Black Butte XXIII - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXIIIBlack Butte XXIII

Educational use only; do not reuse.

768 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 151
Gots: 492 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jdense on 06-17-2011

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."
View: Beers (152) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 316
Reviews by bullywee:
More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip

A - Pours nearly pitch black with almost two fingers of light brown head. Head has very good retention buut doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

S - A surprising amount of citrus and some bourbon. Bourbon smell is a bit too much of the hot alcohol variety, and not as much of the deep vanilla and oak, although those elements are present as well. Also quite a bit of cocoa, roasted malts, and a touch of milk chocolate.

T - Lots of chocolate initially, mostly bittersweet but with a bit of milk chocolate as well, with cocoa, roasted malt, and bourbon notes that contain a big barrel presence, quite oaky. Orange seems to be a subtle component all the way through the taste. Very nice.

M - Medium mouthfeel, not overly heavy. Pretty smooth if not exactly creamy, with a drying effect from the cocoa, roasted malt and oak. Oak taste lingers for awhile.

O - Very enjoyable. Maybe a touch too much oak, but overall nice flavor combination. Look forward to trying this one again down the road.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very happy to see that we got this beer in Dallas.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a brown head. The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted malt. I also get a little bit of orange, but it is fairly faint. There is also some oak notes in the aroma.

The flavor is full of chocolate and roasted malt. I also get some bourbon and oak notes, as well as a little bit of maple and vanilla. There is a little bit of orange in the flavor as well.There is a little bit of hop bitterness in the flavor and the alcohol is very well hidden. This beer is extremely easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A great beer that I assume will only get better with age.

Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #600

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter. Best AFTER June 15, 2012, so I assume it was bottled on June 15, 2011.

Appearance: Dark mahogany that appears near black when the glass is full. Frothy tan head and pretty good lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma of chocolate, coffee and molasses. Light citrus and a mild chili pepper spiciness. Oh yeah, and a huge blast of booze.

Taste: Cocoa driven roasted malts with accents of coffee, molasses and a light fruitiness. Some nice oak characteristics as well. Finishes with orange (which provides a nice crispness), spicy hops and a lingering, but mild and nuanced, chili pepper taste and burn.

Feel: Full-bodied with low carbonation and a very smooth body. The beer is a little too hot right now (bottled a little over a week ago), and the chilies may be adding to that impression. I like the light chili pepper burn on the finish, versus my experience with Great Divide Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti where the cayenne was a major distraction for me.

Overall: Just fantastic. A notch below Black Butte XXI at this point, but I had that beer with a year on it. I would not be surprised if I like this one a little better after a year, as this may have more complexity. Cheers to retrying in one year!

Photo of kingcrowing
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz black waxed bomber poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a very dark almost black beer with a small brown head no lacing. Nose is malty sweet and sharp.

Tate is super creamy and rich, it's sweet and chocolate lots of mellow coffee flavors as well the spice is there but not over the h top. Tasty and drinkable.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed and capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a darkness snifter. best after 6/15/12.

pours out pretty much opaque black, the slightest bit of rubiness noticable when held up to the light. a little less than one fingers worth of tight tan colored head. average retention, faded to a ring within a few minutes. only slight lacing from a swirl of the glass and a bit of legs as well.

a nice somewhat light bourbony alcohol first noticable on the nose. the more it warms a nice smokey chile pepper aroma comes out and just a hint of citrus. behind all that is a base sweet toasted, roasted slight chocolately, caramely malt. the aroma does seem a bit subdued compared to when i had this fresh when it was just released.

a very nice taste, all the flavors are in balance with one another. lots of sweet toasted malt, caramel, and a little deep roasted malt, definatly reminiscent of the regular black butte only doubled. a bit of smoke, vanilla, a bit of oaky bourbon. a little chile pepper, with just the slightest bit of spice. more spice comes out as it warms. also a nice dark chocolate flavor.

sticky feel, medium to heavy in body. lightly carbonated.

a very nice, complex beer. i notice something different on each sip, yet all the flavors mingle together so nicely. will be interesting to see what further aging will do.

Photo of ehammond1
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5


Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

Nearly black in color with dark brown edges. Brown, khaki head. More and more lacing left on the glass as it warms.

A divine aroma consisting of vanilla, bourbon, oak, orange peel, and chocolate. This is a whiskey/dessert lover's dream come true; good thing I'm both!

The flavor is just as divine. There is a lot of vanilla and bourbon, balanced nicely by an oakey woodiness and earthiness, along with some chocolate and just a bit of sweet orange in the background. It's one of those beers that makes you sit back, smile, and appreciate life and beer for all that they have to offer.

