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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,925 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,925
Reviews: 1,380
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 370
Gots: 706 | 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: 4,925 | Reviews: 1,380 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biglite351
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

A - light through the middle of the glass. Tall off white head leaving heavy lacing.

S - relatively standard porter scent. Malts and chocolate with a bitter end.

T - different. Malts with some chocolate with hidden coffee and hops.

M - no real coating or tingle, a bit thin.

D - rather easily drinkable.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$3.99 / ea.

A: Deep, opaque brown body with a big loose head that quickly dissipates with only light lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Mocha aroma with a distinct roasted malt character. Solid porter, style guideline to a tee.

T: Coffee character dominates over a dark roasted malt backbone. Just enough hop character to balance, and very little aftertaste.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Very smooth bordering on crisp.

D: Great session brew for the dark beer crowd. Goes down easy, and doesn't leave an offense taste on the palate.

O: Deschutes proves itself to me on a consistent basis. The hype is well justified.

Photo of brewdub17
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Strong dark brown body, that shows a burgundy hue when held to light. The head is a thick beige that creates a beautiful lace around the glass.

Smell: A strong roasted malt flavor comes first, then a fresh note of the hops at the end. It is a delicate but full smell nonetheless.

Taste: Rich creamy tastes are noticeable first and are followed by the freshness from the hops in the end. The taste nearly mimics the description of this brew. A good piece of work.

Mouthfeel: A very clean, crisp feel covers the mouth, very unexpected for such a tasty porter.

Drinkability: The first thing I thought about and rated when I took the first sip. The wonderful balance of the flavors make it hard not to want to enjoy another. (btw, it took me two to write this review)

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

Thanks to djmichaelk for this one.
Enjoyed in a brandy snifter

A - Dark brown colour, slightly translucent, 3/4 of a finger of light espresso coloured head.

S - Light roasted malts with a slight coffee presence. A somewhat light nose.

T - Roasted malts with some coffee and chocolate flavours. The overall palate was very good but at times it seemed a little bit light. A very slight hop presence was noted as well.

M - Light body, lightly carbonated.

D - This was an interesting beer. On one hand it was very good and I would definitely love to drink this one again. On the other hand, it seemed like it was so close to being a great porter but didn't' quite get there. I tasted this side-by-side with an Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and that Edmund was definitely the superior beer.

Photo of lifeboyq
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Allagash tulip. medium tan head with minimal to some lacing. Beer color is a mahogany. You really have to try to take in the smell as it doesnt hit you hard on the nose. There are coffee, toffee chocolate malt notes with a little hop bite. Taste is better than the nose but with similar flavors. While this is an excellent session porter, I cant give it world class marks that you find in more complex offerings. Great beer but far from amazing and but no where near world class. Wonderful value beer and maybe one of the best values out there at $6.99 a six pack.

Photo of klikger
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a tulip

A - Dark brown, almost black in color; has a decent off-white head and modest lacing.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and dried cherries.

T - Roasted malt, creamy milk chocolate, and some floral hops. Ends with dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. Tasty.

M - Creamy, yet medium-bodied. Good carbonation.

D - Low ABV and great mouthfeel. Not too sweet either - well done.

Photo of seh410
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Thin, blackish brown consistency. Looks a lot like Coca Cola actually. No lacing, about a finger's worth of whitish head.

Aroma: Roasted, nutty and malty aroma with some hints of mild chocolate in the background. There's a slight hot alcohol scent in the nose that does not translate into the taste.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Lots of burnt malt with a slight caramel hint. It's very roasty with maybe the slightest hint of chocolate. The mouthfeel, however, is extremely thin and that affects the way I'm tasting the beer. It feels/seems extremely watery. The lack of creamy fullness really tastes away from this porter.

Notes: This is extremely drinkable. I'd give it a 5 for how easily it goes down, but the fact that it is so thin makes me not want to drink it... so, 4.

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

Had on tap....yo!

A- Pours a dark brown almost black color. One finger tan head that shows good retention. Long streaking lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Big roasted malts with a light chocoalte blending. Some bitter earthy hops used in the ending that show up in a light punch.

T- Once again the roasted malts come into play first. The chocolate malts come through toward the middle with some light vanilla in the ending. Bitter earthy hops in the ending of this makes for a refreshing ending to this.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Roasted malts left on the palate with some hops and alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors were blended well and made for a refreshing feel in the mouth. Alcohol did not affect the palate at all.

D- This porter was amazing. Deschutes makes good beers and this one is no exception. I wish this company like so many would come to Indiana. A porter that is a easy drinker and a ABV that makes this more than a one and done.

Photo of woosterbill
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Black body with plenty of clear brown highlights; nice two-finger head of very creamy tan foam. Great retention and solid lacing. Great looking porter.

S: Heavy on the roasted malts at first (almost to the point of being acrid). Some vanilla, toffee, and chocolate sweetness come out as it warms, though. Pretty complex and enjoyable.

T: Starts out with lots of chocolate, caramel, and roast; gets sweeter and creamier on the backside, and finally finishes with a bitter finish that tastes of hops (citrus, actually), burnt malt, and tobacco. Amazing.

M: A touch on the thin side, but with nice carbonation.

D: The rich flavors and bitter aftertaste work great together, and make this one a joy to drink.

Notes: I'm still stunned at how amazing this beer was. It did everything I could have asked from an American Porter and more, and it did it all in a 5.2% package. The most stunning thing about this beer was how it combined balance and complexity - the sweetness of the malts gets offset to perfection by the fresh-tasting hops and deep, roasty, tobacco-y goodness of char. I so wish I could get this in CT, as it would be my go-to value dark beer, year round. Now I just need to get my hands on the ramped up anniversary versions of this amazing beer. ISO!


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

Pours a very dark brown with ruby red highlights. Medium tan head that grips the glass with good lacing. Smell is that of fresh pumpernickel bread. Taste is smooth bread flavors up front, with a smooth coffee flavored middle and a earthy finish, with a hint of citrus fruit. Good mouthfeel, smooth carbonation. Drinkability is very good. An excellent porter that I would get again if it were available in my area.

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev -5%
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
4.43/5  rDev +6%
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
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
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
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
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
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
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
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
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
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
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
3.24/5  rDev -22.5%
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
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
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
3.76/5  rDev -10%
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
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,925 ratings.