Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery

Rating: 7/7

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery is a 12.2% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Dutche cocoa, Saigon cinnamon, and cayenne. 50% aged in Bourbon and Rum barrels.

Label:
In celebration of our 29th anniversary this year’s Imperial Porter delivers notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon spice with hints of coconut, vanilla, and dried fruit finished by a warm dash of cayenne.

==Introduction==

Essentially a Double Barrel Porter aging in both Rum and Bourbon. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. This year they decided to go with a chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne take with Rum and bourbon. That is crazy using a double barrel half take with what seems to be like a Mexican inspiration. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, yams, sweet potato pie, vanilla, caramel, bananas, dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, rum, bourbon, oak, mint, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and marshmallow smores.

Flavors:
Sweet potato pie, capirotada/Mexican yams, piloncillo sugar cone, maple srup, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake Mexican Chocolate, Belgian chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, cocoa powder, rum, bourbon, oak, Dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, currants, cherries
Pancho Pantera chocolate milk shake, banana sundae. Sweetened condensed milk, flan, crème brulee, tres leches cake, pecan pie, bourbon, marshmallows, almond joy, toasted coconut, molasses, mint, clove spice, bananas, grilled plantains, Danish cream, rye bread, piña colada, oatmeal cookies, raisins bread and more!

Aftertaste:
Finishing with dark fruits, cinnamon, ginger bread, fruit cake, earthy notes, dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
Seems like every year, a different beer and a different way of preceiving the greatness which is the Black Butte anniversary. This year it seems more of a Mexican style of taste. While although spicy, the overall consensus, it was not super hot but definitely zlong the lines a Mexican desert flowing. Indeed this scream sweetness but the peppery heat is not present. Along with the many versions out there, this one should definitely be picked up!

Anime Corner:
Twili Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like previous tears, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. Since I did not use the chibi version of Midna for this iteration, I figure I let the adult version of her do all the talking. In this year, the Chocolate, Cinnamon and cayenne represent somewhat of a Mexican Dark Mole feel to the beer. It is actually more towards a Mexican sweet potato pie if it was mixed in with Mexican Hot Chocolate. So since Midna has a cloak like the tilma of the virgin of guadalupe it sorta ties in that Mexican culture aspect of this beer. Who’d of thought Midna would complement this iteration even more!

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Speedway Stout by Alesmith

Rating: 5/5
Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with coffee.

While I have reviewed this beer in the past, I wanted to bring the dark wheel Rim looking can which fits perfectly with the whole racing aspect. Check out my old review here.
https://animebeers.com/2013/04/19/speedway-stout-by-alesmith/


Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

14500358_10103586625670370_7603281402284353722_o 14468505_10103586625665380_3911454266961627999_o 14481978_10103586625675360_639779613992909017_oRating: 7/7

Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is 11.5% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Cocoa, Vanilla, Peated Malt and Sweet Orange Peel with 50% aged in Bourbon and Scotch barrels.

Label:
Imperial Porter brewed with cocoa, vanilla, peated malt and sweet orange peel, with 50% aged in bourbon and scotch barrels–“The result is our 28th anniversary imperial porter with bright orange and vanilla aroma, layers of roasty chocolate and a warm, smokey finish”

Description:
Every year, we celebrate our anniversary with an imperial, barrel-aged version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. Our brewers love to experiment and they always add some fun new ingredients to this beer like chilies, cranberries, figs and other such treats. This year, to celebrate 28 years of brewing, they’ve added the interesting mix of ingredients above for another multi-layered flavor experience.

==Introduction==

Essentially a Porter and Wee Heavy Blend. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. So with year’s version, they decided to go with a chocolate and orange and additionally aging in Scotch. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream hints, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream, coffee cake, Mexican Gansito cake hints, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream balls, orange candies, dragon fruit, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas covered in chocolate, roasted malts, Bourbon, Scotch, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark candi sugar, coffee, chocolate mousse, oak, bubblegum hints, fudge cake, dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, walnut cake, pecan pie, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Mexican Gansito cake, creme brulee, flan, sweetened condescended milk, marshmallows, wine grapes, almond joy chocolate, rye bread, abuelita chocolates, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream and coffee cake.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, stone fruits, earthy notes, Dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
Incredible, each year’s version of this beer is nothing short of supremely exceptional. They really out do themselves every anniversary. The complex flavors of the wee heavy, bourbon, chocolate orange and much more really stood through with every sip. This brew was so damn amazing I accidently finished the whole bottle in one sitting! Whoops! Lol but seriously though, not a lot of beers make it this far and even if common ones are this good, you know hypes are trends. Never underestimate what a common beer can do! I highly recommend getting a bottle of this one or two to drink and cellar.

