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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,258 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,258
Reviews: 1,316
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 315
Gots: 421 | 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: 4,258 | Reviews: 1,316 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.83/5  rDev -8.6%

"I like big buttes and I cannot lie." -Sir Mix A Lot

via ZymasefungiI207I

Black with dark brown highlights: cola color. Regal tan head that leaves multiple lace rings. Aroma is of roast malt and chocolate.

Has all the usual porter flavors (chocolate infused roast malt) but it's just better. The first thing that comes to mind is that this beer tastes clean; especially for a porter. I don't know if that's a result of Cascade water or Deschutes mastery, or a combination of both--it's just real clean. Has an acidic eh which I'm not a fan of.

09-20-2009 20:17:41 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of angelmonster


3.68/5  rDev -12.2%

Pours a huge 3 finger chocolate head, body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing were good.

Smell is of roasted chocolate malt and coffee. Hops are pretty faint and there is also alittle alcohol in there

Taste is pretty light. Mostly malty, very roasty with some chocolate and coffee. Hops are pretty faint. The best way to describe the taste is traditional porter,kinda boring.

Mouthfeel is good. Lighter than average body for a porter but not watery. The head had some creaminess for awhile but then it faded. Carbonation was well balanced.

Drink ability is good. Session able porter but a bit bland. This is a good beer but just not on the level of the best, ie: Avery New World Porter

09-17-2009 01:48:40 | More by angelmonster
Photo of flagmantho


4.53/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Not sure why it took me so long to review this beer, as it is one of my perennial favorites.

Appearance: deep coffee brown with a one-finger tan head which maintains pretty well. Quite nice.

Smell: rich chocolate-and-coffee aroma against a background of light graininess. Bang on for what I like.

Taste: immediate chocolate flavor with hints of coffee. Plenty of hop character in the flavor that is not evident in the aroma: slightly spicy, slightly floral. Just a great combination. Bitterness at the end to counter the sweet malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: on the light side of medium, which makes this quite a sessionable beer.

Drinkability: probably my favorite session dark beer. This stuff is just fantastic over an evening.

09-16-2009 04:13:10 | More by flagmantho
Photo of mdwalsh


4.13/5  rDev -1.4%

My first Deschutes Beer, I got this at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone. I was not expecting to see this here, but I was very excited because I'd been seeking this beer for a while now. It pretty much lived up to its hype for me. I had just gotten lectured about writing reviews in restaurants by my wife, and this was a classier joint, so this was written in the bathroom all at once when I finished. Forgive any lack of detail.

A: One and a half finger head, with ok lace. Black with red accents around the edges. Served in a footed pilsner type glass with a inward snifter type top. Looked just like a porter should. Light tan head.

S: Mild, with some roastiness and sweetness, but not hops whatsoever.

T: Roasted Barley is a compliment/accent flavor, not the whole thing, it works great. There is a rich grainy taste with some caramel in there. Dark malt provides something, but overall it's actually a fairly light porter.

M: Again, light, but still very good. Sort of dry feeling.

D: Great, it went perfect with my porkchop.

09-14-2009 18:17:09 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

Yes! My first beer from Deschutes!!!

Into my Duvel tulip, this porter pours a nice, dark, black colour that is topped with an espresso-foam head (which doesn't stick around too long, forming a thin, whispy layer of espresso-like foam) and leaves some decent lacing as it goes down. Smells of milky smooth chocolate, a bit of coffee and I get hints of hot chili as well (If you've ever tried chili chocolate, you know what I mean - delicious and so enticing!). Taste is nice and roasty with the malts showing through. Then, notes of coffee and dark chocolate come through (not overly strong) with a touch of minerality that cleans up the palate. It's on the finish that the chocolate really begins to come through finishing off with a really enjoyable chili-chocolate, spicy tingle and some bitter hops in the background. Mouthfeel is full bodied, quite creamy but with a spicy, tingly finish that really makes it feel clean and surprisingly refreshing. Overall, this is a killer and very sessionable porter that has some nice flavour complexity but doesn't overpower the palate. I could see myself drinking a ton of these - no problem. I'm looking very much forward to trying more beers from this brewery!

09-12-2009 22:03:37 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of ocelot2500


3.93/5  rDev -6.2%

Pours a deep dark brown with a small mocha head. Enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of roasted malt and some chocolate.

Tastes of the roasted malt upfront, with a little bitterness. Small sour/acid taste. The roasted character lends to some underlying coffee flavors with some chocolaty flavors on top.

The mouthfeel is a medium and has a smooth character, but I think is a little thin.

