In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated


Bear Republic Brewing Company Big Bear Black Stout

Aroma: “Big chocolate, light roast, light astringency, light acidic note, light caramel, very light dark fruits. Coffee ice cream with a touch of chocolate/cocoa with hints of nutmeg and a touch of licorice. Alcohol evident.”

Flavor: “Bittersweet chocolate, like very dark or baker’s chocolate. Good mocha flavor—roast and chocolate malt. Good bitterness with sweet undertones. Aftertaste is fairly mild, like it’s toning itself down. Moderate earthy hops, big mouth filling carbonation. Alcohol is up front and warming, but not harsh.”

Overall: “Classic imperial stout, leaning toward the roast. Crisp with a fair bit of bitterness at the end. There are supporting notes of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits that come through keeping the beer from being too simplistic. A nice hefty body and rich chocolate and coffee flavors make this a nice winter beer.”