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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

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4,998 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,998
Reviews: 1,395
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 370
Gots: 766 | FT: 11
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: 4,998 | Reviews: 1,395 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffo
3.17/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mom and Dad brought this one over from their last trip south. Thanks guys.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A transparent brown pour makes a one finger, medium-thinner looking, tan head that’s quite noisy. Head fades down to a nice wisp. Dark brown body with medium-higher levels of carbonation evident. A ring and some splotchy lacing remain, leaving some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Dark malts, some dark chocolate and smoky, roasted malts. Decent strength.

TASTE: Dark malts, caramel, and some smoky, roasted flavors. A touch of bitter chocolate in there as well. Mild yet lingering aftertaste of dark and sweet caramel malt with a touch of hop bitterness after the swallow. A little mild on the finish, but enjoyable enough. Livened up as it sat as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation for the style. Quite creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes dry on the palate. Good feel.

OVERALL: Gets a lot of praise in the porter category, but doesn’t stand out in the style. Perfectly average porter. Needs a little more flavor to make it worthwhile. Perhaps another bottle down the road will make me change my mind, but for now, not one I’ll need to seek out. Thanks again guys.

Photo of beerman207
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Brought this back from Seattle.

A: dark brown in the glass with a 1 finger tan head that leaves some great lacing behind after a short while.

S: Nose is malt all the way with some light hops and some coffee, chocolate

T: flavor is like a chocolate whopper candy. Very smooth and good biscuit flavor as well.

M: a bit too carbonated and thin for my tastes

O: overall, this beer is a good porter nbut it's also a bit of a letdown. Our localngreat lakes Edmund Fitzgerald puts this one to shame IMO.

Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Inch high fizzy but thick head atop a dark brown/black porter. Average head retention with good lacing on the side of the pint glass.

S- Deep, dark chocolate.

T- Luscious chocolate in every sense. Coffee bitter aftertaste. "Nutty". Delicious...everything you'd want out of a (non-coffee/chocolate/vanilla/impy/-bal aged/etc.) porter.

M- Average mouthfeel/carbonation.

D/O- Flagship for the style? I wouldn't argue against it. Highly recommended for any straight porter fan or as a gateway to anyone new to the style. Easy drinking, low ABV, with tons of flavor.

Photo of doughanson78
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My First Porter. Re-reviewed on 7-10-2011.

A: Definitely a dark pour. As deep as brown gets without being black, little blood red hints when held to light. Nice fluffy 2 finger head. Good mocha color. Little carbonation. Good retention. Great lacing.

S: Very good roasted coffee/espresso aroma. Definitely some dark chocolate notes. Far from complex, but doesn't need to be. Just a clean straight to the point aroma.

T: Superb roasted malt flavor. Dark coffee. Nice dark chocolate notes. Nothing off about the flavor of this beer.

M: Medium bodied, a tad light, almost creamy, but not quite. Maybe the only tiny flaw in this beer. High carbonation.

O: An excellent Porter. Just a superb drinking beer. The beer that put Deschutes Brewery on the map I've heard.

Photo of stxSS07
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Killian's Pint

A- Pours a nice rich dark brown with a 2 finger khaki-colored head. Leaves excellent lacing.

S- Hit with chocolate, roasted malts, and hops immediately upon opening. Great smelling porter.

T- Sweet chocolate and roasted malt perform a tasty tango. A little bit of a hop presence is a welcome addition.

M- Surprisingly thin, although I don't think it takes anything away from the beer.

O- One of the best porters I've had. A classic example of the sum of the beer being greater than one individual part. I was really amazed at how refreshing this brew was and I wish I could have this in my fridge at all times. Let's go Deschutes!

Photo of OddNotion
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Captain Lawrence stemmed glass.

Appearance: One finger white tan head on top of a black body with ruby highlights when held to the light.

Smell: I could smell this one the second it started pouring. Classic chocolate and roasty smell. Some sweetness towards the end of the smell.

Taste: A little lighter on the taste than the smell would have me believe. Some light roastiness, chocolate is more or less hidden. Nice sweetness on the end of the sip. Solid for a porter.

Mouthfeel: A little more thin than expected. Would prefer it more creamy as well.

Overall: Its good but not the best in the style. No frills which I like, nothing added. I enjoyed it.

