Russell Black Death Porter
Russell Brewing Company

Russell Black Death PorterRussell Black Death Porter
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English Porter
Ranked #175
Ranked #29,820
3.75 | pDev: 9.07%
Russell Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
Russell Black Death PorterRussell Black Death Porter
Notes: 53 IBU
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 54
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque black color with a faint copper hue and dense activity. Creamy light brown 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with good legs. Flavors of mocha, dark berries, cherries, walnuts, caramel, molasses, liquorice, peppercorn, vanilla, herbal spices. Highly sweet of ester fruits, reminiscent of a barleywine feel, while sharp and bitter from roasted malts. Creamy and silky medium body with crispy carbonation. Strong finish but well intensified, dry and chalky while still pleasant, a hint of wood, grassy hops and earthy spices. Quite robust but still pretty fresh, although a bit alcoholic and acidic. Very good taste and a superb finish. Overall excellent quality craft, complex and nicely balanced.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasting notes: Nice blackish brown brew with a fluffy light tan head. Sweet and earthy aroma. Chocolate pudding, sponge toffee, slight cola, tobacco on the palate. Great English flavor, rich, sweet, and creamy but with some slightly vegetal spicy hops in the finish to prevent things from being too cloying. A little raisin and rum late. Exceedingly tasty porter. Impressive effort from Russell, who seems to be kicking all kinds of ass lately with these big bottle releases.

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Photo of Mlkluther
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a tan head that dissipates but leaves some lacing.

Nose has roasted malt, smoke, cocoa, and coffee.

Taste follows nose.

Good beer. Not great. It is missing the smoothness I have enjoyed in other porters.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Black Frog, Vancouver.
Ruby black with webby beige film that webs. 3.75
Big roasty ash nose with some black currant. 3.75
Coffee grounds, some treacle, baker’s chocolate, not much in the way of hops. 3.75
Slight chocolate truffle ending and oily coffee bean bitter linger.
Lt-med, dry, slight chew. 4

Whoa, lean. Lots of sharp black acid malts combined with ashy roast gives this Irish levels of dryness. Harsh, but the name did warn you. 4

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Photo of Bunman3
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well, this is not what I thought it might be, but that is why I try new beers! I love the look and concept behind a porter/wee heavy, but the taste does not really play out that way. More than anything this is a solid porter - smoky, chocolate malts and espresso are the dominant flavours for me. I'm not sure if there is much else to say, aside from the noticeable absence of the wee heavy characteristics I love so much. I would seek this one out again, but approach it with the knowledge of what it truly is.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. The label marketing blurb seems to indicate that this is a blending of styles, between an unspecified as such porter, and a Scottish Wee Heavy. Let the hilarity ensue.

This beer pours a clear (I believe), very dark brown colour, with prominent basal cola highlights, and two skinny fingers of puffy, rocky, and densely foamy beige head, which leaves a bit of imminently landing organic alien spacecraft (I know!) lace around the glass as things indeterminately sink away.

It smells of lightly roasted bready pale malt, biscuity caramel, mild dry coffee grounds, a bit of stale black licorice, muddled dry cocoa powder, and plain leafy, floral hops. The taste is semi-sweet chocolate malt, a sturdy caramelized breadiness, somewhat acrid Nordic anise notes, slightly lactic coffee, and not all that zippy earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are quite active and frothy, but not at all overbearing, the body a pleasant enough medium weight for whatever style it is they're going for, and equally smooth, with a touch of airy creaminess from the get-go. It finishes a tad off-dry, the chocolate, coffee, and neutered coffee notes still large and most certainly in charge.

I'm getting a whole metric whack more of a heady porter's notes here, than anything particularly Scottish in nature - semi-dry chocolate, underwhelming sour milk, and all those other minor porter/stout essences conspiring to drive an easy nail into the coffin of anything 'wee', or 'heavy', in the High or Lowlands sense, and yet those terms may still well apply, overall.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tasted at 10C
A: opaque black. Cola head.
S: Cola, moka, black licorice; Ribena. Appealing but very broad.
T: Very soft. Nothing there. Smoky malt. Some bitterness and black licorice at the end but generally pretty forgettable.
M: medium bodied
O: The smell gave me high hopes for this beer but the taste just wasn't there. It certainly isn't a bad beer but there's just not much to write home about.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a dark brown with reddish tints. Bold notes of dark chocolate, smoke and coffee on the nose. Rich, deep dark malt notes of smoke, coffee and chocolate on the palate, with a big hoppy backbone. Has a nice creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of leaddog
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a brown-black with a finger width of foamy beige head.

