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 scotorum
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a trip to Alabama and Tennessee last summer.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn stemmed flute

a: Nearly opaque black with ruby highlights when seen through light, inch thick tan head receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Milk chocolate

t: Smoky roasted malt with mild chocolate and coffee notes, quite a substantial hop bite following. Somewhat bitter finish.

m: Light to medium, ok body, lots of carbonation tingle.

o: A very good porter, although the bitterness level seems perhaps a bit higher than most. Tasty notes of milk chocolate and black coffee along with some smoke provide just about everything one would expect in a flavorful porter.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very fine beer, but I think it's a little closer to a good stout than what I think of when I hear "Porter".

A - Poured a very dark brown (not black), very little head but retained a thin lace throughout.

S - Roasted barley with very slight hop note.

T - Coffee, chocolate and roasted barely.

M - Very rich, almost "chewy".

O - Like I said above, a very fine beer but more like a stout.

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, notched production date of April 2013, served in a snifter.

Pours clear but very dark brown with a small and weak head.

Aroma: ample notes of milk and medium chocolate with roasted grains.

Flavor: chocolate, leaning more to the dark chocolate side than does the aroma. Malty sweetness is mostly counter-balanced by English hops. Long lasting aftertase features dark roasted grains.

Feel: smooth; medium body

O: Chocolaty, even for style.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.94/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a perfect pint.

2.75 A: Dark brown black color. Two fingers of foamy tan head. Retention is below average and no lacing is left.

3.0 S: Dry with a lot of roastiness that borders on ashy. Some coffee and chocolate notes, but mainly just the standard roastiness.

3.0 T: Like the nose, there's a lot of roastiness in here, perhaps a bit too much. A bit sweeter than it smells, but still dry overall. Again some chocolate and coffee notes under the roast.

3.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking creaminess.

2.75 D: It's not a bad beer, but it's simple and the flavors it focusses on aren't the right ones.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark, dark ruby coloring with a nice small creamy head and a bit to much fizz.

A touch of chocolate on the nose, it's dominated by a burnt malt scent. The chocolate and late on caramel scent are weak, as is the malt and gives to a weak aroma overall.

Feeling some cocoa and caramel tones but the burnt malt wins out in taste. Its followed by an almost watery feel. As for the taste, it's a nice Porter in line with the genre but the residual watery mouthfeel is a bit distracting.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty smooth and nice drinking porter. I feel like it's definitely better as it's warmed up. The one thing I dislike about a lot of the porters that I try is that the flavor profile drops off so fast. This is not like that at all. Super smooth and great character. Even has a little vanilla in there it seems. A great drinker. Could easily go for several of these in one sitting.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, murky brown with a compact tan head.

S: Aromas of roasted grain, dark chocolate, coffee, and black cherry are present on the nose.

T: Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted grain, black cherry, cream, and minerals wash across the palate. The finish is thin and smooth with black cherry, dark chocolate, and coffee notes.

M: Light-to-medium in body, thin, and dry. Carbonation is rather spritzy for the style. This is a bit too slight for my liking.

O: This is a decent porter. It's a bit light and thin for the style, but it is still solid. For me, the only real problem with this beer is that it just doesn't stand out from the crowd.

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Photo of beergod1
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Extremely dark brown with next to no head. Roasty aroma with some dark chocolate, liquorice and molasses. Flavor started slightly sweet, with some coffee, more chocolate and long, dry finish. Light to Medium body.BBC is not on my favorite Brewery list from the 2 brews I had from them. The beer is drinkable, just not very memorable.

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Photo of rangerred
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is a very dark brown; almost black. One finger tan head with good lacing.

Smells of roasted malt along with some chocolate.

The roasted malt is very prominant in the taste along with some dark chocolate. Some moderate bitterness but no real hop flavors are detectable. Mouthfeel is a bit light but the finish is clean.

Overall a pretty middle of the road porter. It is good but nothing really stands out.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a globe glass

A: SRM is dark/rosewood brown. Semi-opaque. Head is light tan, 6 in, dissipates to 1 cm. Excessive carbonation (gusher), once beer poured carbonation is medium/heavy. Medium/light lacing.

S: Roast malt, light toffee. Slightly metallic scent. Light hop additions.

T: Malt forward with medium roast malt. Slight roasted bitterness, light hops. Aftertaste is malt and light char.

