Black Butte XX | Deschutes Brewery

282 Reviews
Black Butte XXBlack Butte XX

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Porter brewed with chocolate beans and coffee added with 20% aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by josiahschlender on 05-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 282 | Ratings: 358
Photo of matttttYCE
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fist off, thank you so very, very much to kevinv for sending this to me as an extra in our recent trade! This has been my top want since I had the pleasure of trying XXI on tap at a local bar for a Deschutes event a while back. Kevin you are awesome and I don't think I could thank you enough!

Alright so on this 14th night of July I'll be reviewing Black Butte XX for my 20th review and a little bit of celebration of a year on BeerAdvocate since by BA time it's technically already the 15th. What the hell. XXI will be tomorrow for my 21st review and a little compare and contrast. Cheers!

Appearance - Poured into my Deschutes balloon glass (that I got with a pour of XXI at the event I went to), this one manages to muster up a little more than a figer high, foamy, light cocoa powder brown colored head. The head dissapates pretty quickly as expected thanks to the high ABV and the barrel aging, but leaves some moderate, sticky lacing around the glass. Still, a nice ring and a thin film of bubbles stick around for a while. Wonderfully murky black color with hardly even the slightest hint of brown around the edges. No, this ones dark as night.

Smell - The smell of this one is quite nice. Lots of big, bold roasted malt coming at you, plenty of smooth coffee notes and milk and sweet chocolate. There's very light, very suble straight bourbon notes, but I am getting plenty of vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut and maybe some faint woodsy oak smell on the back, but it's light. Very nice melding of aromas and I also get a hint of leather to go along with those aromas the bourbon barrel undoubtedly imparted. I would've preferred more of a % aged in Bourbon barrels for this, but that's just my personal preference. Otherwise, this beer smells quite wonderful.

Taste - After some lengthy buildup and anticipation, not only from opening the bottle (which took me surprisingly long with all that damn wax), but also with typing out all of the previous verbage, XX really delivers a flavorful punch on the first sip and definitely lives up to my expectations. Cocoa nibs and dark chocolate galore, roasted malts a plenty, coffee notes abound, caramel and vanilla and sweetness provid an allure, notes of bourbon and oak dance along my tastebuds, dark fruit notes and hints of toasted coconut entice my palate even further. A slight hint of booziness lingers at the back of the throat. Have I painted you a beautiful mental picture? Are you salavating yet? Just a wonderfully smooth combination of flavors that I quite enjoy.

Mouthfeel - Consistency if of a silky smooth nature, carbonation is light/creamy, body is not quite full but moderately so (drinks wonderfully for an imperial, high ABV porter), and the finish is moderate but not lingering. Nicely done I should say.

Overall - Hmm, where do I start? Well, there was a surprising amount of coffee aroma and flavor still left after about 3 years, so I guess that's a testament to how much coffee they added. This beer really is fantastic. Others might not be as enamored with it as I am, but that's a matter of personal tastes. To be fair, I think this beer has hit its peak and is on its way down. It was still quite good and could easily handle more time aging, but I think the flavors really are at a peak now (if they weren't when it was fresh, but I didn't have the luxury). Whatever your opinion, enjoy. It's a finely crafted brew. Cheers Deschutes! Here's to 20 more years!

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Photo of claspada
3.94/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to HimerMan for providing me the best beers I have ever had in my life.
Pours deep deep dark brown with good carbonation and nice brown 1 1/2 finger head in my snifter.
The aromas begin with heavy roast, almost smells meaty like a piece of pork that has been cooked in a smoker all day. I hate smoke beers so lets hope the smoke ends here on the nose. As it warms I get more of the dark roasted malts; mainly coffee and dark bitter cocoa. Hops are obviously not a factor here after 3 years.
The tastes begin with a boat ton of roasted malts. Dark chocolate and burnt coffee beans highlight the initial flavors. Probably the most roasted dark grain flavor I have ever had in a beer. As it warms the dark fruity flavors emerge thankfully balancing out the previously almost unpalatable burnt flavors. This is quite enjoyable now, I obviously should have known better and left this to open up to let the flavors truly emerge.
The mouthfeel is full and sticky; the flavors stick to your palate and linger into the finish. Carbonation is quite nice and quite appropriate for the style.
Overall I enjoyed this beer a lot, but surprisingly not as much as the version from a year after which I sampled a few months back. The coffee is much more prevalent is this version and I preferred the dark fruit flavors of the XXI. Still quite good, especially the fact that I could not even come close to detecting the 11% ABV, I'll probably feel it tomorrow though...

