Black Butte XXI - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 545 | Reviews: 372 | 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:
Black Butte XXI from Deschutes Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 545 ratings.