Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery

1,548 Reviews
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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,548 | Ratings: 6,034
Photo of CMW
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at Pour 24 in Las Vegas.

A - Jet black appearance with medium sized off-white head. The head faded rather quickly and the only thing that was left was a small ring. There was some moderate lacing.

S - Roasted malt, burnt coffee, and choclate.

T - Malt is very heavy upfront and this soon gives way to a toasted nut flavor. The coffee and chocolate flavors come through in the finish but are somewhat muted.

M - Nice and creamy. Just right.

D - This are extremely easy to drink and if I had more time, I would have drank a few more.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my la chouffe tulip..aquired in trade from ottovon..thanks

a-dark garnet/ruby brown color...with 1/2 inch head that lived a short life

s-malty up front with a slightest hint of coffee in there somewhere..

t-smooth malt and coffee flavors..

m-thin to me for a porter but i compare most porters to anchor or founders which to me are the porters of porters...this lacks in the chewy department but it does have nice carbonation..

d-off the charts i could drink this all night....good session beer

overall a nice offering from deschutes..only my second since we dont get it in NC....would like to try more

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Photo of malcontent
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous two full fingers of crema-shaded head with a solid wall of lacing left behind. Nearly opaque ebony body makes for the ideal porter appearance.

Softly roasted nose with just the fainted hop presence on the back end. Nice-smelling but subdued.

Modest roast qualities on the front lead into an oddly sour (in the most pleasant sense) middle, reminiscent of Guinness in a way. Undercurrents of ripe tree fruit and an earthy/semi-sweet finish make for an enjoyable brew.

Not heavy at all with an appropriate level of carbonation. Not the jaw-dropper I'd heard it made out to be, but a thoroughly enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of klewis
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 3/21/09
ABV listed at 5.2%

A: Pours a translucent brown with a moderate frothy head. little lacing.

S: Rich malty smell with aromas of cocoa and cappuccino with a light earthiness.

T: Malt is forward in the profile, yet the taste is nicely balanced. Earthy with a burnt chocolate character. A hint of vanilla.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. A slightly bitter earthiness sticks around on the palate.

D: Tasty and well-crafted. A solid session porter if I've ever met one.

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Photo of gfreed
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Wolfgang Puck's in sunny Las Vegas, NV, with a burger and fries. Very dark with zillions of tiny bubbles rising to a shallow tan head. Aroma of vanilla, marshmallows and charcoal; pleasantly roasted and very inviting. The taste was fantastic: not overly toasted or burned, and the body was surprisingly thin for a porter. In fact, it went down quite well on a hot day. The carbonation is quite present, giving this a lighter feel. An instant favorite, and a nice alternative to traditionally denser porters (which I dearly love).

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this courtesy of Rus - thanks!

Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before receding into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and creamy milk chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it tastes. Roasted malts and chocolate flavors lead things off. The chocolate is the main flavor but does not overpower the flavor profile. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could certainly have a few of these.

Overall this is one of the smoothest Porters I can remember having. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of bbothen
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Sam Adams beer glass.

Pours a deep dark ruby like brown color with a thick, fluffy, * bubbly 2 finger deep off white head. Head aint going anywhere. Leaves lots of sticky lacing & webbing on glass. Looks great.

Aromas of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, nuts, hops, sweet malts.

Smooth chocolate, roasted & toasted malts, coffee, sweet caramel, hop bitterness & some fruitiness. Tasty.

Smooth, medium bodied, nicely carbonated, dry.

Nice sessionable porter. Tasty, nicely proced, nicely made. What else ya want?

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Rus for this tasty porter.

Pours a reddish brown that is quite clear. Smells of yeast, alcohol and roasted malts. First sip is tasty and rather light bodied with raisins, roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee leading the way. Not bad at all. I would like to see more body on this one.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with a fat, creamy 3 finger head. Nice retention and good lacing.

