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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

114 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 959
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 2.86%
Wants: 81
Gots: 430 | FT: 49
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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Reviews: 114 | Hads: 959
Photo of Gryphon69
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cellered from 6-13

A- Pours near black, white lacing up the glass, small head that never really goes away

S- dark fruits, oak, sweet

T- is so much more than the nose, dates and figs really stand out, flavor bomb goes off from the first sip and lingers well after you swallow.

F- thicker, sticky on the lips

O- had 3 bottles on my cellar shelf since 13, down to 2. So much flavor its crazy good, will be looking to find a few more bottles - its really that good. (466 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Dark ruby, nearly opaque with cola highlights when held to light. Full tan head on the pour. Messy lacing that lingers.
smell: Cocoa and full dark fruit. The figs and dates shine through. Some bourbon and spice. Some notes reminiscent of cola and root beer.
taste: All them nose flavors are there though not as independently distinguishable. Balanced very nicely into a tasty whole. a slightly spicy finish. (413 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a lightly dark amber hue, there is more translucency around the edges than I would expect to see for a BA Porter. There is a light, rich looking brown head that forms, leaving behind nice lacing along the inside of the glass.

S — Smells of darkly roasted malts and cocoa, little bit of fruitiness on the nose as well, raisins, light plum tartness, fig, date, currant. Sweet overall.

T — Tastes of a plethora of dark fruits and cocoa, as well as some lightly roasted dark malts. Big date and fig fruitiness, as well as a cocoa bitterness. Just a bit odd, very fruit forward.

M — Medium bodied, a bit light overall, a little bit of alcohol burn as well.

O — Nice overall, this is quite fruity and bright for a BA beer. Would love some more bourbon presence. Really not convinced that time would do this beer any favors. (858 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved away in to a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic with lots of roasted malt along with lots of fruit, such as figs, dates, prunes, as well as lots of brown sugar and dark molasses, dark chocolate and caramel as well as hits of vanilla, oak and bourbon-like alcohol. Complex, rich, inviting and delicious!

Taste: Wow! Exactly as the aroma advertises! Rich, complex, inviting and delicious! Tons of roasted malt and dark chocolate up front, followed with big flavors of stone fruit such as figs, dates, and prunes. There’s also lots of brown sugar and candied sugar-like sweetness, and slightly boozy, harsh, oaky flavors of bourbon. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and very smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 12.5%, there is a pleasant alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What a delicious beer! Tons of rich, complex, inviting and delicious flavors! Very, highly recommended! (1,154 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked some of the earlier versions better. Some of these fruit flavors along with the bourbon and the bitter clash a bit both in taste and in the body. Still a good beer. (172 characters)

Photo of MIrvine
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Don't know why I have to enter a review just because me opinion of the beer differs from most everyone else. I also wish BA would let users to simply make private reviews for our personal use instead of public reviews. (218 characters)

Photo of marieli
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Very fortunate to find this at The Hay Merchant today (2/15/2015). Dark brown to black with a pretty dark tan head that stood tall. Was surprised by how sweet it smelled and it carried over to taste. Fruits led the way but there was also some chocolate or malts. Whatever, it handled the big alcohol very well. I think I prefer the regular Black Butte and half the alcohol is plenty for most days. But I would gladly drink this one again. A real treat for Porter fans. (483 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought as a part of a 5 year vertical from a great bottle shop in Colorado Springs back in August. Best after June 2014.

A- Appropriate super black pour to several pint glasses. Light tan head to a finger, creamy and decent retention. A big sheet at the top from a huge belt with spottiness below.

S- Somewhat musty and oxidized but the big BB porter exists below that. Big fruits with figs and currants certainly prominent. Fudge brownies, deep cocoa, chocolate chips and caramel sweets beyond the fruits.

T- Currants and figs contribute much more than I would have guessed. Deep dry fruits like raisin and softly tart cherry lead to the aged and somewhat oxidized base beer. Dirty cocoa nibs cascade or roast grains, truffles and caramelized sugars. The barrel is secondary with oak and slight vanilla.

MF- Medium bodied and perhaps a bit dried out, lacks the oily thickness of most 12%+ brews. Carbonation is medium high and the finish is roasty bitter.

Currants do me good and the ABV is invisible. Barrel is very light but it doesn't really matter. Roasty brownies with currants and figs. (1,099 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with two fingers of creamy mocha head.

Smell - Bourbon, roasted malts, fig, oak, cocoa, black currants.

Taste - Warm flavours of roasted malts, cocoa nibs, fig/dates, black currants and bourbon. The bourbon flavour is very smooth, not at all overly boozy.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant sweetness from the black currants and bitterness from the cocoa.

Overall - A stellar American Porter. Deschutes delivers yet another winner of these anniversary brews. The bourbon adds a nice smoothness to this brew while the ABV is nicely hidden in this one. Too bad I don't have another to continue aging. (692 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml bottle (best after June 11, 2014) into a tulip.

A-A gentle pour produces about a half-finger of medium-brown head. The beer is nearly opaque and almost black in color. I cannot see much in the way of carbonation happening.

