Big Bear Black Stout - Bear Republic Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,003 | Reviews: 1,093 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
Presentation: 22 oz bomber. California flag looking with the bear prominently displayed. Description of the beer and brewery on one side. No freshness info.
Appearance: Pours very dark with just the slightest hint of red around the edges. Huge frothy tan colored head. Great retention.
Smell: Coffee and chocolate dominate the aroma, with just a hint of alcohol peeking through. The hops combine with the coffee aroma to give a slightly bitter note.
Taste: Nice medium to full body, but not as thick as you would expect. Very creamy and smooth, with the coffee flavor very present. The alcohol is very well hidden. Nice hop bitterness in the finish.
Overall impression: A highly drinkable stout that is deceptively strong. Nice balanced flavors make this a joy - now off to finish off the bomber with a cigar!
07-19-2005 03:14:54 | More by rowew
4.43/5 rDev +7%
Well, after two crappy beers tonight, Im ready for something decent. Bomber provided by Eyedrinkale ala BIF20. Thanks much for the opportunity. Pours a brown/tan one-finger head over a very dark liquid. Dark brown-red edgings when held to light. Smells potently of coffee/roasted grains that are countered by a sweet toffee. There is also a sour (from black patent). Tastes sweet and of rich chocolate, some coffee, and the sour of cherry that indicates a heavy hand of black patent. During the swallow, hop aromatic begins and there is an alcohol sting. Aftertaste is phenomenal. Waves of caramel and coffee rising on a backbone of chocolate. Thick creamy mouthfeel and mildly carbonated.
07-15-2005 04:42:11 | More by mentor
4.38/5 rDev +5.8%
Deep brown, almost black pour with a small brown foamy head.
Aroma is chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, and coffee. Surprising hop presence in there as well.
Taste is a pleasantly roasted chocolate character. The coffee pulls through pretty clearly as well, as does a bit of warming alcohol. The flavor has a light vanilla note in it as well that is just barely apparent to the tongue. The hoppiness adds a little extra bite on the end....quite nice.
The only semi-complaint that I have is that the mouthfeel is a bit thin for something with a flavor this big. I feel like it could stand to be a bit thicker to stand up to the big taste and ABV. That said, it's an incredibly drinkable stout for its power, and part of that is probably due to its light mouthfeel. I don't love this one the way I do BR"s Racer 5, but it's a good stouf.
07-12-2005 03:09:57 | More by whartontallboy
4.6/5 rDev +11.1%
Very dark brown, basically opaque, topped by a huge, light brown, creamy head. Great lacing and excellent retention. Rich, malty aroma with lots of chocolate and some molasses. Roasted and nutty provide some depth as well. Ripe fruit and alcohol are just noticeable. The flavour is big and malty, as expected, some dark chocolate, roasted and a bit of burnt under it all. Bitterness and hop flavour are present, but mainly provide balance to the malt. Finishes with mild alcohol warmth and a nice balance of malt and bitterness. Creamy texture, full body and medium carbonation. Very slight astringency from the dark malts. Great drinkability, I could drink this all night. Another great beer from Bear Republic and an excellent beer for my 300th review.
07-11-2005 00:31:27 | More by DrJay
4.45/5 rDev +7.5%
The head and lacing on this brew are fantastic. Tiny bubbles race up the sides of the glass. This nose is big and chocolatey with its fair share of coffee and molasses. Now don't get me wrong this is a big stout, but the mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy, not as sticky or oily as most double or imperial stouts. The hops taste fruity and compliment the milk chocolate and java very well. Now allegedly this stuff is 8.1% abv, but I wouldn't mind drinking this like other people can throw back Guinness.
07-08-2005 08:31:19 | More by goschool
4.18/5 rDev +1%
Pours an opaque black with red around the edges, medium tan head, good lacing on the glass. Roasted malts are right at the front of the nose, some hop presence is noticable behind, with a sweet fruity aroma as well. Taste is dark fruits, roasted malt, chocolate and coffee, like a souped up version of their Tribute Brown ale. Nice and hoppy, with some fruitiness near the end. Excellent stout, very very smooth and creamy, very excellent. Thanks DrJay for the import.
