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Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,431 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,431
Hads: 5,430
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 20.96%
Wants: 416
Gots: 1,076 | 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
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Butte Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,431 | Hads: 5,430
Photo of OrtheusMaximusRex
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice Porter, and I am a big fan of Porters. I tasted this against Odell Cutthroat and another I forget now...they were close, but something was hidden in the Black Butte, in the body, in the finish, something, that edged it out in the end and it is a better Porter. Some feel it is a bit big for a style that originated (at I think) for men to drink during the day at work in England without getting hammered, is to be 'light' and dry in the finish.

A = dark, roasted look, nice head that stays around a bit with lacing on glass.
T = roasty, chocolately but not sweet, dry, some hop aroma, nice.
S = see T
M = full enough but dry and not overbearing, I could have a few of these in be happy
O = 4.5 I have to leave a little room for improvement, but it is a very nice beer.

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Photo of Merticois
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on vacation and remember being blown away. I will get again and do a proper review but please don't pass up trying this beer if you like smooth dark beers.

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Photo of do_ob
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours medium-dark brown and settles very dark brown in the glass. Only slight traces of light are visible through the beer and present as reddish hues, mostly around the edges. 1 finger of bubbly tan foam initially, which fizzed down to a dense lacing after a couple minutes. Chocolate, roasted malt, black liquorice, caramel, and maple syrup on the nose. Medium-light weight with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Quite watery. The taste follows the smell pretty much to a tee; a good bit of syrup, chocolate and roasted malt up front, along with caramel and coffee. There's a decent hop bitterness that makes itself known middleways. Finishes watery but smooth and leaves those hops and roasted malts lingering on the aftertaste.

Overall, decent. Porters seem to be hit or miss for me. This one was, meh. Good flavors, but too much of a syrup taste, and too thin of a body kept me from loving this beer. Not bad, just not one of my favorites.

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with a khaki head that quickly fades. Some coffee notes, vanilla, some smoke in the nose. Smooth drinking and nice feel to this brew. Well balanced with coffee, caramel, some smokiness, and a nice balance of hops in the back end to solidify and tie this brew together. Really nice porter.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BB 8/23/15 at 42 degrees into shaker
Aroma weak, roasted malt
Head large (> eight cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to three mm creamy layer
Lacing excellent – thick curtains of tiny to large bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor slightly bitter, roasted malt, a hint of chocolate; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of laketang
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

big tan head, black as a night in the Canadian wilderness. great mouthfeel(what does that mean!) slight bitterness on the tongue right at the end.love it even in the summer

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deschutes is an excellent brewery. Deschutes makes excellent beers. Black Butte is one of them. But it's also not, like, a transformative experience in the way that--say--their Fresh Squeezed IPA or their Chainbreaker is (to my tastes; I know, comparing different styles is so unfair).

Very dark in colour, with thick, persistent beige (khaki?) foam. Smell of coffee, chocolate. Super malty. Caramel. Lightly smoky, almost. Taste is creamy, good balance of sweet and bitter (sweeter than a lot of porters I can recall) with chocolate and coffee. A bit of copper (which I'm noticing in the smell now, as well). There is a light hop presence, too, actually--subtle but nice. Great body, not too carbonated, but not too watery or too heavy. Very drinkable.

I dig it. A fabulous porter, even if porters aren't necessarily my preference as a style.

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Photo of JOldewurtel
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The definition of a "solid" porter. The most impressive aspect is just how well balanced it is across the board. You'll be hard pressed to find another Porter you could say the same about.

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Photo of Edman5P
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

roasted malt with a hint of coffee on the nose.. Toasty malt with a hint of dark coffee on the palate.. Very little lacing and head didn't hold up the minute, although a very good beer

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Photo of dfconnor
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Nice taste, but finishes a bit watery and flat. I think this would be better if it had a little more bite at the end. Slightly gamey aftertaste. Not the best porter I have ever had, but I would buy this again and give it another try.

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Photo of Itskarl
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Everetts. Acceptable head and minor lacing. Faint roasted malts on the nose with just a kiss of milk chocolate. This beer shines in it's flavor. Chocolate malts are incredibly presented in a smooth, easy drinking beer that has tons of flavor and isn't overpowering. Deschutes has been making this in large quantities for quite a while but they have not sacrificed ingredients for profits. It is my grandfathers favorite beer and for a man that came from the age of crap beers, that speaks for itself.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer in a bottle for the first time on a train ride from Vancouver to Seattle. So good, couldn't stop at one! Up to that point, it was the best Porter I had. I prefer the Obsidian brew better, but overall, a solid brew!

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Photo of DevAJ
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'll say up front that the one I got was past it's "Best By" date (I bought it in a build your own 6 pack) so who knows this may be better if it's fresher, but it a fairly standard porter. The porter that a former co-worker makes himself is better to me personally though.

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Photo of jdavis8361
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Thought the carbonation level was over the top. Way too fizzy for me. The Sierra Nevada porter is more to my liking, although I just bought a 6-pack of O'Dell Cutthroat porter to audition.

