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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,646 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3646
Reviews: 1279
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%

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)
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Photo of Honisbygonis

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After being told of by others to try / much blather / hype, I've had a bottle for about 2 months chilling and finally cracked'r open:

Color / Aroma: Porter black-brown, with nominal carbonation and limited smell

Taste: cold, heavy, and alluring; it's about time something lived up the one's high expectations. Aftertaste is nearly non-existence--meaning smooth finish.

Drinkability: it's a porter's porter; a new classic standard in my book of poor imitators / wannabes. Wish I had another right now; gotta go get me some mo'.

Cheers on this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 21:21:11 | More by Honisbygonis
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 16:04:03 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of patre_tim


4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a black tinge, 2 fingers of tan brown creamy head, too opaque to view any carbonation.

S: Dark toasted malts, a creamy scent with a slightly smoky woodsy note, black chocolate, slight black coffee. Salami, smoked salami, slight fruitiness.

T: Follows nose with dark toasted malts, creaminess, dark chocolate and black coffee, little smokiness, not getting the other hints. Light burnt bitterness at the end.

M: Medium body, above average carbonation. Smooth, dry with a bitter finish.

O: Really good standard for this category. Enjoying it very much, the evening of the Blood Moon, Passover, in China, April 15/ 2014.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 14:46:33 | More by patre_tim
Photo of TheMarkE


4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with a good tan head of foam and generous lacing.

Smell: Roasted coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Roasted coffee, chocolate, dark malts, and a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium to thick bodied.

The Verdict: Delicious. Full of flavor, rich, well balanced, smooth… it’s hard to ask for more than this from a beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 18:56:15 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deschutes Brewery & Public House was established by Gary Fish as a small brew pub in 1988 in Bend, Oregon. Selling 310 barrels of beer in its first year, by 1992, sales were up to 3,954 barrels. With demand for its products increasing, the brewery expanded to a 16,000-square-foot production facility in 1993 with the ability to brew in 50-barrel batches. A Deschutes brew pub opened in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon in May 2008. In 2012, the brewery expanded its facility by 6,750 square feet, allowing an additional 105,000 barrels to be brewed per annum.

Bucky sampled Deschutes first and flagship brand, Black Butte Porter ("BBP"). BBP came in a brown, 650 ml bottle with a best before date of Feb. 11, 2014 printed on the label. The beer was 5.2% alcohol by volume. BBP poured a very dark brown, bordering on black, with about 1" of creamy tan coloured head that lasted for quite some time before settling down to a 1/4" cap which left some attractive lacing down the glass. Its aroma was much stronger in the bottle than in the glass, with coffee, dark chocolate, dark cherries and a touch of hops detectable. The flavour was a little weak up front but much bolder thereafter, with dark roast coffee dominating notes of dark cocoa and sweet milk chocolate, with a slightly bitter black coffee finish that lingered as an aftertaste. Its mouthfeel was surprisingly light for a porter, especially considering the creamy cap on top of the beer, and BBP had a moderate level of carbonation. I would describe BBP as light bodied for a porter, and though this is certainly an enjoyable beer the word "light" kept popping into my head throughout the drinking experience. Black Butte was selling for $5.20 per 650 ml bottle at the date of this review.

Rating 7.90/10

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 23:02:30 | More by BuckyBeerBeaver
Photo of abeeronthebeach


4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - The pour is very smooth, almost black, with ruby accents. 3/4 inch crème brûlée head. Looks a little lightweight.

S - Sweet malt, a little peated earth. Little coffee or chocolate.

T - Dark chocolate. Delicately balanced bitter presence. Burnt rather than smokey. Chocolatey rathern than toasty. Bitter cream.

M - Drinks very smoothly. Thicker than it looks. Well-pitched carbonation.

O - A really outstanding beer considering its affordability and availability. Exactly the sort of beer you always want to have on hand. A go-to option for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 20:19:51 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of TheFizzinator


3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and appetizing black with a little bit of head. Smells of dark cocoa and some darker fruits like boysenberries and blackberries. Taste is very slick and sweet, too sweet, and can taste those darker fruits I mentioned. Not much cocoa or chocolate, or coffee in this one. Not very complex, a bit of a one trick pony. Mouthfeel was slick and creamy easily the best part about this beer. Goes down very smooth.

