Teddy Bear Kisses | Upland Brewing Company

134 Reviews
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Teddy Bear KissesTeddy Bear Kisses

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Stout aged on cacao nibs

Added by Verecund on 11-14-2009

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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 488
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
10.2% ABV, Bottled on: O '12 notched on label.

A - Noticeably clear and dark Teddy Bear brown in color though the pour, this stout an inky jet black in the snifter. A fast-forming mocha head piles on the beer but disappears just as quickly, doting the glass in fine points of lace.

S - Thick and rich, this starts fluffy and cuddly with an open smoothness. Cold espresso and mellow cocoa nibs expand the depth of the roasted malt aroma. Suggestions of gentle sangria-soaked raisin and dried prune rise in the background as it warms.

T - The aroma is big and bold but doesn't quite foreshadow just how intensely roasted the malt is. Charred oak, a waft of peat smoke, and bitter, strong espresso come together for an assaulting first few sips. Soothing alcohol sets in and cocoa nibs turned milk chocolate and dark fruit esters follow.

M - Teddy Bear Kisses is creamy and smooth with a voluptuous, full body and chewy feeling that sticks around throughout the duration as roasted bitterness kicks in and adds a very dry, gritty finish. Lingering alcohol warmth encourages some sweetness to emerge for balance which is quite a nice attribute in the colder months.

O - The label poses a contradiction; cute and cuddly name with a dark and ominous image. The beer mirrors said label with a smooth and inviting aroma with deep malt complexity that shifts to an aggressive flavor and feel for an intriguing and complex stout - I enjoy the twist. Upland does a great job at keeping the booziness of bigger stouts at bay while letting their warmth show through; the perfect compliment to a long, cold day.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.47/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at one of the Belmont Beverages in South Bend, IN...

A: Pours black with a only slight browns around the edges. There is about a half finger of khaki colored head that takes forever to settle across the top of the beer.

S: The nose is raisin, bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, salt, and burnt toast.

T: Hmmm. This beer reminds me more of a Baltic Porter, than is does an Imp Stout. I get a big raisin presence right away. The chocolate notes filter through, but it has this salty and bitter characteristic that make me think Baltic. I like it, but it might not be for everyone.

M: Full bodied beer. It's thick and chewy, but it's never overly coating. The flavors dance on the palate, but they don't stick around for the last dance.

O: This beer is better than people give it credit for. I think it is just simply mis-categorized. The booze is hidden, and the smoldering char is subtle. That's how I like my stouts. Consider me a fan.

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Photo of SuperNova777
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 11/06/10

A:Pours a non transparent oil black with a fingers worth of tan head that slowly
falls leaving very nice lacing down the glass.

S:Nose picks up pleasant roasty malts, chocolate, vanilla, and some molasses in the mix
as well. Very inviting and pleasing.

T:Flavor is just as the nose detects, roasty malts up front and in the middle leading into
the backend where chocolate and vanilla start to dominate the palate. Some hops also
make their way in on the backend. Very nicely balanced but just enough to still let the individual flavors come thru.

M:A solid body is on this one with ample carbonation, palate is left very moist with a nice coating of chocolate that lingers on the tongue. A very small hint of alcohol is in there but for the most part very well hidden.

D:There has been a lot of hyped talked around this and I was pretty excited to try it and
I was not disappointed. Rich and complex flavor that goes down very smoothly and very easy for the ABV. This is one I could drink all night long and probably get myself in trouble doing so. Seek this one out.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a small beige head with good retention and nice lacing.

Aroma features heavy amounts of chocolate and espresso with a bit of a toffee sweetness.

Creamy chocolate is the first flavor I pick up followed quickly by a rush of espresso. Definitely some roasted coffee astringency, but for a beer this high on the IBU scale, it's not terribly bitter.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Almost feels like it was poured on nitro. Lowish carbonation.

