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Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

178 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%


Brewed by:
Alameda Brewhouse visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Smooth, rich and creamy. Rye malt blends with roast and chocolate malts to create a new and delicious stout profile, balanced with soft and velvety hops. This northwest original is poured using the traditional nitrogen dispensing method, so it may take an extra minute to arrive, but the wait is worth it. The Black Bear won the Gold Medal at the 2003 GABF in the foreign-style stout category."

6.8% ABV 50 IBU

(Beer added by: RedDiamond on 02-20-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bear XX Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 94 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

"Bottled on 12/21/12"

Foreign/Export Stout, should be ok, right? Well, here goes.

Into a pint glass and a snifter:

A: the pour looks like pouring motor oil (pure jet black color) with the same colored body, both have an enormous three finger head that seems like it just doesn't want to die, wow, what a nice show as the lacing is strewn in foamy bubbles

S: a super huge amount of roasted coffee notes coming through in a slightly bitter way, backed up by a decent amount of roasted malts

T: mainly bitter and roasty, there's an aspect about this beer that tells me it wants to own you as something dark and harsh pervades and pounds my mouth, super dry roasty somewhat coffee-like aftertaste with a just a plain dry finish

M: she sits about a medium on my mouth and tongue and wants to try to be gentle yet that same dark harshness comes back, carbonation is fairly smooth

O: honestly, I think this is just an ok foreign/extra stout, it has a fair amount of good aspects that try to showcase some good things about it, but still when I look at it as a whole, I just can't seem to think to give it that next higher number. Maybe I just need to try it fresher.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 19:12:25 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of BastardKing24
BastardKing24

Oregon

4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love trying new breweries and this is my first for Alameda. This could be a make or break for trying more of their beers.

Pours a very dark black with a big mocha head that sticks around for a bit and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell is Coffee and chocolate with more dark roasty malt notes. A hint of fruit in there as well, cherry and plum.

Taste is very coffee like, with molasses, chocolate, bitter hops, and a lingering creaminess that is wonderful. It starts velvety with the cocoa and coffee, and then continues with a medium hop aspect that doesn't last, and then more coffee and toffee, malty in the end.

Mouthfeel is velvety, with medium carbonation.

Overall I like this and think I will try more from Alameda.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 02:54:16 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of Kuaff
Kuaff

Alaska

4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I drank this stout at cellar temperature, in a snifter.

Named after the black bear, this is, appropriately, a black beer. And it's got a beautifully billowy beige head (two fingers high) that leaves flawless lacing as it recedes. Real pretty-like.

The aroma is a womp of chocolate milk, dark cocoa, and coffee. Traditional, straight-forward stout notes, burly in all the right places. Though there might also be a little pine and citrus mixed in, kind of like a black IPA.

All of that chocolate and ceffee fills the flavor big-time, with some great earthiness in the aftertaste. The middle is a bit tart in the way some stouts are.

It's pretty well-carbonated, maybe slightly too much. But it's a minor gripe, really.

I'd recommend anyone who likes stouts meet this bear.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 17:44:03 | More by Kuaff
Photo of HappyPappy2X
HappyPappy2X

Oregon

2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Very dark beer with mild sized head. Coffee crema colored head.

Smell: Slightly sweet, grassy aroma, very mild-smelling.

Taste: Thin and cloying, rather than 'rich and creamy' as advertising states.

Mouthfeel: Light. Is not creamy as description and nice head would seem to promise.

