1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,052 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,052
Reviews: 1,308
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 299
Gots: 354 | FT: 13
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)
View: Beers (139) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Butte Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,052 | Reviews: 1,308 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrstevens


3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with a light colored head.

S: sweet hints of coffee, chocolate and nuts

T: Roasted coffee, chocolate malts, a little watered down tasting.

M: Soft, well carbonated

D: A little too watered down tasting for me, but overall not a bad drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 00:13:12 | More by mrstevens
Photo of Mdog


3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown, deep read when held to light, good head and lacing.

Smell: Light mocha, a little floral note.

Taste: Nice roasted flavor, some mocha sweetness and a touch of bitterness in the finish.

Drinkability: Quite tasty, nice price.

This is a very tasty porter, and it reminds me that porters used to be one of my favorite styles before getting into hoppy beers. Nice roasted flavor without being too heavy. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 23:46:29 | More by Mdog
Photo of spoons


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown brew with an off white head.
Nice lacing

Smells lighter than it looks. Sweet and chocolate notes finished with some roasted malt.

Based on the look the taste is a little watery. highly drinkable. Not much carbonation but I like that. It need to warm up a little for full flavor. It has chocolate roasty bit and some sweetness. Balanced. This beer is really good. I find myself being a repeat buyer of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 06:43:12 | More by spoons
Photo of drabmuh


4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is black and forms a thin broken head of tiny bubbles. Leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

Smells sweet. Slight smoke, slight roast. Smells ok.

Medium to light in body. Beer is smooth, not a lot of carbonation in the mouth. Beer tastes good, some roast comes up late and lingers. Second taste, not a lot of sweetness in the front but its well balanced overall. Drinkability high.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 02:37:48 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jjanega08


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

A= pours a nice black color that when held to the light has some nice deep amber highlights to it. The head is a nice finger high and is an off white color almost a mocha color and holds some decent retention before falling to a thin layer on top of the glass but does hold a little sticky lacing.

S= Really nice and roasty smelling. Some of the best roast I've ever smelled. Nice coffee smells that you don't get with a lot of porters. There is a little chocolaty goodness to it.

T= Very similar to the smell. A ton of roast to it and some of the best coffee flavors I've ever tasted in a porter. Awesome chocolate flavors to it. This takes over a lot of porters as my favorite in taste. Porters are one of my favorite styles

M= a nice light feel to it that coats nicely and leaves a nice lasting flavor in the mouth.

D= Delicious. Takes over Summits Porter as my new favorite. I love porters and I love the way they fit together without being too heavy and this is a nearly perfect example. Seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 02:11:31 | More by jjanega08
Photo of AmberMan22


4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Recently got this in MN over spring break, nice to see it available, must say I'm excited.

The pour has let me down a bit though. A deep brown color with garnet highlights that are easily visible in almost any setting. It has great clarity too. Head is sand colored at best and diminishes quickly.

Taking a whiff makes me perk up again. It isn't an in-your-face porter smell, which is kind of nice for a change. Instead it smells smooth and refined -- my nose is bathed in a swathe of subtle smokiness, heapings of dark roasty malt, and a nice hoppy flourish at the end. Mmm.

I will start this section by saying I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Its smooth, almost relaxed feel is a nice change for a porter every once in a while. That plus the lower ABV for the category make it extremely drinkable.
The taste is good, though the laid-back approach that this beer takes offers benefits and drawbacks.
Everything that constitutes a good porter is here. However, to be a great porter, I feel that this approach doesn't work -- I'll look forward to trying Black Butte XII, and hopefully that'll kick my butt.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 19:37:39 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of WestValleyIPA


3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my brand spankin' new Zatec fluted glass. Finger and a half light tan head. Nose typical of a non-smoked porter. Light Coffee, chocolate, a little spiciness. Tasted like it smelled with the addition of a bit of nuttiness. Mouthfeel was a bit on the carbonated side, and a little light for my preferences. Probably quite a good session beer. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 05:24:28 | More by WestValleyIPA
Photo of Elimination


3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at grand central pizza:

very little head, black, dark, a cola float look

smell: very little actually (might of been my nose at the moment)

taste: coffee, very dark coffee thats almost been watered down if that makes any sense, soda

a fav local porter of mine, have sampled in bottles and tap at many occasions. Seems to be accepted locally as a'dark' beer by the average beer drinker

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2010 23:34:00 | More by Elimination
Photo of AdamGarcia


4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to macmaster761 for this xtra!!!

