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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,912 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,912
Reviews: 1,379
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 368
Gots: 701 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 30

192 calories per 12 oz serving
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,912 | Reviews: 1,379 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Upon popping the cap there was a loud hissing noise and I poured into my DFH goblet. I decided to pour straight on and was left with a perfect three finger thick mocha colored head that was right at the tippy top of my glass. When I hold my glass up this baby is jet black with no light passing through. Almost looks like used motor oil, minus the heavy viscosity which is fairly light.


Loads of dry cocoa powder, roasty goodness, light coffee undertones, and burnt toast. As I let my glass warm up a little bit an aroma of scorched sugar and caramel are poking through with some molasses.


Wow, this is very dry but yet so drinkable. Lots of bakers chocolate and roast are front and center here, dry roast, almonds, and toast round out the middle with some coffee notes. In the finish there is brown sugar and had a slightly ashy finish but nothing off putting.

Photo of kemoarps
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a beautiful deep cola brown bordering on black, though with a slightly disappointing tan head that faded fairly rapidly leaving little lacing. The smell is that of roasted malts, somewhat smoky and a hint of chocolate.
The tongue follows the noses lead and is powered by dark cocoa with woody coffee notes touched upon as well.
the carbonation is higher than I am accustomed to in a beer this dark, but that is not as much of a problem as I had expected. It still rolls around quite smoothly and finishes well on the back end. There is a bitter follow up with that dry bakers chocolate type finish.
I can and have drank several bottles of this in one night.
I really enjoy this beer. it's a great draft from a great brewery. If you see some on the shelf, definitely grab some.

Photo of Gmann
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark brown color with a small yet tight khaki colored head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is of milk chocolate and wood. There is some brown sugar sweetness and some light caramel. Not very strong but nice.

The taste is of semi-sweet chocolate, some breakfast blend coffee, sour berry, and wet tree bark. Caramel notes add some sweetness. Good earthy flavors.

Moderate feel with very crisp carbonation. Starts off sweet on the palate and finishes slightly bitter. I love that this is 5.2%.

This is a very flavorful standard porter. I could drink these all day.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

aquired on recent trip to Colorado this past Fall.

A-black with nice head for a moderate pour brownish white head.

S-roasted coffee, chocolate, malt.

T-follows the smell, but way more flavorful than you expect.

M-Creamy and smooth; absolutely delicious!

D-very high drinkability.

I LOVE THIS PORTER! Amazing beer! I can't wait to try the barrel aged version of this beer Black Butte XXII, someday...

Photo of echoes
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a glass.

A: Dark black/brown in color. Possibly the darkest colored beer I've tried. Head is tan/sand colored. It dissipates rather quickly and leaves noticeable lacing.

S: Roasted malts, hops, smoke, coffee, chocolate and perhaps a bit of spice. All these scents blend together to make a quite pleasant smell.

T: See the smell above. All those scents are present as flavors as well. As well as they blend together as far as the smell is concerned, they blend together even better for the taste. It's hardly bitter at all. The smoke flavor compliments the other flavors very well. Overall one of the best tasting beers I've had in quite a few months.

M: Thick-bodied. Foamy. Feels quite good.

D: Great drinkability. Could have another. It tastes good enough that I might more than one extra bottle if I felt like it.

Awesome porter! Fits the American Porter style quite well. There may better ones but there are definitely many ones that are worse. Love everything about this beer. Definitely give it a try if you come across it!

Photo of StaveHooks
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown color with garnet edges. 2 finger khaki head sinks fast at first but then slows way down to form a thick collar.

S - Roasted espresso bean oil, toasted grain bread, hints of chocolate and amaretto.

T - Straight chocolate bar with chalky cocoa presence. Some sour and tart berries, blackberries and under ripened raspberries. A faint smokey malt resides in the background throughout. A humble amount of coffee grinds adds more to the robust flavors. Aftertaste is a dry roasty chocolate flavor.

M - Light to medium bodied. Perfect carbonation.

This seems like a light bodied porter but the flavors meld very well. It's the flavors I look for in a porter but seems a tad light on the overall flavor. Beautiful roasted character with the raspberries. This is a must try porter!

