Beer of the Week: Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter

Owen Smith

Features Editor

In honor of Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to try a beer boasting a chocolate flavor. While this encourages the materialism and pettiness associated with Valentine’s Day, I’m not afraid to drink the flavor that the television tells me my woman will love. Plus, if my Valentine’s evening doesn’t work out like I’d dreamed, at least it’s 5.2%.

When I first opened the brew, I immediately smelled a distinct, dark coffee smell. It really reminded me of the classic stout, Guinness, which is what I expected to taste before the first sip. It had a noticably less powerful taste than Guinness. While it has that similar dark, yeasty and full bodied flavor that comes with a stout, this was a porter, and thus is not meant to pack the same punch as its kin.

Let me make a suggestion: snack on a morsel of milk chocolate and take a swig of Black Butte Porter. The taste will change your life. Hopefully not to the level of dependency, but somewhere in between indifference and addiction. Whether you drink it in front of a roaring fire placing chocolates into your honey’s mouth or sneaking sips in a halfway house, this will really bring out the chocolate flavor in the beer.

The color is a beautiful dark brown, similar to brownie batter. Coincidentally, brownies would be amazing with this stuff. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it is a dessert beer because it really doesn’t feel that heavy. Don’t let the porter label scare you: this beer is drinkable. Of course it’s heavier than natty light, but I can easily face a six pack of this stuff without my stomach bursting apart.

The chocolate flavor jumped out at me me, but the hints of coffee cannot be ignored. The description “notes of rich coffee and chocolate, a luscious creaminess and roasted finish,” really does the beer justice. While ‘luscious’ is a bit too superfluous of a word for me to use to describe beer, I like where the brewers’ heads are at. Overall, I give Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter 4 out of 5 stars, and deem it a great bet for that Feb. 14 evening with your special someone, or the internet.