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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,695 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,695
Reviews: 1,351
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 343
Gots: 583 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Butte Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,695 | Reviews: 1,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this one, Charlie.

A - Pour is a medium translucent brown that fills to a deep dark brown body with good clarity around the edges, and a giant tight tan head. Nice looking beer.

S - A nice roasted aroma, some chocolatey sweetness, a hint of banana? a nice warm smokey meaty aroma. Delightful

T - Light, sweet, roasty. A bit on the light side, but otherwise its a very tasty and well-balanced porter.

M - Light, smooth, a bit thin. Just about right.

O - a good porter for sure, but it's no Edmund Fitz. Tastes almost like a clone, but still not the same as the original. A good beer, but not exceptional.

ColdPoncho, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of IllNate
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a fine color. Very dark brown with appealing ruby red highlights. A finger of beige head, to webbing.

S - Little bit of sweetness with some roasty and a bunch of earthy hop.

T - Roasty with coffee tones. Silky smooth however, with great balance with bitterness from dark malt and hops. Easy drinker.

M - Mouthfeel is excellent, smooth and nice balancing bitterness, leaves you wanting more.

O - A fine beer indeed. Best porter I've had to date.

IllNate, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of elNopalero
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a luscious dark black with a pleasing roast aroma. Lots of sharp, roasty notes come through on the taste, balanced by a welcomed sweetness. Nice mouthfeel, good body, great balance across the board. It’s the definition of a porter and as reliable as an old friend.

elNopalero, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of firedog23
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No need for a big, detail review as this beer does it all on its own.

If you like porters with many flavors and a head that lasts longer than the beer will, this is one of them.

Big, dark fruit smell with a smooth, roasted taste with a subtle request to drink more of it.

This beer is for beer lovers.



firedog23, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of fdkayti
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep dark brown with a khaki, frothy head sitting on top. Nice and clear with some deep red tones showing through when held to the light. Good lacing and retention.

S- Roasty and bitter chocolatey. Some dark fruits make their way into my nose with a sweet touch of vanilla.

T- Medium roast coffee and bakers chocolate up front, followed by a mellow sweetness that gives way to a cherry/raspberry fruity juiciness. Basically all of the things that I lust after in porters.

MF- Pretty thick with a strange foamy aspect similar to my toothpaste. Carbonation is definitely there.

O/D- A joy to drink, though this one may have some age on it. Super pleasant in the midst of a nasty wind advisory and chilly temperatures. Would drink another one in rapid succession, great suck cess Deschutes! And thanks, duff27.

fdkayti, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of tony223366
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From my beer journal. Reviewed on August 9, 2011.

A: Beautiful 2 finger head. Light tan and lasts nicely while I'm consuming. Very dark, almost black. In the light a bit of redness pokes through. This is a good looking beer.

S: Lots of chocolate and coffee. Love those roasted malts. Certainly some hops poke through. Good stuff.

T: Lots of coffee and roasted malts. Nice chocolate flavor finishes this beer and ties to the beautiful hop finish. One of the best.

M: Medium body that could use just a bit more.

O: This is a classic for me. I go back to this beer ever fall. Love it!

tony223366, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of 4000qtrap
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 12oz bottle

S: Smooth medium roast coffee, underlying heavy toasted brown bread and melanoidins. Hints at charcoal in a good way. Slightly nutty along with piney/mossy hops. Quite nice.

T: Slight sweet coffee up front with moderate smooth roastiness. The middle has hints of dark fruits and almost burnt molasses. At first I wasn't into it, but it grew on me. Roast intensity is smooth but moderately intense and has a nice fullness. Fresh and light minty/pine hoppiness is subtle but adds to the foundation, as does faint biscuit/grains and a light acidity. Body is medium and to me is a little thin. The roast character gets semi-rough in the finish that lingers dry like the last sip of french pressed coffee alongside herbal/minty hops and a touch of grain.

Notes: Decent roast, nice complementary flavors and complexity. Very drinkable, especially for a porter that has intense flavors, but that’s partly because its only medium bodied. Hops are present but delicate. It has the potential for something special but only almost there. Really good nonetheless, and for the price it’s a serious value.

4000qtrap, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of scout
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark dark brown, but not black -- the way a porter should be. Nice head and some lacing. Smell is toasted malts and nuts. Taste is heavy on toasted malts, light coffee and chocolate and hops at the end. Nice to see the hops come through on this porter -- very little sweetness.

