MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter | Portland Brewing Company

202 Reviews
Read the review
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mark on 09-15-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 222
Photo of BEERchitect
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer confirmed my initial aspirations about the flavors, textures, and aromas. Begins with an impressive pour of dark roastiness, nice airy head formation that retained well and left traces of lacing on the glass. Aromas are typical in the roasted barley and sweet malt profiles with hints of coffee and cocoa. A grain aroma follows up and threatens to take control of the beer. Flavors are a medium balance of stout-like grains, softened by chocolate and nutty character. Hopped assertively for bitterness and a grassy flavor. Again, the grain flavors take hold late and give an astringent taste to the aftertaste. Feels airy, dry, and round due to the abundance of carbonation, but not as creamy as the label suggests. A balanced blend of raw barley, chocolate, and hops in the finish. It hits the stride with many to-style Porters, however ordinary nonetheless.

 868 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - poured out a dark black color with no head. Not much for lacing either.

S - It smelled of choolate, coffee and roasted malt.

T - It a stong roasted quality. The dominant flavors were malt and chocolate.

M - It was soft and creamy. Medium-bodied.

D - It is pretty good. I had higher expectations because their Thunderhead IPA is so good.

 352 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

 441 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown with reddish highlights. I can't quite see bright sunlight on the opposite side of the glass. The head is light chocolate brown in color, falls without fanfare and desposits very little lace. The nose is muted, though I do pick up mocha and chocolate. It's a good aroma, it just needs to be stronger.

The flavor is pretty good even though it doesn't inspire me to wax poetic. It's not a whole lot different from the nose: sweet, chocolate-laced coffee and maybe a little hop juice. It's both sweet and sour at once, an interesting characteristic. The somewhat generous amount of malt results in a medium-full body. The mouthfeel starts out creamy, but then thins out just a tad on the finish. As the beer warms, the creaminess becomes more apparent and is maintained throughout.

Blackwatch Cream Porter is pretty good beer. Better, at least, than a fair number of porters that are out and about. It has no major faults and is therefore decently quaffable. Worth a look.

 991 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
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

 477 characters

Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

 1,352 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 396 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a light tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover.

The smell is of lightly roasted, sweetened, coffee.

The taste is of sweetened coffee with a touch of roast and some oatmeal. Sweet with only a touch of balance from the mild roast.

Light-side of medium-bodied with an annoying astringency.

Lacks balance. Forgettable.

 344 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color with a 1/2 inch tan head. The aroma is mild, but you can pick up the roasted malt and coffee tones without much difficulty. The flavor is of roasted malt, coffee, and light bits of bitter chocolate.

This is thinner bodied than other porters, but nicely smooth and creamy in the mouthfeel. Carbonation levels were a bit weak. The roastiness lasts on the tongue for a bit after swallowing. Easily drinkable.

 429 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle has changed to a shorter one from the long neck.

A - Pours a black color, not much carbonation, very small head which disappers quickly, not much lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of coffee/chocolate, malts, some roastiness and a slight smoke hint.

T - The taste is sweet and coffee like, pretty smooth aftertaste with a round balance of flavors.

M - Medium body, not much carbonation.

D - Drinkable. I like this brew and would recommend to others.

 470 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a black malt scent that boasts of patent and roasted malts. It's dry and earthy with a slight chocolate sweetness. The taste is decent also. It has a very dry and earthy flavor that boasts of patent and chocolate malts. It goes down easy with a dry, black malt finish. The mouthfeel is above average. It is a full bodied beer with a bit too much carbonation. This is a decent porter. I like the black malt element, but I must have missed the boat on this one. It could have used more crystal and chocolate malts to enhance the sweetness as well as some lactose for a "creamy" flavor.

 708 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.71/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce stubby twist-off from Total Wine, on to the beer:

The head has a tint of tan, and forms thick on top this charcoal colored beer. No lacing, not much head retention. Dark malt is obvious in the nose, vague roasted malt show up on occasion. To taste, it is light in the mouth, some silk-like texture is present, with little carbonation hitting on the palate. Some odd cream flavor is tasted along with a powdery, somewhat tasteless chocolate note. Flashes a vague green veggie note, could that be hops?

Decent to wash down a meal, but that's it. Lacks the robust flavor I would want from my porter, and adds a bit of an odd flavor in return.

 650 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz my fiancee brought with her on our trip.. poured into a shaker pint.

Fairly aggressive pour made the head cascade over the side of the glass .. "my fault.. not the brewers." Dark DArk DARk DARK brown.. only the slightest bit of lite brown reveals when held to a light. Fantastic lacing.. tan head.

Aroma is muted dark malts and chocolate.. lite black licorice... cinnamon??!!

Flavor is dark malts and very lite brown sugar.. could use more body.. and sweetness... yeasty fruitiness on the end of the palate that is a little distracting. A little watery.

Just an OKAY porter.. nothing to shake a stick at.. definately not drainpour.. but not as good as a PNW porter "should" be. Sorry.

 693 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black color with a nice tan colored head. Nose is dominated by a strong dark coffee scent with hints of sweet malt.Taste is alot of roasted malts and grains really come through in the taste with notes of molasses. Really creamy mouthfeel and easy to drink.

 270 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.46/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with ruby red highlights on edges and a full creamy light brown head, good carbonation, and good lace. Roasty aroma dominates -- espresso-like at first but then turns a bit sweet. Nice roasty flavors. Medium-full bodied and creamy smooth with a lightly dry roasty finish.

