Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Black Bear XX Stout | Alameda Brewhouse

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 242
Photo of stevoj
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
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 tempest
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber with friends. Nothing surprising about the appearance, big and black with a tan head. I really enjoyed this stout because it wasn't the usual thick, chewy stout. Instead it was a touch lighter, like an export stout should be, with two dominant characteristics: dry roasted black malts and sweet cocoa chocolate. Heck of a beer, checkthis out.

 357 characters

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

Thanks goes out to msubulldog25 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with lots of dark stuff. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, my first from this brewery, thanks Brian.

 390 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a deep black hue with a one and a half finger creamy dark tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a moderate cocoa aroma.

The taste consisted of soft chocolate malts, a mile rye spice, cafe au lait element and cocoa.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a touch of creaminess.

Overall a stout with good drinkability that could use a bit more black malt.

 461 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.

 522 characters

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!

 577 characters

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

Pours like motor oil with a four finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and very heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Starts with a bitter chocolate flavor, some middle sweetness, finish has a slight bitterness. A decent stout. $3.25 for a 22oz bottle from John's Grocery Tigard, Or. Label puts the ABV at 7.0%.

 375 characters

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!

 580 characters

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.

 545 characters

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.

 621 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
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 wordemupg
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
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 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.

 797 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a pretty opaque black, some dark reddish highlights but almost impossible to see through, very thick light brown head forms, slowly drops to a thick layer and ring leaving a ton of lace chunks stuck to the glass. Smell is nice, lightly lactic, lots of caramel, chocolate milk, very roasty, quite fruity, some vanilla, light orange peel, cherries, some coffee, pretty neat. Taste is similar, some lactic sourness, milky, chocolate, very roasty, some vanilla, fruity, more chocolate milk, pretty interesting stuff, lightly toasty, oaky in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty silky and smooth, some acidic roasty character. Pretty cool stuff! Thanks Russ!

 745 characters

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.

 951 characters

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

 491 characters

Photo of ccrida
2.59/5  rDev -34.4%
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 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 Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Deep dark brown color with a reddish halo and a thick light tan head that dissipates steadily. Roasty aroma of coffee and malt. Medium-bodied and smooth with a rather sharp bitterness around the edges. The nitro smoothness seems to contradict the somewhat harsh acidity in the flavor. Malt and coffee flavors keep it from falling apart luckily. The finish is creamy with a bitter aftertaste. I would not go as far as to say the bottle had turned but something seemed a little off about this.

 525 characters

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 Fatehunter
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass; black with a thick inch of tan head.

Smells like chocolate, roasted malt and more chocolate. Great balance.

On the tongue: bitter chocolate, toasted malt, grippingly bitter with a caramel aftertaste.

Soft and creamy body with light carbonation... quite perfect.

Overall a simply amazing drink. Drinks like milk, only better for you.

 362 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This beer is black as night and has a beautiful nitro head. It comes up like Mt. St. Helens on a bad day and is very dark.

Smell – This has a humongous nose. The dark, roasted malts are evenly mixed with some strong coffee grounds that are burnt to a crisp. I can catch some whiffs of dark chocolate as well and maybe some light brown sugar.

Taste – The nose finds its way nicely into the taste. The malt flavors in particular are very rich and creamy. The chocolate came out strong on the tongue making this a very complex stout.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and creamy with some good, strong bitterness. The nitro mouthfeel is glorious, of course, and combined with the bitter nature of the stout gives this one a terrific feel in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – A high quality session stout? Yes, this does fit the bill. Its low ABV and smooth delivery can keep you going all night.

Comments – I would have had to pretend to like it anyway since skyhand was sitting next to me and wouldn’t shut up about how great it is, so it was a real bonus that I liked it so much.

 1,114 characters

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

Slow-moving brown bubbles form a tight, well-retaining head. Stout black; nope, no light coming through here. Big chocolate nose with a spiciness layered within. Silky, creamy, smooth full-bodied brew. Cocoa powder, hint of charcoal, spicy rye and some coffee make their mark on the taste buds. Hops provide a great backup for balancing out the malt sweetness. Vague dark berries and a nutty yeast in the semisweet finish. Roasty bliss. Hefty, non- hyped Stouts are hard to come by these days, and this is one to seek out.

 580 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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 EmperorBevis
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
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

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe