Black Butte XXVIII
Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXVIIIBlack Butte XXVIII
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Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Imperial Porter
4.27 | pDev: 6.09%
Oct 20, 2022
Mar 29, 2016
Black Butte XXVIIIBlack Butte XXVIII
Notes: Every year, we celebrate our anniversary with an imperial, barrel-aged version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. Our brewers love to experiment and they always add some fun new ingredients to this beer like chilies, cranberries, figs and other such treats. This year, to celebrate 28 years of brewing, they’ve added the interesting mix of ingredients above for another multi-layered flavor experience.

Cocoa, vanilla, peated malt, and sweet orange peel. 50% barrel aged bourbon and scotch barrels. The result is our 28th Anniversary imperial porter with bright orange and vanilla aroma, layers of toasty chocolate and and a warm smokey finish
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.11 by dms1767 from Nebraska

Oct 20, 2022
Rated: 4.15 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Nov 27, 2021
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Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a wax-topped bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark, dark brown pour... nearly black with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Dark fruit, orange rind, and bourbon. Vanilla and sweets.

T.F: Semi-sweet up front. Bourbon and vanilla... dark fruit. Plum and fig. Roast and caramel. Chocolate, orange, and the barest whiff of smoke. Complex... black cherry and peat. Medium bodied... smooth and warming.

O: An outstanding barrel-aged porter. Still fantastic after several years in the cellar... complex with loads of fruit, chocolate, and booze. Loved this one.
Jun 17, 2021
Rated: 4 by Jdells09 from New Jersey

May 03, 2021
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Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
22oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours black in color with a one-finger creamy khaki head that reduces to a ring and thin film on top

S- chocolate and smoky peat lead the aroma, followed by notes of orange peel, vanilla, raisins, figs, smoked meat, charred wood, cherry and a hint of bourbon

T- sweet chocolate and subtle smoke open up, followed by notes of vanilla cream and cocoa powder. Mid-palate gives dark fruit notes of black cherry, raisin and fig. The finish gives another wave of subtle peat that adds some smoke notes that gives campfire smoke and smoked meat. Lingers of light peat smoke, bourbon and chocolate

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a creamy finish

O- the subtle smoked peat addition works very well with this one, very good
Apr 25, 2021
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Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense and rocky finger of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with some lacing.
S: Smells of orange peel, vanilla, dark chocolate, charred wood, and some barrel notes
T: Taste is charred wood and smoke up front with some orange peel and vanilla, nice chocolate coming in along with a hint of coffee and more oak. Slightly tannic at times with the peat surprisingly absent. On the swallow there's a nice piney hop note, more barrel, orange peel, vanilla, chocolate, and smokey charred wood.
M: This beer has a body which is smooth and on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is soft but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish due to the ABV.
O: Overall this is another well executed anniversary beer from Deschutes. Really nice flavors and complexity that was executed very well. It's held up very well to time as well as this one has been kicking around for almost five years now.
Apr 09, 2021
Rated: 4.14 by 0x4a64 from Minnesota

Dec 29, 2020
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Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Black body; thick, creamy, khaki hued, long-lasting head; laddered rings of foam step down the sides of the glass. Some wisps of beechwood smokiness and ash; faint notes of roasted grain; even fainter notes of bitter chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate in the taste; subtle smoke; very subdued vanilla; whisky booziness starts slow and mild and strongly builds through each sip; an interesting, sublime sweetness in the background; low-key bitterness; the faintest note of orange. Heavy body; dense and oily; coats the palate with dull notes of sweetness and bitterness.

