Black Butte XXII - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXIIBlack Butte XXII

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123 Ratings
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Ratings: 123
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 12.03%
Wants: 78
Gots: 29 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 06-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Released June 2010, Draft-only, after a problem with bottles detailed here: ... ncelation/ 

Imperial "Porter brewed with cocoa nibs, orange and natural flavors added, with 25% aged in Bourbon Barrels"
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 53
Reviews by tewaris:
Photo of tewaris
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bryant Lake Bowl.

Dark with a light brown head that is persistent and leaves some lacing on the glass. Aroma is coffee, roast, some fruit and some... spice? Smells exotic.

Dark, fruity, roasty with a lingering flavorful bitterness at the end that is either derived from the roast or dark chocolate.

Very mellow with nothing standing out in particular. Excellent silky and creamy feel on the palate. This is not a barrel forward beer but it is good... not sure what they were aiming for but it drinks like a big porter (duh) minus the tartness. Also, it drinks way too smooth for its ABV.

4.5, 3, 4, 5, 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of deebo
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at red cow. 3+ yrs old. Haven't tried before so no reference point for a fresh version.
A-Served in a teku glass with a finger of rocky sticky tan head. Looks black as hell.
S-aromas of sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, and a little vanilley bourbon.
T-sweet dark malts. Some back end bourbon bite. Not getting much of the fresh barrel wood/vanilla character.
M-not as thick as the previous 2 yrs of this anniversary porter. A tad cloying with just a bit of burn but the sweetness cuts it.
O-fun to try. Has gotten a bit cloying but still quite a bit of roasted malt character and some bourbon character.

Photo of ehammond1
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2010)

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

Thanks for the pour!

(Aged for 2 years)

A very dark, muddied brown, bordering on black with a very, very small brown head. There's not a lot of visible carbonation, and this leaves the glass oily with residue.

As expected, and as hoped, there's lots of chocolate aromas here along with just a hint of orange peel. The wood is minimal, as the chocolate and roast elements dominate. Nice, though not nearly barrel-forward as some others in the class.

The flavor, too, is very rich with chocolate, roast, and mild citrus notes, with only minimal barrel. Moderate bitterness and the alcohol is very well hidden. I could drink a lot of this stuff, and quickly.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Good, though I don't know how much the barrel influenced this beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Black and to a lesser degree, brown pour. Wow, great tan head, retained for eternity. Not thick and viscous like many beers of this color, but not anywhere near thin either.

Aroma, everything possible to list: coffee, chocolate, vanilla, pepper, peppers, licorice, even hops and citrus.

Taste, whoa, every sip was different, faint tinge of spicy pepper, then vanilla, then hops and citrus again, chocolate and coffee, so lush and rich, hiding the alcohol throughout, no flavor dominating at any time, but being more than just a nuance. It coated my system. I wanted to steal the keg of it, knowing I would not be obtaining a bottle. Despite the claim that the chocolate got screwed up to prevent it in the bottle, it definitely came through on tap, for sure. Not super drinkable, because its not super obtainable. You gotta go to them, it won't be coming to you.

Photo of hughesm4
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Deschutes in Portland poured into a snifter.
a-Poured a very dark, nearly black with a thin ring of light brown head.
s-Very, very sweet. A dominant chocolate smell with a hint of orange and roasted coffee.
t-Very strong chocolate with a slight hint of orange peels along with a very slight coffee bean taste. Very well balanced, delicious, and extremely sweet.
m/d-Very full taste that leaves your mouth coated with chocolate. It goes down rather smooth and I disappointed that they cancelled the bottled release.

Photo of nickd717
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler thanks to Arbitrator I believe.

Looks nasty in the growler, but not bad at all in the glass. Near pitch black in color with a small tannish head that has average retention.

The smell is very interesting. Roasted malt, chocolate, anise, and orange peel.

Flavor is good as usual for the Black Butte series. Dark chocolate, coffee, hops, slightly tart orange peel (which I initially suspected was infection), and chili peppers, but not much chili heat.

Smooth on the mouthfeel with medium-full body and soft carbonation.

Solid stuff overall. Beat expectations. Still not sold on the claim that this wasn't infected, but I'll admit it's possible. This is great and flavorful for a porter, but at 11% ABV I put it more in the Imperial Porter/Stout category.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the brew pub with my wife for lunch today after walking around the Oregon Beer Fest for a while. With most of the more interesting offerings at the OBF already gone, it was a treat to enjoy this gem.

