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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

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5,051 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,051
Reviews: 1,404
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 381
Gots: 829 | 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
View: Beers (155) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,051 | Reviews: 1,404
Photo of claytong
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - black, but dark dark brown when put up to light. looks roasty even. minimal to no head off controlled pour. lacing stays around the edge of glass.

smell - roasted chocolate malts. pretty plain, but pretty nice.

taste - follows the nose, pretty simple but highly enjoyable.

mouthfeel - a little gritty. creamy but a bit light at the same time

Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 3/10/11; consumed 5/22/11

A - Pours deep brown with one finger of creamy tan head. head dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Chocolate and roasted malts. Smell is pretty subtle, but what is there is nice.

T - Taste is similar to smell. Primarily chocolate malts and some nice roasted character as well. A bit earthy on the finish. Simple, clear and enjoyable with a subtle hop presence.

M - A little thin but still maintains some creaminess.

O - A very solid porter, but the thin mouthfeel leaves it a step below the best.

Photo of DavidST
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in the bottle before, this is the first time I had it on tap and I'm pretty sure it was fresh.

This was poured with a one finger head which remained for most of the beer and left a nice lacing line with each sip, the color was a dark brown almost black color.

The smell was good, I mostly get dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. Mouth feel was good, medium thickness, a little thinner than a stout. The taste is pretty good, it seemed a little bit more flavorful than I remembered, I get some roasted malts, with a dark chocolate and coffee aftertaste which lingers for a bit, very good. Overall this was pretty fantastic, I ended up having a couple of them.

Photo of codfeast
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle to chalice.

A: dark brown, small head that quickly disolved, no lacing.

S: a bit of chocolate, and coffee. and I do smell a hint of vanilla.

T: a bittersweet start with a nice roast coffee finish that lingers in the mouth.

M: Feels much lighter than it looks, call it a medium. nice prickly carbination on the tounge. dry finish.

O: Really is greatly balanced. flavors are rich yet somehow subtle, easy to drink. my go to dark.

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

Pours a dark, near black color, brown highlights against the light with cap of off-white head. Scent is moderately roasted with notes of sweet milk chocolate, some notable earthy and lightly fruity hop notes in the background. Taste well balanced between the sweet and roasty, neither overpowers. Solid notes of milk chocolate and some dark fruit appear before a kiss of earth and a quickly splash of citrus. Medium bodied, a tad thicker than other porters, carbonation in check. A solid traditional porter which does not attempt to be bolder than the style dictates.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Deep brown, nearly black, but not opaque. Some light penetrates the edges. I get no head or lacing. Kinda odd. It seems carbonated, just looks lifeless.

Smell - Chocolate and vanilla aromas. Roasted barley. Interesting sweetness that manifests itself as vanilla. Nice.

Taste - Chocolate, with a bitterness up front, which is surprising. Light bitterness, but there nonetheless. Vanilla sweetness in the middle. A light sweetness, but strong vanilla flavors. It finishes with a nice coffee flavor. All the flavors are light, but distinct.

Mouthfeel - Very light and almost watery, even for a low ABV porter. I get carbonation, even though my bottle didn't show much life.

Overall - Nice, easy drinking porter. A little too easy drinking, perhaps, but nice.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door today. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Deep brown at the bottom, progressing to opaque black towards the middle and through the top of the glass. There is a full inch of creamy and fluffy head that sits on top. There are sticky 1/2-cm rings of lace that are all interconnected over the first inch or two of the glass, moving to a full wall of stickiness from there on down.

The aroma is of chocolate, roasted coffee, and some caramel notes. Moving into the flavor, the I like that the acrid roastiness comes through stronger than it did in the aroma. It certainly is more dominant than the caramel. Very nice. Some sweet chocolate comes through with the bitter roasty notes, pulling this from stout-like back into the porter realm.

Silky, creamy, and perfectly textured, this mouthfeel can't be beat. This gives Edmund Fitzgerald a run for its money in the "My Favorite Porter" race. It leaves slick chocolatey and roasted flavors on my palate. Delicious all around.

