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
Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 222
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours almost pitch black with a light brown head. The aroma is malty and a bit roasty. The flavor is creamy, malty and roasty with a roasted bittering finish. It has a bit of coffee notes as well. It is a smooth, creamy porter that is medium-full in body. Not too bad of a beer.

 278 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured an inky black into the glass. Has a ruby-red edge and a foamy tan head that faded to a small cap in a couple minutes. No lace.
Smells of roasted malt, espresso, and a bit of fruit.
Taste is strong of chocolate and black malts. Very much like cold espresso with a bit of caramel added. Has a mild bitterness at the back of the tongue.
Feel is more light-bodied than expected for a porter. Also has a watery aspect in the finish.
Overall, a decent, if not fantastic, porter. Worth giving it a shot.

 507 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color, medium tan foamy head with a roasted malt aroma. Darkly roasted malts, slightly hoppy. A medium to light bodied porter. Full flavor. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is a little thin for a porter. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

 253 characters

Photo of Elemental
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

 260 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a milk-chocolate head. Smells like roasted malts and vanilla. Taste is faintly sweet malts on the palate that quickly give way to bitter with a warming, chocolately bitter finish. Felt a little thin, but on the other hand, it had a nice bubbly feel. I could drink this regularly. Not a great porter, but a pretty good one.

 346 characters

Photo of Mustard
2.65/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best by" date.

Appearance: Pours an opaque chocolate-brown with a beautiful -- albeit shortlived -- beige head; not much in the way of lacing.

Aroma: Heavy doses of roasted chocolate.

Taste: Flavor's a sallow imitation of the smell; unpleasantly acrid to boot.

Mouthfeel: Solidly viscous; overly carbonated for the style.

Notes: I am too good for this beer.

 431 characters

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

12 oz bottle. Poured a dark brown to almost black, with very little head. Some evidence of lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malt, and coffee. Taste starts out mild, and slightly creamy, and pretty much finishes the same. Kind of lacking as a porter in my opinion. Not a bad tasteing beer, but not something I'd go out of my way to find.

 341 characters

Photo of budgood1
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out nearly opaque, dark and almost black. thin head and thin lace. farily strong aroma of chocolate malts. very nice. bitter chocolate malt profile....some underlying smoothness...rather tasty and satisfying. of course, the body falls dreadfully short of making this a mouthfull of mouthfeel, but nonetheless tasty and drinkable. a bit too crisp and lively on the tongue for a creamy porter. another crossover brew...just average in all respects...there are other porters that are much better for the same $$$. i won't come back to this one.

 547 characters

Photo of woemad
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from six pack bought at a local supermarket - no date to estimate freshness.
Pour yielded slight, tan head which disappeared quickly. Not much lacing at all. Very dark in color, more black than brown.
Odor reminds one of coffee.
Mouthfeel is creamy, but not as much as I'd expect from a "cream" porter.
Strong, coffee-like malt presence with a little hint of licorice in the background. Finishes with a slightly acidic character in the back of the mouth.

 473 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, nearly black with dark brown accents. Quite dark for a porter. Forms a light tan head with good retention and lacing. Brewed with oatmeal. Aroma is tarnished with strong notes of pink highway rest-stop hand soap, lemon, vanilla, light roast coffee and chocolate. Taste is very burnt with touches of semisweet chocolate and stale coffee. Body is thin with a spritzy mouthfeel and a burnt finish offset by a very mild bitterness. This one definitely needs work.

 466 characters

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

A beautiful dark brown pour with a big tan head on top. Sweet chocolate and a nice roasty aroma make up the nose.

A nice creamy rich body with a good amount of flavor. Chocolate dominates. There is a bit of toffee and good roastiness. There was a pretty strong acidic taste to it that bothered me a bit. A pretty good drinking porter, but it lacks for the style.

 366 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 BierReise
2.01/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Espresso black with a tan not so compacted head. Smells a little yeasty, which is not what I expect of a Porter. Taste is somewhat watery with very little character except for some bitterness. This is a real dissapointment. Even at room tempature has little flavor. Must be another crap micro of the month club beer.

 316 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice effort though I'm finding that I'm not much of a fan of MacTarnahan's brews as they tend to be somewhat pale imitations of the great brews. This one looks really great, pouring a dark brown / black with a very nice malted milk head. Quite opaque and it keeps its head a long while. Great lacing down the glass. The nose is a bit less impressive, giving off some notes of coffee and caramel, but not in large volume. The flavor is crisp and clean, but light and diminished by a bit wateriness. A good beer, but not a great beer.

 534 characters

Photo of 49degrees
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting offer from within the Porter style of ales. The creamy complexion and marketing slant for this brew puts this one in the "fusion" style of brews -- and subsequently will detract Porter enthusiasts from embracing it. It tends to look and react to pouring like a Stout, and has a fairly thick viscosity thanks to the addition of Oatmeal in the brewing process. Despite garnering the 2001 GABF Gold medal for Porters, this doesn't quite live up to that billing, but that's not to say its not an enjoyable brew -- just not a Gold standard.

Pours a dark black color, with a modest oatmeal induced viscosity, medium rocky head, with little to no lacing. Small, uneven collar forms along the top of the brew and sticks around while drinking.

Malty aroma with distinct bouquet featuring slighy earthy tones, caramel, coffee and a mellowing blend of malts.

