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Big Bear Black Stout - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,003 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,003
Reviews: 1,093
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 119
Gots: 132 | FT: 6
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,003 | Reviews: 1,093 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DarthMalt:
Photo of DarthMalt
DarthMalt

Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +11.8%

What do they smoke at Bear Republic to come up with beers like these?!!!

Sweet, caramel, and blacker than black. Nose gives off like an Old Rasputin or other imperial. Chocolate, rock, root-beer-float head. Sweet wafts follow through and bathe fore, mid, and after tastes with sweet, caramel chocolate (no hokey "tannins-for-alpha-acid" program here).

Forget Stout!
I say....Voluptuous!

03-31-2003 17:01:15 | More by DarthMalt
More User Reviews:
Photo of depotmashman
depotmashman

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Very good ......

08-22-2014 00:38:46 | More by depotmashman
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +11.8%

Pours a deep dark black with a mocha colored creamy head,big hop presence in the aroma for the style zesty and nutty with a little moch a coffee thrown in very nice.Wow where to begin on the flavors in this bad boy very creamy feel in the mouth, drier than expected some unsweetened chocolate and nutty earthiness with a background of zesty,spicey hop.Alot going on and way to easy to drink for the alc% every flavor u could want in a beer with a smooth creamy mouthfeel,just awesome.

10-21-2004 00:48:22 | More by oberon
Photo of Popsinc
Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Very nice looking pour with a rich bronze head. The nose is lightly roasted . Great taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt and hints of vanilla bean. Smooth coffee notes with nice hoppiness showing its face on the finish. A very rich, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Excellent stout.

05-10-2004 19:06:59 | More by Popsinc
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Appearance – Black as a black bear with a monster, dark tan head that pitted slowly and laced my glass.

Smell – Amazing balance to the nose of this stout. The dark, roasted, burnt malt aroma is there along with a significant hoppy balance. Add to this the terrific molasses, dark maple, and cane sugar. To top things off, the dark, ripe fruits (mostly Bing cherries, tobacco, apricots, and browned bananas) add a level of complexity that is beyond reproach. There’s also a nice woody/sherry compliment.

Taste – The sherry and wood come out more in the taste but, incredibly, all of the aspects of the nose are here as well. This is a wonderfully balanced stout that doesn’t rely on one, good, strong flavor. You could drink this with anything from fish, roast beef, tenderloin, Caesar salad (there’s a nice bitterness in here that would go great with salads), or buzzard meat.

Mouthfeel – Creamy and smooth yet quite refreshing from the hop profile. This is a mouthful indeed.

Drinkability – Most 4.0+ stouts that I’ve rated have one thing in common: They should be drank by themselves, alone to save the flavors. This here is your “all purpose” stout, perfect for any occasion.

Comments – I would have had to pretend to like it anyway since skyhand was sitting next to me and wouldn’t shut up about how great it is, so it was a real bonus that I liked it so much.

Update – I partake of this regularly but thought it would be fun to age a bottle for a year, so I popped an ’05 vintage in June 2006 just for the hell of it.

The alcohol and sharp sugars come out much bigger after a year in the cellar. I especially enjoyed the malty tang that almost seemed reminiscent of a barrel-aged stout. This beer is great as is or layed down for a year.

11-09-2003 04:01:46 | More by RoyalT
Photo of aszatk01
aszatk01

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

09-14-2013 02:41:32 | More by aszatk01
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

Dark brown, near black with a generous tan froth. Strongly hopped aroma. Light an fruity. Coffee flowing over Cascades. Tastes slightly sour like powdered cherry drink mix. Lemony with a healthy dose of java, chocolate, brown sugar, and caramel. Light to medium body (for style). Very hoppy yet extremely drinkable. Not very typical for an RIS but quite nice none-the-less.

07-27-2006 16:26:38 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of ExtraStout
ExtraStout

Massachusetts

4.79/5  rDev +15.7%

Poured out of a bomber. Big thick tannish head that settles a bit but has great retention and great lacing. This beer is opaque black.

Big caramel aromas, slight toffee, some dark roasted coffee and some smokey malt. I couldnt keep my nose out of the glass, this beer just smells so damned good!

Incredibley smooth sweet toffee and caramel blended with bitter chocolate and a slightly spiced hop character to balance the heavy malt out to near perfect.

Nice moutfeel that really coats your taste buds with flavor. The drinkability of this beer is very good. So tastey that you just want to keep drinking it and you could because the 8.1 is nowhere to be found...until it creeps up on you.