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Photo of youradhere
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in a XX, XXI, and XXIII vert. Pours pitch black with amber edges; aroma is chocolate and tootsie rolls, beets. Tastes of subdued chocolate yet heavy on the tootsie roll, muted coffee, raisins. Mouthfeel still has grip, beginning to thin compared to the newer versions. Carbonation is medium, sweetness has mellowed.

Pours black with reddish mahogany edges, tan head about two fingers, falls to a nice cap of lacing. Smell is chocolate and coffee, raisins, licorice, and all sorts of goodness. Taste is coffee, chocolate, roast malt and char, slight soy, black coffee again. As it warms and my palate adjusts I pick up more chocolate, oak char, and licorice. Mouthfeel is on the light side, which is appropriate for a porter style. Carbonation is medium yet prickly, flavors coat the back of the mouth. Pretty drinkable for an imperial, Deschutes always comes through for me on their Reserve Series. Another win for this one!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep deep brown with good carbonation and nice brown head.

S: Nose roasted malts, cocoa, coffee

T: Taste was a blast of cocoa nibs, milky chocolate, oh so msooth woodiness, light coffee and roasted malts Exceptional!

M: Nice and creamy, good body and carbonation

O: Very good. This beer is holding up like a champ!

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a plastic cup

Thanks to Mages64 for the mad hook-up on this want so I could share it with my peeps on DLD.

This pours blacker than most porters that I've touched, but it's looks really similar to the BBXXI which I must admit I enjoyed. This beer being aged on coffee beans and chocolate bean partially in bourbon barrel...nothing about that is bad. The aroma is a nice bourbon and heavy roast. It smells like a damn good cup of mocha. There is vanilla mixed-in to help smooth out the coffee. I'm surprised how strong the coffee flavor is in this beer from 2008. I would have imagined that it would have faded significantly. That having been said it's almost still a bit boozy. I would have thought age would have been it's friend for mouthfeel, but it's still a touch on the acidic side. Overall this was a very tasty beer and I'm truly glad I was able to have it and share it with other amazing BAs.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clear plastic cup.

Big thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

After the success of BBXXI, there is quite a bit of anticipation in front o' this one. It pours a rather murky black-brown topped by a bit more than a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises oak, vanilla, caramel, straight barley, and some light roasted malts. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, oak, dark chocolate, a touch of booze, plenty of coffee, and some more of that straight barley character. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a pretty damn solid brew, though I think the slight age hasn't really helped this one out as much as it could potentially have. Cryptic as that kinda was, it's how my brain reacted. Boom.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown that leans toward black head is brown colored. Head becomes a cap that recedes quickly into a thick collar. Not a whole lot of lacing left behind.

S- Quite a bit of vanilla, roasted malts and coffee. A bit of dark chocolate, dark fruits and a little booze.

T- A very nice vanilla-coffee blend, leaning towards vanilla sweetness. Roasted malts and dark chocolate, with oak presence. Darker fruits maybe raisins. A light alcohol warmth in the aftertaste.

M- Fuller side of medium and low carbonation.

O- I think this was my favorite of the tasting. Very well crafted brew.

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Photo of Spider889
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Normyk for sharing this bottle at the last Jackie O's release. Man my notes are as ever backlogged.

Nice thick black stout. Not much more to say considering the size of my sample.

Smelled very smooth, nice amounts of vanilla and roasted malt, akin to a traditional RIS. And actually at the time of writing my notes I believed that this was in fact a RIS.

The taste was really nice. There was a smoothness usually reserved for oatmeal stouts. Lots of dry oaky notes really add character to this beer. Charcoal and ash also are prominent. The barrel aging is smooth and well balanced, just enough to add the vanilla and sweet tobacco type of nuances bourbon is good for.

The mouthfeel was very smooth, but thick. My notes suggest that this is a full bodied porter, in which case I was confused at the time expecting even more, thinking it was a stout. As a porter this beer is exceptional, as most porters are far too thin for my taste.

To be honest I knew little to nothing about this beer when I drank it. I had no idea there was coffee added, and did not really pick up on any coffee flavors. I think that's enough evidence that coffee does drop off over time, and 2 years is a lot of time for an ingredient some suggest is only slightly less unstable than hops.

Either way a solid beer that I'd be happy to try again. Thanks Rob!

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Normyk for opening this at Jackie O's.

A- This is not one of those porters that is questionably thin, or even more brown than black. This is borderline stout. A tight mocha head caps a blackhole colored beer.

