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 SpdKilz
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
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 +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 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 tykees88
2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Very nice chocolate black. Mocha coffee two finger head. Alcohol legs and lacing.

S- Smells a lot like cinnamon coffee and chocolate. A booze aroma however, is also present.

T- Tastes like i'm drinking a shot of alcohol. It's just a hot mess really it is. A chocolate malt flavor is there but it is just very minor. I hate this.

M-Very slick carbonation is there. The oil like slickness just kind of makes it hard to swallow.

O-I'm staying very far away from this thing. Many people probably like it and that's ok with me. I wanted to like it, I built up an excitement waiting to drink it until that cold winter night, but alas...

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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 MarcatGSB
2.39/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into CBS snifter. 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a very deep brown, but not black color, and actually pours quite thin looking. A fairly attractive light khaki colored 1 finger head. Some decent lacing after a few vigorous swirls, and some memorable legs.

N: Very green and fresh smelling chocolate, dominated by heavily roasted malt. Some coffee on the nose as well.

T: Almost a burnt character...Loads of stale coffee character, to go along with a full blast of astringency. Real bitter sensation. Hardly any chocolate to speak off, nothing noteworthy. What is there is an after thought at the back of the tongue, but it's hard to separate the bitter chocolate, and the burnt roast flavor. This thing is dominated by charred or burnt character. Roasty would not be the correct term.

M: Light to medium body for the style, with alot of carbonation. A decent feel, long after taste (mostly that burnt flavor).

D and O: A fairly off putting flavor lingers in my mouth. Not a horrible stout, but hardly enjoyable. A bit thin bodied and astringent. I don't feel as thought time would really do this any good either.

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Photo of Auracom
2.63/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was sitting in the reserves for quite a while, decided to crack it before 2011 ended. 2009 vintage 22 oz. bottle poured on December 31st, 2011 into a Cantillon flute.

A - Very standard RIS coloring, but it looks quite light and is relatively clear. Fluffy, one-finger tan head with decent lacing.

S - Some roast, very slight coffee, and an undertone mixture of light and dark chocolate. A bit delicate and underwhelming.

T - More of the same. Cocoa powder and chocolate cake surrounded by a boring roasted character.

M - Way too thin with a light-medium body, average carbonation, sort of smooth.

D - This just needed to be bolder, stronger, and heavier. So basically, everything needed improvement.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pours a translucent coffee color. The beer settles into the glass an opaque glass color. Very creamy frothy two finger head. The white sand colored head recedes slowly, heavy lacing left plastered to the walls of the glass.

Cocoa and roast are the predominate scents, neither of which are very assertive unfortunately. Soft caramel and a milky sweetness can be found underneath. The nose is a bit disappointing, lack of depth and lack of intensity.

The chocolate finally makes an appearance worth discussing, however it is quickly smothered by an overpowering roasted malt flavor. Semisweet chocolate flavor is pleasant on the front of the palate. As the beer reaches the back of the tongue a rather abrasive combination of dark malt and biting coffee ground flavor. I like an assertive roast, and even some char in my stouts, this surpasses what I would find pleasant.

Medium bodied, a bit light for an Imperial Stout. Carbonation is also a bit higher than one would expect for the style. Long finish.

Teddy Bear Kisses is very close to being a much better beer, unfortunately the issues I have really kills the beer. Pleasant flavor upfront is killed by the overpowering roast. Decent stout, lacks as an Imperial.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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 nrobaws
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the brewery on 12/11/11, label says it was bottled in December so it's pretty fresh.

A - Very dark, pours slightly thick and the color of oil, a 1/2" brown head that disappears after a few minutes leaving a thin head a a bit of lacing. Even holding it up to a bright light, there's no seeing through this beer.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, a slight organic floral hint.

T - Daaark roasted coffee, chocolate, and malts. Burnt flavors of all three almost, which I enjoy. I love black, bitter-ass coffee and this is what this reminds me of. There's a strange almost grass flavor towards the back end, not the after taste, but right before. Oddly enough I enjoy it. This stout masks the alcohol well.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to creamy, about what you would expect.

O - I think people on here are a bit harsh on this beer. Yes, it's not the greatest thing I've drank in my life, but it's not bad at all. I also love dry, black, bitter, sludgy coffee so maybe that helps. I would say this is probably one of the most solid brews by Upland for sure. I would treat myself to a few of these a year.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours opaque dark brown, almost black with thick, rich, tan head.

S- hints of coffee, dark chocolate, just a tiny bit of lacquer thinner. Not offensive in any way, just can't think of another way to word it.

T - Rich coffee flavor, hints of lightly charred fig. A bit of toasted marshmallow in there. Heavy on the dark chocolate, similar to a 70% cacao chocolate bar. Alcohol is very present, almost numbing the tongue.

