Onenote81 (1002) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - SEP 13, 2012
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Just cracked this bottle with a couple friends for a mid-week treat. Pours a deep dark brown with light edges. This isnít as dark as expected. A thin sheet of lace rests on top. The aroma is warming with mild bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate. The nose is the best part of this beer I think.
The body is too carbonated. I would think that some time spent in barrels, albeit just 1/4 of this beer, would have mellowed this out. On top of that the time since bottling should have smoothed it out, but is bubbly, bordering on harsh. Some of the "bigger" beers Iíve had recently have had this unpleasant characteristic, unfortunately. The flavor isnít as enjoyable as the XX or XXI. I realize the ingredients are different, but this one is my least favorite. Mild cocoa, light zesty tartness on the back end. Bourbon character is absent. Thereís some sweetness here, but itís fleeting.
I appreciate their ingenuity, but this one fell short for me. Stick to coffee, vanilla, and cocoa, and bourbon - that combo was a sure winner in my book.
PartyFowle (314) - - APR 3, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured into a snifter, Black Butte XXIII looks uncomplicated -- a flat, inky ebony topped with dense khaki froth -- but layers of complexity lie beneath. The first whiff finds espresso, burnt toast and smoky brisket from charred malt; the next curacao, lent by zest from the peels of Spanish Seville oranges. A quarter of the final blend has spent time in bourbon barrels, and the aroma makes this apparent with notes of wood-fired oak and whiskey. Bittersweet dark chocolate and cocoa powder permeate XXIIIís flavor, provided by cocoa nibs from Theo Chocolate in Seattle. Allow the beer to warm and the sweet stuff emerges: vanilla, caramel, mocha. The ﬁnish is a tea composed of smoked oak and dried orange peel, and a bitter char lingers between sips. XXIIIís wild side materializes in the form of a burly 10.8 percent ABV and added Pasilla Negro chiles. The heat of the peppers complement the burn of the alcohol, setting the mouth aglow as you sip the velvet-smooth brew. The brewery suggests opening this bottle a year from now, which you should do. You should also pick up a second bottle to drink today. And a third for tomorrow. And a fourth for your birthday. When you pop the bottle and enjoy the best porter youíll have all year, youíll be glad for the excess.
Prufrockstar (1364) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 23, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at Beveridge Place a few months back as part of a vertical. From notes: smell of old hops overwhelms everything else. Plums, caramel, faded chocolate and roast. Taste all around feels faded.
Sarlacc83 (1170) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 15, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from years ago.
A: Pitch black, foamy cappuccino head and a positive amount of lacing - though I would like some legs out of this.
N: Cocoa, coffee, licorice, orange peel, hint of char, malt balls, touch of oxidation - which adds rather than subtracts, star anise, some molasses, overripe black cherry, raisin, and fig.
T: Quite sweet, potent bitter elements, and maybe a touch of citrus tartness.
M: Fuzzy, filling carbonation that lightens a medium-heavy, oily body. Alcohol has subsided nicely as this blended together.
O: Still going strong, but I would guess itís about to descend on the other side of the hill. However, the elements here are still distinct, and they blend well together. Better than most of its followers, but not up to the snuff of the Black Butte XX.
Art (2086) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 6, 2015
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown black with a slight light brown head. Aroma of dark fruits, bourbon, light coffee. Not really getting the orange at this point all that much. Taste starts sweet, middle has a slight dry tingle, then finishes with an alcohol heat. Maybe a bit past itís prime but still decent.
beastiefan2k (2742) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - JAN 1, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
At a vertical event. Mellowed malt, strong dark malt flavors. A bit of dustiness and slightly astringency . Flavor shows a little age. Just like a big version of the regular Black Butte but slightly old.
Salmoniform (1193) - Sweet Home, Oregon, USA - DEC 13, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from tap to glass. Dark hue with creamy brown head that settled to a ring. Aroma is toffee, caramel, cinnamon, roast, cereal, chocolate. Mouthfeel is nice with a full body and crisp carbonation. Taste is sweet with a spicy following and slight ethanol finish. Overall this is drinking very well right now.
haukur (1345) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - DEC 13, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottle via trade. Thanks duffman!
Aroma is chocolate, vanilla, slight bourbon. Mouthfeel is very delicate and velvety. Slight hint of bourbon. Extremely complex, with delicate taste layers. Balance is the key word here. Exceptional brew.
ACHops (901) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 11, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap @ Beveridge Place for Black Butte Reserve XXII - XXVI vertical. Pours dark blackish brown with medium mocha head that fades quickly to a light lacy one. Aroma is dark roasty chocolate malt, quickly overtaken by boozy barrel-aged notes and a rich, lightly sweet, not cloying orange flavor. Taste is similar: lots of rich dark chocolate, prominent but restrained cocoa notes, orange liqueur flavor throughout, and a light but unmistakable pepper spice note that lingers through the finish with a slight tingle on the tongue. Some bourbon, but moderated with the age here. Very impressive. Easily one of the best in the Black Butte Reserve series. The orange and chili combo is much better suited to this style than some of the subsequent variations.
mR_fr0g (4788) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - NOV 18, 2014
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at the RBESG 2014, grand tasting 10/08/2014 Craft Beer Co Clerkenwell. Nice looking, dark mahogany brown coloured pour with a lasting light tan head. Aroma is solventy, hot alcohol with vanilla bean, oak and roast. Flavour is composed of very smooth rounded orast, vanilla and nutty praline. Nice smooth choclate malts nad some tangy fruits. Palate is medium full with highish carbonation. Nice!
Bacterial (1978) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - NOV 14, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from my cellar. Brown pour, pretty thin. No head. Rally nice nose: bourbon, malt and oak. Quite tasty. Bourbon is not overpowering. Good bitter chocolate finish.