Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

511 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: 511 | Ratings: 1,352
Photo of cosmicevan
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%

Thanks for tossing this my way Pete! Enjoyed from a left hand globe.

Brew pours a watery black with a thin off grey head that doesn't hang out long but leaves some spotty lace.
Nose is roast and char with chocolate backbone.
Taste is pretty down the middle with a good amount of porter char and roasted chocolate. Mouth is cooling and char and very porter like. Nothing really fancy about this, just a run of the mill porter. No big coffee, no deep chocolate, no vanilla...good, not great.

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Photo of Act25
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%

Left Hand is always near front but not front of pack. This beer included. Very solid, would try again, juicy - great aroma - body - mouth feel.

A: 4 - Nice lacing and body, browner, tawnier than other porters.
S: 3.9 - Pungent, astringent, char and chocolate.
T: 3.7 - A nice solid porter, a bit sweeter and less complex than the best, but solid.
MF: 3.8
Overall - suggest a blind taste test with Anchor Steam, Smutty nose, and others.

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

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into pint glass. Aroma- Strong scent of coffee with a fruit finish and some chocolate tossed in for good measure. Appearance- This beer is a dark amber with a small head Taste- Solid flavor medium sweet beer. Palate- a full bodied beer lightly carbonated Overall- a really good porter, I enjoyed it immensely.

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

Fairly light pour, clear deep brown with minimal head that dissipates to nothing. Aroma is chocolatey and nutty, with a hint of roast. Deep caramel emerges. More deep chocolate and bitter roast, with toffee notes and a slightly bitter finish. Lots of chocolate.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: [4.25] Beer has a dark to black complextion. Held to the light there are cola colored tinges on the edges. There is a 1/2 finger of creamy eggshell head. It doesn't last too long but it leaves some lacing clinging to the glass as it disappears. The bottle lists the ABV (6.8%) but I cannot find a date code.

S: [3.75] Toasted marshmallow. Vanilla. Toasting coffee beans.

T: [4.00] My immediate thought was lactose sugar. Dairy creamer, Some bitter in the middle. Caramalized sugars.

M: [4.25] The beer has nice heft and coats the tongue. The carbonation is right. It is really quite pleasant to drink.

O: [4.00] This beer has a something under the taste and smell that I can't exactly place. Overall it is really nice. It comes across as 4 parts sugar, 2 parts cream, 1 part coffee. The combination gives a sweet and creamy brew that has undertones of coffee. It would be a really good beer with dessert.

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Photo of Jackson2014
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A fairly tasty but one dimensional porter.

Dark pour, is not as dark on further examination. Not a lot of carbonation but is a little froathy looking.

Not much smell

Taste is creamy smooth cream. Chocolate and coffee as well.

The medium bodied porter has a creamy mouth feel than manages to finish fairly dry.

Overall I like this beer but it is a little boring.

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Photo of califunflyindog
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this on a trip to AZ. Was hoping for a a flavorful, slow drinking porter for a night under the stars, but was somewhat disappointed.

A: little to no head. fizzy. looked a bit too much like soda in a glass.

S: bread and nuts. A little bit of sweetness. Milk chocolate. Not too much here, but Im more worried about taste.

T: Not bad at all, but somewhat watery. Not very strong, and a bit too sweet. Think coffee with cream and sugar, as opposed to a black dark roast.

M: Drinks more like a dark lager. a little more carb than necessary, but not overpowering. Thin. Aftertaste becomes sweet before you can really taste any accents.

O: I can't say this is a bad beer, but it pales (literally) in comparison to many other porters. Decent for the price (paid ~11 for the 6 in a low tax state). Might be better with a light meal, and definitely one that can be consumed in high volume. Alcohol is certainly present. If you're looking for a full bodied, knock-your-socks-off, dark flavor, I wouldn't recommend. I would bring to a party, but it didn't satisfy my craving.

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Photo of Mistro
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black Jack has a nice dark complexion right out of the bottle. Smells of a dark roast of coffee with hints of cocoa present. Taste is nutty and filled with coffee, with the chocolate coming in late with a bitter hop finish. A good porter, remarkably easy to drink.

