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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,331
Reviews: 1,323
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 321
Gots: 440 | 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: 4,331 | Reviews: 1,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of santoslhalper
2.28/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearence: Poured a simple dark ruby with an incredible fizzy foamy beige head.

Smell: There are vague smells of chocolate and toasted nuts, but honestly there's not a whole lot to sniff.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste consists of a really weird, almost moth ball flavored malts combined with an inappropriate hop bitterness at the end. There are no real strong, bold or even interesting quialities to the flavor. The mouthfeel is just a tiny bit creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Dissapointing!! I loved their Obsidian Stout, but this one just wasn't for me. It just tasted incredibly bland and boring.

santoslhalper, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of troutmask96
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is what a great porter should be. Pours night-black, with very little head. Smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate, molasses, and raisins. A little carbonated for my liking, but no alcoholic aftertaste. Oh, so smooth! One of the only porters I've found that can be consumed in multiples...

troutmask96, Mar 17, 2005
Photo of IceAce
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle with a best-by date of 04/06/05

With a name like Black Butte, one shouldn't be surprised that the description of this porter is jet black. The collar of foam is a medium tan and the collapsed area shows approximately 80% lacing. The nose is almost equal parts coffee and chocolate with a slight yeast note as a backdrop.

Entry of this brew begins with a light CO² scrub of the tip and sides of the tongue. Midtaste hits the rear of the tongue with coffee, with the chocolate following just a little further back in the throat. Finish contains a nice clean hop note and a slow roasted malt fade.

While this brew is plenty chewy, the mouthfeel is a touch watery and thin...seemingly the only drawback to this black gold. Great paired with smoky sausage or BBQ.

IceAce, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of KoG
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've always liked the Deschutes bottles, I don't know why. This one contained a dark bubbly porter that had agood head, stuck around for the entire consumption as it was fed by active cabbonation streams. Good lacing is nice and sticky

Smell is sweet and grainy with a slight hop presence giving it a refreshing aroma. Subtle chocolate comes through as well.

Taste is well balanced with vanilla and caramel hints. Starts out smooth and mellow and fades to a sweet dark malt before leaving the palate with a touch of hop bitterness and chocolate appeal.

Very easy to drink and at 5.2%( on the bottle) it would make a very nice session brew.

KoG, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of watermelonman
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived nearly black with faint hints of dark ruby. There's very little head, but what was there lasted very well and left a nice curtain of lace.

The smell was nice but faint. The taste was full of very satisfying flavor. Roasted malts and chocolate make themselves known in a very subtle fashion.

This is a very good beer, all the way around.

watermelonman, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of germaniac
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, which makes sense, given the geological formation it's named after. Smells of malt, with a dash of chocolate sweetness. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee. Smooth, with just a little robust muscle to make it interesting. One to remember when the need for a good porter hits.

germaniac, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of SBPCGuru
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Oregon last weekend, freshness date on bottle of 02/10/05. Poured dark black with 1/2" of head. Head disappeared after 5 minutes during this tasting. Left dots of lacing down the side of my tulip glass. Tasted of roasted malt with a slight chocolate presence. Taste of beer was the same from the time i drank it until I was left with an empty palate. Would definately drink this one all night long. Definately a Butte above the rest.

SBPCGuru, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of yemenmocha
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lives up to it's name. Definitely black. Opaque, even in a well lit room. Light tan head retains well.

Aroma is roasty and bready, perhaps brown ale baked beer bread. I detect a hint of marshmallow smores sweetness in the aroma.

On the palate the malt and hops mingle well, neither predominates over the other. Big roasty malt, yes, but a nice hop tang accompanies to remind you this beer does have balance.

Medium to light bodied, not as thick as you might expect from a porter. However, to me this yields a more drinkable porter which can be a virtue to some.

yemenmocha, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with some yeast floaties, topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Coffee, floral aroma, a touch of chocolate.
Very robust taste, a bit tingly on the lips, roasty, coffee, chocolate, burnt bread, crystal malt, cracker, a bit acrid.
Medium-full bodied, great drinkability.

mschofield, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Butte Porter is well black. With a slight hint of a deep ruby color. A thick and creamy tan colored head formed when I poured. It stayed untill the last pull and it laced a fair amount while I enjoyed this tasty brew.
The smell is strong with chocolate malt with some coffee in the background. The aroma is quite pronounced and adds to the drinking experience of this porter.
On first taste it seems a bit rough( I like it) and harsh like I think a porter should be. Lots of chocolate and burnt coffee flavor which lingers in the taste buds. There is also a tart of sourness to the taste which is not unpleasent but to my surprise enjoyable and adds to the complexity and robustness of the flavor. Leaves my mouth watering for more.
Not to thick in the mouthfeel but just enough to be a good finish to a tasting session.

