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Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

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508 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 508 | Ratings: 1,342
Photo of rembrant
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Eye- Deep deep brown very near an opaque black. Does a 1 finger tan head with not much lace

Scent Some dark fruit,chocolate and bread crust but not a big aroma. A little brandy in back.
Tase is rather smooth,chocolaty with some raisin. Relative to Ed Fitz,sweeter and less robust. Just a bit of coffee to the finish.
Warmed more the chocolate still dominates and it's sort of a Lindt Milk Choc. truffle. However,there's not a lot of other stuff,until the raisin and coffee show in the finish. Good flavors but a bit less roasty than some.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side for a Porter with just enough fizz to keep it from seeming weak More a "session" sort of Porter than a slow sipper and with it's reasonable price,broad availability,that works out well for drinkability

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

Poured from a brown bottle with the "blackjack" (ace and jack of clubs cards) figures on it.

A: Clear without much head retention or lace, but with a nice reddish-brown color.

S: Smoky with some sweetness.

T: Sweetly smoky. Has some very smoky elements but not the coffee varietly. Almost has a burnt toffee or caramel aspect. Something like I would imagine a caramelized vidalia onion.

M: Creamy, but not too thick. All carbonation on the front, but segues into a nice cream by the finish.

D: A little too heavy to be a session beer, but drinkable nonetheless.

Overall: A nice smoky porter. Would recommend to people who are fans of Sierra Nevada's porter. Doesn't have the same chemical smokeyness of O'fallon's Smoked. Has a natural smokiness which seems to stem from the malt. I like Left Hand's pale ale, but this has to beat it.

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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 tar
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle with what I think is a very cool bottle cap featuring a red left hand on a white background. Pours a dark brown to black with a one finger thick off-white (almost yellowish) head. The head diminishes rather quickly leaving an unimpressive looking beer---it does look purplish when held up to light which is a cool feature. Smells very pleasant, with aromas of coffee, roasted malt, and some chocolate. A fairly nice taste is also present, although a bit mild--dominant flavors are that of malt and a bit of chocolate. A very smooth beer (although feels a bit thin in the mouth) which I found to be easy drinking. While I wouldn't seek this beer out, I'd certainly try it again if the opportunity came up.

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Photo of 86sportster883
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand's Black Jack Porter is a pretty decent English Porter. But there's something about it that keeps me from drinking it more often. Maybe it's the aroma. It starts off pleasant enough, reminiscent of dark chocolate covered malt balls and with moderate fruity esters that become more prominent as the beer warms. The taste has toffee and licorice overtones that blend well and achieve a slightly bitter balance. The mouthfeel is smooth and, overall, the Black Jack is a tasty beer. But, there's something about the finish, and the lingering aftertaste, that keeps me from getting too excited about this beer.

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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 mcsquint
4.16/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.
A - Daaaark brown with tinges of red. Big tan head. Nice lacing.
S - Not much to go on. A faint milky chocolate aroma
T - Chocolate and roasted malt with notes of chocolate.
M - Heavy mouthfeel with nice carbonation. The balance of malt and hops make it finish very nicely.
D - I would have to add this to my list of favorite porters. Nothing objectionable about this at all. For an American version of a British ale, this one is spot-on!

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

A - Ruby brown with khaki head. Head falls slowly and slightly laces the glass. Looks more carbonated than expected.

S - Caramel, sweet, coffee and alcohol heat. Slight metallic nose.

T - Very roasty and nutty. Not as sweet as expected. A general buttery flavor indicates British influence. Somewhat tangy, sour and acidic.

M - Medium body. Very slick. Med-high carbonation.

O - very nice sipper. I'm a fan of this porter.

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Photo of Deus1138
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Total Wine and More in Kennesaw. I've seen a lot Left Hand stuff around Atlanta. I figured it was time to give them a try.

Poured a bottle into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice, syrupy dark brown. I held it up to the light, but couldn't see through it's darkness.

