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Black Bear Stout - Barrington Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Black Bear StoutBlack Bear Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

41 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 15.09%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Barrington Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by porter17:
Photo of porter17
4.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A rock solid stout that does the style proud (I believe that it weighs in around 5.3% ABV; it is a regular brew always on tap). Smooth and rich, this stout is well balanced with strong hints of coffee and a pleasing aftertaste. I have taken many a growler home from the Barrington Brewery and this brings out the one major flaw with their stout: it doesn't last long in the growler, going flat after very little time. So, drink this one first and save the others for later--you don't want to miss this quality beverage at its best.
Oh yeah, try it in a steak marinade. You won't be disappointed.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring an opaque black, Black Bear Stout opens with a rich, malty nose, smelling much like the interior of a brewery: heavily yeasty and ripe with grain aromas, somewhat resembling baking wheat or marble rye bread. The grain aromas are lighter than would be expected for a stout, with only subtle hints of darker chocolate and black malt aromas, as well as black coffee and ash. These are tempered by brown sugars and vanilla, and smell delicious.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a big, black mouthful of coffee grinds and tobacco, the bitter, charred flavors apparently trying to make up for their relative lack of presence on the nose. Huge on ash and char, these initial flavors are soon joined by bits of brown sugar, vanilla, pepper, and anise, but the latter flavors have to fight constantly to get themselves noticed, and often lose the battle--especially towards the end of the mouthful, as the sugars die off. The overall effect is somewhat like eating the burnt crusts of a slightly spiced and peppery loaf of artisinal wheat bread. The aftertaste is almost exclusively tobacco ash and black malt char, with just enough sugars remaining to make it palatable, and lingers for some time. Mouthfeel is a surprisingly watery medium to medium-light (given the potency of the flavors), and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there is certainly no doubt that this beer is a stout, and the word "black" in the title is equally opportune. As a whole, the beer does push slightly too far in favor of the charred flavors, somewhat forsaking them for the sugars, and I would have liked at least some discernible dark fruit esters (such as fig or black cherry) to help balance things out. Still, the beer is by no means unpalatable, and if char and ash are what you want, this will most certainly provide them in abundance.

Photo of grahuba
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of puboflyons
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewpub on July 26, 2013.

The pour is very enticing with its deep brown to near black color. The head is moderate. The look is top of the line.

On the nose I get a pretty obvious coffee grinds note and roasted malts. In some ways it smelled like a Porter.

The body was a little thinner than I might have liked but basically in line with Guinness.

As for the taste - again with the coffee grinds! There are also dark malts and a slightly dry ending. There were other brews in this pub I preferred.

Photo of fitzy84
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on the sampler at the brewpub. Great dark, oily appearance with a thin, brown-colored head. Pretty good aromas of bready, clovy, heavy smoked smells. Taste had a bitter finish with some chocolate but I would say esperro/coffee flavoring. Great mouthfeel: really creamy, medium-heavy texture. Great dessert-like drink. Overall, a good stout.

Photo of BeerSox
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap into 16oz pint glass.

Ptich black with a light tan head, sticky and stringy lacing.

Creamy aroma (sweet) sits over a smokey roasted base.

Dark and heavy bitter malts with a sweetness kicking in at the end. Very little hop bitterness. Full bodied with a dark grainy finish.

Pretty good, definitely a great session beer (< 5.5%ABV). Although I don't know the actual ABV, it has to be below 5.5%. I grabbed this one in a growler and took it home. It's such a great beer, probably one of my favorite stouts.

Photo of nebula1999
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Dyan!

The pour is dark but translucent, and in the glass it's an opaque black with two fingers of frothy head that slowly settles to a crown, leaving webs of lace on the glass. A beautiful stout.

Roasted malt, coffee and toast are first to greet the nose. Something about this reminds me of breakfast. The roasty, grainy quality is thoroughly enjoyable.

Roasted malt and coffee are prominent again on the tongue. Licorice and almost-burnt whole grain toast appear mid-palate. There's an acidic twang near the finish from the roasted malt, leading into a bittersweet coffee-like aftertaste. Dry on the whole with a slightly thin body for the style. This is a great stout on the whole, one I'd gladly revisit were it available locally.

Photo of civicm87
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of plaid75
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger creamy off white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a robust burnt grain, some chocolate malt and a touch of smoke.

The taste was likewise forward and brawny, with a sharp coffee, a smooth chocolate and a light floral hop.

The mouthfeel was average for the style with a dry finish.

Overall a very good stout. Very robust.

Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Domaney's in Great Barrington, MA. Dark blue-foiled cap, notched to purchase before December.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is promptly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with good lacing. Aroma is dark malts with a sweet uncurrent, lactic notes. Taste starts with rich dark sweetness, a peek of smoke in the middle, and a touch of lactic tartness at the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Good stuff.

Photo of Teddy-Pickles
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light does pass on the edge of the motor-oil brown color. The head settles to a set rim bubbles, but they do leave some streaky lace.