Label states: "Scottish Style" (?)

2001 Great American Beer Festival - Gold medal - Porter

 374 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Your normal porter amppearance of ligt tant head with foamy ring and coal brown color. Lots of coffee creamer malts with plenty o' roastiness and a little toastiness. Like a Marzen. Sort of. Just in flavor. Very chestnutty middle to this milky brew. plenty of mdiocre bitterness notes mixed with the overall roasty character of this beer.

 338 characters

Photo of Suds
4.37/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is deep, dark, and black. There are hints of ruby highlights and a light-brown, dense head. Nice looking brew. The aroma is notable: chocolate, roasted, toasted malts (black patent?). It's the kind of thick, intense aroma that hangs with you. The beer is relatively heavy and mouthcoating, with a hint of smoke and oil in the taste. Very smooth, and extremely creamy. The sweetness is very restrained. Finish is moderately bitter. Excellent. I'm glad that I found this one.

 483 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.11/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beers empties from the brown stubby bottle a soot black, the head smallish and tan in color, the texture semi-creamy. Nose has a nice roasted grain aroma, sweet and seems to me a hint of vanilla, start is lightly sweet, the grain presence adequate and the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is easy going on the acidity side, the hops personable in their spiciness, pleasingly dry aftertaste that lingers long, an easy drinking beer that I really should sample more often, but damn, so many good beers, just one mouth! lol

 529 characters

Photo of Durge
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark black brown color, solid and pretty, with a fair tan head and modest lacing. The aroma is a thick malty scotch, full and inviting, much like a nice scotch ale. The flavor offers tangy weak malt with just a whisper of the scotch. It's very watery, surprising after taking in its appearance and aroma. There's a touch of licorice and a little smoke in the finish. I get a bit of sweet mellon too but I don't see what makes this "creamy". The flavor and feel are nothing approaching creamy. It's effervescent and thin. Once you get used to the body, it's not too bad with good flavor and a refreshing but smooth feel that is quite drinkable with a slight warming to the belly.

 680 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly decent porter. Motor oil colored with a thin head that vanished rather quickly. Very pleasant malty/coffee aroma. Decent roasted flavor with coffee pervading, although it was on the thin side. This was noticeably un-creamy considering the name of the beer. It was rather sharp and dry, but not overly so. I'd try this again.

 331 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color pours a dark brownish black, settles to a very opaque black, no head was produced but some residual tannish bubbles arrived around the edges and has some small stringy patches of lace. Aroma is blackened malts and very roasty burnt-like, slightly robust and earthy like wet soil, with a nice deep coffeeish/espresso backing thats all pretty soft but not in a light aspect. Taste is mildly robust and smooth of deeply roasted-blackened malts, good sweetish tangy bitterness with a slight hop twinge and dryness. Gets a bit of espresso taste and feel quality in there but nothing to potent. It could use a bit more oompff, its pretty mellow, smooth, and easy. Just enough flavor and tangyness to keep me sippin'. Feel is a bit light, but close to medium body, smooth & pretty creamy and coats nicely with a light popcorn-like airy, partially tangy dryness on the top of the mouth and the tongue in the finish. Pretty decent porter, I wouldn't pass it up if offered.

 969 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 881 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lovely dark black colour with red highlights and a creamy tan head. The aromas are of creamy roasted malts, sweet lactic notes, chocolate, caramel, and more. The taste is so roasty and toasty with some chocolate and coffee in the mix as well. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and the drinkability is nice....Nice!

 317 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at TJ's in late November for $1.00.

Poured black as night, with ruby undertones, a tan head that is thin. Nose is of roasted coffee. Taste is a chocolate coffee flavor with a slight bittering hop finish. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Overall drinkability is good, a pretty good representation of the style.

 328 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After the Amber Ale, with its poor head retention, I decided to hell with etiquette, and dunked this beer vigorously from its 12 fl.oz. brown bottle into my Imperial Pint Glass. It certainly helped to produce a fantastic looking tan brown head, comprised of mainly large sized bubbles that started to settle to a nice 2” deep head, which finished around ½” deep for the rest of the experience. Longevity of the head was certainly extended, and I would strongly recommend doing this if you like a head on your beer, as I do.

The beer itself pours a very deep brown color that looks black - but on closer inspection is not. Held to the light, it exhibits that rather familiar deep red mahogany hue so reminiscent and familiar of these Porters. Aromas from the crusty brown head are of sweet roast malt and milk chocolate, but hops are also evident. Has a lovely velvety smooth mouthfeel which leads into a roast malt beginning. Roast flavours are dominant, restrained mild burnt tastes are there also, but masked by a silky smooth Cadburys milk chocolate middle, making way for some hop bitterness in the finish. Finish is a little too “aggressively short”; it just dies and leaves you wanting more from this beer. This does aid it's drinkability though, highly quaffable, and a beer that is hard to put down.

Nice beer this, but I have to say that I am used to Porters being a little sweeter than this, and for me this could easily be classed as a Dry Stout - but hey, I am no expert and I am sure that argument has been argued, won, and lost, many times in the past by people far more educated in these matters than me. Nevertheless, Porter or Dry Stout – a very nice beer that drinks well. Only complaints, well as with the only other MT beer that I have had, the ‘weak’ Head and Nose detracts somewhat from the overall pleasure of this beer.
Would I buy it again? – Yes, Certainly.

 1,899 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter from Portland Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 222 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.