MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter | Portland Brewing Company

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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream PorterMacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

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:
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Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 184
Photo of magictrokini
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
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 MisterClean
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared at a homebrew club meeting

A - Pours a light black, chocolate head, dissipates slow, and nice legs.

S - Creamy, alcohol, black patent, pineapple hops.

T - Creamy, slightly bitter from the malts, slightest taste of hops.

M - Great for a British style, might have a stronger hop to malt balance for an American.

D - Refreshing and good overall.

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Photo of Japerrault
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, the beer was black in color with a brown head about 1cm tall. The head died down quickly to nearly nothing.

S: Aromas were light with hints of sweet chocolate. No hops aroma noticed.

T: Not terribly complex; Mild chocolate and roasted grain flavors with light sweetness upfront. Quite low bitterness at the finish allowing roasted chocolate to prevail. No hops to note.

M: Medium low carbonation, medium body with a light creamy texture, and mostly dry finish.

D: The mellow flavors and body allow one to drink this beer easily. Nothing offensive here. This is a good easy-drinking porter.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of RickS95
4.2/5  rDev +21%
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 kemoarps
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It poured a beautiful black with a decent tan head that fell away pretty quickly.
the smell was ok, but nothing exceptional. the malts are clearly the driving force behind this beer, and the chcocolatey coffee aroma is welcoming, but not particularly outstanding.
the taste follows the lead of the aroma in terms of flavours, with the coffee malts and chocolate malts (in that order) making themselves quite apparent. almost a faint hint of toffee.
the mouthfeel is decent, but nothing to write home about, and it does not feel as heavy as some other porters I have had, making it a drinkable dark beer. Overall an enjoyable brew, not one that is necessarily particularly exemplary, but definitely an enjoyable drink. Would probably get again, but would not go out of my way to try and find it.

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Photo of Goliath
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and almost completely opaque. Some ruby and amber hues appear around the edges. A nice half inch light tan head forms and lingers with decent retention. No lacing though.

The aroma is fine. Some chocolate and caramel dominate. Slightly roasty as well.

The taste is nice. Some chocolate and caramel, roasted malt dominate like the nose. Not much else going on but very nice for a session porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is high. Good flavor and low alcohol makes for a nice drinking session porter.

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Photo of bkilpatr
2.59/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 09/21/08.

Pours a dark brownish-black color with a thin half-finger of tan head. The head quickly dropped to almost nothing. Aroma is milk chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste is roasted malt with a bit of smokiness. A bit of light milk chocolate. Not much else - the flavor is quite bland and it doesn't taste that good. Feel is very disappointing. The carbonation is very low, and it's very thin and watery. It just feels empty. Drinkability is decent because it's so light with not much flavor.

I don't know why this is labeled as a cream porter. There's nothing creamy about it in either the taste or the feel. I'm not impressed - the taste and feel are both very disappointing.

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Photo of Ragedominion
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
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 KBomb
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fantastic dark rich color and creamy frothy head. Some good chocolate aroma and a hint of nuttiness. Tasted a little less interesting than it smelled; some toasty malts, but not as good of sweet flavors as other porters. Kind of weak really. Mouthfeel was a bit light, a little watery. Easy to drink, maybe its a porter for people not usually fans of porters.

This is a decent beer, but overall the flavors are pretty mild. Not as rich or interesting as others, but nothing really wrong with it either.

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Photo of smttycty
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The massive chocolate milkshake head bursting up from my shaker pint had me reaching for the emergency brake mid-pour. The rocky crown receded slowly exposing the blackish-brown opaque body. Sub-par lacing for such a nice head though. Still, the rocky cap stuck around for the session.

The nose was mild; a little dark chocolate and a tang of fresh cut hardwood. I realized on first sip that I let this one de-chill a little too long. This usually results in any deficiencies of the brewer's skill to lay naked and exposed, yet this subtle porter faired quite well on the palette. Sitting at probably 60 degrees the upfront flavor maintained the dark chocolate and drifted to a coffee-with-cream. Very soft, even demure, on the finish.

