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Review by joe1510 on 02/15/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
76 2 8 15 5 8 2010
22oz Bomber

I was lucky enough to get this treat in a recent trade with msbulldog25, thanks again Brian. Deschutes giant porter, Black Butte XX pours midnight black without letting a hint of light shine through. This is one of those beers that actually swallow up the light around the glass. A standard pour raised a mocha head two fingers before it settled to a thick cap of frothiness. Mild patchwork lacing is left down the glass after each drink.

Cocoa hits right up front and never truly fades. Each healthy swirl brings the dark roast coffee to the front. Bittersweet coffee combines with tangy anise to create a strong licorice aroma toward the back. While I really like the aroma of this beer I do have one complaint. As this beer warms up the roastiness does come forward a bit more. The adjuncts seem to take over the aroma without letting the beer itself come through. It is very tastefully done though, nothing is huge and in your face. All the aspects seem nicely balanced in the aroma.

The flavor shows much of the same characteristics as the aroma. This beer shows much more of the porter characteristics then I thought I would get when I stuck my nose in the glass. The roastiness and anise are what jump out right away. These two aspects lead through the entire drink. The cocoa nibs, bittersweet chocolate, and dark roast coffee all come through as accompaniments, the coffee being the mildest of the three. I'm not getting much bourbon or oak in the flavor, I would have loved to see some come through. This is a big beer and there is an alcohol heat on the finish along with green hops.

I thoroughly enjoy the mouthfeel of this giant porter. The body leans toward the lighter side of heavy and shows a little stick on the back of the throat. The solid hopping, roastiness, and coffee add a nice touch of bitterness. I'm surprised at the smoothness and lighter then expected body from an 11% beer.

This is a big beer with a lot of robust flavor. The alcohol hinders the drinkability a little but this bomber is a joy to sip away. As a matter of fact, for a beer this big with such deep flavor, this goes down surprisingly easy. It will warm you up without a doubt.

Black Butte XX is a high quality beer that seems to be a little rough around the edges. I'm under the impression this will smooth out and become an excellent sipper with a couple months under its belt. Deschutes has a very tasteful way of doing their barrel aging and adjunct additions. I'm very impressed with the way this and The Abyss was done in those regards. The beer is the showcase instead of the adjuncts, which is just the way it should be. Thanks again for the treat Brian!

Reviewed: 7/21/08

Served In: Pint Glass