Black Butte 20th Anniversary

You know when you are asked to do one of those things that you really do not want to do, but it comes from a friend and you would feel like a dick saying no? Well, sometimes, saying yes works in ways you would never even dream of.

One of my buddy’s asked me if I could help her move into her new apartment. No one ever wants to do this job. I mean, you are always offered pizza and beer and say yes. You don’t really want the pizza and you know going to the store and picking out the beer of your choice is a better investment of your time, but you always say whatever and go ahead on with it. Well, when I was pulling one box in I saw something magical that struck my eyes. A bottle of Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewing Company. Now, that wasn’t the magical part about it. What was so mesmerizing was the fact that the cap said 1988-2008.

Now this was not an anniversary release bottle like Black Butte XXIII, which I have a bottle of in the cellar just waiting for the right occasion to be opened, but it was a normal batch brewed as they have been doing for years. My main interest was to see how the bottle lasted over the years. Granted I didn’t know the conditions in which it was held, but at this point I really do not care. Deschutes is one of the top producing company’s as well, so I know quality of product would keep it, at least, in some drinkable fashion.

I asked my friends a little bit about the bottles history and apparently her uncle used to be an avid homebrewer but then he kind of stopped like brewers do from time to time and he had a ton of empty bottles just collecting in his garage. He asked them to get rid of them and if they found anything, they could keep it. She said they poured out a ton of bottles that had infections growing in them since, after they were popped open, they were never properly rinsed out and dried. There were two bottles of this brew sitting in there and it kind of made it into their collection. I talked to them a bit telling them how I wanted it and they thought I was kidding. I told them I was truly not and then they were like; you don’t want to drink that… I made it pretty clear I did and then they just let me have it.

Now, they have no proper glassware, which almost made me put this beer on the back burner in order to find a glass but after about a week of not getting around to it, I just had to go for it. It was quite surprising how the head presented itself after all this time. I kind of was expecting a weak, short lived, foam top. Nope! I was wrong as hell. It was big and frothy. Even looked kind of rocky. I so wish I had proper glassware to watch how it took form.

This was one of the most beautiful beers I have seen… Ok, maybe I am just caught up in the moment but besides a bottle of Old Stock Ale that I had from 2005 that was infected, this was the oldest beer I have ever had. I have only heard stories about such things. Seriously though, it looked just like a fresh bottle from off the line. I should have saved this beer a bit longer and did a side by side tasting… Maybe I can get the other one and do that before it’s too late.

The nose was roasty and had a fair malt background to it. The mouth feel was smooth but a little thin when I first poured it but I initially did not give it the proper time to warm up. I thought the dark malt really came through after all this time, but the chocolate flavor that I love seemed to have faded into the background. Still had a quite a bit of sweetness but it did seem to be a bit toastier than I remember… then again, that’s why I wish I would have found a fresh bottle to compare it to. Maybe I am just talking crazy right now?

Remember that quality thing? Well, off flavors? None. Oxidation? None. There were literally no problems with this beer. I feel it was just as good today as it ever was. Deschutes messed up though with their anniversary editions though. As much as I love Black Butte, the limited editions completely blow it out of the water. I wish I could find more of them.


Black Butte 20th Anniversary

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