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Black Bear XX Stout | Alameda Brewhouse

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BA SCORE
88
very good
106 Reviews
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
Reviews:
106
Ratings:
242
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
16.96%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
30
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 242
Photo of mjl21
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland. 22 ounce bottle poured into a Moonlight Brewing glass. Comes in at 7%. No bottling info is given.

A-Based on the lighting in the room, it pours black. It has a one finger sandy head that dissolves to a nice foamy ring that surrounds a sandy cover. Has some nice lacing.

S-It has a nice dark malt nose that is nicely balanced. There is some roast malt, molasses sweetness, and mocha like qualities. It is a little nutty. As it warms citrus hops jump out and give it a nice uniqueness.

T-It starts off with lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweetness which reminds me of a freshly brewed mocha. Citrus hops are quite evident in the middle. It finishes with some chalky roast flavor. In between sips there is some lingering sweetness.

M-Thick and creamy. It is nicely carbonated.

D-A nice drinking stout.

This was recommended to me from one of the Belmont Station employees and I was impressed. Worthy of the awards it has won.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Interestingly the bottle was almost filled to the top of the brown bomber. Poured rich and viscous, very dark and safe to say "black as night" on this one. Rim of the glass holds bourbon colored hues. Creamy mocha colored head with adamant lacing. Good look and my interests were sparked!

S: sweet tart fruits, dark malts, and chocolate...smells different than expected

T: unique mixture I must say. Astringent sweetness, deep chocolates, roasted malts, crusty breads. Fruits are tart and of sour cherries and lemons, takes away from the overall experience. None the less it is quite unique...I'll give it that. Malts sit in the back and chocolate pushes its way in the finish to a semi-sweet chocolate chip feel...I do not pick up on much hops...

M: for a stout it is great! heavy body but very light on the tongue, soft and creamy. Borderline silk feel even with just a pinch of carbonation in it. The finish is dry, has grains, and makes me pucker

D: easily drinkable, I know that I will drink this one again, I am just having a hard time getting over the fruity sour-like characteristics. Not as if they are overpowering, but they are teasing this beer from being a awesome stout.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark pour with silky head, light lacing on the glass

Smell - Malt and coffee

Taste - Dominant coffee and molasses taste, some coffee and malt backbone

Mouthfeel - Slightly chewy

Drinkability - A pretty average example of a stout, nothing really stood out except for the coffee and molasses, which aren't my preferences for a stout

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Photo of chumba526
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears black with a sizeable brown head.

It smells of chocolate, nuts, fudge, and smoky malts.

It tastes of primarily of coffee and dark chocolate. There is a mild smoky flavor to the beer as well. It finishes with a little bit of bitterness. This is not a complex stout but it is very good and very smooth.

The mouthfeel is very good. It has medium carbonation but the mouthfeel is thick. It has a really nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

The drinkability is very good as the beer is very smooth. I could drink a few of these.

Overall this is a very good stout. This is not a complex stout but it is very tasty.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear, very dark brown. Nearly opaque in the glass, with a big, long lasting, fluffy, mocha colored head. Tons of lacing left throughout.

S - Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts. Dark fruity ester smells in the background come out more as it warms. Sweet bready caramel malts.

F/M - Dark roasted malts, bitter dark cocoa flavors. Esters are reminiscent of plums. Acrid burnt flavor enhances the dry finish and also enhances the moderately high hop bitterness. Medium-full bodied with moderately high carbonation. Too much CO2 for this style, and it is a little detracting. Light alcoholic warmth in the finish, as well as a noticeable astringency.

D - OK, but the high carbonation and astringent finish are quite detracting. Otherwise a tasty beer.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into Duvel tulip.

A - Dark black but not pitch black. very little light brown head that dissipated quickly, spotty lacing

S - roasty coffee, chocolate and malt. A bit of sweetness

T - Strong coffee present as well as the chocolate and malt found in the nose. Some slightly burnt sugar and a touch of dairy

M - Medium to full body, and actually a bit of bitterness biting the back of the tongue

D - Not heavy enough to be a sipper, but a solid, well put together beer.

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Photo of velosuds
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased for $4.29 on sale at grocery store. Normally $4.69.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with nearly a one finger head with modest retention and decent lacing. The best attribute.

S-I was expecting more aromas. There are faint roasted malts with some sweetness present, but only the slightest coffee and no chocolate. Smells like a lighter stout, as in Irish Dry.

T-Roasted malts, oats, chocolate, but also an unpleasant sour twang in the finish. The sourness is unwelcome.

