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 mcowgill
2.39/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pouring this beer into a pint glass was certainly an experience I wasn't prepared for. It was so carbonated that it overflowed. I wondered if this was an old bottle but it said best before 01/09. It appeared a dark brown with an almost mahogany tinge. The head was way too out of control and didn't really settle nicely.

S - Not impressed at all. I guess I get a slight coffee/chocolate aroma under the overall mustiness.

T - Again not impressed at all. This is beer is way too carbonated for my liking and also tastes metallic-like. It's too weak and watery for a porter, in my mind anyway.

M - Carbonation galore and tingly on the tongue.

D - It is a drinkable beer if it's your cup of tea but I doubt I'll be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of drunkensailor
2.41/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

from the bottle to a mug, fairly aggressive pour. Dark black color with a thick caramel creamy foam, visible flecks of something, makes me excited, 9reminds me of a few great barley wines). Light in the aroma, but did catch a bit of roasty sweetness, can't tell of what though. Taste is all right, notice a few subtleties to it (coffee, chacolate?) but the beer is a bit watery, not as thich and full bodied as the appearance would suggest. I've heard bad things about BBC from a few folks, so this is the first one of thier brews I've tried. I would say that while not the best porter, it was an enjoyable drink, and I'm now going to plan an outing of my other brew brethren to check out what else they have in store. I'll let you know ....

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.44/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

courtesy of BiF 18 and lackenhauser

thick brown pour with no head or lacing. aroma smells like a mix between dirt and grass... some sweaty aromas and a bit of maltiness to go along with all the weirdness. tastes better than it smells, although it has a very penny-like aftertaste. in the foreground are light notes of roasted malt and european hops. a little too crisp and bubbly for my tastes, and overall too light for me as well. not a beer i'd revisit. maybe a bad bottle, but ill have to see this on tap in order to attempt a rereview.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
2.48/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Enjoyed 05.02.09 from a 12oz brown bottle poured into a 14oz pint glass.

A: dark w/a shimmery mahogany. A big 1.5in head with a salty large ring and left lots of thick lacing.

S: Good molasses, but a complex fruitiness that just misses.

T: Carbs. Too much carbs. I can't get passed this. I'm sorry if this is a bottling/shelf-life issue. One of the worst carb experiences I've had in 2009.

M: Good & rounded after the carb dissipates.

D: Again, skewed by the carbs. I would REALLY like to give this brew a shot at it's brewery or at least on tap. I think the brewer has a great idea on his/her hand.

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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 yankeeheel
2.71/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful dark brown/black with a fluffy soap suds espresso colored head.

Smells weakly of coffee. Perhaps a little toasted.

Tastes very weak and metallic. Washed out weak coffee flavors try to break through but are squashed down by this overwhelming metallic twang. Very weak on the porter flavors.

Moderate in mouthfeel, also way too much fizz here.

Sorry, this one is not for me.

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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 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 RedwoodGeorge
2.94/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The porter pours a deep dark mahogany brown bordering on black but there's almost no carbonation. Even with a vigorous finish to the pour there was at best a thin collar of bubbles that instantly disappeared.

The nose was pleasant with a good dark caramel aroma mixed with a toasted note. Only a little sweetness in the smell.

Flavor was pretty run-of-the-mill for a porter with a few caramel notes, a strong focus on roasted, coffee-like flavors and note much else. No hopping that you'd notice and very little sweetness either.

Mouthfeel was disappointing. The porter was thin - as if they'd taken a standard porter and watered it down a bit. Light bodied, no residual sugars to leave a coating on the palate and very little carbonation to add any sparkle. The finish is a roasted grain bitterness (light, like everything else) but it doesn't leave you wanting more.

Not much to recommend in this beer except that it would make a good session beer. With a light body it's not very filling, low carbonation and a light, inoffensive taste it'll take a lot to really notice this beer.

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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 Cresant
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz into a Duvel glass. Best by 9/06 notched. Opaque black body with 1/2 inch head that faded to a dime sized island.

Smelled of coffee grounds.

Tasted bittersweet, like French iced coffee. I love coffee, I love beer. I do not love beer that tastes only of coffee.

Mouth-filling texture, yet not rich. Thin/watery quality. Esay to drink but not one I will likely drink again.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was just sort of so-so. I feel like this could've been a really highly rated beer 10-15 years ago, but the explosion in the variety of beer that beer geek-dom has now been exposed to (myself included) has relegated this one to the ho-hum category.

It pours a little thin and light for a porter. Head is OK, but quickly fades to a scummy coating. Aroma is pretty minimal, but offers some hints of chocolate and dark roastiness. Flavor is light and drinkable, but offers pretty subtle flavors and some dark roasty character that is reminiscent to me of a wood-burning fireplace or an ashtray. Not bad, just not super-exciting.

There's nothing wrong with this beer; I thought it was OK, it's just that if it's in the top of its class (porters) it is just barely so.

I got my bottle of this beer from a 2-month subscription to the microbrew of the month club.

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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 beerguy101
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark black color. Medium head. Aroma is malty with a touch of dark fruits. A medium bodied porter. Malts are slightly roasted, with a touch of fruitiness, kind of sweet. Hops are a touch spicy. Kind of a middle of the road porter. There is a slightly weird taste that I can’t place, but it doesn’t detract too much from the beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of DuqTroops
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - black, but a lighter black than I normally see with porters. little amount of head atop

Smell - chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste - was ok, not the greatest tasting porter, but was worth a try.

