Black Butte XXII | Deschutes Brewery

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Black Butte XXIIBlack Butte XXII

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Released June 2010, Draft-only, after a problem with bottles detailed here:

Imperial "Porter brewed with cocoa nibs, orange and natural flavors added, with 25% aged in Bourbon Barrels"

Added by msubulldog25 on 06-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 125
Photo of Shmeal
4.95/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this beer at the Portland location out of a snifter.

Appearance - extremely dark but a little lighter than Black Butte XXI iif I remember correctly. Not much of a head to speak of, more like a tiny ring of lacing that did not feel like dissipating.

Smell - Very friendly on the nose. I picked up orange, coffee, and dark chocolate.

Taste - Incredible! Easily one of my favorite beers, it's too bad that Deschutes destroyed all of the bottles that they were going to release. Instead of a coffee taste followed by orange, I got both notes at the same time, making me think of a Boresha instead of a mocha. On the finish you get a great wave of dark chocolate followed by the tiny burn of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Very good, but i would expect a beer like this to be a little heavier and viscous.

Drinkability - I could session this beer without any hesitation. Unfortunately, due to the 11% alcohol, this could get dangerous fast.

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Photo of yuriruley
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Nice and dark with a good head and lacing. Looks awesome.

Smell - Smells like chocolate!

Taste - Nice roasted flavor and the chocolate is intense, I get a little of the orange, but I wasn't getting the chile. I mean I am sure it is in there I just wasn't picking it up.

Mouthfeel - Good body, nice and smooth. This stuff is pretty thick.

Drink - hardly noticed the 11%, could have drank a couple, but I wanted to try some other beers.

Definitely good, sad it won't be bottle. Would like to try this with some age on it, though I am sure they will have it at the pub again in a couple months.

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Photo of gwguest
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at City Beer in SF. What a nice little surprise since the online draft list made no mention of this one. I have a Black Butte XXI at home, but haven't tried one yet. I have no real expectations in mind.

Opaque body with a rich dark brown foam. Foam is thin and gone quickly. Looks good for what it is, enticing, but a little more foam would have taken it up a notch for me.

The aroma is heavenly. Deep aromas of chocolate, hints of roast, sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak and toasty grains just sing together. This is one of those beers that I could just smell all day. I wish that I were some sort of Olympic calibre swimmer so that I could take deeper whiffs. Hopefully the taste follows suit.

The flavor is right in line with the aroma. It's a very intense flavor that leans a little more on the bourbon than the aroma, but this is quite the exercise in balanced flavors. The tinge of orange is a nice touch that keeps things fresh. I don't detect any other spices that are mentioned. To that, they are melded perfectly into the overall flavor of the beer.

Overall, wow. This is a beer that really moves my needle, and few do that these days. It's sad that this never made it to the bottle. It's a fantastic beer that has all the right levels and depth of flavor without being messy. I love it. There are few beers that I would choose over it.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had at the Portland pub.
A- Very black and no head. Thin ring of foam around the edge.

S- Excellent smell. Coffee, dark chocolate, dark roasted burnt malts yet they are mellow and smooth smelling, smells great. This just has a great aroma.

T- This beer is excellent! No issues here chocolate has a great taste mixing with the roasted malts. This is semi chocolate milk tasting, with a great vanilla chocolate taste. This is a solid brew that I wish I had more of, shame. Seems quite balanced and just sexy.

M- Thick and yet the little carbination helps. I'm glad to have a thicker porter, some porters are too thin.

D- Hell Yes! Just hook me up to the tap.

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Photo of Elendinn
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Deschutes' 22nd Birthday Bash in Bend, served in tulip snifter.

A - pitch black, one and a half fingers of tan, brown-sugar head.  Thick lacing that lingers throughout.  Perfect.

S - espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malt, lots of chili, undercurrent of fruit, orange peel, hints of bourbon.

T - coffee and dark chocolate up front, orange and chili come through to provide balance; finishes semi-sweet with hints of chili, chocolate, and bourbon.  Coffee and chocolate flavors peak again and linger with retro-olfaction.  The chili and bourbon become slightly more noticeable as the glass progresses -- magnified by aeration.  The chili is very interesting and works very well -- not spicy, per se, more like a mole sauce.

M - smooth, frothy, subdued carbonation, but not flat!

D - exceptionally drinkable.  The 11% is hardly perceptable.  More complex than last year's, but slightly less sweet.  A worthy successor to an already excellent brew.

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Photo of gregbechtel21
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick Khaki Colored Head with tight bubbles, dissipated quicker than I prefer. Beautiful black color, saw nothing but reflection in glass.