BBXXII arrived to our table in a pair of Deschutes snifters (I'm going to have to purchase a couple of those one of these days) with a thin wispy froth ring atop its dark brown body with cola tan edges. No lacing showed up throughout the drink.

Aroma was all about the alcohol. Sweet cherries and toasted almonds with a hint of milk chocolate lended themselves to the olfactory, but were mostly bullied by the alcohol. It was a sign of the treat to come.

Taste showed off the strong Ghana semi-sweet chocolate (with an emphasis on the sweet) that kept the beer from being bottled. Too bad because this was sure tasty. As hard as I tried I was unable to discern the chilies or orange peeled that was used but that could be because my palate just was incapable of doing so.

Mouthfeel was thin and lightly sticky. It really helped add to the drinkability of this 11% ABV beer and make it disappear fast.

It's a shame this wasn't bottled due to the visual appearance. After not much liking the BBXXI, I found this to be a big improvement for my taste. If the opportunity presents itself, get a hold of some of this while you still can. It probably won't be around for much longer.

Photo of badboyrsl84
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with no head at all

Smell - get some hint of dark chocolate and a little alcohol

Taste - i wasn't blown away since this is a special released, it has a distinct deschutes taste and almost tastes a little like the abyss in the beginning. It has some chocolate a little licorice and a nice hint of alcohol. As it got warmer the chocolate and alcohol became more prominent making it more enjoyable.

Its didn't blow me away but it was pretty solid.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler provided by Inflatablechair by the way of seanthornton152... Big appreciation to Sam and Sean. Reviewed from good notes... had this one a long while back.

Fairly thick dark tan head... nice lacing and cap atop a pretty black brew.

Nose shows everything expected but seems a bit of a letdown at least in my mind's nose when compared to it's 2 older brothers. Roasty with definite chocolate.. a bit spicy... roasted malts seems to be one of the biggest players knocking the needed cocoa and malty sweetness out of the top spot.

Flavor mirrors the nose... roasty ... not enough sweetness to help carry the chocolate up and forward... citrus zest is an odd man out toward the end of the sip... meh... all seems to sorta fall flat and certainly never meshes.

I really wanted to like this one, but it just isn't hitting on all cylinders.

Thanks again to Sam and Sean.... I never would have tried to score a growler (EXPENSIVE growler) of this one.. but you guys are cool cats.


Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from an unnamed good friend, thank you bud

Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 11 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying

Photo of largadeer
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chswimmer shared a growler of this one a while back. Thanks, Craig.

Opaque dark brown with two fingers of dark foam. The head retains solidly for a while before ultimately settling to a collar.

Big sweet orange and chocolate aroma. Further inspection brings out a hint of whiskey, rich roasted malts, licorice, just a trace of chili pepper. This smells nice, but the sweet orange aroma is excessive.

Very chocolatey on the tongue, bittersweet and darkly roasted. It's followed by orange juice sweetness, faint bourbon and black licorice. Medium to full body, fairly easy to drink at first until the orange flavor becomes a bit cloying. Bitter toasty finish with lingering orange and chocolate, only a faint heat from the chilies. Less orange and a little more pepper would have made this much better, but it's an enjoyable beer nonetheless.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Deschutes Public House in Portland

a - pours a deep dark brown color just short of pitch black, half-inch mocha head with light retention and lacing

s - dark chocolate, dark fruit, charred oak, light hints of the orange peel and some licorice, some boozy notes as well, I don't notice the chile

t - big semisweet chocolate flavor up front, plum and black cherry, dark roast coffee mixes with the chocolate and light orange peel on the midpalate, finish reveals a light oak barrel character with some vanilla and cream mixing with the dark chocolate and very light hints of the chile, well-balanced finish that's not very boozy at all, there is a brightness to the taste that I haven't noticed in the prior vintages

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, very creamy in the mouth, well-balanced finish, decent alcohol warming without tasting boozy

d - pretty good for a big 11% barrel-aged porter, the booze was fairly well hidden and the flavors were complex and interesting, not too harsh on the palate

I was pleasantly surprised by this after hearing about the issues with the batch. Not as impressive as the XXI, in my opinion, but very good beer nonetheless.

Photo of theCoder
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this yesterday at a local bottle shop as a part of Deschutes Base Camp Week. They were pouring XXI, XXII and XXIII.

