Black Earth Porter | Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
89 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark and full-bodied, this is our interpretation of the classic English Porter style. Made with nine varieties of malt and assertively hopped, our porter is packed with flavor. Strong coffee and chocolate tones create a special brew for those advancing on the path of fine beer appreciation.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-20-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Ratings: 89 |  Reviews: 38
Photo of expatsteve
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Jet black, with a large 1/2 inch cappucino headhead that lasted halfway into the beer. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Chocolate malts and some espresso notes, with a little lactic sourness as it warms up.

Taste: Definitely a beer to have from the cask. Nice chocolate, toffee and cocoa malts, with a middle palate burst of espresso sours and bitters. Nice roasted malt blasts throughout add highlights without being distracting. A little cream development as it warms, but for the most part a fairly consistent flavor throughout. Nice crisp astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Cask adds a lot of creamy smoothness, which Golden2wenty1 suggested gave the sort of finish that nitro Guinness longs for. Soft cask carbonation, with a crisp coffee finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a solid porter, which will please dark beer fans. More similar in finish to an oatmeal stout than sweeter versions of the style (think Edmund Fitzgerald), but refreshing nonetheless. I'll definitely be drinking a lot more of this while the Dane has it on cask.

 1,048 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick tan head that last and last.

S- The smell of dark roasted malt has notes of earthiness and coffee beans that give it a nice depth and good complexity.

T- This beer has a great dark malt flavor with notes of earth and coffee and a light cream flavor at the dry finish. The taste is crisp and clean with more notes of tobacco and crystal malt as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with an almost slippery texture. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This beer has big complex flavors of malt and they all work together but it is still a wonderful session beer as the palate doesn't get exhausted from the flavors.

 728 characters

Photo of granger10
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pure black color with a cocoa colored head that did not hold up too long. Solid lacing around the glass. Aroma is strong of roasted coffee and smoke. Some bittersweet chocolate underneath. Taste begins with that intense roasted espresso. Charcoal is in there too. Cocoa powder is in there. Slight bourbony kick towards the middle. Nice earthiness in there. Slight vanilla and cherry liquer in the finish. I liked this a lot but maybe it could have had more hops to lend a counterbalance to the other flavors. I'm a sucker for that burnt, smoky flavor though and this has a lot of it.

 583 characters

Photo of battlekow
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came up to Madison to have a going away party for my girlfriend, who is going to the UK for three weeks. I'm going to miss her, but I might miss this beer even more when I go back to Milwaukee. It's a thick, dark brown, as you'd expect from a porter, with a nice tan head and great lacing. Smells roasted and chocolatey and delicious. The taste--wow, this is right up there with the Edmund Fitzgerald. Given that this was on-tap and the Fitz was bottled, I have to think the Fitz gets the edge, but this is close. It's creamy, chocolatey, roasty, and just a hint of a bitter finish. Could be a little more bitter, I suppose, but that's nitpicking. This is a truly great porter, and a great beer period.

 702 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review here and why not start out on top. Had the privelage of enjoying this great beer at the Great Dane Pub this evening with a good 1/2 lb bacon cheeseburger and fries celebrating a 3-month anniversary with the Mrs. (as good an excuse as any to try some good beer I thought). My first trip to the Great Dane was certainly not a disappointment.

As a self-proclaimed new-commer to the world of fine beers, this was also my first porter. It wont be my last...

Appearance: Served in a big nonic pint glass, this porter was jet black with a beautiful 3/4 inch or so tan, creamy head. Looks delicious...

Smell: Chocolate! Roasted coffee. Sweet malts. I'm in heaven. My mouth is watering. Also detected some roasted bitter hoppiness. I wanted to dunk my nose in it it smelled so good. Smells delicious...

Taste: Creamy dark chocolate and coffee. Sweet but not too sweet. Just a hint of bitter to give it bite. Truly amazing. Best truly dark beer I've ever had. Joins brown ales as my favorite genres. As the beer warmed through the course of the meal, the alcohol taste was more pronounced, but nothing overwhelming or off-putting, just more noticeable. Tastes DELICIOUS.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvety, smooth. Heavy-bodied, but still went down easy. Carbonation was light, but just right for the style. Felt delicious.

Drinkabilty: Certainly could have gone for a few more if I hadn't have been so full from the 1/2 lb burger. Saw on the menu that they had a "Mocha Milkshake" that was actually flavored with the beer. Man did I wish I had room for that. Sounded amazing. Overall, I was blown away by this impressive porter and will certainly be back for more. I wish I would have brought a growler of it back home with time for sure. Just an amazing brew. HIGHLY recommended to anyone in the Madtown area who enjoys a good, dark, chocolatey and just downright delicious beer. Wow.

 1,913 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 4-30-05. Arrives in a Great Dane nonic pint a dark black with a big two finger creamy head on top. Awesome lacing sticks all over the side of the A work of art in a glass. Roasty chocolate nose with a hint of lactic milk and just a slight background of coffee. The burnt roastiness and the cholocate here are lush and mouthwaterng. Makes me want to dive right in.

