Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
6,260 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,260 |  Reviews: 1,598
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent to it , boasting of crystal malts. It is sweet and creamy smelling. The taste is good. It has a smooth dark brown feel with hints of crystal and chocolate malts. It goes down easy and finishes dry, yet sweet. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine porter. It has good flavor and suprisingly good mouthfeel; a good drinker.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great looking finger of biege head on pour. Black liquid with ruby highlights, bairly visable. head lasts quite well. Roasty malt in the nose with a sweetish backdrop. Smells good. Flavor is good and roasty dark but kind of sweet in the end. kind of light in the end, also. Needs more hops? Mouthfeel is full and creamy and drinkalbility is good but suffers from bad balance in the flavor.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on Whidby Island in the Pacific NW. Pours very dark with red around the edges. Has a tan thick head of about two fingers. The head leaves beautiful rings of lace around the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma and taste are malty and hoppy, as well. This one is not as thick as some porters I have tried and this is one reason why I liked it so much. The thick ones are better in cold weather, but this one went well in the summer air. Finished strong, but smooth.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Skyhand. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" mocha head, which laced well as the drinking experience transpired. Aroma is full of deep, dark malts, and the brew is a barely translucent brown. Taste is strong in the grain bill, but a nice balance of darks and medium, with caramel apparent along with the coffee and chocolate malts. A nice change from some of the over poweringly dark malted porters, I like it. Mouthfeel is excellent, and so is the drinkability. These OR/WA brews from this trade just keep giving the love...

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Photo of Beaver13
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Black Butte poured an opaque, dark black. It had a light brown head that went to a smoky film and collar that left some lacing.

Its aroma was coffee, chocolate, figs and some sweet malt.

The flavor was coffee, figs, chocolate and some sweetness with a slight bitter coffee-like finish. It was medium bodied and had a sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent porter. It kind of reminded me of Great Divide's Hibernation Ale.

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Photo of henrysunset
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark opaque beer, unfortunately served without a real head, had a lightly hoppy scent and a tempting dark grain smell.

Taste matched the smell, dark and tasty with abundant malted grain and chocolate tones. A tiny hop flavor kept everythgin in check.

The flavor is great, but the texture is only so-so. It tasted thin to me, with a little bit of carbonation dancing on the tongue. All in all, tasty and quite drinkable.

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Photo of garthwaite
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a dark cola with nice carbonation, but a minimal head (I think I poured it too damn gently). Roasted malt aroma with a wonderful touch of chocolate. I must say, the flavoring is delicious - more roasted malt, a bit of tasty coffee, light chocolate, & a hint of smoke. There is also a nice spicy hop flavor in the mix. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but overall a well-crafted, surprisingly easy drinking treat. Many thanks to skyhand for the chance to taste!

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle
Pours a deep brown with a nice sized tan head that unfortunately does not last long. However, there is a very nice bit of lacing that clings to the sides of the glass.
A slightly sweet aroma, some hops and a nice malt character.
Wow, this is a smooth one. Very pleasant. There is a distinct caramel malt character, and a hint of chocolate. There is also a very nice hop bitterness that balances this all out.
This is a fantastic porter. One of the best I've ever had.
Thanks go out Skyhand for hooking me up with this great brew.

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Photo of Crosling
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deschutes just entered Colorado and so did Black Butte Porter but my sample was purchased in California.

Dark brown. Light tan head. Nice lace.

The smell is typical. Dry bitter chocolate, coffee, minimal hops and toasted grains.

I like it. Very malty with roasted grains, coffee, smokiness, molasses, slightly sweet, moderately bitter, very balanced. A solid porter.

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.31/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany and black with a very impressive head for a porter displaying a good 2 fingers of light tan foam that lingers. The smell is of burnt chocolate and a little hint of a phenolic aroma with not alot else going on. The taste is roasted malts, hints of chocolate, and a unique alkaline finish. This beer is a light bodied beer that finishes what would be dry but is diluted with a watery end.

Notes: Very thin and watery and just disappointing because the right flavors are there, but in weak fashion. One tongue down on this one. Cheers!

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to weefisheads for this fine example of what all porters should be.

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle with the typically artistic Deschutes label. Yet again, the "best if used by" date is clearly indicated.

Appearance: Deep rich brown, if not black. The head was about an inch at the start, and faded away to a cunningly clingning lace.

Smell: Amazing notes of roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate run through my nose. Slight twinge of alcohol, and maybe some flowery hops in the background.

Taste: So incredibly smooth and light for something seemingly so rich-looking. The brew was strong in flavor, and offered hints of carmelization, which lets me believe this would go well with creme brulee.

Bottom Line: Fantastic. Without a doubt one of, if not the best porter on the market.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of BierReise
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle 5/28/04 Poured clear the color of Coca-Cola with not much of a head. Interesting aroma, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is medium to thin with average carbonation. Flavor has alot of chocolate in it giving it a YooHoo chocolate sweetness. Nice flavor. Wet finish. Overall very drinkable. Nothing complex, could drink a few of these.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The taste has a nice smoky flavor that I think would be difficult to tire of. Very subtle. I can almost wrap my tongue around the smoky hops. I was camping and this was all that the small convenience store in the local logging town had in stock that caught my eye. Glad it did because it was great while sitting around the campfire. Unfortunately, because I was camping I could not pour it out of the bottle because I had no glass with me.

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

I had this one at a cocktail party at a business meeting I was at in Portland, OR. That is one of the great things about Portland, even at semi-stuffy affairs, they serve you great beers.