The mouthfeel was smooth and not quite medium bodied, with a pleasing carbonation. Very drinkable if not too thin on personality. Bitterness and astringency is something I often find too much of in America porters, yet the total lack of either here doesn't produce much excitement. That not withstanding, it's drinkable and doesn't give me any reason to kick it out of the fridge

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Photo of blackjack000
2.66/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer pours as a beautiful dark brown, like black coffee being poured, and turns solid black in the glass. It was topped with a frothy, eggshell head. The head quickly dissipated and entirely disappeared within a minute.

Smell: A light scent of roasted coffee beans.

Taste: The beer tastes a little light for a porter. A taste of black coffee after you add water to cool it off quickly, metallic- and twangy-feeling hops, and a hardly noticeable dark chocolate. Something odd in the background, almost like a cleaning agent, or when your tongue brushes against the aluminum can when taking a drink.

Mouthfeel: Feels too watery for it's color. The frothy head might have been a giveaway--the feel is equally "frothy" and feels empty. The image of the head was giving me this uncomfortable feeling like I had accidently poured dishwater into the glass. There wasn't much "cream" going on in the porter.

Drinkability: Very light feeling and easy to drink. However, I was looking for more flavor from a porter.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of MillRat
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep brown-black pour with one finger of tan head that disippates into a ring that stays around the glass all the way down, but leaves no lacing. A mild chocolate malt aroma with a little sweetish malt. Flavor is rather mild for a PNW porter, with a smooth creamy malt and oat base with a solid but proportionate dark chocolate malt flavor. A very nice, medium-light mouthfeel that completes a very nice session porter. Don't expect this beer to wow you in the first sip, but you will appreciate the balance and brewer's restraint as you reach for the second and third pints.

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Photo of olimax
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This realy looked like a good beer when it was sitting on the shelf but in truth it is unremarkable.

Appearance: Dark, thin head, and looks thick.
Smell: Not much. A little bitter. Metalic?
Taste: A little bitter and smokey. This beer should have more taste than it does.
Mouthfeel: It is a little thick and not too carbonated.
Drinkability: I have no objection that would affect the drinkability of this beer.

There is nothing wrong with this beer...just unremarkable. I probably won't buy this again but I'm sure I'll drink my other bottle in the next couple of weeks.

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Photo of stephendr
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. glass bottle- color of dark brown , with a thin tan head - nose of milk chocolate , mocha , and light – taste of milk chocolate , some sourness, and nice mocha - body is smooth , and medium with low carbonation – aftertaste of nice chocolate, light, and milky

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of SargeC
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown-black. Prosperous tan head.

Smell: Smoky malt. Metallic/mineral tones.

Taste: Initial smoky malt flavor evolves into metallic/mineral flavors. Has a bit of a hard water quality.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body.

Drinkability: Tasty porter. Drinkable and complex. This brew has a great, working class quality to it. Very genuine.

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Photo of Sleestak
2.68/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Ink black opaque with a soft looking light tan head. Smells very roasty with some coffee and slight chocolate overtones. Very roasted taste. Coffee and chocolate seem to disappear leaving an almost very burnt like toast finish. Creamy mouthfeel with the addition of oatmeal in the mix. This just seemed off to me, too much burnt toast in the finish and not much else imo. Glad I only got a single bottle.

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Photo of Phatz
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge huge thanks to my good friend Slatetank for sharing this beer with me. This beer has tremendous nostalgia and even more tremendous history for me. this was the first craft beer I loved and really a pivotal moment for me and my own personal 'good beer' quest. It was when a friend of mine asking me to buy a half of the MacTarnahan's variety case off him (in PA you have to buy a full case) that I first experienced their Blackwatch Cream Porter and fell in love. At that time I was not much into beer. I considered my self a Whiskey drinker; Scotch and Bourbon mostly. This beer impressed me enough to get me to go look for more beers like it and the story begins. Thanks froggyfrog; look what you've done to my life ;-) ha!

Appearance: Pours black with red hues on the edges and a light tan head. There are a few spots of lace left on the edges of my glass.

Smell: It is not a big in your face experience but the nose gently touches on roasted drank grain and black malt and a hint of vanilla.

Taste: Roasty coffee, espresso (mildly), dark leaf tobacco flavors transition into a hint of vanilla and malt; then more toasted grain flavor, cocoa and a roasty dry gentle bitterness. Dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: It is a bit thin. Certainly light as porter go but that works in this case.