M-A tad thin, but carbonation level adequate. Not creamy enough, but very smooth.

D-This is not a bad beer, I just don't think it accurately reflects the style. And it is no where near as good as my favorite stouts of any style. Alameda is scheduled to be at the Salem Beer and Cider Festival this Saturday and I would like to think what I just had was uncharacteristic - seems to be from other reviews, but not sure I want to use a tasting token to try this again.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Black Bear XX Stout on tap several years ago and wanted to try it again so I picked up a 22 oz'er, let it sit for a couple months, and here we go...

THE BODY is black as night with no light penetration whatsoever. I held my glass up to an extremely bright UV-light and the only thing that came through was a little dark violet. This is one dense stout. The head is a dark mocha color and is very airy, like sea foam. There is good malty lacing. Overall, this beer has an appropriate appearance for a stout. It is nothing extraordinary but it is inviting.

THE SMELL is roasted malt, chocolate, hint of espresso, hint of creamy mocha, sweet, and rather dry. No hops.

THE FEEL is on the thin side--makes me think of a Guiness Draught. It is smooth but with considerable dryness as well.

THE TASTE is dark chocolate (maybe like 60% cacao), slightly dry, and hoppy. It finishes dry and sweet.

This is a smooth, well-balanced, drinkable stout. Tastes very similar to Terminator Stout, brewed in the same city, though much stronger (mine says 7.0%, not 6.8%)

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Photo of dcscientist
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of boralyl
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a creamy light tan head that's has good retention and leaves lacing along with a thick creamy ring. The beer itself is a very dark brown, almost black.

S - Light toasty notes as well as an underlying sweetness. Appealing, but nothing spectacular.

M - The best part about this beer is the mouth feel. It's medium in body with a smooth velvety feeling. It's also got some creaminess.

T - Light roasted malts with chocolate overtones and a light sweet malt presence. A very light hops bitterness complements it well in the finish. It's got a nice balance between the malts and hops.

Overall this is a very good beer. It's got the perfect mouth feel with a nice look and delicious taste to back it up. I expected a little more from the nose, but other than that, this one is pretty solid.

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Photo of KSOZE
2.3/5  rDev -41.8%
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.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Alameda brewpub, on nitro and on cask....the difference in enjoyment was pretty dramatic, and not as expected.

Appearance: Cask was black in color, with a weak, short-lived brown head. Nitro was also black in color, but the fine and creamy head was brown with a lovely reddish tinge, and was everlasting.

Nose: Cask sample had a sharp, powdery cocoa nose...like a dry chocolate cake mix, and thats it. Nitro nose was rich, sharp, and chocolately, but this time like a chocolate cake, complete with dark chocolate frosting. These notes were well-developed and yielded some intricate complexities.

Taste: Nitro sample yielded a rich and sharp raisiny-chocolate velvet malt base that opened up with complex bitter dark chocolate notes and subtle cherry esters in the transition to a sharp, roasty, lightly astringent dark bittered chocolate finish with strong lingering cocoa mass flavors.
Cask sample yielded similar but significantly attenuated flavors.

Mouthfeel: Cask sample was way too thin, almost watery! Carbonation was also a bit lacking, even for cask.
Nitro sample was wonderfully full and silky...working extremely well with the flavors and character of the beer. What a difference!

Conclusion:
Wow, the nitro sample was drastically better than the cask version in almost every way. The nitro stout was very enjoyable, complexly rich, and masterfully balanced with a nice sharpness that love in dark beers. Scores are based solely on the nitro version.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was on tap at the Green Dragon here in Portland.

Our server apologized for the head on the beer when he brought it out, saying it's too foamy being on nitro. It took up nearly 1/2 of the glass, being very creamy and tan colored. It slowly settled into the black body of the drink with time, but it remained one of the most persistent heads on a beer I've ever seen. Ridiculous lacing on the sides of the glass. Not convenient, but kinda cool.

I liked the smell. Very dark roasted malts. Almost charred. I also noticed quite a bit of earthy (almost dirty mushrooms) hops. It made me even wonder if this is dry-hopped for more aroma.

Malts and hops are abundant in flavors, as well. Again, it's very roasted tasting, with lots of earth and bitterness coming from the hops. Kind of unique.

The eternal, insistent head influenced the mouthfeel for a very creamy, full body that complimented the flavors well and finished dry. ABV of 6.8% was surprising to me, they hid it well in this brew.

Well done! This is a unique stout worth a try.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bomber into Pint glass.

