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Deschutes Black Butte XXI

Formerly brewed at Deschutes Brewery
Style: Imperial Porter
Bend, Oregon USA
Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 600   WEIGHTED AVG: 4/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
XX - 20th Anniversary, released 2008
XXI - 21st Anniversary, released 2009

This masterpiece is a tribute to Black Butte Porter, the revolutionary Deschutes Brewery beer that has excited beer enthusiasts since 1988. This special Reserve Series release is a colossal version of Black Butte Porter. Our brewers enhanced Black Butte XXI by adding some Theoís Chocolate cocoa nibs from Seattle, dry-hopping it with 100 pounds of Bellatazzaís locally roasted coffee, and then aging a portion of it in Stranahanís Colorado whiskey barrels. These regional partners provided quality artisan ingredients that give this commemorative beer a truly handcrafted complexity.
Released as Black Butte XX in 2008 to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.

Westmeister's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Westmeister (2129) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 14, 2013
Bottle (XX version) - Pours a near black with light at the edges with a bubbly yet quickly diminishing head. Smell is rich dark fruits, chocolate and not much of a noticeable hint of the barrel-aging. Taste is licorice, mild old coffee, chocolate, oak, dark fruits and mild oxidation. I thought the flavors where all very nicely incorporated with one another and even the oxidation was not offensive in the least. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Prufrockstar (1994) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 6, 2016
Bottle at home on our last night in this house in Seattle. This week Iíve gone through XXV, XXIV, XXIII, and finally weíre down to the last bottle. I donít know anymore why I wanted to buy all of these in the first place, or why I would want to hold onto them for so long, but those questions are irrelevant now. Dark pour with creamy brown head that dissipates to a ring but never disappears. Smells old (faded hops), but once itís in the mouth it comes to life. Lovely milk chocolate with a surprisingly pleasant coffee backing. Moderately sweet; its age doesnít detract at all at this point, and I can honestly say this is my favorite of the bunch. The rest ... aging did them no favors. Maybe thatís true here, too, but unlike those Iím actually enjoying this one. I guess they just donít make them like they used to.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kyzr (1381) - Montana, USA - MAR 28, 2016
XXI Pours Black with dirty foam colored medium head. Big nose of roasted coffee. Flavor has dark chocolate, espresso and hints of bourbon. Nice thick body that is made to sip. From Old Notes

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jredmond (7642) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 16, 2015
[Backlog 2014] Bottle courtesy of Eric at his place for a tasting. Pours a deep blackish brown body with nice thick tan head. Nose is oak, soft vanilla notes, toast, cream and coffee roast. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with notes of toasted malt, oak, bourbon, coffee roast, caramel and very faint sharpie marker.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
drpimento (3175) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 4, 2015
First of all this is the XX version. Secondly, this is one of the weirdest beers Iíve ever had. Appearance is a short-lived brown head, no lace, and opaque brown black color. Aroma at first is dark ripe fruits, cocoa, coffee, lumber, leather, but soon that goes waaay bad - to a dirty public toilet! And that aroma kind of comes and goes, but itís nasty. And when I went to take my first sip, my god, that nasty aroma was going into my mouth!! That wasnít easy. After a bit the flavor gives way to the initial aroma qualities, plus whiskey, vanilla and a bit of tang and bitter. Body is so so as carbonation is on the flat side. Luckily the nastiness donít persist into the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PartyFowle (954) - - APR 3, 2015
Poured from the bottle into a small tasting glass, the first of many beers brought from home and popped open at Dark Lord Day 2011. Espresso brown in color and mostly opaque, save some amber highlights. A frothy, sticky, one-finger head the color of cocoa powder remains in place for a long while. Hints of bourbon and vanilla in the nose, along with tangy dark chocolate and too-old coffee, which may be a result of the beerís age (close to two years now). A bit of Sourdough tang pops up. Interesting amounts of piney hops remain. When cold, Black Butte tastes like a mouthful of bottlecaps ó itís heavily metallic. Warm is much, much better, exhibiting espresso mingled with sweet cocoa powder and more bitter dark chocolate, as well as a bit of Sourdough bread and some pine. Smooth blend. Extremely light carbonation is all that remains. Silky, creamy, slightly chalky medium body. Alcohol in the nose. Coffee-forward porters arenít usually the most graceful cellar beers, but Black Butte XXI is still pretty awesome after all this time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
djd07 (10500) - Houston, Texas, USA - FEB 17, 2015
Bottle thanks to Rick, pours a very dark brown with small tan head. The aroma is strong roast, coffee, wood. Medium mouthfeel with strong roast, dark chocolate, wood, vanilla, held up very well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gramity (1625) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - FEB 6, 2015
Pitch black color, light brown head. Charcoal, marshmallows, dark chocolate, big coffee beans, vanilla, dark chocolate, marshmallows, big espresso mouth. WOW, the espresso beans REALLY jump out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sarlacc83 (1952) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 23, 2015
22 oz bottle of the XX, pulled from my cellar a week or so ago. From notes. A: Pitch black with a foamy creme head. Lacing. N: Oxidation, cocoa, molasses, oak, vanilla, intense coffee/espresso, burnt brown sugar, lots of char notes, and licorice. T: Sweet, breaking down a slight bit, good sweetness. M: Medium heavy body, prickly carbonation, alcohol is hidden. O: Doing pretty well - I wanted to drink this before it dissolved, and I think I hit the mark. I would suggest drinking yours soon, if youíve got it. This has very much calmed since its original release, too.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
eduardovl (1359) - SWITZERLAND - OCT 14, 2014
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2014 650ml bottle poured in a chalice. Simply amazing Porter. A: Pours a dark brown almost black color with a discreet beige to brown head S: Strong on smoked malts. Hints of coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. Wood. Complex T: Smoked malts. Hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Dark fruits. Also smooth notes of bourbon barrel. Dry taste and balanced bitterness. Bitterness seems to come mainly from the smoked malts with only small hints of hops. Alcohol is imperceptive M: Medium to full creamy body and low carbonation. Perfect D: Easy drinking. Really great stuff [ BA Review @ 1/30/2011 ]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AirForceHops (6284) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 14, 2014
22 oz. bottle thanks to BOLTZ7555 on this cellared birthday porter. Label reads best after 10/17/10. No visible signs of oxidation on the cap. Totally opaque brown with thin off white head. Aroma is rich bourbon on top of dark fruits, and cocoa.

The flavor is earth chocolate malt, oak barrel, mild sticky molasses on the tongue. Unfortunately it does should mild cardboard oxidation notes. Good news is the bourbon helps cover it up some. Still a lasting bourbon lingers in the finish without any alcohol burn. Really great flavor but about 14- 15 months past itís prime. I still was really pleased to try it.

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