Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

515 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: 515 | Ratings: 1,365
Photo of happenstance
2.13/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Weak tasting.

L: Translucent brown... Not really "black" at all (as the label advertises).

S: Smells like Goose Island IPA.

T: Way too much hops to be a porter. The hops taste overcomes anything that is supposed to suggest a porter.

F: Honestly, it felt like medicine in my mouth.

Very bad beer.

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Photo of bashiba
2.4/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Color is a very thin cola brown with almost no head to speak of.

Smell has funky sour milk aroma with hints of burnt malts and chocolate.

Taste is sweet and milky with hints of coffee and chocolate, a bit on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery.

Overall a pretty poor porter, I will avoid this one in the future.

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Photo of biglite351
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - light through the middle of the glass. Nice red-brown. Near white head.

S - I thought it smelled a bit like a lager. A little bitter in the end.

T - mild porter taste, a little chocolate and malt. Bitterness in the after taste.

M - mild coating and mild tingle in front sides of tongue.

D - if it were not for the bitter after taste this could be a drinker.

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Photo of MichaelMeister
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I once made a comment that I’ve never met a porter that I didn’t like. That is, until now. This Porter tastes remarkably like the Left Hand Milk Stout which I didn’t care for either. Too much of a dry, lactose, bittersweet chocolate aftertaste and simply is too thin, watery, flat and lifeless.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.55/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very dark brown with a small white head. Good retention, some lace.

S: Milk chocolate, some roast, nice.

T: Too much residual sugar and the green hop notes clash with the malt, reminds me of Deschutes Hop in the Dark having the same problem. There is some solid dark chocolate flavours, but it doesn't solve the problem that it just doesn't taste very good.

M: Smooth, creamy, light carbonation. Fairly good chocolately finish.

D: Well made, but just not my kind of flavour profile. Too hoppy for the style, not satisfying.

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Photo of Brad007
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color: Darkish-brown with a thin one-finger head.

Aroma: Smooth and malty with hints of coffee and caramel in the nose.

Taste: Coffee and caramel mix upfront. Taste is kind of thin and watery in the middle though. Some roastiness but not much.

Mouthfeel: Thin and caramel-ish. Not too impressive.

Drinkability: Ok but nothing spectacular. Maybe my taste buds are off or something but I can't find too much to be impressed about with this porter.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark, ruby brown with fleeting head. The aroma has hints of chocolate, toast, and nuts and possibly a bit of vanilla. It's flavor begins as chocolate that turns to dark chocolate, followed by coffee as it warms. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy and filling. Too filling for more than one. Left Hand Black Jack Porter is a decent beer, recommended.

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Photo of PartyBear
2.68/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark brown to black in colour, with a small tan head.

Aroma: Dark roasty bitter malts, with subtle caramel undertone. Sightly coppery with a grapey wine aroma.

Taste: The main flavour is a milky chocolate, with a oaty taste. There isn't a great deal of bitterness, the taste has an overall sweet creaminess that isn't too paleteable.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, watery in places. It has a smoothness but slightly too creamy.

Drinkability: The flavours just aren't powerful enough, which give it an almost bland creamy taste, which is a shame. There are better, much more flavoursome porter out there, which manage to achieve this with a lot lower ABV.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

The pour was an opaque mahogany bordering on black. It had a one finger head that quickly dissapated and left a thin white ring around the top of the beer.

The smell was heavy in malt and chocolate with just a hint of coffee bean in the back of the nose.

The drink started with a thin water like flavor the middle was a grainy coffee flavor with a sweet malty finish that didn't linger.

All and all this was an average porter, in my opinion it was too thin and watery. Still it was very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of beergoot
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Reddish-hued brown body; thick, dense off-white head. Mild wood ash and mild chocolate aroma. Faint presence of charred grain; light bitterness; bitter chocolate. Soft and mild body; weak and watery; mostly dry finish.

It's definitely a dark ale yet lacks the flavor and body of a real porter. Other than the ABV, this brew lacks depth and character with the flavor and body. If you're looking for a session Cascadian dark ale, perhaps this would fit the bill, but if you're in the mood for a luscious, sumptuous classic porter, you are advised to look elsewhere.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
2.82/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours to a ultra dark, almost black, brown coloring thats almost transparent if not for the dark hues with about a fingers worth of head that dissipates to blotchy patches of head.

S: Nice toasted malt flavors with some dark chocolate and coffee mixed in. Light breadyness mixed in as well.