Pours a jet black with creamy tan head that takes a little while to dissipate. Once the head dissipates it leaves nothing but a tan ring around the glass. The aroma is faint coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts. The taste is watery upfront that develops into a chocolate bitterness that lingers for awhile. Its a fairly medium-bodied beer that has plenty of carbonation. Its a very drinkable stout in general but just not something I would continually reach for with plenty of other options available.

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Photo of blackc5
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle at 50F.

A - Obsidian black with a nice mocha colored head of about 2 fingers. Minimal lacing.

S - Lots and lots of roasted malts and chocolate. Some vanilla and molasses as well.

T - The expected roasty goodness with more mellow than expected chocolate given the aroma. Some smokiness in the background and some coffee sneaks in as well. Finishes quite dry with just a bit of earthy hop bitterness.

M - Typical for a stout - fairly creamy. Nicely (moderate) carbonated.

D - Overall a pretty well balanced beer, but lacked just a little something special in the flavor profile. Solid, but not outstanding.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of froggyfrog
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. labeled bottle, beer served in glass snifter.

Pours about as black as a starless night with a slight red tinge. A huge, billowy, brunette head coats the glass in chunky sheets of lacing.

Smells highly of roasted barley with steamed milk and rich caramel overtones. Also dark cacao and hints of floral hops.

For flavors I'm getting toast and roast and a healthy dose of kola. Caramel flavors are on the milky sweet side, with the sweetness more than adequately cut by the bittering hops, carbonation and dryish finish. The dark chocolate in the nose transitions into a creamy milk chocolate here.

Downy on the tongue from the bottle, this beer must be downright velutinous served from a nitro tap. This is a full-bodied but easygoing stout with no rough edges.

Smooth and simple to drink, this beers sets a nice pace with its full weight and enjoyable flavors.

Thanks to msubulldog25 for the chance to sample this fine brew.

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Photo of Elemental
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh man, I can tell why this got the gold medal at GABF in 2003.
Apperance - gorgeous! It has a nice thick brown nitro head and is a very deep black color
Smell - a good smell with some hop aroma, very malty smelling, and very inticing
Taste - Very good, big and malty with hints of chocolate and slightly nutty.
Overall - an excellent beer that once I had one I had to have another even though I wanted to try some of the othere from this establishment

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Photo of bradleyp
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint at Alameda Brewery

A: Black with a dark creamy foam head about 1 inch thick. No carbonation.

S: Smells like chocolate and caramel, with a hint of coffee taboot.

T: This stout was very fantastic. Tasted like a chocolate milk shake, with coffee overtones added. Not very hoppy, but at 50 IBU's it did taste a smidge bitter.

M: Very smooth, just like how a Nitro stout should be. Went down very easy.

D: I would prefer drinking the Nitro tap over the non-nitro. I would def. drink this beer again. It went very well with the Nachos I was eating.

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Photo of SRossman
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep dark brown, almost opaque black, with a frothy tan head that dissipates quickly. I hate to be vague but this looks like stout.

S: Roasted malt, mild hop bitterness, a faint chocolate nuance rounds it out.

T: Pleasant dark chocolate, roasted malt, sweet espresso. Rich flavors across the board.

MF/D: I love the mouth feel of this stout. The texture and carbonation are spot on. The body has a rich fullness to it and feels slick on the tongue. Moderate carbonation makes it very drinkable.

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Photo of PurpleCloud
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Real nice dark with an impressive tan head.

S: Quite hoppy and appealing. Nothing special though.

T: Very good. Heavy on the hops on the way in with nice yet faint cocoa taste on the way down. I love it!

M: Smooth and low on carbonation.

D: Excellent. Goes down great. It is a bit heavy, so not the beer to drink all night.

Overall: I really enjoyed Black Bear XX. It's very dark and appealing and the taste is wonderful! Best aspect of this beer is the mouth feel. It's incredibly smooth and goes down as such. If you're ever in Portland, this is a must have beer!

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Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aggressive pour into pint glass
A: Dark black coffee colored with thick espresso colored head nice lacing. Great head retention.Looks like an espresso!Looks just awesom!
S: Dark roasted caramel malty bready chocolate coffee. Smells as great as it looks!
T: Coffee caramel malted bitter cherry cholocate then bready malty then coffee very slight hop bitterness.All balanced super well. Tasty tasty. No hint of the 7% whatsoever ever!
M: Smoothsilky smooth.Thick and syrupy
O: A very tasty treat. Super rich Malty but not too sweet not bitter at all . Usually dont like overly sweet beer.being a hop head. Looks tastes smells just great. Really balanced no booze at all. Top notch Stout.Grab one quick if you can.

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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
3.95 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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