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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,337 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,337
Reviews: 1,323
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 322
Gots: 443 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,337 | Reviews: 1,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mmmbeer
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with clearly-marked freshness date. Brewed with chocolate and crystal malts, hopped to 30 IBUs and kraeusened for conditioning. Pours nearly completely black, clear, with reddish edges and a thin tan head that attempts to lace. Somewhat tame bouquet contributes dark malts, light fruit and perhaps some hops. Tastes of dark chocolate, mild roast, licorice, fruit, and hops that contribute a moderate bitterness. Well-balanced, and it starts light and tingly, dry with a quick finish, but fills out and has a more roasty linger when warmer. Not too bad, but there is a pervasive rubbery note that makes me think "autolysis." Other than that, certainly a nice porter, but I must say I prefer their stout.

mmmbeer, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of plfahey
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep brown, nearly black, but when held to the light, quite clear with deep garnet highlights. Moderate light tan head with fair retention.

Aroma-Wonderful malt complexity-Roasty coffee and chocolate aromas with some dark bread and light caramel as well. Hint of smoke. Light earthy hops with a faint whiff of citrus.

Flavor-Awesome malt flavor-chocolatey, raisin, bread crusts, light caramel and coffee as well. Light hop flavors and medium low hop bitterness. Slightly sweet up front but dry in finish. Never acrid or astringent.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, medium high carbonation. Very smooth.

Awesome malt profile and very easy drinking. This is one of my go-to porters. Wonderful.

plfahey, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of SirRuss
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - As expected, almost; perhaps slightly lighter on the pour, but ultimately a thick, chewy melted molasses brown. The thin head is a cookie dough shade of beige, and retention is momentary with weak loose lacing.

S - Gives up vanilla, caramel, and dark chocolatey tones that embroil themselves with roasty notes and a hint of smoke. A subtle spice element also rolls in on the back-end, although it's difficult to identify.

T - The roasted malt flavours reflect those found on the nose, and a dark fruit element of prunes/plums bring a secondary layer of complexity. Cola notes can also be distinguished with a wisp of nutmeg on the finish. Molasses also feature, beyond which lies a smokiness that presents itself with the bitterness of wet cigar ash.

M - Zealous carbonation brings an airy frothiness to the texture as it frog-marches the flavors impatiently over the mid-palate on prickly millipedian feet. Much of the flavor profile is rescued in the finish, which having evaded the carbonation is allowed to express itself in a muggy cloud hanging above a slightly sticky membranous dew. That said, the alcohol is well managed, and the hops and roasted malts find the clout to leave a respectably dry last word.

D - The excessive carbonation erodes as much the potential for this brew to be unappetizingly cloying as it does for it to be spectacularly flavoursome. Nevertheless, the finish is potent enough to impart a good deal of character, and as such the outcome is a stimulating yet relatively easy to drink porter.

O - Black Butte Porter is ultimately reminiscent of a charismatic, but vacuous-minded school boy, who at the end of the year hands his report card to his tutor who looks at him with a magnanimous smile and simply writes "a joy to teach, but could do better".

SirRuss, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.08/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Says best by 2-12-11 so I must have it today!

Ohh the look is like a pour of cola...very bubbly, no head but a wisp of bubbles, a dark brown look. Looks very much like a seltzer or soda than a beer. Not great start.

S: Has a nice roasted character and a fudge notes, but also a metallic edge as well that kind of dominates any kind of complexity.

T: Has a very in the pocket roasty and fudgy porter taste. Not a lot of complexity to it either.

M: Very thin and bubbly. I do not enjoy the feel. Very overcarbonated.

D: High since it's very light and goes down easy. Hm, I dont see why people really dig this beer, it seems pretty average at best to me.

Dreadnaught33, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in tall straight glass. Black, except for some ruby hightlights at the bottom. Thin off- white head some lacing. Smells of roasted coffee beans.

Taste is a balance of dry bitter dark roasted malt, with some sweetness at the end. Very smooth easy drinking moutfeel.. lower carbonation.

jmdrpi, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 8 February 2011
Glass: Standard 10oz snifter
Type: 12fl oz bottle, provided by 'Lenny1203' as an extra

Much thanks to Justin for this extra! Poured very aggressively for a delayed 2-finger head, reduces to strong 1-finger head, average lacing, color is black. Aroma begins with lightly roasted malts and ends with heavily roasted malts. Taste of enormous dark malts (for a 5.2% ABV), touch of smoke and coffee, finishing with toffee. As the beer descends down the glass, vanilla hits the nose, and possibly some oak, but it could possibly be the excellent malt profile tricking me. Coffee sticks to the palate, but is dwarfed by excess of carbonation. This beer is amazing. I needed it today.