Not my favorite porter, expecting a little more from this one. Will stick with Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald for a while instead.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:13:03 | More by TheFizzinator
Photo of ACarp

New York

3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

served in a bottle best by 7/24/14

poured in to Ommegangs Game of Thrones snifter, nice off white head about two fingers on this dark beer

smell: the best part of this beer, a nice roast aroma filled out with juicy dark fruit esters. more chocolatey molasses than the coffee which belongs in a stout.

In the mouth however, i am instantly let down, the mouthfeel is watery and the taste is of char and skunked hops/bad water reminiscent of a yuengling past its prime. part of this may be due to improper storage but i am saddened that the mouth doesnt give nearly as intriguing a story as was hinted by the nose.

overall, I would have to give this a 3.75, there are many porters out there that i strongly prefer

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 04:13:50 | More by ACarp
Photo of ArrogantJoseph


4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark, minimum light escapes through. Held up to the light though it has hints of ruby red. REALLY nice tan creamy head though, about 1-2 1/2 fingers of head if poured aggressively.

Smell: I get a VERY nice chocolate/ roasted coffee aroma from this with a nice roasted malt smell.

Taste: You definitely get that chocolate and roast taste, and also a little bit of vanilla, as it warms it keeps a good consistent taste. It's not the BEST porter I've ever had but its a great one and has been my go to as of late.

Mouth Feel: Just as the bottle states. Very creamy, smooth, and it goes down easily not a whole lot of carbonation.

Overall: As I stated this has been my go to porter as of late. It's very relaxing to drink and just overall a delicious classic porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 08:03:59 | More by ArrogantJoseph
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - not quite opaque. A touch of cola and red to the hue. A good creamy tan head with solid lace all around.

Aroma - good smelling roasted grain with some coffee and bitter chocolate in support.

Taste - big roast to the grain, just short of charred. Some tasty espresso through the swallow and into the aftertaste. Simple, yet wonderfully tasty and exactly what I think of for this style. Finishes warm, roasty, and inviting.

Mouthfeel - a bit of heft to the body, improving its stature a bit. Evenly crisp, right on.

Overall - delicious session beer for just about any season.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 03:06:47 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of M_C_Hampton


4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark brown colored with a short tan head that lingered leaving good lacing, clear

S: heavy on toasted malt, pumpernickle toast

T: malty and toasty, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, slightly sweet but balanced by hop flavors

M: medium body with good carbonation, hearty but not heavy

O: great balance between malt and hop flavors, slightly sweet with a nice bitter finish, revied from notes taken on 3/6/14

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 00:45:31 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of GOBLIN


3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Deschutes Black Butte

My first Deschutes beer

Poured into pint glass

A: Pours a deep motor oil brown . . . Not black

S: Smell is ok but nothing special. Typical porter

T: Ok, I'm one those guys that really don't get most porters with all the stout choices out there. As far as porters go it's not bad but Black Butte just doesn't deliver for me. Not Deschutes fault. I'm sure this is a fine beer but not my style.

M: Thin and watery . . . Meh'

O: Won't turn it down if offered but I won't seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 18:36:27 | More by GOBLIN
Photo of KornWallace

New York

4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 3/13/14
Location: Whole Foods Philly
Draught/Bottle: Bottle
Glassware: Delirium Tremens Snifter
Appearance: Black with a tan head that has dissipated quickly. This beer is slightly easier to see through then Obsidian.
Aromatics: Getting burnt malts, chocolates, little char little ash, coffees.
Flavor: Something sweeter comes through in the flavoring. Vanilla, a Caramel, more chocolate. It's very pleasant. I'm getting a moderate coating of carbonation on my tongue.
Finish: The burnt flavors are staying with me more the the sweet ones and I still feel like I have carbonation on my tongue.
Notes: Best by date 8/21/14

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 18:19:19 | More by KornWallace
Photo of thecheapies


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black porter, alright. Massive tan head with great lacing.

Rich nose. Robust malts, dark roast, cocoa, espresso, char, and seawater. Awesome.

Real-deal porter intensity with a blackening roast and dark chocolate flavors. Black malt bitterness, minerally tanginess late in the middle, and a chocolate finish. Stays dry all the way through. Drinkability is exceptional. I love chewing through this congealed foam. The body is rich--close to full. Hefty. I'm happy with my Black Butte.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 15:27:40 | More by thecheapies
Photo of PicoPapa


3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to BubalooBrewMaster for this beer.

