Black Butte XXI - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 546 | Reviews: 373 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThreeWiseMen:
4.83/5 rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Two separate reviews are included below: the first by Wiseman Nick on April 17, 2010; the second by Wiseman Justin on February 24, 2010. Overall scores are averaged.
Sampled this last night at a BA gathering. The following review is based on notes taken at that time.
Poured into a snifter.
Appearance: A short, foamy, light brown, cap sits atop a pitch black body. Looks far darker and thicker than any porter I've seen. The head is really impressive for a barrel-aged beer - drags a ton of lacing, too! All in all, this looks fantastic. (5.0)
Smell: Cayenne pepper, dark chocolate, and bourbon. This totally reminds me of Great Divide's Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, which also exhibits a lot of cayenne. Caramel is there too. I love it! (4.5)
Taste: Caramel, cayenne, dark chocolate, cream, and spicy, bitter, and floral hops. Oh yeah, all of those flavors are accented by mellow bourbon. This is a great mix! (4.5)
Mouthfeel: Peppery, prickly, and softly carbonated. Warm and dry, but not overly so. Very robust for a porter, and very creamy for a barrel-aged beer. Impressive. (5.0)
Drinkability: If this were a little cheaper, I'd drink it all the time. As it is, I still purchase this once or twice a month. Highly recommended! (5.0)
Wiseman Justin Reporting:
Opened this bad boy due to a rough seven days.
Appearance: Pours black, with a nice thick milk chocolate colored head. Very foamy, the head stays around for a long while as I type away on the keyboard. (4.5)
Smell: Well I'm about two feet away and I can already get the hints of whats to come: Bourbon. You can smell it from two feet away. When your nose is closer to the cup you get a strong smell of chocolate. My nose also picks up some cherries. I'm not sure if I got used to the way it smelled but the longer I tried to smell this beer the harder it got. All I can tell you is bourbon + chocolate = delicious smell. As you drink this beer and go back for some more smells to see if you missed anything you get it: Burnt chocolate.. that's what's going on. It's not complex in any way, but what it does it does well. (4.0)
Taste: The style says "american porter" but I'm going to go with imperial porter. Everything you might not like about a porter is gone. This is probably one of the best porter's i've ever had. It's full bodied and delicious. I get strong flavors of chocolate, wood, bourbon, and smoke. Truly delicious. Tried this side by side with The Abyss 2009 (deschutes imperial stout...) Their porter is better than their imperial stout. In what world is a porter better than an imperial stout? (5.0)
Mouthfeel: Thick and full bodied, smooth, refreshing... I love the way this porter feels. Simply put this leaves my mouth happy. The alcohol adds a 'warming' feeling and it is in ever way a good feeling. The beer has smoothed out a lot since the last time I drank it. I'm missing the raw wild alcohol component a little bit. (4.5)
Drinkability: You know how it goes with these bigger beers. I can tell you whenever I split one of these I want more. I'm drinking this one all to myself and I'll probably wish I had more. (4.5)
Note: If you drink this beer you might be tempted to rate it next to great beers like Old Rasputin. Then you remember... this is a porter not a stout. As a porter it does not get much better than this.
Serving type: bottle
02-24-2010 06:56:40 | More by ThreeWiseMen
More User Reviews:
4.24/5 rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Reviewed during the last week when out of service area/Wifi in WY/UT. Full phone notes taken at the Beer Hive in Salt Lake City, UT. Really nice to see a five year vintage on the bottle list in SLC.
A- Bomber poured to two snifters with a motor oil pitch black body. A dark brown head rises atop the beer to about a finger with a frothy silky consistency. The cap falls to a small ring and lacing is just spotty but it is a vintage, high alcohol BA brew.
S- Smoothed out by noticeable age but plenty of strong aromas come off the top still. Age brings some oxidation and Old Ale caramel raisin feel with notes of dark roast grains, bourbon whiskey, cocoa and some coffee.
T- The age is a bit more secondary here as more seems to open up. The barrel influence feels greater with a medium strength whiskey and toasted oak feel, slight vanilla sweetness. Roast grains, dark cocoa powder, old coffee, cereal grain, caramel, oxidized raisin feel, vinous fruit and toast all come in strong to form a melded base. Coffee lingers especially in the after taste.
MF- Semi-thick bodied but it has definitely lost some texture with age but retains some creaminess. Carbonation is still at a silky medium-low level and it all hits the palate smoothly. Finishes with some alcohol warmth.
For being a couple years old it holds up quite well with some notes of age and oxidation overshadowed by a big Porter and some nice barrel influence. This was an all time want and I got it a few years late but this has held up to age as well as any dark nonsours I have had.
Serving type: bottle
07-31-2014 00:04:01 | More by cbutova
Black Butte XXI from Deschutes Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.