Black Butte XXI | Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXIBlack Butte XXI
BA SCORE
4.39/5
580 Ratings
Black Butte XXIBlack Butte XXI
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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."

Added by squaremile on 07-03-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
377
Ratings:
580
pDev:
7.74%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
211
Gots:
142
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 580 |  Reviews: 377
Photo of iD9
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a cognac snifter.

Appearance: Black. Forms a nice, full, tan head when poured. It boils down rather quickly leaving a thin layer of foam in its wake. Thin lacing is present.

Smell: Smells like your typical porter except for one thing. Bourbon; heavy, hot and strong. Maybe a hint of chocolaty undertones on this one?

Taste: The bourbon makes itself known. After notes of chocolate and dark malts, there is a slight fruits hint. Perhaps the result of grapefruity hops? This beer could do with some aging as it has a harsh bite on the end of it, something I typically don't look for in a porter.

Mouthfeel: Nice, medium-full body. This drink coats the tongue well and has a lasting finish. A bit creamy on the front end and a little dry on the back end. Again, could probably do with a little aging. Deschuttes does warn us with this beer and the 2009 Abyss that it is best served after XX/XX/2010.

Drinkability: Strong notes of bourbon and a few harsh notes (likely from premature opening) really diminish this beer's drinkability. Fortunately it is very, very tasty. Likely a bit of aging, and serving the beer a bit warm will improve this a great deal. Can't wait to open another bottle up in a year.

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a rounded tumbler, deep dark brown (almost black color) that has some slight ruby at the edges, head is one finger that doesn't stick around very long, yellowish brown in color. Aromas of the roasted malts some burnt malts seem to be apparent. Chocolate malts provide some definite bitterness. Sweetness limited by the bitterness of the chocolate malts, the taste is very balanced between the chocolate malts, coffee flavors, and the roasted malts. Medium to full bodied feel that has some slight dryness as well. A drinkable beer for the style and very good though the ABV limits consumption.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into nonic.

A - Pours black with a frothy tan-colored head. My semi-aggressive pour yields two fingers worth of head and once it disipitates a bit, leaves a ton of sticky lacing. A nice tan cap is left behind along with a ring of head around the edge of the glass. All in all, a very nice-looking beer here...very nice.

S - Coffee, burnt caramels, malts, bitter dark chocolate. No real notes from the whiskey barrels though, which is a bit disappointing.

T - Very similar to the nose but the main change is the whiskey shines through here along with some oak barrel notes as well. All the local ingredients that went into making this beer are evident on the palate, which is an outstanding combo of flavors. A nice bitter dark chocolate finish.

M - Medium to full bodied, very rich and smooth, and perfect light carbonation. Creamy finish, maybe a touch dry.

D - For 11%, this is too easy to drink. I like this one better then the XX and it might be my favorite porter I've ever had. This is a excellent beer, glad I have more!

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #400! Pulled out this treat.

I recieved a couple bottles of this, one from Tanger and one from barleywinefiend. Thanks a bunch guys! This bottle is from Tanger, I have a very sophisticated filing system (excel sheet...erhem...).

Pours a deep motor oil like black color. The head rises slowly but surely and is brown in color. I was sort of excpecting it to be a little darker. Pretty good retention. It shrinks to a thin film and has great staying power from there out.

The nose is...fantastic! Chocolate and coffee, vanilla and oak, bourbon! So complex and so warm and friendly. Huge malt presense, and just a hint of alcohol. The model of what Imperial Porters should smell like.

This one really opens up at around room temperature. Incredible. The roasted malt charcter on this one is fantastic,and coupled with the complexity of the other flavors...this is awesome. Cocoa and vanilla, bitter coffee beans (really bitter) and bakers chocolate. The bourbon notes are more subtle here, while the vanilla and oak take the forefront. Slight warming presense in the finish, but nothing near what you think an 11% brew would be like. Amazing.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy. Thick and rich, it goes down incredibly smooth. Bitter and slightly dry finish. Drinkability is amazing, I won't have a problem polishing off this bomber myself.

