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 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 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 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 chugalug06
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very little brown-rust colored head rises from an oil black brew.

Smokey, roasty, heavily malted, tons of molasses, dark chocolate, and slight kick of licorice.

Solid, a bit thin. Robust, coffee, chocolate, toasty. Heavyer carbonation than I would have imagined. Slight rust flavor, mildly off. Dry and nicely bitter.

Nice beer, can't say i'll still be ISO, but nice. Glad I finally got to try this one.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - no light is getting through this one. A thick creamy head of mocha foam is going nowhere and is very sticky. Excellent retention, a thick wall of lace is around half the glass.

Aroma - dark roasted grain, a touch of soy. Not very expressive, though some chocolate emerges with warmth.

Taste - huge blast of roasted grain, dark, slightly burnt. The swallow is a touch ashy, the hop bitterness is drying to enhance that even more. No sugar to this beer either, a very dry experience all around. A bit metallic early, excellent dark chocolate flavor on the aftertaste and finish. A couple elements taken on a deep dive. Very tasty, wouldn't mind a hint of malt sweetness though.

Mouthfeel - weighty but not as much as I was expecting. Very fluffy, that should tame down if I am patient. A bit thin for an imperial.

Overall - excellent sipper on the last evening of Winter '13. Nice job Upland!

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Photo of Etan
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


A: Pretty nice appearance. Glassy black body with a thick tan head, lots of lacing.

S: Light char, roasted grain, mildly sweet chocolate in the nose.

T: Starts on the palate with sweet milk chocolate, followed by heavy notes of charred grain. The bitter roastiness feels a bit harsh and metallic when the beer is colder, but as it warms it smooths out a bit. There's almost a vanilla-like sweetness that comes back after the roasted malt fades.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with creamy carbonation.

O: Not nearly as bad as I expected. Yes, the roasted malt should be toned down a bit, but the chocolate shines through nicely and the mouthfeel is good.

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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 Docrock
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap as a guest brew at Three Floyd's, served in a snifter

A- deep dark brown with abig thick head that lasted quite awhile, very pleasing to look at. solid lacing, a really attractive beer, that was its strong point.

S- chocolate hits you right away, not picking up much of anything else.

T- tastes just like it smells, chocolate a touch bitter then a touch of bitter burned malt flavor which lingers.

M- seemed to be a bit thin for the abv and the style. with the amount of carbonation I expected acreamy feel but it just wasnt there.

O- it wasn't a bad beer but it left me wanting a little more body and flavor. It may fit the requirements of a Russian Imp Stout, but it was not in the same class as most.

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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 FosterJM
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1631st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

2012 Vintage
Thanks to Daysinthewake for the extra

App- A very dark brown pour with a ton of red behind it. A good and deep thick center. A huge two finger khaki/brown head that was very tightly clung. Had a pretty good amount of cling behind. I wouldve thought this was going to pour much darker.

Smell- It was a nice little simple aromatic beer. Wasnt anything too crazy for a stout. A nice combination of standard stout aromas. Started off a bit boozy and melded into a good but malty, dry and ashy chocolate aroma.

Taste- I am still not sure what happened to this thing. I think it might have caught a cold. I dont wanna use the I word. It was like a quad stout thing that was ashy and didnt work for me. Had a bit of a chocolate, prune, flat dry balance. Just off.

Mouth- This was a deception. Had a bit of a light body with a medium carbonation. Was a bit dry and ashy and didnt hold up well with the cocoa nibs. Not sure what happened.

Drink- Just a weird beer. Seems to be off. Probably wont try more.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
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 WastingFreetime
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out inky black with two fingers of khaki foam on top that lasts for about two minutes but doesn't leave much lacing. Heavy body and medium-light carbonation with a slick semi-oily mouthfeel.

Smells and tastes of cocoa powder and charred malt with a rising alcoholic burn, and not much else in terms of complexity, which is what hurts the beer the most IMO. The most I get out of it is a faint chalkiness as it warms up towards room temperature. But as it is, it's a very simple beer.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.38/5  rDev +22%
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 boilermakerbrew
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black as night with no light coming through. Small, almost 1 finger head forms on top. Head is light tan to chocolate brown, and retains like a champ. Lacing is pretty good as well. A beautiful pour.

S- Big, dark chocolate roasts right up front on this one. Somewhat sweet, with hints of chocolate bitterness. Not much else there. Slight hints of burnt malts in the background.

T- Starts off with the chocolate just like the scent. Chocolate quickly mixes in with the dark malts for a good balance of sweet and bitter burnt flavors. After that the flavors really drop off. Little to no more complexity, and the rest of the drink is a little watered down tasting. Burnt malt flavor linger on the tongue.

M- Terribly thin for the style. Watery with a fair amount of carbonation is not what I want in my stouts, especially an imperial. Does hide the alcohol content well, with minimal burn, and little affect on the flavor. Surprisingly drinkable for an imperial.

Overall, I like this beer, but it's too light for the style. Flavors are good, but lacking a little. Feel on the palate reminds me more of a Guinness than an imperial like FBS. Not a bad beer, just could use some work.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared by Rutager

A: Slight tan head over cola liquid.

S: Cocoa, yeast, toasted malt and coffee.

T: Pine, grass, coffee, dark chocolate and toasted malt.