M - Very peppery with creamy finish. Nicely breaks up the tongue coating body.

O - I prefer my RIS's to have at least a touch of sweetness, somthing this beer lacks. Very tasty, but not exactly what I was looking for.

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

2010 vintage.

poured cold and black from the bottle to a founders brewing goblet with a 1/2 finger, short lasting mocha head leaving a sheet of quickly receding lace after each sip.

aroma of cocoa and black coffee.

subtle espresso roast up front, right alongside cocoa, semi sweet and roast malts.

big bodied, light carbonation, smooth and sweet.

overall, nicely aged, sweet to the palate.

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Photo of CashMoneyVagrant
2.82/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

-2010 vintage

Dark in color with rich brown highlights at the edge of the glass. Has a small tan colored head of foam that vanishes rather quickly.

Lots of roasted malt and dark baker's choclate on the nose upfront, boozy. There's a chalky and somewhat wet grain aroma in with the roasted malt and chocolate notes. Fudge and burnt toffee as well with a developing soy sauce aroma as the beer warms. Good dark fruit notes of raisins, prunes and red grapes with, some faint notes of vanilla and cinnamon.

Medium in body, low carbonation that doesn't really show up till the finish. Sweet tasting upfront then becomes dry with lots of roasted malts. Espresso coffee is the main flavor I'm picking up with faint chocolate, fudge flavors. There's not much dark fruits going on here. Reminds me of a dry chocolate cake really. The finish has touch of carbonation that's dry and full of roasted malt and coffee flavors. As the beer warms it does develop this bitterness that lingers in the mouth, making it difficult to drink.
I could of used a touch more sweetness and more dark fruits in the taste to round out this beer.

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Photo of nhindian
2.64/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Patron Sinner's tulip. Bottles generously provided by stfun37 and denimdemon in separate trade, both as extras. Thanks a ton, guys!

Bottled in September 2010.

A - Much like the label portrays, this beer pours like the shade of your room when you know it's dark, but your eyes have adjusted and you can pick out gray and dark brown mingling in the shadows. Only a little, half-finger of head appears, tan in appearance, with low retention. Likewise, the lacing is thin and wispy, without covering a lot of glass.

S - Very nice and robust nose on this from the start. Big wafts of espresso roast, bittersweet cocoa nibs, burnt sugar, slight ash, and a bit of molasses. Quite rich, and entirely satisfying.

T - Starts off awesome, with that roastiness that gives off great flavors and depth, leading into the almost milk chocolate richness. However, it deteriorates much too quickly into an ash and almost char bomb. I don't know what happened, but halfway through my glass, each sip was more and more difficult to get down, and there's an eerie soy taste in the finish that is depressing as well. It feels like an overly roasted coffee, and at times even burnt. The word that best comes to mind is 'acrid'.

M - Mouthfeel is is moderately heavy-bodied with decent carbonation. The feeling isn't awful, its just that the flavors do not complement it in any way. Fairly smooth with a nice body to it.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately low. The first half of this beer is a joy, but after a bit it just becomes too much. Aggressive roast bitterness (even acridness) assaults the palate and makes it a slow sipper at bit. A bit of a disappointment given the appetizing nose, but alas.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.92/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Been a full 5 days with no power. Ah hurricane irene, you bitch! thanks to both 2beerornot2beer and nhindian for sending this one my way.

A - opened and filled my duvel taster tulip. The pour was a shiny watery black with a nice light caramel colored head that left some lacing traces on the glass.

S - cocoa nibs and a milky roasted malt. Touch of char or smokiness, not much. Licorice.

T - burnt chocolate dominates. Charred. Tastes like an overcooked RIS. Enjoyable in the way that a burnt home made cookie can be enjoyable, you have to focus your taste buds on what is under the charred flavor.

M - pretty silky and smooth at first but finishes a bit sootty with a burnt chocolate coating in my mouth. Really dry.

O - overall not that great. In the highly competitve world of the RIS style, this one falls a bit flat. Kind of like they left it in the oven too long and burned the beer. Burnt RIS.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this at a tasting... Finally getting around to typing up my notes from my iphone.

Served in a snifter.

This guy is dark, brown, like a cola brown and he's got some reddish hues in the legs. The half finger was tan and creamy and left a decent lace behind.

the nose has some cocoa, molasses, caramel, toffee, and uhhhh... a touch of smokiness. Hard to place it in a way.

the flavor is tasty-- starts out sweet and dries out towards the finish. It doesn't totally dry out, but it finishes much drier than it starts.

A bit too low on the carbonation level-- needs more to overcome the syrupy feel.

Overall-- this isn't bad, it's tasty, it's a decent Impy stout, but it is no where near being the benchmark of the style. If this were my homebrew, I'd be happy.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.63/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. I think this is a 2010, but I am not sure (label torn a bit).

