Black Creek Porter | Black Creek Historic Brewery

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Black Creek PorterBlack Creek Porter
70 Ratings
Black Creek PorterBlack Creek Porter

Brewed by:
Black Creek Historic Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Porter's deep-mahogany colour comes from a darkly roasted malt. The flavour varies from slightly nutty with burnt grain hints to bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Originating as a distinct style in the 1700s, its name comes from the hardworking porters of London who enjoyed this inexpensive, fortifying drink.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 47
Reviews by ChrisCage:
Photo of ChrisCage
4.44/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- This brew pours with a thick creamy head that is caramel in color, but it quickly dissipates into a patchwork of bubbles over top the liquid. The beer itself is semi transparent, rootbeer/cola in color and has reddish/brown hues when held up against the light. The lacing is not bad, as there are quite a few small swirls of foam clinging to the side of the glass and they don't really slide back or anything....carbonation is still too hard to tell what is going on.

S- Black malt char, a slightly smoked aroma, dark chocolate, however, it is a light scent....hints of black coffeebean oil, subtle Earthiness, blackstrap molasses sweetness, perhaps some fudge deepness right at the finish....nothing else much happening but it definitely smells like a porter!

T- Heavy toasted bread, heavy roasted nuts, dark chocolate, hints of natural vanilla, wood char...somewhat of roasted and freshly ground coffee bean.....well balanced between the robustness of the deep darkness and the blackened/roasted malt sweetness....delectable just like a beer version of a coffee crisp!

M/O- Medium bodied, and the carbonation is quite smooth. This is a well rounded porter and I think embodies the way this style has always meant to be brewed....maybe it is the techniques used to produce it, just as it was 150 plus years ago! I would be happy to have this again and wish it was readily available in my area!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark clear black color porter with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of aromatic coffee with nice dry roasted notes. Taste is well balanced between some dry roasted malt notes with some really nice aromatic coffee notes. Body is a bit light for style with good carbonation. Better then expected form this new brewery.

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Photo of TerryW
2.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm still astounded when I drink a Black Creek brew that they are palatable given that they're turned out by the folks at Trafalgar who are infamous for brewing beers that have some weird funk. This one is thankfully funkless.

Pours cola dark with no head, only a thin ring. Very plain looking.

Nose is very subdued, toasty malt, some chocolate and coffee. Also light on the palate, dominated by toasted malts and coffee. Quite thin bodied, slightly tart with a hint of a dry chalky finish.

Drinkable, but unmemorable.

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Photo of Sammy
2.63/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cask at C'est What. My last four ounces of beer in the evening, and something I needed to sip. The brewer told me they have had to toss at least one cask of porter in the past, so I can understand some wide variance in recipes and process from what is served. It was very wine like, and strong tannins at that! And the wine that you have around in your fridge longer than you should and its becoming vinegarish. No carbonation itself. Reddish black. I do believe wine was added. Vinegar aroma.

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Photo of Viggo
1.28/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

On cask at C'est What?.

Pours an opaque and oily dark brown/black, no head at all, few brown bubbles float around on top, doesn't look very appetizing. Smell is awful, dirty socks, weird fruitiness, sweat, Derek described it as if someone wiped their ass with a piece of licorice, this is pretty gross. Taste is weird, almost exactly like a glass of cheap red wine, really grapey, some fruit, licorice, oily feel, no idea what is going on. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, no carbonation, very slick. Definitely not enjoyable. I know they're trying to be traditional but beer wouldn't exist anymore if it always tasted this bad.

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Photo of Derek
2.75/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served at C'est what from a wooden cask!

A: Black. ZERO head.

S: Licorice, sherry and a little foot-like cheese aroma.

T: Licorice, plenty of wood, winey (is the wood fooling my tastebuds?), fruity, molasses, good bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body, no carbonation.

D: Definitely below average for a porter.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.68/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good. Thick tan foam and a dark opaque liquid. Nose is roasty, hints of cocoa, tobacco and dark fruit. A little bit acidic. Nice toasted graininess and a little bit of sweetness. Fairly clean, with a decent hop bite. Moderate, slick body without too much fizz. Not a bad porter overall. Easy drinking.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.32/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle with crown cap poured in a pint glass. Thank you to my wife for bringing this back from Toronto!