Still, the taste is a bit flat overall. The malty bitterness just hangs on my palate and doesn't do much. I'll have to try a draft of this next time I'm in PDX -- seems like a fresh draft could really bring out a lot of the flavors here. Much lighter mouth-feel than I would have expected/wanted. Thin, almost a little too watery. Still, a very drinkable, solid porter.

scout, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of Murrhey
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured in a Pilsner glass.

Now I must admit, this was my first ever legal drink on my 21st birthday, and it is a beer from my home state, so there is the nostalgia bias (I'm still 21, so maybe not).

A: Poured a smallish head, maybe a finger width, but it hung around for the entire glass. The dark, nearly black, color was pretty, and actually caught the light nicely with its brown highlights.

S: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Such a dark, rich smell makes me think of hot cocoa almost. I truly enjoyed the smell on the porter.

T: One of my all-time favorite beers. The dark chocolate undertones are muted but strong enough to let you know they are there. Not overpowering with any flavor.

M: Smooth as velvet, maybe a tad thin for all the other attributes of this beer.

O: Buy it. Wonderful beer and one of my favorites.

Murrhey, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of afausser
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a color between the color of dark chocolate and pitch black, though still has deep brown highlights. Starts with about 2 fingers of head, as I write this it's down to one and a half fingers that don't look like they're going anywhere fast. The head is a beautiful fluffy, foamy mocha color made up of tiny, consistent bubbles at the bottom that grow larger toward the top. Frothy lacing is left behind on the side of the glass as voluminous carbonation makes its way toward the top.

Heavy chocolate with notes of burnt toast and coffee, but also some very strong dark, alcohol soaked fruits (though not particularly boozy in the nose) and even some sour cherries. Between the fruit, chocolate, and burnt notes the coffee is easily unnoticed at first. Smells sweet like dessert.

Taste is more sour than I would have expected, with some sour cherries running counter to the dark chocolate and coffee notes. Still a lot of burnt taste, but far more coffee in the taste than the smell. The coffee is particularly strong in the aftertaste. It's almost perfectly balanced--the sour notes with the sweet, and the chocolate balancing the coffee--but it seems slightly off.

The mouthfeel is the only bad part of this beer. It seems too frothy, which is a shame because it would be even more excellent with less foamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability is great. One of my favorite session beers to just sit around and drink.

afausser, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of zrab11
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark roasted coffee color with a 1 finger tan head. Good lacing

S- Has a nice aroma of coffee and chocolate. Also has a nuttiness aroma

T- Coffee and chocolate are what you taste first. Followed by a slight hoppy bitterness and then finish's with a coffee nuttiness to it.

M- Has a medium mouthfeel with ok carbonation

D-Overall this was a good porter. It felt a little thin for me. I feel like Funky buddah has ruined most of my porter experiences. This is def. a good porter but just missing a little more body and a little more flavor to make this something i will get again.

zrab11, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of jmvecchio1
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Butte pours out a deep dark brown with a lightly chocolate colored head on top. The head retention is exceptionally nice and I found a decent amount of lacing on the glass throughout the tasting. The smell of this beer is deeply roasty with a great deal of dark chocolate and some light coffee and alcohol notes in the back. The taste of the beer is similarly chocolatety and is paired with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. There's also a slight amount of hop bitterness on the back on the tongue on the swallow, but it's not an off-putting amount. Overall, this is a great classic porter.

jmvecchio1, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of molegar76
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Bottle with best by date 04/2012.

Pours a nice brown head, like a lightly Hershey syruped cup of milk. Head starts off thick but drops down to a thin head, which still leaves a nice lacing on glass. Lacing disappears slowly.

Color is a dark bloody marble red with little light passing through.

Smell is slightly sweet with toasty malty notes along with earthy hint. Not very overpowering on smell. Smell is weakest of all other senses.

Taste hit me right off the bat. Took me a moment to analyze what I was tasting, and only after my second drink I could appreciate the smooth malty taste as it hit the back of my tongue and palate. Finishes nice with a slight cocoa, creamed coffee, malty taste. I swear I even had a slight tease of peanut butter candy. YES, peanut butter! Call me crazy but I was reminded of those old school Mary Jane candies. Maybe a bit of toffee like. Leaves a nice aftertaste on the palate. After finishing first bottle I was definetely ready for number two.

