Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

518 Reviews
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Black Jack PorterBlack Jack Porter

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Slight malt Sweetness with notes of dark chocolate, espresso and herbal hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

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Reviews: 518 | Ratings: 1,370
Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Don't be fooled by the BA score of 84. This is literally a perfect porter. The first time I had it, it blew me away. The second time I had it I got it on tap at a bar and it was even better. Smooth and chocolatey with a roasted coffee aroma, it was nearly too beautiful to drink. As the beer warmed up the flavours became even more pronounced. This beer is beyond a score of 84, I'm not exactly a 'beer expert' but I know that everyone I know who has had this porter has raved about it. Go out and give it a try.

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Photo of DissentFatsquirrel
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent Beer, had a great feeling of drinking coffee, with a bit of chocolate, would have again in the near future, and is another example of the ways that left hand brewing is starting to make a name for themselves.

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Photo of LuDookie
4.72/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I can't believe this beer got such a low average. I put this beer very close to the Left Hand Milk Stout, if not better.

Poured this from the bottle into a mug.

It didn't look too dark pouring nor thick, and had no head....all gigs....but it's no pale ale!

It smelled like a typical Porter, no funky sweetness or aromas.

It tasted great...Smooth, somewhat hoppy with a nice roast, and a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel was smooth, with light to moderate carbonation.

I was surprised by this beer. It tastes better than its name suggest, which told me it might be a bit bitter being a black jack. It is incredibly smooth and rich.

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Photo of Squaretooth
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand Brewing Company - Black Jack Porter

A - Poured into a Westmalle Trappist goblet, the color is very dark which is what one expects from a porter. Light head with thin even lacing, this leaves a nice oily film on your glass.

T - light coffee taste with dark fruits. Very very pleasant

M - Just a bit of a sting on the tongue and palate.

D - Tops for drinkabilty, very smooth and light, I could drink this all night.

S - Fruity smell with hints of coffee. Extremely pleasing.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown-ish ruby red color w nice tan head. Light hop aroma and light chocolate aroma (sweet). Coffee-ish and chocolatey tones with a light roastiness. Nice balance of all flavors. Medium bodied but leaning towards full. Great drinkability.

per L.H.B.Co. website:
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal, Chocolate & Munich
Hops: East Kent Goldings
Original gravity: 16 Plato ( 1.067 )
IBU's: 26
ABV: 6.40%

2000 Gold Medal, Brown Porter G.A.B.F.
1995 Gold Medal, Robust Porter G.A.B.F.
1994 Bronze Medal, Traditional Porter G.A.B.F.

Note: this beer was #39 in Stuart Kallen's "The 50 Greatest Beers in the World"

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer departs a nice brown color with a ruby hue. The head is a finger that falls to ring the beer. The nose is all about chocolate. Damn it smells nice. The flavor is also a huge blast of chocolate that sticks with me way through the finish. The feel is thick and creamy. The drinkability is really good as well. I like this beer. For my friend Don...This is just a good beer.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another good brew by Left hand brewing company. Nice dark color with a decent tan head. Smells fresh. Taste okay, it is smooth but could be a bit smoother. A bit tarty. Mouthful I would say the same think. One could drink this beer often, but I wouldn't go more than 4 or it will lose its luster.

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Photo of aristeros
4.62/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a Left Hand mixed twelve pack. I'd only had their Milk Stout before. This one pours a cola brown with a finger of off-white head. The dark malts give creamed coffee and, surprisingly, licorice notes. Good.

Light sweetness over mild roast flavors. Very well-balanced. Cream transitions to coffee, finishes with toast. Classic porter with a few extras, and a pleasant surprise. Really, a bit better than the Milk Stout.

Full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and very mild carbonation. Nearly perfect porter.

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Photo of Clowerweb
4.59/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Couldn't find any dates on the bottle.

A: Nearly black, very dark brown with dark amber/crimson highlights around the bottom. Not quite opaque if you hold it up to the light, but pretty close. 2 fingers of tan head dissipated quickly and left no lacing, costing a point on the appearance of this otherwise gorgeous porter.

S: Smells delectable. Has a nice amount of nose to it, not overly pungent, but not weak. Smells like dark roasted malts, notes of coffee, nutty, maybe a hint of chocolate. Can't wait to taste this!

T: Wow, I'm very surprised this porter doesn't get more love on here. Starts earthy with heavy malts, dark roast coffee, light hint of bitter hops and/or raw cocoa on the mid palate, sweetens up on the finish with a sweet roasty nutty flavor, then dries up slightly. This is a great tasting beer with plenty of depth.

M: Nice full body, mild carbonation, feels creamy and smooth, slightly chewy, sticks around in the walls of the mouth

O: This is solid 4.5/5 for me. As stated, I'm struggling to figure out why this isn't rated higher on here. I'd consider it to be up there with some of the best porters and stouts I've had. This is a fantastic beer and I'd definitely pick it up again.