Smell - Chocolate malts, barley, hint of floral hops.

Taste - Roasted chocolate and barley malts with a touch of sour in the finish. Light hops presence.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A nice English porter from Russell Brewing. Good amount of roasted notes and barley flavour.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Russell Brewing 'Black Death Porter' @ 6.5% , served from a 650 ml bottle , paid $6.50
A-pour is dark brown with a tight fine offwhite head , which is quickly dissapating leaving a minimal lace ring along the stein
S-faints smells of chocolate , coffee , sweet vanilla is also apparent
T-sweet start , very dry finish
MF-thin viscosity , soda like carbonation
Ov-okay beer (not bad , certainly not a great beer , can't justify calling it a good beer)
something missing for a beer named Black Death , one and done

cheers LampertLand

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.07/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Has a deep cola colour, dark brown with red hue when held up to the light. Poured with about 3 cm of head which quickly dissipated. Very low carbonation, similar to day of pop.

S: Initial scent of dark fruit, raisons and cherries, followed by molasses and a touch of sulfur. Hint of dried banana and cocoa.

T: Malt and coffee, slight taste of sweet molasses followed by dark biter chocolate.

M: Mouthfeel is the weak link of this beer - it is very thin and watery. This does not have the heavier feel of a dark porter style that left me disappointed.

D: I paired this with slow cooked beans which I thought would mirror well with the thick, heavy beans. Unfortunately the thin mouthfeel did not hold up well to the beans as they only heightened the thinness of the beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip 1/2/12

A looks like dark cola with a ruby red glow when held to the light, two finger beige head quickly falls to a thin film leaving no lace

S some cold coffee, coco powder, raisins, some faint smoke and booze with a faint fruity aspect

T more dark fruits then I smell and just a little less of everything else, a little nuttiness I didn't smell

M a little thin and it could use more bubbles

O not a bad beer but there's something missing, I polished off the bomber with no issues but I wouldn't be that excited to see it again

Its a decent beer but I like a porter to be a little more rich, decent but I doubt I'll go looking for it again

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: 1/8" mocha coloured head over cola coloured liquid.

S: Toasted malt, coffee, chocolate and anise.

T: Bitter flavours of toasted malt and coffee. Expected more based on the smell profile.

M: Thin viscosity and a very high level of soda-like carbonation.

O: I enjoy most of Russell's products but to be honest I was disappointed in this one.

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Photo of Derek
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

They say it's a wee heavy porter... and it does sort of bridge those styles. Sort of a winter-warmer?

A: Deep brown, pours with a light tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Sweet caramel, roasted nuts, candied fruit, plum pudding... very sweet, malty aroma, very intriguing.

T: It's almost like a soft drink, which is surprising for a brew of this strength. Sweet cola, caramel, light roasted nut & candied fruit. The bitterness is really restrained, allowing the sweet malts to come through. Personally, I'd add a little hop or roasted bitterness for balance. As is, it's begging for some more chocolate flavour (black patent and hops would produce an entirely different beast... perhaps more in-line with its namesake).

M: The body seems a little thin.

D: An easy drinker for its weight, but not very enticing.

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Photo of hreb
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 22oz bottle in BC in May; let it rest in the fridge since then. Served in a pint glass. Beer pours just on the brown side of black with nearly no head. Aroma is sickly sweet.

Initial taste is slightly less sweet, with moderate carbonation, and a thin, portery mouthfeel. Honestly, this is mostly just bland, sorry guys. There is a little bit of chocolaty bitterness to balance out the sugar flavor. Is this really just stale already? Did it travel pourly? The beer doesn't show any signs of damage (flat, skunked, or otherwise stale flavors), and at 6.5% ("high in alcohol" according to the label -- which also claims the beer is unpasteurized), so a couple months ought not to hurt.

Drinkable, but not great.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting porter from Russell. Better than their winter porter. Ruby-black with a very thin white head.

Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee and sweet vanilla. In the nose. Cherries lurk in the background, even a hint of bananas.

Coffee-and-cream-and-sugar taste, bananas, sweet cherries and milk chocolate. Very complex and developed taste. As it warms, different flavours come out.

Smooth, slight carbonation. Very nice, sweet dessert beer.

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Photo of canucklehead
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Russell is starting to get the hang of this limited edition bottling. This is a totally solid porter with a large mouthfeel and a slight vanilla taste in the midbody. The beer starts on the sweetish side and finishes with a nice dry taste. Very drinkable and well crafted this is the kind of beers that Russell can be proud of and bodes well for the future

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Russell Black Death Porter from Russell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 54 ratings