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Black Butte XX - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXBlack Butte XX

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

350 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 350
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 232
Gots: 33 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Porter brewed with chocolate beans and coffee added with 20% aged in bourbon barrels

Released in June 2008.

(Beer added by: josiahschlender on 05-23-2008)
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Ratings: 350 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of csfcmitchell
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SHerninko
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of MNPikey
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of Humulus85
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of jegross2
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.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of leedorham
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of teddyarrowhead
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of angrybabboon
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

Overall: Butts

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.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
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.

Photo of sloejams
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ehammond1
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2008)

Sour Fest 2012
Bottle Share
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Thanks for the pour!

(Aged for 4 years)

Black and thick body, though without a lot of visible carbonation. A small dark brown head rises initially, but quickly fades away, leaving small dots of stick down the glass.

Mild though pleasant aroma of chocolate and some burnt sugars, along with mild licorice.

The flavor is incredibly smooth and well integrated, with mild roast and bittersweet chocolate making up the majority of the flavors, along with a bit of licorice.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Very nice, though I imagine this is quite mellow now compared to when it was fresh.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

review number 450!

HUGE thanks to duff27 for sharing this long time want with me! Thanks Chris!!!!

poured into tulip glass

reviewed from notes taken on 7/22/12 during a Black Butte Anniversary 3 year vertical. Beers participating are BBXX, BBXXI, and BBXXIII.

Appearance: Black body beer with a light to medium brown head. One solid finger of head from a hard pour that drops to thin cap. Swirling this beer really bring a large head back on the beer. Spotty lace. This dark beer looks awesome!

Smell: Cocoa, molasses, black licorice, and dark fruits. Smells like this beer has some moderate oxidation.

Taste: Black Licorice, molasses and oak notes start off this beer. Brown sugar adds some sweetness in the middle. You can get some oxidized flavors from this beer. Bitter coffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with lite end of moderate carbonation. Slight touch of booze thats mostly warming. This beer drink way below its 11% ABV. Super creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation is just thriving fantastically in this beer thats about 4 years old!

Overall: Wow. This beer is a testament to premium quality of deschutes beers. This beer is old and its still very tasty! The mouthfeel feel is out of this world! The BBXXI was my favorite beer of the 3 Black Butte anniversary beers; its in its prime right now, but the BBXX is not too far behind BBXXI.

Photo of beenitty
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a short dark tan head. Small collar, cap o foam. Spotty lacing left.

Chocolate alcohol, just faint bourbon.

Hint of vanilla, -bal is well intergrates (smooth). Chocolate! Slightly oxidized. Super easy drinking considering 11%abv.

Mid to lower carbonation but still adequate. Full mouthfeel.

Cannot believe the drinkability of XX. If I didn't know better I'd guess at an 8%abv. Thanks for the trade crushedvol!

Photo of skunk242
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of fightingb77
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of zhanson88
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown color, not quite a pitch black. Some hints of ruby around the edges of the glass. About 1/2" of tan head forms that has pretty short retention, and okay lacing.

Smell: Smells very chocolatey. A lot of milk chocolate scents come through in this beer, as well as some black liquorice, oaky notes, and vanilla. Not surprisingly, any trace of bourbon in this is gone, pretty much just leaving the oakiness. After 4 years in the bottle, this seems to have held up pretty nicely. However, I do get a hint of what I would call oxidation in the smell, just a hint of something being off. Does not affect it much overall though.

Taste: Big flavors here. Milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, black liquorice all come through. Nice flavors, and very rich.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is medium-full, leaning towards full, with a very appropriate level of carbonation. Almost a luscious mouthfeel. Overall, I'm extremely glad to have gotten to try this now-semi-rarity. This is a very solid beer, and worth the hype. The time to open it was probably 6 months to a year ago, but it hasn't lost much yet.

Black Butte XX from Deschutes Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.