Overall: Doesn't match Stout elements for style. More of a dark cascadian IPA. Very light mouthfeel and heavy hops bittering throws one off from thinking Stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 20:21:30 | More by HappyPappy2X
Photo of Braz
Braz

Washington

3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at Top Foods.
Looks very appealing. Dark rich brown/black, with a sudsy tan head. Aromatics are roasted yet there is some sweetness that comes through. Taste is also roasted and coffee like. Kind of dry. I can taste the rye a bit and there is a woodsy character to it. The feel is very velvety, smooth and creamy. Overall I enjoyed this and would have again when in the mood for this style.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 23:30:00 | More by Braz
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, floral, light pine, light rye, and floral/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with a fair amount of hop presence; and great strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, coffee, toast, dark bread, light rye, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount or roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, coffee, toast, dark bread, light rye, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a fair amount of hop balance; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent foreign stout. All around great balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a fair amount of hop presence; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 05:00:05 | More by superspak
Photo of lighthabit
lighthabit

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

notes to myself -

bomber is sweeter than on tap. bottle is wonderfully chocolate stouty yumminess. tap was good, also (f/stop on 6/15/13), but a bit more cocoa than chocolate in the flavor, and a bit drier on the finish . . . not worse, just different.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 06:05:57 | More by lighthabit
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Alameda Brewing 'Black Bear XX Stout' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with a medium size tan head , leaving a spotty lace along the pint glass

S-chocolate , dark fruit , also some pine hops

T-rich smooth and creamy tasting with enough hop in the back to balance this brew

MF-ok/good carbonation , medium to full bodied

Ov-ok/good bear , err beer , yes I'd buy again

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 03:48:17 | More by LampertLand
Photo of Hoptometrist
Hoptometrist

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass

A- Poured black with frothy mocha head that left some splashy lace

S- Dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt. Very balanced and pleasant aroma for a stout

T- Big bittersweet and chocolate chip flavors, blackberry and dark fruits, roasted coffee, light vanilla, and light vinegar notes. Incredibly complex stout with all the flavors I love in a stout, very balanced flavor profile

M- Very creamy and smooth, dry, medium body. Really nice silky mouthfeel and incredibly easy to drink

O- One of the best stouts I have had in the past year. Reminds me a lot of favorite, Lion Stout. I love the blackberry/dark fruit flavors I am getting out of this that compliment the chocolate and roasted notes.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2013 03:33:30 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of WalterHeisenberg
WalterHeisenberg

New Mexico

4.81/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aggressive pour into pint glass
A: Dark black coffee colored with thick espresso colored head nice lacing. Great head retention.Looks like an espresso!Looks just awesom!
S: Dark roasted caramel malty bready chocolate coffee. Smells as great as it looks!
T: Coffee caramel malted bitter cherry cholocate then bready malty then coffee very slight hop bitterness.All balanced super well. Tasty tasty. No hint of the 7% whatsoever ever!
M: Smoothsilky smooth.Thick and syrupy
O: A very tasty treat. Super rich Malty but not too sweet not bitter at all . Usually dont like overly sweet beer.being a hop head. Looks tastes smells just great. Really balanced no booze at all. Top notch Stout.Grab one quick if you can.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 00:38:11 | More by WalterHeisenberg
Photo of Slammy
Slammy

Oregon

3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Just bought this 22 oz. bottle at Whole Foods in Portland, Oregon for $3.99.

A: Noticeably syrupy as it is being poured out of the bottle, this deep, molasses colored stout is entirely opaque. The rich tan head was quite minimal - one cm at best - and foreshadowed an underwhelming experience. At 7 percent ABV, I was expecting a fuller head that lasted longer. This one, however, dissipated within 20 seconds. Lacing was minimal throughout the drinking, which, after seeing the pour, I was not surprised.

S - This was definitely the weak point of the beer as there was little aroma to discern. I got some nuttiness and a hint of alcohol, but - probably due to the lack of head (perhaps this is just a bad bottle?) - there was so little for my olfactory system to interpret.

T - The taste made me somewhat forget the underwhelming aromas. I was able to detect light hints of pistacho and molasses, the latter of which was surprisingly light.

M - This is definitely a creamy beer. After quick carbonation on the tip of my tongue, the beer was very smooth and syrupy, which was not unexpected after watching the pour. This aspect, to me, was the highlight of the beer.

O - Well, I can't say that I was thrilled with the beer, but I would drink it again. I'm guessing that it would be better on tap, which I will try the next time I am close to the brewery. Hopefully, it will be a better experience.

