1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Bar Harbor Real Ale - Atlantic Brewing Company

Bar Harbor Real AleBar Harbor Real Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

289 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.2%

Brewed by:
Atlantic Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A good, clean nut brown ale with a malty body. This is our most popular ale due to its smooth and malty flavor.

We use a mixture of pale, crystal and black malts in this one, and our primary hop is Target, though we also add some Whitbread Goldings Variation as well.

The Real Ale is best fresh, so fresh in fact, that it's great right out of the bright tank.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 07-25-2001)
View: Beers (18) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 212 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of williamherbert

New York

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish brown color, like a dark cola. No head whatsoever. Can see through it but it's still a bit murky. Zero carbonation.

Smell of dark chocolate as well as a roasted malt backing. Has some of the bittersweet qualities of a Scotch ale. Dark and quite nice.

The taste is dark caramel; malt is more mild than the burnt smell. Sweet but with a balance. Some tobacco, beef jerky. Sweetish berries come out as it warms. Complex and utterly pleasant. Leathery.

Dry but smooth. Medium body just this side of watery. It's really easy drinking for a so-called "real ale." Rich with smoky, darker flavors, but not harsh ones. Excellent drinkin'.

Serving type: growler

05-04-2008 05:12:48 | More by williamherbert
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Best By 06/07/14. Sampled on February 12, 2014.

The pour is an attractive looking mahogany brown with a short-lived of-white head that fades and leaves some lacing behind.

Sweet malts, nuts, and for lack of a better description pipe smoke on the aroma.

The body was a bit lighter than I may have liked but it had a smooth quality to it too.

The malts play up at first in the taste with some feint nuttiness and butter. Mildly bitter finish.
Easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 23:44:13 | More by puboflyons
Photo of jmdrpi


3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, no date

fairly clear chestnut brown in color, nice creamy off-white colored head. very good head retention and lacing. not a huge aroma, but toasty smell. taste is mild, all biscuity bready malt. earthy flavor. thinner body , moderate carbonation.

overall - decent drinking, but I would prefer a much fuller body.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 04:52:17 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of scotorum


3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 12/31/13. The label on mine is different than in the pic here, all brown and dark green, different ship, emphasis on "Atlantic" and "Real Ale."

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Deep nearly clear ruby with an unbelievably expansive offwhite head which required half a dozen successive pours to avoid it overflowing the 12 oz. glass. Given the cloudy dregs this may be bottle conditioned, especially since it calls itself a "real ale." However there is no mention of bottle conditioning on the label.

s: Nothing at first, eventually a mild aroma of caramel malt.

t: Very mild flavor, surprisingly so considering the dark color and murky last ounce of pour. As it warms, caramel malt becomes evident. Seems very low hopped.

m: Light to moderate. Watery tinges now and then.

o: A good dinner beer and pretty good for sessioning, but would not recommend this as an evening sipper. Perhaps it would at least have more carbonation zing if it were poured out more slowly than I did, to minimize the relentless head formation.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 23:52:10 | More by scotorum
Photo of TMoney2591


3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

But what is the nature of "real", Atlantic Brewing Company? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear mahogany topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises nutty toffee, light graham cracker, and a twinge of dark greenery. The taste brings in more of the same, with the toffee coming through a touch sweeter, and a tiny rivulet of cocoa powder peeking its way through every now and again. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly slick feel. Overall, despite being a touch thin, this is an enjoyable little everyday drink. It's nothing overtly special, but it gets the job done.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 07:44:08 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a ruby-highlighted, toffee brown color that is vibrant and clear, with a thin filmy ring of white on the surface. Aromas of tangy sweet nut and toffee, blending well but coming off as cloying. Hints of roast in the nose, but sugary characters overpower. Flavors are roasty, with a hazelnut backbone that is rich and sweet. Some creamy highlights throughout, also. The light body is made almost thin by the carbonation levels. The aftertaste is roasty and tangy sweet, with a mid-linger, slightly cloying finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 21:38:01 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. It has a very dark brown color, but semi-see through. A smallish tan foamy head. Mild lacing. I don't really see any bubbles.

S. Strong malt scent. Some nuttiness.

T. It is quite malty. There's something of a chocolate undertone. A leafy nut taste. The malts make it taste like malt liquor almost.

M. Crisp, some tingly bite.

O. The malt taste is too overpowering. It's not bad at all, but there isn't much there in the form of complex flavors and tastes.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 18:57:32 | More by Amalak
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my snifter. I get really light foam from the initial pour. This foam sits around for a while.

In the nose I get the english hops and malts. This smells just like you would expect an english ale to smell.

The flavor is good. You get more of what came through in the nose. There is some additional nuttiness and a touch of sweetness in there. I like the balance of the flavors in each sip.

