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Black Earth Porter - Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

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Black Earth Porter
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

71 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 5
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown) visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Dark and full-bodied, this is our interpretation of the classic English Porter style. Made with nine varieties of malt and assertively hopped, our porter is packed with flavor. Strong coffee and chocolate tones create a special brew for those advancing on the path of fine beer appreciation.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-20-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the downtown brewpub. One of the better beers here, coffee grounds and coffee more than chocolate, 35 IBu and 6.25% abv. Black with some head. a little acidic. Coffee in the nose. Above average mouthfeel.Good for its style. Decent drinkability if you overlook the bias to coffee.

Sammy, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

t0rin0, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at the Madison brewpub.

Another entry in my pre-interview extravaganza. It pours a dark ruby-tinted onyx topped by a finger of tan froth. The nose comprises coffee, maple syrup, molasses, and roasted malts. The taste runs along similar lines, with more coffee and roasted malt flavors and the addition of some sweet chocolate and some light vanilla. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a velvety smooth feel. Overall, a very nice porter; great-tasting, but a bit on the light side to me.

TMoney2591, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

emerge077, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

zeff80, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Great Dane (Madison, WI) on 8/8/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a pitch black, with a finger of rich dark mocha colored head. Retains with a rigid half finger of smooth and creamy foam, that leaves some thick patchy lace back. Rich look to this. The aroma is just loaded with robust coffee and roast, and much sweeter notes of chocolate and toffee. Fresh, green floral tones punch up the back of this. Wow, this is a nice smelling Porter!

The taste is hugely rich, with coffee being even stronger this time around, mixing in with roast and hops to form a strong bitter backbone. Assertive notes of sweet chocolate and caramel malts add some good balance to this. There is also a well done earthy and citrus component to the hops, that ends this dry and spicy. I love it! The mouthfeel is medium bodied in the mouth, but man, this is smooth and easy in the mouth! Very drinkable, but still emits a good bit of presence in the mouth.

A beer that truly earns it's name, packing some dark & crunchy American Porter character, while still retaining that earthy hop profile from the English style. Full and robust, with a hugely quaffable nature to it, I could drink this all night long. Great stuff!

Kegatron, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a 12oz pour in a pokal-esque glass. This was hand-pull, but they do also have firkins for other cask brews at Great Dane. Sampled at our first stop on the way to Darkness Day 2010.

A - Good looking brew here. Persistent tan foam, plenty of lace, and a black body that reveals ruby transparency when held to the light.

S - Loads of sweet butterscotch - this is very sweet, and I'm curious if there is lactose sugar in use. There are complementary notes of roasted grains, milk chocolate, vanilla, nuts, and light smoke. Slight diacetyl too.

T - Taste features far more roast and fair less of the buttery sweetness found in the nose. This is a slight step up for sure, but the beer finishes with a slightly astringent bitterness that seems way out of character. Is this an American Porter? An English Porter? And Irish Dry Stout?

M - It's a good candidate for cask treatment for sure. Smooth medium body, a light kiss of bubbles and carbonation tingle. Finishes dry.

D - This is a porter you could slam all night for sure, especially with the creamy and smooth texture. However I found the lactic/buttery character a bit puzzling and the astringent finish annoying. My experiences seem to be in line with BeerBelcher and quite different from Kegatron or Derek. Perhaps this varies by batch or manifests different on-tap.

MasterSki, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick tan head that last and last.

S- The smell of dark roasted malt has notes of earthiness and coffee beans that give it a nice depth and good complexity.

T- This beer has a great dark malt flavor with notes of earth and coffee and a light cream flavor at the dry finish. The taste is crisp and clean with more notes of tobacco and crystal malt as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with an almost slippery texture. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This beer has big complex flavors of malt and they all work together but it is still a wonderful session beer as the palate doesn't get exhausted from the flavors.

rhoadsrage, May 17, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque. A semi-circle of bubbly brown head. It fades to a collar quickly. Lacing is minimal. Aromas of cocoa, coffee bean, chocolate and black barley bless my nose. The taste is more of the same. And some lactic sweetness thrown in for a kicker. Nice lingering roasted malt bitterness. And some West Coast hop bitterness as well. The mouthfeel is smooth. Easy drinking. Medium body. I could drink more than one growler of this tasty beverage. But a growler will do.

Thanks for keeping me grounded cokes. Nice porter.

Bighuge, Apr 05, 2004
Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

rolltide8425, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Derek
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown-black with a tan head, not much retention, but leaves a nice lace.

S: This is a roasty, robust porter, with plenty of chocolate, mocha & coffee aroma's. Slightly bready with some subtle ale esters.

T: Awesome roasted flavour, without any unpleasant burntness. Mocha, dark chocolate and dark caramel with a good bitterness to back it up.

M: Moderate to full body is very smooth.

D: Very drinkable.

