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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.

1,097 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,097
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 39
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,097 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FosterJM
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

846th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz


Thanks to @Beertographer (via twitter) for this extra.

App- A dark deep brown, almost a black stout like color. A quick receding creamy looking head with good lines of cling and stick.

Smell- A roasty porter with a nice malt backbone and fresh ground coffee. A little bitter wisps.

Taste- A nice medium density porter. Not the thickest flavors and not overly watery as some porters I have had are. A roasted note opens up and then a little background noise coffee. A bit bigger flavors follow through from nose to drink.

Mouth- A light medium body with a medium carbonation feel to it. A little coffee and some dark chocolate.

Drink- This was pretty good. A little bit of roast and some chocolate and some coffee. Was nice to see a medium body. Right in line with what I was hoping for. I'd have this one again.

FosterJM, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of tjsdomer2
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice black/brown color with good thickness. A bit flat though.

Smell: Very earthy, literally, this is like dirt. It's not bad though. Molasses and raisins as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Subdued taste. Some roasted malt with hints of dark fruit and licorice in the background. Mouthfeel is not the cleanest in the world, but there's a nice coffee in the finish.

Drinkability: This grew on me a bit.

Overall: A pretty good porter. Wish it were a bit toastier/roastier.

tjsdomer2, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of Lolli1315
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very dark brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Small tan head that becomes patchy leaving only a ring around the glass.

S- Roasted malt with both milk and bitter chocolate intertwining beneath. Low levels of burnt coffee pair with the roasted malt well.

T- The roasted malt comes smoothly unto the tongue with a creamy chocolate following. The roasted coffee intermingles with the chocolate towards the middle. Going into the finish the chocolate turns slightly bitter with a more pronounced burnt character.

M- Medium full with moderate-low carbonation. Dry in the finish.

O- Good porter overall. Although not my favorite porter, certainly something I would revisit. Another solid offering from Left Hand.

Lolli1315, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours on the dark side of cola brown. Head is one finger slightly tan. It does not last very long however.
S- The smell is primarily dark chocolate with a slight coffee and vanilla presence.
T- A bit sweeter than the nose indicated. Picking up some dark caramel, molasses, and a bit of espresso. The chocolate aroma doesn't manifest itself too much here.
M- Smooth, but it's too light of body for the style. At times it comes across as watery.
O- A middle of the road porter for me. I'm glad they included it in their mixed pack, but I wouldn't seek it out on it's own merits.

jsprain1, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of stickynotes
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark, amber on the edges and when held to light. A light brown head that laces gently.

S - Roasty malts, nothing too strong.

T - Reflects the smell, roasty malts but weak, seems kind of empty; lacking.

M - Smooth, not much carbonation recognizable.

O - An ok brew. Flavor doesn't seem full but what is there is good.

stickynotes, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on August 5, 2011

Black Jack Porter pours a deep ruby tinted brown, very clear with a nice off white head that is relatively slow to fall leaving thick slippery lacing as you drink.

The aroma has a light coffee scent backed by dark roasted malt.

The flavor is very nice with coffee and the somewhat chocolatey roasted malts taking center stage though there is a nice but appropriately light background of earthy, slightly spicey hops (this is an English Porter after all). The dark roasted malts are mild in their bitterness and while the overall character is on the sweet side it is not cloying.

The mouthfeel is on the light side medium, very smooth and silky with a bit of creaminess with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a very nicely balanced English style porter, perhaps just a tad sweeter than I like but that is no real detraction.While I feel it could use a touch more complexity I would gladly drink this porter when offered and if I can find it as fresh as I got this six pack I will gladly buy it again as well.

BlackBearForge, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a very clear brown but once in the glass it was opaque brown almost black with about 3/4 in head and some decent foam action.

very grainy smell and some sweetness... mostly grainy. maybe some yeast notes towards the end with slight floral hop notes.

grainy taste to match the aroma. some sweet malt at first and then slightly bitter but not that strong... maybe a toffee flavor followed by light hops...

thought it would be a little thicker.. medium to light bodied with light carbonation.

overall a good beer i might look around some more before picking this one up again but i like alot of variety to begin with.

DUBinMIA, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Almost jet black with a touch of light shining through the top when placed in front of light. The quarter-inch head was much brighter than many porters I've had, giving the beer a nice contrasty look. The head vanished rather quickly, but a few wisps hung around as a reminder of its presence.

