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Big Bear Black Stout - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,194 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,194
Reviews: 1,114
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 145
Gots: 178 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

Big Bear is a big, black, stout you can really sink your teeth into. The bold, roasty, caramel malt flavor is balanced by Centennial and Cascade hops.

2009 California State Fair – 2nd GOLD
2009 LA International Beer Competition – GOLD
2007 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Stout – SILVER
2002 World Beer Cup - GOLD
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 2,194 | Reviews: 1,114
Photo of JFCLACK
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Just slightly bitter finish, but ever moment before was greatness

Photo of scotorum
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bought in November 2013 and cellared since then.

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Opaque black with clear ruby highlights at the bottom. Inch thick tan head receded to uneven surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Dark chocolate and alcohol.

t; Follows the nose with mellow smoothness, followed by smoke and a moderate hop bite. Later some subtle dark fruit notes emerge.

m; Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o; A very good chocolaty stout with a nice higher-octane balance between flavorful malt and hop bitterness.

Photo of Bone53
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter with a best by date of 07/14/2014. I assume its been atleast a year since bottling

Appearance: A dark brown pour with no light coming through, and a finger light brown head. Leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Heavy on the dark fruit and wine-like tannins with a very subtle roasted malt character

Taste: Strange, slightly off putting dark fruit notes upfront with a slight roasted malt/espresso finish. The finish makes the flavor slightly more enjoyable than the smell

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, and very, very light for the style. Its too drinkable for an imperial stout if that makes sense.

Overall: As i seek out highly rated beers, and stouts especially since its one of my favorite style, this offering falls short for me. I find this a bit far from an A beer. Its heavy on the odd dark fruit/sweet, wine-like tannin notes and light on roasted malts/coffee/chocolate. Furthermore, the mouthfeel lacks that thick, chewy body that makes you savor every sip. I wouldnt recommend this stout as there are countless better ones on the market, nor am i going to seek this out again. I find this beer overrated to say the least

Photo of zbooks
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Mediocre but priced reasonably cheap. Have no idea why this is rated so high.

Photo of Rpm0003
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My favorite from Bear Republic, and one of the better stouts I've had. Dark, sweet, and smooth

Photo of anon
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice enough. Black with a small head that sticks. I agree with other reviews I've seen on this one, the alcohol comes through strong in this one, as if it were barrel aged. Not a bad thing per se, but not something I was expecting from a regular imperial stout. I get lots of deep roast and caramel but any other complexities are blanketed by the alcohol. Does go down smooth and lingers on the tongue. I'm not sure what to think of this one, not my favorite in the style but not terrible by any means. Eh.

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a finger width, brown foamy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is moderate. Dark chocolate, coffee aroma with slight black licorice. Nice, smooth roasted coffee with a chocolate aftertaste. Nothing much to say here. Just another excellent offering from Bear Republic.

Photo of bassboneman
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a different take on a stout. At least IMHO.
There is a distinct raisin finish. The alcohol taste is very much in the front of this beer.
It isnt a very sweet beer nor is it a rounded experience - like with founders porter or anchor steam.
This is a good beer if you prefer a dry finish and a less sweet stout. This one isnt for me...
I am not sure how it got such a high grade - unless this particular bottle is old...
Granted I am on the east coast and this stuff is brewed on the west coast. Who knows...
sam

Photo of GOBLIN
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big, bold, black and roasty . . . typical of the style. Hope to see Bear Republic back in my neck of the woods soon.

Photo of InkedinRi
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very pleasant stout. I see now how it received such high numbers and reviews!

Photo of marieli
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle. Looked okay. Smelled a bit fruity, light on coffee and chocolate. Not so rich. Feel was on thinner side and taste was consistent but nothing special. The alcohol was definitely present. Expectations were high based on overall reviews and scores but results very disappointing. Will try again at some point just to see if maybe one of us was having an off day!

Photo of funjack5150
2.88/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I'm not happy with this supposed to be an Imperial Stout. Drinks more like a Porter to me. Very thin on the taste. I like a creamy stout, but that's just me. This that's like a hoppy beer, although I love hoppy beer..... I DON'T want my Imperial Stouts to taste HOPPY!!!! If I want a "hoppy beer" I'll drink an IPA, thank you!!

Photo of erushing
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I need to pick this up more often. Lots of chocolate and roasted flavors. Delicious.

Photo of SFNC
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Tried on a whim and am quite impressed. It gets much better as it warms up. Rich, roasted malts, chocolate, some espresso and nice little kick.

Photo of bigotecircus
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

A: Nearly jet black with a finger of rocky, dark tan head. Moderate head retention and a decent amount of lacing left behind.

S: Big burst of good roasted malt with a hint of dark chocolate, caramel sweetness,
and a touch of toffee.

