Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
BA SCORE
4.18/5
Exceptional
6,317 Ratings
Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,732
Reviews:
1,608
Ratings:
6,317
pDev:
10.53%
 
 
Wants:
509
Gots:
1,692
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,317 |  Reviews: 1,608
Photo of Thrasher
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep ruby brown with giant, pillowy head and lots of lace; a very attractive beer. Big sweet malts are the name of the game, with flavors and aromas of caramel, burnt bread, molasses, brown sugar, pumpernickel, gingerbread, and a minty herbal hopness. The finish is decisive and warming. While the beer lacks the roastiness of some porters, it's got a lot of malt flavor in it, and should satisfy those who love amber or old ales. The hops are pretty mild, providing a slight mint quality that offsets the chocolatey malts. While the mouthfeel can at times seem soft and pillowy, like the head, at other times it reveals a certain wateryness. This aids drinkability though. Black Butte remains a beer for all occasions, for good weather or bad. I prefer this store-bought in a bottle as opposed to draft at a bar, but that may be because I can control certain things: temperature, amount of head, etc.

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

Ruby, dark ruby. Tan boil fizzes out with little retention.
I smell burnt timber, dried fruits cooking on a wood-fired stovetop, and cast iron.
Taste smoked peat; cast iron skillet lickin’ good; burnt biscuits over a fire; some old staw. Nice porter brings to mind an image of an old-fashioned road side tavern filled with porters unloading horses, eating bad tavern food, and drinking decent beer. Lots of quaffable qualities to this beer.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.46/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep dark brown body, smallish diminishing dark beige head. Hops are quite subdued in this one. Very malty aroma. Notes of vanilla, roasted barley. Coffee-chocolate flavors. Finish is light, roasty and sweet (lips sticking together after a minute or 2) It’s certainly well focused on malt, but remains a bit chocolatey sweet ultimately. Fairly mild from beginning to the end which is a nice change of pace at times rather than hop bombs, but its character suffers and just leaves the impression of a straightforward well made porter. Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not quite as great as expected, but of course highly drinkable etc.

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Photo of aracauna
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a noisy khaki head that dissipates quickly. The aroma has strong notes of anise and chocolate with just a touch of smoke. The flavor is nicely roasty and slightly smokey (this would go great with grilled steaks or burgers). The body is a bit thin and soda bubbly, but not enough to be irritating.

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Photo of Gump
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Black Butte.
My label has a tan colored background.

Clear dark brown appearance, quickly dissapating head.
Not a flat bitter porter as I would hae expected. This was a zesty porter with good carbonation on my tongue. Great mellow, malty aroma and tastes like milk chocolate.

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

My what a nice porter! This pours a deep dark reddish brown with a light tan head. It's not very carbonated so the head fades quickly, leaving little in the way of lacing or residual head.

The smell is deep and inviting - strong notes of smoky malt with suggestions of molasses, caramel and grain. The taste is very well balanced with a very mild sweetness and a smooth smoky flavor to go along with a soft malt and just a wee bit of hoppiness at the end to dry up the taste. There is a distinct, fine carbonation that leaves a tingle on the tongue - the finish on each sip is exquisite.

I'm certain to look for this porter again - it was very rewarding and a perfect example of the style. One of the things that really impressed me was that Deschutes didn't try to "stout it up" like many porters. You can clearly taste the "old ale" origins and I'd even suggest that this is closer in character to a brown ale than it is to a stout. Excellent on its own, this would also be a great choice for a tasting party to show the evolution of the styles.

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

Black Butte Porter doesn't quite manage black, but it's definitely deep dark brown with a strong ruby influence. Bright sunlight is barely visible on the far side of the pint glass. The dark ecru head is large and has millions (okay hundreds) of boisterous bubbles piled onto its upper surface. Unfortunately, there's a less than hoped for amount of lace.

The primary elements of the nose are roasted malt and dark chocolate. Hops are a distant third; no surprise given the style. Delicious and easy drinking. Black Butte is evidence that good things happen when porters use a sufficient quantity of chocolate malt. The beer is bursting with dark malt, chocolate and (less so) coffee. Classic porter flavors all.

It's both sweet and hoppy, but subtly so. Both contribute without drawing undue attention to themselves. The more I drink it, the more I've come to realize that Deschutes brews good beer. The body is medium for the style and the carbonation is noticeable without being obtrusive.

Black Butte Porter is a fine effort. It isn't what I'd call a big porter, which I generally prefer, but it's a classic, delicious, well-crafted, drinkable one. I'd love to have access to the entire lineup from this excellent PacNW brewery.

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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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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,317 ratings