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

12oz brown bottle; bottled on 01/12/08
A: Poured a dark coffee color with a little light penetration. Not much head to speak of.
S: Sweetened coffee and malt dominate with a smoky backdrop.
T: All the smells come through on the palate. First comes coffee, followed by the malt and maple syrupy sweetness, finishing with a slight hop bitterness. A longer finish than I would have expected, but it's great. Fantastic balance in this one.
M: Nice smooth beer with medium to heavy body, for a porter.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, velvet-y porter from the good folks in Longmont, CO.

Appearance: Very dark brown; white-ish head which dissapates quickly. Good CO2 throughout the sample, though.
Smell: Faint roast; slightly better than average aroma for style.
Taste: Excellent. A nice caramel, and roasted malt tone predominates. Sweet up front; dry in the finish (combo of the roasted malt and a good bittering hop -- well done!).
Mouthfeel: In a word: balanced. This is one of those beers that when you finish a bottle you could say, "Well, it's time for bed" or "Well, it's time for another." Not heavy, not light.
Drinkability: This is the type of porter that could be thoroughly enjoyed at almost any time of year. Why? The beer is simply very well-balanced, not at all 'heavy', has a clean palette, but is chock full of complexities. Quaff or savored, this is a well-built porter.

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Photo of Forb
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle...

Appearance: Pitch black with a half-finger mocha head.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee, smoky.

Taste: Creamy, smooth,with roasted malts presenting coffee, chocolate essence.

Mouthfeel: A carbonation to balance with a medium to full robust body.

Overall: A proper porter.

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Photo of Kris450
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

This was HEAVY. A meal on its own. I love and have had many porters, but this one seemed denser than normal. Rich chocolate and Carmel notes. I will say, the label had me slightly confused. The "J" kind of looks like an 'S", and I'm genuinely uncomfortable drinking something called "Black Sack." Ami alone in this?!

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Photo of bgildea
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with a hint of amber. Thin white tannish head that fades quickly and leaves some slight lacing.

S: Slight hints of roasted malts in the background, no real strong smells come across.

T: The flavors are very muted. Slight taste of roasted malts with hints of coffee and semi sweet chocolate in the background. The flavors are very dull, and I would have liked more of a punch to it.

M: Really thin beer, not much chew to it.

O: Overall the beer was just ok. I had some high expectations for Left Hand, and I was a little let down. The flavor and smell were both very underwhelming but hints of roasted malts, semi sweet chocolate and coffee come through. I wouldnt necessarily recommend this beer to other, because I think there are definitely better porters out there.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 Vader444
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour into Left Hand 2/3 pint glass.

A muddy and frankly unappealing looking brown beer with short lived cream coloured head. Smells quite fruity and tastes good with gentle coffee and chocolate notes. Not my favourite Left Hand creation but, for some reason, I rather enjoyed the second half of this after initial disappointment. Too cold perhaps? Will try again but not in a big hurry. Cheers!

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