Dark Star Porter | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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Dark Star PorterDark Star Porter

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A rich and robust blend of light, caramel, and dark malts sets the stage for BBC Dark Star Porter’s robust presence on the palate. This smooth but robust porter has complex notes of chocolate and roasted grains balanced by additions of traditional English hops, creating a delicious chocolaty and smooth ale.

35 IBU

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 07-30-2001

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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 223
Photo of BigRedBeerDude
4.8/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this in a bottle as well as on tap at the brewery in Louisville, KY. The appearance is a very dark brown, almost black. The smell is an exquisite blend of coffee and dark chocolate of which made my mouth water at first whiff. It tastes very complex as a porter should. The consistency is a bit thin in comparison with other top notch porters. The mouth feel is just right with enough carbonation but not too much. The drinkability of this porter is the best of any porter I've tried. This is by far my favorite porter and is definitely my favorite "every day" beer. Simply delicious.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours very dark into a Belgian glass. Half finger of mocha head end up at a sparse covering. Active carbonation is seen around the edges, feeding the head.

Aroma - dark roasty coffee/chocolate. Good, deep aromas, how a porter oughtta smell.

Taste - charcoal, burnt coffee beans, a down to business porter. Some mild sweetness and very mild hopping. Ends on a smoky note. I dig it.

Mouthfeel - good weight for the style. Fine feeling all the way around, what a gem!

Drinkability - easily my favorite from BBC. Serious taste, not too heavy, not too high in hooch. Yum.

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Photo of becktone
4.49/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Eye: Just as this beer is pleasing to the olfactory senses it is also pleasing to the optical senses. Color is mahogany brown with some dark reddish brown highlights, the body seems pretty murky. Head has great retention and is a creamy tan in color and appearance. The beer looks pretty good in my opinion, I've no complaints.

Nose: As I finish pouring the brew I get and aroma wafting to my nose....first words that came to mind to describe it were "big strong malt aroma with a touch of alcohol." There is something odd about this brew's aroma that I've never smelt in a finished beer before.... Smelling this beer is like having a handful of barley malt held right up to the nose, specifically pale and caramel malt. I really like the aroma on this one, it is awesome. To be able to get that rich of an aroma after boiling and fermentation is quite remarkable, at least in my opinion. Hahaha reminds me of my LHBS. Other than that chocolate is definitely present. Damn I think that this is one of the best noses on any beer I've ever had hands down.

Tongue: Damn! This brew is packed with flavor. Nice big chocolate taste right upfront along with caramel flavors as well. Chocolate-reminds me much of malt balls,esp whoppers- toffee, and coffee all meld together very nicely. Also a somewhat sour taste, there small, perhaps this beer had some bacteria purposefully put in for a more authentic taste? What ever the brewer did this beer is great!

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Creamy and velvety smooth in the mouth. Nice long aftertaste. This beer is full in body, I really don't think that you could ask for more from the mouthfeel dept. of this beer. This is a brew I'll be revisiting, I'm glad I've discovered this gem. I really urge you to try this if you've not had it before, its a damn fine beer...just be sure to drink it out of a glass, believe me it makes a world of difference. I didn't think that much of this beer until I drank it out of a glass, it is much different.

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Photo of LarryKemp
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This robust porter a very dark black with a fine tan head. The lace clung to the glass. The aroma was malty with a fair amount of chocolate in the nose. The taste was by far the best part of this beer and maybe the best tasting porter I have had in a long, long time. The flavor is quite complex and in NOT subtle in any aspect. The first thing that grabbed me was the sharpness from the roasted. The flavor started dry and finished the same with a hint of chocolate. The warmer the beer gets the more the malts come out in both the aroma and taste. The one chocolate playing upon the other. The mouthfeel was a disappointment. It was moderate at best but actually was more light. I highly recommend this truly exceptional beer for all but particularly those who enjoy a fine complex dark beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprised I was, but very happy to know that some excellent beer is coming out of the Bluegrass State!
Appearance: tawny brown color, with a large, puffy, cocoa-colored head that softly, beautifully crumbles down.
Aroma: a perfect, subtle blend of chocolate, coffee, cream, with a hint of nuts on the side, and a fair whiff of bitterness.
Taste: mouth-filling on first sip and swallow, engulfs the realm of senses, full-bodied, dark, delicious. Excellent texture, big, and giving, while taking, a perfect pull and play on the mouth and tongue.
Rolls around inside, bounces and bumps, takes it's sweet time, and absolutely satisfactory.
Eternal, lush, rewarding chocolatey finish, with some fruity notes jutting in at the end.
One entirely excellent porter, not too bitter, and not too sweet. Goes down good as gravy. I would have this often, if I could.
Much thanks to Marc77!

