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Black Butte XXIII - Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXIIIBlack Butte XXIII

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

706 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 706
Reviews: 314
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

XXIII. So where to next? What's 2011's rich, imperial take on Black Butte Porter? Just for kicks, you dream. Orange zest perhaps? From Spanish Oranges. Seville, to be exact. And Chocolate nibs. Pampered nibs from the artisanal alchemists at Theo. Maybe some chilies? Pasilla Negra only, please. That would be crazy wouldn't it? Welcome to crazy. Get it while you can.

55 IBU

Info from brewery: "475 barrels were produced. 275 were bottled and the remaining 200 were put into kegs."

(Beer added by: jdense on 06-17-2011)
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Photo of BucannonXC5


4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: Draft
Glass: 10-oz. glass
From: Post Street Ale House in Spokane, Wash.
Price: $6
Purchased: March 18, 2014
Consumed: March 18, 2014
Misc.: The board on the wall said it was the XIII, but I'm pretty sure that was wrong. I even took a photo of it.

Poured a dark brown color with one finger of khaki tan head when I got it. Sporadic uneven lacing along the sides. Above average retention on the top.

Smelled caramel, toffee, Rolos, butterscotch, dry-hopped, bourbon, chocolate and faint vanilla.

Tasted caramel, toffee, light bourbon, chocolate, cherry, dry-hopped and slight butterscotch. So good.

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish.

This beer was just so good. I only wish I would have gone back to try some more another night.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2014 07:34:38 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of artoolemomo


4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- Received with about two fingers' worth of fluffy head which has okay retention. The head is a light, creamy beige while the body is a dark chocolate brown that shows hints of ruby and burgundy when held up to the light. Lacing tends toward sheeting.

Nose- Notes of chocolate that is very Tootsie Roll. Good amount of caramel and toffee. Even suggests a little bit of coconut and vanilla. Very warm and inviting. Some candy hints that range from suggestions of licorice to jelly beans to bubblegum. Usually, this would be a bad sign for me but it really works in this aroma. Huge vanilla notes start to peak out.

Taste- Very dominated by the candy notes expressed on the nose. Not quite as inviting as those of the nose but still quite enjoyable. Some vanilla, some chocolate, a bit more cocoa but they pale in comparison to the candy aspects. Almost like a generic lollipop with chocolate, cocoa, and roasted notes on the finish. Don't get much in the way of dark fruits or cherry. Some woodiness on the finish as well, maybe a little bit of oak. Not exactly my favorite notes for a flavor profile but it works for this beer for some reason. Not nearly as impressive as its rating would suggest put a pretty good to really good beer nonetheless. As I read the description on BA, the chiles used start to pop out in a major way. They might be mild to some but they have a bit of a zing for me. Seems to solidify the licorice tastes that I get from this beer. I even start to perceive some of the orange and a little bit of the cherry but the chile heat is starting to take over. Candied fruits are huge with lots of cocoa that almost taste plastic or like clay. Very complex with wonderful balance and integration. My biggest criticism is that the flavor notes that work so well aren't really favorites of mine. Still pretty much a really good beer. I think for chile lovers, this beer just might be great. Slight cola notes. Shows more coffee as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied with light carbonation that still manages some zing (or is that the chiles? It's hard to tell). Fairly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability- Would be really easygoing but the chiles do make for a bit of a speed bump for me. Still pretty smooth sailing nonetheless. 4 bucks a glass is a pretty good price as I think this retails for more in the bottle. And it's aged!

Overall- Solid, good beer to really good beer, closer to really good. This is definitely not a boring beer. Surprisingly enjoyable for a beer that hits so many notes that I generally dislike. That means this might be an absolutely fantastic beer to a different palate. I would definitely give this a try; especially if you see it for this cheap on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2014 21:44:49 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of BierJager89


4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with almost no head, just a few brown bubbles.

S: Licorice and roasted malt in the nose.