The orange notes have (perhaps) faded some after 4.5 years, but the beer itself has aged well. I like the subtle smokiness. It nicely complements the alcohol and rich chocolaty character that predominates with this beer. The beer is well-rounded, has nice depth and complexity, and certainly satisfies.
Oct 23, 2020
Rated: 4.33 by MykeJ from Minnesota

Jun 10, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by zenithberwyn from California

Jun 08, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by dubnation from Kansas

Apr 14, 2020
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Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Well, either I drank my first bottle of this and didn’t review it then for my new/old comparison, or I didn’t buy more than one. Either way, this one is very good with some age on it. It is 3 1/2 years old and extremely flavorful. Dark with tannish edges, minimal lacing. Smell is mostly barrel, some sweet notes of chocolate and vanilla, but I am reasonably sure there is no orange peel at this point. Taste is a nice mix of sweetness from the cocoa and vanilla and a very healthy presence of the barrels. The feel is probably the best part of the beer-a medium body with a strong boozy presence, very easy to drink with no oiliness or thickness. Warms up extremely well. This is a beer from them that I will buy every year, and this vintage is an exceptional reason why.
Jan 26, 2020
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Rated by Rmcane from Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
Draft pour. Slight caramel head. Sweet nose. Light creamy mouth feel. Delicate aftertaste.
Oct 27, 2019
Rated: 4.77 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

Oct 06, 2019
Rated: 4.24 by UCLABrewN84 from California

Oct 05, 2019
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Reviewed by Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a light golden color with a one finger head of white foam. The head has just a light level of retention, fading rather fast to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is huge of a cucumber smell mixed with a little bit of grain and a little bit of an herbal smell.
Taste – While the nose showed a ton of cucumber but little mint, it showed a good sum of the two right at the start of the taste. There was also a light grainy taste upfront which grows slightly stronger as the taste advances. Along with the grain the cucumber also grows in intensity and with a little bit of an herbal and earthy taste that develops at the end, one is left with a rather crisp spa water taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly lighter side with a carbonation level that is quite high. For the mix of flavors and the style the feel is good and makes for a refreshing sipper.
Overall – A nice summer style brew. Nothing I would frequent on a high occasion, but quite good for a nice hot summer day!
Aug 23, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by petewheeler from Maryland

Aug 10, 2019
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
22oz bottle. Waxed and capped bottle. Bottling date stamped on label is '06/13/16'.
Dark brown colored body with some reddish brown back lit highlights. One finger of tan head, which settles back to a thick cap. Leaves behind an assortment of lacing patterns.
Aroma of roasted malts, cocoa, and orange, with some bourbon barrel additions.
Taste of orange and cocoa mixing in with the roasted malts. Lighter note of vanilla. Not getting the peat, except for a brief touch at the end.
Medium mouth feel. Good carbonation.
Interesting brewing exercise with the orange and cocoa being prime players. Disappointed that the peat did not make more of an appearance, but the brewer's description claims more of a smoky finish than peat.
Aug 08, 2019
Rated: 5 by Kwright from North Carolina

Jul 27, 2019
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Reviewed by buschbeer from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
1 PINT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with a couple inches of tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

I smell dark chocolate, coffee, and chilies.

The taste is dark chocolate, coffee, and chilies. Some fruit comes out as it warms.

Full bodied with smooth mouthfeel

This is a good beer. I like it better than 26.
Jan 31, 2019
Rated: 4.96 by jason_nwx from Oregon

Jan 27, 2019
Rated: 3.56 by Can_if_you_can from Minnesota

Nov 22, 2018
Rated: 4.04 by denver10 from New Mexico

Oct 21, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by Mooslerfitness from Ohio

Oct 03, 2018
Rated: 4.13 by leprechaunandfatman from Ohio

Jul 28, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by npachl from Wisconsin

Jul 26, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Jul 13, 2018
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Reviewed by Cthulhusquid from Washington

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Look: Solid black body, half a finger brown head.

Smell: See below.

Taste: Milk and dark chocolate, orange, bourbon, mild oak and peat, maybe a note of sherry.

Feel: Low carbonation, full body, medium alcohol presence. A hint of sweetness upfront, dry finish.
Jun 29, 2018
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Reviewed by macrosmatic from Florida

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Very dark brown to black and opaque. A low level of visible carbonation and a thin tan head that fades to a ring of foam.