S- The aroma is very woodsy, an almost nutty level of oak with a soft bourbon backdrop. I havent had a fresher Black Butte but it seems like the bourbon has mellowed and allowed the oak to show more of itself. There is a high level of roasted malts paired up with a touch of coffee. Perhaps the coffee has weakened over the 2 years as well.

T- The taste is right in line with the aroma. There is a ribbon of smooth, mellow bourbon on the front. It breaks into a full blown barrel wood flavor. From there bourbon heat is back and bigger than before. The finish can get quite boozy indeed. Coffee is strong on the finish as well. It helps to tie in the roasted malts. This seems to be all about the juxtaposition of silky oak and bourbon and roasty malts and coffee.

M- Very smooth finish despite the heat on the back end. Its down right silky.

I need to make Black Butte a yearly ISO.

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Photo of imagese
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood

A- thick dark chocolate with a one finger head that faded slowly and soft laced the glass

S- quick boozy kick followed by bitter chocolate and ground coffee

T- toasty smoked hide and chocolate. Very big on the roast. A slight sour dark fruit ending

M- thick and creamy. So smooth, with a nice carbonation

D- amazing. So smooth and satisfying

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Photo of beagle75
3.54/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft service into a tulip glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of fine, persistent mocha-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Ferric umami dominates--slightly bloody--with used coffee grounds and dark chocolate also detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with with dark fruit, roasted malt, and occasionally intense acidity. The middle features chocolate and coffee in excellent balance as acidity fades. Bitterness is restrained in the drying finish, where malt and chocolate linger on the palate.

M: Medium viscosity, prevailing sensations on the palate waffle between either acidity bordering on unpleasant or unctuously creamy, with moderate carbonation.

D: Interesting at times but a chore to drink at others, this beer provides another reason to reconsider making your special, limited edition beer in the style of the imperial porter. At its best this beer is a wonder to behold, but unfortunately it has some low points that are equally drastic. While I was pleased to have the opportunity to drink this beer on-draft from a keg cellared by the brewer, it is perhaps not the equal of the bottle-conditioned format. The fact that I found a bottled one-year-old Black Butte XXI to be superior to this beer may further indicate the superiority of bottle-cellaring for this line of anniversary beers.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split this bottle with drabmuh last weekend.

I picked this up while on the west coast, soon after it was released.

A: The body of this beer appears jet black and dark brown at the crest when held to the light. The beer has an inch of thick, beige head that leaves a healthy amount of lacing upon the glass.

S: Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa.

T: A really tasty brew. Flavors include chocolate, subtle bourbon (perhaps age lessened the prominence of the booze), coffee, cocoa. Everything is balanced and integrated very well.

M: Smooth and creamy with a moderately low amount of carbonation.

D: Splitting a bomber two ways was no problem. Tasty beer.

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Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Founders Snifter

Pours ½ finger of light tan head. Fades to a thin ring. Leaves a slight amount of lace.

Aroma: The bourbon sticks out with a bit of heat. I was kind of surprised as I didn't expect this much. Has vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and a roasty coffee showing. It is sweet and roasted. Pretty malty.

Taste: More heat, booze, and bourbon up front. Very chocolaty and roasted. A lot of coffee bitterness. Caramel and vanilla also show. I also get some brewers licorice mixed in there. It is pretty creamy.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and rich. Medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, at first sip I wasn't a fan, but as I drank more if it I liked it. It is a really solid porter with a ton of flavor. It is decently drinkable, but a bomber was a good idea to split. I could easily have this again.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Technically, here I am reviewing the XX version. Poured into a tulip glass an extremely dark brown color with a nice coastered tan head of tiny bubbles. The nose is big and heavy with notes of dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, licorice, dark fruit, and bourbon. The mouthfeel is light than I would like but might be more appropriate for a porter but nevertheless, I would like it to be a little heavier. The taste is just as big as the nose with lots of flavors; dark chocolate, licorice, dark fruit, caramel, vanilla,and ends with a roasted coffee flavor that walks a fine line of being too roasted for me. I like this, big beer with lots of complexity.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. One of the first beers I traded for. I can't remember who I got it from.

Poured into a snifter. Very close to black in color with a slight light mocha head and a tad bit of lacing. The nose is really nice with roasted malt, coffee, a hint of smoke, and some chocolate. The taste is along the same lines and is quite well integrated. Great feel with a bit of dryness. Drinks quite well; I'm a big fan.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at a recent tasting, thanks!

Beer is black with a dark brown head with tiny bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low. Beer looks good. The head breaks and gravitates toward the edge of the glass.

Aroma is great, coffee, sweet, chocolate, roast, sweet malt. Good.