Very nice over-toasted bread aromas, just shy of burnt. Notable hop smell in the background.

The taste is more "burnt" toast. The hop is oddly less evident. The body is rich without being oily. The carbonation is correct for the body.

Photo of IanMcGuire
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery the other day. What an excellent beer.

The pour is quite gorgeous, black with a dense dark brown head with great retention and some lacing. The nose is great. I get a blend of dark chocolate, coffee, roast, some cream, and as it warms up, some licorice and a mild nutty aroma. The palate is robust, with a hearty bitter chocolate and chicory character, with a great roasty flavor mid-palate. Licorice then appears, before a long, roasty finish with a mellow bitterness. Hop character is low. Carbonation is medium, and the medium-bodied beer is quite good, though it seems just a little watery towards the end. Nevertheless, this was a great beer, and at $3.70 for a 22oz bottle, I made sure I grabbed a couple.

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome! It has a good mix of black and chocolate malts; coffee-like with a touch of chocolate. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth black/roasted malt character; dry and earthy with a touch of chocolate malt sweetness. It goes down quick and easy with a thin, dry finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good stout. The aroma is incredible. My only complaint is the lack of body and the carbonation level. It seems to have a tad too much CO2.

Photo of Sam21
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best if purchased before January notched on side of label.

Appearance - Black body wuth a milk chocolate colored head that looks creamy and leaves nice lacing. Head recedes somewhat quickly.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, light roasted notes, and caramel. Smells delicious.

Taste - Sweet up front with rich caramel and chocolate. Not picking up much roastiness, which I think would take this stout from good to amazing. Finishes with light roasted and smoky flavors mixing in with thick sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied. Oily smooth texture with a minute tickle on the tongue from the carbonation. Creamier carbonation would make it a bit more pleasant on the palate. A bit too heavy.

Drinkability - Definitely a drinkable beer. While not the overall best stout I've ever had, it is still a great beer. It's full flavored with a pleasantly sweet nose. Happy to have it as a local.

Photo of sirsteve42
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Great stout we got here. Had it on tap at the Barrington Brewpub and bought 5 22oz bottles to bring home after. Dark black in appearance with an inch high tan creamy head. Taste of espresso bitterness at the end with a great mouthfeel to it. The flavors linger for quite some time after drinking. The drinkability on this badboy is exceptional, i could easily drink this brew all night long. I recommend stopping off at Barrington if you are ever in the area. I stopped off on my way from New York up to Vermont. Cheers!

Photo of albern
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this when I visited the brewery. I tried the sampler and this was by far the hands down favorite of the 5 I tried. The beer pours a matte brown color with a nice creamy head. There is good lacing going on and a nice dark malt aroma in the nose. The aroma is not overly assertive but there is a slightly charred whiff or two that you can detect.

This is a low alcohol, very creamy, very smooth, maybe a touch watery stout. There is a slightly charred flavor to the beer, with a touch of bittering leafy hop towards the finish. There is plenty of roasted notes, but the beer isn't particularly chocolately. There may be some coffee flavors, definite dark crystal malt, with a slightly nutty flavor underneath, and a slight bittering and tartness that tightens the beer up on the back end. The beer is fairly light and very sessionable.

Photo of Stimack
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This brew pours to a dark black with a fairly good-sized dark tan head, which broke down pretty quickly but what is left has left a ton of lacing. The nose is so inviting with its roasted and burnt grains giving off aromas coffee, chocolate and slightly astringent charcoal. I could just leave my nose in it, as this is fantastic. The flavor is also very nice, as they are similar to what I noticed in the nose. Dark chocolate comes to mind with a bit of astringency that seems to add a notion of bitterness. I am not sure but would figure that the bitterness is a mix from the hop additions and the burn malts that where used. The bitterness in the brew is at the perfect level IMO. The tail end seems to have ever the slightest sour feel maybe a little lactose working? All of the flavors combine to make this brew excellent tasting. The drinkability on this one is through the roof; the only thing that I will note is that it does have a slightly watery feel. This was my first experience with Berkshire Mountain Brewery but I will have to give some of their other brews a try! Also the price point of $3.35 a bomber is a major plus!

Photo of rorjets
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of paulmcm
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Kendo
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 2/4/11. Bottle - purchased on Great Barrington at a local package shop for about $4 after snowtubing at Butternut - is notched with a freshness date of April.

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black with a smallish chocolate-brown head. Occasional legs, but no real lace.

S: Roasty malt, roasted coffee beans and burnt coffee.

T: First impression is not of the taste but the mouthfeel: it's thin, watery and yet at the same time somehow manages to be slick. . . . OK, back to the tastebuds. . . . There's some day-old coffee, some roasted barley and fruit-like sweetness. Finishes with an ever-so-slight roasted bitterness.

M: See above. Really surprised at the slickness.

D: OK. Not my cup of tea - err, stout - but not horrible either. At least it was inexpensive.

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Black Bear Stout from Barrington Brewery & Restaurant
87 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.