ToAzwethinkweizm, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of iSip
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a fan of Deschutes Brewery products. It was time to give the Black Butte Porter a try. The Black Butte Porter flows from the bottle with a deep dark near black color. The head is thin, but lasts around the edges. A highlight is the aroma, which is bountiful with roast malt and coffee, really nice. Time for a sip. Yum! Very nice balance of a mild sweetness and a roast overtone with a long coffee finish. The Black Butte Porter makes for a great dessert beer to be slowly savored.

iSip, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Apearance - Dark black, brown with little lacing. Not much of a head

Smell - Sweet malts, chocolate, nut, sugar smoke and some coffee. Smells really nice.

Taste - Pretty smokey and malty flavor starts this beer off. Bold mixed with sweet, very flavorful and unique. Very nutty with some coffee and actually smooth. Hops actually sneek in there and add some bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel - Lots of flavor but rather thin for a porter. Nothing gets a workout, only some sweetness and sour from the hops. Not much aftertaste either

Drinkabilty - Low alcohol, smooth, tasty, all you want in a beer to drink 3,4 or 5 of in a sitting. This is a very special beer, unique flavor and a pleasure to drink. Top porter for sure, will have again.

wvsabbath, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of FreshHawk
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark cola brown/black with a faint hint of ruby. Really nice looking creamy, foamy, light, cafe colored head with plenty of tiny bubbles. Really good retention leaving a nice layer of lace.

S - Initial whiff provides a lot of dark roasted coffee. Toward the end a nice kick of dark chocolate also comes out. Lots of dark roasted malt on the nose. Hints of anise come out mid sip but are not very strong.

T - Strong earthy and nutty flavors with an earthy dark chocolate. Some coffee comes out toward the finish but more fresh coffee bean than ground roasted coffee. Slight floral and earthy hop flavor mid sip. Finishes with a roasted, earthy, dark chocolate flavor that lingers.

M - Nice medium to fullish body with average/slightly above carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy.

D - Pretty easy to drink, and I enjoyed it especially the mouthfeel. I would gladly drink more and could easily do so, but it didn't quite have that wow factor that would have me craving it.

Notes: I got a lot of earthy kind of flavors out of this porter. A really nice porter that went down quite easy. Nothing special about this, just a tasty porter at a good price. Not a huge chocolate or coffee bomb but a nice balanced porter.

FreshHawk, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this in a trade from RBassSFHoPit2ME. thanks again man!

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint glass. best before 4/17/11.

pours out nearly black, a bit of rubiness evident. a one finger of biege colored head that settles to a nice retentive layer. a decent amount of spotty lace.

lots of very nice roasted malts in the aroma, a bit metallic. nuances of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. some dark dried fruits, raisons, plums that come out more and more as it warms. bits of herbal hops.

delicious taste. everything a porter should be. lovely roasted malts blends nicely with dark chocolate and a little dark roasted coffee. plum, figs, and some raisons. just a bit metallic at times. has a nice little herbal, earthy hop kick towards the finish with some mild bitterness.

medium bodied, carbonation feels good. kind of a dry finish.

oh so drinkable, this is one beer i would definatly always have in my fridge if it was available to me. goes down super easy, full of flavor, and doesnt fill you up.

dogfishandi, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of rjochman
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown/blackish color with a tan had. Has a decent amount of lacing that sticks to the glass for a while.

S: Gives off good roasted malt tones.

T: All roasted malts with some hints of coffee and chocolate.

M: Medium body feel with a good amount of carbonation.

D: An overall great beer. Will definitely have to buy a few of these if I come across it again.

rjochman, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of chilly460
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head, very little in the way of lacing.

S - Kettle corn???!!! Some biscuit malts, but overall pretty mild.

T - Buttery and great caramel malts. No hops to speak of, but still finishes clean. Easy drinking, and what I expect for a Porter.

M - Much thinner and more carbonated then I'd expect. Too much carbonation for the style.

D - Easy drinking beer as expected for the style, carbonation is only thing holding it back.

chilly460, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, black coffee brown with minimal off-white head head that leaves quickly and laces fairly well.

