Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

1,544 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,544 | Ratings: 6,012
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...

 803 characters

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.

 538 characters

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.

 881 characters

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.

 1,231 characters

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.

 1,030 characters

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.

 864 characters

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

 304 characters

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.

 1,011 characters

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.

 436 characters

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.

 709 characters

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.

 419 characters

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.

 855 characters

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.

 856 characters

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 first offering from Deschutes and I want was a little lighter in the body which makes for a decent session beer as it won't fill you up

 669 characters

Photo of carp420
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz->imperial pint glass

big black beer with a two finger head that capped nicely and laced very well, but faded as it warmed

smokey malts and coffee beans, maybe some chocolate, smells kinda big for such a small abv and only a porter

taste is smoked chocolate malt mixed with coffee and some other sugars with all the flavors that blend better as it warms

mouthfeel is decent but kinda thin, with all that smell i would've expected a bigger creamier brew. well carbonated

this seems like a killer, colder weather, fireside porter. big on flavor and low on alcohol to keep you drinking for a nice session, hope i can grab some more of this by winter.

thanks to ScreamForMe for the extra.

 697 characters

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

A--Pours a near black shade of brown that has deep red highlights when held to the light. About one finger of head that didn't last long and left very spotty lacing

S--Chocolate, caramel, dark malts, faint coffee beans, citric hops. Very deep and complex for a porter

T--Huge roasted malty goodness, a mixed bag of nuts, cocoa powder, used coffee grinds. Those are the good flavors, but there is a bit of an ashy quality that detracts. This is still very solid though, the coffee flavor helps cover up the bad stuff.

M--On par with the style, nothing of note really but good.

D--A solid brew from Deschutes, but nothing spectacular. Would make for a good session drink but nothing more.

 690 characters

Photo of jdg204
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last brew of the great Northwest vacation! Finally got a chance for this well touted, highly distributed brew and was glad for the chance.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown color with a beige, rocky head.

S: Roasted coffee and sweet chocolate malt aromas

T: Starts out with a tingly chocolate flavor that is joined by some floral hops and mocha notes.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a great mocha aftertaste.

D: An excellent Porter, one of the best I've had and well deserving all the credit it receives. My second Deschutes and the best by far, I can see why they've earned such a reputation as a solid Micro with great distribution. A recco and a must have if you're into darker brews.

 700 characters

Photo of BeanBone
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A hazy, deep dark brown body with ruby highlights and a finger and a half of caramel-tinged head. It leaves a fantastic curtain of lacing that leaves the glass virtually opaque.

Aroma: Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and dark coffee with hop notes around the edge. The classic Porter aromas, used to great effect here.

Taste: Much the same in flavor as in taste. An abundance of rich, roasty, and chocolaty malt. There's a splash of hop bitterness in the back for added complexity. The aftertaste is of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and velvety with a smooth carbonation. It coasts the mouth well, allowing the flavors to linger a long time.

Drinkability: With a tasty flavor profile, a medium body, and the alcohol content clocking in at just over five percent, this is a very drinkable beer. If you love dark malt, you could drink this all night.

Verdict: Black Butte is smooth, chocolaty, and tasty as all hell. Well worth seeking out for fans of Porter, Deschutes have brewed up a solid example of the style here.

 1,061 characters

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

Presentation: Thanks to DoctorDog for sharing some joy from a recent trade. Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is fairly traditional, with a painting of a black mountain inside a black ring frame. Description of both the beer and Black Butte mountain. Bottle is embossed with raised hop plant vines. Best by 06/05/09.

Appearance: Pours with 4+ fingers of light tan head. This settles very slowly to a thin layer of foam, leaving behind nice lacing. the beer itself is a very dark, opaque brown. Some sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Strong aromas of coffee, chocolate, and roasted barley. Smell is strong enough to waft up as I st here with the glass on my desk.

Taste: Smooth chocolate upfront, with just a hint of mild coffee in the finish. Hints of lactose sweetness. Long, lingering roasted barley flavor with very little hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, as is appropriate for the style. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: A fine example of the style and probably one of the best I have ever had. Impressed by my first beer from Deschutes, too bad it is not available in Ohio.

 1,154 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Blackish brown color, good clarity, fluffy beige head. Decent lacing. Lots of coffee in the aroma with a little ash and balancing chocolate sweetness. Lightly acidic roasted character with some dark fruits and burnt coffee. Medium-light bodied with a little too much carbonation. Solid beer.

 330 characters

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

Aroma: Complex aroma of roasted malts, burnet coffee, dried fruits and chocolate.

Appearance: The beer poured deep, dark and brown with a tall tan head. The head crashed leaving a ring of head.

Flavor: It tasted of dried fruits, roasted malts and burnt chocolate. It was surprising very malt. The bitterness framed the malty sweetness.

Mouth Feel: A medium bodied beer with some effervescence.

Overall Impression: The second beer tasted better than the first. An easy beer to drink, full flavored.

 502 characters

Photo of CMW
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at Pour 24 in Las Vegas.

A - Jet black appearance with medium sized off-white head. The head faded rather quickly and the only thing that was left was a small ring. There was some moderate lacing.

S - Roasted malt, burnt coffee, and choclate.

T - Malt is very heavy upfront and this soon gives way to a toasted nut flavor. The coffee and chocolate flavors come through in the finish but are somewhat muted.

M - Nice and creamy. Just right.

D - This are extremely easy to drink and if I had more time, I would have drank a few more.

 553 characters

Photo of stoutfiend27
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my la chouffe tulip..aquired in trade from ottovon..thanks

a-dark garnet/ruby brown color...with 1/2 inch head that lived a short life

s-malty up front with a slightest hint of coffee in there somewhere..

t-smooth malt and coffee flavors..

m-thin to me for a porter but i compare most porters to anchor or founders which to me are the porters of porters...this lacks in the chewy department but it does have nice carbonation..

d-off the charts i could drink this all night....good session beer

overall a nice offering from deschutes..only my second since we dont get it in NC....would like to try more

 633 characters

Photo of malcontent
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous two full fingers of crema-shaded head with a solid wall of lacing left behind. Nearly opaque ebony body makes for the ideal porter appearance.

Softly roasted nose with just the fainted hop presence on the back end. Nice-smelling but subdued.

Modest roast qualities on the front lead into an oddly sour (in the most pleasant sense) middle, reminiscent of Guinness in a way. Undercurrents of ripe tree fruit and an earthy/semi-sweet finish make for an enjoyable brew.

Not heavy at all with an appropriate level of carbonation. Not the jaw-dropper I'd heard it made out to be, but a thoroughly enjoyable beer nonetheless.

 630 characters

Photo of klewis
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 3/21/09
ABV listed at 5.2%

A: Pours a translucent brown with a moderate frothy head. little lacing.

S: Rich malty smell with aromas of cocoa and cappuccino with a light earthiness.

T: Malt is forward in the profile, yet the taste is nicely balanced. Earthy with a burnt chocolate character. A hint of vanilla.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. A slightly bitter earthiness sticks around on the palate.

D: Tasty and well-crafted. A solid session porter if I've ever met one.

 495 characters

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,012 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.