Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

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5,234 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,234
Reviews: 1,452
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 394
Gots: 948 | FT: 10
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,234 | Reviews: 1,452
Photo of Reagan1984
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thin but creamy off white colored head. Not much in the way of retention. Some nice lacing does form. The beer is a dark cola or root beer color without the carbonation. Reminded me of a glass of French press coffee.

Aroma is of dark roasted grains, chocolate, slight sweetness and almost a dark caramel.

Flavor is fantastic. Bit roasted, chocolate blast right out of the shoot. This is quickly followed by a short burst of sweetness that settles into a creamy caramel flavor. The roasted flavor comes in towards the end again and provides a lingering effect. I'm sure there are some hops in there, but it really seems more of the roasted malt vs. anything else. There is a sense of dark brown sugar or even the top of a crème brulee.... Just the burnt sugar part. Lots going on here, a nice complex beer.

Mouth feel is creamy big and satisfying.

I find this very drinkable and a perfect end to an evening. Glad I found it out here in the northwest.

Photo of Bung
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black appearing pour, when held up to the light it is rather dark brown throughout. Roast malt aromas, with surprisingly piney hop tones. Mouth feel is a bit lively, but mellows a bit to creamy. Flavor is not that overly descript with roast malt and peatiness. Finishes very clean, not much lingering. I was a little dissapointed with this one, possibly because I had the Obsidian stout previous, it seemed a little bit understated. Will have to give it another try, but I found it a bit average, albeit very drikable. Not going to poo poo it completely though, it is worth getting.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice dark brown, almost black, forming a 1/2 inch mocha head. Medium spots of lace cling to the glass.

S - Light aroma of roasted malts and hints of chocolate. Very light aroma.

T - Big roasted malt flavor up front, creating a delicious blend of chocolate and coffee flavors. Very rich and creamy.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Smooth finish.

D - This beer is a great example of why I love porters. Great thick coffee and chocolate flavors along with a sessionable alcohol level. A highly recommended porter!!!

Photo of magictrokini
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an excellent dark brown with a tiny head. Light aroma of chocolate. Smooth taste of bitter chocolate and crystal malt. The only complaint I had was that the flavors were very weak. Very light mouthfeel with no carbonation. A good beer, nonetheless.

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

The color is a dark dark brown, almost opaque, with half a finger of tan head. Carbonation is just a tad weak. Smell mildly of coffee, chocolate, and malt. Taste is a nice moderate combination of those, plus a strong roasted component. Nice creamy mouthfeel, but like I said, carbonation could be a little more. Drinkable as hell, though--a solid porter that isn't trying to be a stout.

Photo of xhcadamx
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours opaque blacks with a light tan head that stayed for a few moments and disappeared. Decent lacing while drinking. Very faint to the nose. I pick up roasted coffee but very little. This all changes however once it hits your mouth! Roasty coffee with a bitter bite at the end. The beer has a really smooth body which makes this very sessionable. I have tried the Obsidian Stout but it has been awhile, definitely would like to compare the two.

Photo of Ruslanchik
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This excellent porter pours a dark black from a 12oz bottle. A thick off-white head with brown highlights rises up from the opaque beer. The retention is good and lacing is very apparent.

The aroma is much like coffee with a bit of malt sweetness and alcohol traces. No hops here.

The flavor is of roasted coffee with a slight burnt quality. There is perceptible hop bitterness. The balance here is excellent.

This beer is thick, but not overly. Its heaviness is not oily. It doesn't hang out on the palette.

A sixer of this beer would leave only the desire for more! Definitely a session beer.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

decided to support a local (coastal) brewery.

pours a dark brown with a fantastic two finger tan head that stands strong. nice lacing clings to the pint glass. right off the bat i am hit by a sense of happiness.

smell is great. rich chocolate and roasted malt pretty much jump out of my glass to greet me. i would wear this as cologne.

taste is sweet. i am greeted by a malty party up front. im getting chocolate, coffee, some breadish notes. mildy complex. full flavored. awesome beer.

mouth is smooth, thin, slightly creamy. not overly carbonated.

I love this beer. no matter when i get it i am going to smile. if you see this and haven't had it. get it. enjoy it. drink it again.

