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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.

1,028 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,028
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 36
Gots: 67 | 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: 1,028 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erikwibaeus
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my first real Porters i must say. This one fell into my taste a couple of weeks ago and iv been drinking it since. A nice porter all the way through! The A is very good (boarderline 5!) with a nice foam that settles calmly onto the dark surface. The easy smell that this very porter has i nice but in not the best iv smelled.. Perhaps my nose isnt train for this very smell since im new to the porter scene..? The taste is nice and has a bit of sweetness in the end. The afterburner chamber in this badboy is very nice, its the strongest iv felt so far among the world of American porters! Can be warmly recommended.

erikwibaeus, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Brabander
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam. Actually this one is a good beer! I drank it in a dutch beer glass. Gives a nice foamy broken white head. Beer is pretty darkbrown. All in all i very nice beer to drink, even if one is a fan of the Belgian beers.

Brabander, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a dark mahogany with ruby highlights it's hard to call this porter black especially when held toward the light. It forms a creamy light khaki colored head that dwindles typically with non descript even fine lacing. Aromatics offer up a touch of black licorice aka anise, with a roasted malt character bringing out some dark chocolate and mild coffee accent notes. Herbal hops in the back ground, a bit of caramel complements the party as well. Flavor brings out the dominant caramel presence with a touch of roasted malt characteristics including the mild coffee and dark chocolate, again a mild herbal hop bitterness in the finish for some balance. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated, there is a harsh bitterness that is left on the palate giving me an aftertaste that I don't truly care for between sips. Drinkability overall is decent not my favorite dark that's would have to be their milk stout, but this will do for now average dark brown/porter style ale.

WVbeergeek, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of darkmaven
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My thought was, "It will probably be a smooth, caramel and tobacco accented beer, easy to drink like the Milk Stout." The name Black Jack makes me think tobacco and whiskey for some reason, so I transferred that over to the beer. Because I think a title should not just be RANDOM, but have some correlation to the beer you're drinking. Right?

Well I am the queen of hearts (love that song Juice Newton!) with my lip stuck out, because I am considerably disappointed with my buddy Jack. There is virtually NOTHING on the nose. And believe my I search, I wait, and I search again. A little hint of pepper and spice (and nothing else nice unfortunately) and that's it. Only AFTER drinking the final beer, the Black Flag Imperial Stout with its surge of hoppiness, and returning, did it seem like a porter, with touches of maple syrup. Before that, it was just a bland brown ale. If I had to summarize in one word, "nondescript" would be my linguistic choice.

darkmaven, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a three-fingers thick, fluffy tan head into a tumbler. the body was dark brown with some reddish-purple hues to it.
s - malty and chocolatey with a dryness to it.
t - bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee.
m - slightly thin.
d - very nice beer. a session porter if there ever was one.

GPHarris, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a small creamy tan head that settled into a light ring. The aroma is of milk chocolate, light roasted nuts, and some vinous notes. The taste is of a light roasted malt, milk chocolate, wet wood, and a touch copper. The feel is light, almost watery, has fairly soft carbonation, finishes on the sweet side. A rather mild porter, some decent chocolate flavors but nothing bold. I like my porters to be lighter than stouts but this one bordered on being watery. Nothing off about this brew but no wow factor. A sessionable porter.

Gmann, Oct 24, 2009
Photo of ADZA
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My bottle looks exactly the same the only difference being my ABV on this bottle is 5.8%,This beer pours a black cola colour with nice carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one head and a ring of lacing,it has aromas of dark coffee,dark plums and some feint hops,it has an above average mouthfeel with a strong dark coffee,chocolate taste about it that finishes with a subtle kick of hops and no taste whatsoever of its 5.8% ABV so for me its a very drinkable porter.

ADZA, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Deep brown pour, some off white head. Roasted malt, caramel, earthy peat, miniscule hop aroma. Descent medium body, not quite creamy. Flavor is a little sweet, but not overly so. Malt, toffee, chocolate and peat/grass/slight tobacco earthyness. Warming does not help this one much, a just a bit too mild. Kind of a sweet carmelly finish, some smokiness. Drinkability is good. If you are expecting an American porter you might be dissappointed, but a solid American version of an English porter. Solid brew from Left Hand, but pretty forgettable.

Bung, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Left Hand in August 2009.

Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head. The smell is of roasted malt with a little bit of chocolate. Some fruits and breadiness as well. The taste is similar--nice and simple to drink without too much complexity. The body is full and is fairly drinkable for a porter--not too dry.