Smell: Chocolate, tons of it. Orange peel, vanilla, oak wood, no chile pepper that I could tell. one of the best beer aromas I've ever encountered.

Taste: Brewed with Theo's chocolate from Seattle. Everything in the aroma translated perfectly. Very balanced for the style.

Mouthfeel: Rich and thick but not too heavy. Perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: Incredibly drinkable for the style. The 11% is dangerously well hidden.

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Photo of Tad
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had quite a tasting on 4-10 at Stiengarten LA, this on tap, as well as Black Butte XXIII(bottle), Abyss 2011, Stoic, and Chainbreaker White IPA.

I will have to agree on prior reviews of this, a top notch porter indeed. Toasted oak chocolate and a medium mouthfeel profile its well rounded flavor. Has been aged a bit although its my first taste of XXII, side by side a bit mellowed to XXIII. A must have.... if found or cellar'd..Cheers Deschutes!!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Black and to a lesser degree, brown pour. Wow, great tan head, retained for eternity. Not thick and viscous like many beers of this color, but not anywhere near thin either.

Aroma, everything possible to list: coffee, chocolate, vanilla, pepper, peppers, licorice, even hops and citrus.

Taste, whoa, every sip was different, faint tinge of spicy pepper, then vanilla, then hops and citrus again, chocolate and coffee, so lush and rich, hiding the alcohol throughout, no flavor dominating at any time, but being more than just a nuance. It coated my system. I wanted to steal the keg of it, knowing I would not be obtaining a bottle. Despite the claim that the chocolate got screwed up to prevent it in the bottle, it definitely came through on tap, for sure. Not super drinkable, because its not super obtainable. You gotta go to them, it won't be coming to you.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours big and black with a huge head and tons of lacing

smell is clasic stout character with coffee and vanilla, not overwhelming but very good

taste is just ridiculous - so complex. a rich balance of coffee, dried cherries, tobacco, plums, bourbon and oak driven vanilla - drinkable but very very geared - everything you want in this kind of beer

feel is rich and thick.

overall this is an exceptionally good bourbon aged stout, far more drinkable than the black butte xxi - more my style.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap in 7 oz servings at the Portland location for their 22nd birthday party.

A - Jet black, almost no head, but it may have been from the serving size and pour. Good lacing for the serving glass (a 7 oz plastic cup).

S - Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, with some oak. I wasn't in the prime area to get all the smells of this beer, being in a closed off street with grills nearby and plenty of that grilled food being carried around everywhere. I really tried to pick out more complex aromas, but chocolate and oak were all I really got, with maybe a little coffee, but I can't be sure.

T - Black Butte, but with much more added on. Starts off with a very rich chocolate/coffee balance, hints of oak, a very subtle orange taste, but I was looking for it. Very fruity under-tones to complement the rich chocolate, they work very well together.

M - It isn't as thick as you would expect from the ABV. Definitely thicker than the regular Black Butte, as I had the regular Black Butte immediately after having this, and it felt like water. There is a faint tingle on the tongue, and I'm not sure what it is from, it doesn't feel like an alcohol burn. Lingering chocolate aftertaste with the warmth from the alcohol is great, made me wish they had larger servings than 7 oz.

D - Amazingly drinkable. For 11% ABV, you cannot taste it at all. I was surprised with such a light body it didn't show up more. Definitely a dangerous one to drink, if you happen to get a growler of it. I could have seen myself easily drinking 2 or 3 pints of this in a sitting without realizing how much alcohol I had actually drank.

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Photo of cavedave
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

oregonskibum gets huge thanks for this superb sipper.

The nice, cloudy dark chestnut look of this begs the question what could possibly have been wrong with the bottles? Not a beauty winner, but... A merest skim of light brown foam rides the thick brew.

The nose what can I say? It is a rich composite, full of chocolate, coffee, dark ripe fruits, rounded of by a luscious bitter, not quite citrus, not quite herbal, slight tart yeasty notes really send this bouquet to the moon. My saliva glands are squirting convulsively as I inhale.

The taste doesn't disappoint. Words fail here. The flavors of the nose... forget it, can't break it down. This beer is fucking art. The balance in the front of the sip transitions through an epic blessing of wonderful flavors that form such a perfect amalgam, then transition through another range of equally fine flavors, that this review will now lapse into something less than clinical, more purely subjective. This beer is a rhapsody of complexity, balance, composure, all contained in so superbly crafted a brew that were these words to equal their art, they would need the composition skills of a Shakespeare. Beyond delicious.

