Deschutes Brewery’s Black Butte XXIV: their anniversary ale, an Imperial Porter brewed with dates, figs, chocolate nibs, and 25% aged in bourbon barrels. At 11% alcohol by volume, it is essentially a doubled-up version of regular Black Butte Porter with all those fun additions, and this bottle is the one Deschutes sent me a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve also already sampled the XXIV, and wrote a small amount about it (during a vertical with previous vintages); I had written:
And finally, the XXIV, this year’s beer, is rich and sweet and nicely drinkable; you get the chocolate and residual sweetness from the dates and figs (what hasn’t fermented out) and is way too easy-drinking for 11%. Very, very good, don’t miss out on picking up bottles of this.
That’s advice that I can only reinforce after enjoying the bottle.
Appearance: Black pour, a touch thing, with a big creamy dense head that reminds me of cappuccino.
Smell: Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, a touch of ground coffee; kind of reminds me of a dark chocolate cake or ganache. Searching for the fruit… hints of dates I think, a touch of cloying sweet and a touch of bourbon as it warms. Very yummy.
Taste: Dry roast coffee with dark chocolate up front with a very slight coffee acidity over a nice sweet fruit body. Hints of bourbon but as it warms the fruit and chocolate become much more prominent, the fruitiness being sweet and rich rather than tart. There’s a hint of alcohol heat, but you can’t really tell it’s 11%!
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and a touch thin with a dry but lusciously fruity finish followed by coffee.
Overall: It’s pretty fantastic and amazingly drinkable.