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Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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1,530 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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,530 | Ratings: 5,960
Photo of philbe311
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Raven gloss black color... A slight lite beige head sticks around for a little while but ultimately fades, leaving a thin lace sitting a top this opaque brew... Fast rising carbonation bubbles through out...

S - A slightly too subdued aroma is all that is keep Black Butte from being a truly world class creation... The aroma of roasted malt and chocolate is appealing, but doesn't live up to the lofty success of the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability categories...

T - Loads of roasted malt... Vanilla... Whipped cream... Milk chocolate... Slightly nutty... Terrific flavor...

M - Full bodied... Creamy... Sleek... Ultra smooth... Subdued carbonation... Chalky and moderately dry finish... Very rich and satisfying...

D - I started out sipping to enjoy the subtle complexities but quickly changes to gulping as I couldn't get enough of this near perfect porter... Add to that the fact that this comes in at 5.5% ABV, this is a truly sessionable porter... Terrific job by Deschutes, it's only a crying shame that this isn't available more widely than it currently is...

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Photo of tyanow
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark auburn reddish brown (as a porter ought to be) with a 2 finger big bubble loose head that lingers and laces (as a porter outh to have)

S - Nutty chocolate, with toasted grain, and a little sweet fruitiness.

T - Dark chocolate, dark grains, dark fruit, dark sweetness. This stuff is dark and delicious.

M- Smooth, thick and rich. Full body.

D - As drinkable as any porter I have tried and I try a lot of them.

This is at the very top of the American Porter class. Balanced, complex but not challenging. This is a great fore into porters for anyone interested in trying one and a great place to end up for the seasoned porter lover.

Deschutes outdoes themselves with this American Gem!

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pouring out of a 12 oz bottle this beer pours a dark rich chocolately brown with a one inch mocha brown head. Good head retention, leaves good lacing as it dissipates into a thin coating on top of the beer.

S: Good aromas of roasted malt, bordering on burnt but not quite there, with hints of caramel, coffee, and biscuit. More bready than I expected and not as big of a nose as I anticipated.

T: This is where this beer rises above the rest! Huge flavor profile beginning immediately with bittersweet chocolate then fresh coffee and caramel. At this point the hops kick in and almost perfectly balances this beer with a nice crisp bitterness. The finish is malty and biscuit-like. Not much more you could pack into this one.

M: Carbonation is pretty good, a little harsher on the palate than I would like (finer bubbles would send this beer over the top) but overall the mouthfeel is excellent. Good body and a smooth finish.

D: Very drinkable, especially for a porter with a flavor profile this big. Absolutely fantastic brew!

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Photo of dasmith52
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome porter! If you like a darker beer, you've got to try this one,
A: A nice opaque dark black colored body as well as a nice tan lace head.

S: Not very strong hops flavor, but noticeable. A very nice burnt or roasted smell.

T: One of the best porters that I've had. A very nice blend of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt flavor that swirl together for a very nice blend that really gives the beer a great overall flavor.

M: A nice creamy yet smooth feel that has a good head with low carbonation.

D: This beer lends itself to drinking no matter the weather.

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Photo of jdklks
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- black with see-through edges and nice brown head.

S- coffee, roasted malts, maybe chocolate, some hops.

T- roasted and burnt malts, with a hints of coffee, chocolate, and even toffee. though none of the flavors are as intense i would like them to be (thats what black butte xx and xxi are for), it is still a very good and complex porter. one of my favorites.

M- medium bodied. silky, but nothing too special here.

D- drinkability is good. easy going down, light enough to drink a lot of them.

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

A: Very dark with a little amber showing through in the light. Thick tan head, which leaves nice lacing.

S: Good chocolate and caramel malt aromas. Some ripe fruit.

T: Cocoa and coffee flavors mixed with a mild sweetness. A little bit of a roasted malt bitterness in the aftertaste. Nice balance overall.

M: Creamy smooth feel. Flavors linger well.

