Bear Paw Honey Lager - Whistler Brewing Company
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
2.93/5 rDev -15.6%
330ml bottle. I don't see how this isn't just the normal honey lager all gussied up in mountain lore imagery, but, with apologies to David Coverdale, here I go again.
This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, thinly foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which disappears slowly and surely before my eyes, leaving some weird Simpson-esque amoebic lace around the glass.
It smells of sweet bready pale malt, a touch of corny grain, and mildly mollifying bland and musty honey, with not a lot going on hop-wise. The taste is bready, of the generally corn-oriented sort, much-lessened earthy honey, a mild dose of weedy, somewhat herbal hops, and a niggling sour tang that does its best Princess and the Pea number on me.
The carbonation is rather sedate, just a wan frothiness throughout, the body medium-light in weight, and arguably smooth, though a slight cloying tingle becomes increasingly hard to ignore. It finishes off-dry, the aforementioned graininess and plain as the day is long honey still running this particular sideshow.
Nothing renamed, nothing gained, I suppose. Another average, run of the mill honey beer - the Canadian beer-scape is littered with such middling fare. Good for only when an apres-ski hook-up invariably depends upon its, erm, 'lubricating' presence. And for that, I salute it.
12-26-2011 06:28:00 | More by biboergosum
3.55/5 rDev +2.3%
Bear Paw Honey has a considerable amber hue meaning either the brewery included more malt than I was ready to give them credit for or they've used a darker, richer style of honey than I was expecting. Either way, this is a positive start; despite regrettable memories of Whistler's Premium Export Lager, I'm surprisingly optimistic about this offering.
My sudden enthusiasm may be unfounded after all; there's nothing in this aroma to support either of my immediate assumptions. It smells neither significantly malty nor like they splurged on anything too expensive or fancy from the local BC farmer's market. In fairness, I would likely also complain were it notably overt either way - too bready or too sweet - so let's just move on...
In fact, having had a few sips, the honey flavour is appropriately balanced in my opinion - and it's considerably rich too. While I was initially quick to dismiss the honey's dimension as merely superficial - all too ready to liken it more to Billy Bee than any of the local, unpasteurized offerings currently in my pantry - there is, all considered, quite a developed honey flavour.
By "all considered" what I mean is that there's also a fair amount of malt to contend with. Most of the fruity or floral or earthy nuances the honey itself might offer are severely muted by a toasted, grainy, itself somewhat sweet maltiness. Which may be just as well: I've drunk beers that have used honey and taste simply, solely like honey - it's no good.
If you've followed the flip-flopping of my review this far it should be apparent that I'm of mixed feelings about Whistler's Bear Paw Honey Lager. One the one hand, it doesn't offer me, personally, much excitement to grasp onto; on the other, it may be among the best Canadian honey beers I've tried (certainly better than BC's other: Grizzly Paw's Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat). Maybe it's best to buy a bottle (or several) and see for yourself where you stand.
08-20-2014 19:55:53 | More by biegaman
3.05/5 rDev -12.1%
A - crystal clear rich copper, finger of head dissipated to a few random islands
S - clear adjunct aroma, mild sweetness with faint hop aromas
T - sugary sweet syrup flavour dominates and tastes fairly artificial, some light molasses maltiness with corn like adjunct
M - medium body with an initial sticky sweet feel, drys out nicely leaving some honey sweetness on the teeth
O - its a good enough honey brew but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd, I wouldn't turn it down at the pub but it wouldn't be my first choice
09-11-2011 04:11:11 | More by joemcgrath27
3.59/5 rDev +3.5%
330 mL bottle, part of this year's BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler (which is now available at the LCBO); bottled March 20 2014. There was a time (early on) in my beer-drinking career where I was a big fan of honey lagers - including staples like Sleeman's Honey Brown and even Lakeport's shoddy substitute. It'll be nice to revisit my roots. Served well-chilled.
Pours an attractive, clear amber colour, topped with just over one finger's worth of soapy, off-white froth. It seeps away steadily over the next few minutes, leaving behind a thin film and narrow collar. The aroma is very sweet - honey and red licorice candy come to mind, with notes of caramel and corny cereal grains. For the style, this is well-above average at this point.
