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

Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

639 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 639
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.24%


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)
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Ratings: 639 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, but clear amber around the edges, one finger tan head.

S-Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, tad bit of vanilla.

T-Starts with bourbon, good deal of chocolate, roasted malt, tad burnt the followed by some fruity notes.

M-Medium bodied, tad creamy some carbonation.

O-Another great Anniversary Black Butte. The currants added a nice fruity flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 15:40:40 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Samuel906
Samuel906

California

4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted as a vertical with a XXIV aged one year. This is also an amazing beer, but surprisingly different from XXIV. This is a much darker brew, sweeter and heavier. Lots of vanilla, cherry, and some hints of red wine and sweet red grapes. Some oak characteristics come through. Alcohol is obviously much more apparent than the aged XXIV (in which the booze was non-existent) and gives it a slightly abrasive mouth feel. Definitely putting a couple of these away for a future vertical.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 16:46:17 | More by Samuel906
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought a Howler of this at Liquor Shed for $11.99. That's 2 true pints for $6 a piece. Nice.

A- it pours black, no light shines through. Small head of foam, yeah, but swirling the beer in my glass brings a decent head of foam and also some lacing. It looks both potent and delicious.

S- big Bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt, dark fruits....so good of a nose.

T- all sorts of complex flavours going on here. Big but not overpowering Bourbon with tasty vanilla and chocolate, dark fruits of the fig kind, dark fruit of the black currant kind that adds just a wee bit of tartness. I was a little feared when I first tried the XXV in a bottle when I read the label and saw the mention of black currants...that and after reading about it on a post on BA. But man, I should never have doubted Deschutes' brewing skills. This is killer good and ready to drink now!

M- just a tad under full bodied, or is it? Great medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is super and so is the fact that I no longer see the word mouthfeel underlined in red. It's a real word now.

O- I admit, I've been a bit miserly about giving beers a perfect 5 when, perhaps, I should have. This is a perfect 5 for me though the bottles, I think, need more time as per Deschutes' putting a best after date. Cheers!

Serving type: growler

08-09-2013 21:45:28 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown, practically black body. A short bit dense head the reduces to swirls on the surface.

Chocolate and figs are the most noticeable initial aromas. Dr. Pepper, light vanilla, and blackberry jam (presumably the currant) chase it.

My favorite part of the beer is the play between the sweet chocolate and tart or the currant. The barrel aspect is subtle notes of vanilla. It's sweet, but not cloying.

Thick and sticky mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and not boozy at all.

It's very enjoyable. It walks the line of being overly sweet and jammy but I liked what they did with it.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 01:38:58 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of FPWolff
FPWolff

Kansas

4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Martin City Brewing Company. Paired it with a home made syrup on french toast made from the same beer. Amazing stuff.

It tasted smokey like a porter should and almost had a tangy/syrupy taste at first sip from the bourbon barrels. I'm a bourbon barrel freak, though... so I was all for it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2013 20:00:53 | More by FPWolff
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark black liquid with a mocha foam that settles out into a thin khaki skien. Currants, currants, currants, and sour cherry nose blending into a big bourbon show and loads of dark cherry and figs. Taste, as strongly hinted at in the smell, is nearly unripe currants..sour city and quite dry leading off then a nice blast of roast malt and cocoa which really goes along way to smooths this beast out around the edges. Now there's a warm chewy fig newton, bourbon elements, and tasty dates body loading in .. Alcohol is, yes, noticeable and in the end this is a big bourbon barrel brew with smooth dark chocolate, figs versus black currant pucker power. Wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but once you get these elements sorted, it's delicious, actually. A sipper.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 03:51:55 | More by JackieTH
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a near black, deep chocolate brown with a tan, half finger head. Fair retention resulting in a thin but consistent layer of suds across the surface. Small, spotty lacing dots the glass through the drinking experience.

Smell - Sourness from the black currants is obvious, though not purely dominant. Dark fruitiness and a firm chocolate underbelly. Touches of alcohol heat, though hard to find underneath the complex layers.

Taste - Berry and fruit character upfront; dark fruit and sourness. The black currant, fig and dates definitely make their influence known. Moderate chocolate malt backbone hits near the finish. Faint vanilla detected in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Somewhat tingly. Goes down smooth for a beer of this strength.

