Black Butte XXII | Deschutes Brewery

125 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 54
Photo of jag21
4.5/5  rDev +9%

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.

 618 characters

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of millelacsmark
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of kbutler1
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Served at ABR. Pours a dark brown/black color with a light tan head. Rich aroma with lots of molasses, syrup, caramel, and dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel. Dark fruit notes upfront with a building roasy quality to it. Some vanilla as well. Touch of booze notes as well. Overall not as good for me as some of the other BB vintages but still a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of mothman
2.69/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Finally got a chance to try this one!

Pours a dark brown, kind of murky. A tan ring of head.

Aroma: A lot of chocolate and cocoa. A light roast. The orange peel shows a lot. A little caramel and vanilla. Hardly any oak shows.

Taste: All fruit. Huge orange flavor. It reminds me of the chocolate oranges. It is very sharp. No oak at all.

Mouthfeel: Too sharp. Creamy. Cloying. Medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this beer very much. I like the other versions a lot better. Way too much orange peel and not enough oak flavors. This wasn't for me.

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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

 899 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle... dark brown, bordering black, light tan head leaves a finger of light tan head, good retention... awesome nose, tons of orange with a touch of chocolate, chocolate covered oranges... lots of chocolate but a touch light and devoid of taste, not bursting with the flavor I was hoping for... solid, but no xxi

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Photo of eclipse54
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to have multiple tastings of this during Boise Base Camp week. It happened to coincide with Deschutes' 23rd anniversary, and they were offering side-by-side tastings of the XXII and XXIII at several venues around town.

Depending on which part of the bottle you're pouring from, the appearance seems to be drastically different. The first pour I had was right off the top of a freshly opened bottle and was filled with brown "floaties". These were the particles of undissolved chocolate that precluded the release of the bottles. Initially, I had appearance rated at a 1 in my notes, but subsequent pours from lower in the bottle looked absolutely gorgeous with no floaties to be seen. I assume that if you poured a whole bottle (or more realistically, half a bottle), then the appearance wouldn't be so bad. Therefore, I just gave it an average score. That said, here's the rest of a "normal" review.

It pours a murky brown color out of the bottle that becomes a deep black in the glass. About 3/4 inch tan head develops with good retention and a solid amount of sticky lacing. It smells of sweet sugar, chocolate, caramel, faint roasted malts, orange, and a little chili. The taste brings out a bit more of this chili flavor, though it is the orange and chocolate that really shine. Faint caramel, and an almost potato-like starch flavor finish it off. Mouth is smooth, rich, amply carbonated, and has a sticky, dry finish. Overall, a solid beer save for the odd appearance. I'm very pleased I was able to try this, and would recommend anyone make the effort to do so if possible.

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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 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 OBeerMeGreatOne
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at City Beer Store side by side with XXI. Poured a deep brown/black with a creamy coffee head. The lace held up better than the XXI (no surprise there).
The smell was lighter than expected. Coffee and oak were more noticeable than chocolate. Spicy booze heats up the middle, with an earthy finish.
The taste is similar. Noticeable differences are a bourbon flavor and some light cocoa. A little light in the mouth.
Not quite as good as the XXI. I've had multiple tastings of each, and though this was good, it wasn't an improvement on last years.

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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.

 1,353 characters

Photo of jethrodium
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Beer Revolution. Pours a very dark brown with a two finger tan head that has very good retention and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is huge dark chocolate with a lot of alcohol as well. A little bit of bourbon comes through also as well as a little bit of the chillies. I really don't get any of the orange though. All the other aromas definitely take a back seat to the chocolate and alcohol though. The initial taste is strong with dark chocolate, then going into some vanilla and bourbon. The taste of alcohol is strong throughout. The finish is strong, bitter dark chocolate. Again taste is dominate by chocolate and alcohol. Medium body. Slick, oily mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Not a bad beer, but certainly not great. Seems like a beer that would definitely improve with time. It's too bad that there are no bottles to see how this would develop.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with no head at all

Smell - get some hint of dark chocolate and a little alcohol

Taste - i wasn't blown away since this is a special released, it has a distinct deschutes taste and almost tastes a little like the abyss in the beginning. It has some chocolate a little licorice and a nice hint of alcohol. As it got warmer the chocolate and alcohol became more prominent making it more enjoyable.

Its didn't blow me away but it was pretty solid.

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Photo of kruthar
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sittin in the deschutes brewery havin dinner with good ffriends and enjoyng a few pints of beer.

The black butte in my mind isa masterful combination of roasted porter and fruit notes. The first scent was not oranges like the menu said bu a little bit of a citrusy apple. It surprised me for sure. After the sip the tongue gets a pretty tingling of deep dark choclate and hints of black coffee. The swallow is the best part of the experience more chocolate with a roasty undertone and hints of dried fruit.

The black butte goes down super smooth almost like downing a cold glass of roasted light chocolate milk. All things being said tis beer goes down smooth and continues to do so all the way through the bottom of the glass. Drinkability is excellent.

Next is some fresh abyss out of the bottle...

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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.

 582 characters

Photo of clearlydiluted
3.24/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the PDX Deschutes Brewpub in a 12oz tulip

a: dark as night with 1 finger head of tan foam and nice lacing

s: dark roasty notes, chocolate, hints of licorice

t: taste mostly of chocolate, dry in the finish, as it warms up you get spicy notes of the orange and maybe a hint of the peppers, it's earthy and, according to my notes, "woody" in the finish.

m: smooth, medium-heavy body with light carbonation

d: pretty one dimensional in the chocolate note with little else there.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a mild white head, light lace.

S: Mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate, malt, bit chalky.

T: Chocolate dominates, the sweetness is akin to an imperial oatmeal stout. Some moderate notes of vanilla which makes it quite distinct from its predecessors. Good flavour, but not as robust as the XX and XXI.

M: Medium-bodied, soft carbonation, creamy, chalky.

D: Nice beer, but not up to the level of the previous incarnations for me, but worth a try.

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Photo of chumba526
3.03/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appears black with a small dark tan head that dissipates quickly.

It smells of caramel, coffee, grassy hops, toffee, chocolate and vanilla. There is also a mild bitter like smell to the beer as well.

It tastes of caramel, coffee, nutty malts, vanilla, mild dry chocolate, and toffee. It finishes with a caramel sweetness that is balanced with a small amount of bitterness. The caramel aftertaste is a little rough. The caramel flavor overpowers the other flavors. This does not have that good of a balance to it.

The carbonation is moderate low.

The drinkability is ok but it is to rich to drink more than one glass. Also the strong rough caramel flavor damages the drinkability.

Overall a bit of a disappointing beer. I don't know if the beer was old or what. Do not get me wrong the beer was not bad but it was very flawed. I suppose that it is around average for the style.

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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 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 JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler provided by Inflatablechair by the way of seanthornton152... Big appreciation to Sam and Sean. Reviewed from good notes... had this one a long while back.

Fairly thick dark tan head... nice lacing and cap atop a pretty black brew.

Nose shows everything expected but seems a bit of a letdown at least in my mind's nose when compared to it's 2 older brothers. Roasty with definite chocolate.. a bit spicy... roasted malts seems to be one of the biggest players knocking the needed cocoa and malty sweetness out of the top spot.

Flavor mirrors the nose... roasty ... not enough sweetness to help carry the chocolate up and forward... citrus zest is an odd man out toward the end of the sip... meh... all seems to sorta fall flat and certainly never meshes.

I really wanted to like this one, but it just isn't hitting on all cylinders.

Thanks again to Sam and Sean.... I never would have tried to score a growler (EXPENSIVE growler) of this one.. but you guys are cool cats.


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