Black Duck Porter | Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

very good
45 Reviews
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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 LeRose
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours almost black with an ample tan head of dense bubbles that ever so slowly falls. The beautiful foam cap falls to chunky rafts that eventually drops to about an 1/8 inch layer. It really hangs in there nicely. This beer is also extremely clear - beautiful in the glass.

The aroma is rich with chocolate, coffee, and I swear I smell some marshmallow sweetness and vanilla. A little caramel, maybe just a little on the overcooked side. Not super intense, but a very pleasant and nicely rounded aroma.

Based on the aroma, I expected a bit of a jumble in the flavor department, but the taste is very tight and concise. There's "just enough" of what the aromas reveal. The sweetness is just a whisper and that highlights the darker notes of the coffee and chocolate. Just enough bitterness on the end to do the reset.

Clean feel with maybe a touch of chalkiness on the finish, but quite light and not overly carbonated. Mellow on the tongue. A refreshing porter? Yeah - I'm OK with it being a bit light on the body.

Overall, a clean, well-crafted beer that is a good representation of the style even though it is a touch on the thin side. Recommended.

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Photo of NastyNorseman
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not bad for a session porter. Pours grainy and speckled, dark brown with slim tan head. Smells of toasted malts an a bit of metal perhaps some prune. Taste is porterriffic Andy texture is medium-medium light. Slick sweet finish.

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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 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 jrschaef
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of 12 average oz. bottle. Decent pour with an average look and smell. Tasted a lot better than I thought it would. Very drinkable and a quite decent porter vs. some of the more expensive ones. Definitely worth picking up.

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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 datalager
2.82/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

I'm drinking a different beer??? Not sure how this rates so highly. My best guess is one of two things: either my olfactory glands are missing something, or they brewed my particular batch with bad water. This is more like a sour. I mean, REALLY sour! So bad I'm not sure how to pass on the rest of the beers in my six pack. I tried the first one cold, and it tasted like an unsweetened, fermented cranberry juice. I gave a day of rest and picked up another bottle at room temp to give myself a fair change of scenery...nope, still a really bad taste, like the bitter you get at the back of your tongue after vomiting. On a positive note it is a beautiful browned head upon pour, and smell has a hint of coffee like malt. I hope my batch is bad, because of my tastebuds are this far off from the average reviewer I wonder how many other beers I'm tasting "incorrectly".

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Fools Gold in New York, NY.

Dark brown, almost black color with a creamy tan head. Roasted malt aroma with milk chocolate and a touch of coffee. Great flavor with big roasted malt overtones and some earthy hops to balance things out. Medium-full body and smooth with a dry finish. Really a quite enjoyable porter.

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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 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 Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Off aromas with mollasses. Somewhat thin porter. Good looking retained head. Bitterness in finish and malt.Thx americo.Its quaffable ("quakable") beer.

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Photo of Kendo
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black, with a small tannish/light-brown head on top that settles quickly to a thin film. Some rings of lace

S: Nice nose - chocolate and coffee and roasted barley and maybe even molasses. Good porter scents, and a strong nose at that.

T: On that first sip, the first impression is more about the feel than the taste - it's a bit thin. Flavors include roasted barley, some generic fruity-ness and a touch of char. Good for a porter, but the taste doesn't live up to the nose. Finishes a bit sweet.

M: As noted above, a bit thin and watery in feel, makes the body seem light overall. Carbonation is a bit too active as well.

O: Started out well, with a nice look and good porter nose, but loses steam in the taste and mouthfeel.

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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 Gajo74
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Easy drinking English Porter, aroma and taste of roasted malts. Creamy and smooth. Malty sweet for the most part, perhaps a tad much, but some hops bitterness.

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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 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 beerloserLI
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Simple black pour with a nose full of roasted malts.

A light start, on the initial sip, with plenty of malts and pungent chocolate notes with a slightly bitter finish. The mouth feel is a tad light and really borders the line on being watery.

A decent, easy drinking, and straight forward porter. Improve the mouth feel a bit and this could be really outstanding.

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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 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 StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an outstanding glass of porter here, looking dark as pavement from the tap, with a mocha cream head on top and a deep dark complexion that flashes milk chocolate brown to obsidian black. the nose and taste are in line with one another, loaded with coffee notes and bitter roasted barley. it could be called a stout and not be off, its got the body and the roast levels for it, but it maintains its drinkability with a very clean finish from a robust yeast strain and a minimal hop profile. i think its very authentic, but also very rich and perfect for the new england autumn, which is fast approaching. so smooth in mouthfeel, just puffy like a marshmallow on the palate, but loaded with the dark malt character. one of the better homegrown porters ive had this year, and a great first impression was made here on me by the greenport harbor folks. looks from their listing like they do some cool stuff too. really developed beer for how easy drinking it is, an awesome seasonal transition beer for sure.

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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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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 Durge
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found at The Beer Bar in Manhattan and served in a large chalice this porter has a solid black brown appearance with a respectable light chocolate colored thin layer of foam and excellent lacing. The aroma suggests a boozy chocolate malt with a hint of grassy hop. The flavor brings much more of a charcoal grass blend and very little chocolate. It seems to have an odd swampiness to it, a bit like stagnant water, that isn't wowing me but it generally overcomes this to provide an overall okay taste. The grassy hop slides into a sort of herbal idea in conjunction with the alligator water element. The booziness from the aroma also dissipates as you adjust to the flavor of this medium bodied brew with a midland, slightly resinous feel. As porters go I can't help but wish this had a bit more malt centric flavors and the tainted water thing does it no favors. If the off flavor is intended, then I'd have to say, don't waste your time. But if it was just a bad line or something, this might have potential. It may be an overhopped outcome but as one who worships hop indulgence, I have to doubt that. I'm going to assume something was a bit off in this first sample but it makes it hard to judge.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint at Astoria Bier and Cheese on a Sunday afternoon. Overall, this was just a nice smooth, yet roasty porter. There was a mild, underlying creaminess that should come with an English porter. There's no hops presence, but the barley brings a great mix of light espresso, blackened toast, and touch of dry, dark chocolate. Order a pint if you find this on tap.

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Photo of scootny
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge head as I pour from my 64 oz ( Best Yet Market in Harlem $9.99, what a deal!) Finally able to fill the glass and the settles to two plus fingers, Slow fade leave a light covering and decent lace here and there. Fluid is dark brown with garnet highlights. Almost opaque but some light does get through when it is bright enough. Smell has lots of roasted grains and some char/smoke. A very nice blend of molasses and a dark English style yeast fruitiness. A bit of dark chocolate infused espresso. Some earthy hops. Taste has a great blend of dark roasted flavors. Coffee, chocolate malt, cocoa nibs. A bit of molasses sweetened brown dinner rolls. Yeast esters give a fruity glue to the overall character. Hops are dry and earthy giving a clean finish that leaves a light note of fresh hop leafiness. Feel is medium weight with a crisp refreshing dryness. Carbonation is just on the lower side but still enough to make my mouth happy. A great session ale. I went through the growler as I cleaned up my yard preparing for hurricane Sandy, eating dinner and watching football. Refreshing, quenching, and satisfying. Yum.

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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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