Derek, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

imperial pint, on cask at the downtown dane

appearance: very dark body, bordering on black...huge creamy chocolatey head with fantastic chocolate lacing. wonderful appearance

smell: big and roasty just the way I demand my porters to be...bittersweet dark chocolate, char, medium roast coffee, roasted malt/barley...delightful

taste: The great dane makes a living by providing a thorough list of regular beers combined with a constantly changing menu of bizzarre seasonals that is more intensive than any other brewpub I have ever heard of. Of the everyday beers, this is BY FAR the most impressive and it rivals any porter I have ever consumed. It's big and robust, huge roasted malt/barley body, creamy dark chocolate, wonderful coffee flavour, light licorice, with a very nice mild hopping to provide some contrast. nice dark fruits present as well, a true gem

mouthfeel: perfect on cask, creamy and rich, nothing left to be desired

drinkability: through the damn roof

dirtylou, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of jrallen34
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub...Pours a medium brown with lots of ruby on the sides. I'm flummoxed here because its called Black Earth, this beer should be super dark, disappointing. A light tan head with good retention but poor lacing...A medium aroma that is sweet with a little roasted coffee on the back, not at all bitter which is surprising but the taste is really bitter from start to finish. Coffee, almost too much with a butterscotch finish.

A decently average porter, try if you there but that's about as far as I can go.

jrallen34, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of WoodBrew
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

WoodBrew, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

KAF, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of AgentZero
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A nice reddish black beer with a nice tan head that left a good amount of lacing on the sides. I wouldn't call it an intimidating looking porter, but it is a solid looking beer.

S - Interesting smell, huge butterscotch notes off of this one. It's a sweet buttery smell, with some complimentary roasted malts and burnt cocoa. Good smelling, not what I was expecting.

T - I get a very roasty porter taste on this, with a nice butterscotch compliment. This was not what I was thinking about when I saw the name "Black Earth", but it is good. The roasty qualities help to balance out the butter taste.

M - A little flat, but it is on cask, I'm not a huge fan of most beers on cask. Medium/full bodied.

D - Pretty drinkable, although my big concern would be the sweetness would start to get overbearing, and the flatness makes it not as light feeling as it could be. A good porter that is worth trying.

AgentZero, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of cokes
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark mahogany brown, about two shades away from black. Milky beige foam clings all the way to the bottom.
Roasty malty aroma with strong notes of both chocolate and coffee. Sweetness lurks below.
Taste starts strongly and bitterly roasted. Big expresso and baker's chocolate. Then some dark fruit sweetness begins to squeeze through the cracks. Raisin, faint carmel, and some vinous qualities. Sort of like a Baltic Porter light. Stays heavily roasted throughout, hops are barely a factor, but anchor the finish appropriately.
Smooth and velvety in the mouth, but definately on the thin side. On the thin side of medium -bodied. A little more heft and this would be classic.
Hugely drinkable as it is. A nice session, with plenty of interesting nuances to keep one's attention.

cokes, Sep 21, 2002
Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -1.2%

bpfrush, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Florida9
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Florida9, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of Deuane
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with deep brown highlights. Medium tan head that reduced t leave heavy lace. Mighty fine looking brew.

S-Nice, full roasty malt nose. A bit of smoke aroma comes through in the background.

T-Full frontal attack of roasted malt. Almost a burnt quality leading to a bit of smokiness. Whoa...this is a big boy porter, nice!

M-Medium-heavy body with a pleasant dry finish.

D-A solid roasty, robust porter. Full of body and assertiveness. A winner from TGD, best brew of the night!

Deuane, May 25, 2008
Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev -1.2%

williamjbauer, May 22, 2013
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on draft yesterday while eating lunch at the great dane brewpub in downtown Madison, WI. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: medium black bodied beer with reddish highlight. medium tan head that is about 1 fingers of head and it sticks everywhere on the glass. Fantastic looking porter!

Smell: Chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Nice chocolatey notes and a mildly bitter coffee bite. The chocolate is neverending and I can get lost in this beer its an awesome porter. Just a small hinting of smokiness that lends good complexity to the porter.

Mouthfeel: Like a thin milkshake! Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is my favorite beer at the Great Dane! Way better than the Emerald Island Stout. I think that next visit I am bring 3 growlers to fill with this beer to take home. I wish all porters were this awesome!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of crobinso
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

crobinso, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of kmpitz2
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled while at the source over the weekend. It came off the hand-pump a nice flat black color with a one finger tan head that stuck around quite a while. The nose was what struck me the most. Lots of creamy chocolate, a hint of lacto, roasted malts. I could easily have sat and smelled this brew all day long. The flavor was just as great. A sweet and creamy lacto blast hit me first, followed by intense dark roasted malts, giving it a very minimal harshness like coffee, but this moved almost like magic to a sweet chocolate finish that lingered and lingered. This may be the best porter I have ever had. What a divine treat. The feel was velvety smooth and thick, letting me know I was drinking a nice brew. This could easily have been an all day beer, but with so many others sitting there waiting to be tasted, I had to move on. This will definately be a staple next time I am in Madison.

kmpitz2, May 02, 2005
Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -1.2%

TX-Badger, Jun 08, 2014
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Black Earth Porter from Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
90 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.