Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

211 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 211
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 11
Gots: 13 | 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
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Ratings: 211 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoelClark
3/5  rDev -23.7%

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of mixed_master7
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

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.

Photo of switzer
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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

Photo of SpongeKA
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OregonMicrobrew
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of bernat1971
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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.

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Wolberjs
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of jbaker67
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of hopspiller
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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

Photo of velosuds
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of froggyfrog
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.