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark rich color with a nice head that keeps its retention. Smell is very malty with touch of coffee. Taste is a lot like an espresso with a light hop note. Mouthfeel is full but not as heavy as expected. This is a delicious beer that would be quite drinkable often.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity... Best before May, what I assume is 05, since 02/03/04 weren't marked, and there isn't a spot for 05.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a little 1/4" of tan head over the clear mahogany brew. Head, although diminutative, seems to stay constant, with average lacing for the style. Aroma is dark, roasty grains. Taste is dark malts, with a citrus note in the middle, then fades back to the slight coffee bitterness and chocolate sweetness battling it out. Mouthfeel is excellent, extra smooth, and the drinkability is great as well. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of aaronh
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark caramel color topped by a light tan head. Head shows good retention, maintaining a collar throughout the duration of the glass and a nice film atop the beer. Strong roasted malt and coffee aromas intermingled with dark fruits and a touch of hops dominate the aroma, but wisps dark chocolate and sweet cream appear as well. Smells more like an imperial stout than a porter. The taste is dark chocolate, fruits, coffee, roasted malt, and a strong bitter finish. Almost like eating chocolate covered coffee beans. The roasted coffee notes linger in the aftertaste. I'd prefer just a touch of sweetness to balance out the dark flavors and this would be about perfect, as this one is rather dry. Still very enjoyable and a very good porter. The mouthfeel is solid, with a good creaminess and moderate carbonation. The drinkability is pretty good, especially if you like a long roasted aftertaste. This is a very solid offering from Bluegrass, and I look forward to trying some of their other beers.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The third beer on my one stop Southern tour.

Basically black body with ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Medium beige foam, level tow fingers. Good lacing.

Big robust roasty coffee aroma, with chocolate way in the back, and just a hint of nuts.

Taste follows nose. Big coffee at the start, a show of chocolate, a sprinkling of nuts, plus some earthy English hop notes.

Slick oily mouthfeel with a touch of prickliness.

A highly enjoyable English porter worthy of trying. My bottle was several months past "best by" and held up very well.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque, ruby-accented mahogany. Light is just visible all the way through the glass when it's held up to the bright afternoon sun. The head is dark tan edging into light brown and is on the large side. It persists nicely, never falling lower than a half-finger, and deposits an average amount of lace in the process.

The nose is enjoyable; mostly 'coffee with cream' along with a good deal of roasted malt. Accent aromas include chocolate and the barest whiff of hops. This is a very good porter. Oddly enough, chocolate is more bold on the palate and actually overpowers coffee. That's a good thing. Generally speaking, I prefer chocolate-dominant porters and stouts to coffee-dominant ones. The level of roastiness is just about perfect for the style.

Those sneaky hops are still there, providing a counterpoint to the roasted malt and lightly sweetened chocolate. The mouthfeel manages to be smooth and somewhat rich, stopping short of actual creaminess, and the carbonation is spot-on. The bubbles are barely noticeable, just how I like 'em. Drinkability is very good; the bottle was gone in no time.

Dark Star is a wonderful porter from the Bluegrass state and those of you who have ready access should be grateful. As I am grateful to SheepNutz for giving me the opportunity to sample this delicious beer.

