Black Butte XXXIV
Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte XXXIVBlack Butte XXXIV
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Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Imperial Porter
Ranked #60
Ranked #3,866
4.23 | pDev: 4.49%
May 25, 2023
Jul 07, 2022
Black Butte XXXIVBlack Butte XXXIV
Notes: Brewed with chocolate, coffee, vanilla, milk sugar, and aged in bourbon barrels.
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Photo of draheim
Reviewed by draheim from Washington

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottle (packaged 6/23/2022) into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolatey brown/black with a thin mocha head.

Aroma is rich roasty malt, chocolate, espresso.

Taste is both bitter and sweet, malty, roasty, nicely balanced. Dark roast, chocolate, coffee, vanilla.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, again really nicely balanced, drinkable.

Overall a really well constructed imperial porter, not at all surprising from Deschutes. Safe to say they have this one pretty well dialed in at this point.
May 25, 2023
Rated: 4.24 by Sparky44 from Illinois

Mar 25, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island

Mar 23, 2023
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottled 6/23/22

Another Tavour bottle, finally getting to the end of my first box. This is my first of any Black Butte variants, a Porter I’ve been hearing about ever since I joined BA. In fact this is also my first beer from Deschutes overall. Let’s crack it open and find out what it’s all about

Pours a very dark brown with a finger of tan head that fades to a ring and leaves minimal lacing

For all the adjuncts in this one, the nose actually presents quite hoppy, yet still nicely balanced. I’m picking up on aromas of dark toast, herbal hops, raisin, fruity coffee, molasses, cacao nib, toasted oak, light bourbon, and black cherry

In taste it also keeps up its promise of balance. Huge flavors that never get in their own way. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting cocoa powder, dark cherry, dark toast, dark roast coffee, burnt caramel, light bourbon, and molasses. The swallow brings notes of earthy bourbon, burnt toast, molasses, raisin, dark cherry, sweet vanilla, cocoa powder, fruity coffee, and light oak

A medium body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a slick beer with a bite. Finishes somewhat chewy, but dries out and goes down really easy for 11%

This is great. Greater than the sum of its parts in fact, so I had to bump the overall up to reflect that. I wish I got more
Mar 21, 2023
Photo of Knapp85
Reviewed by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Rich deep black pour, tan colored head, good lacing and retention. The smell has a nice roasty aroma, subtle coffee, vanilla and bourbon. The taste has a light chocolate sweetness upfront, some vanilla that settles into a bitter oaky char finish. The feel is chewy but finishes dry. Overall I have to thank jzeilinger for tossing one of these my way. Quite possibly the best Black Butte I’ve had in recent memory!
Mar 11, 2023
Rated: 4.06 by mdfb79 from New York

Feb 28, 2023
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Reviewed by UWDAWG from Washington

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle dated 6/23/22 into a snifter.

Look- Black, opaque, light brown frothy head, no visible particulate, above average head retention and lacing.

Smell- Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, medium strength of scent.

Taste- Coffee, toasted barley, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, medium strength of flavor.

Feel- Between thin and medium body, average carbonation, high bitterness, silky, mildly creamy, mildly mouth warming, mildly astringent.

Overall- Appearance was black and opaque with above average head retention and lacing. Bouquet was a pleasant mix of coffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla at medium strength. Flavors followed fairly close to nose with medium strength, but some toasted barley notes were prevalent. I expected the body would be a more robust. This beer had a high bitter character and some mild astringency. Overall the experience was pleasant, but did not live up to my expectations.
Feb 26, 2023
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Reviewed by dd53grif from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A Tavour Treat. Pours a dark brown color with a minimal head that lasts quite a while. Aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Taste is black coffee and roasted malts. Starts sweet and finishes slightly bitter with a good alcohol warmth
Feb 26, 2023
Photo of jkblr
Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottled 6/23/22 poured into a perfect pint glass at fridge temp 11% ABV. The beer pours mostly black with brown edges and light brown head. No lacing. The head recedes to a thin ring and island. The aroma is moderate in strength featuring bourbon, coffee and vanilla. The taste is semisweet dark chocolate with the coffee coming through next before light bourbon and vanilla. Mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium plus bodied with just less that average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. ABV is well hidden with just a touch of ethanol heat. Overall, very good.
Feb 18, 2023
Photo of jzeilinger
Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottled on: 06-23-22

A - Pitch black with dense toffee colored creamy lacing floating around the perimeter.

S - Chocolate roast, chocolate char, Bourbon, and coffee.

T - Starts with chocolate roast and char followed with a shot of coffee bean, there's a brief moment of vanilla before finishing with a perfect blend between the two with a lingering chocolate bitter sweetness.

