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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,506 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,506
Reviews: 1,341
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 329
Gots: 519 | FT: 14
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: 4,506 | Reviews: 1,341 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dragonWhale
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark red, like some sort of liquid Evil Eye. It is a beautiful color, I do like it, but it is light on color for a porter.
Light roast, chocolate, caramelized and toasted malts and a slightly spicy hop character in the background.
Delivers a robust, creamy and full flavor highlighted by chocolate and caramel with a pleasant toastiness. Exceptional in its flavor, though not exceedingly complex. It finishes a touch dry even through the creamy sweetness. Yes, and yes, Deschutes.

Sorry to hear about the fate of the XXII. Here is the name of a doctor who will look at it for you. You will receive no bill. He's a good man, Deschutes, and thorough.

dragonWhale, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of malthegal
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich dark brown, almost black, hue. Nice off-white head. The lacing is relatively thin.

S - Very robust, yet not overwhelming, aroma of rich espresso, with chocolate undertones.

T - A definite robust taste of coffee, supported by some chocolate hints. Low IBU, nicely done balancing hops.

M - Medium-bodied, very smooth, velvety. Decent amount of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, I could certainly enjoy more than one in a sitting.

malthegal, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of camp0474
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown to black color. Nice tan head which recedes to leave some nice oils on the glass.

S: Great smells of toasted malts and faint coffee. Also some faint sweetness present.

T: Toasted malt and faint coffee take the front seat with some well balanced sweetness. Notes of sweet cream, caramelized sugar and some chocolate. Some slight flavors of dark fruit towards the end. Hops present but almost undetectable. Great balance of dry bitterness and sweet creaminess.

M/D: Medium body and great carbonation. Crispy carbonation then a very smooth mouthfeel as the sweetness lingers.
No dry finish from the toasted malts... well done. Goes down incredibly smooth and creamy.
Very drinkable and very well done.

camp0474, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip pint: Very dark brown, near black, with deep ruby highlights around the edges under two fingers of foamy, cavernous mocha head that drops to a finger & retains well, leaving stretches of lacing.

Smell is, mmm, roasty toasty, with nutty coffee & semi-sweet chocolate notes. Not real strong, but not hidden either, nicely balanced with mildly leafy hops. Good stuff.

Taste moderate caramel up front, slightly cola-like, that soon gives way to medium roast malt character, a little licorice, & again, nutty, coffee, chocolate. On the "cool" side, not real rich, but definitely present. Aftertaste is roasty, moderately bitter, with some dark fruits, a little raisin & plum.

Medium-bodied, goes down pretty smooth, & thickens the spit with some residual sugars.

Drinkability = yes! This packs the flavor into a very accessible & smooth little beer. Very impressed.

OneDropSoup, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of IKR
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark Brown to Black coloration with 1 finger white head

Smell -Smells of roast malts with a scent of coffee . Not a really strong aroma but smells good.

Taste - Authentic Porter taste consisting of moderate roast flavors, chocolate and slight coffee flavors. The roast taste is in line with the Porter style not as upfront as a stout but a restrained version of a dry stout. Not overly complex.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - The beer's overall goodness adds up to a beer that makes the perfect session pint, you could go on and on with this one.

My preference is for the bigger bolder beers, I have had Black Butte XXI several times and love the stuff. That being said I can get a glimpse of Black Butte XXI's flavor profile with this beer. Definitely less complex and flavorful but a very good porter that I'll have again.

IKR, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of biglite351
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

A - light through the middle of the glass. Tall off white head leaving heavy lacing.

S - relatively standard porter scent. Malts and chocolate with a bitter end.

T - different. Malts with some chocolate with hidden coffee and hops.

M - no real coating or tingle, a bit thin.

D - rather easily drinkable.

biglite351, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of dpnelson1978
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$3.99 / ea.

A: Deep, opaque brown body with a big loose head that quickly dissipates with only light lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Mocha aroma with a distinct roasted malt character. Solid porter, style guideline to a tee.

T: Coffee character dominates over a dark roasted malt backbone. Just enough hop character to balance, and very little aftertaste.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Very smooth bordering on crisp.

D: Great session brew for the dark beer crowd. Goes down easy, and doesn't leave an offense taste on the palate.

O: Deschutes proves itself to me on a consistent basis. The hype is well justified.

dpnelson1978, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of brewdub17
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Strong dark brown body, that shows a burgundy hue when held to light. The head is a thick beige that creates a beautiful lace around the glass.

Smell: A strong roasted malt flavor comes first, then a fresh note of the hops at the end. It is a delicate but full smell nonetheless.

Taste: Rich creamy tastes are noticeable first and are followed by the freshness from the hops in the end. The taste nearly mimics the description of this brew. A good piece of work.

Mouthfeel: A very clean, crisp feel covers the mouth, very unexpected for such a tasty porter.

Drinkability: The first thing I thought about and rated when I took the first sip. The wonderful balance of the flavors make it hard not to want to enjoy another. (btw, it took me two to write this review)

brewdub17, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to djmichaelk for this one.
Enjoyed in a brandy snifter

A - Dark brown colour, slightly translucent, 3/4 of a finger of light espresso coloured head.

