Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXVII – Imperial Porter at 11.6% ABV | 60 IBU

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXVII Imperial Porter at 11.6% ABV | 60 IBU (C$23.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 20-Jul-2015, acquired 16-Oct-2015, reviewed 20-Nov-2018)

Appearance: clear deep brown with one finger of loose beige head diminishing gradually to a thin ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: complex, red berries, stone fruit, molasses, bourbon, cocoa nibs, floral. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter warming slightly tart finish. (4/5)

I did my first of these birthday beers a few months ago, during the Dog Days of summer. It’s definitely not summer any more, so I figured I’d split off another of my multiples – this time the next year older vintage – and give it a go. (You can tell it’s older because of the dust on the bottle. How legit is that?) Unlike the previous one, this is all about fruit notes, with rose water, apricot, and pomegranate taking the stage, despite this having been cellared for more than three years. Definitely not even close to the same beer, especially with the tart red berries in the finish. I’ve had many Porters, Imperial or otherwise, that integrated tart and/or berry notes, and I certainly don’t dislike that approach – but straight-up chocolate and vanilla do work better, in my opinion. That said, good on them for making significant changes year over year: how are you supposed to find anything better, if you don’t try new things? This suffers only very marginally by comparison to its younger brother, and is definitely an enjoyable sipper to round out my evening. (16/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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