Beer Review: UPLAND BREWING TEDDY BEAR KISSES

Beer Review: UPLAND BREWING TEDDY BEAR KISSES

Upon pouring this 10% ABV Teddy Bear Kisses into an oversized snifter, its sepia-colored hue in the glass reveals a jet-black richness. The beer boasts an impressive ultra-thick, fine-bubbled brown foam layer, persisting for several minutes, setting the stage for an enticing experience.

Aroma

The nose of Teddy Bear Kisses presents a sweet symphony reminiscent of s’mores. Initially featuring prominent graham cracker, pie crust, and dark chocolate notes, it evolves into a delightful chocolate ganache and buttery mousse as it warms. Some nuanced hints of black olive, tootsie roll, and grape soda add layers to the olfactory journey.

Taste

The first sip delivers a bold impact of super bitter dark chocolate, courtesy of the raw cocoa nibs. A well-balanced dose of sugar follows, creating a robust imperial stout with a penchant for the bitter end of the chocolate spectrum. The high alpha acid Columbus hops contribute to the beer’s impressive structure, amplifying the dark chocolate character to an extreme level. The oats addition provides a welcomed thickness and smoothness to the body, maintaining a persistent sweetness that intermittently aligns with a s’mores theme.

Mouthfeel

The body of Teddy Bear Kisses impresses with its thickness and creaminess, courtesy of the oats. The 10% ABV remains discreet, hidden beneath the layers of flavors. Unlike many imperial stouts, which succumb to low bitterness and excessive sweetness, TBK takes a different route, showcasing kettle hop bitterness and minimal sugar influence. The result is a pleasantly thick, creamy texture with a snappy, dry finish, devoid of lingering stickiness or noticeable alcohol warmth.

Overall

Upland Brewing has crafted a well-made masterpiece in Teddy Bear Kisses. Drawing comparisons to the gold standard Bells Expedition stout, TBK stands out with its sweeter aroma, featuring fudge and vanilla characters. In a head-to-head showdown with three different Bells Expeditions, TBK proves itself as a formidable contender, offering a more approachable and balanced alternative for those who appreciate a darker brew. If you have a penchant for truly dark beers, Teddy Bear Kisses is a worthy exploration.