09-12-2009 02:58:40 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of chickencoop


3.78/5  rDev -9.8%

Appearance & Smell - pours a deep coffee brown with a thin tan head. Smell is about what you'd expect, coffee malty and chocolatey, very pleasant.
Taste & Mouthfeel - This is a benchmark American porter, taste is a full bodied malty flavor,
mouthfeel is malty with some bitterness finish.
Drinkability - as I said, this is a classic, but personally I can only drink a few, so too me not the most drinkable beer. But just because i'm a stick in the mud, I can't knock this, it is a great beer, and I would recommend just not my cup of tea.

09-11-2009 03:33:56 | More by chickencoop
Photo of Aenema


3.85/5  rDev -8.1%

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown / black. Off-white head with splotchy lacing.
Smell - Coffee and roasted malts.
Taste - Coffee grounds with some chocolate in the background.
Mouthfeel - Light to medium-bodied and light carbonation.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable.
Overall - After having Black Butte XXI a few days earlier I couldn't help but be disappointed. I expected less intense flavors, but this beer seemed like a version of the XXI that had been toned down several levels.

09-11-2009 00:41:24 | More by Aenema
Photo of cokes


4.47/5  rDev +6.7%

Dark mahogany brown, hinting at blackness, as ruby pops up at the edges. The head is tight and tan and lasts a while.
Roasty nose with cocoa and coffee and influxes of nuts and grain, and a sizable minty, wintergreen hop closure.
Roasted grain appears in the mouth first, followed immediately by coffee and chocolate. A mixed bag of roasted nuts, drizzled with caramel. The hops enter quickly and bring a spritely and powerful piney bite. It concludes with a linger of the wintergreen hops and the forceful roastedness.
Pushing toward full bodied with a low-level CO2 that remains constant throughout.
This is a classy, classic American Porter.

09-05-2009 07:24:24 | More by cokes
Photo of qchic


4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours cola brown with some light peeking through revealing red highlights. There's a "bowl" of head--clinging to the walls of the rounded glass, while showing hints of the beer beneath in the middle. Smells of rich roasty malts and chocolate--yum! The malts keep it up in the flavor with more roasted goodness, chocolate, and hints of coffee, smoke, cherry, molasses, and some alcohol. Just a little thinner than I would like, but a satisfying beer otherwise. This one goes down easily. Solid.

09-04-2009 23:10:51 | More by qchic
Photo of scottchesterhall


3.55/5  rDev -15.3%

Pours nicely. Looks black at first glance, but holding up to light you can just see through it with an amber/black hue.

Phenomenal smell. Bitter chocolate with espresso.

But right off the first taste there's something funny. Then it's really nice through the middle. But then at the end of your swallow, there's a lingering something I'm just not feeling. Something kind of vegetably. Beets? Potato?

I feel like an oregon-blasphemer, but there's something there from the bittering hops that could use an edit. Now that you've read this, drink one...I think you'll see what I mean...

09-04-2009 21:50:05 | More by scottchesterhall
Photo of morimech


4.4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a dark brown color with minimal tan head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Light spotty lacing is left on the glass. Wonderful aroma of dark malts, chocolate, coffee, and a little tobacco. The taste is likewise rewarding. The chocolate malt is on full display giving hints of mocha and coffee. A little bitterness is perceived but finishes with just a touch of sweetness. A little ash on the finish as well. Medium body but the carbonation is a little pricky and agressive. An outstanding porter than does not get overly bitter and burnt. No problem drinking a few of these in a session.

08-31-2009 21:43:54 | More by morimech
Photo of aristeros


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

I liked Dechutes' Obsidian Stout and Inversion; have high hopes for this one. Poured into my Bodum pint glass. Very dark brown, red highlights visible that indicate that it's not in fact opaque. Small beige head.

Roasted malt smells dominate. Espresso and dark chocolate.

Some interesting flavors. A tiny bit of sweetness up front, then dark coffee, a little chocolate, then big roasted flavors. Something undefinable here that reminds me of a milk stout. Moderate body, excellent smoothness.

Doesn't feel or taste boozy, didn't interfere with the greasy pizza shop sandwiches I was eating. I'd like to try this with some spicy food and/or barbeque. Uncomplicated, but good.

08-30-2009 02:09:07 | More by aristeros
Photo of BacklitAvenger


4.18/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance - Butte is a dusky brown color with a turbid, slightly hazy look to it. Held t the light it is a magnificent chocolate color. The head is sandy tan and persists until the glass is three quarters empty.

Smell - The smell is a combination of equal parts coffee, lush malty sweetness, and chocolate.

Taste - This is a serious chocolate bomb. It is a real delicate milk chocolate flavor complimented by hints of coffee and roast. There is a hefty molasses-like malty foundation with a pleasing roasted bitterness and an earthiness that I attribute to hops.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth and definitely feeling heavy, the mouthfeel of this beer perfectly balances malty body and sweetness with medium carbonation and a finishing bitterness.

