Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Black Jack Porter | Left Hand Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
508 Reviews
Read the review
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 508 | Ratings: 1,342
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer has a deep brown almost opaque crystal clear body with some tiny bubbles visible. The head is a thin creamy light tan with some big bubbles that last for a bit.

S- This beer has a soft smooth brown malt aroma with a hint of sweet molasses.

T- This beer has some nice roasted and burn malt qualities with a brown malt finish. The finish is slightly sweet but very soft. As it warms there is a note of roasted coffee in the grain that is nice.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a bit of a watery texture at the finish. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- The slight sweetness and darker malts add some interest but the finish doesn't offer much.

 716 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a . The aroma is dark roasted malts, a good dose of coffee and a hint of dark chocolate. The taste starts out with smooth dark roasted malts and finishes with some bitter dark chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but a little thin for the style. Overall, Black Jack Porter is a pretty decent porter, but really doesn't stand out enough for me to purchase again.

 433 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark brown color; can see through. Poured a 1 finger tan head to an even skim. Laced in thin rings.

S: Chocolate, nuts and dark-colored fruit.

T: Flavorful toasted malts; nuts, chocolate, bitter toffee/caramel. Slight bittering hop character in teh finish.
Smooth and silky. Dry and bitter in the finish.

D: Solid porter. Flavorful and balanced. ther than some aspects of appearance, very good.

 406 characters

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

12ozer bottle bought as a single from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a small 1/2" beige head over the dark reddish brown brew. Good lacing, and this offering has a light aroma of hearty malts. Taste is sweetly of the dark grains, a combination of what seems to be coffee, chocolate, and maybe rauch. The mouthfeel is excellently smooth, even if a bit too sweet. A bit heavy for major drinkability, but certainly would have another...

 469 characters

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.

 261 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours very dark brown with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention is average, lacing is excellent. It smells like dark chocolate, roasted malt and a bit of coffee. The taste is similar to the aroma, although I can also pick up a smoky taste too. Nice robust flavor overall. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a little bit slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and it wouldn't be hard to put a few of these away in a night. Alcohol isn't noticable at all in the aroma or taste. I think it's a good overall porter. I'd recommend this to others to try.

 655 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the new cover art. Thought it was "Black Sack" for the squid.

A - Well pours pretty black brown with amber hues. The head was a half inch of tan colored head that turns to a nice ring with plenty of lace.

S - Wow I can actually get a nice smokey hit from the roast. Dominant coffee with little chocolate also.

T - A pretty solid porter, I get roasty flavors that border line smoke then a bit of coffee and finishes rather sweet with a touch of bakers chocolate. I get a mild roasty factor that lingers seconds from my brew.

M - One of the more beefy alcoholic porters I had but only a medium body drink. Very tasty.

Overall it's a shame I can only get this in Ohio because this makes me excited to try there mild stout (love stouts) Not a bad porter and I love how smoky it is!

 788 characters

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.

 655 characters

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

Pours a deep brown with dark ruby highlights. Not ad with the very light tan head. Aromas of cocoa, dark pecans, and walnuts. The firs sip is chocolatey mixed wih a dark roasted bread. The first sip is a dry, powdery chocolate. Then a srong toasted mt bill with notes of slightly burnt wheat toast. The fnish is a creamy coffee, vanilla, and Hershey's cocoa mix. The palate is smooth and simple. Dark, bright, yet easy drink.

 425 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Good lacing.

S: A very malty aroma, with hints of coffee in it. About what you'd expect.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, light hops, a little yeast, and a hint of coffee. Like most English porters, this beer has a mild flavor. Not bad but not overly assertive either.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, a decent enough beer, but not particularly memorable.

 570 characters

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

The colour is black with a tint of brown. The finger thick head is compact and pale brown. It sinks down slowly, leaving some lacing.

The smell is mildly roasted with clean sweet notes of coffee. There is some bitterness too.