This is a pretty good example of an english brown ale. I recommend trying a bottle of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 02:17:02 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of mvanaskie13


3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into standard pint glass, color is brown with light brown edges; head presents about 1/2" thick, then dissipates to a ring and bubbles with some light lacing, color is off white to light tan.

Smell is subdued, but nice light roast, hints of toast and oats and light fruitiness; bitterness is there but in the background, light earthiness.

Taste is light, subdued, but tasty; nice light toast and roast are dominant, hints of light oats, chocolate and hint of nuttiness, light hop fruitiness is noted mixed some earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel is a little bitter in the lingering phase, but some nice fruitiness and sweetness balances for the most part.

Overall, this is a very easy drinking brown ale, why is this style not more popular?

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2012 00:09:18 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown with a creamy rocky road ice cream colored head. Strong retention throws up several tiers of zig zagging lace. Drank fireside in nearby Acadia National Park which probably adds to my appreciation of this beer.

Earthy sticks and dirt toffee aroma. Tastes pretty much like it smells: earthy, bitter carob and lightly sweet toffee tea. Thin but it's a pretty thin style.

While touring Atlantic Brewing I found out they bought Bar Harbor brewing 5 years ago. Ever notice how similar the portfolios are? Real Ale English brown vs. Thunder Hole English brown? They each have a blueberry beer. I'm just sayin.' Not really sure what I"m saying actually, it was just a passing thought I guess.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 23:19:43 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving a trace of lace. Clear deep amber color, medium bodied and low carbonation. Roasted malt nose and flavor is slightly sweet anise and malts. $2.00 for a 12 oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 22:21:41 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Cavanaghty


3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Apperance: Darker brown in color. Thin off white head.

Smell: Malts and coffee

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth and medium bodied. Taste more like a coffee stout than an ale.

Overall: Ok brew but not my favorite. I guess if it was offered I would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 18:31:50 | More by Cavanaghty
Photo of Brad007


3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thin head into my glass. Very dark with a hint of ruby.

Sweet malt with a hint of molasses in the nose. Very much like the style.

Much the same except that there's a decent amount of hazelnut and molasses upfront.

Mouthfeel is quite mellow with some lingering nuttiness. Very easy going.

Not bad. A decent ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 03:03:47 | More by Brad007
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with an off-white head that reduces to a skimpy ring. A touch of clarity.

Some brown bread and nutty aromas. Some pumpernickel elements.

Soft brown malt forward, a little nutty, then this gets lean, with an element of crispness I didn't expect but liked. As the palate clears, a little bitterness, some nuttiness, very light sugar. Pleasant.

Medium body, a little tingle on the tongue.

Not over sugared, good structure, nice balance of malt and sugar and bitter. Bought on whim and something I've stared at literally for years. What a decent brew and a change from hop bombs that find us all. I have a friend who loves brown ales -- this is a recommendation for him. Nice job. Not perfect, but very solid.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 01:39:08 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of micromaniac129


3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper brown color with bright clarity.
Head formation is lacking quite a bit even though it has good carbonation. Aroma is a bit weak with some roasted amlts and nuts.
Taste is pretty much lightly roasted malts, pretty simple taste.
Drinks with a medium weight but thin and watery around the edges. Finishes semi-dry and light bitterness.
Standard fair here nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 15:35:01 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a reddish-brown colour with a solid two-fingers worth of dirty beige creamy head. Good retention and spotty lacing noticeable.

S: Caramel, molasses, faint banana, hints of coffee, and hazelnuts. Lingering fruity hop aroma. Appealing aromas, albeit perhaps a bit difficult to detect.

T: Unlike the aroma indicated, the taste is leaning towards fruity hops rather than more caramel malt dominant, which presents a crisp and refreshing taste. Hints of sour citrus elements in the finish along with the roasted flavours.

M: Light body with a medium-low carbonation level. Crisp and clean mouthfeel with a slightly tart (citrus) finish.

D: A nice English Brown Ale that's certainly sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 23:10:09 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of bubseymour


3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice brown ale look with decent head.

Smell - some hop with roasted malt scents

Taste - Very nice smooth brown ale. Some chocolate and almond notes. No hop bite at all. A light flavor but very pleasant. A slight metallic taste.

Mouthfeel - quite watery and not ver full-bodied.

