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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,689 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,689
Reviews: 1,350
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 343
Gots: 582 | 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: 4,689 | Reviews: 1,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of daledeee
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a very dark brown(black if not held to light). Head was medium tan with nice lacing.

Nose was quite pronounced but not overwhelming. Good charcoal and bitter chocolate. One of the best smelling dark beers I have had.

Taste is very well balanced with malt, sweetness, hits of caramel, coffee and chocolate.

You would never think this is a low alcohol beer(compared to most dark ones lately!). The beer is not watery at all. The taste is quite satisfying and easy to drink. This is a very nice example of the porters.

daledeee, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of sitarist
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Blind review from the "blind beers bif".

Pours deep purple, almost black, almost opaque. Tan head, about a pinky thick, falls quickly to a ring and top coat that leaves little bits of lacing that falls back into the beer.

I smell mother earth, licorice, powdered sugar, light coffee, grape, its all so very mellow, as it warms it gets more of a funk, I cant explain...I think its love!

The flavors do not follow the nose, I taste good coco, 60%, 72%, 78% cacao, chocolate covered raisins, a hint of smoke. The flavors are mellow but great.

Its a bit creamy, medium bodied, with a nice soft fizz.

Drinkable? This baby is gone!

sitarist, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured aggressively into a pintglass

Very dark, with a large tan head. Fades quickly and leaves minimal trace.

Smell is chocolate covered raisins, coffee and bananna chips. Taste is similar, with green apple and a little soy. One of best porters I've had.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, but light. This is a great staple, and pairs well with sauerkraut.

, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of mjurney
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with slight ruby red hues. Head is a little small, lacing is fair.

Roasted malts, nutty, some coffee, dash of dark chocolate.

Roasted malts up front, burnt caramel, hint of dark chocolate. Mild hoppy bite in the middle, slight citrus like. Finish off pretty smooth with over roasted peanut aftertaste. Light-medium bodied, carbonation feels about medium.

Very high. It's very nice porter, but I wish there's a little more body to it, otherwise it's delicious porter.

mjurney, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of hoplover82
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with ruby highlights and an ivory colored creamy head that has great retention and sticky lacing.

Smell is of earthy/floral hops and chocolate and caramel malts.

Flavors of bitter chocolate notes up front with very slight earthy hops in the back. Also some roasty notes come into play to make things interesting and not so plain.

Smooth and kinda buttery/creamy with just the right carbonation for a lively full mouthfeel with a clean finish.

Very drinkable imo. I highly suggest this to any beer lover.

hoplover82, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of hoppyhampy
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a stadard pint glass. Best by date is 10/08/10. Deep dark brown, nearly black, with 3/4 inch of frothy, tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves little to no lacing. Rich, smoky, nutty aroma with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium/light bodied with spot on carbonation. This is almost like a more flavorful Guinness to me. Only slightly bitter and a somewhat subdued malt give it a taste that is predominately dark chocolate with a smoky malt finish. I wouldn't say that it goes down clean but the body is light enough and the flavors are delicate enough to make this very drinkable.

hoppyhampy, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra from millah- thanks Tim!

A: pours a deep brown/auburn with some light passing through, red highlights, thin layer of brown head clings on throughout with some lacing

S: huge cocoa and coffee notes up front, very robust, a nice dash of hops come in at the end

T: the taste is very malty with nice robust dark chocolate with a bit more hop presence than the nose, very well rounded and balanced.

MF: the body is on the light side for a porter, but the flavors are big enough to overlook that

D: great tasty porter, lots of chocolate, reminds me a little bit of Edmund Fitzgerald

homebrew311, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best before Aug 21, 2010.

Pours medium brown with a large foamy beige head, leaving nice lacing, recedes to a light foamy & wispy cap.

Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, very earthy, yeast, bread, a bit of dark fruit, coffee, caramel, some lactic sourness upon swirling.

Flavor is very nice smooth and rather rich chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, not complex, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel is velvety and smooth, full but not heavy, lowish carbonation. Easy drinking.

Very nice porter, like this one better than the Highland I had before it, but still doesn't touch the big boys such as Founders and Smuttynose...

elgiacomo, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of gkunkle
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'll admit that I was mildly intimidated by this beer before I cracked it open, but once I had my first sip it was wonderful. It has opaque brown appearance to it and the scent contained hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste is a smooth blend of chocolate and coffee (surprise!). It finished a little toasty and warm. Overall, I am not a big fan of Porters, but I truly enjoyed this beer and will probably have it again. Well done Deschutes!

gkunkle, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of Lakes
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an English pint glass. Dark brown with ruby notes. Thick tan head that faded quickly

Aroma is very good with notes of roasted toffee. No esters at all. Just nice dark grains and roasted (but not over roasted) malt.

Taste is good, moderate roastiness, good caramel and toffee. Very mild chocolate and mild bittering. Good balance.

Mouthfeel is full and rich with no unpleasant aftertaste. Good carbonation too.