A wonderful surprise. I don't remember digging this nearly as much out of the bottle, but on tap it was sublime. Don't know if they tweaked the recipe this year or if there is that much difference between tap and bottle. I'll definitely be buying a bottle to compare. Very smooth and creamy and if I weren't responsible for driving, would have drank this all night.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Been looking forward to this beer for a while.

A- Pours a black as night color. No light getting through this beer at all! One and a half finger brown head shows good retention for a higer ABV beer. This kind of caps the beer and nice streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts are the first to show up in the nose. There is a bitter chocolate that shows through the entire aroma. A hint of darker fruits which show up more when the beer warms more. A light sweetness tends to do the same as the darker fruits with the temperature rising. A hint of coffee also in the tail end of the beer puts a perfect end to the aroma.

T- Roasted malts with a hefty dose of bitter bakers chocolate in the front of the beer. There seemed to be a light hop presence in the beer as well in the front which calmed down all the malts for a second. Middle of the beer was more light coffee notes and chocolate molasses thing as well. Ending had some light sweetness with a bitter hop bite which cut through the sweetness. A small dose of coffee in the backend for final flavor in the stout.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light for me but good for the beer leading to the heavier feel. Dark chocolate and roasted malts left on the palate. Light bitter hops and coffee with some alcohol in the aftertaste. Alcohol has heavy drying on the palate. Flavors were balanced overall with little off flavors from blending. Clean tasting through the entire beer.

D- This beer is to me worth the praise that it has been getting. Upland to me is a hit or miss with a lot of their products. They hit the nail on the head with this one. The ABV although high is very well hidden which makes this a dangerous drink to have. I could drink the bomber of this no problem but I would rather split it with a friend.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised at the lower reviews of this one, I quite liked it. Thanks to BigSexy410 for bringing this to a tasting last night at my place.

A: Black with dark brown highlights, nice lacing and tan ring of head.

S: Get a lot of cocoa up front with barley malt and cereal, almost a bran/chocolate muffin kind of smell. Definite hop ester in the nose, very pleasing all with a slight roast.

T: Awesome stout, maybe my favorite chocolate flavored stout I've had. Great RIS bitter roast at back of the palate and milk chocolate sweet front. Some hop bite also, very nice. Excellent sweet roast to bitter ratio. I know its not the biggest taste, but its very good to me.

M: Nice carbonation and medium feel, not a lot of heat which is good.

D: Nice stout, impressive.

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Photo of karengarys
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours, ooh yeah, nice and dark and thick and the foam on the top is medium dark caramel color. Admittedly, a bit too cold for the style - about 35F/2C.

Smells sweet and licoricey, come cocoa, it is nice and rich and smooth. [update: it did warm up slightly, and some coffee scent came through...]

Tastes of licorice, chocolate and there is a tawny bitterness, perhaps molassis? There is a slight edge on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. I did pour this very slow, though.

Nice rich body to this, as you would expect with the style.

Alcohol is hidden well.

It is quite drinkable, but, of course, it is to be sipped.

This is a great beer. It represents the style well, with enough personality to give it a try for its uniqueness. Though I'm sipping it, I like it enough to sip so fast that I never got a chance to let it warm up!

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I was a kid my favorite book, The Chocolate Touch, was about a kid, John Midas, who loved chocolate so much he was granted/cursed with the wish of turning anything that touched his lips into his favorite treat. Toothpaste, peas, meatloaf and onions instantly lost their lackluster and became that intoxicating flavor so deeply revered. I believe it ended with him kissing his grandmother and, well, you get the idea.

There's a reason why conquering armies win over the admiration of their captive's children with bits of chocolate, it fucking rules! So then, why shouldn't we as consenting adults add our favorite childhood flavor (and let's admit right here that that love never died) to our favorite beverage? We shouldn't!