06-30-2005 02:29:13 | More by Viggo
4.43/5 rDev +7%
This beer is good, it pours out dark black with a brown head. It smells of chocolate, coffee, and a faint nutty smell. The taste is spectacular! It tastes of coffee, caramel, dark fruits(plum, black cherry, chocolate dipped raspberries). Def one of the best stouts I've tasted. Would pair well with dark chocolate fruit such as strawberries, def a dessert beer IMO.
06-19-2005 22:13:55 | More by Franchise
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
4.5/5 rDev +8.7%
06/13/05- Purchased at Beltamo's in Menlo Park.
Presentation- 22oz bomber with no dating. Poured into a random pint glass.
Appearance- Dark black pour with a nice dirty head on the surface. Very nice lacing along the insides.
Smell- This one smells very dark and very chocolaty. Definite roasted coffee qualities as well.
Taste- Nice milk chocolate flavor with a big slap of coffee in your face as well. Nice bitterness in the hops to finish it off.
Mouthfeel- Smooth and very creamy with lower carbonation.
Drinkability- Can't taste the 8% for the life of me. Had to share the bottle, but felt none of it after 12oz or so. Wishing I had the whole bottle to myself. Awesome stout I will be having again for sure.
06-13-2005 20:07:44 | More by GClarkage
4.2/5 rDev +1.4%
Pours a pitch black with a solid two fingers of coffee colored head with good retention and lots of lacing. Smell is of dark chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, and hops. Taste has a very strong assertive roasted malt backbone, with hints of coffee, almond, and chocolate, and just a little hint of the alcohol. Medium bodied with a medium/low carbonation and a very dry finish, this beer has a very nice feel. This is an absolutely wonderful double stout---enjoyed every moment of it, could easily drink these all the time.
06-09-2005 22:43:30 | More by cubedbee
4.5/5 rDev +8.7%
Pours a black color, could not see if there was evident carbonation, and the off tan head was minimal.
Has a roasted nutty molasses malt smell with pine and citrus hops.
Moderately sweet and bitter roasted molasses malt taste with hints of coffee and maybe chocolate, also has pine and different citrus flavors in the hops.
Full bodied, dry and resinous, soft to flat carbonation, and a slight astringent finish.
Very drinkable for the style.
06-05-2005 09:12:57 | More by Troyone
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
4.05/5 rDev -2.2%
This sample presented via gueuzedude. Many thanks.
Deep dark malt, coffee, whisky, alcohol and chocolate.
Decent head for size of beer. One inch that settles slowly. Black, but can see reddish hues and somewhat clear. Lacing.
Flavor less complex than aroma. Many of the same qualities, just a lot less intense. Big bold malt with strong dryness. Bitterness towards the finish. Good, but certainly not exceptional.
Dedently smooth and full. Mildy rich. Solid. Has a thin quality in time.
Too bad flavor didn't live up to the aroma. Good nonetheless.
05-22-2005 03:12:25 | More by garymuchow
3.95/5 rDev -4.6%
Pours a lovely pitch black with a beautiful dark brown head. Lots of good stouty smells going on; dark chocolate and coffee and the like.
Tastes pretty good, though I think it smells better than it tastes. There's a bit too much in the way of hops bitterness for my taste but that may be your thing.
The mouthfeel doesnt impress me. Seems a bit thin and maybe chalky from time to time... maybe from the hoppyness.
Alcohol is very very well hidden; this one could sneak up on you. I spose this is pretty drinkable for a stout but I don't think I could get through too much of this stuff at a time.
Definately a nice find for the price.
05-16-2005 00:53:35 | More by ommegangpbr
4.75/5 rDev +14.7%
A - Pure black body with chocolate-colored, small, tight head.
S - Amazing malt aroma, rich premium coffee grounds.
T - Amazing rich maltiness, kind bitterness, no sweetness, delicious yeastiness. Again, premium coffee, Moka Matari specifically.
M - Alcohol adds lightness and verve to this smooth beauty. Extremely drinkable and simply amazing.
D - I could drink this for breakfast everyday and not feel guilty.
05-06-2005 15:08:28 | More by Naerhu
4.1/5 rDev -1%
Cellared since early 2003. Enjoyed on 19 feb 05.
See through black color with a fleeting , brown one finger head.
Strong chocolate malt and roasted nut smell.
Medium-full bodied and lightly carbonated.
Tasty chocolate syrup and blackened malt flavor with a hint of vanilla.
Finishes slightly dry with a nice alcohol bite.
This brewery has yet to fail me.
