Black Ale
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Black AleBlack Ale
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Porter - American
Ranked #91
Ranked #9,057
3.99 | pDev: 8.02%
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States
Very Good
Black AleBlack Ale
Notes: Brewed to be smooth, chocolatey, semi-roasted ale that bridges the islands of porter and stout. And if you aren’t a fan of bridges, there’s always the canoe. This Black Ale drinks like a porter but is opaque like a stout. Brewed with a generous amount of oats to round out the flavor.
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 266 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by defunksta:
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black color with a massive, light-tan foamy head. SRM of 24. (4.00)

Aroma: Large aromas of smoke, soothing chocolate, and roast. Hints of coffee roast, but not too much. More coffee, but not too airy. Hints of bitterness. Then I get lots of smoked ham which is weird. (3.75)

Flavor: Flavor follows the nose with smooth and silky milk chocolate with only hints of coffee roast. Mild bitterness with the roast. Again, some ham in the middle. (On a later review in 2021 I get less ham, but a dark fruit plum flavor). A little bit of tar. Licorice lingers on the end. Leans mildly sweet with lactose sugar and chocolate. (4.00)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Feels very balanced on the palate and finishing with some milk sugars left on the palate. (3.75)

Compared to Bell's Porter: More smooth chocolate. Less roasty. More watery and lighter overall.

Compared with Deschute's Obsidian Stout: Similar color. More airy milk chocolate on the nose. Much less chocolate. Less dark chocolate. It has more cream and air. More skim milk. Dryer and much lighter.

Compared w/ Trader Joe's Dark Lager: Pours a darker color. Stronger and more roasty aromas. More milk chocolate and roast. Less red fruit and molasses. More bitter and roasty. Dryer and cleaner with a more bitter finish. Less malty.

Compared with Mocha Marlin Porter 4/8/20: Pours a similar color with a lighter head. Milder aromas. Less chocolate and espresso. More mild and smokey. Dryer and cleaner overall.

Compare to Lift Bridge Fireside Flannel 1/13/21: Pours a slightly darker color and blacker. Similar aromas of dark chocolate, dry roast, dry roast and coffee. Slightly sweeter and more chocolate here. On the flavor, stronger chocolate and dark patent malt.

Compared to Summit's Great Northern Porter 2/16/21: Pours a similar color with a stronger and darker head. Stronger aromas/flavors. More chocolate and dark fruit. Less airiness and sulfur & airplane plastic. Stronger malts, hops, and body.

Compared to Central Water's Mudpuppy Porter 3/11/21: Similar color with darker head. More cocoa and espresso roast. Less brown malt and molasses. Roastier, but less smokey. A stronger bitterness, similar malt strength, so slightly cleaner.

Overall: I'd say this one is just as described. Smooth and silky chocolate with only hints of roasty flavor. Has a pleasant dark fruit/plum flavor too. MIldly sweet due to the attenuated bitterness. Definitely between an oatmeal stout and porter. Extremely smooth, drinkable and one worth coming back to. (Final Rating: 3.98)

Feb 17, 2021
More User Reviews:
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mikevanatta from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell and taste both give a lovely amount of roasted malt with the taste also offering slight hints of coffee and chocolate. This beer seems to fall somewhere between a stout and a porter (I would lean more toward the latter) and, at 6% ABV, I find it to be very satisfying when I crave something dark but don't need a "big" beer.

Oct 08, 2015
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Peepskp from Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice chocolate and roasted malt flavors, a bit of coffee and vanilla. Nicely carbonated and very drinkable. I could easily have a couple of these in a row unlike other beers in this category.

Nov 01, 2016
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travelguy from Ohio

4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 16, 2019
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Demi from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 16, 2016
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The_Dude_710 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Oct 25, 2014
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pagriley from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into snifter

L - pours slightly thin and translucent black with a thick head that falls to lacing quickly
S - toasted malt dominates, with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate
T - more of the same, but lacking sweetness - could do with a touch more malt - but I am being picky, as it just needs a hint
F - lighter bodied but creamy. Good fine carb that isn't prickly.

Overall an excellent porter / black ale. straddles the border a bit as there really isn't a hop presence that is dominating, but if you put this in front of me blind I would call it a porter every time

Aug 27, 2015
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ta_hagen from Minnesota

4.71/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite session-able stouts. Similar to a oatmeal stout, nothing in my craft world compares to this black ale. Taste is roasted malts and burnt brown coffee dry finish. Herbal hops notes, cream, and dark chocolate. There is a dark fruit, bitter taste, slightly at the finish. This a by far the easiest drinking black session porter/stout I have ever had and its REALLY good. I have been watching the rating of this beer on beer advocate and it's been really escalating. There has been more recent hype around it and I can definitely see why. So if your a person that has coveted this beer outside the Minnesota area, definitely try to trade for it. Its a thumbs up in my book Bent Paddle. Good job!!!!

Mar 02, 2016
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tim007007 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 03, 2015
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Truegent2004 from Minnesota

3.26/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The coffee taste is too strong and I really cant taste any chocolate. The bitterness factor is too high for my liking. Its a decent porter but there are better (and cheaper) ones out there.

Dec 26, 2020
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Wer34truh from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a gorgeous head, with a lot of bubbly activity and a creamy appearance. The body of the beer is pitch black, with a small amount of rising bubbles. This definitely looks the part.

Smells of roasted coffee beans and malt.

Has an incredibly present chocolate aftertaste, which dominates completely. Carbonation is there, but kept to a minimal.

I haven't been particularly exposed to this style earlier, and this is a beer that had the same effect on me as Modus Hoperandi or Moo Joo's when I first had it. Meaning that it feels like I finally 'get' what people love about the style. This is incredible.

Nov 10, 2015
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Chris-1911 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 19, 2015
Photo of volkjosh

4.04/5  rDev +1.3%

Dec 12, 2014
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maedhros09 from Minnesota

3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours black with a nice fluffy tan head, minimal lacing
Smell: roasted malt (didn't spend too much time on this one)
Taste: A nice level of roasted malt with moderate sweetness. It seems like something is missing - maybe the hops? It is a nice malt base but not the complexity I expect of the style
Feel: Not sure if I didn't pour hard enough, but it ended up more carbonated than i like, almost soda-like.

Overall: A bit of a disappointment. The malt had a nice level of roast and sweetness, but it just seemed to lack the hops to give it the expected balance and complexity. The mouthfeel was off too, as it ended up seeming overcarbonated for the style. The overall impression was honestly kind of like root beer. Don't get me wrong - this is drinkable, and even enjoyable, but there are so many other options out there that it's hard to recommend this one unless you really dislike hops. This is the only disappointment I've had so far from Bent Paddle, which is a bummer since I really like Porter and Stout styles.

May 05, 2015
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BrewNoob1 from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jun 07, 2017
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Mnmich7662 from Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jun 20, 2015
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Beerisnomnom from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm biased. This is my favorite beer.

Sep 22, 2016
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Malty_Hopper from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 02, 2015
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iRun2Beer from Minnesota

4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jun 05, 2015
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Metalsnota from Minnesota

3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 06, 2015
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JoeyDubs from New York

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jul 19, 2015
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SpanishUnicorn from Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mar 21, 2015
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boinknet from Minnesota

4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 07, 2015
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jmiah22 from Michigan

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 13, 2015
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Rawwie from Minnesota

3.39/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Mar 19, 2015
Black Ale from Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 266 ratings