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Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

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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
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Reviews: 100 | Hads: 227
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 constantine_272
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with thick brown foam. Chocolaty and vanilla on the nose but more sweet vanilla bean than anything. Also smells of cool co2 and steel. Starts off mellow. Not as sweet as expected. A very mild chocolate cocoa starts and and a cocoa bittering follows up quickly with some complexity. Very much like milk chocolate followed by dark chocolate. A sweeter vanilla finishes long with a subtle wood and nutmeg note. Superbly balanced which makes it a great beer for the long haul. (478 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert’s Bierhuis. Had been wanting to try this brew for quite a while so was very happy to see it on a local shelf. Quite enjoy export stouts and this is one of the higher rated American brewed examples of the style.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Transparent, very dark brown pour, almost black, yields a two finger, medium looking, light tan head with excellent retention. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp remains leaving lots of nice lacing down the glass. Very good looking porter.

SMELL: Lots of milk chocolate, sweet vanilla cream, lightly roasted aromas with caramel as well. Creamy nose, if that makes any sense. Nice and plenty forthcoming.

TASTE: Very flavorful. Some black malts and roasted flavors up front, with a smoky and slightly bitter finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of sweet caramel malts, roasted malt, chocolate, bitter hops and some burnt and charred notes. Very flavorful and plenty going on. Excellent export stout profile.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A touch lighter on the palate than hoped, creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly drier than expected.

OVERALL: An excellent, high quality export stout. I can certainly see why it boasts all the medals they’ve won on the label. Deserves every one of them. Very nicely done and impressive for a 7% beer. The feel could use a bit of beefing up perhaps, but the rest of the show is a treat. Glad this one showed up locally and if I see it again, I’ll be all over it. Highly recommended. (1,637 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

This stout was excellent. I want to say that I had it cask-conditioned at the brewpub, which made it even more excellent. Great color, balanced flavor, and paired very well with my food. Thumbs up all around for this one. (224 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%

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. (278 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 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 BastardKing24
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love trying new breweries and this is my first for Alameda. This could be a make or break for trying more of their beers.

Pours a very dark black with a big mocha head that sticks around for a bit and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell is Coffee and chocolate with more dark roasty malt notes. A hint of fruit in there as well, cherry and plum.

Taste is very coffee like, with molasses, chocolate, bitter hops, and a lingering creaminess that is wonderful. It starts velvety with the cocoa and coffee, and then continues with a medium hop aspect that doesn't last, and then more coffee and toffee, malty in the end.

Mouthfeel is velvety, with medium carbonation.

Overall I like this and think I will try more from Alameda. (723 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I drank this stout at cellar temperature, in a snifter.

Named after the black bear, this is, appropriately, a black beer. And it's got a beautifully billowy beige head (two fingers high) that leaves flawless lacing as it recedes. Real pretty-like.

The aroma is a womp of chocolate milk, dark cocoa, and coffee. Traditional, straight-forward stout notes, burly in all the right places. Though there might also be a little pine and citrus mixed in, kind of like a black IPA.

All of that chocolate and ceffee fills the flavor big-time, with some great earthiness in the aftertaste. The middle is a bit tart in the way some stouts are.

It's pretty well-carbonated, maybe slightly too much. But it's a minor gripe, really.

I'd recommend anyone who likes stouts meet this bear. (776 characters)

Photo of HappyPappy2X
2.85/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Very dark beer with mild sized head. Coffee crema colored head.

Smell: Slightly sweet, grassy aroma, very mild-smelling.

Taste: Thin and cloying, rather than 'rich and creamy' as advertising states.

Mouthfeel: Light. Is not creamy as description and nice head would seem to promise.