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Photo of marc77
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Two notches shy of black, with brilliant flashes of clear deep garnet when held to light. Thick, fluffy, light tan head leaves dense, muddled lace. Dryish, slightly burnt roasted malt and understated powered cocoa dominates the aroma; dark caramel malt is secondary, but adds a toffeeish undertone. Hints of sweettart prune esters add contrast. Caramel sweetness initially in flavor is offset by a burnt combination of black patent and a rounder, slightly smokey dark roast coffee note. Hop bitterness builds on the roasted malt foundation and adds a sharp, but herbaceous edge that serves to both dry the flavor profile and cleanse the palate. Both malt and hop bitterness subside late, allowing soft, milk chocolate to surface and meld with the mild, tracely tannic coffee presence to lend a lasting impression of Mochachino. Very well attenuated, almost dry stout like in mouthfeel, but this inobtrusive lightness doesn't detract from the dark malt and coffee character. Finishes mostly dry, with slightly nutty, woody hints of chicory along with bitter baker's chocolate. A delicious, well rounded porter that's not a "java" porter outright-- coffee is present as an undertone. Light on the palate and quaffable, indeed.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is a burnt burgandy black toned liquid with slivers of deep ruby red sparkling inside. Soft and puffy tannish head that sits thick for a brief stint, fades to a loose collar and thin broken haze on top, lace in sparatic strings and globby spots. Smell is slightly burnt roasted malt with touches of cocoa, some light dark caramel and coffee beans with some light spiced nuttyness. Taste has a nice overall tight and lasting little roastyness, slighty burnt, slightly dark roast coffee note. Light hop bitterness builds within the roasted malt base and adds a bit of sharpness, but keeps a spicy herbed surface that is benefiting the dry flavor profile and helps to purge the palate. Finishes very nice with milk chocolate coming in with a cocoa powder-like feel and texture in the drying aspects which also has some coffeeness and nutty drying mixing in there which dissipates nicely off the palate. Feel is medium bodied, clean, dry, roasty, and altogether smooth. Goes down with amazing ease and has a relaxing bite and complexing subtleness in its drying. A very nice porter! Thanks Brent!!

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Photo of daliandragon
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I had this beer years ago at a Louisville Cardinals football game. I vaguely remembered it being good but was still skeptical when I saw it on the shelf at the distributor in Ohio last weekend.
I know porters aren't generally big head beers but I was still disappointed to see the cap fail to cover the top during the pour. Basic dark color. The nose was much more complex, featuring coffee and a little caramel in layers. Possibly the best smelling porter I can remember.
The taste is oppossed to the nose in that while full and rich, has more sour characteristics than sweet, with almost an oatmeal stout thing happening in the beginning of the sip. The aftertaste is tasty and longlasting. Mouthfeel is brisk but fits very well with the taste.
I can definitely recommend this Bluegrass selection. It isn't much to look at but it has it where it counts. I will definitely be on the lookout for this in the future.

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Photo of sweethome
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the St. Mathews Brewpub.

Pour is dark brown to black - dark tan head. Beautiful nose of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and just a hint of smoke.

First taste is blast of rich malts, then chocolate bar, followed by a roast blast - all wrapped up with smooth hop bittering. Full mouthfeel.

A very easy drinking beer, but so full of flavor.

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Photo of hanco005
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of my Microbrew of the Month club. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A—deep, dark brownish, black color with ½ inch creamy tan foam head

S—strong coffee and caramel malts, very fragrant with some mocha aroma as well, mild sweet smell

T—big and strong coffee and cocoa flavors, malty as I expected, a nice bittersweet finish

M—smooth and creamy with mild carbonation

D—an excellent brew…to me, it is like drinking a cold espresso. Could drink several more as I really enjoy the coffee and cocoa combo.

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Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque black with a thin diminishing head. The aroma was of dark and chocolate malt with just a hint of pine hops. The taste was very well balanced between dark malts and bothe pine and citrus hops that were not afraid to do their job, even for a porter. The beer is light and crisp with a decent carbonation. This is a very enjoyable porter.

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Photo of asabreed
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very very dark with thick rings of lacing left and a thick chunky mocha-colored head. Looks like a porter that I definitely want to drink.

Smell: Roasted malt, slight dark chocolate and light coffee, a bit of nice dark berries, and some slight hops.

Taste: What this mostly lacks is a long lingering finish, but as is, this is a solid brew. I like the fruitiness of the berries, along with the mild chocolate and coffee flavors also. Finishes with those attributes and a bit of hops. Like I said, a longer finish would be awesome, but this is a solid porter.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full without sticking to the teeth, and it's fairly silky to boot.