This is an excellent brew, but I can tell that 6 months to a year will make it a spectacular one. I'm thankful to have another bottle and will sit on that one until next winter. Thanks Tanger and barleywinefiend!

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 45 degrees.

Pours a jet black in the glass with a thick, creamy dark tan to brown froth with excellent retention & good lacing. Pronounced aromas of black forest cake, chocolate mousse,
roasted Sumatra coffee beans, molasses, smoke, bonfire, burnt timber, sweet-sweet alcohol, & a light perfume of vanilla. There is a tiny bit of bourbon that comes across on the nose, but is more noticeable on the palate. Also, for being such a high abv beer, the alcohol is well integrated into the beer. The smokey theme continues through the palate along with chocolate, coffee, oak, molasses, and a bourbon-like alcohol on the backside. The flavors are subtle and balanced which allows this high abv to be very approachable. I always find myself intimidated by such expensive & big abv beers, thinking that I should cellar them for a special occasion, but as I drink this complex beer, it's silky texture reminds that beers like this are worth the high $$$, worth holding for a special occasion, or just sitting back on your day off while you watch a movie with the Mrs.
Highly recommended!

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Photo of ohmybock
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of being out again in the PDX area recently and had sooo many great beers. One of the ones that stood out was BB XXI. Honestly, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from this new BB special brew. I had the BB XX last year and loved it, but for some reason I just didn't expect as much from this year's special BB release. Thankfully, I found the BB XXI to be a wonderful brew. It has an inviting aroma of boozy, slight vanilla-y/caramelly malts. The aroma is good, but it's not like it's the best thing I've ever smelled in a beer. The taste, however, is really good. For those that don't like too much chocolate, coffee, or barrel-aged character in their brew, than this is for you. I'm usually not a fan of in-your-face barrel/oak/bourbon/etc brews. Thankfully, the barrel character in this brew is very subtle. This taste of this beer is amazing in its balance. I get a bit of the boozy/barrel-character up front, followed quickly by some authentic chocolate, and just a touch of coffee. Honestly, the palate seems kind of thin for a brew of its strength. This is very good right now, but I think it's still way too young at this point. I bet it will be phenomenal in a year or more. Heck, don't take my word for it. The bottles say best *after* 10/17/2010. By then I imagine the booziness will have died down, there will be a better integration of all the flavors, and there will probably be a richer/drier chocolate character. Argh...I wish I had a beer cellar where I could age a case of BBXXI for the next year along with some Abyss 09.

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Photo of mmager
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, but not black exactly. Orange highlights at the edges. Very little head with a moderate pour, and what little there was quickly disappeared.

S: Wonderful huge chocolate and coffee with hints of molasses. Hints of dark fruit, almost like a belgian quad. Maybe from the chocolate? Theo chocolate does tend to have heavy fruit flavors. Some alcohol, more as it warms up, but still not overwhelming. Definite (and unsurprising) roast presence as well.

M: Rich and coating, thick. Moderate carbonation to balance. Warming on the finish but not hot. Thick and slippery even after the finish.

T: Slightly astringent at the start, but not in a distracting way. It seems to me more like an aspect of the roast. The main roast flavor takes over in the middle and continues into a very very long finish. The roast is balanced by a big malt sweetness. No notable hop presence. As it warmed up a bit I thought I detected just a bit of a lactic sourness, almost like a Irish milk stout.

D: Excellent for its style/alcohol content. This was truly a pleasure to sit and sip. I'm glad I got two so I can try the other in a year or so.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

AUpon dislodging the cap from the wax, it poured lazily into a DFH snifter. Very dark brown, almost black. Decent coverage of thin, soft foam for a beer this big.

