Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

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1,405 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,405
Hads: 5,288
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 402
Gots: 984 | FT: 11
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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,405 | Hads: 5,288
Photo of Merticois
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on vacation and remember being blown away. I will get again and do a proper review but please don't pass up trying this beer if you like smooth dark beers. (166 characters)

Photo of do_ob
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours medium-dark brown and settles very dark brown in the glass. Only slight traces of light are visible through the beer and present as reddish hues, mostly around the edges. 1 finger of bubbly tan foam initially, which fizzed down to a dense lacing after a couple minutes. Chocolate, roasted malt, black liquorice, caramel, and maple syrup on the nose. Medium-light weight with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Quite watery. The taste follows the smell pretty much to a tee; a good bit of syrup, chocolate and roasted malt up front, along with caramel and coffee. There's a decent hop bitterness that makes itself known middleways. Finishes watery but smooth and leaves those hops and roasted malts lingering on the aftertaste.

Overall, decent. Porters seem to be hit or miss for me. This one was, meh. Good flavors, but too much of a syrup taste, and too thin of a body kept me from loving this beer. Not bad, just not one of my favorites. (972 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with a khaki head that quickly fades. Some coffee notes, vanilla, some smoke in the nose. Smooth drinking and nice feel to this brew. Well balanced with coffee, caramel, some smokiness, and a nice balance of hops in the back end to solidify and tie this brew together. Really nice porter. (304 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BB 8/23/15 at 42 degrees into shaker
Aroma weak, roasted malt
Head large (> eight cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to three mm creamy layer
Lacing excellent – thick curtains of tiny to large bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor slightly bitter, roasted malt, a hint of chocolate; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4 (443 characters)

Photo of laketang
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

big tan head, black as a night in the Canadian wilderness. great mouthfeel(what does that mean!) slight bitterness on the tongue right at the it even in the summer (172 characters)

Photo of headlessparrot
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deschutes is an excellent brewery. Deschutes makes excellent beers. Black Butte is one of them. But it's also not, like, a transformative experience in the way that--say--their Fresh Squeezed IPA or their Chainbreaker is (to my tastes; I know, comparing different styles is so unfair).

Very dark in colour, with thick, persistent beige (khaki?) foam. Smell of coffee, chocolate. Super malty. Caramel. Lightly smoky, almost. Taste is creamy, good balance of sweet and bitter (sweeter than a lot of porters I can recall) with chocolate and coffee. A bit of copper (which I'm noticing in the smell now, as well). There is a light hop presence, too, actually--subtle but nice. Great body, not too carbonated, but not too watery or too heavy. Very drinkable.

I dig it. A fabulous porter, even if porters aren't necessarily my preference as a style. (845 characters)

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The definition of a "solid" porter. The most impressive aspect is just how well balanced it is across the board. You'll be hard pressed to find another Porter you could say the same about. (188 characters)

Photo of Edman5P
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

roasted malt with a hint of coffee on the nose.. Toasty malt with a hint of dark coffee on the palate.. Very little lacing and head didn't hold up the minute, although a very good beer (184 characters)

Photo of dfconnor
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Nice taste, but finishes a bit watery and flat. I think this would be better if it had a little more bite at the end. Slightly gamey aftertaste. Not the best porter I have ever had, but I would buy this again and give it another try. (236 characters)

Photo of Itskarl
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Everetts. Acceptable head and minor lacing. Faint roasted malts on the nose with just a kiss of milk chocolate. This beer shines in it's flavor. Chocolate malts are incredibly presented in a smooth, easy drinking beer that has tons of flavor and isn't overpowering. Deschutes has been making this in large quantities for quite a while but they have not sacrificed ingredients for profits. It is my grandfathers favorite beer and for a man that came from the age of crap beers, that speaks for itself. (510 characters)

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer in a bottle for the first time on a train ride from Vancouver to Seattle. So good, couldn't stop at one! Up to that point, it was the best Porter I had. I prefer the Obsidian brew better, but overall, a solid brew! (229 characters)

Photo of DevAJ
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'll say up front that the one I got was past it's "Best By" date (I bought it in a build your own 6 pack) so who knows this may be better if it's fresher, but it a fairly standard porter. The porter that a former co-worker makes himself is better to me personally though. (273 characters)

Photo of jdavis8361
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Thought the carbonation level was over the top. Way too fizzy for me. The Sierra Nevada porter is more to my liking, although I just bought a 6-pack of O'Dell Cutthroat porter to audition. (190 characters)

Photo of Steve_Studnuts
3.01/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


Thus, I review:

Looks swell enough upon initial pour, all dark and frothy and inviting. Head retention is minimal, if that matters to you. Smells of coffee & copper. Tastes of weak coffee & raisin & well, copper. It's awful metallic. Somewhat thin & watery, too. There are much better brews in this style - Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, for example. (370 characters)

Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not nearly as overpowering as its peers. High level of drinkability, with its major flavor being a coffee tinge in the breathes after a sip. Good choice if you want a porter or stout, but you don't want such an intense flavor. (228 characters)

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a fresh (best by date says it's good for another six months) sixer at my local Trig's supermarket. Poured right from the fridge into a pint glass.

L: Pours cola brown with about a half-inch of beige head that falls pretty quickly but sticks around as a hearty film. Good lacing on the glass as it down.

S: Roasted and caramel malts are the most prominent notes in the aroma. There's a bit of underlying coffee and dark chocolate, as well. Not much assertiveness to this bouquet.

