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Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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1,528 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: 1,528 | Ratings: 5,953
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

On tap at Wolfgang Puck's in sunny Las Vegas, NV, with a burger and fries. Very dark with zillions of tiny bubbles rising to a shallow tan head. Aroma of vanilla, marshmallows and charcoal; pleasantly roasted and very inviting. The taste was fantastic: not overly toasted or burned, and the body was surprisingly thin for a porter. In fact, it went down quite well on a hot day. The carbonation is quite present, giving this a lighter feel. An instant favorite, and a nice alternative to traditionally denser porters (which I dearly love).

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this courtesy of Rus - thanks!

Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before receding into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and creamy milk chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it tastes. Roasted malts and chocolate flavors lead things off. The chocolate is the main flavor but does not overpower the flavor profile. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could certainly have a few of these.

Overall this is one of the smoothest Porters I can remember having. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of bbothen
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Sam Adams beer glass.

Pours a deep dark ruby like brown color with a thick, fluffy, * bubbly 2 finger deep off white head. Head aint going anywhere. Leaves lots of sticky lacing & webbing on glass. Looks great.

Aromas of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, nuts, hops, sweet malts.

Smooth chocolate, roasted & toasted malts, coffee, sweet caramel, hop bitterness & some fruitiness. Tasty.

Smooth, medium bodied, nicely carbonated, dry.

Nice sessionable porter. Tasty, nicely proced, nicely made. What else ya want?

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Rus for this tasty porter.

Pours a reddish brown that is quite clear. Smells of yeast, alcohol and roasted malts. First sip is tasty and rather light bodied with raisins, roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee leading the way. Not bad at all. I would like to see more body on this one.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with a fat, creamy 3 finger head. Nice retention and good lacing.

Smells great for a porter, pecan nuttiness and sweet roasty malts dominate while some hints of mild floral hops and caramel make their way to the olfactory receptors as well.

For me, the taste is all about the nutty, roasty sweetness the malts bring to the table. So clean and inviting, I just love their beers. Light bodied for the style, but the flavor and creamy feel of the brew more than make up for it. A fine, fine ale...Im lovin it.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deeo brown with a slight bit of maroon. Not a whole lot of head if any and just a touch of noticeable lacing.

S: Rich malts with slight coffee and chocolate, but those are behind the caramel and roasted malts.

T: This is pretty interesting coming from a pretty basica porter. Nice caramel and roasted malts with a touch of sweetness followed by some coffee and bitter chocolate. There is a slight sour taste and maybe a touch of hops in there as well.

M: I know this seems odd for a porter but kinda refreshing. It's quite light rather than a thick dark porter.

D: This is a great example of a porter. Its balance is perfect and its tastes are easy to distinguish but it seems so complex. I like this one. Give it a go if you can.

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Photo of ryrust5301
2.97/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - A dark blackish brown, though not opaque. Faint glowing light could be seen around the edges, and when held up to light the darkness softened into a lighter shade. Very faint ring of off white foam circled the top. Looks a little light for a porter, but we'll see what shakes loose.

Smell - standard coffee smell seeps through, bitter chocolate adds a little sweetness. All in all, could stand to be a little stronger.

Taste & mouthfeel - Not as thick as I had hoped, and in a way a little bit runny. The feel is way to thin, and doesn't grab hold as it should anywhere in the mouth. Nice coffee note, though not very burnt or bitter enough. Chocolate helps sweeten it up a tad, but there's nothing too exciting here. Almost tastes watery.

Drinkability - This beer gets a very mediocre praise from me. Not what I had hoped for at all, and pretty disappointed. If I ever want a porter, i'm going to the gold standard. Anchor is the best porter you can ever pour into your awaiting pint glass.

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours nearly opaque. Almost black with some dark brown around the edges. A large light tan head forms and gently recedes. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: A rustic and earthy aroma. Hints of bitter chocolate and roasted malt. A light hop twang towards the end.
T: The flavor is very well balanced between roasted malt, slightly bitter chocolate, and coffee. Pretty much what you want in a porter.
M/D: Kind of light in the mouth and maybe a bit to much crispness. Though it drinks very smooth. I would not have a problem making this a session.

This is a very good porter. One of the better American versions I have tried. Recommended.

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

actually bought this by accident basically because i thought the label said black butter which sounded interesting but anyways
looks very nice and dark average lacing
smells good maybe a hint of chocolaty malt
tastes great, very balanced flavor with malt and subtle hop tones, extremely pleased by this beer
would love to have this beer in my mouth all day (sounds awkward)
will definately buy more of this, one of my new favorites

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Photo of ThePortlander
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a brown bottle into a stein

A: A very dark brown, almost black with a tan head. The head was about one finger after the pour, shrinking down to a clingy ring around the edge of the glass in about a minute.

S: Rich, sweet, caramelized malts; the smell is quite heavy. Subtle and not so subtle accents of chocolate, coffee, and light hops.

