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Black Jack Porter - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,158 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,158
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 41
Gots: 122 | 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: 1,158 | Reviews: 481 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Bung
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of supercolter
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of PartyBear
2.68/5  rDev -28%
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.

Photo of SamN
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

Photo of corby112
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of TheSarge
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of farrago
2.97/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Photo of kegger22
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,158 ratings.