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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,802 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,802
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 354
Gots: 624 | 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:
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: 4,802 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass...

A - pours an impressive inch+ of frothy and bubbly khaki colored foam...sitting atop a very dark brown beer with reddish/amber highlights when held up to light. lace sticks around for a bit, before falling to a big pillowy mound in the center of the glass, surrounded by complex web of foam.

S - intense roasted malts, milk chocolate, stale coffee dominate...bits of that metallic mineral scent near the end

T - well roasted malts off the bat which carry throughout...joined early by some italian roast coffee. next in is a quick flash of boozy alcohol and dark chocolate. finishes with a very mild earthy hop bitterness. lovely late aftertaste that is heavy on the chocolate and coffee.

M - thinnish body drives away some of the initial appeal. a bit more here would possibly allow some more subtleties to shine through...instead, only the dominant flavors flash then fade rather quickly.

D - goes down rather easily for a Porter, helped (unfortunately) by a thinnish body. the flavors are all there, just not given the chance to really shine. would love to try this on cask or nitro, an additional dimension might be what it takes to propel this to the top.

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

Pours very dark brown, clear, with ruby highlights around the edges. About a half-inch light tan head is well maintained, and settles into nice lacing along the curve of the glass.

Aroma is roasted malt, rich coffee, and dark chocolate.

Flavor falls right in line with the aroma with roasted malts, rich coffee, and dark chocolate notes. Finishes clean, with maybe a hint of burnt malt but no astringency.

Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Overall, a nice example of the style. Well balanced throughout. If anything, the body could be a little heavier and though it teases you with a hint of being creamy it really doesn't follow through in that regard. Even with that, though, certainly a session porter.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is heavily roasted to burnt malt with a lot of dark, bitter chocolate. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the better robust porters I have tried and one that everyone should try.

Photo of unHipHopHead
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle (note: cask is the best way to enjoy this brew)

A: almost black with a clinging tan lace.

S: chocolate, caramel, minerals... hints of charcoal

T: a smooth dark roasted coffee, bitter chocolate upfront that fades immediately into a pure charcoal aftertaste.

M: smooth and a burst of carbonation that mellows out into a surprisingly refreshing followthrough.

D: Amazingly quaffable in terms of a porter. It reminds me of the 1554 black ale.

Notes: My all time favorite porter on the market. It's so well balanced and not too syrupy or sweet. Also, as mentioned the best version of this is cask.

Photo of Chambic
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

02.02.10 at City Beer

A: black, black, black all the way

S: coffee!

T: reminds me of that Coke Blak, like it's a cola with a coffee finish

M: it's smooth, but the body is too thin and light to support the flavor

D: a nice, non-heavy porter option

Photo of BDJake
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- this is a great looking beer, dark reddish brown with a good sized tan head that laces and retains with the best of them

S- burnt malts, coffee and a little bit of chocolate

T- roasty, malty with a nice mocha flavor and a little bit of hoppiness to which no NW ale can go without

M- fairly light, but coats your tongue nonetheless with ample carbonation

D- one of the most sessionable beers around these parts,poured out of the bottle was great but from past experiences it was even better off tap- this is always a great standby when you're not in the mood for oak bourbon barrel quad-hopped madness but still want great flavor

Photo of einmt33
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into the traditional pint glass. Nice 1 1/4 thick head with lacing that left my pint glass looking as if it had a ribcage!! Aromas of toasted malts and a little hint of dark chocolate. Rich bold flavor surge of hop flavor, good mouthfeel as well nice and smooth. A very drinkable beer, and maintains nice flavor throughout.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Old Chicago's, enjoyed over the course of an hour while watching my sober friends lose game after game of pool to two drunk guys.

A: In low light this beer looks black, and when held of to a strong light deep dark ruby shows around the edges. One finger of light tan head that dissipated and laced a little.

S: Not much going on, but some caramel, burnt sugar and a bit of sweet coffee.

T: Dark burnt sugar/caramel throughout and especially at the end. I tasted little else except some darkly roasted malts near the end, but this was overshadowed by the sweet caramel. No (or extremely little) hop presence, no burnt coffee, and no chocolate.

M: Carbonated and thin bodied. What could be smoothness is watery, and what might be body is simply over-carbonation.

D: Because of the overall sweetness and thin body, this is a drinkable porter.