D: Well balanced beer and smooth flavors allow an ease of drinking. One sip invites another.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic glass. Big thanks to pokesbeerdude for sending me this one in a trade!

A- Deep brown with translucent ruby edges. 2+ fingers of light brown head, which fades slowly to a thin cap. Fair amount of sticky lacing.

S- Roasty chocolate and coffee notes dominate, with a hit of hop earthiness. Sweet notes emerge slowly as the beer warms.

T- Quite a bit of burnt/smoky roastiness. Fairly light sweetness. A bit of coffee, some slight earthiness.

M- Moderate carbonation. Medium feel. Solid.

D- Good.

Future outlook: Obtained in a trade and not available here...the price is apparantly quite reasonable....too bad. Not as good as their Obsidian Stout that I tried, but still quite solid.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received in a trade. I had a couple of these while I was in Portland but never took any notes on them. Poured a pitch black body with a tan head with great sticky lace. Smells of roasted coffee, toffee, maybe some chocolate in there. Taste is excellent, chocolate, coffee, more toffee as in the smell. Very velvety mouthfeel. Great porter.

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Photo of hockeyhead
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:dark velvet red liquid witha tan fine mesh head
S:nice roasted chocolate smell and fine hops finish off the smell not like other porters
T: chocolate malt sweetness up front then a nice hop bitterness that is well balanced rounds out the palate
M: about a medium velvety body with the perfect amount of carbination
D: perfect session porter when drinking with buddys

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Photo of froghop
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear dark brown with a ruby tint, a small tan head, and some lacing.

smell is light, cocoa, some nuts, a hint of ripe banana, and some sour malt.

taste is watery, chocolate italian ice, sour malt, and a little weak coffee, ends dry and a little bitter.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. best by date of 6/11/09. tasted in late april/early may, 2009.

dark brown w amber hue. ruby clear under the light. moderately sized, tan colored head, fades to foamy, almost creamy thin layer, then just wispy layer and ring. a few thin rings of lace at first, then lots more, further down the glass.

aroma: malty dark caramel with just a touch of roast in back. fruity plums, touch of chocolate. hint of earthy hop. trace of coffee in the rear.

taste: very similar flavors, with maybe just a touch more roast or coffee notes. trace acidity. mild to moderate bitterness. fruit note melds with chocolate reminiscences.

medium body, very smooth, touch of astringency towards end. mild, tingly carbonation for extra body.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Finally reviewing an old favorite.

Liquid is a nearly opaque seal brown with burnt umber/carnelian highlights and a thick tan head of foam. Head retention is decent, though it eventually settles into a thick lacy ring with a large thin island of film in the center.

Moderately strong roasted malt aromatics, along with chocolate and lightly burnt toast. Lovely.

Lots of malt layers and a clean bitterness on the palate. Delicate yeast and hop flavors are there as well, though the roasted malts and cocoa flavors are paramount. Clean, mineral spring/river water flavors make this extremely refreshing.

Medium bodied, with moderate, spritzy natural carbonation.

Just an uncomplicated, perfectly balanced, classic robust porter...

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Photo of mhatters
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle acquired from my first trade (thanks to Casey - great trader) and poured into an English pint glass.

Pours a deep patina oak brown with an off-white medium-thick head and nice lacing in the glass.

A fantastic nose, probably the best for a porter I have ever encountered - roasted chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla,
and lovely roasted malts - toasty more than heavily roasted.

The flavor follows the nose, the toasty malts really are fantastic, not heavy at all, well carbonated.

Go get it, a great porter.