S-The aroma is complex and intense. I smell chocolate, creaminess, some bourbon flavors like caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla, oak, and some dark fruit like cherries. I like it.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. I get flavors of chocolate, cocoa, bourbon, oak, and intensely sweet dark fruit. I also taste an almond-like bitterness and mild roasted flavor. The alcohol is well-hidden. The beer is almost too intense to drink more than a few ounces.

M-The heft is medium to full but the carbonation is higher in volume than many beers of this size.

O-This is a tasty, complex beer that is not for the faint of heart. It looks good, smells good, and feels good. The taste - while nice - doesn't quite live up to the smell for me. I think there may just be too much going on here. Anyway, this is a full-on sipper for those who like big beers. (1,086 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (598 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. A bit transparent. Khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Roasted malt with equal quantities of caramel malt. I smell that figgy fruitiness, too. Gives it a little licorice aroma. Chocolate. Light bourbon, if any.

Taste - Deep roasted malt. Coffee bitterness. Lots of fruitiness. Dark fruits. I can never identify figs and dates, but it seems like that. Bourbon in the finish and some oak.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Could be thicker and chewier. A little boozy.

Overall - This is nice, but it really could use some more body. (598 characters)

Photo of Fcolle2
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a half finger tan head that retains nicely. Smell has aromas of chocolate, sour dark cherries and red berries. Bourbon is mellow but comes out with mild vanilla and oak aromas as it warms. Sweet dates and red berries are first to hit the palate. Roasted chocolate malt, tobacco, and saddle leather dominate the midsection while very faint hints of bourbon, oak and a somewhat metallic flavor finish. Metallic and slight flavor of wet dog mellow as it warms. Mouthfeel is viscous, creamy, mildly carbonated and sticky. (540 characters)

Photo of richj1970
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottle date best after 6/11/2014.

A: Pitch black with one finger tan head that settles fairly quickly but leaves some nice stringy lacing.

S: Sweet bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, raspberries, currants.

T: Rich dark chocolate and vanilla combined with a slight tart berry flavor. Black currants, and a hint of espresso. Nice little alcohol burn.

M: Full bodied with a slightly oily residue. Average carbonation for the style.

O: Wonderful stout. Nice flavors, and very enjoyable drinking. I wish the berry notes were a touch more subdued and the chocolate stronger, but very well done none the less. (646 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, best after 6/10/2014. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toffee, dark bread, raisin, fig, date, molasses, tobacco, leather, oak, light smoke, light nuttiness, roast/oaky earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, dark fruits, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toffee, dark bread, raisin, fig, date, molasses, tobacco, leather, oak, light smoke, light nuttiness, and roast/oaky earthiness. Light amount of roasted bitterness and slight fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toffee, dark bread, raisin, fig, date, molasses, tobacco, leather, light smoke/nuttiness, and roast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt, dark fruits, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/barrel/fruit balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and fairly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Barrel aged blended imperial porter! All around incredible complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,653 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Deep black-brown with some darker brown and deep red notes at the edges when held to direct light. Head is khaki and fluffy. Drops to a small creamy cap and loose bubbly collar. Splotches of lacing. Pours thick.

Smell: Fruity roasted bourbon. Deep fig and plum with some blackberry, cherry, and currant. Vanilla, oak, a hint of butterscotch and coconut as well. Malts are deeply roasted with some solid caramelized malt sweetness. Fruity, tons of dark fruit. Some solid pushes of cocoa and dark chocolate. A touch of alcohol as well. Warming pushes the bourbon element up and has a ton of caramel and butterscotch. A touch of coffee and bitter cocoa nib. A hint of licorice as well.

Taste: Slightly oxidized. Bitter cocoa nibs push the line and hit crazy dark cocoa - somewhere in the 90%+ range. Loaded with dark fruit. Currants and blackberry with some tart cherry thrown in the back. Malts are deeply roasted and slightly burnt. Caramelized sweetness. Black patent malt. Burst of alcohol on the back. Bourbon is less pronounced than the nose. Hints of vanilla, oak, and caramel. Warming pushes up a bit of butterscotch and coconut. A touch metallic. A touch of char and smoke. Old coffee beans.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a light carbonation. Slick and almost creamy. Almost clean finish and slightly dry on the end.

Overall: Just keep building the mountain.

It's good, but loses a little of the charm of the base beer. Bourbon sits a little heavy on the nose. Deeply complex and big and deep. It does what it promises. (1,575 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 10/26/14

A: Pours a rich, dark, deep brown - medium sized, tan head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves a rich web of lacing

S: Big, potent chocolate and dark fruits - cooked malts, caramel, burnt sugar, molasses, caramelized grains - dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate - an abundance of dark fruit aromas, with figs, dates, plums, raisins - bourbon and wood with some acidity

T: Dark malts and dark fruits, everywhere - dark chocolate, cocoa, baker's chocolate - rich chocolate soaked in dark fruit booze juice (that's a thing) - dark fruits, figs, raisins, plums - dark and roasty malts, with some coffee - caramel, molasses, cooked malts - some earthy, burnt bitterness - some barrel, wood, and touches of booze

M: Medium to full body, very smooth from the barrel aging, a little oily, finishes mostly dry with some booze

O: Might make you forget your 25th birthday

Black Butte is an excellent beer to begin with, and these yearly monsters are always a treat, This is rich, chocolatey, fruity, and lightly boozy. This is a lovely sipper, as expected. (1,105 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter from a bomber.

