Beer Review: BridgePort Brewing Company Bear Hug Cherry Chocolate Stout

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Brewery: BridgePort Brewing Company
Beer: Bear Hug Cherry Chocolate Stout
Style: American Stout
ABV: 7.5%
Character: Brewed with a generous amount of roasted malts and cocoa, and is refermented with 15 pounds of dark sweet cherries per barrel
Metal Connection: AGALLOCH – Falling Snow (live)

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For a while now, I have had the idea to home brew a Chocolate Cherry Milk Stout, and that idea will finally see the light of day this year, very soon. Until then, I found this little gem of a beer by Bridgeport Brewing Company from Portland, OR. This is their Cherry Chocolate Stout called Bear Hug, which is pretty close to the style I want to brew.

bearhugUsing a blank nonic style pint glass for this session, Bear Hug poured a very dense, near black, very dark brown color which only was apparent held up to the light. Any other view of this beer in the glass, it looked black. The beer is topped with a thick tan colored foamy head, which held up nicely throughout the session, leaving an excellent sheet of sticky lacing down the glass.

This beer has a robust aroma mainly dominated by roasted malts. There is a overlaying aroma of sweet chocolate, but not overpowering, by any means. There is a subtle tart cherry smell that is picked up at the tail end. This has a very well rounded aroma. All the characters are accounted for here.

The taste, just like the aroma has all the characters present as well. A strong roasted malt body with notes of sweet chocolate and tart cherries. The chocolate is subtle, hidden behind the roasted malts. It heavily reminds me of cocoa powder, as there is a dry quality that the chocolate seems to produce. Cherries are pretty tart and usually make a strong presence, but here they are faint, but still found in the taste. Bear Hug could be simply, a dessert beer. I could see myself drinking this with a nice big slice of Black Forest Cake. Hmmm, Black Forest Cake Beer (light bulb!)

The body was a good slightly heavy thickness, and held a smooth, soft mouthfeel throughout. There was some dryness at the end, with slight bitterness. This beer was also well carbonated.

This was a damn near perfect beer. I would have liked the cherry to be more dominant in the aroma and the taste, as BridgePort Brewing Company states that they used 15 pounds of dark cherries per barrel. I know their website also states that this gives the beerĀ  a subtle fruit background, so I was warned. I personally though, would have liked less chocolate and more cherry. As said, this beer is excellent, and one beer I would love to drink again and again.

Metal Connection: Geography helped me choose the Metal Connection for this beer. I went with a band who resides in Portland, Oregon, which is where BridgePort Brewing Company sets up shop. Agalloch is a band not liked by everybody, but those who do like this band are very passionate about their liking for this band. Agalloch’s music can best be described as Atmospheric Doom Metal with a touch of Post-Metal. I have featured here, a live track from their DVD, The Silence of Forgotten Landscapes, which was released in 2009 by Shiver Records. The song itself, Falling Snow is from the full length album, Ashes Against the Grain from 2006, released through The End Records.

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