This is an exceptional beer and I cant wait to pick up some more.

03-15-2014 19:03:28 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of hopsleeroy
hopsleeroy

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

A- Black stout with little light coming through and 2 inch head that disppeared quickly.
S-Very chocolate smell, some roast malt smell, not picking up a lot of fruit, mild vanilla. Just OK aroma.
T-Roast grain, chocolate, some earthy wood flavors mixed in and a little bit smoky. There was a chalky taste that was not totally pleasurable on the backside. Pleny of hops in this one balancing out the sweet. Hope came thorugh as it warmed and it became more complex.
M-Very creamy with good carbonation
D-Dangerously drinkable. It gets better as it warms and begins to change the flavor making me want to drink more.

Fine beet-very enjoyable.

05-30-2008 19:52:16 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of LSUExplorer03
LSUExplorer03

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

A - Appearance was chocolaty, dark brown with light brown
head.

S - Smell was rich with a sweet character apparent. Nothing too
overwhelming or aromatic, however.

T - Taste was above average. I got some chocolate, along with
some smoky hints up front with strong malts in the back.
Not too much hop balance.

M - Medium to thick body

D - Drinkability was above average. I picked up a little of an
"alcoholy" taste, and for only being 8.1%, this was a bit of a
surprise.

Overall, the beer was good and I would definitely buy another; however, for the ratings this beer has received, I was a little disappointed.

05-01-2009 04:10:36 | More by LSUExplorer03
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

4.72/5  rDev +14%

This is an exceptional stout! It poured a very very dark brown with a small brownish head that soon settled into a creamy layer of foam leaving slight lace down my glass. The smell was great with a great roasted maltiness and hints of carmel. The flavor was stunning and sweeter than I was expecting, but it all worked wonderfully. The roasted malt flavor created a great semi-sweet flavor and there was a slight smokiness in the finnish that really topped it off. The mouthfeel was smoothe and creamy and there was absoloutly no hint of the %8.10 abv. Another winner from Bear Republic!

07-04-2004 09:04:39 | More by Dmann
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

Nearly opaque black with only bits of red at the edges. Single finger dark tan to light brown head on the pour. Lacing grips the glass as the head keeps hanging around.

Smell is hop dominated without much else. Mainly Cascade hops with their typical grapefruit citrus aroma. Maybe a hint of alcohol in the nose. I would like to have picked up on some typical stout aromas in this one. Without any form of toasted anything or coffee aromas I can't rate the smell high. Its just all hops.

What the aroma lacks the taste makes up for. This stout is hoppier than most but still has the typical stout flavors in the forefront. A good dose of strong dark toasted malts with bits of chocolate and an expresso finish. A hop bitterness picks up as well with some floral sweet flavors. This is a very nice tasting stout which is a bit different than most other stouts with its hop presence.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and thick. Coats the mouth well. Filling like a stout should be. Drinkability is good to boot, a good thick heavy feeling that probably wouldn't dissuade most from finishing the bomber.

06-16-2005 01:23:58 | More by blitz134
Photo of JasonA
JasonA

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

Not sure a RIS could pour better. Darkedy dark. Thick, mocha head. Doent look like its going to settle ... ever (it never really did).

Smells roasted malt, ome choc and coffee. Too bad I have a cold, wish I could smell more.

Yummy bicuit, dry, some hops. Very nice finish. Cant taste the ABV, somewhat sad ;)

Feels very smooth, sits well in the mouth.

I could drink this all the time. I will say I think it may feel a bit more like an American Sout than a RIS due to dryness and hoppyness.

03-08-2007 00:41:29 | More by JasonA
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4/5  rDev -3.4%

A 22oz bottle from Kappy's in Malden, MA (great beer selection; try it). The beer was almost black with a thick mocha head. It had a sweet chocolate aroma, but tasted more dark chocolate and espresso. Very smooth, a drinkable beer. I'd buy this again.

01-07-2007 21:49:20 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of csmartin6
csmartin6

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-24-2013 18:51:09 | More by csmartin6
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

A - Slight hiss as the cap is removed. Pours black with three fingers of brown head. Head is pillowy and has good retention.

S - A mix of sweet and earthy roasted malts. Subdued but good.

