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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,320 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,320
Reviews: 1,322
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 320
Gots: 434 | 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: 4,320 | Reviews: 1,322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

A-the beer pours a dark brown color with hues of red as light is shined upon it. the head is a tan color with a solid amount of retention leaving a good bit of lace on the glass

S-the nose brings mostly roasted malts with the inclusion of dark chocolate and espresson with a touch of molasses

T-the taste follows the nose, lots of roasted chocolate malt, hints of dark chocolate and espresso with a touch of sweet dark fruity malts at the finish

M-it brings a lighter medium body mouthfeel and is silky smooth on the palate. low levels of carbonation make it very soft

D-solid flavors and remarkably smooth. somewhat thinner than I would have prefered.

cpetrone84, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of exparte
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%

Lovely aroma of roasted chocolate and caramel. Pours a beautiful deep ruby, almost black, with a substantial mocha head. Taste is more of the slightly sweet roasted chocolate and perhaps some espresso. Loses points on the palate for being rather light and thin for a porter. Carbonation is fizzy on the tongue where it should be soft and creamy. Overall this is a quality porter that is indeed "rich and approachable".

exparte, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of McDosey
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

I must admit I somewhat botched my designated Black Butte experience, first committing the very amateur overpour and then carelessly swirling some of the nectar onto my laptop keyboard. Two clean-up jobs on one bottle - very weak performance!

This is a deep chestnut, nearly black brew that shows burgundy tint when held to the light. A crowd-pleaser to say the least. Can't judge the head based on a normal standard due to my piss-poor pour, but it's bubbly and khaki in color. The head retained a collar all the way down the glass - makes a man feel good.

I suspect I'm keeping my beers too cold and drinking them out of mildly soapy glasses, so not getting a huge whiff from this, or any other. After warming it up, I caught a malty nose of burnt sugar, with roasted grains and perhaps a little dark fruit and chocolate. Didn't smack me in the face though.

Taste was as the smell suggested, full of roasty bitterness and flecks of dark fruits and chocolate. Definitely no shortage of flavor here - damned tasty, and I like it colder than you're supposed to have it I suspect.

Carbonation sustains itself, leaving a lively trace of bitterness and roasted flavor on the tongue. It's a full-bodied brew that coats the mouth nicely and leaves you satisfied. I ought to have had this with some pumpkin pie, but flew solo with it and it was plenty satisfying on its own merits. Approved and recommended from this shitbird!

McDosey, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of KBomb
4.4/5  rDev +5%

Deep, dark brown body that is nearly black. Not much head nor lacing to speak of. Smell has a notable dark-chocolate character that is quite enviable. Well roasted malts provide a solid background of aroma and flavor. Black Butte Porter is not overly sweet and is subtly hopped. The taste of roasted malt is very evenly tempered. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly thanks to enduring carbonation, body is medium-light. BBP is remarkably drinkable for the style. Her only defect is the slightest "watery" taste. Nevertheless, a standard setting porter.

KBomb, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of tjd112
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%

Presentation - Poured into Flying Fish Pint Glass

Appearance - Black with some ruby light penetration, small off-white head but lots of lacing

Smell - Cocoa

Taste - There is a very grainy cocoa taste to it, with a hint of burnt sugar and hops

Mouthfeel - Dangerously smooth

Drinkability - Very sessionable

Overall - A great take on an American porter

tjd112, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

coffee black with a tan foamy head that is a few inches thick. lacing is great.
smells of dark malts, especially of coffee. caramel is present. i think i can smell a little alcohol too.
tastes of coffee and caramel as the aroma advertises. i can taste chocolate malt too.
not as thick or creamy as i anticipated.
overall a solid beer with good drinkability.

JordonHoltzman, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%

Got this thanks to bendretread along with a whole bunch of other awesome Deschutes beers. Date: Best by 3/05/10

A: Pours a rockin 2 finger head with a thick creamy head. Pure black color with no light escaping. The head retains pretty well.

N: It has some nice crisp ale aromas surprisingly. On top of that is some nice roast but still pretty light, and some dark malts with hints of chocolate. Lighter fare, but pretty nice and typical for a good porter. More chocolate comes through as it warms.

T: Starts with a really thick creamy flavor. Some milk chocolate like flavors, creamy chocolate malts. Some roast also comes through but pretty light. Nice malty flavor with some sweetness, and some light hop flavors come through as well with a little bitterness. Its an interesting spicy hop flavor. A touch of smoke comes out late as it warms.

M: Lots of carbonation, creamy and pretty thick.

