Black Butte XXIII - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXIIIBlack Butte XXIII

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318 Reviews
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Reviews: 318
Hads: 772
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.14%
Wants: 150
Gots: 490 | 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."
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Reviews: 318 | Hads: 772
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best after 6/15/12 but I can't wait that long.

Pours an opaque black with dark brown colors around the edges and a 1 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some citrus zest. Taste is dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, citrus zest, and some alcohol flavors. There is a somewhat assertive roasty and citrus zest bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer now but I think it needs more time to come into its full potential. The smells are somewhat muted but the taste is very good. I wish I could find one more of these to age until the best after date.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
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...

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ordered this bottle online. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip at a recent tasting. Reviewed from tasting sheet notes.

Pours a very dark brown with a moderate light tan head and a bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose carries some light orange zest and chocolate plus a fair amount of roast and some light coffee. Light almost chile-like character there. Flavor is so-so and not up to par with the XX and XXI versions, which is a big disappointment, as I had really been looking forward to this recipe when XXII was announced. Light orange and chocolate with heavy roast. Medium body and a dry finish. Very roasty. Nothing really melded in this one.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a pint glass. Dark brown body, not quite opaque. Pours with half an inch of off-white head that settles to a thin film pretty quickly.

Quite a bit of roast and tar on the nose, with a little caramel from the barrel. Bourbon comes through pretty well in the blend, while orange and chocolate are rather subtle. Pepper doesn't come through much at all. This leans much more toward roasted malt and bourbon than BBXII, despite being more or less the same recipe.

The palate, much like the aroma, is pretty damn charred, bordering on burnt. Dark chocolate, sweet whiskey and faint orange zest follow the dark malt. I'd never have guessed there were peppers in here if I hadn't read it on the label, it's quite subtle. The body isn't overly big, but it's a rather intense beer due to the heavily charred malt flavor. Finishes pretty bitter and tannic, narrowly avoiding tasting harsh.

Pretty decent, but not nearly as good as the initial 2 Black Butte anniversary beers, and very different from last year's despite containing the same ingredients more or less.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bourbon, dark roasty chocolate, vanilla and a touch of orange.

T - Great blend of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, bourbon and burnt molasses. There are hints of oak and smokiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is fantastic. May have to get more before its gone.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark pour here with a rich dark brown color that no light could penetrate. This was a monster looking porter I have to say with a menacing two inches of foam on the top of it that cascaded down the sides. The aroma was of light vanilla, lots of oak and woody notes, and hints of molasses and caramel. As it warmed some nice roasted notes start coming off of it. The flavor was as rich as the aroma with lots of sweet malts, hints of roasted notes and a nice bit of caramel and molasses. Light vanilla, not as much as I would have hoped for peaking through. A nice full bodied porter

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Richard for bringing this beer to share.

A: The pour is (not surprisingly) black in color with a finger of dark tan head.

S: As with all the previous iterations of this beer, the roast character is intense. Lots of dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. The orange peel comes through, which is sort of amazing given all of the intense aromas.

T: The orange peel flavor cuts through all the way and is sort of candied and sweet. Lots of chocolate, roast, and some coffee. A bit of ash as well as some light barrel characteristics.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Much different than the previous versions, but still quite tasty.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a stemless wine snifter.

Thanks to TheFlern for this bottle!

Never thought I'd have the opportunity to try a third vintage of this. What a country! (Imagine that last bit spoken with a foreign-style rolled R...) Anyway, it pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises oak, very light whiskey, roasted malts, and toasted cashews. The taste brings in more of the same, though with slightly more roast than before. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice brew as usual. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Deschutes Brewery & Public House (Bend, OR) on 9/1/11. Served in a balloon goblet.

Pours a straight black in the glass, topped with a finger of mocha head (which has some light burnt looking textures going on with it as well). This retains with a smooth and robust looking ½ finger of richness, which throws up a frothy cascade of lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass and leaves back some spotty lace and light brown oils. The aroma smells of bourbon, cocoa, oak, green citrus, vanilla, warm spice, and I’m definitely getting some of that as advertised orange zest as well. There is quite a robust fullness here to the nose, with flavors nicely melding with each other and the wood oak and citrus flavors adding an airiness to this that helps waft the flavors up the nostrils.

