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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,644 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3644
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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Ratings: 3,644 | Reviews: 1,279 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Dr_Q


4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer. Beautiful head, nice lacing, dark cola color with a little coffee dryness.

Appearance: What a porter should look like, dark cola brown, chocolate head with nice lacing.

Smell: Malty caramel, nice malt note, not very hoppy.

Taste: Good example of the style, just enough bitter. Great taste.

Mouthfeel: Dry, crisp, medium body.

Serving type: growler

03-22-2014 20:17:06 | More by Dr_Q
Photo of deaconoflove


4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm sort of predisposed to love this beer. Dark, highest rating, it's dark...
Smells and tastes like liquid chocolate, a chocolate malt, malted mild balls, beer falvored chocolate malt, liquid chocolate ice cream.
It's creamy and smooth and mild.
Giant creamy tan head from the growler.
My wife, a non-beer drinker, likes it enough to take several "tastes" during dinner and suggested going to Picnocchio's Pizza for pizza and she'll have a Deschutes Black Butte Porter.
I'll be buying more of this.

Serving type: growler

09-22-2013 00:30:24 | More by deaconoflove
Photo of IceTrey9785


4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just moved to the west coast and was recommended this beer by a buddy I work with. Luckily, my discount went a long way at work, so getting a growler was a no-brainer.

A: Very dark brown almost black, reminiscent of dark chocolate or charcoal. The beer pours a great lacing with a head of at least a finger and a half. It lasts a while, with an off-white foam remaining.

S: Bitter coffee, smoked embers, dark chocolate all highlight the palate with a slight piney hint toward the end of the draw. Definitely a robust and flavorful porter.

T&M: Whoa -- the palate is full of a soft, silky, slightly milky texture that shows flavors of smoked hazelnuts, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. Rich and robust, the beer is medium bodied and relatively crisp for the style, given the hop character. The finish is long and remains about a minute and a half fully concentrated with cocoa and charcoal. A fantastic porter for any weather.

This might quite possibly be my favorite beer. I have had plenty of porters -- some are much more concentrated and heartier, some are more thin and extracted. This porter is the most balanced darker ale that I have ever tasted. I tried this beer in the bottle and the comparison was non-existent. Anybody who can find a Total Wine with this on the growler station will experience a life-changing brew. This beer is simply perfection.

Serving type: growler

09-01-2012 05:17:49 | More by IceTrey9785
Photo of Retail1LO


2.75/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 32 oz. growler into a pint glass. Poured straight down the middle of the glass, beer gives about 3" of solid head. Pretty much downhill from there. The smell is nearly completely muted. Outside of carbonation and some malt, there's really nothing there. The taste to me is pretty bland. There's not a whole helluva lot going on here. Again, I don't detect too many distinct flavor profiles. Some hints of coffee, toasted malt. The mouthfeel is where this bottoms out. It's highly carbonated, and extremely astringent. There's absolutely no joy behind having this in your mouth. I'm wondering if Black Butte XXIII is anything like this. I hope to hell not.

Serving type: growler

09-10-2011 22:18:25 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of scottbrew4u


5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a luscious black color with garnet highlights and great clarity with just the hint of light coming through. The head is a frothy towering tan spectacle that takes it's time settling. This beer leaves tremendous lacing on the glass as you drink it down.

S: Robust roasted malt aromas that hint of chicory, chocolate, ash, roasted nuts, and a touch of smoke. There is much depth there and it keeps from being overly roasted or burnt smelling. A nod to some earthy hops just to balance it all out. Wow deep breaths for this one and it lures you in even more.

T: Ashy, but not burnt, with chocolate and coffee with cream, chicory, and just a touch of smoke. Pleasant earthy and spicy hops ad such a nice bitterness with the dark roasted malt bitterness.

M: Velvety smooth medium to full body, with just enough carbonation for the style. It is right on for what a porter should be, smooth, luscious, but not too heavy.

D: So wonderfully balanced and deep for a porter. This beer just beckons you to drink. Especially delicious as it warms up a bit. Well done and so glad to have this one again after so many years! Overall the best porter I have ever experienced!

Serving type: growler

08-30-2011 00:44:55 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of MurphyMacManus


4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into pint glass.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights Average-sized tan head that fades to a layer of lace and sticks to the glass.

S: Coffee, cocoa, roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate.

T/M: See notes on "smell." The bittersweet chocolate and cocoa are most present in the taste, followed by a medium roast coffee flavor with minimal bitterness. Rich finish, like a good hot chocolate or cafe mocha. There's some dark fruit in there as it gets warmer, too -- maybe blackberries; it's sweetness and just a bit of acidity, possibly a part of the carbonation bite. Body is moderate but not too thick.

D: Excellent session porter. Nice balance of flavors; would be great paired with grilled/roasted steak or game.

Serving type: growler

11-21-2010 06:35:55 | More by MurphyMacManus
Photo of ByTor2112

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One Deschutes Growler with big thanks to Ergonomix & Associates in Portland!
Pours a very dark, not quite black color. Some light peeks through with light to the side of the glass. The head is glorious.Big poofy light brown in color and thick lacing remains after just one sip. This one has body already.
Aroma-cocoa powder, fresh and musky. Roasted malt aromas and coffee dominate.
Mouthfeel-silky with a low to medium carbonation. This one is very pleasing on the palate. Some milder sweet malt flavors. The earthy hops are buried in there somewhere. A froth on the palate reveals some more aggressive hop flavors and they stay to the finish along with some tannin flavors and a bitterness assoociated with the darker roasted malts, slightly burnt-this is good! This one is very true to style. It is smooth, but full of flavor without being robust. Classic!

Serving type: growler

03-18-2010 03:15:32 | More by ByTor2112
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 titty_mcbitty


3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark black and a khaki head. This is a very dark beer. No wonder they give it its name.

S: Charred oats, bitter chocolate, malt.

T: Charred oats as said. Burnt chocolate, some hops, biscuit, toast, malt. Honestly I'm not too keen on the taste. It's a great beer no doubt, but I don't see what the hype is about.

M: Medium to thick-ish. Kind of a rough velvety feel.

O: A great brew, but like I said: the flavor on this one isn't my favorite. It's a bit too charred for me- as if the malts were a tad over done. I liked the beer overall, though.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2014 04:17:19 | More by titty_mcbitty
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
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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,644 ratings.