The mouthfeel is just a touch too thin. A bit thicker and heavier and this beer skyrockets to one of my favorites of all time. Though, in all honesty, it's really not deterring from my enjoyment of this beer.

Damn, fine beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, ruby edge to it, small tan head, what head there is, leaves a sticky smattering of lace all around the glass. Aroma was nice and mild, coffee, slight amount of bourbon, chocolate was the biggest.

Amazing ability to cover up the alcohol, 25% barrel aged was the perfect ratio, massive chocolate and cocao, even the orange and peppers are noticeable without searching for them. This really tastes just like the XXII that didn't make it into bottling. Love the warmth coming from the peppers instead of the alcohol. Isn't massive viscosity wise, a little thicker than the regular BB, but not up there with Abyss or whatnot.

A little vanilla and oak in the mouthfeel as well. The great things about these is the way you can pick things up without having to 'look' for them in the beer. Complex, but without weird shit for the sake of being weird, every aspect of it seems to meld well with the others. Light notes of coffee and bitterness, like the regular BB.

Solid beer all the way around. I wonder what will happen to the orange and pasilla peppers with age?

Photo of lanamj
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bomber with Habmike thanks Booch!! Poured into to two tulips.

A- Nice black color with nice thick khaki head that slowly dissipated into a minimal lace. It appears nice and thick for a porter.

S- Nice chocolate and cream smell. A faint bourbon smell that increases to a moderate presence as it warms up. I get some of the citrus and chili.

T- Lots of chocolate and malt. Has a nice creamy flavor/feel to it. I do get a lot of the orange and chili in the form of a little tart, peppery flavor throughout. The bourbon at first is hidden, like the smell, but as it reaches room temp it reveals its self nicely.

M- Very nice and smooth. It feels like an imperial milk porter as its so smooth and velvety. The tart lingers and makes my mouth water.

O- Great beer and nicely approached. I would love to age one and see how it develops. I feel the ingredients work well for the style and its mouthfeel is so smooth. The tart is rather present with a fresh bottle and i feel over time the bourbon will be more present, thus making it more of what i would want out of a beer like this.

Photo of quirkzoo
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 6/5/12...well I saw a lot of people say they preferred fresh so I cracked it open. Reviewed from notes.

Pours very inky black with a light tan head. Nose is Bourbon, licorice, cacao in that order. As it opens up I get a touch of citrus on the nose. Flavor is amazing. All the flavors above plus a touch of heat, each balanced and yet not competing with each other. I am very glad I opened this fresh as I have heard that some of the complexity gets muted with age. If there is still another bottle at the shop I will pick it up to age.

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A generous half-snifter at the Bend Brewpub - I couldn't help coming back to this place!

This beer appears a solid black, no light from the waning Bond Street patio sun able to poke through, with one finger of thick soapy beige head, which leaves some random, skewed lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of sour, bitter black fruit, cigarette ash, day-old coffee, dry chocolate, and subtle pepper oil. The taste is sweet roasted chocolate caramel malt, mild cold black coffee, some woody vanilla, soft citrus, and a subtle, growing vegetal heat. The carbonation is quite mellow, the body full and smooth. It finishes with a bit of hop/booze astringency and some semi-sweet chili-tinged dark chocolate.

Well, this is a whole lot of something, that's for sure. Nothing really stands out, especially the elevated ABV, but that's ok, the curious complexity is fine by me.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a damn fine porter that will only get better with age. As of now it's at the 6 month mark in the bottle and has smoothed out nicely since the fresh one I had a couple weeks after availability on shelves.

A - Black with a nice mocha frothy head upon a semi-aggressive pour. Solid head retention.

S - I don't get any of the oranges. Dark Chocolate, coffee, very mild Bourbon, really have to look for it...smells pretty damn inviting for a Porter.

T - Nice hit of chocolate up front, dark malts, expresso but not at all really roasty, and the peppers show up mildly in the finish. Solid. Oranges were not detected. Bourbon the same as in the nose, noticeable but moreso the mildest of flavors integrated here.

M - About perfect for a Porter. Easy drinking at 10.8%, alcohol heat hardly noticed at all. Very, very well balanced beer. Nothing overpowers here. Not a fan of peppers in beer however although they are an afterthought in this brew.

O - Highly recommended. It didn't blow me away but at the same time, I can't think of a better Porter I've had minus Black Butte XXI and maybe Midnight Sun's TREAT. Let me give credit where it's due though. Make no mistake about it, this beer will be much better in 6-10 months. Well done.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lee for this bottle. Review from notes, tasted with BB21.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a small brownish head on top. Not very tall, but pretty good retention. A bit more lacing on this one than the 21.

