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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

200 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 11
Gots: 9 | 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
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KlayWey
1.5/5  rDev -61.8%

KlayWey, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of sukwonee
2/5  rDev -49.1%

sukwonee, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of ccrida
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from 22oz bottle into a snifter, the Black Bear XX is pitch black with a 1 finger dark tan creamy head that leaves thick bubbly lace and a hefty collar.
The aroma is pretty subdued, molasses and rye. It opens up and sweetens as it warms, reminiscent of sweet cream, but not appetizing to me for a stout. It also got a bit boozy towards the end, but again, sweet.
The taste is really not my cup of tea, maybe it's the rye, or the anise flavor that I can't ignore (and never like), but I will try to remain objective. It's fairly complex, and also includes the appropriate roastiness, with sweet milk, caramel, and some citrus flavoring hops as well as bittering on the finish. I'm not sure if it's the rye or what, but there is a sweet flavor that strikes me as a bit off, although this bottle is not that old, and has been well kept locally. I have another in the stash and I'll have to see if it smooths out with age or amplifies unfavorably.
The mouthfeel is pretty nice, matching the appearance as strong suits. It is not to heavy and really creamy and frothy in your mouth.
I didn't really care for the taste of this one, and by the end of the 2nd snifter from the bottle, I was pretty sick of it. It wasn't that heavy though though so if it's your thing, it's probably pretty drinkable. Just a bit to sweet for me. I'm compelled to try this on nitro at the brewery now that I live here, although I can't say I'm in a big hurry to do so. Hopefully it'll be more enjoyable and I'll re-review. Same goes for the bottle I'm cellaring.

ccrida, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -30%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of HappyPappy2X
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

HappyPappy2X, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Double chocolate fudge brown with no visible highlights, even with bright sunshine behind the pint glass. The three finger crown is the color of coffee mousse and looks at least as creamy. It's also responsible for the beginning stages of what should be a tremendous display of lace. Great right out of the gate.

If it wasn't for a pervasive dark fruit sourness, the nose would be right on the money as well. It smells like there's plenty of roasted malt present, although the rye malt escapes notice. This one could go either way on the palate.

Alameda Black Bear XX is disappointing. Sweet stouts are good, bitter stouts are good and bittersweet stouts are very good. Sour stouts, like this one, are not. One has to wonder how so much lemon juiciness ended up in the final product. The bottle was manufactured this year, so advanced age is no excuse.

The amount of malt is fine, it's just that chocolate, roasted and rye (along with whatever hops were used) should taste much better than this. Simply put, the tart-n-tangy fruit ruins what should have been a kick-ass export stout. Given most of the other reviews, this bottle almost has to be from a bad batch.

The mouthfeel is lightly creamy and incredibly smooth. A little more heft with more hang-on at the end would have earned the next highest score with no trouble at all.

So far, Alameda Brewhouse has failed to impress me. Black Bear XX is a classic example of how addition by subtraction would result in a much better beer. Subtracting the sourness would add immeasurably to both flavor and drinkability. Too bad I'll probably never get to try it again to put that theory to the test.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of SalukiAlum
3/5  rDev -23.7%

SalukiAlum, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of TaraBrynn
3/5  rDev -23.7%

TaraBrynn, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of leftoverburrito
3/5  rDev -23.7%

leftoverburrito, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of craigreno
3/5  rDev -23.7%

craigreno, May 25, 2014
Photo of JoelClark
3/5  rDev -23.7%

JoelClark, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of akorsak
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 22 oz bomber from Tangfoot as part of the I Want That BIF.

A: The stout has a gloriously thick bubbly head that, like a decent stout, creates a cascading effect as the head settles out. The settling out process is slow, with the thick four finger head leaving a prodigious trail of lace. The stout is a standard, dark black stout color.

S: The nose has a roasted, burnt toast malt aroma that is nicely pepped up with a bitter hop element. The aroma conjures up the image of a Lion Stout ad, with chocolate and chile pepper notes.

T: The ale begins with the body of a stout, roasted with dark chocolate and burnt bread flavors, grainy without getting too intesnse. Layered atop the roasted body is a hop flavor that adds a citrusy flavor to the dark body. A funky aftertaste emerges, overtaking the hops and spoiling the taste.

M: The mouthfeel straddles the malt sweetness and hop bitterness line nicely, allowing both flavors to come through.

D: I split the bomber with my wife, it was okay but the aftertaste was a bit too much to take.

akorsak, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to goryshkewych for this bottle.

A: Pours a deep black with an insane amount of mocha head. It was a slow steady pour that resulted in 3/4 of my snifter filled with some serious froth. It's taking quite a bit of time for it to settle.

S: The beer smells sweet and malty (notes of caramel) and there is a chalkiness to this beer as well. It reminds me of a typical foreign export stout verging towards a hint of Baltic porter.

T: It starts off sweet with some big carbonation that turns the initial flavors a bit bitter. I get that chalk like flavor that I picked up in the nose as well. The beer finishes bitter. Nothing too exciting.

M: Full bodied beer. Massive carbonation, stinging and extremely effervescent. The carbonation dominates.

O: The over carbonation really hurts this beer. It brings both the smell, taste, and mouthfeel way down. I'm not a fan. I'm pleased to have tried this beer, but I wouldn't seek it out in the future.

trxxpaxxs, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Slammy
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Slammy, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

beertunes, May 14, 2012
Photo of mixed_master7
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

mixed_master7, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -14%

Weirdly sharp mouthfeel. I thought it was just the carbonation, but there is something unusually acidic for such a dark roasted brew.

Some malty sweetness. Tannic with chocolate milk, old coffee, perfume. Dry, winey finish. Decent foam in the tall glass. From the 22 oz bottle.

mactrail, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of switzer
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

switzer, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

dirtylou, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of OregonMicrobrew
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

OregonMicrobrew, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of bernat1971
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

bernat1971, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Murrhey
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Murrhey, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of sjrodriguez
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

sjrodriguez, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

shelby415, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

thinwhiteduke, Sep 22, 2013
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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.