Black Butte XXVIII
Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXVIIIBlack Butte XXVIII
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Porter - Imperial
4.28 | pDev: 6.07%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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.
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 285 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by arizcards:
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from Arizona

4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from TW Arrowhead 7-23-16 for $15.99. Bottled on 6-13-16 and stored in the wine cooler since purchase.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice tan head that is hanging on with my sips.

Nose is hints of dark cocoa, scotch, and leather.

Taste is an awesome melding of flavors. First sip definitely got the scotch and a touch of bourbon. Subsequent sips find dark cocoa, vanilla, leather, scotch, and a touch of fruit - maybe orange. Eclectic combo that comes together very well!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall i can't get over the flavor of this edition. it is one of those beers that can be hit and miss but if you like subtle barrel and flavors in your beer then definitely get this one!

Jul 04, 2017
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

bitter chocolate, vanilla cream, bog, peat earth pepper smoke, orange peel, bourbon scotch oak

The twenty-eighth year of Black Butte allows Deschutes Brewery to celebrate in a big way. An even more robust character than the original emerges and this time captures an added complexity of smoky booze, spice and citrus to complement the already roasty, toasty and creamy dark ale.

Black Butter XXVIII pours just as lush, viscous and creamy as you'd expect, and with an arid honeycomb cap and a jet-black austere. Its scent is sharp with roasted malt, seeming of burnt toast, cocoa powder, dark-roast coffee, peated whisky and a hint of orange. Its taste is lavishly full and sweet up front with notions of burnt marshmallows, seared cream and burnt toffee all playing equal roles.

As the full-bodied porter slathers onto the tastebuds, its burnt sweetness seeps deep within and washes the tastebuds with bitter baker's chocolate, French-press coffee, and roasted nuttiness. Soothed with the sultry taste and velvety texture of vanilla and heavy cream, the body is firm and balanced, only to follow with a spicy oak and boggish character with hints of campfire and char softened again with caramel, coconut and vanilla from bourbon barrels.

Full and lush on the palate, the beer's acrid roast and oak tannins help to add spice to the sweetness and to keep the malty beer trending semi-dry and powder-fine in finish. Spicy bourbon and scotch offer the masterful reprieve from malt as the imperial porter slowly recedes, leaving a trail of roast and charred fruit lingering behind.

Jul 15, 2016
Photo of GreatStoutman
GreatStoutman from Texas

4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Couple days after the release, on tap at the pdx taproom in a Deschutes teku.

Look is black body with very this tight bubbled ring of head that leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell is strong of bourbon with hints of dark fruit. Not really getting the orange peel on the nose.

Taste is bourbon, vanilla, some roast and smoke and finally a touch of sweet fruit. Really well balanced for being this complex.

Feel is thinner than expected but well carbonated, got kind of foamy and then finishes off dry. Bitterness from cocoa comes into play later.

Overall, this is a delicious version of the anniversary series that never disappoints for me. Will definitely seek out some bottles when they show up back home.

Jun 29, 2016
Photo of jhavs
jhavs from New Hampshire

4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber bottle poured into stemless wine glass.

Black, frothy tan head that settles slowly into thick tan collar.

Aroma is boozy, bitter cocoa.

Flavor is chocolate, bitter baking cocoa, scotch barrel is definitely noticeable, hint of vanilla once it warms, didn't notice any orange peel.

Soft carbonation that is proper for the style, a bit over medium body.

Lots of things going on, taste the scotch but can't tell if I get the bourbon or just the barrel and vanilla beans. Actually pretty smooth and easy to drink for a big brew.

Nov 28, 2017
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the tap and growler today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive as well, as I pick up dark chocolate, vanilla, light coffee, noticeable bourbon and scotch. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the scotch and light licorice in the finish balancing the sweetness in this beer pretty nicely. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, slightly boozy finish. That being said, the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is pretty decent. This isn't a beer I can see myself drinking a lot of, but it would make a great night cap.

I like the direction Deschutes seems to be taking with this beer. The use of scotch barrels is interesting, and adds another element to the nose and flavor profile. Pretty impressive.

Jul 09, 2016
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. black-waxed bottle that’s $6 more than the Black Butte XXI still resting in my cellar. That’s a lot of inflation. Split with my wife.

Pour: black. Says so right on the label. The nose bring chocolate mocha, moderate barrel, & the smoke from a very distant fire.

Black Butte XXVIII was an impulse buy - no more mission figs, dates, or shed snake skin in these beers, I beg of you! The first sip turns into a long pull. The whiskey is delicious & back to an age-appropriate level, & is lovingly smothered in cocoa (I just found my dying request - smother me in whiskey soaked cocoa!). Moderate bitterness (orange peel?) in the middle, along with mild lowland peat bog, black treacle, scant oak. Bourbon finish. Very smooth & very easy to down.

