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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

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5,058 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,058
Reviews: 1,407
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 382
Gots: 834 | 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: 5,058 | Reviews: 1,407
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.

Photo of bayougutter
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of 11-14-11
Poured a dark, watery mohogany with a inch and half almost white head. The head lasted for quite a while. Nice looking brew.

smell: A little muted but I get roasted malts, toffee, a little dark fruits with a little coffee thrown in. Good aroma just a little muted.

taste: A bit of burnt malts, then the dark fruits followed by a hint of chocolate. Finished with a slight coffee bitterness. Nice crisp dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice crisp dry finish as a porter should.

Overall: A solid beer from a solid brewery. I enjoy a good porter every now and then, and enjoyed this one.

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

Big thanks to ThoreauLikeAGirl for the excellent extra!

a - cracked the bottle open and filled my CCB snifter. poured a watery black with a thin off-white head that vanished quick.

s - big roasted malt taste. some chocolate malts as well. burnt malts.

t - again, big burnt roasted malt. somewhat one dimensional, but most porters are. some chocolate undertones...burnt malts is the dominant flavor.

m - sharp and watery, just like a porter aught to be. crisp.

o - overall solid porter, nothing earth shattering, but again, deschutes continues to impress with good beers across the board.

Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Lucky 13, in San Francisco.

Black Butte Porter is indeed black, but not resolutely so; brown edges and even little bits of ruby can be seen, provided you can figure out the requisite angles. Its head is spongy and tan and leaves thick layered bands of lacing, dressing the glass up like a turban.

You won't find rich espresso or decadent chocolate notes in this porter as you do in many other American examples. Not in the nose anyway. From the smell of things, this porter is better suited to a hearty main than a sweet dessert. While more robust than most traditional old-world offerings, it exemplifies their mild roastiness and has grainy and nutty supports.

Black Butte has the ideal burnt grain flavour for a porter; there's plenty of roasted malt but it's not so smoky and heavy so as to be confused with a stout. As it warms, the malts start to taste less 'black' and more 'brown', slightly nuttier although a severing hop character smothers any sweetness and makes for an abruptly dry and definite finish.

The smoky flavour stops just short of coffee territory; the roasty bitterness of artisan dark chocolate I could entertain, but it's not quite powerful or ashy enough to mimic coffee. There's a complete lack of acrid or harsh flavours to the roast. The hop flavours are tremendously appreciated but their bitterness is moderate, efficient enough to cut into the finish.

In another era, dark and roasty beers like this would have been the norm. While it's unfortunate that porters aren't quite as commonplace nowadays, I doubt the beers then were anywhere near as clean and gratifying as the beers we have now. I bet if someone from that period had a taste of Black Butte their head would spin. It's an exceptionally nice porter.

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

A: A very dark brown pour with a nice khaki head. Great lacing and a little retention.

S: Mmmm, rich roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Maybe a little earth smell in there too.

T: Taste follows the smell. Very, very, VERY smooth, creamy and silky. Chocolate, coffee and roasted malt with a little vanilla perhaps? Smoothness cannot be understated. No evidence of smoke which is nice.

M: Pretty light (as you would expect) but the creaminess gives the impression of a thicker beer. Almost no bitterness to speak of.

O: Stunning porter. As far as I'm concerned this is the benchmark for a nice lightweight and smooth porter. This is easy top 3 - I would put it up there with Founder's Porter.

Photo of dcook11
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick mocha head with the beer itself being nearly pitch black but with tinges of red. The head quickly fades and minimal lacing is present. The smell is of caramel, chocolate, malt, a touch of hops...smells like sees candy. The taste is sweet with chocolate and carmel predominant with just a kiss of hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall a fantastic porter.

Photo of eat
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin-ish looking dark brown body with a wispy cream-coloued cover of head. Little bits of lacing.

Nose of earthy roasted malt, dusty cocoa, dark caramel, slightly piny hops, toasted almonds, minerals.

Given the appearance and aroma, I wasn't expecting the flavour to be quite this nice. On the watery side maybe, but mostly in the manner which helps separate a porter from a stout. Light flavours of roast malt, earthy hops, distinctive minerals and drying cocoa balanced with just the right touch of caramel sweetness.

The light carbonation is perfect but the feel is a little on the thin side for my liking.

A light, highly-drinkable and well-balanced porter. The combination of light flavour and moderately drying finish keeps you sipping. Not necessarily interesting or complex, just very well made. One of the more drinkable dark beers I've had; a six pack of this would be no problem to finish off in an evening.

Photo of AdamBear
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-black with a nice tan head and lots of lacing

S-smells like creamy coffee beans with some slight hops aroma. medium strength

T-comes in with a very smooth taste of coffee. the tastes aren't strong but are of great quality. its a taste one can get addicted to. has a great matching after-taste. i like this a lot.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a creamy finish

O-wow this went down almost too quickly. this is such an easy drinking porter. i honestly thought it got better as i drank it. i could consume many more.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into DFH signature glass. Thanks to eclipse54 for this one!

A: pours a deep dark brown/black/reddish color, nice one finger light tan head, tiny little bubbles, great carbonation off the bottom of the glass, nice lacing

S: beautiful roasted malt character, rich espresso, dark chocolate but not the level of say a stout, no hops present on nose but it's to be expected

T: mild on the front of the tongue, nice roasted bitterness towards the back that sticks with you for a while, really easy drinking beer, doesn't destroy you by any means, you get a little of the coffee characteristics, in the middle of the tongue, carbonation really helps to clear the palate

M: light bodied to medium (surprisingly), there is some mouth coat but isn't a really full bodied stout we are dealing with here or anything

O: another solid brew from Deschutes, I don't think that they make BAD beer, awesome stuff!

