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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Porter | Walnut Creek Alehouse (Pyramid)

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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch PorterMacTarnahan's Blackwatch Porter

Brewed by:
Walnut Creek Alehouse (Pyramid)
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 41
Reviews by theozag:
Photo of theozag
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Judging by the drought of reviews for this porter, I'm going to guess that it's fairly hard to find. Lucky for me, Fort Hood, Texas, takes a certain amount of pride and care in stocking unique beers from around the world in an otherwise ghastly sea of second-rate brews.

Black Watch definitely impressed me. It was not the slightly malty coffee-flavored porter I'd expected, and I was glad for the change of pace. Appearance is thoroughly average for a porter, however, with a night black tumble and pour that becomes a jet black opaque body with a tan head. The head fizzles before long to a ring of beige foam around the edge of your glass.

Smell is pleasant but fairly one-dimensional with a cut-and-dry roasted coffee bean foundation. There is a sense of a richer flavor palette behind the aroma, though.

Starts heady and a little rough with that tasty porter bitterness that any dark beer drinker will recognize. Settles full-bodied and very smooth with lots of rich, dark-roasted coffee flavors plus creme, toffee, and even a bit of sweetness from the malts. Finishes abrasive but delicious, leaving no weight in the mouth but plenty of flavor on the tongue. Literally begs to be quaffed again.

Overall an impressive foray into richness of flavor - for a porter - and a good branch off for someone who has never tried a porter or someone who has stuck with stouts because they have more flavor depth than the average porter. Downright fun to drink in many respects, but a strong and long-lasting aftertaste and other very average points make it less than a collector's item.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of gottajiboo2
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coca-cola looking dark black into my pint glass. Very thin brown head that disappears quickly except for a bubbly ring around the edges.

Smells chocolaty and maybe some there's some mild smokiness about it.

Tastes roasty and slightly musty. Acidic coffee tingly feeling hits my cheeks and the finish leaves a roasted malt, bitter stickiness in the back of my throat. Coffee an apple slices on the exhale.

Mouth feel is medium bodied, slightly sticky and chalky.

This is a pretty tasty porter to be enjoyed with friends. Very drinkable.


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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.77/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown stubby bottle with a twist-off cap. Served into a nonic glass.
Brownish,black color with a 1" creamy tan head that quickly dissapated into a thin coating.

Moderate aromas,leaning towards the faint side. Chard woody aroma,some roastyness,subtle chocolate,oaty,with a touch of vanilla. Had a strong taste that reminded me of a Milky Way bar.

Clean first taste,almost no taste. Had a smooth creamy oatey first taste.like Mother's Oats,some mild malty tastes started coming through mid-way,roasty/chocolate/coffee no standout here. Finished with a clean,easy,woody bitterness. The whole taste overall seemed watery.

Light bodied,very smooth and silky. Goes down easily,just lacking in taste. Not a bad taste,just wish there was more of it. Boring,nothing here to make me want another.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
2.81/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Motor oil dark brown pour, 1/3 inch but thick tan head. Dark roasted coffee beans and cocoa are the over-powering aromas, there are some faint citrus-like overtones. Initially this is quite chalky; a sharp day old coffee biterness, the palate is left dry. Some chocolate notes in the body, but this is a rather poor representation of the style. Fails to develop into anything worth writing home about. Skip.

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Photo of TYE
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black producing a dark tan to light brown head that's thick and about 1 finger tall. The head dissipates quickly to a very light covering with no lace.
S - Strong aroma of dark malt and roasted nuts. Maybe a light hint of caramel or toffee?
T - Very dark strong coffee taste. Dry and a good hop bitterness, but not too overpowering. Maybe a slight sweetness of toffee?
M - Medium carbonation and body. Slight hoppy bite on the back of the tongue. Finishes dry with a lingering coffee aftertaste.
D - Pretty darn good. Not as strong as I thought it would be, but a solid medium bodied beer that has a good hop character. Blended with the coffee and slightly sweet toffee, this one is enjoyable. Could be kicked up some. Pretty easy drinker. Recommend.

 761 characters

Photo of microbrew52
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This drink pours black but is still slightly transparent. There's no aroma to pick up on. The head dissipates quickly despite its generous carbonation. I'm tasting caramel upfront with coffee and chocolate in the background. This is definitely an enjoyable porter.