12oz btl into Duvel tulip

A: Pours just short of black. Two fingers worth of tightly beaded head from a slightly aggressive pour, that dwindles to a 1/4 inch after a minute and laces the glass nicely.

S: Coffee. Pleasant nutty, earthy character. Little bit of dark fruit. Vanilla. As the beer warms, a little swirl brings out some brandy or cognac-like aromas.

T: Lovely balance. Pretty complex for a porter. Roasty coffee along with vanilla. Picking up a little dry Cabernet-like qualities in the finish. Quite nice.

M: Carbonation good. Viscosity about right for the style. Soft mouthfeel accentuates the positive qualities of the beer.

D: At 5.2 abv there isn't much to stop you from having several of these in a sitting.

I'm not a huge fan of porters mostly because I prefer the viscous mouthfeel of big stouts when I'm drinking something dark and roasty. However, this is a great example of the style. I would probably choose GL Eddie Fitz over this given the choice, but that certainly isn't a knock on Black Butte. I've also been told that this beer is much better on tap, so I'll be certain to try it in that format if I ever have the opportunity. This was my first offering from Deschutes and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to try the Obsidian Stout and Abyss that I have waiting in my cellar (see, closet).

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 06:38:58 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of Parrotbeak


4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany in color when held up to direct light. Quarter inch white head that quickly thins out, leaving a film over the surface that is still fairly thick and bubbly along the perimeter.
Smell is rich, chocolatey malts, with creamy coffee, rich caramel, dark chocolate, and espresso. Smell is very assertive and alluring.
Taste does even better. Roasty, chocolatey malts come in first, with some coffee right on the heels, along with some dark chocolate, cocoa beans, and a bit of bitter hops. A hint of graham crackers and caramel come in as well. Slightly smokey on the finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, with a nice, crisp finish. Medium-light body.
Very good on drinkability. One of the best American Porters I've had.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 04:27:44 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Abel for the extra. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a milk chocolate 1.5 finger frothy head with coarse sides and moderate retention. Beer is a near opaque, dark brown. Lacing is full, thick, and frothy. Ring-like around the glass.

S: Fresh, almost minty coffee beans are the dominant smell. Background of slight roasted sourness, licquorice, iced hot chocolate, soda, and bitter chocolate.

T: Cocoa, coffee beans, coca cola, licquorice. Big, brown, roasted malty backbone. Almost no hop profile. Nutty at points towards the middle and end. Finishes clean, leaving near no aftertaste save the slightest cofee bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, slightly carbonated, and silky smooth and oily. I don't know a porter with a better feel than this. Goes down so smooth it almost doesn't matter what this tastes like... really caresses the mouth and palate. Finishes exceptionally clean and with an aftertaste that is perfectly subtle. Nice stickiness at the end.

D: A ridiculously well-crafted beer. I can tell that a lot of time, heart, and consideration was put into this. Every aspect is perfection or close to it. Mouthfeel is just phenomenal and flavor is amazingly complex for a non-imperial porter. This one is worth going out of your way for. Seek it out!!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 01:10:42 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Darkest of browns. White head and some lace.

Smell: Light aroma, chocolate malts and just a hint of coffee.

Taste: Roasted malt, subtle hop backing. Some faint cocoa and espresso flavors. Pleasing and simple, not a whole lot going on but easy drinking. Its kind of like all the flavors are in the background with nothing sticking out.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied for a porter, interesting.

Drinkability: Goes down oh so easy. Not the beer its hyped up to be, but enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 19:02:18 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Buebie


4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pub glass. The pour has revealed about an inch of tan head and gorgeous dark brown color, almost black. Hold it to light and some auburn highlights appear.
Retention is decent, head holding strong, leaving a solid collar. Lace rings fall down the glass leaving good drapeage.

Aroma is pretty damn good and one of the best porters I have encountered for aroma. Powdered cocoa, nutty malt, burnt toffee, roasty chocolate grains as well as a touch of coffee.

Mouthfeel is sensational. There is a creaminess here, or density that I have not come across in other porters. Smooth ans silky with a bit of weight too it. Carbonation is textbook for the style, not biting but holding all the way through for a no flat feel.
I guess its like a milk fat slickness almost, but very light and never burdening.

