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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

846 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 846
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 81
Gots: 384 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malt Beverage brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% being aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currant added.

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 07-02-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 846 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

LambicPentameter, Aug 26, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

oberon, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -12%

aszatk01, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

tectactoe, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Tiernan, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of dolivaw
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

dolivaw, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

SanFranJake, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of joemetric
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

joemetric, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of dimitrov
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

dimitrov, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of freshflesh
5/5  rDev +17.4%

freshflesh, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

DaftPatrick, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -6.1%

warnerry, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Beerswag, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of Guinnsslvr
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Guinnsslvr, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of mctizzz
4.9/5  rDev +15%

mctizzz, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

aquazr1, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of BigE90
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

BigE90, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of MitchShepherd
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

MitchShepherd, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of bsp77
3.58/5  rDev -16%
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.

bsp77, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of MNMike
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

MNMike, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

bpfrush, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of Janis_Hoplin
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Janis_Hoplin, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. waxed bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottle says best after 06/11/14.

Appearance: Pours an oily pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two finger tan head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A huge rich aroma of dark malts and boozy dark fruits with sweet molasses. Big aroma of dark roasted malts upfront with hints of dark chocolate, burnt caramel, coffee, toffee, grains, burnt toast, biscuit, oat, and nuts. Sweet hints of cream and molasses. The barrel comes through with hints of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Booze soaked dark fruits including raisin, figs, currants, dark cherry, prune, plum, and dates. Subtle earthy hops in the background as well. A very rich and nicely complex aroma.

Taste: As big and good as it smells, rich and sweet dark malt with lots of dark dried fruits. Big taste of dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark cocoa, burnt caramel, coffee bean, toffee, roasted grains, burnt toast, oats, biscuit, and nuts. Creamy with some milk notes. Lots of sweet molasses and a little anise licorice spice. Barrel presence with notes of bourbon whiskey, sweet vanilla, and oak. Big dark dried fruit presence with notes of currants, raisin, fig, cherries, prune, dates, and plum. Subtle undertones of earthy hops in the background. Fairly boozy. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and silky. Somewhat syrupy. Booze presence is definitely felt but its smoother than expected.

Overall: A great imperial porter yet again. Huge dark malt and dark fruit flavors while still managing to maintain a silky smoothness. Great fresh and it will be interesting to see how it ages.

MattyG85, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Cynic-ale, Oct 15, 2013
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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.