 264 characters

Photo of Murphious
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of atigerlife
3.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours syrupy, very black with perhaps a slight red tinge. Very small head.
Smell's of black tar. Tastes like soy sauce. Roasted malts. Surprisingly, the taste was rather weak. A light bitterness, but definitely lacking some character.
Mouthfeel was light but good.
Overall, not as impressive as I had hoped. Rather weak. But, I could definitely drink some more of these.

 375 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a nice dark brown body. The head and lace are tan and proportional. It is a very sweet flavored beer with a coffee like aftertaste with some metallic tones. The mouthfeel is thick and full. The aroma is also sweet and somewhat mocha like.

 258 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a light tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover.

The smell is of lightly roasted, sweetened, coffee.

The taste is of sweetened coffee with a touch of roast and some oatmeal. Sweet with only a touch of balance from the mild roast.

Light-side of medium-bodied with an annoying astringency.

Lacks balance. Forgettable.

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Photo of kguyty
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a brown head that disappears into a thin lacing. Decent aroma of roasted coffee. A little less creamy than I had anticipated, but a decent mouthfeel all around. Tasted like a stout without the bite... a little hint of chocolate near the end.

 271 characters

Photo of veech
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a beer that I tried the better part of 10 years ago and haven't had since. I remember liking it pretty well then, and I found it fairly tasty now. A: Deep dark black with a light tan creamy head that dissipates into clingy lacing S: Unsweetened chocolate with a dark roasted coffee tang to boot. The taste is just as the aroma hints, but there is another somewhat nutty flavor that comes through that does not compliment the others all that well. Mouthfeel and drinkability were good, but not outstanding. A nice middle of the road porter, but there are much better choices out there.

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Photo of gubbt
3.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown with ruby edges. Small tan head that fades rather quickly.

Nice aromas. First you get hit with some acidic black malt roastiness with a good dose of milk chocolate.

Nice roasty/dark chocolate notes up front, but that is about it. Finish is pretty weak with some sweet chocolate. Nice roastiness overall though. I wish there was as much chocolate on the palate as their was on the nose.

Light side of medium, a little fizzy for the style.

Overall, a nice beer, but not that memorable. There are many other porters available that I would go to before this one.


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Photo of terrabyte
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black color, with just a bit of ruby highlights. Pouring aggressively created only a medium-sized, brown head that eventually disappeared.

Very welcome is a beer that finally has very strong aromas. Big chocolate and roasted coffee are easily evident.

Flavor is slightly less than the aroma (although I just finished a spicy supper). Dark chocolate and some coffee flavor is evident. The aftertaste is great with stronger flavors and smells of bitter coffee and chocolate. Finishes somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly foamy. Light for the strong flavors.

Drinkability is high. A decent coffee/chocolate beer. Only downside is that the flavors are one-dimensional.

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Photo of tangentrider
3.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black porter with a tan head

S- Rich roasted malt with a backdrop of dried fruit

T- Roasted malt, coffee, with a light bitter finish. Fairly clean for a porter, but has a nice roast flavor.

MF- A bit light, with high carbonation.

D- While Blackwatch Porter does not go on my sit-back-and-enjoy list, it is a good porter to have with food. I'd like to try it again with a good char burger.

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Photo of matty
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black colored porter with a head that fades rapidly to a lace on top.Aroma is chocolate.Taste is cocoa,coffee and smoked malts.Very smooth and drinkable,no complaints abouth this one.I highly recommend to try this at least once.As for me I will buy this again shortly!!

 275 characters

Photo of choyhosoi
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a glass

Apperance-dark porter with a creamy white head that dissapated quickly

Smell-There was a raisen-plum scent mixed in with with a little coffee scents

Taste- The taste was not bad but it did have a little bit of bitterness

Not a bad porter look forward to another from this label

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Photo of tgbljb
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured avery deep brown, virtually black color with minute head. No retention, no lacing.

Smell shows some roasted malt, coffee. chicory, and some bitter cherries.

Taste has an initial sweetness, that is followed by a dark fruitiness (plums, prunes).

Finishes with more sweet dark fruit, and a touch of offsetting dryness.

A nice tasty beer. Would have been better on a cool autumn evening.

