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Black Butte XXVI - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXVIBlack Butte XXVI

Educational use only; do not reuse.

774 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 774
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 63
Gots: 501 | FT: 65
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 06-05-2014

Our 26th anniversary Imperial Porter was aged in bourbon barrels (50% for 6 months) and dry spiced with Theo Chocolate's cocoa nibs, revealing hints of vanilla and chocolate. Pomegranate molasses and Oregon cranberries complement the robust flavor with a hint of fruit and just enough tart to make you smile.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 774 | Reviews: 107
Photo of WineGuy3000
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quick review. Tons of dense, deep flavors that balance perfectly with some of the sweeter elements that this brew brings to the table. For me, this is THE dessert beer. Every aspect is so carefully crafted & well-defined that I really have to see this brew as a work of art.

Photo of martyl1000
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Blue Moon for MCBW, which has been the best event of the week, by far, I might add. Good work, Blue Moon!

Am I lucky, or what? Never thought I'd ever cross paths with this legendary brew. And there's hardly anyone in here, so I don't have to worry about any of them selling out.

I'm having this next to KBS and The Abyss. (OMG, did I really just write that? Pinch me!) And I like this 2nd best, after The Abyss.

The flavor in the mouth makes me completely rethink my aversion to wine-barrel-aged and fruit-stouts. Really, really amazing.

(I'm actually surprised by how less blown away I am by the KBS, this time around.)

And can I mention again what an insane lineup this is here at the Blue Moon, today?!

Photo of SundayLobotmist
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very unique taste, slightly tart from the added fruit, not overly bourbon, Semi sweet with a dry finish making you want to go for more. Had to knock down the look rating due to the sediment, I find that to be a slight turn off. Overall I'd probably buy again

Photo of Mattygross44
3.47/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Meeeeeh to sweet of a finish which kills the whole purpose of aging it in borbon barrels to get that boozy bourbon taste. Will not buy again

Photo of tprinzing
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had three of these now. It pours black a night in ordinary light. Hold up to the sun and it berry hue and chocolate nibs are visible. I like fruit and chocolate, and this beer really appeals to my taste. All three were consumed before the "best after" date because I couldn't even let it age for a year. It has a slight bitter finish in its current premature state. It is so good before properly aging though, that I'm sure that a bunch of the 10 I have left won't make it to proper aging.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, 3/20/15

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this for a blind review

A: Deep, dark brown, with some garnet highlights - light tan head, retains a small cap, leaves a few streaks of lacing

S: Sweet, with some odd flavors (odd flavors identified after the reveal of what this beer was) - lightly burnt, with lots of chocolate - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, cocoa - lightly burnt with some coffee-like aromas - candy-like sweetness, Tootsie Rolls, caramel, coffee, and a ton of molasses - dark fruits and weird lighter fruit (pomegranate and cranberries) with a tart, vaguely lactic aroma

T: Chocolate, caramel, molasses, and fruit - lightly burnt with lots of chocolate - dark chocolate and cocoa - some coffee notes - sweet and decidedly candy-like at times, with caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and straight-up sugar - tons of dark fruits - some lighter fruits and some tartness from the pomegranate and cranberries - finishes sticky with some residual sugars

M: On the full side of medium, smooth but sugary and kind of sticky - nice carbonation, but somewhat of an odd aftertaste

O: An imperial caramel and molasses ale... with fruit

This was somewhat odd, but it was not odd in a particularly charming way. I could not figure out what the weird fruit aromas were, while I was drinking this blind, and in retrospect I am not sad I failed to guess cranberry and pomegranate - because that is just an odd combination. I found the fruit tart to not blend particularly well with the sweet chocolate notes. But I guess this was an interesting experiment.

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as night, with a hefty light brown head that eventually faded to wisps.

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, a little ethanol.

Taste: Very rich chocolate up front, into a sweet malt backbone, very little bitterness, some booze at the end, although not as much as I was expecting at 10+ % ABV.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, very thick.

Overall: Excellent imperial porter (not that I've ever had any others). Chocolate is up front, but not overpowering. Definitely a sipper - it took me about 30 minutes to go through 8 oz.

Photo of hardy008
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with a two finger khaki head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has chocolate, cocoa, dark roasted malt, Bourbon, and vanilla.

Has a sweet falvor, which is balance by some bitterness, and a little tartness. There is chocolate, cocoa, dark roasted malt, Bourbon, vanilla, cranberries, and I can taste the pomegranate molasses too. The cranberry and pomegranate molasses tastes are both subtle, which I appreciate.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Leaves a lightly sticky feeling in the mouth. The alcohol is well hidden for a 10.8 % abv beer. Glad I had a chance to try this, and that I picked up some extra bottles as well.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.74/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: A deep dark brown that wants to be black but never makes it. Head is a straight khaki. Loose bubble structure with minimal retention. Leaves a small collar with wisps of a cap. Tiny splotches of lacing. Slightly creamy pour with minimal carbonation.

Smell: Dark fruit. Loaded with plum. Some raisin and fig as well. Some toffee and molasses. Malty. Brown bread covered with some kind of fruit spread. A touch earthy. Alcohol as well. Sweet. Runs the gamut of caramelized sugars. Caramel, toffee, and lots of it. Building raisin sweetness. Some spicy esters. Raisin cake. Sweet and boozy.