Smell is a little soft. I could go for a little more. Smells roasty and chocolaty with a hint of roasted coffee.

Taste is excellent. The chocolate and roasted coffee flavors really coat your palate and stay with you. There's a slight milky sweetness there too.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Just the right amount of carbonation. It's there, but it doesn't distract your tongue from enjoying the rich malt flavors.

Drinkability is excellent. I'm glad I tried this and will make it a regular purchase for me. Definitely enjoyable all year long, but I'm really looking forward to enjoying this in the winter, maybe while cooking some s'mores in front of the fire.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

on tap pint glass
look is amber brown with a small off white head
smells fruity, nutty and chocolatey
taste is nutty fruity and chocolate
feel is light for a porter and easy to drink
overall solid porter
nice on a warm fall day

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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 theBubba
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a 1/8 inch head that quickly disappears. Lace is minimal. This brew is fairly similar to Left Hands Milk Stout, with a few exceptions. First off there is a hint of caramel in the nose and taste, along with the coffee and dark chocolate that's dominant in the Milk Stout. There's also a tiny bit more carbonation and a touch more of hops that leaves a slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Like the Milk Stout, there is some sweetness. A good brew overall, but two is enough.

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Photo of wcdoyle
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkly translucent (that is, a few steps away from opaque) and has a rich brown/mahogany color. Tan head that started off big and then gradually dies down. Lacing was quite good. Roasted and caramel sweetness, some coffee, and a touch of earth in the smell. Roasted nuttiness hits first in the taste and sweetness that’s close to molasses but not that sharp comes in after. Also seems light a bit of butterscotch, but that may be how I’m tasting the sweetness. If there’s any coffee in the taste it comes through more in the not unpleasant resin-oiliness of the finish. Mouthfeel was medium with light apparent carbonation (so I can see why some would call it thin). For me, though, the mouthfeel struck a great balance. Not too drying or too sweet in the end. Solid effort. For me this is a “buy again.”

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Photo of PaleAlien2
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Almost blackwith a small, fizzy head that disappears quickly.

S: Smells like biscuits, malt with some coffee notes.

T: Tastes like creamy malt up front with a carbonation sting in the swallow. Aftertaste is a little astringent with some roasted coffee notes.

M: Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style.

D: This beer is a good, solid Porter, but nothing to go crazy over.

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Photo of cncbofh
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not bad.

Poured a pretty looking black with an ivory head. Strong smells of black licorice, coffee, chocolate... The beer was a little watery and lighter than I hoped for - looking for something to chew on here. The taste was above average. Toasty marshmallow, coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors. No noticeable hop flavor but lots of malty goodness. An OK porter that I wouldn't mind trying again.

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Photo of DUBinMIA
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a very clear brown but once in the glass it was opaque brown almost black with about 3/4 in head and some decent foam action.

very grainy smell and some sweetness... mostly grainy. maybe some yeast notes towards the end with slight floral hop notes.

grainy taste to match the aroma. some sweet malt at first and then slightly bitter but not that strong... maybe a toffee flavor followed by light hops...

thought it would be a little thicker.. medium to light bodied with light carbonation.

overall a good beer i might look around some more before picking this one up again but i like alot of variety to begin with.

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Photo of littleshamrocks
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle with a bottled on date stamped on the label. Served in a nonic.

Pours a very dark brown with some ruby highlights and three fingers of creamy tan head. This is a nice looking brew that appears plenty dense. The head settles to a crown after a bit and leaves some spotty lace-work going down. The aroma starts with sweet malts, which soon give way to a roast-y chocolate and coffee essence. The taste is of those smooth chocolate and coffee flavors, with an infusion of smoke and a pleasant roasted malt finish. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a silky smooth texture and just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall, I find this to be solid across the board. I was mostly impressed by the ease of consumption, the depth to the flavors and the smooth feel on the palate. I really enjoy a good robust porter and this is a quality example to be sure. I will definitely have this one again.