T: The taste opens up rather amazingly, with about three or four distinct stages. At first I was hit with the malt flavor, sweet and toasted. This soon shifted into a silky, almost chocolate taste, with hints of strong coffee. Right before the swallow, I detected a brief twangy, slightly sour phase. The after taste is a brilliant mix of coffee, burnt sugar, drying grain, and warmth.

M: Unlike some Porters, the carbonation in Black Butte keeps it from being too thick.

D: A fine example of the style, and highly recommended. Very quaffable, thanks to the extra bit of carbonation.

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

Bottle courtesy of Strelnikov - thanks!! Split w/ proteus93, w/ my portion poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, not quite opaque but near opaque due to the hue, with faint ruby and garnet peripheries. The head is foamy, soapy, and has average retention, though the sheen is persistent throughout, as is the bubbly collar. The lacing on the sides of the glass is similarly pleasant, sticky, launching eruptions from the surface of the beer. As it warms, however, the lacing gets runnier, more glittery, and only faint, isolated blobs of it stick to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: A very nice, balanced, "porter"-esque aroma. Hints of bittersweet cocoa intermingle with a sweet coffee presence, not dirty or charred, but nonetheless earthy, lightly roast, very "spring" like. Appropriate for the day upon which I am drinking it.

Taste: Sweeter than the aroma would have let on, and interlaced with sweet, marshmallow-esque notes throughout, heavily roasted. They compliment the chocolate notes well, adding a pleasant, sweet, milky dimension, slightly fudgy. The chocolate intermingles with a few stray nutty notes, giving a definite brownie-like quality. The sweetness also compliment the coffee notes well - which themselves are earthy but slightly green, citrusy, tart, and a little grassy - by adding a nice, creamy presence. The sweetness fades a little as it warms. There's also a few lighter malty notes, stray, glassy toffee and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably well carbonated in a body that's not that thick to begin with, resulting in a very crisp - perhaps too crisp - but still pleasantly even-bodied and smooth brew.

Drinkability: A solid, enjoyable porter, low in abv%, and reasonably sessionable. It's not the most groundbreaking porter, and the coffee notes are a little light and tart for my taste (I prefer my porters a little darker on the roast and sweeter in a different way), but it is a very consistent, pleasant brew. The lightness does actually help it work - despite being a porter - on this warm, 71 degree spring day. Recommended.

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Photo of sholland119
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a medium brown turning to ruby an inch above the bottom of the glass. Nice but I like a bit deeper color. Nice off white had and lacing.

S-Nice roast in the malt, some nice caramel notes, maybe some lactose in there also.

T-Nicely sweet in the front, some milk chocolate and a bit of bitterness at the very end of the finish.

M-Medium bodied, good carbonation, a bit of lingering bitterness.

D-A nice easy drinker. Not the most interesting porter ever but quite tasty.


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

I am going to keep this simple. One of the very best examples of American Porter on the market.
A - Dark, brown highlights. Beautiful head.
S - Rich, Dark, Toasty Chocolatey.
T - Much as it smells. Delicious.
M - Soft and velvety. I love this beer.
D - Not overpowering, and not so rich you can't have another.

I saw in the Locators that people were paying $4 per 12 oz for this. I picked this up at Walgreens (yes, the drug store on Speedway and Country Club) for $9.99 for a 12 pack. And it wasn't mishandled. Unbelievable.

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

12oz. Bottle - States 5.2% Alc.

- Dark rich complexion.. amber/licorice wherever light can be seen through. Not a huge head.. minimal lacing.. off white.. gray..

- Smell is of deep rich chocolate and caramel malt, soured just right w/ hops.. little coffee..

- Smooth chocolate creme up front, a little sour in the middle, and a hoppy bite in the end... and then a sweet caramel.. many stages in flavor with this... all very good, and all very balanced.

- Not chewy at all, leaves the mouth watering and wanting more.. no dryness.. just fresh water.

- Very drinkable, and a very good porter sessional. Easily one of the easiest to drink that I have had.. perfect carbonation too.

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Photo of MPLS
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A purchase that I brought back from Austin, TX. Absolutely no distribution of this brewery near MN.

A: Pours a very dark brown, maybe getting close to black. 2 cm frothy off white head that settles into heavenly saliva. Carbonation evident, big bubbled lacing.

S: A very distinct porter smell, larger roasted malts, nip of coffee, perhaps a dabble of chocolate.

T: Smooth upfront subtle chocolate sweetness, blast of smoke, very prolonged dry dirt like linger.

M: Light/Medium body with good amount of carbonation, really sharp on the tongue.

D: My first beer from Deschutes, surely not a dissapointment, but it makes me want to rip the wax of the Abyss sitting in my basement. Good looking beer that is not a choir to drink, just not particularly impressed.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 3/22/2009 (bottle BB 04/17/09):

Pours a very dark brown black colored body, with a big frothy tan color head, decent sized bubbles. Roasted coffee aroma, but very light. Some effervescence and clean aromas. An odd kind of fruity scent, not sure what it is. Some smokiness too. Roasted light sweet coffee taste, not too heavy. Some creaminess and a somewhat watery body. Smokey flavor. Satisfying.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,953 ratings.
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