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 Onenote81
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another awesome bottle received courtesy of bamadog.

Poured this into my standard pint glass. Pours a deep blackish brown with a creamy tan head resting on top. Retention is fair. Leaves plenty of sticky lace on the glass, as well as some sip rings. Scents of minerals, alcohol, coffee, and a faint roasted malt finish. The mineral aspect is a bit strong.

Body is crisp and bubbly. Carbonation level could be tamed down a bit for the style. Flavors of old coffee, mild dark chocolate, and a crisp hop bite on the finish. This is a good Porter, no doubt. Thankful for the opportunity. Thanks again, Rich.

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Photo of Tone
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a lighter brown along the bottom of the glass. 2 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, slight alcohol, toffee, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and sharp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of coffee up front, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hint of smoke, and a slight hop finish. Overall, a heavily carbonated porter, but still has a good body and blend.

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Photo of Durge
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled into a pint glass this black-brown beauty is dark indeed, with a fair light brown cover that fizzes down to a dainty layer pretty quick. Lacing is decently spiderwebbed throughout. The aroma is a respectable molasses chocolate with bitter coffee at the edges. Very nice if you like molasses, and I do. The flavor brings out much more of the bitter coffee, very nice with just a suggestion of chocolate and molasses over it. Sweet but plenty bitter to tickle the tongue. This is a little bit under mid-bodied but thin in a way that only makes it more drinkable, somewhat refreshing in fact. It goes down easy with plenty of taste. Perhaps a bit more aqueous than some would like but I am quite pleased with this for a summer's evening porter with a healthy flavor in keeping with the style.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color that is similar to the color of black coffee. There is a mocha shade to the head. Clean attack and flavor. The presentation of the flavor is very mild and you experience the mouthfeel as much as any flavor. There is a dose of coffee close to the finish. This carries through the aftertaste and leaves the drinker with some coffee notes that are present in the aftertaste.

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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 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 tigg924
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch inch head, dark brown

Smell: malt, nut, chocolate, small coffee

Taste: malt, nut, chocolate, coffee, bit of wood

Mouthfeel: smooth sweet start followed by a hard dry, semi-bitter finish...medium heavy

Drinkability: I could have two or three of these. This is a good, not excllent porter that is true to the style. A pleasant surprise

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Photo of Thanby
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark ruby with a thin brown head. The nose is heavy, a nutty malt with some plum, coffee and caramel, and some esters in the background that didn't appeal too much. The first taste is dominated by the robust, nutty malt, the coffee is lighter and in the background mingling with the plum and esters, and a hint of chocolate. Medium bodied, smooth and easy to drink, paired well with the burger I had.

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Photo of monoXcide
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my first American Porter so take that into consideration when reading.

Appearance - Very dark. The only light that got through it was just around the edges of the glass. Poured with a slight head and OK lacing.

Smell - Musty burnt grass like qualities here. I'm not quite used to that.

Taste - Burnt and bitter, but not overwhelmingly bitter. I suppose that is some of the attributes of this style and it does a good job of presenting these qualities. Again, I'm not quite used to that but if that is what you are looking for then it does not disappoint.

Mouthfeel - A little too carbonated. It is about as carbonated as a coke. I can still drink it though but not as pleasing as I would like for it to be.

Drinkability - Due to the carbonization of this it is a bit hard to take multiple sips one right after the other. I also don't quite like the burnt bitterness of it but if that is what you like then it here. Perhaps I could warm up to this style, given enough time.

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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 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 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 nem2006
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very dark brown with a small head that did not last very long. Some nice lacing is left on the glass.

It smells strongly of coffee, toasted and a slight hint of dark chocolate. Very malty.

This is a medium to full-bodied beer. A pretty smooth texture. From the onset, you can feel the carbonation on the tongue. The taste starts with a slightly sweet start with a coffee middle followed by a subtle bitter finish to close it out.

