Black Butte XX - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Reviewing a vertical of Black Butte XX, Black Butte XXI, Black Butte XXIII and Black Butte XXIV from the Deschutes Brewery from Bend, Oregon to commemorate my 400th written review (per BeerAdvocate)! A major thanks and shout out to Edgar Chavez for making this vertical tasting possible. Each vintage of the Barrel Aged Black Butte release is a different formulation.
Black Butte XX is Deschutes' Black Butte porter brewed with chocolate beans and coffee added with 20% aged in bourbon barrel.
Black Butte XX Score: 90
2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 vintage bottles served side-by-side and enjoyed on 02/10/13 with a few friends.
Appearance: The appearance is strikingly similar on all vintages -- this brew is similar to a dark molasses in appearance/color. The XXIII pour is a little lighter, faintly orange-ish in color in comparison to the other three. Each vintage pours a thin layer of light mocha head that settles to a ring around the glass on all of them. Average lacing and retention using the worst glassware possible. 4/5
Smell: Fruity oxidation and chocolate. I get a faint smokey malt character in the nose that is similar to, but in lesser quantum than, the XXI vintage. 4/5
Taste: Fruity oxidation and chocolate. This vintage has the least amount of dark fruit presence. It is also the least complex vintage. Nonetheless, it drinks pleasantly. 4/5
Mouthfeel: Each of the vintages' mouthfeels are a little heavier than medium bodied, but far from full bodied (and not quite medium-full bodied either). Low carbonation as well. Each of the vintages has a real nice, drinkable balance (none is too sweet or acidic (well the XXI has a little acidity, but in a good way) or whatever). Oily slick feel on the tongue. Only the freshest vintage (XIV) has a little "alcohol heat" to it. 4/5
Overall: I feel like verticals are often "reserved" for rarer and bigger beers like Dark Lord and Bourbon County (Brand) Stout, or even barleywines dating back to the 90's (i.e., Bigfoot), but this was a really fun vertical to do. Nothing was really can't miss here, but nothing had "fallen off," and nothing here was undrinkable by any stretch of the imagination. My favorite vintage in the end was the XXI, but each vintage struck me in a unique way at different points in the vertical as it warmed up. Cold, the XX and XXIII were my favorite.
Cost: $12.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle that can cost as much as $19.99.
Serving type: bottle
02-11-2013 05:31:01 | More by jegross2
4.15/5 rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this
Appearance: Yup, it's black - dark, with some dark brown around the edges - light brown head - impressive retention especially considering this beer's age - nice ring, nice dots of lacing
Smell: Very interesting - lots of chocolate, including chocolate malts, dark chocolate, and some milk chocolate - coffee, nicely roasty - rich caramel and molasses - some bourbon and wood, but not overwhelming - nicely balanced and rich
Taste: Chocolate, coffee, and some deep, sweet notes - dark chocolate, cocoa, and some milk chocolate - caramelized sugar, molasses, and caramel - coffee, roasty, very lightly burnt - some vanilla and bourbon - a nice use of whiskey, adds just a background flavor, does not dominate - wood - no hops remaining at this age
Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium, lightly oily, adequate carbonation, great to sip
Sorry, but this is something beyond a porter. It's so rich, chocolatey, and ridiculous. It's not mind-blowing, but it's a fantastic sipper. It's aged very well, and I'm glad I had a chance to try it.
Serving type: bottle
11-10-2012 03:19:27 | More by angrybabboon
4.08/5 rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Thanks to t0rino for the bottle. Split the bottle with angrybabboon.
Appearance: Incredibly dark brown. Pours nice and smooth with some light carbonation. Small tan head is loose and bubbly. Slightly creamy. Drops to a small spotty cap with some collar. Specks of lacing.
Smell: Loaded with chocolate. Cake and sweet fudge. Nice layers if bourbon bringing a smooth vanilla and oak to the front. So much vanilla and chocolate. Some old coffee. Roasted and sweet. Some oxidation adds some sherry notes. Cocoa, baker's chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips. Sweet bourbon. Licorice root
Taste: More oxidation than the nose indicates. Sherry and leather. Bitter baker's chocolate and coffee beans. Some nice vanilla sweetness. Roasted. Dark chocolate cake. Cocoa. Some oak and backing burnt edges. Sharp bite of alcohol. So much chocolate of any and all varieties. Fudge and cake batter. Bourbon, but it's well balanced in the back. Some acrid edges.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich. Body leans toward full. Minimum carbonation. Clean.
Overall: A monstrous porter.
Depth, complexity, and huge flavor. This is a burly porter with a ton of flavor. Fresh this must have been intense, aged it's a smooth sipper. Delightful.
Serving type: bottle
11-10-2012 03:14:51 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Black Butte XX from Deschutes Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.