A smooth milk chocolate roasty flavor leads the way with big maltiness and a hint of milkiness and some coffee. The chocolate flavor is rich and tasty without being overpowering. Wow...just an awesome porter here.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with mellow carbonation that goes down like silk. A damn good porter that is phenomenally drinkable. A great session brew hands down..I would have been content drinking these all night. A must try if you stop at the Great Dane.

 858 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled while at the source over the weekend. It came off the hand-pump a nice flat black color with a one finger tan head that stuck around quite a while. The nose was what struck me the most. Lots of creamy chocolate, a hint of lacto, roasted malts. I could easily have sat and smelled this brew all day long. The flavor was just as great. A sweet and creamy lacto blast hit me first, followed by intense dark roasted malts, giving it a very minimal harshness like coffee, but this moved almost like magic to a sweet chocolate finish that lingered and lingered. This may be the best porter I have ever had. What a divine treat. The feel was velvety smooth and thick, letting me know I was drinking a nice brew. This could easily have been an all day beer, but with so many others sitting there waiting to be tasted, I had to move on. This will definately be a staple next time I am in Madison.

 895 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a depp black with abosolutely no light penetration at all. Deep sort of tan and auburn head develops and leads all kinds of spots of lace on the pint.
Aroma has a deep roasted nut noe as well as chocolate and caramel with dextrose and lactic qualities also present.
Flavor has some bitter chocolate and definite roasted nuttiness. Light coffee appears as it warms a bit.
Mouthfeel is sweet, roasted and bitter in that order. Solid transition to each and none dominates the other. Would call it medium-bodied. Not powerful but pleasantly seductive.
Drinkability is very solid. Very mellow for style but smooth and easy drinking.

 638 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque. A semi-circle of bubbly brown head. It fades to a collar quickly. Lacing is minimal. Aromas of cocoa, coffee bean, chocolate and black barley bless my nose. The taste is more of the same. And some lactic sweetness thrown in for a kicker. Nice lingering roasted malt bitterness. And some West Coast hop bitterness as well. The mouthfeel is smooth. Easy drinking. Medium body. I could drink more than one growler of this tasty beverage. But a growler will do.

Thanks for keeping me grounded cokes. Nice porter.

 520 characters

Photo of cretemixer
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Plain brown bottle, no label, "Port" written on cap in magic marker. I was told the brewers from Great Dane had stopped in at my local brewer and dropped these off for them to sample and a couple made their way into my possesion. A quick email to Great Dane confirmed this as their Black Earth Porter.

Appears pitch black in the glass with a dense, caramel colored head. A solid lace is left in its wake.
The aroma is nutty with a creamy, lactic quality. Deep roasted coffee beans and toasted biscuit notes too.
Creamed coffee taste with a solid bitter chocolate character. There's an alcohol warmth that comes across mid-glass. Finishes a bit dry with a lingering hop bitterness.
A well done porter with a medium body and soft carbonation. I hope this bottling experiment pays off and becomes part of their lineup. Worth seeking out.

 840 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It wasn't on their list of current cask beers, but to my enjoyment I was served this deep brown almost black hand pulled brew. She brang it over and it was still cascading. At this point I was really anticipating this one. It has a deep roast and coffee aroma, with hints of chocolate. The flavor is roasty and coffee-like with a roasty bitterness in the finish. It was very easy drinking for a full-bodied brew. I just loved this one. I will definitely have to return to try this one again.

 491 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, blackish at spots, ruby highlights around the edges. Long lasting creamy, pocked, brunette head, loads of lace too. Gentle nose yet aromatic… mild coffee/espresso upfront with hints of toasty malt for support. Lovely palate, softly bitter like sweetened coffee mixed with a light espresso; then add in some toasty notes for complexity. Awfully enjoyable. Light body for the style, somewhat thin. With more bulk in the body this brew would be a knockout but, as is, I’d gladly recommended it.

 510 characters

Photo of cokes
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark mahogany brown, about two shades away from black. Milky beige foam clings all the way to the bottom.
Roasty malty aroma with strong notes of both chocolate and coffee. Sweetness lurks below.
Taste starts strongly and bitterly roasted. Big expresso and baker's chocolate. Then some dark fruit sweetness begins to squeeze through the cracks. Raisin, faint carmel, and some vinous qualities. Sort of like a Baltic Porter light. Stays heavily roasted throughout, hops are barely a factor, but anchor the finish appropriately.
Smooth and velvety in the mouth, but definately on the thin side. On the thin side of medium -bodied. A little more heft and this would be classic.
Hugely drinkable as it is. A nice session, with plenty of interesting nuances to keep one's attention.

 796 characters

Photo of brakspear
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Wow! Does this porter live up to its name. Its body is pitch black topped by an extremely creamy tan head that absolutely clings to the sides of glass. It looks almost like a glass of Guinness and I wonder if it is nitro-poured or from a real ale beer engine. It is served at cellar temperature so both the aroma and taste are not overwhelmed by the cold. The malt aroma dominates with slight chocolate and roast barley scents. The taste is sweet and full, black patent malt bitterness with chocolate malt faintly in background. Hop bitterness is subdued but balances the malt well. The mouth feel is a bit too light, but overall this is a great session beer and immensely drinkable...pint after pint...after pint.....

 723 characters

firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Black Earth Porter from Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 89 ratings