Drinkability - Rather high in my opinion. This stuff has a lovely body and is refreshingly different from my other gold standard porter: GLBC Eddie Fitz. It is great to come along a nice American porter that has sessionable alcohol levels while at the sane time presenting a flavor and aroma profile that differs from so many of its brethren. Cheers to Deschutes for their deliciously drinkable porter!

08-29-2009 00:10:39 | More by BacklitAvenger
Photo of bfields4


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

Frothy head that subsides quickly. Very dark beautiful dark amber brown.

Light dark fruits Mouthwatering roasted malts followed by rich milky chocolate.

Dark malts and bitter chocolate. Very appealing roasted finish.

Creamy smooth nice tight carbonation pings off the tongue. A wonderfully flavorful porter. Just shows how much flavor can be coaxed out of a beer w/o a high abv.

08-24-2009 03:17:27 | More by bfields4
Photo of aggiearcher13


3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Reviewed on 8/8/09.

A: Dark brown, some would call this garnet I suppose, and as a geologist I like that description. About a half inch of head to it that hung around for a little while.

S: Chocolate, coffee, caramel. Pretty solid aroma to it. Also some toast.

T: From the aroma, it was lighter than I was anticipating. Not that it was bad, but I really expecting a full on orgy of the above aromas. It's very roasty but I didn't find it to be complex.

M: Pretty much par for the course, a good body to it (again, lighter than I anticipated) but solid overall.

D: I would say the lightness of this beer score it some major points on the drinkability. If you're looking to have more than a couple of porters, this isn't a bad choice.

08-23-2009 01:49:31 | More by aggiearcher13
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

12-ouncer, courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks, John!

The hop-embossed bottle pours a brew molasses-brown in color with a sparkling trim of smoked garnet. A thin off-beige cap of foam settles quickly into a broken sheet, and leaves a fine film of lacing clinging to the sides of a fat dimpled seidel.

The smell is steeped in smoky chocolate with a mildly-acrid whiff of dark-toasted coffee beans. A vague fruitiness and a crisp herbal note lighten the olfactory darkness, but only a little.

The taste is chocolatey with a soft twang of fruit, and is perfectly complemented by a drop of black coffee and dusty, herbal-hoppy dryness. As the drink progresses, sweeter, more milk-chocolatey flavors gain in stature, as does a mild note of cocoa and fine-ground full city roasted java.

The drink is light-medium in body with great carbonation and is highly, highly quaffable.

08-17-2009 22:00:30 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of merryjoulton


4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

pours a deep dark black thick creamy liquid with a light brown head that laces and sticks and residues down the side of the glass. smell is all chocolate and spices, caramel, roasty toasty coffee. tastes thick and creamy. feels just thick enough but not too overpowering. drinkability is just great

08-15-2009 03:52:24 | More by merryjoulton
Photo of AccidentalKate


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

Appearance: A deep, dark brown, nearly black beer, The head is thick in appearance with light brown coloring. The head seems to last forever. Light Belgian lace when it does dissipate.

Aroma: Slight roasted hint ontop of the stronger sweet-like toffee aroma. Virtually no bitterness nor hops to be found. There is a hint of malt, but not overly so like you find in bocks. If there's a word for this aroma, it's "restrained".

Taste: Lighter than I expected, and more watery as well, but then again, I come more from a stout fan POV. The roasty aromas lend themselves to the taste with the finish lasting for a while. Nice, warm dark flavors are there. Hints of coffee, but only just. No bitterness at all.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation. The zing comes from the finish and the initial roasty flavors. It does feel watery as well, and I'm not sure that this is a plus.

Drinkability: An excellent example of a porter, but with one glaring weakness - the strong flavors found in the taste can be overshadowed by the wateryness of the mouthfeel. But the mouthfeel is the only problem here, and it's not that of a big one.

08-13-2009 02:14:52 | More by AccidentalKate
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.9/5  rDev -6.9%

I like the XX and XXI so much more than this "base" beer that they've doubled. Not a bad beer, just not quite robust for me. Interestingly, this beer shares some of the same ashy notes that are found in some of the larger dark beers from Deschutes including the above mentioned and the Abyss. Kind of a house character. Pours a dark walnut brown with a thick, tam, pancake head. Smells light and roasty, and a touch ashy. The taste is a bit more robust than the smell, with some sweet malt, licorice, light roastiness and an ashy finish. Even for an American Porter this is quite dry, and not very hoppy at all. Solid beer, but I like my Porters either slightly less dry or slightly more robust. I don't mind the ashiness, but I think it works better with a little more body.