T: This one is sweeter than what I was expecting. I was bracing for those roasted malts, but the front is really dominated by the caramel malts. Those roasted notes are still there, but quite subdued. The middle has some suggestions of coffee and dark chocolate, with a touch tartness beginning to come through. A touch of vanilla in the mix. The back end has a nice balance of roasted and caramel malts, with just a touch of bitter. Very smooth flavor.

F: As others have pointed out, this one drinks a bit on the watery side for a porter. It still has a nice medium body, creaminess, and well-executed carbonation. It finishes very clean, without any stick or syrupy quality.

O: This is a very drinkable porter, but I do find myself wishing that it had a little more heft. And while I do appreciate the well-balanced flavor profile, I wish that it had more robust roasted malt and chocolate/coffee notes. While I don't think it can stand as a world-class brew, I'll definitely return to this one again. (1,497 characters)

Photo of everyman
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I know that for many this is an excellent go to porter. However, I kinda disagree. The mouthfeel is closer to most light stouts--silky and thin. The flavors are complex for a basic porter recipe and the malt character is more hidden than forward. I do like this beer. In fact, I'd never turn it down. It really is flavorful, but that's part of my hang up. I like a basic porter to have a malt-heavy tone and to foam up thick and densely. I like to see that foam cling to the glass. This porter is just too slick to do that, albeit being tasty. (543 characters)

Photo of Bil3539
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a room temp glass

L - Pours dark brown almost black with a one finger foamy tan head which disperses to leave a nice lacing.
S - Cocoa and roasted malts
T - Semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, & roasted malts. Gets better as it warms.
F - Smooth and creamy with a clean almost citrus finish
O - I love porters and this is one of the best I've had. (398 characters)

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark brown with fine 1fb of off white head and good residual lacing.
Smells of roasted malts, yeasty, cocoa, hint of hoppy pine. Tastes semi sweet toasted malts forward, nice balanced flavor, mid note pine, cocoa, nice clean finish. Mouthfeel is slightly less than medium, good carbonation.

Overall, easily one of the best porters I've had, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this up again. Delicious! (409 characters)

Photo of Vein95
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Straightforward very tasteful, poured right into a cold mug. Look- dark brown color,Tan foam. smell- like coffee/malt beverage. taste- medium chocolate background which makes it a smooth creamy drink. Enjoyed it alot, would recommend. (234 characters)

Photo of Qbdoo
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Awesome-looking porter. Cola colored with frothy tan head, lots of roasted malt and a bit of chocolate on the nose. Taste is mostly roasted malt and a kick of hops. Slightly thin texture for the style. I enjoyed this and will be happy to drink it again, but had been led to expect a more complex beer. (301 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

L: Deep dark brown with a thick foamy tan head. Great retention and very solid lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, burnt grains, chocolate, vanilla, even some cherry, apricot and pine come through.

T: Subtlety sweet fruit surprises you at first with a blast of cherry, then chocolate and brown sugar flood the palate, follow by roasted malt and finished perfectly with a slightly grass like hop finish.

F: Light in body, moderate carbonation, great creamy finish.

O: A very well balanced easy drinking porter. (536 characters)

Photo of Griffin2
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours dark brown with a nice tan head.
S - nice roasty smell.
T - delicious chocolatey Porter.
F- really creamy.
O - I really enjoyed this beer. I highly recommend it, if you like a chocolatey Porter. (205 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a single into a snifter
a: khaki head on top of a deep dark brown/black body; big foamy bubbles that subside quickly, little lacing
s: burnt coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, piney hoppy edge with a little orchard fruit
t & m: surprisingly thin and even a little flat, despite some bright flavors...some fruity flowery notes with a grassy edge, then you're into the roasted chocolatey malts, and then back to a grassy hoppy finish.

overall: have always really enjoyed this one on its own, though it is a little thin and hoppy to be a perfect porter to me. This particular tasting, I tried it side by side with Odell's, Founder's, and GL's, and this was quite distinctive but it was my least lacked the creamy rich mellow flavors and perfect balance that others had; undoubtedly just my own idiosyncratic preferences. I'll definitely drink this one again, but there are others in the style that I prefer. (931 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and khaki in shade. Retention isn't very long, and the texture is slightly lacking in creaminess. At least some lacing sticks to the glass (but not a lot...) (3.25)

Smell: The aroma is typical of a porter. No wait, let me revise that - the aroma is typical of a great porter. I get plenty of intertwining notes: mainly dry baker's cocoa, along with hints of cherry, apricot, and brown sugar. It's also gently hopped, which does even more to balance the rest of the beer. I mean, it's just a porter...and yet, the craftsmanship put into this is utterly top-notch. (4.25)

Taste: Its flavor doesn't disappoint. Fruity flavors hit the palate first - notes of cherry and apricot makes it seem shockingly bright. Subtle caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar flavors finish it off, along with the gentlest hint of smoke and hop bitterness. This is complex yet delicate - in other words, exactly what I like in a great porter. (4)

Mouthfeel: Light in body, with an airy, well-carbonated feel. While it finishes a little slick, I can't deny how easily it drinks. (4)

Overall: I had high expectations for this beer after hearing how great it was: not just from BA, but also from friends and family. Guess what? This lives up to the hype. It's so light and drinkable, I could kill this one all day. A fantastic every day drinker in all regards. (4.25)

4.07/5: Wish I picked up a 6-pack... (1,479 characters)

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 1,405 ratings.