Upland did it right. They present us with an Imperial Stout that is neither cloying nor deficient of that righteous bean. There is no John Midas touch here. Instead, it is kissed lightly, without being aggressive or greedy. There is a wink at a Turkish coffee sweetness and a bitter hop counterbalance. It is a little boozy at 10.2%, but that hotness waits around the corner until your hand warms the last couple sips. I am very happy that I have another bottle waiting in the cellar.

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Photo of Cresant
4.26/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served this 22 oz. brown bottle in a Sierra Nevada etched hops glass. Bottled in Sept. 2010. The body was a very dark brown. The head was the star here though. A huge tan head stayed for the whole show. Creamy and decadent lacing was dense.

The smell was chocolate and molasses. Milky, lactic aroma. Heavy malts.

The taste was creamy sweet chocolate with a light bitterness. There was a milkiness in the flavor. Not cloying at all, very well constructed. Hints of walnuts. Very well hidden alcohol. Extremely drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Silky and creamy with spot on carbonation.

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Photo of cetherid
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip


pitch black. About 3 fingers worth of foamy light brown head. Lots of lacing on the glass too.


The smell is dark roasted malts. Nice chocolate/cocoa and coffee smell. Perhaps the cocoa smell is more dominant, but not too much.


bitter chocolate and slight coffee presence. A touch of sweetness and roasted notes in there. The alcohol taste is subtle, but it's there.


full bodied with great carbonation for an imperial stout.


pretty good IMO. A little difficult to find up in NW indiana however. I could easily drink the whole bomber myself but I'm sharing it. I plan on saving the other bomber I have to cellar.

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Photo of Charlotte09
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Beer is almost black with a thin head full of cream coloring and brownish hues. Looks very appealing.

S: THis beer fills my nostrils with a smell is of caramel and a hit of cocoa. The smell is fairly strong and enjoyable.

T: Taste is sweet but somewhat bitter at the same time. Has some caramel notes along with a slight coffee taste. Can definitely taste the malts, almost has a slight burnt/smoked flavor. The aftertaste is a little odd, leaves a bitter/tangy flavor in the back of the mouth.

M: There is slight carbonation but when you move it around the taste buds turns into a light foam, its quite nice.

D: Wouldn't be able to drink a lot of this beer at one time. Kind of a desert beer to enjoy every once in a while.

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Photo of BeerHunter76
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up in a trade and I am so glad that I did! Cracked this bottle with my wife and mother-in-law. It got me points with both. TB pours out extremely dark and the aroma of cocoa is very evident from bottle to glass. I got 2 fingers of creamy tan head that didn’t last long, but it laced down the glass while drinking nicely. This is a good example of a Russian Imperial Stout. NO light was going to get through this. TB is a creamy rich brew with notes of bittersweet chocolate, dark roasted malts, a hint of smoke, and a faint, lingering hop. The aftertaste stays on the tongue. Up front it is creamy. It’s a stronger stout, but the flavor masks the alcohol content. I read many of the comments on this one and I have to say I think it has been rated low too often. It is not the number 1 RIS, but it is very good. If you have the chance to pick one up, nostrovya!

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Photo of Lukafer
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a globe and served around 55 degrees.

Pours pitch black with 2 fingers dark tan head.  Smells are roasted malts, slight coffee, chocolate, and booze.  Tastes are chocolate, boozy, malty, more cocoa, very good.  Mouthfeel is sticky and thick.  This is a great beer and a definite sipper.  Been wanting to try this one for a while and I'm really glad they bottled it. Very good beer AND it's reasonably priced.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.19/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with tan carbonation. Lace is thin and wispy.

Aroma is charry, roasty, and with lots of dark fruit and bittersweet cocoa. Very nice.

Taste is heavy — bittersweet chocolate dominates, with dark fruit and deeply charred malts underneath it all. Very deep, tasty, and thick. This 10% Russian Imperial Stout is a excellent and exemplary brew for the style, and with the added twist of cocoa nibs.


