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.

4,241 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,241
Reviews: 1,315
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 315
Gots: 418 | FT: 12
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: 4,241 | Reviews: 1,315 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of DeathbySexyBT


4.63/5  rDev +10.5%

A: Deep leathery brown with a viscous lace.

S: Smoky sweetness with almost a BBQ smell.

T: Jimminy Christmas that is one hell of a porter. Heaping helpings of roasted malts. A very pleasant, and not a bit overly sweet, vanilla bean hue. Very complex, very smooth, very much one of my new favorite porters.

M: I just drank a cloud. This was extremely smooth and had a lingering hop presence mixed with caramel.

D: The alcohol provides that gradual warming effect that we all know and love. This is a brew that should be enjoyed...over and over and over again.

07-27-2009 13:26:34 | More by DeathbySexyBT
Photo of therealmcclurg


4.78/5  rDev +14.1%

I'm not generally a huge fan of Porters, but this beer is delicious. I was on a flight of beers that included other porters, but this was the first one I tried. In the glass it looked black and slick. It had a very subtle aroma that may throw you off, because after first drink I was amazed at how complex this beer was. I will have to have again to peg down specific tastes. In general it was malty and felt creamy on the tongue. It was refreshing and strong. It had a very crisp finish. I could have easily skipped the other beers in my flight and just continued with this one.

07-26-2009 21:34:33 | More by therealmcclurg
Photo of philbe311


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

A - Raven gloss black color... A slight lite beige head sticks around for a little while but ultimately fades, leaving a thin lace sitting a top this opaque brew... Fast rising carbonation bubbles through out...

S - A slightly too subdued aroma is all that is keep Black Butte from being a truly world class creation... The aroma of roasted malt and chocolate is appealing, but doesn't live up to the lofty success of the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability categories...

T - Loads of roasted malt... Vanilla... Whipped cream... Milk chocolate... Slightly nutty... Terrific flavor...

M - Full bodied... Creamy... Sleek... Ultra smooth... Subdued carbonation... Chalky and moderately dry finish... Very rich and satisfying...

D - I started out sipping to enjoy the subtle complexities but quickly changes to gulping as I couldn't get enough of this near perfect porter... Add to that the fact that this comes in at 5.5% ABV, this is a truly sessionable porter... Terrific job by Deschutes, it's only a crying shame that this isn't available more widely than it currently is...

07-23-2009 22:18:29 | More by philbe311
Photo of tyanow


4.58/5  rDev +9.3%

A - Dark auburn reddish brown (as a porter ought to be) with a 2 finger big bubble loose head that lingers and laces (as a porter outh to have)

S - Nutty chocolate, with toasted grain, and a little sweet fruitiness.

T - Dark chocolate, dark grains, dark fruit, dark sweetness. This stuff is dark and delicious.

M- Smooth, thick and rich. Full body.

D - As drinkable as any porter I have tried and I try a lot of them.

This is at the very top of the American Porter class. Balanced, complex but not challenging. This is a great fore into porters for anyone interested in trying one and a great place to end up for the seasoned porter lover.

Deschutes outdoes themselves with this American Gem!

07-23-2009 00:26:40 | More by tyanow
Photo of RedBrewer83


4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

A: Pouring out of a 12 oz bottle this beer pours a dark rich chocolately brown with a one inch mocha brown head. Good head retention, leaves good lacing as it dissipates into a thin coating on top of the beer.

S: Good aromas of roasted malt, bordering on burnt but not quite there, with hints of caramel, coffee, and biscuit. More bready than I expected and not as big of a nose as I anticipated.

T: This is where this beer rises above the rest! Huge flavor profile beginning immediately with bittersweet chocolate then fresh coffee and caramel. At this point the hops kick in and almost perfectly balances this beer with a nice crisp bitterness. The finish is malty and biscuit-like. Not much more you could pack into this one.

M: Carbonation is pretty good, a little harsher on the palate than I would like (finer bubbles would send this beer over the top) but overall the mouthfeel is excellent. Good body and a smooth finish.

