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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,687
Reviews: 1,350
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 343
Gots: 582 | FT: 13
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,687 | Reviews: 1,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of projectflam86
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a061183 and ZymasefungiI207I for both sending me bottles to try and share with friends. Cheers guys!

A- Pours a nearly opaque brown/black color with a thick creamy beige colored head. Some sticky lacing left behind.

S- Nice roasted malt and wet coffee bean aroma. A light chocolate and caramel malt aroma comes through with another whiff.

T- Huge rush of roasted cocoa bitterness initially that gives way to a sweet milk chocolate finish. A nice smoky/coffee flavor is present throughout that adds a bit to a toasted grain maltiness.

M- Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Smooth and creamy but snappy at the same time.

D- Overall a great porter with a big roasted flavor and high drinkability.

projectflam86, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from the BSF bar, GBBF 2009, this bottle is at 5.2%abv. and comes in a brown, 12 Fl. Oz. slim bottle; BB 4 Sep. 2009, served mildly chilled in Gulden Draak's branded tulip-shaped goblet.

A: pours a very dark brown colour, showing some dark ruby glows when seen against light as well as very fine streams of carbonation; the dark-beige to light-tan froth builds up slowly to a huge head, then retreats slowly and leaves uneven lacing along the way.
S: very clean in composition and enticing, featuring semi-sweet and semi-sour dark chocolates, toast sweetened nuts, melted black sugar, and dark berry fruits; a swirl seems to highlight the creamy elements of dark malts and more intense nutty aroma. Overall, I'd say this is NOT meant to be a really hoppy take on the style, while the balance is beautifully retained.
T: a decent ale from the beginning to the finish - the foretaste is pretty light and features semi-sour and bitter-sweet black malts, bitter chocolates, with a touch of grapey dark fruits; then the mid-taste deepens on the roastiness gradually, where hops also chime in to render a slightly bitter, herbal, rather chewy and semi-sour finish.
M&D: the mouthfeel is consistently good, showing only a necessary amount of light fizz to match an equally light body and moderate flavour profile. This ale tastes rather "conservative" so far as an American version of Porter ale is concerned, as the weak presence of aromatic hops in aroma and taste is quite apparent. That said, I have no issues with the understated-ness all too common to English Porters; actually, the overall light body & taste and a chewy finish make this a rather drinkable example.

wl0307, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of Beernoisseur
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic porter. Looks great, tastes great, and smells great. Dark chocolate brown, nice sized head with a spot or two of lacing, this beer looks great from the get go. The flavor is subtle but complex. Obvious toasty qualities, but there are also notes of charcoal, and an acidic bite. The hops are mellow, but with nice bitterness on the finish.

Another spectacular entry from Deschutes.

Beernoisseur, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of nms1987
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a porter.

Creamy coffee on the nice nose. Not exceptional aromatic though

Tastes good. Fairly hoppy for a porter but it isn't out of place or anything. Nice coffee flavors. Very good beer but not quite the wonder I was lead to believe it was.

Mouthfeel. Carbonation is fairly crisp for the style. Not as smooth and rich as some but still very nice. The higher than normal hoppiness and crisper carbonation kind of make this a pale ale lovers porter.

Very drinkable and tasty, i'd love to have another.

NOTE-Might have been slightly unfresh. Bomber had a 9/30 best by date and I drank this on 9/25

nms1987, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of astout
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep deep brown that you can just see through if held to the light, decent amount of creamy light tan head.

Smells of sweet fruits and bread originally but slowly develops a more burnt toast type of aroma, but a little bit of alcoholic sweetness still lingers in the background.

Burnt, roasted malt dominates the palate with a touch of sweetness up front fading to a nice dry toasted finish. Reminds me of having burnt toast as a kid a little bit (this is a good thing for me my mom used to burn it all the time).

Great mouthfeel medium bodied well rounded and very smooth, probably the perfect amount of carbonation.

I could drink a ton of this, very smooth and easy going down and not at all fatiguing on the palate, not to mention delicious.

astout, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"I like big buttes and I cannot lie." -Sir Mix A Lot

via ZymasefungiI207I

Black with dark brown highlights: cola color. Regal tan head that leaves multiple lace rings. Aroma is of roast malt and chocolate.

