Brew Review: Black Butte XXIII

29 Dec

Brew: Black Butte XXIII

Brewed by: Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR)

Style: Porter (10.8% ABV)


I was excited the second I saw this at the liquor store, the only regret I have about it is that I didn’t get more than 1 bottle, mistake on my part. Enjoyed it during a great beer weekend with a couple friends from Chicago. I didn’t let it age as long as the label had prescribed, it told me to let this sit for at least a year. One of better things about the label is that it mentioned a best “after” date. Which is different because usually beers have a best “before” date which means this was supposed to sit for a while, but I couldn’t hold back and had to bring it out.

Chipped at the wax seal and poured this black beauty into a little tulip glass. It poured out a deep dark brown. Almost black but there were some red hints around the edges that gave this a great overall look. There was a big frothy mocha tan head that stuck around for a while and laced the glass perfectly. Wow I couldn’t ask for a better looking beer.

The smell was rushed since I was so excited to taste it but it was sweet with chocolate and rich roasted malts. There was some whiskey hints in there mixed with deep rich fruity smells. It says its brewed with oranges and chilies but I can’t really smell either of those, maybe they will show up in the taste. This is a good smelling brew, since only 25% was aged in bourbon barrels there is a good balance with the bourbon not overpowering anything.

The taste was amazing to say the least. The bourbon is once again well balanced and doesn’t mess it up at all, the 25% mark was a good one to go with. With the booze there is some vanilla. The brew is thick and sweet, there is tons of chocolate and a little hint of the oranges at the end. A well crafted beer that hides the alcohol content very well, though its not one that is drank in any way but sipping as its big and powerful. At the very end there is a little alcohol detected as it goes down but that’s about it.

Wow, this was a treat, even without letting it sit for the prescribed year it was still magnificent. So much going on and so much to appreciate. I was glad I was able to share this with people as it was a perfect brew to sit around and talk about as everyone in the room liked it a lot. Its a big beer with plenty to offer, the flavors are all balanced so well that there is really nothing negative to mention about it. Once again my only mistake was to not get more than one, shame on me.


Final Grade: A


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