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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

5,102 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,102
Reviews: 1,417
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 389
Gots: 861 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 30

192 calories per 12 oz serving
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,102 | Reviews: 1,417
Reviews by tlazaroff:
Photo of tlazaroff
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma of Black Butte is full of lots and lots of sweet vanilla bean followed by a light chocolate.

Deepest brown you can get without being black, it has a nice medium-light tan head that just sticks to the glass. Nice ruby highlights when held to light.

Wonderful vanilla, just like the aroma, on the palate. Little bits of cocoa help bring that vanilla up to the forefront. Zero roast or coffee on the palate which was unexpected. Light smooth carbonation and a medium-light body make this a smooth beer. It almost feels more boozy than it's moderate 5.2%, but that doesn't make it unenjoyable at all.

More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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 pnelting
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hands down my favorite porter!

Photo of mjwellman
3.06/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointing porter. Wonderful dark color but no aroma and very pedestrian taste. Easy drinking but why? No flavor

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 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 MadScientist
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
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 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 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 Dmann
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of blitz134
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of rwinzing
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Really dark brown with a healthy tan head.

S- The smell of roasted malts and coffee.

T- A very smooth blend of roasted malts with an earthiness that leads into a subtle sweetness of molasses and hazelnut.

M- Great body that is a little less dense than most porters, which is good for enhancing the flavors.

D- Very drinkable for the style because of the nutty aftertaste. The low ABV also bodes well for the drinkability.

Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 3/10/11; consumed 5/22/11

A - Pours deep brown with one finger of creamy tan head. head dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Chocolate and roasted malts. Smell is pretty subtle, but what is there is nice.

T - Taste is similar to smell. Primarily chocolate malts and some nice roasted character as well. A bit earthy on the finish. Simple, clear and enjoyable with a subtle hop presence.

M - A little thin but still maintains some creaminess.

O - A very solid porter, but the thin mouthfeel leaves it a step below the best.

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

Tasted at the brewery.

To me this is the benchmark US brown porter. While it may not compete with the great British porters, it is none the less the standard by which all US newcomers are judged.
First pour is quite dark, a rich and slightly ruby brown with an excellent tan lace that clings to the glass. The aroma leads with roasted malt and a touch of sweetness. Initial impression on the tongue is one of smoothness. A nice medium bodied but none the less luxurious smoothness followed immediately by a strong and slightly crisp/acid roasted malt flavour, with a solid foundation of hops, dark roast coffee and yeast. Perhaps its best attribute is the aftertaste - a wonderful long slow fade to black of caramel, grain and esthers.

Dramatically better on tap.

Photo of Beaver13
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Black Butte poured an opaque, dark black. It had a light brown head that went to a smoky film and collar that left some lacing.

Its aroma was coffee, chocolate, figs and some sweet malt.

The flavor was coffee, figs, chocolate and some sweetness with a slight bitter coffee-like finish. It was medium bodied and had a sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent porter. It kind of reminded me of Great Divide's Hibernation Ale.

Photo of Duster72
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color with one finger off white head. Aroma is big on chocolate with some roasty malts, carmel and coffee. Taste follows nose with a roasty bittersweet chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin and watery side but it's okay. Fine porter.

Photo of Jason
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a simple yet inviting label, purchase before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a clinging tan lace that seems to stay for a while.

Smell: Mildly sweet in the nose with hints of charcoal, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

Taste: Silky smooth with a nice medium bodied mouth feel. After the luscious mouth feel come the flavour which is quite malty ... light acidic twang from the roasted malts, a little dark roasted coffee flavour and an underlying toasted biscuit taste are balanced with a perfect combo of hop and roasted malt bitterness. The lingering after taste is of faded burnt sugar, drying grain and a slightly warming alcohol. A wonderful yet delicate hop character helps to round this brew also.

Notes: Oh baby! There are good porters and then there are great porters ... this one goes down as a great one, no doubt!

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle via trade with waldowin. Thanks for another excellent Deschutes brew here. The pour reveals a dark cherry accented, mahogany body. One finger, cocoa hued head hangs around for a minute, or two, before falling into some sparse patchy lace.
Pleasant aromas of a classic, American porter. Sweet chocolate, creamed coffee, toasty dark malts, and some perky, fruity hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium to light medium in body, with moderate carbonation.
Taste has an exceptional balance. Bittersweet chocolate, mild roasted Columbian coffee beans, fruity citrus hops(Cascades?) elevate the taste far above your typical American Porter. Roasty malt bitterness is present in a restrained, but ideal, level.
Surprising drinkability for style. Hops add an unexpected dimension to Black Butte, providing a really pleasant fresh fruity bittersweet character that weds happily with the dark roasty maltiness. Very easy to enjoy, and smooth on the palate.

Photo of tigg924
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color, 1/4 inch head, clear

Smell: cocoa and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt, cocoa, bit of coffee, and cream

Mouthfeel: super smooth, sweet, heavy, low carbonation

Drinkability: What an amazing beer. I could session this. This is now my favorite in the style. This may be the smoothest beer I have had. I love the depth of the taste.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is heavily roasted to burnt malt with a lot of dark, bitter chocolate. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the better robust porters I have tried and one that everyone should try.

Photo of FMetzger
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am going to keep this simple. One of the very best examples of American Porter on the market.
A - Dark, brown highlights. Beautiful head.
S - Rich, Dark, Toasty Chocolatey.
T - Much as it smells. Delicious.
M - Soft and velvety. I love this beer.
D - Not overpowering, and not so rich you can't have another.

I saw in the Locators that people were paying $4 per 12 oz for this. I picked this up at Walgreens (yes, the drug store on Speedway and Country Club) for $9.99 for a 12 pack. And it wasn't mishandled. Unbelievable.

Photo of daveyboy
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic !!!!! Best porter in town

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650mL bottle from the LCBO, part of the Fall 2013 release. First Deschutes brew I've seen in Ontario, really excited to have them here, especially at the ludicrously reasonable $5 each.

Poured into a small nonic, enjoyed over about an hour or so. Great looking brew: very dark chestnut in colour - nearly black, with a good half inch of head that recedes into a thick ring and island, with good icicles of lace.

Nose is dark chocolate, fruit (figs or grapes), roasted malt, roasted coffee.

Very tasty porter that took me about half of the bottle to figure out. Drier than I'd expected, but still a nicely balanced blend of classic porter flavours - chocolate (dark/dry), coffee, fruit, milk, and a mild hoppiness to the finish.

Smooth, lighter bodied, a bit creamy. Carbonation is initially strong, but subsides.

I wasn't blown away by Black Butte (I may have set my expectations too high), but it still is an impressive porter, especially for the price. Nicely balanced, easy drinking, yet complex enough to be satisfying over the course of an evening. Hopefully a sign of more Deschutes brews coming this way.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,102 ratings.