A decent honey lager, but still a little too sweet for my tastes. Pale malts, corn grits and caramel complement the marked honey sweetness, which remains fairly dominant into the aftertaste. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel accented by the moderate carbonation levels. This is a supremely drinkable lager, although due to its sweet nature I don't know if I'd be able to tolerate it all night. Fans of Sleeman's Honey Lager will have little trouble adjusting to this one.
Final Grade: 3.59, a B grade. Bear Paw Honey Lager is not a stellar beer, but it's drinkable enough and a fair substitute for any mass-produced red lager - e.g. Rickard's or Keith's Red. This is really more of an amber than an adjunct lager, although technically speaking honey *is* an adjunct, so I'll just snip that tangent in the bud right there. One of the best adjunct lagers I've ever had, anyway. I could see myself drinking this once in a while if it were available in ON, but it would depend on the price point.
08-13-2014 03:13:31 | More by thehyperduck
3.45/5 rDev -0.6%
Appearance- Pours a clear light copper colour with a finger width of foamy head. Moderate bubbles are present.
Smell- Sweet aromas of honey, caramel, and a hint of orange zest.
Taste- Mild sweetness of the honey comes through along with malts. Slight hint of brown rice.
Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with a light carbonation. A surprising silky smoothness.
Overall- An easy drinking lager by Whistler. Very mild flavours but the sweet honey taste and smooth texture makes this quite enjoyable. I see this as a summer refresher. Could use a little work around the edges but still worth a try.
02-18-2012 04:02:43 | More by leaddog
3.55/5 rDev +2.3%
355 ml bottle for about $ 2.25 CDN. Part of the BC craft brewers sampler pack. Served cold into a Keith's pint glass.
Appearance - the beer poured a clear honey brown color capped by a finger go white head which dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing and little activity from the bubbles.
Smell- significant amount of honey, maybe a dash of caramel but not a lot else. Aroma is fairly strong, so some points for that.
Taste - a nice honey drizzle over some fresh baking kind of hits the tongue first before fading. That's tasty enough but there's nothing to replace it or counterbalance thee sweetness. Just a very faint bitterness to cap it all off. Definitely a tasty beer, hardto sense the adjuncts due to the big honey presence. Adjuncts do become more noticeable as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel - light bodied, sprightly carbonation but on the whole it's a little thin feeling.
Overall - any criticisms her are fairly minor, this is a very tasty lager, more of a red or amber lager than an adjunct one, that you can't really tell due to the generous but appropriate use of honey. Certainly much better than most other adjunct lagers out there and even most craft adjunct lagers. I could see myself picking this up again.
08-19-2014 02:05:01 | More by DenisKolkin
3.74/5 rDev +7.8%
A- Pours a clear yet robust golden honey color, and there is a good bit of big bubbly carbonation throughout the liquid. The head is a mixture of bristly large bubbles and smooth dense foam....the head looks really unsettled as it dissipates into a somewhat thick-ish layer. The lacing is interesting....watery yet oily looking, and not a whole lot of foam clings to the glass.
S- Very much of honey....this is by far the dominant aroma going on here. Other than this it doesn't offer much else to the nasal cavity....clean grainy smells, modest malt and perhaps some corn/rice. It is a sweet smelling lager, of course due to the honeyed quality but is very reminiscent of a lager aroma wise anyways...
T- More of the same happening here, with a very dominant honey flavor....now this isn't a bad thing...Whistler does a very good job of making this the primary character of the beer, there just isn't much else to talk about here. It's cleanly flavored, and the finish does have a modest bitter taste that helps to balance out the palate for the next taste.
M- This is quite a smooth creamy lager if I do say so! The carbonation is deceiving by looks, as it the bubbles aren't zesty at all on the palate, but provide a complimentary burst of honey flavor. The body isn't full by any means but definitely leans towards medium. Overall this category doesn't disappoint!
O- Overall this is a very decent honey lager that delivers on the primary flavor that they were going for, and I've tried several similar type of beers that don't go as far as this one does. I would buy this again, and think this makes an excellent dessert brew and would do well with a spicy Asian dish to help balance things out.
06-19-2013 02:13:09 | More by ChrisCage
Bear Paw Honey Lager from Whistler Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.