This one pours an extremely attractive clinging fine thick rich mocha head over deep brown ale. In the mouth there is espresso, fig newton, dark plum and dry cocoa with plenty of semi-minty and demi-twig hops just sitting below the espresso. There is a rich almost melted ice cream effect to the yeast and maybe rolled barley in the second half. A very genial 8.1% stout. Big not massive. Sane. BR is bought, going my memory, exclusively at Galeville Grocery in my CNY travels. Intense BAer love and Ron would approve, too.
Here is the twist. Last summer, in comments under a post called "Beer Cocktails: Sign Of The Endtimes?" I promised Stephen Beaumont that I would blend stout and port when the moment was right. And Janufeb is exactly that moment. So I picked up a bottle of Graham's LBV 2001 ($16.95 at your LCBO) and tried mixing it to around 25% with the Big Bear Black Stout. The head took on a plummy tone and the chalky qualities of both the port and stout were stoked, the fruitiness making for a Black Forest cake effect. Cut with more stout, the fruit receded but the creaminess was enhanced. I would recommend a 10-15% blend if you are going to try this at home - and especially with a creamier sort of big stout that you might have hanging around.