Anime Corner:
Midna (Both Forms) from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like last year’s, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. They are both the same person and both are kick ass but that was obvious from the fact that I use them for the same beer every year that I represent Twili Midna, the taller one, as the one that represents the barrel aged percentage. In this year, the orange peel and vanilla do complement both of them as they both have orange hair and the chocolate and vanilla by the black and white of their tones.

Sources:
https://66.media.tumblr.com/5d0541f783409437d3cfe56e7b4b5479/tumblr_o0iuklT29i1t09dnqo1_500.jpg
http://orig00.deviantart.net/af6d/f/2014/274/9/f/midna_zelda_by_cyberunique-d819kdh.jpg
https://cdn3.patreon.com/1/patreon.posts/LtIYhP7FvNFFJmYSrV1JyyKN5mRHlegqU8LXSFrgz3PC5IgfYHRWIlLiEUJWzZcV_large.jpeg?w=1600&v=D6NyMcMd9e6pwTpO6MkN9AEAN0KG77_QH9m8_jmGNSc%3D

Juggling Walruses by The Bruery Terreux

12657247_10103052890065800_3270200178004749863_o 12643015_10103052889566800_1197378118566901223_nRating: 5.35/6

Juggling Walruses by The Bruery Terreux is a 10% ABV American Wild Ale 34% aged in Bourbon Barrels, 66% Aged in oak barrels with Black Currants.

Label:
Mysterious – Elaborate – Laborious

Commercial Description:
There were a lot of balls in play. And heavy lifting. You see, in relatively short order, Bruery Terreux had become quite robust, especially since the build out and launch on April 22, 2015. We had amassed a substantial amount of filled barrels, from seasonal releases, one-time treats and cherished smaller batch experiments. The art of the blend beckoned, and we had our pick of the litter (or would that be herd?) For such a mysterious beer that became known around the office as Juggling Walruses, Tart of Darkness was the perfect place to begin, making up the highest percentage of contributing barrels. But it wasn’t just Tart of Darkness as you’ve come to know it. About two-thirds of the barrels were wine barrel-aged Tart of Darkness; and the other third of the oak barrels from the sour stout were particularly young. Black currants were added to all these barrels, introducing a less familiar fruit to our lineup, with a darker hue and new nuances to the sour beer flavor profile.

When blended with the other oak barrel and bourbon barrel-aged beers that were carefully selected for this blend, Juggling Walruses exhibits dark fruits, roast and char on the nose, with vinous notes and oaky characteristics weaving through flavors reminiscent of midnight foraging for berries in the forest.

==Introduction==

Released to the Bruery’s Reserve and Hoarders Society, this brew is a Cuvee of different aged ales. I think the reference to the Juggling Walruses came from the fact that they had to move so many barrels around. The barrels themselves do kind of look like big walruses so with moving the barrels around are like them trying to juggle the walruses. Good Game there Bruery. Anyways, the fact that this is a sour and a bourbon barrel aged is really intriguing as there are not that many out there that are like this, except ones like Burbonic Plague which was similar. These unique beers truly show some of the best a brewery has to offer. Cheers!

Aromas:
Grape Wine notes, Milk Chocolate, Dark chocolate, dark fruit plums, figs raisins, boysenberries, Concorde grape skins, marshmallows, dark chocolate, port wine, chardonnay, raspberry liqueur, anise, hibiscus flowers, Black Currant Yogurt, Dark cherry yogurt, brown sugar and coffee notes.

Flavors:
Tart Concorde grape skins, coconut hints, oak, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, toffee, molasses, Dark fruit plums, figs raisins, boysenberries, marshmallows, smores, pecan pie, Black Currant Yogurt, Dark cherry yogurt, currant cheesecake, Milk Chocolate, Dark chocolate, port wine, wine grapes, chardonnay, raspberry liqueur, anise, hibiscus flowers, biscuit bread, coffee notes, mocha, toasted buttery bread with currant spread.