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Photo of becktone
3.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: The appearance of this beer is exactly as it should be. The body is extremely dark brown with ruby/garnet highlights. Head is tan, creamy, with great retention(also of a nice size)with some nice lacing as well, think sheets and rings. Just about perfect. Can't ask for more from a beer.

Nose: This beer has a nice aroma to it. There is a nice amount of chocolate malt present in this beer's aroma. I'm also getting some coffee tones along with some burnt wood notes.

edit: the more I smell this beer the more false and watery it becomes. It is okay, but not much more than that. All those aromas are there, but it just seems like they are a bit forced.

Tongue: Again, chocolate notes, not quite as potent as the aroma would have you to believe...the same goes for all the aromas present athat are also here in flavore-smoked/burnt wood, coffee. All in all there is an overall watery quality to it that just seems to insult the flavor that is there. Also getting some yeast fruitiness that puts a damper on the beer as well. Seems to finish with a plastic like dry flavor...just not for me.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As aforementioned this beer is a bit watery on the palate, just not there for what I want from a porter. This isn't a bad beer, but not a porter that I'd go out and seek. Just another average guy, Nothing special, no memorable moments.

 1,363 characters

Photo of JoePat
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown to black with a brown head that disipates fast with little to no lacing.

Very little boquet with hints of chocolate.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel and a sweet, malty, chocolate taste. Over all good for the price.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Phatz for sharing this one w/ me during my brew session of Pusilanimous and Premiant Pumpkin ales. I brought this one back from Washington state, purchased at 99 bottles.
Poured cool into a La Fin Du Monde tulip.
A - A deep ruddy brown with garnet higlights at the stem of the glass. A nice thin tan head of 2 fingers w/ creamy consistency.

S - Beany, toasty w/ hints of cocoa and vanilla. There is a cocoa like chocolate malt scent w/ faintly citrus hop scents. It smells like I remember it, little has changed since it was acquired by Pyramid.

M - A sweet start w/ a medium full carbonation level and gentle dry coffee and spice essence. The feel is a bit light, but still has a nice texture w/ dry aspects outweighing sweetness in the feel.

T - Rich and yet relaxed flavors of cocoa and roasted barley. The taste is of a smaller Porter, but still contains a lot of flavor. Nutty malt notes and peppery hop flavors w/ a bit of toasted and coffee-ish malt roasted tastes. A nice accent of citrus in the hops which hold the malt up.

D - Very clean and drinkable - a nice American Porter. Quaffable as any, but lighter in body than most. A tinge on the dry side, and not too filling. A nice revisit to a beer that I had many years ago, but sadly isn't available locally anymore. Thanks again Phatz for sharing this walk down memory lane.

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Photo of Fugazme
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Next to black pour... some flints of amber show through on the bottom of the glass. A very thin head with little glass stick.

Some roasted malt notes in the nose, a touch of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is creamy at first... milky... then chalky. Not horrible, but noticeable.

A little chocolate on the taste and a tiny bit of alcohol... an okay choice if offered, but I wouldn't purchase again.

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Photo of spointon
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from a 12oz stubby brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep brown-black color with a nice 2" tan head. Unfortunately the head dropped to a skim within a minute! No lacing appeared.

S= This porter gave some muted aromas of roasted malt, molasses, candied fruits, and chicory.

T= I found mild roasty flavors and a bit of sweetness. Call me crazy but the yeast flavors reminded me of a steam beer. Slight dry finish.

MF= Carbonation was a bit sharp for the style. Medium body.

D= An ok porter, but there are a hundred better examples out there.

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Photo of Vancer
3.02/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Fairly dark, but not black, pour with minimal heading. Subtle notes of malts, coffee, chocolate in the aroma and quaff, but just not enough. About two more notches up the ladder is needed to really get this a better score.

The real indicator was the body – too thin and the general overall weakness will not make this a serious porter contender.

Decent tasting, drinkable and enjoyable – but I don’t think this will survive in the porter world for long, many better porters out there.

 494 characters

Photo of ectomorph
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark chocolate in color with a very small tan head that disappears immediately.

S - Faint bread and sweet roast.

T - Roasted malt sweetness with hints of chocolate and smoke. Tasty.

M - Weak in the body and a little watery.

D - My favorite Pyramid product to date.

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MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Porter from Walnut Creek Alehouse (Pyramid)
3.43 out of 5 based on 41 ratings.
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