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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.

974 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 974
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 35
Gots: 48 | FT: 1
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: 974 | Reviews: 459 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoctorDog


3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown. Hard pour produces 2+ fingers of creamy tan head, which fades slowly to a thin ring, leaving no lacing.

S- An earthy, sweet espresso type smell.

T- Slightly earthy with a bit of sweetness, and a cocoa/coffee finish with mild bitterness.

M- Extremely smooth and creamy for a porter. Very nice.

D- Good. One could easily enjoy several of these in an evening.

Future outlook: Probably won't seek this out, but it seems to be a nice addition to the Mountain Mixer in which it came.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 04:56:48 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of praufs01


3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark reddish brown with a creamy tan head.

Aroma - Very mild sweet milk chocolate aroma, not much of anything else.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth with small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Milk chocolate with a hint of espresso. There is a hint of alcohol in the aftertaste that warms you up quite nicely.

Overall - I like it. It's a very smooth porter. I could be quite happy drinking four of five of these in an evening.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 00:00:10 | More by praufs01
Photo of Jeffo


3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this at the Cracked Kettel in Amsterdam

Bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Dark brown in color with a tan one finger head. Retains decently. Ends up with a decent flat film and leaves next to no lacing. Mild to medium carbonation evident, and bubbles collect around the edges of the glass. Carbonation decorates the top nicely.

SMELL: Roasted malt with a hint of pure chocolate. Some caramel and dark fruits come through as well. Strong enough nose on this one.

TASTE: Roasted malt flavor. Mostly dark fruit flavor with a slight bit of pure chocolate there at the end. No real bite or aftertaste evident, which is slightly disappointing.

PALATE: Medium body. Somewhat creamy on the palate and finishes pretty dry. Carbonation is just right and it goes down smooth with no real bite. Could be fuller and creamier for the style, but decent non-the-less.

OVERALL: Definitely drinkable. Needs a stronger aftertaste to bring it up a notch, but it's certainly a good brew that I'd go for again.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2008 13:31:26 | More by Jeffo
Photo of currysage1


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark shade of hazy burgundy with a one finger espresso crema colored head. Quickly fades to just a light covering.

Smell is of egg nog, brandy, slight coffee sweetness, cloves, and cinnamon.

Taste is More on the light roast coffee side, dark chocolate notes as well, decent balance between the malt background and the hop presence.

Mouthfeel could be a little heavier, certainly not thin but then again this is an English Porter. Drinkability is pretty high, solid brew nothing that really stands out but solid anyways.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 06:34:06 | More by currysage1
Photo of cdkrenz


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Straight from the bottle with a hand of 21. Take a look. You'll see what I mean.

S - Very much chocolate and very much nice.

T - The flavor to start is chocolaty moving to a smokey character and finishing with a slight hop flavor.

M - The feel is a bit coarse accross the tip of my tongue. I don't think the texture really does much for the brew.

~ This is a solid beer. I'll certainly recommend to my pals that they offer it a shot. Also, even though I write with my right I swing lefty!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 01:59:37 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of tempest


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

Out of a variety case from Shangy's. Pours an opaque black with a short tan head, a little lacing.

The aroma is a rich blend of semi-sweet chocolate, light java, and cream. The flavor follows up with a hint of spicy hops at the end in addition to the chocolate grains. MY only complaint is that it could be more complex. The mouthfeel is pretty balanced, and while this is a bigger beer, it's still fairly drinkable. Worth a try for a big, chocolatey porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 21:59:52 | More by tempest
Photo of Proteus93


3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

- served with a chilled glass which I needed to give some time to warm up

A: Pours like a cola with the exception of the creamy head with a few nice bubbles bursting.

S: Freshly ground coffee, and a soft but warm roasted malt aroma.

T: Coffee again... like an iced coffee, with a sweet maltiness. Rather decent.

M + D: A crisp carbonation... maybe a little sharp, but not too much. A nice roundness to the body that kinda saves it. It's a good enough beer... not the best I've experienced, but not too shabby.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 03:25:56 | More by Proteus93
Photo of angelmonster


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

12 oz bottle poured very dark , almost black, 1/2 inch head that somewhat quickly faded away

Smells of roasted malt. Also of chocolate milk mixed with alcohol, almost like a white russian.

Taste was rich, sweet, chocolate coffee with a slight bitter aftertaste. For being only 6.4 abv it tastes abit too alcoholic

Mouth feel was a little heavy on carbonation, goes down good and not too heavy.