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Photo of ajuarez
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer presents itself to me in a 12 oz bottle with a nice painting of Black Butte mountain with a setting sun and meandering river centered on the label. 5.2 abv is printed near the "best by" date. Poured into an imperial pint glass, this porter is a robust cocoa brown color, a shade shy of black, with orange-ruby highlights. Head is moderate, velvety and tan. There's a wonderful dry roasted grain aroma immediately evident on the nose. Inhale deeper and you'll get chocolate powder and some funk.Wonderfully balanced flavors consisting of chocolate, burnt angelfood cake, almonds, fig and cedar in the taste department. Hops provide a nice bittering counterpoint and just the slightest hint of citrus zest. Fantastic mouthfeel and nicely drawn out finish of caramel and chocolatyness and lactic acid. Very drinkable. A very good porter that sets the bar high for the style.

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Photo of thirdeye11
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a mostly opaque dark brown, 1 finger head that recedes fairly quickly, nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smell is the nicest part of this beer. Light roasted flavors, mingle with semi-sweet chocolate, I think I smell the alcohol when cold.

T: Nice porter that is pretty light on flavor. No coffee or dark cocoa flavors, more prominent roasted flavors as it warms up but honest it's drinkable at any temperature even 38 degrees out of my fridge. Extremely smooth and balanced, some hints of alcohol even when warm.

M: Maybe the weakest aspect here. Nicely carbonated at first, but fades as it warms. The mouthfeel itself is nice, but the beer is a little watery for my taste in the style. Somewhat thin, but overall solid. As I drink the last sips there is some hop bitterness and dark chocolate flavors lingering on the palette that are nice.

D: To the style it's the highest I've encountered I think. No bad components at all, extremely balanced, and I could drink it all night long.

Very good solid entry into the porter style if you're trying to figure them out. Pretty widely available, and based on that I think it's even better. Everyone should seek this out.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's hot in Florida in May.
So we took a trip to Northern California.
My shorts and flip flops were useless.
Had to buy long sleeve shirts.

Did the city tour, the Alcatraz tour, and them made it up the Western Seaboard towards Sea Ranch, where a buddy was having the BBQ to end all BBQs. Unfortunately we didn't make it, as our GPS took us directly to Ft Bragg and North Coast Brewing.

While backtracking, we picked up a 6er of Black Butte Porter at a Safeway in some town without AT&T cell phone coverage.

Made it to The Sea Ranch, with beer in tow.

Tried some abelone. Nice!

Then the Black Butte Porter.

Dark. Ruby Red/Mahogany body with a head that wont quit. Smell is roasted coffee without the bitterness. Taste is smooth, creamy, a bit dry and chocolaty. Drinkability is excellent.

As it were, we ended up a bit ambitious in our beer purchases in California and ended up packing our suitcase with many-a-brew.

Tonight, in Florida, this Black Butte Porter still stands out as one of the tastiest porters I can recall.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter.

A handsome beer. Deep brown with some lighter highlights when held at an angle. A finger's worth of head is quite thick and frothy. A gentle swirl keeps almost that same thickness of head alive the whole time (a nice skim never disappears at all). Lacing is pretty good, but dripping, not sticky.

Smells primarily of bold chocolate malt and fresh roasted coffee, with hints of hops as well. Very inviting.

Burnt malt and coffee cascade over the tongue, but a nice chocolate flavor smooths that over. There's a nice bitter undercurrent as well. Very nice balance of flavors. Hard to imagine any way to improve this.

Medium-thick body, with a velvety texture and a bit of chewiness from the ample carbonation. Lingering burnt malt and a touch of chocolate.

Overall impression: Porters don't get much better than this one.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was a very good beer. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Appearance- It was very dark, almost black, opaque, thin head.

Smell- Aroma of coffee and chocolate

Taste- Taste of coffee and chocolate, bitter and creamy

Mouthfeel- heavy body

Drinkability- smooth going down, very enjoyable, regular beer for me

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep garnet brown, with a phenomenally thick and boisterous head of tan foam. Lacing is excellent, leaving tiny shell patterns down the edge of the glass. This is a very fine looking beer, and an excellent look for a porter.

Light sweet, dusty chocolate notes on the nose. A hint of carbonic acidity, and a decent amount of cellar mustiness. Quite dark, but with a wonderful fresh leavened note. Quite good.

