Deschutes Black Butte Porter

Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR

Style: American Porter / Robust Porter

Stats: 5.2% ABV / 30 IBU’s

Availability (according to California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Japan.

Sample Type: Pint glass, poured from a 22 ounce bottle.

Deschutes is in Minnesota! I’ve known for a couple months that I’d soon be able to find Deschutes beers here, and my excitement peaked when I found out through that one of the introductory beers would be Black Butte Porter.

Black Butte (the beer, not the mountain whence it draws its name) is an old beer-friend of mine, and has long been my favorite porter. During my years of living in the Pacific Northwest, this was the closest I had to a regular beer – meaning that every fourth or fifth six-pack I bought was most likely Black Butte. I would not call Black Butte a benchmark for other US porters, because I feel it’s too good to be the “standard.” Instead, Black Butte blends porter’s working-class origins and a delicious elegance that I wish more porters in this country would aspire to.

This is not meant to disparage Black Butte’s brother and sister porters; after all, were I forced to name a favorite beer style, it would be porter. However, I’ve had my share of porters that are simply a stout made scrawny by using less crystal malt and roasted barley, leaving me with little more than the memory of a thin, slowly-dissipating sensation of charred chocolate.

Okay… time to step off of the soap box, and on to the review:

As soon as I open the bottle, delicious smells of coffee, chocolate, and caramel waft into the room.

A vigorous pour results in a creamy, one-finger head consisting of large loose bubbles. Over the next two minutes, the head diminishes to a thick layer of foam atop the beer. The beer itself is black; dark and thick enough to compete with any stout for color. Held up to the light, I observe scant brown highlights along the curve of the glass.

The aroma in the glass is more of everything that I smelled upon popping the top: coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel, with a very light smoky character developing over time.

The flavors largely reflect the smells. This is an artful blend of coffee, chocolate and caramel, with some nice toffee and bready notes. A respectable bitterness balances the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel, and then the beer finishes in a slightly roasted flourish and a tease of grassy hops.

There is ample body here to accompany the well-rounded flavors, and a healthy dose of carbonation. As the beer warms and the carbonation escapes, the mouthfeel develops a vinous quality.

If you are a lover of dark beers and would like a sessionable-yet-delicious alternative to all those tasty imperial porters that are all the rage right now, it would certainly behoove you to try Black Butte – you won’t be disappointed!

BeerAdvocate reviews of Black Butte Porter

ratebeer reviews of Black Butte Porter

Lift Bridge Crosscut Pale Ale

Lift Bridge Crosscut Pale Ale

Sampled in a pint glass, on tap at Common Roots

The beer pours an orange copper with minimal head that collapsed instantly into a white collar and a thick haze on top. No lacing.

Smells yeasty, with just a hint of caramel, and a faint metallic note.

Caramel sweetness up front, followed closely by citrus notes and a light acidity. Citrus blends well with the hops, which lend something a little more than a balancing bitterness.

Moderate carbonation and light to medium body.

All in all a pretty simple but drinkable beer. Definitely sessionable, and probably a good candidate if you need something cool & refreshing after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day.

Read Beeradvocate reviews of this beer.

The Beerophilia Rating System

Your enjoyment of a particular beer is subjective and depends on your overall likes &amp; dislikes, flavor preferences, and even your mood at the time you taste the beer. Beerophilia’s ratings endeavor to reflect the subjective nature of beer sampling. Here’s a key to our ratings, in case you need help relating to them.<i>

<i>Love at First Sip!</i> — Self explanatory, much?
<i>Solid </i>– A good beer, recommended for your enjoyment.
<i>Okay </i>– Average; an acceptable choice if your other option is Bud or Heinekken.
<i>Not so Hot</i> — Not terrible, but may be a little defective.
<i>May not be Worth the Packaging it Came in</i> — If you don’t bother with this beer, it won’t bother you.
<i>Why the Feck Did I Buy This?</i> — Don’t do this to your taste buds under any circumstances.

<i>Growing on Me</i> — Liking it more and more over time… a measure of appreciation, NOT intoxication!
<i>Getting Over it</i> — I liked it at first, but the honeymoon is over.
<i>Plug Your Nose &amp; Go for it!</i> — For those who like funk in their beer.