Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

517 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: 517 | Ratings: 1,369
Photo of HamdenHector
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with ruby accents throughout; can see through it clearly when held up to the light; less than a 1 finger light tan head that receded to a wispy cap; very nice lacing;

S: mild; roasted grains, a little sweetness; a hint of black coffee;

T: roasted grains with bittersweet chocolate, nuts, and a bit of coffee in the background; moderate bitterness at mid-palate that fades quickly;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: very nice;

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a very thin cap

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, light coffee, and some caramel sweetness stick out the most. Earthy and herbal hops in the background

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some roast and dark chocolate and goes into some coffee notes. Finishes with some herbal hoppiness and light bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid, easy to drink porter that goes well any time. Could easily be a go-to

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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 JamesBondGA
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a deep, dark red, almost brown in color. Thin caramel colored head, with nice lacing on the glass. Smell of Chocolate and coffee. Taste is coffee at first, then the chocolate comes thru. Little thin for a porter.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 14, 2015.

Deep brown pour with a bit of a cloudiness and a full mocha head.

The aroma is milk chocolate through and through with some mild roasted malts in there and some earthy bitterness.

Thin to medium body.

The taste is again milk chocolate sweetness with a slightly bigger bitter finish than expected.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter. The color is a very attractive dark red/brown-not as dark as many porters-with a thin milk white head and lacing. If it had more of a head, it would really be a beautiful beer. The smell is dark cherry, burnt coffee, and malt. The taste is coffee forward, followed by chocolate with a little bit of fruity sweetness but a somewhat bitter finish. Like many Left Hand offerings, it is medium bodied and carbonated; I prefer a chewier porter. Overall, it is pleasant but not really special.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this porter. I am not a big porter guy, but this porter is something special. That being said, you have to like a sweet beer, which I do. The color is a brown, cola like color with carbonation that continues to roll up the side of the glass 5 minutes into the beer. The head was 1 finger on the pour and it remains as a thin layer with pockets of thicker foam. For all of those positive notes, it does look a bit thin. Smell is Coffee, Chocolate and a bit of funk. The taste is coffee on the front, blending into the chocolate on the back. Feel is silky smooth. I am very impressed with this beer. Another HIT for the Hit and miss left hand brewing company.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: pours brown with a neigh head and mahogany tinted edges
Smell: roasted barley, sweet vanilla, toffee, a little chocolate
Taste: caramelized sugar, burnt toast, some delicate hopping
Feel: light bodied and refreshing for a dark ale
Overall: a very good beer that could be a good introduction to dark beers

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nicely roasted porter. Left Hand has consistently given me the impression that they're bread and butter is stouts and porters, and this only backs it up.

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Photo of shoob13
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this at Total wine as part of a make your own six pack. The labeling kind of drew me in. I poured it into a pint glass. Black upon first glance but a deep red when penetrated with light. Scent was a bit underwhelming but this may just be my sensory deficit. Taste was predominantly bitter followed by the burst of chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Felt creamy and mildly carbonated. A nice porter overall but nothing to sell your first born over.

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Photo of Marraybay
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was actually surprisingly good: Really nails the style quite well. Very nice general sweetness, roastiness, and mouthfeel throughout, with fair coffee/espresso bitterness at the close. Not a lot of foam or lacing here, but all and all, a very drinkable beer for fans of this style. (Blows something like Young's Chocolate Stout away, at least for me.)

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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 NonSnob_BeerSnob
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle doesn't lie you can taste the chocolate at first and finishes with the espresso flavor. It doesn't make my favorite list but it is a nice porter. I'd drink it again

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

Dark brown in color but some light will seep through when held up to a light source. A fingernail of off white head surrounds the rim and not even a quarter of the top. Aroma is sweet dark malt, plum, and faint leather. I taste sweet dark malt and faint smoke. There's a slight pine hop bitterness in the finish. The mouth is smooth and lightly chewy.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A bit pale for a porter. Brown with hints of red.

Malty bouquet, with hints of sweet corn (?!). No Pilsener notes, at least.

Decent taste. Not especially intense. Malty, hints of chocolate, licorice. True to type, no mistaking this for a stout.

