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Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

1,484 Reviews
For Trade:
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 30

192 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,484 | Ratings: 5,755
Photo of beertunes
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured with about an inch of dark khaki colored head that left solid, sticky lacing. A black beer that is just barely translucent when held up to the light. Deep, rich roasty aromas with just a hint of coffee in the nose. This beer smells Goood! The taste expands upon the aroma, with that hint of coffee being well balanced by the rest of the malt. As you would expect, this is a full bodied, well rounded brew. This beer has the utmost drinkability, one could (and I have) spend hours at your local watering hole enjoying this toasted delight. A very good brew, as with most of Deschutes mainline products, a well made beer for a fair price. This brewery may be the best at matching quality with value.

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Photo of everetends
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks to hopsleeroy as an awesome extra in a trade. Poured this one up in my Terrapin pint glass.

A: Pours a really nice dark brown, pretty much black. The brown stays pretty dark from top to bottom. When held to light, just lighter shades of brown come out at the extreme top and bottom. A light head, tan in color, comes up slowly after the pour. The head really doesn't have any retention. This is a bit lame, but I will survive. Still a really good looking porter, especially for the color.

S: This beer has some really nice aromas coming out. Really nice, moderately roasted malts. There is a really nice chocolate and roasted coffee aroma coming out. There is also hint of some caramel and milky goodness. A bit of hops tries to push its way out, but all the good malt flavors really keep that from happening.

T: Taste just about mirrors the nose. Really nice milk chocolate flavor is first and foremost. A really nice, espresso coffee flavor comes out. A nice lactose quality is there as well. The malts are nicely roasted with just a touch of bitterness. There is also a peanut and hazelnut flavor. A slight pine hop in there that adds a nice flavor to all this. This doesn't sound very complex, but it is damned tasty.

M: Medium bodied brew that is somewhat thin for the style. It just has a watery sensation. This is a negative, but it still maintains a somewhat creamy texture. Carbonation is bit crisp, with a touch of tingle. ABV is light and nice for a really easy drinking porter. Aftertaste is mostly of some really nice malt flavors.

D: Very drinkable and very nice. This beer is easy drinking with som great flavors and aromas. Its not the most complex beer, but the flavors are excellent. I really wish this was local because a sixer would be in my fridge as we speak. Solid porter and solid beer.

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Photo of ahpark
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, creating a one finger head that left a nice, creamy looking lacing, almost like that of a root beer float. Initially it looked to be a dark opaque black, but it's actually more of a dark amber brown with little light shining through.

S - Strong smell of dark chocolate and espresso, with hints of fresh oak. There's a slightly fruity scent on the back end that's reminiscent of bananas, but it complements the rest of the scents very very well.

T - Very bold chocolate coffee flavor with a strong secondary taste of hazelnuts and walnuts. Finishes off with a sweet aftertaste of the aformentioned "bananas", something akin to bananas in chocolate pudding. Subtle hint of hops, but nothing that overpowers the overarching taste.

M - A bit thinner than I thought, but still creamy and very smooth. I would've liked the carbonation to be a little weaker, as it doesn't do much to complement the overall flavor.

D - Goes down very smooth, and barely has a hint of bitterness going down. I could definitely see myself recommending this as a gateway brew.

Overall, one of the more refreshing dark beers I've had. Absolutely perfect if you're looking for a beer that doesn't sacrifice flavor for complexity for drinkability.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Bubba83 for a bottle of this in a recent trade.

Pours what looks like a dark brown at first but holding it up to the light reveals a deep clear garnet color. 2 fingers of foamy mocha head sit on top, settling into a fizzy yet smooth retention that leaves a sticky latticework of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an assertive mix of roasted malts and chocolate with lesser but still prominent notes of coffee, nuts, and citrus, all wrapped up in a floral smelling shell. This is very nice.

The taste is a thick chocolate sweetness with a toasty edge to it and some additional notes of roasted coffee, citrus tang, and a firm hop bitterness towards the back that exerts itself in the finish with a dry lingering feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a prickly carbonation but still overall smooth feel in the mouth.

This stuff is just a classic from Deschutes. Flavorful Porter character packed in an easy drinking body that goes down very smooth and the ABV is right where I like it for the style. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium clear black color porter with large light brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of black chocolate and light dry coffee notes are very pleasant. Taste is a nice mix between some bitter black chocolate notes with some light fry coffee and a subtle roasted malt bitter finish. Body is a bit too thin with some great carbonation. Very well done and something that IU would probably buy again if I had access to it.

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Photo of katan
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours an almost completely opaque black color - where light does get through is a bit of a red hue. Head formation was strong, up to 3mm - stronger than other porters I've had. Color is brown/mocha. Head reduces down to a a film.

S - Very chocolately. Very roasted. A balance of the two. Very appealing. A light yeast smell in the background.

T - Starts off with a light malt sweetness that grows into a chocolate and roasted barley edge. Bitterness is somewhat muted - but present. Finishes with a flourish of bittersweet chocolate - very bittersweet. Aftertaste leaves behind a bitter edge.

