Saturday, July 14, 2012
Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter XXIII - Review
Ah, yes. Will Farrell has some funny outtakes in Anchorman that appear in the closing credits. In one of them, Ron Burgundy runs through a series of exclamations in his typical style where he references something that makes him appear to be smarter than he is. "Great Zeus's beard", he exclaims. I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut Burgundy has no clue who Zeus is, or which culture deified him. Hell, Burgundy probably has no idea where his last beer came from. Well, I know where my last great beer came from: Bend, Oregon, by the hand of Deschutes, their Black Butte Porter, XXIII. It's described on the bottle as being brewed with cocoa nibs, orange, and natural flavors - whatever the hell that is - added to a 25% bourbon barrel mix. Believe me, it made me exclaim, "Great Zeus's beard." And, "By the word of Holy Moses."
This beer is pretty phenomenal; and thank you Shaun, who's visiting this weekend, for bringing it. A nice tan head emerges when you pour this into a tulip, and it rests atop a dark brown liquid pool. You get chocolate on the nose, pumpernickel, and baking spices. The body is medium, about the consistency of a light coffee. Bitter chocolate drives the flavor profile and I detect a large amount of coriander spice. The finish, which lingers forever and a day, is controlled by tangy, rugged orange peel. The alcohol on the finish is easily detectable but hardly overwhelming. And, as they say in Casino, the eye in the sky is watching over us all. That eye is bourbon, which looms heavily, imparting vanilla and smokiness.
This is a winner and a keeper. I love the mix of slight sweetness, the smoky bourbon, and the undertow of graininess, orange peel, spices, and bitter chocolate.
4.6 of 5 stars.