Black Duck Porter | Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

very good
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Black Duck PorterBlack Duck Porter

Brewed by:
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A black ale that puts the flavor of the malt front and center. It has a mild hop character that balances strong notes of cocoa and hints of coffee. A full-bodied roasty treat that finishes dry. Pairs well with chocolate, BBQ, as well as fresh shellfish.

Added by bonbright7 on 08-24-2009

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 213
Photo of BF1977
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite porters of all time.

Black in color with a 1/4 inch brown head.

Full malty flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee. Solid mouth feel, not thin, but not overly thick either.

Finshes smooth with little after taste.

I could drink this all day long. It's a great example of this style.

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Photo of KWolf
4.66/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Exceptionally clean and drinkable session Porter. Nice and malty in all the right places. Super fine and thick Lacey tan head yields to a smoother than silk coffee and dark chocolate finish.
Very well done.

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Photo of bgold86
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't usually rate porters this high, but this example is well deserving. Really nice, hints of coffee and chocolate and finishes really nicely, not too bitter.

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Photo of david18
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a sixteen ounce glass of this at Rattle n Hum in New York City. Greenport has been making quite a splash in New York as of late and has given the other Long Island Breweries a run for their money. This porter is, in my opinion, their best and one of the better English Porters I've had.

Pours a dark, reddish brown with alight amount of carbonation and good lacing along the side of the glass.

Aroma is smokey and very good. You can detect wood as well as dark malts and hops.

Flavor is quite intense, especially considering the low alcohol content. Very complex with alot going on.

Overall, as very good beer and one that I'll have as often as I can find it.

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Photo of cavedave
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to doomXsaloon for sharing this delicious beer!

Dark as night with a light brown two fingers of foam atop. Nice lace clings with oily tenacity to the tulip.

Full strength aroma that is all the roasty goodness you could ask for, bitter chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, and even a touch of herbal bitter too, with a merest hint of neutral sweet to balance it to a superb bouquet.

The taste is all the flavors of the nose balanced excellently, that merest hint of sweet going a long way to bring out the impact of the roasty notes, which never get acrid. The sip ends with the bitter notes rising in victory. Very delicious

Considering how clean the flavor profile is, how perfect the carb is, and how dry and lovely the finish is, I hate to ding this for being just the slightest bit thin for style, especially as it is so refreshing.

Delicious beer, highly recommended, all you could want in t a porter, and more.

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Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

Poured an oily black hue with a one finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a robust roasted malt with the accompanying coffee and charcoal notes.

The taste consisted of an upfront roasted grain with a residual smokiness.

The mouthfeel was clean and finished dry. Good carbonation.

Overall a superior porter. Enjoyed fresh from the source.

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Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

04/16/14 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Had this two drinks ago so my impression lags real-time but I can say this is an enjoyable brew. Not TOO much of anything including the ABV but worthy nonetheless.

03/28/12 Solid flavors. Cold weather brew. Save it for last as it's not a quaffer.

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Photo of albern
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First a word about the brewery. This is a very interesting, no frills, compact, easily accessible brewery that offers sample tasters of its four ales. You literally walk into the wide open front doors and you belly up to the small bar. There are four taps at present, which also seconds as a growler station. The owner was pouring the day I went there. There is one brewer, no assistants, so the quality rests with him. The Harbor Ale is their flagship beer, but I find the Black Duck Porter the most interesting.

According to the brewer, he's aiming at a cocoa powder like chocolatey flavored porter with no adjunct beyond the malt variety. Through roasted malts, chocolate malts, brown malts, and others, I believe he has succeeded admirably. There is a teeny bit of hop in the finish, just to tighten things up, but this beer is really a simple enough porter that has a nice sweetish base, some drying elements underneath, a nice hop kiss in the finish, and just lots of chocolatey, mocha, cocoa powder substance.

The beer has a very nice thick frothy head with some caramel aroma in the nose. The lacing and billowing is quite evident. It's an enticing beer, the best that this small, new, compact brewery has to offer, and a real seeker-outer. The distribution isn't much beyond Greenport, but they will be on their way if they keep making beers like the Black Duck. There is a pumpkin ale coming out in a couple of weeks.

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Photo of bonbright7
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this Porter at the brewery's opening party, so I knew I had to buy the growler to share with friends. The black and brown ale with the tan head appeared to have a medium body as it rolled around the pint glass with a shake of my wrist. The aroma of cream in strong coffee and butter on toasted bread came to mind with each taste.