SMELL: Nutty and smoky, it reminds me of a brown ale more than a porter, although some coffee does creep into the nose.

TASTE: Again, this tastes very nutty for a porter, but quite tasty. the coffee is more pronounced than it was in the nose and the roasted malt backbone balances it out quite nicely.

MOUTHFEEL: Creamy and smooth with just a hint of a tickle going down.

OVERALL: This is a nice interpretation of the style by Left Hand. As with most of their other year-round beers this is a very accessible, affordable and tasty choice.

StoneTSR, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black/tan, not much head or lacing.

Smell - Malts, coffee, sweet dark fruits, molasses, plum, rasin, licorice, some mild hops.

Taste - A bit of a shock with the sweet dark fruits mixed with the roasted malts. Licorice and hops are very present. Theres also a carmal/toffee flavor. Some alcohol comes in a little bit at the end and adds some warmth.

Mouthfeel - Sweet on the tounge and palette. Thick and flavorful, with a little smoke flavor left in the aftertaste.

Overall - I really enjoyed this. Its moreso a dessert porter, sweet and fruity, yet has the roasted malt backbone. Different then a standard porter. Easy to drink and enjoy.

wvsabbath, Aug 13, 2011
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 Jishguy
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a seemingly black body, exposes deep ruby red highlights when held up to the light. Thick creamy off white head that sticks around for ages. Thick lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

S- A mixture of a sweet and roasted malt character. Hints of chocolate and coffee are present in the nose. Virtually no hop aroma.

T- Very similar to smell. Sweet chocolate and caramel malts up front, quickly followed by a creamy/coffee flavor. The finish consists of a robust coffee flavor. Very complex and interesting.

M- Very creamy and full. Thick bodied, goes down incredibly smooth.

Jishguy, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of aristeros
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a Left Hand mixed twelve pack. I'd only had their Milk Stout before. This one pours a cola brown with a finger of off-white head. The dark malts give creamed coffee and, surprisingly, licorice notes. Good.

Light sweetness over mild roast flavors. Very well-balanced. Cream transitions to coffee, finishes with toast. Classic porter with a few extras, and a pleasant surprise. Really, a bit better than the Milk Stout.

Full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and very mild carbonation. Nearly perfect porter.

aristeros, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of ArsenicDrone
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an example of why a strict ratings system is not quite enough to gauge a beer, since personal preference is also important. I think it deserves a B+ to an A-, and that it's better than Left Hand's milk stout in a bottle (although the stout on nitro is great). However, I can see how it doesn't have some of the things that a lot of people are looking for.

Appearance: looks like a porter. Head is a bit small.

Smell: smells like a porter! The extra bit of alcohol above your typical 5% shows up a little bit, but nothing that special.

Taste: here's where my preference shows up. This beer is not particularly bitter, neither in a hoppy way nor a super dry burnt coffee way. Bitter is a very popular flavor right now, so I can't blame people. It's also not a full-on heavy beer which you could have with dessert (which is also something I like a lot). In essence, it's a lot like a lighter version of a great sweet imperial stout. You can taste the alcohol, but just a bit. It's got some chocolate, some licorice (appropriate given the name), but it still mostly tastes like the porter base. That works for me.

Mouthfeel: could be slightly thicker, but I wouldn't trade taste for that.

Good to the last drop, which is really nice. Unlike a more bitter beer, no less fun finishing this one when it gets warmer. I've had this one twice now, and it's impressed me both times.

ArsenicDrone, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid porter distinguished by its very nice creaminess and licorice notes. Pours a very dark brown edging toward black with a nice creamy head and some spotty lacing. Nice licorice and cream notes in the nose, fairly soft. The taste has more of an edge, but more of that licorice along with a roasty note and some bitter, citrus peel tasting hops. Full but creamy in the mouth. Very solid, and with a delicious creamy finish. Imo, better than most have rated it.

Georgiabeer, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of Forb
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle...

Appearance: Pitch black with a half-finger mocha head.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee, smoky.

Taste: Creamy, smooth,with roasted malts presenting coffee, chocolate essence.

Mouthfeel: A carbonation to balance with a medium to full robust body.