The taste is thick with chocolate, molasses, and vanilla sweetness, with the burnt and woody sharpness of the bourbon hanging on the edges. There is a flush of dark roast across the back of the profile, while the finish sees notes of zesty orange peel and some light lingering warmth from the chilies. The mouthfeel is full bodied and SHARP in the mouth, with a firm prickly creaminess that blows up and expands out in the mouth. The high ABV is nicely hid for the most part but it plus the warmth from the bourbon flavors does start to catch up with you after a bit.

Another Deschutes anniversary down, another well done anniversary reserve here that delivers. My only complaints with this were that the taste wasn’t as smooth and well integrated as the nose was and the body could have used a bit more chewiness to it. Other than that though, I really liked how the addition of the orange and chili flavors nicely supported the thick sweetness here and this was overall quite the robust and full flavored sipper. This was some really tasty stuff.

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Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't wait to try this one, loved all the big beers from Deschutes so far, and the other Black Butte beers have been no change. This is their 23rd birthday beer so how better suited than to crack this on my 29th birthday. Thanks to two great traders for a crack at this, erric and aedeos, both from Reddit beertrade.

Pours a lighter fizzy head that just covers the pitch black beer underneath, a slightly darker colored head that fades semi quickly and leaves a slight lacing to remind me that it was there. The super dark beer underneath is fairly thick with decent legs, and and head disappears to minor bubbles floating on the top as typical with big boozy beers, but still not quite a thick as a beer as big as, oh, let's say Abyss.

Nose comes on just like Abyss but maybe tamed a bit. An awesomely wafting aroma lifts into my nostrils, teasing them with some bourbon but not overpowering bourbon, enough to let you know there was a barrel under there. The barrel oak and vanilla really strike hard, a dark oaky vanilla rounds everything to a nice dessert like pudding. The barrel doesn't get dusty or woody either, more like vanilla oak. Then chocolate, layers of chocolate bring baker's, a little bit of dark, cocoa nibs, and even a chocolate mouse like aroma. It's apparent that there is roast in there, but not burnt roast, just a touch enough to bring a hint of coffee and that aroma that wants to get to soy sauce like levels of roast but held on a leash and doesn't get there. Also a bit of caramel, and a bit of earthy slight spicy hops.

Taste is about as great as a big porter can be. Starting this time with the malts! Some roast but not a ton, a bit of a roasted malt, with some coffee, and syrupy dark roasty flavors again wants to pretend to be soy sauce level of roast and bitter briny flavors, but again just teeters on the edge and never goes over. Chocolate comes on with more waves, starting with a chalky cocoa powder, moving the opposite direction to a creamy baker's chocolate and mousse like, then even a hint of dark chocolate. Next again with vanilla, a nice oaky smoothness with a vanilla character, not quite vanilla bean, but enough from the oak. This also brings a light barrel but barely as it's mostly overpowered by the big bold heavy beer. Caramel comes through a bit as it warms behind all the big flavors, as well as a bit of bourbon but again not a big bourbony flavor, almost as if this barrel was used for Abyss before it was used for this (rhyming yay!). Booze finally finds its way in, bringing plenty of warmth and some tingle feeling, but even a slight alcohol flavor on the finish. It gets slightly syrupy but not too sweet which is why I think it doesn't get soy sauce heavy. bitterness is there throughout but brings some earthy and hint spicy hops. As it finishes the booze takes over at first, but then fades to the chocolate, a powdered cocoa flavor, with a bit more bourbon and vanilla oak, and a bit of roast.

Mouth is full bodied, rich, creamy, and luscious, slightly syrupy, good carbonation considering the size of the beer, and quite a bit of booze.

Overall just friggen delicious. The bourbon is more of a background flavor, the barrel brings quite a bit of vanilla but doesn't overpower either. The malts really take over, with waves of chocolate, some roast, caramel, etc, and gets slightly syrupy but not overly as the sweetness is quelled, but the booze kicks in a bit too much and kills any thought of drinkability that sprung up after the lack of sweetness or soy sauce. but still an awesome Birthday beer!

