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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: 37
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 williamherbert
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The look is a glassy dark brown with a reddish hue. Thick, rocky head. Looks watery as opposed to thick. Nice but thin-looking. Light spiderweb lace.

Nice roasted malt smell. Light toasted coffee taste with a sweet accent. Dry hops add a nice accent, though the hops are slight. Well-balanced.

Very dry malt flavor. Roasted, bittersweet malt. Mild coffee and dark, semi-sweet chocolate. Really well-balanced between sweet and bitter.

Has a "wet," watery feel for a porter, but with a syrupy finish. A bit more milky as it warms up. Very easy to drink. Bitter enough to warm your insides, but sweet enough to take the edge off.

williamherbert, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a ruddy ruby with a frothed tan head and nice lacing. Chocolate is most powerful in the nose with underlying raisin and roasty grain, but mostly it's Hershey's chocolate syrup. Smells pretty thin overall. Chocolate again comes out strong in the flavor with some loud esters, and a toasty yet midly roasty and lactic finish. Mouthfeel is thin and watery yet smooth. Not interested. Won't buy this again.

goochpunch, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of 86sportster883
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand's Black Jack Porter is a pretty decent English Porter. But there's something about it that keeps me from drinking it more often. Maybe it's the aroma. It starts off pleasant enough, reminiscent of dark chocolate covered malt balls and with moderate fruity esters that become more prominent as the beer warms. The taste has toffee and licorice overtones that blend well and achieve a slightly bitter balance. The mouthfeel is smooth and, overall, the Black Jack is a tasty beer. But, there's something about the finish, and the lingering aftertaste, that keeps me from getting too excited about this beer.

86sportster883, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of bark
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is black with a tint of brown. The finger thick head is compact and pale brown. It sinks down slowly, leaving some lacing.

The smell is mildly roasted with clean sweet notes of coffee. There is some bitterness too.

The taste is loaded with roasted malt, coffee and hazel nuts. Bitter notes of lemons and herbs gives a fine balance. The aftertaste got a growing bitterness, dry roasted malt with hints of rubber and tar and mild sweet flavours.

The carbonation is medium-mild; small fresh bubbles. The liquid is creamy/dry.

A very drinkable English porter with an interesting American twist.

bark, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of cyberbmcd
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice malty dark brown, brown as the bottle.

1 finger of thick head that dissipates slowly to fine lacing.

The smell is malty with coffee hints.

The taste is smooth and slightly velvet coffee and chocolate hints, malt swimming on your tongue, with a tiny hop bite at the end.

I love dark beers and this one goes exquisitely well with some smoked gouda.

I can't wait to get some mocha or coffee or vanilla ice cream to try a beer float as suggested by this month's issue of BA magazine.

It's a bit heavy so no more than 2 at a sitting, but this is a winner.

cyberbmcd, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of joedon
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown-sable color with an overly foamy off-white head. Whiffs of chocolate and roast malts in the aroma.

I like the taste; chocolate, a bit of brown sugar and a hint of toffee. Very low bitterness and no hop flavor that I can detect.

Mouthfeel is thin for a porter. Very gassy which is also not very porter-like. Drinkable for basically an average effort at brewing.

joedon, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of iconoklaztor
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

For the record I've yet to meet a great porter.

The appearance is decent. I'm a fan of dark DARK beer. This is a decently dark beer with a head that just wont quit. Lets get right to the taste. I think this is a very well balanced beer. I really enjoy this mind stoutish porter. The taste is good. Its a full coffeeish, chocolateish, taste. The mouthfeel is a little thin which helps it become more drinkable.

I might have to find a few more porters to try out.

Overall: Give this beer a try. It makes me what to explore more porters.

iconoklaztor, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of bassmantin
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with moderate head; thorough lacing. Impressive for a porter. Sweet with no lack of flavor. Doesn't disappoint. Not my favorite style, but if you're in the market for a porter, this one is worth a try. Won't leave you hanging on the finish. Complex enough to engage the pallete.

bassmantin, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of baggio
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first american porter in a long time

A: Black/Red, thin, thin lace.

S: Coffee, Milk chocolate, caramel.

T: Vanilla, Chocolate, coffee, grain, smoke.

M: Low carbonation, quite smooth.

