Live Oak Big Bark Amber Lager - Live Oak Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Live Oak Big Bark Amber LagerLive Oak Big Bark Amber Lager

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184 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 10.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Live Oak Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Pegasus on 04-30-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by mizzourah:
Photo of mizzourah
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at Cain and Abel's in Austin.

Appearance- Dark caramel color with a nice head that left decent lacing. Slight carbonation evident.

Smell- Caramel, perhaps a hint of chocolate and somewhat fruity.

Taste- Caramel malts at first and then fruity hops afterward. Good fruity aftertaste that wasn't too strong and quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- It wasn't too watery and danced around nicely on the tongue.

Drinkability- Excellent drinkability. I could drink this all night and be happy. None of the flavors are too overwhelming, I found it nicely balanced, and I kept wanting more. I always find myself ordering this when I'm in Austin.

More User Reviews:
Photo of dill
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on tap in a pint glass.

A - a deep amber color with a cream head.

S - a bit of sweetness, perhaps caramel.

T - a little bit of sweetness in the taste as well with the malt coming through as well.

M - medium bodied.

D - this is a really nice amber from a great brewery, but i was hoping they would do even better with this style.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Addison Flying Saucer.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get quite a bit of toffee, but I also get some bread and a little bit of grape. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of toffee and bready malt as well as a little bit of pine and grass from the hops. I also get a little bit of grape in the flavor as well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Gingerman in Dallas. Served in a pint glass, clear amber with a short white head.

The aroma is full of smooth caramel malts. The flavor matches with the same caramel and bread, but with a dry, almost burnt toffee note. The beer finishes with grassy bitterness, its not big, but its the most prominent taste.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Scholz Beer Garden in Austin, Texas. Took notes on my phone
A - orangey amber color, big fluffy head that remained pretty much through whole beer
S - sweetness, caramel malts
T - Matches the caramel malts aroma, breadiness, slight bitter hops in the end
M - medium mouth feel
D - very drinkable, I enjoyed 1 but would have liked to have a couple more.
I'm glad I got to try a local Austin brewery beer, I'll look forward to trying more when i'm in the area.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great head and retention.

Smell is of nice caramel malts and hops. Apple phenol comes out on the nose.

Very typical and basic amber. Caramel malts are decent with a low hop bitterness. Nothing bad about this beer, but nothing special.

This beer is pretty decent and clings to the palate well. Makes for a decent session.

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Quite clear medium copper color with a small off-white head, which quickly collapses to a small collar. A few fat bubbles rise lazily to the surface throughout.

Aroma: Robust toasted malt with assertive bitter grapefruit notes.

Taste: Begins with toasted malts, which turn mildly sweet midway through the taste, mild alcohol notes also appear. Finishes with sharply bitter grapefruit hops that linger on well past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Not exceptional, but smooth and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A bit off-trail with respect to the hoppiness to judge by the amber ales that I have sampled, but nonetheless tasty and quite drinkable. Reviewed on tap at Waterloo Icehouse in Austin, Texas.

Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love a good Vienna lager and this one delivers the goods. Toasted biscuit, slightly floral hops, and a deep Amber color with red and orange hues. Paired excellently with fried cheese curds and Olaf sauce.

Photo of zac16125
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

This one was sent to me as an extra in a trade. Apparently this was hand bottled by a Live Oak Brewery employee, who was a friend of the trader. Must be something thats done fairly commonly as they have labeled caps. Thanks to Zadavis for sending over this bottle from a brewery that doesn't bottle!

A: Pours a crystal clear light amber with 1.5 fingers width of ivory colored head. Leaves no appreciable lacing.

S: Some caramel malt, citrus, tart apple. Not much going on here but whats there smells nice.

T: Caramel malts, some estery banana flavors, mild tart note, some bready yeast.

M/D: A rather light body but with a somewhat sticky/syrupy mouthfeel. Drinkability is fair.

O: Overall, rather unremarkable. I dont think Id drink this one again. Not that it was bad, but it certainly nothing special. Glad I was able to try a beer that is usually not available to me though.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at The Holy Grail Pub in Plano, TX.

