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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

100 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 100
Hads: 227
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 12
Gots: 20 | 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
Reviews: 100 | Hads: 227
Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 (687 characters)

Photo of velosuds
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased for $4.29 on sale at grocery store. Normally $4.69.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with nearly a one finger head with modest retention and decent lacing. The best attribute.

S-I was expecting more aromas. There are faint roasted malts with some sweetness present, but only the slightest coffee and no chocolate. Smells like a lighter stout, as in Irish Dry.

T-Roasted malts, oats, chocolate, but also an unpleasant sour twang in the finish. The sourness is unwelcome.

M-A tad thin, but carbonation level adequate. Not creamy enough, but very smooth.

D-This is not a bad beer, I just don't think it accurately reflects the style. And it is no where near as good as my favorite stouts of any style. Alameda is scheduled to be at the Salem Beer and Cider Festival this Saturday and I would like to think what I just had was uncharacteristic - seems to be from other reviews, but not sure I want to use a tasting token to try this again. (1,031 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Deep dark brown color with a reddish halo and a thick light tan head that dissipates steadily. Roasty aroma of coffee and malt. Medium-bodied and smooth with a rather sharp bitterness around the edges. The nitro smoothness seems to contradict the somewhat harsh acidity in the flavor. Malt and coffee flavors keep it from falling apart luckily. The finish is creamy with a bitter aftertaste. I would not go as far as to say the bottle had turned but something seemed a little off about this. (525 characters)

Photo of isturbo1984
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: One of the darker stouts I've poured, but not the darkest. Pitch black, but held up to the light some color shows through. Poors smoothly, with a decent caramel-colored head that dissipates within a minute to leave a thin ring.

SMELL: Smells like your average stout/porter. Matly, chocolaty, "meaty," ect. A bit sharper than I would expect.

TASTE: Pretty different than what I would expect. Not your average stout. I tasted almost no roasted malts, chocolaty flavors, caramelesque or vanilla. But a lot of dark fruit flavors. Black cherry and plums come to mind. Very pronounced over everything else. Sweet and sour. Other flavors of nuts are present... almonds, cashews, pecans. "Nuts'n'berries" is something I would expect from any "Black bear" strout. Subtle coffee notes, but again, almost no malty flavors. Bitter, but hardly hoppy either. And dispite its "fruit and nuts" flavores, it wasn't very earthy. Very different, but enjoyable.

MOUTHFEEL: The smell was sharp, the taste was sharp and sweet, and the mouthfeel was sharp as well. Felt very clear and light. didn't sit too heavily. Left a waxy sensation.

OVERALL: A different stout. But very enjoyable. I've read some other reviews and most seem to disagree with me on my categorization. Everyone claims heavy earthy, malty and toasty flavors. But I experienced something quite different. Maybe you will too. A welcomed change in my tulip glass. (1,423 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,222 characters)

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bomber into Pint glass.

Pours a jet black with creamy tan head that takes a little while to dissipate. Once the head dissipates it leaves nothing but a tan ring around the glass. The aroma is faint coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts. The taste is watery upfront that develops into a chocolate bitterness that lingers for awhile. Its a fairly medium-bodied beer that has plenty of carbonation. Its a very drinkable stout in general but just not something I would continually reach for with plenty of other options available. (543 characters)

Photo of froggyfrog
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. labeled bottle, beer served in glass snifter.

Pours about as black as a starless night with a slight red tinge. A huge, billowy, brunette head coats the glass in chunky sheets of lacing.

Smells highly of roasted barley with steamed milk and rich caramel overtones. Also dark cacao and hints of floral hops.

For flavors I'm getting toast and roast and a healthy dose of kola. Caramel flavors are on the milky sweet side, with the sweetness more than adequately cut by the bittering hops, carbonation and dryish finish. The dark chocolate in the nose transitions into a creamy milk chocolate here.

Downy on the tongue from the bottle, this beer must be downright velutinous served from a nitro tap. This is a full-bodied but easygoing stout with no rough edges.

Smooth and simple to drink, this beers sets a nice pace with its full weight and enjoyable flavors.

Thanks to msubulldog25 for the chance to sample this fine brew. (948 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a pretty opaque black, some dark reddish highlights but almost impossible to see through, very thick light brown head forms, slowly drops to a thick layer and ring leaving a ton of lace chunks stuck to the glass. Smell is nice, lightly lactic, lots of caramel, chocolate milk, very roasty, quite fruity, some vanilla, light orange peel, cherries, some coffee, pretty neat. Taste is similar, some lactic sourness, milky, chocolate, very roasty, some vanilla, fruity, more chocolate milk, pretty interesting stuff, lightly toasty, oaky in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty silky and smooth, some acidic roasty character. Pretty cool stuff! Thanks Russ! (745 characters)

Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (978 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark pour with silky head, light lacing on the glass

Smell - Malt and coffee

Taste - Dominant coffee and molasses taste, some coffee and malt backbone

Mouthfeel - Slightly chewy

Drinkability - A pretty average example of a stout, nothing really stood out except for the coffee and molasses, which aren't my preferences for a stout (347 characters)

Photo of domtronzero
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear, very dark brown. Nearly opaque in the glass, with a big, long lasting, fluffy, mocha colored head. Tons of lacing left throughout.

S - Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts. Dark fruity ester smells in the background come out more as it warms. Sweet bready caramel malts.

F/M - Dark roasted malts, bitter dark cocoa flavors. Esters are reminiscent of plums. Acrid burnt flavor enhances the dry finish and also enhances the moderately high hop bitterness. Medium-full bodied with moderately high carbonation. Too much CO2 for this style, and it is a little detracting. Light alcoholic warmth in the finish, as well as a noticeable astringency.

D - OK, but the high carbonation and astringent finish are quite detracting. Otherwise a tasty beer. (757 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (522 characters)

Photo of Magpie14
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (1,191 characters)

Photo of chumba526
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears black with a sizeable brown head.

It smells of chocolate, nuts, fudge, and smoky malts.

It tastes of primarily of coffee and dark chocolate. There is a mild smoky flavor to the beer as well. It finishes with a little bit of bitterness. This is not a complex stout but it is very good and very smooth.

The mouthfeel is very good. It has medium carbonation but the mouthfeel is thick. It has a really nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

The drinkability is very good as the beer is very smooth. I could drink a few of these.

Overall this is a very good stout. This is not a complex stout but it is very tasty. (619 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours deep black with a creamy brown head. Some light retention and spotty lace.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee.

T: Lots of roast, hints of smoke as well. Very subtle cafe mocha flavors. light hops in the finish.

M: Medium in body, pretty smooth.

D: Not great but solid. (327 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.8/5  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. (797 characters)

Photo of blackc5
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle at 50F.

A - Obsidian black with a nice mocha colored head of about 2 fingers. Minimal lacing.

S - Lots and lots of roasted malts and chocolate. Some vanilla and molasses as well.

T - The expected roasty goodness with more mellow than expected chocolate given the aroma. Some smokiness in the background and some coffee sneaks in as well. Finishes quite dry with just a bit of earthy hop bitterness.

M - Typical for a stout - fairly creamy. Nicely (moderate) carbonated.

D - Overall a pretty well balanced beer, but lacked just a little something special in the flavor profile. Solid, but not outstanding. (635 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a deep black hue with a one and a half finger creamy dark tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a moderate cocoa aroma.

The taste consisted of soft chocolate malts, a mile rye spice, cafe au lait element and cocoa.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a touch of creaminess.

Overall a stout with good drinkability that could use a bit more black malt. (461 characters)

Photo of leaddog
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of tan head.

Smell - roasted malts, espresso bean, dark fruits (cherry), and molasses.

Taste - Hit up front with roasted malts, light burnt bitterness, hint of dark fruit and molasses.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall - A robust and dark stout that has very prominent roasted malt and light burnt bitterness characteristics. (415 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 31/7/14

A black with a deep cola edge, two fingers of dark mocha foam sits around for half the glass but leaves zero lace

S coco powder, chocolate milk, fennel, root beer, nutmeg, faint smoke, raisins, a strange combo but it works

T more of the same with more earthy notes and the roasts darker, much like the nose but stronger

M not as thick as the color would let you believe but still far from thin, bubbles cream it up, a little grit left behind, coco and ash linger

O respectable beer and I'd believe it was under 5%, no problems taking down the bomber but not the richest stout I've had recently

worth a try but another one of those 10$ bombers that I doubt I'd buy again based on price alone (738 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle split with my dad last night, one of the few beers I brought back from Portland with me, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter,

color is almost black with minimal light going through, 3/4 inch creamy tan head that lasts around five minutes, some lacing at first too, aroma consists of milk chocolate, dark cocoa, vanilla, burned grains, oak, roasted malts, mild coffee, good amount of booze, and some toffee, starts off with a mixture sweet milk chocolate and burned dark chocolate just like the smell, roasted malts dominate the middle, finish has a lot of dark chocolate too with some coffee hanging around afterwards in the aftertaste, lots of alcohol in the flavor once it warms up a bit, decently balanced with different malt flavors but too boozy for me, hot, roasty, and dry mouthfeel, full bodied, mellow carbonation, taste lingered for a long time, could have drank much more than I did, definitely a sipper, too alcoholic with not enough aging, would be easier to drink if it was oak or whiskey aged in my opinion, can be rather harsh, might drink again, worth trying

after having this beer, I am bumbed that we did not get to make it out to the Alameda brewpub, this was pretty good and heard it is not even one of their better beers, would drink again, worth trying (1,294 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of ramnuts. Thanks buddy!

A: Bottle opens with a mild hiss, and pours a pitch black color with slight bourbon brown highlights when held to a lamp. Head is half an inch of tan foam and quickly recedes to a film on the glass. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Mocha at first, which devolves into individual coffee and chocolate smells as the beer warms. Roasted dark malts and a little grainy aroma.

T: Roasted malt lays the groundwork for what initially seems like a sweet beer. There's a substantial taste lag before the coffee and dark chocolate flavors kick in to mellow out the sweetness and provide some bittering contrast. Towards the end of the taste, there is a sour grain sensation that comes as a surprise, but works very well.

M: Medium bodied, with light carbonation. Perhaps a bad bottle. Regardless, it could use a little more carbonation.

D: I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this despite a couple of complaints. This is an example of a solid stout, and at 6.8%, a very drinkable one. (1,044 characters)

Photo of lighthabit
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (254 characters)

Photo of WonderfulSam
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (693 characters)

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