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Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sprightly, sweet and tart, dark brown ale. Not as syrupy and black malt tasting as some other big black beers. I would call this the Polish Imperial Porter style. Rich with a good touch of sugar in the malt. Less intense than the Imperial Stouts, but full of flavor and plenty powerful. Hops are under control but they lend a nice bitterness. Aftertaste is more of burnt raisins, and toasted malt rather than scorched. Less aromatic than some other big dark beers. Very spicy hot after a few sips. Hint of vanilla. Interesting and different.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown glass bottle with wax-covered pressure cap served into
De Molen stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Best after date is 6/15/12, but I can't wait that long. I'm very excited to try this as I've enjoyed everything I've had from Deschutes so far and this is me second favourite style.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger slightly tan colour head of great cream lacing, excellent thickness, and amazing retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a dark solid black - obviously nontransparent. Very appealing for a porter. I'm excited.

Sm: Orange esters, caramel, chocolate, heavy cream, nice bourbon tones, hops, and maybe a bit of roast. A pretty strong aroma.

T: Heavy chocolate (I assume from the cocoa nibs), a bourbon undertone, no roast, no alcohol, orange peel (looking at the label, I should correct my assertion to orange zest), and a strong malted barley foundation. Quite remarkable and rich. I don't detect the spice they mention on the label. It's complex and flavorful. Well balanced as well.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Not too thick or too thin. I do wish it were creamier, but then we'd be getting more into stout territory. It gets the job done well.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV, which hardly comes through in the flavour. This will satisfy fans of the style. It is, however, a sipper, and is not sessionable by any stretch. I dig it, but I wouldn't buy it again unless it were on draught or available aged. I wouldn't pair this with food unless it were a strong bread. This would make a good choice to age.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice beer. Thicker coffee and malt tones than I would have expected. The liquid body on this one is not really all that thick. It's kind of hard for me not to compare this beer to other Black Buttes I have had. When doing that it seems to fall short. It's a nice beer, but I was hoping for a bit more body, character, and intensity.Still quite nice though.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 07/07/11 notes. Brought this to a small get together last night. I've been a big fan of BB XX and BB XXI, and have been looking forwrad to this one since I heard BB XXII wouldn't be released. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Fantome tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing is left on the glass and head rention is a minute or two.

s - Smells of oranges, roasted malts, chocolate, citrus, light vanilla, ligh wood, and very very light bourbon. The citrus comes through a good amount in the nose, especially oranges, and the bourbon is almost nonexistent. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, roasted malts, oranges, cocoa, vanilla, citrus, and some burnt notes. No real wood or whiskey in the taste like the nose, and the bitter chocolate and roasted malts jump out front. Again, pretty good.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and no alcohol heat which is nice. Very nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall a beer I enjoyed, but not as much as XX or XXI. The oranges definitely come through, especially in the nose, but not much bourbon comes through. A good beer, but I prefer XXI when it was fresh and aged a bit. Going to hold onto my other bottles of this for a bit and see if it ages well like the others.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.99/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Dan. Thanks! At the time of this review #15 on the top American Porter list on Beer is brown to black with a nice head of tan bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is odd, a little spicy? Chili peppers? Odd. Sweet, mild roast, some chocolate.

Beer is medium to light in body. It is mildly body with a mild chili flavor and some mild chocolate. It tastes fine but not as good as the XX or the XXI in my opinion. I think this is very similar to XXII but I don't know that for sure. I have another bottle and I will drink it one night. It was fine.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a large layer of tan khaki head. Pretty good retention leaving some lace rings. Color is a deep brown black.

Aroma: A ton of roast. Coffee and chocolate. A lot of malts. Some caramel. The orange shows. No oak or bourbon which really let me down. (as it warms, a touch of the barrels show).

Taste: Vanilla and some bourbon show nicely here. Some oak. A bit of booze. Roasted malts and chocolate. The orange is very subtle. Creamy. Caramel and coffee. Nice flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a touch warming. Medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends very dry and very roasted.

