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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.

1,051 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,051
Reviews: 466
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 36
Gots: 77 | 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: 1,051 | Reviews: 466 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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 rembrant
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Eye- Deep deep brown very near an opaque black. Does a 1 finger tan head with not much lace

Scent Some dark fruit,chocolate and bread crust but not a big aroma. A little brandy in back.
Tase is rather smooth,chocolaty with some raisin. Relative to Ed Fitz,sweeter and less robust. Just a bit of coffee to the finish.
Warmed more the chocolate still dominates and it's sort of a Lindt Milk Choc. truffle. However,there's not a lot of other stuff,until the raisin and coffee show in the finish. Good flavors but a bit less roasty than some.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side for a Porter with just enough fizz to keep it from seeming weak More a "session" sort of Porter than a slow sipper and with it's reasonable price,broad availability,that works out well for drinkability

rembrant, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Le Cheval Blanc pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear ruby, with a light tan head that did not last at all. Some lacing is present.

Aromas of light roasted malt. Hints of bittersweet chocolate. Almost a milk chocolate quality. No hop aroma at all.

First sip is of roasted malt, coffee, and that milk chocolateliness. No hop flavors either. Emphasis is on the roast. A light sweetness. Finish light and roasty, and does not last long, begging for another sip.

Mouthfeel is medium. Good level of carbonation.

Very drinkable beer. A little strong for a session beer, but very sessionable. Could drink these all night and not tire of the flavors.

JamnesCameron, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up as part of a mixed six. Pours a rich black color, with an inch of medium tan foam. Aromas of roasted malt, sweet milk chocolate and coffee. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of milk chocolate, a little black licorice and roasted malt.

emmasdad, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Shrews629
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark brown to very dark amber color. Off white/tan semi-creamy head with adequate size, solid retention and very nice lacing. Some light burnt orange highlights at the bottom of the glass. Not as dark as some of the previous Porters I have reviewed.

Smell - Nice bit of a smooth, sweet, milk chocolate aroma at first. Minute hints of roast and smoke. Maybe some coffee in there, but it is very mild. The chocolate is the primary fragrance. I even picked up a nice oatmeal raisin cookie note.

Taste - Nice touches of chocolate in the taste. Again, some coffee makes an appearance, but it is more subdued. The minor bits of smoke give it some complexity.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Goes down smooth and easy. Not as dry as I was expecting, but not watery either. Covers the palate pretty well. Mostly average in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability - This is an ok Porter. Not the best, but nothing to scoff at either. This would be a fair entry level Porter for someone interested in the style in my opinion. It is easily drinkable and I wouldn't have a problem quaffing it for a night.

Shrews629, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of Stoneyrok
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very dark, poured into etched globe mug ( my favorite) channels aromas and retains heads, but there is no head on this pour. Swishing the glass creates a slight head. Nice color though.

S malty, maybe some roasted bitter coffee, not much happening for me by way of smell, surprising with my glass. Dull distant hops. ever slight chocolate.Ever slight Coffee notes.

T medium maltyness, dry-ish, lacks any sweetness, noticeable dry bitterness, lacks complexity.

M thin, more than average carbonation, slightly prickly on the tongue.

D could drink throughout evening, but I would think they do not consider this a signature beer. It leaves more to be desired. I was expecting a little more being that I LOVE their milk stout, more so than bells double cream, and compare their milk stout to duck rabbit milk stout... I cannot get this is NC, sop when I got this during a Florida trip, I was really looking forward to it being great. I can see where this could be someones session beer who can get it easily.

Stoneyrok, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-translucent ruby black with a carpet of white head that's quick to fade with some trailers. Nose is roasty char and some brown sugar sweetness. Faint ash, barrel and red fruit followed by leafy hops. Tingly finish, bittersweet slightly sickly Pepto Bismol linger. Medium, flat, slight chew.

Mistakes weakness for English subtlety. Way too strong for the amount of flavor it brings. More than enough range in this style to come up with some more defined and interesting than this.

Was never drawn to this beer for some reason; my instincts were right.

400th review, unfortunately

StJamesGate, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of pioppo
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Very dark amber. Dark, fine and quite persistente beige foam.

S - Quite intense aromas of roasted bottom of coffee. Then come chocolate, almond and a little of ethylic.

T - First, bitter by roasting and bitter by hopping appear, then a little of chocolate and the hot and ethylic of alcool.

M - It seems to be a good body but it's actually a smoothness.

D - A delicate carbonation and the bitter that balances sweetness make this beer very drinkable.

pioppo, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of LeftyEtc
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - In your hand is this thick and black, up to light is becomes more reddish brown. A sold half inch head lingers for quite a while.