Well, it's almost a given that this is going to score highly in aromatics, isn't it? Lot of chocolate, lot of coffee, so much that it overpowers much notion of a whiskey barrel. Still excellent. Really concentrated coffee and chocolate. Could I bathe in this stuff? Yes, yes I could.

The whiskey barrel comes through much more in the taste. Also a lot of char and f'ing bitter chocolate and coffee. Contrary to some other reviews, I don't find it to be that hot. Maybe it's already starting to calm down. It's very good, but somehow it doesn't match up to the amazing aroma. I almost feel that the whiskey barrels don't quite fit here, and that I would have liked to see the exact same beer without the barrel aging. Still, I almost feel that I'm going out of my way to find fault. Don't get me wrong...there's not a lot of fault here, and my score is going to reflect that.

Like many beers that have spent time in barrels, it can be somewhat thin and runny, especially as it warms.

In terms of drinkability, this isn't the total monster I thought it would be. I didn't try an ultra-fresh bottle, but right now, it's not very hot at all. Goes down with ease, I'm going to give it high marks for drinkability.

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Photo of idResponse
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh MY!
So I pour this bad boy into my brandy snifter of doom, and witness it fit just perfectly into it, a dark swirling mass with its head foaming just to the top. I set it on my table and let it rest for a moment, or two, or three. There's still a ton of lacing like someone's 30 year old wedding dress. I put this cup to my lips and gulp, and I think I have found a cup of LIFE itself! It's like drinking an open oak fire roasted coffee cocoa cigar, and almost feels a little dry and smoky on the tounge. I must imbibe MORE!
Notes on this brew:
First, It isn't supposed to be opened until October 2010. Also, I have had it on tap in July at the Eugene brewpub. It was pretty much just as fantastic there, but can we please pray that they bottle SUPER-JUBEL please? Because I tried some of that and it put this beer to shame!

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Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a very decedent beer of a intense amount of chocolate and coffee that doesn't sit like an RIS. the porter aspect seems to make it less broad in palate with malt. still pours pretty thick. its all there. nice bourbon quality with woodiness. should have save this one for at least a year or two. i imagine the milder malt character brings forth a nice fruit earth with age. not imperial as much as a beer that is made to sit for many years.

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Photo of BassBone
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black Butte Porter has long been my very favorite beer, but this is the first year I'd ever noticed the special Black Butte at my local BevMo. I grabbed the last bottle in the store.

Appearance: After wrestling with the love black wax enough to get a bottle opener under it it, I poured the nectar into a waiting pint glass. It poured thick and black and beautiful. Nearly opaque with brown at the edges. I couldn't get a head to build, but that may have been my glass.

Smell: The smell blew my mind. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee and a hint of spice from the formidable alcohol.

Taste: The first thing that hits me is a strong hit of black coffee followed by toffee and chocolate. There is a big chocolate rush as it goes down followed by a lingering bitter coffee aftertaste. It's just fantastic. The only downside to the flavor is the alcohol overrides everything just a bit.

Mouthfeel: It's rich and spicy and has a nice zest. The very slight combination helps it go down smoothly.

Drinkability: Despite the alcohol this is a dangerous beer. It goes down very smoothly and I just want to keep sipping it.

I wish I had two bottles of it so I could age one. Then again I wish I had a cellar so I could age any beer. (Anyone out there want to donate one to the cause?) I love this beer and I cannot wait until next year's edition.

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Photo of Rizow
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After eyeing it for some time, finally stepped up and bought a bottle. Can I register one mild complaint? Okay, love the melted black wax over the top, looks great, adds charm, love it. But how are you supposed to get it off?! Is there some trick, some easy method I'm overlooking? There I was, standing in my kitchen with the biggest, sharpest knife I have, flaking black wax into my garbage can pulled out into position in the middle of the room. Come on, Deshutes, give us a tab, give us a rip cord! Take a look at a Maker's Mark bottle, will you guys?!

Nothing, of course, that takes away from this fabulous porter...

A - Dark brown black with a two-finger head.

