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Deschutes Black Butte XXI

September 18th, 2010 beckel

Today I have an exciting ale that I passed up buying a few times, but after reading a review from my friend Derek I couldn’t help but grab a bottle. Deschutes who brew out of Bend, Oregon craft some seriously solid ales, and if the aroma of this one is any indicator, I am pretty confident it will be awesome. This Imperial incarnation of their Black Butte porter was first brewed on their 20th anniversary and after it’s success they couldn’t avoid brewing it again.

Pours a very deep black hue that is completely opaque. Producing about two fingers of tight light chocolate colored bubbles that fade with in a minute or so leaving very little lacing and small amount of perpetual bubbles on the surface of the beer. Smells immensely of chocolate, coffee, very sweet malt, gentle roast and little bitterness. Flavor is of rich coffee, sweet chocolate, solid roasted malt esters, modest smokiness, malty sweetness, light alcohol, and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Body is medium, lightened a bit by a slightly creamy though viscus mouthfeel. Though this beer is a solid 11% ABV the complex flavors and massive malt esters easily disguise it, though it becomes more apparent as the brew gets closer to room temperature. This is one impressively smooth and delicious Imperial Porter. The brightness of the chocolate and coffee esters is simply fantastic and makes perfect sense when you note that this ale was brewed chocolate beans and coffee. Not to mention that 20% is aged in Bourbon barrels and blended back in. While I didn’t notice it at all when initially consuming this a bit cold, as the beer warms the alcohol esters become more reminiscent of the aforementioned Bourbon. Over all a seriously amazing take on the style and something I would happily drink any day. A fantastic brew and something any lover of chocolate and coffee will be all over. Can’t wait to get my hands on next years. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Deschutes Black Butte XXI