1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

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

205 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 205
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 11
Gots: 11 | 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:
"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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bear XX Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 205 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dcscientist
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

This stout was excellent. I want to say that I had it cask-conditioned at the brewpub, which made it even more excellent. Great color, balanced flavor, and paired very well with my food. Thumbs up all around for this one.

dcscientist, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

RoyalT, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of cdkrenz
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

cdkrenz, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of mjl21
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland. 22 ounce bottle poured into a Moonlight Brewing glass. Comes in at 7%. No bottling info is given.

A-Based on the lighting in the room, it pours black. It has a one finger sandy head that dissolves to a nice foamy ring that surrounds a sandy cover. Has some nice lacing.

S-It has a nice dark malt nose that is nicely balanced. There is some roast malt, molasses sweetness, and mocha like qualities. It is a little nutty. As it warms citrus hops jump out and give it a nice uniqueness.

T-It starts off with lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweetness which reminds me of a freshly brewed mocha. Citrus hops are quite evident in the middle. It finishes with some chalky roast flavor. In between sips there is some lingering sweetness.

M-Thick and creamy. It is nicely carbonated.

D-A nice drinking stout.

This was recommended to me from one of the Belmont Station employees and I was impressed. Worthy of the awards it has won.

mjl21, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber back in the summer of 2008, and have been aging it in my cellar ever since. Tonight, my wife and I drank it for a special occasion, along with a dessert of chocolate cake. Poured into Brooklyn Brewery goblets. Dark brown color with a thin but thick beige head. Some lacing on the glass - not a lot. Smell had a nice roasted barley smell to it, with just a hint of pine tingling my nose. The taste was excellent. It really had an enjoyable flavor of burnt espresso, but with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel was moderate but not overly thick; it was on the smooth side. An easy stout to drink, and very tasty at the same time. A nice accompaniment to a rich dessert.

morebeergood, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A solid very black stout with huge tan head and a nice roasty nose. This is a drinking stout that has all the chocolate and roasted malt flavours but no sharp edges. Not the biggest stout on the block but very well put together and oh so drinkable. Worth buying

canucklehead, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just had at their Brewhouse.. following their wonderful IPA.

- Nice and dark... black with only an espresson brown at the edges... flowed nicely from Nitro to a sitting beer with a thick head about 1".. light brown and chocolate..

- Smell was mild.. little bit of coffee.. chocolate.. roasted maly and bitter finish.

- Creamy good flavor, chocolate, roasted malt... light bitter hopping... and just very good.

- Not dry at all... leaves a good stout flavor behind.. bit sour.. makes me want to slam more down...

- Super-good drinkability.. tastes so light and sessionable... but yet hides any strength it may posses. A good regular staple stout for anyone who loves a winner.

Docer, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of BastardKing24
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

BastardKing24, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

tempest, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert’s Bierhuis. Had been wanting to try this brew for quite a while so was very happy to see it on a local shelf. Quite enjoy export stouts and this is one of the higher rated American brewed examples of the style.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Transparent, very dark brown pour, almost black, yields a two finger, medium looking, light tan head with excellent retention. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp remains leaving lots of nice lacing down the glass. Very good looking porter.

SMELL: Lots of milk chocolate, sweet vanilla cream, lightly roasted aromas with caramel as well. Creamy nose, if that makes any sense. Nice and plenty forthcoming.

TASTE: Very flavorful. Some black malts and roasted flavors up front, with a smoky and slightly bitter finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of sweet caramel malts, roasted malt, chocolate, bitter hops and some burnt and charred notes. Very flavorful and plenty going on. Excellent export stout profile.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A touch lighter on the palate than hoped, creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly drier than expected.

OVERALL: An excellent, high quality export stout. I can certainly see why it boasts all the medals they’ve won on the label. Deserves every one of them. Very nicely done and impressive for a 7% beer. The feel could use a bit of beefing up perhaps, but the rest of the show is a treat. Glad this one showed up locally and if I see it again, I’ll be all over it. Highly recommended.

