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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

199 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 199
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
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
Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PEIhop
4.4/5  rDev +12%

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!

PEIhop, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%

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 Derek
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%

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!

Derek, May 01, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

harpus, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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 wordemupg
3.85/5  rDev -2%

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

wordemupg, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of flagmantho
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

flagmantho, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of ccrida
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%

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 Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%

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.

Dogbrick, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%

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.

Cyberkedi, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

DefenCorps, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Haybeerman, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%

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 RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

RBorsato, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev +1.8%

whartontallboy, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of EgadBananas
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

EgadBananas, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

tpd975, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of RedDiamond
4.6/5  rDev +17%

To begin with, I like the name of this beer which accurately conveys a sense of the dark color and full body. Black Bear XX is opaque and comes served with a full finger of thick, light-brown froth that holds itself with some authority. The aroma is restrained yet tantalizing – a curious chocolate-mint. The flavor arrives in layers of chocolate cream with a splash of nuts and grain. It is predominantly dry with a robust malty body and an elegant finish. Rye malt adds a subtle complimentary balance. The mouthfeel, infused with nitro, is sensual and pleasing.

This beer won the 2003 GABF Gold Medal for Foreign / Export Style stout. Usually such ornamentations fail to impress me. In this case however, Black Bear XX lives up to high expectations of artistry and taste. This is truly a great Ecotopian brew.

I’ve revisited this beer on several occasions and have reaffirmed that its credentials are sustainable and intact. Black Bear XX is rich, chocolaty, and beautiful. You can drink it as easily in July as in January; like black silk on tap.

RedDiamond, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of mhaugo
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

mhaugo, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%

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 twelveinches
4/5  rDev +1.8%

twelveinches, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of morimech
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

morimech, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev +1.8%

strongaf, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Bomber bought from Capital Market, Salem . Gorgeous looking beer. black with dark,dark brown hints around the edges, good lookingbrown head. slightly roasty aromas, not too strong, some dark chocolate, slight fruit. Quite semi-sweet bitter, burnt toast towards the end, bitter black coffee finish mixed with treacle. Slight alcohol hint in the belly.Good stuff. Nicel on the palte, not as heavy as expected and thats a good thing as it adds a point or two for drinkability. Over all nice beer

Reidrover, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of msubulldog25
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%

On nitro-tap at Alameda Brewpub, Portland. $2.60 for a Happy Hour pint.
Listed as 7.0%abv, 50 IBU.

A: Absolutely pitch black, zero light coming through. A fluffy meringue-like ivory head, 1.5 fingers at least. Cascades of bubbles (thank you, nitro tap) - a gorgeous stout. Beautiful steady lace, also.

S: Robust toasted smell of chocolate malt. Rye, as well. A faint toffee sweetness, too, with a touch of hops to balance things out.

T: A rich, creamy beer - so full of chocolate malt with sugary sweetness and hop bitterness, all wonderfully married together.

M: Outstanding - with the caveat that the incredible velvety smoothness imparted by the nitro-tap gets 'bonus points'. Black Bear is well balanced, with full mouthfeel a mild lingering bitterness. Just enough carbonation to keep things interesting.

D: A fantastic stout. So smooth & creamy. Great flavor. A "must-have" pour if you're in Portland. May I have another?

A worthy two-time winner of the GABF "Foreign Style Stout" category.

msubulldog25, Jul 22, 2006
Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.