Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

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4,840 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,840
Reviews: 1,364
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 353
Gots: 656 | 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:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 30

192 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
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Ratings: 4,840 | Reviews: 1,364 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

consumed 10-21-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Poured a very nice dark brown almost black. a nice ruby color is visible when in direct light. head was a creamy, tan, 2 finger head.. Smelled of dark roasted malts followed by hints of coffee & chocolate/toffee. Diving in I got a mouthful of toffee with a burnt sugar/coffee aftertaste. very rich in flavor. Finishes clean with a coffee like bitterness left on the palate. the mouthfeel is smooth & creamy. very solid porter that is easy to drink.

Photo of Khazadum
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thank you greatly to an individual who recently left Dallas, TX! He was kind enough to net me a bunch of Deschutes before venturing back north to my welcoming clutches. I really shouldn't have poured this into my snifter, but I'm a sucker for it! 12 ounces right in with a normal pour. Reviewed live and for my pleasure.

Hmm. A strong black body ( ruby edges and chocolate hues at times )with 3/4 finger worth of head that quickly dissipated. In fact, I had less than a minutes time to enjoy it before it flitted off into my apartment leaving me with a thread-like collar of pitiful bubbles. The thinnest island of bubbles struggles to survive in the center against the oppression of the world, only fueled by the gentle carbonation from the glasses base. Nothing amazing, nothing really good about it.

Very aromatic! Whoo doggy.. this guy was hitting my nose the second I started pouring with strong notes of carmels and malt. The smoky nature I was expecting is not the star actor tonight. In the grand musical directed by Deschutes, it would appear the star role was given to a positively delicious new gal. Her sweet nature brings a smile to my face as I discover she also has a darker side.

Her history is at first sweet.. delicious... tantalizing.. but quickly I notice she has secrets that lie in murky waters. There is this smokiness she won't let me through. The candies I at first notice have become attenuated, leaving me with a smoldering campfire.

Flavor Profile
I have been misled and deceived. There are no trays of caramels for me to taste here, or exciting new flavors. My tongue is surrounded on all sides by that stereotypical char. Burnt grains, charred wood, and smoked water all coalesce into what I expected... but leaves me wanting more. A few times I noticed bananas, but that is probably my imagination.

There is no alcohol nature to this brew, as to be expected for 5%, and the finish is distracting. Its an aftertaste that if I don't remedy with another sip, I am forced to fix by scraping my tongue with shag carpet. I want to pull my tongue out and trade for someone who has recently burned out all their taste buds to limit how strong it builds. To describe it simply, it is like drinking for 6 hours straight, falling asleep with my mouth stuffed with pillow, not brushing my teeth for an hour after I get up, and licking my incisors. Spot on. Other than that, the beer tastes alright.

Oral Sensations
The body is thankfully not clingy. If I had to taste that finish any longer at times, I may have drain poured this bad boy. I feel that the lack of presence is a gift rather than a problem. Little carbonation causes the minute amount of tingling upon my lips and soft palate. Not much to note here.

Sure, I'll drink this again to give it another chance. Would I recommend this for anyone? Probably not... maybe if I wanted to scare someone off of craft beer I would.

Its pretty easy to enjoy if you can avoid the finish with exact sipping intervals. Hell, if I was a quick drinker I might not have even noticed it. Its nice an low alcohol, so it wasn't a chore due to alcohol, but some other aspects certainly made me feel like I was 10 all over again.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

Pours a nice brown clear color with red highlights and a small yet bubble tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Really robust roasty aroma of fresh coffee, tootsie rolls and a slight bit of chewing tobacco. Sweet initially followed by bitter malts and slight overcarbonation on the palate. Really easy drinking and smooth. Good transition between the midpalate and the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth despite the over carbonation. Nice richness to it makes it a lighter version than many porters. Overall its a goood beer and would be great with spicy foods, but its not my bag. I judged this in terms of other porters.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: This beer pours black with brown highlights. It's a dark beer, but not as dark as a stout (which it shouldn't be). With a creamy tan head, it lasts throughout most of the drink leaving a lot of lace on the glass.

