Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
6,357 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,357 |  Reviews: 1,618
Photo of TheLiterati
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I had this beer was up in Portland, OR, sold in six-packs along with a bunch of other offerings from Deschutes at a local Trader Joe’s. I was bummed that I couldn’t find it here in Southern California.

But sure enough, my local BevMo started to stock them, and now I'm delighted that I can even get them at my local supermarket.

This is a darn good porter. Pours dark and creamy, with a finger high tan head. The color is a deep brownish-black and is nearly opaque.

The aroma is quite smoky, a little woodsy, with chocolate and caramel undertones, along with a hit of spice.

Has a good solid body, not thick and chalky, but quite effervescent with a dry finish.

Simply a great porter!

 717 characters

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

12 oz bottle.

Appearance- Near black in color, but there are brown highlights. A healthy head that is easily controlled by the strength of the pour. The head is a creamy tan. No lacing was observed on this serving.

Smell- The aroma is intense from the bottle and initially on a pour, but it fades as quickly as the head. The smells are consistent with any other great style-defining porter. Chocolately malts intice the nose into getting a bigger whiff which reveals subtle notes of pecans, faint (perle?) hops, a slightly smoked quality, subdued alcohol esters, and peat.

Taste- There are no big surprises revealed in the taste after a thorough smell analysis of this beer. This is a good thing though. Like the smell, chocolatey malt dominates but a more burnt, darker quality reveals itself to the palate. A bit smokey and peaty, making it more complex, yet very approachable.

Mouthfeel- Appropriate for a modern day porter. Smooth.

Drinkability- This certainly is an approachable and delicious porter. It has good character and manages to go down nice and easy at the same time. 4's all around

 1,112 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first chance to have this on tap and it was great. Served up in a pint glass at the Yardhouse in Pasadena, CA. A dark brownish black body with a small tan finger head that settled into a thin cap pretty quickly. Towards the bottom the glass, appeared ruby as the liquid was less dense.

The aroma was a stong chocolate, hitting the notstrils even 6-8 inches away from my nose. The taste was more of the same, even sweet chocolate with some faint bitterness from the hops and roasted dark malts.

The mouthfeel was a somewhat creamy yet seemed to contain a little bit of a watery characteristic to it, making it a nice full bodied porter, but not too thick, so it was ok. Black Butte Porter was very good out of a bottle, but excellent out of a fresh tap.
overall: 4.15
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5

Deschutes is a great brewery and the Black Butte Porter is a quality beer that is well worth the money.

A very dark brown, a somewhat transparent brown at the outside of the glass and a thick dark brown in the middle of the glass. The head was an off-white to tan and creamy, could be very thick depending on how you pour, and had a short to moderate retention with some lacing.

The taste is very smooth as I didn't detect an excess of carbonation, you get a bready and roasty malt flavor up front, hops as you swallow, and then a sweet chocolatey taste after it has gone down. The taste overall doesn't blow you away, but it is very nice, especially the last bit.

Drinkability is for sure exceptional for a porter, probably in part because the taste doesn't give you that sense of heaviness, but it's enough for you to want more.

Only wish Deschutes' beers were on tap anywhere in Southern California.

[ serving type: bottle ]

 1,796 characters

Photo of Dmann
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absoloutly loved this porter, very understated flavors concitering some of the big beers of the style that around but nonetheless very enjoyable. The beer had a nice dark brown color with a good creamy brown head. The smell was great with scents of burnt grain and sweet malt. The flavors were great with a slight acidic snap in the beginning and then the flavors of roasted malts and coffee mixed in. Add to that the nice dry finnish and you have a wonderfully drinkable brew.

 479 characters

Photo of RedHaze
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a dense two finger head that fades slowly to a thick cap, leaving behind a solid layer of lace.

Smell; lots of rich dark roasted malts, with a nice dark fruity presence. There's a bit of coffee, with a little bit of hops in there as well.

Taste; roasted malts come out just as strongly in the flavor. The dark fruits and a nice touch of sweetness, with plums and prunes. The is chocolate and coffee, with a touch of hop bitterness thrown n there.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice smooth carbonation. A very good porter that I'm glad I picked up while in Spokane, WA.

 618 characters

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

Sampled prior to the Ravens beating up on the Raiders last week. Poured into a clear glass, it comes out a dark brown/black with a hearty dark tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Roasted malts full of chocolate and caramel.
Hearty choco flavor with a hint of piney hops on the finish. About as bitter as fine dark chocolate. Medium bodied with enough carbonation to make it drinkable. Hearty, filling, tasty, and worth a few.

 433 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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

 668 characters

Photo of BlacklightBrewin
1.9/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a dark black stoutish color.
But not thick, somewhat watery.. though not as light as a newcastle.

The aroma and initial taste is very earthy.
The after taste is crisp and dry.

Maybe I'll have to try it from the tap instead.

I've had multiple bottles of this and I'm really suprised that some people adore this beer so much.

