Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,198 | Reviews: 1,316 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
4.39/5 rDev +4.8%
One of my favorite "standard" American porters, I've had this beer many times and finally decided that it was time to update my rating and write a full review. Poured out of a 12 oz brown bottle into a 16 oz standard tumbler glass. While Deschutes utilizes a "best by" date on their labels, alas, I failed to note the date on this label. However, I have good reason to believe it is fairly fresh, based on the establishment from whence it was ordered.
Appearance - The body is a brown so rich and deep that it resembles true black, like the char on a piece of burnt toast. The light fails to penetrate the dark hue and is also hindered by a generous two-finger head of frothy foam that has a smattering of larger bubbles that give it the illusion of being dotted with mini chocolate chips. Retention is moderate, and it leaves ring fragments of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell - Porters like Black Butte are proof of how vague the line is between porters and stouts. Rich and full, with notes of unrefined cacao bean, star anise, roasted malts and char bitterness. Perhaps some notes of roasted coffee beans that haven't yet been ground up or brewed as well; subtle.
Taste - Here, the licorice aspect is more pronounced than on the smell. Now the chocolate bittersweetness and elements of roasted grain are complimentary to the unique flavor profile of Anethole, the chemical that makes licorice/anise/fennel seed/star anise all have that licorice-y taste. I don't think I've had a stout or porter that has a stronger licorice element than Black Butte. That being said, it's not overpowering by any means. It blends well with the bitter and sweet profiles and as someone who isn't terribly fond of licorice candy, it works extremely well here.
Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied, with moderate carbonation and a somewhat sweet and bitter finish.
Overall, one of my favorites in the style and was really the first beer to get my attention from Deschutes. It will continue to be the best option available in many establishments that don't have an absurd selection of craft beer and I'm quite pleased by that fact.
04-16-2014 16:04:03 | More by LambicPentameter
More User Reviews:
4/5 rDev -4.5%
Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights thru out with a thin off white head that disapears into nothing quite fast,I noticed a few chunks swirling around in there as well.Aroma is nutty and unsweetened chocolate mainly not over the top sweet by any means,has a nice smooth mouthfeel this glides down very easily to say the least.Flavors start out somewhat sweet bitter chocolate and caramel with an underlying roasted coffee presence but finish very earthy and dry like an unroasted raw peanut flavor.A very solid beer this one is a classic in the northwest and I can see why,very solid.
09-22-2005 22:50:27 | More by oberon
3.85/5 rDev -8.1%
Appearance Very dark, almost black body with a nice, big tan head that held nicely and laced the glass.
Smell Big coffee starts off this nose followed by good toasted malt. Theres also some chocolate, cherries, maple, and molasses.
Taste This is very smooth. The coffee and milk chocolate blend evenly to form a chocolate latte flavor. The milkiness is huge in this porter. Theres also a very interesting hop balance that makes this beer exceptionally smooth and refreshing.
Mouthfeel This is medium-bodied and very refreshing.
Drinkability Is there such a thing as a porter session beer? If so, this is it.
Update I decided to revisit some of the beers that I reviewed in 2003 for 2004 and included this since it is so easy to get around here.
I didnt find as much complexity in this beer the second time around. And now, after having reviewed 50 or so Porters on the site this one seemed a bit thin and watery for my tastes. I changed some of the scores accordingly and, overall, this one lost 0.3 on its overall score.
10-15-2003 00:49:00 | More by RoyalT
4.33/5 rDev +3.3%
Black Butte pours a dark deep brown color with a nice deep mahogany hue. I can just barely see through it. The head started off at about a finger-tall in a pint glass and receded to a hazy, dark tan film quickly. The lacy is fairly sticky and has the look of splashing water.
The smell of the Black Butte is glorious. A perfect blend of roasted and chocolate malt aromas waft out of the glass. There is just a faint hint of nuttiness in there, as well. It is a deep and velvety aroma.
Hmm, the the roasted malt flavors are the most prominent flavor at first taste, perhaps accentuated by a subtle pine hop taste. Also in the profile is a bit of burnt toast and coffee. There are a good amount of chocolate flavors in there, too, but the roasted malt tastes win. I wonder if the two flavors would marry better if this bottle aged more? The aftertaste of this brew is quite nice- a slightly chocolately, coffee-like acidic remnant.
The mouthfeel is solid. A bit of acidic astrigency rides the sides of my palate and back of my tongue throughout the sip, while the mellower, medium body emerges in the middle of the sip. The finish has that little bit of acidic pucker that I mentioned previously.
Overall, I think this beer hits the mark extremely well for the style. I generally tend to like slightly fuller, richer porters, but for a 5.2% a.b.v. porter, this is very well-crafted.
