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Black Bear XX Stout - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

101 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 229
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 16.41%
Wants: 12
Gots: 22 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bear XX Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 101 | Hads: 229
Photo of constantine_272
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.92/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of velosuds
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4/5  rDev +1%
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%)

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Photo of boralyl
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
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!

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.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was on tap at the Green Dragon here in Portland.

Our server apologized for the head on the beer when he brought it out, saying it's too foamy being on nitro. It took up nearly 1/2 of the glass, being very creamy and tan colored. It slowly settled into the black body of the drink with time, but it remained one of the most persistent heads on a beer I've ever seen. Ridiculous lacing on the sides of the glass. Not convenient, but kinda cool.

I liked the smell. Very dark roasted malts. Almost charred. I also noticed quite a bit of earthy (almost dirty mushrooms) hops. It made me even wonder if this is dry-hopped for more aroma.

Malts and hops are abundant in flavors, as well. Again, it's very roasted tasting, with lots of earth and bitterness coming from the hops. Kind of unique.

The eternal, insistent head influenced the mouthfeel for a very creamy, full body that complimented the flavors well and finished dry. ABV of 6.8% was surprising to me, they hid it well in this brew.

Well done! This is a unique stout worth a try.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bomber into Pint glass.

Pours a jet black with creamy tan head that takes a little while to dissipate. Once the head dissipates it leaves nothing but a tan ring around the glass. The aroma is faint coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts. The taste is watery upfront that develops into a chocolate bitterness that lingers for awhile. Its a fairly medium-bodied beer that has plenty of carbonation. Its a very drinkable stout in general but just not something I would continually reach for with plenty of other options available.

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Photo of blackc5
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of froggyfrog
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of Elemental
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
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

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Photo of bradleyp
4.12/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of SRossman
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of PurpleCloud
3.88/5  rDev -2%
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!

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Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

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Photo of RedBiddy
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of HappyPappy2X
2.85/5  rDev -28%
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.

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Photo of WonderfulSam
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one on tap at the brewpup, and I quite enjoyed it. This selection was on nitro tap, and was served to me black as night, with a luxurious tan head that looked creamy and persisted through the entire experience. The smell was nice, sweet molasses maybe and roasted grain. It was not a particularly strong aroma, though. Taste was a good balance of malt, chocolate, roasted grain, with mild hops underneath all the other well-balanced flavors. Nothing in this stout was overdone.

This stout was velvety smooth and felt great in my mouth and going down my throat. It was extremely pleasant and easy to drink, especially for such a big, bold stout. Definitely something I'll get again.

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Photo of IceEyes
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on nitro at the brewpub. An unbeleivably smooth stout with dry character, lots of roastiness, and a slightly bitter finish. And its not overly strong meaning that you can (and should) have more than one or two. The body is sultry and polished. Perfectly black. Truly a standout beer.

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Photo of Slammy
3.11/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
88 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.