I havent had a porter that i've enjoyed as much as Sierra Nevada's
I'd love for someone to reccomend a superb porter.. though i find it hard to trust peers that have an affinity for beers such as this.

 556 characters

Photo of jackorain
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap sitting at a table in the Pump House restuarnat in Fairbanks, AK

A-This beer had only a perimter ring of head when it arrived at the table. As usual, a victim of a restaurants need to pour a full pint at the expense of presentation. However, the color was really nice dark brown, not quite opaque. The light thast gets through around the rpeitmer make it look like a black cherry color. Even the preimter ring did leave some nice lacing though.

S-Light roasted grains, light hop aroma but what I smell is overwhelminmgly caramel and toffee. very nice aroama, would have liked some greater complexity on the nose from thsi style, maybe some roated coffee note or chocolate.

T-Caramel hits right up front, there is defintiely a malty sweetness in there. There is a light floral and green hop presnece. A little coffee and chocolate come through on the finish. Overall pretty well balanced albeit with low hops

M-Nice carbonation, not over the top as Porter should be. Medium to robust body, coats mouth well.

D-very very good, I could drink this beer all night.

Overall, a great beer. The bad pour at the restuarant may have even negatively affected this brew. I will have to try again from the bottle.

 1,241 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger light tan head that fades to a ring leaving traces of lace. Deep mahogany color. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts with a bitter chocolate/roasted coffee flavor, very smooth, bakers chocolate finish. $1.30 for a 12oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

 313 characters

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

a beer i've had many, many times. a solid style bearer, much like most of the deschutes line-up.

appearance: nothing to write home about, yet solid. A deep amber, almost brown, with a very light head.

smell: whisps of chocolate, coffee, and good old brown malt. some espresso beans as well. very good.

taste: very smooth, yet you don't forget it's a porter. that black patent sharp bitterness is light than alot of porters, yet it is there. smooth chocolate. could almost be a brown ale, but not quite.

mouthfeel and drinkability: smooth and a solid no-nonsense porter. a goto beer.

 595 characters

Photo of GimmeAles
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Garnet-tinged ebony pours into the tulip glass stirring up a pillowy, light tan, 1-finger head which quickly dissipated to a thing ring. Notes of roasted grains, diner coffee, molasses, and earthy yeast round out the nose.

Flavours of pumpernickel bread crust riding along fairly assertive, grassy hop bitterness. Hints of prunes, figs and dark chocolate make for a pleasant background.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but appropriate for the style and not without some heft. Fairly lively carbonation (which is a bit distracting to me), could be down-played by decanting into another vessel. A solid and widely available session Porter.

 642 characters

3.28/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - 2" tan head decent retention before falling to a 1/4" cap. Light lacing. The porter is a dark cola color.

S - Sweet dark fruit with a little coffee peeking out.

T - Roasted malt. Light earthiness. Some smokiness. Big amount of hops for a porter. Gives it a big kick in the finish. Faint chocolate.

M - Medium body. Lower carbonation. Sweet finish.

D - Drinkability was OK. I was surprised that this porter did not come together for me. I will try it again in the future.

Thanks to Zorro for the opportunity to try this beer.

 543 characters

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

Dark brown, almost black, with some goodlooking head that goes down fast. Rich and appetizing smell - chocolate and coffee, with some hints of cookie spice, banana, cherry.

Taste matches nose pretty well. Malty - nicely roasted, but not at all burnt, with a bit of refreshing, slightly spicy hops. Just a little sweetness, very nicely balanced. Fairly full, creamy mouthfeel, with a bit of minerality.

Excellent after-dinner beer.

 436 characters

Photo of carln26
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured from the tap a dark brown with nice ruby highlights. Not much retention from the tan colored head. The aroma is dark caramel, mild grapefruit and a nice roasted barley. Flavor is dark caramel up front, a bit of roast malt with a mild hop finish. Remarkably sweet as I first drink it. The roasted barley really tones it down on the finish. Slick and oily, nice drinkability

 389 characters

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

A 12oz. brown bottle with a best by date and code of: 05/05/06 1154L. This one pours a very dark (nearly black) mahogany-brown with a tan bubbly head that's two-fingers thick. The head turns into a thin ring with some pretty sticky lacing.

Rich and roasty malt with some sweetness, notes of chocolate, toffee with a faint whiff of hops fills the nose, very inviting.

A healthy dose of sweet roasted malts tasting as it smells, with a good bittering in the finish and on to a nutty and roasty aftertaste the lingers quite nicely.

With a perfect carbonation too this medium bodied brew, the mouthfeel is smooth and cream like with some bitter aspects.

Very tasty Porter that's easy to recommend, if you like this style, you'll be pleased with this one

 761 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Revisit: 16 Apr 15
Best By: 08/25/15

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty with some very nice toffee, chocolate notes. The taste is very nice malty, with a nice touch of toffee/chocolate. Medium body, with a very slight dry/bitter finish. Overall a very tasty brew, glad to see this here in UT.