Smells great for a porter, pecan nuttiness and sweet roasty malts dominate while some hints of mild floral hops and caramel make their way to the olfactory receptors as well.

For me, the taste is all about the nutty, roasty sweetness the malts bring to the table. So clean and inviting, I just love their beers. Light bodied for the style, but the flavor and creamy feel of the brew more than make up for it. A fine, fine ale...Im lovin it.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deeo brown with a slight bit of maroon. Not a whole lot of head if any and just a touch of noticeable lacing.

S: Rich malts with slight coffee and chocolate, but those are behind the caramel and roasted malts.

T: This is pretty interesting coming from a pretty basica porter. Nice caramel and roasted malts with a touch of sweetness followed by some coffee and bitter chocolate. There is a slight sour taste and maybe a touch of hops in there as well.

M: I know this seems odd for a porter but kinda refreshing. It's quite light rather than a thick dark porter.

D: This is a great example of a porter. Its balance is perfect and its tastes are easy to distinguish but it seems so complex. I like this one. Give it a go if you can.

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Photo of ryrust5301
2.97/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - A dark blackish brown, though not opaque. Faint glowing light could be seen around the edges, and when held up to light the darkness softened into a lighter shade. Very faint ring of off white foam circled the top. Looks a little light for a porter, but we'll see what shakes loose.

Smell - standard coffee smell seeps through, bitter chocolate adds a little sweetness. All in all, could stand to be a little stronger.

Taste & mouthfeel - Not as thick as I had hoped, and in a way a little bit runny. The feel is way to thin, and doesn't grab hold as it should anywhere in the mouth. Nice coffee note, though not very burnt or bitter enough. Chocolate helps sweeten it up a tad, but there's nothing too exciting here. Almost tastes watery.

Drinkability - This beer gets a very mediocre praise from me. Not what I had hoped for at all, and pretty disappointed. If I ever want a porter, i'm going to the gold standard. Anchor is the best porter you can ever pour into your awaiting pint glass.

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours nearly opaque. Almost black with some dark brown around the edges. A large light tan head forms and gently recedes. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: A rustic and earthy aroma. Hints of bitter chocolate and roasted malt. A light hop twang towards the end.
T: The flavor is very well balanced between roasted malt, slightly bitter chocolate, and coffee. Pretty much what you want in a porter.
M/D: Kind of light in the mouth and maybe a bit to much crispness. Though it drinks very smooth. I would not have a problem making this a session.

This is a very good porter. One of the better American versions I have tried. Recommended.

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Photo of willyumlong
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

actually bought this by accident basically because i thought the label said black butter which sounded interesting but anyways
looks very nice and dark average lacing
smells good maybe a hint of chocolaty malt
tastes great, very balanced flavor with malt and subtle hop tones, extremely pleased by this beer
would love to have this beer in my mouth all day (sounds awkward)
will definately buy more of this, one of my new favorites

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Photo of ThePortlander
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a brown bottle into a stein

A: A very dark brown, almost black with a tan head. The head was about one finger after the pour, shrinking down to a clingy ring around the edge of the glass in about a minute.

S: Rich, sweet, caramelized malts; the smell is quite heavy. Subtle and not so subtle accents of chocolate, coffee, and light hops.

T: The taste opens up rather amazingly, with about three or four distinct stages. At first I was hit with the malt flavor, sweet and toasted. This soon shifted into a silky, almost chocolate taste, with hints of strong coffee. Right before the swallow, I detected a brief twangy, slightly sour phase. The after taste is a brilliant mix of coffee, burnt sugar, drying grain, and warmth.

M: Unlike some Porters, the carbonation in Black Butte keeps it from being too thick.