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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 scoobybrew
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

A - deep amber color with a thick, creamy, ice-cream like head settles after quite some time into a chunky foam

S - roasted malt character with some minor traces of alcohol

T - rich roasted malt comes through with a slightly dry finish

M - medium body with moderate carbonation

D - It's a decent porter overall and would be a nice session beer as well.

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Photo of briman
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark brown, with more of a ruby character when held up to the light. About a quarter inch light brown head dissipates quickly, leaving a touch of lace.

Aroma has mild to moderate roasted malt character. No obvious hop presence.

Flavor is mostly mild to moderated roasted malt, moving toward a mild black malt bitterness in the finish with a hint of dark chocolate.

Medium-light body, with moderate carbonation. Overall a fairly mild porter. Roasty character is evident in both aroma and taste, but is restrained. According to the style guidelines, this is pretty much right on for a "Brown Porter", though I think it would be better with a little more body, and perhaps a little richer flavor.

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

Beer of the Month selection. It's pretty dark, with some reddish tinting around the edges when held to the light. A modest head forms on top and lasts a while. The nose is not extremely prominent, but has nice notes of roasted coffee. Not too roasty to taste though: a good smooth blend of cocoa, a little expresso, medium-dark chocolate. Moderate bitterness dries things out a bit, with a light malty finish.

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Photo of Domingo
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a darkish brown color that's actually darker and thinner than most porters, especially the English ones.
Smells of roasted grains, coffee, and maybe a little cocoa.
Tastes very "roasted" and coffee inspired which I picked up in their altbier, too. This one could've been labeled a coffee beer considering the flavor profile. Flavor is VERY dry and there's minimal sweetness at all. That can be good or bad depending on what you want. I think it makes the brew a little one dimensional without some hops or a little maltiness to liven it up.
The texture makes this easy to drink, but that dry bitter black coffee flavor limits how much of it I want.
There are better options out there even if you like where they're going with it. Much like their alt, it's not bad per se, it's just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Like their Nut Brown, the head on this one was very shortlived, fizzy, and small. Unlike the Nut Brown, it poured a very dark brown with just a bit of a ruby highlight.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate - like chocolate covered strawberries or cherries or something.

T: Some burnt or smoky flavours that weren't strongly detected in the aroma (strangely, perhaps). Deep roasted malts, a little bit of a chocolate. Nice, subtle, and tasty.

M + D: Something seems to be missing a little, but I can't quite place a finger on it. Carbonation is quite mild and suitable, body isn't too big - making it smooth and easy to drink. ABV is noted on the net as 5.21, which seems about right.

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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 JamesS
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent opaque color with some head and lacing, but not much for a porter. Excellent scent, a very strong coffee aroma with hints of burnt grains. Excellent taste, a nice smooth coffee flavor with just a hint of alcohol at the end. Goes down fine, an excellent porter to try.

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

Decanted cool into my Dogfish head shaped pint glass.
A - Deep brown, like unadulterated coffee w/ a creamy, pie crust shade for a head. The foam becomes lace quickly and relinquishes a thin film and 1/4 of the original inch of head.

M - A very roasted, yet almost chalky dry feel at first followed by sweet and slightly bitter textures.

S - Like a crushed chocolate covered coffee bean: very roasty, yet sweet w/ hints of vanilla and breadiness in the aroma.

T - This porter tastes sufficiently roasty w/ a caramel flavor bordering on toffee. There are notes of mocha too, but the charred malt tastes almost powdery and the yeast is there after about half-way through. The element that makes this porter better than most is the hops - they seem to surface w/ piney flavor to counter the sweet crystal malt w/ honey like potency and balances the malt very wel.

D - I am a fan of well made porters and this one while not very well blended, has excellent malt and is very nicely balanced and yet not shy on the hops either. This has very dark charred malt too which reminds me of barbecue which isn't for everyone, but in the small amount here is tasty like the slightly burned crust of homemade cookies.

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