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Black Butte XXVI - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXVIBlack Butte XXVI

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

327 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 29
Gots: 199 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: dwagner003 on 06-05-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

In twenty-six years of playing with porter, imagination and creativity run amuck as elements of pomegranate and cranberry add tangy balance and curriosity to its imperial toasted taste.

Just off of black, its onyx austere is capped with a whipped mocha froth that sturdily holds onto the snifter during the patient session. With strong coffee, chocolate and burnt toast hovering above, the tangy berry-like scent is highlighted by the tingle of booze.

Its full and deeply penetrating taste is of wonderfully burnt sugars, leading with molasses, cocoa and latte. With earthen elements of coffee, soil, smoldering embers and burnt bread seeping into the mouth; the brilliant vibrancy of cranberry, pomegranate and seemingly cherry bounce off the tongue with its acidic balance.

Bittered with earthy coffee and campfire, a burnt pinecone taste pulls from the ash and achieves a slight semblance of dryness with spicy curracao liquor and spiced rum to finish and echoes of chocolate covered cherries to return in aftertaste.

BEERchitect, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with that distinctive black wax enclosing the neck and crown. In fact, I'm pretty sure my bottle got a double-dip of wax, as it was quite difficult to remove. Marked with a "best after" date of 6/16/15, but I'll be the judge of that myself, thank you very much. Poured into an 33 oz oversized snifter.

Appearance (4.5) - Pours a dark rich brown-black color that isn't quite as viscous or thick as I would have imagined. When held up to the light, there are hints of cola brown on the edges of the glass, but otherwise, it might as well be as black as the wax on the neck. Atop the body sits a healthy finger and a half head of brown sugar colored foam, frothy in consistency. Retention is moderate, hanging out for a bit before shrinking down to a thick film of bubbles across the surface of the liquid. Lacing is mostly nonexistent.

Smell (4.25) - Really nice aroma, although not quite as intoxicating as I was hoping. It could be a little richer, but at this point I'm nitpicking. The smells of dark roasted malt, baker's chocolate and licorice waft out of the glass at first blush, setting the table with the aromatic profiles that are often part of the base beer. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is more going on here, with light fruit tartness from the cranberries and a slightly richer sweetness from the pomegranate molasses. There is also a vein of vanilla and boozy heat intertwined with the roasted and fruity aromas.

Taste (4.5) - Oh man, what contributed to points of interest in the aroma have become full on features in the taste. The added fruit elements work to kick up the notes of licorice and now seem to bring about the impression of fig and other dark fruits. The cranberry tartness that I detected in the aroma hasn't become a full-fledged tartness in the taste, but much to my enjoyment, it instead adds depth to the roasted notes of bitter chocolate and burnt toast, and blends quite well with the vanilla and oak from the barrel aging. The only complaint I have is that I expected to get a little more bourbon based on the heat I smelled, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a deftly subtle touch with the barrel.

Mouthfeel (4.0) - Here is really the only real issue I have with the beer. The body is moderate to full, when I would have hoped for a full body, especially given the limited barrel contribution to the blend. The carbonation is moderate and spot on, so really I just with there was a bit more meat to the texture.

Overall (4.5), this is another great entry in the Black Butte anniversary series. I'm having a hard time remembering my feelings for XXV when fresh, but this one is certainly close to it's equal. I love the fact that the pomegranate molasses provides a fruity sweetness that seems ideally suited to blend with the roasty flavors of the porter, while the cranberries provide just a bit of brightness as a complement. It was surprisingly easy to down an entire bottle of this myself during the course of a movie. I'll certainly be excited to see how this one drinks once it hits its prime in a year (if I can hold off on opening more between now and then).

LambicPentameter, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of jaymo18
4.2/5  rDev +1%

jaymo18, Today at 08:09 AM
Photo of RobertH50
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

RobertH50, Today at 02:00 AM
Photo of kybeerdrinker
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

kybeerdrinker, Today at 12:43 AM
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

TwelveOunces, Today at 12:31 AM
Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

atrocity, Yesterday at 12:18 PM
Photo of BeerMeBro720
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

BeerMeBro720, Yesterday at 03:17 AM
Photo of hermit990
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

hermit990, Yesterday at 02:52 AM
Photo of R_J_FearNoBeer
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

R_J_FearNoBeer, Tuesday at 12:55 AM
Photo of gangstafaceclay
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

This poured a black with a small tan head and lingering lacing.

The smell up front is coco and cranberries with some hints of vanilla and bourbon.

There's a lot going on in the flavors of this beer..and in a good way. You get chocolate and pomegranate up front followed by hints of sweet vanilla and bourbon and tart cranberries at the end. Alcohol is well hidden. It was different but I really enjoyed it.

The mouth feel is med-full bodied. silky smooth with medium carbonation.

This beer has a great balance of tartness and sweetness to balance this out. Really enjoyed this great robust imperial porter by this great brewery.

gangstafaceclay, Monday at 10:40 PM
Photo of Ncpogs
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Ncpogs, Monday at 07:06 PM
Photo of Bitzer
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%

Bitzer, Monday at 02:26 PM
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

MarkyMOD, Monday at 08:11 AM
Photo of nightshift142
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%

nightshift142, Sunday at 10:21 PM
Photo of DrMindbender
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

DrMindbender, Sunday at 09:30 PM
Photo of KYGunner
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

The nose is exceptionally chocolatey with dry and milk chocolates. Hints of the barrel present light coconut and a sweet vanilla. Caramel, toffee and chocolate malts also hit the nose with a light fruit.

The flavor is chocolate forward with a milk chocolate Hershey's Kiss quality. The barrel blends in a coconut flavor, some vanilla and a bourbon esque taste. All the while there's a tangy fruit center, much like a chocolate covered strawberry. This is dessert in a bottle!

KYGunner, Sunday at 09:21 PM
Photo of denver10
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Pours black with a khaki head. Aroma is roasty, some chocolate, and pomegranate. Flavor starts off with the pomegranate, roastiness, and chocolate, then a touch of bitter earthiness and it closes out with the cranberry. Couldn't find much barrel here. A creamy, medium body. Overall, I have not been much of a fan of either of the Black Butte anniversary beers I have tried and probably won't bother trying a third, unless the recipe is one that appeals more to me. Wouldn't drink this again and do regret that I chose to buy this.

denver10, Sunday at 08:32 PM
Photo of NateSharpless
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

NateSharpless, Sunday at 12:24 AM
Photo of M1A2
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

M1A2, Saturday at 11:19 PM
Photo of srgj88
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

srgj88, Saturday at 11:19 PM
Photo of Tucquan
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%

Had this on 2014-09-13 at The Fridge in Lancaster, PA

Rich dark roast, chocolate, some coffee, alcohol,barrel aged. Thick feel. Fairly bitter finish. Some licorice.

Tucquan, Saturday at 09:47 PM
Photo of musicbeer7
5/5  rDev +20.2%

The most amazing porter I've ever had would buyagain and again

musicbeer7, Saturday at 09:33 PM
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Black Butte XXVI from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.