This is a review of XXII but being XXII and XXIII are basically identical according to the brewer who was at this tasting. I can confirm they are pretty close but obviously with the age on XXII it was a bit more mellow, however I didn't realize the bottle issues they noted beforehand and when I looked at it and tasted it I knew there was something off compared to XXIII and I talked to the brewer and he informed me of that. If you have them side by side you can notice it but if you do not you'll likely never know.

The bottle issues do NOT take away from this beer, wow it was wonderful.

Poured a very dark brown with a tiny chocolate colored head. The chocolate was there in the nose quite heavily with ever so slight bits of vanilla.

Taste was wonderful, it was like liquid dark chocolate with roasty caramely notes in the end. I didn't notice any of the peppers, and I tried oh boy did I try.

Mouthfeel was silky smooth.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone with the opportunity to try it. It was fun to do a 3 year vertical to see how much it changed from the XXI to XXII and XXIII recipes.
In XXI you get a lot of coffee and chocolate on the nose and taste, XXII and XXIII the coffee is barely present and basically not at all in XXII.

Photo of gwguest
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at City Beer in SF. What a nice little surprise since the online draft list made no mention of this one. I have a Black Butte XXI at home, but haven't tried one yet. I have no real expectations in mind.

Opaque body with a rich dark brown foam. Foam is thin and gone quickly. Looks good for what it is, enticing, but a little more foam would have taken it up a notch for me.

The aroma is heavenly. Deep aromas of chocolate, hints of roast, sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak and toasty grains just sing together. This is one of those beers that I could just smell all day. I wish that I were some sort of Olympic calibre swimmer so that I could take deeper whiffs. Hopefully the taste follows suit.

The flavor is right in line with the aroma. It's a very intense flavor that leans a little more on the bourbon than the aroma, but this is quite the exercise in balanced flavors. The tinge of orange is a nice touch that keeps things fresh. I don't detect any other spices that are mentioned. To that, they are melded perfectly into the overall flavor of the beer.

Overall, wow. This is a beer that really moves my needle, and few do that these days. It's sad that this never made it to the bottle. It's a fantastic beer that has all the right levels and depth of flavor without being messy. I love it. There are few beers that I would choose over it.

Photo of vkv822
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- Had at Deschutes Public House in PDX.
- from notes.

The beer arrived in a snifter with a thin tan head and black body.

It has a very nice chocolate and very lightly roasted malt aroma with very pleasant orange notes towards the end.
The taste follows the aroma well with roasty and bitter chocolate notes upfront, and backed by light citric orange notes. The addition of chili peppers is a very enjoyable and well executed compliment to the finish. There is also a slight booziness.
It has a very smooth and creamy medium body that doesn't become overly thick with subtle yet pleasant carbonation.
This was an incredibly drinkable and well done beer. I really wish this was able to be bottled as I would love to have more regular access to this from my own fridge.

Photo of tjfinkle
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In Bend for a family vacation so had to stop by the brewpub for lunch today and check this one out since it is not going to be released in bottles.

Appearance-Very dark but not overly thick, some light off white-tannish head and some light carbonation

Smell-Mostly chocolate malts with some slight hints of coffee

Taste-Again, mostly flavors of chocolate, not as much bourbon flavor as I would have hoped but still quite good and really a bummer that this did not work in bottles

Mouth-Relatively thick, but not as thick as I remember XXI being, quite smooth so good mouthfeel overall

Drink-Very good beer, relatively easy to drink considering the 11% ABV, however still could not drink a ton of this stuff

I must say that it is disappointing that they will not be releasing any bottles of this because it is quite a good drink and I could see it improving with age if given a chance.

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a muddled black color with a tan head. Chocolate is the predominant aroma here with a decent roastiness, a hint of citrus, and some vanilla and whiskey in the background. The flavor is also heavy on the dark chocolate with a bit more roast and whiskey (and just booze in general). Some coffee, mild vanilla, and citrus notes, maybe a touch of the chile in there somewhere.

Photo of kbeals
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Tried on tap at the Bend brewpub. Reviewed from notes. Served in a snifter, black with a mocha colored head. Good head retention and lacing.

S- Pretty complex, but not real pleasing on the nose. A mix of citrus, chocolate and peppers. I see the description says it was brewed with oranges, that explains it.

T- Good peppery bite to it mixed with chocolate flavors. Very different. This is only my second or third beer with peppers in it, and it doesn't really seem to work in this one. Perhaps it's still too young, it does still have quite a bit of booziness to it. I wouldn't mind revisiting this one in a couple years, but right now it's just not that impressive.

M- Good heavy body with little carbonation. Very smooth and velvety.

