Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

1,537 Reviews
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 30

192 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,537 | Ratings: 5,986
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Intensely smooth and rich taste. Anise and licorice and alcohol aroma. Black as molasses and some of its taste. Excellent with my meal. Toast, well balanced, without being very sweet nor coffee nor overly bitter. Well carbonated. Bit of sourness mid-sip.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City, CA.

A - Pours an opaque black color with a 1 inch head that fades to a small cap. Foamy lacing is present.

S - Smells of coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

T - Burnt grains/coffee and bittersweet chocolate or cocoa beans.

M - Great carbonation while still being very creamy.

D - A very, very good porter and one I keep going back to. One of the best I have ever tried.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

definitely the best porter i have ever had, been my go to since i move to colorado in august. pours apparently black, but when held up to the light has a low red glow. nice 1.5 inch head that leaves good lacing on the glass. smells dry like an irish stout, chocolate malts no doubt, but not heavy in the nose. taste is not dry at all, rich and creamy with a finish that is just ever so slightly bitter from the hop additions. mouthfeel is creamy and on the bigger side of medium bodied. i could drink a 6er of this every day for the next 50 years, just complex but understandable, like a magician showing you the secrets. an epic epic porter

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Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Capone's Black Friday, This poured out as a deep brown color with some red highlights, the head was very thin and didn't really have much retention or lacing. The smell of the beer was roasted and earthy on the nose. The taste of the beer had some nice roasted flavors with a touch of dark chocolate in the back end of the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was thin and dry. It was very drinkable. Overall this beer was pretty good for a standard porter.

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Photo of metter98
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color - traces of amber are visible near the edge of the glass when viewed from above. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly died down, leaving patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aroas of coffee are present in the nose along with notes of chocolate.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has hints of roasted malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down very easy but also has some nice flavors. I would have no problem drinking this beer all night long.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very impressive Porter. The beer begins with a nice, medium viscocity with a lighlty tanned head that has terrific staying power. Aromas of roasted malts, toasty sweetness, and bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of citrus hops. Flavors closely mimic the aromas with emphasis on the roasted malts and a backup hint of orange rinds. Very clean textured with a crisp, fairly clean finish. This beer has enough character and power to substantiate the best of the Porter style, with basically no off flavors at all. Pure and simple.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20oz pint, at a pleasant little roadhouse in Kalispell, Montana, with of all people, my mom. Damned fine pizza too!

This beer appears a deep, dark reddish brown colour, with further mahogany highlights, and one finger of foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which settles at a rather lazy pace, eventually leaving some random splattered Swiss cheese lace around the glass.

It smells of dry roasted cocoa, softly bready caramel malt, mildly earthy lactated coffee, a bit of raisiny dark fruit, and floral hops. The taste is lightly toasted caramel malt, chocolate milk, subtly edgy vanilla, a touch of dry coffee grounds, and some mild earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is generally soft and innocuous, the body relatively medium-full in weight, somewhat creamy, and decently smooth. It finishes off-dry, the gritty chocolate malt bearing the brunt of some heretofore obfuscated hops, baying at the gate.

A very enjoyable, and balanced New World porter, with tinges of the old country, and all the more agreeable as a dessert accompaniment. Imma gonna have to go up to the counter to find out what that is.

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Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with amber highlights, nearly opaque. The tan head recedes somewhat fast.

Smell: Semi-sweet and very chocolatey. Some grainy notes reside beneath that along with a hint of dark roasted coffee.

Taste and mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with flavors of cola, dark chocolate, coffee and biscuit. Medium-bodied. Dry in the finish and moderately bitter, but remarkably smooth on the whole. A very sessionable dark beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown color with a light beige, rocky head; the lacing was reasonably good

Smell: Roasted coffee and chocolate malt with a distinct presence of citrusy hops

Taste: Starts out with a tingly chocolate flavor that is joined, mid-palate, by some floral hops; after the swallow, there is a touch of sourness followed by some coffee notes; the residual chocolate and floral flavors also maintain their presence through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Among the better porters I have tried; nice flavors that go down easy

Thanks, malthead, for the opportunity and, younger35, for the second chance

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium clear black color porter with large light brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of black chocolate and light dry coffee notes are very pleasant. Taste is a nice mix between some bitter black chocolate notes with some light fry coffee and a subtle roasted malt bitter finish. Body is a bit too thin with some great carbonation. Very well done and something that IU would probably buy again if I had access to it.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl brown glass bottle with a standard pressure cap served into a Westvleteren mini-goblet in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Four finger head of lovely cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention (though the ABV is average). Colour is a solid nontransparent extreme brown-black ruby.

Sm: Vanilla, raw chocolate, nice cream, and wonderful barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Vanilla, raw chocolate, light coffee (only from the climax through the finish), a restrained allowable foundation of full barley, and a slight caramel tone. Complex enough, well built, and nicely balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too wet for a porter, but luckily not too thick.

Dr: Average ABV, easy drinkability, high quality, and a low price make this beer one any beer fanatic would enjoy.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big light brown head covers a clear reddish dark brown beer.

Dark bakers chocolate malt aroma with some slight coffee notes coming through.

The taste is exactly like the aroma with a big dark chocolate bite that doesn't overwhelm and carries with it a hint of some sort of coffee that seems to balance the taste quite well for me.

Leaves a slightly dryish aftertaste with some nicely roasted chocolate malts tastes sticking around with this medium to full bodied beer.

m'm good

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet-black color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty with some coffee notes. Also notes of chocolate and caramel.

T - It tasted very roasty with dark chocolate and coffee. There was some toffee and caramel flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied porter with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a very good porter. Deschutes continues to impress with every brew they make.

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Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown color with a half finger of tan head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the pour.

