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 Thorpe429
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
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 steve8robin
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the Secret Santa 2010 BIF. Glad to get to try this. 22oz bottle. Bottled September 2010 poured into my new Dogfish snifter...

A: Super dark with absolutely no light shining through. A small tan head that fades quickly to tiny bubbles atop the brew. Good.

S: Some roasty hops upfront with black licorice and coffee scents quickly followed. Some cocoa and vanilla in the middle. Decent.

T: A watery roast upfront. Some grassy cocoa in the middle blended with some faint vanilla. Some watery booze on the backend. Ok.

M: Thick body with a good carbonation feel. A nice boozy clean finish. Good.

D: Goes down a little harder with the strange blend of flavors. Decent.

All in all, this is an ok brew. Many better stouts out there, so I wouldn't worry about it. Good to try if you have access, but otherwise, don't bother hunting.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown with a slim khaki head. Hazy head and dirty halo persist.

Smell -- Roast malt, toffee, sticky buns, maple sugar, and some menthol-like hops. The chocolate in the nose is surprisingly weak considering. Blindfolded, I'd be inclined to think this was a Barleywine.

Taste -- Burnt bread crust, dark fruit, and toffee, are the most prominent flavors. Hop character is pretty pronounced lending some leafy and herbaceous character. The chocolate flavor is so far in the background that I'd just as soon think that it wasn't there. Lingering flavors of burnt toast and molasses.

Mouthfeel -- Medium body with slightly harsh carbonation. Not terrible, but doesn't compliment the beer much. Definitely the low point of this beer.

Drinkability -- With a name like Teddy Bear Kisses, I expected this to be a soft, gentle, easy-drinking RIS. What I found is one that is a bit thin, too highly carbonated, and with a flavor profile that was surprisingly lacking in chocolate flavor despite the addition of cocoa nibs. Overall, it's okay, but not something I'll be seeking again.

One thing I will say: once I started thinking of this as a dark American Barleywine I started enjoying it more.

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Photo of HosP
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bottles of this. Pretty excited getting to try a new Upland beer.

A - Almost opaque. Some dark brown around the edges where the light comes in. Nice tan head sits atop this drink.

S - Roasted malts with a cocoa nose upfront. Some coffee notes hidden at the end.

F - Nice roast flavor to the beer. Chocolate and cocoa malts are most evident. Nothing to overpowering though, neither stands out. Some bitterness at the end. As it warms, more alcohol burn comes out in it.

M- Medium body with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. Left me wanting a little more from it though. The flavor was good, but nothing that really wowed me. Still would pick up a bottle here and there.

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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 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 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 Another6Pack
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got the last bottle in the cooler at Kahn's in Indy. Minutes later a group came in looking for it. Beer karma been very very good to me.

A: Nice and black. No light is getting through this one. Thin but persistent head. Cocoa-colored lacing. Appealing start!

S: I'm no expert on the style, and it was nothing good/nothing bad. Playing fair and going with an average rating.

T: Live review...fresh out of the fridge there seemed to be little there; no cocoa, no coffee, not much of anything except, well, bread and mushrooms. Second glass out of the bomber and things are getting better. Picking up the cocoa now, a little smoke flavor...starting to remind me of Left Hand's Fade to Black II. NO alcohol burn, which I expected given the ABV.

M: Improves with temperature too. Perhaps I should/could have known that going in? Bumped up a half a point to 3.5 by the end.

D: Slightly above average. Could have split this one and been happy enough.

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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 wrightro07
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It is a pitch opaque black with a mocha coloured creamy head. The head retention was just fine on TBK. I just wish that the head would form easier. I was not able to forum a large enough head in my opinion.
S: The smell is of coffee, vanilla, malts, and chocolate. I really enjoyed the smell of the RIS. It smell just as it should rich with coffee chocolate aromas.
T: The taste is a little burnt bitter in my opinion. I was hopping for a smother coffee taste and a little sweeter side with the vanilla.
D: The overall drinkability is satisfactory. It would not be a brew that I would go out of my way for again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
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 AaronHomoya
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Stout aged on Fair Trade Cocoa Nibs.

Nicely drinkable, as I easily finished the bomber by myself. Not as pronounced chocolate aroma or flavor as I was hoping from the aforementioned cocoa nibs. Nice coffee, stout flavor though. Would try again.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.34/5  rDev -35%
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 Arbitrator
1.57/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by womencantsail. Thanks, Andrew.

A: Pours black with a substantial mocha head. It looks like it might be infected.

S: It's not, at least not in any obvious (to me) manner. No bacteria could produce the unnatural flavors of char, tar, and cigar (hey, that rhymes!).

