Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
City: Bend, OR
Buy this now. Find this beer, and buy it. Then read this review.
Made in celebration of Deschutes’ 26th anniversary, this imperial porter was brewed with pomegranate molasses and cranberries, aged in bourbon barrels, and dry spiced with chocolate nibs. And still, it managed to be greater than the sum of its parts.
The XXVI’s chocolate aroma hits you as you pour it, and the pitch black liquid gives up hints of the vanilla and bourbon inside. It’s an excellent precursor to the taste, as the creamy feel compliments the chocolate and malt that kicks in as soon as it hits your palate. The chocolate sweet is edged by the bourbon from the barrel aging and gives way to the pomegranate before finishing with a refreshing vanilla and cranberry aftertaste.
The fruity tanginess gives it a chocolate-covered cranberry taste that would be too tangy if it wasn’t subdued so well by the sweet molasses and deep bourbon undertones. If I had the guts to dilute it with ice cream, it might make a great ice cream float.