Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
6,337 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
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Ratings: 6,337 |  Reviews: 1,613
Photo of spazaru
3.13/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What can I say? It's like porter 101. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Very smooth; I can drink one in about 2 minutes. Pours with a thin head, and has a medium to thin body, and a slightly burnt taste, but nothing off-putting. Maybe people who are scared of dark beer should start with this one, since there's nothing to offend here.

Pretty decent, but with so many exceptional porters available, why bother?

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.21/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown proper for the style - almost black, but illuminating a clearish ruby in the light. A rocky, fluffy light coffee-cream tan head forms and leaves behind sticky lacing as it falls to a thin covering.

Smells of coffee and cinnamon dominate the nose - it's a sweet coffee smell, not bitter, with a slight astringent alcohol presence.

The taste begins with a mild alcohol as well, which is swept away soon after by a kind of burnt brown sugar, coca-bean-husk flavor - followed immediately by a vague plum-skin fruitiness, almost Belgian in nature. It's an interesting flavored porter.

The mouthfeel is a little watery (even for a porter), and has a bit of carbonation tang that enhances the slight bite of alcohol.

This is an interesting porter; It's got a bit more bite than most, kind of jerking your taste buds around; It's got a lot of character, but the unfortunate part is that I've been having a very hard time deciding if I like its character or not. Half the flavors are tasty, the other half are astringent and tangy.

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Photo of Jredner
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet chocoloate and malt aroma. Dark brown with amber highlights and a bubblly, thumb thick head. Roasty fore which transitions quickly to smooth chocolate and mild creamed coffee notes and finishes with a hint of molasses and maple syrup. Very tasty and full flavor wise.

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

Pours a thick, deep ruby brown with a fluffy tan head which fades away to a thin lace. It comes back pretty easily with a swirl, though. The smell is of strong malt and a little yeast with very little in the way of hops, just the way a porter should smell. The taste is really strong roasted coffee/chocolate. A tiny bit of fruitiness and lots of malt flavor. Very true to the style. Some bitterness on the back end, but not too much. Creamy mouthfeel, no carbonation burn, very nice. I'd have it with a nice steak or on special occasions. Would definitely get this one again.

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Photo of blitz134
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gracious gift from a friend of mine...

Caramel colored highlights creep around the edges of the black brew. An audible head formed on the pour reaching about 3/4" high and reduced to a ring of foam around the edge of this black pool.

Aroma is full and strong of toasted malts with clear indications of black patent in as well. A touch of sweetness and a bit of dark fruit finish it out. Not overly complex but very enticing.

I find the flavor a bit weak, but it really hangs around for a while. There is a lot of subtlty to this one. Starts out without much to note but then goes into some toasted notes. A little toffee comes in next followed by some bittersweet chocolate. Finish has the faintest bit of coffee. Not much of the burnt malt found the in aroma comes through in the taste. A good tasting beer, but could be a bit more pronounced.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin but is good enough to cause the beer to linger on the tongue long enough to allow the tastes to become noticable. Drinkability is good. This one is easy to put down, but could be a bit stronger in the flavor department. A nice, simple porter.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained via Newbie BIF '05, thanks Waldowin!

A very nice porter, a bit on the standard side, but that can be looked at as a strength rather than a weakness.

Pours a deep and murky brown, slightly reddish around the edges of the glass with a thin tan head. Nose is nicely balanced, nutty and chocolatey. Taste is well rounded, nutty with a toast of roast with a dry cocoa flavor. Mouthfeel slightly light, but still respectable. Drinkability is good, but nothing here that really gets me going, but still a well crafted beer.


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Photo of atomicbwax
2.68/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - Very dark. A reddish hue when hend to the light. When poured properly into a glass a nice thick head forms.

Smell - Rich, smoky, nutty, chocolatey. The aroma is quite pleasant overall.

Taste - Smoky and chocolatey. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of Porters and this one tastes like most and I am not too impressed.

Mouthfeel - Full and smooth bodied. It feels anice and thick in the mouth. I like that.

Drinkability - As I mentioned before I am not a big fan of Porters so I do not find this terribly drinkable.

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle via trade with waldowin. Thanks for another excellent Deschutes brew here. The pour reveals a dark cherry accented, mahogany body. One finger, cocoa hued head hangs around for a minute, or two, before falling into some sparse patchy lace.
Pleasant aromas of a classic, American porter. Sweet chocolate, creamed coffee, toasty dark malts, and some perky, fruity hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium to light medium in body, with moderate carbonation.
Taste has an exceptional balance. Bittersweet chocolate, mild roasted Columbian coffee beans, fruity citrus hops(Cascades?) elevate the taste far above your typical American Porter. Roasty malt bitterness is present in a restrained, but ideal, level.
Surprising drinkability for style. Hops add an unexpected dimension to Black Butte, providing a really pleasant fresh fruity bittersweet character that weds happily with the dark roasty maltiness. Very easy to enjoy, and smooth on the palate.

