Black Bear XX Stout
Alameda Brewhouse

Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Foreign / Export Stout
ABV:
7%
Score:
88
Avg:
3.97 | pDev: 11.08%
Reviews:
111
Ratings:
258
From:
Alameda Brewhouse
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  14
Gots
  34
SCORE
88
Very Good
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout
Notes: "Smooth, rich and creamy. Rye malt blends with roast and chocolate malts to create a new and delicious stout profile, balanced with soft and velvety hops. This northwest original is poured using the traditional nitrogen dispensing method, so it may take an extra minute to arrive, but the wait is worth it. The Black Bear won the Gold Medal at the 2003 GABF in the foreign-style stout category."

6.8% ABV 50 IBU
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 258
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black. Clean. Almost perfect even. An enormous creamy and foamy tanned head layers itself on top, and takes its time to come down, leaving ring after ring just in case you forgot what was there.

Extremely roasty and extremely metallic aromas clash appropriately. Dark chocolate, charred bread, toasted nuts. Iron, mineral water, damp soil.

Each sip plays back and forth with an initial roasted grain intensity followed by a smooth semi sweet milk chocolate. All together, each sip is reminiscent of chocolate covered toasted nuts, followed by a sharp metallic and floral finish.

It starts creamy and sweet, then roasty and bitter. Full bodied but ends dry except for the sticky film that coats the lips.

This is a damn good classic export stout. In the same ballpark as the more well known like Pelican Tsunami and Guinness Foreign Extra. When I'm in the mood for such, no question I'll reach for some more Black Bear XX. Cheers.

 949 characters

Photo of Impetuous
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Perfectly opaque deep brown, nearly black. Head is a lovely autumn brown that is small but vibrant.

Flavors are light cola, chocolate, with some pine in the back. Carbonation is silky smooth

Pretty good !

 210 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

She pours a motor oil quality and leaves the same colored body, both have an enormous three finger head that seems like it just doesn’t want to die. Wow, what a nice show as the lacing is strewn in foamy bubbles. The aroma has a super huge amount of roasted coffee notes coming through in a slightly bitter way, backed up by a decent amount of roasted malts. The taste is mainly bitter and roasty, there’s an aspect about this beer that tells me it wants to own you as something dark and harsh pervades and pounds my mouth. There is a super dry roasty somewhat coffee-like aftertaste with a just a plain dry finish. On the palate, she sits about a medium on my mouth and tongue and wants to try to be gentle yet that same dark harshness comes back, carbonation is fairly smooth. Overall, I think is just an ok foreign/extra stout, it has a fair amount of good qualities of the style trying to come out but there's a fair amount of other ones of this style that I would rather have.

 985 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours rather thick looking - like a lightweight oil. a nice medium to dark tan head builds up and forms a lightly foamy cap. Lacing comes in lines of residual bubble stretching most the way around the glass.

Nose is roasty with maybe just a slight bit of char. Seems to be a little amount of unsweetened chocolate or cocoa, perhaps, but isn't clear to my nose. A little smoky astringent note comes out on a warm beer.

Taste doesn't give you much sweetness up front. It almost teases you ever so briefly before bitterness takes over. This bitterness controls the taste to me. Roasted malt bitterness mainly, with a bit of woody bitterness that may be from the hops. No chocolate carried over from the nose to the taste, the flavor is more of a coffee-like roasted malt flavor with a little nuttiness perhaps, but no fruit. (Note: I enjoyed the last of this with a roast beef sandwich, and afterwards, a near room temperature beer did show a little bit of a chocolate brownie note)

Beer is a more bitter than I'd hoped. It's quite bold in its roastiness, and seems to have a decent dose of hops. I long for a little of the sweetness to balance this.

 1,162 characters

Photo of Radcpa
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wry dark appearance with a mild coffee taste and aroma. The beer is a little thin on appearance aroma and taste. A bit to mild for be. I like something that does not hint at th she qualities but actually delivers.

 216 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the Belmont Station in Portland yesterday for $4.98.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is roasted malts with hints of cocoa and some dark fruit like sweetness. Hopping is ample enough to keep it from being cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy smooth.

Overall a nice stout that is fairly priced. I would recommend it if you enjoy the export stout style.

 440 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased and consumed in Oregon. 7% ABV.

Pours dark brown, ending up essentially black.
Fruit and dark roasted grains in the aroma.

Dark roasted grains with some char longer in the mildly bitter aftertaste. Unfortunate sourness.
Sweet up front with hints of dark chocolate followed by espresso.