Taste is also out of this world, a porter that does not burden the palette, yet reveals so much flavor.
Nutty and toffee malt filled with mild sweet flavors as well as mild bittering chocolate. Coffee following suite. The powdered cocoa encountered in aroma, makes a return at the swallow with a great cereal grain flavor lingering with chocolate grains too.

Drinkability is stellar. This beer contends with other porters the way a high school dropout contends with a masters for a management job. It delivers beyond comparison. Truly exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2010 00:42:09 | More by Buebie
Photo of billshmeinke


4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint.

Hard pour makes a one finger tan head. Quickly dies down to a bubbly layer of foam on top. Black with hints of ruby around the edges. Decent lacing.

Smells of some roast-y coffee and slight hop presence.

Roast-y, smokey, coffee flavor and a hint of brown sugar. Some herbal, earthy hops.

Smooth, on the higher side of medium carbonation with prickly bubbles. Light bodied.

Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 19:55:22 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of WYVYRN527


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

Thanks to jjjoe for the samples! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, this beer is very dark brown with a thick cream colored head. Very little light shines through this one. Head retention is good, and the lacing is decent as well.

Smell has some chocolate and coffee, along with toast and a hint of vanilla. Hops lend a slight floral note in the backround.

Flavors are roasty, with black coffee, chocolate, and toast. There is also a bot of a nutty character, along with some cola. The finish is faintly floral, and drying.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, almost like velvet. Rich in flavor, and medium to full bodied.

This porter is one of the most drinkable examples of this style I have come across. Extremely tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 06:08:36 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of womencantsail


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour into my Russian River pint glass is dark brown with a thin and short lived tan colored head.

S: Plenty of roasted notes to the nose along with lots of coffee. There's also a sweetness to it which seems to be in the form of milk chocolate.

T: The coffee and sweet milk chocolate dominate the flavor along with some background notes of roasted malt. The finish has a mild bitterness to it along with some more coffee.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation. There's a slight smoothness to it, as well.

D: One of my favorites from Deschutes. I'm not always the biggest fan of their year round beers, but this is always a great choice.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2010 01:12:44 | More by womencantsail
Photo of MOB210SA


4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into my Chimay glass. I've bought a sixer once before and remember it being great. Picked it up again, and think this is the last one of the pack. I've been having a lot of Deschutes lately and I like this brewery more with each.

2 finger dense creamy light cocoa colored head. Great retention, and little movement. Lots of lacing from this one. Very dark ruby brown, but not impenetrable with ruby red highlights when lighted. With good lighting you can see the true color of this.

First smell reveals a lot of coffee and sweet milk chocolate being minor. Really smells great. Coffee is dominate.

The taste confirms the nose with a good amount of delicious coffee upfront and chocolaty powered cocoa finish. Slightly bitter with a somewhat dry lightly hoppy finish.

Almost leaves a chalkiness to the mouth after a sip but it is delicious. Slightly dry finish, but well carbonated, smooth and light on the tongue but big bodied mouthfeel.

The first beer I had from Deschutes, and just as delicious as I remember. Really suggest to anyone who enjoys good porter/stout. Nothing crazy but a really good solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 22:28:00 | More by MOB210SA
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 cavedave

New York

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

Thanks again to sirdrinknp for another PNW gem.

Pours a beautiful brown,almost black, opaque, a few floaties in there, topped by a thin beige head. The head subsides to a bubbly skim and persistent ring

It has a light aroma of sweet caramel, dark roasty notes, hints of tart yeast, coffee and herbal bitter just below the surface.

A lighter side of medium flavor, but it is full of sweet and roasty malt, coffee, cocoa, even some estery fruit notes that all balance as perfectly as Wallendas on bicycles. The finish is a wonderful hold in the mouth of the roasty and coffee notes that stays clean. This description is inadequate, let's just say this porter is absolutely delicious.

Creamy like a milk stout, light-drinking, med. carb, a perfect showcase for the subtle flavors to shine.

Drinkability is the highpoint of this brew. It is so tasty, so refreshing, so easy to quaff that I doubt there is a porter could match it in this category. Even Ed. Fitz. doesn't drink this well. Were I to have a limitless supply of this I'm sure that it would be noted in my obituary.