Overall drink ability was good , one or two bottles at a time , have bought this beer many times and would recommend to others

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 07:22:18 | More by angelmonster
Photo of uwmgdman


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear, very dark brown with a nice garnet hue. The head is thin and tan. The aroma is chocolately and sweet with a bit of roasted malt. The flavor is quite chocolately, bittersweet and mouthfeel is quite smooth. Carbonation is medium-low and body medium. Overall an easy drinking, flavorful porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 21:47:26 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of jbphoto88


3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown beer with a strong creamy tan head. As light hits the edges the beer reveals leathery brown and garnet highlights. The head dissipates to a collar and bubbly island mixed with some fine lacing.

Smell is rich with dark chocolates with a decadent sweetly scorched malt then in the second sniff its... musty malts. I'm slightly confused by this one, in one whiff its great and then in the next it smells like stale beer. It is more good then bad but it's got to make you wonder.

Taste is buttery sweet with a nice touch of bitterness. A big burnt malt taste gives a nice smokiness to this beer. There are some dark bittersweet chocolates following the initial taste that subsides quickly to a slightly sour finish. Mouthfeel is moderately dry with a tiny bit of smoked chalkiness.

Not bad for a porter. I like the simple flavors that make up the layers of this beer. Dark but not too dark, sweet but not overly saccharine, bitter but not too sour. I think this is a good workhorse of a beer. It isn't a very big or innovative porter but it has my thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 23:05:49 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of matty


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black colored porter with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is a strong mocha coffee.Taste is chocolate,coffee and burnt malts.This is very smooth and goes down like water.Highly recommended!!Another great job by the people at Left Hand Brewing Company.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 05:09:13 | More by matty
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear chestnut body with a semisolid cap of fine-bubbled beige foam.The head reduces quickly and leaves only a smattering of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is faintly chocolatey with a note of harsh black coffee.

The taste is a bit watered-down, but good flavors of semisweet chocolate with dry cocoa powder and winey coffee on a dry malty backbone arise from the watery depths. No indication of alcohol anywhere.

Light-medium in body with unobtrusive carbonation. It's like Left Hand took a decent porter, cut it with mineral water, and bottled it. The end product is entirely drinkable, but pretty forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 14:50:00 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of SIRIUS2

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC

Arrived at the table in a tapered pint glass, showing off a very dark brown color and a modest 3/4 inch of creamy light brown foam. Head retention was decent on this and there was good lacing all the way down the glass.

The aromas on this were a little different as there seemed to me to be something on the order of molasses mixed in with a light mocha smells. There was something else reminiscent of black licorice but very faint. It all came together quite nicely.

The flavors for this weren't quite as complex as the aromas, but that doesn't make this brew bad by any stretch. Nice full mouthfeel combines with robust flavors of chocolate and light coffee. That creamy head foreshadows a similar silky texture as it wraps around the tongue while light carbonation dances across the taste buds. The finish starts a touch on the sweet side but goes dry pretty quickly with moderate lingering of coffee.

Complex, solid flavors, and smooth textures make this brew quite enjoyable. I only had one but it made an impression. Recommended to the porter lovers out there.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2008 18:08:38 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle bought online from The Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam... The ABV on the bottle i had states 5.8% not the 6.4% listed here...

Quite a violent fizz when the cap is popped... Poured pretty much pitch black with just the slightest hint of brown around the edge. Massive mocha tan head poured big, thick and foamy - this is one of the biggest heads i've ever seen on a beer. It faded slowly to good rocky covering... some decent patchy lacing...

Aroma - Quite an odd mix... lots of roasted, sooty and charred notes, coffee, quite leathery, some sourness, lots of cola hints, dark brown sugar / treacle, grassy hops, some light citrus fruits, burnt toasted nuts, earthy, sharp saltiness...

Taste - Quite sooty, toasted bready malts, quite tart fruitiness (apples, red grapes, black currents), peppery and grassy hops, caramac, some raisins, bitter chocolate and some black coffee hints...

M&D - Quite sharp and dry and very carbonated (maybe overly so)... light / medium bodied... fairly drinkable...

Overall - A pretty decent and slighty unusual porter... well worth a try...

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 13:49:15 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Bierguy5


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, can't read the date printed on the label. Dark brown with some chestnut hues. Tan rocky head. Great head retention. A few spots of lace.

Milk chocolate in the nose, very light roast coffee. Maybe a hint of caramel and cream. Very nice aroma.

Light roasty malt, a bit of chocolate and cream. A few fruity esthers, and maybe a bit of citrusy hops at the end. Nothing very heavy about this beer. Very well balanced.

Maybe a bit thin. Overall, pretty easy to drink, with some nice flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 21:46:45 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of HardcoreKeith


3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Sam Adams glass.