Photo of marqoid
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an awesome regular release.
Enormous amounts of chocolate, smoke, and roasted malts. Mild hop bitterness and thick mouthfeel. Very easy to drink for such a thick beer, it is thick but not heavy. This is one of the craft beers that I use to convert both wine and bud drinkers.

Photo of JayAre46
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap at the flying saucer htown from notes, Deep brown 1 finger of good head with solid retention, caramel malt dominates the nose with some roasted characters, subtle chocolate brownie, not much of any hops, coffee flavors are present, medium body that is creamy and smooth which goes down easy without much carbonation. good brew definitely get it again and recommend for an easy porter.

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

I acquired this beer through an outstanding trade with taturbo.

This is a dark beer, but not the darkest porter I've ever seen. There is light brown around the beer's edges. A thin tan head lasted mere seconds before haloing around the glass's edge. There was lacing at first, but the majority didn't stick.

Wow, potent chocolate sweetness. Also there are deep notes of black coffee, caramelized sugars, and vanilla to compliment the overwhelming chocolate. There is little ethanol and I wouldn't I expect there to be with such a modest abv of 5.2%.

The taste didn't follow through to match it's pungent aroma as I had hoped. Also, the beer didn't have the full, rich body I had desired. However, pungent flavors of malted barely with a touch of acid dryness in the aftertaste does make they beer drinkable.

I do like the balance this beer offers, light, almost watery, and very drinkable. It's a definition classic recipe for an american porter. Unfortunately, I enjoy a rich, creamy porter (even if it's not on nitro it can still be creamy!). Although the beer smelled sweet, it did not taste sweet. In fact the beer was quite bitter.
I would say this beer is light in body with very light carbonation.

I was expecting more from this beer given its A- overall and A+ by the Bros. I was expecting a porter that was world class. This beer was good, but still fell short of my expectations. There were no stand out qualities that set this beer apart from others I've had. Things I enjoyed were the dry finish and the relatively low abv.

Photo of DucksFan16
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a medium tan head. Nice aroma of coffee and roasted malts. Flavor is medium bodied, hints of toasted/roasted malts, light chocolate and coffee taste.

Black Butte is one of my all time favorite porters. This is one of the beers that converted me to craft beer. I highly recommend it.

Photo of tjkinate
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven’t had a bad Deschutes beer yet!

A: Dark amber appearance, slightly transparent accompanied with a one finger head from a hard pour.

S: Earthy, smoky malts.

T: Gotta say, to me it was VERY similar to the Obsidian Stout, with the only difference coming from its thickness.

M: Light and silky

O: Solid brew, but reminds me too much of its stout cousin.

Photo of marcusR111
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark cola like look. Head is about 1 or 1 and a half fingers thick. Creamy head.

S- At first I thought I got a hint of banana but could have been mistaken. I can smell chocolate malts, and it's a very smoky smell.

T- Very distinct smoky taste, can taste the chocolate and hop bitterness. Slight sweetness from the chocolate.

M- Good carbonation. Not watery at all, and the head is very creamy.

Serving type: Bottle

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

Finally, Deschutes is here in PA for Philly beer week. I hope it stays! Poured from tap into a nonic pint glass at TJs in Paoli.

A: A deep blackish color with a slight dark brownish color. Nice ring lacing stays in the glass.

S: Wow, heavy roasted malt, some slight chocolate, pepper, earthy hops and a hint of bready biscuit sweetness.

T: Roasted malt is heavy on the tongue to start. It mixes with some slight chocolate and coffee flavors and gets some slight pepper notes. Sweetness is purely biscuity and bready and gets hammered by the wonderful earthy hops. My bottle review notes lack of the hoppy flavors, but this tap version makes up for it....and then some! Finish is bitter with hops and oh so damn enjoyable. Freaking fantastic.

M: Medium mouthfeel, but perfect for this low abv offering. Nice bitterness, no alcohol.

O: Wow, what a fantastic porter that I could sit and drink all night. I just can't believe how much I enjoyed this beer. Fantastic.

Ok, my bottle review and this fresh tap review are night and day. Tap version is sooo much better. Before this, Edmund Fitz. from GL was my favorite porter, but I now believe this is a better beer....hoppier to boot. I just can't get over how great this was, awesome. I believe this has now just supplanted Edmund Fitz as the best everyday porter out there. Kudos Deschutes, I am now a huge fan.

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

Nearly a session beer at 5.2%. Light enough to enjoy on a summer day even.
Poured into a Reidel beer glass (recently re-discovered that I had them. A nice glass).
Nice "clean" roast aroma with coffee, chocolate and hints of hops. Very nice.
Very black with brown/red on the edges. Dense dark cap. Good looking. Moderately heavy lacing.
Lighter body but not shortage of flavor. Roast comes through without excess in dryness. Nicely hopped to add texture and balance.
Very nice drinking beer. Well rounded flavors. Beautifully balanced. Very drinkable.

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

A- black like a stout with light brown head.

S- bug roasted flavor, slight hint of chocolate.

T- taste is very nice. More chocolate flavor. Hint of sweetness. Very similar to a light imperial stout. Reminiscent of founders porter.

Light mouthfeel.

Overall this is an incredible porter. Ranks up there with my favorites.

Photo of stercomm
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a pint glass

A - Very dark brown almost black, nice creamy/buttery head.

S - Very nice roasted malts, some chocolate

T - This is a very well balanced porter, continuation of the roasted malt and chocolate with maybe a hint of coffee, slight sweetness.

M - Medium bodied

D - Well balanced brew, not too heavy, one could definitely drink a few of these and be very content.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,058 ratings.