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

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - pours up a deep mahogany brown with a creamy light tan head about two inches in height, not much in the way of retention or lacing.

S - kind of one dimensional, mostly a mild chocolate smell

T - very malt forward with a lot of chocolate notes. Finishes with a slight roasted taste.

M - kind of thin and watery.

O - This is an easy drinking beer. I would drink more of these without hesitation. My problem is that it is just born to be mild and doesn't really distinguish itself.

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Photo of mattLummus
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really good Porter. Light head and nutty aroma. Mild carbonation and a really smooth body. Dark roasted flavor offset with a soft sweetness, taste some vanilla. Finish is nice and bright with a little bitter hoppiness. Great beer with balance in taste and body.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of 04/23/2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Left Hand Brewing Co.'s year-round line up. My bottle lists a 6.80% abv rather than 6.40% abv. Expectations are above average since I've been generally impressed by this brewery.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola mahogany colored body with some ruby highlights when held to the light. One finger of small khaki-tan foam head. Looks pretty good.

S - Smell is of dark malt roast, chocolate, cream, coffee beans, & some citrus / herbal hop presence on the end.

T - Taste is of dark chocolate bitterness, coffee bean & dark malt roast, herbal earthiness, and just a twang of citrus on the finish. Very dark, robust, and flavorful.

M - Feel finishes smooth and creamy. Full-bodied, yet still light and drinkable, with excellent carbonation.

Overall, I would say this was one of the better porters that I've had in recent memory. Very deep, dark, and robust. This definitely hits the spot on a cold winter's day. Recommended.

Left Hand Brewing Black Jack Porter ---4/5.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An aggressive pour gets me just a tiny bit of head that is gone as soon as it is poured.

Smells of well toasted malt, with chocolate and a kiss of coffee.

Toasty malt mixes well with chocolate and a bit of coffee. Subtle but very good.

The body is medium-heavy. The feel is very smooth.

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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 Mikecap
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours black with two fingers of foamy brownish head that fades to a nice chunky lace on the sides of my glass.

Smell: Lots of chocolate up front with hints of roast and coffee, also some earthiness from the hops. A decent aroma and what I'd expect from a porter brewed with chocolate and espresso.

Taste: Chocolate, a good deal of it with a nice balance of mild hoppiness and a bit of coffee. Could use a bit more coffee to me but still tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very drinkable with a creamy texture and smooth finish.

Overall: A solid porter that is definitely worth a try. I was hoping for a bit more of the espresso component but the chocolate through in a nice porter.

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Photo of MrBoz21
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Light comes through and creates ruby/black hue. Pours with stiff beige head that quickly settles, leaving minimal lacing.

Smell: Notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee. Refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Semi-dry, not slick. Moderate carbonation.

Taste: Nutty/chocolate/coffee maltiness. Mild roast and very drinkable.

Overall: A bit dry and unsubstantial for a porter, almost comes across as a roasty black lager (with less carbonation). Style aside, the beer is drinkable and tasty and 2-3 can be quaffed in a sitting. At 6.4%, this is a very smooth and balanced.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown with burnt red hues. Off white head is very short lived. a thin, broken ring of lacing remains.

S: Carob, cola, brown cocoa powder. Hints of berry. Faint earthy yeast. Good, but a little muted.

T: Carob and nutty yeast. Brown cocoa powder. Cola. Hint of leather. Fig and faint berry. Tame roast going into the finish. Carob and faint charcoal in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Very creamy. Low carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

O: More in the vein of an English brown porter, which I was not expecting. No bells and whistles, but it's tasty and very approachable.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The last new beer that I tried has been the only beer I've bought from my last four outings. Generally I try to mix it up now and then, alternating from 3 solid beers with an occasional new one thrown in. But lately all I've been drinking is Left Hand's Black Jack Porter.

Chocolate, toasted malts, and coffee balanced by a dry hop tinged lightly with bitterness. Wonderfully complex flavor and thick and chewy on the palate.

