IndianaRed (2738) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JUL 29, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap and the Bend brewpub. Black with a modest dark tan head. Traces of wispy lacing. Dark sweet roasted flavors and a busy flavor profile. The chocolate is there but not pomonant, the dates and figs round things out nicely. Trying my best to let this warm up a bit.
phaleslu (7224) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 6, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at a Deschutes event at The Foundry, served in a snifter. Pours a deep, opaque coffee brown with a finger of tan head that we had to wait for a minute to settle. Aroma of dark chocolate, a surprising amount of dark fruit (fig, raisin, dates), coffee, vanilla, and some earthy, citrusy hops. Those show up in the flavor, too, along with dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, and root beer. Medium-bodied, with a smooth, rich mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Another nice, big anniversary Black Butte.
michaelinwa (627) - Bothell, Washington, USA - AUG 8, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2013 Pours black with thin disappearing head. Aroma is very complex, with notes of fruit, chocolate, sweet malt, vanilla, and more--about as nice as it gets. Taste is lighter and less complex than the aroma would suggest. Consists of roasted malt, raisins, figs, licorice, cherries, bourbon, wood, and a little alcohol bite, but it is all pretty subtle and nothing dominates. Mouth feel is relatively light, but not thin, and not sweet. A bit more stout than porter, but no problem there. Finishes slightly bitter, and more than I would prefer, but not bad at all. This is a nice beer, and I would only wish for a little more complexity and depth, but itís very good. It might age well, my only concern would be losing the barrel notes, and thinning out when I do not think it needs either. Update: aged one year in cellar. Holds up great. Still complex and interesting and tasty. Finish has less bitterness to it, which works for me. Still very balanced, but getting a focus of more malt, and has an overall sweeter flavor. Good stuff, maybe not interesting enough to age it.
DalzAle (2002) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - AUG 13, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dark black pour, lasting dark brown head and an aroma of boubony dates and chocolate. Flavor is creamy rich leather, vegetal figs, a little soy/smoke and a nice rounded finish of slightly warming bourbon. Nice beer all around and well priced. Not my favorite of the series though.
tennisjoel (1196) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - AUG 13, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark pour with adequate lacing, which is an off white color. Aromas of fig, bourbon, smoke, and chocolate. Complex concoction, with a kick from the ABV. Warming in the tummy, but not harsh, which is a positive. Flavors of bourbon, fig, and soy are presented. As with most beers in this group, this is much better served at a warmer temperature. A good beer to sip by a fire in the dead of winter, even though I happen to be enjoying it now in the middle of August.
boFNjackson (4186) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 15, 2012
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap @ Deschutesí Portland Pub... Poured jet black with a thick, frothy, eggy/off-white head. Nose had cocoa and a hint of roast. Thick body, actually a really nice mouthfeel. Probably the best thing about this beer is how it felt on the palate. Super fruity. Probably the fruitiest one from this series. With noticeable dates and other dark fruits. Even a hint of manderin-like tones. Some spice and heat in the middle of the flavor profile, but after swallowing this was resolved by clean malt and cocoa tones. Also some roast was there, but not too dominant. Some toasted sweetness too.
robforbes (2083) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - AUG 17, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
pours jet black with a small khaki head and some lacing.
smell is of cocoa, coffee, and a touch of vanilla.
taste is thick, dark chocolate, espresso, woody, and some dark fruits. ends somewhat dry and nicely bitter.
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - AUG 18, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I have never been uber-impressed by this beer but #24 was really good. On an extremely hot day no less. Big chocolate notes and a subtle almost pie like spice. Really mellow and a bit slick too.
BOLTZ7555 (2935) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 20, 2012
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Surprised by the subtle aroma because this oneís a beast. Brownie batter, fudge, dark bitter chocolate, graham cracker crust, marshmallow, cinnamon, smoke and dark fruit. This is as close to a Símores as a brew can get. Onyx pour that only shows mahogany around its edges. Small latte head that turns into a wispy film that, like a cloud, floats above the body. Rich, solid mouthfeel...sweet without being cloying. The spiciness makes this one interesting and encourages me to continue to lift the glass. Liked this one much better than XXIII...looking forward to XXV!
elgiacomo (745) - Ringgold/Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA - AUG 28, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz bottle. Served at around 45F and allowed to warm in the glass.
Pours black with a small light brown head that fades to a tiny ring and leaves a few thin lines of lacing behind.
Complex aroma of chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, figs, bourbon, vanilla, oak, anise, everything is balanced very nicely with no one aspect ever overshadowing the others. Very good strength.
Flavor kicks up the chocolate notes, nice dark roasted malts, dark fruits, the figs and dates feature well, anise, some sweet bourbon and vanilla come through particularly well at the finish. For being so fresh for a beer with a best-after date, the 11% alcohol is very well hidden...itís there, but minor.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, pretty sticky, low-ish carbonation.
Ultra-complex and very tasty. The bourbon plays well with the dates, figs and chocolate. A real treat. Gonna keep at least one bottle for the cellar, if not two.