Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

513 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: 513 | Ratings: 1,362
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by: 9/21/15.

Pours a clear super dark orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and cream aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, caramel, and cream flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with great chocolate and cream qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big beer for a porter, felt more like a stout to me on all counts. smells like very strong coffee, english dark malts, and burnt sugar. flavor is huge espresso notes up front, mellowed out by a nice chocolatey smoothness and some noticable hops in the finish. mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied, i was in this particular instance hoping for a more sessionable porter, but not the case here (although i did manage most of my sixpack nonetheless). super thick, almost sludgy at times, again much more like a stout, but im okay with that. overall i am not disappointed with this beer, it definitely pushes the envelope

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Photo of Knapp85
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep brown color, the head was thin with a creamy tan color. The smell of the beer had some nice roasted notes without much of any hop aroma. The taste of the beer was probably the best part, it's was sort of creamy and lightly roasted. The mouthfeel was soft, gently carbonated and smooth. Overall this is a good brew in my opinion. I could see myself Drinking this one again.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but is clear very dark reddish brown when held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted chocolate malts are present in the nose.
T: Compared to the smell, the taste seems to have stronger flavors of chocolate malts and less in the way of roasted malts. The hops lend a light amount of bitterness, which is most noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this porter to be very easy to drink. I would definitely consider this beer to be sessionable. The aromas and flavors from the chocolate malts are particularly inviting.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A much better beer than what I was anticipating. A rich black malt, chocolate, and milk sweetness to the nose. Thick and dark, almost black with a soft creamy, lightly tan head. Tastes creamy and bold without heavy sweetness or body. Chocolatey, robust, toffee, and espresso flavored. A nice lactose sweetness softens the beer considerably, offering a fermented sourness. Creamy and smooth texture. Finishes lightly chocolatey, modestly sweet, and clean for a porter. Hinges on a milk stout, otherwise, a terriffic porter.

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown with more than its fair share of ruby highlights; the modest cap leavessome strands and dots behind

Smell: Brown bread and chocolate, with a hint of caramel

Taste: Rather chocolatey, up front, with a growing grainy /hoppy flavor that cuts into the sweetness by mid-palate; after the swallow, an acidic coffee dimension joins the profile, but the underlying chocolate sweetness drives home in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit aqueous

Overall: Easy to drink and has a nice chocolate flavor, though it is lacking in complexity

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, soapy, bubbly, cream colored head. There was minimal lacing.

S - It smelled roasty with sweet notes of chocolate, toffee and caramel.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate with a bittersweet kick. It had a mild herbal hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied porter with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice porter. I like the fact that is English-styled.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Left Hand in August 2009.

Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head. The smell is of roasted malt with a little bit of chocolate. Some fruits and breadiness as well. The taste is similar--nice and simple to drink without too much complexity. The body is full and is fairly drinkable for a porter--not too dry.

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Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of light tan head that rests on top of a very dark brown body with slear, amber highlights. The foam settles at an average pace and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

S - Light roasted malt with notes of chocolate, licorice, red apple yeast, and a hint of smoke.

T - Dark caramel and milk chocolate comes out first. There is a little bit of licorice in the middle and some dry molasses. The beer finishes with a bit more chocolate and some fruity, red apple notes as well as light bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a nice, well rounded porter. It has a nice level of malt complexity with notes of licorice and smoke, though its sweetness and restrained roasted character prevent it from being mistaken for a stout.

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Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a thin head that leaves a trace of lacing,aroma of coffee and fruit with some bitter chocolate as well but it is subdued.Taste has a fruity edge to it with some milk chocolate and earth it mingles pretty well together.A pretty solid porter what have liked a little more muscle to it but good none the less.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 2/12/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, nuttiness, light coffee, slight fruitiness, and herbal hops. Very pleasant and balanced aromas with decent strength. Taste of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, nuttiness, slight coffee, light fruitiness, and light herbal spiciness. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, biscuit, toast, and roasted malt on the finish for a good bit. Great balance of flavors, and a nice malt backbone; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very easy to drink with no alcohol presence other that a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice porter. A good amount of robustness, with great flavor balance; and very enjoyable. Really well done.

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Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a goblet.
The beer poured with moderate size, irregular tan head over the top of a very dark but clear brown body that looks nearly black in the glass. The head settles to a partial coat at a rather fast pace, but then lingers and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

Aroma - Roasted malt with a hint of hops and faint notes of chocolate and warms sugars.

T - More flavor than suggested by the aroma, including a stronger (but mild) spicy hop presence, and notes of toffee, caramel, licorice and roasted nuts. The beer finishes with a light bitterness and a subtle touch of smoke. Overall, excellent sweet/bitter balance. No burnt notes.

M - Medium body is about average for style. Moderate carbonation is well chosen, adding some light pricking to an otherwise creamy smooth feel.

O - This is a nice, well rounded porter. Not particularly strong, rich or complex, but easy drinking, tasty and well-crafted.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The smoky and malty taste hits with a strong flavor of black coffee up front along with back ground flavors of dark fruit & dark chocolate. There's a mild hops presence that is about right for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this isn't a bad beer but there are definitely several other porters that I would pick first.

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Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark and friendly beer.

Nice foam up with swell carbonation in the mouth. Fairly light body but with a robust assortment of roasted flavors. Taste of dark chocolate may be just what they intended. A lot of caramel, the sweet kiss of Sugar Daddy. Like a Milk Stout but with more rough stuff. Nice hops give a great balance.