Thorpe429, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of supercolter
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent beer, not my favorite of thiers, but good none the less. Appearance is deep brown with almost no head or lacing. Smell and taste are nearly identical with lots of deep roast and dark chocolate malts. There is a hint of earthiness with honey mixed in as well. Mouthfeel is acceptable, but on the border of being too light. Drinkability is decent as well.

supercolter, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of PartyBear
2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark brown to black in colour, with a small tan head.

Aroma: Dark roasty bitter malts, with subtle caramel undertone. Sightly coppery with a grapey wine aroma.

Taste: The main flavour is a milky chocolate, with a oaty taste. There isn't a great deal of bitterness, the taste has an overall sweet creaminess that isn't too paleteable.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, watery in places. It has a smoothness but slightly too creamy.

Drinkability: The flavours just aren't powerful enough, which give it an almost bland creamy taste, which is a shame. There are better, much more flavoursome porter out there, which manage to achieve this with a lot lower ABV.

PartyBear, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of SamN
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Pourhouse again, same hot waitress. From notes taken while sipping.

A- Dark brown, tan head that leaves quickly. Pretty beer.

S- Some candy sweetness, alcohol, earthy notes, whiskey.

T- Malt, of course, toasty, a light porter flavor than most, grassy, well balanced.

M- Nice body on this beer, smooth with little carbonation.

D- Very good, a good choice if you want a darker beer with a light body.

SamN, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Left Hand- Black Jack Porter

A- Flat black with no head.
S- Light dusty dry chocolate with coffee grains.
T- Very light and sweet chocolate, sorta like a Flake choc. candy bar. Sweet sugar and a mild touch of black coffee.
M- Very sweet and mild, almost bland. Sweet malt with a dry bitter finish.

Overall- Slightly bland, mediocre. Middle of the road at best.

NJpadreFan, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of corby112
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with dark amber edges and a 1 finger frothy beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. No lacing to speak of.

Weak chocolate malt aroma with a slight toasted malt and nut presence.

Light bodied and watered down up front with some oatmeal, smooth chocolate maltiness, toffee and slightly bitter subtle hop presence in the finish.

corby112, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of TheSarge
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This stout pours perfectly with mounds of tan head, which sticks well to the glass. The body is cleanly filtered and is dark ruby red and black in color.

In the way of aroma, I'm getting copper metallic like tones, along with a light cocoa fragrance too.

The taste has a good mild sweetness of chocolate and light coffee flavors.

The mouth feel really is on the bubbly side, but not prickly or crisp.

TheSarge, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of farrago
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with minimal head, lacing stronger than any foam on top. Not quite black, just very dark brown in color, turning to a faint orange around the rims. Not a lot of roast to the nose, more caramel, butterscotch, vanilla fudge and then black raisin, plum, cherry fruit, has a spring water freshness to it, not a lot of density, drifts off rather quickly. Medium-bodied, while it doesn't have a lot of weight it still manages to feel sluggish and unwilling to move. Coffee notes perk it up some but then it's basically the same story as in the nose, chocolate, caramel, butterscotch and plum, raisin, other dark fruits. The carbonation much more fluffy and active than you'd guess from the absence of any head. Light breadiness with some bitters, here it tastes like fizzy mineral water rather than still stream water. Fairly lacking in complexity and finishes short. Another beer more marked by absence of positive traits than presence of negative traits.

farrago, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer poured a deep black. Almost as dark as a stout, but not quite. Could only see through the beer around the edges of my pint glass.

Smell: The aroma is like chocolate candy with some other mild fruity and bready things going on. Somewhat mute for a porter.

Taste: Rather disappointing brew from the esoteric Left Hand Brewing Company. It's sweet, which they in fact acknowledge on the description, and lacks complexity. The beer is better at warmer temperatures, but truly lacks a character which makes it easy to dismiss for future purchasing.

Mouthfeel: This is actually quite good. It is a full bodied brew that billows malty goodness.

Drinkability: I was disinclined to have a second after my first. A good porter can easily be a session beer. However, with abundant sweetness and lack of complexity, the move to another beer seems only natural.

Overall... Probably better for porter newbs, who are put off by dark colors. The sweetness is probably easy to like. I honestly prefer the robust porter for their superior aroma and taste which contributes to drinkability. This is NOT a robust beer.