The impressive dark malt character of the ale reminded me of an English Porter from a cask, which was highlighted by chocolate and roasted coffee bitterness. It was remarkably easy to drink in the hot weather of an August afternoon in Greenport, NY. It seemed to mild in the abv area and it tasted great for a new entry to LI.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from beerloserLI. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, light coffee, herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity/earthy yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, light coffee, herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, light coffee, herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and slightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is an awesome English porter style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity/earthy yeast flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Village Tavern in Geneseo, NY.

This one pours a glossy dark black, with a quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells great, nice mix of chocolate and coffee in unison, with some roasted malt as well.

This is definite a simple classic porter- nothing you won't see elsewhere, but the balance is what the key is here. All of the flavors are bold, especially for the ABV, and in harmony with each other- chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Nice stuff.

This one is medium bodied, pretty thick considering the ABV and whatnot, with a fairly creamy mouthfeel.

A really nice porter, and a good introduction to this brewery.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark reddish brown with a good head.
Smell - toasty sweet smell
Taste -very toasty with some sweetness.
Feel - crisp with a bite
Overall - love it

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Photo of ovaltine
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What an excellent representation of the style. A jet black pour with Ringes of red around the edges and a 2-finger tan head, I'm waiting for the malt onslaught.

And I'm impressed as the aroma and taste carry huge amounts of cocoa and coffee. How the brewery gets all this flavor into a 4.7% ABV beer is beyond me, but I'm thankful they did.

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

I had out of a growler that was purchased off the tap at the brewery.
A. Extremely dark brown, basically black. Beautiful, thick foamy tan head and a ton of lace.
S. Thick, nutty chocolate scent.
T. Has a good sour chocolate taste. Basically like chocolate milk with a hint of alcohol.
M. Burt. Muddy. Thick.
O. It's your prototype porter.

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Photo of biegaman
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black Duck isn't quite black all the way through; proper backlighting reveals this sooty, dark beer to have some clarity after all and, wouldn't you know it, even a little cassis-like colour in the form of highlights. Regardless, it looks as it should for a porter, especially with that appropriately foamy, grey-tinted head.

Once you lend the beer your nose don't expect it back. As long as there's liquid in the glass Black Duck owns both nostrils as well as your entire attention. The roasty, mocha-like maltiness is topped with evergreen needles - is it Christmas already? This porter has the fragrance of a balsam fir.

Hops can deceivingly pass for so many other things - in this case it's not tropical fruit or green tea but instead great big northern climate trees: spruce, pine, cedar, oak. It has not just the outdoors-y forest character of the foliage but the dry woodiness of the bark as well as the resinous nectar qualities as well.

Even the faint smokiness seems loosely reminiscent of a campfire or barbecue wood chips (think alder or hickory). The combination of these features, along with a considerably light body, makes this American Porter taste like a borderline Black IPA (impressive considering this bottle isn't exactly fresh).

All this talk about hops isn't to say there's no maltiness; conventional tastes of coffee or dark chocolate can certainly be appreciated. But given it's 4.7% at fighting weight don't expect a heavy-pounding porter. This has bold New World character but is Old World in terms of being approachable and sessionable.

There's also a little dark rum-like sweetness and spice, perhaps an ode to the rum running boat after Black Duck named. Mixing it with cola and bitters is doing the beer a disservice but probably makes a decent cocktail. However you wish to enjoy this beer I'm confident you'll do just that. It's real good stuff.

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Photo of Gmann
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color with a nice creamy tan head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is of roasted malt/barley, some tea notes, and a light touch of smoke/wood.

The taste has a nice wet wood and smoke flavor to go along with a mild roasted malt flavor. There is a tea like sourness towards the end. Some hints of bittersweet chocolate pop through.

Moderate to full feel, definitely a heavier porter. Tingly carbonation helps breakup the heavy body. Finishes with a roasty bitterness.

This is a dang flavorful porter and at a low ABV so it gets bonus points. I really like the woody/light smoke flavor. Best that I have had from this brewery.

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Photo of greybeardloon
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bierkraft growler

A: Dark brown with a light brown head.

S: Roasted malt and smoke. Some hops.

T: Roasted malt with some smoke or char. There's a very faint vanilla sweetness, but this beer is considerably less sweet than many porters. In the middle, there's a fruitiness that brings "sour" to mind, but I don't actually taste any sourness. It finishes with char and hop bitterness. This is a robust porter, but no one note overwhelms everything else.

M: About what I expect from a porter.

O: Flavorful, drinkable porter with a commendably modest abv.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery. Was a very dark brown with a cream colored head that went away quickly and left behind good lacing. The aroma is malty with caramel and hints of coffee. The taste is malty and a little bitter (which I liked). Kinda thin mouthfeel but highly drinkable.