T - Roasted malts up front with a nice earthiness. No real sweetness in the taste. Some dark bittersweet chocolate and ome slightly sour notes as well. Hints of dark fruit and a slight alcohol presence.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking, but not watery. The earthiness lingers on the tongue for quite awhile and is a bit drying.

O - Nice to see a stout like this that isn't sweet, but the intense earthiness reduces the enjoyment just a bit.

12-23-2011 05:57:51 | More by warnerry
Photo of grynder33
grynder33

Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -17.9%

Beautiful dark color, with a small chocolate type head. The aroma was slightly malty, little bit mocahish, but weaker than you would expect.The first sip was thick and syrupy, like a porter, there was a slight sweetness that seemed to expand and hang around ,
theaftertaste was thick and curranty almost medicinal. Nice bold Brussels lace. Everything was fine except the aftertaste. Its ok but there are better out there. Mackerson is smoother and not quite as bitter

08-03-2003 20:25:08 | More by grynder33
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

22 oz bottle. Pours a nearly opaque black (there's some ruby highlights). It has a creamy light brown head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing. The second half pour leaves some sediment.

The aroma is some roasted malts, figs (and dark fruits), a little anise, and a some sweet cream oakiness.

The flavor is more of the same - roasted chocolate, figs, anise, and sweet oak with a nice lightly bitter dry finish. The alcohol is well hidden. There are some sweet and sour notes that keep it from being truly excellent. It is medium to thin bodied, a little low on the carbonation and a little watery at times.

Overall, a good imp stout. It reminded me of Left Hands Oak-Aged, but wasn't quite as good.

06-05-2005 03:35:39 | More by Beaver13
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
SmellsofMahagony

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

04-05-2013 05:12:28 | More by SmellsofMahagony
Photo of jisom123
jisom123

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

09-18-2012 00:07:33 | More by jisom123
Photo of Doomcifer
Doomcifer

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

08-01-2014 15:07:32 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

03-08-2014 20:52:11 | More by Beerswag
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%

22oz brown bomber, no freshness date but the 8.1% should keep it fine on the shelf for a while.

Appearance: The light brown foamy tan head looks appetizing, as black as you can get in colour … what else would you expect from a big stout.

Smell: Fragrant aroma of unsweetened dark chocolate and mild espresso … hint of molasses as well. Dark berries and a hidden alcohol are there to boot.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy … and a kick of crispness at that. Layered complex burnt character lingers right under the strong arm of maltiness. The fresh hoppiness drops a thick blanket of bitterness and oily hop flavour. Touch of yeast with black currant in the back with a subdued alcohol.

Notes: Where the hell is the 8.1% abv? So deceiving and very drinkable, very well put together. I’d say I would make this a session beer but I would not last too long …

10-22-2003 22:20:03 | More by Jason
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Big Bear pours an inky opaque color into a Fuller's pint glass, with an impressive, two finger, light brown, head. The patch and sheet lacing still catches the eye long after the glass has reached room temperature.
Ideal stout aromas of roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate are up front. Intriguing scents of roasted almonds and Cascades hops pique the interest.
Finally, in the mouth, I find a smooth richness enhanced by tingling carbonation, and a pleasant, funky, hops bite.
An unexpected smoked walnut flavor greets the tastebuds, before the big roasty malts throw around the roasted coffee and dark fruits. Tart, cherry, sweetness emerges a couple of times midway through. The fresh hops presence is what makes this one really special, and it definitely sets it apart from most other stouts. Hops seem Cascades most of the way through, but at times seem to lend a funk, English note such as Fuggles or Goldings.
This was a beautiful stout to stare at in the glass, from beginning to end. Robust, and smooth, with the surprising flavors of tart cherries and smoked almonds joining the roasty coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and standout, funky, hops appearance. A wonderful brew here, that should be a "top twenty" selection.

03-26-2004 02:17:35 | More by merlin48
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Bomber bottle, this one was enjoyed at near room temp. in a goblet. jet Black with a frothy dark head. Gobs of rich malty, coffee odors in the nose. Chocolate, caramel,toffee, roasted malt, dark bread flavors in the first few sips. This a rich and chewy brute of a beer. Bittering comes along late in the profile, but smoothes things out and joins in the fun towards a long and flavorful finish. Full body, lots of flavors and complexity.Coating mouthfeel and sumptious in every way. This is to be savored and enjoyed over and over. I'll be buying more of this stuff next chance I get.

03-02-2004 03:14:07 | More by Billolick
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Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,003 ratings.