Smells almost medicinally sweet upon first sniff, with some coffee making itself known as well. Dark fruit is there too, lingering behind the others.

Taste blows the smell out of the water, with coffee, chocolate sweetness, and great creamy texture. Some tobacco and earthy tones lurk under the coffee, with wet coffee grounds being the smell/taste I get most.

Man, this is so smooth and easy to drink too, easily sessionable beer for sure. Simply fantastic.

madvermin, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my first and favorite craft brews. I guess it's time to review it.

A: Deep, dark brown ale pours and forms a burnt cream, single finger head dissipates quickly. A thin, level layer of this is leftover and remains through the entire life of the beer. Lined lacing around glass.

S: This beer reminds me of hazelnuts, roasted cocoa beans and coffee beans if they could be blended. Smooth, creamy smell. Very good.

T: So toasty, so tasty.

M: Prickly carbonation with creamy body. Leaves an initial numbing and slickness to the beer. Then, the tongue is left dry and ready for your next drink.

D: Like I stated above, one of my favorite craft brews. Delicious.

harrymel, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of NickRivers
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the standard 12oz. bottle. And may I add, being a collector of bottles, this one is extremely attractive.

A - Beautiful black with tan head. Great even lacing. Almost no transparent light through the glass when held up to light.

S - Extremely Roasted Malts. Some Munich malt. Kinda bready or yeasty.

T - Roasted malt, Coffee, Chocolate.

M - Surprisingly high carbonation levels for a porter. Nice crisp-then-strong feel. Does NOT sit heavy in the stomach, whatsoever.

D - Again light on the stomach therefore this beer gets a 4.5 on drinkability.

2 things about this beer. 1. This Beer Is Amazing. 2. This Beer Is Amazing. So many smokey malts for a home-brewer to appreciate. Just a great beer overall. Definitely one that both BA's and casual drinkers will enjoy. Not much of a review to give, just go buy it and see for yourself. Great smell and look to this beer. Some floral hops at the end. This beer is so earthy. Again the malts are just soo amazing. Go buy it. Don't think about it. Buy it.

NickRivers, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of kylejohnson03
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, dated best by 4-3-11, into a pint glass. Appearance is a really dark brown, close to black. Good ring of lacing and tan colored head. Aromas are an enjoyable, smooth roasted malt and hints of chocolate. Flavors are of bitter chocolate, touch of coffee, with a little bit of hops in the finish. Definately not an "over the top" version, which has become more the norm, but a very classic well done porter with all the flavors and the texture you would expect. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lightly carbonated. This porter is incredibly well done and it's one I wish I could drink more often.

kylejohnson03, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a half finger head, disappears quickly, kinda disappointing. Color is pitch black. Good lacing throughout the glass. Smell is of roasted malts, maybe a hint of chocolate malts as well. Coffee is also very present in the smell. Mouthfeel is very very smooth, probably the most surprising part about this beer. Very drinkable, nothing offensive with this beer. Taste is a little disappointing as well, all the flavors are there - the roasted malts, the coffee, the hint of chocolate, but it didn't hit me the way I thought it would. Don't get me wrong, it's a great taste, it's just that it tastes a little watered down, not as powerful of a taste as I was expecting. Oh well, still a pretty good beer.

MaltsOfGlory, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of zhanson88
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into one of my Boulevard pint glasses.

Appearance: Black Butte Porter pours a dark brown color and has ruby highlights when it settles in the glass. About 1.5 fingers of light tan head forms. The lacing is pretty decent, clinging nicely to the inside of the glass.

Smell: Chocolate malts and lightly roasted malts form the base of this beer. Slight coffee follows with some nice floral hop aromas on the back end. Very nicely balanced.

Taste: Chocolate malts, as well as slight roastiness and coffee make up the front end of this beer. The floral hops come out on the back end, and the finish is slightly bitter from a combination of hops and coffee. This is a very well-done beer. At 5.2% ABV it packs quite a bit of flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is right in the middle between light and medium bodied with ample carbonation. Not the smoothest or creamiest that I've had but good nonetheless. It is an extremely drinkable beer that packs a lot of flavor for the moderate ABV. It's been quite some time since I've had it and I'm impressed. I don't keep any "staple beers" in my fridge but I think this may become the first. Kudos to Deschutes.

zhanson88, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of Scotchboy
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oversized tulip, 12oz bottle

Beer looks great, black with ruby red on the edges. Nice tan head with good retention.

