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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 Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to msubulldog25 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with lots of dark stuff. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, my first from this brewery, thanks Brian.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 23:31:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.83/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-23-2009 21:33:23 | More by plaid75
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a pretty opaque black, some dark reddish highlights but almost impossible to see through, very thick light brown head forms, slowly drops to a thick layer and ring leaving a ton of lace chunks stuck to the glass. Smell is nice, lightly lactic, lots of caramel, chocolate milk, very roasty, quite fruity, some vanilla, light orange peel, cherries, some coffee, pretty neat. Taste is similar, some lactic sourness, milky, chocolate, very roasty, some vanilla, fruity, more chocolate milk, pretty interesting stuff, lightly toasty, oaky in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty silky and smooth, some acidic roasty character. Pretty cool stuff! Thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 02:43:47 | More by Viggo
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured cold into a standard pint glass

A - Black w/ a thick tan head

S - Rich, malty, sweet & nutty w/ caramel scents and a very smooth aroma.

M - Full, Rich, deep roasted, dark malt feel with a sweet finish.

T - A really rich stout. Smooth & deep roasted w/ a rich full bodied flavor. Nutty, coffee and cream tastes w/ a honeyish sweet finish. A hint of alcohol w/ sweet strong stout flavors. Bitter hops acccent the full malt profile and make their presence known in the finish.

D - A very big and smooth tasting stout. Ultra tasty and refined, but perhaps a strong one for multiple tastings, a winner and worthy of tasty again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2007 04:54:38 | More by Slatetank
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 05:00:05 | More by superspak
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 00:39:28 | More by Derek
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 dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 04:43:45 | More by dirtylou
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2012 01:50:21 | More by beertunes
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 Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2011 03:31:50 | More by Cyberkedi
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 DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.78/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2012 04:47:20 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 19:16:23 | More by flagmantho
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 15:20:18 | More by tpd975
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
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2008 22:49:24 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 20:54:42 | More by Reidrover
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 22:28:58 | More by morimech
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle split with my dad last night, one of the few beers I brought back from Portland with me, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter,

color is almost black with minimal light going through, 3/4 inch creamy tan head that lasts around five minutes, some lacing at first too, aroma consists of milk chocolate, dark cocoa, vanilla, burned grains, oak, roasted malts, mild coffee, good amount of booze, and some toffee, starts off with a mixture sweet milk chocolate and burned dark chocolate just like the smell, roasted malts dominate the middle, finish has a lot of dark chocolate too with some coffee hanging around afterwards in the aftertaste, lots of alcohol in the flavor once it warms up a bit, decently balanced with different malt flavors but too boozy for me, hot, roasty, and dry mouthfeel, full bodied, mellow carbonation, taste lingered for a long time, could have drank much more than I did, definitely a sipper, too alcoholic with not enough aging, would be easier to drink if it was oak or whiskey aged in my opinion, can be rather harsh, might drink again, worth trying

after having this beer, I am bumbed that we did not get to make it out to the Alameda brewpub, this was pretty good and heard it is not even one of their better beers, would drink again, worth trying

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 15:36:50 | More by Floydster
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 BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 02:09:14 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this one from tayner as a thank-you for running the secret bunny '08 website. thanks dana!

22oz bottle. sampled may 15/09.

pours dark brown, nearly black, with a big dense brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is good. coffee. dark and milk chocolate. caramel. lightly toasted bread and biscuit. cracker. bit of roast. touch of lactic sourness. nutty. some dark fruit too.

taste is good. coffee. dark and milk chocolate, but lighter than in the aroma. light caramel and toffee. toasted wheat bread and biscuit. bit of cracker and grain. light lactic sourness. almond. bit of dark fruit.

mouthfeel is nice. medium-large body. just over medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. well balanced. in some ways it seems more like a baltic porter than a stout, but a bit of sourness isn't uncommon in a FES, and the body is a bit big for a BP.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 03:02:48 | More by grub
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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%....

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-29-2012 21:37:41 | More by Redrover
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

"Bottled on 12/21/12"

Foreign/Export Stout, should be ok, right? Well, here goes.

Into a pint glass and a snifter:

A: the pour looks like pouring motor oil (pure jet black color) with the same colored body, both have an enormous three finger head that seems like it just doesn't want to die, wow, what a nice show as the lacing is strewn in foamy bubbles

S: a super huge amount of roasted coffee notes coming through in a slightly bitter way, backed up by a decent amount of roasted malts

T: mainly bitter and roasty, there's an aspect about this beer that tells me it wants to own you as something dark and harsh pervades and pounds my mouth, super dry roasty somewhat coffee-like aftertaste with a just a plain dry finish

M: she sits about a medium on my mouth and tongue and wants to try to be gentle yet that same dark harshness comes back, carbonation is fairly smooth

O: honestly, I think this is just an ok foreign/extra stout, it has a fair amount of good aspects that try to showcase some good things about it, but still when I look at it as a whole, I just can't seem to think to give it that next higher number. Maybe I just need to try it fresher.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 19:12:25 | More by BeerKangaroo
Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.