Taste: Crazy sweet. Deeply cooked and caramelized sugars. Toffee pushes hard before giving way to a dark slightly brint caramel. Raisin and plum in abundance with some fig thrown in for good measure. Something almost woody. A touch of earth. Oxidized. Deeply metallic. Some dark chocolate is in there but it's hard to find over the crazy sweet malt backbone. Deeply bready. Brown bread. Burnt bread crust. Deep hits of molasses and char.

Mouthfeel: Medium almost full body with a touch of creaminess. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Why would you do this to bread?

Photo of mverity
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, rich chocolatey brown with similar colored head that faded almost immediately. No collar or wisps or lacing but good legs. Aroma is big on the chocolate, deeply roasted malt, molasses, and earthy from the barrels. Taste is chocolate up front, tart pomegranate and a deep wet earthy malt base. Great full body and clings the the sides of your mouth and tongue and very low carbonation.

Photo of robert2189
2.56/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Taste was everywhere not sure about this one

Photo of RyanStelzner
3.46/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Great if you like the taste is watered down molasses

Photo of Chris33
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on draft at a local bar. Big head, good taste. Little boozy but seemed aged well compared to the Abyss I tried before purchasing this off draft.

Photo of BrewUSA
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 19/20

Overall 92/100

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station.

Black with a thin, beige head. The nose is intriguing. Initially cloying but the pomegranate molasses is an inspired addition. Mild bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, caramel and dark maple syrup are present. Nice, though seriously lacking in roast.

The palate opens sweet with honey, syrup cocoa and followed with pomegranate acidity, fruity, bright yet brooding. Cranberry flavor is mild, adding acidity and the intense sweetness does hide the flavor along with the Oregon provenance. Bourbon character is present as a mild vanilla character. Flabby on the mid palate with honey and sweetness, mildly oily. Full in body and mildly carbonated, this beer has a mildly boozy finish. Tannins are mild. Exciting but flawed at the same time.

Photo of lemmy187
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank fresh....fruit elements became too prominent as beer warmed....going to revisit after a year of age.

Photo of cubs943
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really liked this beer.

Photo of Norvelljeff
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L- A very deep brown semi-opaque that has tints of red color.

S-Vague smell of dark red fruit mixed with some hints of roast.

T-A bit juicy, fruity taste after. Front end is also a bit fruity. All around hints of dark red fruit.

F-Nothing stays long enough to write about.

O-This is a delicious desert beer with heavy fruit body. Would buy again just for after dinner.

Photo of greengumby
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Initially looks delicious. It pours thick and dark, but once the beer settles, it is clear that there are large chunks of sediment. The head is, however impressive. It rises after the pour and is thick, fine, and a reddish brown.

The smell is indicative of the taste, which is helpful, but not necessarily good. Once in a glass, the beer has notes of molasses and dark cherry.

The taste starts of pleasantly soft and a touch bitter, but quickly becomes sweet. You begin to taste the cranberry that the label notes, but then the flavor of the cocoa nibs mixes in and there is an unpleasant almost blue cheese taste.

Each sip has a pleasant mouthfeel, and is surprisingly light given the flavor.

I do not think that I would buy it again, but that may be more a reflection on my own tastes than the quality of the beer itself.

Photo of jzlyo
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is chocolate, mocha, earth and dark malts. The flavor is dark malts, chocolate/cocoa, raspberries, mocha/coffee and a long and very acidic/tart finish.

Photo of stakem
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at hunger and thirst, Lancaster, PA. Served in a snifter, the brew appears black in color with a khaki head that rests atop with adequate retaining power. As the cap fades, it leaves patchy lace.

The smell contains plenty of chocolate blending to oak which is mostly raw and woody feeling with some vanilla and dark fruited aspects. The taste is pleasantly woody with some fruitiness almost like currant or raisons. The aftertaste boasts vanilla and caramel.

Im familiar with the past several years of the black butte reserve line and know that each year they do something a little different. While drinking this you could certainly tell there was a fruit addition to it. To only be reading it now, after the fact, makes a lot of sense. A nice one off that is worth trying if you get the chance (especially if its $6 a snifter on tap verse the typical $20 pricetag the bombers cost.)

Photo of soupyman10
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks perfect. Deep brown, almost black, with some amber highlights and a nice thin head with excellent lacing. Nose is surprisingly subtle, sweet caramel, roastiness, some coffee. Flavor is excellent. Smooth, almost no sign of alcohol besides a little warmth. A nice, full, flavor, for a porter. Sweetness, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, some dried fruit, like prunes or raisins. Really a nice beer - full, delicious, excellent for even a single person to put back. Full body, warming, lovely. Overall a really excellent beer. Not worth the price in DC ($17.50), but would love it if someone else paid!

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Very dark brown, nearly opaque with deep ruby highlights when held to light. Some messy mocha head and lacing. Gorgeous.
smell: Nose is a bit subdued though i confess i haven't let this warm enough out of the fridge. Couldn't wait any longer. Wonderful bourbon vanilla richness. As it warms it gets better and better.
taste: No need to wait for warming here. Just an amazing array of flavors and blended perfectly. Chocolate and vanilla, bourbon, a bit of fruit.
overall: I'm thinking this

Photo of wattoclone
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black brown with moderate head which persists. Pleasant fruity, chocolate aroma. Taste is sweet chocolate with a fruity midrange followed by a roasted malt finish. Very complex and enjoyable. The high ABV was not evident but clearly puts this brew in the Imperial Porter style.

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with khaki colored head. Slight bourbon (pretty weak), dark fruits, a hint of cocoa, and some spice on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with bourbon, dark fruits, and a little anise.

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Black Butte XXVI from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 774 ratings.