It's dark, but some light does make it through, especially around the edges. Tan head that falls away quickly. The smell actually seems to be roasted barley. The taste as well contains an aspect of burnt smokiness that I don't expect from a porter. Mild hop bitterness is in line with the English porter style. A little dense. Creamy. Pretty good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 03:56:46 | More by HardcoreKeith
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pous ruby-brown with a tan rocky head that leaves decent lacing down the glass.

Aroma of coffee and cocoa powder. Nice.

Initial pint hit me with some coffee, some chocolate and an alcohol bite. Funny, second pint didn't have the same alcohol bite -- I must be getting immune. Call AA.

Smooth clean mildly bitter aftertaste with moderate carbonation. This is a clean brew. Nothing spectacular -- no surprises, bad or pleasant.

Afer the first, i wondered how many of these I could have. After the second, I knew these had decent drinkability.

A fairly decent porter. Nothing harsh or overly bitter or burnt here.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 22:43:21 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of kinger


3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, dark in color with a hint of red. Absolute minimal head retention and no lacing. Aroma was not prominently displayed but it was evident that this porter would have some sweetness to it. Very thin mouthfeel for a porter, but creamy and very smooth. The best thing going for this one is the flavor. I didn't expect much based on the aroma and appearance, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was correct to expect a sweet taste to this one, chocolate malts easily make themselves known, and are well blended with other roasted and coffee malt flavors. A slight hoppiness is present which I think really brings this porter full circle. Well made overall, although I wish it had a thicker body to it. I would surely try this one again, preferably on tap.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2008 14:43:51 | More by kinger
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a nice dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin diminishing head. Aroma is a decent blend of carmel and chocolate. The taste is a slightly bitter chocolate with some undertoned hops. The beer is on the light side of medium with low carbonation. This is a decent porter for a cool rainy afternoon.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2008 20:21:59 | More by atsprings
Photo of Deus1138


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Total Wine and More in Kennesaw. I've seen a lot Left Hand stuff around Atlanta. I figured it was time to give them a try.

Poured a bottle into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice, syrupy dark brown. I held it up to the light, but couldn't see through it's darkness.

Smell is a little soft. I could go for a little more. Smells roasty and chocolaty with a hint of roasted coffee.

Taste is excellent. The chocolate and roasted coffee flavors really coat your palate and stay with you. There's a slight milky sweetness there too.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Just the right amount of carbonation. It's there, but it doesn't distract your tongue from enjoying the rich malt flavors.

Drinkability is excellent. I'm glad I tried this and will make it a regular purchase for me. Definitely enjoyable all year long, but I'm really looking forward to enjoying this in the winter, maybe while cooking some s'mores in front of the fire.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 22:31:31 | More by Deus1138
Photo of Vancer


3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle came from a Warrior summer sample pack. Nice label and dating - good start. Pour is a surprising dark cola brown, frothy tan head with good lacing. Still expected an almost black brew.

Chocolate malts in the aroma and quaff. Gritty and woody, English style - not any sour ale quality that I like in the porters. Only drawback was that the brew is a tad on the thin side. Slides easily, it was still needed more body and taste.

I suppose it would make for a good summer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 23:41:15 | More by Vancer
Photo of gmfessen


3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep ruby-brown, almost black with a thin, milky head. The smell is not overwhelming, but is of strongly roasted notes and chocolate malt. The taste has a similar profile, with a touch of peat smokiness at the end. A decently balanced beer, but definitely malt forward. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a minimal carbonation. Overall, not a bad beer but not one that stands out in my mind either.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 23:22:33 | More by gmfessen
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The smoky and malty taste hits with a strong flavor of black coffee up front along with back ground flavors of dark fruit & dark chocolate. There's a mild hops presence that is about right for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this isn't a bad beer but there are definitely several other porters that I would pick first.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2008 04:53:58 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of armock

New York

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark brown color with a light brown head that leaves lacing

S - Has a nice roasted malt scent with a sweet chocolate touch

T - The roasted malt comes out first then finishes with a chocolaty coffee flavor

M - To me it seems a little thin with light carbonation to it

D - Overall I think this is a good beer its not going to blow you a way but its a good easy to drink porter with a good taste to it thats worth trying

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2008 23:23:46 | More by armock
Photo of cjgator3


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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a . The aroma is dark roasted malts, a good dose of coffee and a hint of dark chocolate. The taste starts out with smooth dark roasted malts and finishes with some bitter dark chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but a little thin for the style. Overall, Black Jack Porter is a pretty decent porter, but really doesn't stand out enough for me to purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 02:54:54 | More by cjgator3
Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.