Overall: I love Porters, and was quite disappointed by this one. It seemed fizzy, weak, simple and singular to me. Not a bad beer in any sense, but not exceptional either. If I hadn't read any other reviews I would have gone on and never bothered to try this beer again, but an 'A-' with over 600 reviews is really remarkable, so I am going to revisit it sometime. Until then, I am not impressed.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-the beer pours a dark brown color with hues of red as light is shined upon it. the head is a tan color with a solid amount of retention leaving a good bit of lace on the glass

S-the nose brings mostly roasted malts with the inclusion of dark chocolate and espresson with a touch of molasses

T-the taste follows the nose, lots of roasted chocolate malt, hints of dark chocolate and espresso with a touch of sweet dark fruity malts at the finish

M-it brings a lighter medium body mouthfeel and is silky smooth on the palate. low levels of carbonation make it very soft

D-solid flavors and remarkably smooth. somewhat thinner than I would have prefered.

Photo of exparte
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lovely aroma of roasted chocolate and caramel. Pours a beautiful deep ruby, almost black, with a substantial mocha head. Taste is more of the slightly sweet roasted chocolate and perhaps some espresso. Loses points on the palate for being rather light and thin for a porter. Carbonation is fizzy on the tongue where it should be soft and creamy. Overall this is a quality porter that is indeed "rich and approachable".

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

I must admit I somewhat botched my designated Black Butte experience, first committing the very amateur overpour and then carelessly swirling some of the nectar onto my laptop keyboard. Two clean-up jobs on one bottle - very weak performance!

This is a deep chestnut, nearly black brew that shows burgundy tint when held to the light. A crowd-pleaser to say the least. Can't judge the head based on a normal standard due to my piss-poor pour, but it's bubbly and khaki in color. The head retained a collar all the way down the glass - makes a man feel good.

I suspect I'm keeping my beers too cold and drinking them out of mildly soapy glasses, so not getting a huge whiff from this, or any other. After warming it up, I caught a malty nose of burnt sugar, with roasted grains and perhaps a little dark fruit and chocolate. Didn't smack me in the face though.

Taste was as the smell suggested, full of roasty bitterness and flecks of dark fruits and chocolate. Definitely no shortage of flavor here - damned tasty, and I like it colder than you're supposed to have it I suspect.

Carbonation sustains itself, leaving a lively trace of bitterness and roasted flavor on the tongue. It's a full-bodied brew that coats the mouth nicely and leaves you satisfied. I ought to have had this with some pumpkin pie, but flew solo with it and it was plenty satisfying on its own merits. Approved and recommended from this shitbird!

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

Deep, dark brown body that is nearly black. Not much head nor lacing to speak of. Smell has a notable dark-chocolate character that is quite enviable. Well roasted malts provide a solid background of aroma and flavor. Black Butte Porter is not overly sweet and is subtly hopped. The taste of roasted malt is very evenly tempered. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly thanks to enduring carbonation, body is medium-light. BBP is remarkably drinkable for the style. Her only defect is the slightest "watery" taste. Nevertheless, a standard setting porter.

Photo of tjd112
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation - Poured into Flying Fish Pint Glass

Appearance - Black with some ruby light penetration, small off-white head but lots of lacing

Smell - Cocoa

Taste - There is a very grainy cocoa taste to it, with a hint of burnt sugar and hops

Mouthfeel - Dangerously smooth

Drinkability - Very sessionable

Overall - A great take on an American porter

Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

coffee black with a tan foamy head that is a few inches thick. lacing is great.
smells of dark malts, especially of coffee. caramel is present. i think i can smell a little alcohol too.
tastes of coffee and caramel as the aroma advertises. i can taste chocolate malt too.
not as thick or creamy as i anticipated.
overall a solid beer with good drinkability.

Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this thanks to bendretread along with a whole bunch of other awesome Deschutes beers. Date: Best by 3/05/10

A: Pours a rockin 2 finger head with a thick creamy head. Pure black color with no light escaping. The head retains pretty well.

N: It has some nice crisp ale aromas surprisingly. On top of that is some nice roast but still pretty light, and some dark malts with hints of chocolate. Lighter fare, but pretty nice and typical for a good porter. More chocolate comes through as it warms.

T: Starts with a really thick creamy flavor. Some milk chocolate like flavors, creamy chocolate malts. Some roast also comes through but pretty light. Nice malty flavor with some sweetness, and some light hop flavors come through as well with a little bitterness. Its an interesting spicy hop flavor. A touch of smoke comes out late as it warms.

M: Lots of carbonation, creamy and pretty thick.

F: Finish leaves the nice creamy chocolate lingering a bit, and has a nice bitter follow as well. Still slightly sweet. The earthy spicy hop bitterness adds a nice finish. The smoked flavor also seems to stick around the mouth as everything else fades, which is probably why it seems to come out late on the taste itself.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Black Butte XXI a couple nights ago, and am having this for the first time tonight. I was expected this to be a little closer to the XXI but its really a completely different beer. The XXI is an unbelievable beer, but this is very good, too. Not such an outgoing flavor or character overall, but a good drink. I generally don't drink porters, as I just prefer a more bigger stout. This is a little light to me.. not much depth or flavor, especially considering the expectations from such a great brewery. I have the six pack / and I'll enjoy it, but I'll definitely buy their Obsidian Stout six over this any day.