T: Roasted malt, dark fruit, blackberries, vanilla, caramel, and a touch of alcohol.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: Pretty much exactly what I wanted them to do with their porter. Better than XXIV.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2014 21:17:22 | More by BierJager89
Photo of BeerDawgs


4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bottle picked up a few years ago and aged since then. Bottled in 2011. Black wax covers the top.

A - Pitch black, blacker than night at the North Pole. Then head and not much lace left on the glass

S - Dark roasted malts, coffee, sweet, citrus, chocolate. There is so much going on here its almost overwhelming. You can get a different aroma every time you breathe in. Awesome

T - Chocolate, spicy chili peppers, oranges, coffee, and some piny hops for good measure. Damn tasty

M - Highly carbonated and sizzles down your throat. Slightly spicky from the chili pepper maybe?

O - An incredible imperial porter, with some nice additions of chili peppers, chocolate, and oranges. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 01:42:59 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of mdcrouser


4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had to peel the wax from around of the neck to get to the lid. It adds to the 'fancy,' but is an annoyance.

That's deep black - maybe the deepest of blacks. Very thin head.

Brilliant nose, as you get the roastiness of the porter, but with another layer of bitter citrus, chiles and some cocoa. That's a wicked whiff.

Intense - that's on a whole different level. Like a malty chocolate, chile, orange rind Whopper of a beer. Hot, bitter, warming.

Prickly on the tongue, whether from the chiles or the carbonation, or a combination of the two.

Damn tasty and unique - I'm a bigger fan of porters that are a little more straight-forward, but this one offers a defiantly different perspective.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 02:48:47 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Liam.

Deep brown colour, near black, one finger of tan head with a couple spots of lace. Smell is well roasted malt, chocolate and black liquorice, cocao powder and a bit of vanilla. Taste is roasty with a powdered cocao/bakers chocolate, still get a bit of the chilli and orange peel flavours but they are faded, a touch of liquorice and vanilla, roasted finish. Lightly carbonated, medium-full feel. Good stuff here but probably would have been a bit better fresh as I would have liked some more chilli flavour as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 13:57:08 | More by peensteen
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber that was poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. While pouring, it looks like a cola color brown when coming out of the bottle but gets darker as it settles in the glass. Pretty dark brown to black in color with maybe some slightly lighter but not much. Light tan colored head with small bubbles. Comes up pretty big with some decent lacing.

Smell is good, lots of semi-sweet chocolate, plenty of vanilla, and very subtle hints of chocolate. Some subtle orange peele and possibly even some slight hints of pepper, some slight woody tones too.

Taste is really good. All of the best parts of the classic barrel aged beers that you'd want. Some nice vanilla whiskey bourbon tones. The orange is a tone more dominant in the flavor than the aroma. Really nice blend sor to f a natural sweet orange but not at all acidic, a nice blend for sure.

Mouthfeel is really good, full bodied with a great carbonation level. Super smooth and has a nice dry finish. Not too dry though, I expected it to be really dry since there's an orange peel flavor. Super drinkable, smooth and a nice slightly bitter dry finish. No bite from the alcohol at ell, I wouldn't have expected the high alcohol content at all. Nice work Deschutes, PLEASE start distributing to MA!!! Thanks Geoff for sending this one!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 01:06:22 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

a great many thanks to claystation to giving me this carefully aged bottle for my birthday last month, what a legend. we finally cracked it and wow, is this ever impressive! it pours a rich chocolate brown color, dark, but on the thinner side, with beautiful but fading mocha lacing. the nose is lots or roasty malt, bitter burnt barley, subtle whiskey notes, and a lot of oak and cocoa, really complex, but also super mellow, just chilled out and patient. the flavor profile is a lot like the nose, very delicately balanced, with the malts taking center stage like you want in a big porter, but with the barreled portion really contributing a lot. I almost get toasted coconut from it, plenty of oak, chalky sort of cocoa flavors, and a buttery soft feel that hides a very powerful alcohol content. I love all the chocolate without the sweetness, and the way the bourbon brings it all together but doesn't overpower the beer like so many do. im sure this bottle would get even better with more age, but I could not imagine a more velvety liquid with so much satisfaction at each sip. I would love to get other vintages of this and compare...

