Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse
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Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Slammy:
3.18/5 rDev -19.1%
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.
02-21-2013 21:44:24 | More by Slammy
More User Reviews:
4.22/5 rDev +7.4%
Appearance This beer is black as night and has a beautiful nitro head. It comes up like Mt. St. Helens on a bad day and is very dark.
Smell This has a humongous nose. The dark, roasted malts are evenly mixed with some strong coffee grounds that are burnt to a crisp. I can catch some whiffs of dark chocolate as well and maybe some light brown sugar.
Taste The nose finds its way nicely into the taste. The malt flavors in particular are very rich and creamy. The chocolate came out strong on the tongue making this a very complex stout.
Mouthfeel This is medium-bodied and creamy with some good, strong bitterness. The nitro mouthfeel is glorious, of course, and combined with the bitter nature of the stout gives this one a terrific feel in between the cheeks.
Drinkability A high quality session stout? Yes, this does fit the bill. Its low ABV and smooth delivery can keep you going all night.
Comments I would have had to pretend to like it anyway since skyhand was sitting next to me and wouldnt shut up about how great it is, so it was a real bonus that I liked it so much.
09-27-2004 17:46:54 | More by RoyalT
4/5 rDev +1.8%
Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):
Slow-moving brown bubbles form a tight, well-retaining head. Stout black; nope, no light coming through here. Big chocolate nose with a spiciness layered within. Silky, creamy, smooth full-bodied brew. Cocoa powder, hint of charcoal, spicy rye and some coffee make their mark on the taste buds. Hops provide a great backup for balancing out the malt sweetness. Vague dark berries and a nutty yeast in the semisweet finish. Roasty bliss. Hefty, non- hyped Stouts are hard to come by these days, and this is one to seek out.
02-04-2011 02:09:14 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.9/5 rDev -0.8%
I got this one on tap at the brewpup, and I quite enjoyed it. This selection was on nitro tap, and was served to me black as night, with a luxurious tan head that looked creamy and persisted through the entire experience. The smell was nice, sweet molasses maybe and roasted grain. It was not a particularly strong aroma, though. Taste was a good balance of malt, chocolate, roasted grain, with mild hops underneath all the other well-balanced flavors. Nothing in this stout was overdone.
This stout was velvety smooth and felt great in my mouth and going down my throat. It was extremely pleasant and easy to drink, especially for such a big, bold stout. Definitely something I'll get again.
10-06-2007 16:22:32 | More by WonderfulSam
4.25/5 rDev +8.1%
Thanks to weefishheads for this opportunity.
Pours black with a solid tan head that melts to a thick ring of lacing lasting the entire glass.
Aromas are bitter coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, molassis.
Mouthfeel is not too thick...not too thin...just right.
Taste follows aroma....espresso coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, molassis sugars, then...surprise, citrus hops to finish and clean the pallette.
Aftertaste reminds me of a mocha coffee with only a touch of sugar sweetener.
This is a solid stout made for the purist.
01-09-2007 05:04:12 | More by IntriqKen
4.13/5 rDev +5.1%
A 16oz Yankee pint on nitro draft at Henry's Tavern in downtown Portland, from their '99 beers on the wall' (or something of the sort) concept. Why the hell not, my girl is still stuck browsing in Powell's, I'm sure of it.
This beer appears a solid, non-forgiving black void, with the slightest of basal cola highlights, which allows two fingers of tightly foamy, and playfully bubbly milk chocolate brown head, which renders a vista of three-dimensional mountain profile lace around the glass as it gently fades away.
It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, softly sour ash, medium bittersweet baker's chocolate, some middling dark fruit, and earthy, leafy, and somewhat piney hops. The taste is soft chocolate-ensconced caramel malt, a further dry breadiness, sour cream, subdued black fruit, oatmeal grain, and laid-back earthy, dead leafy hops.
The carbonation is very low (natch), yet pleasantly coddling, the body silky smooth, and dead to rights creamy. It finishes in kind, the now soft, and strangely smooth caramel malt and cocoa persisting above all.
A sexy American beer bar offering, if there ever was one. Chocolate, cream, malt, and a somewhat off-balance sourness, that eventually wends its way through your acceptance gates. Oh, and the nitro: from beginning to end, this special serving slides down like butter, but tastes way, way better.
07-08-2011 18:52:25 | More by biboergosum
3.75/5 rDev -4.6%
A: Interestingly the bottle was almost filled to the top of the brown bomber. Poured rich and viscous, very dark and safe to say "black as night" on this one. Rim of the glass holds bourbon colored hues. Creamy mocha colored head with adamant lacing. Good look and my interests were sparked!
S: sweet tart fruits, dark malts, and chocolate...smells different than expected
T: unique mixture I must say. Astringent sweetness, deep chocolates, roasted malts, crusty breads. Fruits are tart and of sour cherries and lemons, takes away from the overall experience. None the less it is quite unique...I'll give it that. Malts sit in the back and chocolate pushes its way in the finish to a semi-sweet chocolate chip feel...I do not pick up on much hops...
M: for a stout it is great! heavy body but very light on the tongue, soft and creamy. Borderline silk feel even with just a pinch of carbonation in it. The finish is dry, has grains, and makes me pucker
D: easily drinkable, I know that I will drink this one again, I am just having a hard time getting over the fruity sour-like characteristics. Not as if they are overpowering, but they are teasing this beer from being a awesome stout.