On the nose: chocolate roasted malts, a little coffee bitters and some brown sugar as it warms.

On the tongue it is a dark chocolate flavor, but not smokey. The coffee pulsl thru to complement the chocolate malt but its a pretty balanced beer all the way around. There is a dry bitterness on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little watery, a light-feeling Porter for sure.

I like this beer a lot.

Scotchboy, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of swede96
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black color with a nice off white head, a really good looking beer ina glass.

Smell is of coffee with just a slight hint of hop in the background, maybe a hint of chocolate too.

Taste is very good for this porter with a slight hop taste at the start finishing off with a coffee roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is what I would call medium. The beer leaves a slight coating of the mouth, but not unpleasant.

Drinkability is good, the alcohol very well hidden and 1 of these does call for another.

swede96, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of thatsfine
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank close to a case of this over the holidays. A great brew and will be in my fridge for years to come.

About as black a porter will be. A nice thick head is evident which retains well and leaves nice lacing down the glass. One of the best looking porters I am aware of.

Smells very roasty and chocolately. Just a little bit of hops present in the smell.

Oh my, this is just what a porter should be. Roasty, chocolately, and just a little bit of hop finish. A little bit of coffee character as well.

Medium bodied and extremely smooth. This is my favorite porter to date and wll be difficult to unseat. Deschutes is quickly moving up my list of favorite breweries. Get this if you've never had it.

thatsfine, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of bizzlebrew
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nicely to create a beautiful colored head with good lacing with a slight malty smell out of the glass. Nice!

Very good subtle mouth feel makes this beer feel, oh so drinkable.

Slight chocolate and malt flavoring with a good mild aftertaste. Just the right amount of strength and carbonation to create a very drinkable porter I would gladly purchase again!!

bizzlebrew, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of nrbw23
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a brownish black color with a nice tan head. Head has pretty good retention and leaves just a few spots of lacing.

S- Smells of roasted malts, nutty, bitter chocolate and a touch of coffee. I bit of an earthy hop. Everything comes up a bit weak.

T- Tastes of burnt sugar. Quite roasty with maybe the slightest hint of chocolate.

M- Very thin in body almost watery and seems to be way too carbonated.

D- Was looking forward to this one. I'd try it again, but maybe I'm a bit spoiled by Edmund Fitgerald.

nrbw23, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of Elendinn
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours the usual pitch black with a minimal, tan head that quickly dissolves; when tilted, the beer tapers to a moderately-transparent dark brown. Nothing out of the ordinary here, though I wouldn't expect anything more from a more-or-less standard, year-round release.

The nose is full of the usual suspects, as well: roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of hoppy bitterness in the backend. While there's nothing particularly novel about it, it's exceptionally pronounced, moreso than expected, and quite delicious.

Tastes just like it smells, full of chocolatey, coffee goodness. Finishes dry, perhaps influenced by the miniscule amount of hops detected in the nose, with a bit of smoke. The faint flavor of dark chocolate lingers on well after everything else has vanished.  Gets a bit sweeter as it warms.  Lots of potent flavor here for a relatively small porter.

Lots of carbonation, medium-bodied, but still quite smooth without any noticeable alcohol presence.

An excellent, low-abv porter -- powerful, smooth, and easily drinkable.  It's not robust, nor is it exceptionally complex, but it's consistently good and perfectly priced.  I'm lucky to have this beer at my annual disposal.

Elendinn, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Upon popping the cap there was a loud hissing noise and I poured into my DFH goblet. I decided to pour straight on and was left with a perfect three finger thick mocha colored head that was right at the tippy top of my glass. When I hold my glass up this baby is jet black with no light passing through. Almost looks like used motor oil, minus the heavy viscosity which is fairly light.


Loads of dry cocoa powder, roasty goodness, light coffee undertones, and burnt toast. As I let my glass warm up a little bit an aroma of scorched sugar and caramel are poking through with some molasses.


Wow, this is very dry but yet so drinkable. Lots of bakers chocolate and roast are front and center here, dry roast, almonds, and toast round out the middle with some coffee notes. In the finish there is brown sugar and had a slightly ashy finish but nothing off putting.

Bmoyer0301, Jan 09, 2011
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,337 ratings.