Black Bear XX Stout | Alameda Brewhouse

BA SCORE
88
very good
250 Ratings
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alameda Brewhouse
Oregon, United States
alamedabrewhouse.com

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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

Added by RedDiamond on 02-20-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
250
Reviews:
110
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
30
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 250 |  Reviews: 110
Photo of KlayWey
1.5/5  rDev -61.9%

Photo of sukwonee
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of KSOZE
2.3/5  rDev -41.6%
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 ccrida
2.59/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from 22oz bottle into a snifter, the Black Bear XX is pitch black with a 1 finger dark tan creamy head that leaves thick bubbly lace and a hefty collar.
The aroma is pretty subdued, molasses and rye. It opens up and sweetens as it warms, reminiscent of sweet cream, but not appetizing to me for a stout. It also got a bit boozy towards the end, but again, sweet.
The taste is really not my cup of tea, maybe it's the rye, or the anise flavor that I can't ignore (and never like), but I will try to remain objective. It's fairly complex, and also includes the appropriate roastiness, with sweet milk, caramel, and some citrus flavoring hops as well as bittering on the finish. I'm not sure if it's the rye or what, but there is a sweet flavor that strikes me as a bit off, although this bottle is not that old, and has been well kept locally. I have another in the stash and I'll have to see if it smooths out with age or amplifies unfavorably.
The mouthfeel is pretty nice, matching the appearance as strong suits. It is not to heavy and really creamy and frothy in your mouth.
I didn't really care for the taste of this one, and by the end of the 2nd snifter from the bottle, I was pretty sick of it. It wasn't that heavy though though so if it's your thing, it's probably pretty drinkable. Just a bit to sweet for me. I'm compelled to try this on nitro at the brewery now that I live here, although I can't say I'm in a big hurry to do so. Hopefully it'll be more enjoyable and I'll re-review. Same goes for the bottle I'm cellaring.

 1,550 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of HappyPappy2X
2.85/5  rDev -27.7%
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 BuckeyeNation
2.96/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Double chocolate fudge brown with no visible highlights, even with bright sunshine behind the pint glass. The three finger crown is the color of coffee mousse and looks at least as creamy. It's also responsible for the beginning stages of what should be a tremendous display of lace. Great right out of the gate.

If it wasn't for a pervasive dark fruit sourness, the nose would be right on the money as well. It smells like there's plenty of roasted malt present, although the rye malt escapes notice. This one could go either way on the palate.

Alameda Black Bear XX is disappointing. Sweet stouts are good, bitter stouts are good and bittersweet stouts are very good. Sour stouts, like this one, are not. One has to wonder how so much lemon juiciness ended up in the final product. The bottle was manufactured this year, so advanced age is no excuse.

The amount of malt is fine, it's just that chocolate, roasted and rye (along with whatever hops were used) should taste much better than this. Simply put, the tart-n-tangy fruit ruins what should have been a kick-ass export stout. Given most of the other reviews, this bottle almost has to be from a bad batch.

The mouthfeel is lightly creamy and incredibly smooth. A little more heft with more hang-on at the end would have earned the next highest score with no trouble at all.

So far, Alameda Brewhouse has failed to impress me. Black Bear XX is a classic example of how addition by subtraction would result in a much better beer. Subtracting the sourness would add immeasurably to both flavor and drinkability. Too bad I'll probably never get to try it again to put that theory to the test.

 1,652 characters

Photo of SalukiAlum
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of TaraBrynn
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of leftoverburrito
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of craigreno
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
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 Slammy
3.11/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Just bought this 22 oz. bottle at Whole Foods in Portland, Oregon for $3.99.

A: Noticeably syrupy as it is being poured out of the bottle, this deep, molasses colored stout is entirely opaque. The rich tan head was quite minimal - one cm at best - and foreshadowed an underwhelming experience. At 7 percent ABV, I was expecting a fuller head that lasted longer. This one, however, dissipated within 20 seconds. Lacing was minimal throughout the drinking, which, after seeing the pour, I was not surprised.

