Black Bear XX Stout | Alameda Brewhouse

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BA SCORE
88
very good
105 Reviews
Black Bear XX StoutBlack Bear XX Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alameda Brewhouse
Oregon, United States | website

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:
105
Ratings:
241
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
16.96%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
30
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 241
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.

 712 characters

Photo of Slammy
3.11/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

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Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased about 4 months ago at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $4.49, and forgotten about until now. According to the just-noted freshness date, this was bottled December 6, 2011.

Poured a shade of brown so dark as to virtually be black. Holding the glass up to light only makes the absolute edge look a lighter brown. Decent sized tan head dropped after a few minutes.

The nose on this beer isn’t terribly strong. I get coffee and brown sugar, and that’s about it.

The taste is similar to the smell. Bitter, coffeeish notes balance the sweet, brown sugary elements in a competent, unspectacular manner. A subdued hop zap announces the swallow to the tastebuds.

Medium bodied, with a slightly coating mouthfeel.

A decent, unspectacular beer that I will try at least once more when I have a shot at a fresh bottle and if required, will amend my review accordingly. As it stands, it’s a good stout, not a great one that requires any kind of fevered search.

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Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A big, rocky tan head forms atop the black liquid and leaves quite a few strands of lace behind

Smell: Chocolate, licorice, pumpernickel, rye and a fruity aspect

Taste: Surprisingly fruity, up front, with a slightly tart black cherry character that complements the ensuing expected flavors of chocolate, licorice and burnt pumpernickel toast; while the hops add another dimension in the middle, after the swallow, some lactic sweetness slips in to offset the bitterness; the tart fruit flavor, however, lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A lot of different flavors are packed into this beer; while the tart fruit elements have turned off some reviewers, I rather enjoyed that aspect of the flavor profile

Thanks, mdaschaf, for the opportunity

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks awesome on the pour. Black as night, with a robust dark mocha head.

The aroma is roasty, with some chocolate and dark fruits.

A little sweeter taste, roasted malts, and more dark fruits. Pretty much mirrors the aroma, just a bit more complex.

Feel has a nice creaminess to it, medium, slick feel.

Quite nice, one of the better Foreign Stouts.

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

I bought a bomber of Black Bear XX Stout at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black color with a modest tan head.

Smell is a roasted coffee aroma.

Taste is also a bitter coffee and dark chocolate flavor,

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry bitter aftertaste.

Overall a very good stout.

 319 characters

Photo of Bookseeb
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a very dark almost black with very little head and lace. Aroma of sweet dark light roasted malts, bitter chocolate and coffee having a dark fruit note. Taste of the previous aroma with a light bite from the hops leaving a light bitter roast in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to full with a light carbonation. A nice enjoyable stout.

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

On tap with dinner tonight. What a pleasant surprise.

Black with a dense, brown head with good retention and nice lacing, this looks pretty good. The nose is surprisingly good. Creamy chocolate, mild coffee, more cream and some rye spiciness, there's also some licorice present. The palate is a blend of cream, sweetness (more lactose than caramel) with creamy chocolate, a mild bitterness, a flavor that makes me think debittered malt, a little bit of rye spiciness. The licorice comes through on the mid palate. Not as roasty as I was expecting, but not surprising given the style. Sweet on the finish with lactose, chocolate, coffee and minimal bitterness, this beer is medium-light in body and has a wonderful, creamy carbonation. It really is nice on the palate. Yummy, I'd drink this again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured jet black with good carbonation that leaves a small tannish cap which quickly resedes leaving a mere bubble, small cap and zero lacing. Uncharacteristic of this style.

S: Deep roast, with coffee, light chocolate

T: First sip reveals deep roasted malt, coffee, good amount of bitterness lingers with a dash of chocolate. The finish is rather dry, light booze, more lingering cofee and bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied, wl carbonated, big dry roastiness with coffee sit on the palate

O: Good. i can see why this one GABF medals.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark viscous brown and thin brown head with good retention. Coffee, herbs, and chocolate aromas with a hint of orange peel. Flavor follows with a light roasted linger that deepens gradually with traces of cocoa. Creamy medium-bodied feel.

A complex and flavorful stout, this is not one to have several of but to sit back, sip, and enjoy. Its feel is smooth enough to compliment the taste and the roasted bittering is not overpowering. A well-done beer to have from time to time.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Very thin mocha head. For how thin it is, it hung around for quite a while. Some sticky lacing. Black body. Less viscous than I would have guessed.

S- Mocha. Chocolate and coffee. Toasty malts. Brown sugar and caramel. Just sweet and nice smelling. Could be richer.

T- Bitter roast malts. Sweet in finish. Coffee is definitely present. Chocolate doesn't show up.

M- Extremely thin feel. Semi-dry finish. Not very impressive.

O- Great smell, above average look and taste, but weak feel. Above average brew.

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Photo of Redrover
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the rotating taps at Post Street Ale House in Spokane.

It was on Nitro and was served after a loooong pause in pour. The beer comes in an imperial pint and is jet black with a Massive dark tan head.

Aroma of roasted malts and a bit of coffee. Could be turned up a notch.

The taste is of darkly roasted malts, a bit of coffee and some raisins.

The mouth is soft (thanks nitro) but thins in the end.

This could be a good session beer but for the 6.8%....

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Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a tan head, good retention and lace.

Aroma of cafe mocha, brown sugar, black licorice, quite bready.

Pumpernickel rye bread, black strap molasses, piny resin, coffee, tobacco, salty black licorice, burnt caramel, solid (tar-like) bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

Body is rich and creamy, perhaps a little too full, but it is more of a protein shake than residual sweetness.

Certainly has a bit of domestic and PNW flavour (that you don't find in many export stouts), but it's one hell of a brew!