D: Very drinkable, especially for a porter with a flavor profile this big. Absolutely fantastic brew!

07-16-2009 03:15:30 | More by RedBrewer83
Photo of dasmith52


4.58/5  rDev +9.3%

This is an awesome porter! If you like a darker beer, you've got to try this one,
A: A nice opaque dark black colored body as well as a nice tan lace head.

S: Not very strong hops flavor, but noticeable. A very nice burnt or roasted smell.

T: One of the best porters that I've had. A very nice blend of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt flavor that swirl together for a very nice blend that really gives the beer a great overall flavor.

M: A nice creamy yet smooth feel that has a good head with low carbonation.

D: This beer lends itself to drinking no matter the weather.

07-14-2009 04:18:52 | More by dasmith52
Photo of jdklks


4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

A- black with see-through edges and nice brown head.

S- coffee, roasted malts, maybe chocolate, some hops.

T- roasted and burnt malts, with a hints of coffee, chocolate, and even toffee. though none of the flavors are as intense i would like them to be (thats what black butte xx and xxi are for), it is still a very good and complex porter. one of my favorites.

M- medium bodied. silky, but nothing too special here.

D- drinkability is good. easy going down, light enough to drink a lot of them.

07-13-2009 05:14:20 | More by jdklks
Photo of Japerrault


4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

A: Very dark with a little amber showing through in the light. Thick tan head, which leaves nice lacing.

S: Good chocolate and caramel malt aromas. Some ripe fruit.

T: Cocoa and coffee flavors mixed with a mild sweetness. A little bit of a roasted malt bitterness in the aftertaste. Nice balance overall.

M: Creamy smooth feel. Flavors linger well.

D: Well balanced beer and smooth flavors allow an ease of drinking. One sip invites another.

07-13-2009 00:56:10 | More by Japerrault
Photo of DoctorDog


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic glass. Big thanks to pokesbeerdude for sending me this one in a trade!

A- Deep brown with translucent ruby edges. 2+ fingers of light brown head, which fades slowly to a thin cap. Fair amount of sticky lacing.

S- Roasty chocolate and coffee notes dominate, with a hit of hop earthiness. Sweet notes emerge slowly as the beer warms.

T- Quite a bit of burnt/smoky roastiness. Fairly light sweetness. A bit of coffee, some slight earthiness.

M- Moderate carbonation. Medium feel. Solid.

D- Good.

Future outlook: Obtained in a trade and not available here...the price is apparantly quite reasonable....too bad. Not as good as their Obsidian Stout that I tried, but still quite solid.

07-08-2009 03:20:50 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of mugglesandhops


4.7/5  rDev +12.2%

12oz. bottle received in a trade. I had a couple of these while I was in Portland but never took any notes on them. Poured a pitch black body with a tan head with great sticky lace. Smells of roasted coffee, toffee, maybe some chocolate in there. Taste is excellent, chocolate, coffee, more toffee as in the smell. Very velvety mouthfeel. Great porter.

07-07-2009 18:08:10 | More by mugglesandhops
Photo of hockeyhead


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

A:dark velvet red liquid witha tan fine mesh head
S:nice roasted chocolate smell and fine hops finish off the smell not like other porters
T: chocolate malt sweetness up front then a nice hop bitterness that is well balanced rounds out the palate
M: about a medium velvety body with the perfect amount of carbination
D: perfect session porter when drinking with buddys

07-07-2009 01:02:02 | More by hockeyhead
Photo of froghop


3.65/5  rDev -12.9%

pours a semi-clear dark brown with a ruby tint, a small tan head, and some lacing.

smell is light, cocoa, some nuts, a hint of ripe banana, and some sour malt.

taste is watery, chocolate italian ice, sour malt, and a little weak coffee, ends dry and a little bitter.

