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Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

178 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bear XX Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 94 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

2.53/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 06:53:44 | More by ccrida
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to weefishheads for this opportunity.
Pours black with a solid tan head that melts to a thick ring of lacing lasting the entire glass.
Aromas are bitter coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, molassis.
Mouthfeel is not too thick...not too thin...just right.
Taste follows aroma....espresso coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, molassis sugars, then...surprise, citrus hops to finish and clean the pallette.
Aftertaste reminds me of a mocha coffee with only a touch of sugar sweetener.
This is a solid stout made for the purist.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 05:04:12 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of froggyfrog
froggyfrog

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2006 03:57:05 | More by froggyfrog
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 18:10:51 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil with a four finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and very heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Starts with a bitter chocolate flavor, some middle sweetness, finish has a slight bitterness. A decent stout. $3.25 for a 22oz bottle from John's Grocery Tigard, Or. Label puts the ABV at 7.0%.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 22:35:05 | More by jdhilt
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-22-2006 01:33:51 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My buddy kindly brought a 22oz. bomber back from Portland on his recent vist to see his brother. $3.95 at Belmont Station, Portland, OR.

A: Pours a jet black almost inky color with a two finger caramel colored frothy head that leaves puffy cloud like lace.

S: Aromas of sweet caramel malt notes with a roasted mix. Noticed some licorice and chocolate malts on the second whiff. Smells very smooth and full bodied.

T: Tastes of sweet chocoloate and caramel malts blends with roasted malts. Very silky smooth and quite rich tasting. Not overly rich though, just that perfect taste that keeps you coming back for more.

M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are awesome on this offering from Alameda. Full bodied but very well balanced. Low carbonation allows you to fully taste the chocolate and caramel. This is what a stout should taste like. Two thumbs up for Alameda. If I had another, I'd drink it right now. I would love to try this on tap...Gotta get out to the Left Coast soon!

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 00:54:51 | More by bjohnson
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Written from notes. Sampled on-tap at Redbones during lunch on 11/15.

Thick and dense in appearance. Very black. Thick brown, creamy head that was glorious. Even more impressive layered, coating lace all around the glass.

Aroma was very subtle but deep and dark. Kind of like a low basson you cannot quite hear but you know is there and you find a pleasant feel from the low note vibrations.

Not a lot of anything but there was a little of a lot of things. Some slightly toasted malts with chocolate, vanilla and licorice. Kind of a dark bread flavor going on too. Slight hop bitters come through at the finish.

Very full body. It tried to be milky but was more creamy. Easy and smooth drinking. Not so much a cloying finish but more of a thorough finish. Very nice afternoon working my way through my pint.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2005 22:32:22 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Full ebony proclaims the appearance, not a streak of light seeps through, and a majestic cocoa cap holds guard on top, lush and creamy, an impressive looking stout, at the start.

Aroma begins with chocolate, molasses, spice, and bittersweet coffee tones. Earthy, gritty, rich...coffee grounds are now the primary senstation, overall an expansive, and flavorful nose.

Immensively full on the palate, at first swallow. Rich, dark, utterly satisfying. Plenty of grit and texture, flavors of syrup, rich chocolate, bitter coffee beans, tangible, and a touch tart behind the bitter.

Plump mouthfeel,... long, sticky finish,... viscous is an appropriate qualifier, but not too, this is very approachable for the stout fan. But definitely not a brew for those that shy from the darkness. The rest of us, we're in high heaven here. A stout lovers wet dream, not too strong, not too thick, but so full in all other respects that it fulfills our every need. Drinkability? Assured. When you're that tasty, you don't stand a chance in my glass, pal.

A very solid stout. So tired of middling versions, blase' people pleasers, so glad to find one with serious cojones, yet so simple to slide back the throat.

Thanks, Kim, for the growler!

Serving type: growler

08-02-2005 06:02:12 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-27-2004 17:46:54 | More by RoyalT
Photo of HiroProtagonist
HiroProtagonist

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Alameda brewpub, on nitro and on cask....the difference in enjoyment was pretty dramatic, and not as expected.

Appearance: Cask was black in color, with a weak, short-lived brown head. Nitro was also black in color, but the fine and creamy head was brown with a lovely reddish tinge, and was everlasting.

Nose: Cask sample had a sharp, powdery cocoa nose...like a dry chocolate cake mix, and thats it. Nitro nose was rich, sharp, and chocolately, but this time like a chocolate cake, complete with dark chocolate frosting. These notes were well-developed and yielded some intricate complexities.

Taste: Nitro sample yielded a rich and sharp raisiny-chocolate velvet malt base that opened up with complex bitter dark chocolate notes and subtle cherry esters in the transition to a sharp, roasty, lightly astringent dark bittered chocolate finish with strong lingering cocoa mass flavors.
Cask sample yielded similar but significantly attenuated flavors.

Mouthfeel: Cask sample was way too thin, almost watery! Carbonation was also a bit lacking, even for cask.
Nitro sample was wonderfully full and silky...working extremely well with the flavors and character of the beer. What a difference!

Conclusion:
Wow, the nitro sample was drastically better than the cask version in almost every way. The nitro stout was very enjoyable, complexly rich, and masterfully balanced with a nice sharpness that love in dark beers. Scores are based solely on the nitro version.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-22-2004 04:55:11 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of freed
freed

Oregon

4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Since muscles were on the menu, I decided a stout would be my drink. Plus, the beer had just won a medal at the world beer cup.

The body of the beer is an impossibly dark brown with an elegant nitro-foam cap. The small brown bubbles crest it to make a beautiful pint.

The aroma is somewhat hidden by the foam, but there are slight burnt toast and roasted malt aromas. Even at 50 IBU, the smell of hops isn't readily apparent.

The taste, and drinking sensation are amazing. The smooth and creamy feeling is silk like in the mouth, and the body, despite serious malts and hops, isn't the slightest bit bullish. Roasted barley, coffee, and slight chocolate flavors combine in what could has easily have been desert.

Granted, it went quite well with the muscles. I can't explain why that is, but it does.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-31-2004 21:04:08 | More by freed
Photo of Elemental
Elemental

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh man, I can tell why this got the gold medal at GABF in 2003.
Apperance - gorgeous! It has a nice thick brown nitro head and is a very deep black color
Smell - a good smell with some hop aroma, very malty smelling, and very inticing
Taste - Very good, big and malty with hints of chocolate and slightly nutty.
Overall - an excellent beer that once I had one I had to have another even though I wanted to try some of the othere from this establishment

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-01-2004 15:16:00 | More by Elemental
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-20-2004 23:16:28 | More by RedDiamond
Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.