A: Pours a crystal clear amber with light amounts of visible carbonation. There is a thin off white head that has very little retention and moderate amounts of lacing.

S: Slight aromas of bready malts with hints of spices and caramel.

T: Beautiful malty sweetness with a pleasant lingering bitterness in the finish. Hints of toffee and caramel.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: Very enjoyable and a decent example for the style. The lingering bitterness (it lingers for quite a while) makes the beer not very sessionable. But I would enjoy this beer at another opportunity, just not many of them in a sitting.

Photo of woodychandler
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thin, off-white head that had begun to dissipate even as it was being served to me. Color was a medium-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was fairly sweet for a lager-style beer. Mouthfeel was medium with a good bit of sweetness on the tongue. Finish remained sweet. Decent, but not compelling.

Photo of Biermaedchen
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - reddish brown with copper colored highlights, a nice off-white head that has good retention

S - exceptional malt aroma with toasty sweet caramel scents & very slight hint of hops

T - tasty set of malty flavors with sweet toffee/caramel and light toasty malt note. smooth graininess with a crisp hop bitterness in the background

M - medium bodied. well-balanced and smooth, but firm. great carbonation.

O - really exceptional beer... tasty and drinkable & good representation of the style. Happy they gave this year around.

Photo of champ103
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent amber/reddish color. A small one finger white head forms, and recedes in an instant. Light lace is left behind.
S: At first a large whiff of brewers yeast. Some sweet caramel malt and piny, citrus, and grassy hops.
T: Sweet caramel malt. Some grassy and piny hops. Fairly standard.
M/D: A medium body that is a little over carbonated for my tastes. I did not have any problems drinking this. Something I can session.

There is just not a lot here. I can't see reaching for this over the Hefe. Though, worth at least one try.

Photo of Redrover
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was able to sample this one at the Elephant Room in Austin. Cool subterranean bar on Congress & 6th.

It was served in a standard pint. The beer is a translucent brownish amber with a tan head. Great lacing.

Malts and something sweet (brown sugar?) on the nose. It could be amped up a bit.

The taste is pleasant with slightly toasted grains, a bit of sweetness and a finish of weak plums.

The mouth is smooth, could be a session beer, but I would want something a bit more bold.

Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at Stubbs BBQ here in Austin, Texas. Reviewed from notes taken a few weeks back. This was my first Live Oak beer. Reviewed as an amber lager because it identifies as such.

A: No bubble show.

Pours no head whatsoever. Body colour is a clear pilsner yellow/straw yellow. No yeast particles are visible. Not at all amber in colour, and frankly it's not much to look at. Vibrance is average.

Sm: Pilsner malts and clean barley are the only notes my broken nose detects. All apologies, lads. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Bland and boring. A light aroma.

T/Mf: Crisp as hell. Spring water, clean barley, pilsner malts, straw. Any hopping is purely preservative. Painfully simple, and in no way an amber (whether ale or lager). It doesn't even resemble a Vienna lager. Boring and bland, but approachable I guess. No yeast or alcohol comes through. No complexity or subtlety here.

Smooth, wet, sharp, and a biteen biting. Too heavy on the palate for the style. Has a decent body. Doesn't complement the flavour profile well.

Dr: Downable but disappointing, especially for my first Live Oak beer. I wouldn't get it again. I'm hoping this is just a fluke; I was really looking forward to trying Live Oak beers while living in Austin. Boring and bland, but kind of refreshing. Enjoyable but generic. Lacks real character; uninspired.

High C-

Photo of tronester
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color. Smells of toffee, and a hint of cinnamon. Taste is light grainup front followed by caramel and finishes with oaky smoke. Mouthfeel is smooth low carbonation. A pretty good beer, somewhat bland though. I like their Hefei much more than I like this beer personally.

Photo of
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear, copper colored beer, with a medium, off-white head.

Malt won out over hops in the aroma and came through as a caramel scent. Hop presence was grassy and floral.

Taste was again tilted towards the malt, nutty, sweet and honey like in character. Hops pick up a bit and balance with just a bit of bitterness. Trying to leave my hop-head bias aside, I still felt that this beer could have used a bit more for balance.

Light in body, with medium to high carbonation. Very refreshing.

