Teddy Bear Kisses | Upland Brewing Company

132 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: 132 | Ratings: 486
Photo of GRG1313
1.88/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I like the few Upland Sours I've had and I jumped to taste this when I saw the bottle being passed around at The Bruery's Clusterfork party.

Poured a nice dark brown/black with nice khaki head and looked pretty nice in the glass.

Nose is red/purple plum chocolatey with some dark black coffee tones and hints of licorice with a bit of an "acidic coffee" tone.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and, truthfully, hard to judge since the flavors are simply so problematic.

Flavors of burnt black coffee; bitter licorice; burnt charcoal and black rubber. There is a synthetic character to this and I'm almost prepared to conclude that I had a bad bottle.

I wasn't going to post the review, but then, after I wrote the lion's share of this saw other reviews and concluded that "my" bottle was like others. Not really flavor profiles that invite more than a taste of this one.

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Photo of metter98
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface along with a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas or roasted malts and cocoa nibs are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark roasted malts along with a moderate amount of bitterness plus notes of cocoa nibs. The bitterness lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tastes like a Russian Imperial Stout with the roastiness and bitterness with some added complexity from the cocoa nibs. The alcohol is rather well masked from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tremendously characterful and balance Russian Imperial Stout with a softer/sweeter body that allows for way too much ease in drinkability.

Very dark brown, maybe opaque black, the beer carries a dense and viscous appearance. From the sheet of barley-stained foam to the swirl of legging on the glass, the beer promises powerful flavor and succulent textures.

Boastful elements of espresso, bittersweet cocoa, molasass, licorice, charred berries, cherries, and raisons all weigh in in intermitten waves and give new aromas and flavors as the beer warms. Very creamy and full with the initial sips, but the beer transitions nicely into a a velvety smooth finish, leaving only a mild abrastion of alcoholic head and roasty bitterness for which to account. A deep and long linger of burnt caramel, coffee, and cocoa outlast the other flavors for a simplified and rewarding aftertaste.

Teddy Bear Kisses is among my new favorites, with the complexity and flavor that remind me of Dark Lord but with a smooth mouthfeel nearing Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout.

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Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks, Andrew.

Black with a huge dense head that retains solidly. Smells bland, smoke with some cocoa. Roasty on the palate, borderline burnt. Little cocoa and tar. Medium body, slightly thin. Lot of roast in the finish, pretty astringent with lingering cigar smoke. Not my favorite Upland beer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
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 zeff80
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It had good head retention and left some sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate and mild coffee notes. Some toffee and caramel, too.

T - It tasted of chocolate, coffee and burnt molasses. Carmal and toffee flavors are faint.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a good RIS. The coffee flavors are not as strong as I hoped.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Azurelimits for sharing this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours black with a single-finger tan head. This quickly recedes into a thin collar around the edges, though no lacing remains on the glass. The nose brings quite a bit of dark chocolate as well as some roast. A bit of a creamy, milky character in the nose as well. The taste brings some more chocolate and a lot of roast. The feel is quite dry with a roasted finish. It's also a bit harsh with some bitter astringencies there a well. Oddly, this actually gets less appealing as it warms and I didn't particularly wish to finish my pour.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 10/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, toast, light char, toffee, fudge, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and cocoa nib notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, toffee, fudge, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, toffee, fudge, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and cocoa nib flavors; with a nice roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial stout. All around good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and cocoa nib flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark chocolate hints were very noticeable from the very beginning. A touch of hops on the back end, and the ever present ABV smell came through after it started to warm.
dark chocolate flavor, very pronounced and noticeable. As it mellowed lots of roasted coffee and some notes of cookie dough and even a touch of vanilla were becoming noticeable. Very sweet and sugary on the palate, with a very present abv warming thoughout. It was not a light brew by any means. A very full flavor and feeling coming off of this one. Reminded me of some of thee other breakfast stouts I have had in the past.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.34/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Mark for this one.

A: The pour is primarily a dark brown color with some reddish notes when held to the light. A sizable tan head with very nice retention.

S: The nose starts off with roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and acrid coffee. A bit of a burnt thing going on here as well as some smoke.