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black with a light brown head that left some lacing. It smells of sweet chocolate and espresso coffee. The taste is quite bitter, like coffee. Hops are detectable, but the flavour is masked by the strong coffee flavour. The mouthfeel is very thick. The aftertaste is mildly astringent. Overall, it's a pleasant beer. Nothing like a nice thick, pitch black, coffee-tasting beer.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5-7-11
Reviewed cold from a bomber to a glass

A – Poured one finger of foam, very dark brew with a nice tanish lacing ring, some carbonation present

S – Dark roasted malts, hints of caramel and chocolate

T/M – Medium bodied malty brew with a medium sweetness, no hop bitterness to speak of

D – Easy drinking porter can easily have more than of these in an evening. I recommend trying it if you like the style

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark brown with a slightly tan head. The lacing is reminiscent of a frosted window. 4/5

Smell- Chocolate and coffee. Some roasted malts. Good aroma. 4/5

Taste- Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Lip licking sweetness after each sip. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Porters always leave me wanting a bigger mouthfeel, but that is the way they should be. This one is a little thinker, but not by much. Very good. 4.5/5

Overall- Good solid porter. This one is better than some I have had and not as good as others. You can never go wrong with a Black Butte Porter 4/5

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

Deschuttes Black Butte Porter is a beer that I will always order if I find it on draft. However, it was only briefly available last year during Philly Beer Week here in Philadelphia and since then I've only had it when traveling or from trades. This is a very dark brown beer with a beautiful khaki head that slowly dissipates while leaving lacy draping foam on the sides of the glass as you drink it. The beer smells and tastes roasty but without the astringent burnt flavors. There is a nice grainy, almost nutty malt flavor but there is very little residual sweetness and great balance. A very good example of the style. I would prefer a bit more toasted malt and chocolate but other than that not much more to complain about.

Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Ginger Man in Austin , Texas.

Appearance is near black with a thin head. BBP smells of nuts, chocolate, coffee. The taste has more chocolate, the coffee is fairly low key, a good amount of roasted malts hits the palate as well. MF is medium with a creamy texture. This is a nice porter that I do not have access to in my home state of CT and was happy to have the opportunity to enjoy it.

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


Deep/dark brown giving a liquid dark chocolate appearance as the slightest bit of light shines through. One finger off white head recedes fairly quickly


Strong sense of sweet caramel malt with a hint of chocolate in the background. No real sense of hops are detected


Roasted malty flavor is the most pronounced. A bit of chocolate is evident but not as much as I would've expected based on the aroma. Hops are almost non existent.


Medium body with a moderate carbonation level. A roasted coffee taste makes an appearance and lingers in the aftertaste.


A decent porter. All in all, the variety of malty flavors do work pretty well together. The drawbacks are a little too much of an alcohol bite and a slight lack in hop bitterness.

Photo of dali27
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly black in color. Light brown bubbly head. Little lacing down side of glass. Typical porter appearance.

S: 1: Chocolate. 2: Roasted malts. 3: Dry hops.

T: Seriously a great tasting porter. Chocolate gives nice sweetness. Combined with the malts, there is an excellent sweet and smokey flavor. I taste more hops than normally in porter which adds more to bitter element.

M: Thin, but this doesn't take away from overall experience. Nice drinking beer.

O: I am loving drinking this beer. I wish that it was available to me locally. If it were, my fridge would never be without it. Well hopefully one of these days. Anyway, the next time I am somewhere I can get it, I am going to. Excellent!

Photo of BrianBoruma
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz pint poured into standard pint glass

A: Black, with ruby highlights when held to the light. Thin tan lacing.

S: Coffee and other roasty goodness. Definitely picking up the roasted malts, those smells predominate. Some hops are present but faint.

T: Sweetness from caramel malts leading to roasted chocolate and coffee finished off with some resiny hop presence. There's some delicate fruitiness there too, probably from yeast.

M: Medium full. A lot more carbonation than I expected, but given that it's on tap could be a bar thing. More carbonated than I expected given the style.

O: One of the best porters I've ever had. Quite drinkable.

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

Yay west coast beers!

A - pours jet black with a tan head.

S - roasty chocolate and coffee.

T - Follows nose with significant burnt roast flavors. A bit woodsy and a bit chocolatey. One of the more dry porters I've had with a good amount of hops... I think I prefer a touch of sweetness.

M - Carbonation is fine - feel is a bit creamy, which is nice.

Overall - a fine porter. I may prefer Great Lakes' and Smuttynose's takes on the style, but this is still solid.

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

Tulip glass.

Pours a dark coffee brown with a finger and a half of nice foam. Smell is roasted and chocolate malts with a slight burnt note. Taste is good, clean roasty malt. Solid carbonation on a medium body. Overall, this is a very drinkable porter that would pair excellently with a variety of foods.

Photo of Trilogy31
2.75/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours brown with a dark ruby edge with no head when it was delivered to my table. Faint notes of roasted malts and coffee, with a sour smell. Taste was just not good and feel that either there was an issue with glassware or the beer was infexted as it was very lean and watery and had a sour finish. Wouldnt mind trying again but cant do anything outside of considering this beer average and based on reviews that is a shame.

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

Poured a 12 ounce glass into a shaker pint glass. Best by freshness date of 10/10/11 clearly marked.

A: Nice, big creamy head that sticks around. Great chunky lacing tops a deep, dark body with just a hint of reddish tones. Not quite pitch black, pretty much spot on for what a well brewed porter should look like.