XXVI was a huge disappointment as this series circled the drain - XXVIII is the Justinian I of the anniversary beers. Now the big question - does XXIX hold Rome or is the bubonic plague on the horizon? Only time will tell. Excellent beer.

Jul 28, 2016
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Heinen's in University Hts., Ohio

Pours black with a small light tan head that leaves nice retention and lacing. The aromas are subtle with lots of cocoa malts. Hints of chocolate, bourbon and scotch. The flavors are very bold and balanced. Lots of dark chocolate and milk chocolate. The bourbon and scotch blend very well together and with everything else. The oak/wood does its thing. Hints of vanilla in the mix. The orange doesn't seem to be too noticeable. Bittersweet. Mild warmth in the finish, but the alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is great. It's full-bodied, but light with moderate carbonation. Very fluffy and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a great brew. They nailed this one. The craftsmanship is very impressive. Well done.

Jan 21, 2017
Photo of SerialTicker
SerialTicker from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a howler (32oz growler) of this at Michigan Beer Growler Company... the board said Black Butte XVIII, but I figured someone didn't know how to do Roman numerals... turns out I was right.

Alright, this'll be a short review. This beer is delicious. For me though, this tastes like most good bourbon barrel aged porters out there, which is obviously not a bad thing. It's just hard to differentiate. The bourbon is fantastic, and the scotch barrel adds that little extra "oomph." The label also notes that this is brewed with orange peel, but I assure you, you won't notice it whatsoever. Even with it on the label, if you're one of THOSE people, you won't recognize it.

This is just a delicious beer. It reminds me a decent bit of XXVII, but I like it more than that, as this one has a bit less of a smokey flavor to it. I see that this has peated malt, but I don't feel like it adds much more of a smokey kind of flavor than regular ol' roasted malts go.

In any event, find it, buy it, enjoy it. I also think this one should age well... but with it drinking as deliciously as it is now, just enjoy ASAP. Cheers!

Aug 18, 2016
Photo of Sweffin
Sweffin from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aug 01, 2016
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 01, 2017
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black oily body with a brown dense head that fades to a ring and veneer. Nose is hit with a whallop of woody whiskey booziness, plum, roasty malt, vanilla, a touch of sweet marshmallow. Taste is bitter, lots of dark chocolate, mild soy sauce and dark fruit, good punch of whiskey booziness, mild vanilla, deep oakiness, mild orange rind. Lasts and lasts, which is impressive but not exactly ecstatic. Body is thick and syrupy, very sticky, good oily quality to it, with fine but ample carbonation.
Packs a punch on the aroma and flavor, but even huge barrel-aged brutish beers can add class and nuance. This one did not, but the intensity of flavor and the range still made it an enjoyable heavy hitter worthy of the ABV.

Oct 14, 2016
Photo of cwkash
cwkash from Kentucky

4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 03, 2017
Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
Pearlstreetbrewingco from Florida

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

Aug 05, 2017
Photo of chillin
chillin from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

May 04, 2017
Photo of Greasy
Greasy from Kentucky

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

Aug 17, 2016
Photo of ssgunbond
ssgunbond from Belgium

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 21, 2016
Photo of Erik-P
Erik-P from Canada

4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nov 14, 2016
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator from California

3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Slater's 50/50 Rancho Cucamonga on 08/18/16.

Aug 19, 2016
Photo of TruePerception
TruePerception from California

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deschutes Black Butte XXVIII, imperial porter brewed with cocoa, vanilla, peated malt, and sweet orange, 50% aged in Bourbon and Scotch barrels.

A: Nice toffee shading to outer head, with creamy tan in the center. About two fingers of head. Black in the glass. Rich brown in the dimple. Solid sheeting. Nice, thinner lacing, but it slides right down.

S: While dark chocolate and char are most present, there is a quite noticeable sweet orange aroma around the edges.

T/MF: Light char and chocolate blooms into a lovely toffee, with a lightly sweet char. Orange zest settles in on the finish. There is a slight Scotch flavor, but it's not overpowering. A bit creamy on the tongue. Chalky char on the finish.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Sep 10, 2016
Photo of gelasin
gelasin from California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jul 16, 2016
Photo of dcisco44
dcisco44 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nov 27, 2016
Photo of Moses_Malone
Moses_Malone from District of Columbia

4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of Viperman1316
Viperman1316 from Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 22, 2017
Photo of 22Blue
22Blue from Kansas

4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 01, 2016
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oct 05, 2019
Black Butte XXVIII from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 285 ratings