Overall: A proper porter.

Forb, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of MrDonQuixote
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- Dark black, almost motor oil color to it, pours with about half a finger of whitish tan head.

S- Smells very strongly of coffee and chocolate, with a hint of malt

T- Very sweet for a porter, distinct coffee taste; Also has a chocolatey taste to it (dark); can taste the alcohol, but it doesn't overpower.

M- Very smooth, but a bit watery compared to a lot of porters

O- Very easy to drink, but not as flavorful as I would have liked. Is very average for its style, but that being said it was a good attempt, and worth at least a try.

MrDonQuixote, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of claytong
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance - dark dark black, oil like, head is tan and about an inch

smell - malts, nothing special, very light, some cream

taste - grainy malts, also pretty light tasting, some coffee

mouthfeel - thick and smooth but otherwise a bit lifeless. sticky

not much going on here

claytong, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of ThaCreep
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first impression that one has to face is that the brew is slightly spicy but soon takes over the chocolate definitely possible. It also collects the mocha. In the mouth, mild coffee as if it were sweetened milk but without being sweet and bitterness while retaining its characteristic, especially in the aftertaste. Note that one can detect a hint of black cherries. An exception to be still because with ease to drink quite impressive.

ThaCreep, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of GossageBrewery
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this English Porter into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. This porter poured a dark brown color and produced a foamy tan head. Below average amount of lacing. The aroma was full of roasted malt and smoke. The taste of this porter was full of roasted malt, chocolate and liquorice. There is a touch of hop bitterness and it is a little sweeter then a typical porter. This is a full body beer, not a session beer. Dry finish. Very good porter!

GossageBrewery, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of Nerudamann
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - jet black in color, with about half a finger's worth of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - not a very strong smell, maybe a little molasses-like, and after that a hint of coffee.

Taste and Mouthfeel - a bit of a molasses taste, but more of a roasted chocolate feel. Sweet throughout most of the taste, but bitter toward the end/finish. Texture is pretty well-balanced.

Overall - not terribly interesting taste, but a good taste. Easy to drink and worth drinking more of.

Nerudamann, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of happygnome
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a transparent dark brown color with about a half inch of tan colored head that disappears at medium pace leaving sticky lacing around the edge of the glass and top of the beer. Carbonation bubbles can be seen rising to the top of the beer.

S: Very nice aroma. Cocoa, and roasted coffee aroma. Very inviting

T: Dark roasted cocoa and coffee, balanced with a nice sweet aroma. Slight bitterness.

M: medium bodied beer with good carbonation

Overall, this is a nice brew but i dont know that i will purchase again

happygnome, Jun 24, 2011
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 ChopperSmith
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of a variety six-pack from Left Hand Brewing.

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

Appearance: Very dark brown and slightly hazy. Slight reddish hue when held to the light. One finger of tan foam that faded quick and left a little lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty, with hints of chocolate and coffee and maybe a hint of fresh baked bread.

Taste: Very good. Sweet, malty and and burnt caramel up front, hints of dark chocolate and coffee underneath. A little more flavorful than Left Hand's Milk Stout (which I also really enjoy). Overall, a very well done Porter.

Mouth Feel: Medium body and good carbonation. Not overly thick or heavy. Nice.

Drinkability: It's a very good Porter with a lot of flavor, but never too heavy. Flavors come out a little more as it warms, so don't serve it too cold. Will definitely drink this one again when I want a good porter.

ChopperSmith, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of moosemoose
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass

A: Rich brown w/ khaki head. Decent retention. Average lacing.

S: Coffee. Chocolate. Smoke.

T: Caramel and milk chocolate. I got a hint of vanilla in it as well.

M: Smooth. A bit watery and a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

O: Another solid Left Hand product. Shouldn't disappoint any fan of porters or sweet stouts.

moosemoose, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Lauthaha
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Nice mahogany color, foams beautifully on the pour, and brings a pretty cappuccino head which fizzles down to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Bitter, with some heavily toasted (near burned) wheaty malts. Some dark chocolate flavor in it. Not bad.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy, mostly sweet malt with just a hint of bitter hop flavor in the aftertaste. Goes down wet. Super-tasty, but somewhat plain.

Overall: A solid good beer.

Lauthaha, Jun 14, 2011
Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,097 ratings.