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

a very solid porter from the good looking deep ruby body to the subtle yet mouth watering malty nose. its balanced and does everything right, sweet and chocolatey, a slight hop bite that gives you that nice refreshing character and it isnt filling. a good session porter. smooth in the mouth, its pretty good stuff.

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Photo of Muddybuddy
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my standard beers so impartiality is kind of lost on me, but a solid porter nonetheless.
Appearance was opaque very dark brown.
Aroma of chocolate with faint hops aroma, slightly malty with a hint of smoke.
The flavor of chocolate did not quite stand up to the expectation generated by the aroma, but was present in a subdued manner. Tastes more like coffee in the "roasty" sense and the coffee flavor lingered into the aftertaste with a bit of hops showing through there as well.
The mouthfeel was that of a low carbonated beer with no noticeable alcoholic warmth. Medium body meant this was not watery and not thin.
Overall I think this is a good example of the modern american porter and a great drink.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured a deep brown that let a little red light through when I held it up to a lamp. The light tan head rose up to two fingers and settled at an average rate. It was dense and a thin layer of foam linger on top of the brew for a long time. There was some light lacing.

Smell: Milk chocolate, cream, and a combination of sweet and roasted malts made up the bulk of the aroma. More of a rich and creamy smelling porter than heavily roasted and burnt. Some hops and light spices came through nicely as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy smooth upfront, with a velvety carbonation forming on the back of the tongue and in the throat.

Taste: Cream, sweet chocolate, and sweet malts combined almost perfectly with dark roasted malt, a light charred flavor, and a touch of coffee. These developed nicely into the finish, where they were joined by a balancing hops bitterness. There wasn't a distinct flavor to the hops. A nice woody flavor and a touch of yeast arose in the aftertaste to mingle with the rest of the flavors.

This was one great beer. The flavor is classic porter.

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

A well done porter. This is much nicer than Fire Station 5's Pike Pole. Good, malty-chocolate smell with some pleasant sour undertones. Not as roasted, or coffee-ish as their Obsidian stout, but the scents lacks anything negative and does not seem to come off as one sided.

The taste is in line with other American stouts I've had. Its not quite as malty as a Fuller's London Porter and can seem a bit thin on the mouth at times, but it is sweet without being too sweet. The malts aren't overpowered by the chocolate and coffee hints, nor do the malts dominate.

This is a well done porter, but sadly is not one I can get easily.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, it was a very dark brown, almost black, in color, with very little foam, tan foam. The smell of roasted malts fill my nose with a pleasant aroma. The flavor was of roasted malts and a hint of simi-sweet chocolate on the palate. This is a well balance ale, mixing malts and chocolate that was not bitter or over sweet.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to waldowin for the sample. Pretty standard looking porter. Deep, dark brown. Aroma is quite evident right off the bat-nice roasted and chocolate notes though low in abundance. Good malt flavor. Roasted malt dominates with a fair hint of chocolate,slight coffeish flavor. Lingering bittersweet cocoa. Ok body-could stand to kick it up just slightly to be a tad fuller. Overall a very nice porter. Wish there was a more consistant one like this available locally. Worth trying for sure.

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Photo of Smorgasbord
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eyes: Beautifully dark with a light head which dissipated rather quickly, but looked quite nice while it lasted.

Nose: Light roast with minor hint of coffee or cacao.

Mouth: Full flavored with a well balanced hops taste. Very smooth that verges on being too thin but ends up leaving you with a well balanced feeling. The mouthfeel fades more quickly than I'd like but still leaves a delicious lingering aftertaste.

Brain: A highly recommended brew, especially if you like Porter. Definitely makes me come back for more and resent any friends who have sipped some while I wasn't looking. This could easily be a session beer for me.

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

Appearance - Pours to a deep, thick red-brown with a tan creamy head with superb retention throughout and little lacing.

Smell - Smells of chocolate, oatmeal, molasses.

Taste - Well rounded, well roasted malts. Has mild hops that appear and disappear mid-sip with a long malt finish.

Mouthfeel - This had a mouthfeel I would really compare to draught root beer, which I found interesting. Feel somewhat draughty for a bottled beer,

Drinkability - I think this is slightly above average for drinkability. This is a good beer, but the least interesting of the several excellent offerings the Deschutes Brewery has.

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

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights thru out with a thin off white head that disapears into nothing quite fast,I noticed a few chunks swirling around in there as well.Aroma is nutty and unsweetened chocolate mainly not over the top sweet by any means,has a nice smooth mouthfeel this glides down very easily to say the least.Flavors start out somewhat sweet bitter chocolate and caramel with an underlying roasted coffee presence but finish very earthy and dry like an unroasted raw peanut flavor.A very solid beer this one is a classic in the northwest and I can see why,very solid.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Intensely smooth and rich taste. Anise and licorice and alcohol aroma. Black as molasses and some of its taste. Excellent with my meal. Toast, well balanced, without being very sweet nor coffee nor overly bitter. Well carbonated. Bit of sourness mid-sip.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a full color label. tan with a black oval containing a mountain (black butte) with a sun setting above a forest and a river in the valley below. deschutes describes their porter on the neck label, and there is a description of the black butte mountain on the main label. abv is displayed at 5.2% and there is a best by date: 10/15/05. hops are engraved in the glass at the base of the neck of the bottle.