Tastes quite good but the body is very thin. Very high drinkability
though. Worth a try!

baggio, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of riversider76
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest of browns,with a redish hue in the light. Thin tan head,not much retention,but a good lacing.Aroma Body is medium with some carbionation. Roasted coffee,and dark chocolate. Nice,but not very strong. Taste is of bittersweet chocolate,and coffee. Nice sweetness tio the finish.

riversider76, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of Jonte
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle poured into a tulip shaped pint glas.

Dark brown color. Head is off-white colored and large at first but very short lasting.

Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, mild coffee, caramel. Not very strong smell.

The taste is sweet and malty with chocolate and caramel at first and then comes coffee, roasted/burned taste and some bitternes.

Medium body and light carbonation.

An ok porter.

Jonte, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of wcdoyle
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkly translucent (that is, a few steps away from opaque) and has a rich brown/mahogany color. Tan head that started off big and then gradually dies down. Lacing was quite good. Roasted and caramel sweetness, some coffee, and a touch of earth in the smell. Roasted nuttiness hits first in the taste and sweetness that’s close to molasses but not that sharp comes in after. Also seems light a bit of butterscotch, but that may be how I’m tasting the sweetness. If there’s any coffee in the taste it comes through more in the not unpleasant resin-oiliness of the finish. Mouthfeel was medium with light apparent carbonation (so I can see why some would call it thin). For me, though, the mouthfeel struck a great balance. Not too drying or too sweet in the end. Solid effort. For me this is a “buy again.”

wcdoyle, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 07 011 07, fresh beer yeah!

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of puffed up tan colored head. Above average lacing & good head retention

S: Roasted malt & a slight alder or beechwood smokeyness.

T: Chocolate, roasted grains & smokeyness up front. As this warms, I get dryness, a little molasses, some oaky notes & baker's chocolate. Finishes with espresso, charred (not burnt) grain

MF: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation & a nice chewyness, plus some good oilyness

Drinks too easy for the abv, this & , Odells Cutthroat, New World (Avery) porter are two of the better porters on offer from the centennial state IMO. Would pair great with dessert or game (might marinade some elk steaks I have in this)

russpowell, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of Glazed144
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good brew, very dark color, thin head that i keeps, fairly tight but some big bubbles. Very nice lacing. Nice roasted malt odor, semi sweet. Coffeeish taste, distinct coffee aftertaste. Nice carbonation level and the roasted malts are obviously a major presence. Reminded me of burnt chocolate milk. Great cold weather brew.

Glazed144, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a one-finger tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of medium-to-dark malt with a hint of licorice and subtle dark fruitiness.

The taste is of lighted roasted dark malt - sweet with an earthy bitterness. Malty character gives it suggestions of cocoa, light coffee and licorice/anise. Sweet, but finishes with a woody dryness.

Fairly creamy in a medium body. Nice texture and carbonation level. Slight astringency doesn't interfere much in smooth character.

A tasty porter - Malty but with some balance. A nice example of the style.

jwc215, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of OKCNittany
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass

A: Dark brown body, 1/2" off-white head with good retention - left some lacing.

S: Overpowering roasted coffee aroma - something odd about it though - almost as if it was mixed w/ cream that had gone bad. A bit smoky too. Maybe I'm just not enough of a coffee fan for this.

T: Coffee flavored with dark chocolate & a hint of caramel. Not bad, but again, I'm not enough of a coffee fan to love this.

M: Medium to full body. Lightly carbonated. Smooth but with a slightly dry & empty finish.

D: Disappeared quickly - and I wasn't in love with the taste. I would imagine a coffee drinker could guzzle this all night.

OKCNittany, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of tpd975
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like I stated in a few previous Left Hand beer reviews Left Hand has returned to the Tampa market after a hiatus. I picked up every dark beer they are offering locally and here is the review of the last of the bunch.

A: Dark and black like a lump of coal. Pours with a three finger billowy head that dies down to a thin sheet covering the top of the beer. There is some lacing left behind. It looks rather nice.

S: Not an overly strong smell but what is there is nice. Wonderful roasted malt, sweetness, and a hint of charcoal.

T: It has a nice maltiness to it. I taste a ton of malt with a hint of charcoal. There is a mild sweetness about it but there is no real coffee taste evident. There is just a hint of chocolate though. Would like a little more of both. There are better porters out there.

M: Medium bodied, a little thin actually there is a nice effervescence about it though. The charcoal quality in the taste helps it to linger a bit.

D: If you loved it you could drink a lot of it. I will stick with one though.