12oz bottle with a Best By Date of 07/24/14. Pours a very dark brownish black color with very little head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, and earth. The taste is roasted malts, charcoal, chocolate, and hints of vanilla. Earth and roasted malts towards the end. Charcoal and light chocolate at the end. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Overall, a decent Porter, but nothing to0 special.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 00:59:32 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Deschutes Black Butte Porter – 5.2% ABV – Consumed March 21, 2013
Appearance: pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with deep ruby edges, one finger of rocky beige froth, and sheets of sticky lacing on the tulip. A near-perfect look.
Smell: roasted malt, slight smoke, burnt toast, leather, vinous notes, raisin, cookie crumble, ashtray, and must. Deep, robust, and layered aromas.
Taste: roasted malt, burnt toast, malty tartness, crisp, tangy and drying hop bite with roasted, leathery, and ashy afters on the cough. Straightforward but enjoyable, and exactly what I expect from a Robust Porter. Awesome.
Mouthfeel: medium-bodied, lush and velvety middle, brief malty tartness precedes a crisp and tangy hop bite with a bone-dry finish. Spot on for the style.
Overall: a textbook roasted-ashy porter with big, layered flavours and rich texture.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 01:02:39 | More by cratez
Photo of Retroman40


4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited that Deschutes started distribution in my area (KY) and so far have not been let down. I understand this to be a flagship brand and now I know why.

Lightly chilled 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass (as I would expect to be served in a pub in the UK)

A - Poured a deep black color with a firm, brownish long lasting head that slowly dissipated into a foam ring with decent lacing..

S - Deeply roasted grains with coffee and chocolate. Very little if any hop note.

T - Chocolate, coffee and roasted grains.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very nice almost sweet, but not sticky finish.

O - An excellent porter. I almost feel that in some ways Porters have developed to something closer to a "light: stout (which isn't a bad thing!). This is a outstanding complex and flavorful beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 10:13:05 | More by Retroman40
Photo of SlyBanter


2.33/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Now i passed up a six pack of Lagunitas Sucks to try this and regret it. Upon pouring, it looked great, dark and thick, but weak lacing on the head. My first reaction to smelling it was "why does this smell like blue moon?" And then i tasted it, and it TASTED like blue moon. Okay, it tastes better than blue moon, but very similar. So why do they call it a porter when it smells and tastes like a generic wheat ale? Another example of dumbing down a style of beer simply for mass appeal. It's obvious. I was not happy that this beer tasted nothing like a porter, and the feel, even less like a porter. It doesn't stick in your mouth, the now all too common hints of coffee are not executed properly, and it's just common in taste. Had this beer been labeled as a wheat ale, i would give it a higher rating, because i do not respect this beer as a porter and believe that it should not be called one.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 23:37:34 | More by SlyBanter
Photo of phoenixrises64


4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I just moved to Wyoming and found this. I like the taste and mouth feel of this beer. Great with a stake. I like the sweetness and chocolate hints it leaves. little lite chocolate compared to Obsidian. Glad I brought a 6 pack home. It has to be good I caught the dog trying to steal one. He a beer snob.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 16:21:23 | More by phoenixrises64
Photo of ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Poured into a snifter and a 1 inch head sat atop the dark, dark brown porter. The tan colored head slowly dissipated into a thin ring of bubbles.

Aroma - No hops, just malts; chocolate, hint of coffee, roasted malts/grains.

Taste - Chocolate, roasted grains, slight coffee flavors. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, heavy carbonation, slight stickiness. Smooth across the tongue.

Overall - An excellent porter. I know its highly rated, but I would still put Founders Porter and Edmund Fitzgerald ahead of this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 20:18:35 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of woodychandler


4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I am quite happy that Deschutes has begun making its way into Pennsylvania and especially into The Friendly Greek, whose coolers are always a source of inspiration for me.

From the bottle: "Ahh, our creamy, contrary flagship, a dark zig to the usual zag."; "Join us. Outside-the-lines is the very best place to play."; "Crafted for explorers"; "Everywhere since 1988"; "An opening volley, this pioneering dark ale signaled Deschutes' renegade intentions. Its creamy mouthfeel, complex layers, hop edge and chocolate finish personify passion-forward brewing."