S: A lot of orange and orange peel upfront, almost candied. Reminds me of orange candies that my grandparents used to have at their house. Blends nicely with a little bit of chocolate and roasty malt.

T: Similar to the nose, a good bit of orange and chocolate. There is a little bit of toffee and roasted malt, but the oranges and chocolate really dominate.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth, slightly dry finish.

O: Liked this beer a good bit, the blend of orange and chocolate was very tasty. Might have to try and get some more of this.

Photo of mudbug
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Diving into this one before the best after date out of curiosity and a visit from another beer aficionado.
From the waxed cap (which I could do without BTW) bomber into two standard pint glasses gets a very dark brown body with a half inch tan head, lots of lacing.
Aroma of dark chocolate, astringent hops and coffee, a hint of bourbon too, very stout like.
Taste is a little bitter upfront followed by a huge chocolate sweetness, a solid roasted malt backbone,some orange zest, the chilies are there only as a hint of earthiness I can detect no heat at all.
Medium mouthfeel, I think thats correct for a porter, any thicker and this would be a stout (maybe it already is)
Will revisit this again after the best date.
Edit, another tasting, Taste is over the top, This beer kicks most stouts to the curb. For the style, who cares?

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a 1cm foamy khaki head with good retention and lacing.

Nice Big robust nose. Notes of rich dark malt, mild leather, bourbon and vanilla.

Flavor is bigger and bolder than the nose with a huge range of flavor characteristics and great balance. Notes of robust coffee, orange peel, mild bourbon, rich dark malt, molasses, caramel, toffee and just the right amount of alcohol.

Mouthfeel Is perfect for the style. Velvety and creamy. Not quite as viscous as a big stout and not too thin. With mild carbonation.

Overall it's just about a perfect Big Porter. I Did drink before the "best after" date to see where it's at now. I can't wait to try it again down the road because it's just gonna open up more and just be exceptional.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Streets of London on J in Sacramento, as part of their Dechutes night.

Appearance - Pours a dark, near black cola brown. The head settles to a thin, sticky lace.

Smell - Faint bitter chocolate aromas, and that's about all I'm picking up.

Taste - Tastes like it's namesake, only all intricate notes and layers have been muted in favor of a dominant alcohol profile.

Mouthfeel - Good body. Solid carbonation. Fairly creamy.

Overall - Bigger is not always better, and that's certainly the case with Black Butte XXIII. It's not bad, but I'd much rather be drinking a regular Black Butte right now. The alcohol in this just runs everything else over.

Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with black wax over the cap.

Served around 50 degrees cold into a goblet.

Black Butte 23 is nearly black with crema colored head. Good retention and lacing.

Aroma is rich and sweet with vanilla undertones from the oak and a little bourbon character.

Flavor is big and bold with robust dark malts and strong bitterness. The bourbon oak barrel aging is certainly felt with the same characteristics as the aroma with vanilla and whisky.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and nicely carbonated. Alcohol is a little strong and the bourbon just makes it seem a little harsh.

Overall a really nice version of this style. Why do they call it a porter? Who knows.

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A real treat. Sweeter than expected with the addition of the bourbon, it was very drinkable. Thick black appearance, soapy lasting head retained about an inch. Very smooth mouthfeel, with well integrated chocolate and bourbon in the secondary. From trade.

Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood - served in a snifter. ABV listed as 11%

Opaque seal brown liquid topped by a fat finger of dense khaki cream. Rich soapy lacing and shimmering legs.

Regal roast malt, cocoa nibs, vanilla, and a soft char/fruit combo in the nose. Bourbon with an orange twist (sort of like an Old Fashioned) and hints of licorice root emerge as the beer warms.

Bourbon flavors are rich yet subtle (very smart to use a blend of barrel aged and non-barrel aged beer), and don't begin to overwhelm the base beer...rather the addition of tobacco, vanilla, charcoal, and burnt sugar elevate the distinctive roast malts to a new apex of flavor. The orange and roast poblano merge seamlessly into the esters and char. Finishes with a gentle complexity.

Velvety, somewhat creamy and well carbonated, but just a touch fusel, with the slow background burn of pasilla accentuating the heat from the alcohol.

A bit more complex than XXI perhaps, though at the sacrifice of a certain purity. The bottled version will likely age very well.

Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

appearance: black waxed bottle - served in my de koninck chalice, dark cola-mahogany body, bubbly brown head with no retention

smell: chocolate malt, bourbon, orange zest, cocoa

taste: big roasty porter - charred malts, burnt espresso, bourbon and other booze, orange zest provides a sweetness that briefly cuts the bitterness. dark chocolate and a heavy roast leaves a strong bitterness. Spicy hot peppers also thrash the palate. I'm not sure how I feel about this - tasty but abrasive from a number of angles

mouthfeel: hot - both from booze and spice

overall: pretty good - might need some *gasp* time in the cellar

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours cola brown into the tulip with 3 fingers of eggnog colored head. Light & fluffy head adorns the top of the glass, dissipating slowly, and leaving a delicate lace down the glass.

S - Aroma of semisweet chocolate, charcoal and orange juice dominate

T - Chocolate comes right to the front, followed by a bit of citrus, but just a faint touch. Alcohol warmth begins quickly. Quite a bit of bitterness in the back, not sure if its hops, or ambitious roast. There's a peppery flavor here too, similar to cayenne and not unpleasant.

M - Very carbonated, which keeps the roast and chocolate flavors in check. Mayh be a bit over carbonated.

O - Complicated beer, one that I was looking forward to. A welcome addition to the anniversary series.

Photo of plfahey
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Very dark brown/black with just a hint of red highlight when held to the light.Moderate stand of tan foam with decent retention.

Aroma-Smell is strong of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, sweet molasses, and a hint of fruit. Dark espresso roast has a sort of green pepper/ancho chili character to it, but is light. Hint of sweet oak/vanilla. There's a whiff of perfumy alcohol and some brownie batter chocolate which gives it a sort of chocolate liqueur smell.

Flavor-Rich and coffeelike, with that same green pepper edge up front. Some dark chocolate is present as well, with an overall german chocolate cake feel to it. Still some of that green pepper coffee flavor. Alcohol is definitely a bit harsh/hot-this one could use some age to be sure, probably a year or two at the least. Finish has notes of orange, but mostly dark chocolate and the heat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Overly hot from the alcohol.

Though my score certainly doesn't show it, this has the makings of an incredible beer. It's too young right now (as evidenced by the best after 6/15/12 date on the bottle). The alcohol is hot, and the flavors haven't fully integrated yet. Don't get me wrong, its still a decent beer, but this one will improve greatly with some time.

Photo of Swillbur
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into Chimay chalice. Second time trying, first time beer was to cold.

I start this beer by leaving it on counter until it warms up a bit from the fridge. After a pretty hard pour im left with a dark brown glass of nectar with little to no head and zero lacing. The aromas this beer gives off are really amazing after it becomes room temp. I get Chili, hot chocoalate, vanilla and some bourbon in the background. Smells fantastic. The taste is right there with the smells. Right away i get chocolate, bourbon, roasted malt, some orange, and the chili is there too. This is a smooth beer, the mouth feel and carbonation are both spot on. ABV is very well masked. The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. Im glad i have two more to try later on down the road.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep black with a nice thin light tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is the worst part but not bad. Lots of roast but smells kinda hot and green. Bit of bitter chocolate.

Taste is great. Nice roastyness but a nice caramel sweetness. Bit hot but not bad. Nice chocolate taste too.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with a bitterness in the finish. Nice medium carb.

Overall awesome as usual. Gunna have to open my XX soon. I hear it's peaked.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours thick pitch black with a 1/2 inch or so of chocolate creamy head.

rich and roasted, loads of dark chocolate and roasted malt with a hint of coffee. has a slight harshness to it, like it is very young.

lots of roasted harshness around the edges. very dominant on the rich yet bitter dark chocolate. a bit of booze in the back as it warmed.

thick and chewy, some tingle but overall, pretty smooth.

i prefer this with about a year but this drank pretty well for being young. delicious and stoked to enjoy this on tap.

Photo of 20ozmonkey
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Old Guardian glass. When pouring this beer was a dark red with a little bit of transparency. When it's in the glass it's jet black with a small tan head.

Smells very chocolatey. At first I got a coffee smell, but smelling deeper I got pure chocolate. There's a fruitiness that comes out strong when the glass is swirled.

Very tasty. Chocolate and spice are the primary flavors. There is a persistent zing from the chilies while the chocolate hangs around for the aftertaste. The beer has a sweetness to it, but it doesn't make the beer thick and heavy like an imperial stout. The beer is medium bodied with a fairly low amount of carbonation.

Overall this is a damn good beer. It's easier to drink than a lot of the big, thick imperial stouts than are normally released as a special release. I'm glad I have a few more bottles stored away to drink after it's "best after" date in a year.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Black Butte XXIII from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.