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

Pours a clear dark brown with a small tan head. Roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee with roasted root vegetables, lettuce, celery, and corn husk aroma. Taste follows aroma well. Smooth in the mouth. Nice roasty toasty brew. Quaffable and well rounded.

Photo of annawees
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured on tap in to a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, almost black/ruby color, incredibly rich.

S: Chocolate and coffee with hints of.. vanilla?

T: Tastes how an A rated beer should taste. The flavor is rich, and sweet- but not overtly sweet like a milk stout. You certainly still have flavors of the barley which really balances out.

M: So incredibly smooth! It even was delightful going down in 37˚ C weather and the last little warm drops were even delightful.

Photo of blakelive784
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass:

A - pours a rich, dark ruby/brown color. Has a thick, tan and creamy head with good retention. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass as it recedes.

S - Strong chocolate aroma balanced by a hint of vanilla. Some faint coffee aromas arise as well. Nice roasted barley scents balanced by a bitter hops smell.

T - Chocolates followed by a light coffee flavor. The sweet but smoky flavors of the barley predominate.

M - Incredibly smooth. Could be a more dry on the finish.

Well built porter, and highly drinkable. I'd have this one again.

Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl brown glass bottle with a standard pressure cap served into a Westvleteren mini-goblet in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Four finger head of lovely cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention (though the ABV is average). Colour is a solid nontransparent extreme brown-black ruby.

Sm: Vanilla, raw chocolate, nice cream, and wonderful barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Vanilla, raw chocolate, light coffee (only from the climax through the finish), a restrained allowable foundation of full barley, and a slight caramel tone. Complex enough, well built, and nicely balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too wet for a porter, but luckily not too thick.

Dr: Average ABV, easy drinkability, high quality, and a low price make this beer one any beer fanatic would enjoy.

Photo of lurpy1
3.02/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

That's all there is??? Really?

Pours an attractive deep brown with a nice thick head and good lacing.

Smell is an absolute head scratcher: There is none, or rather, there is very little. I'm not alone in thinking this - my 11-year old loves smelling the beers I'm trying and even he couldn't pick up much scent. Disappointing.

Likewise, taste was thin, very light notes of coffee and malt. But I wouldn't call it "subtle", I'd call it "weak". I'll acknowledge the taste came out a bit as it warmed, but only a bit. Still not what you'd call pronounced or even pleasantly nuanced.

I like porters/stouts and other Deschutes beers I've had passed muster, and this is one of the most beloved porters on the site, so my hopes were sky-high. Not sure what happened here. It wasn't unappealing, it just wasn't very impressive. Disappointing, but it's hard to imagine I'm right and everyone else is wrong. I plan on getting another bottle and seeing if it leaves a different impression.

UPDATED 9/12: Had another chance. Same verdict: Meh.

Photo of chugalug06
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice pourability. Great black color with straw foamy head. Awesome Tiers too.

S - Lots of deep chocolate and molasses. Some nice pine and coffee. There's a slight barf scented undertone...

T - Lots of big coffee! Some nice chocolate too. Wonderful caramel flavor gives deep flavor.

M - Perfect.

O - Definitely my only "real" go-to beer. Always awesome!

Photo of Tamarack22
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber 3.50
Best By Date: 7/23/2011

Appearance is dark brown with a deep red hue. Tan colored foam head rises quickly; subsides to a creamy head, lots of lacing. Smells of milk chocolate followed by a malty roasted aroma.

Taste is complex, flavors similar to the aromas. Noticeably smooth drinking, creamy. Good carbonation helps deliver a really clean but flavorful porter. Lots of chocolate/malt flavors, more sweet than bitter, with a nice roasted quality. Hop flavor is the least detectable but provides a good balance.

Overall this is a great porter. Black Butte has a lot of great qualities with none of them overwhelming. The balance and consistency of this beer is amazing. Very smooth and drinkable; it’s difficult to set the glass down.

Photo of rwinzing
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer as an extra in a trade. Thanks to my many trading partners.