The taste is loaded with roasted malt, coffee and hazel nuts. Bitter notes of lemons and herbs gives a fine balance. The aftertaste got a growing bitterness, dry roasted malt with hints of rubber and tar and mild sweet flavours.

The carbonation is medium-mild; small fresh bubbles. The liquid is creamy/dry.

A very drinkable English porter with an interesting American twist.

 608 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark brown with a small head

Smell: malt, molasses, chocolate, and a taste of caramel

Taste: Not nearly as complex as the smell. cream in the beginning followed by an expresso finish

Mouthfeel: sharp, crisp, dry, medium bodied, with a bitter taste right before a sweeter finish

Drinkability: This is not a bad beer by any stretch. It is a victim of timing. I have had a lot of excellent porters lately and this is not up to the same degree. If this was in a variety pack, I would have fun consuming--however I am more likely to get one of those other porters as a single first.

 593 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown-ish ruby red color w nice tan head. Light hop aroma and light chocolate aroma (sweet). Coffee-ish and chocolatey tones with a light roastiness. Nice balance of all flavors. Medium bodied but leaning towards full. Great drinkability.

per L.H.B.Co. website:
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal, Chocolate & Munich
Hops: East Kent Goldings
Original gravity: 16 Plato ( 1.067 )
IBU's: 26
ABV: 6.40%

2000 Gold Medal, Brown Porter G.A.B.F.
1995 Gold Medal, Robust Porter G.A.B.F.
1994 Bronze Medal, Traditional Porter G.A.B.F.

Note: this beer was #39 in Stuart Kallen's "The 50 Greatest Beers in the World"

 624 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Brown body with a khaki tanish head with decent head and moderate lacing.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate.

Taste: nothing to interesting here, mild chocolate flavor. Some bitterness lends to a slight coffee flavor that just lingers during entire drink.

Mouthfeel: Wished this beer was thicker. Moderate bodied beer with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Thicken this beer up and this beer will really be tasting good. Average porter, nothing fantasic, but it's just average.

 511 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle that is about 1.5yrs old

This is one of those "had this in the back of the fridge for too long" beers

The body sits a dark brown with mahogany highlights when held up to the glass. A tan colored cap rises and falls quickly. Little to no lacing with a thin collar around the edges.

The nose is of caramel, butterscotch, mild roast, vanilla, coffee grounds, and milk chocolate. Well-rounded profile.

Smooth milk chocolate with butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla up top. Mild roast and coffee through the middle with some cherries. The finish is some sweet butterscotch mixed with bitter chocolate.

Smooth and lush in spots, but overall, a little thin. Some lingering roast.

A pretty smooth porter overall with a mild flavor profile. The 1.5yrs seem to have mellowed this out quite a bit.

 804 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown and black for the most part, brown head, 1/2". Aroma has the roast and a dark fruit edge, are English porters just like the Russian Imperial Stout to the rest of that style? Dark fruit and alcohol.

Taste has plenty of woody licorice feels. So much hot alcohol in the mouthfeel. I wish the chocolate malt notes came out more than the yeast. Instead of a sweet edge I get a bitter alcohol boozy fueled one.

 430 characters

Photo of Brad007
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color: Darkish-brown with a thin one-finger head.

Aroma: Smooth and malty with hints of coffee and caramel in the nose.

Taste: Coffee and caramel mix upfront. Taste is kind of thin and watery in the middle though. Some roastiness but not much.

Mouthfeel: Thin and caramel-ish. Not too impressive.

Drinkability: Ok but nothing spectacular. Maybe my taste buds are off or something but I can't find too much to be impressed about with this porter.

 451 characters

Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a clear dark reddish brown, almost burgundy, thin light tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, pretty light in colour for a porter.

Smell is weird, a little sour, some candy and fruit, some plastic, a light bit of smokiness, almost a bit grapey, some caramel and honey, kind of sweet, but I'm not really sure whats going on here.

