Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte PorterBlack Butte Porter
6,373 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: 6,373 |  Reviews: 1,623
Photo of yemenmocha
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lives up to it's name. Definitely black. Opaque, even in a well lit room. Light tan head retains well.

Aroma is roasty and bready, perhaps brown ale baked beer bread. I detect a hint of marshmallow smores sweetness in the aroma.

On the palate the malt and hops mingle well, neither predominates over the other. Big roasty malt, yes, but a nice hop tang accompanies to remind you this beer does have balance.

Medium to light bodied, not as thick as you might expect from a porter. However, to me this yields a more drinkable porter which can be a virtue to some.

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

Pours a deep brown with some yeast floaties, topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Coffee, floral aroma, a touch of chocolate.
Very robust taste, a bit tingly on the lips, roasty, coffee, chocolate, burnt bread, crystal malt, cracker, a bit acrid.
Medium-full bodied, great drinkability.

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

Black Butte Porter is well black. With a slight hint of a deep ruby color. A thick and creamy tan colored head formed when I poured. It stayed untill the last pull and it laced a fair amount while I enjoyed this tasty brew.
The smell is strong with chocolate malt with some coffee in the background. The aroma is quite pronounced and adds to the drinking experience of this porter.
On first taste it seems a bit rough( I like it) and harsh like I think a porter should be. Lots of chocolate and burnt coffee flavor which lingers in the taste buds. There is also a tart of sourness to the taste which is not unpleasent but to my surprise enjoyable and adds to the complexity and robustness of the flavor. Leaves my mouth watering for more.
Not to thick in the mouthfeel but just enough to be a good finish to a tasting session.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one starts out with a great aroma of dark roasted grains (chocolate and coffee) with a bit of a lactic note, but it doesn't bother me. The color is good: not too dark (like the porter I just homebrewed); dark brown and ruby. The complexity of the malt flavors, bits of chocolate, rich caramel make for a very tasty porter. The hops are in the background with this one, they play a supporting role, making this beer nice and balanced. The body is perfect, not too thin, or too full. There is slight tart character that really makes this porter enjoyable. Too many ales are I try these days are too clean tasting. It's nice to get a little yeast flavor once in awhile, and this beer delivers.

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

Poured a clear, dark burgundy almost black, brew with a inch and a half thick off white head that subsided to a thin film. The aroma is a beautiful balance of sharp black malts that give a burnt coffee impression. The flavor is clean and american in style but the brew pushes the boundaries with a barely perceptible hop bitterness that is immediatly overtaken by the black malt dryness. A smooth carmel malt sweetness balances the astrigency of the black malt but the dominating flavor is the black malt which is there on the inital taste and lingers on the tongue in the finish. I believe this to be an excellent example of a porter and it is one which helped me to formulate my personal definition of the porter style. The mouthfeel is light and smooth due to very little carbonic bite from the bottle conditioning. An excellent session beer this porter has a very enjoyable flavor that would be easy to drink pint after pint.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: darkest brown body with a nice ruby red tones towards the bottom of the glass. It pours initially with a fluffy head but it quickly disolves.

Smell: Smell has chocolate and roasted malts, and a somewhat salty smell too.

Taste: Three part flavor here. Onset is very mild, milky, creamy. Next it becomes sort of tangy (sweet/sour). Then it quicky evens out and kicks in that chocolate malt flavor to the finish.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth beer, but the body lacks the weight that I look for in a porter. The flavor is very good and might be better enjoyed in a fuller bodied beer. On the other hand, a more slender body won't fill you up as quickly, so this may increase the drinkability for some.

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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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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,373 ratings