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August 8th, 2012 MARTIN CIZMAR | Drank
 

Drank: Black Butte XXIV (Deschutes Brewery)

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Though it’s labeled a porter, Black Butte XXIV is as stout a brew as you’ll find. Stouts are  basically stronger, thicker porters, often using roasted barley to give a beer more coffee and smoke flavor. But the line between the styles is thin and fuzzy, especially when porters are dark, high in alcohol and very roasty. Every year, Bend’s Deschutes Brewery puts out a special edition of its flagship porter that doubles everything about it. This year’s version, which came out last week, would be better labeled an imperial stout, with the consistency of canola oil and a studly 11 percent alcohol. Flavored with cacao nibs, dates and figs, it’s a beer meant to mellow in a cellar for a year. Peeling the wax cap off right away, we found it sips more like a bitter liqueur with sharp alcohol heat and strong burnt-coffee flavor. It’s hard to tell if it’ll develop a subtlety to match last year’s wonderful edition with time, but we’re hopeful. Recommended.

 
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