I'm glad they decided to export this to the foreign land of Canada!

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Photo of morimech
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black brew that looks thick and creamy pouring out of the bottle. Impressive for a 7% ABV beer. Just over one finger of tan head forms and hangs around for a long time before settling to a thick cap. A blanket of lacing is left down the glass during consumption. One of the best looking stouts I have seen.

Surpisingly sweet malt aroma comes through. Definately expecting something roasted. Hints of chocolate and malted milk balls and something fruity tart deep underneath.

The flavor is not as deep as I was hoping. Not much roasted qualities and not bitter at all. This drinks more like a porter imho. A little bit of tartness. Some earthiness and citrus from the hops. A few yeast tannins slip in as well that give this the slightest Belgian quality.

Impressive mouthfeel for a stout of this strength. Leaves many breweries RIS's wanting. Thick and creamy texture. Almost perfect carbonation.

An interesting stout that surprised me a little where it counts and that is the flavor. Not really roasted and bitter but with some tartness.

 1,042 characters

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black with a thin layer of frothy dark-tan foam. Pretty nice.

Smell: light roastiness which includes both chocolate and coffee notes. Quite pleasing.

Taste: light roastiness with a mild coffee character. A light tartness and mild bitterness are also present. Tasty enough, but kind of mild and boring.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a light carbonation. Decent.

Overall: a pretty mild export stout, but quite drinkable nonetheless. I would have this again.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
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

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Photo of PEIhop
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - jet diesel back with ruby highlights around the outside of the one-finger foamy head
S - roasted malts and a nice dark-bitter chocolate
T - great taste here. Chocolate dominates the taste profile, but in a good way because it lets other players: subtle hops and coffee enter periodically into the taste. Well done!
M - I was expecting the body to be thinner, but it was quite full for the style.
D - one of the most unexpectedly delicious pints I have had in awhile. At 7% it is just out sessionability, but I could myself having a pint whenever I see it on tap.
Great beer!

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Photo of loren01
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color, good sized tan head with nice lacing down the glass
S: Roasted malt, earthy scents as well as some lightly smokey scents
T: Very roasty, lots of roasted barley. Slight rye taste. Also coffee, chocolate and slight smokey flavor. Very nice.
M: Medium to full mouthfeel, creamy going down
D: This is a great beer, loved it. I would like to try this one on nitro.

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

From my awesome wife, 22oz bottle dated 6/24/11 poured into a Samuel Smith oversized nonic.

A: Fairly typical black body, opaque, with a small amount of light brown head that fades quickly; lacing ok. This particular bottle doesn't appear to be very carbonated.

S: Definte roasted malt character, sprinkles of bitter coffee and spicy hops, light whiffs of charred wood and smoke.

T: Better than I expected; nice roasted malt character that unfolds into a burnt campfire feel; good coffee presence and bitterness, touches of rye malt spiciness and hops that complement nicely.

MF: Pretty creamy and thinner medium mouthfeel. Touches of dryness on the finish.

O: Highly drinkable FES. This is a touch better than Guiness Foreign Extra Stout, but still not as good as Zonker in my opinion.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #11 Foreign / Export Stout. Beer served from a 22 ounce bottle into a Russian River -tion glass.

Beer is brown to black with a big dark brown head of small bubbles, moderate to low carbonation, some lacing, looks good.

Aroma is sweet and coffee like with roast. Nice.

Beer is medium in body but thinner on the finish and in the middle, sweet up front, heavy coffee and some bitter on the backend. Overall a decent beer, pretty enjoyable, I'd have it again.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Comes out of the tap an opaque warm sable with a bubbly tan head like the fizz on freshly-poured cola. Rich aroma has strong molasses and mocha tones, and is somewhat sweet but not too sweet. Superb, smoky flavor has quality coffee, molasses, nutty and chocolate tones, and is very enjoyable. Thick, fairly fizzy texture has a powdery hint and leaves a fizzy, smoky finish.

 373 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 16oz Yankee pint on nitro draft at Henry's Tavern in downtown Portland, from their '99 beers on the wall' (or something of the sort) concept. Why the hell not, my girl is still stuck browsing in Powell's, I'm sure of it.

This beer appears a solid, non-forgiving black void, with the slightest of basal cola highlights, which allows two fingers of tightly foamy, and playfully bubbly milk chocolate brown head, which renders a vista of three-dimensional mountain profile lace around the glass as it gently fades away.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, softly sour ash, medium bittersweet baker's chocolate, some middling dark fruit, and earthy, leafy, and somewhat piney hops. The taste is soft chocolate-ensconced caramel malt, a further dry breadiness, sour cream, subdued black fruit, oatmeal grain, and laid-back earthy, dead leafy hops.

The carbonation is very low (natch), yet pleasantly coddling, the body silky smooth, and dead to rights creamy. It finishes in kind, the now soft, and strangely smooth caramel malt and cocoa persisting above all.

A sexy American beer bar offering, if there ever was one. Chocolate, cream, malt, and a somewhat off-balance sourness, that eventually wends its way through your acceptance gates. Oh, and the nitro: from beginning to end, this special serving slides down like butter, but tastes way, way better.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks you theskinny.

A - Great pour as black as they come with a deep brown head an inch tall and having some solid stamina.

S - Deep dark chocolate and smooth rich coffee.

T - Long roasted malts with a nice burnt taste. There's no real cocoa presence but there is a bit of coffee. It fits the style very well.

M - Abrasive in the ending and finish. It has a nice creaminess and it goes down easy... probably too easy.

~ This is a very good beer. I recommend anyone with an avenue to the Pacific Northwest find this stout and enjoy it. Cheers.

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Black Bear XX Stout from Alameda Brewhouse
3.95 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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