Really nice clean dark character. It's certainly not ashy; it's just deep with dark chocolate notes, that ride lightly over the palate. Plenty of sweet characters, but they're very delicately handled. Finish has a refreshing note of seaweed. Mouthfeel is disappointingly thin, but you probably pay for the lightness on the palate somewhere.

An extremely drinkable porter. Not huge on the palate, but it has really pleasant characteristics, which are well integrated, and make for an astoundingly sessionable beer. I could certainly drink this all night. Unfortunately, I only have one bottle.

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

Appearance- Pours a black beer with brown at the edges,very little lacing. Surprisingly, the head is off white and stands about one finger high.

Smell- A touch of chocolate and a somewhat less coffee some creamy yeast.

Taste- Predominantly coffee and chocolate with roasty, bitter, creamy and even some slightly sour notes.

Mouthfeel- Moderately heavy body and somewhat crisp carbonation.

Drinkability- Smooth and goes down easy.

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Photo of colts9016
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this on tap at Mar Cellars for the first annual Dechutes Brewery Night.

Poured into a nonic at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A one an half finger head that is a medium tan color and very creamy. The color of the beer is jet black. The clarity of the beer is opaque. The head left lacing on the glass.

Nose: A very nice rich roasted malt. There is chocolate, espresso, a burnt character and some sublte sweetness.

Tasste: A very nice dark roasted malt, chocolate, espresso, a burnt character, and some subtle sweetness.

Overall: The mouth feel is creamy and very smooth. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium. This is a very tasty beer from the tap. I am very glad that I got to try.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The porter appears a clear dark chestnut color with about two fingers of lingering ecru foam. Nose and flavor are of milk and dark chocolate, slightly nutty, a hint of coffee/mocha, cocoa, sweet caramel, and hints of vanilla. A notch or two better than medium in body and amply carbonated. Tasty stuff. Certainly worth your time if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Large foamy light brown head with several large bubbles that break making a rocky head. Good retention and lacing. The beer is a dark red brown in color.

S- Very sweet and roasty, cotton candy, brown sugar, roasted nuts, dark chocolate and toast all work together almost perfectly to make a very good smelling beer.

T- Waves of sweet and roasted flavors dominate the pallet. Dark chocolate, coffee and toast come out on the roasted side, the sweet presents as brown sugar, almonds and vanilla. Some light hops present in the end and help balance the sweetness. This is an excellent tasting porter.

M- Thick silky mouth feel with a nice dry roasted feeling in the end. It really goes down nice and begs you to take another sip.

This is a great porter, one of the best i have had in fact. I might have to keep a steady supply of this in my fridge.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer as an extra in my recent trade with Wagenvolks, thanks for the brews!

Black Butte has a really dark body. Black at the core, becoming a dark brown in the middle, and on the edges a strong ruby color comes through. A tan head is huge, with some pretty good retention. Sheets of lacing are left behind.

Bitter dark chocolate flavored malts along with some coffee in the aroma.

Chocoalte comes through first, with both sweeter flavors and more bitter dark chocolate flavors. Next comes a coffee flavor which pairs with a bit of hops that show their face, but just for a second. Finishes with some more chocolate, but also dry and bitter in the finish.

I'd say this is light to medium light on the body as far as porters go. Dry in the finish.

Pretty drinkable due to a good flavor, nice balance, light body and dry finish. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of thain709
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black...I mean there is no light getting through this one...a tan head that measures about a finger...faded into a cap and left some decent lacing

S - Love the nose on this one...heavy on the roasted malts...there is an aroma of chocolate and coffee also

T - Basically follows the nose...a deep roasted malt character...roasted just right...well balanced with the chocolate and coffee flavors as well...I did not detect any hops though

M - Medium bodied...I wanted more creaminess

D - A very solid porter...my first offering from Deschutes and I want more...it was a little lighter in the body which makes for a decent session beer as it won't fill you up

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,960 ratings.
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