D: A fine example of the style, and highly recommended. Very quaffable, thanks to the extra bit of carbonation.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Strelnikov - thanks!! Split w/ proteus93, w/ my portion poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, not quite opaque but near opaque due to the hue, with faint ruby and garnet peripheries. The head is foamy, soapy, and has average retention, though the sheen is persistent throughout, as is the bubbly collar. The lacing on the sides of the glass is similarly pleasant, sticky, launching eruptions from the surface of the beer. As it warms, however, the lacing gets runnier, more glittery, and only faint, isolated blobs of it stick to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: A very nice, balanced, "porter"-esque aroma. Hints of bittersweet cocoa intermingle with a sweet coffee presence, not dirty or charred, but nonetheless earthy, lightly roast, very "spring" like. Appropriate for the day upon which I am drinking it.

Taste: Sweeter than the aroma would have let on, and interlaced with sweet, marshmallow-esque notes throughout, heavily roasted. They compliment the chocolate notes well, adding a pleasant, sweet, milky dimension, slightly fudgy. The chocolate intermingles with a few stray nutty notes, giving a definite brownie-like quality. The sweetness also compliment the coffee notes well - which themselves are earthy but slightly green, citrusy, tart, and a little grassy - by adding a nice, creamy presence. The sweetness fades a little as it warms. There's also a few lighter malty notes, stray, glassy toffee and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably well carbonated in a body that's not that thick to begin with, resulting in a very crisp - perhaps too crisp - but still pleasantly even-bodied and smooth brew.

Drinkability: A solid, enjoyable porter, low in abv%, and reasonably sessionable. It's not the most groundbreaking porter, and the coffee notes are a little light and tart for my taste (I prefer my porters a little darker on the roast and sweeter in a different way), but it is a very consistent, pleasant brew. The lightness does actually help it work - despite being a porter - on this warm, 71 degree spring day. Recommended.

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Photo of sholland119
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a medium brown turning to ruby an inch above the bottom of the glass. Nice but I like a bit deeper color. Nice off white had and lacing.

S-Nice roast in the malt, some nice caramel notes, maybe some lactose in there also.

T-Nicely sweet in the front, some milk chocolate and a bit of bitterness at the very end of the finish.

M-Medium bodied, good carbonation, a bit of lingering bitterness.

D-A nice easy drinker. Not the most interesting porter ever but quite tasty.


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Photo of FMetzger
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am going to keep this simple. One of the very best examples of American Porter on the market.
A - Dark, brown highlights. Beautiful head.
S - Rich, Dark, Toasty Chocolatey.
T - Much as it smells. Delicious.
M - Soft and velvety. I love this beer.
D - Not overpowering, and not so rich you can't have another.

I saw in the Locators that people were paying $4 per 12 oz for this. I picked this up at Walgreens (yes, the drug store on Speedway and Country Club) for $9.99 for a 12 pack. And it wasn't mishandled. Unbelievable.

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Photo of Docer
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle - States 5.2% Alc.

- Dark rich complexion.. amber/licorice wherever light can be seen through. Not a huge head.. minimal lacing.. off white.. gray..

- Smell is of deep rich chocolate and caramel malt, soured just right w/ hops.. little coffee..

- Smooth chocolate creme up front, a little sour in the middle, and a hoppy bite in the end... and then a sweet caramel.. many stages in flavor with this... all very good, and all very balanced.

- Not chewy at all, leaves the mouth watering and wanting more.. no dryness.. just fresh water.

- Very drinkable, and a very good porter sessional. Easily one of the easiest to drink that I have had.. perfect carbonation too.

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Photo of MPLS
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A purchase that I brought back from Austin, TX. Absolutely no distribution of this brewery near MN.

A: Pours a very dark brown, maybe getting close to black. 2 cm frothy off white head that settles into heavenly saliva. Carbonation evident, big bubbled lacing.

S: A very distinct porter smell, larger roasted malts, nip of coffee, perhaps a dabble of chocolate.

T: Smooth upfront subtle chocolate sweetness, blast of smoke, very prolonged dry dirt like linger.

M: Light/Medium body with good amount of carbonation, really sharp on the tongue.