Clear, dark brown with ruby highlights. Tan head is 1/4 inch on the pour, but quickly recedes to a thin ring around the edge. Patches of lacing here and there.

Malty sweet nose. Malt, nut, slightly burnt.

Lightly burnt malts and sweetness off the start. Almost like a burnt marshmellow, but more caramel flavour and not quite that sweet. Finish is lightly burnt malt with a hint of floral hops.

Medium bodied, but actually a little thin for a porter. Mild carbonation.

This is a weird little concoction. It's actually kind of like a hybrid between an English Brown Ale and an English Porter. Not quite black enough and not enough body to be a true porter. But it's rather tasty and I enjoyed it. I originally gave lower marks because it doesn't fit the style at all, but in the end I felt that wasn't doing the beer justice. This is their take on an English Porter and while it may not be true to guidelines, it is a rather nice little brew.

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Photo of grub
2.58/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

500ml bottle. sampled march 8/2011.

pours deep dark brown, not quite black, with a big cap of fluffy dark tan head. the head drops fairly quick but leaves plenty of lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. bit of alcohol. bit of cherry and dark fruit. dark toasted whole wheat bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. bit of caramel.

taste is okay. burnt coffee. burnt toast. whole wheat bread and biscuit. bittersweet and dark chocolate. bit of dark fruit. bit of caramel. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is probably worse than the taste. burnt acrid astringency. medium body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is not very good. the overabundance of roast ruins this one. seemed decent enough otherwise.

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Photo of biegaman
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Creek Porter is actually more of a dark brown; transparency is easily observed as are warmer, more vivid tones when held into the light. Whatever head formed off the pour has long evaporated and shows no signs of coming back. It still looks alright though.

Supposedly, Black Creek Porter is based on a collection of recipes dating back to the 1800s. This doesn't surprise me, given how bare, unembellished and elementary the thing smells. Brown malts, lightly smoked and roasty, make up the entirety of the aroma without, some dark fruit exempted, a trace, trickle or smidgen of anything exciting to dress them up.

Although the original recipe is brewed in small batches and fermented in oak barrels for the Black Creek Pioneer Village this bottled version is brewed at Trafalgar Brewing. How a brewery with such a terrible track record of quality control earned the contract is beyond me and, to no one's surprise, the beer suffers from their signature flat, syrupy texture.

But otherwise it isn't so bad. The malt bill, despite being quite thinnish, amounts to a solidly roasted flavour with hints of coffee and hazelnut that is agreeable and toothsome enough to entertain for the full pint. A very modest bitterness concludes things lickety-split, ending prematurely the cocoa-like flavour that I'd of liked to linger.

Black Creek Porter has obviously made huge strides since it was first debuted. While it still has a ways to go, at very least it makes a serviceable, half-way decent beer. This has been my second bottle of it and while I can't justify purchasing another, I feel confident enough in trying something else from this brewery and will be expecting positive results.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Lick bo. Deep brown with a light brown whipped topping. The beer is here. Coffee is here, but so is chocolate and roasty notes. Medium bitterness with light sweetness reminds me of black coffee with a sugar cube. Except the coffee is hot and this is not. A porter of a beer if there was one. Medium bodied with good bitterness reminds me why I wake up in the morning.

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Photo of Mit
2.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark dark deep amber...almost no light penetrating. Head does not last long at all.

Smell has the expected roasted malts, coffee, almost creamyness to the smell.

Sweet malts with a roasted bitterness to it. I can't put my thumb on the taste though...def creamy flavour..tastes very chocolatey. Maybe I have a cold...LOL

Kinda thin on the palate.

I was kinda dissappointed with this beer.

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Photo of shamus
2.84/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Not what I was expecting. This is a case of marketing an inferior product with some prestige design. First of all it pours flat, smells flat and tastes... surprise! Flat. The flavours are so so. Some roasted chocolate and vanilla but the body is so limp that this get's a low rating from me.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before September 2012. I liked Black Creek's stout, so the porter seems like a logical follow-up.

Pours a deep mahogany brown colour, with scarlet highlights when held to the lamp. It is topped with one finger of dense, smooth beige-coloured head that wastes no time thinning into a foamy, creamy cap on the surface. Some lacing remains above the collar. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malts, with hints of toffee, molasses, walnuts, and a difficult-to-distinguish note somewhere halfway between cocoa and coffee grinds.