Aftertaste:
Super dark fruit medley and berries, oak, bourbon hints, rich wine notes, and funky dry finish. No alcohol in the taste despite this being 10% ABV. Dark Brown Full body, silky, smooth and effervescent mouthfeel with moderate drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional sour. The balance of the malty bourbon and the wine sour and fruity notes work so damn well. This is an example of the way my favorite sours go. Sweet and sours. People that don’t like sours but love strong beers will get a kick out of this one. With so much going, I can see why the Bruery spent the time composing this Cuvee together. Highly Recommended.

Anime Corner:
Aisha Clan Clan from Outlaw Star was used in this pairing since I wanted to use her for a beer review for a while now but especially a Bruery one. The reasoning behind this one was based on the colors of the label but also the aspect of juggling and needing strength to carry these barrels around. Kind of the way they describe it as Juggling Walruses. Aisha also represents the colors and complexity of the beer.

Sources:
http://orig08.deviantart.net/38e6/f/2007/228/a/6/aisha_clan_clan__colors__by_ultranic_comics.jpg
http://img07.deviantart.net/8976/i/2013/248/9/8/aisha_ctarl_ctarl__clan_clan__by_jaldridge1-d6l3y51.jpg

Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales

11141318_10102663544128180_4387582528316699403_o 11411648_10102663545330770_2455597721207330051_oRating: 4.85/5

Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 10% ABV Belgian Trappist Cider made with Arizona Wildflower Honey, Mexican Cane Sugar and Black Currant concentrate.

==Introduction==

11149534_10102508414983230_8572258118318212914_o
Project # 5 is my second attempt at a cider using 100% Apple cider, Mexican Cane Sugar (Azucar Morena), Ribena Black Currant Brittish Black Currant Concentrate, Arizona Wild Flower Honey and Monastery/Trappist Ale yeast. The idea here was give by Evelyn Silva, my sister from another mother who reminded me about the first time we tried the Fox Barrel Currant Perry Cider back in 2010 on UC San Diego grounds while we were all on vacation with my friend Jorge Silva. One of the best ciders I had ever had which is no longer being made. So as a result of wanting to reproduce that cider, I decided to give it the good ol’ Belgian treatment and rather than using pear cider, I used apple cider. The result was this. Cheers!

Aromas:
Floral, cinnamon, Belgian sweetbread, phenolic notes, honey, grapes, tart currant notes, agave, candi sugar, cane sugar, lots of berry and dark fruit hints, vanilla and caramel notes.

Flavors:
Sour Apples, tart currant skins, Cinnamon, honey, biscuit bread, candi sugar, dark fruit currant notes, hints of cherry, raspberry, dark fruit raisin hints, dulce de leche caramel, pear, stone fruit peach hints, cane sugar, clove spice, floral notes, grapes juice, chardonay, agave hints, citrus, toffee, blackberry, blue berry and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
More of the rich berry and currant in the finish lingers with the slight sugary breadiness but then goes off dry leaving some apple juice remnants and cinnamon. No alcohol in the taste as the black currant tartness care of that. Golden Crimson light to medium haze body, easy to moderate drinkability, crisp, clean and smooth mouthfeel.

Overall:
Unlike my first beer, The Black currant really popped in this one. I was able to incorporate the sweetness a little better in the bottling as well as measure the right levels of sugar so the ABV didn’t sky rocket like the last one. Also, in the secondary, It cleared up very nicely show casing a more cider appearance with some slight haze. As a while it was more pink in color but in the glass you could tell that the apple and honey colors took over. Overall, I think this was the better cider from my first one although many did like my other cider as it was more potent and stronger. Give or take, this whole Belgian cider thing is pretty damn remarkable.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate/Stay Night Zero was used in this pairing as I wanted something that would greatly represent the color of dark fruit and currants. The name Blinding Lunar Currants is a play at the vizer that Riders uses while under the moonlight. The cider is called Blinding as the taste is enough to make one close their eyes in deliciousness. Also, the fact that you can’t really tell that the currants are really there, drinking this ‘blindingly’ brings one an awesome surprise of rich currant sweetness. It definitely worked out in my favor and the passion these currants Rider carries through the taste buds is amazing.