M: Medium body. MF is slightly dry and bitter, with a little creaminess from the carbonation.

O: A little disappointed that this one gushed all over the place immediately after opening. (Note, open ALL beers over a sink just in case) Otherwise, smell was right on point with a classic english porter. Taste was a little bitter and notes of wood char came through a little more than I think a classic english porter should but I still liked it. I would not seek this beer again, but if offered I would not turn it down.

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is near black in color and poured with a finger high beige head.
S: There are faint aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with hints of citrus hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell with some hints of chocolate and seems rather acidic for a porter. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is drinkable but nothing really stands out in the taste as being very interesting.

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Photo of JDizzle
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Poured an aggressive head that took off and blasted over my glass with a quick spurt. Really foamed up fast and too much! I left a nice area for it to expand and it excedded it. Way too much head and over carbonated!

It smells like shit to be honest with you! I smell alcohol and sweet chocolate. Not a good smelling beer at all.

Burnt coffee, roasted malts, and trash. Not a good beer/porter at all. I used to like this beer, being from the Ville, but damn it's not good compared with other at the same price.
Not GOOD, really thin and lacking any real depth.
They make a Heine Bros. Imperial Stout that is unreal though!!

A huge let down...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown with a creamy tan head. Nice lacing on top as well. Slow settle revealed some nice side glass lacing and a small pillow of tan on top.

The aroma was steep with roasted malts. Rich notes of caramel and molasses. Light grain touches and a bit of a herbal note persisted. Nice robust flavor, rich and sweet with a dry finish. Lots of roasted malts and a classic coffee and chocolate profile. Smooth, mellow and quite nice actually with an easy sessionability I was most impressed with.

Overall a really nice little porter I was very happy with

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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 titosupertramp
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty dark as porters go..just a little shade of ruby. Two fingers of a tan head leave a sparse film and splotchy lacing.

S: Coffee, chocolate, toffee or caramel...something slighty spicey. I would like the smell more if it were a little better balanced, but this seems to be heavy on the sweeter parts of the smell. When drinking a porter, I prefer more roast, bitterness.

T: Not quite as sweet as the nose, but still a little heavy in that department. Chocolate, toffee, caramel..just a hint of coffee. Not really picking up hops in the taste. There's a roasty, almost musty aftertaste that I actually kind of like.

M: Medium bodied, but a little thiner than I like my porters.

O: This isn't a bad beer by any means and fairly enjoyable. If in a grocery store, I'd buy this. If in a proper beer store, there's probably 3 or 4 better options when in the mood for a porter.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.92/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was given to me by a friend who wanted to know if I had ever had it before. I hadn't so I gave it a try. Dark Star poured out like any porter should. It had a nice dark body with a tan colored head on it. Even with the darkness the beer was almost see through, it could have been a little darker I think. The smell was nicely roasted and had just a touch of hops coming through. The Mouthfeel was just a bit too light for a porter I think. This beer isn't terrible, but better choices are out there.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smoked coca-cola? More like RC cola, actually.
Somehow, something in the nose reminds me of vegetable juice and that's not an awful thing.
A bit too thin in my opinion for this to be a very enjoyable porter. Not bad by any stretch but no wow-factor other than the initial smokey character.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark is right, This is a deep black, indeed. Nice tan head, and good lace.

Aroma is burnt dark chocolate. Nice.

Tastes chocolatey, with a nice roastiness and a slightly bitter finish.

A really solid and representative example of a sessionable porter. A winner, and one I'd easily return to, or refer as a fine and drinkable beginner's porter.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. The freshness concerns me a little (Sep. 2010?), but this beer still tasted fine through and through.

Appearance: Dang, this beer is opaque. Dark chocolate-like brown, almost black, with tiny hints of ruby red on the sides. A smooth pour yielded a beautiful dark ivory 2-finger head which had decent retention and left good web-like lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Pretty average for a porter, I'd say. There are the obligatory hints of dark chocolate and burnt coffee with the roasted malts, but for some reason, I'm picking up some straight-up alcohol through the aroma. It almost overpowers the other aromas but not quite. Not as nearly as aromatic as some other porters, but it seems promising.