A really good porter. I will be buying this again and adding it to my favorites.

molegar76, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They had this as a "guest" tap at Fifty, Fifty, that my wife and I visited this past week.

A: Served in a pint glass, the beer is a near black, or dark mahogny brown, very hazy/cloudy, with a misty quarter inch of dark tan head.

S: Scents of mild espresso, semi sweet dark chocolate, sweet roasted malts, and a heap of brown sugar. Much more potent then the bottle.

T: Bold notes on the intial draw. Blended flavors or coffee, choclate, roasted malt, smoke, and brown sugar, with a kiss of hops bitterness on the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is medium to full, light to medium carbonation, and roasty smooth finish.

O: As always, a great porter. Bottles down in SoCal have been hit and miss as of late, due to freshness, and this beer fades in the bottle after a few months... So, sadly, sometimes a "on the shelf" buy results in a lackluster taste. Here on draft, this is fresh, and reminds me how much I like this porter.

Retsinis, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of NODAK
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma has a definitely aroma of chocolate, some roasted malt, and modestly sweet.

Taste is a damn fine porter. Chocolate malts are certainly present, as is a roasted character as well. There's a small sweetness present also, perhaps that's the crystal malt the bottle talks about. Near the finish, I get a hint of smoke in there. Not much in the way of hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin.

Very, very good porter. One of the better ones I've had, honestly. Full of character, but not too heavy in any one characteristic, so it keeps it interesting and fresh.

NODAK, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of JohnnyP3
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with best by date of 1/2/12. Pours a lovely dark muddy brown/black with some dark orange hues on the edge. Voluminous thick head of about 3 fingers--light brown. Excellent lacing on the glass. The head and foam really stick to the edges.

Smell is lots of roasted, chocolate malts, toasted grains, moist and earthy.

Taste is full of roasted coffee and some bitter chocolate. Also hints of caramel. Nice bitter finish after a sweet assault up front. Great balance in this porter. Toasted grains are in the body as well.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth. This is a thick porter with substance.

As far as your basic American Porter goes, I think this is about as good as it gets.

JohnnyP3, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 9/5/11 on the bottle.

Thanks to alexgrahamlv for throwing in this extra, can't go wrong with getting some Deschutes on the East coast.

Pours a dark brown color, some dark ruby tings around the edge when held up to the light, smallish head with big bubbles, fades fast but leaves a cap on top for awhile.

Smell is surprisingly chocolaty, the cocoa is at the forefront while a roasted malt aroma is the backing, hints of coffee bitterness.

Taste starts out with a bit of a dry cocoa flavor, light dark roasted malt bitterness evens out any sweetness, finishes incredibly dry, carbonation is quite present and very very soft, subtle nuttiness in the aftertaste.

deltatauhobbit, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel Green tulip. Best by 10/31/11.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a huge melted chocolate ice-cream colored head that slowly faded into a bubbly film leaving a beautiful network of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Roasted yet creamy notes of bittersweet chocolate and fresh brewed coffee. I detect some fresh green hops and a bit of caramel. The smell is simple but wonderful.
T: Follows the nose with soft flavors of coffee, chocolate milkshake and a hint of leafy hops and sweet caramel.
M: Medium body, fuzzy carbonation that is very soft, and a mouthfeel that is touch on the thin side but not really a distraction.
O: I’ve had this many times and it’s still one of my favorite go-to beers and porters. This is definitely one of the best and slightly underrated beers by Deschutes.

scottfrie, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of CEversole
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Bottle poured into chilled fluted mug.

A: Coffee brown, very dark. The appearance is absolutely exceptional for the style. Very frothy tan head that dissapates to about one finger. Lacing is retained and as it should be. Great appearance.

S: Smells of chocolate, coffee, and a hint of nuttiness. Smell is good. I wish it was a bit more aromatic, but hey its still good.

M: Medium carbonation, kinda crisp. I wish it had a bit more body to it myself.

T: Coffee, chocolate, and a slight nutty background. Definately taste as a port should. Taste as it should.

O: I think the style is greatly represented here, but like all beers there is always room from improvement. This is one of the better porters I have had. I am not necessarily a huge fan of the style but I think theyt did a good job with this one. My regret is that I tryed this in September and not January. I like the style better in the winter myself. First one from Deschutes and won't be my last.

