1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

40 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 15.31%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

largadeer, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

WesWes, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

smcolw, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

ppoitras, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of plaid75
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

plaid75, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +2%

PEIhop, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

vfgccp, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of DefenCorps
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

DefenCorps, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

puboflyons, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Kmlund, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Kendo
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Kendo, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Barrington Brewery & Restaurant in Great Barrington, Mass., in a 3 oz. beer flight glass.

A: Black body with a frothy tan head. Zero visibility and decent head retention.

S: Nice, earthy, roasted malt, some coffee and cocoa as well as some herbal hop bitterness.

T: Big, roasted black malt flavors to go with the sturdy hop bitterness. Lots of charcoal, roasted coffee, bittersweet dark cocoa, wood and pine flavors are balanced with a floral, resinous herbal bitterness from ample hopping. Good stuff!

M: Full bodied, smooth and creamy throughout. Good balance with some lingering hop bitterness.

D: A very good American stout with plenty of bold, roasted flavor. A must-try and a solid option to take in a growler. Well-balanced, easy-drinking, big, rich and satisfying flavors and aromas all around.

Gambrinus1184, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of BeerSox
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

BeerSox, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of albern
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

albern, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of rorjets
4/5  rDev +2%

rorjets, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of sirsteve42
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

sirsteve42, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of MattXT
4/5  rDev +2%

MattXT, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Bear stout pours a rather viscous and motor oil-like and forms only a miniscule coffee-colored head.

The aroma that comes from this stout is pretty robust. It really reminds me of a super dark roast coffee. Such a great smell. There is also some bitter chocolate but that is about it as the roasty flavors of the dark malt just totally dominate.

The taste is an immediate reminder of a well brewed black iced coffee. So much of that bitter, roasty flavor is present with just some hints of chocolate fudge sweetness. This is very smooth and quite tasty stuff. It would go great with some barbecue!

Great stout, very roasty and toasty and delicious!

indiapaleale, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +2%

Tiernan, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of civicm87
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

civicm87, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of jbertsch
2/5  rDev -49%

jbertsch, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Stimack
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

Stimack, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

jondeelee, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of nebula1999
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

nebula1999, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of fitzy84
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

fitzy84, Aug 31, 2008
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Black Bear Stout from Barrington Brewery & Restaurant
87 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.