Beer is a coco brown with a tan head and average lacing.

Smell is of roasted malt, hints of chocolate and perhaps a bit of fresh bread. Clear use of quality ingredients.

Taste is just a god as the smell. Roasted malt with some smoky undertones, was my initial impression. As I worked my way through the beer, the taste turned slightly sweet with just a hint of underlying hops.

Very creamy and easy to drink. I could see this as a very good session type beer.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pour produces a finger-thin tan head that lasts for a short while. Thin lacing left on the glass throughout. Body a deep mahogany, almost black away from the light. Nice and appropriate for the style.

Smell: Ah, now that’s porter. After a bit of coaxing, sweet, roasted malt comes through, with hints of caramel, coffee and smoke. There’s a faint bit of hops and/or fruit esters as well. Not complex, but quite pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Starts out rich and a bit sweet with a good roasted malt flavor, but bitterness comes through quickly. The mouthfeel thins out a bit more than I’d like, and the hops pop hard at the end with a big astringent finish.

Drinkability: Pretty good. It’s pretty light for a porter, and it has a good porter flavor. However, it finishes way too bitter for me, which makes it less appealing.

This is a good, and surprisingly affordable, porter; it represents the style well. I would have liked more body and less bitterness. Otherwise, good stuff.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The Black Butte Porter pours a dark, coffee like black with a root beer float cream head. The smell is that of rich chocolate mocha. The taste is very good. Taste has a rich cocoa bean type flavor. Tastes great in the mouth as chocolate sensations penetrate the tongue. Only big problem is drinking alot of these doesn't seem possible, very dark and thick. I couldn't drink more that 2 of these. Great after a meal.

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Photo of zacharius
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a beige head. Smell is of chocolate and caramel malt. Taste is malty with a chocolate hints and a gentle bitterness. Mouthfeel is average, could have used a bit more body. Drinkability is very good for the style. I would like to see a bit more aroma hops in this beer but overall it is good.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head on this one is medium-sized, tan, dense, bubbly. Foamy. It leaves thick, sticky lacing. The beer itself is a dark, brown/black color. Holding it to the light shows dark red highlights. The nose is quite light, showing some chocolate. The beer starts off sweet and milky, with some tobacco hoppiness. A fruity, tangy middle leads to a tangy, bitter finish. It's hoppy, and a little smoky. It's a very good, fairly light-tasting, hoppy porter. Quite delicious.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany color with a small, dense and creamy tan head.
Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate and red fruit.
Wow! The flavor is much more complex than the smell. Great earthy roasted malt taste. Chocolate, red fruit and hints of coffee, caramel and a wisp of smoke. Nicely balanced with a spicy hop bitterness.
Medium bodied with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Great drinkability.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The highlight of a recent business trip to the Bay Area was the long overdue opportunity to try my first Deschutes beer. Fortunately, it was Black Butte Porter on-tap. I ordered it in a big 20 oz glass and was wishing for more when it was gone. It poured wit a big creamy head. It's dark brown with a hint of garnet when held to the light. The smell has hints of roasted malt but chocolate sweetness is more noticeable. Chocolate flavors also dominate, with some nice roasty notes backing them. The mouthfeel is nice, but the drinkability is a real plus. If you're looking for a "session porter," look no further.

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Photo of MobBarley
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark and earthy with a small tan head and average lacing. Smells sweet and tangy with the slightest sulfur note way deep down. The taste is top notch, with PNW-style hoppy bitterness up front followed by a bittersweet chocolate and slight mollases finish. Chewy and substantial mouthfeel with mild carbonation. Drinkability is just fine here, though I usually pick something lighter for long sessions. Very, very good Porter.

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Photo of jtfest
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark -- almost opaque, with a small tan head. Sweet malty aroma with a hint of -- I don't know, maybe coffee or caramel? Big, rich flavor that is not at all bitter, but instead very smooth with a strong roasted taste. Full mouthfeel and a pleasant sweet aftertaste. Very easy to drink -- you could have a few of these without overpowering your palate.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle into a pint glass. A fine low light-tan head formed, leaving behind a fine blanketing lacing. The aromas were soft consisting of dry malts, hops, and perhaps some toffee. The taste was big, with prominent hops, coffee-toffee malts, roastiness, and a whole grain undertone. The porter flavors fall off leaving a very pleasant lingering hop flavor in the mouth. These are well developed and delicious flavors. The body was medium and smooth, as one would expect with a non-imperial style dark brew. This was a very drinkable and tasty porter, leaving me wanting another. Well done Deschutes! A Pacific Northwest staple.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with red highlights and a medium tan head. Roasted barley, chocolate and a small amount of hop bitterness are present in the aromas.
Taste of coffee and chocolate are dominant. Small hop bitterness in the middle and finishes with a verry smooth malt back end.
Highly drinkable and a really interesting balance between light bitterness and rich mat on the back end.
Really good.

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

Deep, dark brown color, showing crimson edges, with an active, fizzy tan head, though quick to settle.
Aroma: smooth, creamy, with a whiff of bitter hops.
Taste: nice, gritty texture, but smooth thereafter. Little hop presence on the palate, but full malt, full body, and rich in cocoa, coffee flavor. Very sweet and fruity in the end, with ultimately excellent balance, and thoroughly accomplished drinkability.
Overall, an excellent, everyday, workhorse porter, with no overboard flavors, just smooth, tasty, thirst-quenching and solid. One I've enjoyed before and would happily employ again as a session ale, if I could.
Thanks to Gusler for the re-acquaintance.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,260 ratings