Deschutes Black Butte XXIII, Porters Don’t Get Much More Imperial Than This

I never really know how to straddle these imperial porters. Regular porters are often so far away in scope and execution, but imperial stouts are completely different beasts altogether. Suffice it to say, I enjoy this style a ton when they are executed well, but if it’s too big, it eats shit like a Korean gymnast. Lucky for us, this one sticks the landing, sticks it so hard.

Droppin twanky tres on em.

Deschutes xxiii Black Butte Imperial Porter 10.5% abv

A: This has a slippery BP black with mild wateriness and deep amber hues, great carbonation and a fantastic presentation. The legs do not show through that well and if this is an imperial porter, it’s a pretty fucking powerful empire because the maltiness toes the line into a stout-tranny, er, you know what I mean.

I won’t say I am afraid of this beer, but it is capable of some dangerous shit.

S: There is an orange rind smell with licorice light and smokiness. It smells amazing. This is one of the most aromatic porters that I have ever encountered and I still get jazzed every time someone busts one of these out. You get some nice vanilla, oak, and light waft of alcohol.

T; There is a great slickness with a little juniper herbal finish to it. The front is similar to dark chocolate notes but the mouthfeel is distinctly porter not stout. It has a finishing dryness with a lingering sweetness. Just fantastic all around on the tastey sesh. I really enjoy the interesting venn diagram that it creates between stouts and porters in that it is still distinctly huge and mildly watery, relative to an imperial stout, but still maintains its character very well. It’s the difference between a chocolate milkshake and some gourmet Yoohoo. Feel me?

There’s a bit of gentle lightness in this deep darkness that delivers the sweetness to your facehole.

M: The coating is huge, probably the thickest porter that I have encountered. This easily gives Victory at Sea a run for its money. I want more and alas, I cannot obtain it that easily after the run is done. I would stack this right next to Birth of Tragedy, albeit below it as a fine example of a beastly porter that delivers harder than a Ramen courier.

D: This is a split ticket decision. On one hand you have a big foamy, filling, high abv porter that imparts considerable dryness. On the other hand, it is so well balanced and delicious, you could drink this into a stupor. Ultimately I will side with the party that supports consuming delicious things at length. If you have soft little hands and a light stride, sure, have an 8oz taster and move on. The rest of us will engage in a bacchanalian festival of porters and rejoicing.

This is deep and dark but menacing at the same time.

Narrative: Mocha stared knowingly at the horizon, sensing a storm was coming. Her penguin bretheren were too busy diving for squid in the shallows to pay attention. However, deep in Mocha’s soul she felt that insightful knowledge, that looming storm. They would chastise her, call her serious and forlorn and continue with their gallivanting. Day by day the temperatures were steadily rising and no one seemed to care. Sage old Mocha wiped her brow and pecked at the shallow pools. No one believed her when she predicated the great migration, no one trusted her when she foresaw the epic enclosure and flock partition, but now, here they were, in the Cleveland Zoo, and things were getting worse. Some Browns fans had showed up to the habitat and were throwing pork rinds into the water. Their jowls shook violently as they guffawed at the penguins splashing playfully. Mocha lowered her gaze at these overweight humans and noted, “mom’s gonna fix it all soon, mom’s gonna drown us set back to the way it oughta be.”


Deschutes The Abyss Imperial Stout, Total Abyss of the Heart

Every time this beer comes out, I shrug it off as a “widely available” top 100 stout and act like I dont want it. Then I can’t get it and the butt hurt ensues. Anyway, I landed this the old fashioned way from Sunset Beer in Echo Park and figured now is as good a time as ever to start giving sick props to this gem that most people have already had their way with.


I opened this at my housewarming party when I bought a house and pretty much everyone wanted nothing to do with it. My house was all the warmer with this potation lighting up my chest like E.T.

Deschutes The Abyss, light pilsner, PSYCHE, Imperial Stout, 11% abv

A: This looks like an Exxon valdez rampage. Pure black with shimmering darkness like the gulf of mexico. Huge khaki carbonation with sticky lacing. If you spill this on your clothes, just throw them out. No middle carbonation, at least not much that I can see. It reminds me of those villains from Pirates of Dark Water, oh well, Google it I guess, my jokes aren’t for everyone, you gotta earn that shit.

Ever since I started drinking Abyss, I never win because these stouts make you fat as fuck

S: There is a huge chocolate profile, not similar to most stouts, it registers sweeter more of a syrupy bitterness like those bags of syrup you add to soda machines but with a ton of awesome coffee balance. As a side note, I feel like Deschutes sometimes ends up with too much sugar attenuation and they defy the status quo here with this chocolate syrupy note that remains balanced.

T: Very sweet on the first taste that coats the bitter zones with an overwhelming hop presence that subsides into a tarpit of gooey coffee notes. The heat is there but the alcohol is overridden by almost distracting sweet notes. It is reminiscent of if you subjected a normal stout to a 120 min boil. It just feels like stout concentrate in a good way.

I only got a single bottle of Abyss this year and I was all like this as a result.

M: I can’t overstate this enough, it coats harder than a single guy at 1:45 a.m. at a club. Chocolate robitussin with teeth staining presence. It will linger with you, whether you want it to or not.

D: I don’t know what crazy cold conditions or type of Siberian misery that I would have to endure to put away several bottles of this away. Perhaps the people in Bend Oregon have a tough gulag life that I can’t comprehend from my Mediterranean climate throne but one 22 oz bottle of this is plenty, anyone who “wishes” for another bomber seems questionable, but understandable.

Making a beer this delicious and alcoholic just seems like a dangerous idea.

Narrative: “So this is how product liability lawsuits happen,” Warren Dolce thought as the maroon viscous liquid glugged out of the cocoa butter vat and all over the factory floor. “Of all the things to skimp on, I don’t think that the pressure control valve and the blow off valve were proper,” he reflected “at least not for the chocolate refining tank.” Thousands of wanting Cadburry eggs would remain wanting frosting yokes, in endosperm stasis. The chocolate crude gurgled up to his jaw line and Warren reflected, “perhaps the basement lock was not the way to cut costs either, here I am, 3 floors down, about to endure the prophetic Death By Chocolate, to be honest, I kinda always knew that it would end this way.” He exhaled into the mucilaginous depths watching the bubbles struggle to the surface. “A sweet death, to be sure, but who will finish my screen pl-”