Smell: Roasty with a nice level of sweetness from the malt. I'm getting some dark chocolate to go with the roast.

Taste: Roasted malt dominates the flavor, but it's a smooth roast. Not much sweetness in the background, but there is a good balance to this beer overall. Some dark chocolate notes, but they're not sweet either. Roasted malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A very nice and easy to drink porter. I liked the fact that it's not too sweet. I'd have more.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a color that is bordering on black, which I suppose is fitting. The nose is dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee--just what I expect from a good porter. Really nice bold scent. The taste scales it back just a bit, but has the same general tenor. Good, slightly-dry feel with a nice body. Another hit from Deschutes.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights thru out with a thin off white head that disapears into nothing quite fast,I noticed a few chunks swirling around in there as well.Aroma is nutty and unsweetened chocolate mainly not over the top sweet by any means,has a nice smooth mouthfeel this glides down very easily to say the least.Flavors start out somewhat sweet bitter chocolate and caramel with an underlying roasted coffee presence but finish very earthy and dry like an unroasted raw peanut flavor.A very solid beer this one is a classic in the northwest and I can see why,very solid.

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Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Color is a dark brown, near black.

Aroma: A lot of roasted malts with some chocolate A very fresh tasting porter with some earthy hops showing.

Taste: The roasted malts are up front again. There is also some caramel and vanilla complementing the chocolate. Earthy hops again.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and creamy. A medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Ends roasted and clean.

Overall, a very nice porter. One of Deschutes better regular offerings in my opinion. This one is pretty drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this thanks to bendretread along with a whole bunch of other awesome Deschutes beers. Date: Best by 3/05/10

A: Pours a rockin 2 finger head with a thick creamy head. Pure black color with no light escaping. The head retains pretty well.

N: It has some nice crisp ale aromas surprisingly. On top of that is some nice roast but still pretty light, and some dark malts with hints of chocolate. Lighter fare, but pretty nice and typical for a good porter. More chocolate comes through as it warms.

T: Starts with a really thick creamy flavor. Some milk chocolate like flavors, creamy chocolate malts. Some roast also comes through but pretty light. Nice malty flavor with some sweetness, and some light hop flavors come through as well with a little bitterness. Its an interesting spicy hop flavor. A touch of smoke comes out late as it warms.

M: Lots of carbonation, creamy and pretty thick.

F: Finish leaves the nice creamy chocolate lingering a bit, and has a nice bitter follow as well. Still slightly sweet. The earthy spicy hop bitterness adds a nice finish. The smoked flavor also seems to stick around the mouth as everything else fades, which is probably why it seems to come out late on the taste itself.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brownish with a thin tan head which lingers. Aroma of roasted malts and grain along with faint dark cocoa. Flavors of roasted malt, some faint coffee notes. Nice smooth finish.

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Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 2/27/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, light coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light nuttiness, light plum/apple, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, light coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light nuttiness, light plum/apple, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.2%. Overall this is a fantastic English porter style. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Bubba83 for a bottle of this in a recent trade.

Pours what looks like a dark brown at first but holding it up to the light reveals a deep clear garnet color. 2 fingers of foamy mocha head sit on top, settling into a fizzy yet smooth retention that leaves a sticky latticework of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an assertive mix of roasted malts and chocolate with lesser but still prominent notes of coffee, nuts, and citrus, all wrapped up in a floral smelling shell. This is very nice.

The taste is a thick chocolate sweetness with a toasty edge to it and some additional notes of roasted coffee, citrus tang, and a firm hop bitterness towards the back that exerts itself in the finish with a dry lingering feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a prickly carbonation but still overall smooth feel in the mouth.

This stuff is just a classic from Deschutes. Flavorful Porter character packed in an easy drinking body that goes down very smooth and the ABV is right where I like it for the style. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated Best by 8/18/13.

A: Very dark reddish-brown; nearly opaque, good clarity. Light pour gave a huge foamy tan head that died down very slowly, requiring multiple pours to empty the bottle.

S: Hints of coffee, dark fruits and chocolate over a nice roasted malt base. Subtle floral hops too.

T: Excellent sweet/bitter balance. Moderate complexity. Subtle hop presence; medium-high strength for the roasted malts. No burnt notes.

M: Medium body, medium to medium-high carbonation; very smooth.

O: Nice porter, overall, if too foamy. Fairly complex aroma; very good flavor. Probably the best of the 4-5 porters I've had this week.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dense, creamy tan head above a dark ruby brown/mahogany colored body. The head holds fairly well. The aroma shows some fruity notes as well as the anticipated espresso and bitter chocolate. Good mouthfeel... medium bodied, not quite chewy, not quite creamy... honey-like? The flavor is full, expressing slightly sweet dark chocolate with a roasty edge up front, followed by some dark fruit, molasses, and even smoke. Well balanced - not overdone with hop bitterness. Finishes with a light, almost smokey note from the roasted barley. An excellent example of robust porter - distinctive, complex and drinkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Solomon420, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of creamy and milky with chocolate, roasted coffee, dark malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is creamy and a little smoky with flavors of chocolate and coffee. The malt character is very hearty and there is a mild but complimentary hops presence. Both contribute to a good balance. The after-taste is sweet and smoky.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good beer to sit back and relax with for a long time. It’s one that you can drink several of but is more of a sipper than a pounder, despite not having a very high ABV.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: ?
Can't remember where or when I first had this, but this review will apply to notes from a recent tasting at Deschutes' brewpub in Portland, OR.

Dark brown color with a small cap of tan head that left some sticky lacing behind. Roasty malts on the nose, notes of coffee and cocoa. Taste follows suit, with dark roasty malts, semi-sweet chocolate, and some coffee bitterness. Smooth and on the heavier side of medium-bodied. Simple formula, but a very good beer all around.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,986 ratings.
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