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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,797 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,797
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 354
Gots: 621 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 30

192 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,797 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. There’s 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. There’s 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 didn’t 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.

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ravelli
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Had this on tap at MonkeyPod in Maui. Very well balanced Porter, not too smokey, great head and look.
Could drink a lot of these with no problem.

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of MadScientist
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jono0101
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of abeerdude
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ccapurso
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.08/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of cjn40277
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of imperialstout27
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ldennis
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of joemetric
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of Dmann
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 4,797 ratings.