Deschutes is a brewery I had heard about before but I have no recollection where I had heard of them. Somehow this brewery had become a part of my memory without me even realizing how! Seriously though, this brewery does have a fantastic reputation for producing quality and a quick glance at the 90+ ratings on Ratebeer seem to back that up.
They describe the Black Butte as their flagship bran and on the pour, it certainly smells the part. My first impression isn’t fruit or chocolate or hops, it’s just plain delicious smelling! Sometimes when you analyse beer a bit too much, the simple pleasure of just anticipating drinking a tasty beer and enjoying the aroma of it can be lost. This beer just makes you forget, for a moment, about identifying specific notes. You just want to enjoy the bouquet as a whole.
Just enjoying the aroma isn’t going to help you figure out what this beer smells and tastes like though. Picking it apart there’s a prevailing sweetness that gets you first. It’s the sweetness of dark red fruit and dark chocolate at the same time. There’s a slight whiff of smoke and a general roasted malt note.
On the palate, I get a generally sweet malt taste and then a roasted note, kind of like a very mild coffee. There’s little-to-no bitterness up front or in the middle but there is some in the finish. It’s a bit pithy actually. The finish is also very dry and adds to the refreshing quality of the beer.
Overall it’s incredibly balanced. At first I thought the light mouthfeel was a weakness but going through a whole bomber makes me realize what an accomplishment this must be to have such full flavour and light body. It’s just smooth and creamy as well with a zingy carbonation that is just so palate-cleansing. You just want to go back for more and more.