Black Butte XXVI - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXVIBlack Butte XXVI

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631 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 631
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 44
Gots: 349 | FT: 49
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)
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Ratings: 631 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by sweemzander:
Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev -3.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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).

Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

Picked up a bottle because, well, the days of me grabbing all the Black Butte Anni bottles I could find are in the past...though I hope not. Not since the XXIII has one overwhelmed me with the happies. I'm hoping this one does, though the 'cranberries' on the label leaves me less hopeful. 22 oz. black-waxed bottle split with my wife.

Pour is dense black, low carb. Nose doesn't blow at all, rich with chocolate all over the dena. Otherwise, quiet quiet.

Black Butte XXVI doesn't restore the line to its glory, but doesn't Michael Buble' it either. Nice shot of roast, big chocolate notes, with the barrel coming on-line shortly after to add some drying vanilla lumber. Molasses & malty sweetness slips into the mid-palate, then what is - must be, though I can't quite experience taste via The Google, yet - pomegranate. Cranberries are a thankfully distant (& unwelcome) relative. Nice & thick, as always, & there appears to be a hole in my glass.

A very good beer that puts this series back on the right track. But, Deschutes? I've loved a lot of your beers over the years, like, Magic Johnson-level love. So I say this with all due respect: quit putting bloody fucking fruit in Black Butte. Pretty please?

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Bitzer
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of Ben7773
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of seantall
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of freshflesh
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Dbrulet
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of mctizzz
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of SjConroy
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gave this one a blanket 4 when tasted on tap right after release. Revisiting on tap and comparing to 25. The bourbon/alcohol is still pretty hot. Could use a little age but to take off the edge. Similar to last years version, notes of chocolate, sweet ripe fruits on top of a bit of vanilla and a fair amount of bourbon come together in this beer. Given the taste, I'm going to sit on my bottles for at least a year to let the booze subside a bit before cracking.

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MattyG85
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured from a 22 oz. waxed bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottle says best after 06/16/15.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid two fingers of tan head which settle into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A rich, roasty, and sweet dark malt forward aroma with big hints of chocolate, coffee, and fruit. Dark roasted barley malt with upfront hints of dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, dark roast coffee, cream, burnt caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, and yeast. Barrel hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Sweet hints of molasses. Some black licorice hints. Fruit hints of pomegranate and cranberry along with dark fruit hints of cherry, raisin, fig, dates, and prune. Slight hints of citrus as well. Hops are pretty light. A really complex and good aroma.

Taste: Like its smells, a very rich, roasty, and sweet dark malt driven taste with a big presence of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and fruit. Dark roasted barley malt with big upfront notes of dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, dark roast coffee beans, cream, toasted bread, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Sweet taste of molasses and some anise black licorice. Big presence of fruit with some notes of cranberry, pomegranate, and slight citrus along with some dark fruit notes of fig, raisin, dates, dark cherry, and prune. Hops are very light. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very rich, slick, and creamy. Booze heat is fairly smooth considering the ABV.

Overall: Another great imperial version of one of the better Porters out there. Nicely complex and rich mix of dark malt, bourbon, and fruit notes.

Photo of musicbeer7
5/5  rDev +20.5%

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

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Black Butte XXVI from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 631 ratings.