D: My first beer from Deschutes, surely not a dissapointment, but it makes me want to rip the wax of the Abyss sitting in my basement. Good looking beer that is not a choir to drink, just not particularly impressed.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 3/22/2009 (bottle BB 04/17/09):

Pours a very dark brown black colored body, with a big frothy tan color head, decent sized bubbles. Roasted coffee aroma, but very light. Some effervescence and clean aromas. An odd kind of fruity scent, not sure what it is. Some smokiness too. Roasted light sweet coffee taste, not too heavy. Some creaminess and a somewhat watery body. Smokey flavor. Satisfying.

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Photo of sevopie
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark earthy brown, with the slightest ruby hints. Light brown head, laces sporadically.

Smell - Very roasty, chocolaty, nutty. There's even a touch of vanilla, but I'm finding it hard to decipher any hops.

Taste - Malt explosion again, with roasted coffee and a heavy cocoa presence. The hops do come out a little in the taste, but only mildly on the finish - and serve to accent the cocoa flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light body with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability - I like Black Butte, but I don't love it. The roastiness is a little overwhelming, but it still sits decently well. I would have loved to have seen a bit more thickness in the body, but its not overly thin. I certainly have no problems drinking a Black Butte, but there's still a couple Porters I prefer.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired through trade with xpimptasticx, thanks a bunch.

A- Deep rich brown with light brown head that kept a ring around pint until finished

S- Roasted chocolate malts, faint hops and pinch of clove

T- Nice session beer, no discernable alcohol taste. Nice malty flavor with a hint of vanilla.

M- Hearty for %5.2. Slight amount of grit which could've been due to my shitty pour, chunks of dead yeast in glass

D- Excellent drinkability, great taste and low ABV.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a large creamy head that's light brown in color while the body is dark brown with a teeny weenie tinge of red. Dances well as you pour, with significant carbonation and a very large whoosh! Ring around the lacing as the head dissipates. Very pleasing to the eye.

Hard to pin down the smell, but the aromas are yeasty, with slight hints of fruit. Not too intense though. Tastes of carob and cocoa (yes, there is a difference), with a good blend of more traditional beer flavors (almost a slight lager quality) and the aforementioned. Not a lot of oomph, but I wouldn't expect the punch in the mouth from a porter that I expect from a stout, Dubbel, or even some dark browns (e.g., Dogfish Head's Santo Palo Marron). That may change, however, with more porters in the future.

This is smooth yet full, not extremely flavorful, but everything - the visuals, the aromas, and the flavors - balance out well. A good beer to introduce your macro-lager-drinking cousin/buddy to who just isn't ready for the immensely chocolaty/coffee flavors of an Imperial Russian stout or even the smokiness of an Alaskan Brewing Co. smoked porter.

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Photo of natasharai
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with 1 finger of smooth tan head that dissipated to a thin layer over a few minutes leaving some lacing. The beer is a dark reddish brown color when help up to the light.

Smell: Roasty, chocolate coffee, sweet malt. On the lighter side.

Taste: Starts out with a sweet malt, then a small hop presence, moving to a roasted coffee chocolate flavor, becoming more sweet with a plum note, and finishing off with roasted marshmallow.

Mouthfeel: medium/light body, slightly creamy, good amount of carbonation, leaves mouth sweet.

Overall: Very drinkable, the flavors are smoothly blended together. Not too filling, a great go to porter, if only it was more accessible to me.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to breity for this extra toss-in in a recent trade!

Pours a deep dirty black with a good-sized tan head on top. Retention is fair. Leaves decent enough lacing rings. They're there, but not that sticky. Smells of milk chocolate that is heavily roasted. Great slight burnt edge on the nose.

This is not over the top on flavor, but it's good no-less. I can sense the roastiness in the mouth, but it is muted a bit. Some crisp dark chocolate flavor, finishes with a creamy milkiness. Well done. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth. Decent carbonation. Excellent drinkability. This is one of the best porters I've had the pleasure to enjoy. I could have a few of these for sure. Not too heavy, not too thin. Perfect.

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Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,034 ratings.
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