1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,941 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,941
Reviews: 1,088
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 111
Gots: 127 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Bear Black Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,941 | Reviews: 1,088 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dwilson01
dwilson01

California

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into an indian wells brewing co pint glass. This brew is dark, they're not joking when they call it "black." The head is thick, brown, and frothy. It reminds me of coffee. Clings well to the glass and receds evenly leaving a nice layer on the top.

The smell gives that it gives off is malty sweet, a little caramel as it says on the bottle but I definitely pick up mostly coffee, just not the roasted kind, it's smooth and dessert-like.

Oh man! I am excited, maybe it's just because I've had a few blander stouts lately that haven't delivered as much on flavor, but this one is noticably great tasting. It delivers everything in the nose, the caramel really comes through kind of reverseing positions with the coffee I got more of in the scent. Not a trace of alcohol at 8%, it's very sweet, and I honestly think this beer would go great paired with some chocolate because I don't get that flavor too much in the taste.

Very good mouthfeel, it's definitely full-bodied in a 100% meaning of the term. But at the same time it's not overly thick and is very enjoyable.

The drinkability is there for sure, it leaves my mouth feeling satisfied and slides down gulp after gulp like it's water.

Overall, great beer, I definitely recommend it to any fan of the dark brew family. Another awesome offering from the bear republic brewing company which has yet to let me down in terms of quality beer. I mean, it's big on flavor, bear of a smell, black on sight, with the mouthfeel of a stout...Big Bear Black Stout, yes I do believe it fits!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 06:54:52 | More by dwilson01
Photo of whiterapid
whiterapid

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

02-09-2013 01:41:28 | More by whiterapid
Photo of anabar
anabar

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%

04-24-2014 18:37:32 | More by anabar
Photo of tchaos
tchaos

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-15-2011 17:19:27 | More by tchaos
Photo of GumDropButtons
GumDropButtons

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

09-08-2013 21:27:23 | More by GumDropButtons
Photo of grynder33
grynder33

Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Alaska

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber

Very hoppy smell. Before I poured it I was almost wondering if this was actually a mislabeled Racer 5 I could smell the hops so much.

THis poured a nice head, and the beer has a dark brown/black ish color.

The hop smell is reflected in the flavor. Hop presence almost like SN Stout. Aside from the hops there is a very nice roasted toasty bready flavor. Not a ton of depth or complexity to the taste of this brew, but the overall character of the flavor is simply excellent.
This is an excellent stout for a hophead. It drinks like a champ too.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 16:55:31 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of hurshybear
hurshybear

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

06-24-2014 15:22:10 | More by hurshybear
Photo of dejones
dejones

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-17-2013 01:58:59 | More by dejones
Photo of hanlonrn
hanlonrn


4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-11-2012 19:15:29 | More by hanlonrn
Photo of jim102864
jim102864

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice bomber bottle the contents of which were poured into my nonic glass. Dark black appearance with a skim of head and that's about it.

The aroma presented itself as the contents warmed. Raisens, figs, prunes along with the scent of buttery homemade taffy. Nice.

Taste: mild bitterness with dark fruity esters in the finish. Nutty and smokey too.

Mouthfeel was buttery and creamy with a mild alcohol tweak in the finish.

The style is Russian Imperial but the taste is your average stout. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice brew, probably better on tap. I wasn't bowled over but I did enjoy the offering. I just felt this one was a little wanting. I seem to recall enjoying this on tap at Hop Devil, so I'll look for it there again if it's available during my next visit to NYC.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2007 15:18:40 | More by jim102864
Photo of CityBoy1986
CityBoy1986

Mississippi

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

The pour is black with ruby undertones. A tan head lingers for a while and leaves a good amount of lacing.

The nose is mostly chocolate with hints of coffee and some dark fruits. The taste is of the same flavours, but the fruits have more of a hold than they do in the nose.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and is almost like drinking creamy milk. Drinkability is very high; the ABV is very well-masked.

This is a very nice stout; I only wish I could have it more often.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2009 14:49:20 | More by CityBoy1986
Photo of Daveychu
Daveychu

California

5/5  rDev +20.8%

11-30-2011 10:19:58 | More by Daveychu
Photo of tedgelee
tedgelee

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-05-2014 19:58:30 | More by tedgelee
Photo of hozersr
hozersr

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

06-28-2014 13:52:04 | More by hozersr
Photo of Budlum
Budlum

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring this stout produces a towering, dense, tan head that very slowly recedes leaving some lacing on the glass. The body is a deep black color with shades of red offering a little more light and clarity than most stouts.