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 21:04:32 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Stevedore


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wax bottle from the 23rd Anniversary vintage (2011), cracked and poured into CCB snifters to share with 3 friends yesterday, 5/25/2013.

Aroma: A nice, intense and hot nose overall. Picking it apart gives me some orange peel, a bit of coffee, lots of dark chocolate and a bit of vanilla. Basically I can tell its been aged in the barrel in the nose but I don't smell the bourbon directly. (4.25)

Colour: Looks great. Pours a dark, viscous black body with a thin tan head that disappears very quickly into a thin collar. Not much lacing to speak of. It just sits there looking all black and foreboding. (4)

Flavour: I really liked this beer's flavour profile. It starts out with a good dose of chocolate and molasses, accentuated by citrus rinds, vanilla and oak. There is traces of bourbon throughout. I'm not sure about the very end- its actually a little spicy, like as if chili peppers were added. Comes together well and is a pleasure to sip on. It's malty roast sweet up front with a bitter citrus coming in with a vanilla+oak kick at the end, but the citrus is more of the orange peel rather than a hop bitterness if that makes sense. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Thick side of medium body with fair carbonation. Drinks smoothly and can't detect much ABV. Aftertaste is nice oaked-up spicy orange peel. Very interesting. Its to be enjoyed as a sipper for sure. (4)

Overall: Tasty beer, very complex, great flavour profile and overall enjoyable to drink as a birthday beer. Would drink again. (4.25)

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 08:34:53 | More by Stevedore
Photo of MasterSki


3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by spycow. Thanks Chris! Served in a snifter.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to a thin collar and tiny specks of lace. Very dark brown body with some ruby-brown glints at the edges of the glass.

S - Interesting note of orange peel that differentiates this from other beers of the series. Plenty of dark chocolate, biscuit, coffee cake, light vanilla , and perhaps a bit of age showing. Not much in the way of alcohol, and fairly understated barrel-aging.

T - Taste has more dark fruit sweetness mingling with the dark chocolate, coffee, and biscuit flavors. The age has probably dialed up some of the fruitiness, but this has a bit of Baltic Porter vibe to it even though I'm certain it uses ale yeast. Barrel notes are faint, with the chocolate and biscuit combo dominating the palate. Not much orange peel in the taste either.

M - Medium body, with surprisingly active moderate carbonation. Chewy texture, and a lightly dry and oaky finish. Again, not much heat or booze to it.

D - A solid beer, but nothing mind-blowing. I have another bottle and I'm going to get to it pretty soon as I don't think further age is beneficial. I still think the XX is the best of the bunch though.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 01:41:01 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Best after 6/15/12. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black with a little transparency at the edge. Not much head.

Smell - Dark chocolate, a touch of orange. Hops? No bourbon.

Taste - Chocolatey. Fudgy. Interesting citrus flavor that seems like it's from some lingering hop presence as much as orange. Caramel and toffee finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice, not overly heavy. Nicely fudgy. No bourbon, unfortunately. Not a lot of orange either.

Overall - I don't love it, although it's clearly a well-made beer. Not a lot of orange at this point.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 01:09:05 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of scottfrie


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into NB snifter. Best after date 6/15/2012.
A: Pours near black with a finger soft light tan head. Head slowly faded into a fuzzy film and thick collar that left wispy of stringy lace down the glass.
S: Lightly boozy notes of vanilla, bourbon, and oak dominate with a hint of chocolate undertones and some sort of spice, maybe the pasilla negro chiles.
T: Integrated and mellow yet rich and decadent. Chocolate, vanilla, raisin, and fudge dominate with bourbon and chile coming through in the finish. The aftertaste has a good dose of both dark chocolate and orange zest bitterness. Very well rounded and creamy. Long after the swallow there is still a slight tingle on my palate from the chile and bourbon.
M: Smooth as silk mouthfeel, full and rich body without a trace of alcohol, and soft low carbonation.
O: I loved XXI, I love it still, and this one is every bit as good. Very well rounded and integrated flavors with an exceptionally silky mouthfeel. Drinking really great right now.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 00:39:53 | More by scottfrie
Photo of jegross2