Poured a black almost stout color into my pier one snifter. Had a slight brown head gentle lacing on the side.

Smell is a bite smeet not overpowering. No hop presence which is expected being a porter.

Touch of the roast in th3 aroma as well

Taste very nice nto overpowering flavor nice roast flavor touch of sweetness in the backend

mouthfeel-bit light would like a fuller feel

overall and outstanding porter wish I could get more of easily

Photo of Psydrith
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Creamy tan head is light and pleasant but suffers from poor retention. Dark brown body with an amber hue showing when held up to the light.

S: In almost equal proportion it smells of milk, hops, cream and roasted malts with a slight leaning in favor of the milk and cream.

T: First sip is cream interspersed with bitter mildly grassy hops. As I continue to drink the milk and roasted malt flavors are evident as well with a hint of chocolate. The aftertaste tastes of hazelnut. (I must note that on paper and thinking about it I expected something of a coffee taste, but the taste is unique from that.) Not overly complex in flavors but it utilizes what it has perfectly, the whole IS greater than the sum of the parts on this one.

M: Creamy, smooth, and balanced mouthfeel. Not too light, not too heavy, just right for a porter.

D: Very drinkable, exceedingly smooth, and it masks the alcohol with ease. All of the flavors are tied together so well I can't see it offending any ones palette. Goes down like a draught nitro-beer (This is drinking it from a bottle.) Could easily be a session beer or an introductory to darker beer for those accustomed to lighter styles.

O: This is one of the best examples of a porter I've ever had. I would recommend it to everyone wholeheartedly; try it! It gives a pleasant drinking experience through and through. The only fault I could find was the poor head retention, but it excels so much in every other department that it's easy to forget(and this coming from someone who loves a deep head). What sets it apart from the rest is the perfect balance and smoothness that I can't reiterate enough.

Photo of matttttYCE
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I've done XX for my 20th review and XXI for my 21st, but alas, I don't think I'd ever get my hands on XXII, so I'm reviewing regular Black Butte Porter in it's place. Bottle date is Best By: 11/14/11. I'd say it's pretty fresh.

Appearance - Moderate pour rate into my Deschutes pint yeilds a high, 2 finger foamy head of very light tan color. Lace is pretty sticky and the head sticks around for longer than I expected. Color of the beer itself is a deep dark brown, mostly opaque, with a ruby tinge when held to the light. Looks good.

Smell - I can tell it's a porter right off the bat. Nice and light, creamyness and light sweetness to this one, with bitter and milk chocolate, roasted malts, and lighter coffee notes. A bit of brown sugar hiding in the back there too. Maybe even some very slight hints of vanilla. Other than that, mostly just a very inviting smelling porter.

Taste - Light and dry on the palate, with just the right mixture of ligher roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, a bit of coffee bite, some smooth milk chocolate, and I also get some subtler hints as well. Things like vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit, and some caramel. Really a very nice tasting porter. I can see why Deschutes has so much success with the imperial anniversary versions.

Mouthfeel - Nice and light but not too thin and watery. Consistency is light and silky, carbonation is light-medium, body is the lighter side of American Porters, and the finish is very smooth and a bit dry but nice.

Overall - Overall a very nice porter. The first time I had this I was actually pretty blown away. At the time I had not been much into dark beers at all and it was really a wake up call that there were so many other, different things out there that I might enjoy besides Pale Ales and IPAs, etc. Maybe I'm partial because Black Butte Porter brings back fond memories of good friends and simpler times. Maybe I'm partial to beers from the PNW, my future home. Maybe I'm partial because I love XXI so much. Maybe Black Butte Porter is just a very good example of the style, up there with the likes of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. You be the judge.

Photo of 2BDChicago
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Bear fur brownish black. Neat and full, tan, small bubble foam of brief endurance.

S: Soft milk chocolate with distinct sweet grapefruit overlayed on the back. Digging deeper maybe some type of dark sugars and faint coffee. All parts blend well in a inviting melange of fruit and sweets.