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass. Despite the name, the beer doesn't come out completely black, more of a dark brown with lighter brown/amber edges. A big off-white/cream colored head, it sticks around for a little while. Not a heck of a lot of lacing.

The smell is probably the best feature of the beer. Very complex, with an excellent combination of roasted malts and hops. Chocolate and coffee notes are present with a touch of grains and maybe a little hay. Like most porters the malt side smells a bit stronger, but the hops are certainly present in this nice combination.

The taste is very good too, picks up where the smell takes off. It really goes after all of your taste buds. The chocolate present here is bitter and some coffee tones again. Well hopped, earthy probably slightly piney. I don't know what it is but there is somthing slightly sour in the flavor too. It's very tasty.

Mouthfeel is good, smooth and silky while maintaining full bodied effect. Well carbonated, almost too much but hidden well by the liquid texture. Extremely drinkable, beer I'd like more of it.

Thanks to ZX6Chris for this one as an extra in a trade, good trader we'll have to do business again sometime.

Photo of juju7
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head to speak of.
Really pleasant roast and powdered chocolate malt nose. A bit of a swirl shows up a bit of green hops at the back. Palate is full, smooth and balanced. More of the same chcolate, malt, roast flavours lining up nicely. Bitterness is mild with a medium finish. Really good.

Photo of corby112
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Pours a dark brown hazelnut color with mahogany edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger foamy tan head that slowly fades. Minimal spots of lacing.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma that is slightly smokey with subtle hoppiness and hints of caramel and nut.

Lighter end of medium bodied with some nice bitter earthy hops up front that linger throughout balancing out the roasty chocolate malt notes. Slightly yeasty/bready with hints of caramel and hazelnut and a sweet dry chocolaty malt finish. Decently balanced and fairly quaffable.

Photo of nhindian
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. A generous extra courtesy of thedindaniel, thanks Daniel!

A - Pours a very dark brown, nearly black color, with mud brown highlights. Completely opaque. Can see some carbonation sticking to the bottom of the glass, but besides that, it's too dark to see any other activity. Built around a 1-fingered, tan head with low retention. Very faint lacing.

S - Smell is of a freshly roasted pot of coffee. Espresso dominates, but is supported by chocolate, bread, and alcohol. Deep and enticing, and with a bit more oomph to it than would be expected.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, yet more mild and refined. It's easy to get the aforementioned coffee and bittersweet chocolate, but it's very smooth and not abrasive in the least. Actually, it's a bit too mild. I would like to see the bitterness and roasted component make a bit more of an impact, as it just briefly flashes before moving onto a hoppy finish.

M - Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and bubbly with high carbonation. Unfortunately the finish is a bit watery, and not much flavor in the aftertaste.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. It certainly goes down easy, but the flavors just come and go too quickly. I would've liked to see some more flavor impact, but if I were looking for something to drink a lot of during a game, I could see this as being a candidate.

Photo of Vdubb86
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to Lenny1203 for this beer from the N00B BIF 2

This beer pours a rather dark brown color with ruby shadings when held to light, with a finger of beige foam that fades to just barely being on the surface. The smell is not overwhelming, but it does seem to consist mainly of coffee notes and a hint of caramel. There are some generic fruity esters in the background too faint to really pin down. There is a hint of smoke to the coffee and caramel flavorings that really makes this a pretty darn good beer. It has a nice zesty feel to it without being overbearing and I could seriously drink this beer all day long. It's really one of the better porters that exist on the market and I'm so glad that I was sent 2 of these.

Photo of ratedz
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/black with a thin tan head. The head dissipated fairly quickly and left very little lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of roasted malts and chocolate. Excellent smelling brew.

The taste echoes the nose with loads of rich chocolate and roasted malts. Subtle hints of bitter coffee notes blend in nicely. Finish is slightly dry and earthy.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Smooth with a little bit of a tingle on the tongue from the carbonation. This is an excellent porter and given the excellent taste and moderate ABV, it is very easy to drink.

