Friday, March 16, 2012

Deschutes Black Butte Porter

Another beer sent to me in a trade with Deschutes is a brewery out of Oregon that I've heard a lot of good things about up here in New York but have only been able to get in trades since they don't distribute to my state yet (which is weird because they're the fifth biggest craft brewery by volume I believe). This is one of their more well known offerings (their flagship?) that I've wanted to try for a while. I like a good porter and this ones reputation proceeds it. Will it live up to it, though?

P.S. This is the last episode of "Season 16". I'm going to be out of town this weekend and may shoot a review or two on the road. I'm not sure. It could be a longer delay than usual until the next episode.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (629) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 12, 2012
Porter is a style that brewers tend not to mess with. That’s not to say if you’ve had one you’ve had them all, just that the style is solid - so why tamper with it? That seems to be the approach of Deschutes Black Butte Porter. It plays it very safe with a tasty, well-balanced, and smooth palate.

I received a 12oz bottle in a trade with a friend in San Diego (thanks, Ryan!). I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Extremely dark blood red/maroon to black complexion. Noticeable ruby red around the edges. Forms a large, dark khaki, tightly compacted foamy head which retains and laces quite well.

Smell: Classic porter aroma of dairy aisle milkiness, plus some dark fruit like cherry or prune. Hints of chocolate candy.

Taste: Deschutes Black Butte Porter begins like most porters do with a mild, lightly sweet taste of milk chocolate at the beginning. It transitions to something more fruity, authentic, and rich through the middle of the palate, like a Dr. Pepper crossed with a Trappist quad. Prune and dark cherry, plus that classic "cough syrup" component many porters tend to have are the main attraction for sure.

The finish is quite nice, with a toasty/roasty malt taste plus some dark chocolate sweetness. There’s a light coffee-like bitterness and dryness as well, but it’s barely noticeable until the beer reaches a warmer temperature. Tasty and satisfying all around, but nothing amazing or particularly unique.

Drinkability: What was really interesting and impressive about this beer was the drinking experience. While porters tend to be thinner and lighter than stouts, Deschutes Black Butte Porter was noticeably finely carbonated and had a thin, wet mouthfeel. It’s not quite a creamy or velvety texture, but it does go down smooth. The 5.2% ABV is right where it should be - big enough to give it genuine energy, but small enough to keep it under wraps.
Grade: 7/10

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