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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

Regional Distribution

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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.

UltraViolence's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
UltraViolence (23) - USA - JUL 14, 2009
Bottle from Mile High Wine and Spirits next to the Whole Foods in Belmar (Lakewood / Denver, CO). Very, very good. Points either on or off, however, for some weird mid-center spiciness on the finish. I say, "off." What is this...cayenne? Some spicy, red thangg...I know, it sounds interesting and unique enough in theory, but ultimately couldnít say that it was necessary...just a bit of a novelty feature or an overly overt differentiator. All in all, it is its own beer in the category, but it featured more "smooth" than it did "explosion" within the genre. If thatís your gig, by all means, drink up. You can do no real wrong here if youíve got $12 for a bomb.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jredmond (6517) - 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 (2533) - 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 (707) - - 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 (6485) - 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 (1581) - 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 (1480) - 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 (1122) - 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 (4804) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
orangesol (984) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 1, 2014
I brought this to the Inaugural "Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share" Event. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours ink black with a nice one finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving light rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, and some dulled coffee. Of all the flavors the malt really dominates with the others in more of a supporting role. Pretty good.

T - Flavors are quite similar to the nose with some more coffee coming thru. The malt is a little less prevalent allowing the rest of the rich roasty flavors to come thru. A nice vanilla/oak sweetness comes thru as it warms up to room temperature. Very nice stuff.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice full feel with a mix of dark roast and dulled sweetness in the finish.

D - Very good. I am not sure I could drink a few of these bad boys but I really enjoyed this one. Wish I had a few more of these for down the road.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cybercat (4172) - Georgia, USA - MAR 15, 2014
Pours a warm, deep sable with a light tan head. Rich aroma has notes of caramel, malt, coffee and toffee. Bold flavor echoes the coffee and toffee of the aroma and adds an undertone of hot peppers, as well as a hint of chocolate. Smooth, firm, fairly tingly texture rounds out a worthy brew. Glad I was able to snag a snort of this at the Holy Mother of Gatherings in Decatur, GA!

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