07-02-2009 03:20:44 | More by froghop
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.18/5  rDev -0.2%

12oz bottle. best by date of 6/11/09. tasted in late april/early may, 2009.

dark brown w amber hue. ruby clear under the light. moderately sized, tan colored head, fades to foamy, almost creamy thin layer, then just wispy layer and ring. a few thin rings of lace at first, then lots more, further down the glass.

aroma: malty dark caramel with just a touch of roast in back. fruity plums, touch of chocolate. hint of earthy hop. trace of coffee in the rear.

taste: very similar flavors, with maybe just a touch more roast or coffee notes. trace acidity. mild to moderate bitterness. fruit note melds with chocolate reminiscences.

medium body, very smooth, touch of astringency towards end. mild, tingly carbonation for extra body.

06-28-2009 12:55:14 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of augustgarage


4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Finally reviewing an old favorite.

Liquid is a nearly opaque seal brown with burnt umber/carnelian highlights and a thick tan head of foam. Head retention is decent, though it eventually settles into a thick lacy ring with a large thin island of film in the center.

Moderately strong roasted malt aromatics, along with chocolate and lightly burnt toast. Lovely.

Lots of malt layers and a clean bitterness on the palate. Delicate yeast and hop flavors are there as well, though the roasted malts and cocoa flavors are paramount. Clean, mineral spring/river water flavors make this extremely refreshing.

Medium bodied, with moderate, spritzy natural carbonation.

Just an uncomplicated, perfectly balanced, classic robust porter...

06-19-2009 22:08:51 | More by augustgarage
Photo of mhatters


4.65/5  rDev +11%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle acquired from my first trade (thanks to Casey - great trader) and poured into an English pint glass.

Pours a deep patina oak brown with an off-white medium-thick head and nice lacing in the glass.

A fantastic nose, probably the best for a porter I have ever encountered - roasted chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla,
and lovely roasted malts - toasty more than heavily roasted.

The flavor follows the nose, the toasty malts really are fantastic, not heavy at all, well carbonated.

Go get it, a great porter.

06-19-2009 22:06:29 | More by mhatters
Photo of ajuarez


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

This beer presents itself to me in a 12 oz bottle with a nice painting of Black Butte mountain with a setting sun and meandering river centered on the label. 5.2 abv is printed near the "best by" date. Poured into an imperial pint glass, this porter is a robust cocoa brown color, a shade shy of black, with orange-ruby highlights. Head is moderate, velvety and tan. There's a wonderful dry roasted grain aroma immediately evident on the nose. Inhale deeper and you'll get chocolate powder and some funk.Wonderfully balanced flavors consisting of chocolate, burnt angelfood cake, almonds, fig and cedar in the taste department. Hops provide a nice bittering counterpoint and just the slightest hint of citrus zest. Fantastic mouthfeel and nicely drawn out finish of caramel and chocolatyness and lactic acid. Very drinkable. A very good porter that sets the bar high for the style.

06-18-2009 07:07:58 | More by ajuarez
Photo of thirdeye11


4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Presentation: Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a mostly opaque dark brown, 1 finger head that recedes fairly quickly, nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smell is the nicest part of this beer. Light roasted flavors, mingle with semi-sweet chocolate, I think I smell the alcohol when cold.

T: Nice porter that is pretty light on flavor. No coffee or dark cocoa flavors, more prominent roasted flavors as it warms up but honest it's drinkable at any temperature even 38 degrees out of my fridge. Extremely smooth and balanced, some hints of alcohol even when warm.

M: Maybe the weakest aspect here. Nicely carbonated at first, but fades as it warms. The mouthfeel itself is nice, but the beer is a little watery for my taste in the style. Somewhat thin, but overall solid. As I drink the last sips there is some hop bitterness and dark chocolate flavors lingering on the palette that are nice.

D: To the style it's the highest I've encountered I think. No bad components at all, extremely balanced, and I could drink it all night long.

Very good solid entry into the porter style if you're trying to figure them out. Pretty widely available, and based on that I think it's even better. Everyone should seek this out.

06-16-2009 03:59:24 | More by thirdeye11
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,241 ratings.