Today I have another solid ale from the fine folks at Deschutes Brewery, and another brew provided by Lake Wine & Spirits as part of their Citizen Six Pack. Deschutes startedÂ distributingÂ to our fine state of Minnesota just over half a year ago and boy have I been pleased about that. Hailing from Bend, Oregon Deschutes makes some very enjoyable year round beers and some simply fantastic specialty brews such as their Imperial version of this brew, last years (which was distributed this year) being entitled Black Butte XXI [review]. Unfortunately this years Black Butte XXII will not beÂ distributed butÂ some lucky Oraganites were able to sample it at their brewpub. To keep it brief XXII was brewed with a chocolate that creates a film after sitting for a while and Deschutes did not want to ship a product that they believed did not meet their quality standards. While very respectable I was quiteÂ disappointedÂ because this year they also added chillies and orange peel. After sampling Great Divides Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti [review] which is also brewed with a tiny bit of cayenneÂ pepper I am now a sucker for any Imperial Stout brewed with peppers. While not as overwhelmingly fantastic as the Imperial version of the brew Deschutes Black Butte Porter is surely a tasty and drinkable brew. Lets get to it.
Pours a pitch black hue that is completely opaque. About two fingers of tight tan bubbles are produced and fade after a few minutes leaving a very small amount of lacing and someÂ residualÂ head. Aroma is of strong coffee, rich semi-sweet malts and a hint of caramely sweetness. Flavor starts with coffee, followed by a variety of grain esters and malty bitterness. Some hop esters are present and add a nice gentle citrus quality but are easily dominated by roasted malts and the coffee and bitter malt flavors they present. Body is a bit heavy but close to medium making it very reasonable for the style. Mouthfeel is smooth and gently creamy making thisÂ flavorfulÂ beer far too easy to drink. Luckily it comes in at a rather sessionable 5.2% ABV because any fan of dark beers and coffee could drink this brew all night. As it warms the more the creamy malt esters shine through creating a very palatable beer. If you enjoy dark beers and are into coffee esters you may have just found your new every day beer. While nothing mind blowing this brew from Deschutes is still a simply delicious porter that most people will enjoy. A solid beer regardless of season. Give it a shot and ride your bike.