 310 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours with nice thick, velvety beige head, lasts a pretty long time too. Normal dark / roast malt aroma, taste is rather full and strong though. A touch of molasses sweetness mellows out the bitterness. Easy drinker.

 216 characters

Photo of KSOZE
2.3/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Tasted like dip spit aged on green peppers with some raisins and olive juice thrown in for good measure. Beautiful beer, but the taste profile hit all the wrong notes for me.

 174 characters

Photo of SitkaSteve
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Treated as a Foreign/Export stout, this was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a one and a half finger white to off white foamy head. Lacing was somewhat foamy and slid into the beer.
The smell starts off with a ton of roasty coffee beans. Delicate dark chocolate enters in slyly to try and balance but falls a bit short. The bitter side of the coffee beans also shows up in a nice way.
The taste was a nice balance between the roast, the sweetness, and the bitterness. All of the previously mentioned aromas show up in the flavor. Roasty aftertaste.
The mouthfeel yields to the roasty side effects sitting on a medium body. Carbonation feels nice for the style and for me.
Overall, I like this beer. It has all of the workings a fine Foreign/Export stout.

 811 characters

Photo of isturbo1984
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: One of the darker stouts I've poured, but not the darkest. Pitch black, but held up to the light some color shows through. Poors smoothly, with a decent caramel-colored head that dissipates within a minute to leave a thin ring.

SMELL: Smells like your average stout/porter. Matly, chocolaty, "meaty," ect. A bit sharper than I would expect.

TASTE: Pretty different than what I would expect. Not your average stout. I tasted almost no roasted malts, chocolaty flavors, caramelesque or vanilla. But a lot of dark fruit flavors. Black cherry and plums come to mind. Very pronounced over everything else. Sweet and sour. Other flavors of nuts are present... almonds, cashews, pecans. "Nuts'n'berries" is something I would expect from any "Black bear" strout. Subtle coffee notes, but again, almost no malty flavors. Bitter, but hardly hoppy either. And dispite its "fruit and nuts" flavores, it wasn't very earthy. Very different, but enjoyable.

MOUTHFEEL: The smell was sharp, the taste was sharp and sweet, and the mouthfeel was sharp as well. Felt very clear and light. didn't sit too heavily. Left a waxy sensation.

OVERALL: A different stout. But very enjoyable. I've read some other reviews and most seem to disagree with me on my categorization. Everyone claims heavy earthy, malty and toasty flavors. But I experienced something quite different. Maybe you will too. A welcomed change in my tulip glass.

 1,423 characters

Photo of constantine_272
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with thick brown foam. Chocolaty and vanilla on the nose but more sweet vanilla bean than anything. Also smells of cool co2 and steel. Starts off mellow. Not as sweet as expected. A very mild chocolate cocoa starts and and a cocoa bittering follows up quickly with some complexity. Very much like milk chocolate followed by dark chocolate. A sweeter vanilla finishes long with a subtle wood and nutmeg note. Superbly balanced which makes it a great beer for the long haul.

 478 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in big bomber from specialist beer shop Beermoth
This is a real treat for stout drinkers
rich liquorice taste & full on cocoa & tobacco aroma

I really like this

 172 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert’s Bierhuis. Had been wanting to try this brew for quite a while so was very happy to see it on a local shelf. Quite enjoy export stouts and this is one of the higher rated American brewed examples of the style.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Transparent, very dark brown pour, almost black, yields a two finger, medium looking, light tan head with excellent retention. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp remains leaving lots of nice lacing down the glass. Very good looking porter.

SMELL: Lots of milk chocolate, sweet vanilla cream, lightly roasted aromas with caramel as well. Creamy nose, if that makes any sense. Nice and plenty forthcoming.

TASTE: Very flavorful. Some black malts and roasted flavors up front, with a smoky and slightly bitter finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of sweet caramel malts, roasted malt, chocolate, bitter hops and some burnt and charred notes. Very flavorful and plenty going on. Excellent export stout profile.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A touch lighter on the palate than hoped, creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly drier than expected.

OVERALL: An excellent, high quality export stout. I can certainly see why it boasts all the medals they’ve won on the label. Deserves every one of them. Very nicely done and impressive for a 7% beer. The feel could use a bit of beefing up perhaps, but the rest of the show is a treat. Glad this one showed up locally and if I see it again, I’ll be all over it. Highly recommended.

 1,637 characters

Photo of dcscientist
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This stout was excellent. I want to say that I had it cask-conditioned at the brewpub, which made it even more excellent. Great color, balanced flavor, and paired very well with my food. Thumbs up all around for this one.

