Black Butte XXI
Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXIBlack Butte XXI
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American Imperial Porter
4.39 | pDev: 7.74%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black Butte XXIBlack Butte XXI
Notes: Released June 2009.

Similar recipe and strength to Black Butte XX (2008), "enhanced by adding some Theo's Chocolate cocoa nibs from Seattle, dry-hopping it with 100 pounds of Bellatazza's locally roasted coffee, and then aging a portion of it in Stranahan's Colorado whiskey barrels."
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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 580
Photo of RedDiamond
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wrote the word YOWZA! in my notes describing the aroma of this imperial porter brewed to celebrate Deschutes' 21st anniversary. It takes a lot to bring me to YOWZA! But Black Butte XXI takes me there. The aroma has roast coffee notes in such abundance; it's almost too much to absorb. Some might even find it overbearing though I enjoyed it precisely for its commanding presence.

XXI was brewed with cocoa nibs and fresh roasted coffee, and was partly aged in bourbon barrels. The cocoa and coffee are omnipresent, the bourbon elements, subdued.

The flavor emulates the unrelenting potency of the aroma. Coffee, chocolate, toasted grains, and formidable bittering create a complex taste sensation that is as bold as it is mesmerizing. It's almost frightening. At the very least, Black Butte XXI is uncommon - perhaps thankfully so. It's not the kind of beer you can drink every night. But it's a take-no-prisoners beer whose brazen immediacy screams, "Get it while you can."

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really glad to find this one, from Wilburs in Ft. Collins, can't remember the price. 22oz single, very excited.

A: Very dark brown, verging on black, cream colored cap about half an inch thick with dense bubbles, pretty fair retention and fairly nice lacing as well. Red accents on the edges when held to the light, very nice.

S: Coffee is huge in this one, very very strong coffee flavor, strong smells of chocolate as well as a nice burnt malt profile as well. Fresh roasted coffee is really the dominating feature though. A few bitter hop notes are there as well. Very very nice.

T: Chocolate milk, huge time coffee though, this one is a "coffee bomb" if there ever was one. Nice hop bitterness, some profiles of citrus and pine as well as a huge huge coffee flavor. There really is a lot going on here, and this beer will tame out with time. Surprisingly no alcohol. Very rich beer, nice to have as a dessert. All around a huge beer, and lots of flavors going on. Nice vanilla hints as well from the barrels. Excellent, all the way around amazing.

M: A lot thinner than I had hoped for, a lot thinner, and that takes away from this beer. Dry alcohol mixd with a dry coffee as well, very sticky and sweet too. Really nice, but still detracts from the beer. Dry oakiness as well.

D: Easy drinking beer, all the way around, huge coffee flavors and huge chocolate as well. Barrel aging has helped this beer a ton, and I can't wait to crack open my second bottle in a little over a year. This is an exceptional beer, and lives up to the hype in my eyes. Easily stacks up well against the Black Butte XX. Excellent. Highly recommended if you can find it!

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Black Butte XXI from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 580 ratings