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 superspak
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Goblinmunkey7
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

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.

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

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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 Stevedore
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%

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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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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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Photo of arizcards
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

6-11-16 tasting notes from bottle 2.
Flavors are melding very well. There is a tad bit of heat, cocoa is still dominant, just a bit of vanilla from the barrell, and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is very satisfying. Drinking like a 4.5 beer - this is probably the best Anniversary I can recall having.

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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 KFBR392
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best After: 6/11/14

Appearance: Pours extremely dark brown and sits black in the glass. Half a finger of off white/khaki head is produced on the pour and lingers on the periphery of the glass throughout. Some sticky random lacing left behind. Still a decent amount of active carbonation.

Smell: Dark molasses and a touch of brown sugar mesh well with the bourbon notes on the front. More then I expected from the bourbon, but it is very well done and adds a warming touch on the body. Cocoa nibs provide pleasant medium bodied chocolate aromas that fit in very well. Oak and vanilla continue to come in waves and are the most memorable on the finish.

Taste: The front is a sweet, rich chocolate mousse kiss. Slightly roasted malt evens out the chocolate front. The barrel character kicks in on the body with balanced yet potent tones of vanilla, oak, cherries, and those figs add a touch of earthiness. Lingering tones of roasted malts, earthy dry figs, vanilla, and some booze rides this baby out.

Mouthfeel: Full, rich mouthfeel which still feels like a porter. Barrel character is a pleasant compliment and the figs add an interesting dryness on the palate. Carbonation is brighter then expected in a big barrel aged beer but works here.

Overall: Deschutes has executed a wonderful brew here that is absolutely aided by aging it. I had this beer fresh and it was tasty but no where near what this bottle has become. All the additives and bourbon character has had time to settle and mesh together perfectly. I could see this beer still sitting wonderfully for a long time.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally after 6-10-14!!!

A - Darker than many stouts. Tall brown head, especially for high ABV and after long aging.

S - Raisin, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, fruit.

T - Sweet, sour, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, fruit, fig. Some interestingly barleywine like qualities that are difficult for me to put a finger on (maybe the malt or fig?).

M - Thick and chewy with a reasonable amount of tingle.

O - Interestingly complex. It's a nice change up to bourbon barrel stouts, and better than many of them. Deschutes makes one of the best porters even better. Glad I was able to get a 25th anniversary and have the patience to wait until after the best buy date (that's tough). Prost!

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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 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 utfiero
3.39/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color- near black. Full dark cappuccino head.

Aroma- Christmas cake soaked in brandy, with notes of rum raisin ice cream.

Taste- A rich desert beer. Starts rich and sweet with overripe pear mellowed by hints of vanilla (probably from the bourbon barrel aging) finishing with an imperial stout roasty cocoa finish. Too sweet and strong ("hot" alcohol esters) for everyday drinking. This is best saved as a wintertime aperitif or survival beer if you're stuck in an ice cave.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 10/19/2013.

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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 Huhzubendah
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is near black with an inch of beige head. The aroma brings roast, chocolate, honey, oak, vanilla. A lot of char in the flavor with formidable bitterness in the finish. Honey sweetness and boozy vanilla. A tad tannic. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Pretty good.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a nice light brown head and good lacing

S-dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, bourbon, earthy

T-dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, raisins, figs, bourbon, coffee, light char, molasses

F-medium to full body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-great range of flavors and well-balanced, a tad on the sweet side for me, but a terrific Imperial Porter nonetheless

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Photo of barnzy78
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best after 6/11/14. I guess I cracked this a little early.
L - near black, foamy tan head
S - rich aroma of cocoa, fig, date, currant, roast; bourbon really dominates as it warms
T - rich again, chocolate, dark fruits, fig, currant, raisin, oak, vanilla, bourbon, booze
F - full body, boozy
O - just as good as I anticipated. Nice treat.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
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 bnes09
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet black ale. Cream colored head on top. Decent retention.

Big roasted nose of espresso with lots of dark fruits, primarily black currants.

Plenty of roasted flavor, mostly espresso and dark chocolate. Dark fruit sweetness, dates raisins and black currants. Hint of bourbon oak. Mild earthy, lady hop bitterness. Well balanced.

Froth is the first thing to hit the lips with an ultra creamy texture. Dense, full bodied brew with a near syrupy texture throughout. Finished on the tart side.

Overall, a very well done flavored, barrel aged porter.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz. waxed and capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger light mocha colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick and huge legs. Beer is pitch black. Menacing and inviting at the same time.

Nose is fig, sweet soy sauce, roasted malt, chocolate, cocoa powder and leather with a slight hint of booziness. Real rich and deep.

Opens fig, dates, black strap molasses and sweet soy sauce. Some chocolate and roasted malt enter towards the middle with a light bitterness and a boozy tickle. Ends leather, chocolate, booze, and more dark fruit. Finishes sweet with some liquorice and more dark fruit in the aftertaste. Delicious!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Thick and viscous in the mouth and goes down warm and smooth. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Chewy too. Supports the flavor very well.

A really underrated beer that gets better and better with every passing year that its made. Certainly worthy as a celebratory 25th anniversary beer.

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Photo of peensteen
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nearly jet black, ring of tan head, some lace as well. Smell is full of liquorice and a deep near char roast, dark fruit and oak, some light bourbon as well as some vanilla. Taste follows the nose liquorice, herbal anise, roasted malts, coffee, bourbon comes across stronger on the palate than in the nose, vanilla, dark fruits into the finish with more roast and coffee. Good mouthfeel, lightly carbonated, med-full chewy body. Solid stuff here, probably the most enjoyable of the 3 anniversary Black Butte's I have had.

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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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