Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
BA SCORE
4.18/5
Exceptional
6,288 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:
#1,301
Reviews:
1,602
Ratings:
6,288
pDev:
10.53%
Bros Score:
4.67
 
 
Wants:
508
Gots:
1,675
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,288 |  Reviews: 1,602
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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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, this porter exhibited a slightly lighter hue than most other porters I've tried. It had a dark brown color with maroon highlights and a thin light tan head that didn't last very long and left only minimal, spotty lace.
The smell was mainly roasted caramel and chocolate malts with a light burnt edge and hints of cocoa. Just a touch of smokiness noted, also. The taste had a sweet chocolate flavor with a roasted coffee bean note and some good roasted grain flavor. The finish had some mild hops bitterness but the taste was never too acidic or acrid. The feel was medium-bodied, smooth, and dry.
Black Butte Porter is a real tasty offering from Deschutes. Has a great taste, good feel and the 5.5% ABV won't knock you on your can, limiting you to just one. This brew has sparked my interest in other beers by Deschutes, especially their Obsidian Stout.

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Photo of UncleFrank
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

REVISED. When I first reviewed this beer I thought someone poured me the stout, not the porter. As a porter this is very nice. Modified review follows.
A wonderful roasted aroma and grainy malt charecter is very pronounced. Hop aroma is not there at all.
The color is dark with a thin to no head. ( This also could be from my glass.) The taste has layers of roasted grains, a touch of alcohol quickly taken over by black malts and then finishes sweet like chocolate. The astringency of roasted and black is what bitters and balances the brew instead of hops. There is alot going on here.
A great porter that could use a bit more body. The flavor linguires and makes you desire another sip..

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Photo of Gusler
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Release (2003)
Draught @ Papago
As it was “Deschutes Promo Night” at “Papago Brewery”, and even though I had some foot surgery scheduled the next day, there was just “No Way” I would pass up this “Great” opportunity to sample some of the best beers available in these here United States, and trust me I was not disappointed by the fine turn out and the great beer rep from Deschutes, just another class act from a “Classic American Brewery”.

Not your prototypical porter color, a beauteous blackberry color as it set in my “Papago Monk Club Goblet”, the head Bunyanesque in size, creamy in texture, the color a light tan and as the head ever so slowly dissipated, a thick and glutinous sheet of lace formed to meld with the goblet. Lots of malt and a fine hint of toasted grain in the crisp and fresh nose, a treat for this old schnozzle, start sweet, the top middling in its feel. Finish is benignly carbonated, the hops pleasing in their spiciness, dry aftertaste, and a real nice porter that is not overpowering, just plain “Good Drinking”!

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

Appearance – Very dark, almost black body with a nice, big tan head that held nicely and laced the glass.

Smell – Big coffee starts off this nose followed by good toasted malt. There’s also some chocolate, cherries, maple, and molasses.

Taste – This is very smooth. The coffee and milk chocolate blend evenly to form a chocolate latte flavor. The milkiness is huge in this porter. There’s also a very interesting hop balance that makes this beer exceptionally smooth and refreshing.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and very refreshing.

Drinkability – Is there such a thing as a porter session beer? If so, this is it.

Update – I decided to revisit some of the beers that I reviewed in 2003 for 2004 and included this since it is so easy to get around here.

I didn’t find as much complexity in this beer the second time around. And now, after having reviewed 50 or so Porters on the site this one seemed a bit thin and watery for my tastes. I changed some of the scores accordingly and, overall, this one lost 0.3 on its overall score.

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Photo of alexgash
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another very good beer from Bend. Pours a dark cola amber with a dense tan head. Aromas aren't too big, but I can pick out coffee, bittersweet roasted malts, and dark chocolate powder. Taste starts with semi-sweet chocolate malts, followed abruptly by dry, bitter roastiness. Finish is bitter with traces of alcohol. This is a medium bodied beer with a creamy feel.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is not as dark as I prefer a porter, kind of amber, but still very nice brownish head. I'd also prefer a richer tasting beer. This beer is a little thin on mouthfeel and on dark malt flavor. Definately get some chocolate or black patent malt, but more chocolate would help me define it as a real porter.