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

Served in my Sam Adams pint from a 12 oz bottle stating that it is "Best By: 02/12/10".

Quite dark as beer goes, with a fizzy tan head that spritzes away quickly. The remains gather in a ring and are lighter, a creamy white.

Citrus hop seems to be trying to break through in the nose. Creamy milk chocolate intertwined with coffee. Caramel, toffee.

The imprisoned citrus hop twang from the aroma is pummeled into a more spicy stout presentation. Working nicely mind you, to liven things up. Following this, the same chocolate, bitter coffee play as in the nose. The whole of the thing is exceedingly creamy, including the smooth bitterness that finishes. This is influenced by those hops and the coffee character.

I've said already, creamy. Carbonation does not get in the way, subdued, and helps the hops with spice.

Great session beer for porter or stout people. Easy going abv coupled with amazing smooth creaminess and a coffee not I adore and will remember. A good deal too.

Photo of Eisen
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is simply a great porter. The taste is some what bitter, some what smothe; and it is overall a great beer and a wonderfull example of the style. As far as drinkability is concerned, I can and I have drank these all night long. The taste (which I tend to grade beer on) is complicated but not so in-your-face that you can't finish a couple at a dinner. With 5.2% this beer is a great beer for gatherings when you want, or need, to have a few but do not want to compramise taste and flavor.

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

Such a nice solid porter

pours black brown with a nice lift head that sticks around

coffee cocoa and some nutty flavours in the taste finishes clean and slightly off bitter

very drinkable porter, classic light mouthfeel while maintaining depth aNd character

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

Poured a nice dark, brown/black with a big toffee colored head. Nose is roasted malt, cocoa, dry. Taste is mostly bitter coffee/chocolate, with more than a tad of smokiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry, charred and pretty good. Drinkability is good.

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

Best by 07/31/09

Very dark shade of brown with a thick white head. Great retention. Big nose of chocolate malt, some hops and some yeasty character. Roasted chocolate malt flavors, slightly smoky with some coffee . A little tangy fruit flavor and a long dry finish. Mouthfeel is a little lighter relative to the depth of flavor, but not overly so.
There are bigger porters out there, but they're usually described as "double" or "oatmeal" etc. Very drinkable a nice example of what the style should be in my opinion.

Great to revisit this beer after a few years of deprivation. Black Butte helped get me started on the style and it's still one my favorite porters.

Edit: had to bump up the score after tasting a fresher bottle on 9/22/10. Still a special brew for one that is so readily available in the West (and now upper Midwest).

Photo of cbarrett4
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a second review since the first time I reviewed this beer it was on nitro tap. This batch was tasted blindly against several other dark ales from bottle. Placed third after New Belgium 1554 Black Ale and Deschutes Obsidian Stout.

Pours with a lackluster head, decent lace, nice dark brown, coffee colored hue. Smells of dark fruit, malts, and hints of espresso. Is a little light and has an overly assertive bite that would be less noticeable with more weight.

This beer is much better served from a nitro tap. The extra texture really fleshes the beer out.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, a classic session porter. Pours thin for a porter, but don't fret. Smell, still muted for the taste explosion yet to come. One of the hoppiest porters you can get in a six pack (if not the hoppiest).

Delicious roasted malt, never had so much pronounced chocolate malt that doesn't finish heavy at all. These are capable of multiple efforts in a sitting. Very good. There's better porters out there, but not at this price.

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

Pours a very dark black. When I hold it up to the light, I see nothing but black.
Thick creamy head, dissipates very slowly to ¼ inch. Significant lacing.

Smells of chocolate, smoky malt and a hint of coffee. Smell is significant, but not overpowering.

A creamy malt and smoke taste. Hints of dark chocolate that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, a little carbonation, medium body. A rich taste.

A very enjoyable beer. This beer would be great with a smoked cheese.

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

Served in a pint glass. I went to the Yard House for a welcome lunch break from last minute Xmas shopping.

Pours a near-black shade of brown with an attractive two finger mocha color head.

Smells of roasted coffee with subtle vanilla provide a delightful waft.

Taste is of roasted malts with a nuttiness and maybe a bit of molasses before finishing clean and smooth. Very tasty.

Medium bodied. Nicely carbonated.

This is quite drinkable. Very flavorful, very smooth. At 5.5%, this would be a nice one for a session at a holiday party or family gathering in front of the fire.


Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 4,802 ratings.