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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)
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 350 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffo
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this from hotpipes many moons ago. Very happy to have had the chance to try this brew man. We drank this right after the XXIII, which was brewed in 2011. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Note: Brewed in 2008

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, tan head with decent retention. Slightly crackly, noisy head as well. Transparent sienna brown body, almost black, with higher levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp remains and leaves splotches of lacing down the glass. Virtually the same as the XXIII.

SMELL: Dark malts, chocolate notes and still some very nice coffee aromas there as well. Has held up nicely. Light bourbon and vanilla notes, but they are quite faint at this point. Still, very well integrated and smells enticing.

TASTE: Dark malts, roasted malts, chocolate, and lots of coffee through the middle into the finish. Great stuff, even after all this time. A big, bold and lingering aftertaste of roasted and chocolate malts, and lots of coffee bitterness on the palate. Light bourbon notes with some sweet vanilla cream linger as well, but the barrel is relatively mild and in the background. Still, at this point, it is very well balanced and flavorful.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers on the palate.

OVERALL: This beer has held up extremely well. Oddly enough, it is the bourbon barrel flavors that have perhaps started to fade at this point, but the coffee element is still holding up strong. Very glad to have had the chance to try this one, and it was fun to drink it alongside the XXIII as well. If you’re lucky enough to get a shot at this one, don’t turn it down. Thanks again for the shot at this hotpipes. Good stuff.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle 11,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.

I cannot thank futura123 enough for sending this bottle my way! Black Butte XX has been near at the top of my wants list for years and was one I thought I would never get the chance to try - thanks again man.

Appearance: Black Butte XX appears pitch black in the glass, with a strong back light revealing wide, deep crimson edges. A rough pour yields a large (much larger than I expected from a four year old bottle), creamy, mocha coloured head that lasts pretty well and even coats the glass in some patchy lace as it recedes.

Smell: Good Lord, this smells amazing! Rich, sweet dark chocolate, cocoa dusted chocolate mouse, cocoa flavoured butter icing, dark toffee, caramel, toasted marshmallow, sweet liqueur cherries, light coffee, light vanilla and a hint of bourbon are just some of the notes that come to mind on each sniff. As the beer approaches room temperature, light salty liquorice and a hint of smoke are also noted.

Taste: As the nose suggested, this is absolutely delicious! The initial flavour is of sweet dark chocolate, cocoa, dark toffee, sweet caramel, sweet dark fruits, liqueur cherries, light bourbon and vanilla. This fades into the most amazing, lightly bitter mochachino finish. As the beer warms, hints of salty liquorice are noted and a distinct oak character become apparent along side the mochachino notes in the finish.

Mouthfeel: This was the one department in which I expected the age of this bottle to be quite evident. Thankfully I could not have been more wrong!
The body is almost full and quite heavy with a moderate (read perfect) amount of soft carbonation.

Overall: I cannot believe how well this beer has held up after almost four years in the bottle, if I did not know better I would not think it was more than 18 months old! I am certainly going to have to make an effort to get at least one bottle of each release!

Photo of xnicknj
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to claspada

Pours a deep black color with some lighter brown tones. The head is pretty much just a flash, dissipating into a little cloudy of film and a few spots of lacing.

Roasty and warm in the nose with some chocolate sweetness. This feels noticeably duller than the XXI and XXIII, which we opened alongside this. Still some nice vanilla and boozy oak though.

The experience was somewhat similar to the nose, as the beer begins roasty and warm with plenty of malt character. The heat has died out almost completely, leaving dark chocolate and bready caramel. Some vanilla and whiskey with a faint notion of coffee beans. Finishes a little warm and roasty on the tongue.

Medium body, decent carbonation, a little listless on the tongue but still fairly creamy and slick. This drank pretty well despite the age but I think it might be fair to say this one's past its prime.

Photo of piclee
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jrae2424
1/5  rDev -76.9%

Photo of JAXSON
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a wispy head. Nose is a pretty richly integrated dark roast and barrel, not overly sugary or fruity, perhaps a touch of umami. Mouth is pretty dry at first, a sharp barrel quality with some dark fruits and anise swirls in. Very nice flavor profile. Body is thin and highly carbonated. First comparison is Birth of Tragedy. This blows away the other Black Butte I've had, can't remember which one.

