste with hints of the aforementioned scents, as well as some newfound tastes of allspice and maybe a little cinnamon.

M - Like a thick wine. Very heavy beer, but that's to be expected with the style. Wish it was maybe a little thicker.

O - Great porter, will definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 05:18:26 | More by undeadozzy
Photo of TTAmod


3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into pint glass

A: This beer pours a nice coca-cola color that develops a pretty good khaki head, which fades into spotty bits of head about the top.

S: Smells primarily of coffee and roasted malts. I also pick up hints of licorice and wood.

T: Chocolate and licorice notes make up most of the drink. Develops into a nice coffee and cream taste that finishes with just a bit of hops and alcohol. Ends with a slight bitter black coffee note.

M: Appropriately creamy. A little bit of carbonation is noticeable at the end.

O: Overall, a very nice and easy drinking porter. Nothing too crazy, but it doesn't really have any off-notes. Good beer to have around when it's winter.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 04:11:29 | More by TTAmod
Photo of Clowerweb


4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Couldn't find any dates on the bottle.

A: Nearly black, very dark brown with dark amber/crimson highlights around the bottom. Not quite opaque if you hold it up to the light, but pretty close. 2 fingers of tan head dissipated quickly and left no lacing, costing a point on the appearance of this otherwise gorgeous porter.

S: Smells delectable. Has a nice amount of nose to it, not overly pungent, but not weak. Smells like dark roasted malts, notes of coffee, nutty, maybe a hint of chocolate. Can't wait to taste this!

T: Wow, I'm very surprised this porter doesn't get more love on here. Starts earthy with heavy malts, dark roast coffee, light hint of bitter hops and/or raw cocoa on the mid palate, sweetens up on the finish with a sweet roasty nutty flavor, then dries up slightly. This is a great tasting beer with plenty of depth.

M: Nice full body, mild carbonation, feels creamy and smooth, slightly chewy, sticks around in the walls of the mouth

O: This is solid 4.5/5 for me. As stated, I'm struggling to figure out why this isn't rated higher on here. I'd consider it to be up there with some of the best porters and stouts I've had. This is a fantastic beer and I'd definitely pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 02:26:04 | More by Clowerweb
Photo of tbern007


3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown but not solid. Tan head is gone kind of quickly and the lacing is just so-so.
Scent is lighter than I want- coffee, roasty, a little chocolate. Mild all around.
Taste follows what has occured thus far- milder than expected. Medium coffee, roasted malt, a little semi-sweet chocolate. Taste is good but does not remain.
Medium all around and a tad watery.
overall decent and drinkable but kind of weak.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 05:10:09 | More by tbern007
Photo of WoodBrew


4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried the Black Jack Porter at The Bank in Wheaton, IL. The beer came in a standard pint glass and was opaque in color with 1/2 finger thick tan head...that didnt lace all that well. The smell was a nice roast earth/peat with hints of sweetness and coffee. The taste followed the scent and made for a very nice porter. The mouthfeel was medium body with good carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good porter and would recommend to anyone.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 03:25:06 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of WJVII


3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a thin black look, dark amber when held to the light, with a 1/2 finger tan head. The aroma was full of burnt malts, coffee, and chocolate. The taste is upfront and full of burnt malts. There is a thin finish of coffee and some slight toffee and caramel sweetness. This is such a thin beer with minimal carbonation which is fine for the style. A little more substance would be nice. All in all nothing more than an average porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 03:09:56 | More by WJVII
Photo of JayS2629


4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean, thin black with murky elements, a medium head with ok retention and lacing.

The aroma is of chocolate, caramel, and dark bread.

The flavor is of dark breads, pumperknickle, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted touches and a faint note of coffee.

Simple, clean, medium body. a little thin for style.

Overall, very drinkable, enjoyable dark beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 00:58:45 | More by JayS2629
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade

Pretty watery, dark looking porter with a faint tan head. I'm not too impressed.

Caramel sweetness, a little spice (maybe a little anise?). There's nothing too bold or aromatic about this beer.

This beer's taste is on par with its appearance and nose, rather average. However, it remains clean with a clear focus on traditional english porter interpretation.

Quite clean and refreshing, but nothing special. There is a slightly malty aftertaste that sits on the palate for a few seconds and then fades.
It's a thin bodied beer with quickly dissipating carbonation and well-masked ethanol.

I'm overall not too impressed with this beer, but it's not too bad a porter. I would probably pass on trying this a second time.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 04:14:51 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of rarbring


3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is clear ruby black, has a tan head with large bubbles that leaves good lacing. Some curtains.

The smell starts with Marzipan, sweet dark fruits, roasted bread.

Tasting mostly sweet, fig and boysenberry marmalade, sweet dark bread crust.

Little carbonation, smooth, oily and sticky, a medium body with a slightly dry finish.

A very candy porter, but at this time I wanted a dessert so it was very good!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 20:53:40 | More by rarbring
Photo of SpoonMeForkMe


3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown to garnett with not a lot of head.

S: Bacon, ham, Milk Chocolate, cherry.

T: Smoked meat and lots of it! Chocolate all over the place as well. I am having a hard time getting anything else.

M: Kind of dry…medium bodied

O: Good beer and I would certainly enjoy 3 or 3 of them. I’m also not giving it a fair chance to stand out on it’s own as that I’ve had a Gumball Head and a Surly Coffee Bender prior.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 03:07:33 | More by SpoonMeForkMe
Photo of damndirtyape


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

12oz bottle (bottled on 08/04/11) poured into a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Clear dark ruby red to brown beer. Light tan head was about 1/4" thick on pouring, but died down to a ring at the edge and very little across the top - barest skin of foam. Some strands of persistent lacing noted.

Smell: Molasses mostly - maybe a little bit bready on a swirl.

Taste: Molasses again. Malt-heavy beer. Molasses at the front, some roasted and caramel flavor malt in the middle, and a quite mild bitter finish, mildly metallic and part black coffee. Is indeed a pretty tasty porter.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, just a hair thicker than water.

Overall / Drinkability: A decent English Porter. Quite drinkable, went well with food (Welsh Rabbit) and I could see myself having another. Simplistic flavor profile, but that's not a bad thing really.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 23:00:41 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of Absumaster


3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown beer with a very small head that leaves only a small off-white ring around the glass.

Smell is roasted with a nice malty base. There are traces of husk, but this adds to the complexity. Dark crystal malts add the midpiece of the breadcrust smell.

Taste is lightly roasted around a light sweet caramellic center. The beer has notes of chocolate, tabacco and an earthy taste. Bitterness is quite low, but seems to be into balance with the mouthfeel. The body of the beer is quite thin. Sometimes this fades when the glass is empty, but the last sip is also thin. I am not too sure about this beer. It all lacked a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 21:29:10 | More by Absumaster
Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 906 ratings.