Drinkability: A solid porter that's very easy to drink and easy to make a session out of. Solid on all accounts I think. My second Bluegrass brew and another that I've really enjoyed.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown but somewhat opaque coloring with a lot of ruby highlights; the tan head retains nicely and splashes plenty of lace around the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Mocha aroma which leans toward the coffee and a hint of fruity hops

Taste: Lots of dark bread and chocolate up front, with a hint of citrus appearing by mid-palate; after the swallow, some roasty bitterness appears that leaves a charcoal flavor in the aftertaste; not much coffee in the flavor profile despite the aroma

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While there is nothing remarkable here, it is just a nice, straightforward porter that is easy to drink; touches a number of elements that make it interesting enough to come back to, if I have the chance

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Photo of zerk
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black... just a touch of amber showing through, with a persistant tan head that leaves rings of lace down the glass. Aroma is malty... a bit of chocolate with a subtle spicy hop backbone. Flavor begins malty with a touch of carmel... then becomes coffee-like and a bit astringent. Finishes with some herbal spice and bitterness. Has a somewhay prickly moutfeel with a medium to full body. A very interesting porter from a good regional brewery. Cheers!

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Photo of nixhecks
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark black with brownish edges. Also produced a pletiful tan head that had better-than-usual retention (good lacing too). The aroma was very roasty with burnt cocoa and sharp coffee. The taste was awesome, the same roasty qualities with a rich coffee, very slight hoppiness, and an overall smooth, heavy mouthfeel. A very good porter - very rich, hearty, satisfying, delicious, balanced...I could go on and on.

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Photo of drtth
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a deep mahogany color with a ¾" dark tan head which lasts for quite a while and shrinks but never completely disappears. Sipping leaves some lacing on the sides.

Smell: The aroma is of dark roasted malt with some chocolate and a noticeable coffee and cream component as well as a bit of hops.

Taste: The flavor is smooth and chocolaty with no trace of the burnt bitterness found in some porters. While the roasted malts are definitely there they do not dominate the flavor. The hops are also present

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is full-bodied and smooth with soft carbonation. The finish is long with malt and chocolate at first but ending in dry hop bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a nice drinkable porter. I'd find it quite easy spend an evening drinking just this beer and I'd be happy to buy another and another.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle courtesy of kmpitz2.
I am pouring at room temp into a pint glass.
The beer pours a deep rich dark brown with only hints of mahogany at the edges of the glass. A creamy beige head of 1 cm foams up easily and clings to the sides of the glass as it recedes slowly to a sturdy surface layer.
The aroma is roasted malt predominantly with hints of chocolate and caramel as well. No hop presence that I can detect.
The first sip reveals a silky smooth body with fine yet tingly carbonation.
The flavor is similar to the nose, all malt. I get some sweet chocolate up front then roasted malt and some burnt caramel. The roasted flavor lingers on my palate for a bit. The beer is very easy to drink and I think I could down a few of these quite happily on any given nite. There is no hint of alcohol anywhere and the smoothness and good flavor make it a winner!

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid offering from this brewer, the body is decently dark without being opaque and it comes with a noticeable chocolate head and OK lace effect. The nose is mostly of roasted caramel malt and this parlays into the flavor as well. The richness is somewhat less than desired because the body tends to be a bit too thin and just a tad watery. Drinkability is quite good as this is not as heavy, filling, or heady as some competing beers of this style.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. DArk purple almost with some ruby red highlights. Eggshell colored head forms. Decent size and nice stiffness in the head as well. Plenty of lacing.

Slightly roasty in the nose. Not overwhelming. Good notes of chocolate and even a little coffee. Doesnt smell burnt or too roasted. Certainly more roast in the nose than most porters: borders on a stout. A touch of fruity hops.

Damn good flavor as well. Crisp, slightly bitter, very nice. Creamy mouthfeel and so easily drinkable. I have enjoyed my three beers from BBC. Never had anything from them before but the three I had were decent, solid beers; this was no exception. I would most certainly purchase this one again.

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Photo of Lupe
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with some ruby highlights that shine through when held up to the light. Small head that did not last, some sporadic lacing. Roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, and some spicy hops in the backround. Medium bodied with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Coffee flavor dominates with notes chocolate. Finishes with a sharp bitterness, coming from the roasted malt, and a mild herbal hop taste. A very nice porter, easy to drink and tasty. Not too heavy, would make a nice substitute for coffee in the morning. Quality brew, only low point is head retention.

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Dark Star Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.63 out of 5 based on 223 ratings.
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