MaltyHoppyGood, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark pour, not a lot of head. Very little aroma, just the bare hint of coffee. Not much flavor either, mostly cola with a little bit of coffee; bland. Not a lot of body. With nothing in the way, it goes down fairly easy. As a southpaw myself, I had high hopes for Left Hand Brewing, but Black Jack porter did not come through as anything other than average.

kegger22, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a little deep red hue along the edges. It also initially poured with a nice 1 finger white head that dissolved way too fast and left little lacing. The smell is quite pleasant with traces of cocoa. Mouthfeel is a little lighter than what I would want but it makes it easier to drink and want another. Taste has a little bit of hop bitterness up front and on the finish. All around you can taste a little bit of chocolate.

stakem, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A- Black Jack was not completely black but close enough, just a small shade down from it in fact. BJ had a 1/2 inch tan head that faded into a small skim, sparse lacing.

S- This has a big roasted malt scent coming from it with even lighter chocolate and barely noticable coffee. Im picking up a hint of smoke. Just a small amount of hops rounding out the scent.

T- Taste like a robust porter that does not step outside the box at all, so it's pretty standard. Roasted malts, chocolate, slight bittering hops and a touch of smoke. I dont get the coffee that everybody else seems to be picking up.

M- This one has a medium feel with light carbonation, a tad more would have been welcomed. Pretty robust and full to begin with but towards the end it feels a bit watery. A small smoky after taste.

D- I like how the ABV is not dangerously high but this one did not quite do it for me so one pint was enough. I have yet to be wowed by Left Hand offerings and I hope to find one more to my liking in the future.

BARFLYB, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep, dark brown with dark copper highlights. Head is decent and shows quite a few streams of carbonation.

S- Left Hand scents. That is, somewhat grainy bread smell along with sweet caramel and subtle, bitter, roasted characters.

T- Taste is mostly roasty, toasty goodness with moderate sweetness and hop bittering. Hops come off as piney, minty, and floral. Alcohol makes a nice appearance in the background.

M- Pretty thick body and moderate carbonation

D- A porter it is, nothing special it be. I do like the name.

EnojysAnyBeer, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of drunkboxer1
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep/dark brown. Almost black. Creates a tan head that disappears rapidly. Smells of roasted malt, and maybe some dark chocolate. Tastes almost sweet with the fairly decent sized roasty/toasty malt profile. Theres a good amount of hop bitterness present, as well as some earthy hop flavor in the finish. Nice and warming. A fairly decent porter.

drunkboxer1, May 20, 2009
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 355ml bottle, lot code 1007, hope it was in date in mid May 2009. Poured into a Thistle shaped Gordon Finest Golden glass.

Very dark, the glass showed it off nicely, a firm half inch tanned head sat on top of the deepest, dark ruby body. The lovely velvety head sadly faded to a thinner covering a bit too quickly for me, but there was a little head even at the end of the tasting.

Liquorice dominated the aroma at first, then dark chocolate and some burnt coffee bean smells began to assert themselves, very interesting.

Rich more than creamy feel to it, dry, unsugared coffee taste is the strongest flavour by far.

Carbonisation was fairly high for an English Porter, but it wasn't fizzy or over the top by any means, just a bit lively throughout.

I enjoyed it, not sure I'd want another straight after though, more of a nightcap for me than a session beer.

BlackHaddock, May 19, 2009
Photo of CHL
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, clear, and red-amber in the light. Pretty beer, with a lighter and sweeter aroma than porters usually have. I also love the natural (black jack) on the bottle.

The feel and flavor reminds me of Left Hand's milk stout, except I found it much more moderate and tolerable. Very sweet for a porter, with a smooth texture, low hops, and almost no detectable roasted notes.

The chocolate and sweetness makes it quite drinkable and accessible. This is the first beer that me and my girlfriend both enjoyed, although I wish the malt was a bit more roasted and bitter.

CHL, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with garnet hues around the edges. A light brown frothy head rises up minimally and settles to a fine cap of thin foam.

Aroma of roasty malt and cocoa, a bit of raisin.

Flavors of richly roasted dark malt, cocoa, and espresso. Some oak and charred bark, plus a cherry tartness in the finish. Mild hops flourish in the back of the mouth, cocoa lingers, followed by oaky notes.

Rich and fairly full mouthfeel. Tasty beer, very drinkable.

far333, Mar 29, 2009
Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,028 ratings.