Photo of MAB
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll preface this report by saying that I ordered this at a seafood restaurant in Seattle. It arrived in a nice thin tall glass, so I'm guessing it was on-tap, since they didn't bring me the bottle.
(by the way, it pairs absolutely fabulous with the chocolate creme brulee (dessert) at Ray's Boathouse)

Deep brown with a brown foamy head- almost Guinness-like. The aroma was one of coffee and chocolate.
The first sip was heaven. The roasted barley notes combined with the chocolate malt to make it a sweet mouthful, followed by a light bitterness in the aftertaste.

This is the best porter that I've ever had, and one that all others must compare to.

Find it! Love it!

Photo of jkendrick
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown that needs to be held to the light to distinguish the maroon highlights The head is tan and thick, almost like that of a cappuccino or mocha. The head has good retention. The lacing hangs around in clumps.

Aroma: Sweet like a porter should be with roasted malt predominating. There are hints of chocolate and coffee and maybe some vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a bit thin for a porter. The carbonation is nice and that head that keeps sticking around makes it a bit foamy.

Taste: This a porter and roasted malt is prevalent. It isn't all that bitter to me though. The flavors aren't bold, but nicely balanced. After the malt, I taste some coffee, some chocolate and a bit of smokiness. But those flavors aren't as strong as the aroma would lead you to believe. This is mostly malt. The finish is bit dry and the alcohol warms a bit in the belly.

Overall impression: This is one of my favorite porters. Admittedly, this style isn't one in which I am extremely well-versed. But at 5.2% abv., Black Butte makes for a smooth, easy drinking, well-balanced session porter.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark black that shows some ruby hues when held to light. Minimal tan head. Nose is a lot of coffee. Just loads of grinds. And the flavor brings it too. There's also a fair amount of vegetal tones. Thick with character, yes. Complexities? Middle of the road. But it matters little. This is an amazing porter.

Photo of Jyubei
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Black brew on a tan 1/2 in. head, moderate lacing.

S. Aroma of roasted malts and nuts with a hint of caramel and toffee.

T. Roasted malt and nuts with a hint of coffee and a toffee aftertaste.

M. Good carbonation with a sticky feel

D. Good stuff. An enjoyable variety of flavors and aromas.

Photo of Magpie14
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep, dark brown all the way through. Huge glorious head with big foamy rocks on top. Good presentation, have not had one of this caliber in a while. Bartender did a good job.

S: tart fruits, toasty and roasted malts, smidgen of clean hops

T: gee...I am picking up sweet raspberries, blueberry. Lingering tartness in the finish. Malts sit in the back and round things out. Also picked up on some coffee in the finish. Man, a lot going on.

M: medium body, well carbonated and fizzy in the mouth. Slight chalk-like/astringency.

D: great beer and just a couple would do. I plan on drinking many more of these. This beer needs to be enjoyed and nursed. Lots of flavors and interesting...great porter!

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a clear dark brown color with an average size tan colored head.

S: The aroma is malty predominantly. There are notes of raisins, fruits, sourness, spices and even mint. Very pleasant.

T: This is a big malty beer. Roast and spice flavors are present. It is also somewhat astringent.

M: The mouthfeel is full and well suited.

D: This is a smooth and balanced beer.

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dschuster03 for bringing one of these to Darkness Day for me.
Bottle with best before day of 4/9/08 - Dave must have had this one cellared for a while.

A - Dark brown, with a rich 3-fingered head of light tan that takes forever to dissipate. Nice contrast!

S - Strong, rich smell of roasted malt and chocolate. A hint of coffee and vanilla. The smell really came alive as the brew warmed up a little.

T - Starts out sweet and malty, but leaves a coffee aftertaste on the back of your throat.

M - A little thinner than I was expecting. Creamy and refreshing.

D - I could drink a bunch of these at 5.2%, especially since it didn't have that milkshake consistency of some other porters.

All in all an above average brew that goes nice with dessert - can't wait to try the Black Butte XX.

Photo of RickS95
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is I've had in a while.

Thin, light brown head; beer is dark brown/black in color. Chocolate is slightly evident in the nose.

Very smooth, almost buttery mouthfeel. Good lacing. Bitter finish is balanced by the sweet chocolate.

Can't wait to have another one.

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown stream, with a small light brown head head, that has decent lacing. Smells smokey and roasted. Taste bittersweet, like smoke, chocolate, roasted malt. A slightly light feeling in the mouth, but very drinkable. Could be a session porter.

Photo of beersheppard
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark dank brown/black with brown head that hangs around for a bit, good lacing throughout the pint.

Smell: smoky nose.

Taste: chocolate, smoke, coffee, dark roasted malts. Delicous.

