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Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,171 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,171
Reviews: 486
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 42
Gots: 128 | 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: 1,171 | Reviews: 486
Photo of deadliest
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours a non-murky, deep, dark brown. Sticky lace remains after the head quickly disappears.

Smell: Faint dark chocolate, caramel.

Taste: The same faint dark chocolate, heavier malt in the taste than the smell.

Feel: ehh. Fair. An oddly unfitting carbonation. Maybe should have poured harder?

Drinkability: decent drinkability. Hides nearly all the alcohol content, but the quality of the taste seemed to diminish somewhat on the second one.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark oaky brown, thin cream head that evaporates after a short period of time, leaves a small amount of lace that is nevertheless beautifully sticky. Yeah, looks like a porter. Decent.

Nose is sweet and mostly chocolatey, with a thin but sweet main aroma. Lots of nutty yeast character and fresh cracked grain. Cereal character with some oats and a mild honey note. Nice roastedness stops it from overly sweet fragrance but still retains a pleasant sweetness, not bad.

Taste is similar. Has most of that fresh cereal character on the front, puffed rice and honey notes that descend into a mild but distinct roasty mid-palate. Yeah, weak-ish but has a nice, reasonably sweet darkness, hints of licorice with anise spice and a dark caramel malt flavour. Finish trails off in a light toasted grain flavour.

Mouthfeel is dry, and a bit sharp around the edges but quite a hefty body for the strength.

Yeah overall it's a decent mild porter, pleasantly sweet but dark, nice balance. Doesn't have a lot to offer but what's there is pleasant. Smooth and drinkable dark ale.

Photo of AEK
4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml brown bottle poured into a Young's branded pint pot.
N.B The above %ABV states 6.4%, the bottle I had has 5.8%ABV printed on the label.

A. Deep brown with a good, tight lightly tanned head.

S. Plenty going on here in this one. Perhaps the best complexity of aromas I have ever noted in a beer. Lots of mocha, molasses, treacle and beefy notes, similar to Thomas Hardy's Ale but not as overpowering with the meatiness.

T. Sweet malt and coffee also a hint of blackcurrant. There is an initial dryness on the palate. A nice finish.

M. Medium and smooth.

D. A very good porter from Left Hand. The combination of aromas is brilliant. The taste is lighter than its 5.8%ABV. An escellent drinking porter from Colorado. How I would love to spend an evening drinking only this beer, delicious, aahh!!
If you are in the UK then I would seriously think of tracking it down as you won't be disappointed.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark brown color; can see through. Poured a 1 finger tan head to an even skim. Laced in thin rings.

S: Chocolate, nuts and dark-colored fruit.

T: Flavorful toasted malts; nuts, chocolate, bitter toffee/caramel. Slight bittering hop character in teh finish.
Smooth and silky. Dry and bitter in the finish.

D: Solid porter. Flavorful and balanced. ther than some aspects of appearance, very good.

Photo of biglite351
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - light through the middle of the glass. Nice red-brown. Near white head.

S - I thought it smelled a bit like a lager. A little bitter in the end.

T - mild porter taste, a little chocolate and malt. Bitterness in the after taste.

M - mild coating and mild tingle in front sides of tongue.

D - if it were not for the bitter after taste this could be a drinker.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, soapy, bubbly, cream colored head. There was minimal lacing.

S - It smelled roasty with sweet notes of chocolate, toffee and caramel.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate with a bittersweet kick. It had a mild herbal hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied porter with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice porter. I like the fact that is English-styled.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a 09.09.09 bottled on stamp. Pours a dark crimson color and shows plenty of highlights when held up to light. Aggressive pour yields a decent, 2-finger tan foam. Average retention and pretty nice lacing.

Nose has some strawberry fruitiness along with some pecan nuts and coconut shavings. There is the requisite chocolate and caramel, but they are pretty light for the style.

Taste focuses more on the honeyed malts with a little bit of roast and coffee flavor. Fairly sweet and does not show much in the way of hop bitterness. Just a bit of toasty malt on the finish. There is still a bit of mild light fruit, maybe some honeydew melon and strawberries. Decently creamy mouthfeel and is adequately carbonated. Pretty easy drinking porter that is neither really good nor bad. Falls in the 'above average' category and I could see myself drinking this every once in a while.

Photo of Kromes
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brewed on date on the bottle says 8/26/08, so it's over 2 years old....forgot to check the label before I bought it. I'll give it a try though.

A: A clear very dark brown color that you can see through. There is a soapy head on top of the beer.

S: Smells very good. The nutty, caramel malt aroma is very nice, and there are chocolate, dark fruit and licorice aromas coming off of the beer too.

T: A good sweet, smooth nutty chocolate flavor with some nice smoky caramel grain flavor to back it up. There is a touch of hop and alcohol flavor in the finish.

M: A light and thin feel to the body. The finish leaves a dry and bitter feel.

D: There are better porters out there, but this isn't that bad. A nice flavor and smell too it and the alcohol is barely noticeable.

Photo of jbone78
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up just because I have never had it, and turns out I love it. Pours robust brown and is nice and clear with at small tan head. Smells slightly nutty and taste a bit nutty too. The nutty flavors blend with a robust toasty notes and finishes with a slight silky butterness. A very easy drinking beer and I will grab more if there are anymore at the store.


