Black Butte XXI - Deschutes Brewery
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 546 | Reviews: 373 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by sweetbrew82:
4.4/5 rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
22 oz. into a pint glass
P: Almost completely opaque aside from the slightest of rosy-brown slivers of light on the edges. 3 fingers worth of tan foam on top that is thick, and more frothy than it is creamy. Shows good retention as it slowly sinks to a thin cap on top. This is darker than some RIS's I've had!
A: Damn! This smells as if I just stuck my face into a bucket of fresh, exotic coffee beans. It's pretty bold & boisterous, with an in-your-face intensity that you rarely get from an American Porter. Besides the coffee, there's a sizable helping of chocolate, molasses, burnt sugar, and some vague citric hops in there as well. Pretty enticing, to say the least!
T: Just as the nose would suggest, coffee rules the roost with fresh flavors of exotic coffee beans that taste great! Creamy chocolate is done nicely as it teams up the (blackstrap?) molasses to compliment the coffee. Citric hops are noticeable and impart a much needed bitterness to try and balance things out. But make no mistake about it, this is a sweet malt-bomb! The more exploration I do into this beer, I seem to get some vague notes of dark fruits like figs/dates as well. Finishes with lots of burnt sugar, vanilla, and a little charred oak. Bourbony alcohol is noticeable, but stays impressively well-hidden for being so fresh. It does warm you up a bit upon swallow, though.
M: As for the mouthfeel, Black Butte XXI is not as full as expected. It's a full notch below being full-bodied, but it is silky smooth, impressively vicious, and has a nice amount of creaminess underneath. The only thing that would keep you from thinking this was an Imperial Stout is the absence of that chewy, meatiness that you would expect from a beer this light-obliteratingly dark.
Notes: Admittedly, I'm an absolute sucker for coffee beers. I fucking love 'em! So, of course, I thought this was a really well-made beer that satisfied every lofty expectation that I had of it. I wasn't quite blown away like I was with Speedway Stout, but was extremely impressed, nonetheless. I thought it would be much hotter considering how fresh it is, but the booze was really masked nicely. It would be interesting to see how this develops over time, as I think some age would mellow the coffee and booze, allowing the profile to be a little more harmonious. If you don't like coffee in your beers, stay far, far away from this one. Otherwise, I highly recommend it!
Serving type: bottle
08-25-2009 01:51:46 | More by sweetbrew82
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.