Drinkability - I probably won't have this one again.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany brown, almost black. Thin head with minimal lacing. Light aroma with hints of coffee, english hops and walnut. Surprisingly weak flavor. Dry all the way through, with a very light, uninvasive presence. Mild, dark roast coffee, a hint of plum and walnut, finishing with vague herbal hopping. Very, very dry and nutty. It's ok, but kinda bland and underwhelming.

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Photo of Gavage
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 2" creamy head. Some mild lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malts are soft and barely detectable.

Taste: mild level of roasted malts, raisins, hints of dry bitter chocolate and graininess are balanced with a mild bitterness. Overall this was a bit too thin and weak in flavor compared to other porters.

Mouthfeel: lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Very brief aftertaste as the roasted malt tones linger softly on the tongue. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother and a touch dry at the finish.

Drinkability: so-so at best. This just didn't hit the spot for me personally since I felt this was a bit thin.

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Photo of MDekker
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one for Christmas from my Kentucky-dwelling brother. Pours out nearly black with hints of dark brown; practically no head. Smells of bread, dark chocolate, and the similar dark roasted aromas. Upon tasting I think of mossy soil and mostly generic dark roasted flavors. A little flowery, but not much. Could pack a lot more interest for a porter. Moderately bitter finish. Thin and watery in the mouth; needs more carbonation. Not great, not horrible.

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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 kenito799
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before date March 2008. Purchased at BBC S. 4th St, Louisville.

Pours a dark brown coffee color, small tan head recedes to a ring, some tiny wisps of lace left.

Aroma is pleasant, chocolate and roasted notes. One the palate, all roasted bitterness, cocoa, both hop and char bitterness in the finish. A bit too much bitterness without a lot of complexity...certainly a decent beer but does not thrill. Likely better on tap, worth another try when at a BBC brewpub.

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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 argock
3.22/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass.

A: Very dark brown with ruby edges but barely any head and minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate, soft coffee, and berry and cherry smells with more burned malt aroma as the beer warms some.

T: Coffee and chocolate flavors dominate with a pretty strong cherry vanilla contribution to give this beer a chocolate-covered cherry flavor.

M: Very thin and watery -- it has a consistency not far from Kool-Aid. It has a very pleasant sweet cherry aftertaste.

D: A definite change of pace porter, but not one I'll go to very often because the cherry-berry sweetness is a bit much.

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Photo of skizziks
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a nonic. Moderate hard pour was necessary to raise a 2inch head of dark tan foam. A lot of big bubbles mixed with a lot of tiny creamy bubbles. Good lacing as it falls. The beer is an almost-but-not-quite opaque deep mahogany. Very nice looking beer.

Clear roasty aroma with plenty of milk chocolate, vanilla, and a little smoke. Very tasty smells.

Flavor is surprisingly weak on the front. Some sweet, a little chocolate and light roast coffee, slightly tart. Most of the flavor is coming from the aroma. Finish is dry with a little tannic bite.

Light body, a little watery.

I am a bit disappointed in this beer. I remember it as being quite a bit better in the past. The label has a best before date of last month so I suppose it could be a little past it's prime, but it has been in the fridge since well before. Not a bad porter at all, I'll have to get more to make sure this bottle wasn't off.

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Photo of xtacyturbo
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass, served at about 45 degrees.

Dark Star pours a very dark brown, almost black. At first it was topped with a half-inch thick creamy head that quickly settled to a foamy ring.

The aroma- roasty toasty, smells of roasted malts and coffee, with a hint of unsweetened cocoa- and not much else.

Taste-wise, just roasted, roasted, roasted. Very dominant flavor of roasted malts. Not much hint of coffee or chocolate at all, and not much hop flavor either. Doesn't carry a very complex flavor; I swirled this one around in my mouth many times searching for something more, but it just wasn't there.

Dark Star hits the tongue with a prickly carbonation. It leaves a slick, wet feeling on the palate that I don't particularly like, and wasn't as dry as I had expected from the style.

It's quite drinkable when cold, but drinkability declines as it warms- a pattern opposite what I usually prefer. It's unfortunate that this happens, as when drinking a brew of this style I don't like to hurry.

While it sounds like I'm trashing it, Dark Star is fairly tasty, but not my top pick. Definitely better than your average beer, but there are many better choices out there. I was hoping for the best after finding this beer from my hometown of Louisville, but next time I think I'll try one of their other styles.

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Photo of swid
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer #7 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Bluegrass Dark Star Porter pours a (upon first glance) black color into my pint glass; when held up to the light, a dark brown/ruby color becomes evident. Atop the nearly (but not completely) opaque porter rests a 1", light brown head; this soon collapses down into a thick, soapy ring. Moderate carbonation and light lacing. The aroma is quite average: Chocolate and roasted coffee notes are present, as is a restrained "earthy" smell. That's it.

The taste is better than the smell, but not the appearance. The flavors seem to be a jumbled mix of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toasted malts, and a mild floral bitterness; no one flavor dominates overall. Mouthfeel is quite light; the acidity of this beer combines with the lightness and fizziness of the mouthfeel to mount a small attack on the tongue. Finishes crisp, and leaves an acidic/coffee aftertaste.

This was my first beer from Kentucky; it started out with a great deal of promise once I poured it in the glass. However, I found myself liking it a bit less with each sip. I can't recommend it, given the large number of (in my opinion) better American stouts out there. However, as always, YMMV.

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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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