Impression: Yet another Deschutes masterpiece that I can't replenish, as Deschutes doesn't send to NY. Porter lovers need to get this beer any way possible.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 22:10:25 | More by cavedave
Photo of climax


4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured a black bear brown with ruby highlights. The tan head was good sized and left a nice sticky cap on top.

Wow the nose is pungent! Authoritative notes of coffee, oatmeal, cocoa, an overripe banana all sparred for supremacy.

Much more hop presence in the flavor. It added another dimension to a fantastic boutique of flavors. Coffee was the main flavor, more subtle tones of sweeter cocoa and brown sugar balanced the bitterness well. Dry and chocolatey in the finish.

The fairly light body was well carbonated. The feel wasn't too thick but had a nice dry finish. The body may have been a tad lacking, but it was never watery, and it aided the drinkability. Lot's of flavor, lots of bite, VERY easy to drink. Sessionable for sure

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 01:36:48 | More by climax
Photo of jstilwell


3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another in our lineup of Porter tastings. This is very very similar to the Mayflower Porter. An aggressive pour yielded very little head and there was little to no lacing. The aroma is a bit weak with roasted maltiness and some yeast. The strongest quality of this porter is balance. Its smooth like a quality brown ale but its not producing any depth. thin, thin, thin. Not bitter, not sweet, and not anything to write home about. Perhpas I might have liked it better if not up against some other better options in the tasting.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 01:36:12 | More by jstilwell
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dark cola color with ruby brown highlights when held toward the light. Light khaki tan head with fine evenly spread lacing. The bottles mentions the krausening process there is a fine layer of yeast specks drop into the glass and they sink to the bottom. Aromatics contain dark cocoa and mild coffee with hints of sweet and mildly tart fruits. Flavor is upfront with a cherry plum sweetness that fades ino the background with a mild smokey charred hint of dark roasts. Dark roasts give some dry dark chocolate and coffee roasted qualities to it all, I'm impressed by the all around balance slight herbal hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied pretty dry overall but a complex beer that builds layers with each sip, a nice drying finish. Drinkability was great my bottle was gone way too fast I'm just going to have to make it to the source, I've had a couple opportunities to tmake it out to the PacNW. I'll make there eventually, thanks again Geof for the previews.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 14:05:49 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of PintOHops


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Pint

A - A dark dark brown color with lite brown on the sides, about a 2-finger off white head with good retention. Lacing was slightly spotty but pretty good as well.

S - Upon pouring I got a bit of coffee and semi bright raisin/cherry/plum thing going on. Nice roasted malts are there but not big, a little dry, and a mild sorta grainy note in there as well. As it warmed I got more of a nutty aroma with more pronounced malts, nice aroma for sure.

T - Tart & acidic upfront, following is burnt biscuit notes, coffee, and some soft grainy flavors. A bit of dark chocolate on the finish, with mildly lingering nutty & roasted flavors. A little dry at times, not sweet at all, very mild bitterness, more of a roasty and drinkable flavor profile to me.

M - Lite-medium bodied with around moderate crispness for an American porter, smooth & not heavy at all.

D - This beer is extremely drinkable, I could easily drink 3 or more pints of this delicious brew with some BBQ. This beer was very balanced to me, I would probably have it again but I wouldn't say it's worth seeking out, but it's definitely worth a try. I'm liking this brewery more & more for sure. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 00:42:59 | More by PintOHops
Photo of TMoney2591


3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a very deep, dark brown, bordering on black (only the addition of some light reveals the truth) with a minor amount of mocha-colored head that leaves some good lacing behind. The smell is loaded with roasted malts and dark coffees, with a very faint hint of licorice hiding in the brush. The taste follows, with that licorice absent and a nice, smoky woodiness pops up, bringing an extra leyer of complexity to the proceedings. The body is a bit on the heavy side, and the carbonation gives an odd bite at the end, and these, when combined, serve to lessen the overall drinkability here. Still, a very tasty bit o' porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 11:33:18 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of fattire513


4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very surprised with this beer, I got it from Wal-Mart of all places and for only $6. Well worth the price and the taste was exceptional. A flavor that lasted for a while on the palette and had a great chocolate taste to it. For a porter I could drink a few of these in one sitting, but to really enjoy this beer a good home cooked dinner should be enjoyed with it. By far one of the best porters I have ever had. This company has yet to disappoint me and I look forward to trying most if not all their beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 00:55:27 | More by fattire513
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,052 ratings.