Mouthfeel: a little slick, thinner on the palate than I expected

Drinkability: a fine porter, would definitely drink again. Dark and flavorful.

Photo of humanawho
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice black color with cream colored head dies down a little quick

S - nice roasty aroma, and a little sugary grapefruit

T - very smooth roasty and sweet

M - mouthfeel is smooth with average body

D - smooth and light tasting with a little clinging to the palate

Photo of RedDiamond
2.84/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'll often pick up a six-pack of Black Butte for casual drinking around the house. I've known it to be a good product, plus it's available everywhere and is reasonably priced. But I only review beers served in house where they're brewed. For Deschutes this has meant annual migrations to Bend, though with their new outpost in Portland I won't need to cross the mountains as often.

In this case I drank Black Butte in Bend. I'd had more unfavorable experiences drinking on Bond Street than I could dismiss as isolated oversights and wanted to see if anything had changed since my last visit. I thought perhaps the favorable qualities of Black Butte Porter that I knew from the bottle might at last present themselves on draught at the source. Alas, this was not to be.

First, they serve Black Butte fiendishly cold. This isn't a problem, but requires some patience to overcome as the beer warms to a more accommodating serving temperature. Black Butte is deep mahogany and presents with a large islet of frothy tan head and a wide display of lace. The aroma, even after warming, lacks roast and suggests sanitation or yeast-funk issues.

I found Black Butte's taste lackluster and unchallenging but with a faint tail that nearly holds one's attention with some smoky decay. The malts are workable with notes of toffee-vanilla but not cleanly presented.

Ultimately there are dozens of porters in the great Northwest that entertain the senses with greater amplitude and zeal than this one, at least as it's served on draught where it's brewed.

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

Had this on tap first, now to the bottle. Best by 7.03.08, so perhaps past.

A - Dark cola brown, small off white head leads to only ring. Some sudsy lacing.

S - Roasted malt, hint of roasted coffee and cocoa.

T - Taste follows smell, but overall, lighter than anticipated.

M - Same deal, thinner and lighter than expected.

D - Easy to drink, just not remarkable.

Need to try another fresher one!

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This is a very very deep dark brown, with a finger width of loose bubbled head. The head is a slight tan color, and almost looks like coffee foam, but not as smooth and creamy.

S- Smells like a porter, nice chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and roasted malt smells. Nice robust smelling porter.

T- The roasted coffee taste is what comes though the most. The roasted malts give a nice roasted wood taste. The chocolate and vanilla aren't as pronounced in the taste as it is in the smell. Nice well rounded taste.

M- The mouth is thin, I've found that to be common with porters. I prefer my beers to be a bit thicker in mouth feel, but this works.

D- Easy to drink, nice solid porter. Tastes great on this cold night.

Photo of funkyspunk87
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Butte Porter
Deschutes Brewery, Inc.
Style: American Porter
ABV: 5.50 %

Presentation: Out of the tap at the Santa Barbara Beer Festival!

The first time I've had this beer was at the festival and it was the most solid beer there! Sweet and tasty, served VERY cold and it was refreshing. Absolutely would buy this beer again.

Photo of roadhouse
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with a best by date of 7/3/08 received from srandycarter into a pint glass.

Appears a dark brown shade with some reddish highlights and a half inch tan head. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is wonderful. Lots of chocolate with some sweet caramel tones. A bit of coffee but it's very light.

Taste starts with lots of chocolate and then some earthy, woody flavors and some more of that light coffee flavor without the bitterness - perhaps more like creamed coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium and very creamy with a great level of carbonation.

Easily one of the best Porters that I've tried. I think I've finally found something that is basically equal to Anchor, it's just a shame this stuff cannot be had around here. I wish Deschutes had the distribution of Rogue.

Photo of FatCaster
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is my first porter, and let me say, its not what I thought it was gonna be at all. It's better.

Poured from a bottle into a mug, had a creamy tan-ish head.

A--Black Butte is an accurate name. Only saw the deep reds when tipping it to the side in the light. very nice.

S--Not sure if I smell the chocolate spoken of on the box and on this site, but has a really complex and almost fruity smell.

T--I was really worried it would be bitter, as I don't know much about porters. Goes down almost sweet, and ends with an earthy toasted flavor.

M--Nice and thick, but not overly so.

D--For a thick beer, I feel like I could easily drink a few too many of this. Very pleasant.

Highly recommend this beer, as I am unfamiliar with the style and it fit me like an old shoe.

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,234 ratings.