Overall - Tastes as though someone took Black Butte and threw a splash of Red Table wine into the mix. Sometimes there's a thin between being great, and being a complete mess. In this case, there's just enough of the roast malt and chocolate base to keep this beast from being a disaster. Not my favorite incarnation of the BB Anniversary, but a worthy incarnation. It's my hope though that they get further away from the fruitiness next year, and focus more on unusual though more friendly porter flavors (pecans anyone?)

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 05:05:05 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
OBeerMeGreatOne

California

4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a deep, dark brown, black in the middle. Small mocha head, not bad lacing.

Dark fruit and chocolate dominate the smell. Vanilla and earth come in near the finish.

Chocolate, fruit and booze start this brew off. Molasses, citrus and oak round out middle. More chocolate and vanilla around the finish. Thick, with moderate carbonation. Goes down very easily.

Glad I got one to cellar! This should be fun with age.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 22:50:00 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 01:20:23 | More by tectactoe
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First post-gallbladder surgery beer. Poured into goblet. Poured a solid black, just a slight hint of reddish translucence around the edges, with about 1/2 inch of tan head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma featured a nicely strong chocolate scent right in the front, with a solid grain and malt nose behind that. There were notes of fruit and the bourbon was very low, I might not have noticed if it weren't mentioned on the label. On the tongue, the grain had the lead, with the fruit being second. The chocolate was at the back off the tongue, and there was a bit of alcohol heat at the finish.

The body was full and smooth, although perhaps a touch lighter than I would have liked. Drinkability was excellent, even for such a big beer. Overall, not my favorite of the series so far, but probably second. A truly excellent beer and a must try.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 19:02:35 | More by beertunes
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 22:13:43 | More by bsp77
Photo of thinkinflicka
thinkinflicka

Michigan

4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle pour into a tulip

Pours jet black with lovely tan head and nice lacing

Smell is dark roasted malts, strong chocolate and and some toffee, lots of dark fruits,burbon and slight tartness.

Big chocolate taste with a strong presence of dark fruit. Figs and dates offer lots of sweetness while the currants add a bit of tartness, a nice bourbon character is present but not over powering. alot of flavors going on here, all mixed together very well.

The mouthfeel is full smooth and creamy perfect for the sytle.

I have been wanting to try a black butte anniversary for years. Deschutes recently became avaible in Chicago and my brother managed to find this at Binny's Lincoln park, it was part of a bunch of beer he brought me when he visited recently. I saved this one for last and it did not disappoint.The fruits used offer a unique and welcome change from a lot of the other bourbon aged beers. Some of the lower reveiws on here i feel are because of the tartness the currants add but thats what i think sets this beer apart from the other bourbon chocolate beers and make this one truly unique. I wish i had another one to age, it would do well over time.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 12:38:49 | More by thinkinflicka
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 07:06:58 | More by MattyG85
Photo of MarioM
MarioM

California

4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz Bomber poured into Delirium Tremens Pink Elephant snifter.

A: Dark tan head made from medium bubbles with a creamy patch floating on top of the larger bubbles. Opaque when held up against light with a slight deep reddish color seen through if holding a flashlight at the right angle, but almost completely opaque if not using a flashlight directly on the glass. Head slowly dissipated to a small patch and some good lacing. Good looking beer.

S: As I was writing the description above I kept getting hit with a great aroma of dark fruits, figs, currants, dark cherries and licorice. Slight boozieness when stirred and also get some spices but mainly dominated by dark fruits.

T: Wow, incredibly smooth with a great fruity chocolatiness mixed with a deep rich roastiness. Booze shined through for a second then overpowered by the complex flavors but does return in the finish. Dark fruits shine through just enough to make a great balanced beer. Bitterness and fruity roastiness mixed with chocolate makes for a flavor intense and delicious beer. Barrel aging and souring isn't really coming through as much as I was expecting which might change with time. A good vanilla character is there though but a bit on the faint side. I'm ok withe the barrel aging not being obvious but hopefully the sourness develops further complexities with age, guess I'll find out a year from now.