D- Taste and aroma don't really do it for me. Not a bad porter overall, but just a shadow of it's big brothers XXI and XX.

Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Am so glad I was able to sample this beauty before heading back East to Baltimore tomorrow. Sampled at the brewpub today (at 11:30 in the morning, with everyone else in attendance drinking the same thing).

XXII pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this porter is rather sensational, showing dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla and light licorise. I get more of the same on the palate, coupled with some interesting flavors of pepper, coffee grounds and considerable hoppy bitterness. At least for now, I felt the beer was dominated by the sweet licorise and significant hoppy bitterness, though I think that would subside and blend in with the rest of the flavor profile over time. Mouthfeel is full, with a long, bitter, licorise dominated finish. Drinkability is pretty good, though the obvious high alcohol, bitter finish and prominent sweet licorise detract just a bit from the beer's drinkability. Otherwise, the alcohol seems to be prety well integrated into the flavor profile.

Couple of thoughts. This is an impressive, sizeable imperial porter, one that is brimming with flavor. Frankly, I think a year or two of aging would do wonders for this beer, and so I think it a shame that none of this was bottled. Nevertheless, this is still a very impressive beer, and IMHO, quite different from the XX and XXI. Another solid effort from the folks at Deschutes.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from my Pub visit on 2.2.11. Not sure how I missed this one.

Served in a Deschutes Snifter

A - Dark deep brown with a thin tan head. Lingers for a moment, then fades to a thin film.

S - Chocolate and more chocolate, then some booze tones.

T - Again I am overpowered by the chocolate, then some cherry like flavors, coffee.

D - A slight creamy-like feeling in the mouth, then oily.

O - With this much chocolate taste, it makes it easy to see why they had issues with the bottles. I am glad I got to try it on tap.

Photo of jbakajust1
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured @ 16 Tons Union Cafe for Base Camp for Beer Fanatics into a Deschutes Tulip

A - Pours a deep, dark black w/ 2 finger brown head that fades slow to an oil slick and leaves legs and some lacing.

S - Smells of dark chocolate, sweet alcohol, vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon, and cherries

T - Deep flavors of dark chocolate, light coffee, cherries, oak, vanilla, coconut, and tobacco.

M - Full body, sweet with a bitter finish that lingers.

O - Amazing beer. Oak character presents itself, but doesn't dominate, lots of chocolate, slight roastiness, and a bitter sweet finish. Very glad I was able to enjoy this.

Photo of oregone
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Damn good. Overall impression beats the score.
Boozy in a good way and pours a deep black with brown head and meniscus. Bourbon and chocolate with coffee on the nose that follows through on the palate with the thick rich maltiness hinted by the aroma. Thick. Oily. Delicious. Somewhat spoiled by following Bourbon Fred the night before, though I'd be excited for bottles of this.

Photo of gregbechtel21
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick Khaki Colored Head with tight bubbles, dissipated quicker than I prefer. Beautiful black color, saw nothing but reflection in glass.

Smell: Chocolate, tons of it. Orange peel, vanilla, oak wood, no chile pepper that I could tell. one of the best beer aromas I've ever encountered.

Taste: Brewed with Theo's chocolate from Seattle. Everything in the aroma translated perfectly. Very balanced for the style.

Mouthfeel: Rich and thick but not too heavy. Perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: Incredibly drinkable for the style. The 11% is dangerously well hidden.

Photo of kruthar
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sittin in the deschutes brewery havin dinner with good ffriends and enjoyng a few pints of beer.

The black butte in my mind isa masterful combination of roasted porter and fruit notes. The first scent was not oranges like the menu said bu a little bit of a citrusy apple. It surprised me for sure. After the sip the tongue gets a pretty tingling of deep dark choclate and hints of black coffee. The swallow is the best part of the experience more chocolate with a roasty undertone and hints of dried fruit.

The black butte goes down super smooth almost like downing a cold glass of roasted light chocolate milk. All things being said tis beer goes down smooth and continues to do so all the way through the bottom of the glass. Drinkability is excellent.

Next is some fresh abyss out of the bottle...

Photo of Elimination
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The holy Grail of 2010 it seems ..

Look is a brilliant pitch black, thin but fought mocha head.

Smell is a semi sweet cocoa, chocolate strong in the nose, I see no wrong in this.

Taste sweet coffee bourbon mocha this is a remarkable taste I really can't put into words

Mouth is a semi thick murkiness perfect for the style

Drink is high I really don't see any problems with this, wish it was bottled

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Black Butte XXII from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.