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

A nice looking dark porter, not that dark, with a decent creamy head. I detect a caramel like malt aroma. It has a nice mild hop bite. Tastes more like an amber ale but the caramel and coffee undertones come through after more sips. Leaves a dry aftertaste.

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Photo of Beeryce
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alot of steely Munich malt aroma in nose with faint hint of chocolate malt and just a little floral hop accent. The chocolate malt becomes dominate with time and temp. Nice creamy light brown head with good retention produceing some laceing. The beer is dark brown in color, but amber-ruby and clear when held to light.

The taste is very nice, full bodied- malty and rich. The steely maltiness melds into the chocolate malt and again the hops, this time in the form of a slight bitterness, accents the overall taste. There is also more of a hop character to this porter due to the Magnum and U.S. Goldings used, making it more balanced and less malty. Not as roasty as alot of Porters, but is more true to the Engish Porter style with a complex balance of young and old flavours. Very complex with differnet flavours in every sip as the beer warms. Mouthfeel also fits the beer itself and style well. Drinkability is good as well.

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Photo of Lothar666
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Body poured a rich, deep oak brown with a thick creamy off white head. Bits of muddy lacing were evident on the sides of the glass.

S- Dark roasted malts and hint of coffee.

T- Dark roasted malts and coffee with some bready notes and a nutty aftertaste.

M- Full bodied and rich; thicker and breadier than some. Coats the tongue like a decent porter should.

D- Goes down easy and without complaint. A decent session beer, though by no means phenomenal as porters go.

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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 MrDonQuixote
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- Dark black, almost motor oil color to it, pours with about half a finger of whitish tan head.

S- Smells very strongly of coffee and chocolate, with a hint of malt

T- Very sweet for a porter, distinct coffee taste; Also has a chocolatey taste to it (dark); can taste the alcohol, but it doesn't overpower.

M- Very smooth, but a bit watery compared to a lot of porters

O- Very easy to drink, but not as flavorful as I would have liked. Is very average for its style, but that being said it was a good attempt, and worth at least a try.

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Photo of isubsmith
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown. Reddish tints. Foamy and thick head. Minimal lace

Nose: Typical roasted malts. A bit grainy.

Taste: Smooth and full-bodied. Roasted malt up front. Chocolate and sweeter malt next. A bit of hoppy finish. Pretty well balanced.

Overall, a pretty good beer. It isn't my favorite porter, but it is still pretty good overall. Worth a try certainly.

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Photo of niknar
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A pleasant porter with a very dark brown color. I was a little disappointed by the head however, as it disappeared quickly. I am assuming that my glass was thoroughly clean, but there is a slight chance that this may have affected the head.

The aroma is dinstinctly marked by chocolate and roasted malt. It was quite sweet and enticing, but almost dominated by the chocolate alone. It seemed to me as if there was a slightly fruity element underneath the chocolate that was just dying to be released.

Taste is quite nice, though the chocolate flavors seem to be a little over-done for my personal tastes.

The only notable black mark against this otherwise fine beer is its mouth feel. I would describe it as thin... definitely not what you expect out of a porter style beer.

Depsite the lack of body in this beer (a significant factor to my personal enjoyment of porter styles), it is still quite good. This is my first experience with the Left Hand Brewing Company, and I would definitely like to try more of there offerings.

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Photo of undeadozzy
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Vigorous pour resulting in an awesome frothing head, almost like something I'd see on a Guinness. Deep brown/black hue, completely opaque. Nice and dark, looks like we're off to a good start so far..

S - Picking up on faint smells of dark chocolate, raisins, dried fruit, and something almost like raisin bread. Very friendly on the nose, but I wish it was a more powerful odor.

T - Delicious. Tastes exactly like it smells. Very smooth dark taste with hints of the aforementioned scents, as well as some newfound tastes of allspice and maybe a little cinnamon.

M - Like a thick wine. Very heavy beer, but that's to be expected with the style. Wish it was maybe a little thicker.

O - Great porter, will definitely drink again.

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Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,342 ratings.
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