Black Butte XXXI
Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXXIBlack Butte XXXI
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Porter - Imperial
4.15 | pDev: 6.75%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black Butte XXXIBlack Butte XXXI
Notes: In Celebration of our 31st Anniversary, this year's imperial porter was inspired by Turkish Coffee and uses cold brew from our very own Scott Hughes of Third Rock Roasters.

52 IBU
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cherche:
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cherche from Washington

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 28, 2019
More User Reviews:
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erickc from Washington

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Special Brews Lynnwood, WA

Jun 26, 2020
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep dark brown. Opaque with a decent amount of tan head that fades away fairly quickly leaving minimal lacing but nice legs when swirled. Aroma is dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a touch of barrel. Flavor is very coffee forward with lots of chocolate and more bourbon barrel than the nose would suggest. The cardamom really can't be found which is a bit of a disappointment. Feel is light bodied but creamy. Overall a nice beer. Not my favorite of the anniversary series but certainly worth the price of admission.

Jul 31, 2019
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Waxed 22oz bottle poured into 14oz teku. Poured a solid black color with 1/4 inch of tan head that had low retention and lacing.

Coffee dominated the nose, completely covering up the base beer. Some bourbon did show through though.

Same on the tongue, all coffee at first, with bourbon following, bare hints of chocolate, and some beer.

The body was nicely full without being heavy, smooth, and had medium-dry finish.

Drinkability is gonna vary widely, depending on the level of amore for the Devils Brew. I hate it, and thought there was way too much in this beer.

Overall, the brewery probably hit their target, too bad the target wasn't worth hitting.

I've liked most of the releases in this series, and look forward to it every year. This one was one-and-done for me.

Dec 07, 2019
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Radome from Florida

3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tasted at a PKWY Tavern in Las Vegas, NV. I typically am a huge fan of Deschutes, especially their big, dark beers; however, this one is off the mark for me. There seems to be a great barrel-aged stout in there somewhere, but it is overshadowed by a heavy-handed cardamom addition. The sharp spice overwhelms any other flavors and mutes the complexity I'd expect from this beer.

Aug 25, 2019
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hreb from Washington

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black Butte XXI. Bottled on 6/11/19, 22oz, capped with wax. Served in a curved glass. The darkest brown and surprisingly fizzy as I pour, to form a nice brown head that quickly falls. Even only lightly chilled the aroma doesn't offer much but a bit of oak and booze. But the flavor is something else. Cardamom, spice, vanilla, layers of roasted barley and dark grain flavors. Through the middle the vanilla bourbon flavor dominates, but the finish is surprisingly clean, and the moderate carbonation really helps to keep it light on the palate -- when it should be devastatingly heavy. There's a hint of unsweetened cacao but I don't detect coffee enough to mention, according to my palate. Less chocolate than I'd like.

Ridiculously drinkable. Spice completely masks any strong alcohol flavor, and there's zero burn. Very impressive.

Feb 17, 2020
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ian_graf from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 06, 2019
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woodchip from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aug 24, 2019
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gferraro from Indiana

3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fast ok but great kick

Jul 28, 2019
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arizcards from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber from the Craft Beer Hop Stop 8-16-19 for $16.99. Bottled on 6-11-19; consumed on 10-17-19.

Beer poured black with a very nice off white head with the original pour.

Nose is coffee with a good dose of ginger along with a touch of roasted malts in the background.

Taste is light roasted malts, coffee with ginger, and chocolate. Bourbon heat is noticed in the background but plays a secondary role in the flavor influence. Finish is well balanced.

Mouthfeel is large bodied and very smooth and extremely satisfying!

Overall a nice twist on the Anniversary brew. The Turkish coffee twist is different but a good different!

Oct 17, 2019
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rab53 from Washington

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 15, 2019
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BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 19, 2020
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

T - Dark fruit, bourbon soaked cherries, coffee, dar chocolate, a bit of heat which seems to be spicy in nature.

S - coffee, mild sweetness

O - This beer has that milk stout/Mexican stout flora or to it, but it ends up being a bit too sweet. A very good beer. BTW, drink the entire bottle and the sweetness fades away

MF - heavy bodied, semi-dry finish. No alcohol burn. Smooth.