I've read some bad reviews about it claiming that there isn't enough flavor in it. I strongly disagree. I think maybe people are drinking it too cold. It's best lightly chilled, like 50-55 degrees or so.

Left Hand Brewing Black Jack Porter.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a chocolate color with an almost ruby hue to it. Also has about a half finger off white head with ok retention

S - It has a nice roasted aroma with hints of toffee and chocolate

T - Very tasty. I'm impressed. Big toffee and caramel flavors upfront followed by roasted malts and a very slight chocolate taste

M - A lighter porter. Not watery tasting or feeeling but not your typical medium to heavy porter either. It does have a nice mouthfeel and is extrmely smooth!

O - A very drinkable porter. Would even call it sessionable. It has outstanding flavor and it is very smooth. Definately a keeper!

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Photo of ALZ
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A decent but not outstanding porter. Chocolate color with not much of a head. Smells biscuity with a few hints of chocolate. Kind of lacking in taste; follows suit with the scent and malty with a little bitterness at the end. It's not very strong or full-bodied compared to other porters I've had. Quaffable but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of tronester
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a Dark ruby/brown with a thin tan head. Aromas of Christmas spices and a hint of coffee. Taste begins with some tart fruit, followed by some dark chocolate, finishing with a piney, earthy, woody bitter finish. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a good Porter.

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Photo of Maakun
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle in pint glass. Not much of a head. Colour is very dark, somewhere between cola and strong black coffee.

Smell has biscuits, chocolate, tobacco, coffee, some fresh fruits.

Taste starts sweet, with dark fruits and dades, a light touch of citrus. Not that big on malts, but I get a nice taste of sweet biscuits. Then some chocolate, very dark and bitter. Something slightly burned, tobacco and some ashes. Finishes with a nice hoppy bitterness with a slight hint of grapefruit.

Mouth is medium, not that much carbonation, it's actually a little dry... Not what I'd expected, but I quite enjoy it.

Overall this is a vey enjoyable beer. Love the complexity of the taste!

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of March 2013, so it's a little out of date. ABV is stated as 6.8%. Picked up a while back from Trembling Madness in York and stored in my garage. I hope it hasn't deteriorated unduly. For some reason there is a squid on the label....

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark reddish-brown hue with light carbonation. Yields a decent head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of roasted malt with hints of burnt grain, mild coffee, chocolate, faint molasses and earthy yeast. Initially a metallic note was present but it disappeared after a while. Understated but pleasant.

Tastes of roasted malt with a dry bitter finish. Notes of burnt grain, mild coffee, subtle chocolate, a hint of molasses/caramel and earthy yeast. Dark and well-attenuated, with a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and slightly tingly, with decent carbonation but a rather insubstantial body for the style. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of bitter roasted malt and earthiness.

Not bad but not exceptional. Looks a bit lacklustre, though the aroma is nicely rounded. Flavour is OK but not amazing - it lacks depth. Body is a bit too thin. A worthy effort, but it doesn't match the best porters I've tried - increased fruitiness in the flavour/aroma might improve it. There is the possibility that it has faded over time, although it doesn't seem off. Worth sampling, but no need to hunt it down.

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Photo of shand
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Left Hand Milk Stout is ubiquitous now. Everywhere you look, it's on nitro tap, and the Nitro bottles bring the experience home. Black Jack Porter doesn't get that kind of attention at all. It's the black sheep of the Left Hand lineup. Black Jack Porter pours a red-tinged deep brown with a couple fingers of head. The aroma is coffee and roast forward, a little on the burnt side, and there's something sweet here that doesn't quire meld. The taste is actually rather similar to their Milk Stout, just take out the lactose and push the coffee to the forefront instead of the chocolate. It's been a while since I've had a non-nitro Milk Stout, but I remember the normal variant having a similar mouthfeel - creamy and lightly carbonated. The drinkability is solid. Overall, Black Jack Porter was a good drink, but I'll take the Nitro Milk Stout over it every day.

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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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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,352 ratings.
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