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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter | Portland Brewing Company

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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream PorterMacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter
222 Ratings
MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream PorterMacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 222 |  Reviews: 202
Reviews by freed:
Photo of freed
4.21/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Henry's.

The presentation of this beer is excellent. Its a solid black cylinder with a suggestively dark brown head. It certainly well intentioned in its appearance.

The aroma is smokey but simple.

The taste is a smooth concoction of chocolate malts, burnt coffee grounds, and has a nice nuttiness as well. It stands out on its own as a pleasing and drinkable beer, but really must be paired with the right kind of food. It doesn't match seafood well, but does terrific with a burger or a Reuben.

Its very drinkable, and is very satisfying. A definite high point in Mac's line.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of gottajiboo2
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coca-cola looking dark black into my pint glass. Very thin brown head that disappears quickly except for a bubbly ring around the edges.

Smells chocolaty and maybe some there's some mild smokiness about it.

Tastes roasty and slightly musty. Acidic coffee tingly feeling hits my cheeks and the finish leaves a roasted malt, bitter stickiness in the back of my throat. Coffee an apple slices on the exhale.

Mouth feel is medium bodied, slightly sticky and chalky.

This is a pretty tasty porter to be enjoyed with friends. Very drinkable.


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Photo of RoyalT
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very dark brown, almost black, with a decent tan head that left little pits on top of the body.

Smell – This is almost like a cookies-n-cream mix of dark and white chocolate with a milky, bready malt. There’s a noticeable dose of sugar in there as well, but this one is mostly creamy white/dark chocolate with maybe a hint of coffee.

Taste – This is quite interesting. A hop balance comes out at the taste, making this one well-balanced indeed. And, the chocolate flavors go way back, almost out of sight, replaced by a tangy almost light sherry flavor. It’s very good.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied with some light carbonation and very refreshing. It’s not a big hop busting porter, but it’s balanced.

Drinkability – This went down well. It’s probably off a little bit from my personal preferences, but a class act for sure that will have many fans.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This is not a porter. It's a black, bubbly, macro-like brew in disguise.

To me, a Porter is all about the mouth feel. I like em' smooth and filling. In the summer a good porter should feel like a dip in a mountain lake at night. In the winter the same porter should make your mouth feel like it's bathing in hot chocolate.

This so-called porter was thin and way overly carbonated. It had no body at all.

The smell almost tricked me though. When I opened the bottle, I got a wonderful whiff of mesquite smoke. It was almost overpowering but it too was a trick. The wonderful smokiness was nowhere in the flavor and within moments I could not find its scent either.

It tasted lightly of chocolate, vanilla, cherry, espresso, and alcohol. Felt like Pepsi.

Maybe I had a bad example so I will give this one another try based on all the positive reviews from other Beer Advocates.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The Blackwatch pours dark brown with ruby highlights. It has a thin, fizzy brown head that quickly dissipates.

Its aroma is sweet chocolate and vanilla, and candy-like sugar. There's also some cinnamon and a little fig. Very dessert-like.

The flavor is vanilla and sweet chocolate. It also has strong sugary cream notes. There is some roasted bitterness that helps to balance the sweetness. The mouthfeel is a little acidic and on the thin side.

Overall a nice, but sweet, porter. A little on the sweet side for me, but it would make a nice dessert beer.

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Photo of Ragedominion
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I crack this one open my first whiff I get strong malt smell. As I smell some more I get a bit of chocolate as well. I give it a taste, it has nice carbonation, feels very nice in the mouth. Has a good malt taste with slight creaminess to it. I have had some bad porters and this is not one. An easy drinker for a porter. It didn't really weigh me down as some porters do. I will always go for one of these when I get an urge for a decent porter.

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Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Tan lace sticks all over, big pillowy head when first poured then settles into an almost cake-like form on top, takes for ever to dissipate. Nearly all the way black, a tinge of light is seen thought the dark liquid with reddish highlights.

Smell: Big roasted coffee aroma, you would swear that this was a glass of fresh brewed iced coffee. Trace amount of malt sweetness and a charcoal woody aroma also.

Taste: Smooth with a slightly crisp finish to the mouth feel, carbonation is at a moderate level. Rounded medium body. Roasted flavours are mildly aggressive, meaning they are not extremely harsh but get a bit taxing on the palate with a vague astringent back ground. The roasted malt ranges from coffee grounds to woody charcoal, black strap molasses to somewhat acrid. Hops are more or less an addition to the bitterness of the roasted malts and the woody flavours throughout. Alcohol is a gradually warming factor. Oatmeal and other unmalted grains bring a small amount of softness and a trace of sweetness but are far from balancing.

Notes: A half decent porter, roasted flavours are perhaps drawn-out too much brings a touch too much astringency. Even when served at cellar temperature the astringency still hangs around and wants to be noticed.