T: A weird spicy, smokey flavor to begin. This is followed up by lots of intense roasted malt flavor, bitter, burnt sugar, ash, and alcohol. Delicious.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is a bit on the high side.

D: This beer was just too burnt and bitter. Really not something I would look forward to having again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to cptnspeed1 for this bottle!

I hate Virgin Mobile commercials. just sayin'. This creepy thing pours a nice onyx topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa, black cherries, soil, greens, and dark roasted malts. The taste follows a similar route, adding some astringently bitter coffee and what seems like a bunch of earthy hops. The richness that was hinted at in the smell is drowned out by this bitter, almost grassy character. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and a semi-chewy feel. Overall, what could have been a great stout is ruined by the astringency. Beyond that, though, this thing is pretty nice. If only...

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Photo of stakem
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TheCPJ for sharing. Bomber into a snifter, the brew appears a dark brown cokor. A brownish stained head sits atop with decent retention. Some reddish hints of coloring are noted around the edges. Fingers of stringy lacing stick to the glass.

The aroma is roasted with suggestions of coffee along with dark and fruity alcohol. All the while cocoa quality emerges throughout. Not a bad smelling brew, I find no fault in it, just prefer my stouts to have more roasty impact instead of fruity tones.

The taste includes quite a bitterness that seemingly comes from a combination of hops and roasted grain that imparts flavors of coffee. Some earthen tones come out towards the back with hints if chocolate and a bit booze.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite bitter from a combo of different elements that comes together to form a pretty decent brew. This isnt something I would go out of my way for but i also wouldnt say no to having it again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Received in trade from ajzy, thanks for thew opportunity!
Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a decent sized tan head that persists for a while before falling to a cap on top. Smells of roast and chocolate with a solid earthy hop edge and a faint plastic phenol. The flavor is roast and chocolate up front with enough roast and earthy hop flavor to provide more than enough balance. Light bits of dark chocolate and Hershey's syrup mixed with a faint oxidized character round things out. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet rich chocolate mouthfeel. Nice brew, a couple of minor flaws, I enjoyed it for what is was.

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Photo of Lare453
2.32/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

A black, nice thick khaki head, beautiful lacing.

S light chocolate, light roastiness, malt.

T nice chocolate beginning, which fades into a terrible metallic coffee flavor. The end is short with tin, and the aftertaste is not good either.

M thin, soft, light carbonation

O I would never have it again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to eyeenjoybeer for this extra. Served in an Alvinne snifter - pretty sure this is the 2011 release.

A - Gorgeous beer. Late-rising but voluminous dark tan foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving behind glass-coating lacing. My only complaint is the body fails to hit midnight on the shade of blacks, instead running a very dark brown.

S - The cocoa nibs dominate the aroma, imparting flavors of melted chocolate and fudge. There's a light caramel note, as well as some deeply roasted malts. I also get a hint of anise, and that 'green' character that I occasionally get from cocoa nibs. As the beer warms up there's a faint hint of alcohol, but nothing unexpected or excessive.

T - The taste is a little less convincing. There's some semi-sweet cocoa powder, a touch of char, stale coffee, and a chalky sort of flavor going on. The roasty bitterness of the finish is formidable but thankfully keeps from getting out of hand. Not bad, just kind of uninteresting.

M - Medium-high carbonation for an RIS, slightly thin medium body, smooth texture, and negligible alcohol presence. Not bad, but more appropriate for a 7% export stout.

D - A competent but somewhat unrewarding RIS. This batch doesn't seem to suffer from some of the burnt and acrid qualities described by other reviewers, but it could use a little sweetness (or roast, or anything, really) in the flavor. Goes down very easily, but mostly because it lacks the heft and intensity a good RIS needs to be successful.

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Photo of aasher
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a midnight black with a light khaki head which quickly disappears. It smells of bitter cocoa, roasted dark malt, and coffee. The taste pretty much mimics the aromas. It features a bitter chocolate upfront which is followed by a rich roasted coffee flavor with a little bit of alcohol on the backend. It does have some milk chocolate sweetness to it but it depends on the sip. The aftertaste is dry and a little bitter. It isn't the thickest of stouts but drinks very smoothly. The aftertaste stays with you in a good way, urging you to re-up. It's very drinkable and you'd never know that it's over 10%. This is definitely one of Upland's better beers and lived up to the hype.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Bottle opened by Stawn at Stone at the Firestone Walker 14 release party during San Diego Beer Week. Thanks, Chris!