S: Dark chocolate, oak, and vanilla, all melded deep inside the bourbon. Some dark fruit, and roasted malts with just a hint of char. Mild citrus fruitiness as it warms. Nice aroma and, as usual with these, fairly complex.

T: Chocolate, bourbon, and oak. Sweet vanilla mixed with dry woody tannins. Heavily roasted malts, with a very mild smokiness. Mild dark fruit, and just a touch of fruit that I suspect is the orange but wouldn’t have called it otherwise. More bourbon heat at the swallow, with chocolate sweetness and dry baker’s chocolate as it fades.

M: A body that's nicely heavy for a porter but not crazy, with a thick mouthfeel. The alcohol is obvious but balanced as a part of the flavors. Fairly low level of carbonation sensation but appropriate for style.

O: Really tasty. It probably isn't my favorite of their anniversary series, but very good. Strikes a near perfect balance of barrel to all the other flavors. Well done.
Jun 18, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

Jun 03, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by SaxmanRick from Minnesota

May 26, 2018
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Reviewed by MaillardRx from Kansas

4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75
Look- dark, hint of amber, some lacing, some white thin head

Smell- cherry, minimal malt, clean,

Taste- cherry, currant, sweet, clean and relatively crisp, some booze there, a bit of orange peel but doesn't present itself prominently to my palate

Feel- not much chew for a porter, crisp and light for how dark and involved it is

Overall- thoroughly enjoyable, aged extremely well
Apr 22, 2018
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Reviewed by HattedClassic from Virginia

4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Aged 2 years. Poured from a bottle.

The beer pours a decent creamy brownish tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer itself is a nice dark chocolate black that seems to have thin textured surface due to the barrel aging and the aging itself.

The smell is very good and doesn't seem to have suffered from the aging. The smell seems to have a stronger spiced scotch note along with a good woody follow-up and a very light bourbon that's really hard to detect without a little patience. There is a decent cocoa note and light vanilla note that pops out and a decent orange peel note in the smell's finish.

The taste is fantastic. The bourbon note comes out right in front but doesn't overwhelm the other notes and blends in well with them. The scotch is still there but it's a bit light and easily gets lost. The cocoa is also still present and the vanilla is done well. The orange is a bit stronger and lingers in the finish with a light alcohol finish.

The feel is good. It has a heavy body but a thin feel to it and is slick and slippery. The carbonation is a bit light but it's pretty fluffy and creamy.

Overall, it's pretty good beer even after aging it for a while. It seems the notes have mellowed out a bit and blended rather well while maintaining a distinct orange peel.
Apr 11, 2018
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Reviewed by augustgarage from California

4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Portsmouth tulip.

Clear bistre/seal brown body with a low tan head; average retention, quick sandy lacing, vague legs.

Sweet somewhat boozy aroma with chocolate, vanilla, and smoke. Hints of specialty malt and grassy hops, but the adjuncts are to the front.

The finish is so strong with this beer that it's hard not to talk about it first - the low smokey/briny scotch notes combine majestically with the cocoa and vaguely bitter orange notes once the sugars have all faded from memory. Up front, there is an almost cloying wave of vanilla and complex malt along with burnt sugar and a touch of tobacco.

Creamy faintly tannic mouth-feel - warming but the alcohol is well integrated.

This is a wonderful dessert beer, but despite the move away from the excessive experimentation of some previous incarnations of the anniversary ales, I still prefer the unadorned base beer to this rendition. It rides the fine line between decadent and bloated.
Feb 25, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by shigg85 from Japan

Feb 20, 2018
Rated: 4.21 by herman77 from Minnesota

Jan 21, 2018
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Reviewed by andy87 from Ohio

4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Really tasty. Had this a year and a half after it was brewed and it clearly aged well. Subtle chocolate and orange sweetness and goes down easy for how strong it is.
Jan 01, 2018
Rated: 4.32 by wisegreensoul from Idaho

Dec 28, 2017
Rated: 4.6 by Viperman1316 from Indiana

Dec 22, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by Howlader from Canada (AB)

Dec 18, 2017
Black Butte XXVIII from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 293 ratings