Jeffo, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

biboergosum, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of josiahschlender
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was on tap at the Green Dragon here in Portland.

Our server apologized for the head on the beer when he brought it out, saying it's too foamy being on nitro. It took up nearly 1/2 of the glass, being very creamy and tan colored. It slowly settled into the black body of the drink with time, but it remained one of the most persistent heads on a beer I've ever seen. Ridiculous lacing on the sides of the glass. Not convenient, but kinda cool.

I liked the smell. Very dark roasted malts. Almost charred. I also noticed quite a bit of earthy (almost dirty mushrooms) hops. It made me even wonder if this is dry-hopped for more aroma.

Malts and hops are abundant in flavors, as well. Again, it's very roasted tasting, with lots of earth and bitterness coming from the hops. Kind of unique.

The eternal, insistent head influenced the mouthfeel for a very creamy, full body that complimented the flavors well and finished dry. ABV of 6.8% was surprising to me, they hid it well in this brew.

Well done! This is a unique stout worth a try.

josiahschlender, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Henry's Tavern, PDX.

A - Pours black wth 1 finger of mocha head. Doesn't dissipate and leaves nice lacing.

S - Chocolate, light roast coffee, light flowers and citrus, and bittering hops.

T - Heavier notes of malt dominate the taste as chocolate and light roast coffee appear wth a moderate amount of bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, malt dominated, creamy and sweet.

D - Good overall. Very enjoyable for the style.

MisterClean, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured cold into a standard pint glass

A - Black w/ a thick tan head

S - Rich, malty, sweet & nutty w/ caramel scents and a very smooth aroma.

M - Full, Rich, deep roasted, dark malt feel with a sweet finish.

T - A really rich stout. Smooth & deep roasted w/ a rich full bodied flavor. Nutty, coffee and cream tastes w/ a honeyish sweet finish. A hint of alcohol w/ sweet strong stout flavors. Bitter hops acccent the full malt profile and make their presence known in the finish.

D - A very big and smooth tasting stout. Ultra tasty and refined, but perhaps a strong one for multiple tastings, a winner and worthy of tasty again.

Slatetank, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of bradleyp
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

bradleyp, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

superspak, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of loren01
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color, good sized tan head with nice lacing down the glass
S: Roasted malt, earthy scents as well as some lightly smokey scents
T: Very roasty, lots of roasted barley. Slight rye taste. Also coffee, chocolate and slight smokey flavor. Very nice.
M: Medium to full mouthfeel, creamy going down
D: This is a great beer, loved it. I would like to try this one on nitro.

loren01, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large goblet

Pours dark, basically black, with surprisingly little head. Almost looks flat. Smell is cherries, dates, overripe plums, a little hint of coffee. Maybe some black licorice.

Taste is ripe with coffee, very nice bitterness. The fruitiness from the smell comes out just as a balancing sweetness, much nicer than it smells.

Mouthfeel is chalky and thick, dry. Good beer.

snaotheus, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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

brentk56, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil with a four finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and very heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Starts with a bitter chocolate flavor, some middle sweetness, finish has a slight bitterness. A decent stout. $3.25 for a 22oz bottle from John's Grocery Tigard, Or. Label puts the ABV at 7.0%.

jdhilt, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #11 Foreign / Export Stout. Beer served from a 22 ounce bottle into a Russian River -tion glass.

Beer is brown to black with a big dark brown head of small bubbles, moderate to low carbonation, some lacing, looks good.

Aroma is sweet and coffee like with roast. Nice.

Beer is medium in body but thinner on the finish and in the middle, sweet up front, heavy coffee and some bitter on the backend. Overall a decent beer, pretty enjoyable, I'd have it again.

drabmuh, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BeerAdvocate, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +1.8%

FadetoBock, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Ciocanelu, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +1.8%

jaydoc, Oct 19, 2013
Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.