A: Deep brown, near black, creamy dark brown head.

S: Lightly roasted malt, chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and a touch of coffee.

T: Moderately bitter with an upper moderate roasted malt profile. Dark chocolate is evident, with a touch of coffee. Lightly astringent. Lots of blackstrap molasses.

M: Full bodied with a creamy, sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: Tasty, though nothing stands out.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Chris!

(A)- Pours pitch black in color. Minimal tan froth.

(S)- A good roasted malt profile with cocoa. Ever so slight chalkiness to it in a dry sense.

(T)- Again, a nice roasted character throughout with a subtle chalky hoppiness met with some good cocoa bits.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A big roasty chalk character that lends some dryness and bitterness to the cocoa sweetness.

(O)- It is a solid stout for sure. The chalkiness is a bit odd for my tastes, but it does help in some areas.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled October 2012. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention is OK, and there's a lot of lacing. The brew smells mostly like roasted malt and dark chocolate, along with some coffee and dark fruit. It tastes like roasted malt, dark and milk chocolate, coffee, burnt/charred malt, and some dark fruit. There's a nice lingering sweet chocolately finish. I think it tastes better compared to the aroma, the flavors just seem stronger to me. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and coating with a good amount of carbonation. Definitely worth a try, I wouldn't mind picking up a bomber of this again. $7.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blue Moon in Madison, Wisconsin. Served in a goblet 11/11/2014.

A- Dark black body, opaque. One finger mocha head, very nice retention time. No lacing. [4]

S- Roast malt, dark fruit, milk chocolate, cocoa. As it warms up, there is a slight metallic flavour. Could be the earthiness mixed in with the water's minerals. But there is definitely a slight metallic scent at the end. [3.25]

F- Smooth roasted malt, sweet milk chocolate, espresso bitterness, cocoa complexity. Not as much dark fruit on the palate as in the nose. No metallic flavours here. Very smooth, nice complexity and easy to drink. [3.75]

M- Medium bodied, on the thicker side. Nice carbonation, slightly slick and resinous. Nice earthy, cocoa-forward finish. [3.75]

O- Pretty decent Russian Imperial Stout. Missing a bit of that dark fruit complexity. It seems more like an American Imperial Stout than anything else, but it's not a particularly hoppy beer. [3.5]

Final score: 3.61

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Photo of Jwale73
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdiddy for sharing. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a rocky, khaki-colored head embedded with bubbles. Nose is roasty and earthy and also expresses a trace of cooca towards the back. Taste expresses a burnt/acrid quality as well as cocoa and roast. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with an even carbonation. A nice traditional RIS. Many current examples of the style tend to be more towards the sweeter side of the spectrum (which is actually more to my preference); however, the burnt/charred character really contributes nicely to the character of this beer.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into my Darkness glass...A dark brown, just not yet turned black. A nice big creamy mocha head of at least three fingers, good retention and great lacing. Way to start!...The aroma is so strong! Burnt cocoa nibs and alcohol, this is just charred and not good at all...The taste is even worse, charred, burnt destroyed cocoa nibs. Bitter bakers chocolate, so bitter I can't even drink this. As it warms its slightly better, but not much.

This is really bad, big avoid unless you like burnt cocoa.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Burnt and roasted notes but they eventually get overwhelmed by too much sweetness. It as if someone dumped extra sugar into the beer. I had this problem with Bad Elmer's Porter so it seems to be a running error on the part of Upland.

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Photo of Rutager
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you, HomeBrewed! Enjoyed with Daftcaskbc.

Appearance. Pours black with a thin, light tan head.

Smell. Dark malts, grassy hops and bitter dark chocolate.

Taste. Unsweetened dark chocolate, some bitter grassy hops, and dark malts and a little bit of coffee. Quite dry.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice stout. Enjoyed the chocolate without being very sweet.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
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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Teddy Bear Kisses from Upland Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 486 ratings.
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