Saturday, December 19, 2009

172b. Deschutes Black Butte Porter

I’ve made my pilgrimage to Seattle for the holidays, which means it’s time for more delicious Northwest beer. I’m hitting up Deschutes again, mainly because it is so so good. This is our fourth beer from Deschutes—we’ve had Hop Trip, Inversion, and Red Chair IPA. And we can add Black Butte Porter to that list. Or at least I can—Elli will have her own beer solo escapades that may cause me beer envy as well.

Black Butte Porter has a light roasted and chocolate malt nose; it pours a deep chocolate brown with red/orange highlights, and has a creamy tan head that leaves behind a decent lace trail. Dry roasted malt dominates the front, before moving into chocolate and biscuit malt mixed with some bitterness in the middle and ending with a slight soap flavor that is quickly covered by a reassertion of the roasted & chocolate flavors that both linger pleasantly. The chocolate flavor rises throughout the course of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is creamy but dry, with a medium to medium-light body and a medium carbonation that rounds the beer. There is some bitterness and bite in the second half of the beer, but it is balanced well with the chocolate and biscuit flavors. Black Butte Porter is a clean, drinkable, and well crafted beer—this is what I expect from Deschutes. The chocolate and roasted flavors are excellent, but never dominate, and the creamy dry rounded flavors go down smooth—nothing but light and easy drinking.

From the bottle: “Towering above Central Oregon, jutting into clear blue skies, Black Butte can be seen for miles. From its base flows the legendary Metolius River—with its source hidden deep beneath ancient lava flows. Dark and distinctive like Black Butte itself, Black Butte Porter uses chocolate and crystal malts, crafting a rich, approachable porter. Settled on the banks of the wild and scenic Deschutes River, Deschutes Brewery’s handcrafted ales are naturally made with pristine water from the Cascade Mountains. A fine layer of yeast in each bottle is a result of the krausening process, creating natural carbonation and distinct flavor.”

From the Deschutes website: “Black Butte Porter, crafted from chocolate and crystal malts, is Deschutes Brewery’s flagship brand. With a rich and distinctive flavor, this porter has enjoyed a loyal and passionate following since its first pint in 1988. One of Deschutes’s original triumvirate of craft beers and still the best reason on record to visit Bend, Oregon. If you can’t taste one over a hot baked pretzel at their mid-Oregon brewpub, the company obligingly ships it southward to those of us thirsting for maltbased honesty and integrity. Completely free of that disappointing wet-newspaper-in-the-mouth taste of lesser porters, it’s a vibrant, elastic brew that goes the distance with power, style and Lance Armstrong-like pacing. ”

ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 30
192 calories per 12 oz. serving


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