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Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and opaque body with a one finger tan head that retains very well and deposits a moderate amount of patch lacing on the glass.
Aroma is subdued, with notes of mild roasted coffee spiked with anise, vanilla, and walnuts.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a mild hops bite.
Taste is more dry than sweet, and I find it to be somewhat bitter with dark chocolate and coffee grounds. Not very creamy, but very roasty in malt character.
Just above average in drinkability. I would peg this as a dry porter or stout in a blind tasting. I would like to try a fresher bottle, and see if I pick up the sweeter notes reported by other reviewers. Still, this is a worthwhile porter that is worth a try.

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Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle sampled. No freshness dating. Pours dark mahogony brown, some ruby highlights, minor dark tan head, minor lacing. Nose is quite strong and of roast coffee, vanilla and cocoa. Medium to full bodied, creamy and coating beverage. Notes of more cocoa, vanilla, rum raisin and coffee. Rich, flavorful brew. Respectable take on the style, worth a try if you like em dark and flavorfull.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with no head to speak of. Unremakable aroma; roasty malts, caramel and vanilla sweets. The taste is very smooth. The oatmeal and roasted malts are nicely balanced up front, but the beer then moves into a sour, dull finish. Its okay, but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.77/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown stubby bottle with a twist-off cap. Served into a nonic glass.
Brownish,black color with a 1" creamy tan head that quickly dissapated into a thin coating.

Moderate aromas,leaning towards the faint side. Chard woody aroma,some roastyness,subtle chocolate,oaty,with a touch of vanilla. Had a strong taste that reminded me of a Milky Way bar.

Clean first taste,almost no taste. Had a smooth creamy oatey first taste.like Mother's Oats,some mild malty tastes started coming through mid-way,roasty/chocolate/coffee no standout here. Finished with a clean,easy,woody bitterness. The whole taste overall seemed watery.

Light bodied,very smooth and silky. Goes down easily,just lacking in taste. Not a bad taste,just wish there was more of it. Boring,nothing here to make me want another.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer grew on me. It also fared better at a warmer temperature, which is hardly surprising but there really was a lot more going on. Dark black with persistent head and very good lacing. Ripe, sweet aroma of coffee and toffee. Flavor consists of roasty malts as well as a raw graininess that I presume comes from unmalted roasted barley. A slight greenness comes from the hops. In my crazy mind it's a touch reminiscent of scotch whisky and scottish ales, or is the plaid on the label having its way with me? Approaches dry stout/Guinness territory but is ultimately a sweet/milk stout a la Mackeson with a considerable sugar element. Not your standard porter, that might have licorice or fig or fruit flavors, but more of a light stout (sweet or milk) which could also be considered accurate for the profile. Mouthfeel approaches creaminess but is maybe a bit too oily. Drinkability is fine, maybe the sweet finish lingers a bit too long.

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Photo of ADR
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Almost completely opaque black, attractive 1/2 inch puffy head of a tan color. Good sticky lace. Aroma is decent, malty with a shot of vanilla extract, almost exact. Caramel flavor, just a hint of smokiness, with lots of the previously mentioned vanilla -- ends with a grapefruit tang, partially from big hopping. A little tart and sharp for a Porter, starts very good with the aroma but finishes diminished without a smooth transition. All-in-all, an OK beer, could use a little fiddling.

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of OStrungT
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a somewhat dark tan head. The head fades slowly leaving thick laces. It smells malty and smokey. It also had slight coffee scents to it. It tasted very creamy. It had a strong roasted malt flavor to it. Also, it has an espresso taste to it. This beer is medium bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a malty aftertaste on the palate. The flavor of this beer is quite mild and non aggressive. This beer would make a good session beer because it has a non aggressive flavor and a relatively low alcohol content. It is carbonated just right. It is definately worth a try.

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Photo of brewQ
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The neck label promises barley, oatmeal and wheat so I am intrigued. (Is this Grape Nuts meets Quaker Oats and the Mr. Cream of Wheat guy?)

No freshness date.

Pours a motor oil color. In the glass it is a glasss abyss with just a hint of red lighting the edges. The head is caramel colored and enduring.

Smells of roasted coffee and molasses to chocolates.

Taste is an excellent velvety blend- not as cloying as I had anticipated.

Finish is creamy smooth and I had my second bottle with a chocolate cake which worked out well! Very drinkable and edible.

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Photo of cokes
2.79/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mostly black with trimmings of burnt amber. The head is compact and pale tan.
Nose is hollow. To say this has no aroma is not quite right. But it's close. Confounding the matter, the trace aromas present are not appealing. Metal, wet paper, and oversweet vanilla extract.
It seems redeemed, once it enters the mouth. But that too is fleeting. Roasty upfront, coffee ground astrigency. Sugary caramel with a carry-over of the nose's cheap vanilla extract and elements of artificial blue razzberries. Roast remains and carries an assortment of baggage. Almost meaty and smoky at times but never reached in full. Then it all goes AWOL. The mouth is left robbed of most everything except a lightly sticky brown sugar, and perhaps a few scattered dead leaves. Some vegetable hues arrise afterward.
Texture is fine (if perhaps a bit thin), its flaws exist elsewhere.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Steve's on University here in Madison a few months ago.