The nose is pretty straight forward and inviting. A rich, roasted barley smell blends with light coffee and smoke aromas before a strong and sharp hop presence hits the nose. A light, sugary sweetness is noticeable over a big sniff.

A subdued and smooth roasted barley flavor leads this beer off with hints of charcoal in the background. The charcoal flavor is quite strong and holds through most of a sip. Hop flavors are pronounced yet blanced cutting the roasted flavors nicely. The finish sees the departure of the hops as the toasted barley flavors seem to regain strength.

The mouth presence has good carbonation but it feels a little too watered down for a stout.

Drinkability is pretty good. It is easy to drink and offers solid flavors throughout.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2007 23:46:48 | More by Budlum
Photo of GoldenChild
GoldenChild

Michigan

5/5  rDev +20.8%

11-18-2011 17:13:53 | More by GoldenChild
Photo of leansean88
leansean88

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

01-29-2012 17:09:02 | More by leansean88
Photo of rx-beer
rx-beer

Puerto Rico

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

09-03-2013 00:48:30 | More by rx-beer
Photo of AndoBrew
AndoBrew

Georgia

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

*I like it and will not buy again*

app: brown water coffee look.. not to exciting looking.. nice tan head.

smell: smells faint but rich, blood meal dark roasty malts, strong pungent cheese. YUM YUM. but faint.

taste: little rich flavor then dry almost sour watery tones.. first thoughts are: OVER RATED! lets try again. same thing with a little booze in it this time some coffee on the finish, very nice very drinkable very boaring. not rich and huge like the kings of the style. I think it should be called Big Bear Cub black stout.. but dont get me wrong.. its good.

little rich flavors pop up for a second.. then sour dry water and thin weak booze.

mf: thin spritzy and bright. not great

drinkable?: yep, nothing to stop you.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 22:37:23 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of jayfarley3
jayfarley3

Nevada

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Appearance is nearly pitch black with a frothy tan head that sticks around for a while. Smells of dark roasted malts, chocolate, hops. Tastes of roasted malts, a bit of coffee and chocolate malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy smooth. This beer is very drinkable especially for the high 8.1% abv. I would definitely recommend this stout to anybody.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 03:36:09 | More by jayfarley3
Photo of Kaiser81
Kaiser81

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My buddy had it on tap and recommended it. So, I picked up a bottle.

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Delirium Tremens snifter.

A - Pours black with a finger and a half width of mocha colored head. it sits soft, like a pillow (2nd beer that had that today, but completely different style). There is a lot of nice lacing left on my glass

S - Dark fruits, roast, subtle hints of chocolate or cocoa powder, mocha, and coffee beans as it warms up just a bit. Just faint hints of everything. It's all swirled together.

T - A lot of roastiness dominates this. I get a tiny bit of hops up front, then fresh coffee roastiness, then a slight bitter finish that reminds me of coffee, though the taste is more like bittersweet chocolate.

M - Creamy, with plenty of carbonation, and somewhat chewy. Nicely done.

D - It's a stout; not sure I'd want more than 22 oz at a sitting, but I am enjoying drinking this, that's for sure.

It's a decent stout, and a great value for the money. But there are plenty of better tasting stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 06:44:33 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of TheSupremeAJ
TheSupremeAJ

Pennsylvania

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

22oz bomber poured first into a pint and the remaining in a tasting glass, drank 1st. Fresh from Abe's of Bethlehem.

A- nearly pitch black with cola like hues. Perfect light khaki head.Beautiful creamy lacing.
S- Aggressive rich malty character. Hops are very forward... and it borderlines as a black IPA. Piney notes present.
T- Very well balanced between smokey, hoppy, roasty, and dark indugence. The beer is a little on the acidic side and a little sweeter than i prefer, kind of tangy. Dark fruits like raisins and prunes are present.
M- Carbonation is moderate and delicious. Beer is attenuated with hops very well so they really compete with the malts for the aftertaste.
D- Kind of on the lower ABV for a RIS, however this is very good and quite enjoyable for being on the lower spectrum of an RIS.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 02:05:59 | More by TheSupremeAJ
Photo of LADYBEAST
LADYBEAST

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

04-19-2014 04:33:01 | More by LADYBEAST
Photo of zjungleist
zjungleist

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blackish beer, brownish head. No suprises so far. Smells fairly sweet, with big roasted malts and sharp hops. Taste has a bitter start and sweet finnish. Starting with hops, then burnt smokey coffee, malt and a little yeast, then finnsihing with a dark caramel aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pretty standard heavy, with good carbonation for a stout. A nice alternative to some of the "motor oil" imperials.

Holy (explitive)!!! This is my 1 year BA aniverary review too.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2005 05:27:45 | More by zjungleist
Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,941 ratings.