T: Toasted malt and smokyness dominate this brew. Some dark espresso flavors but theres a strange sweetness here as well, one that reminds me of chewing on a cherry or grape stems. Really having a hard time placing the flavor. Pretty unique in itself but the smokeyness and toasted flavors are bold and pretty overwhelming here.

M: Light carbonation, light creamyness left on the tongue, aftertaste lingers.

O: Really wasn't expecting the boldness from the toasted malts and smokeyness here. Kind of curious what everyone else thought so i looked thru some reviews and im not sure if this particular bottle was off or what. Would def try it again and would like it to be on tap.

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
2.82/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cola brown with almost no head.

Not a lot going on with the nose. Some dark fruit. Hint of coffee.

Tastes mellow but good. Some coffee there. A little chocolate, some hops.
Good brew nothing is to over powering and in some cases like in this one, that's a good thing. Over all good brew. Sometimes less is more and in this case for sure

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I keep telling myself no more from Left Hand but I am running out of new things to try at Grapevine. Pours dark, pretty much black. Aroma is very light with sweet malts and I think coffee. The mouthfeel is pretty weak with just a little hops and some sour/bitterness at the end. Not the worst Porter but again, nothing near the best. Not much else to say.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby color. The head is one and a half fingers high, and off-white in shade. The retention isn't anything special, but it has a nice texture. Streaks of lacing stick to the glass. (3.25)

Smell: Nothing impressive, unfortunately. I get some notes of brown sugar, along side some subtle milk chocolate. Some light floral hopping comes through, as well. This aroma just doesn't pop at all. (2.75)

Taste: The flavor doesn't pop, either. Starts with a little brown sugar, and finishes with some chocolaty roast. Hops are moderately light yet evident. Welp, that's about it. Pretty damn boring if you ask me. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, it has a neutral finish (neither overly sweet nor dry). On the other hand, vibrant carbonation helps it go down easily. It doesn't feel like nearly 7%...then again, it doesn't taste like 7%, either. (3.25)

Overall: Meh. While there's nothing really wrong with it, it's just really dull. With all the great porters on the market, there just isn't any reason to revisit this one. (2.75)

2.83/5: Whoops, I just went bust

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Photo of Gehrig
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Though the rating scores should speak volumes toward my viewing this "porter" with mediocrity, I'm going ahead and assessing the beverage in writing anyway. On the whole, this didn't pique my interests as I drank it. The presentation was nice, 1 1/2 fingers of tan, frothy head atop a dark walnut-brown, almost reddish hued body. Yet the taste and flavors didn't live up to the initial good look. I found it a bit weak, lightly reminiscent of chocolate, but overall sweet and with no overall strong flavoring. if it weren't for the occasional scent of chocolate wafting under my nose, I might have mistaken this for a medium bodied lager in texture and flavor.

This, unfortunately, ends up on the lower end of my personal porter scale. It lacked some meat, if you will, in terms of flavor and complication. Overall, not an impressive porter, and I can't say that Left Hand has wowed me on the whole, with the exception of their Milk Stout. Other than that, I won't be stopping in front of its place in the display case anytime soon, sad to say. There are too many other good, bold porters to drink.

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Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer poured a deep black. Almost as dark as a stout, but not quite. Could only see through the beer around the edges of my pint glass.

Smell: The aroma is like chocolate candy with some other mild fruity and bready things going on. Somewhat mute for a porter.

Taste: Rather disappointing brew from the esoteric Left Hand Brewing Company. It's sweet, which they in fact acknowledge on the description, and lacks complexity. The beer is better at warmer temperatures, but truly lacks a character which makes it easy to dismiss for future purchasing.

Mouthfeel: This is actually quite good. It is a full bodied brew that billows malty goodness.

Drinkability: I was disinclined to have a second after my first. A good porter can easily be a session beer. However, with abundant sweetness and lack of complexity, the move to another beer seems only natural.

Overall... Probably better for porter newbs, who are put off by dark colors. The sweetness is probably easy to like. I honestly prefer the robust porter for their superior aroma and taste which contributes to drinkability. This is NOT a robust beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

English Porter, not my style. Looks ok, kinda dark, thick, we're off to a good start.

Taste, eh, why do all English Porter's taste like a little bit of licorice and rubbing alcohol?