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Photo of Padron4KM
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color, decent head, moderate lacing. Aroma was sweet, smokey, bready, with a bit of citrus (grapefruit?) and coffee in the background.

This beer got better as it warmed up, started out kind of thin and watery, but as it warmed up it took on a thicker creamier mouth feel with some sweet malt and roasted/burnt coffee flavors (why is it when drinking burnt coffee it's bad, but a burnt coffee flavor in a cigar or a beer is so good?) :-)
slight bitter finish

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

This pours with a nice thick brown head. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, and some dark toffee perhaps. Very smooth tasting with a roast, chocolate malty thickness to it. Tastes lightly sweet with maybe a hint of hoppiness in the flavor. A very clear dark brown color when it is held up to the light, otherwise it is a deep brown, almost black color. A slight bit of acidity from both the carbonation and the dark malts is evident. This beer is definitely predominantly a chocolaty smooth one though.

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

Porter is a style I find hard to mess up. I think it's the most consistently good style of any beer. But there is a clear champion ...

Deschutes Black Butte Porter is the best porter I've had. It is nice and dark, letting just a bit of light through. A tan head and a slight coffee aroma are revealed upon pouring.

But it's the smooth-as-glass taste with just the perfect amounts of bittering from dark malts and hops that makes this beer so good. And it has a wonderful finish that doesn't leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

This beer is a rare treat for a Floridian: I bring a case back now and then from California on the plane.

I recently tried brewing a knockoff. My arrogance! While my porter came out well, it can't hold a candle to the original -- or its dark master, as Kramer would say.

Too bad Deschutes has a small distribution area in the West. This is a beer to spread the gospel about.

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Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color, medium head. Roasted malt aroma, chocolate. A medium to lighter bodied porter. Roasted malts are mild and slightly sweet. Mild hops. Good balance, smooth taste, milder flavor, a touch watery, but still a nice porter. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and sweet. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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

Dark brown color, some light transmission at the bottom of the pint glass. Tannish head that settles into patches and laces in simple dots. Sweetish malt aroma, a bit of dark caramel. Mouthfeel is somewhat active in geater than average carbonation, which is good because I was slightly disappointed by the malts, a little average in a condensed milk kind of way. Reserved bittering hops -- but generally good balance as I don't get a lot of flavor distinction from the overall sweetness. Still, this is definitely a Porter to toss back in quantity...

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of GreenCard
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark mahogany brown with a detectable clarity, nice tannish layer of head (1/2" or so) slowly depletes, a bit bubbly, some lacing on the glass

Aroma: dark and roasty, slightly sweet, some bready caramel, hint of metal (from cap?), chocolate, some fruitiness

Flavor: initial malty sweetness slowly breaks as a smooth hop flavor kicks in, the finishing bitterness is nicely balanced between hops and roasted grains, smooth even flavor, a hint of metallic hops in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy texture, medium body, tight carbonation, a hint of alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: Black Butte was the first Deschutes beer I tried (about two years ago when I visited OR from LA). Since I was living in the Southwest, I was not able to try any more. However, now that I'm in the NW, I'm trying the entire compendium. BBP is a great example of a robust porter: nicely balanced, slightly sweet, great color. Deschutes is a great brewery (though, from what I've heard through the grapevine, the quality may start going down hill) with a solid line of beers. Well worth a try... or many tries.

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

Dark brown to black in color. Light brown head.
Heavily roasted malt dominates the aroma. Some smoke is also noted. Soft hop nose.

Heavily roasted malt with plenty of smoke notes. This could pass for a smoked porter. Slight coffee. Mild hop balance.