Very sessionable and pretty tasty. If you like a beer with a fairly low hop profile, and a nice flavor, this should do the trick for you.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint Glass.

Appearance-Dark red with a off white, almost brown head. About 2 fingers which leaves some nice lacing.

Smell-Bready, some cider and spice.

Taste-Lots of Apple Skins Light tartness and balanced nicely with some big bready notes. Really simple but this is very very drinkable and extremely tasty.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, carbonation was perfect. Goes down real smooth and I could drink alot of this.

Overall-If these beers were canned/bottled this would be my go to session beers. Another really nice offering from Live Oak.

Photo of fjordhook
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a dark amber color, minimal head, with a transparent body. Smells were abundant with malts, low in hops. Compared to other amber lagers I've tasted, the malts weren't overpowering. The taste was bitter with malts, but it wasn't an uncomfortable bitterness. Was a smooth drink overall. This is not a style I'm very particular of, but this was definitely one of the better ones I've had.

Photo of JDV
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Billy’s in Austin. Light Amber in color, with light to medium carbonation and small to medium white head. Smell is of caramel sweetness, intense juicy dried apricots, slight maltiness. Taste is similar with a mild bitterness as well. Medium finish and a good beer overall. A nice vienna-style lager.

Photo of Premo88
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Onion Creek, Houston

Copper, clear, super sticky head of beige/tan foam.

Slightly hoppy fruit flavor, very sweet. Hop bite is a bit grassy

Photo of beerdiablo
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

“Don’t look for Live Oak at 7-11 anytime soon” remarked brewer Chip McElroy when asked if his draught only offerings were going to be bottled.

Focus is a good thing.

Live Oak’s Big Bark Amber Lager is a bolder Amber lager with some combat going on between the malt and hops as noted by other reviewers. This beer won’t please everyone but still holds up with Live Oak’s quality standards.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Buffalo Billiard's in downtown Austin. Not a great lineup, but at least this was something I hadn't had before.

A: Poured a translucent dark amber body. The head was a finger of off-white foam that receded quickly into a donut, and left a few drabs of lacing down the sides of the glass. For a beer of this style, kind of average.

S: Toasted caramel malt, grain, and nuts. Not all that pungent.

T: Much breadier than the nose implied, and this dominated the taste along with grain and nuts. Caramel came near the end of the taste. It had a malty, but clean finish with a distinctly nutty aftertaste. I got a very light hop bitterness, but I couldn't place the flavor -- earthy, I suppose.

M: Light-bodied, medium carbonation. It went down smoothly.

D: I liked it, didn't love it.

Photo of redstripe
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On draft at the Ginger Man in Fort Worth

This beer looks (and tastes) like the archetypal amber. It is a clear, light, amber color, with a relatively thin white head that stuck nicely to the side of the glass. There is sufficient, though not exuberant, carbonation--enough that a swirl of the glass resurrected the head.

The smell is faint and sweet.

The taste, like I said, is dead-on amber. It is well-balanced, sweet in the beginning with a light bitter hop flavor at the finish. Ambers are perfect introductions to craft beers for beginners, and this would be a good place to start. It is not a challenging beer to drink, and would make for a good session.

The mouthfeel is very light.

Photo of TheMistler
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at the Ginger Man, Austin. Poured a clear, nutty brown. Copper. Creamy, latte foam of a head. Nice cap after middling retention. Lacing leaves behind interspersed walls and spider webs.

Caramel and chocolate malts. Nougat, maybe. Fairly sweet, but with hints of grass and grapefruit tang.

Crisp, finishing fairly bitter - hoppier than I expected from the nose. Subdued caramel, with the slightest hint of chocolate. The malts are the predominant flavors up front but are quickly supplanted (though not _completely_ overrun) by floral and citrus hops. Sweetness makes a a decent stab at reasserting itself, but the aftertaste is almost all hops, with a bitter resin presence.

Creamy feel with lots of restrained CO2 prickliness throughout. Pretty easy drinking.

A nice amber lager, with a tasty hop assertiveness that - while welcome - might give this beer a just slightly unbalanced quality.

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Live Oak Big Bark Amber Lager from Live Oak Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.