Another local Colorado brew I haven't given a chance to. Just bought one in a mixed six and I am impressed that it's one of the better domestic Porters.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with a small cap of beige head; moderate retention and a bit of lacing. Dark malts in the nose, typical of a porter, fairly roasty, coffee notes, toasted bread. More of the same in the taste, toasted grains and malts, caramel, notes of coffee and cocoa, decent balance of sweet and bitter. Body was on the lighter side of medium, carbonation was moderate. Not a bad beer overall.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Northern Soul in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown to black in color with lots of brown and dark brown around the edges when held up to the light. The beer has finger tall creamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted/burnt malts along with some lighter aromas of coffee, cocoa, molasses, and a very light hint of dark fruit (raisin).

T: The taste of this beer very much follows the smell, with the primary flavor being that of the dark roasted/burnt malts. There are some more subtle hints/notes of coffee, cocoa, and some sweetness from molasses/raisin. There is a very nice complexity to the flavors of this beer and there is just a very light amount of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very easy to drink and very enjoyable, feels like a porter made for the summer. I really enjoyed this one and would have grabbed another if I had the time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a medium-sized, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Somewhat mild aroma, with notes of dark malts, earthy chocolate, and one single coffee bean.

Taste: Dark malts with a small handful of roasted grains. Semi-sweet chocolate flavor along with a decent amount of sweetness. Very light bitterness, just enough to help balance things out. Hint of coffee with two teaspoons of sugar added on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Just a touch watery.

Drinkability: A solid porter that's certain to make for easy drinking.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Russet with pumpkin orange edges. Porters that are this clear and this, uh... non-brown... always make me wonder about their seriousness as porters. Give me opaque walnut any day. The head is also disappointing. Toasted bread ecru in color, it's about as far from thick and creamy as possible. It's also a pathetic lace generator. I'm not feeling good about this.

The nose is actually pretty good. It smells like cocoa powder with the merest whiff of coffee with cream. Although deeper and richer would be better, what has been provided is more than adequate.

Black Jack is definitely a graduate of the 'lighter porters are better porters' school of brewing. Given the body, it's amazing that there's as much flavor as there is. Unsweetened chocolate with a splash of coffee and a minimal light fruitiness make up the flavor profile. A little stray hoppiness struggles to be heard on the finish. Bitter and sweet are roughly equal and both are at a low ebb.

A more substantial body would help this beer a great deal since the basic flavors are good ones. They're in dire need of a more sturdy vehicle, something to transport them with style and allow them to remain on the taste buds for longer than an instant. While not quite a dark mild, Black Jack is on the wimpy end of the porter scale... as if that point wasn't painfully obvious by now.

Left Hand is capable of brewing outstanding dark beer (Imperial Stout) and lousy dark beer (Milk Stout). Black Jack Porter falls somewhere in the cavernous middle. It's okay, I suppose, and should be acceptable to a wide range of beer drinkers, but I'm trying my damnedest to suppress a yawn.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 07 011 07, fresh beer yeah!

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of puffed up tan colored head. Above average lacing & good head retention

S: Roasted malt & a slight alder or beechwood smokeyness.

T: Chocolate, roasted grains & smokeyness up front. As this warms, I get dryness, a little molasses, some oaky notes & baker's chocolate. Finishes with espresso, charred (not burnt) grain

MF: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation & a nice chewyness, plus some good oilyness

Drinks too easy for the abv, this & , Odells Cutthroat, New World (Avery) porter are two of the better porters on offer from the centennial state IMO. Would pair great with dessert or game (might marinade some elk steaks I have in this)

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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 smcolw
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

No head, only a few bubbles near the rim. Oddly, there are a few spots on the glass. Dark amber color (light easily passes through the center of the glass.

Nearly no smell. I think I get some sugar but it is really too faint to tell.

The flavor is an improvement with some lightly toasted malt and modest hop bitterness. Very low carbonation and the body is thin enough to make the beer come across as watery. The aftertaste is short lived semisweet chocolate.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Lee.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a small off-white head.

S: Pretty typical porter aromas on this one. Starts off with a lot of roasted malt as well as some coffee. There is a mild licorice note, a touch of molasses and some earthy hops. Not a very intense nose.

T: A sort of surprising dark fruit flavor to it. Sweetness in the form of toffee which is counteracted by the mild coffee flavor and the roasted malts. Just a very light flavor of licorice and molasses.

M: The body is sort of light for a porter with a medium carbonation.

O: This wasn't too bad. I don't know if I'd seek it out again, but it was respectable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

They're givin' this out cheap now, so I decided to give it a go before my world is rocked by '80s music. It pours a dark ruby-tinged black-brown topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light coffee, dark chocolate, and a decidedly light twinge of pine. The taste holds notes of mild roasted malts, milder coffee, cocoa, and some light spruce bits. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a pretty standard, nice, unoffensive porter. Straightforward all the way.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a dark nutty brown with an average-sized, off white head. The aroma is of sweet, dark malts with just a touch of roast. The overall taste is a little sweeter and not quite as rich as most porters I've tried; I think that is why I'm enjoying this beer so damn much. The primary malt flavor is still of dark malts with an ample chocolate flavor, but sweeter than expected with perhaps a mild caramel malt taste. Roast flavors come into play towards the middle of a sip and help carry an extra long sweet finish. Black Jack's long-lasting finish has to be the highlight here, the flavor from a sip seems to last forever. This is now one of my favorite porters, the sweet complexity leaves me craving more. A big thanks to Left Hand for bringing this beer to Texas.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a little deep red hue along the edges. It also initially poured with a nice 1 finger white head that dissolved way too fast and left little lacing. The smell is quite pleasant with traces of cocoa. Mouthfeel is a little lighter than what I would want but it makes it easier to drink and want another. Taste has a little bit of hop bitterness up front and on the finish. All around you can taste a little bit of chocolate.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,362 ratings.
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