Belfast Black
Lavery Brewing Company

Belfast BlackBelfast Black
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Porter - American
Ranked #467
Ranked #20,880
3.86 | pDev: 12.44%
Lavery Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Belfast BlackBelfast Black
Notes: This is the beer that started the brewery. Named after the ancient homeland of the Lavery's. It is rich, dark and smokey. Not for the faint of heart but that's how we intended it. It has a taste of bacon, which is one of the most beautiful images I can image; a bacon beer (No actual bacon is in this beer). A solid earthy hop bitterness with a little astringency from the dark malts. This beer has no better pair than excellent Vermont Cheddar cheese.
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 88 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have a hard time finding Lavery and actually picked this one up at the Vintage Estate in Ohio. Pour is deep dark black with a 1/2 inch of mocha tint. A very smoke forward porter but you do get some roast and chocolate. Taste is very memorable smoke followed by dark chocolate and just a hint of herbal hops. Body is pretty decent at 7% it drinks smooth and pretty slick. Overall a tasty smoked porter and a very good smoke beer which at least for me I don't see very often.

Oct 02, 2019
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The pour looks like a stout, the taste is like a (smoky) stout, but this is a porter, and it’s delicious. Lots of dark chocolate flavors that mingle nicely with the char and smoky notes, and then stone fruit flavors to bring this in for a smooth finish.

A great sipper around a campfire on a cold evening (which it is today), I’d have this in my beer fridge from October through March if I had access to it.

Apr 08, 2018
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Harrison8 from Missouri

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a finger of khaki head. Head retention is fair. Aroma is smoke, toasted malts, herbal hops and a little bit of peat. Flavor profile is toasted malts, with a hint of peat, and herbal hops. Smoke is present throughout. Mouth feel is medium in thickness, with a fizzy textured feeling. Overall, a smoky porter that hits simple notes. It comes off maybe a touch strong with the smoke, but it otherwise well rounded.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Feb 26, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a mug, the appearance was a light brown color with a nice sustaining finger’s worth of light tan foamy head that fell off at a moderate pace. Light lace. The aroma had some hazelnut roast, light ash/smoke, dark malts, subtle milk chocolate, sly dark chocolate with some earthy/grassy hop bitterness at the end. The flavor was smoky with the hazelnut roast and sweetness fairly bold and up front. Mild smoky aftertaste and finish. The feel was about medium bodied with a steady carbonation that was felt but fine. ABV felt fine. Pretty smooth/pillowy along my tongue. Overall, super nicely done smoked beer that I would love to have again, that was a real treat. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Jul 04, 2017
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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a fairly thick black color with a nice tan head, spotty lacing around the glass.

Aroma - Lots of bitter chocolate and roasted malts. There just seems to be a hint of smoke if any I am picking up in the aroma along with a touch of vanilla.

Taste - The taste is similar to the aroma bitter chocolate and roasted malts lead with the smoke being a little more pronounced in the taste. I love how balanced the smoke is with the other flavors. There also seems to be a slight coffee taste I am picking up.

Feel - Full bodied very creamy and smooth pretty dry finish

Overall - I find smoked beers to be hit or miss and this one is a hit. Great flavors very balanced nice mouthfeel.

Mar 26, 2017
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep black color with an aroma of malt and coffee. It must be the smoke that kept making me take another sniff trying to identify the unusuall smell. A very good porter that had all the flavor that I would want in a porter but again it was the smoke that made me keep questioning exactly what it was I was drinking. It did go down very,very easily which is why 7abv was perfect and well hidden and not overwhelming. The smoke made it unusuall and a different porter experience. Would try it again

Mar 18, 2017
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fscottkey from New York

4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.50] Looks like a stout in the glass. Full finger of dense khaki head atop a dark brown brew. Leaves really nice sheets of lacing on the glass - coating it completely with each sip. The beer lets through light when held up to backlighting. The bottle lists the ABV (7.5%). I can't find any date info.

S: [4.00] Peat, smoke, smoked meat, hints of roasted malts.

T: [4.25] Follows the nose with smoke (but not overpowering or synthetic tasting). Sweet malts in the middle that come across as toasted marshmallows with the smoke flavor. Some underlying coffee and cocoa flavors too.

M: [4.25] Smooth and creamy. Coats the tongue and has a lingering smokiness.

O: [4.25] This beer was a really pleasant surprise. The nose and the taste are a nice balance of smoke and sweet malt flavors. The body has some weigh to it which makes drinking it even better. Visually the beer maintains a thin creamy head the entire time. It also coats the glass with each sip. I would drink this again and buy it to share with friends.

Jan 12, 2016
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puck1225 from Texas

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

VEry dark brown pour into a pint glass. Nice light brown creamy head and decent lacing. Nice comforting smoked smell. The taste is rich chocolate and smoke, a bit of strong coffee. Very tasty, would buy again.

