LWBR: Long Winded Beer Review

Deschutes Black Butte XXVIII

tl;dr (skip to the bottom if you want to know if you’ll like the beer, but don’t have time for my shit)

As I sit down to be regaled with the tales from Westeros (No Spoilers) included in the season seven opener I feel I need a beer to accompany me that will warm me for the coming winter. One to remind me that the night is dark, and full of terrors. 

Deschutes Black Butte XXVIII

A pop of the cap reveals a sultry smell of chocolate and orange, like those British confections with same flavor (Terry’s). A thick 2 finger, 3 little finger head perches atop the brew. Staunch, like the wall. 

Well that’s annoying, my HBO connection is unlinked and sure enough it wasn’t my account. Time to definitely not illegally download it. 

Vanilla and anise dance in the nostrils with a smokey, acrid bitterness to pull you in, and check you if you dare to take too big of a sniff. Dark fruit and oily sap. 

First sip is just as satisfying as finally watching the gold and red scroll across the screen. Inky chocolate sliding next to pithy oranges with a noted, but smooth, warming at the back of your throat. 

Time to breathe fire. Or curl up under a blanket. It’s a tad chilly down here. Dim the lights and fade to black, enjoy the ride. 

Flashbacks, a nice recap, I’d like a reminder of this Black Butte. Back to the ale. 

Mild smokey peat lingers, burnt bread crust, a tame but notable memory of the sip. Peaty heat from the ABV. The palate remembers. The orange is so nice. A juiciness to balance the sweetness. An herbal bitterness to cut the smoke. All swimming in notes of vanilla, oak, and grainy whiskey. Speaking of orange, Ed Sheeran is on screen. Oh he got a line not singing! 

Deep, dark, brooding and complex. Both the beer and the show. The episode was more build up, the beer the main event. But unfortunately I will have another episode next week, but not another Black Butte XXVIII. It’s watch has ended.

tl:dr
People who will like this beer: If you liked any of the other Butte Anniversaries. People who like dark sipping beers. Bitterness component is on the stronger side for a porter of this magnitude, accentuated by the orange. The Anise notes and black malt also add to the bitterness. Its complex and for sipping, I finished the episode before I finished the beer, over time learning nuances about its character.

People who will not like this beer: If you’re looking for a smooth hulking barrel aged stout, this isn’t it. The flavors are jagged, complimentary and evolving, but sharp. The peat and Scotch were mild for me, but noticeable, not something for everyone. And again, a porter on the bitter side of the style.

People who will like Ed Sheeran’s Cameo in GoT: Unless he’s back next week, absolutely useless. Only served to open a scene with 3 lines of a song and let the actual actors in the scene deliver the lines while he sat there giddy that he was on GoT. Sore thumb in that scene. I don’t typically dislike Cameos but in a show that really drives off of ‘Chekhov’s Gun‘ it was an absolute waste. Don’t get me wrong, super jealous, this show will be watched for a long time and he’s in it. Must be nice to be famous.

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