S: Not a lot going on in the nose of this beer. Chocolate malts are predominately the aroma with faint smells of brown sugar and booze.

T: The taste of this beer is quite pleasing although it's not as complex as some porters. You initially taste some sweetness- chocolate milk- and ends with a bitter finish- roasted coffee, malts, & some hints of hops. A dry aftertaste that is mostly lasting makes this a simple, but good beer.

M: A light to medium body & medium carbonation. Creamy or silky mouthfeel that is light and simple on the tongue.

D: This is one of the easier porters to drink. It's very simple, but good. A great way to introduce someone to a porter. Wouldn't say it's the best representative of the style, but I could definately throw a few of these back.

Photo of Bfarr
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just a hint of red short of black with a tan frothy head with decent retention and lacing. Aroma of carmelized smokey malts. Taste of a smokey sweet chocolate with some caramel and a hop presence that peek in an out with a little bit in the finish. Moderate carbonation with a silky mouth coating.

A really good easy drinking porter. A go-to porter for sure.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look - Dark brown/black. Unable to see light through it. Two finger's worth of foam that disipated fairly quickly.

Smell - The chocolate malts are evident in the smell. Any other smells are quite faint.

Taste - As expected there' s a chocolatey taste, as well as a hint of a coffee taste. Overall it's quite well-balanced, which only a slight thick-feeling aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - not nearly as creamy as I would have expected.

Drinkability - A very nice taste, along with a sublte or workable aftertaste. Good beer, worth coming back for.

Photo of STEG
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Delirium snifter, coutesy of jefferz5000. Smell has a lot going on, predominantly milk chocolate, coconut, coffee and dark fruit undertones. Taste is a bit different, you get the chocolate and coffee again but then it goes to a whole new level it adds smoke caramel and vanilla to the mix. Mouthfeel is silky smooth even from the bottle. Tons of these could be drank by me especially in late autumn/early spring.

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

A: Pours an opaque nearly black brown, with a small amount of bubbly tan head. A little retains, enough to leave reasonable lacing.

S: Primarily sweet, with notes of brown sugar, with a slightly bitter hint of coffee.

T: Sweet and full, but not overbearing, nicely balanced. Fairly complex but still very drinkable.

M: Medium body, light to medium carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable, would make a good session beer if you're in the mood for a porter.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from Twiaggamortis420 in the "Grillin and Chilin BIF"--- thanks Greg!

I poured this into a tulip pint glass.

This pours a deep red-- almost brown-- some [articulates float around like the early stages of life in the primordial ooze. The head is toffee colored and rose nearly 2 fingers. Excellent retention and nice thick lacing.

Smells roasty. Chocolate and coffee notes are huge and abundant. They come in on the taste as well-- nice up front sweetness that lasts long enough. A slight bitterness is there, but it isn't a hop bitterness as much as a cocoa bitterness. Very pleasant and smooth flavor but nothing that completely blows my mind. I could certainly drink several of these without any complaint, but this isn't one I'll be actively trading to pile up on.
The body is good- nice creamy feel with a medium body. Enough carbonation to help it along too.

Photo of biboergosum
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

20oz pint, at a pleasant little roadhouse in Kalispell, Montana, with of all people, my mom. Damned fine pizza too...

This beer appears a deep, dark reddish brown colour, with further mahogany highlights, and one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy off-white head, which settles at a rather lazy pace, eventually leaving some random splattered Swiss cheese lace around the glass.

It smells of dry roasted cocoa, softly bready caramel malt, mildly earthy lactated coffee, a bit of raisiny dark fruit, and floral hops. The taste is lightly toasted caramel malt, chocolate milk, subtly edgy vanilla, a touch of dry coffee grounds, and some mild earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is generally soft and innocuous, the body relatively medium-full in weight, somewhat creamy, and decently smooth. It finishes off-dry, the gritty chocolate malt bearing the brunt of some heretofore obfuscated hops, baying at the gate.