I was anxious to get started, so I went with a heavy-handed aggro pour. This set up a pseudo-cascade that eventually settled into three fingers of dense, light-tan head that was steadily offgassing. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights at the edges (SRM = 44). Nose had a roasty, dark chocolate quality along with a light smokiness. I always think of my late Pops' affinity for Hershey's Special Dark chocolate when I encounter such beers. I would eschew them in favor of sweeter stuff as a kid, but now I gravitate towards bitter or semi-sweet. Mouthfeel was big and creamy, like a scoop of ice cream on the tongue. The flavor was very chocolaty, but dark and roasty at the same time. Man, no wonder this is so highly rated! American Porters can be all over the map, but this was straight-on porter, not bbl.-aged or with wild adjuncts that meld into the style nicely, but get in the way of the base flavors. I have really enjoyed the flavors in this beer to the point that half of it is already gone and without my realizing it! Finish was semi-dry, with the smokiness really taking the edge off of the sweetness at the beginning. I will now dedicate this review to Mom-Za, who lives in Chico (Butte County), California.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 17:39:47 | More by woodychandler
Photo of dougbassett


3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #41 of the ones I've reviewed here.

I knew this beer by reputation before I finally found it. Said to be Deschutes flagship beer, if so that's very interesting as you don't usually see a porter taking that place.

Pour is pretty much faultless, dark mahogany brown with not much head, but then again I don't expect much of that from porters, typically. Nose -- imagine you took powered cocoa and powered dark roast coffee,. That's what this smells like. Flavors are traditionally porteresque -- hops come out of the back, as does a certain almost"winey" flavor and (way in the back) a hint of cocoa. finish is relatively crisp, more "wine", and at the end a blast of dark coffee, maybe with some sugar and cream. Mouthfeel is faultless, just the kind of "chewy" consistency you want out of a porter. Warmth helps the beer a small touch in catching more of the subtleties of nose and flavor.

Not bad and certainly quite drinkable, but I honestly fail to see what the fuss is all about. This strikes me as a fairly good routine porter from a competent microbrewer -- certainly nothing bad, but nothing really work writing home to the folks about either. I still prefer in this market the Anchor Porter, which I think is a world-class beer and quite distinctive.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 02:45:49 | More by dougbassett
Photo of DougT


3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dates 7/10/14 poured into a stout glass.

Dark deep brown with a 2-3 finger tan head. Head is full with a varied bubble sizes that dissipates slowly leaving a lot of beautiful heavy lacing. Easily the best aspect of this bottle.

Smells of yeast, malt, a hint of vanilla, a bit flowery.

Nice hit of hops up front, smooth and balanced. Grain bitterness at the back. Dark fruit, and malt sweet. Some light fruit flavors that suggest isn't quite ripe.

Medium body, with some fizz pop. Engaging, smooth and easy to drink.

I think this bottle needed some more time. I do not get the chocolate that many others do and there are some flavors that suggest that it's just too young. Good, but I can tell it will be better later.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 02:25:55 | More by DougT
Photo of KYGunner


3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Wow, what a beautiful beer with a deep black hue and a rising thick head. The head was thick, creamy and a dense billow of foam.

The nose holds dry chocolate and coffee with a bit of malty char. There's some smoky Rauschbier meaty sweetness and a light floral hop scent.

Light chocolate malt with a burnt coffee and floral hop finish. The hops used seem to be the same as Inversion IPAs as I get a flowery or perfumish taste.

The feel is quite thin with a watery tone but it adds to ease of drink.

This is really good and super easy to drink, I just dont think the hops are my favorite and it doesn't match the tone of a Porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 23:55:20 | More by KYGunner
Photo of barczar


4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours brilliant deep brown that reveals ruby highlights when held to the light. A modest khaki head is fleeting.

Chocolate, roast malt, and coffee open the aroma. Malted milk balls, toasted nuts, and light floral hops emerge. Chocolate dominates.

Flavor is dominated by a slightly sweet, nutty malt backbone, with notes of cocoa, roast malt, and a hint of coffee adding complexity. There's an underlying dark fruit and spice ester profile that is subtle, but a touch offputting. The finish is dry, nutty, and earthy, but not bitter.

Body is creamy and smooth, slightly full, with carbonation a touch low, and minimal alcohol warmth.

Great malt character. The esters are slightly off to my palate, as I keep detecting banana, but the chocolate notes are well represented, and I love the finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 03:01:42 | More by barczar
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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,646 ratings.