S - Light roasted malts with a slight coffee presence. A somewhat light nose.

T - Roasted malts with some coffee and chocolate flavours. The overall palate was very good but at times it seemed a little bit light. A very slight hop presence was noted as well.

M - Light body, lightly carbonated.

D - This was an interesting beer. On one hand it was very good and I would definitely love to drink this one again. On the other hand, it seemed like it was so close to being a great porter but didn't' quite get there. I tasted this side-by-side with an Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and that Edmund was definitely the superior beer.

TheSevenDuffs, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of lifeboyq
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Allagash tulip. medium tan head with minimal to some lacing. Beer color is a mahogany. You really have to try to take in the smell as it doesnt hit you hard on the nose. There are coffee, toffee chocolate malt notes with a little hop bite. Taste is better than the nose but with similar flavors. While this is an excellent session porter, I cant give it world class marks that you find in more complex offerings. Great beer but far from amazing and but no where near world class. Wonderful value beer and maybe one of the best values out there at $6.99 a six pack.

lifeboyq, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of klikger
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a tulip

A - Dark brown, almost black in color; has a decent off-white head and modest lacing.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and dried cherries.

T - Roasted malt, creamy milk chocolate, and some floral hops. Ends with dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. Tasty.

M - Creamy, yet medium-bodied. Good carbonation.

D - Low ABV and great mouthfeel. Not too sweet either - well done.

klikger, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of seh410
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Thin, blackish brown consistency. Looks a lot like Coca Cola actually. No lacing, about a finger's worth of whitish head.

Aroma: Roasted, nutty and malty aroma with some hints of mild chocolate in the background. There's a slight hot alcohol scent in the nose that does not translate into the taste.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Lots of burnt malt with a slight caramel hint. It's very roasty with maybe the slightest hint of chocolate. The mouthfeel, however, is extremely thin and that affects the way I'm tasting the beer. It feels/seems extremely watery. The lack of creamy fullness really tastes away from this porter.

Notes: This is extremely drinkable. I'd give it a 5 for how easily it goes down, but the fact that it is so thin makes me not want to drink it... so, 4.

seh410, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap....yo!

A- Pours a dark brown almost black color. One finger tan head that shows good retention. Long streaking lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Big roasted malts with a light chocoalte blending. Some bitter earthy hops used in the ending that show up in a light punch.

T- Once again the roasted malts come into play first. The chocolate malts come through toward the middle with some light vanilla in the ending. Bitter earthy hops in the ending of this makes for a refreshing ending to this.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Roasted malts left on the palate with some hops and alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors were blended well and made for a refreshing feel in the mouth. Alcohol did not affect the palate at all.

D- This porter was amazing. Deschutes makes good beers and this one is no exception. I wish this company like so many would come to Indiana. A porter that is a easy drinker and a ABV that makes this more than a one and done.

alleykatking, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Black body with plenty of clear brown highlights; nice two-finger head of very creamy tan foam. Great retention and solid lacing. Great looking porter.

S: Heavy on the roasted malts at first (almost to the point of being acrid). Some vanilla, toffee, and chocolate sweetness come out as it warms, though. Pretty complex and enjoyable.

T: Starts out with lots of chocolate, caramel, and roast; gets sweeter and creamier on the backside, and finally finishes with a bitter finish that tastes of hops (citrus, actually), burnt malt, and tobacco. Amazing.

M: A touch on the thin side, but with nice carbonation.

D: The rich flavors and bitter aftertaste work great together, and make this one a joy to drink.

Notes: I'm still stunned at how amazing this beer was. It did everything I could have asked from an American Porter and more, and it did it all in a 5.2% package. The most stunning thing about this beer was how it combined balance and complexity - the sweetness of the malts gets offset to perfection by the fresh-tasting hops and deep, roasty, tobacco-y goodness of char. I so wish I could get this in CT, as it would be my go-to value dark beer, year round. Now I just need to get my hands on the ramped up anniversary versions of this amazing beer. ISO!


woosterbill, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of tronester
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with ruby red highlights. Medium tan head that grips the glass with good lacing. Smell is that of fresh pumpernickel bread. Taste is smooth bread flavors up front, with a smooth coffee flavored middle and a earthy finish, with a hint of citrus fruit. Good mouthfeel, smooth carbonation. Drinkability is very good. An excellent porter that I would get again if it were available in my area.

tronester, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Color is a dark brown, near black.

Aroma: A lot of roasted malts with some chocolate A very fresh tasting porter with some earthy hops showing.

Taste: The roasted malts are up front again. There is also some caramel and vanilla complementing the chocolate. Earthy hops again.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and creamy. A medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Ends roasted and clean.

Overall, a very nice porter. One of Deschutes better regular offerings in my opinion. This one is pretty drinkable.

mothman, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass

A: Pours a dark coffe color with a perfect 2 finger off-white head. Some light gets through at the edges, but otherwise this brew is quite opaque. Lacing is wonderful-after finishing this brew, I can see every swig I took in the rings of foam on the glass.