Slightly resinous hints on the finish.

Nice mouthfeel, richer than the color suggests, a bit more carbonation than I prefer.

Overall a decent porter. Nothing to write home about, but fine to buy again if one is in the mood for a porter and there's no better alternative on the shelf.

Downgraded on second try of this. Don't re-buy.

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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 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 Trueant1
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice off white head that dissipates quickly. decent lacing. Brown color on the pour sits in glass almost black. Smells of sweet raisins, cocoa, and some off flavors of , hmmm how can i describe? "dank"
Tastes of old coffee, red wine, sweet figs, and pepper.Very robust flavors in your face. If this one were a would become an Old Rasputin. Very sweet porter...a tad too thin for my liking. but Very solid brew overall.
Great job again Left Hand!

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Photo of interzen
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Look: Struck me as being rather light for a porter - dark, translucent brown with some nice ruby highlights. Fairly thin, bubbly head with good retention. Not much in the way of lacing - some, but not much.

Smell: My immediate thoughts were that it smelt a bit like a watered-down version of Sam Smiths Chocolate Stout. Perhaps a bit unfair, but a fairly good point of reference. There's quite a chocolatey aroma, along with some coffee notes and the barest hint of hops. Roasted malt smells, if they were there at all, were not evident.

Taste: More coffee than chocolate, with a bit of zing from the hops. There's a hint of slightly medicinal herbs too - think in terms of liquorice or sasparilla - it doesn't dominate by any means, but it's just 'there' and enough to add a bit of extra interest.

Feel: Medium body with fairly light carbonation - the coffee and chocolate flavours make it feel a bit 'chalky' in the mouth, but the flavour profile makes up for it. Nice bitterness in the finish.

Overall: Another win for Left Hand in my book - it doesn't displace their Milk Stout as my favourite Left Hand brew but as porters go this is a mighty good one.

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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 Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that completely dissolved away into a few wispy clouds of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Pretty weak in the aroma department. I do get some faint notes of roasted malt and a touch of brown sugar, but only very faint notes.

Taste: Not weak in the flavor, though! This beer is delicious! Strong flavors of roasted malt, imparting notes of toasted pumpernickel bread and a slight touch of coffee, followed by lots of brown sugar-like sweetness, a touch of star anise or licorice, finished by a touch of nicely balanced floral hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and very creamy as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 6.8%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a damn good porter! Great flavors of toasted malt and brown sugar! Delicious!

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Photo of jp32
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bit light for a porter, has some auburn notes, little to no head retention at all. Aroma is malty and sweet. Tastes very simple for a porter. Everything about this beer is a little bit thinner than what I was hoping for. Good carbonation. Overall not bad, but there are definitely a lot of better porters out there.

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Photo of 10Crumra
3.14/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured the beer from a 12 oz bottle into a pub glass as suggested on the bottle. I also tried to match the bottle’s suggestion of a drinking temperature between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

The beer poured a dark brown with a thin layer of slightly tan foam which quickly disappeared leaving only a slight ring of lace.

It had a caramel smell with hints of something I could not quite pin down, it was like a bitter coffee smell with a fruity twist.

I found the taste underwhelming. It wasn’t bad per se but I though it lacked any strong flavors. It was slightly bitter. I would describe the taste as slightly creamy and roasty with occasional hints of chocolate. I was disappointed that the caramel smell didn’t come through in the tasting.

The beer had a light to medium feel with minimal carbonation. I found it to be surprisingly watery.

Overall I found the beer to be somewhat disappointing. It did not have any particularly bad qualities but it did not give me much of a reason to come back for more. I would drink it again but I won’t be actively searching for it.

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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 Immortale25
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Bottleneck says Best By 04/05/15.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small specs behind on the glass.

S- Cocoa, mild vanilla and a tinge of booze.

T- Flavor is balanced between bitter and sweet with the dark roasted malt creating some milk chocolate notes along with the aforementioned vanilla.

M- Slick with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A straightforward porter that leans more toward the chocolaty side but isn't very sweet.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,369 ratings.
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