Sources:
https://i.warosu.org/data/jp/img/0130/54/1424165452872.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/db/bf/a9/dbbfa9a0912eb1f96e32dd16cf26b1b6.jpg

Raven’s Eye (New Label) by Eel River Brewing

10628116_10101996997852260_9207687194802743130_n 10628221_10101996998471020_1130624855266760143_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (New Label) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
A bold creamy Stout with hints of dark chocolate and espresso balanced by an aroma reminiscent of chocolate, molasses, and plums.

If you think Raven’s Eye Stout is good now, we recommend aging it. Its characteristics become more complex over time, meaning it only gets better with age.
___

Raven’s Eye Stout has a special place in my heart next to Black Xantus. Back in 2010, when I started to try some craft beers and started to get appreciation for labels, I decided to get this one along with some other beers I had not tried before. This stout stuck out to me even before I started trying the Lost Abbey stuff back then. After several times of trying it, I realize why it was the cousin of the Black Xantus. IT was because while it was not bourbon barrel aged like that one was, it offered similar flavors of the Russian Imperial Stout but with dark fruit flavors. I grew very fond of this one. While it is not sold as often as I like, it is a treat to find it. I picked this one up at Ramirez Liquor when I saw the new label finally came out. So definitely I said to myself, I have to bring this one back! So here it is, once again with the new label. Cheers!

Previous 2012 Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/ravens-eye-redux-by-eel-river-brewing/

Aromas:
Roasted Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Mocha, dark fruits, pecans, hazelnut nectar, rich currants, dark cherry, caramel, anise, earthy roasted notes, molasses, brown sugar and hints vanilla.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruits like raisins, currants, dark cherry, mocha, coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, pecans, Irish cream, bakers chocolate, fudge cake, molasses, anise, hints of oak, earthy roasted notes, sweet toffee, marshmallow smores and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Roasted coffee bitterness, dark fruits, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel and earthy hints. No alcohol in the taste, moderate to sipping drinkability, creamy mouth feel but smooth and full pitch black body.

Overall:
Still the greatly awesome beer that I remember. Definitely more dark fruit forward this time around with a good balance. The same beer I had since 2011 still great and in some cases better than the previous times I tried it. The dessert beer next to the Black Xantus and not so barrel aged but yet still up there with great complex flavors for a Russian Stout.

Anime Corner:
Emeralda Kasim from Xenogears was used in this pairing as I used her in many of the Raven’s eye pairing in the past. Her colors seemed to work well with the label of the beer and the green organic aspect of the beer. The colors of her were representative of the taste in terms of the chocolate flavors and more. While her eyes are like the sun and hazel, they show a glimmer of crimson like the eye of the raven as well. She is this beer and the solitude that it represents. Forevermore….

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/334009#full
http://www.zerochan.net/1143296#full

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing

1374901_10101457321912170_1203501524_nRating: 6/5

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing is a 15% ABV Belgian Quadruple aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels

Label: 
This dark complex style of ale originated in the Trappist monasteries of Belgium. It was sipped by monks during fasting and winter months. Forgotten Island adds a tropical twist via aging in Jamaican rum barrels. The barrel lends notes of vanilla, molasses, orange peel, cocoa, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, apricot and peach. This plethora of flavors and aromas from the rum barrel intermingles with banana, clove, cinnamon,fig, plum and brown sugar aromatics and flavors from the quadruple, creating a contemplative ale perfect for introspective moments far from the cares of the world beyond. 
___

Released exclusively for the Cigar City Catador club. A hard to get beer unless you know some one who is in the club or can trade/buy from someone online. This is the first time I try a rum barrel aged quad. I have tried a good number of Bourbon barrel ones but never a rum one. Good luck in getting this one

Aromas are very sweet. Velvety dark fruits, currants, plums, raisins, chocolate notes, dulce de leche caramel, figs, raisin bread pudding, oak, rum, rich coconut, vanilla, pecans, bananas, cloves, cherries, blackberries, boysenberries, blackberry marmalade, brown sugar, cinnamon, hazelnut, oranges, apricot, peach, piña colada, tropical fruits like papaya, melon, dragon fruit and other fruit and spices

The flavors are freaking amazing! This would be a great response to the Bruery’s Cacaonut, except it is rum and quad and has more dark fruits than Cacaonut. Yet each is freaking amazing and I can tell you this beer has already exceeded my expectations once again. Rich plums, rich curtants, figs, cotton candy, raisin bread pudding, pecans, peaches and cream, apricot, boysenberry marmalade, toasted coconut, oranges, dragon fruit, melon, papaya, piña colada, nutmeg, hazelnut, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, blackberries, bananas, clove spice, cherries, molasses and other complex flavors. Diabetes in a bottle!