3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing a vertical of Black Butte XX, Black Butte XXI, Black Butte XXIII and Black Butte XXIV from the Deschutes Brewery from Bend, Oregon to commemorate my 400th written review (per BeerAdvocate)! A major thanks and shout out to Edgar Chavez for making this vertical tasting possible. Each vintage of the Barrel Aged Black Butte release is a different formulation.

Black Butte XXIII is Deschutes Black Butte porter brewed with cocoa nibs, orange and natural flavors added, with 25% aged in Bourbon Barrels. From what I can gather, the Black Butte XXIII appears to be a re-brew of the Black Butte XXII that was not commercially released in 2010.

Black Butte XXIII Score: 88

2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 vintage bottles served side-by-side and enjoyed on 02/10/13 with a few friends.

Appearance: The appearance is strikingly similar on all vintages -- this brew is similar to a dark molasses in appearance/color. The XXIII pour is a little lighter, faintly orange-ish in color in comparison to the other three. Each vintage pours a thin layer of light mocha head that settles to a ring around the glass on all of them. Average lacing and retention using the worst glassware possible. 4/5

Smell: Orange, cocoa, and, when cold, a faint pepper aroma. A little Darkness 2011-like soy sauce too. I get a little figgy dark fruit, but much less than the XIV. 3.75/5

Taste: Chocolate and orange, faint hops and a little smooth dark fruit. Faint prickle of rye-like kick on the palate after the swallow. No alcohol heat. A touch of fruitiness towards the finish. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Each of the vintages' mouthfeels are a little heavier than medium bodied, but far from full bodied (and not quite medium-full bodied either). Low carbonation as well. Each of the vintages has a real nice, drinkable balance (none is too sweet or acidic (well the XXI has a little acidity, but in a good way) or whatever). Oily slick feel on the tongue. Only the freshest vintage (XIV) has a little "alcohol heat" to it. 4/5

Overall: I feel like verticals are often "reserved" for rarer and bigger beers like Dark Lord and Bourbon County (Brand) Stout, or even barleywines dating back to the 90's (i.e., Bigfoot), but this was a really fun vertical to do. Nothing was really can't miss here, but nothing had "fallen off," and nothing here was undrinkable by any stretch of the imagination. My favorite vintage in the end was the XXI, but each vintage struck me in a unique way at different points in the vertical as it warmed up. Cold, the XX and XXIII were my favorite.

Cost: $12.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle that can cost as much as $19.99.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 05:52:47 | More by jegross2
Photo of rawfish


3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark and quickly with a tan thin head. Cola dark center with ruby and garnet highlights. Nearly no retention or lacing to speak of.

Rich fudge, milk chocolate and bourbon. Slight oak, faint and dry. Not a hint of orange or chilies yet.

Cocoa nibs pretty prominent, roasted malt with a hint of milk chocolate sweetness, noticable bourbon character and oak. Not any hop character left, perhaps a bit of bright orange notes. Moderate bitterness, hides alcohol well and lifts from the palate well.

Thin for an imperial dark beer, low carbonation, thin and slick. Alcohol well hidden however.

Held on to this one for a year and a half, perhaps it was too much. The alcohol is really well hidden but the complexities of this brew promised by the label are gone. No orange or chilies to speak of though I tried really hard to find them. Lots of cocoa and slight bourbon, regular Black Butte has a really high and exciting carbonation but this one is more muted and thin. Decent beer but disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 01:35:44 | More by rawfish
Photo of comfortablynumb1


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A - Pours a deep brown with a one finger dark brown head. Head dissipates at a good pace, and lacing is minimal...

S - Lots of cocoa notes up front. Roasted malt, wood, and bourbon are also in the mix, but cocoa is definitely prominate. Bourbon is very subdued, and I don't pick up any orange peel...