Mouthfeel is thick bodied, full in the mouth, drinks like a much lighter beer, very low carb (but it had a long, hot trip) stays so clean on the palate there is virtually no diminution of flavor between sips, and an epic finish that walks the line between juicy and dry.

Drinkability is completely off the scale. Were I too have an unlimited supply of this epic brew I am certain the county coroner at some point would be interested to know.

Impression: That's it, I'm moving to Oregon, somewhere between Bend and Eugene. Get this if you can, one of the best.

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Photo of Elimination
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The holy Grail of 2010 it seems ..

Look is a brilliant pitch black, thin but fought mocha head.

Smell is a semi sweet cocoa, chocolate strong in the nose, I see no wrong in this.

Taste sweet coffee bourbon mocha this is a remarkable taste I really can't put into words

Mouth is a semi thick murkiness perfect for the style

Drink is high I really don't see any problems with this, wish it was bottled

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Photo of djbreezy
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Portland pub poured into a Deschutes snifter

appearance - dark, pours thick, tan head, good retention

smell - chocolate and oak nose, some sweetness

taste - big chocolate up front with orange rinds, followed by oak, alcohol

mouthfeel - thick and viscous, smooth, medium but sufficient carbonation

drinkability - complex and smooth, robust and flavorful, really sad this didn't make it to bottles but happy i was able to try it on-tap

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Photo of vkv822
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- Had at Deschutes Public House in PDX.
- from notes.

The beer arrived in a snifter with a thin tan head and black body.

It has a very nice chocolate and very lightly roasted malt aroma with very pleasant orange notes towards the end.
The taste follows the aroma well with roasty and bitter chocolate notes upfront, and backed by light citric orange notes. The addition of chili peppers is a very enjoyable and well executed compliment to the finish. There is also a slight booziness.
It has a very smooth and creamy medium body that doesn't become overly thick with subtle yet pleasant carbonation.
This was an incredibly drinkable and well done beer. I really wish this was able to be bottled as I would love to have more regular access to this from my own fridge.

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Photo of jbakajust1
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured @ 16 Tons Union Cafe for Base Camp for Beer Fanatics into a Deschutes Tulip

A - Pours a deep, dark black w/ 2 finger brown head that fades slow to an oil slick and leaves legs and some lacing.

S - Smells of dark chocolate, sweet alcohol, vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon, and cherries

T - Deep flavors of dark chocolate, light coffee, cherries, oak, vanilla, coconut, and tobacco.

M - Full body, sweet with a bitter finish that lingers.

O - Amazing beer. Oak character presents itself, but doesn't dominate, lots of chocolate, slight roastiness, and a bitter sweet finish. Very glad I was able to enjoy this.

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Photo of kwjd
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After my flight landed in Portland, I do what any sane person would do - I headed straight to Deschutes. I was surprised to see this still on tap, but my new tradition has become having a Black Butte (insert number) as soon as humanly possible. Last year I arrived to Portland by train and had a Black Butte XXI within 10 minutes of the train getting in.

Pours pitch black with very thin tan head. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate and lots of spice. Spice is immediately felt on the sip, with the thickness soon cooling it down. Very nice. Quite bitter too. I liked the XXI better I think, but the XXII is a great beer. I had this a few more times over the next 2 days in Portland.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the brew pub with my wife for lunch today after walking around the Oregon Beer Fest for a while. With most of the more interesting offerings at the OBF already gone, it was a treat to enjoy this gem.

BBXXII arrived to our table in a pair of Deschutes snifters (I'm going to have to purchase a couple of those one of these days) with a thin wispy froth ring atop its dark brown body with cola tan edges. No lacing showed up throughout the drink.

Aroma was all about the alcohol. Sweet cherries and toasted almonds with a hint of milk chocolate lended themselves to the olfactory, but were mostly bullied by the alcohol. It was a sign of the treat to come.

Taste showed off the strong Ghana semi-sweet chocolate (with an emphasis on the sweet) that kept the beer from being bottled. Too bad because this was sure tasty. As hard as I tried I was unable to discern the chilies or orange peeled that was used but that could be because my palate just was incapable of doing so.

Mouthfeel was thin and lightly sticky. It really helped add to the drinkability of this 11% ABV beer and make it disappear fast.

It's a shame this wasn't bottled due to the visual appearance. After not much liking the BBXXI, I found this to be a big improvement for my taste. If the opportunity presents itself, get a hold of some of this while you still can. It probably won't be around for much longer.

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Photo of jdense
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Deschutes Public House Bend OR 7.14.2010, poured into snifter.