The liquid is pitch-black with no evident carbonation. The head is big, leaves sticky lace, and is light-khaki in color. It looks nice. 4.25

The aroma is dark fruit and dark roast malts, initially. There are barrel aromas and vanilla and faint dark chocolate. 4

Well, as I watch football and am slightly distracted the most notable aspect of the taste is the lingering coffee on the finish. But with a bit more consideration, I start tasting dark chocolate. But upfront, this is a very different beer, as it is fruity, oaken, and vanilla smooth. 4.25

This brew feels big, but it's smooth and viscous on the tongue. The booze is evident but not offensive. 4.25

So much to like about this brew, as it's got a slight Belgian feel from the dark fruits and is still very oaken and heavy on the dark chocolate and vanilla. It's just rich on all flavors. (889 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.4/5  rDev -19%

Pour is dark brown, almost black, with a good bit of light brown head. Nose has a bit of licorice, medium roast, sugary berry sweetness and a touch of green apple. Taste is roasty mid palate, heavy berry sweetness and a touch of green apple. Mild acidity and an extremely full creamy body. (292 characters)

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured from bottle best after 6/10/14.

A-Pours jet black nice and thick. Nice thin lacing. Viscous. Low carbonation but retains well.

S-Muted chocolate. Some alcohol presence still on deep whiff. Sweetness lingering from the currants. Some bitter coffee coming in muddled with cocoa. Not much bourbon.

T: Blended flavors but remains nice for a porter. Lot of currant notes leading to a sweet aftertaste. Bourbon is present in small doses. Very little alcohol. Smooth but nothing mind blowing. Some coffee presence but the blend borders on being a bit too sweet from the currants and figs. Still enjoyable.

M: Excellent feel. Very coating. Goes down exceptionally smooth but that tartness from the currants/figs lingers. Good coffee on the finish. Really liking this for a porter.

O: Deschutes does porters well. This is no exception. I appreciated the earlier Black Butte that used orange peel but this doesn't disappoint. The currant presence is a bold move but pays off. Age has done this nicely. I'd open now if you're holding any. Pretty sweet for a porter but very interesting. (1,091 characters)

Photo of StArnoldFan
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%

22oz bottle poured into a snifter, best after 06/10/14 on the side of the bottle. Consumed on 8/24/14.

Nice and complex. Subtle fruit notes from the currants and fig. The cocoa nibs reall come thru on the taste. Mild bourbon which I like. Very enjoyable, well done. (270 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%

650ml bottle poured into a Bell's snifter 8/15/2014.

A- Dark brown- almost black- body, opaque with a thin mocha head that swirls on the top of the beer. Pours fairly thick as well.

S- Dark fruits, a slight hint of tart cherries, cocoa nibs, roast malt, and more dark fruits. A whiskey overtone is present as well. Smells quite complex.

F- It smells better than it tastes, I feel. Dark fruits don't come across quite as well as it does on the nose, but there is a good amount of bourbon, dark chocolate, cocoa and roast malts. It's good if you are a fan of particularly bitter dark chocolate with a hint of tart cherries. It's no Life is Like, but it's quite solid.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, silky and smooth on the palate. Not difficult to drink aside from being a high gravity beer. A bit hot, although not especially so.

O- Solid BA Imperial Porter. I'd prefer XXIII with its chili peppers which I feel added a bit more dimension to a beer that already had its share of chocolate and dark fruit in the base imperial porter. Brewing the base with additional dark fruits just adds more intensity to the specific flavours that I don't feel is very necessary. (1,173 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a mocha ring of head

S: Vanilla, caramel, oak, chocolate and coffee in the nose.

T: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak and a touch of alcohol.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

O: About as good as XXIV, not quite as good as XXIII. Recommended. (258 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Complex aroma of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, alcohol, and a faintest wisp of smoke.

Fruity flavor upfront with notes of raisins, currants, dates. Then I pick up the chocolate and bourbon with hints of vanilla and caramel with a bit of char. Alcohol flavor and warmth in the finish. It all blends together really well.

Full, rich body and superbly carbonated that gives a smoothly textured feel that coats the palate with flavor.

Another remarkable anniversary beer from Deschutes. Definitely worth waiting a year to finally drink the bottle. (710 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine last July for $10.99. Best after 6/10/14.

Beer poured dark brown with a beautiful tan head upon the initial pour.

Nose is decadent; dark fruits, chocolate, touch of oak, and vanilla.

Taste has light hints of bourbon as the initial sip was warming. Cocoa is very dominant, dark fruits are present, some vanilla, and enough hopping to keep the sweetness minimal.

Mouthfeel is a tad light but very smooth.

Overall this beer is a fine example of a masterful effort in the art form of blending. Glad i have a 2nd bottle in the wine fridge! (574 characters)

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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.