M - Lighter in body than other porters I've had - below my expectations. Carbonation bite is present. Some film is left on the tongue.

D - Easy to drink - as I drink this I don't feel the higher carbonation for the style is affecting my ability to drink it. ABV is very manageable. Flavors are very in balance and not overly assertive, so that works as well.

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

Appearance: Pours dark brown with big (roughly 2 fingers), foamy, off-white head. As head slowly dissipates, it leaves a blanket of lace along the walls of the glass. Dark reddish-brown shades can be seen in the body of the beer, especially when held to light. Looks quite nice for a porter.

Smell: Roasted and chocolate malt, nuts, buttered popcorn, and a touch of pine. Not mind-blowing, but even-keeled and once again, nice.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee and roasted malts, along with a good deal of spice, greet the palate initially. Pine and herbal hop notes follow. Also detecting some nuttiness throughout. Very balanced and flavorful.

Mouthfeel: The thing that definitely stands out here is the spiciness. With that said, I can't determine whether the extra spice is a good or a bad thing... kind of nice I guess. Carbonation is a bit higher than I'd like. Nice milky consistency. Good mouth coating. Some chewiness. Once again, pretty well done.

Drinkability: True to it's style and very, very good. Hits the spot in almost any situation. Cork N' Bottle sells sixers of Black Butte for $6 - fucking awesome! Needless to say, we hit up Cork N' Bottle all the time. This is by far the most drinkable porter out there, and maybe the best all-around porter out there.

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Photo of seanbhudson
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with reddish highlights and large tan head with good retention. A tiny bit of lacing.
Roasted malt, chocolate and a little earthy hops. Not a ton of aroma but gets better as it warms.
Similar to aroma, starts with roasted malts and finishes with the bit of dark chocolate that lingers on the sides of your tongue for quite awhile.
A medium-full bodied beer that has a creamy almost chewy texture. Soft fizzy carbonation.
This is a very smooth beer. Not a lot of complexity but really well balanced.
NOTES: BBCSD-0901-Mike

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Photo of mikedashg
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Not a major review here. Long story, but I was on my way to a tail gate party from being out of town with no time to stop anywhere good (like my house) for good beer. On top of which I drank these from the bottle. But I found a gas station that had pretty good selection of crafts brews! I picked this one up because it's hard to go bad with a porter since I like them so much. I let some non beer snobs try it and they LOVED it. They were all over it.

Tastes of chocolate, coffee and malt. Very little hop bitterness, but it's there.

Mouthful is very light with low carbonation.

Drinkability is really great on this one. Nice session beer. Drank 4 of them at the party. But by the 4th one it was a little tiresome. Not enough body to keep it going. But the first 2 were amazing.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep black color with a thin lifeless head. Decent belgoan lacing. Aroma of dark roasted malts, a good amount of chocolate and no hops. Taste is much the same as the smell, but maybe a little bit weaker. This is full of roasted malts that give off a great burnt feeling. There is a slight bitterness at the end, but nothing earth shattering. The mouthfeel was thin. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with some reddish highlights when held up to light. About a half a finger of reddish brown head that dissipates quickly, but provides some lacing.

Smell is dominated by roasted malts with some coffee undertones.

Tastes like it smells, but has a nice hop balance. Nice finish on this porter.

Full body, medium carbonation, good thick feeling as it splashes over the tongue and goes down the throat.

So smooth and tasty that you want to drink more.

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Photo of strangebrew52
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown. Smells of roasted malts with a hint of chocolate and coffee. Tastes just as it smells but also has a perfect amount of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium body with high carbonation, very smooth actually. Drinkability is very high, if only I could get it in Wisconsin on a regular basis. This beer reminds me of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass.

A--Dark brown almost black body with some ruby highlights toward the bottom that ripen up when held to the light. Tan head is pretty huge for a porter, maybe two and a half fingers of foamy cream. Retention is great, and lacing is lasting.

S--Not much to me, even for a porter. A little bit of bitter roasted malt that doesn't quite get to coffee in the nose, but then it sort of peters out into vague subdued floral hops.

T--This stuff improves mightily in complexity once it's in the mouth, and especially once it warms. When it's a little too cold it's mostly just bitter coffee and dark chocolate with weird powdered milk undertone, but once it warms it opens up and not only reveals bigger chocolate malt roastiness with a deeper character, but also some teriyaki and cigar at the very back whose lingering I really enjoyed. Hops get bigger as it warms, too, with a more pronounced floral finish. A little like Anchor Porter in that way.

M&D--Mouthfeel was a little too dry and chalky for my liking (like eating charcoal), though the low carbonation was spot on, and made for a properly robust porter. Drinkability was fine as this a primo session beer in my opinion.

