Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

496 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 496
Hads: 1,291
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 18.55%
Wants: 54
Gots: 193 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Jack Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 496 | Hads: 1,291
Photo of MrBoz21
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 569 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 643 characters

Photo of donteatpoop
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

 671 characters

Photo of Goosehunter75
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

 611 characters

Photo of ALZ
3.11/5  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.

 344 characters

Photo of tronester
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 257 characters

Photo of Maakun
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

 680 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.56/5  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.

 1,494 characters

Photo of shand
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 863 characters

Photo of NateEmz
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

 538 characters

Photo of captenaj
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 419 characters

Photo of DiscGolfRobot
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 704 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 937 characters

Photo of CaptMaelstrom
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 806 characters

Photo of KFBR392
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 902 characters

Photo of LuDookie
4.72/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

 634 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 1,400 characters

Photo of weonfire
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 532 characters

Photo of Tone
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of dry hops, sweet malt, oatmeal, slight pale malt, slight roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of an English Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, dry hops, oatmeal, hint of pale malt, and a hint of liquor. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, body, and feel.

 463 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Black Jack Porter is brewed in the style of an English Porter. Available in 6 packs or as a part of the Mountain Mixer variety pack, where this bottle originated from. No label information. Bottle date is 05/08/12.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy head of a crisp consistency, color tan-white. Body color is a dark brown with deep crimson highlights and medium carbonation, much clearer and lighter than I am used to amongst porters. Lacing and surface cover are both thin and spotty. The head was underwhelming in consistency and staying power. It's a lackluster appearance. 2.75

(Smell) Aroma is sweet, a result of chocolate malt and lightly toasted caramel malts with less emphasis on bitter, heavily roasted malt and sharp hop notes. Hop character is of an earthy blend, low bitterness. Some mild fruit notes are evident from the yeast profile. Medium potency at the highest. The aroma is overall a bit sweet and shallow in intensity. As far as porters go, this is relatively middle-of-the-road in intensity as well as character. A pleasing aroma but not an exciting one. 3.25

(Taste) A musty caramel malt front with lingering sweetness. The finish is a growing creamy sugar sweetness with a faint note of pairing chocolate. Bitterness is very low throughout. As desirable as it would be, the notes always seem to be in the background and none really make up the flavor of this beer. As such, the profile is thin but not overly so, making for a drinkable, light-bodied porter. Could have used a bit more bitterness from both a hop blend as well as increased malt body through black patent malt blend or some roasted malts. Finishes moist. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is low with a touch of creaminess trailing through to a sweet, wet finish. Body is light/medium for English Porters, medium overall. Carbonation was slightly lacking in presence- a touch more air and creaminess would have better suited the sweetness and consistency of this porter. Alcohol presence is very low. Some slight carbonation tweaks are needed in this beer. A bigger, more forward body would also be desirable, although in the state the flavor is in, I could forgive that omission, as light and drinkable may have been the main goal of this porter. 3.25

(Overall) Differing slightly from American cousins, this porter swings slightly sweet and manages a light, drinkable profile, yet stays the course in body with a decent flavor profile. Lacking a more dominant bitterness and a slightly less sweet malt profile are two big shortcomings of this beer- nonetheless, it's very drinkable with a softer flavor presence than most porters I've tried. Some slight recipe tweaks would really balance this beer out and make it even more drinkable- black malt seems to be the best fix for the malt profile and a notch more hop character is also welcome. In the meantime, this porter remains par-of-the-course amongst a lot of other fine porter options. 3.25

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Black Jack Porter

 3,060 characters

Photo of scratch69
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown color with a half a finger worth of tan head. Very light amount of runny lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt and coffee aromas.

Taste- Mild roasted malt and coffee flavor with hints of dark chocolate and caramel. Also there are some faint herbal hop notes.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and slightly creamy. Light amount of carbonation.

Overall- A pretty average beer. Drinkable but not outstanding.

 451 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Dark brown almost black with a silky layer of muddy brown head. Nice stick and lacing.

S. chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, cofee beans.

T. Velvety smooth up front with chocolate, and roasted malts coming through. Closes with an balance of bitterness. Drying aftertaste.

O. Well crafted brew. Rock solid porter.

 321 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle that is about 1.5yrs old

This is one of those "had this in the back of the fridge for too long" beers

The body sits a dark brown with mahogany highlights when held up to the glass. A tan colored cap rises and falls quickly. Little to no lacing with a thin collar around the edges.

The nose is of caramel, butterscotch, mild roast, vanilla, coffee grounds, and milk chocolate. Well-rounded profile.

Smooth milk chocolate with butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla up top. Mild roast and coffee through the middle with some cherries. The finish is some sweet butterscotch mixed with bitter chocolate.

Smooth and lush in spots, but overall, a little thin. Some lingering roast.

A pretty smooth porter overall with a mild flavor profile. The 1.5yrs seem to have mellowed this out quite a bit.

 804 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pitch black, with a touch of fizzy head and a light layer of lace left on the top of the brew and glass

S - Mild grains, but not much going on in the nose. Nothing

T - Dark chocolate notes, but not sweet. Maybe a touch of coffee/espresso.

M - Full bodied, highly carbonated. Mouthfeel is probably the best thing this brew has going on

O - A dissapointing brew. Not much going on here.

 393 characters

Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.