CEversole, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by date: 3/12/12

APPEARANCE: The Black Butte poured true to its name, very dark with a rich, foamy, off-white head about an inch and a half thick. The retention was so-so, but a thin quarter-inch of it hung in there for a few extra minutes. The lacing was outstanding throughout the whole glass.

SMELL: Strong aroma that was noticeable as soon as the beer was poured. Some mild nutty flavors were present at that point, but as I lowered my nose into the glass I found a nose full of coffee along with some chocolate.

TASTE: Coffee hits the palate first and remains strong throughout the entire sip. A slow wave of mild chocolate flavor rolls over the palate mid-sip and a hoppy bitterness makes an appearance towards the end. The finish, however, goes back to the coffee though, and it is strong. The aftertaste is not so pleasant, it is like someone tossed a sweet tart on your tongue. Very odd, although the rest of the taste isn't bad.

MOUTHFEEL: The Black Butte's carbonation was strong, but it almost seemed to melt away my mouth. It was odds, like a piece of chocolate that seems to disappear without ever really swallowing it, this beer did the same thing.

OVERALL: There is a lot about this beer to be appreciated, in particular, the look and smell are outstanding, but that sweet tart finish really turned me off. It did become less of a factor as I worked through the beer, but it was still there at the end unless I threw the sip down quickly without allowing it to sit on my tongue.

StoneTSR, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours s deep dark almost black, extremely dark brown with lighter brown hues if you hold it up to the light.

Aromas begin with light espresso, dark burnt caramels, some nuttiness and some light chocolate notes as well.

The tastes directly follow the nose with dark caramel, slight nuttiness, light bitter dark chocolate, light baker's cocoa and the ever present fresh coffee/espresso flavors.

The mouthfeel is super creamy and luscious despite being only 5.2% ABV. Drinks quite medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is dry from all the roasted grain but still creamy and also clean and crisp. Is that all possible, yes with this beer it is.

Overall this is the best standard American Porter on the planet. I have had their reserve/anniversary series amped up porters and I can appreciate how this base recipe was used to inspire those big massive gems. If this was available local to me I would drink it like water and would be a staple in my fridge. I love Deschutes and haven't had a bad drop of beer from them yet.

claspada, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of Phelps
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with a best by date of 12-5-11, into a schooner pint.

The near-black of singed wood, accented with thin bits of clear amber. The fluffy cream-colored head that sits atop the brew is about a finger thick and seems everlasting, leaving frothy walls of lace when it finally does decide to go.

The nose: milk chocolate, tangy toasted sourdough, some smoky wood and oats.

Way more hops are here, in all their piney glory. They combine with dark chocolate, burnt bread and anise to create a flavor that says smoke and wood, though I know there’s none in here.

Soft, silky medium-light body. Like sipping cappuccino foam. Carbonation is light and tingly. The beer slides off the palate rather easily. Cleaner than expected.

I have to admit, I’ve had the Black Butte anniversary beers many times, but skipped over this base. A mistake, obviously. It’s a good’n.

Phelps, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of Schmidts
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Union Jacks not available at stores in Pa wish it was. Amber brown in color with a nice cream color head that stays till your done.
Smells of malts and roasted Coffee and raosted malts.
The minute you take your first sip you're sold on it. It is creamy smooth, with notes of malts and bitter roasted coffee and a hit of sweetness, it is really flavorful and very drinkable and so smooth.
In your mouth it is highly refreshing and a pure pleasure.
I give it a overall of 4.5 one of the best Porters I have had in a long time. If I could buy a case in Pa I would be on my way to the distrbuter right now. If you can try it go for it! This is One Really great Porter and one you would want to have around forever!

Schmidts, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of Boneheadmx
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out to a dark black with reddish tones. Cream colored frothy head that stays throughout.

Smell is of roasted malts, very fragrant.

Taste is pretty good, very malty, the bitterness of the roasted flavor going quite well with the rather thick mouthfeel. Not much in the way of carbonation, which is quite good.

In all, a very good beer that I'll buy again sometime.

Boneheadmx, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of DUBinMIA
2.8/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug. Black color with almond almost white head. Little foam little lace.

Smell is of roasted malt. Some sweet malt smoke like almost but not quite. Slightly bland.

Sweet malt no real bitter hop flavor. Hint of smoke.

Medium body

Overall this was an ok porter… not terrific but not bad by any means. Give it a try once if it’s reasonable.

DUBinMIA, Sep 11, 2011
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 4,695 ratings.