S - Outstanding. Vanilla, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, and oak aromas come out to greet you.

T - Bourbon and powdered chocolate, with a burnt espresso finish that leaves you with an astringent coffee taste. Delicious.

M - Smooth & Creamy, like it's supposed to be, but oh, so sublimely so, with the slightest background suggestion of carbonation. Heaven in a glass.

D - Fine for its style. Heavy, strong, but not indelicately so.

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Photo of jampics2
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 22oz bottle purchased at Papago. Split with my fiancee while watching a movie. Poured into a big wine glass (we're on vacation so no choice glassware here, but it worked well).

Pours a nice dark brownish-black. Looks great!

Smell is off the hook. A touch of sweet vanilla, bourbon, and cocoa powder. Coffee and a lightly roasted malt. No aroma hops at all. This is awesome and I'm ready to dive in.

Taste is great. Really smooth - bourbon and coffee mingle with chocolate. I love the regular Butte, but this is another beast entirely. I love the way the visco creates a creamy feel that fades into a nice coffee roast. Nothing lingers too long and it's really a well executed symphony of flavor.

Mouthfeel is great. I like the way the bubbles feel on the tongue, and it keeps everything lively and moving. Not too heavy - such a great porter.

I would buy a keg of this if I could. One begs for another - I'll keep my bottles at home until the "best after" date, but this is just a touch hot. Not to worry, though - if you have the chance, crack a bottle today. Or, if the luxury presents itself, let it mellow for another year and it'll be sublime the way the flavors present as one.

Deschutes, you are my hero.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 8/26/09. Thanks to Shane for the bottle(s)!

Pours black with a lightly colored tan head of 2 fingers into my tulip. Leaves a nearly uniform lacing around the glass while a film is present throughout the session.

Aroma opens with roasted malts cocoa powder. Espresso, freshly roasted coffee beans, hints of dark fruits and vanilla. Barrel flavors are subtle. Barely a dash of hops.

Taste follows the aroma, with the vanilla-caramel sweetness balancing the bitterness from the coffee/roasted malts.

Creamy and smooth, ABV is very sneaky. This is very drinkable. Would be great for a nightcap.

Although I remembered liking the XX more, this one is awesome just the same. I think I like this beer (XX/XXI) better than the Abyss when it is fresh, however the Abyss definitely ages better than this one. Another one by Deschutes that'll be on my wishlist every year.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger chocolate head. Body is pitch black in color. Head retention and lacing are above average but the head didnt last long.

Smell is of chocolate and ice cream, similar to Southern Tier Choklat. Very faint alcohol and coffee. A little soy sauce too. Hops are very faint also

First taste is of burnt malt and some bitter hops. There is also sweet chocolate and coffee. For 11% abv, the alcohol is definitely present in this beer.

Mouth feel has a syrup like consistency. Carbonation livens it up nicely. Wish the head was still present to add to the body, only thing missing from creating a truly great mouth feel

Drink ability was good. Wasnt too hard to finish a bomber, even though its a strong beer. Think I opened this bottle too early as the best by date indicates. Beer was a bit hot still and I didnt get a lot of coffee flavor in there. Would buy one again if I could find it in another six months but I doubt it would be available anywhere.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to pop for the assist!

Best After 10/17/10

A: Pours a pitch black, anthracite coal color. A creamy dark mocha colored head sits up top and retains forever leaving some gorgeous looking ropes of lace behind.

S: Aromas of dark roast french press coffee, bitter espresso, dark fruit, dark chocolate, bourbon, bakers chocolate, and caramelized brown sugar.

T: The taste mirrors the smell. Period.

M: Thick and chewy. Bitter/dry/spicy middle with a semi-sweet finish. The 11% lends a bit of a prickly/peppery bite, as well.

D: Truly exceptional! My dad and I sipped on this for about 30 min. before he asked what the abv was. The alcohol is hidden that well.

