Black Jack
Left Hand Brewing Company

Black JackBlack Jack
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English Porter
3.75 | pDev: 11.2%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black JackBlack Jack
Notes: Slight malt sweetness with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and herbal hops.
Reviews: 527 | Ratings: 1,413 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Martin194
Martin194 from Iowa

3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Almost opaque, very deep red, with a white head.

Smell: Sweetness, coffee, some herbal notes

Taste: Bittersweet, coffee and dark chocolate with some earthy, planty notes. The aftertaste has that somewhat acidic taste of strong, French pressed coffee.

Feel: Light body, normal carbonation, creamy mouthfeel followed by a crisp refreshing feel.

Overall: Nice refreshing porter!

Aug 18, 2018
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DenverHopHead from Colorado

4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a best by date of 5/29/18; into a pub glass.
Appearance- a dark cola brown with plenty of streams of bubbles that hold a thin beige head. Lacing is beautiful!
Smell- a very sweet and enticing combo of milk and dark chocolate!
Taste - there’s a very nice bitter flavor profile from the chocolate, a bit of coffee and a touch of hops!
Feel - medium body, good carbonated mouthfeel and very easy to drink, even at almost 7%!
Overall - this is a terrific porter that is underrated in my opinion. I rarely drink porters, so I realize I haven’t come across some of the best, however, this is wonderful in almost every category!

Apr 07, 2018
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: deep deep dark brown color, almost to the point of black but not quite there. when holding up to a light, i can see the light through it. head is tan, and nothing more than a film

s: milk chocolate, roasted malt, some cola, a hint of brown sugar. Vanilla in the nose to close out. Nice smelling beer

t: roasted malt and cola up front. chocolate powder and a little smokey flavor behind that. a little touch of bitterness from the roast hit the sides of the tongue, and some sweet malts finish off the flavor. something a touch off-putting towards the an odd bitterness and drop in flavor that comes out of nowhere. almost like chewing on wood or something

m: lower-medium mouthfeel with high carbonation

o: an ok beer, but it could be more. i think if the roast malt flavors in here were just a bit deeper, it would push it higher for me. and the after taste could be better as well. appearance could be a bit darker also. not the worst beer in the world, i just think it has more potential

Jan 06, 2018
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ThaneMcC from Germany

3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with over 2fb of light tan, foamy head.
Smells of roasted malts, cocoa, leather.
Taste is sweet malts forward, a little leather and roasted malts with a hint of smoke and then a fairly abrupt transition to earthy, hoppy bitterness and clean finish.
Body is a little thin, with scant effervescence - not astringent, but pleasant and easily quaffable.

Overall, a pretty good porter - smell is definitely superior to its taste - but not bad overall - I wouldn't turn this down at a party or bar - but wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

Nov 05, 2017
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jmay9753 from Missouri

3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark but still lite enough to see through.
Thin cream colored head poured into frozen tulip glass.
Smell was fantastic really expected good things from this brew.
Taste was lacking however. Had a decent start some good toffee and dark chocolate but faded quickly leaving a slightly hoppy old funk flavor that finished off slick with little to no aftertaste.
Feel was no heavier than any generic budweiser-ish american lager.

Overall look and smell sure outweigh the taste and left me wishing for a little bit more if something.

Note: unsure of age of beer reviewed. Had to clean dust off bottles when i got home so unsure how long it had been setting on shelf.

Aug 01, 2017
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matcris from Arizona

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

Looks: Dark brown, mahogany up to the light. Half a finger of lingering tan head that leaves some decent looking lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malt, earthy, chocolate, dark roasted coffee. Smells good.
Taste: Dark roasted malts, sweet dark chocolate in the middle, dark bread, very nice dark coffee that lingers on the finish. earthy.
Feel: About average carbonation, slick at first, but, dry on the finish, and medium thin body.
Overall: Just enough sweetness to go with that nice dark coffee quality. Pretty good brew.

Jun 23, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a nice looking dark brown close to black color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. There was some light lacing sticking and then sliding down into the beer. The smell started off with some sweet to roasty coffee to cocoa. Light dark sweet fruitiness rounds it all out. The taste was mainly sweet with a big underscore of the bitter to roasty on the aftertaste and leading into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Carbonation runs fairly light allowing a decent stickiness all around. Overall, I say this was a pretty good English Porter that I would have again.