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Photo of beveritt
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Bottle says bottled on 8-30-06; why can't more breweries do that? Label depicts a Jack of clubs holding a mug of beer in his left hand, very cool label.

Appearance: Pours with just over a one inch, off-white, creamy head. This falls, leaving lacing behind on the sides and a layer of foam. The beer itself is just barely see-through. A nice, dark mahogany color.

Smell: Amazing smell. It is so strong I can smell it sitting in the glass on my desk while I am typing about its appearance! Strong roasted barley, one of the freshest barley smells I have experienced. It smells like the roasted barley as I crush it to throw it in the mash. A little hint of sweetness.

Taste: A fair amount of carbonation bite upfront. A very small hint of sweetness, followed by a pretty mellow bitterness. The barley is definitely present, but not overly strong.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned earlier, decent level of carbonation. Seems a little high at first, but you get used to it and it seems like the right level for this beer.

Drinkability: I got to say, I am very impressed with this porter, one of the best I have had. I could see drinking this all day as you unload the ships.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So another in the line of regulars from Left Hand graces my glass. This one I was looking forward to as the Porters have always been a favorite of mine. This one poured a nice thick dark brown with a large creamy tan colored head on the top. Great retention let it hang around for what seemed like forever before finally being nestled down into just a thin layer across the top. The aroma was very full and sweet. Lots of chocolate roaming through it along with a touch of coffee and lots of sugar. A slight smoked presentation as well. The flavor was also very full for a porter. This almost had a stout like feel to it as it was very thick and full with a great robust profile. Lots of chocolate and coffee notes dominated it. Overall it was hard to believe this was actually not a stout. It was so full bodied, a really great porter. This would make an excellent addition to a winter lineup. A great beer and something that I will defiantly be looking forward to trying again.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown head, ruby red highlights when angled towards bright lights. Gorgeous large tan head, patchy and stringy lacing noted throughout. Sweet nose—molasses, toasty malts and plums. A nicely balanced porter—the initial palate is full of caramel and burnt malts, traces of chocolate and cocoa. Loads of other flavorings—raisins, figs, nuts and freshly ground french-vanilla coffee beans. Slightly carbonated, just an underlying touch of English-like hops. Very nice, oily slick and quite smooth—a standout English porter.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks perfect—black body with a healthy than head that has good formation and retention.

Really nice aroma—big! And it’s not so big it might as well be a stout (not overly roasty). It’s just a big porter with a lot of cocoa coming through with some toasty notes and a bit of caramel sweetness. I’m really impressed by the smell of this.

Flavor doesn’t disappoint. Starts off with everything I’m getting in the aroma, and it just feels nice—good light and fluffy body, right in line style-wise for a porter’s drinkability. Pretty big finish with a lot chocolate/cocoa powder flavor. They kept harsh roast to an utmost minimum, clearly making this a porter to style. Hop bitterness peaks out only in the finish, helping to dry up any residual sweeness.

Black Jack Porter is one of the best porters I’ve ever had. It’s more wowing than Sierra Nevada’s totally respectable and enjoyable porter, though not as massive and flooring as Founders’. Glad to realize this is a year-round beer, as I will not want to wait a year for another release. I will be buying more soon. I like it a lot. Good work, Left Hand!

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Photo of NateEmz
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a beer mug.

I have been eyeing this beer at my local liquor store for a few weeks now and decided to give it a go. I usually like my Porters so I was anxious to give this a try.

Pours very dark with little head. Smells of chocolate and caramel. Could sit and smell this beer all night, absolutely love it. The taste was as equally impressive. Caramel flavor with just minor bitterness. Very drinkable and found myself downing an entire 6 pack before I knew it. I'm looking forward to trying more from Left hand.

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Photo of Lamar
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought the label read "Black Sack." I'm not touching that one...

Pours murder black but lets a few jets of deep ruby through when held to the sun. A thin, half-finger head quickly drops leaving some ramdon swirls of bubble film and a lumpy collar. The lack of head retention seems to be an obvious fault.

Smells malty, roasty, and clean. I let it warm to about 50°F and now I'm being rewarded for my patience. Chewy toffee, fig, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and all the usual players in a delicious roasty beer, alongside a slightly floral hop that's present, but certainly takes a backseat to the dark malts. Some salty coconut as well.

Black J(s)ack tastes just as the nose suggested, though perhaps a bit more acrid than I'd hoped. Starts sweet and malty, finishes dry and chocolatey, with just a hint of smoke. It's quite straightforward, but very delicious. The finish is so dry and crisp and has such a good, mocha aftertaste that I keep going back for another sip.