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Photo of alpinebryant
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed Sept. 10
Pours a dark chocolate with a light tan head that within a few minutes ran to the edges.

The aroma on this is fantastic, strong milk chocolate cocoa flavors overflowing from tulip along with a nice rich roasted aroma.
Taste is also very nice . Good caramelized sugar presence; a slightly milk stout mouthfeel, rich and light milk chocolate flavors, rich dark malt flavors. All in all, I liked all of the flavors in here. Some people said that as it warmed some of the more astringent qualities came out. In any case, I agree a little bit with that statement, but this is still a nice stout that I am definitely enjoying. There is a light mouthfeel for the style and a light carbonation level. I have no idea where the 10.2% is, because it tastes like it could go down extremely smoothly.

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Photo of backfat
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe upland just started bottling this delight. $8.49 a bomber of a RIS 'aged on fair trade cocoa nibs' is hard to beat. I tried this beer at the brewery last year, and I believe it has changed quite a bit. The bottle states it's 10.2% opposed to 11.5%. The label is bizarre and interesting. It's all black with red text, a large dark room with a door open in the distance that's letting in just enough light to see a teddy bear vaguely appearing in the corner, sitting and just kinda looking creepy. nice. Poured into a SA perfect pint glass.

A: pours a translucent black/brown with a healthy, thick and mountainous cinnamon head resting neatly atop. Good lace and the chocolate mountain is easily brought back to life with a careful swirl.

S: The smell is focused on bakers chocolate with a roasty and toasty coffee core, with a hefty dose of a cake like chocolate fudge. Light whiffs of sweet berries and pleasing fruits are also well integrated. Sour raisins and plum hint enticingly at the nose that lays over the alcohol nicely. Deeper, rich, melted chocolate with pinches of complex cedar smells are more prevalent as it warms.

T: The taste is rich and bitter, with plenty of appealing character in this guy. The roasted coffee fades as it warms, and the flavor is more bitter bakers chocolate concentrated. The dark fudge like chocolate peaks in it's long and bitter finish.

F: Nice creamy mouthfeel on this brew. Almost skim milk like but not as viscous as I tend to desire in my american style stouts.

D: Drinkability is quite high on this stout for me. I had no problem sucking down 22oz of this beast. Reminds me a little of a good milk stout with such dangerous drinkability. I highly recommend this brew.

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Photo of levifunk
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

found this here in town....amazing. so happy we are getting some upland's bombers. poured into darkness tulip.

a - pour is dark black, no light comes through. nice brown head and lacing.

s - roasted malts, and big big chocolate. as it warms up, i'm getting more of the dark fruit notes and sweetness.

t - chocolate and caramel sweetness. some light hops bitterness cuts the sweetness feel. actually its got a sizable bitter finish with the hops and roasted flavor. very well balanced. alcohol is very well masked.

m - medium body. dry finish. I would like it to be a bit thicker actually.

overall - great beer. especially for the price, i could drink this quite often.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date Sept 2010
Got this from Cosmicevan. Thank. You. Sir.

Appearance- Pours thick. Black with a thick tan head. Lacing is bold but slides down the side of the glass as if to join the rest of the head. 4.5/5

Smell- Lots of milk chocolate with a tinge of bitterness. Bits of earthy, but smooth hop aroma. 4.5/5

Taste- Wow! Tons of Hershey chocolate and a small amount of earthy bitterness. It is a little chalky. That adds just a bit of interesting-ness to it. Not necessarily a bad thing. The 10.5 abv is invisible. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Very full. A bit of a chalkyness to it. The sip sticks to every inch of my mouth. 4/5

Overall- This is a very good RIS. I would not know what the abv is until half way though and that is not because of the flavor. Little bit of a stickiness to it as well. Pair this with a coffee chocolate truffle (homemade), like I did, and hold on to your seat. 4/5

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Photo of fear025
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma:The smell is vaguely similar to the inside of a fresh pumpkin when you first cut it open, strange. There's also malt, chocolate, coffee, and a little vanilla.

