Oct 8, 2015

Deschutes Black Butte XXVI

Once Deschutes products started showing up in the fine state of Virginia, there was really only one beer that I was looking forward to more than the others. Sure, Fresh Squeezed IPA is a damn fine brew, but it’s their annual anniversary releases that I was drooling over. And Black Butte XXVI does not disappoint.

This 10% ABV imperial porter is a 50/50 blend of baseline brew and bourbon-barrel aged (6 months) brew. The company then adds pomegranate molasses and cranberries to the mix. I didn’t even know there was a such thing as pomegranate molasses. Regardless, the extra ingredients take Black Butte XXVI in a completely different — and thoroughly wonderful — direction than I was expecting.


A small head of brown foam falls gently to a thin surface cover on the opaque, black brew.

Deschutes Black Butte XXVI photo


Jammy and decadent! Berries, cocoa, soft roast, distant bourbon, hint of vanilla and a touch of licorice all come together for an amazing aroma.


The flavors of Black Butte XXVI are right in line with just about everything I pick up on the nose. Jammy fruits, chocolate, roast coffee and soft bourbon are joined by a moderate bitterness before making way for a warming, slightly drying finish. The beer is a bit thinner than anticipated which is a bit of a surprise, but not an experience-killer.


The nose on this beer is absolutely amazing. The taste is just about as good, but not as full as expected or as decadent. It’s no wonder the brewery puts a “best after” date on these bottles — Black Butte XXVI just needs a bit more time in the cellar to completely come together. I can’t wait!

Rating: 4/5

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