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Beer Pick of the Week

Sunday, 07 April 2019 14:47

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve

Deschutes Brewery

Bend, Oregon

Style: Imperial Porter

Alcohol: 12%

IBUs: 55

Serving Style: 22-ounce bottles

Availability: Current vintage of this annual release is now the XXX Reserve.


Appearance:   “Not black, but a very dark brown, I’d say. Would ‘sable’ describe it? This is topped by a tall tan or beige head.”

Aroma:   “Smells powerful. First impression is alcoholic, but in a good way. There’s some sweet cocoa here and I think I pick up a presence of dark rum.”

Taste:    “That richness comes though on the palate, too. From the appearance and the nose, I might have expected it to be overpowering, but it’s not. The depth of this Porter reflects more of its complexity, than just a high alcohol number. Through the mid-palate and, especially in the finish, there is a spicy quality that comes from cinnamon and cayenne pepper components.

Food Affinity:   “I’d definitely consider this as a ‘sippin beer,’  more appropriate for a contemplative hour sitting by the fireplace than anything I’d put on the dinner table. However, if pressed, I have an obscure reference for you. On a trip to Kakheti, I enjoyed something called churchkhela made at the side of the road by Georgian women. They were heating grape must and flour In big pots. Then they’d place chunks of chocolate and walnuts on a string, which they dipped into this potion. When removed, these would dry and resemble rustic sausages. As I remember, the finished product tasted something like a very chewy—though not too sweet—fudge with a subtle chocolatey flavor balanced by some bitterness from the walnuts. Now that would go well with this Porter.”


      --Guest reviewer Wyatt Miller restores wooden boats when he’s not enjoying his beer

Last modified on Sunday, 07 April 2019 15:03


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