Good flavour, but I'd be lying if I said it was especially memorable. Once again the roasted malts steal most of my attention; their nutty, light sweetness comprising the backbone of the overall taste. Some acidity; it imparts a slight tang that I don't find especially endearing here. A slight hint of spent coffee grounds also comes to mind, with some leafy, earthy hop dryness becoming increasingly prominent in the finish. The dryness lingers only briefly. On the thinner side of medium-bodied, with mild carbonation and a very smooth mouthfeel. Easy to drink, and definitely not a chore to do so.

Of the three year-round brews I have tried from Black Creek (the pale ale, the stout and this porter), this one is my least favourite. It's kind of tasty I guess, but it's definitely nothing particularly special, and I have a feeling I'll forget about it within a month or so.

Final Grade: 3.38, and a B-minus shows at least some promise. Skimming through my review history, the only other English porters I have tried previously seem to be Rickard's Dark (lol) and Fuller's London Porter. It can't be that surprising that I must rank it lower than the famed FLP, which is one of my favourite 'drinkable dark ales' of all time. That being said - it's certainly not a BAD beer - it's just not a very inspiring one. If you are into sessionable dark beers, Black Creek Porter is worth a try, but in my humble opinion their stout and brown ale (Rifleman's Ration) are better selections that basically meet the same criteria.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My dad picked this up for me at the LCBO. Thanks! Served in a Heady Topper glass.

A - Pours with a finger of foam that settles to a thin cap and thicker collar, but with minimal lace. Dark caramel brown body that has some transparency.

S - Caramel, buttery, vanilla, coffee - there's an extract quality to the flavors. Strongly reminds me of 7-11 French Vanilla. Cloyingly sweet.

T - Coffee, caramel, vanilla, and some stale espresso bitterness.

M - Overcarbonated, medium-thin body, lightly dry finish.

D - Meh, this was largely meidocre. One of the few passable porters available at the LCBO but far from good.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, best before Aug 2011 - thanks to tbeckett for the Hogtown hookup...

This beer pours a clear, dark cola hue, with one thin finger of fine, foamy pale beige head, which settles slowly, rendering a drooping painted meniscus of lace around the glass. It smells of lightly roasted bready, biscuit malt, some oily nuttiness, baker's chocolate-dipped dried orchard fruit, and some dusty hops. The taste is more chocolate biscuit malt, a bit of distinct, mildly tart cherry, mixed bar nuts, a soft, almost lactic sourness, and very sedate earthy hops. The carbonation is running on empty, the body medium weight, and quite smooth. It finishes clean, the malt still sweet and understated, but now dealing with a slight surge in leafy, bitter hops.

I gotta say, I like this porter, with its nod to the inherent sourness of the historic style (I guess when the brewery calls itself 'Historic' in its name, it's nice to see that represented in the end product, intentional or not), and the balanced, tasty malt. Nothing ground-shaking, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled version, which is hopefully a million miles away from the barrel-aged version I had a year or so back.

Cola coloured body with a finger of tiny head that slowly subsides and leaves some excellent lace patches on the glass. Nose is extremely pleasant with cocoa, coffee, chocolate and oats. Gentle flavour contains everything noted in the nose, with the cocoa perhaps proving the most dominant. A very pleasing and sessionable combination, and far removed from the cheap Hungarian table wine that the first one reminded me of. Medium-light body and a smooth carbonation.

I like this one - it makes a nice addition to the scene and is a damn solid porter. It doesn't even seem to have suffered from being bottled at Trafalgar.

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Photo of Ralphus
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very average porter.

Pours a dark black color with a big mocha color head. It recedes to a small ring of foam around the glass. Some light lacing is left behind.

The smell is mostly coffee. The taste is similar.. coffee and bitterness balanced by a touch of sweetness. Its just a bit.. ordinary?

Mouthfeel is light.. but not smooth. Drinkability is average.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.71/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO this past summer.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Light brown pour yields a small, off-white head with lousy retention. Head fades quickly to a splotchy wisp and ring. Dark bistre brown body, very clear, with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass. A touch too light and transparent for the style.

SMELL: Roasted and dark malts, dark chocolate and some chocolate fudge. Pretty nice really, and plenty forthcoming.