Has all the usual porter flavors (chocolate infused roast malt) but it's just better. The first thing that comes to mind is that this beer tastes clean; especially for a porter. I don't know if that's a result of Cascade water or Deschutes mastery, or a combination of both--it's just real clean. Has an acidic eh which I'm not a fan of.

donkeyrunner, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of angelmonster
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge 3 finger chocolate head, body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing were good.

Smell is of roasted chocolate malt and coffee. Hops are pretty faint and there is also alittle alcohol in there

Taste is pretty light. Mostly malty, very roasty with some chocolate and coffee. Hops are pretty faint. The best way to describe the taste is traditional porter,kinda boring.

Mouthfeel is good. Lighter than average body for a porter but not watery. The head had some creaminess for awhile but then it faded. Carbonation was well balanced.

Drink ability is good. Session able porter but a bit bland. This is a good beer but just not on the level of the best, ie: Avery New World Porter

angelmonster, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Not sure why it took me so long to review this beer, as it is one of my perennial favorites.

Appearance: deep coffee brown with a one-finger tan head which maintains pretty well. Quite nice.

Smell: rich chocolate-and-coffee aroma against a background of light graininess. Bang on for what I like.

Taste: immediate chocolate flavor with hints of coffee. Plenty of hop character in the flavor that is not evident in the aroma: slightly spicy, slightly floral. Just a great combination. Bitterness at the end to counter the sweet malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: on the light side of medium, which makes this quite a sessionable beer.

Drinkability: probably my favorite session dark beer. This stuff is just fantastic over an evening.

flagmantho, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Deschutes Beer, I got this at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone. I was not expecting to see this here, but I was very excited because I'd been seeking this beer for a while now. It pretty much lived up to its hype for me. I had just gotten lectured about writing reviews in restaurants by my wife, and this was a classier joint, so this was written in the bathroom all at once when I finished. Forgive any lack of detail.

A: One and a half finger head, with ok lace. Black with red accents around the edges. Served in a footed pilsner type glass with a inward snifter type top. Looked just like a porter should. Light tan head.

S: Mild, with some roastiness and sweetness, but not hops whatsoever.

T: Roasted Barley is a compliment/accent flavor, not the whole thing, it works great. There is a rich grainy taste with some caramel in there. Dark malt provides something, but overall it's actually a fairly light porter.

M: Again, light, but still very good. Sort of dry feeling.

D: Great, it went perfect with my porkchop.

mdwalsh, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of Graham5161986
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yes! My first beer from Deschutes!!!

Into my Duvel tulip, this porter pours a nice, dark, black colour that is topped with an espresso-foam head (which doesn't stick around too long, forming a thin, whispy layer of espresso-like foam) and leaves some decent lacing as it goes down. Smells of milky smooth chocolate, a bit of coffee and I get hints of hot chili as well (If you've ever tried chili chocolate, you know what I mean - delicious and so enticing!). Taste is nice and roasty with the malts showing through. Then, notes of coffee and dark chocolate come through (not overly strong) with a touch of minerality that cleans up the palate. It's on the finish that the chocolate really begins to come through finishing off with a really enjoyable chili-chocolate, spicy tingle and some bitter hops in the background. Mouthfeel is full bodied, quite creamy but with a spicy, tingly finish that really makes it feel clean and surprisingly refreshing. Overall, this is a killer and very sessionable porter that has some nice flavour complexity but doesn't overpower the palate. I could see myself drinking a ton of these - no problem. I'm looking very much forward to trying more beers from this brewery!

Graham5161986, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of ocelot2500
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with a small mocha head. Enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of roasted malt and some chocolate.

Tastes of the roasted malt upfront, with a little bitterness. Small sour/acid taste. The roasted character lends to some underlying coffee flavors with some chocolaty flavors on top.