Photo of greygooose
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the most commonly available beers citywide and this is the first time I'm taking the time to review it. One of those brews you just take for granted some times.

A - pours an appealing black as night with mahogany highlights when holding up the glass against the light. great looking one inch tan head that slowly dissipates as the glass is emptied.

S - really malty, chocolaty, roasted barly, nutty, with no apparent hops in the mix, slightly sweet

T - more malt-o-rama, nutty (almonds?), chocolate, jammy, delicate hops

M - warming alcohol, slightly chewy, medium body, with a pleasant finish

D - a very approachable solidly crafted porter. i'm not the biggest fan of this style so for me the drinkability is so-so, but for fans of porters this is a must try.

Photo of amcmaho1
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Basically one of the beers that got me into craft, and subsequently one of my favorites; with which i have great sentimentality.

Appearance: Great big frothy off white/creme colored head, which dissipates rather quickly and leaves some lacing. The porter itself has a great neo-classical dense reddish brown body. A beautiful presentation.

Smell: Hints of vanilla and sweetness are faint on the nose. The smell isn't necessarily all that prevailing, and actually quite subdued. Where the smell has it's potential shortcomings, the taste makes up for it tenfold.

Taste: Rich, chocolaty, malty, sweet, bitter. A great complexity of flavor, working together, allowing each constituent element to shine through equally. The aftertaste is oaky and earthy, with plenty of interplay with the hops used.

Mouthfeel: The quintessential mouthfeel with this beer. Ample carbonation, mild stickiness and chewiness, and strong finish.

Drinkability: One of my all time favorite beers. drinkability is very very high.

Photo of Pellinore1
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mdogg for bringing a couple of bottles when he came to visit Chicago.

Pours a deep brown into a pint glass, leaving a finger or so of light tan head.

The smell is all about the malts. Dark and roasty, maybe a little chocolate.

The flavors begin with a deep, dark roastiness, as the smell would suggest. A little hop bitterness then comes through, followed by bready and chocolaty sweetness.

This beer is light to medium-bodied, with light carbonation. Smooth on the tongue, this is quite drinkable.

Overall, a very good beer. I tend to enjoy porters, and this is better than most.

Photo of sfz
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a thick, black, ooze of porter-y goodness. Not much of a head, but no complaints here.

S - Chocolate, coffee, cocoa. Hints of caramel, maybe?

T - Smooth dark chocolate and coffee flavor. Leaves slight bitterness in the mouth that makes you want more.

M - Smooth with low carbonation.

D - Owing to the exceptional taste, ease of drinking, and low ABV, this is undoubtedly a great session beer. A sixer of this was only $6.99 at Safeway and I'm glad I decided to pick this one up. Should be good for Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of CapitalGains
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass.

Visual: about one-fourth of an inch of a light caramel lacing that fades pretty quickly. Deep brown core color with mahogany/amber highlights around the periphery. Leaves little residual lacing as the beer is consumed.

Smell: light-medium chocolate scents, a hint of smokiness and cocoa

Taste/Mouthfeel: toffee, a light amount of smoked malts, a faint hint of berries, chocolate and cocoa; mouthfeel is fairly carbonated but pretty light

Drinkability: very easy to consume several without impairment, making it quite sessionable while remaining delicious. There have been several nights where I've drank a six-pack and felt great.

All-in-all it is a fantastic porter for its availability and price. From a price-to-quality perspective this beer probably warrants an A. I can usually pick up a six-pack for six to seven dollars.

Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into pint glass.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights Average-sized tan head that fades to a layer of lace and sticks to the glass.

S: Coffee, cocoa, roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate.

T/M: See notes on "smell." The bittersweet chocolate and cocoa are most present in the taste, followed by a medium roast coffee flavor with minimal bitterness. Rich finish, like a good hot chocolate or cafe mocha. There's some dark fruit in there as it gets warmer, too -- maybe blackberries; it's sweetness and just a bit of acidity, possibly a part of the carbonation bite. Body is moderate but not too thick.

D: Excellent session porter. Nice balance of flavors; would be great paired with grilled/roasted steak or game.

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was my favourite porter until I found founders porter. Alas...