T: Not very sweet, but some variations of the nose fruit scents. Definately some roasty malts emerge is a supremely reserved manner. Soft and low medium mouthfeel. Moderate levels of carbonation, in no way a fizzy beer.

O: Not as big as I thought this beer would be, and I mean that is a positive way. First, very sessionable, ok more likely on a fall/winter night. But the porter/stout fan will find that this beer will do rather nicely. The levels of dryness, malt sweet, and roastiness are in well porportioned balance. At the same time brewer manages to inject a WC skew that keeps it real and interesting. Very nice job.

Note: This brewer date stamps, this bottle was best by 10/3/11.

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

A- Pours a dark, coffee brown with some reddish mahogany edges. Produces a finger of creamy light khaki head that becomes a persistent film. Nice lacing. If the head on this beer had been just a bit thicker this would have been a 5.

S- Lots of dark roasted malts with some chocolate and coffee.

T- Super, super malty with huge roasted malts, a bit of slightly acidic coffee, chocolate. Balanced by some floral hops in the background. Has a nice roasted, semi-dry finish.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation and a very smooth, creamy feel.

O- A great porter, very tasty and drinkable and a great representative of the style. This is the perfect beer to give to that friend who is scared of dark beers. Another solid offering from Deschutes.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: 1/2" mocha coloured head that leaves a nice lacing over extremely dark brown / cola coloured liquid.

S: Licorice, coffee, and malt.

T: Coffee, malt, and yeast. Leaves a nice aftertaste.

M: Thin viscosity with a low level of carbonation. This particular pint did not have the same mouth feel as I remember, when I tried this beer in Portland.

O: Very drinkable, but I wasn't impressed with the mouth feel of this particular pint.

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

12oz bottle (best by 9/19/11) poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours dark brown, almost black, dark though I can see through the tapered bottom a bit. Finger and half of light mocha brown head that slowly dissipates leaving a bit of ring lacing.

S: Very dark and robust roasted malts, dark chocolate, a little espresso, hint of vanilla.

T: Dark roasted malts on the verge of char (not in a bad way) and a little floral hops are up front with bitter dark chocolate and molasses coming in the middle. There are hints of vanilla coming through in the middle to finish. By the finish it's very creamy and smooth and leaves an aftertaste of roasted barley with a hint of molasses and slight bitterness.

M: Medium to slightly light bodied, moderate carbonation. Above average smoothness and creaminess.

O: A solid porter that hits the style marks perfectly. The smoothness and creaminess are a must in Porters for me and this delivers. A cut above most with a decent level of complexity and overall "it works" in the flavor profile. I'd definitely drink this if it were available to me, but I wouldn't say it's necessarily worth trading for (which I did, but as an extra might make more sense).

Photo of kflorence
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Importing an old rating from my ratebeer account.

Pours very dark brown and smells heavily of roasted malts and molasses. The flavor is heavily dominated by roasted malts, but the beer also offers some complexity with notes of chocolate, molasses, nuts, fruit (prune?) and nice balance of hops in the finish. This is actually a very nice beer; even though it’s dark, it’s fairly light bodied and very drinkable. A very nice example of a well-balanced porter, perhaps slightly on the malted side, but I enjoy that.

Photo of angelogarcia3
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very good porter. Medium dark color and thin dark head with aromas of roasted malts. Flavors of dark chocolate, bittersweet, and full bodied mouthfeel. It also went well with Kobe beef burger with blue cheese we had at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

Photo of vkv822
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours dark brown, near black with a foamy light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The aroma is cocoa and lightly roasty malts. Delicious aroma!

The taste is fairly roasty upfront, with hints of cocoa in the backing.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with fairly active carbonation.

A fairly decent beer, though I probably won't seek it out again.

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

Appearance. Pours a near black with just a little red-brown light getting through. Finger of tan head.

Smell. Toasty grains, earthy hops, a little chocolate and roasted nuts. Nice.

Taste. Roasty grains, a little caramel and chocolate, some grassy hops.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, on the lighter side for the style. Medium, slightly prickly carbonation.

Overall. Easy drinking porter. Great stuff from a reliable brewery.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,051 ratings.