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of GeezLynn
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle obtained in a trade with JohnGalt1 a few years ago.

Pours out a deep, impenetrable black with a light brown head.

Aroma-wise, charred malt is most apparent along with some woody bourbon and slight smokeyness. I believe that soy sauce as a descriptor is overused, but in this case, it’s very fitting. As it really opens up, the bourbon and alcohol combination gives off sort of a minty aroma.

Flavor is heavy on sweet molasses with a prominent smokeyness, bitter coffee and a bit of chocolate. Bourbon is still noticeable and mouth drying tannins are very apparent in the finish, which includes a slight alcoholic bite. Contrary to expectations based on the label, the bourbon barrel aging is much more apparent than cocoa nibs.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with soft, slow carbonation.

A good beer that’s maintained plenty of complexity over its 4+ years. But not as good as the XIII, in my opinion. The high level of char and bitterness clashed a bit too much with the sweetness for me. Could possibly have been much better when the cocoa was still present. Still glad to have the chance to compare to the more recent versions. Thanks again Toby!

Photo of jp110099
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of poppyjohn
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to dgb3 for the bottle. You are the man!

22oz bottle poured into a Deschutes Snifter glass.

A - Pours a deep dark brown with a half a finger dark tan head. It fades pretty quickly to the edges, but leaves rings of lacing on the glass.

S - Very chocolatey, bourbon, oak, and almost a dark cherry scent.

T - The chocolate hits you first, then some strong coffee, and a nice bourbon finish.

D - Nice carbonation and body. Smooth, with a slight burn at the finish.

O - So nice, I am glad I was able to finally try this one. It really is top notch.

Photo of Stoffel
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Centennial
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of acurtis
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of bespin15
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Kirch
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of brydog22
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into NB snifter. Thanks a ton for sending me this bottle, kingkong!

A: Pours a very very dark brown, almost black, with raisin highlights. A very thin head surfaced then receded into a lasting collar that left spotty lace down the glass.
S: The nose is full of spicy bourbon and vanilla followed by rich dark chocolate and sweet caramel. Not as vibrant as I imagine it once was, but this smells like its aged gracefully.
T: Woodier than the nose suggested, very roasted. Not super sweet at this point. I get flavors of coco nibs, caramel, vanilla and coffee. The coffee is all but faded at this point but it still adds a subtle depth to the flavor. Bourbon brings up the finish and is still lightly warm and lingering. Spice barrel notes come through in the aftertaste as well.
M: Slick and a bit thin on the mouthfeel front. The body is medium-full though and goes down clean.
O: This beer isn’t getting any better but it’s still extremely drinkable. Thanks again for hooking it up Patrick.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mjyoung
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split w/ bbb099 and scottfrie. THANKS!!!

A: The suspense builds, starting with the epic bottle cap. Pours an inky near-black with absolutely no head. Looks flat, but absolutely no light comes through.

S: Chocolate, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, and malt. The malt comes across as a bit subdued, but its very smooth and well-rounded. Only a hint of the booze that had to have been there three years ago. No trace of hops left whatsoever.

T: Chocolate dominates, as the coffee is mild and the bourbon has faded a bit. The booze that didn't come through with the nose hits pretty good here. Smooth, delicious, but as scottfrie says "you can taste the age". This beer has likely sat for a little bit too long, but that's only a minor complaint.

M: Thick and chewy, but not quite as CRAZY thick as I was initially expecting. After thinking about it though, it fits the style well. Definitely not flat as the carb is pretty solid.

O: Deschutes shits gold. I approve. I would have loved to have this beer a year ago, but I'm so thankful to have it now. I approve whole-heartedly.

Photo of TasteTester
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of bbb099
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks scotfrie for this one! Reviewed on 12/16/2011

A - Almost completely black color with wispy and web-like mocha-colored head.

S - Substantial amount of roasted cocoa aroma accompanied by some coffee.

T - Roasted cocoa comes in first followed by some bourbon booziness. A little coffee taste and molasses come through.

M - A little flat, which was expected. Full bodied and relatively creamy, viscous.

O - Probably the best porter I have ever had. Great look, aroma and taste with the addition of high alcohol content.

Photo of Beertracker
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of SpillyBeers
5/5  rDev +15.5%

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