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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

928 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 928
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.67%
Wants: 85
Gots: 424 | FT: 53
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 07-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Malt Beverage brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% being aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currant added.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 928 | Reviews: 110
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 22 oz bottle with a wax-dipped neck and cap. Instead of a bottling date or the usual "best by" date, XXV boasts a "best AFTER" date of 06/10/14, so I guess it's good I have a second bottle to drink at the appropriate time. Poured into a small Belgian-style tylip glass.

Appearance - Strong pour yields just under a finger of faded cocoa powder colored foam that is silky and dissipates rather quickly, leaving a slick rim of foam around the edges of the glass with spotty lace on the surface of the liquid. Body is pitch black with perhaps a twinge of dark brown or almost purple.

Smell - Dominated by dark fruits like black currant, black plum and even some pinot noir components. Underlying the fruitiness is the element of raw cacao and ground espresso bitterness.

Taste - The dark fruits are again present--now with some anise--as well as the bittersweet characteristics from the chocolate, but now the bourbon barrel aspect takes a huge role, providing a good amount of heat and booziness to the beverage. If it makes sense, it has a sort of "young" taste to it, like the various flavor profiles haven't been able to grow into a better blended drink.

Mouthfeel - Slightly viscous, with body on the heavy side of medium and low carbonation. Slightly sweet finish.

Overall, a tasty and complex beer. I think I prefer this type of high alcohol porter/stout better aged in wine barrels than whiskey barrels, but I'm definitely looking forward to giving this one another try in a year or so.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Iam drinking this during wich has to be the WORST officiated game in the history of BIG10 football. Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thick beige head atop.Aromas of sweet brown sugar and roasted nuts,a bit of chocolate and sweet alcohol is there as well.Smooth with sweet alcohol flavors wich lean in the direction of chocolate and boozy vanilla,some nuttiness and sweet dark fruit finish the flavor profile.I like this beer alot.

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of legalag11
4.84/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of tectactoe
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Doug for splitting this bottle! The middle of the body is completely opaque and black, with some rusty copper and deeper mahogany when the light shines through near the top and edges of the brew. The head starts off building up nice and slow, but recedes surprisingly quick to nothing but a tan color at the circumference of the deep, brown brew.

A good amount of roasted malts and light cocoa sweetness jumps out first, under which a strong scent of cola and molasses rides in. I get some mildly sweet, dark fruits, along the line of figs and raisins, but the "sweet, dark fruit" aspect of this anniversary edition seems much lighter than the XXIV edition, something I wasn't particularly fond of. Bourbon barrel aging isn't quite apparent from the aroma, and it's actually a bit quieter than I was expecting.

The first sip reveals a bit more of the dark fruits that were missing from the aroma - dates, currants, and more raisins; mildly sweet and savory. Sweet cocoa nibs pile on and amp up the sweetness even more, but before long, the barrel-aging finally comes to life and cuts the sweetness in a much needed way. Warm bourbon, smooth oak, and a lightly tannic finish that really blunts the sweetness quickly.

Warmer temperatures help the flavor evolve a little bit; I start getting more notes of sweet figs covered in molasses and chocolate syrupy drizzle. The back end remains pretty much the same, however, crowded with boozy oak and barrel-aging reminders. There's a spritzy "cola" flavor that I notice throughout the entire pour, and I'm not sure if I dig it or not. It's not bad, but it doesn't exactly "fit" with everything else.

It feels thin for a barrel-aged porter, but that's only on the style-relative spectrum. In reality, it has a pretty big body; creamy, oily, and slick on the palate with ample carbonation. In all honestly, I still don't love this beer like the rest of the populous seems to, but I thought this edition was definitely more enjoyable than the XXIV. I wouldn't mind trying this beer with some time on it, just to see how it reacts.

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of dolivaw
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of delaced21
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of joemetric
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Ben7773
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of dimitrov
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of freshflesh
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of mctizzz
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of BigE90
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of MitchShepherd
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of bsp77
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark brown with initial rising head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Strong bourbon, much more than previous years. There is also a lot of chocolate and dark fruit that smells a little sickly sweet.

Taste: Starts off promising with chocolate, molasses and light coffee. Then the bourbon and fruit notes become noticeable and change the beer for the worse. While I like the Bourbon notes, the dates, figs and currant notes are way too sweet.

Feel: Smooth and full-bodied, but the finish has little dryness and the whole beer is a titch cloying.

Overall: While clearly a good beer, this is a massive disappointment compared to previous vintages.

Photo of deebo
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this one before. Reviewing this on tap at a yr+ after release. On tap along with 26 and 13 and 14 abyss at pats tap.
Light black and trulescent, served without a head. Aromas of dark cocoa powder, sweet ripe dark fruit, a little vanilla and bourbon present too. Taste is dark roasted malt with a fair amount of ripe cherry like fruitiness with hints of vanilla and bourbon. Nice flavors. Not real heavy bodied for such a big beer. Mod to high tingly carbonation bite. Hints of booze, but definitely not overpowering. Overall a very nice big dark beer from a brewery that I would expect no less.

Photo of MNMike
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 928 ratings.