S- Sweet malt, toasted coffee, subtle hops.

Taste - Heavy chocolate presence, slight coffee and late finish of bitter hops.

M - Thinner in feel then in appearance. Creamy fullness of a full body.

D - I like the feel of a solid porter but this seems to have a strange bitter finish that persists after drinking. I wouldn't drink more than two in a row. Still enjoyable and interesting.

LeftyEtc, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Frothboss
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Darker than a black steers tuchis on a moonless prarie night. No head but to be expected with a porter. Dont see any carbonation...but its pretty dark in there. Smell sweet, coffee, chocolate, toffee. Tastes pretty good. Thick and rich, taste some chocolate. Mealy comes to mind. Overall pretty tastey porter.

Frothboss, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

BuckeyeSlim, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Samp01
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a nice brown head. (Bottled on 2/03/10) Aroma of dark roasted malts and coffee, caramel.Taste is same as aroma. Palate is full bodied, nice and creamy texture, with good carbonation. Finish is malty, coffee, creamy, with some bitter hops for balance. Overall a very nice porter.

Samp01, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. Bottled on date smuged. No info.

A - Dark mahogany brown in color, it's clear in the lighter sections of the glass. A one-finger head tops the beer with some longevity and thick, chunky lace.

S - Malty roasted mocha nose with small chunks of toffee and a bitter chocolate finish. Suggestions of woodiness and molasses, very faint ones though. An incredibly light splash of vanilla ends up coming through as well.

T - Just a touch of stale cardboard is concerning in the flavor but it's mostly a smooth toasted caramel and roasted black malt flavor. Some trace notes of fruity raisin and burnt bread. No hop addition to the flavor.

M - Medium-full-bodied, Black Jack is as smooth as a refinished Vegas table's felt but finishes out with a dry bitterness from the roasted malts. Pretty heavy there but it goes down well enough.

D - Not something I'd drink all night while playing cards, but this porter is good nonetheless.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Bottle on Date of 02 and the rest is extremely smudged, a common occurrence I have noticed with Left Hand. Pours an extremely dark brown with a very small amount of head. Some lacing. Aromas of roasted malts and dark chocolate. The taste is mostly dark chocolate with some more of the roasted malts. Sweet. Pretty solid porter. I'd look for this one again.

PicoPapa, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of argock
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear oversized wine glass. Bottled on 032510 on front label. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.80.

A: Very dark brown with soft, 1-finger off-white head with average retention and a few random streamers of lace.

S: Smells like a chocolate cookie or like a piece of rye toast with chocolate sauce spread on it. An exceedingly bready, cookie-like aroma with a big chocolate and smaller coffee component coupled with mild earthy and slight citrus hops notes.

T: The flavor is a mirror image of the nose -- this brew tastes like a chocolate cookie, at first at least, but it has more bitter, earthy hoppiness than the aroma betrays with a slight acrid bitter edge in the finish. A very finesse porter with a lot of cookie/bready yeast flavor to throw in with the dark malt and hops.

M: Creamy and medium bodied with a pleasant sharp bite to the finish. Aftertaste is long and the relatively high ABV is not detectable.

D: A very solid porter, especially if you like sweet porters with a little bite. Nothing fancy, just really nice beer. I would try this one again, and fresher for sure.

argock, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.63/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another good brew by Left hand brewing company. Nice dark color with a decent tan head. Smells fresh. Taste okay, it is smooth but could be a bit smoother. A bit tarty. Mouthful I would say the same think. One could drink this beer often, but I wouldn't go more than 4 or it will lose its luster.

yuenglingfan101, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of CooperEllis
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Counterpressure filled growler into dfh snifter.

Good pour deep porter color, tan head. It's dark, even for a porter, with a thin tan head, quickly gone with narrow bubbles at the edge and little lacing.

Roasted malts. Nothing much else.

Better than expected flavor given the one-note aroma though fairly one note taste as well. Rich malt flavors, well received from front to finish. Mildly acidic at the finish.

The mouthfeel is the one truly above average aspect of this porter. It is full, coating and still maintains a bit of cripsness in the finish that seperates it nicely from a heavier brew. perhaps a bit undercarbonated, but it doesn't detract.

Because of the mouthfeel this brew is a bit more drinkable than it might otherwise be. English porters are one of the stlyes which I find easiest to drink. While this might not be the best example of the style, it is a solid example and would pair nicely with a variety of foods (I had a glass with a chicken curry which was a very nice pairing).