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Photo of ccrida
3.31/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber that I've aged for about 4 months, poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Black Butte XXI is black with a creamy little tan head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is very astringent and charcoal like, and frankly, very off-putting at first. I LOVED XX like know other, and really was looking forward to this. But the smell is foreboding. I assume it's extreme coffee grounds, but it's got a twiggy wood like aroma or something, like a dusty (but not mildewy) old attic.

Taste is, thankfully, better more in-line with what I expected. But this is still quite a bit different from last year, it's not as sweet and porter like, with way more coffee and chocolate. There's a bitter bakers chocolate bite that I could do with out, and overall, it's just not my speed. Last years was perfect, and I feel like they pushed it to far. I'm glad I sat on them a few months at least before trying it. I have a few more, and will give them a good 2 more years to start integrating and rounding out.

Mouthfeel is super creamy, full bodied, a bit dry on the finish.

Drinkability is OK, but frankly, it's too much coffee/chocolate/wood, and not enough strong porter. After loving last years so much, this one is a little disappointing. I'm hoping some serious cellar time will drop out the adjuncts and bring out the sweet dark malts.

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a very dark brown with a quarter inch tan head. Smells of chocolate, molasses, and coffee, and tastes of all the above in a nice blend. But the flavor is bit mild for me, sort of like Abyss lite. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Like the Black Butte XX, it's like they took Abyss and watered it down 10%. There's just nothing in this beer that Abyss doesn't do better.

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Photo of manja0banja
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first bottle that I have opened. Hopefully I will be able to wait a year to try another.

A - Very dark black/brown with a good amount of head that dissipates slowly. Slight lacing.

S - Dark fruity chocolate with a fairly powerful alcohol smell. Earthiness in the form of oak and grass.

T - Yum. And I only expect it to get better. Cocoa, coffee like the deeper tones of a good Guatemalan cup, still some of that sweet dark fruit (raisins, cherries, dessert pear even..?), fairly heavy booze towards the end. Definitely a sweetness (molasses, vanilla, classic stuff).

M - Fantastic, creamy, buttery thick goodness.

I'd say its pretty drinkable considering I just finished the bottle. The boozy finish in the taste is rounded off by the sweet bits.

Looking forward to this beer next year. Interesting trying it a day after having the Abyss on tap...

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Photo of errantnight
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite seasonals, and on the short list of favorite big stout/porters...

Bringing the chocolate and coffee much more than last year's venture...

Pours a luscious velvety deeply brown into black with a surprisingly spritzy head forming which sticks around along the edge all the way down, leaving the occasional trace of lacing as it goes.

The nose is much bolder this year, a barrel of fresh coffee and hot chocolate notes burst from the glass, further attention picks up delicate vanilla notes and just a bit of cold-filtered coffee.

On the tongue this is bringing the coffee and dark chocolate flavors in full force, the vanilla sweetness can barely fight through this distinctly and almost bracingly bitter brew, but it's a short and clean bitter that scours any lingering sweetness, making this an easy, and increasingly enjoyable, sipper. If there's any complaint it's that it seems thinned out from last year, and just a touch thin overall. Bright carbonation provides an illusion of fuller body up front, but a swift departure mid-palate shows that this could do with just a bit more heft.

If they could keep the improved roasted notes that make this burst from the glass with some much pizazz with last year's lusciously creamy body they'd have, well.... let's not speculate how great it would be. It's damn special as it is, and an example to brewers everywhere how to delicately introduce barrel notes to round out and deepen the complexity of a beer without screaming its barrel aged nature from the hilltops.

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Photo of jmalex
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oh, the spoils of traveling to another city. Given that Deschutes is one of the very few big time breweries that PA does not have access to, this one was a shoo-in for coming back in my suitcase from the Bay Area.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip deep brown to black with a firm, tan head on top. It's very tightly bubbled and slowly settles out to a thin film with a hearty collar. Latitudinal acing marks the sizes of each sip the entire way down the glass.