TASTE: Dark malts mostly, with caramel sweetness and dark chocolate up front. Burnt toast and some bitter dark chocolate again at the swallow. Bigger and lingering finish of bitter dark chocolate, roasted and malty sweetness and burnt malt notes. Definitely lots of chocolate in this one, and more burnt notes in the flavor than the nose had led on. Very flavorful for the style as well. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry. A little light on the palate perhaps.

OVERALL: Other reviewers have been pretty harsh on this one. This is a solid English porter. The nose and flavor are very forward and there's lots in there worth contemplating. A very enjoyable 5% beer, no question. This is one I'll be looking for next year when I'm back home. Recommended.

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Photo of ludachris
2.97/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Less than a finger's worth of soapy cream coloured head is left sitting on top of its deep cola brown body after an aggressive pour. Webbed lace pastes itself across the top of the glass after a few swirls.

Pleasant notes of dark chocolate, whisky, and caramel are prominent in this tamed porter. A touch of roastiness and dark fruits makes the smell a bit more rich and a bit more interesting.

Roasted malts and coffee beans flash across the tongue with sweet dark chocolate layered behind them. The roastiness continues into the finish with some messy carbonation that somehow helps bring it out. A touch of dirty earthiness also sits on the tongue in the end that doesn't really entice me to take another sip.

Light, watery, and under carbonated. The level of carbonation takes away from the beer rather than helping to guide it along. With the average ABV and thin mouthfeel, it's easy to take mouthfulls of this stuff but not enjoyable to do so.

A new Ontario brewery sprouting up is only a postive for me, but this, being their only current offering at the LCBO, is not anything but positive. It's not the fact that this seemed to be mediocre at best in nearly all of the 5 categories that makes this a poorly rendered porter, it's the funky earthiness prevalent in the finish and its sub par mouthfeel. I'd still give this brewery another shot, but won't be buying this one again.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.69/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, turbid ruby brown topped by a frothy off white head that laces well.

If only it tasted as good as it looks.

Lots of chocolate and roast on the nose with some cherry and dried stone fruits and rotting molars.

The taste is overly roasty, slightly chocolate-cherry, reminiscent of black forest cake, oak, slightly tart, acrid, cold weak coffee, nuttiness, some dark rye/sourdough breadiness. There's a sourness that lingers in the finish that makes me uneasy and makes me wonder if freshness might be an issue.

Mouthfeel is the weak link here as the flavors are let down by an incredibly weak and thin body and leaves things not sitting so well on the palate.

This was brewed for Black Creek by Trafalgar. You won't get an argument out of me there.

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Photo of Glory
3.08/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

You KNow what I just poured this beer in my glass and it comes out so flat it's pretty unreal ! I don't get this one.
No foam, no lacing no nothing little signs of bubbles al around the rim of the glass buts thats it !
The color is nice tough a dark brownish robe. You get to see through next to a light..Its a great color for a porter..but whats up with the carbonation level !!..Give me a little something !!

The Smell is nice, Smoked malt, a little molasse and dark fruity chocolate and candy sugar. Theres also some dark licorish hints.

Its a nice taste same as the smell...
Burnt caramel, smoky malt, star anis...not really but something similar...cough syrup...yeah sort of. Not bad but were is the GAZ!

The taste of burnt malt sticks to the palate for a while and I like that.
But sorry folks the lack of carbonation has handcuffed me to review this beer pretty badly

Cheers lads


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Photo of Wordslinger
3.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of scott451
3.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before May 2012. Poured into a pint glass. A very dark ruby with a meager bubbly tan head which soon diminishes to a ring.

Smells of coffee and toasted malts. Strong toasted malts. Charcoal. A very mild hop finish.

Medium light body. Not bad overall. Coffee and toast flavours kind of interesting.

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Photo of kwjd
3.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown colour with tan head that quickly dissipates without much lacing. Smells of roasted malt and coffee. Flavour is quite nice, some mild bitterness and the roast really comes through. Carbonation is good despite having almost no head on the beer. A nice porter. I suspect ratings would be higher for this if everyone had it in bottle instead of on cask.

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Black Creek Porter from Black Creek Historic Brewery
Beer rating: 3.25 out of 5 with 70 ratings