M: I love the deep rich roasted character mixed with dark fruits that lingers with just enough alcoholic warmth. Body is lighter than expected but makes for an incredibly smooth and silky feel. Damn, great flavors coming through in the aftertaste. Roasted chocolate lingers for so long its amazing, wow. Definitely enjoying this.

O: I am really enjoying this beer a lot. I've never had other vintages but I will be aging and trying this after some aging. But a great beer none the less, aroma is intense in dark fruits but the taste is well balanced with chocolate and good roasty bitterness. An intensely complex porter, definitely worth grabbing a few bottles.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 05:05:14 | More by MarioM
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz into a snifter.

A: Pours out silky black with a small light tan head.

S: Bourbon and cocoa are most prominent in the nose, with some notes of currants and roasted grain.

T: Aggressive chocolate, mild oak tannins, sharp note of roast, moderate charry bitterness, some light fruity sweetness from the figs and dates, a little bit of raisiny currant flavor, warmth.

M: Thick-bodied with active carbonation.

O: A nice beer, at times very sweet from the cocoa and fruit and at times charry and bitter. A bit more moderation on both fronts might help things out.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 04:09:05 | More by Etan
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the PDX brewpub the other day.

The beers pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, as I pickup considerable dark bitter chocolate, coffee grounds, some noticeable bourbon, and hints of dark fruits and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet beer, but there's a grittiness on the finish that was a bit striking. The beer struck me as fairly hoppy and bitter, with some notes of licorise on the fairly dry finish. Mouthfeil is fairly full otherwise, but the beer doesn't come across as heavy or tiring on the palate. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there a bit.

A nice beer, no doubt, but one that probably could use some time to settle down. I tried this side by side with the XXIV (both were on tap yesterday), and at least to my palate, the XXIV was much more drinkable and enjoyable. Nevertheless, this is another impressive effort from the folks at Deschutes.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2013 20:32:57 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of LaneMeyer
LaneMeyer

California

3.69/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a teku.

A - Very dark brown/black. 1/2 finger of tan/brown head.

S - Dried figs, fresh figs, little bit of cacao coming through, sweet bread, raisins, vanilla, rubbing alcohol.

T - Has an upfront sugary sweetness, fig bread, raspberry syrup, touch of vanilla, a little bit tart, astringent, finishes really bitter. There is a prominent rubbing alcohol flavor coming out after the beer has warmed in the glass.

M - Nicely carbonated, kinda watery.

O- Probably my least favorite anniversary release I've had. It's a tasty porter, just doesn't wow me like the others have done in the past. I'm gonna sit on my last bottle for a year and hope this one comes to life. It's really not balanced as it is now.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 05:23:31 | More by LaneMeyer
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.7/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Hills

It's dark with a little less opacity as previous years, some tan ringlets. Smells of oak, coffee, toasted malts, soil and a little grape pith. Flavor is booze, coffee grounds, oak, tart beer, some dark grape skins, tannic and not very good to me. Medium on full bodied with moderate carb and a bit of a acidic character, quite dry finish. I'm probably not gonna be buying many bottles of this, if any. Sigh. Deschutes is losing their punch for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 04:29:51 | More by harrymel
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Imbibed at OG on 7/20/13 for their one year anniversary.

Pours an inky black with little to no head. What's there is khaki in color with tiny bubbles. Aroma is strong with licorice, dark chocolate and oak. The aroma even smells silky. I also get lots of roasty aromas, very complex. Even some black cherry when it warms. Flavor starts with sweet brandy, date, and raisin. Fades to somewhat bitter, mineral vinous hop bitterness. Feel is silky and finish is very dry.

Great beer, lots of nuances, will get better with age.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2013 20:47:35 | More by Philousa
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle (1 pint 6 oz.) with best after date reading 06/11/2014. Sorry, but I'm not waiting that long. I just tried my first few bottles of the original Deschutes Black Butte Porter, and I was slightly disappointed. Expecting bigger and better and more intense results with this one. Exponentially stoked to try this based on it's current ratings.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a thick black colored body with ruby hues when held to the light. Big creamy two finger khaki / mocha colored head. Beautiful sheets of tan lace.