HochFliegen, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of marcobrau
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one starts out with a great aroma of dark roasted grains (chocolate and coffee) with a bit of a lactic note, but it doesn't bother me. The color is good: not too dark (like the porter I just homebrewed); dark brown and ruby. The complexity of the malt flavors, bits of chocolate, rich caramel make for a very tasty porter. The hops are in the background with this one, they play a supporting role, making this beer nice and balanced. The body is perfect, not too thin, or too full. There is slight tart character that really makes this porter enjoyable. Too many ales are I try these days are too clean tasting. It's nice to get a little yeast flavor once in awhile, and this beer delivers.

marcobrau, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, dark burgundy almost black, brew with a inch and a half thick off white head that subsided to a thin film. The aroma is a beautiful balance of sharp black malts that give a burnt coffee impression. The flavor is clean and american in style but the brew pushes the boundaries with a barely perceptible hop bitterness that is immediatly overtaken by the black malt dryness. A smooth carmel malt sweetness balances the astrigency of the black malt but the dominating flavor is the black malt which is there on the inital taste and lingers on the tongue in the finish. I believe this to be an excellent example of a porter and it is one which helped me to formulate my personal definition of the porter style. The mouthfeel is light and smooth due to very little carbonic bite from the bottle conditioning. An excellent session beer this porter has a very enjoyable flavor that would be easy to drink pint after pint.

RenoZymurgist, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: darkest brown body with a nice ruby red tones towards the bottom of the glass. It pours initially with a fluffy head but it quickly disolves.

Smell: Smell has chocolate and roasted malts, and a somewhat salty smell too.

Taste: Three part flavor here. Onset is very mild, milky, creamy. Next it becomes sort of tangy (sweet/sour). Then it quicky evens out and kicks in that chocolate malt flavor to the finish.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth beer, but the body lacks the weight that I look for in a porter. The flavor is very good and might be better enjoyed in a fuller bodied beer. On the other hand, a more slender body won't fill you up as quickly, so this may increase the drinkability for some.

GuinnessSmurf, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of Thrasher
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep ruby brown with giant, pillowy head and lots of lace; a very attractive beer. Big sweet malts are the name of the game, with flavors and aromas of caramel, burnt bread, molasses, brown sugar, pumpernickel, gingerbread, and a minty herbal hopness. The finish is decisive and warming. While the beer lacks the roastiness of some porters, it's got a lot of malt flavor in it, and should satisfy those who love amber or old ales. The hops are pretty mild, providing a slight mint quality that offsets the chocolatey malts. While the mouthfeel can at times seem soft and pillowy, like the head, at other times it reveals a certain wateryness. This aids drinkability though. Black Butte remains a beer for all occasions, for good weather or bad. I prefer this store-bought in a bottle as opposed to draft at a bar, but that may be because I can control certain things: temperature, amount of head, etc.

Thrasher, Oct 19, 2004
Photo of gbontrag
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby, dark ruby. Tan boil fizzes out with little retention.
I smell burnt timber, dried fruits cooking on a wood-fired stovetop, and cast iron.
Taste smoked peat; cast iron skillet lickin’ good; burnt biscuits over a fire; some old staw. Nice porter brings to mind an image of an old-fashioned road side tavern filled with porters unloading horses, eating bad tavern food, and drinking decent beer. Lots of quaffable qualities to this beer.

gbontrag, Oct 14, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep dark brown body, smallish diminishing dark beige head. Hops are quite subdued in this one. Very malty aroma. Notes of vanilla, roasted barley. Coffee-chocolate flavors. Finish is light, roasty and sweet (lips sticking together after a minute or 2) It’s certainly well focused on malt, but remains a bit chocolatey sweet ultimately. Fairly mild from beginning to the end which is a nice change of pace at times rather than hop bombs, but its character suffers and just leaves the impression of a straightforward well made porter. Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not quite as great as expected, but of course highly drinkable etc.