appearance: very dark brown with deep red-brown highlights in a tulip glass. nice 2 finger somewhat fluffy light tan head that hangs around lacing down the glass.

smell: very chocolatey sweet with a light hops aroma. some roasted coffee beans as well. some bananas after swirling.

taste: charcoal roasted coffee with some chocolate. very little bitterness, but there are some hop flavors that show up in the finish. there's just a hint of southern molasses over a biscuit which i look for in a porter. very mild, however. very malty, but finishes somewhat balanced with the late hop character. aftertaste is a semi-sweet dark chocolate.

mouthfeel: light-medium body and a little light for my likes in a porter. however, the smoothness makes up for it. little noticible carbonation. swallow clunks a little given the lighter body.

drinkability: very drinkable. could easily be a session porter. no noticible alcohol flavor and an almost crispness makes this easy to go down. aftertaste keeps you craving the next sip.

overall: not a bad porter at all. definitely a session porter with a lotta potential. i have to thank waldowin for hookin' me up with this one. a very good try, but may leave you yearning for a little bit more.

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Photo of woemad
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a 12'er I picked up at one of the local supermarkets. I was surprised to see that I'd never reviewed this from the bottle, so here goes.

Poured a very dark brown that appears a little rubyish when held to the light. Modest sized light tan head that hung around for a while. Modest amount of lace.

Smell was of coffeeish smelling roast malt, and a chocolaty sweetness. A very mild dark fruitiness as well. No hoppiness snanding out.

The taste is very similar to the smell. It begins with the roasty maltiness, and is then matched by the chocolate flavor, which, while sweet, is not cloyingly so. The dark fruitiness is detected in the background. At the end is a mild, hoppy bitterness, just assertive enough to let you know it's there, and it keep that chocolatey sweetness in check. Not a hugely flavorful porter, but it's pretty good.

I personally wish this was a little bit thicker. It's not thin to an unpleasant degree, I just prefer thicker porters. Carbonation is about right for the style.

This is my session porter. It's not so heavy as to wipe me out after a bottle, and it's reliably brewed by the folks at Deschutes. If you are looking for a big porter to function as a dessert after a sumptuous meal, this isn't it, but it will make a decent porter to sit in front of the tv with while you watch a game.

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

I've heard quite a bit about this beer from Oregonians so figured I'd have to try it out. It begins by pouring a dark brown--almost black--color with a slim tannish head. Smells of roasty malt and chocolate/mocha with a slight hop present. In all it is a nice and deep whiff. The taste has a nice deep flavor. Strong malt, followed by a chocolate aftertaste. It is very deep and bold and followed up by a bit of a bite in the aftertaste. In the mouth, this beer is full, deep and rich. The flavor lingers in a way that makes it memorable beyond each quaff. Although I am not a huge fan of porters, and 1-2 of these will suffice, it is overall a very good representation of the style. Smooth and well balanced.

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Photo of fretlessman71
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: LOVED the Obsidian Stout… been looking forward to trying this one for a looong time.

APPEARANCE: Color of dark root beer. Dense off-white head, medium bubbles, some decent lacing.

AROMA: Cocoa and sweet coffee – had to take a second look and make sure I wasn’t smelling a chocolate cake! Light roasted character, pleasant, not overbearing. Not much in the way of hops.

FLAVOR: Oh, THERE the hops are! (Guess they heard me in the last paragraph…) Nice even semi-citrusy bitterness to even out the sweetness of the malt. Dark chocolate and black malt in the flavor, giving way to a rather dry finish. One of the few beers that has smelled sweeter than it tasted.

MOUTHFEEL: Pretty big in the mouth; good carbonation. Medium weight.

DRINKABILITY: Goes down as easy as you could want. 5.2% ABV is anything but multi-beer prohibitive.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Certainly brewed to style, and of the highest quality, if maybe a little lacking in the WOW category. If you showed up at my door with a 6er, I think I’d let you in.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a black color with a quickly fading tan head. Slight aroma of chocolate malts. Light to medium bodied and softly carbonated. Taste is nutty with roasted malts. Finishes mildly bitter.
Mildly flavored, this would be a good brew to introduce someone to the porter and stout styles.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let this one warm up as the real treasures arise when the temp goes out of the icebox. Opaque black with a purty head this is a nice roasty nose. The porter is not really thick or huge but rather for the alcohol it taste just right. Hints of caramel and coffee mix with the smooth finish. A good session porter.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Deep, opaque brown in color with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades in a few minutes.

Smell: Roasty, coffee aroma, yum.

Taste: Very flavorful. A nice roasted malt flavor that dominates the taste with a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Good. Just what you'd expect from the style. Not too light, not overwhelming.

Drinkability: Very good. I could see sipping a few of these on a cold afternoon. For the warmer months, this would be a good beer to have in place of coffee with dessert.


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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,337 ratings