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

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

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

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.

Added by msubulldog25 on 07-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 1,005
Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the best Black Butte to date...incredible complexity (the black currents add just the right amount of tartness to the chocolate, caramel, and brown fruitiness of this beauty). The body is a bit more full than in past editions, and there’s a much softer, smoother lack of heat, right off the bat. Kudos, once again, Deschutes!

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Photo of Bitterbill
5/5  rDev +18.5%
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 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!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.94/5  rDev +17.1%
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!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a purple-black in color with almost no foam.

There’s an aroma of dark chocolate and Italian roast coffee, with a licorice backing and some boozy rum. Flavors are integrated, and the alcohol/heat doesn’t come across until well after this beer opens up. I found the body to be appropriately porter-esque, with more rum sweetness than bourbon whiskey on it. Terrific.

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Photo of josephandbrown
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

10 oz draft pour into a Belgian tulip glass.

Very dark but not quite pitch black. It leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

The smell is superb, one of the best things about this beer. There are hints of figs and currants, and a strong suggestion of the oaking. The taste is typical of high ABV, oak aged dark beers: it's hearty, with chocolate notes and hints of vanilla. It has a thick, chewy feel, and leaves a creamy niceness well after the swallow.

A very strong special edition from Deschutes!

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Opened 11-6-15
Pure, solid, blackness. No light can shine through it. Head is peculiarly two toned, off-white to tan, clinging well to glass.
Scent is like chocolate pudding creamy smooth chocolate, very rich and strong. Beckons you to drink it.
Taste follows closely to scent. Chocolate and smooth, the aftertaste is very bitter however, to the point of it being a little distracting. But this is a very small negative to a delicious aged beer.
The mouthfeel is silky and really could not be better for the beer.

at this later date (over a year past the "enjoy after" date) this beer becomes amazing. There is nothing that should keep this beer at this time less than world class. The best Deschutes beer I have ever enjoyed.

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Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours pitch back with a 3 finger thick tan head that you can watch slowly form. No light getting through this bad boy. Thickfrothy head dissipates slowly and sticks like crazy to the glass.

Smell: Chocolate ice cream, berries, bourbon, boozy. Yumm!

Taste: Blackberries, chocolate, slight hint of bourbon. Oak and vanilla flavors also make their way through. Wow just a delicious and complex brew.

Mothfeel: Great thick, full bodied mouthfeel with carbonation trying to fight through the thickness. Allows for the drink to pass smoothly through your mouth and to try and taste all the complexities.

Overall, this is the best porter/stout that I have ever had. Simply delicious.

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Photo of timc100
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hit quota - enjoying a nice one. Right at the best at date.

Looks like an imperial porter - dark brown, sits black in the glass with a nice creamy burnt mocha head - minimal lacing, big barreled bubbles. Dark fruits dominate - fig, date, tanginess and sweetness. Get some of the oak coming through - some charred dark chocolate, vanilla oak sweetness. Kicks with some cocoa powder and dark fruit tang on the finish and some nice heat. Mouthfeel is great - supports all the flavors.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a mason jar pint glass. Dark black/brown with very little khaki head. Smelled of figs and black currant and a hint of bourbon. The taste starts a sour sweet, almost pear like with an extrememly smooth finish of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Pretty light in the mouth, especially for the high ABV, almost too easy to drink. Overall, I was very impressed. Lots of character and complexity. It had the expected Porter characteristics with a bevy of additional flavors. Truly one of my favorites.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured to brandy snifter. Black Butte anniversary reserves are one of those beers I seek out year after year. XXV is no exception. Really doesn't sit in the porter category at 11.something abv, I'd call it an imperial stout, even if the name sake is a true porter.

Black as night. Pours with a tan head that quickly lays down to a film of bubbles... spot on for an imperial

Huge battery of flavors... current, fig, roasted malt, butter and toffee up front, oak and whiskey slip in as it warms. Not as boozy as a lot of other strong beers, incredibly complex. Every sip reveals a new layer as it warms. A haunting bitterness strives to balance an immense sweetness. It doesn't, but it does add another counterpoint.

Smell is oak, whiskey, and fruit, and a bit of breadiness.

Mouthfeel is heavy, slick and almost syrupy moderated by a lash of alcohol burn... totally out of bounds for a porter, on the mark for an imperial stout.

Overall: while nothing wrong with this beer right now, indeed it is oh so right, I'd love to see how the flavors meld with a year or two of aging

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours pitch black in color with a small to medium sized head that retains very well. The lacing on this beer is a superb wall of foam. The darkness of the body is complete, as no light escapes. This is a really good looking imperial porter.

S- Dark malts and a slight fruitiness are the foremost and prominent scents of this beer. Figs and just a touch of the black currant are evident pretty readily in the scent, but without being overpowering at all. Chocolate and vanilla scents hit you at the end with just the slightest touch of bourbon barrel mixed in.