S: Roasty, with a hint of citrus hops and dark chocolate.

T: Toasted nuts, coffee, dark chocolate, and just enough citrusy/piny hops. Slightly bitter finish. Flavors meld very well.

M: Light, but with adequate carbonation that works well for this beer. The hops and the carbonation give a pleasantly prickly feel. If I'm in the mood to be nit-picky, I'd say the mouthfeel is just a touch thin.

D: one of the beat American porters I've tried. I could definitely knock back a fair few of these in a night

eatabagofbooger, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm, I get an odd aroma here. Earthy, almost mushroomy, slightly acrid coffee notes. I don't quite get it.

Fairly clear, dark brown (nearly black) colour with a foamy, light tan head. Good lace.

This is a really solid porter. Good coffee flavour backed up with some sweetness and a dose of chocolate and fruit. The barest acidity helps to refresh the palate. Not at all overbearing and just the sort of dark beer I could see myself drinking at any time of year.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, silky and easy to drink.

A tasty porter with plenty going on. I really like the approach taken here and could see this being a regular if I lived in the US.

dgilks, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Figgy
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This porter had an exception appearance, very dark brown, almost black, but with a light head. The smell was a very solid nose of vanilla. The vanilla, plus chocolate came through in the taste as well, with a good smooth porter taste. It was very similar, to me, to the Deschutes Obsidian Stout, but of course with a smoother porter taste.

Figgy, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of wedge421
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very very typical porter, Black/brown notes dominate. 1 finger light brown head. Slight hints of deep blood red in the light.

S - So amazingly fresh. This smells like fresh grains being mashed in. Unlike any beer I have ever smelled. So so fresh, coffee, espresso vanilla and a ton of malt.

T - Wow, just as fresh as the nose, vanilla, roasted malt characters, espresso notes and that fresh fresh malt taste. Spot on.

M - Dead on. Ton of coasting mouth feel on this one

D - At 5% this is easily one of the most drinkable and best tasting porters on the planet!...done

wedge421, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Got a sixer of this on a trip to Minnesota. I haven't tried much from Deschutes and I have been looking forward to trying more for a while. I absolutely love Mirror Mirror. This is a 12oz bottle...

A: Deep dark brown with deep ruby red shining through the brew. Thick 2 inch light brown head that quickly fades. Decent.

S: I can smell the brew from the glass on the table. Wow, very strong scents. Super smoky bitter licorice blended with some creamy cocao and vanilla. Some deep chocolates heavy in the middle with some dark fruits hidden in the background. Very good.

T: Super watery bitter coffee bean. Roasty chocolate licorice in the middle with not much else going on. Ok, but not great.

M: Very light bodied brew. Too watery and not enough carbonation going on here. Ok.

D: This goes down very easy thanks to the low ABV. Very good.

This brew started good, but finished ok. I think this is a good brew to try at least once but not hunt down. I'm very interested in trying the specialty Black Butte's because I imagine this flavor would be intensified and not as watered down.

steve8robin, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of soupyman10
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one, although it reminded me that I definitely prefer the bite of a stout over the smoothness of a porter. In any case, this one poured a pitch black like it's supposed to, with nice smooth cool chocolate and roasted malt flavors throughout. Highly drinkable, especially for the style. Another tasty brew from Deschutes.

soupyman10, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at The Friendly Spot in San Antonio TX. It was poured from a 12oz bottle into an 16oz pint glass. (L/M)

Finally a Deschutes Beer I like. I've had the Inversion and Mirror Pond. While both were flavor full they were simply not to my liking. This porter however was acceptable.

Very dark brown in color with an off white head that settled to a thin lacing.

S: toasty malts with a hint of hops

T: a not so strong roasted coffee taste. Some dry hops in the aftertaste. Pretty well balanced.

D: a good session beer

Conclusion, I could see myself purchasing a 6-er of this. Not the best porter I've had but a fairly solid one. There was nothing too extravagant, but nothing offensive either - a good introductory porter.

LacquerHead, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of JackieTH
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, translucent brown with ruby highlights. Nice tall light tan head.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, mild chocolate.

Taste: Malty, light roasted coffee bitterness and a bit of hop with a slight twangy sourness of a dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium light, I would like to see a bit more body.

Drinkability: Dry finish with notes of hop & coffee bitterness as well as burnt caramel. Very well balanced into an inoffensive, solid porter, with good drinkability.

JackieTH, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown that shows some ruby red edges when held up to the light. Head was off-white and somewhat minimal. Scent is very appealing with rich chocolate and coffee notes. Some sweet sugary notes as well. The taste is even better than it smells! Very robust coffee and dark chocolate flavors followed by some sweet, sugary malt flavors teamed up with some slight hints of dark fruits. A slight bit of hoppiness, but not much. Very nice tasting Porter...but I didn't expect anything less from Deschutes. The mouthfeel seems just perfect for what a "non-imperial porter" should be. Not too light or watery whatsoever. The drinkability is VERY high.

DovaliHops, Aug 23, 2010
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,506 ratings.