Jun 17, 2017
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The appearance is a very dark brown/black that is black in the middle, but dark brown or even ruby red on the very edges where the light catches. It's top by a thin white foamy head. Retention is fairly poor, but there's some decent lacing.
The aroma is very typical of a porter. Roasted barley and grains, some milk chocolate with vanilla, cocoa, toasted brown bread or pumpernickel bread, some coffee, faint hints of cherry and raisin, and earthy hops.
The taste follows the nose almost to a tee. Almost unnecessary to describe. Milk chocolate, cocoa and burnt toast upfront, with roasted barley and coffee notes in the middle, light earthy hop bitterness, and a big yeasty tart cherry and raisin note. Finishes lightly dry and very balanced between chocolaty sweetness and roasted bitterness. Very crisp and drinkable.
Smooth medium mouthfeel, leaning towards light, but very sluggable without being watery.
Yet another quintessential American porter. Very solid.

Apr 30, 2017
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Carolvs from Texas

3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not accustomed to being disappointed from Left Hand's offerings, but this one was a real let-down. Threadbare mouthfeel, so lacking in body in fact that it didn't even feel like a porter, but rather more of a scotch ale.

Apr 16, 2017
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Lamar from Maryland

4.51/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

An extremely tasty porter. Thin head and deep brown in the glass. Very malty with lots of coffee that cover the alcohol content. Mouthfeel is a bit light but in an unusually refreshing way for a porter.

Apr 06, 2017
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Devileyedog from Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm the writer of practical reviews. It's hard to miss a coffee flavor. It is smooth and delicious... Because it's beer and Left Hand doesn't make a "bad" beer.

Sure, we can nitpick about color and smell (smells like espresso), but realistically if you like porters just try it out for yourself.

It will taste like a porter and a good one at that.

Plus, they get points for the label. It's pretty awesome. And you know, cool label means good beer. Always.

Mar 09, 2017
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hophugger from Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This porter is what a porter should be. Dark color with decent head and spotty lacing. I gt the coffee and chocolate that the bottle says I should get, but I also get a nice cool, black licorice that ads so much to this beer. Clean, cool finish !!!

Mar 07, 2017
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

DATE: February 18, 2017... OCCASION: Having finally tracked this one down after a decade of first tasting it, I look forward to remembering it again... GLASSWARE: Hop Devil nonick...pours a dark, opaque body that is velvet-red where light reflects... the head is pure cream, half-finger in height, with a beautiful ring of coral lacing... chocolate, peat, and small hints of spice and hoppiness--small caramel and dankness inhabits its breath... a pleasure to sip, with its creamy introduction giving way to a stern backbone... medium-bodied, agreeable, and hearty... dry at its conclusion.... the chocolate and peat are at the forefront of its profile, while the roasted malts evoke caramel and coffee bean with subtlety and relative sweetness... the sum of its parts, this porter is strong but not bold, formidable yet not big, and drinkable without being thin... worthwhile and a good reason to purchase the mix pack it came in...

Feb 19, 2017
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smitbo7 from Georgia

4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of my favorite porters to date. Dark chocolate appearance. Small head. Hints of caramel, cocoa, and malt. Hint of coffee char, bitter finish. Enjoyable cold weather porter.

Feb 04, 2017
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 6/5/15 @ the Yarchives.

Murky orange/red rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small tan head; strong lace.

Raspberry, red licorice & fresh earth notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Fresh earth & red licorice flavors up front; raspberry notes on the finish. Faint booze heat emerged as this warmed. A very flavorful porter; I'd have another!

Dec 08, 2016
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911CROFT from United Kingdom (England)

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle into a Spiegleau Stout glass. Paid £2.70 for a single.

Pours a clear, dark brown, cola body, that when held to the light transforms to a bright, almost ruby hue. A three-finger in height, light tan coloured, bubbly head slowly condenses to a thick cap, leaving behind plenty of sticky soapy lace.

The relatively subtle nose predominantly consists of lightly roasted dark malts, semi-sweet chocolate, powdered cocoa and coffee. Hints of burnt grains, ash and woody, herbal hops are faintly perceptible in the background. Taste follows in much the same way, adding only a tart red berry profile to the relatively simple nose. Dry, dark roasted malts and baking chocolate lead initially above lighter notes of burnt grains, white toast and hints of heavily roasted coffee. Mid palate, lightly tart red berries join lingering chocolate malt to provide traces of sweetness and add further acidy to the sharp, dry roasted backbone. In the mouth, a light body and assertive carbonation give feel that despite being thin, remains reasonably smooth and easy drinking. Towards the back end, mildly bitter, green, herbal, and woody hop profiles join lingering berry, coffee, cocoa and char to finish dry, slightly coarse and astringent.

Overall this is a decent, but unremarkable beer. Smooth, dry and roasty, it’s a simple but well-crafted Porter. At a relatively high 6.8% ABV, alcohol is completely imperceptible. While this undoubtedly increases drinkability, it not only makes its depth of flavour and weight of body slightly lacking compared to others with similar gravities, but reduces its suitability as a session beer choice. Ultimately it’s a solid offering, but unlike Left Hand’s excellent Milk Stout Nitro, it isn’t going to become a fridge staple.