T - As with the nose, cocoa is prominate. Roasted malt, coffee, and a hint of orange peel are also present. Ends with light/smooth bourbon and a good amount of lingering chocolate...

M - Higher side of the medium bodied scale with light carbonation...

O - Solid beer, but nothing above and beyond. Personally prefer the XXI over this one...


Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 04:34:32 | More by comfortablynumb1
Photo of Vonerichs


4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep cola colored body with a nice 1" of beige head. The head dissipates but leaves a swirling thin layer of carbonation on the surface.

There's a heavy aroma of cocoa followed by, to a lesser extent, black licorice and orange.

The flavor has fantastic depth. The cocoa seems to be the focal point of the beer. I love what the orange zest brings to the table, which is a touch of citrus acidity that cuts through the sweetness of the chocolate. The bourbon aging gives it only a slight heat and vanilla flavor and is more of a supporting aspect than front and center.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It's not a big creamy porter but I think that works well for the same reason I liked the citrus, it cuts the sweetness of the chocolate.

I found this to be a phenomenal beer. All the ingredients compliment each other well and it has a lot of depth.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 20:34:56 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is approximately 1.5 years old now with a best after date of 06/15/12. Thanks barfdiggs for the hook up.

The beer pours jet black with an inch of creamy tan head. There is good head retention, enough carbonation to replenish the head while drinking, and adequate glass lacing. Almost immediately after opening and pouring the beer emanates huge notes of chocolate and orange, while more subtle notes of bourbon become available after a closer whiff. As the beer warms, more of bourbon booziness comes forward. The taste presents as a chocolate Christmas orange upfront with a boozy, bourbony finish. I wasn't smelling the roasted malts much in the nose, but a lot more of the beer's roastiness present in the aftertaste. It's definitely a full bodied porter with a tremendous amount of distinct flavors that all work well together. This beer is absolutely tasty and a far cry from what the regular black butte has to offer. I'd absolutely recommend this beer to others.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 02:38:35 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of denver10


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours back with a slight dirty white head. Aroma is big with some roasted malt, bitter chocolate, orange jam. Some alcohol is noticeable but in a really good way. Flavor is just as big with some roasted malt, bitter chocolate, slight orange jam, and leather. Again alcohol is noticeable but in a good way. A medium bodied, slight activity, it fit the beer. Overall, this was a phenomenal beer. I enjoyed this years version but definitely preferred this one to that by a good deal.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 21:45:25 | More by denver10
Photo of CJS


4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A Pours slightly thick. Medium brown tone with a nice lacy cream colored head.

S Sweet brown sugar, toffee, caramel candy, Deep caramelized sugar scent, peeled citrus, spice, and toasted wood and nuts. Earthy.

T Dark Chocolate oranges up front with spices. Licorice root. NIce woody tones from aging. Herbal hoppy bitterness works well in this one. Lots of nutty flavors.

M Bitter and sweet characters counter balance each other and a citrus tartness fights its way in as well.

O Getting even better as it warms up. Could use another.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 00:58:45 | More by CJS
Photo of donkeyrunner


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a very generous Colts9016

Dark, root beer brown black color with a large cascading head that sticks like glue. Foamy glue. Served at alcove by the stairs temp.

Smells like bourbon. Vanilla, cocoa and roast malt too but the bourbon really stands out and that's just fine by me.

Bourbon is again a main feature. Vanilla, cocoa and Gran Marnier highlights sticking through roast malt. Not exactly hot but really warm and giddy.

I would trade all the expired DFH, Green Flash, Unibroue and many other beers that rot on the shelves here to get Deschutes distribution in MA.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 15:49:59 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a super dark brown, pretty much black color with a medium sized khaki head that recedes to leave some super solid, sticky lacing.

Aromas begin with intense porter roasted maltiness. Dark chocolate to the extreme with emerging burnt caramel, espresso and cocoa powder. As it warms I get a little of the advertised orange peel but if I wasn't looking for it I would have missed it.