F: Finish leaves the nice creamy chocolate lingering a bit, and has a nice bitter follow as well. Still slightly sweet. The earthy spicy hop bitterness adds a nice finish. The smoked flavor also seems to stick around the mouth as everything else fades, which is probably why it seems to come out late on the taste itself.

jlindros, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%

I had the Black Butte XXI a couple nights ago, and am having this for the first time tonight. I was expected this to be a little closer to the XXI but its really a completely different beer. The XXI is an unbelievable beer, but this is very good, too. Not such an outgoing flavor or character overall, but a good drink. I generally don't drink porters, as I just prefer a more bigger stout. This is a little light to me.. not much depth or flavor, especially considering the expectations from such a great brewery. I have the six pack / and I'll enjoy it, but I'll definitely buy their Obsidian Stout six over this any day.

prsguitarsr4me, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

Served in my Sam Adams pint from a 12 oz bottle stating that it is "Best By: 02/12/10".

Quite dark as beer goes, with a fizzy tan head that spritzes away quickly. The remains gather in a ring and are lighter, a creamy white.

Citrus hop seems to be trying to break through in the nose. Creamy milk chocolate intertwined with coffee. Caramel, toffee.

The imprisoned citrus hop twang from the aroma is pummeled into a more spicy stout presentation. Working nicely mind you, to liven things up. Following this, the same chocolate, bitter coffee play as in the nose. The whole of the thing is exceedingly creamy, including the smooth bitterness that finishes. This is influenced by those hops and the coffee character.

I've said already, creamy. Carbonation does not get in the way, subdued, and helps the hops with spice.

Great session beer for porter or stout people. Easy going abv coupled with amazing smooth creaminess and a coffee not I adore and will remember. A good deal too.

brewerburgundy, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Eisen
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

This is simply a great porter. The taste is some what bitter, some what smothe; and it is overall a great beer and a wonderfull example of the style. As far as drinkability is concerned, I can and I have drank these all night long. The taste (which I tend to grade beer on) is complicated but not so in-your-face that you can't finish a couple at a dinner. With 5.2% this beer is a great beer for gatherings when you want, or need, to have a few but do not want to compramise taste and flavor.

Eisen, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of benclimbs
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

Such a nice solid porter

pours black brown with a nice lift head that sticks around

coffee cocoa and some nutty flavours in the taste finishes clean and slightly off bitter

very drinkable porter, classic light mouthfeel while maintaining depth aNd character

benclimbs, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured a nice dark, brown/black with a big toffee colored head. Nose is roasted malt, cocoa, dry. Taste is mostly bitter coffee/chocolate, with more than a tad of smokiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry, charred and pretty good. Drinkability is good.

barleywinefiend, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of GeezLynn
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

Best by 07/31/09

Very dark shade of brown with a thick white head. Great retention. Big nose of chocolate malt, some hops and some yeasty character. Roasted chocolate malt flavors, slightly smoky with some coffee . A little tangy fruit flavor and a long dry finish. Mouthfeel is a little lighter relative to the depth of flavor, but not overly so.
There are bigger porters out there, but they're usually described as "double" or "oatmeal" etc. Very drinkable a nice example of what the style should be in my opinion.

Great to revisit this beer after a few years of deprivation. Black Butte helped get me started on the style and it's still one my favorite porters.

Edit: had to bump up the score after tasting a fresher bottle on 9/22/10. Still a special brew for one that is so readily available in the West (and now upper Midwest).

GeezLynn, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of cbarrett4
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

This is a second review since the first time I reviewed this beer it was on nitro tap. This batch was tasted blindly against several other dark ales from bottle. Placed third after New Belgium 1554 Black Ale and Deschutes Obsidian Stout.

Pours with a lackluster head, decent lace, nice dark brown, coffee colored hue. Smells of dark fruit, malts, and hints of espresso. Is a little light and has an overly assertive bite that would be less noticeable with more weight.

This beer is much better served from a nitro tap. The extra texture really fleshes the beer out.

cbarrett4, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%

Ah, a classic session porter. Pours thin for a porter, but don't fret. Smell, still muted for the taste explosion yet to come. One of the hoppiest porters you can get in a six pack (if not the hoppiest).

Delicious roasted malt, never had so much pronounced chocolate malt that doesn't finish heavy at all. These are capable of multiple efforts in a sitting. Very good. There's better porters out there, but not at this price.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of fsimcox
4.4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a very dark black. When I hold it up to the light, I see nothing but black.
Thick creamy head, dissipates very slowly to ¼ inch. Significant lacing.

Smells of chocolate, smoky malt and a hint of coffee. Smell is significant, but not overpowering.

A creamy malt and smoke taste. Hints of dark chocolate that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, a little carbonation, medium body. A rich taste.