Jan 02, 2016
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Jeffo from Netherlands

2.54/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Mom and dad brought this one back from Erie last summer. Thanks guys!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear, light brown pour yields a 2+ finger, looser and foamy looking, fizzy light tan head with lousy retention. Quite foamy for sure. Bistre brown body, clear, with loads of carbonation. Piles of carbonation all over the place on this one. What's with these guys and their carbonation? Head fades to a full foamy cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving lots of foamy lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Smoked malts, toffee, roasted aromas, cacao and some decent leather on the nose. Bold enough. A touch metallic perhaps, but not bad.

TASTE: Smoked malts, leather, a some definite metallic notes. Medium finish with lingering flavors of leather, cacao, toffee, roasted malts, smoked malts, with an unfortunate metallic undertone to the whole thing. Kind of gets in the way.

PALATE: Thinner body and piles of carbonation. Airy and foamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes rather dry for the style.

OVERALL: Like their Devil Bird, this one is just too over carbonated to really be enjoyable. The metallic notes that in this one also get in the way. Perhaps this one is suffering from some oxidization already, and that would be a real shame. Not good and not worth trying again. Pass.

Dec 10, 2015
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle shared by someone Friday night, thanks for the opportunity!
Deep brown color, tan head. Rich caramel and hints of brown sugar along with a solid shot of smoked pork shoulder. A bit smokey for my tastes.

Oct 11, 2015
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of bitter chocolate, dates, and a hint of smoke
Head small (1 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to a partial 1 mm ring
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of dates, dark chocolate malt, aftertaste of smoke; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4. Loses some for poor head and no lacing. Overall, one of the better brews from Lavery.

Feb 03, 2015
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woemad from Washington

4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber received from @ozzylizard as part of the NBS BIF #1. No obvious freshness date. I had not heard of this brewery before I received it, which is pretty much the whole point of that BIF.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was a super dark brown, almost black, that yielded absolutely nothing when held up to direct light. There was a big, creamy tan head that took it’s time settling, leaving streaky and spotty lace all over the sides of the glass.

Dark, bitter malt aroma is the primary takeaway from the nose. At first the smoky aroma I was expecting just wasn’t there, but as it warmed up it came out to play a little. Still, this is not on the order of Stone’s or Alaskan’s smoked porters, which I like but a lot of people find overpowering. It’s much more subtle.

Dark malts are the most obvious flavor component, giving off tastes of bitter, dark chocolate and black coffee. There's also some sweetness, but it's perfectly balanced so it's not cloying at all. The smokiness is really more of a cloak than anything else. There’s a little hoppy zap at the finish, but it’s not what I’d call a hoppy brew. In my opinion, for a porter, that’s just as it should be.

The body is fairly full, with a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Really dig this. If I lived in or near Erie, I’d go home with a growler of this regularly (PA laws permitting). HUGE shout out to @Ozzylizard for hooking me up with a beer I might never have had a shot at otherwise!

Feb 01, 2015
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BMMillsy from Florida

4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber in trade from jbwimer. Pours deep dark brown to black with a one finger dark khaki head.aroma is more roast than smoke, with big chocolate notes, still some definite smoke, and a hint of earthy coffee. Flavor is lots of roasty chocolate and awesome, some long smokey finish going on here, and ends with chocolate and even a hint of vanilla coffee (maybe my taste buds are broken). Really rich flavors here. Dark fruits begin coming out just a tad as I go. Huge mouthfeel--especially for only 7.5%--with medium carbonation. I am amazed at the body on this. This might be one of my new favorite porters. Must get more.

Mar 12, 2014
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Troy_C from Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer on tap. It was very dark with a great thick head. Nice choclate,coffee nose. Full rich slightly sweet choclate/coffee flavor with a hint of licorce. I didnt get much of a smoke flavor though. Rich mouthfeel. This is a great example of a dark beer from a great brewery. One of my favorites from Lavery.

Dec 23, 2013
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micromaniac129 from Pennsylvania

3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer apparently had some over carbonation problems in the past. Well, not in my case.
It was lack of, really, no head at all. The color was a deep cola brown.
The aroma was roasted and dark malts with subtle hints of chocolate. No smoke that I could percieve.
The taste was smoky but seems out of place, Roasted malts are there as well as some off flavors like meat or earth.
There is some roasted malts and dark malts but are overwelmed by the smokiness to the point of being almost absent.
I think a differnt wood should be used and at a smaller amount .

Oct 19, 2013
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thecheapies from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mountainously rocky cappuccino foam sits petrified on a black beer. Looks absolutely awesome.

Mild fishy smoke, salted chocolate, roasty char, berries, and creamed coffee. Minerally, like seawater. Hints of peat. Great nose.

Meaty char with a mild smoky note; coated or rolled in cocoa nibs and steeped in black coffee and yerba mate. So roasty, but with a distinct earthy hop and some minerality. Very light peatiness. Tastes like a smoked Baltic Porter.

Carbonation is medium, and a little coarse. A little short-lived in the mouth. Body has a richness, but without the viscosity. A good gulp.

Loves me a well-done smoked porter. Glad they stamped those words on the label, because I thought it was a Cascadian Black Ale for the longest time.