Nov 27, 2016
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand's Black Jack Porter has a thin, bone-colored head, a very dark brown appearance, some bubble streams, and almost no lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, dark bread crust, toast, chocolate, and medium-roast coffee. Taste is of medium-dark malts, sweetness, low bitterness, brown bread crust, medium-dark toast, and no char. Mouthfeel is light, and Black Jack finishes on the drier side.


Nov 24, 2016
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Nimbus_ from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours a dark cola color with ruby accents when held up to light. A thin tan head coats the top, though it dissipates quickly so only a very thin layer remains for the session. Somewhat underwhelming for a porter, in my opinion.

Smell: Unfortunately, the aroma is somewhat underwhelming as well. I get subtle hints of vanilla, cocoa, and coffee. I wish the aroma was a little stronger, because I'm sure it would be a great combination of scents for a brew like this.

Taste: This is where things get a bit better. Right away there is lots of sweet chocolate and a little bit of coffee. The finish has a nutty flavor to it, which is surprisingly pleasant. Delicious overall. While I really enjoy the taste of this beer, I would never know that I was drinking a porter. I don't mind though.

Feel: Pretty light and thin for a porter. The carbonation is very mild as well. It's quite session-able, which is nice, because I enjoy the flavor. However, as with the other aspects of this brew, the mouth-feel just doesn't represent a porter.

Overall: I like this beer, and I would buy it again. However, nothing about it makes it good porter specifically. I wish it was categorized as a different type of beer. That said, it is pretty tasty, and I still recommend it to folks who enjoy lighter porters or brown ales.

Oct 04, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown and black for the most part, brown head, 1/2". Aroma has the roast and a dark fruit edge, are English porters just like the Russian Imperial Stout to the rest of that style? Dark fruit and alcohol.

Taste has plenty of woody licorice feels. So much hot alcohol in the mouthfeel. I wish the chocolate malt notes came out more than the yeast. Instead of a sweet edge I get a bitter alcohol boozy fueled one.

Sep 19, 2016
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Vader444 from United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour into Left Hand 2/3 pint glass.

A muddy and frankly unappealing looking brown beer with short lived cream coloured head. Smells quite fruity and tastes good with gentle coffee and chocolate notes. Not my favourite Left Hand creation but, for some reason, I rather enjoyed the second half of this after initial disappointment. Too cold perhaps? Will try again but not in a big hurry. Cheers!

Sep 17, 2016
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akolb from Colorado

3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Last beer in the 6 pack, dated 1/27/2017. Remind me not to buy LH beers close to the expiration date. With a vigorous pour a tan head is formed over a dark-red brown, slightly transparent body. Smells like coffee, cocoa, sweet caramel, and a bright herbal fruitiness that's a bit disconcerting against the other aromas. Taste has coffee and tasty rich chocolate. Nice. Then a bit of a medicinal quality that's not so nice. Bitterness is moderate. Body is weak for the style and ABV. Drinkable and has some nice elements, but there are far better porters out there.

Sep 15, 2016
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oldn00b from Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty standard porter but does lean to the sweet side. Definitely enough roasted malt to balance it out but it still skews a bit sweet for my taste. Body and feel are very nice - the nose on this is a nice standout.

Jun 10, 2016
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RyanK252 from California

3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours chestnut brown, not super dark, with a frothy tan head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little nice lacing.

S: Roasty toasty malt, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, slightly nutty, hint of espresso, and a little toffee sweetness.

T: Toasty roasty malt, milk chocolate, bready toffee sweetness, a bit nutty, and a mild herbal note on the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Not exactly what I was expecting, but still a solid brew. Very easy drinking.

May 27, 2016
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EmperorBevis from United Kingdom (England)

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a jet black body with off white head that gives way in parts but pretty much sticks
Good coffee regular aroma
Thinner than I imagined and not quite the dark beer stormer either some cocoa some wholemeal bread with the flavour
It's either thin or dangerously drinkable and I'm thinking thin
Kind of like Porter Lite :/

May 16, 2016
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BWED from Colorado

3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

A- Dark brown with a light tan head. Retains at a quarter inch. Good lacing.

S- Bready sweetness, roasty, a little nutty and chocolatey.

T- Sweet and nutty. Mild earth hop flavor. Base malt backbone is a little grainy and light.

M- Medium full body. Nice balance; just enough hop to cut the sweetness, which makes for a smooth clean finish.

O- Solid. This is a prime example of a porter. It doesn't blur that line with a stout. Lighter color, body, and flavor. Well done.

May 07, 2016
Black Jack from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1413 ratings