A very enjoyable beer. This beer would be great with a smoked cheese.

fsimcox, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of bjacobsen
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Served in a pint glass. I went to the Yard House for a welcome lunch break from last minute Xmas shopping.

Pours a near-black shade of brown with an attractive two finger mocha color head.

Smells of roasted coffee with subtle vanilla provide a delightful waft.

Taste is of roasted malts with a nuttiness and maybe a bit of molasses before finishing clean and smooth. Very tasty.

Medium bodied. Nicely carbonated.

This is quite drinkable. Very flavorful, very smooth. At 5.5%, this would be a nice one for a session at a holiday party or family gathering in front of the fire.


bjacobsen, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of erosier
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%

L: Pours a deep brown almost black color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, deep roasted malts, hints of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of hops at the end.
T: Tastes of deep roasted malts, hints of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a small amount of hops at the end, and a nice clean tasting finish.
M: Very smooth, rich, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this is a really good example of an American Porter.

erosier, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of roddwolff
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%

Once served in my "Bayern Pilsener" glass;

A: Opaque black color, brown sparkles against the light, creamy foamy head with a finger thick, no bubbles and good lacing;

S: Roasted malt with essences of chocolate, coffee and walnut, plus hops with notes of wood;

T: Similar to the smell, a mixture of roasted malt, caramel and nuts, then comes the hard touch of coffee and hops with remnants of wood;

M: Woody and refreshing, high bitterness, robust body and low carbonation;

D: I liked a lot, a world class american craft beer.

roddwolff, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

Had at Lucky 13 in Alameda, CA 12/3

A: This beer pours a nice deep opaque chocolate brown. A 1/4 inch of light brown head sits on top of this beer. Spotty lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee, bit of toastiness too.

T: Taste starts with milk chocolate up front moving slowly in to a nice bitter chocolate. Burnt and toasted malts fill the middle. Finish is a nice coffee flavoring with a decent amount of hops mingled in.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, rich and creamy mouthfeel that slightly coats your tongue.

D: Drinks very easily, tasty, goes down incredibly easy, somewhat filling. ABV makes this one that I would sit with for a long, long time!

Jayli, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of Daniellobo
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%

Nice and tasty draft porter, maybe nothing extraordinary but all in all a good offering.

Presentation: 16 oz draft offering. Menu offers a fair one liner description and brewery location. Served in pilsner-like glass.

A - Deep brown pour with ruby edges. 1/2 " frothy head fading slowly to lacing.

S - Roasted malt and sweet notes.

T - Roasted malts follows with chocolate notes.

M - Medium body with a smooth finish. A bit dry.

D - Quite quaffable, not too big a porter but for a medium bodied offering it is quite pleasing.

Notes: It might have been a bit too cold to fully appreciate the brew. Likewise the glassware while acceptable was not ideal.

Daniellobo, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of randawakes
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

This beer absolutely has me anticipating the Black Butte XXII

Tastes of strong and satisfying chocolate and crystal malts. Mouthfeel is smooth. The taste is not dull, rather full and sugary. Sugary, semi-sweet, malt flavor, very enjoyable.

For one of there "standard" brews, its well above average.

randawakes, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of rtepiak
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%

a textbook looking porter with a broad range of flavor incorporated from both american and british form. near black with an off white head. nose of toasty molasses. palate is plum, grape, intense anise, black licorice, pineapple, earthy molasses, and some coffee and chocolate. no abv. nice and creamy but not particularly dense in nature. you could have two in the summer with pizza it so light but complex.

rtepiak, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of jt31914
4.4/5  rDev +5%

12 oz.

A: Dark black with small amount of head - almost looks like a stout, but thinner.

S: Wonderful roasted coffee tones with dark malt and slight chocolate hints.

T: Similar to the smell but stronger - everything you expect from a porter and more.

M/D: Very drinkable - this is a wonderful and pleasant brew, it would have been hard to improve upon.

jt31914, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of crossovert
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%

12 oz bottle, best by January 1st 2010.

Pours into my American pint glass with a nice active head that is slightly off white and semi-quickly dissipating. The body is pretty thick black, but with hints of ruby when held to light.

The smell is rich and malty, with some toasted malt and hints of chocolate. There is also some hop scent in there along with a pinch of alcohol, but only slighltly.

Taste has a nice roasty bitter coffee flavor, and also a suprising amount of hoppiness. It drinks extremely smooth for the style, this is one of the best examples of the style.

The only thing I can fault even a bit might be the mouthfeel, the carbonation might just be a bit too biting.

Overall this is a stalwart of the style, smooth, easy to drink, but extremely tasty and full flavored.

crossovert, Dec 06, 2009
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,320 ratings.