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Black Butte XXII - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXIIBlack Butte XXII

Educational use only; do not reuse.

124 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 124
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 12.03%
Wants: 80
Gots: 28 | 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:  http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/bl ... ncelation/ 

Imperial "Porter brewed with cocoa nibs, orange and natural flavors added, with 25% aged in Bourbon Barrels"
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
2.42/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap 2/7/13 at Beer Revolution

A: Pours a very dark brown with minimal light brown head. Recedes quickly.

S: Aroma is strong on this one. Yeasty and musty, not in a good way. The sweetness is apparent, mixed with some stale coffee. Chocolate and BA character struggle to make their presence known.

T: Overly sickly sweet, BA quality has faded quite a bit. Dark bitter chocolate notes, fig, and vanilla are also coming in.

M: Medium to full bodied, no carbonation which isn't surprising considering the BA and the age in general on this one.

O: Time was not kind to this beer. I just recently had XXIII on tap and it was wonderful. Aroma on this was off and not pleasant. Taste was overly sickly sweet (in a dark fruit way), that just lingered and over powered the rest of the beer.

Photo of emilylee
2.5/5  rDev -41%

Photo of mothman
2.69/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Finally got a chance to try this one!

Pours a dark brown, kind of murky. A tan ring of head.

Aroma: A lot of chocolate and cocoa. A light roast. The orange peel shows a lot. A little caramel and vanilla. Hardly any oak shows.

Taste: All fruit. Huge orange flavor. It reminds me of the chocolate oranges. It is very sharp. No oak at all.

Mouthfeel: Too sharp. Creamy. Cloying. Medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this beer very much. I like the other versions a lot better. Way too much orange peel and not enough oak flavors. This wasn't for me.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of chumba526
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appears black with a small dark tan head that dissipates quickly.

It smells of caramel, coffee, grassy hops, toffee, chocolate and vanilla. There is also a mild bitter like smell to the beer as well.

It tastes of caramel, coffee, nutty malts, vanilla, mild dry chocolate, and toffee. It finishes with a caramel sweetness that is balanced with a small amount of bitterness. The caramel aftertaste is a little rough. The caramel flavor overpowers the other flavors. This does not have that good of a balance to it.

The carbonation is moderate low.

The drinkability is ok but it is to rich to drink more than one glass. Also the strong rough caramel flavor damages the drinkability.

Overall a bit of a disappointing beer. I don't know if the beer was old or what. Do not get me wrong the beer was not bad but it was very flawed. I suppose that it is around average for the style.

Photo of clearlydiluted
3.24/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the PDX Deschutes Brewpub in a 12oz tulip

a: dark as night with 1 finger head of tan foam and nice lacing

s: dark roasty notes, chocolate, hints of licorice

t: taste mostly of chocolate, dry in the finish, as it warms up you get spicy notes of the orange and maybe a hint of the peppers, it's earthy and, according to my notes, "woody" in the finish.

m: smooth, medium-heavy body with light carbonation

d: pretty one dimensional in the chocolate note with little else there.

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

Draft at Beer Revolution. Pours a very dark brown with a two finger tan head that has very good retention and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is huge dark chocolate with a lot of alcohol as well. A little bit of bourbon comes through also as well as a little bit of the chillies. I really don't get any of the orange though. All the other aromas definitely take a back seat to the chocolate and alcohol though. The initial taste is strong with dark chocolate, then going into some vanilla and bourbon. The taste of alcohol is strong throughout. The finish is strong, bitter dark chocolate. Again taste is dominate by chocolate and alcohol. Medium body. Slick, oily mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Not a bad beer, but certainly not great. Seems like a beer that would definitely improve with time. It's too bad that there are no bottles to see how this would develop.

Photo of ellswrth
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of nilesschmidt
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

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 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 kbutler1
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Served at ABR. Pours a dark brown/black color with a light tan head. Rich aroma with lots of molasses, syrup, caramel, and dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel. Dark fruit notes upfront with a building roasy quality to it. Some vanilla as well. Touch of booze notes as well. Overall not as good for me as some of the other BB vintages but still a pretty tasty brew.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a mild white head, light lace.

S: Mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate, malt, bit chalky.

T: Chocolate dominates, the sweetness is akin to an imperial oatmeal stout. Some moderate notes of vanilla which makes it quite distinct from its predecessors. Good flavour, but not as robust as the XX and XXI.

M: Medium-bodied, soft carbonation, creamy, chalky.

D: Nice beer, but not up to the level of the previous incarnations for me, but worth a try.

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of reddfrogg
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of doucmehu
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

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 Phelps
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured inside a Russian River glass.

The deepest brown, with a very thin head of light tan that remains as a silky top layer for a while. There were multiple pours among all the people at this tasting, and nobody really got a pour I thought was below par in appearance. Maybe some white chunks, but I wouldn’t think much of it if I bought this off the shelf. Not sure what Deschutes was so worried about.

In the nose: tangy dark chocolate, lots of orange, lots of coffee. A hint of vanilla and bourbon in the background, but it’s mostly just tangy chocolate and fruits.

The flavor expands on the aroma in the best way. Tons of orange juice, orange peel, orange zest. Dark chocolate here is more bitter and roasty, less tangy. After the swallow, smooth vanilla and oak roll in. Not even a hint of the alcohol.

Body is maybe a touch under medium. Gentle, poking carbonation and a good amount of fizz.

Very glad I got to try this. It’s not the best-looking beer, but it’s tasty.

Photo of squaremile
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad I got a chance to try this since the bottles were destroyed. Pours a really nice black with an off-white head. Smell is subdued and some roastiness and difficult to translate malts, but as it warms much more of the orange peel emerges with a touch of alcohol. Flavor when cold was a bit disappointing and just the roasted flavors and some orange were present, as it warmed the mouthfeel really smoothed out and much more orange, lemon, and cocoa came through. However, this is a subtle beer, you have to search for these flavors, nothing knocking you over the head here. I wanted more of everything, and I didn't detect the chilis. I wore out from this after about 8oz. Good beer.

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 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

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 OBeerMeGreatOne
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at City Beer Store side by side with XXI. Poured a deep brown/black with a creamy coffee head. The lace held up better than the XXI (no surprise there).
The smell was lighter than expected. Coffee and oak were more noticeable than chocolate. Spicy booze heats up the middle, with an earthy finish.
The taste is similar. Noticeable differences are a bourbon flavor and some light cocoa. A little light in the mouth.
Not quite as good as the XXI. I've had multiple tastings of each, and though this was good, it wasn't an improvement on last years.

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Black Butte XXII from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.