Overall - A fairly good brown ale. Easy to drink, some good flavor but nothing really noteworthy here.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 19:31:32 | More by bubseymour
Photo of silentjay


2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a nice looking tan head on top of a dismal brown colored ale that leaves decent lacing.

nuts, butterscotch, caramel, toffee, honeyed biscuit. an unpleasant graininess lingers after that with some slight herbal and tea-like hops that only present themselves because I seek them out.

nuts, grains, butter, butterscotch, toffee, caramel. a slighhht roast and a noticeable bitterness on the swallow are the only redeeming characters of this beer, before the swallow its just a subtle sweet nutty flavor that can be found in numerous other beers including Newcastle. not too sure what is so "real" about it.

mouthfeel starts syrupy, a slight carbonation kicks in before it falls flat.

very underwhelming beer. The best selling beer on tap on the Island, but I have no idea why. It's decent, maybe, but I don't see the appeal in any aspect. It fails to create an identity of its own and is only memorable for being forgettable, if that makes any sense.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 06:25:32 | More by silentjay
Photo of SolipsismalCat


2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Shipyard Brewing Co. Brewer's Brown Ale.

Appearance: Clear brown with moderate carbonation. Two finger, off-white head that diminished somewhat quickly. The lacing was fair.

Smell: Light toasted aroma. A bit sour. Perhaps a bad bottle.

Taste: Light sweetness and bitterness. Little flavor. The finish was about average.

Mouthfeel: Light body that was watery. The carbonation was almost flat.

Overall: I wanted to like this brown ale but couldn't give it more than an average rating. It's possible I got a bad bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 02:49:33 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of BLove

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on tap at Rupununi in downtown Bar Harbor, ME.

A - pours a deep brown with an amber tint around the edges when held up to light. Minimal head with tiny bubbles, little to no lacing on the glass.
S - Faint smells of sweet chocolate initially, with mild grain aroma, little to no hop aroma
T - Tastes prominent of chocolate, bread, and other malt
M - Medium body, dry finish with a small hop bite in the end
D - The highest selling beer in Bar Harbor (beating out BMC), so its easily drinkable and appeals to many. For my tastes, I thought it was above average & I could easily drink several. However, there are other beers out there that I would seek out before returning to this one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 18:33:38 | More by BLove
Photo of portia99


4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (place for a date on the bottle, but no notch that I can detect to indicate best by date) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours an extremely dark brown color with very good clarity as far as I can tell (very dark beer). A low finger of creamy dense foam that is just off white in color falls quickly to a thick skim coat and foamy collar with marginal lacing.

S - Sweet, nutty, roasted malts, a touch of coffee, fruity and earthy hops. Smells quite good.

T - Roasty, a bit of coffee, rather earthy overall, low toffee, hazelnuts and some lingering sweetness. Bitterness is on the high side for the style, but gives it a good balance and makes for a more desirable take on the style to my palette.

M - Medium bodied with a somewhat creamy feeling medium level carbonation. Lots of roast and earthy flavors throughout...well balanced - not as sweet as most English brown ales tend to be.

O - I'm plowing thru this beer in record time on this hot evening after an afternoon in the sun of work and play. Surprised a bit by the balance and also far darker and roastier than I expected before opening the bottle. Surprises that end up being quite pleasant. Can't see myself drinking this regularly, but this will make it into the occasional rotation into my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 00:27:23 | More by portia99
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: deep copper, small beige head, some light trickling lacing

S: faint roasted nuts, light caramel malts, light hops

T: sweet yet more bitter as it goes down, balanced

M: light to medium, dry aftertaste, bitter finish

O: good for its style and good for me

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 20:37:40 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Beer4Baltimore


3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

- from the notes and a sampler pack
12 ounce bottles
A - a fairly nice foamy and lacy head over a dark brown clear ale.
S - sweet malt is all I get.
T - mild coffee bitterness with a backing of sweet malts.
M - feels a little thin and sticky.
D - it's OK but doesn't stun me.
I wouldn't avoid it, but I wouldn't worry if you don't get any.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 19:28:08 | More by Beer4Baltimore
Photo of gford217


2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from Ben.

Pours deep copper with a tight beige head that recedes quickly to a thin cap. Not much lacing.

Aroma is pretty unimpressive, faint roasted nuts and light caramel malts. Maybe some hops but you've gotta really search for it.

Taste is really tame as well with some light hops. A bit of caramel malts but there is a little too much bitterness in the finish without enough flavor or malts underneath.

The mouthfeel is light bodied and fairly thin.

Not one of the better brown ales I've tasted. Weak aroma and flavor with thin body.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 04:20:05 | More by gford217
Photo of idurra


3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear mahogany color. About 1 cm head that almost disappears within a minute. The lacing, however, is generous and pleasant.

S- Sweet, caramel, and some nuttiness. Not much of a maltiness smell.

T and M- Crisp, acidic, slightly metallic. Medium hoppy bitterness. The carbonation is a little like a soda pop. Not much of a finish.

O- Above average, but with little complexity. The soda like carbonation is off putting.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 01:26:32 | More by idurra
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.