Drinkability: I found it to be quite drinkable. Revisiting this beer many years later I realize it doesn't have all the frills I experienced before I knew what to look for; still it is a solid representation and a damn good beer. I haver not been able to get it in PA for the last three years and I am TRILLED to have had the opportunity yo try it again.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an unusually dark brown with a tan, foamy head that quickly fades into a thin ring of tiny bubbles. Leaves chains of lace with poor retention. Persistent, fine carbonation nearly invisible in this opaque liquid. A porter couldn't get much darker without being a stout.

Aromas are very faint when this beer is refrigerator temperature, but as it warms, roasted malts, especially burnt coffee, emerge. A lingering sweetness combines with moderate diacetyl to produce toffee aromas. I don't really smell much hops. When the beer is at a good drinking temperature, it can smell very sweet and creamy.

This is a very flavorful porter -- big roast characteristics, followed up by bitter hops. It's amazing that I can't really smell them when they're so prominent on the palate. While the sweetness is prominent in its scent, the flavor is dominated by the bitterness and astringency of the roasted malts and hops until late in the finish, when I'm left with the taste of coffee ice cream and diacetyl.

The mouthfeel has positive and negative aspects: it's too fizzy when it's in the mouth, but it does a fairly creamy body (it says they use oatmeal) and goes down easily (aside from all those bubbles). Slightly sticky coating, but at least it tastes pretty good.

I can't say I love it, and though it's an interesting take on the style, I'd probably rate this beer higher if it hedged less with the diacetyl and was more of a big, bold, bitter American porter. As it is, it's certainly tasty, and as it's moderately priced at Safeway, I'll probably be buying it again. Still, Deschutes Black Butte provides a better example of the style because it tries to do less and achieves its goals.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chonyr for bringing this porter my way.

A nice looking porter. A one finger tan head sits atop an almost opaque black liquid. After settling down for about a minute this was a finely and mildly carbonated brew, which only managed very thin lacings.

Creamy nuts, treacle, a touch of dark chocolate with even more dark roasted aromas of coffee, smokiness, a hint of oats, and an earthy and metallic twang.

Tasty stuff. Treacle and some cream, a mild nuttiness, and a hint of dark chocolate present. Then the roasted barley makes its presence fully known with a smokey roastiness that finishes in a mild earthiness.

A nicely balanced light to medium bodied porter. Almost rich creamy and treacly malts are nicely balanced by roasted malts and the touch of earthy hops. The oats make a small contribution to the taste, but manage to provide for an almost luxurious and creamy feel. Finishes slightly dry with a decent hint of smoke and earthy hops.

A very drinkable porter, definately sessionable, and would make a good approachable porter. I would recommend this to those looking to get into porters or stouts, and will enjoy again when the chance arises.

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Photo of russpowell
3.4/5  rDev -2%
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 zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pulled this 12 oz. bottle from a mixed 12-pack; beer & snacks served at the office during a little get-together presentation this afternoon. I'm pretty sure I've had this beer before, though it's been several years...poured to a pint glass (and, yes, I got "snobby" at the office, couldn't drink it straight from the bottle...)

A: Dark, dark brown. Thick 2-finger tan head that's very 'busy', lots of fizz. Eventually settles down to a pencil-thin creamy cap. Sort of schizofrenic...

S: A mildly metallic lager-like smell. Malty but without the roasted nuttiness. 'Average' may be generous, so be it...

T: Initially it's bitter, very bitter. I let it sit for a while; the warming helped reduce the astringency somewhat. Developed into a mildly bittersweet malty porter. However, throughout the tasting I found it to be chalky and unpleasantly sour and metallic.

M: For a 'cream porter' this is one sharp and carbonated beer. Relaxed mouthfeel, actually pretty weak and watery. Lasting bitterness and some acerbic sour tones. Medium body. Not impressive for the style.

D: Would I have another? Unlikely. There are many fine porters out there; this is not one of them IMO.

Though I'm appreciative of the office's generosity with the beer buying, next time I plan to 'advocate' for better beer...

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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter from Portland Brewing Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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