11-08-2011 04:25:50 | More by TCHopCraver
4.38/5 rDev +4.5%
A: A very dark-brown beer with good clarity. The tan head is made of long lasting creamy bubbles.
S: Medium-strong roast aromas with a medium bready malt character. supporting aromas of coffee, dark dried fruit and chocolate.
T: A soft hit of flavors that starts of roasted and chocolaty with a moderatly-low toffee sweetness that develops into an off-dry, roasty finish developing. There is a medium-low hops bitterness and a low earth hops flavor. The balance is about even with maybe a bit more bitterness from the combination of roast and hops bitterness. Some dark dried fruit.
M: A very creamy, medium bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation. There is a very light roast astringency which is fine for the style.
O: A roasty, complex beer with an excellent balance of flavors. The cream soft mouthfeel is a stand out amazing quality of this beer.
08-14-2013 03:17:40 | More by MadScientist
3.08/5 rDev -26.5%
Poured a black but not opaque body with a minimal white head. Smell was very light with mild roast ash and some chocolate. Taste was a little underwhelming. That ash flavor tasted more like burnt coffee when drunk. Hops were not pronounced as to be expected with the style. The mouth feel was thin and watery. There was a certain acidic flavor to this one as it went down reminiscent of coffee at work that had sat out too long. This beer is very well crafted in that there is a good overall balance of flavor, a light crisp quality, and it lets some of the key flavors shine forward-I just wasn't a huge fan of those flavors.
02-02-2008 10:05:48 | More by hopsleeroy
4.1/5 rDev -2.1%
Poured from bottle into pub glass.
A: Pours very dark, almost black. Aggressive pour yields a two finger beige head. Some sediment visible at the bottom of the glass and floating around the beer. Light layer of foam as I drank down the glass.
S: I can smell it as soon as I pour. Inviting mocha, roast coffee grains.
T: Coffee, roastiness, dark chocolate, light char. Light hints of dark fruit emerge from under the roasted flavors on the midpalate, especially as it warms. A nice, moderate, hop bitterness develops here and carries on to the finish. Leaves a pleasant light bitterness. Bold, and drier than some other porters.
M: Nice medium body. Well done. Carbonation is light to moderate - what I expect from a porter.
D: Very easily sessionable. Drier than some porters whose sweetness can become fatiguing over time. Bold and robust without being thick. A great everyday drinking porter. Very quaffable and tasty, and easy to drink all day long.
Overall, a great porter with an extremely well integrated flavor profile and mouthfeel. Nothing's out of balance. A really good job.
04-25-2010 01:02:30 | More by imperialstout27
4.58/5 rDev +9.3%
I absoloutly loved this porter, very understated flavors concitering some of the big beers of the style that around but nonetheless very enjoyable. The beer had a nice dark brown color with a good creamy brown head. The smell was great with scents of burnt grain and sweet malt. The flavors were great with a slight acidic snap in the beginning and then the flavors of roasted malts and coffee mixed in. Add to that the nice dry finnish and you have a wonderfully drinkable brew.
09-29-2006 07:34:50 | More by Dmann
3.73/5 rDev -11%
A gracious gift from a friend of mine...
Caramel colored highlights creep around the edges of the black brew. An audible head formed on the pour reaching about 3/4" high and reduced to a ring of foam around the edge of this black pool.
Aroma is full and strong of toasted malts with clear indications of black patent in as well. A touch of sweetness and a bit of dark fruit finish it out. Not overly complex but very enticing.
I find the flavor a bit weak, but it really hangs around for a while. There is a lot of subtlty to this one. Starts out without much to note but then goes into some toasted notes. A little toffee comes in next followed by some bittersweet chocolate. Finish has the faintest bit of coffee. Not much of the burnt malt found the in aroma comes through in the taste. A good tasting beer, but could be a bit more pronounced.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin but is good enough to cause the beer to linger on the tongue long enough to allow the tastes to become noticable. Drinkability is good. This one is easy to put down, but could be a bit stronger in the flavor department. A nice, simple porter.
01-13-2006 04:54:50 | More by blitz134
4.28/5 rDev +2.1%
I got this beer as an extra in a trade. Thanks to my many trading partners.
Poured a black almost stout color into my pier one snifter. Had a slight brown head gentle lacing on the side.
Smell is a bite smeet not overpowering. No hop presence which is expected being a porter.
Touch of the roast in th3 aroma as well
Taste very nice nto overpowering flavor nice roast flavor touch of sweetness in the backend
mouthfeel-bit light would like a fuller feel
overall and outstanding porter wish I could get more of easily
07-31-2011 20:47:49 | More by rwinzing
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,198 ratings.