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Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

100 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 100
Hads: 228
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 16.41%
Wants: 13
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alameda Brewhouse visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 02-20-2004

"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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bear XX Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 100 | Hads: 228
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Comes out of the tap an opaque warm sable with a bubbly tan head like the fizz on freshly-poured cola. Rich aroma has strong molasses and mocha tones, and is somewhat sweet but not too sweet. Superb, smoky flavor has quality coffee, molasses, nutty and chocolate tones, and is very enjoyable. Thick, fairly fizzy texture has a powdery hint and leaves a fizzy, smoky finish.

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Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To begin with, I like the name of this beer which accurately conveys a sense of the dark color and full body. Black Bear XX is opaque and comes served with a full finger of thick, light-brown froth that holds itself with some authority. The aroma is restrained yet tantalizing – a curious chocolate-mint. The flavor arrives in layers of chocolate cream with a splash of nuts and grain. It is predominantly dry with a robust malty body and an elegant finish. Rye malt adds a subtle complimentary balance. The mouthfeel, infused with nitro, is sensual and pleasing.

This beer won the 2003 GABF Gold Medal for Foreign / Export Style stout. Usually such ornamentations fail to impress me. In this case however, Black Bear XX lives up to high expectations of artistry and taste. This is truly a great Ecotopian brew.

I’ve revisited this beer on several occasions and have reaffirmed that its credentials are sustainable and intact. Black Bear XX is rich, chocolaty, and beautiful. You can drink it as easily in July as in January; like black silk on tap.

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Photo of IceEyes
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on nitro at the brewpub. An unbeleivably smooth stout with dry character, lots of roastiness, and a slightly bitter finish. And its not overly strong meaning that you can (and should) have more than one or two. The body is sultry and polished. Perfectly black. Truly a standout beer.

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Photo of freed
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Since muscles were on the menu, I decided a stout would be my drink. Plus, the beer had just won a medal at the world beer cup.

The body of the beer is an impossibly dark brown with an elegant nitro-foam cap. The small brown bubbles crest it to make a beautiful pint.

The aroma is somewhat hidden by the foam, but there are slight burnt toast and roasted malt aromas. Even at 50 IBU, the smell of hops isn't readily apparent.

The taste, and drinking sensation are amazing. The smooth and creamy feeling is silk like in the mouth, and the body, despite serious malts and hops, isn't the slightest bit bullish. Roasted barley, coffee, and slight chocolate flavors combine in what could has easily have been desert.

Granted, it went quite well with the muscles. I can't explain why that is, but it does.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Full ebony proclaims the appearance, not a streak of light seeps through, and a majestic cocoa cap holds guard on top, lush and creamy, an impressive looking stout, at the start.

Aroma begins with chocolate, molasses, spice, and bittersweet coffee tones. Earthy, gritty, rich...coffee grounds are now the primary senstation, overall an expansive, and flavorful nose.

Immensively full on the palate, at first swallow. Rich, dark, utterly satisfying. Plenty of grit and texture, flavors of syrup, rich chocolate, bitter coffee beans, tangible, and a touch tart behind the bitter.

Plump mouthfeel,... long, sticky finish,... viscous is an appropriate qualifier, but not too, this is very approachable for the stout fan. But definitely not a brew for those that shy from the darkness. The rest of us, we're in high heaven here. A stout lovers wet dream, not too strong, not too thick, but so full in all other respects that it fulfills our every need. Drinkability? Assured. When you're that tasty, you don't stand a chance in my glass, pal.

A very solid stout. So tired of middling versions, blase' people pleasers, so glad to find one with serious cojones, yet so simple to slide back the throat.

Thanks, Kim, for the growler!

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My buddy kindly brought a 22oz. bomber back from Portland on his recent vist to see his brother. $3.95 at Belmont Station, Portland, OR.

A: Pours a jet black almost inky color with a two finger caramel colored frothy head that leaves puffy cloud like lace.

S: Aromas of sweet caramel malt notes with a roasted mix. Noticed some licorice and chocolate malts on the second whiff. Smells very smooth and full bodied.

T: Tastes of sweet chocoloate and caramel malts blends with roasted malts. Very silky smooth and quite rich tasting. Not overly rich though, just that perfect taste that keeps you coming back for more.

M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are awesome on this offering from Alameda. Full bodied but very well balanced. Low carbonation allows you to fully taste the chocolate and caramel. This is what a stout should taste like. Two thumbs up for Alameda. If I had another, I'd drink it right now. I would love to try this on tap...Gotta get out to the Left Coast soon!

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Photo of ElGordo
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, poured into a snifter.

A thick ass 2-finger light brown head sits on top of a body almost pure black, with some reddish brown highlights. Retention is excellent and lacing is plentiful.

Big black roasted malt leads the way in the nose, with dark fruitiness, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate strong contributors as well.

This beer is a mouthful. Loads of sharp black malt is balanced with sweet chocolate, cherry pie and a hint of vanilla. Significant earthy hop bitterness. Great blend of flavors.

Nice mouthfeel. Very full bodied, and . A final sting of bitterness at the swallow is followed by a long lingering black malt/espresso finish.

Overall impression: Excellent stout. Easy to see why it won gold at the GABF a few years back.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Alameda brewpub, on nitro and on cask....the difference in enjoyment was pretty dramatic, and not as expected.