S: The nose is filled with some chocolate, a bit of caramel, vanilla pudding, and some roasted coffee. Just a touch of hops are hidden in the background.

T&M: Following the nose, but with a bit more pronounced roasted coffee and chocolate flavors than what I was able to pick up in the smell. Nice balance of flavors that range from the semi-roasted malts, to a note of wood, vanilla, charcoal, and some tingly, slightly grassy hops at the end to balance everything out. Some ester flavors shine through in the background that remind me of dark fruit. My only criticism of this nearly perfect porter may be just a bit too much carbonation in the mouthfeel. It's still very smooth, but man, I just have to be this picky with a beer I like so much.

D&Overall Notes: This and SN's Porter are the two American Style Porters that duke it out for my favorite. Both are world class, and I feel I really don't have to choose, as to me, Black Butte is a bit more of a hybrid porter, with characteristics of an English and American porter. Overall, this an awesome, drinkable porter. The flavors are just right, and while I complained a little about the carbonation above, this beer is by no means watery, and is a sheer joy to drink.

Photo of welldigger888
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice opaque black with garnet hues tan head and good lacing.

Smooth roasty grain coffee and bitter chocolate seems the dominate aromas.

Again, Roasted grains bitter chocolate black coffee a creamy finish.

Wow!!! The mouthfeel here is outstanding, creamy soft and thick.

World class brew here for sure!

Photo of ghetto90007
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap, poured into a pint glass at Todd English P.U.B. in Las Vegas City Center.

Pitch black, thin tan head, good lacing.

Roasted malt and notes of coffee in the nose.

Tastes of intense roasted malt, coffee, and a hint of chocolate sweetness. Dry finish.

Sharp carbonation for a beer this medium to full-bodied.

Overall a very enjoyable and drinkable porter.

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

This brew pours a dark cherry cola hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head and lacing here and there,the smell is very nice with aromas of dark belgian chocolate,bitter milky coffee and fruity hops,it has a rather smooth light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of bitter milky coffee first up followed by some mocha and finished with a slight hoppy fruitiness that is slightly bitter and overall its definately a nice hoppy american porter cheers.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with rose around the edges. Fairly light khaki head that fades semi quickly.

The smell is GREAT. Loads of coffee, caramel, and roasty chocolate.

The taste is along the lines of coffee with just enough bitterness to get by.

A solid beer that with 5.2% ABV you could drink a few and not have a problem.

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

Best by date on this says 4/7/11...20 days late shouldn't hurt this guy too badly.

A: Black pour with a full light brown head. retention is ok but the lacing is nice.

S: Caramel malts with a slight roastiness and some coffee in the smell. Chocolate is mixed in there as well.

T: Chocolate and roasted malts start this off. It seems to be almost smokey. Nice coffee finish lingers with you until your next sip.

MF: Heavy body with the right amount of carbonation. No hint of alcohol. Very dry finish.

O: Better than most of the porters I've had to this point. The watered down thing I normally experience is non existant. Roastiness and dryness takes over.

Photo of ehammond1
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark brown and ruby with a thin light tan head. Looks relatively thin and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. While relatively pretty in color, the body looks lacking and there's not much show on the glass.

That being said, the remaining aspects of this beer really shine. The aroma is a powerful one consisting of roasted malts, roasted coffee, some chocolate, and a bit of hops. If anything, there's actually too much roasted malt and coffee presence here, as it overwhelms much of anything else, but that being what it is, it's a fantastic and welcoming aroma.

There's more bitterness and hop presence here than I would have expected after smelling this beer. Though the beer is still mainly roasted malt, coffee, an essence of chocolate finds its way in. An accessible and delicious porter, and remarkably flavorful for having such low alcohol content.

The mouthfeel is appropriate for the style and the alcohol content, perhaps a touch thinner than where I would love it to be; all in all, very good.

An extremely delicious porter that packs a lot of flavor in a small package. This is the type of beer that converts people to craft. Well done!

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

12-ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass. "Best by 9-19-11" on bottle.

A: Nicely dark brown in color, with tan lacing/head. Bad pour on my part, not pouring much of a head.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate and a little coffee on the nose, along with a hint of smoke and charcoal, like the bits stuck to the grill grate. Also reminiscent of a Tootsie Roll and vanilla too.

T: More charcoal and definitely get the carbonized-grilled-meat-stuck-to-the-grate flavors. Then it moves on to the Tootsie Roll like flavor again, along with the roasted malt and burnt caramel.

M: I enjoy the dryness of the hop profile here. There is a hint of sweetness upfront, then the hops kick in to dry things out, while the finish leaves a faint impression of sweetness, but again the hops are there for balance. Pretty nice acidity for a porter. Dark-roasted malt flavors linger on the finish.

O: I have never been much of a porter guy, but if I can find others like this Deschutes Black Butte Porter, I'd certainly try them.

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,998 ratings.