As for the palette, there's an interesting blend of malts and hops which helps to keep it smooth. Oatmal addition combined with malted barley and unmalted grains provides a smooth balance, but waffles in its delivery. Black Watch presents a blended example of four distinct styles: American Amber, Cream Ale, Porter and Stout all into a single package, as a result, it doesn't really peg a Porter style the way one might hope. However, its an interesting concept and it is pulled off with a relative flair and makes for a smooth afternoon drink.

I'm always game to tackle something different. I had previously seen references to the beer but had never seen it for sale anywhere until this past week. Sold in 12 oz bottled six packs, the stylish, but conservative labeling provides virtually no information about the brew.

If you're looking for an interesting dark beer that isn't afraid to play with traditions Black Watch should be worthy of a closer look. However, if if you’re looking for something from the Pacific Northwest that more closely adheres to the Porter style, you may want hold off until you can enjoy a Black Butte Porter from Deschutes (also from Oregon).

[ STATS:>> 12 oz bottle / ABV: unlisted / PRICE: $ 1.89 USD ]

 2,124 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought in the 12 oz brown bottle with blue tartan label!!!
The beer pours very nice,,leaving a dark mahogany brown colour with a large tan head , which fades good so far..
Smell is the usual roasted malts but with a creamy, milky scent in there too.
Taste is pretty good though not spectacular at all, good enough malty taste in the front..but the bitterness doesn't seem just right..though after better tastes surface..brown bread, ok.
Slightly above average in the mouth..leaves a good trace.
Its drinkable Ok but I wouldn't rush out to buy this even if it were on sale..its ok though

 628 characters

Photo of Quaffer
4.16/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This was a black beer that just barely gave way to the light when I held it up to a lamp. The dense, tan head rose up nice and big, taking a long time to dissipate into a thin layer over the top of the brew. It left a respectable amount of lace on the glass.

Smell: When smelled from the glass, the aroma of this beer was very faint. There were just some mild, roasted notes. From the bottle, smells of dark chocolate, bitter coffee, and a spicy smokiness (beef jerky) were present.

Mouthfeel: A smooth, creamy beer. However, it was too light bodied for a porter in my opinion.

Taste: This was a mild, easy drinking porter. Just because it was mild, though, doesn't mean that it wasn't flavorful. Up front there were light chocolate and cream tastes. Some coffee notes came through in the middle, and then a stronger smoke and dark roasted malt flavor kicked in for the finish. There was a small hops tingle on the tongue, but that was the only appearance that they made in this beer.

This was a very nice, mellow porter.

 1,045 characters

Photo of StevieW
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. These an others have been showing up recently in Florida due to a new beer marketer in the area. No freshness dating is a cause for concern. They also use standard bottlecaps not from the brewery. hmmmmm, how, why is this done ?
Anyway back to the beer.
Deep shiny black body, nice bubbly thick beige head. Faded fairly fast, some moderate lacing, despite a very aggresive pour. Smell was dominted by a combination of burnt toast and bitter chocolate. Some hints of burnt coffee as well. Taste was a pleasant combination of the above flavors. Roasted chocolate was very present. Overall burntness seemed to ovelwhelm. Some bittering hops toward the final taste. Harsh bittnerness lingers. Falls short in the feel, highly charged, and overly bubbly. Takes away from a creamy feel that is touted in it's name. Slightly thin feel for such an impressively dark beer. Overall worth a try, I think it would better be dubbed a chocolate porter than cream porter by Mactarnahan's, but oh well. I have really enjoyed alot of porters this winter, and this one is no exception.

 1,084 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a extremely dark brown, perhaps black color with a nice 2-finger tan head. The aromas of chocolate and coffee bellow out of the pillowy froth. The taste mirrors the smell with a pronounced chocolate flavor that dominates and smoothly waves into the hop bit and coffee-bitter finish. The mouthfeel is fairly light for the style, but drinks down amazingly easy for a porter. This is a solid brew, but not spectacular. MacTarnahan’s is a brewery to be respected from my experience. Cheers!

 493 characters

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

This is a really dark porter with a creamy thick head. The aroma is roasted and malty, with hints of coffee.

The flavor is malty with a roasted dryness to it. Coffee notes appear, as well. An assertive, slightly bitter hoppiness adds another dimension. But even with that, this brew isn't terribly complex. Overall, it rounds out dry, astringent, and a little thin in the mouth. It's not a bad effort, but there are much better American porters to chose from, even Northwest porters for that matter (the Anchor Porter comes to mind).

 536 characters

Photo of elmocoso
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, but shows its true color when held to the light.

low carbonation and a rather weak head that soon dissapears leaving barely a trace of lace around the edge of the glass.

smells pretty good - sweet, but with a nice hint of hops to make for a good balance.

tastes average for a porter, a little hopier than usual, which i like but do not know if it is true to the style.

 411 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

Photo of Morris729
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black color with a sticky tan colored head. Aroma is dominated by a strong dark coffee scent with hints of sweet malt and a mild sourness. Roasted malts and grains really come through in the taste with notes of molasses and a touch of sourness in the finish. A bit acidic in the mouth. This is an average porter.

 325 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 kennywoodbrew
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Initial appearance would be a mohogany-black hole. If properly decanted (with a little help) it shows-off a creamy-creamy head; somewhat comparable to a "Guiness-Latte". Very apparent coffee/ toffee flavors are present. I sense generous additions of chocolate malt and flaked barley, offering a very smooth graininess.

There is an unusual flavor perceived during exhalation through the nose... One that pulls you back for another taste, almost a pine nut like character. Hop flavor is present but controlled in just the right proportion. "Blackwatch" is very much at home in front of the Fireplace...

 603 characters

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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.