Overall: Doesn't match Stout elements for style. More of a dark cascadian IPA. Very light mouthfeel and heavy hops bittering throws one off from thinking Stout. (461 characters)

Photo of Braz
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at Top Foods.
Looks very appealing. Dark rich brown/black, with a sudsy tan head. Aromatics are roasted yet there is some sweetness that comes through. Taste is also roasted and coffee like. Kind of dry. I can taste the rye a bit and there is a woodsy character to it. The feel is very velvety, smooth and creamy. Overall I enjoyed this and would have again when in the mood for this style. (401 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, floral, light pine, light rye, and floral/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with a fair amount of hop presence; and great strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, coffee, toast, dark bread, light rye, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount or roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, coffee, toast, dark bread, light rye, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a fair amount of hop balance; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent foreign stout. All around great balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a fair amount of hop presence; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,438 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 LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Alameda Brewing 'Black Bear XX Stout' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with a medium size tan head , leaving a spotty lace along the pint glass

S-chocolate , dark fruit , also some pine hops

T-rich smooth and creamy tasting with enough hop in the back to balance this brew

MF-ok/good carbonation , medium to full bodied

Ov-ok/good bear , err beer , yes I'd buy again

prost LampertLand (478 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass

A- Poured black with frothy mocha head that left some splashy lace

S- Dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt. Very balanced and pleasant aroma for a stout

T- Big bittersweet and chocolate chip flavors, blackberry and dark fruits, roasted coffee, light vanilla, and light vinegar notes. Incredibly complex stout with all the flavors I love in a stout, very balanced flavor profile

M- Very creamy and smooth, dry, medium body. Really nice silky mouthfeel and incredibly easy to drink

O- One of the best stouts I have had in the past year. Reminds me a lot of favorite, Lion Stout. I love the blackberry/dark fruit flavors I am getting out of this that compliment the chocolate and roasted notes. (741 characters)

Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aggressive pour into pint glass
A: Dark black coffee colored with thick espresso colored head nice lacing. Great head retention.Looks like an espresso!Looks just awesom!
S: Dark roasted caramel malty bready chocolate coffee. Smells as great as it looks!
T: Coffee caramel malted bitter cherry cholocate then bready malty then coffee very slight hop bitterness.All balanced super well. Tasty tasty. No hint of the 7% whatsoever ever!
M: Smoothsilky smooth.Thick and syrupy
O: A very tasty treat. Super rich Malty but not too sweet not bitter at all . Usually dont like overly sweet beer.being a hop head. Looks tastes smells just great. Really balanced no booze at all. Top notch Stout.Grab one quick if you can. (712 characters)

Photo of Slammy
3.11/5  rDev -21.7%
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. (1,523 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 brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A big, rocky tan head forms atop the black liquid and leaves quite a few strands of lace behind

Smell: Chocolate, licorice, pumpernickel, rye and a fruity aspect

Taste: Surprisingly fruity, up front, with a slightly tart black cherry character that complements the ensuing expected flavors of chocolate, licorice and burnt pumpernickel toast; while the hops add another dimension in the middle, after the swallow, some lactic sweetness slips in to offset the bitterness; the tart fruit flavor, however, lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot of different flavors are packed into this beer; while the tart fruit elements have turned off some reviewers, I rather enjoyed that aspect of the flavor profile

Thanks, mdaschaf, for the opportunity (841 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 RJLarse
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Black Bear XX Stout at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black color with a modest tan head.

Smell is a roasted coffee aroma.

Taste is also a bitter coffee and dark chocolate flavor,

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry bitter aftertaste.

Overall a very good stout. (319 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a very dark almost black with very little head and lace. Aroma of sweet dark light roasted malts, bitter chocolate and coffee having a dark fruit note. Taste of the previous aroma with a light bite from the hops leaving a light bitter roast in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to full with a light carbonation. A nice enjoyable stout. (351 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 barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured jet black with good carbonation that leaves a small tannish cap which quickly resedes leaving a mere bubble, small cap and zero lacing. Uncharacteristic of this style.

S: Deep roast, with coffee, light chocolate

T: First sip reveals deep roasted malt, coffee, good amount of bitterness lingers with a dash of chocolate. The finish is rather dry, light booze, more lingering cofee and bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied, wl carbonated, big dry roastiness with coffee sit on the palate

O: Good. i can see why this one GABF medals. (545 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (479 characters)

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