Let me reiterate the stats on this beer: Imperial Porter, brewed with chocolate beans and coffee, 20% aged in bourbon barrels, 11% alcohol, 55 IBUs. It’s a Reserve Series beer and this pedigree proves it.
Of course, stats alone don’t just make a good beer. But Deschutes does. This beer is fantastic, better than what I remember from last year’s Black Butte XX, and really showcases what a mature, first-rate brewery Deschutes truly is.
Appearance: Black and thick with a thick a porous dark tan head. Completely opaque even when held to the light.
Smell: Lots of coffee and dark chocolate. Very roasty, hints of whiskey. A sweet note to it along with a bitter (black) astringent bit.
Taste: Thick, sweet Greek coffee. Very bitter dark chocolate with a creamy note. Roasty but decadently sweet like an exotic candy, coffee-laced black licorice or something. There’s alcohol heat lurking in the back, muted but there. Definite hints of a liqueur, touches of bourbon.
Mouthfeel: Fairly full but not overly so—much like Black Butte Porter which looks like it should be big and thick but is actually lighter and drinkable.
Overall: Ultimately drinkable, which is dangerous since it’s so strong. Fantastic. This is a world-class beer that surpasses expectation. (It’s not too harsh, hot, etc.)