Edit: I just noticed the bottle date was VERY recent (12/21/12). Perhaps this beer would do better with some aging.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 21:44:24 | More by Slammy
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased about 4 months ago at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $4.49, and forgotten about until now. According to the just-noted freshness date, this was bottled December 6, 2011.

Poured a shade of brown so dark as to virtually be black. Holding the glass up to light only makes the absolute edge look a lighter brown. Decent sized tan head dropped after a few minutes.

The nose on this beer isn’t terribly strong. I get coffee and brown sugar, and that’s about it.

The taste is similar to the smell. Bitter, coffeeish notes balance the sweet, brown sugary elements in a competent, unspectacular manner. A subdued hop zap announces the swallow to the tastebuds.

Medium bodied, with a slightly coating mouthfeel.

A decent, unspectacular beer that I will try at least once more when I have a shot at a fresh bottle and if required, will amend my review accordingly. As it stands, it’s a good stout, not a great one that requires any kind of fevered search.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 22:17:04 | More by woemad
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A big, rocky tan head forms atop the black liquid and leaves quite a few strands of lace behind

Smell: Chocolate, licorice, pumpernickel, rye and a fruity aspect

Taste: Surprisingly fruity, up front, with a slightly tart black cherry character that complements the ensuing expected flavors of chocolate, licorice and burnt pumpernickel toast; while the hops add another dimension in the middle, after the swallow, some lactic sweetness slips in to offset the bitterness; the tart fruit flavor, however, lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot of different flavors are packed into this beer; while the tart fruit elements have turned off some reviewers, I rather enjoyed that aspect of the flavor profile

Thanks, mdaschaf, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 00:03:21 | More by brentk56
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks awesome on the pour. Black as night, with a robust dark mocha head.

The aroma is roasty, with some chocolate and dark fruits.

A little sweeter taste, roasted malts, and more dark fruits. Pretty much mirrors the aroma, just a bit more complex.

Feel has a nice creaminess to it, medium, slick feel.

Quite nice, one of the better Foreign Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 02:24:03 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of RJLarse
RJLarse

Washington

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Black Bear XX Stout at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black color with a modest tan head.

Smell is a roasted coffee aroma.

Taste is also a bitter coffee and dark chocolate flavor,

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry bitter aftertaste.

Overall a very good stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 00:56:41 | More by RJLarse
Photo of Bookseeb
Bookseeb

Washington

3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a very dark almost black with very little head and lace. Aroma of sweet dark light roasted malts, bitter chocolate and coffee having a dark fruit note. Taste of the previous aroma with a light bite from the hops leaving a light bitter roast in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to full with a light carbonation. A nice enjoyable stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 03:36:29 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap with dinner tonight. What a pleasant surprise.

Black with a dense, brown head with good retention and nice lacing, this looks pretty good. The nose is surprisingly good. Creamy chocolate, mild coffee, more cream and some rye spiciness, there's also some licorice present. The palate is a blend of cream, sweetness (more lactose than caramel) with creamy chocolate, a mild bitterness, a flavor that makes me think debittered malt, a little bit of rye spiciness. The licorice comes through on the mid palate. Not as roasty as I was expecting, but not surprising given the style. Sweet on the finish with lactose, chocolate, coffee and minimal bitterness, this beer is medium-light in body and has a wonderful, creamy carbonation. It really is nice on the palate. Yummy, I'd drink this again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2012 04:47:20 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured jet black with good carbonation that leaves a small tannish cap which quickly resedes leaving a mere bubble, small cap and zero lacing. Uncharacteristic of this style.

S: Deep roast, with coffee, light chocolate

T: First sip reveals deep roasted malt, coffee, good amount of bitterness lingers with a dash of chocolate. The finish is rather dry, light booze, more lingering cofee and bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied, wl carbonated, big dry roastiness with coffee sit on the palate

O: Good. i can see why this one GABF medals.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 02:13:07 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark viscous brown and thin brown head with good retention. Coffee, herbs, and chocolate aromas with a hint of orange peel. Flavor follows with a light roasted linger that deepens gradually with traces of cocoa. Creamy medium-bodied feel.