T: Burnt coffee, burnt cocoa, char (like overdone roast), cigar. These pull into the finish for a really bitter, acrid aftertaste. I see other reviewers mention the words "burnt" and "acrid" a few times, so I'm inclined to think this isn't an off bottle. Just not something tuned to my palate. I found it unpleasant to say the least.

M: Thin-medium body that is especially foamy in the finish.

D: Not the worst imperial stout I've ever had, but there are many better ones, assuming this is a representative bottle.

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Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -42.8%
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 +13.3%
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 BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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 Patchmaster
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This beer initially pours a nice dark brown color with an initial head that slowly melts away.

S- Very malty with heavy roasting. I was expecting more cocoa flavor, but it was a little underwhelming.

T- Nothing too earth shattering here. Defniitely some coffee flavors. As it sits the chocolate flavor starts to make an appearance.

M- Medium carbonation with some booziness towards the end.

D- I was hoping for more out of this beer. On the positive it is very well priced. At $7.99 a bomber you get a decent RIS for the price. Not my favorite, but fits the bill.

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Photo of JToad
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review, poured directly into my Duvel Tulip slightly chilled. Opaque black, with decent chocolate lacing. Smell of roasted coffee, dark chocolates and hops.

Tastes of roasted coffee beans, cocoa is present if you let it sit on your tongue slightly. Very hop bitterness on the dry finish.

Lacks the creaminess you would expect or hope for. Bitterness tends to overpower the other flavors, causing the chocolate to become muted.

Alcohol is well masked for 10.2%. Would be hard to drink more than one of these, as the hops tend to take charge. Would probably much better with some age on it, so the bitterness would mellow. But still a fairly complex stout, and a rather unique flavor profile. Good value for $8.99

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Photo of Overlord
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a generous trader!

Pours a dark brownish black. Dark tan foam head that quicky dies down to a persistent crust. Gobs of carbonation on glass.

Let me start with mouthfeel: Too thin. For an RIS, one of the more watery efforts I've had.

I don't know why, maybe the name, but I expected chocolate. There's some in the aroma and flavor, but it ain't earth shattering. Mostly some acrid, roasted malt, a bit of coffee and some roasted chocolate ... maybe a faint burnt cocoa aftertaste. Bit too dry.

Eh. Okay.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, very dark brown, almost opaque, with a small, long lasting tannish head. Little lacing.

S - Burnt acrid dark roasted malts, chocolate and a slight solventy booze character.

F/M - Similar to aroma with a dominant burnt roast flavor. Chocolate malts, with a slight cocoa character. I was expecting more of the cocoa. Moderately high bitterness, accentuated by dark malts. Hit solventy alcohol becomes more evident as this beer warms. Medium full bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering roasted burnt flavor.

D - Good, as it was somewhat easy to put this glass down, but I was expecting so much more. There was a flurry of hype surroundong this beer, and I can see why it died down so fast. Better than average though.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

TMoney2591 brought over this nice gem.

The beer pours a lovely darkness topped by a tan foam that has some decent lacing. This beer smells of oaked bourbon, cocoa, brown sugar and some toasted marshmallow. The taste is pretty bourbony with some coffee roast flavors and hints of chocolate bitterness. This is a pretty bitter beer on the palate, it could use some time to mellow out. But it still drinks pretty well.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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 Wisconsinality
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a deep cola brown that looks black but when held up to the light, there is a little light let in around the edges. A small, half finger worth of head doesn't stay around long but leaves decent lacing on the side of the glass.

S- You can smell the chocolate as soon as the beer is poured. Some nice toasted malts and a little bit of cinnamon. I can also pick up some graham cracker, which is kind of interesting, and some black licorice. The alcohol is hidden quite well.

T- Again, the chocolate is right up front, strong and a tad bitter. Some nice coffee notes and a little brown sugar. Big roasted malts and a very well hidden ABV. As it warms and the more sips you take, the more balanced it feels or tastes.

M- Medium to full bodied that is very smooth on the tongue. Just a little bit from the carbonation. A little warming on the back of the throat from the alcohol.

D- Sipping on this one works for me because the longer you drink it, the more complexities are picked up. Good balance combined with a nice chocolate flavor and a well hidden ABV equals a good offering.

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Photo of sixthglass
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Almost Black, Nice dark brown head that quickly faded, nice lacing.

S: chocolate, coffee, malty, spicy

T: Initially bitter when first poured, as the beer warmed, chocolate, coffee, spicy(ness), molasses, maybe carmel.

M: Thick beer that coats the mouth and sticks, leaving a slight bitter after taste which fades into a alcohol burn.

D: This was a perfect beer to have sitting by a campfire, sharing it with a few friends.. Nothing a go to brew.. but not a bad one to have around.

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