The aftertaste leaves with very nice caramel, dark fruit and tropical fruit flavors with oak rum and spices lingering. Good Luck finding the alcohol. Even at 15% ABV, it is one dangerously smooth and tempting Siren. Does not drink like a 15% ABV, holy crap. Take it easy with this one. Even if you want more, save some for later and share.

Overall, it is exceptionally wonderful and delicious. Think of a Quad that is tropical with rum flavors, coconut and piña colada. Let me put this in comparison with Cacaonut from the Bruery. Cacaonut from the Bruery is liquid Almond Joy with tropical fruits. This is a Dark Fruit Coconut Rum Piña Colada raisin bread pudding. Combining the fact that it is barrel aged, chocolate, quad and exotic is what make this one qualify for the top score which I give to either my best favorite beers or beers that have met the eligibility to be my favorites, even if rare. If I could, I would probably drink this everyday. That would be good, but would not be good for me, but would definitely be good. Cigar City is definitely the East Coast’s Bruery. As far as recommendation, HELL YES!! If you happen to find this parable paradise of an ale, set sail!! You will not regret this one.

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing

1235477_10101384045563560_1551061574_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A rich roasty brew with a deep “espresso” character. Originally brewed for the Imperial Court in Russia, this stout is a warm festive drink made with the cold Russian Winters in mind. This complex stout is brewed with a combination of nine domestic and imported malts. Only the finest Pacific Northwest hops are used to provide the perfect balance in our award winning beer.
___

I have reviewed this beer in the past and have tried this atleast several times. To me, this was, and will always be, Black Xantus Evil cousin. I decided to another review before the release of the new label (http://www.eelriverbrewing.com/sites/eelriverbrewing.com/files/ravens_0.jpg). This is the same beer that I enjoy so long ago when I first started trying different beers and it has made a nice comeback this year.

Aromas roasted coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, pecans, hazelnut nectar, bits of dark fruits like currants, raisins, caramel, licorice, earthy hops, brown sugar and molasses

The flavors are of rich sweet Irish cream like coffee, hazelnut nectar, mocha, rich currants, raisins, dark cherries, pecans, walnuts, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, molasses, slight licorice notes, slight oak flavors, vanilla, caramel, chocolate fudge brownies with caramel on top, pecans, cherry and raisin syrup, earthy hop bitterness near the end and sweet toffee.

The aftertaste leaves stronger with coffee, chocolate and dark fruit with a slight bitterness at the end. This beer is moderate to sip drinkability, heavy but smooth. Deliciously balanced. No alcohol presence anywhere

Overall, I don’t have to say it, this is a great beer. One of my old time favorites and still around after 2 years. It is one of those over looked beers that really should not be. Truly one of the best dessert beers our there. It will always be the cousin of the Black Xantus, the unbarrel aged epic lore. Feels like visiting and old relative 

2011 Review: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/ravens-eye-imperial-stout-by-eel-river/)
Black Xantus cousin…Second time trying the Raven’s Eye Imperial stout by Eel River brewing. One of the very few breweries who have the USDA Certified Organic Trademark. Also one of the best Organics I have ever tried. How is this the Black Xantus cousin (Aside from being another dark bird)? or in a sense, why does it seem similar at least to me? Well this stout is a Coffee dominant chocolatey stout just like it. However, other than being less strong, there are more other flavors that Black Xantus does not have that are actually worth trying. There are flavors of Hazel nut, mocha, bread, dark fruits, caramel, milk texture, and some minor hoppy taste. Will it be good for you to try?? Well only if your into stouts and sweet bitter coffee ones. I sure enjoyed it myself that I had to do a ROUND2 review as the last time I tried it was sometimes last year. Will you actually find something delicious in this beer or will you say to this …Nevermore!! >:)..You be the judge. It is a California brew found at Bevmo

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

1012731_10101291877903290_325407295_n 971375_10101291878467160_102706796_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is an 11.3% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currants added.

