Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

219 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 219
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 12
Gots: 19 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 219 | Reviews: 101
Photo of Bfarr
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of Murrhey
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
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 Redrover
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the rotating taps at Post Street Ale House in Spokane.

It was on Nitro and was served after a loooong pause in pour. The beer comes in an imperial pint and is jet black with a Massive dark tan head.

Aroma of roasted malts and a bit of coffee. Could be turned up a notch.

The taste is of darkly roasted malts, a bit of coffee and some raisins.

The mouth is soft (thanks nitro) but thins in the end.

This could be a good session beer but for the 6.8%....

Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
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 Derek
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Photo of morimech
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black brew that looks thick and creamy pouring out of the bottle. Impressive for a 7% ABV beer. Just over one finger of tan head forms and hangs around for a long time before settling to a thick cap. A blanket of lacing is left down the glass during consumption. One of the best looking stouts I have seen.

Surpisingly sweet malt aroma comes through. Definately expecting something roasted. Hints of chocolate and malted milk balls and something fruity tart deep underneath.

The flavor is not as deep as I was hoping. Not much roasted qualities and not bitter at all. This drinks more like a porter imho. A little bit of tartness. Some earthiness and citrus from the hops. A few yeast tannins slip in as well that give this the slightest Belgian quality.

Impressive mouthfeel for a stout of this strength. Leaves many breweries RIS's wanting. Thick and creamy texture. Almost perfect carbonation.

An interesting stout that surprised me a little where it counts and that is the flavor. Not really roasted and bitter but with some tartness.

Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
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 dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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 PEIhop
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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!

Photo of loren01
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of Scotchboy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my awesome wife, 22oz bottle dated 6/24/11 poured into a Samuel Smith oversized nonic.

A: Fairly typical black body, opaque, with a small amount of light brown head that fades quickly; lacing ok. This particular bottle doesn't appear to be very carbonated.

S: Definte roasted malt character, sprinkles of bitter coffee and spicy hops, light whiffs of charred wood and smoke.

T: Better than I expected; nice roasted malt character that unfolds into a burnt campfire feel; good coffee presence and bitterness, touches of rye malt spiciness and hops that complement nicely.

MF: Pretty creamy and thinner medium mouthfeel. Touches of dryness on the finish.

O: Highly drinkable FES. This is a touch better than Guiness Foreign Extra Stout, but still not as good as Zonker in my opinion.

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of MadeInOregon
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Black Bear XX Stout on tap several years ago and wanted to try it again so I picked up a 22 oz'er, let it sit for a couple months, and here we go...

THE BODY is black as night with no light penetration whatsoever. I held my glass up to an extremely bright UV-light and the only thing that came through was a little dark violet. This is one dense stout. The head is a dark mocha color and is very airy, like sea foam. There is good malty lacing. Overall, this beer has an appropriate appearance for a stout. It is nothing extraordinary but it is inviting.

THE SMELL is roasted malt, chocolate, hint of espresso, hint of creamy mocha, sweet, and rather dry. No hops.

THE FEEL is on the thin side--makes me think of a Guiness Draught. It is smooth but with considerable dryness as well.

THE TASTE is dark chocolate (maybe like 60% cacao), slightly dry, and hoppy. It finishes dry and sweet.

This is a smooth, well-balanced, drinkable stout. Tastes very similar to Terminator Stout, brewed in the same city, though much stronger (mine says 7.0%, not 6.8%)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of bradleyp
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of chumba526
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of domtronzero
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of morebeergood
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into Duvel tulip.

A - Dark black but not pitch black. very little light brown head that dissipated quickly, spotty lacing

S - roasty coffee, chocolate and malt. A bit of sweetness

T - Strong coffee present as well as the chocolate and malt found in the nose. Some slightly burnt sugar and a touch of dairy

M - Medium to full body, and actually a bit of bitterness biting the back of the tongue

D - Not heavy enough to be a sipper, but a solid, well put together beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.61/5  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.

Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.