T: Follows the smell quite nicely. Toasty malt up front, followed by a caramel-like sweetness and a hint of dark chocolate and toffee bitterness.

M: Smooth and toasty.

O: Bear Republic has nailed it again. This is a very approachable stout, but still drinks right alongside the best of 'em! Highly recommend this one.

Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev -3.1%

01/10/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Word has it that this needs to warm to room temp for flavor to develop. While still chilled the flavor is pretty intense. Nice balance, but not Black Ops or Bourbon County level. After letting this temper I was not that impressed. Good, but not great. Not sure the "Great Bear" applies, and of course "Good Bear" is way less impressive. I'd do it again, but....

Photo of Phigg1102
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black pour with a crisp tan head. Tons of chocolate and tobacco in the aroma with hints of leather and plumb. Very rich yet smooth taste. More chocolate and plumb, with a fair hop presence and deep roasted malt flavor. Rich mouthfeel without too much carbonation.

Photo of NIX777
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Pretty good. Starts strong but gets smooth.

Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Poured pitch black with one finger of tan, slightly fizzy head. Left some lacing. Aroma is malty with notes of chocolate and coffee. Taste was big, with roasted malt in the forefront. There is also some sweetness and a little alcohol bite. Mouth feel is a little slick with hints of carbonation.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Roast coffee nose over a light sweetness and dark fruit
Pours opaque black under a 1.5" tan tinted white foam cap that dissipates to a thin film butt leaves rich lace.
Caramel on the palate sweetens the roast coffee giving it chocolate notes that are balanced by dark fruit flavors.
Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Photo of depotmashman
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Very good ......

Photo of EdwardK77
4.5/5  rDev +9%

A- Pours a nice head from a 12 oz. bottle into a stout glass. Good head retention remains over a dark colored stout.

S- Really nice coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit. Really nice element of sweetness that remains completely in check.

T- Perfectly in keeping with the smell and extremely well balanced. The coffee, chocolate, and balanced roasted sweet flavors are all there.

M- This is enjoyable because it isn't thin, it's right in the sweet spot of easy drinking stout perfection. It coats the palate and leaves a nice moderate stickiness behind. I'm appreciating the lack of effervescence as I feel that any of that would be distracting.

O- I've paid twice as much for stouts that aren't this good. It's certainly in the running to become a fridge regular.

Photo of larryarms847
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown/black with a delicious looking caramel brown two finger head.

The aroma of roasted nuts and chocolate is very forward, with obvious roasted malts as well.

Sweet chocolate is back by caramel, roasted malts and a very nice nuttiness.

Mouthfeel is very very smooth (may have to do with the 2 years of age on this bottle), silky and goes down like chocolate water.

Overall, this is a very tasty stout that everyone needs to try!

Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black color with red highlights and a thick two finger caramel head with medium retention and leaving good laces.
Aroma of dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark fruits and caramels.
Bold roasted flavor with notes of expresso coffee, nuts, caramel, vanilla, prunes, figs, cocoa, charcoal and citrusy hops. Dry and bitter aftertaste with its lasting residual note.
Full body with appropriate carbonation. Somewhat creamy. Alcohol of 8.1% abv is very well hidden.
Although I was expecting a bolder beer (ps. this is not very young), this is a very tasty and balanced imperial stout. Its complexity improves dramatically after it warms up, but it is never overpowering.

Photo of ZagZagg
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into goblet

A: Standard stout appearance, frothy kaki colored head of about two fingers. No light is able to travel through this brew, a glinting ruby hue can be observed at certain angles. Carbonation looks low. Lacing and retention are moderate; body looks medium

S: Dark chocolate up front, bitter and bold. Smoke, ash, and roast are present but not overwhelming, some sweet malt aroma, some light caramel, anise, and subtle booze of chocolate liqueur. Burnt coffee and strong espresso upon agitation

T: Strong burnt/roasted malt immediately seizes the palate. After the initial burst of flavor rich chocolate blends of bakers and milk let on trailed by a faint nuttiness. Bitter before sweet in this case, prevalent hop presence picks up in conjunction with burnt wood and refined espresso/coffee grounds. The sweetness is attributable to caramel, hazelnut, notes of anise, and roasted/chocolate malt structure. The middle mouth is dominated by a hoppier play, even letting on some muted orange citrus. The finish is slightly astringent, but pans out with a nutty sweetness backed by molasses and dark chocolate

M: Creamy at times, but never chewy. Carbonation is light and fine, fills the mouth appropriately. After taste is somewhat sweet and somewhat dry, nice drinkability

O: Delicious and drinkable. One of the hoppier stouts I’ve ever drank, quite burnt and bitter at times. Although it’s not one of the most balanced stouts I’ve enjoyed, it is rather delectable. I wish the viscosity were increased slightly, but other than that this is a high quality beer

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Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,194 ratings.