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Photo of Steve_Studnuts
3.01/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


Thus, I review:

Looks swell enough upon initial pour, all dark and frothy and inviting. Head retention is minimal, if that matters to you. Smells of coffee & copper. Tastes of weak coffee & raisin & well, copper. It's awful metallic. Somewhat thin & watery, too. There are much better brews in this style - Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, for example.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not nearly as overpowering as its peers. High level of drinkability, with its major flavor being a coffee tinge in the breathes after a sip. Good choice if you want a porter or stout, but you don't want such an intense flavor.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a fresh (best by date says it's good for another six months) sixer at my local Trig's supermarket. Poured right from the fridge into a pint glass.

L: Pours cola brown with about a half-inch of beige head that falls pretty quickly but sticks around as a hearty film. Good lacing on the glass as it down.

S: Roasted and caramel malts are the most prominent notes in the aroma. There's a bit of underlying coffee and dark chocolate, as well. Not much assertiveness to this bouquet.

T: This one is sweeter than what I was expecting. I was bracing for those roasted malts, but the front is really dominated by the caramel malts. Those roasted notes are still there, but quite subdued. The middle has some suggestions of coffee and dark chocolate, with a touch tartness beginning to come through. A touch of vanilla in the mix. The back end has a nice balance of roasted and caramel malts, with just a touch of bitter. Very smooth flavor.

F: As others have pointed out, this one drinks a bit on the watery side for a porter. It still has a nice medium body, creaminess, and well-executed carbonation. It finishes very clean, without any stick or syrupy quality.

O: This is a very drinkable porter, but I do find myself wishing that it had a little more heft. And while I do appreciate the well-balanced flavor profile, I wish that it had more robust roasted malt and chocolate/coffee notes. While I don't think it can stand as a world-class brew, I'll definitely return to this one again.

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Photo of everyman
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I know that for many this is an excellent go to porter. However, I kinda disagree. The mouthfeel is closer to most light stouts--silky and thin. The flavors are complex for a basic porter recipe and the malt character is more hidden than forward. I do like this beer. In fact, I'd never turn it down. It really is flavorful, but that's part of my hang up. I like a basic porter to have a malt-heavy tone and to foam up thick and densely. I like to see that foam cling to the glass. This porter is just too slick to do that, albeit being tasty.

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Photo of Bil3539
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a room temp glass

L - Pours dark brown almost black with a one finger foamy tan head which disperses to leave a nice lacing.
S - Cocoa and roasted malts
T - Semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, & roasted malts. Gets better as it warms.
F - Smooth and creamy with a clean almost citrus finish
O - I love porters and this is one of the best I've had.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark brown with fine 1fb of off white head and good residual lacing.
Smells of roasted malts, yeasty, cocoa, hint of hoppy pine. Tastes semi sweet toasted malts forward, nice balanced flavor, mid note pine, cocoa, nice clean finish. Mouthfeel is slightly less than medium, good carbonation.

Overall, easily one of the best porters I've had, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this up again. Delicious!

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Photo of Vein95
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Straightforward very tasteful, poured right into a cold mug. Look- dark brown color,Tan foam. smell- like coffee/malt beverage. taste- medium chocolate background which makes it a smooth creamy drink. Enjoyed it alot, would recommend.

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Photo of Qbdoo
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Awesome-looking porter. Cola colored with frothy tan head, lots of roasted malt and a bit of chocolate on the nose. Taste is mostly roasted malt and a kick of hops. Slightly thin texture for the style. I enjoyed this and will be happy to drink it again, but had been led to expect a more complex beer.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

L: Deep dark brown with a thick foamy tan head. Great retention and very solid lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, burnt grains, chocolate, vanilla, even some cherry, apricot and pine come through.

T: Subtlety sweet fruit surprises you at first with a blast of cherry, then chocolate and brown sugar flood the palate, follow by roasted malt and finished perfectly with a slightly grass like hop finish.

F: Light in body, moderate carbonation, great creamy finish.

O: A very well balanced easy drinking porter.

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Photo of Griffin2
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours dark brown with a nice tan head.
S - nice roasty smell.
T - delicious chocolatey Porter.
F- really creamy.
O - I really enjoyed this beer. I highly recommend it, if you like a chocolatey Porter.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a single into a snifter
a: khaki head on top of a deep dark brown/black body; big foamy bubbles that subside quickly, little lacing
s: burnt coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, piney hoppy edge with a little orchard fruit
t & m: surprisingly thin and even a little flat, despite some bright flavors...some fruity flowery notes with a grassy edge, then you're into the roasted chocolatey malts, and then back to a grassy hoppy finish.

overall: have always really enjoyed this one on its own, though it is a little thin and hoppy to be a perfect porter to me. This particular tasting, I tried it side by side with Odell's, Founder's, and GL's, and this was quite distinctive but it was my least favorite...it lacked the creamy rich mellow flavors and perfect balance that others had; undoubtedly just my own idiosyncratic preferences. I'll definitely drink this one again, but there are others in the style that I prefer.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.