Beer is medium bodied, no carbonation in the mouth. Its creamy and quite bitter. There is forward sweetness and chocolate flavors, mild vanilla. The back of the palate is an avalanche of coffee roast and more bitterness from the chocolate. This is a very cool beer. I want to see if I can get a side by side going with XXI and XX, my understanding is that XXII is screwed up so it won't ever be bottled, that's a shame.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

obtained in trade. from notes, tasted in june 2009. poured into tulip glass.

black, nearly opaque. red/brown tint on edges under the light. 2+ finger light brown head. fades to wisps and ring. thin, sparse lacing.

big aromas from start. combo of dark caramel maltiness, big oaky vanilla, toasted nutes, coffee and cocoa hints, whiffs of leather and bourbon, some fruit too (sweet cherries but with a tart note as well). caramel is almost savory, almost milky.

taste: sweet, malty, bourbony w/ oaky vanilla, cherry tones, notes of toasted nuts and grains. up to this point, basically very similar to the aroma. along w/ coffee and cocoa, the roast and hops are quite earthy and bitter. the bourbon can get a bit alcoholic and boozy tho, esp. in the finish.

almost viscous, but with lots of astringency and alcohol. mild carbonation helps body and creaminess.

in the end, booze cuts drinkability. would be interesting to age another year or so (from summer '09), but before the bourbon is totally faded.

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Photo of billab914
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to finally crack this one tonight. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Pumpking chalice. It poured pitch black in color with a thin khaki colored head barely covering the top of the beer. It had moderate head retention and left a bit ofamount of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very good dark chocolaty, roasty, porter character to it. A bit of the bourbon, oak and vanilla comes through and really adds some depth to it. It's very smooth and complex at the same time. Excellent aroma overall.

The taste starts with more of the dark chocolate with a bit of a sweeter milk chocolate flavor to it as well. Some roasty and bitter flavors start to come through towards the finish with just a bit of coffee. A very mild bourbon flavor is present in the finish. like the nose it doesn't play a big role but it adds to the complexity.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side and carbonation is low. Drinkability is very good, it's definitely one of the best porters I've had. It had some great chocolaty flavors with some nice balancing coffee and roasted flavors. The barrel and bourbon flavors came through just enough to enhance the flavors without overpowering it. Excellent beer overall.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Whoa, momma! This big Porter is brewed with chocolate beans and coffee, and 20 percent is aged in bourbon barrels and then blended back in.
Big frothing with a lacing that cascades nearly in slow-motion as the light brown head forms. Black as a cloudy night in the boonies, and the head retention is nothing but stellar.

Expressive aroma of toasted cocoa nibs, fresh coffee grounds, peppery alcohol and a slight Bourbon note. Slightly creamy with a slick, full body and a light smoothness from the carbonation. The trio of chocolate, coffee and bourbon fights to be king of the hill, and that hill is a mountain of roasted grain flavors. All seem to stop fighting at once and meld together with a mix of rich, toasted cocoa nibs, low-acid, dark-roasted coffee and a smooth bourbon. A quick kiss of acrid roasted grain middle to end shows that the malt is boss. Alcohol is there and certainly part of the party, but never comes hot. Slightly sweet and roasty finish.

Extreme beer at its best, an amazing beer, and is a prefect showing of what Deschutes is capable of when it comes to pushing the flavor envelope. Happy 20th, guys!!

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Photo of alleykatking
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #600

A- Pours a dark as night black. Half finger tan head dies almost as soon as it rises. Little oil slick coating on the glass as I drink but no lacing. This beer has legs that's for sure!

S- Nice roasted coffee aroma that kicks it all off. Some bittersweet baker's chocolate comes into play with a light caramel malt as well. Oaky bourbon notes sprinkled with a light vanilla comes into play toward the end. This beer smells fantastic....makes my mouth water just waiting for it.

T- Good roasted coffee flavor kicks the beer off to a good start. Light bittersweet chocolate notes dance on the palate along with a light roasted malt in there. The bourbon is not as strong as I once remembered it but hides well in the backgound letting a oaky charred wood flavor come through a little more. Some vanilla highlights in the background toward the end. The chocolate notes come and go throughout the entire beer making it devine.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little on the weak side for the style but worked fantastic with the beer itself. Chocoalte malts with light vanilla left on the palate with the same chocolate notes and a bourbon soaked wood flavor in the aftertaste. Flavors were well blended and no off flavors. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This beer was fantastic. The age on this one really made the beer shine. If you have a bottle of this I would suggest drinking it now and you should agree this beer is on top of its game.