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of medium brown, creamy/frothy hybrid head. Retention is pretty good and lots of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Cocoa nibs come through really well and lend a tangy quality to the beer. Moderate roast with notes of coffee, caramel, and peat. The tanginess gives this brew a uniqueness that I haven't really encountered before. I like it. A light booziness, but hidden well overall.

2.0 T: The taste doesn't work as well as the nose. Acrid, charred astringency is too apparent. A certain burntness exists reminiscent of puffing on a fairly cheap cigar or chewing on deeply roasted coffee beans. Caramel and the tanginess of the cocoa nibs manifest in a strange sweet and sour flavor. There isn't enough sweetness to realign the aforementioned flavors to acceptable limits.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy, but not particularly smooth. Acrid, burnt aftertaste.

2.0 D: This is a pretty rough beer. It seems like they threw a couple too many sacks of roasted barley into this. I would sit on this for a long time with hopes that some of these flavors diminish.

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Photo of 1Adam12
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not huge on Upland, but I have been dying to try this. Picked up a bottle today bottled in 09, so it has almost 2 years of age on it allready. Pours black, small head, typical for a RIS. The nose was my favorite part. Awesome chocolate smell, plus malt and it smells of alcohol. Taste was a little bit on the boozy side. I loved the chocolate, but I was expecting more actually based on the nose. Not much else to it, maybe the slightest bit of coffee, and roasts, but it's just too boozy. Even at almost 2 years old it's boozy, so I bet it's extremely hot fresh. That being said, it is still smooth despite the boozy flavor. Slighty thin mouthfeel, a bit creamy. Overall this was a good, but not great, stout. There's just not much to it. Typical for upland though, there's just not much to anything that i've tried of theirs. This is probably my favorite brew so far from them though. It will make a nice extra for trading.

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Photo of zrab11
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice deep brown color with nice 1 finger mocha head.

S- smells of strong alcohol and cocoa nibs. also some dark malts and hops

T- Has a nice espresso cocoa flavor up front follwed but some roasted malts and finishes with a strong alcohol bitterness

M-Medium body with ok carbonation

D-overall this brew was good. Wish it didn't have that bitter taste at the end so much. Its def. a brew to try. i don't think anyone will fall in love with it but i could have it once a year or so.

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Photo of ottovon
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours out a dark brown, with a tan head.

S: roasted malt, brown sugar, and molasses. there is also dark chocolate, and hints of burnt sugar.

T: alcohol, roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and molasses.

M: thick body with low carbonation.

O: this is a good stout, that i would drink again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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 Phelps
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle shared by ottovon into tulip. This one’s an imperial stout tweaked by long aging on fair-trade cocoa nibs.

Pitch black in color and like milk chocolate at the edges. A sudsy one-finger head the color of beach sand becomes a soapy top layer, leaving behind some strands of lace.

Very tangy nose. Sourdough bread and substantial earthy hops behind lots of tangy dark and sweet milk chocolate.

There’s an impressive (abrasive) amount of alcohol in the flavor, like a shot of vodka in a cup of cocoa. This is undeniably chocolatey, though. Bittersweet chocolate chips blend with burnt bread and cocoa powder. Lots of spicy hops make the finish rather bitter, and then espresso moves to clean up.

The medium-light body is soft and a bit watery, with light carbonation, matching fizziness and lots of tongue-numbing alcohol burn that also blazes through the nose.

Well, the name’s about right — the amount of booze in this is as violent as a teddy bear kiss. It’s a smooth, chocolatey blend but could use less booze, and better aroma.

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Photo of brian44556
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured 22oz bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Bottled September 2010.

Pours a pitch black, with a small chocolate head that diminishes very quickly. Light sporadic lacing left on the sides of the glass. Smells of bitter chocolate, hops, and alcohol. Taste was a bit off. I caught notes of stale chocolate and bitter hops. The beer was still pretty hot from the alcohol. The beer was a bit under carbonated and too thin for an imperial stout. This beer just didn't do it for me. I didn't have a problem getting the bottle down, but you won't ever see this in my fridge again.

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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 koopa
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with a medium beige 2 finger crown that recedes to a 1 finger crown displaying good retention and lace.

Smell: Dark roast malt, espresso, slightly spicy with some floral hop presence as well. A hint of underlying booze is present.

Taste: Ok after enjoying the beer thus far I must admit I was surprised by the nose dive it takes in the taste category. The hops are too bitter and too prominent. The beer has hints of alcohol that aren't very enjoyable. The malt is buried and muted which is a real shame because its probably the best part of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Too thin and too crisp.

Overall: Not bad but certainly not good...a bit messy!

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