Photo of Cyberkedi
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong, rich aroma is of quality roast coffee with a firm overtone of sweet chocolate - tres tempting. It pours a semi-opaque Coca-Cola brown with a fairly thick beige head. Flavor is like a fine mocha, roast coffee and chocolate, slightly sweet, with a surprising and pleasant bitter hoppy undertone. Texture is tingly and smooth, very pleasant going down the hatch.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Its dark brown as it sits, clear dark red when held to the light. On the light side color wise. To the plus is that the off white head leaves some pretty nice lacing.

Smell: Roasty with some notes of unsweetened cocoa powder. Pretty good.

Taste: Pretty roasty malts-- more bitter than sweet. A little chocolate flavor, but not too much. A touch of sourness. Not bad, but not great.

Mouthfeel: Close to right on for a porter. Feels smooth and just slightly creamy, and finishes clean.

Drinkability: Nothing bad about this, but nothing stands out either. The smell is the best part of this beer.

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

Poured this dark brown beer into a pint glass. The foam that frothed forth was a generous inch beer and reduced real slowly. The aroma of the beer is that of a roasted, cooking chocolate. The taste follows suit with a hint of malt towards the end for the aftertaste. Overall, not that bad of a porter to have on a chilly night.

Photo of RuudJH
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 2nd encounter with a brew from Left Hand BC. American beers are not all common where i live.
Also it's my first encounter with beerstyle called 'porter', allthough i have some idea about what to expect.
Bought at Burg Bieren in Ermelo.

Nice dark brown with a thin head.Smells of chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts, and slightly of dark fruit.
Taste is similar, with modest hops to complement it.
Smooth and easy.
This seems similar to the imperial stout I tried from 'Left Hand', only lighter. It also has similarities with the Guinness Special export stout I hold in very high regard, only this has more chocolate notes, and is not as bitter.
All in all a very good drink, imo. Easy and pleasant.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

English Porter, not my style. Looks ok, kinda dark, thick, we're off to a good start.

Taste, eh, why do all English Porter's taste like a little bit of licorice and rubbing alcohol?

Mouthfeel, well, mahogany accompanies the licorice and alcohol. Not too drinkable.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. This beer looked like it was going to be great during the pour, but got closer to pretty average the more time went on. At first it had a huge creamy head on it that looked like it was going to have decent lacing to it but it went away fairly quickly and just left a little bit of lace at the top of the class. Its a hearty mahogany color that has lighter brown highlights to it. Only after it's been out of the fridge for Id say atleast 45 minutes does the smell start to get better than average and even work it's way to good. Initially you can't pick up a whole lot, just sort of a dry pine hop. But as it warms up you can also pick up that it smells well malted with aromas of cocoa and even a feint hint of coffee. Once it warms up it actually smells pretty well blended. The taste is a slight step down. Has the initial taste of the roasted malts chocolate and coffee but it doesn't blend well with the hops at all. On top of that the coffee taste to it is similar to coffee that's been on the burner a little too long. Mouthfeel is ok, I would have to say pretty average for this style and that's probably being a bit generous, complex and finishes with I would say an awkward bitterness. Due to all of the flavors not meshing well together, it's not very drinkable overall. I was a little dissapointed. Only the 2nd beer I've had from this brewery and the first I've reviewed. I've had the milk stout several times and really enjoyed it, I'm hoping maybe I just a bad bottle, but no indications on it seems that it was out of code. I may try it again in the future if I have the opportunity.

Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a clear dark reddish brown, almost burgundy, thin light tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, pretty light in colour for a porter.

Smell is weird, a little sour, some candy and fruit, some plastic, a light bit of smokiness, almost a bit grapey, some caramel and honey, kind of sweet, but I'm not really sure whats going on here.

Taste is very light, a bit of maltiness, caramel and biscuit, weird plastic character, kind of bitter and sour in the finish, a bit fruity, not too good.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, some alcohol comes through. Not a good porter. Thanks Russ!

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

got a couple of these from OHLRangers as part of secret santa '09. thanks ed!

12oz bottle, bottled 07/28/09. sampled feb 5/2010.

pours deep brown with a small fine off-white head. the head quickly drops to a thin ring around the glass and leaves lots of spotty lace.

aroma is nice. dark and milk chocolate. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. cracker and biscuit. light alcohol. earthy. coffee. caramel and toffee. touch of butterscotch. a bit fruity. slight smokey edge too.

taste is good. coffee. dark and milk chocolate. toffee. touch of caramel. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit. light alcohol. touch smoke and earth in the background. light fruity english character.

mouthfeel is nice. medium body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is good. good balance. a nice english porter.

Photo of bum732
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, reddish tints, head dissipates to a ring around the glass. Smells of some citrus and floral notes, come caramel, touch of roastiness and cinnamon. Tastes of coffee like malt with a nice subtle fruity backbone. Coffeeness gives way to soft english ale yeast apple flavors with a moderate earthy bitterness. Finishes slightly sweet with a touch of roastiness. Moderate mouthfeel, fairly carbonated. Alcohol is surprisingly noticable.

An ok porter, quite fruity and floral for the style. There is some coffee there, but it doesn't really stand out, making this more similar to an English bitter. Nothing really pops in this beer, but definitely drinkable.

Photo of erikwibaeus
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of Brabander
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of darkmaven
3/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of Gmann
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of ADZA
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,171 ratings.