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

Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)
Liked This Beer
4.26 w/ 1,007 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,007 |  Reviews: 128
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to OrpheusLA for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Best after 6/10/14.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, fig, date, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but only really shows a slight barrel aged presence in the smell in my opinion.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of spycow
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of biboergosum
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz black wax sealed bottle. Thanks once again to doktorzee for bringing this back for me. I remember having the XXIII a couple years ago while shutting down the patio in Bend, so I didn't get to read the underside of the cap - this one says 'Bravely done' - does that refer to opening this without getting any wax chips in the mix?

This beer pours a mostly solid black, with significant basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some decently macabre, roiling storm cloud lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, charred ash, complex dark fruit - cherry, plum, and yes, black currants - a bit of juicy fig, heavy caramel/toffee malt, vanilla, molasses, indistinct Yuletide spice, a soft whack over the olfactory senses of straight-up boozy Bourbon, and a dry weedy, burnt leaf hoppiness. The taste is again led-off by the chocolate, rendered here in its dry, powdery bakery form, followed closely by relatively subtle barrel notes - vanilla, wooden planks, and warming alcohol - treacle, mixed black fruit from hell - concentrated plum, currant, and cherry - a sidling ashiness, some soft roasted coffee notes, and a lilting Bourbon warmth.

The bubbles are just strong enough to support this groaning behemoth, the body a hefty medium-heavy weight, silky smooth, and tacitly creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, all that cocoa, dark fruit, and wood-abetted alcohol hardly capable of anything contrary.

Another (like it's a bad thing) stellar birthday brew from this sexy, sexy brewery. With all the complexity and pedantry with the guest ingredients and their role in the brewing process, everything is just evened out in the wash - which is to say, a big fruit-tinged, chocolate-fronted strong-ass porter, thick enough to keep your car's engine from seizing up, yet clean enough to keep treating as the gift from the beverage gods that it is.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tan head. No lace. Snifter. Black in color.

Flavors are big on cocoa and vanilla. A decent dose of bourbon and oak flavors. Chocolate that is bitter. Light roast/coffee flavor. Caramel. Very malty.

Mouthfeel: rich with a little heat. Full bodied.

Overall, an enjoyable porter. These are just about as good as they get. Finish is a bit dry, but that's about it.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bomber bottle. Dark red-brown clear but near opaque.thin head.

Moderate level of BBL effect.
Wonderful aroma is fruity with bourbon and a hint of sherry.
Rich flavor adds dates and a bit of berry flavor.
Medium-full body with appropriate light carbonation.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 94.7% out of 100 with 1,007 ratings
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