Dark brown almost opaque body, no visible carbonation due to dark hue. Minimal amount of head, more light brown than tan, ultra quick dissipation for the little head there was, resulting in a very thin ring around parameter of glass. Nose is one big frickin chocolate hit, bitter, I pick up a bit of the orange zest as it warms, minimal hop note, more floral than bitter in the nose. Taste features bittersweet chocolate up front, the chiles are a bit more pronounced than the orange but both are very subtle and subsumed by the chocolate profile. Very complex taste. Mouthfeel is smooth, not too sticky despite sweetness, not too much effervescence. Incredibly drinkable, you'd never guess this was a 10+% ABV beer. It's incredibly sad that the bottling of this beer went south, IMO this is better than XXI (or XX for that matter). This is an very very tasty beer. Worth going to the Public House in Bend or PDX to enjoy. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from my Pub visit on 2.2.11. Not sure how I missed this one.

Served in a Deschutes Snifter

A - Dark deep brown with a thin tan head. Lingers for a moment, then fades to a thin film.

S - Chocolate and more chocolate, then some booze tones.

T - Again I am overpowered by the chocolate, then some cherry like flavors, coffee.

D - A slight creamy-like feeling in the mouth, then oily.

O - With this much chocolate taste, it makes it easy to see why they had issues with the bottles. I am glad I got to try it on tap.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from an unnamed good friend, thank you bud

Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 11 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Puts together the black and brown formula in the appearance, brown slight edge, super thin head 1/6". Aroma was complex full of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, peppers even a small citrus edge.

This was pretty cool how the peppers and everything kind of took their turn. Each aroma/flavor was complimentary and not domineering. Great smooth mouthfeel, alcohol tamed, this is my fave anniversary BB edition yet, sucked about the bottles though.

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Photo of hughesm4
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Deschutes in Portland poured into a snifter.
a-Poured a very dark, nearly black with a thin ring of light brown head.
s-Very, very sweet. A dominant chocolate smell with a hint of orange and roasted coffee.
t-Very strong chocolate with a slight hint of orange peels along with a very slight coffee bean taste. Very well balanced, delicious, and extremely sweet.
m/d-Very full taste that leaves your mouth coated with chocolate. It goes down rather smooth and I disappointed that they cancelled the bottled release.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

STILL on tap at Deschutes' Portland Palace. Not sure if it's been on the whole time or if they just threw it back up for the Dissident release party, but hell yes.
Dark and saucy, a rich chocolatey color with a hanging crown of creamy foam.
This beer has changed a bit in just a few months. The chocolate intensity has faded, perhaps falling out of suspension to the bottom of the kegs. It's still there, lurking, but more in step with the orange and pepper heat. Quite a bit of creamy roast and a little vanilla and oak.
Still damn good, but I preferred it a few months back. Nonetheless, hopefully these kegs will stick around on draft for a long time to come and keep making appearances on into eternity. Would love to see how this beer continues to change.

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Photo of oregone
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Damn good. Overall impression beats the score.
Boozy in a good way and pours a deep black with brown head and meniscus. Bourbon and chocolate with coffee on the nose that follows through on the palate with the thick rich maltiness hinted by the aroma. Thick. Oily. Delicious. Somewhat spoiled by following Bourbon Fred the night before, though I'd be excited for bottles of this.

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Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Am so glad I was able to sample this beauty before heading back East to Baltimore tomorrow. Sampled at the brewpub today (at 11:30 in the morning, with everyone else in attendance drinking the same thing).

XXII pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this porter is rather sensational, showing dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla and light licorise. I get more of the same on the palate, coupled with some interesting flavors of pepper, coffee grounds and considerable hoppy bitterness. At least for now, I felt the beer was dominated by the sweet licorise and significant hoppy bitterness, though I think that would subside and blend in with the rest of the flavor profile over time. Mouthfeel is full, with a long, bitter, licorise dominated finish. Drinkability is pretty good, though the obvious high alcohol, bitter finish and prominent sweet licorise detract just a bit from the beer's drinkability. Otherwise, the alcohol seems to be prety well integrated into the flavor profile.

Couple of thoughts. This is an impressive, sizeable imperial porter, one that is brimming with flavor. Frankly, I think a year or two of aging would do wonders for this beer, and so I think it a shame that none of this was bottled. Nevertheless, this is still a very impressive beer, and IMHO, quite different from the XX and XXI. Another solid effort from the folks at Deschutes.

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Black Butte XXII from Deschutes Brewery
4.13 out of 5 based on 125 ratings.
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