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Photo of fear025
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma:Chocolate, malty, smokey aroma. Some alcohol smell. Smells really good.

Appearance:Black with thick cappuccino head. Ok head retention. Good lacing.

Taste:This beer tastes of dark malts, spiceyness, coffee, and dark chocolate. It's a bit dark for a porter.

Mouthfeel:The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with a fine carbonation that gives this beer life.

Drinkability:This is a terrific beer, but it tastes more like a RIS than a porter.

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Photo of bamadog
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received a bottle of this in a trade and was waiting for a good time to crack it. Last night seemed like a good enough time so it was cracked in a side-by-side tasting with a Black Butte XXI as well. Review is from notes taken on 7/30/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: The pour is pretty much pitch black and starts with a 1/4 finger dark tan head that fades immediately to a thin and billowy wisp and thicker ring around the surface; body is entirely opaque; loose patches of spotty and oily lacing slide back into the beer and there is some clear oily residue that slides around as well.

Smell: Very impressive -- lots of roast coffee, but not burnt; chocolate that's dark and syrupy and a little bittersweet; some light bourbon and oaky vanilla; very robust overall and it just fills the nose; as it continues to warm there is some slightly burnt sugar and caramel that starts to sneak in.

Taste: This beer is flat out amazing. Lots of wonderful roast coffee; dark sweet and semi-sweet syrupy chocolate; warm sweet oaky-vanilla bourbon; bit of a charred smokey wood flavor in the back and a touch of cola sweetness as it continues to warm; I'm very impressed by how well this beer has held up and how much the bourbon still holds a presence, but is extremely well blended -- easily one of the best beers I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium to medium-heavy weight (much more impressive than a bulk of the American Stouts out there, so not too shabby for a porter) and is very creamy and smooth; still warm in the mouth and belly from the big bourbony goodness; bit of a moist stickiness holds on to the roof of the mouth and it allows the bitter and warm roastiness to linger; teeth are left feeling a little gritty; carbonation is essentially gone, but I'm OK with that due to the warmth and thick, creamy body.

Drinkability: This beer is flat out amazing -- great flavors and smells, wonderfully creamy and thick mouthfeel... I really don't care that the ABV is 11% and that's it still a little warm, it's worth drinking as much as possible and could easily be sipped throughout an entire night. I really wish I had more of this, but I'm more than happy to say that I've had it once.

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Photo of beerman207
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to bamadog who had this aging for a few years and finally broke it out of the "cellar"

A: Dark as night - reddish hue, nice fluffy head hits the glass and leaves a good skim head behind and lace on the glass

S: Wow - smoke - chocolate, bourbon, coffee is dominant here. Some oak in there as well.

T: Coffee is just amazing in this "porter" - roasted malt, could compare drinking this to eating whoppers candy.

M: Medium carbonation - very smooth going down

D: High considering the ABV. Glad to have been able to sample this special brew!

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Photo of emmasdad
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into the glass a deep, opaque black, with a small, tight light brown head. Huge aromas here: dark chocolate, raisins, oak, vanilla and espresso. Deep complex flavors of dark chocolate covered espresso beans, sweet bourbon and roasted malt. Very slick mouthfeel, almost velvety, and quite warming throughout. Not one to drink all day, but 2 glasses made for a wonderful nightcap. Outstanding.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz wax-topped bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, 2-3 thick fingers of dark mocha colored foamy head. This shrinks down quickly and mostly retains around the edges with some frothiness, leaving light spotty lace and brown goo down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of chocolate fudge with a good bit of coffee presence and some vanilla thrown in. I'm also getting a touch of some "husky" cocoa notes from the nibs that this sat on. Bourbon warmth is present but it isn't overly strong, melding nicely with the other flavors.

The taste is sweeter up front, with sugary chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla all making an appearance, before all of that dark bitterness from coffee, roast, and hops all crunch the back of this up pretty considerably. The bourbon adds somewhat of a burnt molasses flavor to this along the back of the profile, as well as some more subtle woody character that hangs on the edges of the profile and lingers with a dry tannic feel. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with an even mix of a silkier creamy carbonation and then a much chewier and thick feel underneath. I'm also getting a good bit of slickness from the barrel, which helps all of those big flavors slither down the throat. There's a moderate amount of warmth to this but it's mostly confined to the flavor profile and stays out of the body for the most part.

Truly a beer worthy of celebrating a 20 year milestone for Deschutes, this packed a ton of rich flavor into itself and really benefited nicely from that barrel-aging as well. I'm looking forward to checking out some more of the most recent vintages.

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Black Butte XX from Deschutes Brewery
4.32 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
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