M - Big medium body with a little bit of frothiness around the edges.

O - Fantastic as always!
Feb 14, 2023
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Rated by Pivopijak from Washington

3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
IBU: 40
Off-white head. Quite dark, nearly black appearance, with slight caramel tint. Slightly sweet, heavily toasted malt flavor.
Feb 05, 2023
Photo of sjrider
Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle pour- dark as night with short khaki head leaving a bit of frosty lacing. Nose is slightly sweet chocolate and vanilla with hints of roasty malt and coffee. Taste follows with notes of barrel wood and a bit of boozy warmth that lingers on the finish.
Feb 03, 2023
Photo of Bitterbill
Reviewed by Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bought at Liquor Shed in Casper. Bottled June 23rd 2022.

It pours what looks like pitch black with a small head of tan foam but it appears to be sticking around for the entire session. Lacing is decent.

The smell is loads of dark chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla, mild coffee, and a bit of sweetness.

The taste is wonderful. Dark chocolate with some sweetness, Bourbon is there but doesn't overwhelm the other flavours, vanilla, coffee that I notice mostly in the finish. Everything seems to be in its place as intended.

Close to full bodied, carbonation is mild, this is a real treat. I might have another later.
Jan 26, 2023
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Rated by Furlinator from California

3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
From the bottle at home on 12/31/22.
Jan 01, 2023
Photo of bluejacket74
Reviewed by bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 ounce bottle, packaged on 06/23/22, thanks again to Brutaltruth for this brew! Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stuck around a while. Good amount of lacing, too. The brew smells like coffee, cream, chocolate, vanilla and some roasted malt. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also some burnt/charred malt, bourbon, licorice and oaky flavors noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. I liked this one, it's a good overall brew. Certainly worth picking up if you get the chance!
Dec 30, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by jakecattleco from California

Dec 30, 2022
Rated: 4.16 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois

Dec 21, 2022
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottle from Boise Co-op. Dark, opaque brown, spotty beige head. Full roasty aroma with latent boozy notes. Taste is bitter roasty malts, dark chocolate, minor coffee flavors. Thick, warm, lasting bitterness.
Dec 21, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Dec 20, 2022
Photo of Wasatch
Reviewed by Wasatch from Colorado

4.84/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
12 oz. Bottle
PACKAGED ON: 06/23/22
Bottled Conditioned

Poured into a Westy glass a very nice dark brown/black color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which leaves some pretty nice small island's/medium-size oil slick in the glass, and some nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes, pretty nice coffee note, vanilla, some oakyness, very nice bourbon note, licorice. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, chocolate/toffee, coffee, vanilla, with some very nice oak/bourbon notes, licorice. Full body, ABV is hidden very well. Overall, a very nice brew, a very nice sipper, very tasty!
Nov 14, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by archero from Texas

Nov 12, 2022
Photo of Tilley4
Reviewed by Tilley4 from Tennessee

4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Delicious stuff...

Their aim was a tiramisu flavor and they nailed it....burnt sugar, rich cocoa, hints of vanilla and also a touch of bourbon....

If it was a bit fuller, this would be next level's 90% as full as I wish it was...that's not a complaint's absolutely delicious...delicious....
Oct 22, 2022
Rated: 4.04 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Oct 19, 2022
Rated: 3.98 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania

Oct 02, 2022
Photo of ilikebeer03
Reviewed by ilikebeer03 from Texas

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pour is black with a khaki head. decent retention. good lacing.
Nose is coffee, vanilla, latte, hints of roasted malt.
Taste is coffee, chocolate, warming alcohol, roasted malt, char, a hint of bourbon barrel on the finish.
Oct 02, 2022
Rated: 4.45 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Sep 25, 2022
Rated: 4.09 by Dope from Massachusetts

Sep 24, 2022
Photo of VashonGuy
Reviewed by VashonGuy from Washington

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Black Butte 34 is another excellent anniversary beer from the folks at Deschutes. It's a little different than the typical bourbon barrel aged ale. There's less bourbon and less barrel influence than usual. That's good, not bad, as it means that the bourbon doesn't overwhelm the other flavors.

So what you get is a blend and a balance, with coffee and cocoa, and roasted malts. There's some vanilla, and it's slightly sweet. There's quite a bit of coffee. There's not much bourbon, but I'm fine with that. There's some oak in the flavor.