The tastes follow the nose with assertive dark chocolate, roasted espresso beans and cocoa powder. As it warms I get some caramelized maltiness and some oakiness which I wasn't getting in the nose. The orange which was minimal in the aroma is not exisitent here with the dark roasted malt flavors overpowering everything else. Pretty much straight up what an Imperial Porter should taste like.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is dry, roasty and lightly bitter, but not too much so.

Overall I say this may be sadly passed its prime if you are looking for the orange flavor to really pop. As a straight up Imperial porter, right now, it is amazingly solid and rivals any beer in this class but I was dissapointed that the orange flavor has all but vanished. I would recommend anyone who still has any of these to drink in the very near future.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 16:40:01 | More by claspada
Photo of Dope


4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle states "best after 6/15/12".

A: Pours an almost pitch black with a big dense medium brown head. Fades slowly with excellent head retention. Nice semi-solid walls of lacing everywhere.

S: Dark, bitter chocolate and lots of it. Citrusy. Touch of oaky vanilla and toffee. Hint of brown sugar.

T: Lots of bitter chocolate and oranges mixed together. Mildly oaky but get stronger towards the middle and into the finish. A little brown sugar mixes with some char in the middle but chocolate still dominates. Oaky in the finish with some spiciness that I can't quite place, almost adds some heat - like cinnamon maybe? Bitter, chalky baker's chocolate everywhere. Finally, some smoke, almost meaty, and bit of char in the lingering aftertaste.

M: Fairly heavy but smooth. Mildly chalky and drying in the aftertaste.

O: Certainly a very complex and big porter. Doesn't have as much contribution from the barrels as I would like, but it definitely adds some small notes of oak and bourbon in there regardless. Lots of bitter chocolate in this one with a fairly strong smokiness in the finish to boot. Pretty much has everything!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 04:22:55 | More by Dope
Photo of Arbitrator


3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. From notes long ago.

A: Pours a black body with a finger of dark tan bubbles.

S: Very, very chocolatey, with a roasted coffee supporting aroma. Good, but a bit simple, especially given the complexity of the ingredients involved in this beer. The orange peel was suppressed on the nose.

T: As in the nose, this is very chocolate-dominated. The barrels are overwhelmed by the sweet (but not cloying) beer. Some orange peel on the back end, but not much; I was hoping it would be stronger, the way it was in BB XXII. This missed that balance I have come to appreciate from Deschutes. It's hardly a bad beer, but it simply isn't upper-tier.

M: Medium-bodied, but the finish was lingering and a bit sticky. You could argue that that is expected for a barrel-aged beer like this, but I recall previous vintages not being so oily.

O: I remember thinking, after trying this, that I should really dial back on the Deschutes Reserve beers, to the point where I didn't even seek out BB XXIV this year. I found XXIII tough to finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 00:02:20 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of Murrhey


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width tan head. Sticky lacing, dark brown color.

S- Wine and dark fruits. Very earthy and dark smell. Roast and burnt smells with wine-y sort of booziness.

T- Earthy tones with grapes and dark fruits. Boozy and fruity.

M- Smooth and very dry.

O- Very well aged, tasty beer with booze and bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2012 05:31:52 | More by Murrhey
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4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Black Butte XXIII is a delicious barrel-aged porter. The sweet malty notes and subtle dried fruit flavours are complemented, rather than overpowered by, the bourbon barrel flavours. Yummm!

A: Black colour and a 5 mm head that lasts pretty well. 4

S: Roasty, smokey malt with some subtle and pleasant bourbon aroma. Some chocolate in the finish. 5

T: Malty and reasonably sweet with hints of dried fruit. The bourbon flavours come through in the middle and are pleasant and not overpowering. There are some weak flavours of yeast autolysis. The finish is clean and woody. 4.5

M: Foamy and thick. 4.5

O: 4.5

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 01:56:49 | More by vandemonian
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Black Butte XXIII from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 706 ratings.