SMELL: The aroma is highlighted by a mild smokiness, charred black malt, and woody oak. It's a campfire in a glass! The bourbon aroma wasn't immediately apparent to me until I read the bottle. Shame on me for that, because it's really quite nice and balanced with the rest of the beer. The base beer has quite an opportunity to shine on its own as a chocolaty, coffee-y porter - not stout! The roastiness is subdued and limited to the coffee which is just right in my book.

TASTE: Sweet, slightly boozy, and way heavy on caramel to start. As it crosses the palate, it begins to round itself out as it adds in flavors of bourbon, rich coffee, and milk chocolate. The finish goes back to intense caramel which conveniently gets balanced out by combination of bitter black malt and hops. A trip for sure, but it's really all over the place and hits some weird extremes (intense caramel sweetness) while keeping other areas balanced (wood aging, for instance).

MOUTHFEEL: They nailed it in my opinion. Thick and chewy with a barely lowered carbonation level. Silky smooth with a velvety texture. Perfect.

DRINKABILITY: An all-nighter for sure, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt since the alcohol is so well hidden. That said, I'm glass this is bomber sized because it's just too tasty to only get 12 ounces of.

A winner, but not quite a slam dunk. Regardless, seek it out if you can, if only because you know Deschutes will come through.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to pint glass.

A: Black. Tiny khaki head that disperses to a a spotty layer of foam on top.

S: Chocolate maltiness, acidic coffee.

T: Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, molasses, hickory smokiness. Pretty acidic too. Some lemony citrus hops on the back end which I found weird.

M: Full bodied. Medium carbonation and dryness. Warm alcohol burn.

D: Very drinkable for 11% abv.

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Photo of vacax
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided to open up abottle of XXI and see how it is doing. Bottle says best after 10/17/10, so I am hoping to revisit this review some point after that. One thing I already do know is that XX is absolutely sublime right now, and I expect this to be drinking amazingly in another year too.

The beer pours black with a healthy dark tan head, good retention and lacing left behind for such a big beer. The nose is still huge on this one, bursting with oak, campfire, sugary coffee, smoke, yard clippings, grape and some alcohol. The taste is heavy on the oak, followed by some sugary coffee, and leather. The finish is a touch grassy and alcoholic. Tasty, but needs more time. Note to self, seriously, do not open another one of these for another year or so. Full bodied, silky, but medium foamy feel is a bit too much right now. This is definitely a beer to share right now, but I really must agree with the label--this beer is meant to be aged.

Anyone who doesn't update their review for this beer come next fall is doing a disservice to the community.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this through a trade with a061183. Thanks Anthony!

A- Pours a near pitch black color with a huge creamy off white foam head. Great retention and lacing.

S- Huge roasted coffee and chocolate aroma with a noticeable alcohol presence.

T- Full roasted malt flavor with waves of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa beans. A rich coffee flavor makes itself known throughout with hints of espresso and Columbian roast. The alcohol is kept in check considering how high the abv is. A touch of bourbon and molasses in the finish.

M- Full bodied with nice carbonation. Smooth and silky feel.

D- Amazingly drinkable and full of flavor. Highly drinkable but not sessionable...this one packs a punch.

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Photo of mikey711
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one recently as part of a vertical tasting with fbm115.

A: One of the glasses poured only a small head but the other poured a very fluffy tan colored head that retainted very well. Very brown, only bits of light could be seen around the edged while held up in the light.

S: Coffee up from followed by some brown sugar and molasess. The bourbon only began to come out as the beer warmed.

T: Roastiness followed by chocolate and coffee up front. Some sweet vanilla and toffee are present as well. Again the bourbon began more present as the beer warms, but there really wasnt to much woodiness to the flavor.

M: Creamy and slightly boozy. No chalkiness while having a good amount of body.

D: A nice slow sipper that goes down very easy

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Black Butte XXI from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 580 ratings
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