Taste: It follows the smell in a very linear fashion. The first thing to hit the tongue are the deeply roasted malts with hints of coffee and chocolate. Pretty good for a porter of its style, but not as nearly as flavorful as others out there. What stands out, though, is the hop profile of this beer: Big, bold, and unforgiving; almost overbearing. The bitter and pungent hops tie in nicely with the roasted coffee taste and last well into the finish, where more hints of alcohol are made apparent.

Mouthfeel: As expected for a porter, fairly thick and robust, but not necessarily creamy. The hops actually add a bit of coarseness as the beer goes down. The lingering bitterness at the finish may be too much for some, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Drinkability: For those who aren't into the whole thing of roasted malts and hints of coffee, this may not be the best way to get into the Porter style; but I could drink several pints of this if I wanted to on any given night, and it's especially fitting as a beer for the winter months.

This was my first beer from BBC, a company who I consider to be a local brewery in my KY territory; and it was a fine start. Very enjoyable and robust all in its own. While it's certainly not a mind-blowing porter, it doesn't necessarily do anything wrong. Consistent and enjoyable.

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Photo of Swill5786
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle nearly burst open when cap removed, foam going everywhere... an aggressive brew. Poured a stout-black with ample, rocky head. Nose of malt, alcohol, and anise. Tasty, sweet roasted malt, alcohol driven hop bite in the back. Aftertaste rather sweet for the style. Heavy body and low carbonation - perhaps due to the explosion when opening? Decently enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to wisconsinality for sharing this one with me. Poured into my pint glass the beer is dark cherry red with brown edges. Not much lace save for a small beige soap ring.

The aroma is mostly coffee and hints of chocolate. I bit of roast malt with a dash of cinnamon. Sweet brown sugar somes to mind as it warms.

The flavor is very muted. What can be picked out ia a bit of coffee and chocolate. A faint hint of maple syrup in the finish.

Light thin body. Almost no carbonation.

Overall less than stellar. My first beer from the blue grass state and I'm hoping it gets better.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. Best before August '10 notched on the label.

Thanks to Wisconsinality for sharing some Kentucky beers with me!

A - Dark chocolate brown and clear with almost no head. A tiny level of off-white head forms but doesn't last at all.

S - Robust roasted malts have a strong bittersweet chocolate aroma that has a lot of dusty cocoa. Very dry aroma with no hops present.

T - Very dry and roasted chocolate malts impart a dusty cocoa and bittersweet chocolate flavor. Almost no hops present in flavor but they balance it well as it has no sweetness.

M - Light-medium-bodied and crisp with a very dry finish. A little bit harsh for dryness though.

D - Fairly drinkable for a porter but it's rather plain. Chocolate and cocoa are pretty thin through the whole flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of dcajero
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A = Dark and coppery held to light. Head dissipates quickly, leaving lacing down the side of the glass.

S= Toasty malts but not burnt.

T = Coffee, malts, aftertaste is a little bitter.

M = Lot of carbonation and thin. Leaves an astringent feel.

D = Not bad, I will revisit it periodically more because it's a local brewery than for any other factor. There doesn't seem to be a lot of complexity.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep blackish brown. Decent sized head that quickly settles down. Small amount of lacing. Looks nice.

S - Dark roasted coffee, but a tad weak.

T - Taste is nice. Roasted coffee with a hint of caramel malt. Slightly bitter hop bite on the end.

M - Mouthfeel is also good. Solid and smooth, but not too heavy. Carbonation might be a tad high, but overall doesn't detract from the beer.

D - Good. I could sit down with a few of these on a chilly evening. Actually, I think I will.

Notes: Another one from my past that I'm revisiting. This is a good solid porter, especially for the price.

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Photo of beerman207
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this one on the shelf for a while and have been on a kick trying cheap KY beers.

A: Darker than expected - a very dark brown with about 3 fingers head and a little lacing left behind in the glass

S: Nothing - barely some faint alcohol coming through- maybe some malt but I really need to search. Let down here.

T: Surprising that the taste makes up for the smell. The taste is quite good and in my opinion this would be a good beer to have out of a bottle just hanging out in the winter. No reason to try to get all fancy with it - just drink it from the bottle. The taste is mostly coffee but also some caramel as well as some nuttiness in the backend. Some bitterness comes through as well. Very pleasant and easy to drink

M: Just right. Not too heavy but not too thin either.

D: I could have a few of these. Good offering from BBC for what it is. It was a $1.45 for a single so you really can't go wrong with a sixer of these if you want a decent porter.

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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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