The mouthfeel is a medium and has a smooth character, but I think is a little thin.

ocelot2500, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of chickencoop
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance & Smell - pours a deep coffee brown with a thin tan head. Smell is about what you'd expect, coffee malty and chocolatey, very pleasant.
Taste & Mouthfeel - This is a benchmark American porter, taste is a full bodied malty flavor,
mouthfeel is malty with some bitterness finish.
Drinkability - as I said, this is a classic, but personally I can only drink a few, so too me not the most drinkable beer. But just because i'm a stick in the mud, I can't knock this, it is a great beer, and I would recommend just not my cup of tea.

chickencoop, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of Aenema
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown / black. Off-white head with splotchy lacing.
Smell - Coffee and roasted malts.
Taste - Coffee grounds with some chocolate in the background.
Mouthfeel - Light to medium-bodied and light carbonation.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable.
Overall - After having Black Butte XXI a few days earlier I couldn't help but be disappointed. I expected less intense flavors, but this beer seemed like a version of the XXI that had been toned down several levels.

Aenema, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of cokes
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany brown, hinting at blackness, as ruby pops up at the edges. The head is tight and tan and lasts a while.
Roasty nose with cocoa and coffee and influxes of nuts and grain, and a sizable minty, wintergreen hop closure.
Roasted grain appears in the mouth first, followed immediately by coffee and chocolate. A mixed bag of roasted nuts, drizzled with caramel. The hops enter quickly and bring a spritely and powerful piney bite. It concludes with a linger of the wintergreen hops and the forceful roastedness.
Pushing toward full bodied with a low-level CO2 that remains constant throughout.
This is a classy, classic American Porter.

cokes, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of qchic
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cola brown with some light peeking through revealing red highlights. There's a "bowl" of head--clinging to the walls of the rounded glass, while showing hints of the beer beneath in the middle. Smells of rich roasty malts and chocolate--yum! The malts keep it up in the flavor with more roasted goodness, chocolate, and hints of coffee, smoke, cherry, molasses, and some alcohol. Just a little thinner than I would like, but a satisfying beer otherwise. This one goes down easily. Solid.

qchic, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of scottchesterhall
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nicely. Looks black at first glance, but holding up to light you can just see through it with an amber/black hue.

Phenomenal smell. Bitter chocolate with espresso.

But right off the first taste there's something funny. Then it's really nice through the middle. But then at the end of your swallow, there's a lingering something I'm just not feeling. Something kind of vegetably. Beets? Potato?

I feel like an oregon-blasphemer, but there's something there from the bittering hops that could use an edit. Now that you've read this, drink one...I think you'll see what I mean...

scottchesterhall, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with minimal tan head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Light spotty lacing is left on the glass. Wonderful aroma of dark malts, chocolate, coffee, and a little tobacco. The taste is likewise rewarding. The chocolate malt is on full display giving hints of mocha and coffee. A little bitterness is perceived but finishes with just a touch of sweetness. A little ash on the finish as well. Medium body but the carbonation is a little pricky and agressive. An outstanding porter than does not get overly bitter and burnt. No problem drinking a few of these in a session.

morimech, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of aristeros
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I liked Dechutes' Obsidian Stout and Inversion; have high hopes for this one. Poured into my Bodum pint glass. Very dark brown, red highlights visible that indicate that it's not in fact opaque. Small beige head.

Roasted malt smells dominate. Espresso and dark chocolate.

Some interesting flavors. A tiny bit of sweetness up front, then dark coffee, a little chocolate, then big roasted flavors. Something undefinable here that reminds me of a milk stout. Moderate body, excellent smoothness.

Doesn't feel or taste boozy, didn't interfere with the greasy pizza shop sandwiches I was eating. I'd like to try this with some spicy food and/or barbeque. Uncomplicated, but good.

aristeros, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Butte is a dusky brown color with a turbid, slightly hazy look to it. Held t the light it is a magnificent chocolate color. The head is sandy tan and persists until the glass is three quarters empty.

Smell - The smell is a combination of equal parts coffee, lush malty sweetness, and chocolate.

Taste - This is a serious chocolate bomb. It is a real delicate milk chocolate flavor complimented by hints of coffee and roast. There is a hefty molasses-like malty foundation with a pleasing roasted bitterness and an earthiness that I attribute to hops.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth and definitely feeling heavy, the mouthfeel of this beer perfectly balances malty body and sweetness with medium carbonation and a finishing bitterness.