Nov 27, 2020
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stortore from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 6/11/19, had 3/28/20.

Pours a dark brown, semi opaque, with a half inch foamy head and some foamy lacing. Aromas of coffee, char, chocolate, malt, vanilla, oak, some bourbon, light cardamom. The flavor also starts with the coffee and more bourbon than the nose. Also, chocolate, vanilla, malt, light cardamom- more as it warms, some cocoa and caramel, light oak. Smooth, good medium to full body, well carbonated.

Really like this combination. The coffee is really good- and pretty dominant, the tempered cardamom is an excellent addition. My only complaint is that this could use a little more intensity in both the aroma and flavor. Still, very enjoyable.

Apr 15, 2020
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rkarimi from Colorado

4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dec 21, 2019
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mschrei from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Standard dark appearance, dark tannish edging, very quickly dissipating foam and lacing. First thing on the smell to notice is the spices that unfortunately overwhelm the coffe, chocolate, and malt notes. Taste is also spices first, but there’s more of a sweet chocolate, bitter coffee, and roasty malt presence with mild barrel undercurrent. Medium bodied, a hint of oiliness, not thin but not thick either, boozy presence. I’d like to let it warm and see how it develops, but it’s really too damn tasty with a well balanced flavor profile. I say this on every review of every edition of this beer: I always buy two-one to drink fresh and one to age. This may be one of the better ones fresh, and I look forward to having it aged.

Apr 04, 2020
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 12th straight year of the Black Butte Anniversaries, all reviewed except the infamous floating chocolate, non-bottled XXII. 22 ouncer split with my wife (& happy I don’t have to trade for them anymore!). And no shitberries added!

The pour is porter black, which is much better than season 3 of Orphan Black, which started out so promisingly. The nose is a nice mosh pit of barrel roast coffee & chocolate. These things are good.

Black Butte XXXI…you said butte! Coffee has the upper hand here, cold roast on a cool fall night. The barrel tastes light but suffuses the palate, getting into the sinuses & the soul. Bitter chocolate & light spicing that I’ll assume is the cardamom round out the experience; not much beer here. No booze, & soft for a big beer. Easy to sip.

Not the head of the Anniversary class, but another excellent entry in the series; there's something unique about this combo of ingredients that rings my bell. Bonus: rang up as $12.99 at the my local.

Sep 12, 2019
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Daniellobo from District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jan 25, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Helped me prepare for Thanksgiving!

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Dark brown color with nice initial head and decent lacing. Strong dark brown chocolate smell and taste. Coffee and warm spice flavors. Nicely smokey. Very nice beer!

Nov 28, 2019
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liquorpig from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jun 13, 2020
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mkh012 from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 6 months ago.

Pours near-black with a finger of tan head.

The nose is cinnamon, ginger, cherry, fig, chocolate, and wood.

The taste is coffee, chocolate, cherry cola, and gingerbread cookie. Mild boozy bourbon.

The mouthfeel is medium. Well-balanced and reasonably accessible for the ABV.

Overall, very nice. A warming spiced porter.

Dec 28, 2019
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iannutter from Korea (South)

3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 6/11/19 in Bend, OR, drank on 11/20/20 in Seoul, Korea! With a beer like this I think a little bit of age is a good thing.

At 12+%, I’d say this is a very drinkable brew. Love a Turkish coffee, and enjoy the heavy balances on either side of the fulcrum. A fun brew after a long week

Nov 20, 2020
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown / black with a nice light cinnamon head with good retention
Nose is cold brew coffee, upfront, follows by chocolate, soft bourbon, cardamom at the end
Taste follows. Coffee and cardamom upfront, followed by a delicious wave of chocolate and soft, oaky bourbon and vanilla. Cardamom reappears I’m the finish. Excellent beer.

Nov 02, 2019
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Zanico from Ohio

4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 25, 2019
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snaotheus from Washington

3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle in a sampler. Dark brown, big head, carbonation. Smells like spice wars. So much cinnamon. Taste is spices and chocolate sweetness. Maybe mole. Overall, not bad. Not my favorite.

Dec 30, 2019
Black Butte XXXI from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 52 ratings