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Bear Hug | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zaphog on 01-07-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 104
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With cooler weather looming, the appetite for richer, roastier, fuller bodied beer does also. But the lingering heat suggests something drier and hoppier- enter an imperial stout that shares commonalities with "black" IPA.

Bell's Bear Hug pours with an opaque depth of bark brown, a hair's shade of black. Sharply roasted, the nose is rife with espresso, cocoa and walnut with hints of burnt citrus and pine. Seared molasses follows in taste along with bitter baker's chocolate, burnt cream and an overall woodsy, nutty earthiness.

The middle palate shows tremendous roast and bitterness without tasting burnt or ashy. The bitterness of hops give greater rise to the impressions of bitterness that coffee and cocoa offers- each pushing the other to greater heights that than either of them could achieve individually. Trailing spiciness of pepper, booze and a long hop linger carries a faint campfire, prairie fire and singed pine needle character.

Full bodied but trending dry for imperial stout, the stout's carbonation, spicy alcohol and acrid roast promotes a drying texture even though its robust roastiness suggests something of heft. Long impressions of bitter espresso and roasted walnut outlasts the beer's more fleeting complexities.

 1,246 characters

Photo of 98green
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Look is jet black, but not as thick as some RISs. Smell is bright hops and some toasty malt. Taste is rather hop forward too, with malt coming late. They could bill this as black IPA and I'd be ok with the label. Feel is thin, again more black IPA less stout. Overall a fine beer for a one off, but nothing amazing

 322 characters

Photo of Bartleby91
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black appearance with good carbonation. Floral hop forward aroma along with chocolate. Tastes are pretty similar with a nice palate that mixes the hop and malt well. Overall a good stout but not as good as bell's other offerings like expedition or 30th anniversary

 270 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the nose, but the flavors don't really come through enough for me to be completely blown away. Overall, a well done, semi-sweet stout from a brewery that does a lot of them

 178 characters

Photo of DovGibor
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz pour at Whole Foods Columbus Circle. Dark brown with rich ruby highlights. Slight cream colored head with good retention. Aroma is generous roast and touch of sweet malt. Not a huge aroma, but good.

Taste is roasty, but slightly bittered. An astringent, tanic bitterness, not a hop bitterness. Closer to slightly over brewed coffee. It's rich and dark, but just slightly too bitter. Mouthfeel is middle of the road for a rich stout.

Overall not a bad stout, but seems rough around the edges.

 501 characters

Photo of bassfishingguy
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got to head to Bell's today for the first time (sad given the fact we live about 45 minutes north). I'm guessing this isn't a very highly produced beer, as I'd never heard of it before today. That being said, I'm a big fan of Imperial Stouts, and this one didn't disappoint. The ABV was a little more tame than what I'm used to seeing with Imperial Stouts (see Bell's Expedition), and the beer appeared to pour a little thinner/lighter than Expedition. I could smell coffee, as well as some caramel when putting the snifter up to my nose.

The taste of this was much more mild than I was expecting out of this type of beer, but I liked that. I had to pace myself on the consumption of this beer as it was that smooth. I got a little bit of coffee, a little bit of caramel, with a very mild coffee finish. Another solid offering by Bell's, and I'm glad I got an opportunity to check out the Eccentric Cafe today.

FWIW, based on what I've had from Bell's thus far, I'd rate their Imperial Stouts as #1 Black Note #2 Expedition and #3 Bear Hug. I'd definitely drink this one again if given the opportunity.

 1,104 characters

Photo of Mdwstbrlvr
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft from Local Option

A: Dark brown/black, slightly transparent. One inch mocha head dissipates quickly.

S: Roast, caramel, bitter hops

T: Caramel, roast, coffee bitter hops, sweet malt finish, coffee aftertaste.

M: Light, on par for the ABV

O: Good in between stout, better than most stouts, not as good as most RIS's though.

 337 characters

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Local Option. Pitch black color with light lacing. Aroma is subdued chocolate and roasted malts. Opened up as it warmed. Great mouthfeel and overall, a very solid stout from Bell's.

 191 characters

Photo of jdb288
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Bells. Pours black with thick tan head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate. Taste is sweet, roasted malt, coffee, strong chocolate notes, hop bitterness. Not as balanced as the Expedition stout but a strong showing from Bells. Will come back for this one.

 256 characters

Bear Hug from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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