Appearance:Black and opaque with a coffee colored head. Good head size and retention.

Taste:Bitter dark chocolate on the foretaste. Also milk chocolate, coffee, and malt. Some nice bitterness peaks on the midtaste and lingers long into the aftertaste. The hops are nicely potent.

Mouthfeel:There is some bitter astringency. The body is medium to thick.

Drinkability:This is quite a tasty dark bitter stout. This bottle is pretty fresh, and I'm curious how it fares over time. I suspect that it will mellow it out nicely.

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Photo of JamesS
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an excellent deep midnight black with excellent head and lacing. Very nice deep malty scent, good roasted grains, nice slight coffee aroma, and fantastic chocoloate tones. Very nice flavor as well, with a huge deep malty kick and slight roasted grains under a huge semi-bitter chocolate taste. Goes down quite smooth for such a high ABV brew, although there is a bit of alcohol heat in the finish.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared in '10 Secret Santa from SuperNova777. Thanks again, Josh! Poured into a tulip.

A - pitch black like an imperial stout should be, with a coffee color head that dissipated quicker than expected.

S - chocolate, a bit of vanilla, espresso.

T - same as nose but with much more coffee and much less chocolate than the smell indicated. A slight alcohol warmth is there as well.

M - pretty decent on the palate, but still a little warm for my likings.

D - it's a good beer and I'll enjoy my share of the bottle, but then on to something about half the ABV.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a bit of frothy tan head. Looks very pretty.
Smells strongly of dark chocolate goodness. Not too sweet.. like a 70-80% Dark Chocolate bar. Tastes a bit bitter and dry but very chocolatey with some roasted malts coming through. Bitter on the tongue but very clean on my palette. Improved as it warmed... very nice

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Working on a bomber, served up in a Duvel tulip. Sheets of lacing coat the glass, no point even trying to look through. Black obsidian.

Sweet milk chocolate, cocoa, and mild roasty char in the nose. Gets a little bit leathery at room temperature.

Roasty char hits first and resonates with an undercurrent of herbal hoppiness. Espresso and dark bitter chocolate with high cacao content. Some honey notes in the aftertaste, but the sweetness isn't overpowering. Balanced sweet, bitter, and roasty elements. Lip smacking, sticky finish. Full bodied thickness, beefed up with a ton of malt and possibly lactose. Rich and fudgy. Perfect sipper released just in time for winter...

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Photo of HopZen
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from home growler of BrewPub dispensed draught.

A: Dark espresso, but clear. Rich tan head that persists, mostly around the rim, with trace lacing.

S: Smoke and bitter chocolate. Slight booze.

T: Starts with a strong roasted malt, meanders through a mild booze flavor, and finishes with the bitter chocolate, light hops, and smoke.

M: Thick and meaty, compliments the bold, charred flavors. Carbonation is low. Mid dry finish.

O: I am a fan of this beer. I love the charred flavors, but I like my coffee bold with a touch of cream, so I'm a fan of that natural bitter chocolate sweetness.

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Photo of RickS95
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance doesn't get any better. Pitch black, no brown notes, no reddish hues, simply a black hole. On top, the head is light brown and a couple fingers thick, with different sized bubbles. Decent retention.

Scents include malt, alcohol, chocolate and something 'creamy' I can't quite put my finger on.

The cocoa really comes thru in the taste. Bittersweet chocolate lasts well into the finish where you pick up some alcohol notes and some earthy hops.

There's a good battle between bitter and sweet from the cocoa nibs. In addition to the chocolate, it's well-hopped giving a nice bitter punch in the finish. Very creamy, and alcohol is muted, but present til the finish, where it dominates.

This is a pretty good beer. A bit bitter for the type, but the chocolate is nice and makes for a good winter warmer.

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Teddy Bear Kisses from Upland Brewing Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 488 ratings.
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