Reminded me of Anchor Porter, as you probably have guessed by now, as well as Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald--kind of a cross between the two. One of the drier, though not necessarily more bitter, porters out there. Not really my thing--I'm more into Smuttynose robust porter's roastiness--but absolutey a well-crafted American take on the style. So glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S = Nice roastiness all around.

T = Caramel and roasted malts. No perceived bitterness.

MF = Slightly thin and carbonation rather high.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed with this offering after reading such high praise. I felt it was a little watery and not as flavorful as I was hoping. Still very drinkable, but not my first choice.

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Photo of popery
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very good porter. Dark red brown liquid with good lacing. The nose is sweet and malty with just a touch of hops. The taste is full of sweet but dark chocolate malt with a good hop finish. There are very porter-ish charcoal notes. It's well-balanced and easy to drink. There's a nearly vinous quality to the sweetness. The mouthfeel is creamy and just wonderful for the relatively low alcohol content. This is an absolute must for fans of porters and an excellent beer for everyone else.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you skourtis for this one!

Pours a dark brown but not completely black with a one finger off white head that gives way to a thick crown around the edge.

Smell is a wonderful caramel up front with hints of chocolate and other sweet malt. Not incredibly complex but bold and good.

Tastes of chocolate, light cherry, and a slight bitter bite at the end there.

Mouth is good with a medium/thick body and medium/high carbonation, an unusual combination that works here.

Drinkability is high, I wish I had this one here.

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Photo of jayfarley3
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark almost black color with a frothy tan head. Smells of roasted malts, slightly sweet and a touch of hops. Tastes of strong roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and perfect balance of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied and very smooth, this is a great porter I will definitely have this one again.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours ruby black with an off white head that fades fast but leaves lacing. Nose is light roastiness and fruity hops. Taste of chocolate, sweet coffee, cherry cough drop, with hops biting at the end. Light body and sparkly for a porter. Long sustain.

Smooth and drinkable, thought I wish it had a bit more body. A very good porter, but not great.

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Photo of birdypowder
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Hot chocolate froth, dried fruit.

Appearance: Frothy light tan head, creamy bubbles leaving intricate lacing, deep mahogany red.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth entry followed by stinging carbonation, which after it subsides, leaves your mouth with a thin velvety coating.

Taste: Subtle chocolate sweetness, bakers chocolate or cocoa bitterness at end. Quick hit of citrus in-between.

Aftertaste/Finish: Crisp, approaching dry.

I could easily have two of these in a sitting.

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Photo of johnd513
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours dark brown with a nice frothy offwhite head that quickly disappears and leaves some nice tan lacing on the glass. Smells of chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes of dark chocolate and is nice and roasty. The taste is a little bitter which I like. The mouthfeel has medium body, slightly creamy and nicely carbinated. Drinkability is high on this one. One hell of an easy drinking porter that could be a staple in my fridge if it were easily available to me. I am enjoying this while visiting my folks in Boise. Also can't beat the price! Gotta love Michigan taxes.

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Photo of micahgoldfus
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown color with a 1-finger, fizzy head that fairly quickly bubbled down to a tan lace across the top. The smell was dominated by smoked malts, and it was strong and rich. I could just picture in my mind the malts being roasted over an open fire. The taste was a delicious balance of the malty and the bitter. The malty: thick chocolate malt flavor, which was as smokey as the smell would leave me to believe. The bitter: there was definitely a bitter hop presence to round off the taste, but there was also notes of coffee grinds and bittersweet chocolate. The taste lingered on long after the sip. While the body was medium, approaching on heavy, and carbonation was plentiful, leaving a sharpness to the aftertaste. The beer was flavorful, but not filling, and I could have easily had another one. A good catch.

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Photo of kasper
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice rich dark, dark brown. Nearly black, with a nice foamy mocha head that sticks to the walls of the glass like soap suds.

Great aromas of chocolate, charcoal, roasted malts -- all of which comes with an underlying sweetness that's overly inviting and not cloyingly so.

Chocolate and roasted malts all the way, with a kick of roasted bitterness on the finish that lingers someway.

Nice fluffy and velvety texture, medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Ideal mouthfeel.

A world-class and enjoyable porter. Would never turn one of these down. Easy drinking too... alcohol well masked.

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Photo of showell
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At the moment, this is my very favorite beer. Thankfully, it's readily available at the local supermarket, lol. A very nice dark color. The smell is wonderful, and the taste is exceptional. Coffee and Chocolate, mmmm! I usually only drink a few beers a week. This porter is one of the very few beers I could go back for another, and another, and another, and another.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a translucent brown (unusual for a porter) with a small light tan head. Aroma of coffee, roasted malt. Nice roasted character. Flavor has a similar roast character and slight coffee. Palate is a little sweet and light-bodied. Smooth drinking. Good porter.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark and roasty, but light bodied enough to be a session beer for those of us with cojones. Pours a beautiful, warm brown and carries you away with a well balanced array of coffee and chocolate flavors. My personal favorite (readily available) beer of all time, and very affordable as well!

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.