Lakes, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of BobJustBob
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled 16 Oz mug.
Finally tracked this one down locally, courtesy of Walmart's rotating selections of Deschutes. (Most of the time they only have Mirror Pond.)
Pours an inviting deep black with a two finger tan head. Didn't lace as well as expected, but oh well, what matters most is how the Beer will taste.
The aroma is complex. I noticed notes of Espresso, Figs and Alcohol. Maybe a slight touch of Anise.
The flavor is well balanced between the Coffee and Chocolate notes. There's a fruity taste in there that reminds me of the time I dared to drink a little of my Grandparents Prune juice many years ago. Not a bad thing, though. If you can fight your way past the phenolphthalein in a glass of Sunsweet, it's actually really tasty stuff.
The Hop notes were good and mild, expected for this style. I suspect Goldings.
Mouthfeel was good. A hint of sugary stickiness.
The aftertaste is probably the best I've had from any beer. A little Hoppy on the inhale. Sweet on the exhale.
Although I still prefer English Porters, this one satisfies nicely.
Skip dessert after dinner and pop one of these open instead.

BobJustBob, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of NefariousR
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown with some light showing through at the edges. Formed a medium tan creamy head upon pouring.

S - Roasted coffee with chocolate, but a lighter chocolate than typical; semi-sweet chocolate?

T - Sweet malt with a slightly roasted bite, chocolate, a touch of a tart flavor I'm having difficulty placing. Maybe anise, but subdued.

M - Smooth and creamy, even creamier than this beer's nitrogenated Irish cousins. Very little noticeable carbonation adds to this effect.

D - Very drinkable, and a great example of the style. This is a porter I could drink all night.

NefariousR, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of Dlish
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Solid black, nice brown foam.

S- Strong smell of roasted chocolate and burnt coffee

T- A whole mixture of malts, roasted coffee, dark and sweet coffee. I taste walnuts, and cashews with this too. Finishes with a mild yet satisfying taste of roasted coffee

M- Good med-light carbonation. Thick like a good porter should be.

D- the alcohol content is not bad. Its filling a meal in itself. But still not overwhelming, i could drink a good amount before wanting to switch.

This is becoming one of my new favorite porters. It has everything you could possibly want if your a fan of them.

Dlish, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Look: Pours out like black coffee with a 1/2 inch head, leaves nice but minimal lacing down the side.
Smell: Light smell of coffee and bittersweet chocolate with a slight floral background.
Taste and Mouthfeel: Roasted coffee and burnt chocolate with a nice touch of earthy goodness. Goes down very smooth, not thick but certainly creamy.
Drink: I would never ever turn one down. It could brighten my mood on any a dull day or make a good day better. A damn fine porter.
Goes great with good sausages and cheese.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of chaz01
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle thanks to a trade with Visionaries, poured into a Belgian fishbowl goblet.

A: Dark brownish black, tannish head recedes quickly.

S: Chocolate with hints of something that reminds me of cinnamon and nutmeg,

T: Very pleasant burnt toast flavor combined with chocolate milk. A little sweetness to it

M: Milk-like feel to this beer with low carbonation that maybe just a bit watery. Smooth finish with chocolate flavors lingering in the mouth.

D: Very smooth and drinkable porter. Could easily drink a few of these or would also pair nicely with a chocolate raspberry mousse.

chaz01, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Greggy
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a 1 finger thick light tan head. The body is dark brown allowing ruby highlights to show through. As the head recedes, bits of sticky lace cling sporadically to the glass.

S- notes of chocolate, cocoa, bits of coffee, brownies come to mind.

T- Starts out with a yeasty fruitiness, with a good bit of chocolate. The finish turns to more coffee flavors and a bit of peach or fruit finish.

M- Spritzy carbonation with a lighter body.

D- pretty tasty porter, low abv is nice.

Greggy, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Kromes
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is pitch black, you can barely see the edges of the beer. There is a dense tan colored head that sits on top of the beer. Good lacing.

S: There is a very nice roasted malt aroma, some coffee, a little bit of hop, and some yeast aromas. Smells great, no off aromas.

T: The initial flavor is very chocolately and that gives way to a more roasted coffee and sweet toasted malt flavor. The finish is smooth with some bitterness imparted from the roasted malt and a faint hint of herbal hop.

M: The mouthfeel is light and smooth from the light carbonation. The finish is slightly dry.

D: A very nice porter. Delicious, light and low carbonation coupled with the low alcohol make this a very drinkable beer. The flavor is strong and that's the only thing keeping this from a 5.