A: Dark brown to black, a bit of red shows up when held up to the light. All-right brown head with average lacing.

S: Deeply roasted chocolatey malts. The hop bitterness as blends well with the sweetness of the malts. Nutty and coffee flavours as well.

T: A smooth dark drink. Roasted grains, chocolate and a bit of hop bite dominate this porter. It's depth falls a little short of perfection; however, it is a great example of the style.

M: Mostly silky and a touch spicy, the beer floats above your tongue and then coats your mouth after you swallow. It leaves a great taste behind.

D: I can't imagine it being more drinkable than it already is. Also, the ABV is low, so you don't have to stumble about all night long.

Photo of MissYaJim
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my favorite Arrogant Bastard glass..which all beers are poured into.

Loved the color

The smell was immediately dark chocolate

The taste reaffirmed of that chocolate smell. Incredible Chocolate/Coffee taste. To me this is a great example of a porter and how it differs slightly from a stout. A bit more accessible to the uninitiated.

Instant favorite

Photo of Strix
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark translucent reddish-brown, good initial head, some lacing.

Smells of roastedness, caramel, and coffee.

Very well balanced, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, with a slight hop finish. Flavors blend together well with no off-notes.

Mouthfeel smooth, low carbonation.

This is super drinkable. Not an extreme beer, but very tasty.

Photo of soze47
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Red Bones NW Fest on 11/09/10

Appearance: Dark black body with brown highlights when light strikes it.

Aroma: Chocolate malt and herbal hops. Overall roastiness to it.

Taste: Definitely roasted malts upfront. Chocolate malt comes next, followed closely by herbal hops. Nice balance of flavors and good hop presence for a porter. Rather robust as you drink more of it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Hearty on the palette, yet light in body. However, this does drink like a rich beer and fills you up.

Overall: I liked this one a lot. Like a great porter, it packs a wallop of robust flavor without having to be a huge ABV or imperial beer. One of my new favorites in the style.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a color that is bordering on black, which I suppose is fitting. The nose is dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee--just what I expect from a good porter. Really nice bold scent. The taste scales it back just a bit, but has the same general tenor. Good, slightly-dry feel with a nice body. Another hit from Deschutes.

Photo of Naugros
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I visited Arizona and bought three Deschutes offerings and this was my favorite.

From the color the name of the beer should be Very Dark Brown Butte, but that's splitting hairs since no porter (or stout for that matter) is truly black. However, this is less black than other porters I've had. The head is tan and about a quarter of an inch thick to begin, but dissipates quickly leaving a film with islands of of bubbling carbonation. Had I seen this in a stout it would have fallen in rating considerably, but this is a porter and head is not as important in that style.

The smell? Well, it smells like a porter. Roasty with coffee accents and no hops presence.

The taste? Well, it tastes like a porter. Roasty with coffee accents and no hops presence. Any bitterness comes from the roasted malts. The coffee is a bit more subdued on the tongue than in the nose.

The mouthfeel is nearly perfect for a porter. It's not too heavy and not watery at all, as many that I have had tend to be. It may have reached a 5 if the carbonation hadn't been so high.

This is one of the most drinkable porters I've ever had...I could have easily chugged this one down.

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a craving for a good porter/stout tonight, and decided to give this one a revisit!

A - pours a very deep dark, almost black brown, with a two finger tan/sepia head that quickly recedes to a bubbly lacing.

S - Smell is of roasted espresso, cocoa, and caramel. I detect a hint of black licorice too!

T - A finely balanced, silky smooth blend of roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes, with just a hint of caramel, and leaning ever so slightly on the sweeter side than hoppy. Lots of flavor for a session-friendly beer!

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and silky smooth w/very light carbonation.

D - One of the most drinkable porters out there, and it accomplishes this feat WITHOUT sacrificing flavor! big points here.

Overall - Whether you're looking for a first porter or stout to try, or you're just in the mood for something more sessionable than the bigger imperial stouts, this one consistently takes the cake as one of the best session porters in the NW. Even as I've become more into bigger, badder ales these days, this one still has a welcome spot in my fridge for sure.

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,912 ratings.