Drinkability - Rather high in my opinion. This stuff has a lovely body and is refreshingly different from my other gold standard porter: GLBC Eddie Fitz. It is great to come along a nice American porter that has sessionable alcohol levels while at the sane time presenting a flavor and aroma profile that differs from so many of its brethren. Cheers to Deschutes for their deliciously drinkable porter!

BacklitAvenger, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of bfields4
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frothy head that subsides quickly. Very dark beautiful dark amber brown.

Light dark fruits Mouthwatering roasted malts followed by rich milky chocolate.

Dark malts and bitter chocolate. Very appealing roasted finish.

Creamy smooth nice tight carbonation pings off the tongue. A wonderfully flavorful porter. Just shows how much flavor can be coaxed out of a beer w/o a high abv.

bfields4, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of aggiearcher13
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8/8/09.

A: Dark brown, some would call this garnet I suppose, and as a geologist I like that description. About a half inch of head to it that hung around for a little while.

S: Chocolate, coffee, caramel. Pretty solid aroma to it. Also some toast.

T: From the aroma, it was lighter than I was anticipating. Not that it was bad, but I really expecting a full on orgy of the above aromas. It's very roasty but I didn't find it to be complex.

M: Pretty much par for the course, a good body to it (again, lighter than I anticipated) but solid overall.

D: I would say the lightness of this beer score it some major points on the drinkability. If you're looking to have more than a couple of porters, this isn't a bad choice.

aggiearcher13, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ouncer, courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks, John!

The hop-embossed bottle pours a brew molasses-brown in color with a sparkling trim of smoked garnet. A thin off-beige cap of foam settles quickly into a broken sheet, and leaves a fine film of lacing clinging to the sides of a fat dimpled seidel.

The smell is steeped in smoky chocolate with a mildly-acrid whiff of dark-toasted coffee beans. A vague fruitiness and a crisp herbal note lighten the olfactory darkness, but only a little.

The taste is chocolatey with a soft twang of fruit, and is perfectly complemented by a drop of black coffee and dusty, herbal-hoppy dryness. As the drink progresses, sweeter, more milk-chocolatey flavors gain in stature, as does a mild note of cocoa and fine-ground full city roasted java.

The drink is light-medium in body with great carbonation and is highly, highly quaffable.

cvstrickland, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of merryjoulton
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep dark black thick creamy liquid with a light brown head that laces and sticks and residues down the side of the glass. smell is all chocolate and spices, caramel, roasty toasty coffee. tastes thick and creamy. feels just thick enough but not too overpowering. drinkability is just great

merryjoulton, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of AccidentalKate
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep, dark brown, nearly black beer, The head is thick in appearance with light brown coloring. The head seems to last forever. Light Belgian lace when it does dissipate.

Aroma: Slight roasted hint ontop of the stronger sweet-like toffee aroma. Virtually no bitterness nor hops to be found. There is a hint of malt, but not overly so like you find in bocks. If there's a word for this aroma, it's "restrained".

Taste: Lighter than I expected, and more watery as well, but then again, I come more from a stout fan POV. The roasty aromas lend themselves to the taste with the finish lasting for a while. Nice, warm dark flavors are there. Hints of coffee, but only just. No bitterness at all.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation. The zing comes from the finish and the initial roasty flavors. It does feel watery as well, and I'm not sure that this is a plus.

Drinkability: An excellent example of a porter, but with one glaring weakness - the strong flavors found in the taste can be overshadowed by the wateryness of the mouthfeel. But the mouthfeel is the only problem here, and it's not that of a big one.

AccidentalKate, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the XX and XXI so much more than this "base" beer that they've doubled. Not a bad beer, just not quite robust for me. Interestingly, this beer shares some of the same ashy notes that are found in some of the larger dark beers from Deschutes including the above mentioned and the Abyss. Kind of a house character. Pours a dark walnut brown with a thick, tam, pancake head. Smells light and roasty, and a touch ashy. The taste is a bit more robust than the smell, with some sweet malt, licorice, light roastiness and an ashy finish. Even for an American Porter this is quite dry, and not very hoppy at all. Solid beer, but I like my Porters either slightly less dry or slightly more robust. I don't mind the ashiness, but I think it works better with a little more body.

Georgiabeer, Aug 10, 2009
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 4,687 ratings.