Kromes, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of regspeir
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of a trade with Emmasdad, a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Poured almost black with a 2-finger head that never completely settled, leaving a 1/2" mocha colored froth. An oily residue was on the side of the glass but no real lacing. Nose was charred wood and some some faint chocolate. Taste was biscuity, sweet dark chocolate and a touch of coffee. Mouthfeel was thinner than I expected. There was some sticky, oily feel as well. Expectations always play a role in rating and I admit to having been disappointed. I will revisit this again, but for now...it was only ok.

regspeir, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of bamadog
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to alexgrahamlv for sending me this a while back in a trade. He's such a good trader that when I saw an ISO he put up, I jumped on the chance to set up another trade with him. Good stuff. Review is from notes taken on 6/8/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is dark brown/near black; starts with a near 1 finger tan head that fizzles out quickly like a cola; leaves a faint skim in the middle of the surface; body is entirely opaque and I can only see some faint hints of carbonation near the surface on the sides; a few spots of tan lacing and a thin oily residue is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Fantastic -- a nice burnt and robust roastiness from deep dark malts and what I can only guess is a longer boil; a mild hint of a very dark and semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of a soda-like sweetness; in all honesty, I'm reminded of brownies that just came out of the oven and are just a little burnt around the edges.

Taste: The dark, burnt roastiness is the most prominent aspect; the dark semi-sweet chocolate and a dark, earthy breadiness; all of this may sound really good and it's not bad, but the taste is a little thin and watery; the flavors aren't nearly as robust as the smell would lead me to believe.

Mouthfeel: Thin, a little watery, and even a little flat as the carbonation fizzles out quickly; a moderate stickiness is left on the roof and the body actually feels a little slick. I remember this beer being better, but I likely had it fresher as this one sat around for a couple of months before I got around to drinking it. If i get another one, it will be drank immediately and if there is a marked difference, I'll be editing this review accordingly.

Drinkability: Not bad, but the flavors didn't come across like I wanted them to, and the body was pretty weak. I'll gladly give another shot though.

bamadog, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep brown/black into a Duvel tulip with a thin film of coffee-colored head that quickly receded to a thin film.

Roasty aroma of coffee and chocolate malt. Moderate carbonation and a nicely balanced mouthfeel with cream, toast, coffee, and a lingering chocolate malt finish. Not overly complex, but smooth, rich, and super-easy to drink for a darker style.

This was the beer that made me enjoy beer when I first started drinking it. I drifted away for years before rediscovering it, and I don't know why I ever stopped! Top-notch.

grittybrews, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of bradleyp
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. I bought a 12oz. from the Bier Stein in Eugene, OR. Drank from a New Belgium snifter glass. A very dark beer with very thick coffee aroma. A nice hoppy taste with coffee, oatmeal, and a dark chocolate flavor. This beer goes well with a porterhouse steak, which I am enjoying while watching the Blackhawks game.

Try this beer if you get the chance to.

bradleyp, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of alpineclimber
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized wine glass, small white head that recedes into a ring of tiny white bubbles around the glass. The brew is very dark with red hues when held to the light.

The smell is light smokey malt.

The taste is of pleasant, sweet malt, coffee a touch smokey. The hops are just enough to let you know they are there. A very well balanced beer. Perfect mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

Awesome brew! It's a nice easy drinking beer, I could easily drink a handfull of these in one sitting.

alpineclimber, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown color, almost black, with garnet highlights and some nice brown foam. Aromas of chocolate and coffee, with a little roasted malt. More of the same on the palate, with some caramel and nuts and a little hop bitterness. Truly one of the best of the style.

emmasdad, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of farrago
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two fingers of tan foam, islands of larger bubbles speed up the dissolving, very good stick to the lacing. Pure black color, as if it's an imperial stout or something, you see some bubble beads rising along the glass sides, completely opaque, duh. The nose wisely chooses steady penetration rather than brute force, roasted coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate, blanched nuts, tar and earth, celery root, close to herbaceous at times, very little discernible fruit or citrus scents, maybe a drop of anise. Full-bodied, muscular and layered, more interested in posing fully flexed than displaying any fluid movement. The coffee roast, carob, dark chocolate still going on, maybe maple syrup or corn syrup. Here you get an interesting mineral water aspect which dries things out and focuses the aforementioned flavors, the mouth feel has some turbulence. Red apple, cherry, apricot fruit breaks the surface now and then. Muttered suggestion of orange peel. In the end, this is very craftily put together and while it does not always viscerally please it does continuously draw in your intellect.

farrago, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown pour with a light tan head that dropped to form an island of film in the middle of the glass, and a crowning collar around it. A few spots of lace are left behind. Big chocolate and caramel aromas blend with subtle dark roast notes to create a decadently smooth nose. The flavour doesn't disappoint either, and the combination of chocolate and caramel really take the edge off the roast and mellow it out. A hint of dark fruit and molasses add a bit of depth to this beer, but the chocolate steals the show for me. Smooth body suits the flavours excellently.

Far more simple than I imagined it would be, yet at the same time eminently drinkable. Its not in the same class as Edmund Fitzgerald, yet in many respects this is a more likely beer for sessioning. The smoothness of its flavour profile means the beer is gone before I know it, and it saddens me to know that there aren't any more in the fridge!

Thanks to BigBry for the bottle.

bobsy, May 31, 2010
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 4,689 ratings.