May 13, 2013
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Teleweizen2 from New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep opaque black color. pours with no head, just a thin bit of tan film on top. no lacing.

S- nose is slightly smokey but more like a hickory woody character with a hint of spice. Sweet notes of blackstrap molasses and chocolate sauce fill the nostrils and round out the nose.

T - The flavors are dark and roasty. lightly smokey with a hint dusting of spices mostly cinnamon though possibly chili pepper. finish is slightly sweet and smokey.

M - medium bodied. Creamy mouth feel. lower side of medium carbonation.

O - Tasty beer. I was definitly expecting more smoke character out of this ale but what I enjoyed most about it was its balance and its unusual characters. Something I would try again.

Dec 11, 2012
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Gavage from New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown, almost black color with a short 1/4" head that breaks down quickly.

Smell: light roasted malt aroma with a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste: mild roasted malt profile with some dark chocolate, a hint of dark brown sugar, and a bit of a smokey flavor create a mellow but balanced porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and thin at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Overall: this is a pretty decent porter, but it won't blow you away. The smoke component is a bit weak, but it doesn't detract from the overall flavor profile. Easy to consume.

Oct 25, 2012
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apparently some of these bottles are gushers but I had no such problem. Pours viscous and pitch black with a half finger beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing.

Smokey dark malt aroma with subtle hints of charcoal, campfire and smoked meat followed by toast and roasted coffee bean. Decent smoke character but not overwhelming with sweet molasses, dark chocolate and toffee notes balancing things out.

Medium bodied with a subtle smoke character that isn't nearly as strong as the nose suggests with lots of sweetness balancing things out. Slightly dry and acrid with some charcoal and burnt malt flavor countered by dark fruit, chocolate cake, oatmeal and coffee bean. Pretty clean until the finish which is very dry and earthy. Decently balanced and drinkable but has a bit tamer smoke character than I prefer.

Oct 21, 2012
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wac9 from Pennsylvania

2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 1.5

i wanna like this beer but i brought 3 bottles and all three were gushers , too bad i lost more beer then i tasted , but what i tasted it was amazing too bad of this problem too bad what a beer this could be if it wasnting pouring out into my sink if you find it on tap drink it but dont buy it in bottles

Sep 30, 2012
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Per the warning I read on the brewer's blog, this one is a gusher, producing a massive head (and all head for a while) that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Chocolate, balsa wood and a hint of smoke

Taste: Fruity chocolate, up front, with undertones of wood and smoke developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a piney/lemony character that adds a bit of a metallic element to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: I didn't enjoy the flavors I found in the finish and wonder whether they were somehow tied to the over-carbonation problems

Apr 23, 2012
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tempest from New York

2.66/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a bomber at Abe's Cold Beer for $8.50. I was looking forward to it, but it clearly has an infection. Nothing terrible, but there's a clove and plastic character that's run away with this beer. It's a shame, I've had this happen with homebrews. I imagine that's also the source of the over-carbonation. I can't finish this. There's a little smoke and roast in the flavor, but this beer is lost.

Mar 18, 2012
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to carlos for sharing this. enjoyed with tenderbranson69 also poured into a mug and tulip.

The color is a deep cola brown with slight haz and thick lasting cream cap. The smell is delightful with mild coffee and slight hint of french roast which provides just enough smoke and sweetness to accent the roasted malt. The feel is silky and slightly sweet and sticky with mild roasted and semi-dry body with light feel for the style.

This has a nice full porter flavor yet nicely balanced betweeen sweet malts and the subtle smoke and dry roasted flavors. the yeast adds a touch of mineral in the back end with subtle vegetal taste which is perhaps from the hops but never quite gets into the pine territory. The flavor is solid and I was through with my glass rather quickly. I recommend this for anyone who likes a dark beer with the extra touch of smoke.

Mar 13, 2012
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thain709 from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a deep brown body with a one finger, off white head...the head showed some nice staying power and even left some attractive lacing

S - Roasted malts and chocolate really stand out...there are some hints of sweet vanilla and smoke

T - Again, the roasted aspect of this beer is really pronounced...I would say there is a slight smokiness to it, but I feel it focuses more on the roastiness...dark chocolate and ground coffee flavors can be found...there is a sweetness coming from some vanilla...but what I can't get over is the big lactose note I'm picking finishes the beer and doesn't sit well

M - Medium bodied...adequate carbonation...too much lactose

O - I wanted a little more smokiness from this beer since the label claimed to be a Smoked Porter...the roast definitely stood out over the smoke...and the lactose notes just didn't do it for me

Mar 07, 2012
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, Pa

Decent brew. Poured dark brown-black with a small cap of tan head; moderate lacing and retention. Aroma was pretty roasty, dark malts, coffee, a bit of smoke. Taste was pretty good and followed the aroma well; not quite as robust as I like in a smoked beer, and maybe a bit too roasty, and even a bit, hmm, briny? Medium body, and fairly drinkable, but probably not something I'd get again.

Feb 28, 2012
Belfast Black from Lavery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 88 ratings