Rastacouere, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of aracauna
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a noisy khaki head that dissipates quickly. The aroma has strong notes of anise and chocolate with just a touch of smoke. The flavor is nicely roasty and slightly smokey (this would go great with grilled steaks or burgers). The body is a bit thin and soda bubbly, but not enough to be irritating.

aracauna, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of Gump
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Black Butte.
My label has a tan colored background.

Clear dark brown appearance, quickly dissapating head.
Not a flat bitter porter as I would hae expected. This was a zesty porter with good carbonation on my tongue. Great mellow, malty aroma and tastes like milk chocolate.

Gump, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My what a nice porter! This pours a deep dark reddish brown with a light tan head. It's not very carbonated so the head fades quickly, leaving little in the way of lacing or residual head.

The smell is deep and inviting - strong notes of smoky malt with suggestions of molasses, caramel and grain. The taste is very well balanced with a very mild sweetness and a smooth smoky flavor to go along with a soft malt and just a wee bit of hoppiness at the end to dry up the taste. There is a distinct, fine carbonation that leaves a tingle on the tongue - the finish on each sip is exquisite.

I'm certain to look for this porter again - it was very rewarding and a perfect example of the style. One of the things that really impressed me was that Deschutes didn't try to "stout it up" like many porters. You can clearly taste the "old ale" origins and I'd even suggest that this is closer in character to a brown ale than it is to a stout. Excellent on its own, this would also be a great choice for a tasting party to show the evolution of the styles.

RedwoodGeorge, Sep 04, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Butte Porter doesn't quite manage black, but it's definitely deep dark brown with a strong ruby influence. Bright sunlight is barely visible on the far side of the pint glass. The dark ecru head is large and has millions (okay hundreds) of boisterous bubbles piled onto its upper surface. Unfortunately, there's a less than hoped for amount of lace.

The primary elements of the nose are roasted malt and dark chocolate. Hops are a distant third; no surprise given the style. Delicious and easy drinking. Black Butte is evidence that good things happen when porters use a sufficient quantity of chocolate malt. The beer is bursting with dark malt, chocolate and (less so) coffee. Classic porter flavors all.

It's both sweet and hoppy, but subtly so. Both contribute without drawing undue attention to themselves. The more I drink it, the more I've come to realize that Deschutes brews good beer. The body is medium for the style and the carbonation is noticeable without being obtrusive.

Black Butte Porter is a fine effort. It isn't what I'd call a big porter, which I generally prefer, but it's a classic, delicious, well-crafted, drinkable one. I'd love to have access to the entire lineup from this excellent PacNW brewery.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 16, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent to it , boasting of crystal malts. It is sweet and creamy smelling. The taste is good. It has a smooth dark brown feel with hints of crystal and chocolate malts. It goes down easy and finishes dry, yet sweet. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine porter. It has good flavor and suprisingly good mouthfeel; a good drinker.

WesWes, Aug 16, 2004
Photo of elmocoso
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great looking finger of biege head on pour. Black liquid with ruby highlights, bairly visable. head lasts quite well. Roasty malt in the nose with a sweetish backdrop. Smells good. Flavor is good and roasty dark but kind of sweet in the end. kind of light in the end, also. Needs more hops? Mouthfeel is full and creamy and drinkalbility is good but suffers from bad balance in the flavor.

elmocoso, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on Whidby Island in the Pacific NW. Pours very dark with red around the edges. Has a tan thick head of about two fingers. The head leaves beautiful rings of lace around the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma and taste are malty and hoppy, as well. This one is not as thick as some porters I have tried and this is one reason why I liked it so much. The thick ones are better in cold weather, but this one went well in the summer air. Finished strong, but smooth.

abcsofbeer, Jul 19, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Skyhand. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" mocha head, which laced well as the drinking experience transpired. Aroma is full of deep, dark malts, and the brew is a barely translucent brown. Taste is strong in the grain bill, but a nice balance of darks and medium, with caramel apparent along with the coffee and chocolate malts. A nice change from some of the over poweringly dark malted porters, I like it. Mouthfeel is excellent, and so is the drinkability. These OR/WA brews from this trade just keep giving the love...

ppoitras, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of Beaver13
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Black Butte poured an opaque, dark black. It had a light brown head that went to a smoky film and collar that left some lacing.

Its aroma was coffee, chocolate, figs and some sweet malt.

The flavor was coffee, figs, chocolate and some sweetness with a slight bitter coffee-like finish. It was medium bodied and had a sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent porter. It kind of reminded me of Great Divide's Hibernation Ale.

Beaver13, Jun 13, 2004
Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 4,331 ratings.