Good mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a good porter.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out a nice leathery brown but settles nearly black with a medium height light brown top of creamy, spongy froth, with lots of stringy lace. Smell is quite complex and lovely, rich and lush with roasted black and chocolate malts in front, a bit coffeeish, with notes touching in dark fruits and nuts. Taste is good amounts of roasty/toasty chocolate tones, a bit sweet, a touch dark and rich, excellent calming and smoothness into the finish with an excellent chocolate twingy bittering dryness thats just a touch espesso-like. Feel is a pleasantly welcome thinness at first then begins to get full leading to good amounts of creamyness, nice light bittering dryness in the finish, which is the best part and aspect of this beer, besides the yummy taste. This is one soothingly yummy brew. Excellent stuff. My first from Deschutes and definately not my last.

Big thanks to weefisheads for the bottles.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very slightly cloudy, jet-black forming a yellow tan head with OK retention and lacing. Aroma is rich with dark molasses, roasted nuts, vanilla, fruity and spicy hops, espresso, and unfortunately, acetone. Mouthfeel is slick with medium-thin body and an amazingly clean finish, making it exceptionally easy to drink. Taste begins with burnt, black patent malts with a healthy dose of chocolate malt, followed by a very nicely balanced bitterness, alot of smooth dark tones, and vanilla. It is hard to describe but it ultimately satisfying. Alcohol is moderately perceptable, but is clean and not conspicious.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 21 August 2002. I enjoyed this while visiting Deschutes' brewpub in Bend. This pours black, w/ a great nose of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is crisp & chocolatey; it's kind of smooth. This is a nicely done example of a porter, in my opinion.

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Photo of beerman599
2.53/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer that does not taste like smells. i may have found a bad bottle but..... Appearance: Not much head and it disapered quickly.

Tasteslike it was old and possibly infected . Black Butte is known as a good porter but you would'nt now it from this sample i hope to try this again and have a better experience!

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

My first sample of this wonderful porter was at the Mountain Brewer's Beer Fest in Idaho Falls on June 7th. Out of the 80 beers available, this was definitely in the top 3 of the day. Living in Arizona does not allow me to sample the more obscure (to me) brewery's offerings. Sampled more the next day and was just as impressed as the previous day. Not an outstanding appearance but to smell the roasted malt was wonderful! Not being a huge fan of porter's, this one has definitely shifted me to explore this universe more in the future. This is definitely the best porter I have had!!

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty nearly black in color, with a very thin dark tan top. Aroma is sweet almost entirely sweet malt, with maybe just a hint of cherry-like fruitiness. This beer is silky smooth in the mouth, with a subtle roastiness that pervades from start to finish. I again detect just a slight hint of cherry mid-palate, which compliments nicely the chocolatey malt flavors. Hops are very mild, and just a hint of smokiness makes itself known in the finish. Nice body and some nice complexity here, though one should be aware that this porter is on the sweet side for the style.

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

12 oz brown bottle.
Pours a deep dark dense brown..though in the light it has some ruby red accents..it needed a hard pour to get a small but attractive head.
Didn't pick up much oustanding aroma but burnt malts.
This beer has some tremendous tase sensations from the malts to the hops and everything in between..dark chocolate is prominent.
Feels smooth on the tongue just the correct carbonation.

Not the best porter but very very nice and drinkable to boot!

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Photo of Fabric8r
2.51/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, this was horrible on tap at our local Applebee's. I have had it in bottle and was much better. What happened? Usually bottle is not as good as tap. This beer tasted bland and I could not tell if there was any hops in it at all. Hmmm, bad batch? Too old? Too new? Didn't taste green just really bland.

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

Tasted at the brewery.

To me this is the benchmark US brown porter. While it may not compete with the great British porters, it is none the less the standard by which all US newcomers are judged.
First pour is quite dark, a rich and slightly ruby brown with an excellent tan lace that clings to the glass. The aroma leads with roasted malt and a touch of sweetness. Initial impression on the tongue is one of smoothness. A nice medium bodied but none the less luxurious smoothness followed immediately by a strong and slightly crisp/acid roasted malt flavour, with a solid foundation of hops, dark roast coffee and yeast. Perhaps its best attribute is the aftertaste - a wonderful long slow fade to black of caramel, grain and esthers.

Dramatically better on tap.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,288 ratings