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 cdkrenz
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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 +14.5%
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 +1.8%
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 +1.8%
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
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
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 -5.1%
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
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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
3.6/5  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 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 boralyl
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a creamy light tan head that's has good retention and leaves lacing along with a thick creamy ring. The beer itself is a very dark brown, almost black.

S - Light toasty notes as well as an underlying sweetness. Appealing, but nothing spectacular.

M - The best part about this beer is the mouth feel. It's medium in body with a smooth velvety feeling. It's also got some creaminess.

T - Light roasted malts with chocolate overtones and a light sweet malt presence. A very light hops bitterness complements it well in the finish. It's got a nice balance between the malts and hops.

Overall this is a very good beer. It's got the perfect mouth feel with a nice look and delicious taste to back it up. I expected a little more from the nose, but other than that, this one is pretty solid.

Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large goblet

Pours dark, basically black, with surprisingly little head. Almost looks flat. Smell is cherries, dates, overripe plums, a little hint of coffee. Maybe some black licorice.

Taste is ripe with coffee, very nice bitterness. The fruitiness from the smell comes out just as a balancing sweetness, much nicer than it smells.

Mouthfeel is chalky and thick, dry. Good beer.

Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into Barley Brown pint glasses at Summer 2010 Grillin' and Chillin' festivities, The Big, OR, 8.22.2010.

Two fingers light brown head, slow dissipation with significant lacing. Dark as night might as well be black body, absolutely opaque, no visible carbonation. Coffee and chocolate dominate the nose in that order, a bit of floral and grassy hops for balance. Coffeeish taste, a bit on the sweet side, almost winey, not a lot of chocolate, very little bitterness on back end, more floral. Full mouthfeel, sweet but not sticky, good effervescence. A bit heavy to be sessionable, but I can certainly see what the fuss is all about with this multiple GABF Golf Medal Winner, though I would have liked a bit more chocolate to balance out the sweetish coffee profile. Edit-the label shows ABV as 7% not, 6.8.

Photo of RedBiddy
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner beer glass. Nice three finger head that slowly slid down the side after each sip. The smell was of unsweetened chocolate and the taste was as smooth as Micheal Jordan's head with Brylcream. The mouthfeel was so pleasant I didn't want to swallow. Perfect carbonation. I would pass up many stores to obtain another.

Photo of Tucquan
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the brew pub in Portland, OR on 2010-01-18

A - Dark brown with a 1-finger tan head

S - Bread and chocolate

T - Delicious. Chocolate, coffee, bread, sweet, mild hops.

M - Thick as a milkshake with low carbonation

D - A nice treat. Could have this one for dessert.

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber with friends. Nothing surprising about the appearance, big and black with a tan head. I really enjoyed this stout because it wasn't the usual thick, chewy stout. Instead it was a touch lighter, like an export stout should be, with two dominant characteristics: dry roasted black malts and sweet cocoa chocolate. Heck of a beer, checkthis out.

Photo of PurpleCloud
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Real nice dark with an impressive tan head.

S: Quite hoppy and appealing. Nothing special though.

T: Very good. Heavy on the hops on the way in with nice yet faint cocoa taste on the way down. I love it!

M: Smooth and low on carbonation.

D: Excellent. Goes down great. It is a bit heavy, so not the beer to drink all night.

Overall: I really enjoyed Black Bear XX. It's very dark and appealing and the taste is wonderful! Best aspect of this beer is the mouth feel. It's incredibly smooth and goes down as such. If you're ever in Portland, this is a must have beer!

Photo of blackc5
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of djbreezy
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
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

Photo of mjl21
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland. 22 ounce bottle poured into a Moonlight Brewing glass. Comes in at 7%. No bottling info is given.

A-Based on the lighting in the room, it pours black. It has a one finger sandy head that dissolves to a nice foamy ring that surrounds a sandy cover. Has some nice lacing.

S-It has a nice dark malt nose that is nicely balanced. There is some roast malt, molasses sweetness, and mocha like qualities. It is a little nutty. As it warms citrus hops jump out and give it a nice uniqueness.

T-It starts off with lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweetness which reminds me of a freshly brewed mocha. Citrus hops are quite evident in the middle. It finishes with some chalky roast flavor. In between sips there is some lingering sweetness.

M-Thick and creamy. It is nicely carbonated.

D-A nice drinking stout.

This was recommended to me from one of the Belmont Station employees and I was impressed. Worthy of the awards it has won.

Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of MisterClean
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Henry's Tavern, PDX.

A - Pours black wth 1 finger of mocha head. Doesn't dissipate and leaves nice lacing.

S - Chocolate, light roast coffee, light flowers and citrus, and bittering hops.

T - Heavier notes of malt dominate the taste as chocolate and light roast coffee appear wth a moderate amount of bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, malt dominated, creamy and sweet.

D - Good overall. Very enjoyable for the style.

Photo of SRossman
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep dark brown, almost opaque black, with a frothy tan head that dissipates quickly. I hate to be vague but this looks like stout.

S: Roasted malt, mild hop bitterness, a faint chocolate nuance rounds it out.

T: Pleasant dark chocolate, roasted malt, sweet espresso. Rich flavors across the board.

MF/D: I love the mouth feel of this stout. The texture and carbonation are spot on. The body has a rich fullness to it and feels slick on the tongue. Moderate carbonation makes it very drinkable.

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