Taste is very light, a bit of maltiness, caramel and biscuit, weird plastic character, kind of bitter and sour in the finish, a bit fruity, not too good.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, some alcohol comes through. Not a good porter. Thanks Russ!

 710 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

English Porter, not my style. Looks ok, kinda dark, thick, we're off to a good start.

Taste, eh, why do all English Porter's taste like a little bit of licorice and rubbing alcohol?

Mouthfeel, well, mahogany accompanies the licorice and alcohol. Not too drinkable.

 268 characters

Photo of Bung
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Deep brown pour, some off white head. Roasted malt, caramel, earthy peat, miniscule hop aroma. Descent medium body, not quite creamy. Flavor is a little sweet, but not overly so. Malt, toffee, chocolate and peat/grass/slight tobacco earthyness. Warming does not help this one much, a just a bit too mild. Kind of a sweet carmelly finish, some smokiness. Drinkability is good. If you are expecting an American porter you might be dissappointed, but a solid American version of an English porter. Solid brew from Left Hand, but pretty forgettable.

 552 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent brew! I let it warm a bit from the cooler and with slightly aggressive pour I got a medium sized, foamy tan head that soon settled down to a light cover. Color is a clear, deep smokey garnet with cherry highlights and a couple of nice bubble trails. Aroma is malt, cocoa, roast, toffee, caramel, hint of fruit. Flavor is like nose, plus a bit of salt, some good carbonic tang and a nice, mild, pleasing balance of bitter and sweet. Good body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of average length. This is a very good, traditional English style Porter, I'd like more.

 583 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pint glass fills with an opaque black ale, lots of dark brown around the edges though. Creamy head forms to a nice size, around two fingers. Good retention and random webs of lace.

S- Black and brown ale feel. Roasty malt, cocoa, coffee, caramel, buttery and dark fruit notes.

T- Dark, roasty and a bit sweet. Dark fruit pretty big here with the roast malt notes balancing it. Cereal grain, raisin, cocoa and nutty hints. Some hops are earthy and spicy.

MF- Slightly thin body but I seem to notice that in English porters. Roast and hop bitterness finish on the palate. Moderate silky bubbles.

A decent porter that does have a bit of an English feel, in body and flavor.

 677 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep brown colored brew with a small tan head that fades very fast leaving very little lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of roasted malt with strong roasted coffee smells and some dark chocolate. A light sweetness is present as well. It is mainly vanilla and caramel in nature and nicely balances out some of the roasted smells.

Taste – The taste begins with strong tastes of roasted malt and some coffee. The chocolate detected in the nose then start coming to the tongue mixed with some of the lighter sweet flavors of vanilla and caramel. As the taste advances however notes of smoke start working their way to the taste. Toward the end a light bitter hop flavor joins the profile bringing a nice blend of hop, roast and light sweetness to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather average with a carbonation level that is a bit below average. The mix of the two are rather appropriate for the style and make of a smooth tasting brew.

Overall – A fairly easy drinking and balanced porter. Good for a go.

 1,099 characters

Photo of champ103
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby brown. A two finger beige head forms and leaves rings of lace.
S: Faint chocolate and coffee notes. Lots of citrus hops that is out of style.
T: A bit more roasted malt in the taste than in the nose. Chocolate and coffee again. Slightly astringent and metallic. Again, citrus hops that I don't want in a porter.
M/D: This has a medium body, and a good creamy texture that is well carbonated. Easy and smooth to drink.

This is not an English Porter IMO. I need tons of roasted malt. I do not get that with this beer. Don't get me wrong, it is a good beer that I enjoy. Just not what I think of for the style.

 631 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour a deep brown to black, mountainous and frothy head, and a fine lace blankets the glass, both are light chocolate in color. Nose is sweet malt, hints of maple syrup, lightly toasted grains. Start is sweet, the middle is moderate , the finish has pertinent carbonation, acceptablely hopped, and a fair to midlin dry aftertaste. A decent drinking beer, good but not great and none the less worth a try.

 408 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!