The body is medium/thin, and the carbonation is low, but I think both of these attributes really highlight the smoothness of the beer and let the flavor stand with less distraction. There's a roasty bitterness towards the finish that dominates the mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is great. I would say it's pretty drinkable, although it's very filling. I would recommend to anyone looking for a dark, roasty 'Robust Porter,' and will definitely buy again. Certainly a contender for my 'go-to beer' for the upcoming winter.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Sampled last night on 12/2/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Pours a very dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights in color, very close to black. Has a thin beige head with some spotty lacing seen when sipped. The aroma is of dark roasted malts, cocoa, and a hint of vanilla. More going on with the taste with a hint of black coffee and even a wee bit of black licorice in the mix. A tasty Porter that isn't over done at all. Medium+-bodied with perfect carbonation. Really liked this one!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried the Black Jack Porter at The Bank in Wheaton, IL. The beer came in a standard pint glass and was opaque in color with 1/2 finger thick tan head...that didnt lace all that well. The smell was a nice roast earth/peat with hints of sweetness and coffee. The taste followed the scent and made for a very nice porter. The mouthfeel was medium body with good carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good porter and would recommend to anyone.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.46/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a solid black with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a two finger mocha colored head which lasts for a while; some of it lasts until the end. Lots of lacing.

The smell is roasted malts, oats, chocolate, licorice, milk, fruits and nuts.

The taste follows the nose with roasted malts and oat sweetness coming in first. Then milk, light fruit, maybe pears, and some nuts. There is a hint of licorice as well. The feel is smooth and creamy; there is a little dryness on the backend but the cream remains after swallowing.

A good porter for sure.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Le Cheval Blanc pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear ruby, with a light tan head that did not last at all. Some lacing is present.

Aromas of light roasted malt. Hints of bittersweet chocolate. Almost a milk chocolate quality. No hop aroma at all.

First sip is of roasted malt, coffee, and that milk chocolateliness. No hop flavors either. Emphasis is on the roast. A light sweetness. Finish light and roasty, and does not last long, begging for another sip.

Mouthfeel is medium. Good level of carbonation.

Very drinkable beer. A little strong for a session beer, but very sessionable. Could drink these all night and not tire of the flavors.

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Photo of jbone78
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up just because I have never had it, and turns out I love it. Pours robust brown and is nice and clear with at small tan head. Smells slightly nutty and taste a bit nutty too. The nutty flavors blend with a robust toasty notes and finishes with a slight silky butterness. A very easy drinking beer and I will grab more if there are anymore at the store.


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Photo of billybob
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours almost black with deep ruby highlights, nice tan two finger head holds very well and with good lacing to the finish. nose is big roasted malts with coffee and toffee aromas. taste same with slight hop bite ending, very balanced malt and hop. mouthfeel light to medium, with a light carbonation. had five for the review guess thats a good sign of its drinkability lol.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to what appears to be a dark nutty brown color, but when held to the light it is clearly amber/ruby colored. Has a thin tan lacing that builds to an inch and recedes slowly with no lacing.

I can't get enough of the smell. It makes me wonder how long it's been since I drank a chocolate milk. Needless to say it smells like a Yoohoo or something.

The chocolate character in this beer is second only to Rogue's Chocolate Stout as far as my experience with chocolatey beers goes. The taste starts off like a typical porter, gently roasted yet sweet malty goodness. The chocolate flavor is present through and through, complimenting the roasty aftertaste well.

The mouthfeel is great. Once again my chocolate milk analogy comes to mind, though this is somewhat watery even for a porter, much less a milk. Still has a creamy feel to it which is delightful, though. This is probably my second favorite porter next to Bully! Porter.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with 2-row, Crystal, Chocolate, Munich and Wheat malt. Hopped with Magnum and Kent Goldings.
27 IBU, 5.8% ABV.
BTW, this is an English-style porter, not a Baltic as listed.

Pours out to a clear light brown with ruby accents, forming a small light-tan head with poor retention and absent lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is nice with a very strong initial milk chocolate and cocoa note, light roast coffee, faint grain husk, a residual sweetness, faint vanilla, and honey. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium dense body and a very clean finish. Taste is an echo of the aroma. The malt body is the emphasis here with a nice sweetness. None of the funky grassiness that I tend to associate with Kent Goldings. The finish has lingering mineralized water and grain husk. Tell you what...I am really loving Left Hands yeast. They remind me of the Rogue Pacman yeast with the residual cookie-like unfermented complex sugars. Drinkable is top-notch with a wonderful finish. Bitterness is minimal. Alchol imperceptable. No off-flavors.

Blown away by another brew from this company. I saw their cheesy labels and wasn't expecting much. I've been surprised by each one that I've hand. Give me a 6'er of this is one hand, and a 6'er of Jackman's in the other! Exceptional brew...wonderful porter! Kudos!

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Photo of skrib09
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured out a very dark black with some ruby red coming through over a light. creamy head.

smells just ok to me. not too roasty, maybe more malty.

taste is exceptional to me. just enough roasty sweetness to pass for a porter but very crisp taste.

crispy mouthfeel.

great drinkability.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,370 ratings.
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