A very enjoyable, balanced new world porter, with tinges of the old country, and all the more agreeable as a dessert accompaniment. Imma gonna have to go up to the counter to find out what that is.

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

On tap at my local Flying Saucer, live review

A - Deep dark brown, borderline ebony color. Light lacing in the head, but dissipates quickly. Excellent looking pour.

S - roasted coffee, dark chocolate, hints of hops, almost no alcohol in the nose, almost a sugary sweetness to it.

T - holy sweet mercy this is one fine porter. Rich and full of flavor. Bittersweet chocolate combines with coffee and almost a touch of anise. A lght bitterness on the back palate combines with a slight sweetness on the front for a tremendous balance of flavor. Absolutely delicious.

M - this is the factor that blows me away on this beer. Not in the least bit heavy, the balance of flavor hits so many flavor profiles that you would expect from a richer more expensive stout, and still at the same time you have this easy to drink porter that keeps dragging you back for more. Rich, creamy, smooth, slightly bitter, and yet absolutely scrumptious.

D - as stated earlier, clean and easy to drink while still providing depth and body. A beautiful balance between high flavor profile and smooth taste. Wow.

Photo of jsprain1
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a rich coffee brown, bordering on black, with a shade-darker-than-khaki head that is rather thin, but retains itself rather well.
S- Dark chocolate, coffee grounds, a faint whiff of smoke, and just a shade of hops.
T- An absoltely sensational and layered beer, that begins with a rich roasted malt flavor, some dark chocolate and coffee flavors, and a spot on amount of hops to add some twang to it. Just the faintest bit of alcohol. Very very tasty.
M- Expertly smooth. Full bodied. A moderately dry finish.
D- Absolutely one of the best beers I've encountered, and I'd be hard pressed to name a better porter. It holds all of its characteristics well as it warms. While the complexity and richness of it does not necessarily lend itself to "refreshment," it makes for an excellent sipping beer. There are also a multitude of foods one could pair with this beer. Well done!

Photo of sonata2008
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Our nephew, who lives in Oregon, is a great fan of porters. He says this is his favorite beer. We can see why.

A: Very dark beer, deep brown, almost black. Opaque. About a finger width of tan foam that didn't stay around very long. Virtually no lacing.
S: Overwhelming roasted aroma, especially coffee, also some chocolate.
T: Dark roasted flavor, lots of mocha, coffee and chocolate, just a bit of hops at the very end.
M: Medium carbonation, silky mouth feel.
Drinkability: Very enjoyable, but more a sipping beer than thirst quenching.

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

On tap at OBF Brunch at Deschutes PDX, 7.22.2010.

Amber brown clear body, some visible carbonation, one finger light tan head, pretty quick dissipation with some lacing. Roasted malts dominate the nose, some caramel sweetness, light citrus hops. Taste mirrors the nose, not overly roasted, nice balance against the sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the style, not sticky, average effervescence. This is one tres drinkable beer, and a big surprise for those who think 'dark' beers are heavy. The PNW's best Porter in my opinion. Worth seeking out on tap.

Photo of bagpiper2005
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Dark opaque-brown with hints of red and a large, three-fingered, frothy tan head that retained extremely well and left some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma of coffee hits up front with underlying notes of chocolate and caramel malts, a small note of dark fruit, and a hint of earthy hops.

Taste: Starts off with sweet caramel taste that gives way into hints of chocolate and af faint licorice note. This moves into a pretty strong coffee taste and finishes off with a light hop bitterness that's very clean and no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body and carbonation, slightly creamy, and very smooth.

Drinkability: Drinks very well and just slides down the throat.

Final Notes: A really good beer to pair with barbecue/grilled foods or just by itself, and would be a great beer for someone looking to move to darker beers. Delicious.

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,840 ratings.