M: Dry with medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: Bitter and dry for a chocolate stout, and the cocoa flavours get drowned out.

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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 inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upland Brewing Co.
Teddy Bear Kisses
22oz, October 2010
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours pitch black.  No light getting through there.  About a full finger of mocha colored head.  Looks to be good carbonation.  Little bubbles streaming up the glass.  Nice alcohol feet present.  Some mocha colored lacing sheeting too.

S: I'm getting lots of roasted malt character.  Deep dark chocolate notes.  Maybe some dark fruits, and maybe a dark cherry hint too.  Some coffee is there as well.  I don't know why but I think I detect a touch of oxidation.  We'll see.

T: Wow, chocolate and more chocolate!  Delicious beer.  Right at the front of the tongue you get bitterness that sticks with you.  Dark chocolate bitterness.  Really high cocao style chocolate.  In the middle of the mouth that chocolate meshes with some of the roasted charred malts.  Maybe some coffee and licorice.  Helps to smooth the beer a touch.  There ends up being some creaminess there too.  Mouth coating flavor.  In the finish, you are left with lingering dark cocao chocolate for days!  The alcohol is hidden nicely for being over 10%.  There is some warming but I don't taste it.

M: Full bodied beer.  Coats all corners of the mouth.

O: A-. Great chocolate RIS.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.91/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this one as an extra from Phishisphunk a while back. Thanks a lot! Poured into a tulip. This one pours pitch black with a thin layer of dark tan head.

The aroma gives of chocolate aromas with a leathery background. Lots of roast and char on this one. Very sweet chocolatey edge. The pallet is more of the same. Lots of leathery charred malts with a sweet chocolate edge. A little bit of cloves on the pallet. A little sweeter than I would prefer.

Body is full and robust with soft carbonation. A bit hot here. Eh, this one is forgettable. Lots of polarizing flavors here. A little bit too sweet with to much char. I'll enjoy it enough, but I would pass in the future.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Generously shared by Bendurgin! Poured into a tulip. The color is black. There is a bunch of sticky lacing from the small tan head.

The aroma is full of chocolate with some chicory and anise.

The taste has lots of licorice and anise, with some chocolate. The finish is just bitter enough. Overall this falls on the sweet side.

This is very rich and full bodied. Tasty.

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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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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs definitely seemed worth checking out. Interesting name, as well…way to draw me in, Upland.

Brewed five months before the date of this tasting (cool little marker on the label denotes that it was bottled in December 2011).

A: Looking good! The body, shining in its pitch blackness, moves smoothly around as the head comes up from below: not as pronounced as something like Guinness, but reverse-cascading nonetheless. Pretty thick head, standing an inch high in a rich tan foaminess. It takes a full minute to collapse to a ring of cream, leaving a bit of retention here and there.

S: Really wonderful aromas we have here, starting with a thick caramel syrup, spicy bourbon, smoky wood, and vanilla. The chocolate is really full and bittersweet – lots of cream and dark cocoa notes – and there’s even a fruity aroma of raspberry tart and cherry cordial. It isn’t as big as I had hoped, as it has a layer of ash scents mulling over the entire nose. Still, very nicely done.

T: Moderately-full caramel malt and much bigger dark roasts, with a good flavor of coffee, smoke, and spicy, piney hops. The palate’s more bitter than anything. Syrup and alcohol are not as pronounced, but still evident, like honey mixed with bourbon and black pepper. Lots of oak, bread crust, almond, molasses, and char towards the end of the palate, giving this one an aftertaste of burnt rye bread and a salty dryness. The chocolate in this one, unfortunately, isn’t very apparent, showing up in spurts between the bitters and the syrups.

M: This one’s thick, palpably so, with a chalky, coating character. After it settles around the mouth, though, it’s a totally dry experience: astringency literally sucking all the moisture off the tongue. It just serves to make the palate more intensely bitter.

O: This is a tasty beverage; granted, I love roasted flavors in a stout. I only wish there was more chocolate in the palate. Quite satisfying, nonetheless – a stout that’s bitter to the core.

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Photo of RickS95
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
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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Photo of thagr81us
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one at a recent tasting! Poured a massively dark reddish brown with a one finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, alcohol, and roasted malt. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. Pretty much every aspect of this one was very solid, but the mouthfeel left a little to be desired. It just felt a little thin, but had a nice carbonation level going on. Definitely worth trying if you are a fan of the style as all of the proper flavors and aromas are there, but you just have to forgive it for the thinner mouthfeel.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up in Indiana at a local store when I went to get my cases of Zombie Dust a few weeks ago. 2011 bottle.

Appearance – Pours into my sweet Duvel tulip (thanks Kevin!) with an opaque black and about 2.5 fingers of head that dissipates at a moderate pace leaving some nice lacing.

Smell – Sweet cocoa, heavy roasted malt, charred malt, slight coffee.

Taste – Yikes. Am I drinking a liquid cigarette? Holy char and burnt everything. Literally everything is bitter and charred about this. No sweetness whatsoever. Huge, huge, huge bittersweet cocoa. Raw nasty shitty bitter green coffee beans, and more char.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – Finished maybe 4-5 ounces of this. Drainpour the rest. Yikes. Can someone say cigarette ashes?

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Photo of BeerHunter76
4.2/5  rDev +17%
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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Teddy Bear Kisses from Upland Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 486 ratings.
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