A - Pours a dark brown/black in color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus light tan head, with some nice lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, toffee, and caramel, slightly roasted.

T - The taste is sweet and toffee/caramel flavored.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. A very tasty brew from Deschutes. Deschutes is becoming a favorite of mine lately. Highly recommeded.

 826 characters

Photo of beertastegood
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep garnet with a very fluffy three-finger head reminiscient of Coke. Unlike Coke, this head doesn't disappear quickly. Aromas of dark chocolate and faint spicy hops. Roasted aroma very is there, but takes a backseat. No esters/phenols to speak of. Not too complex in the nose.

Taste: Rich chocolatey malt floods the palate, and is soon joined by a delicious espress-like roasted bitterness, a nice punch of herbal hop flavor, and then a pleasant hop bitterness. Everything but the chocolate fades into the finish. I am left with the impression that I just finished a bar of bittersweet dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and body

Drinkability: Damn good dessert beer. A couple is enough for me, as it does not quite fall into the category of "thirst-quenching".

Outstanding porter from Deschutes. Glad I was able to wrest this bottle from my parents after they took a trip to the PNW.

 935 characters

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

Tasted on-tap at Henry's 12th Street Tavern in Portland, OR on 06/15/06.

Deep dark brown in color with a decent tan head. Strong aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, and some light espresso. Very strong flavor profile with the same roasted malt and chocolate characteristics. Almost had some alcohol notes to it. Medium bodied and robust with a light warming finish.

A Robust Porter for sure ... wish I would have brought some bottles back from OR for further "testing".

Per DB website:
Chocolate and crystal malts.
192 calories per 12 oz serving.
IBUs: 30
Alcohol Content: 5.2%

Bronze - Brown Porter Category - 2002 GABF
Bronze - Brown Porter Category - 1998 GABF
Gold - Brown Porter Category - 1996 GABF

 722 characters

Photo of malthead
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark color, but the head falls quickly - doesn't really do much for me. Smells of roasted coffee, which I'm not a huge fan of... (I tend to prefer English Porters to American) I like the taste, though, not too astringent, but with a nice lightly burnt feeling that leads to good drinkability. Mouthfeel is on the light side, but works well with the flavor of this beer, and it has a nice light carbonation on the tongue.
Overall, I wasn't exactly thrilled with this, but still a very nice little porter.

 509 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a 3" thick tan head that lasts a long time. Very thick lacing coats the glass through the duration of the pint.

Smell: loads of roasted malts and chocolate tons are easily detected by the nose.

Taste: a superbly flavorful and very fresh porter I have here. Strong roasted malt, molasses, espresso, and dark chocolate are well balanced. Little bitterness.

Mouhtfeel: medium bodied like a porter should be. Light crispness at the start, while the finish is very smooth. The aftertaste is brief with the roasted and dark chocolate flavors.

Drinkability: exceptional is the only way to describe this. I wish I could get this on the east coast. A fresh pint on tap doesn't get much better than this.

 741 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to an opaque black, with a thick tan head, and medium lacing throughout drink. Aroma of nuts, chocaolate and toffee. Taste at early glass mostly of chocolate and malt, but alcohol starts slipping into the taste at mid-bottle. Nice, smooth finish. Very good porter.

 270 characters

Photo of veech
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't say enough about this beer. I drink the hell out of it when I'm out west. It is absolutely oustanding. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the top five porters that I've ever tried. I hope to get to visit the brewery someday just so I can laud praise on the purveyors of such a heavenly elixir. If it were available locally I might be an out and out sot. As it stands I'm just a sot. If you ever have the chance to sample, purchase or come into contact with this beer please do so, you will be very glad you did.

 520 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap pour at the Mountain Room of Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR (free samples given prior to the brewery tour!). Had to drink it from a plastic cup so that we could go on the tour.

A: Very dark - almost black. One finger foamy ivory head with nice lacing (even in the plastic cup!)

S: Strong chocolate malt and roasted coffee bean smells. Rich and inviting.

T: Equally as rich as the smell - chocolate, coffee, malt, a hint of nuts, almost no hops. Pleasant bitterness.

M: Full flavors with medium body and carbonation. Lingering semisweet bitterness and maybe even a hint of alcohol warming (tho only 5.5% abv, I may be sensing something else?).

D: A well-crafted, well-balanced beer. Not heavy, very drinkable. Easy to have more than one. Good for all seasons, too.

 784 characters

Photo of variousartists
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very dark head with excellent retention, a very inviting appearance. Chocolate aroma is apparent but not overwhelming, just right. Hoppiest porter I've ever smelled, very good. A very well balanced beer, chocolatey yet it doesn't hide the hops. Even better on tap. Heavy, nearly syrup-like feel. Could use slightly more carbonation, feels a little flat. I enjoy this beer more every time I drink one, definitely the best porter out there. Highly recommend!

 456 characters

Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,357 ratings