 224 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%

Weirdly sharp mouthfeel. I thought it was just the carbonation, but there is something unusually acidic for such a dark roasted brew.

Some malty sweetness. Tannic with chocolate milk, old coffee, perfume. Dry, winey finish. Decent foam in the tall glass. From the 22 oz bottle.

 278 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 31/7/14

A black with a deep cola edge, two fingers of dark mocha foam sits around for half the glass but leaves zero lace

S coco powder, chocolate milk, fennel, root beer, nutmeg, faint smoke, raisins, a strange combo but it works

T more of the same with more earthy notes and the roasts darker, much like the nose but stronger

M not as thick as the color would let you believe but still far from thin, bubbles cream it up, a little grit left behind, coco and ash linger

O respectable beer and I'd believe it was under 5%, no problems taking down the bomber but not the richest stout I've had recently

worth a try but another one of those 10$ bombers that I doubt I'd buy again based on price alone

 738 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of tan head.

Smell - roasted malts, espresso bean, dark fruits (cherry), and molasses.

Taste - Hit up front with roasted malts, light burnt bitterness, hint of dark fruit and molasses.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall - A robust and dark stout that has very prominent roasted malt and light burnt bitterness characteristics.

 415 characters

Photo of BastardKing24
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love trying new breweries and this is my first for Alameda. This could be a make or break for trying more of their beers.

Pours a very dark black with a big mocha head that sticks around for a bit and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell is Coffee and chocolate with more dark roasty malt notes. A hint of fruit in there as well, cherry and plum.

Taste is very coffee like, with molasses, chocolate, bitter hops, and a lingering creaminess that is wonderful. It starts velvety with the cocoa and coffee, and then continues with a medium hop aspect that doesn't last, and then more coffee and toffee, malty in the end.

Mouthfeel is velvety, with medium carbonation.

Overall I like this and think I will try more from Alameda.

 723 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I drank this stout at cellar temperature, in a snifter.

Named after the black bear, this is, appropriately, a black beer. And it's got a beautifully billowy beige head (two fingers high) that leaves flawless lacing as it recedes. Real pretty-like.

The aroma is a womp of chocolate milk, dark cocoa, and coffee. Traditional, straight-forward stout notes, burly in all the right places. Though there might also be a little pine and citrus mixed in, kind of like a black IPA.

All of that chocolate and ceffee fills the flavor big-time, with some great earthiness in the aftertaste. The middle is a bit tart in the way some stouts are.

It's pretty well-carbonated, maybe slightly too much. But it's a minor gripe, really.

I'd recommend anyone who likes stouts meet this bear.

 776 characters

Photo of HappyPappy2X
2.85/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Very dark beer with mild sized head. Coffee crema colored head.

Smell: Slightly sweet, grassy aroma, very mild-smelling.

Taste: Thin and cloying, rather than 'rich and creamy' as advertising states.

Mouthfeel: Light. Is not creamy as description and nice head would seem to promise.

Overall: Doesn't match Stout elements for style. More of a dark cascadian IPA. Very light mouthfeel and heavy hops bittering throws one off from thinking Stout.

 461 characters

Photo of Braz
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at Top Foods.
Looks very appealing. Dark rich brown/black, with a sudsy tan head. Aromatics are roasted yet there is some sweetness that comes through. Taste is also roasted and coffee like. Kind of dry. I can taste the rye a bit and there is a woodsy character to it. The feel is very velvety, smooth and creamy. Overall I enjoyed this and would have again when in the mood for this style.

 401 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, floral, light pine, light rye, and floral/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with a fair amount of hop presence; and great strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, coffee, toast, dark bread, light rye, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount or roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, coffee, toast, dark bread, light rye, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a fair amount of hop balance; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent foreign stout. All around great balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a fair amount of hop presence; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,438 characters

Photo of lighthabit
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

notes to myself -

bomber is sweeter than on tap. bottle is wonderfully chocolate stouty yumminess. tap was good, also (f/stop on 6/15/13), but a bit more cocoa than chocolate in the flavor, and a bit drier on the finish . . . not worse, just different.

 254 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Alameda Brewing 'Black Bear XX Stout' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with a medium size tan head , leaving a spotty lace along the pint glass

S-chocolate , dark fruit , also some pine hops

T-rich smooth and creamy tasting with enough hop in the back to balance this brew

MF-ok/good carbonation , medium to full bodied

Ov-ok/good bear , err beer , yes I'd buy again

prost LampertLand

 478 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 258 ratings