Overall, at first this beer was over roasted and as it warmed the bourbon showed more which was really nice. I liked the flavor, but the aftertaste wasn't enjoyable. A decent beer in the series.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle generously opened by mdaschaf during our mini-tasting at his place. Served after Black Butte XXI. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Deep dark brown almost black sitting in the glass. A nice fluffy, creamy looking tan head sits atop and takes its time to dissipate. Still, a nice retention cap is left the entire way with lots of sticky lace around the glass. Killer looking beer.

S: Very citrusy up front, orange and lemon peels, citrus oils and a faint fleshy note. The porter base comes through with the dark roasted malts, a bit of caramel and nuts. Back end has just a touch of wood but the citrus notes come full circle.

T: Like the nose, citrusy notes are dominant - orange oils and bitter flesh. A charred malt, touch of smoke and sweet caramel is in the middle. The back end brings a nice rich bitter dark chocolate taste that transitions well into the finish. Really no linger of anything, it's a very sharp cut.

M: Bubbly, medium-bodied and smooth all over the mouth. The citrus notes give it a hint of dryness but it doesn't last for long at all.

Considering this hasn't hit its labeled "Best After" date, this could still be a bit premature; however, it is still drinking nicely. The citrus elements were welcomed yet unexpected, something I seem to be gathering from these Black Butte beers. I would love to see how this develops in another year or so. Thanks again for the share, Matt!

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Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber care of Smoked, thanks for this Dan! Poured into a snifter this brew appears black in color with more than a finger of darkly tanned head. As the cap slowly fades, it leaves finger-like patterns of lace all around the glass. When held to the light, there is some brown clarity seen through the edges. A light swirl brings back a finger of brownish colored head.

The aroma of this brew hints with an initial surge of something reminiscent of incense. There are woody notes evident mixed over the top of some dark chocolate character. More smells reveal a fruited character that is somewhat rind-like and very much unlike the usual expected dark fruit character. The fruited aspect is more like grapefruit and orange rinds. There is a light spiced aspect that creeps up the nose as the brew warms with a bit of an earthy aspect.

The taste upfront is flavorful with both orange rindy bitterness and orange pulp. What a peculiar flavor, did someone dump orange juice in this? There is a faint amount of chocolate flavor through the middle before a light bitterness comes out tasting like burnt grain and a light tannic woodsy character. The finish of this brew hits with a warmth of alcohol accented by peppery spice that increases in awareness with every sip that is taken.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The nearly 11% abv is integrated quite well, perhaps the spice of the chillies helps to mask that here. My first experience with Black Butte 23 came via a growler with no description. Both the chillies and the orange character in that sample were very muted to the point where this bottle comes at quiet a surprise. This was a really neat and unique offering but I have to admit that I absolutely do not like orange flavor in my porters and stouts.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan!

The beer is dark brown, with 1/4" of light tan head and some random lacing left on the glass.

The aroma brings roasted malt, chocolate, alcohol, and oddly enough, a spicy flavor I was not expecting. Zesty citrus and/ or chiles?

The flavor consists of dark chocolates, roast, and an orange peel flavor that was not present in Black Butte XX or XXI. Similar to a dark chocolate candy bar with orange or orange peel. While this is interesting, I definitely prefer the previous anniversary editions from Deschutes.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Decent feel.

Overall, I much prefer the Black Butte XX and XXI to this year's offering.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a frothy tan head barely covering the top. Nice retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has some really interesting flavors to it. I get a mix of orange chocolate and bitter sweet baking chocolate. I'm getting a bit of a hot pepper spice to it that I'm really liking. The barrel flavors are pretty light, but noticeable.

In the taste, the cocoa nibs are the most prominent flavor. They give it a milk chocolaty flavor at first, but quickly turn into more of a bitter-sweet baking chocolate towards the finish. The orange citrus is noticeable as well and really mixes with the chocolate well. There is a little bit of a like spice in the finish as well that I'm really liking. I get a little more of the barrel aging as it warms, it's not as bold as I'd like but it's very complimenting none the less.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall, it was a really good beer. I loved that it had a bit of a uniqueness with the orange and pepper spice to it. I'd love a little more barrel flavor to it though. It had a lot of additions and competing flavors, but they came together very well. Very enjoyable beer overall.

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Black Butte XXIII from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.