S - The aroma is pretty defining. Dark fruits at first (figs, dates), then some alcohol presence, and then creamy chocolate, and finally silky smooth vanilla / bourbon. Smells delicious. The dark fruity tartness really begins to creep out once the beer starts to warm.

T - Wow, this is pretty impressive. Smooth chocolate up front, with some vanilla / bourbon / alcohol soaked wood in the middle, and then tart juicy dark fruits in the third act. A lot of subtle complexities; there is a lot going on here. The chocolate covered dark fruit tartness lends a sort of red wine taste to it, at times.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy, and finishes slightly dry, with some tartness from the fruits, and some powdery cocoa flavors lingering in the aftertaste. Very impressive.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with this one. Big 11.30% abv is very well-hidden, this beer goes down way easy. I love barrel aged beers, and this might be my first barrel aged porter yet. Probably my favorite beer that I've had from Deschutes yet, also. Well worth the $14.99 I paid for this, and I gladly await next year's annual release.

Deschutes Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) ---4.5/5

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 22:01:09 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed as an Imperial Porter because that's what it identifies as. Best after: 06/10/14. 11.3% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with awesome badass label and waxed over branded ('88) pressure cap acquired at Red Carpet Wine and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster tulip in low altitude Los Angeles, CA. Reviewed live; expectations are sky high.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of gorgeous mocha-tan colour. Great creaminess and thickness. Soft smooth complexion. Lightly frothy. Definitely supple and luscious. Light even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Lovely head for the style, but constructively it could be richer and more exquisite. Retention is excellent for the high ABV - about 6 minutes, maybe more.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black; it's a darker black but not quite a jet black per se. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

It's exactly what it should be so far, but it's not a perfect appearance.

Sm: Bourbon undercurrents, with oak and subtle real vanilla - not the vanillicin extract of your friend's homebrew. Some light tart blackcurrant and redcurrant. Definite cacao/cocoa presence. Chocolate malt. Dark malts. Cream. Dates and plums. I look for fig but I'm not getting it. I don't notice any sour elements; it does have the aforementioned tart fruits. Not getting any coffee or oats, but maybe marshmallow. Some buried roasted barley.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable. I'm also not getting a substantial hop profile.

As it should be for the style but it's not mind-blowing. I love the blend of the fruit with the chocolate, and I hope it carries through in the flavour. A surprisingly understated and subtle aroma of above average to mild strength.

T/Mf: Love the sweet vanilla; it's not overbearing or cloying, but it doesn't feel timid. Lightly creamy open hands the baton to the dark malt and chocolate malt body as it hits the second act. Undertones of complementary yet light bourbon presence underscore the subtler elements at play here, coaxing out the best the dark malts have to offer but unfortunately further burying the roasted barley - which itself is too light for my tastes. Getting hints of caramel and truffle. Cacao comes through, but not as richly or warmly as I'd like; there's no cocoa dust or particularly evocative touches.

If you're looking for coffee, you'll be hard pressed to find any. The oak is also a bit too timid in my opinion; more could lend the already incredibly well balanced flavour profile even more natural cohesion. Neither boozy nor hot. No yeast character or hop presence is observable - nor frankly should it be.

The berry/currant notes start teasing the palate in the early second act and graduate to prominence as it hits the climax. Dashes of cherry, dates, and fig surface at that moment too; these fruits don't feel as dark as they might in a quadrupel - they're a bit brighter and less fermented, which better suits them to complementing the chocolate. I anticipated a bit more tartness based on the aroma but it's rather tame - yet still very welcome. I could probably even go for more.

Flavour intensity is superb. Depth of flavour is also great. Flavour duration is just a bit above average for the style. Undoubtedly a complex and subtle brew which brings many layers of goodness to the table. Certainly on the sweeter end, but it never oversteps its bounds; it's a treat but it's not cloying.

Mouthfeel is almost luxurious, with a silky smoothness and exquisite richness that really rewards the palate and no doubt facilitates full flavour delivery. Wet, with a light dryness on the climax to really coax out the nuances. Carbonation is just a biteen high, but I imagine this will really benefit the beer as it ages. Good thickness and body; it's firm without being overbearing or heavy. Presence on the palate is near ideal. Artfully handled and very well executed. Bravo, Deschutes.