Overall, it's quite good, more subtle than many BBA beers.
Sep 16, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by NickThePyro from Washington

Sep 08, 2022
Rated: 4.23 by smithj4 from New York

Sep 07, 2022
Photo of russpowell
Reviewed by russpowell from Arkansas

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours an effervescent mahogany with a thumb+ of mocha colored head. Slightly below average head retention, a little better lacing

S: Cocoa, vanilla, faint roasty & coffee notes, caramel as well once warm

T: Follows the nose, a little stronger coffee presence & a kiss of barrel as well up front, along with dryness. Coffee asserts itself more as this warms, some vanilla, a kiss of barrel too. Finishes, roasty, sweet with a little barrel & even less coffee

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, warming

A solid offering, wish the barrel was more in your face, otherwise very well done
Sep 06, 2022
Photo of ScaryEd
Reviewed by ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle.

Pour is jet black with a thin caramel head. Not much retention but that's expected for a beer like this. Leaves a ring of lacing around the glass.

Strong aromas of vanilla and bourbon up front, with a heavy wave of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, and toffee.

The flavor has vanilla and bourbon, as well as a fair amount of char, oak and leather. There's also chocolate, coffee and hints of cherry cola. A little nutty and roasted on the finish.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Hides the booze quite well.

Overall, definitely a great BA Imperial Porter. The bourbon doesn't dominate the flavor, as it does with many BBA beers, allowing a depth of flavors to shine through. Nice beer.
Sep 01, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by Lukass from Ohio

Aug 30, 2022
Photo of puck1225
Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Purchased a bottle at my favorite beer shop in Dallas.

Poured into a tulip glass. Rich dark brown color with good initial beige head and excellent curtain lacing. Smell of cocoa and coffee, taste follows this with a pleasant intense flavor of dark chocolate and French roast coffee. Some vanilla and a nice warming booziness. Wonderfully silky smooth feel, very luxuriant. I enjoy these imperial porters and look forward to next year.
Aug 26, 2022
Photo of Brutaltruth
Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This solid little brew pours a dark
and murky black with thin dark tea highlights and a nice head of khaki foam
that subsides to a thick ring, thin wafting layer, and shows some light lacing.
Nose of dark cocoa, vanilla, cream, char, and rich bourbon. Flavors
surpass the nose with dark cocoa, vanilla, cream, deep char, smoke,
tobacco, dark fruit touches, heavy bourbon, oak, and more smoke and
char. Nice mouth feel; full body, smooth, coating, rich, lightly
warming, and finishing with a bitter malt / char / and smoked finish
that is very nice and inviting!


Aug 19, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by Birdlegs from Washington

Aug 14, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Aug 12, 2022
Photo of jmdrpi
Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz bottle, dated 6/23/22

black in color, thin tan head than fades to a thin ring. big aroma of mocha coffee, brown sugar, a bit of bourbon barrel. similar flavors in the taste, a little bit of mild chocolate sweetness in there. medium to full bodied.
Aug 06, 2022
Photo of Scotchboy
Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
A return to a classic, this reminds me a lot of XXI, my favorite birthday porter vintage from Deschutes. Pours nearly opaque brown/black with a tan head. Strong notes of espresso, whisky, oak, coffee beans, some lighter impressions of vanilla and mocha/chocolate, this is beefy one, but surprisingly with the amount of barrel character its not as boozy as you would think. Very, very good.
Aug 04, 2022
Photo of BEERchitect
Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
While it may still be warm outside, the forecast is black. The season of black is back and in full swing when Deschutes rolls out their annual Imperial Porter variation. This year's rendition is laced with chocolate, coffee, vanilla and milk sugars for a nudge into that savory pastry realm without getting too far away from what they want this bourbon barrel aged porter to be.

Black Butte XXXIV hits the snifter with a jet black appearance and easily disguised as stout. With an onyx-like sheen, the beer crowns with an espresso-like creme. Sharp aromas of espresso roast, cocoa, whisky and oak fill the nose with a robust and masculine perfume. Equally as bold on the tongue, the first sip is boastful with savory roast, molasses, toast, toffee, and cream.

As the flavors unfold on the middle palate, the dark roast coffee remains while the bulk of sweetness starts to immediately fade away. With elements of burnt toast, walnut, baker's chocolate and a soft smoky taste, the beer favors the roast of grain over that of sweetness. Softened with the additions of vanilla and cream, the late taste is bitter with a woodsy bite and chicory spice while nuanced bourbon flavors of burnt coconut, caramel and candied pecan, the beer closes on a dry and assertively woodsy note.

Full bodied and robust with creamy roast, a dry nougat character frames the beer's mouthfeel even with the whisky warmth provides a peppery spice to close, the beer finishes roasty-sweet and witih a long aftertaste of smoldering embers, burnt cream and bourbon spice.
Aug 02, 2022
Black Butte XXXIV from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 42 ratings