Label: 
Dates, figs and chocolate. Black currants, barrel-aged in bourbon casks. The result is an Imperial Porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma with luscious layers of dried fruit, oak and vanilla. A fitting tribute to the 25th Anniversary of our flagship beer
___

I did a review of this beer last year (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/black-butte-xxiv-by-dechutes/ )

However, this year they mixed it up a bit by adding dates, currants, figs and cocoa nibs making this one a very special beer. Probably close to a Dubbel/Porter Hybrid

Aromas are of bananas, chocolate, raisins cherries, black berries, blue berries, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, fruit cake, mocha, currants, bit of wine grapes and sweetened condensed milk. Smells like the ultimate chocolate fruit dessert. Awesome. 

The flavors are of milk, dark and bakers chocolate, mocha, coffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel notes, oak, bourbon, currants, cherries, blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, dates, figs, toffee, banana notes, tart wine grape notes, coconut, lots of bread quad and dubbel notes and chocolate port wine fruit cake.

The after taste is pretty sweet leaving with a nice roasted coffee bitterness followed by lots of berries, vanilla and caramel to help it along. It finishes a little dry but that is the best part too. Due to this beer’s complexity and dryness, it just makes you want to sip more. Careful though, that is how it it teases you. You see, once you start, you may like and sip after sip you won’t realize that you finished the entire bottle. 

This beer taste a lot like the Brewdog/ Stone Collaboration Bashah in Raspberries and Highland Whiskey Barrels. Lots of fruit, a great amount of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, bananas and more. I never tried the XXI version of this beer but if that one is a lot like Chocolate Rain, awesome, but this beer is phenomenal in the chocolate berry department. It really did turn out similar to a Dubbel/ Porter hybrid. I would say the difference between this beer and my last review of the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout, is that the other one has more pecans and caramel chocolate where this one is more berries and chocolate. Quite the different spectrum here. But the hybrid is similar. Some type of Belgian Stout or Porter aged in Bourbon barrels. Close enough to some of the best beers I have reviewed on the blog which have exceeded my limits.

Speedway Stout by Alesmith

539648_10101141430091910_1736433839_n 521771_10101141414373410_1308248859_nRating: 5/5

Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with coffee. Considered a world class beer by many reviews

Label: 
Speedway Stout’s Ominous, Pitch-Black appearance has become a hallmark of this modern-day classic. Chocolate Roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally-roasted coffee from Ryan Bros. Coffee, Inc. Added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, speedway stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouth feel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink. This beer ages very well and will continue to mature for many years to come.

This beer’s great balance makes it a very food-friendly imperial stout. Pair its roasty flavors and robust mouthfeel with rich beef dishes and char-grilled foods. Both chocolate and vanilla desserts also pair well, as do salty blue cheeses like Stilton or hard nutty cheeses like aged Gouda and cloth-bound cheddars. Serve in a goblet at 50-55 degrees. 
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I have been meaning to try out the Barrel aged version as soon as I can find it. However, I figured I try it out before the new come. The aromas are very good. Very thick fragrances of bakers chocolate, brownies, coffee bread, hazelnut, mocha, french vanilla coffee beans, latte or esspresso, caramel, dark fruits like black currants, raisins and cherries, oak, and a nice chocolate cake breadiness. Definitely haven’t tried a coffee stout like this. The coffee used in this seems like a coffee enthusiast coffee. Like a Kopi Luwak almost. The flavors also are of very rich, milk, dark and baker chocolate, currants, black cherries, raisins, french vanilla cream, hazelnut cream, pecan nectar, coffee bread, mocha, espresso coffee, chocolate brownies dipped in caramel, and finally camp fire smores with the chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers and drinking a Starbucks coffee. The coffee in this is definitely high quality stuff. The coffee flavors are very different in this beer. The alcohol is nowhere to be found especially for 12% ABV. Remember, this is not barrel aged so a beer of this high ABV would find it hard to cover up such great alcohol with out aided complexity. The coffee does the job here in place of the bourbon or whatever else aging agent. This beer is simply amazing. I am sure the bourbon barrel one is probably going to be insane once I can find it, and the Kopi Luwak Bourbon one…..well.. let’s just hope I don’t go through the whole bottle in one sitting, it may just be that good.