Overall: Not a bad beer at all. There are many I like better though. This is the worst of the Left Hand brews I picked up, but its no slap on the brewer. They make solid micro brews, but nothing I have tried as of yet is earth shattering in the micro world. If your a porterman, add this one to your resume'. It is worth tasting, but nothing to write home about... For me anyway.

tpd975, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle with date code: Bottled on:
05-01-07. The pour produced a creamy light tan head of approx. 1". The beer is a dark mohogany with ruby color when held to light.

The head dissipated to a thick cap leaving sparce lacing.

The nose was typical porter with malty/chocolate sweetness. I give it "above average" due to the pleasant smell and the abundant aroma.

The taste is also quite good. It is right on style for a porter with hints of chocolate and a malty sweetness. Just a tinge of hop bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Just a bit thin for my taste.... not too robust.... but a good porter none the less.

Drinkability: Not my favorite porter... but not bad.... I will have more of these and would recommend them.

TheBierBand, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of Durge
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid looking blackish-brown color and a two-finger head that fills the pint glass. The head holds as a light brown cover throughout. The aroma is rich and immediately gives off vanilla followed by a little maltiness. First taste blends the same malty warmth with dry smokiness. At times the finish is a bit too bitter for my taste but as you drink it you kind of adjust and it settles into a substantial flavor experience. Ideally it would be a bit more drinkable for me if the bitterness could be toned down a bit but this is a finely crafted brew. There is a subtle chocolate hint as well but it gets hidden at times.

Durge, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of brdc
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a sampler case from Left Hand.

Dark, almost pitch black, with little head that dissipates quite quickly.
No surprises on the smell, standard roasty and coffee-like aroma, although not very pronounced.
Firm body and creamy, this brew tastes mostly roasted and malty, occasionally sweet and chocolatey, with some hoppiness and alcoholic warmth in it as well. Dry finish.
Good porter, easy to drink a few.

brdc, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of BigRedN
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New to Nebraska, part of a mixed six pack of beers.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz bottle. The beer is a very bark brown, nearly black. My pour produces a nice off white head, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch in height. The head fades over time to a solid cover with some good lacing.

Smell: As with a typical porter I get nice roasted malt scents. Aromas of roasted grains, chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste: Big roasted malt flavors on the outset. There is a slight bitter hop induced finish to this. Great balance for a porter.

Mouthfeeel: A smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied with light carbonation. The alcohol is a little warming.

Drinkability: A definite winter quaffer IMO. The higher alcohol content keeps this from being anything that one would session with. Instead, it had the feel of a nice sipper on a cold winter day.

BigRedN, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of BBM
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the Left Hand mixed-pack. It pours a deep mahogany with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Aroma is a pleasant mix of chocolate and coffee beans.

This is a very smooth and rich porter with a nice balance of crystal malts and subtle hop bitterness. The coffee bean/ unsweetened chocolate taste is quite prevelant, along with some dark fruits. Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but overall not bad. I really enjoyed this one, it's perfect for a cooler evening.

BBM, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of Osiris9588
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2/07/07. Pours a dark brown with a caramel bottom. Two-finger off-white head recedes quickly, but leaves behind a sheet of sticky lacing.

It's smells of sweet malt and cocoa, along with some grain. The flavor is dominated by the chocolate and roasted malt, along with hops and a bit of alcoholic sherry presence on the finish.

It's medium-bodied and easy drinking. Has nice complexity, as is oscillates back between the sweet/bittersweet and the roasted and charred elements. Would not turn one of these down.

Osiris9588, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of clickpush
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. Comes out a dark brown body with beautiful ruby hues though the beer looks a bit thin. A small coat of tan head reduces to a smattering of lacing and leaves lots of webbing along the glass. Just a couple bubbles trails visible within.

Nose: Sweet and milky, caramel and some roasted malt notes. A bit of cherry vanilla...?

Mouth: Starts in the mouth smooth and on the sweeter side which progressively gets more bitter and chewy as it moves back and the roast malts come out. Notes of stone fruits and brown sugar. Excellent malt profile. Mouthfeel is strongly carbonated and completely drinkable.

clickpush, May 30, 2007
Photo of lonestar4lunch
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I keep telling myself no more from Left Hand but I am running out of new things to try at Grapevine. Pours dark, pretty much black. Aroma is very light with sweet malts and I think coffee. The mouthfeel is pretty weak with just a little hops and some sour/bitterness at the end. Not the worst Porter but again, nothing near the best. Not much else to say.

lonestar4lunch, May 28, 2007
Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,028 ratings.