Dr: Extraordinarily drinkable for the high ABV as well as the style - which is often far less approachable. They executed the concept of a berries-with-chocolate beer quite well, and as such Black Butte XXV is a smashing success. I'd definitely get it again, and I imagine it'll be a treat properly stored for 1-5 years. I do suspect it will improve with age. I'd definitely recommend this to friends. I'll have no trouble greedily killing the entire bottle alone. Met my high expectations. Hides its ABV well. Another hit from Deschutes. Happy birthday Deschutes, but I feel like the party is just for me.

High B+

Would pair excellently with chocolate or pot roast. I'd also recommend junior mints and fig newtons.

Drinks great from a tulip, but ideally enjoy in a snifter or teku.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 03:31:14 | More by kojevergas
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle today near where I'm working in Golden Valley, & wanted to down it tonight to see if I need to pick up more. Will this be excellent like XXIII, a disappointment like XIV, or top-shelf like XX? Let's find out, shall we? 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is black, like in the name, with pretty serious carbonation for a big beer. Nose harks back to the old days of the Anniversary beers - a better dose of bourbon & vanilla, for sure. Gah, I swirfled a little into my temporary goatee. Too enthusiastic. Not much else, light roast & slight chocolate.

Black Butte XXV does some sleight of hand from nose to mouth. Bourbon slacks off to a low but persistent hum, though there's a very pleasing shot of vanilla. Berries (currants, I presume?) are interesting; not the usual "oops" factor that fruitiness usually signals in a big black beer, but a slight tartness that sets off the roast & barrel as nicely as fruitiness can. Stout/porter & fruit just don't mix that well for me. Light chocolate absorbs the middle, & the finish is long, sweet, belly-warming alcohol.

Well, this does not live up to the fine lineage of Anniversary beers past, but it's a distinct mark-up over the blase' XXIV. A good beer, but I'm happy that I won't feel the urge to stockpile this for the future.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 02:28:02 | More by maximum12
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kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz black waxed bottle into snifter.

Pours near black with a 1 finger tan head. Big patches of lacing.

Chocolate, maple, cherry, very light vanilla and bourbon.

Nice chocolate and light roasted malts, some molasses, dark fruits, again vanilla and bourbon favors are very light.

Good porter with some nice dark fruit notes, chocolate, and a little bourbon and vanilla. Very drinkable fresh.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 01:42:50 | More by kawilliams81
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herman77

Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Mostly black with a small tan head that dies off to a collar.

S: Coco, vanilla, bourbon, dates and other dark fruits. Lots of dark fruits. Lots of roasted malts too. Smells really rich.

T: Tons of dark fruits and a lot of roast dominate the palate. Then comes some nice bourbon notes and a bit of vanilla and bittersweet dark chocolate. A bit of a alcohol bite on the backend. Some of that seems to be attributed to the intense roasted malt flavors.

M: Fuller body. Slightly lower carbonation. Feels pretty smooth.

O: Decent drinkability. Another nice anniversary Black Butte. Though not my favorite out of the ones I've had, still really enjoyable and would like to see what it evolves into if/when I can get another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 00:51:50 | More by herman77
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Scotchboy

Idaho

4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Waxed 22oz bomber from the latest release, split with my brother with my portion going into a Darkness snifter.

A: Mostly black body, opaque and slightly oily with a tan head.

S: Prominent jammy notes, with a big roasted malt backbone and plenty of oak, vanilla, and bourbon character. Black raspberry, dark fruit, figs, and currants all have noticeable presence. A touch hot but pleasant, makes the nose a touch vinous.

T: Follows the nose, jammy black raspberries and bitter dark chocolate, brown sugar notes, vanilla, and oak from the bourbon barrel, figs and dates, tart currants, red wine, deeply roasted malt...very nice and complex.

MF: Creamy full bodied porter with a touch of booziness at this age.

O: Really nice, right out of the gates this is pretty great. A bit hot, but manageable, with tons of fruity complexity.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 17:15:36 | More by Scotchboy
Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 639 ratings.