Mouthfeel, well, mahogany accompanies the licorice and alcohol. Not too drinkable.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a ruddy ruby with a frothed tan head and nice lacing. Chocolate is most powerful in the nose with underlying raisin and roasty grain, but mostly it's Hershey's chocolate syrup. Smells pretty thin overall. Chocolate again comes out strong in the flavor with some loud esters, and a toasty yet midly roasty and lactic finish. Mouthfeel is thin and watery yet smooth. Not interested. Won't buy this again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

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Photo of Sixpoint
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Remember the days when Tabernash made awesome beer? Tabernash brewery was the bomb. Their beers used to taste more German than German. They were technically flawless.. and used to pick up mad hardware at the GABF.

Left Hand merged with them a while ago. This porter seemed like a distant uncle... one who drops in every 5th Christmas or so, and begs for money.

The appearance was OK. Deep brown color, with plenty of ruby and mahogany highlights. Poor head retention though.

Almost no aroma... just a faint whiff of black malt.

The taste was troubling. The aftertaste had copious amounts of oxidation.... and too many flavor hops, and not enough malt. Did not seem to be balanced well.

A nice mouthfeel, with plenty of creaminess. However, I ultimately don't find this beer to be that "drinkable."

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Photo of WesWes
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dark roasted malt scent with little hops and a dry yeast aroma. The taste is average. It has a grainy dark malt flavor with a dry finish. It is watery and weak tasting. The mouthfeel is horrible. It is a medium/full bodied beer with little carbonation. This beer drinks average. It has little aroma and flavor along with almost no carbonation. This is a average porter at best.

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Photo of farrago
2.97/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with minimal head, lacing stronger than any foam on top. Not quite black, just very dark brown in color, turning to a faint orange around the rims. Not a lot of roast to the nose, more caramel, butterscotch, vanilla fudge and then black raisin, plum, cherry fruit, has a spring water freshness to it, not a lot of density, drifts off rather quickly. Medium-bodied, while it doesn't have a lot of weight it still manages to feel sluggish and unwilling to move. Coffee notes perk it up some but then it's basically the same story as in the nose, chocolate, caramel, butterscotch and plum, raisin, other dark fruits. The carbonation much more fluffy and active than you'd guess from the absence of any head. Light breadiness with some bitters, here it tastes like fizzy mineral water rather than still stream water. Fairly lacking in complexity and finishes short. Another beer more marked by absence of positive traits than presence of negative traits.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Bottled on 08 10 05 (sampled 08 11 06). I think Left Hand sent some old bottles to Texas, they haven’t been available here until last month or so.

Aroma: Standard porter ‘dusty’ nose, minor milk note, hint of pine/citric hops.

Appearance: Dark brown glass with clarity at the edges. Head seems almost too white, creamy and a good cover that gave good lace.

Flavor: Mild flavor, very little roasted characteristics, which works for me in a porter. Very mild hop note, actually the entire taste is pretty thin, not much to say here.

Mouthfeel: Firm, almost over done carbonation level, thin body and watery texture.

Overall Impression: Almost too easy to drink. Light body, watery texture, mild taste, I guess that equals good session beer. The flavor is ok, nose is good, looks good, mouthfeel is lacking. What’s the opposite of Imperial Porter?

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Photo of NitroGen
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. Brown longneck bottle, Bottled on 10/07 is discernable in the date field.

P: Poured like a dark coca cola pour with a ½ finger of foam that quickly settles to a scattered cover

S: roasted coffee and bittersweet choclate .

T: Roasted and slightly bitter malt feint trace of coffee.

M: Found this a bit too thin and very one dimensional from beginning to end.

D: Passable porter and will drink again, however one would keep searching for better examples before sharing with friends.

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Photo of darkmaven
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My thought was, "It will probably be a smooth, caramel and tobacco accented beer, easy to drink like the Milk Stout." The name Black Jack makes me think tobacco and whiskey for some reason, so I transferred that over to the beer. Because I think a title should not just be RANDOM, but have some correlation to the beer you're drinking. Right?

Well I am the queen of hearts (love that song Juice Newton!) with my lip stuck out, because I am considerably disappointed with my buddy Jack. There is virtually NOTHING on the nose. And believe my I search, I wait, and I search again. A little hint of pepper and spice (and nothing else nice unfortunately) and that's it. Only AFTER drinking the final beer, the Black Flag Imperial Stout with its surge of hoppiness, and returning, did it seem like a porter, with touches of maple syrup. Before that, it was just a bland brown ale. If I had to summarize in one word, "nondescript" would be my linguistic choice.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,365 ratings.
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