12-09-2008 05:20:17 | More by Magpie14
4.47/5 rDev +13.7%
Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a deep rich black hue topped by an inch of thick, creamy tan head. Beautiful aroma of sweet, rich roasted malt, with notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. Palate is rich and sweet - tons of rich roasted dark and chocolate malt, with notes of vanilla, mocha, milk chocolate, and a very mild hop bitterness. Finish is smooth and well-balanced between the rich malt and the subtle hop profile. Body is thick, smooth, and creamy, just wonderful. Goes down very easily for a strong stout. I'm a big fan.
04-03-2007 06:33:38 | More by ElGordo
3.6/5 rDev -8.4%
Thanks to psiweaver for this one by way of IS BIF 2. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Blue Point Snifter.
A: Viscous pour yields a solid, 2 finger dense, milk chocolate head with stubborn retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is outstanding. Great legs, frothy, and with excellent cling.
S: Aroma is heavy on the liquorice and roasted coffee beans. In fact, those are the only initial flavors I detect. A bit of subtle roasted malt lingers in the background but not much else. Aromatic but simple.
T: Opening is much like the nose. Liquorice, roasted malt, and coffee in the back. A slight hint of chocolate sweetness emerges in the background as this one warms up a bit. Bitter roasted malt is predominant throughout. Finishes with bitter chocolate. Aftertaste is oily, slick, and bitter.
M: Medium bodied with a solid amount of carbonation. Feel is oily and viscous and goes down real smooth. Drinks bigger than its ABV. Finish is accented and aftertaste lingers.
D: What this beer is, is a really good representation of its style. Flavor is very balanced and nothing really sticks out. Feel is appropriate and real heavy (in a good way) for its ABV. Drinkable too, as it goes down very smooth and silky.
09-28-2010 22:28:45 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.5/5 rDev -10.9%
22oz bomber, split, served as base for some experimental mussels
appearance: served in ommegang chalice, ebony body, light bubbly rim, some garnet hue
smell: smoke, roast, rye, cocoa
taste: dry, moderate roast, bitter cocoa, spicy rye, smoke, char, some light green hops, espresso. Not very memorable, but worked well with the shellfish
mouthfeel: uncharacteristically thin, creamy but lacking depth
overall: bizarre stout - quite drinkable but doesnt really fit the bill for the style
01-07-2012 04:43:45 | More by dirtylou
4.15/5 rDev +5.6%
Split a bomber with friends. Nothing surprising about the appearance, big and black with a tan head. I really enjoyed this stout because it wasn't the usual thick, chewy stout. Instead it was a touch lighter, like an export stout should be, with two dominant characteristics: dry roasted black malts and sweet cocoa chocolate. Heck of a beer, checkthis out.
04-25-2010 19:58:00 | More by tempest
4.5/5 rDev +14.5%
Poured into a pint glass; black with a thick inch of tan head.
Smells like chocolate, roasted malt and more chocolate. Great balance.
On the tongue: bitter chocolate, toasted malt, grippingly bitter with a caramel aftertaste.
Soft and creamy body with light carbonation... quite perfect.
Overall a simply amazing drink. Drinks like milk, only better for you.
04-07-2011 02:28:09 | More by Fatehunter
4.1/5 rDev +4.3%
Had a pint at Alameda Brewery
A: Black with a dark creamy foam head about 1 inch thick. No carbonation.
S: Smells like chocolate and caramel, with a hint of coffee taboot.
T: This stout was very fantastic. Tasted like a chocolate milk shake, with coffee overtones added. Not very hoppy, but at 50 IBU's it did taste a smidge bitter.
M: Very smooth, just like how a Nitro stout should be. Went down very easy.
D: I would prefer drinking the Nitro tap over the non-nitro. I would def. drink this beer again. It went very well with the Nachos I was eating.
01-04-2011 07:01:31 | More by bradleyp
4.28/5 rDev +8.9%
Oh man, I can tell why this got the gold medal at GABF in 2003.
Apperance - gorgeous! It has a nice thick brown nitro head and is a very deep black color
Smell - a good smell with some hop aroma, very malty smelling, and very inticing
Taste - Very good, big and malty with hints of chocolate and slightly nutty.
Overall - an excellent beer that once I had one I had to have another even though I wanted to try some of the othere from this establishment
05-01-2004 15:16:00 | More by Elemental
3.53/5 rDev -10.2%
Took a flyer on this on my bottletrek order...
Pours ebony with a sliver of mocha head. Nice viscous look, above average head retention & lacing
S: Coffee & cocoa powder, prunes
T: Lactose notes & sour cherry, plus some roasty malt character up front. Slight brown bread flavor, plus rye, oakyness, cherry stone dryness, plus a touch of cocoa as this warms, plus dark fruit & tannins; this verges on a Belgian feel. Finishes with baker's chocolate, bone dryness & prunes
MF: Dry, medium bodied, with moderate carbonation & stickyness
Drinks kind of slow, if your into very dry with Belgian influenced tendencies. This isn't my back, but I could see where some folks would love this
11-22-2008 04:32:48 | More by russpowell
Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.