T- Starts off dark and fruity from the start, just like the smell. Currant and fig combine with a really dark chocolate flavor to make a very dark and fruity flavor overall. The chocolate sticks around through the end of the drink and begins to mix with just a little vanilla and barrel spice before the lingering flavor on the tongue is dark malt.

M- Thick and creamy across the tongue, this beer is smooth as hell. There is no detectable alcohol, making this a dangerously drinkable dark beer. Simply smooth, rich, creamy, and delicious.

Overall, a complex and delicious take on an imperial porter. Dark fruits and chocolate combined with the slight barrel flavors make a freaking awesome beer.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bomber bottle (w/best AFTER date of 06/10/2014) poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. The bottle indicates it's brewed with dates, figs, and coco nibs with 50% being aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currant added. Reasonably hard pour produces a nice thick dark eggshell colored head. Mostly small bubbles, it's thick and frothy with excellent lacing. Comes out of the glass brown but looks black once it's in the bottle.

Smells good, but a year and a half after the best after date leads me to believe that the aromas might have worn off a little bit. Classic dark grainy malts detected that are in any good dark beers tend to have. Slight chocolate tones and the dates and figs are pretty easily detected. No indication of any coffee added but everything blended together sort of smells like a dark roasted blueberry coffee which is totally my speed. Everything is good, I wish it was the slightest bit stronger.

Taste is outstanding. Again the classic dark roasted ready malts are there. There is bourbon detected this time a sweet vanilla/oakey flavor. Cocoa nibs aren't as present as the dates and figs are. It all blends together nicely. The black currant (I guess I've never had it before) meshes great with the figs and dates. It certainly has the dark fruity flavors. Sort of some tannins at the end

Mouthfeel is good. Full bodied and a nice moderate carbonation level; nice long lingering flavors. Starts sweet, maintains smooth with an earthy set up and a dry finish. Great drinkability a nice sipper, almost like a good quality Russian Imperial Stout (with a partial bourbon barrel blend). These Black Butte birthday beers area always pleasing. Thanks JJ!

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Photo of StArnoldFan
4.6/5  rDev +9%

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.

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Photo of FPWolff
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of SHerninko
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed @ TJ's -Kick the keg event

I have enjoyed the 23, 24 & now it's the 25!
A lovely sales Rep. greeted & spoke to me about Oregon and this special Butte.

It is similar to the other years and is excellent overall. The addition of licorice & anise combine to taped off the raison and plum sweetness. It is a nice balance and produces a very subtle sour note on the front of the tongue. As it warms the initial nose & sweet taste increases but so does the slight sour at the back of the tongue. It is not a negative (as I'm not a big sour fan) but just adds to the complexity. Still some smokiness from the base black butte lingers also.

Again for a "porter" this is a winner and a leader in the category.
Try it.
Ok now they are giving out Class of 88 smoked porter. TBC!

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like the fact that the currants give a sense of dryness to the mouth feel and to the taste. It is refreshing that it isn't chocolate all the time, a la the 24, which was excellent in its own way. A nice addition to the Anniversary series.

This has nice notes from the bourbon barrel and pronounced alcohol, but it is smoother than most done with this finish. The addition of currants give a nice dryness to the tongue and a slightly tart aftertaste. No noticeable sourness, more of a dryness that an earthy wine might have.

This is a smooth, remarkably understated brew that relys on subtle flavors to show the brewers skill. Which makes it a refreshing contrast to some of the heavy, sweet alcohol bombs that have come out lately.

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Photo of hardy008
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark black, with a 1/2 " tan head, with good retention and lacing. the aroma has dates, figs, dark roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Very nice aroma.

This beer has a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness, with a little tartness. There are dates, figs, dark roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and tart fruit. I didn't detect the tart fruit in the aroma, and it is not real strong in the taste, but it is there just enough to be detect. The small amount of tart fruit is a nice addition.

Full bodied with light carbonation. Smooth, somewhat creamy, and easy to drink. Even though I can smell and taste the bourbon, the alcohol is not overly noticeable, especially for an 11.30 % abv beer. I am glad to have a few more bottles of this beer.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8oz in a Deschutes glass that looks like if a red wine glass and a tulip has a sexy little glass baby.

A: pitch black with minimal mocha colored head. 11% prevents head retention some. Good ring and lacing though.

S: dark sweet fruits like fig and raisin and molasses.

T: rich and slightly sweet. Hints of dark fruits from the nose, vanilla, a hint of dark malt flavor but very slight and leaves a light coffee like aftertaste.

M: heavy and smooth. Minimal carbonation makes it feel really rich. Goes down too easy, luckily the strong flavor stops me from chugging.

O: epic just like all the BB anniversary series beers. So glad I tried it.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Black Butte XXV pours a black color with a very small almost non existent head. There is a very warm and sharp aroma with notes of figs, chocolate and vanilla. The taste has a dry frutiy flavor, with bold chocolate and vanilla flavors. Good flavors, very nice warmth at the end. Overall a complex and very flavorful porter.

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Photo of thinkinflicka
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of MarioM
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of morimech
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
4.22 out of 5 based on 1,005 ratings.
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