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Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,133 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,133
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 41
Gots: 109 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

Slight malt Sweetness with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and herbal hops.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,133 | Reviews: 479 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jspriest
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Spider889
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Absumaster
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown beer with a very small head that leaves only a small off-white ring around the glass.

Smell is roasted with a nice malty base. There are traces of husk, but this adds to the complexity. Dark crystal malts add the midpiece of the breadcrust smell.

Taste is lightly roasted around a light sweet caramellic center. The beer has notes of chocolate, tabacco and an earthy taste. Bitterness is quite low, but seems to be into balance with the mouthfeel. The body of the beer is quite thin. Sometimes this fades when the glass is empty, but the last sip is also thin. I am not too sure about this beer. It all lacked a bit.

Photo of BB1313
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on date noticeable. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brown, with light getting through giving it some transparent brown ruby hues. Not much head lacing to speak of, but it's there. The aromas are nice with lots of milk chocolates and roasted malts. The flavors really do match the nose. More milk chocolate with a touch of vanilla and coffee. Mouthfeel is nice, light, smooth, nice carbonation. Pretty bold. The bitterness isn't over the top, making this easy to drink. It reminded me alot of an American porter, more than an English porter. Either way, nice.

Overall, this is a good porter.. definitely worth a shot, but it's just short of being something really special.

Photo of drpimento
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent brew! I let it warm a bit from the cooler and with slightly aggressive pour I got a medium sized, foamy tan head that soon settled down to a light cover. Color is a clear, deep smokey garnet with cherry highlights and a couple of nice bubble trails. Aroma is malt, cocoa, roast, toffee, caramel, hint of fruit. Flavor is like nose, plus a bit of salt, some good carbonic tang and a nice, mild, pleasing balance of bitter and sweet. Good body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of average length. This is a very good, traditional English style Porter, I'd like more.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color, thin head. Smells like chocolate, dark chocolate. Flavor is more dark chocolate, cocoa, bakers chocolate, tootsie roll. The flavor reminded me of the old barrel-aged imperial stout a bit. Overall, very easy to drink but not sure I'd want more than one of these since the chocolate flavor was so overwhelming.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown body. tan head, random lacing

S: mild dark chocolate, ripe fruit, malt.

T: light dark chocolate, mild malt, hint of rip fruit/nuts,
light crisp bitter finish

S - unsweetened cocoa and roasted coffee. Hints of toffee and a little caramel provide for some sweetness.

M: light/med body, more on semi-dry mouth

D: Not bad, dark fruit/nutty porter.
I would try again, but maybe try again.


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

Somewhere between a rebooted H P Lovecraft Cthulhu and a damp squid, the illustration on the label gives a pretty bad first impression.
But once popped there is a nice medium richish smell of mocha and coffee. Dark cola body. Fleshy one inch magnolia head. Taste is similar being earthy, somewhat dry, and with a degree of (metallic?) chocolate. Somewhat limited in development and complexity it lacks that delicious morish quality you find in the better porters.

In the end the damp squid wins out.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a fluffy, creamy pillow of a head, but dissipates to a wisp with a cream ring of bubbles around the edge. The beer is rich coffee color, held up to the light the coffee brown shows through. Pretty decent sticky lacing. Slightly alcoholic smell to this, with a hint of bitter chocolate. This beer tastes of bitter chocolate and deep roasted malts. It doesn't have that burnt charcoal profile, and that's a good thing in my eyes. Mouthfeel is a bit watered down. This is a nice porter, pretty drinkable, but I gotta admit it's a bit strong for my liking. At 6.4%, the alcohol really comes through, but overall this isn't a bad effort from Left Hand, but there are better porters out there.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown with a large, foamy, light, bubbly, light tan head. Pretty good retention leaving very speckled lace.

S - Mix between unsweetened coffee and chocolate and dark fruit aromas. Hints of caramel and toffee as well.

T - More dark fruit compared to the coffee/cocoa. Plum and slight vinous flavors are strongest among those flavors. Some unsweetened cocoa and roasted coffee. Hints of toffee and a little caramel provide for some sweetness.

M - Lighter body with average carbonation. A touch on the thin/watery side.

D - A little too much dark fruit to make me want to drink a lot of this, but it is fairly well balanced.

Notes: Definitely an English porter with a good amount of dark fruit and toffee/caramel. Some roasted malt and coffee/cocoa as well. Not a bad porter but not my favorite.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Left Hand's Black Jack Porter last week from The Lager Mill for $1.79. I have tried Left Hands Milk Stout a couples years ago and thought it was pretty good so when I saw that their brews were now available in Michigan I decided to give their porter a try and see how it is. There was a bottling date but it was smudged and unreadable. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer is pretty weird, I don't know what the drawing on the bottle is, but it doesn't look bad, just weird. It poured a deep dark brown color that was bordering on being black with lots of ruby highlights when held to the light. It had a fingers worth of tan head that quickly died down to a thin ring with a thin lump in the middle that stayed till the end.

S- The aroma is pretty much all roasted malts. They impart some nice bitter and milk chocolate aromas along with a slight bit of coffee and a good amount of roasted grain aroma. The aroma is pretty on par from an English Porter.

T- The taste starts off with all those roasted malts that I picked up in the aroma that imparted some nice bitter and milk chocolate along with a very slight coffee flavor. The finish has medium amount of bitterness to it that gives it a bitter chocolate aftertaste.

M- Smooth, creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had a light amount of carbonation that could have been kicked up a couple notches.

Overall I thought this was a good English Porter. I don't have a lot of experience with this style but I am starting to like the lightness and complexity of this style as apposed to some of the more robust American Porters that border on being a stout. This beer was pretty damn drinkable, it went down pretty fast and if I had another one I would drink it, I could see drinking 3 or 4 of these on a cool fall night. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor, it wasn't overly robust and it turned out to be pretty complex. What I liked least about this beer was the mouthfeel, the carbonation needed to be bumped up a couple notches and it wouldn't hurt to make it a little thicker for a medium body. I could see myself buying this again when looking for a nice and easy drinking English Porter. I would recommend giving this beer a try it has just the right amount of balance and complexity to do this style justice. I still think Arcadia's London Porter is my favorite English Porter, but this beer comes pretty close to it although still being pretty different, but I have yet to have a traditional English Porter from England so I really can''t tell which one is more tradition, but I am willing to bet that Black Jack is closer to a traditional English Porter. I am glad that Left Hand is now available in Michigan, so far I have only tried their darker beers so I am interested to see what they can do with some of the lighter styles, guess I am going to have to track some down next time I am at the store.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,133 ratings.