Its a very solid porter and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of CHickman
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown which almost looks black except at the edge of the pint glass where light hits the brew and gives a reddish mahogany brown color; nice 1-2 finger creamy/foamy tan head that had a lot of bubbles in it and faded slowly and left decent lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, syrup, earthy notes, oats, lightly roasted malts, piney hops, herbs, rye bread, yeast and a sweetness like brown sugar or cocoa powder. The fruity notes were the most surprising part and a very nice change of pace; it's almost like a lingering floral hop sweetness hangs around for nice balance.

Tastes like it smells with dark fruit, syrup, lightly roasted malts, cocoa powder, earthy notes, oats, cold coffee, piney hops, herbs, rye bread, chocolate malt, chalky yeast and a sugary sweetness. The bitterness is mild, but just enough to snap the sweetness and get back towards the porter basics. The hoppy sweetness makes it sessionable.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, with mild carbonation, a light body and a slightly bitter finish. It flows down with ease as the hop sweetness brings out nice fruit to balance the malts and mask the low ABV.

Not a traditional malt bomb with a ton of roasted malt flavors, but I've always found this beer very enjoyable and easy to drink. It's a great year round option.

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Photo of fscottkey
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: [3.50] The beer is dark brown with red tinges when held to the light. It forms a really satisfying 2 finger tan head. The head is dense and looks like you could set the cap on there without it sinking. Unfortunately the bottle has no ABV listed and their is some date code that I can't translate.

S: [3.75] Toasted marshmallows, cherry cough syrup and some vanilla.

T: [4.25] Nice roasted notes up front then bittersweet chocolate and some vanilla.

M: [4.25] This has a great feel for a 4.7% beer (I had to look it up). Smooth and creamy. There is a bit of chalkiness on the finish - but it is not out of place. It is the same feeling that you get from bittersweet chocolate.

O: [4.00] The bottle says something about being sessionable - I totally agree. This packs a lot of flavor into a 4.7% package. I would definitely drink this again. I am going to seek out more of their beers.

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Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber in color. A thin layer of beige bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There is a light aroma of bitter and dark roasted malts in the nose.
T: There are flavors of dark roasted malts and notes of bitter coffee in the taste. These are incredibly well balanced and seem to be in harmony. There is a moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is a little bit of dryness in the finish.
D: This is a solid drinking porter that I would definitely have again.

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Photo of Tschnab
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark almoost black but deep ruby when held to the light. Tight bubbles make up a a dark tan head and some sticky lace.

S- hint of vanilla with milk chocolate and burnt toast and espresso.

T- classic porter taste here, although it leans on the sweeter side. Not as roasty as I would like, but it is incredibly smooth and goes down the hatch with ease.

O- A local treat that has me thinking that Greenport is a place I should be keeping an eye on.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Whole Foods on Columbus Circle in NYC. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, Black Duck was dark brown with one finger tan head on top. Good retention, lasting for at least half of the glass, before slowly reducing to a thin cap on top. Foamy lacing left behind.

S: Lightly roasted malt, a little bit of chocolate and cocoa, and a hint of smoke actually.

T: Similar to the aroma, lightly roasted malt and chocolate. There is a surprising bitterness at the end.

M: Medium bodied with active carbonation. Has a bitter and slightly dry finish.

O: Great flavor for a low abv beer. Another surprising gem from a brewery I had never heard of.

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Photo of socon67
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown, with a brown foam. Plenty of lacing.

S - Smells of cocoa and roasted malt.

T - Pretty tasty. Some sweetness that is kinda like belgian chocolate. There is a roasted malty flavor that continues throughout. Gives off a little smoky heat at the end.

M - Feels a bit heavier than it is. Really hits the tongue with both sweet, smoky, and bitter notes.

O - May be my favorite Greenport Beer. Really a solid porter that anyone who enjoys the style would like.

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Photo of JonAdams
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Here at Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn. Served in a standard pint glass from on tap. Very small head, dissipates quickly, nothing sticks to the sides of the glass.
Very deep color, but very clear. Just a little lighter in color than something like cola, but not much.
Low alcohol, scent is a bit of coffee, roasted malt.
Taste is a bit complex, coffee and honey, maybe. Pleasant to drink.
Low carbonation, was going to say flat but them I let it sit on my tongue for a moment an there was plenty of sharpness from the carbonation, just can't see it.
There's also a creaminess or maybe a vanilla taste/nose that is there, but it's not cloying.
Would recommend this to those who like a Guinness type stout but looking for a little more adventure.

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Black Duck Porter from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 213 ratings.
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