S - This was definitely the weak point of the beer as there was little aroma to discern. I got some nuttiness and a hint of alcohol, but - probably due to the lack of head (perhaps this is just a bad bottle?) - there was so little for my olfactory system to interpret.

T - The taste made me somewhat forget the underwhelming aromas. I was able to detect light hints of pistacho and molasses, the latter of which was surprisingly light.

M - This is definitely a creamy beer. After quick carbonation on the tip of my tongue, the beer was very smooth and syrupy, which was not unexpected after watching the pour. This aspect, to me, was the highlight of the beer.

O - Well, I can't say that I was thrilled with the beer, but I would drink it again. I'm guessing that it would be better on tap, which I will try the next time I am close to the brewery. Hopefully, it will be a better experience.

Edit: I just noticed the bottle date was VERY recent (12/21/12). Perhaps this beer would do better with some aging.

 1,523 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 22 oz bomber from Tangfoot as part of the I Want That BIF.

A: The stout has a gloriously thick bubbly head that, like a decent stout, creates a cascading effect as the head settles out. The settling out process is slow, with the thick four finger head leaving a prodigious trail of lace. The stout is a standard, dark black stout color.

S: The nose has a roasted, burnt toast malt aroma that is nicely pepped up with a bitter hop element. The aroma conjures up the image of a Lion Stout ad, with chocolate and chile pepper notes.

T: The ale begins with the body of a stout, roasted with dark chocolate and burnt bread flavors, grainy without getting too intesnse. Layered atop the roasted body is a hop flavor that adds a citrusy flavor to the dark body. A funky aftertaste emerges, overtaking the hops and spoiling the taste.

M: The mouthfeel straddles the malt sweetness and hop bitterness line nicely, allowing both flavors to come through.

D: I split the bomber with my wife, it was okay but the aftertaste was a bit too much to take.

 1,055 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to goryshkewych for this bottle.

A: Pours a deep black with an insane amount of mocha head. It was a slow steady pour that resulted in 3/4 of my snifter filled with some serious froth. It's taking quite a bit of time for it to settle.

S: The beer smells sweet and malty (notes of caramel) and there is a chalkiness to this beer as well. It reminds me of a typical foreign export stout verging towards a hint of Baltic porter.

T: It starts off sweet with some big carbonation that turns the initial flavors a bit bitter. I get that chalk like flavor that I picked up in the nose as well. The beer finishes bitter. Nothing too exciting.

M: Full bodied beer. Massive carbonation, stinging and extremely effervescent. The carbonation dominates.

O: The over carbonation really hurts this beer. It brings both the smell, taste, and mouthfeel way down. I'm not a fan. I'm pleased to have tried this beer, but I wouldn't seek it out in the future.

 951 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served Imperial pint glass. Poured a typical solid black, with over an inch of thick, tan head that had decent retention and OK lacing.

Nicely roasted scents greet the front of the nose and the expected solid malts fill the rest of aromatic aspects. The flavors were also just about what you expect from the style, nice roast, earthy malts and just a hint of mellow hops.

The body was about as full as you'd expect, smooth and not overly heavy. Drinkability was good, if you like the big stouts you'll drink a few of these. Overall, a good, solid example of the style, one that's certainly worth trying when you see it.

 621 characters

Photo of mixed_master7
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of imfinished
3.34/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The taste is more alcohol than stout.

37 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.35/5  rDev -15%
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 mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%

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 airpup
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Shockey
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of switzer
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, split, served as base for some experimental mussels

appearance: served in ommegang chalice, ebony body, light bubbly rim, some garnet hue

smell: smoke, roast, rye, cocoa

taste: dry, moderate roast, bitter cocoa, spicy rye, smoke, char, some light green hops, espresso. Not very memorable, but worked well with the shellfish

mouthfeel: uncharacteristically thin, creamy but lacking depth

overall: bizarre stout - quite drinkable but doesnt really fit the bill for the style

 491 characters

Photo of SpongeKA
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
3.94 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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