CooperEllis, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of Amalak
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had out of bottle at bar in Chicago.
A- It has the look of a porter, black with a tanish head that was tame and didn't leave much lace.
S- Tart, porter scent.
T- Too tart, in fact. Kind of soapish and dull. There's some nuttyness to it. But limited on all accounts. Not bad, just bland.

Amalak, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears very dark with a caramel head.

In the nose is molasses and anise.

Carbonation hits full on in the front then a slight bitterness tasting of anise gathers in the back, finnishes with molasses. There are some faint chocolate notes - more bitter than sweet though. This was an older bottle - bottled in 08 - and finnished a little watery at times. A good porter.

Chickenhawk9932, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best buy date clearly marked on bottle.

A sloshing pour yields two full fingers of head that quickly recedes down to a thin film, but laces a bit along the way. Body is light for a porter, actually letting through more light than many dark lagers! In a low light setting I can actually see through this beer.

Syrupy mocha and toasted malts dominate this nose. You know that mocha that gas-station machines dump into your 16 oz cup for $0.89? That is what this smells like in beer-form (and that isn't a bad thing). However, not what I would expect for an English porter.

There is a great deal going on in this brew, despite it looking rather weak. I detect mostly chocolate and caramel malts roasted to a normal degree, some withering hop bitterness in the middle, and a bit of coffee grounds. Moderate acidity (could be higher as an English porter).

This is not the best part of the beer, a little thin. But surprisingly, it isn't as thin as it looks. Still within the limits I would say.

Average drinkability in a highly drinkable style.

Conclusion: Anyone trying this beer must remember that it isn't and American Porter, for as such it would fall short. However as an English Porter I feel it is on a good track, and succeeds. There is sufficient complexity and good overall balance. It just lacks that 'something' that makes some English porters so irresistible.

allforbetterbeer, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Jips
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle poured into a tasting glass

-Color: Black-red, thin light tan head
-Smell: sweet malt and plums, hint of chocolate
-Mouthfeel: slightly dry, smooth (medium)
-Taste: Ridiculous coffee taste that lingers till end, a bit of sweet dark malt (toffee/chocolate) slight warm and
pleasing alchy bite in aftertaste

Love coffee/chocolate taste in my beers, get plenty of it here without the crazy heaviness or motor oil mouthfeel of an imperial stout. Passed on this many times, sorry I did now! Wiill definetly seek this out

Jips, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of bmwats
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

A: Very dark brown, if not black. Pours about a half finger, foamy, brownish head. Dissipates quickly and completely. Very sparse lacing remains.

S: Dark, rich malt. Has a very subtle bubblegum sweetness to it. A little cinnamon toast kinda' thing workin' too.

T: Dark roasted coffee malt. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet. A nice peaty hop bite.

M: Full, robust body. Bitterness bites in the beginning, and a nice peaty twang hangs around through to the dry finish.

D: Sipping brew.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Appearance is nothing special, but a deep, rich tone, and a decent foamy head. Nose has an interesting combination of malt and a subtle sweetness. Flavor, the same. Malty, and thick, with just the slightest sweetness, and a bitter peaty finish. Overall, this is a really nice quaff.

bmwats, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of StaveHooks
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark brown with a nice mocha head. Smallish spiderweb lacing.

S - Loads of dark chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, raisins, sweet toffee. Amazing aroma.

T - Rich toasted marshmallowy malt, sweet toffee, fruit, molasses, a touch of bitterness blends in and evens things out. Chocolate and coffee sticks on the palate. Creamy texture.

This is the 3rd time I've had this beer and I like it better every time. It's a little on the sweet side but not sticky or heavy.

StaveHooks, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of Lerxst
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark brown with a thin head that fades quickly and leaves wisps of lace.

S-Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee and maybe a few hints of dark fruit.

T-Slightly sweet roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee with a bitter finish.

M-Medium body.

D-An easy drinking porter.

Its not bad beer at all, but there are many other porters out there I would prefer over this one. But at the price, its not a bad deal.

Lerxst, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of NODAK
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very rich, nice aroma. A mixture of dark fruit, molasses and sweet chocolate. I like it.

Taste is much of the same. Carbonation here is pretty low. There's a lot of thick, malty sweetness. Molasses, dark fruit, chocolate....just like the aroma. Finish is mostly of bitter, dark chocolate....some smacking sweetness sticks around. As it warms, even some alcohol is a little noticeable.

Certainly a rich beer. I think it'd be hard to put down more than a couple of these, but it's certainly OK. I'm not sure I'll seek it out much, simply because the thick sweetness is a lot to deal with.

NODAK, Aug 13, 2010
Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,051 ratings.