Appearance: Cask was black in color, with a weak, short-lived brown head. Nitro was also black in color, but the fine and creamy head was brown with a lovely reddish tinge, and was everlasting.

Nose: Cask sample had a sharp, powdery cocoa nose...like a dry chocolate cake mix, and thats it. Nitro nose was rich, sharp, and chocolately, but this time like a chocolate cake, complete with dark chocolate frosting. These notes were well-developed and yielded some intricate complexities.

Taste: Nitro sample yielded a rich and sharp raisiny-chocolate velvet malt base that opened up with complex bitter dark chocolate notes and subtle cherry esters in the transition to a sharp, roasty, lightly astringent dark bittered chocolate finish with strong lingering cocoa mass flavors.
Cask sample yielded similar but significantly attenuated flavors.

Mouthfeel: Cask sample was way too thin, almost watery! Carbonation was also a bit lacking, even for cask.
Nitro sample was wonderfully full and silky...working extremely well with the flavors and character of the beer. What a difference!

Wow, the nitro sample was drastically better than the cask version in almost every way. The nitro stout was very enjoyable, complexly rich, and masterfully balanced with a nice sharpness that love in dark beers. Scores are based solely on the nitro version.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Alameda Brewpub, Portland. $2.60 for a Happy Hour pint.
Listed as 7.0%abv, 50 IBU.

A: Absolutely pitch black, zero light coming through. A fluffy meringue-like ivory head, 1.5 fingers at least. Cascades of bubbles (thank you, nitro tap) - a gorgeous stout. Beautiful steady lace, also.

S: Robust toasted smell of chocolate malt. Rye, as well. A faint toffee sweetness, too, with a touch of hops to balance things out.

T: A rich, creamy beer - so full of chocolate malt with sugary sweetness and hop bitterness, all wonderfully married together.

M: Outstanding - with the caveat that the incredible velvety smoothness imparted by the nitro-tap gets 'bonus points'. Black Bear is well balanced, with full mouthfeel a mild lingering bitterness. Just enough carbonation to keep things interesting.

D: A fantastic stout. So smooth & creamy. Great flavor. A "must-have" pour if you're in Portland. May I have another?

A worthy two-time winner of the GABF "Foreign Style Stout" category.

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Photo of PEIhop
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - jet diesel back with ruby highlights around the outside of the one-finger foamy head
S - roasted malts and a nice dark-bitter chocolate
T - great taste here. Chocolate dominates the taste profile, but in a good way because it lets other players: subtle hops and coffee enter periodically into the taste. Well done!
M - I was expecting the body to be thinner, but it was quite full for the style.
D - one of the most unexpectedly delicious pints I have had in awhile. At 7% it is just out sessionability, but I could myself having a pint whenever I see it on tap.
Great beer!

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Written from notes. Sampled on-tap at Redbones during lunch on 11/15.

Thick and dense in appearance. Very black. Thick brown, creamy head that was glorious. Even more impressive layered, coating lace all around the glass.

Aroma was very subtle but deep and dark. Kind of like a low basson you cannot quite hear but you know is there and you find a pleasant feel from the low note vibrations.

Not a lot of anything but there was a little of a lot of things. Some slightly toasted malts with chocolate, vanilla and licorice. Kind of a dark bread flavor going on too. Slight hop bitters come through at the finish.

Very full body. It tried to be milky but was more creamy. Easy and smooth drinking. Not so much a cloying finish but more of a thorough finish. Very nice afternoon working my way through my pint.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep dark black with very little head that settles into a thin tan ring.

S-Chocolate malts with a nice grainy background and maybe a bit of hops.

T-Very nice. A bit of caramel malt on the front with some very nice grainy sourness in the middle and the finish. Surprising, but in a good way.

M-Nicely rich for the style and ABV with light to medium carbonation.

D-Big fan of this beer. I only brought one back from Portland but I would certainly enjoy more than one. Excellent.


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Photo of Kuaff
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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 wouldn’t shut up about how great it is, so it was a real bonus that I liked it so much.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of RedBiddy
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner beer glass. Nice three finger head that slowly slid down the side after each sip. The smell was of unsweetened chocolate and the taste was as smooth as Micheal Jordan's head with Brylcream. The mouthfeel was so pleasant I didn't want to swallow. Perfect carbonation. I would pass up many stores to obtain another.

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Photo of SRossman
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep dark brown, almost opaque black, with a frothy tan head that dissipates quickly. I hate to be vague but this looks like stout.

S: Roasted malt, mild hop bitterness, a faint chocolate nuance rounds it out.

T: Pleasant dark chocolate, roasted malt, sweet espresso. Rich flavors across the board.

MF/D: I love the mouth feel of this stout. The texture and carbonation are spot on. The body has a rich fullness to it and feels slick on the tongue. Moderate carbonation makes it very drinkable.

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Photo of Elemental
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks you theskinny.

A - Great pour as black as they come with a deep brown head an inch tall and having some solid stamina.

S - Deep dark chocolate and smooth rich coffee.

T - Long roasted malts with a nice burnt taste. There's no real cocoa presence but there is a bit of coffee. It fits the style very well.

M - Abrasive in the ending and finish. It has a nice creaminess and it goes down easy... probably too easy.

~ This is a very good beer. I recommend anyone with an avenue to the Pacific Northwest find this stout and enjoy it. Cheers.

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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.