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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.

2,122 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,122
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: 2,122 | Reviews: 1,102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of buyyourfreedom
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of YouSkeete
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Watery chocolate-colored appearance with soft and bubbly lacing. Thick molasses, syrup and milk chocolate with hints of brown sugar, roasted malts and wheat. Lots of wood with molasses and cocoa on the first sip. Malty, thick mouthfeel with lots of dark fruit, coffee grinds and syrup throughout the body. Sticky, bittersweet and dry finish. Moderate carbonation with a medium sized body.

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

Pours an oily jet black with a beautiful, frothy, thick, dense tan head which persists right to the very end.

Nice, but mild aromas of dark roasted malt and semi-sweet chocolate. Reminded me of the smell of slightly burnt, freshly baked Toll House chocolate chip cookies.

The mouthfeel and palate was absolutely fantastic. Chewy, thick, frothy and creamy, just like a Imperial Stout should be.

Flavor presented with an abundance of deeply roasted malts, charcoal, molasses, dark chocolate with a touch of caramel/brown sugar sweetness. Presents a long, semi-dry minerally and somewhat bitter finish. Alcohol is well concealed under the hefty flavors and body of this great Imperial Stout. Easy drinking stuff here.

Photo of dudecandle
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black body with dark, burnt-mocha head.

S/T: Very nice toasted oaky-vanilla presence, along with a mellow chocolate, light coffee, subtle dark fruit and some subtle hop herbage.

M: Very nice and full, with the vanilla giving a nice finish.

D: Absolutely drinkable. Alcohol is very subtle, though obviously, the ABV is a bit lower than most of the Russian style. All the flavors meld well together, and I'm a huge fan of the vanilla.

Photo of JJFordick
2.25/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black-coffee color into my nonic glass, coming together to be a rich near-black color that shows a few glimmers of ruby when held up to the light. A centimeter-thick tan head rises with some coersion and falls to a tan ring of small bubbles and some tan froth over the surface.

Whoa, smells like mocha ice cream, creamy, a little too-sweet coffee flavors. Lots of bursting sacharrine chocolate coffee scents. A little too 'fake' smelling to me, perhaps; Not enough smoky or hop bittering balance, the scents of coffee and chocolate that should be enticing are allowed to run amok and are a little sweet and rich.

The flavor also carries a lot of sacharine, it's like a black cup of coffee with five packets of Equal sugar substitute added. Very, very rich and sugary. It tastes good, I suppose.... a lot better when paired with some chocolate, I think, but would benefit from the addition of some balancing bitterness.

Too slick, too sugary even on the mouthfeel; It's thick and rich, but not chewy, and those sugary flavors don't benefit the feel by adding a kind of honeyed slickness.

I've really, really enjoyed Bear Republic brews so far and this one falls a bit because it's one-sided. This beer would be totally great with a bowl of chocolate ice cream, but it's unbalanced by itself.

Photo of Naugled
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

served in tulip

A: large rocky tan head with a silky surface, not completely opaque, very dark espresso brown

S: roasted coffee and caramel in the nose, very rich and sweet smell

T: sweet and malty bitterness from the roast, little aftertaste, hop flavors not present.

M: rich creamy smooth sweet thick feel

D: average, it's hard to get good drinkability in such a big beer, so average to me is good.

Photo of SirSketch
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very, very dark black beer. No light coming through, whatsoever. Dense brown head that stays around for awhile.

S - Dark roasted grains, coffee beans and just a bit of chocolate, as well as some earthy hops in the background.

T - Nice interplay of roasted, burnt, bitter grain flavor and a creamy milk chocolate sweetness, though it's mostly on the roasty side. Maybe some molasses flavor, too.

M - Fairly dry and medium-full bodied. Drinkable, too, for such a big stout.

O - Pretty happy with this beer. Not overly sweet or boozy. Completely worth the price @ only 5.99!

Photo of mbonugli
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of chicagoabbot
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz into a snifter...not the blackest stout pour ever, but it's pretty dark. Not the most overpowering stout aroma either, but there's a lot to like hear and it hints at a good bitter balance.

I know that once upon a time stout was 'stout porter'. This beer makes me think of that because it's almost closer to a big porter than most big stouts, with tons of lactic acid sourness. Not that it's bad. On the contrary, it add to the zestiness of this beer. It's not as malty or bitter as many huge stouts either. Another thing I like about this beer is that they didn't try to get too fancy and 'bring out' vanilla flavors or oak-age, which I think is often a mistake with big stouts if the barrels are too young--it just gets too sickly sweet.

Real clean, super drinkable big porter/big stout. Highly recommended.

Photo of egajdzis
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black with a small tan head and nice lacing. Roasty aroma of chocolate, big time nuts, and light dried fruits. Very chocolately and roasty with some nice hops for balance. Very drinkable here as no alcohol is noticed. A very nice stout, thanks Eyedrinkale!!

Photo of BeerMe42
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Lamdawg420
5/5  rDev +20.8%

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

Great smell of roasted coffee beans and chocolate. Really nice light brown head with good lacing. Man is this one rich and delicious. First flavor that I got was packed with espresso beans and dark roast coffee. Then a wave of bittersweet chocolate takes over. Lastly a really nice juicy hop finish cleans the whole thing up in a strong cup of espresso with lemon rind kind of way. This stuff is straight forward and awesome. For as velvety and rich it's mouth feel is it still has good drinkability because it is not to sweet and hops do a good job of cleaning up after each sip.

Photo of RichBeer
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Buick222
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of TBoneJones
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black in my pint. Perfect thick caramel-colored head.
Smells like dark cocoa, chalky malt. Nondescript in a way.
Tastes like a somewhat choco-coffee and grainy/ mildly bitter take on an imperial stout... not a favorite profile of mine, but in this it seems to work. A hop presence in the bitter (but not overly so) finish. Balances well for what it is, but it lacks a certain robust sweetness, something I prefer in heavier stouts.
Mouthfeel is medium thick, somewhat sticky.
Overall where this beer impressed me is in its drinkability. Up front chocolate turns to bitter coffee, im not blown away by anything in particular, but im able to finish the pint easily; I don't feel like im drinking an 8. % beer.

Photo of Skabiski
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of xxcarpxx
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of MichaelAllenVT
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Botulizard
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of BRLockwood
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of pwdiamond
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of RootedFool
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bomber at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Poured straight down into a goblet. Pitch black body with faint ruby highlights when held to the light. The head is nearly an inch, chocolate milk in color, big pizza crust bubbles -- scant lacing holds to the glass.

Hearty nose here: dark chocolate, roasting coffee, hints of sourdough. Solid, hefty wollop of an aroma.

Taste opens with a broad sweep of burnt-black bitterness that holds on throughout, but toward the finish becomes not unpleasantly sour/acidic. In the middle some chewy malts stomp in -- succulently sweet -- and balance brilliantly with the bitterness. Aftertaste is, as mentioned, sharply bitter, and also has a deep roasted character. The high ABV isn't noticeable in the taste at all.

Mouthfeel: creamy, rolls around my palate with authority, and with enough carbonation to be just noticeable.

Nothing about this Big Bear is small!

Be careful.

Photo of Biggness
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours very dark with a dark tan head with lots of lacing. The smell is very robust of coffee, chocolate and licorice. The flavor is nice, not an over the top one with mega flavors but what is there is nice, lots of flavor from the toasted malts along with the coffee and chocolate flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a very slight dry feeling. For 8% this is a highly drinkable brew and for 5$ bombers this is a good fallback for a night out :)

Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,122 ratings.