Big Bear Black Stout - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,124 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,124
Reviews: 1,102
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 132
Gots: 150 | 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:
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: 2,124 | Reviews: 1,102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

stout hopped up.and chocolate malt and very bitter. . Quenched the thirst and then some. Astringent, great with meat and salad. Had on tap a year later and licorice aroma prevalent. Beautiful black appearance. Good carbonation. A top notch stout and a top notch brewery..

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a nice 1 inch chocolate milk colored head. Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and spicy herbal hops. Taste is super dark chocolate, espresso grounds, with a bit of herbal hops on the finish. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, a good stout that is definitely worth seeking out. The price is also right seeing as it's around $3.99 a bomber.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the first Russian Imperial Stouts I ever had. I can say that it certainly did not disappoint, even if it is a little different for the style.

A: Very black with a nice, tan head.

S: Chocolate, espresso, and hops. Quite hoppy for an imperial stout.

T: Plenty of hops along with chocolate and espresso.

M: Quite smooth with good carbonation and a slight alcohol presence.

D: Highly drinkable. Good all around stout. Very, very highly recommended to any hophead who is looking into branching out into RIS's.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-tasted on tap at Bear Republic 1/31/11 and while review below is accurate, it was much more "stoutlike" han indicated below(although one of my least favorite beers from a brewery that makes almost all really good brews)

* *

Vintage 2006 (although tasted on tap in 2009) Pours very dark brown, almost black with a tan head that is not long in the glass.

Nose is light grapefruit, pine and light undertones of fruity malt. Nose is restrained.

Flavors and basic appeal is also somewhat restrained. The body and flavors are not complex and are light simple malt/stone fruit but not very big and not very assertive and certainly not real complex. This is a basic "ok" drink. It was a treat to try the 2006 in 2009 but not something I'd go out of my way for again. All in all a bit thin in all respects. Not what you would expect in a "quality" craft stout.

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are aromas of burnt malts and roasted malts in the nose along with notes of chocolate and licorice.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some coffee flavors as well as a moderate amount of bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There is warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink compared to others in the style because any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with tawny highlights and a nice tan head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Smells as much like an IPA as a stout, with grapefruit hops mixing together with roasted coffee and woody notes

Taste: Starts out with a rich chocolate flavor that blends with dark fruits by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grapefruit bitterness arrives in a big way; woody dry flavors at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body (just a bit thinner than it could be) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This stout hits most of the high points although I wouldn't characterize it as a RIS; it's really more of an American Double Stout in my book.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, I buy the style characterization. But the beer does hinge on the gavity of an American Stout. Very drinkable and enjoyable for either because the beer emphasizes the intensity of flavor over gravity or feel. This beer is cramed pack full of strong cocoa flavors that will rival Rogues Mocha Porter. Balance that with a strong coffee (nearly espresso) flavor notes that also complement the sharp, American hops that do resemble the younger American Stout. Fresh and intense describe the flavors well. The body is full for a standard American Stout, but not chewy or dense enought for a RIS. I don't seem to care, where it drops off in thickness, it makes up for with drinkability. Still I keep comming back to that intense cocoa / coffee / nutty / toasty blend that makes this beer work for me. Another hats off to Bear Republic for another world class beer. By the way, this beer could win beauty contests with it's appearance that I just didn't describe very well.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Beerandblues2: Poured a light black color ale with a nice brown foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted bitter malt some discernable hops. Taste is dominated by roasted bitter malt with a bitter hoppy finish. Body is more watery then I would have expected for the style with no alcohol being discernable. Overall, I found that this one was way too dry and bitter to really please me.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, impenetrable mahogany. I do see dark caramel highlights at the margins though, so it isn't a complete and total ambient light sucker. The expansive, thickly creamy head of golden cocoa brown falls infinitesimally slowly and resembles a large scoop of coffee ice cream left to melt in the midday sun.

A tremendous stout nose with power to spare. While sweet dark chocolate is dominant, this is no one-trick pony. Next in line would have to be citric hops (thank you Bear Republic), then brown sugar, then molasses, and finally, coffee. That is pretty much my ideal stout lineup, in exactly that order.

BBBS is good beer, as I was pretty sure it would be. One caveat: if you're not fond of hoppy stouts, this one may not be to your liking. I am and it is. It's even more hopalicious than the nose let on. In fact, I never thought I'd say this, but it's too hoppy relative to the actual stout flavor. I like hops in my dark beer (I like them on a train, I like them on a plane, I like them in Big Bear, I like them anywhere), but I don't like them to overwhelm the business at hand, which is... heavily roasted malt, chocolate, molasses and all that other stouty stuff.

Chocolate malt is still holding down the fort, but the ramparts have taken heavy damage from the humulus lupulus barrage. It's also impressively sweet, as befits a beer to which both brown sugar and molasses have been added. This really is delicious stuff even though its balance is just a tad askew. The finish is long and roastyhoppy with sweet just winning out over bitter. The mouthfeel is a notch shy of full with an impressive smooth silkiness.

Big Bear Black is great beer, but would benefit from being more classically stout-like. Even I need a break from overwhelming hops once in a while. As hard as it is to believe, sometimes I just wanna be 'mauled by malt', to paraphrase the BR website. Can't decide between a hop monster IPA and a darkly chocolatey double stout? Bear Republic has placed both in one bomber for your convenience and your drinking pleasure.

Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a thick black, opague oil like liquid. A nice small tan colored head was present at the start, which hung around for a decent amount of time. A nice long lasting lace was left to cling to the side the whole time, looked pretty good.

S - Lots of coffee and chocolate tones set the stage here. Hints of french vanilla and sugar swirled around and really gave this a nice robust dessert like feel.

M & T - Very nice here, great feel, very frothy and creamy like a milkshake. Great consistency. Big flavors of roasted dark chocolate and coffee. Big suprise was the huge hop presence here. Very dry hoppy finish, but also in the taste. Hints of pine and orange were definatly present and made this a very intresting brew to say the least. Could not really tell which was more dominant, but both were very welcome.

D - Awesome, is the only word that comes to mind. This was extremely drinkable, and even at 8.1%abv not a hint of alcohol was to be found anywhere in this. Not too heavy, but no where near thin, perfect drinkabilty, even on an abnormally warm early spring evening. A+

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice looking black color with a healthy brown head on top also. The lacing wasn't too bad here. The smell of the beer was chocolaty and roasted much like any stout should smell. The taste of the beer was rich with dark malts and some roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel was above average to me, I thought that the carbonation level was pretty good and the body itself wasn't too thin either. OVerall this wasn't a bad Stout, I'd say it worth having.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a near black body with a thick, foamy tan head.

Smell: Earthy, roasted malts saturate the aroma, as well as hints of caramel and aniseed. A touch of dark fruits in the nose as well.

Taste: Sweet, full malt backbone with flavors of caramel, dark chocolate, and molasses. Smooth finish accented by a light, grassy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with a silky, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easy drinking stout. An ample, respectable brew, but it lacks the complexity of other Russian Imperial Stouts.

Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,124 ratings.