Pours near black with ruby highlights and a thumb of coffee-tinged bubbly/creamy head. Smell started off a little foul: metallic and astringent, bitter smoke and prune. Taste is more of the same metallic/smokey/pruney flavors. As it warmed, more pleasant bitter coffee/dark chocolate flavors became more apparent and masked some of the aformentioned off-flavors. Mouthfeel was definitely on the thin side for a porter, especially a "cream porter". There was no cream to be found by me. Defintiely palatable when the smokey coffee flavors take over, but still nothing special here. Pretty run of the mill overall.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very deep brown, almost black, with mahogany & ruby highlights topped by a creamy tan head that holds well and leaves some limited lace. The aroma is of sweet dark malt. The body is medium and nicely creamy in the mouth. The flavor is caramel-like, with a mild chocolate character and a very subtle roastiness. There's a slight hop flavor; and a well balanced bitterness. Finishes with lots of lingering cocoa. Very nice and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of RickS95
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. I'm starting to realize I've got a whole Sybil thing going on...I like fruity wheat beers, and I like porters...go figure.

Anyway, this cream porter poured a thin brownish head. Very dark brown in color.

Scents of roasted malt in the nose. No lacing. Very smooth mouthfeel, buttery comes to mind.

Hints of malt and bitter chocolate in the smooothe finish.

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Photo of Elemental
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice creamy lightly sweet porter that invites you to drink more. This beer has a brownish white head and a creamy sweet aroma. Yet the taste is tart and creamy that ends up finishing a little sweet. There is a light bitterness that complements the maltiness.

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Photo of russpowell
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a purplish/mahogany with 3+ fluffy fingers of tan colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: A little iron

T: A little chocolate & iron up front. Toasted grain & coffee follow as this warms. Finishes with way too much coffee for my liking, oh yeah, also some roasted grain.

MF: Medium-bodied, chewy & low carbonation, skews a little ot bitter balance-wise

Drinks okay, can't get past the coffee smack, those who like that will disagree with me I'm sure

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Photo of bditty187
2.72/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Largely black in hue, there is some ruby highlights around the edges, especially when held to a light. A foamy beige head of a finger and a half in height topped off the beer. The head retention was excellent as it took a long while before it faded to a foamy cap. Subsequent lacing was patchy but rather widespread. This is a very handsome beer. The nose does nothing for me; all I get is weak suggestions that this is a Porter. Faintly roasty notes are mixed with an airiness that is bothersome. At the back is a tickle of lactose-like sweetness. Bland. It is not inviting, true it is not offensive either but I lack any motivation to take a drink. I will sip with trepidation. After a few swallows I had enough, it didn’t taste off or foul, it was just bland. This is a very weak Porter. Lightly roasty upfront with not much in the middle, the creamy flavors emerge at the finish. It is largely that simple as the only other flavor is a suggestion of coffee, burnt. There is not much aftertaste either. Damn, this is a bland and pointless drink. Medium-light in body. There is modest carbonation, however it seems stark naked on this slight mouthfeel. Sup-par. I’m really disappointed with this effort, it is bland tasting and watery and light in the mouth. Aside from the great appearance this beer is a real dud. I bought a 12-ounce bottle in Iowa City for $1.40; I need not try this one again. Forgettable.

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Photo of bashiba
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a very typical Dark Brown and Blackness that doesn't show much light through it with a nicely rising tan head with good lacing, although the head faded very quickly.

The smell seems to be a bit lacking, just some very faint odors of the flavors to come.

The taste is a very nice porter, a nice coffee and chocolate flavors mixing well with a little bit of hoppiness.

The mouthfeel has nice thick quality that is found in a good porter, not quite to the chewy level, but still very good.

The drinkability of this beer is very good, with no real unpleasantries to be found in it.

Overall a very good porter offering, nothing out of the ordinary, just a good solid porter and there is nothing wrong with that.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Motor oil dark brown pour, 1/3 inch but thick tan head. Dark roasted coffee beans and cocoa are the over-powering aromas, there are some faint citrus-like overtones. Initially this is quite chalky; a sharp day old coffee biterness, the palate is left dry. Some chocolate notes in the body, but this is a rather poor representation of the style. Fails to develop into anything worth writing home about. Skip.

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Photo of marcobrau
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very dark brown almost black. Pours with a good amount of foam in a straight sided pint glass. Not much aroma. Very faint aroma of chocolate and coffee beans. Mouthfeel is a bit rough. The flavor that comes to mind is "coffee with cream." I don't like my coffee with cream. I drink it black. This porter needs more hops. Just a bit too sweet for me with too much of its bitterness coming from the grains.The finish is coarse, short and full of the flavor of burnt grains which too harash for a porter.

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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter from Portland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 222 ratings