Beer of the Month - Deschutes Black Butte XX [May 2008]
OK, we're a little late for May, but what's new, right? We had some ideas for May, but I wanted to make sure to get down to Deschutes' New Portland Pub to see if any of there beers spoke to me. Well, after two rounds of the Black Butte XX, not only did the beer talk to me, but so did the walls, and the floor, and the parade of pink elephants that I passed when I walked out the door. Actually, they were singing, but that's another story...
Deschutes says "To celebrate our 20th anniversary this June, we decided to pay homage to Black Butte Porter, the revolutionary beer that has excited craft beer drinkers since 1988. Our brewers have played mad scientists, creating an Imperial recipe that includes coffee, cocoa nibs, and aged in whiskey barrels. IBUs: 60 ABV: 11%"Yep, it's a big one. While the description was provocative, Portland was in the grasp of a mini 2-day heat wave. So after a hot day, I had to ask myself, was this the best time for huge Imperial Porter? Damn right it was!
Sure, this isn't a session beer for a sunny sidewalk afternoon, but it is a great slow beer to enjoy on it's own or paired with a meal. And be careful, those of you that have been gearing up for summer with some lighter beers, you may leave the brewery without your shoes, as this beer may just knock the shoes off your feet. I'm still missing one shoe...
It may be strong, but the alcohol isn't overpowering in the flavor profile. Thick, dark brown, and rich, this beer is sweet with a delicate hop bitterness. Aged in whiskey barrels, this brew had plenty of time for the flavors to blend and mature. Everyone who tastes this will have something new to pull out of this complex treat.
I'm not sure how long Deschutes' seasonals will be available at their Portland Pub, only time will tell. So get out there and grab this one while you can, you'll be sorry if you miss it. Well, I can at least guarantee that we'll be sorry for you.
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