08-10-2009 18:36:44 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of velosuds


4.58/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by date 10/30/09. Grabbed this from the fridge at my all time favorite B&B that just happens to be in Bend, OR called Cricketwood (check it out at www.cricketwood.com).

A-Pours a dark brown almost black hue with a two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and artsy lacing. A georgeous craft beer.

S-Chocalate and toasted malts with a lovely faint hop balance.

T-Very well balanced. Rich malt and dark chocolate. Sweet and hoppy. Very nice. My favorite American Porter

M-Exceedingly smooth and nicely carbonated.

D-This is about as sessionable as a porter can be. I could drink this all night long. And I have before.

This is one of my favorite ales in Deschutes' very fine year round lineup. A great beer and very affordable in Salem, OR. I can get this for $23.99 a case at Costco. Phenonmenal at this price!

08-05-2009 01:56:01 | More by velosuds
Photo of Offa


4.7/5  rDev +12.2%

I have had this in bottle but now also had it on tap, and this excellent porter is at least as excellent on tap.

It's deep reddish brown, almost black. It has on tap a smallish, light brown head slowly shrinking to a thin, wispy top and ring with a little uneven lace. This is similar to the bottle, but a little better.

The aroma is rich chocolate, toast, somewhat earthy and leafy with hints of coffee and singed leaves, a good, solid porter.

The taste is an excellent porter character, very flavourful, balanced, and very smooth. It's toasty yet also lightly fruity, with a hint of sourness, toasted grain and whole wheat bread, rootbeer and anise, hints of chocolate, prunes (but drier and not as sweet as prunes), leaves. It has nice sweet-bitter balance and is highly drinkable, being just sweet enough.

08-03-2009 23:12:38 | More by Offa
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. Best by 4/27/03. That's some age right there but I'm going to run with it.

A - Poured an effervescent brown/red mahogany color that's almost pitch black. The loud and fizzy head scared me. Head like this usually disappears instantly but it lasted quite a while. The cream-colored head dropped to a thin layer and right while leaving some legs. Tiny spots of lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts accompanied by cocoa powder, light chocolate in the mix and a touch of ground coffee bean. A subtle hop aroma is present but timid in the midst of the roasted malts.

T - This dark and ooold porter starts off very coasted with flavors mimicking the aroma. A lot of strong roasted malts with a cocoa powder and light chocolate taste that finishes stronger with a bit more coffee bean than the aroma lets on to. Despite the rich prospects of this beer, it is pretty lighter-bodied due to the hops. They can't be tasted however.

M - As I said, it's not entirely full-bodied. In fact, I'd put it around a lighter medium-bodied beer. It's got a full, round feel but it's crisp, light and fairly smooth. The interesting thing about this beer and it's age is that the carbonation is a strong as ever! It's got just a small sharpness to the finish.

D - You know, I had one of these from my girlfriend's parent's fridge a day before it was 5 years old. They had this one I rated left so I got it. I can't believe something six years past the best by date is still this good! I really need to get my hands on a fresh bottle to compare! Very tasty and drinkable as crazy.

07-30-2009 02:54:03 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of djmichaelk


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

12 oz bottle, best by date of 8/14/09.

A - Big two-finger head recedes pretty quickly, leaves some light rings on the glass as I drink.

S - Nice, sticky-sweet but not cloyingly so. A bit of coffee, maybe some liquid smoke, burnt sugar.

T - More coffee, brown sugar, maltiness. Not nearly as sweet as the nose might make you think.

M - A bit of a disappointment here. It leaves a nice stickiness in the back of my throat, but it's maybe a little too carbonated for me; it just seems too light. Of course, that may be due to the heavy heavy porters I've been sampling of late.

D - That lightness does have one advantage, though, and that's high drinkability. That coupled with the low ABV results in a beer that can be sessioned very easily.

07-28-2009 02:12:45 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of damienblack


4.47/5  rDev +6.7%

Much thanks to Riversideak for this bottle in trade as an extra!

Pours like a typical american porter - head of about half an inch, thick, foamy and tan. Beer itself is an obsidian black, deep as night, very rich looking. Whiffs of black malt on the nose, but not in a harsh way, inviting like a black coffee, if you are into that sort of thing. But this is has more flavor and creaminess packed into it than I would have thought possible for a "basic" strength porter. Loads of rich dark malt, hints at chocolate without being overpoweringly so. Tons of flavor, but the richness doesn't come with a harsh bit to it. Super creamy mouthfeel, i just find myself licking my lips after. This is quite simply an awesome beer, and I can't wait for BBXXI.

07-27-2009 20:30:51 | More by damienblack
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,258 ratings.