A complex and flavorful stout, this is not one to have several of but to sit back, sip, and enjoy. Its feel is smooth enough to compliment the taste and the roasted bittering is not overpowering. A well-done beer to have from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 22:17:33 | More by Bfarr
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Very thin mocha head. For how thin it is, it hung around for quite a while. Some sticky lacing. Black body. Less viscous than I would have guessed.

S- Mocha. Chocolate and coffee. Toasty malts. Brown sugar and caramel. Just sweet and nice smelling. Could be richer.

T- Bitter roast malts. Sweet in finish. Coffee is definitely present. Chocolate doesn't show up.

M- Extremely thin feel. Semi-dry finish. Not very impressive.

O- Great smell, above average look and taste, but weak feel. Above average brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2012 03:58:07 | More by Murrhey
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the rotating taps at Post Street Ale House in Spokane.

It was on Nitro and was served after a loooong pause in pour. The beer comes in an imperial pint and is jet black with a Massive dark tan head.

Aroma of roasted malts and a bit of coffee. Could be turned up a notch.

The taste is of darkly roasted malts, a bit of coffee and some raisins.

The mouth is soft (thanks nitro) but thins in the end.

This could be a good session beer but for the 6.8%....

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-29-2012 21:37:41 | More by Redrover
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served Imperial pint glass. Poured a typical solid black, with over an inch of thick, tan head that had decent retention and OK lacing.

Nicely roasted scents greet the front of the nose and the expected solid malts fill the rest of aromatic aspects. The flavors were also just about what you expect from the style, nice roast, earthy malts and just a hint of mellow hops.

The body was about as full as you'd expect, smooth and not overly heavy. Drinkability was good, if you like the big stouts you'll drink a few of these. Overall, a good, solid example of the style, one that's certainly worth trying when you see it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2012 01:50:21 | More by beertunes
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a tan head, good retention and lace.

Aroma of cafe mocha, brown sugar, black licorice, quite bready.

Pumpernickel rye bread, black strap molasses, piny resin, coffee, tobacco, salty black licorice, burnt caramel, solid (tar-like) bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

Body is rich and creamy, perhaps a little too full, but it is more of a protein shake than residual sweetness.

Certainly has a bit of domestic and PNW flavour (that you don't find in many export stouts), but it's one hell of a brew!

I'm glad they decided to export this to the foreign land of Canada!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 00:39:28 | More by Derek
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black brew that looks thick and creamy pouring out of the bottle. Impressive for a 7% ABV beer. Just over one finger of tan head forms and hangs around for a long time before settling to a thick cap. A blanket of lacing is left down the glass during consumption. One of the best looking stouts I have seen.

Surpisingly sweet malt aroma comes through. Definately expecting something roasted. Hints of chocolate and malted milk balls and something fruity tart deep underneath.

The flavor is not as deep as I was hoping. Not much roasted qualities and not bitter at all. This drinks more like a porter imho. A little bit of tartness. Some earthiness and citrus from the hops. A few yeast tannins slip in as well that give this the slightest Belgian quality.

Impressive mouthfeel for a stout of this strength. Leaves many breweries RIS's wanting. Thick and creamy texture. Almost perfect carbonation.

An interesting stout that surprised me a little where it counts and that is the flavor. Not really roasted and bitter but with some tartness.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 22:28:58 | More by morimech
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black with a thin layer of frothy dark-tan foam. Pretty nice.

Smell: light roastiness which includes both chocolate and coffee notes. Quite pleasing.

Taste: light roastiness with a mild coffee character. A light tartness and mild bitterness are also present. Tasty enough, but kind of mild and boring.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a light carbonation. Decent.

Overall: a pretty mild export stout, but quite drinkable nonetheless. I would have this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 19:16:23 | More by flagmantho
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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.