05-06-2005 01:49:02 | More by beerceller99
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
1PT 6FL OZ.
8.1% ALC. BY VOL.
Appearance dark purple/black body; one heck of a massive and beautiful, chunky light brown head that endures; impressive lace; this is what Id love to see more in stouts, especially at this strength or any strength for that matter
Smell massive dark berries; plum; molasses; bit of chocolate
Taste dark powdery chocolate, plum, touch of smoke and molasses with a good dose of hops are perceptible throughout; the alcohol is barely noticeable; dark berries with a bit of hops and acidity to close; its the close (mentioned later) that draws the beer down a bit
Mouthfeel nice moderate and even feel with a bit of oil; enjoyable carbonation; the tenor of the late acidity that draws it back from perfection, but at the 8.1% abv, I can really respect this feel
Drinkability very drinkable, especially when considering its size; not too dry; the alcohol isnt cumbersome by any means; in fact, the alcohol may have left the building
Big Bear is certainly not a brash bear. Black Stout dominates its territory and gets the job done without being tearing up the local palates.
04-30-2005 00:33:15 | More by Wonka
British Columbia (Canada)
4.45/5 rDev +7.5%
This stout is a rare Imperial much like Stone's that has all the huge flavours come together in a silky smooth slighty vinous melange. No one note pops its thorny head above the others but rather the whole is greater than the parts. Complex, way too drinkable, this stout is one of the best.
04-26-2005 14:48:52 | More by canucklehead
3.7/5 rDev -10.6%
Big Bear Black Stout pours, well, black. Ink black with no light getting through. A creamy tan head forms on top and slowly dissolves to a thick sheet on the surface. The malty aroma is blended with roasted malt, nuts and some floral hops.
Each sip of this smooth medium bodied beer is filled with roasted malt. A fair amount of hops balances out each sip. Theres hints of nuts and sweet malt mixed in. A mildly sour palate with malty flavor is left behind.
This is an easy drinking well balanced stout. It hides the 8% alcohol very well.
04-24-2005 21:27:29 | More by WanderingFool
3.73/5 rDev -9.9%
This is a solid beer, but I have to say I like their other beers more. Maybe it's just me but this beer seemed just a little too sweet or flavored. Anyway... as suggested by the label the beer pours big and black, with a foamy brown head. Decent amount of hops in there for a stout, but this is mainly a malty explosion. Lots of flavors in there, and I guess I'm nitpicking but it as I said it was a bit too sweet and a little to coffee-ish for me. Slick and kind of flat mouthfeel. A solid but not exceptional beer.
04-23-2005 21:31:37 | More by twelvsies
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
04-08-2005 22:21:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
Pours out very dark brown with a tan head. Roasted malt aroma with chocolate and a good amount of hops, which I always like in a stout. Flavor pretty much follows from the aroma. There is a crispness to this beer that is not found in most stouts. Medium mouthfeel. As some reviewers have pointed out, this is not an Imperial Stout. It is very tasty, and went well with some chocolate.
04-06-2005 00:49:44 | More by beveragecaptain
4.38/5 rDev +5.8%
Pours a dark crimson, burnt black color with a tan colored fizzy head. Smells of chocolatey malts, espresso, spicy hops. Taste is very chocolatey and bitter from the black malts and spicy hops. Taste reminds me a lot of a porter. Taste is very smooth, kind of light on the mouth, but this stout is so decieving. I would never be able to detect the 8% alcohol. Because of the light mouthfeel and decieving alcohol content this is probably the most drinkable stout of this caliber I have ever had.
04-04-2005 00:46:51 | More by bnuttz
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
Mad props go out to skyhand for the chance to sample this west coast goodie!
Appearance: Black hole black with brown edges. A thin and sticky tan head caps the brew nicely.
Smell: Licorice, chocolate cake, cocoa, and dark fruit all jump out of the glass and warm the nose.
Taste: Sweetness begins the taste...carmel, brown sugar, and licorice. A slightly smoky and roasted character develops in the middle with a nice, sweeter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy. A little watery on the finish but it ends up developing some character as it warms up.
Drinkability: Not too heavy at all. Goes down nicely.
Not as big as I expected but very good. Highly recommended.
Thanks again skyhand!
03-27-2005 03:25:05 | More by mattcrill
4.83/5 rDev +16.7%
Appearence: Pours an incredibly dark brown (it's not quite black) with a rich chocolatey head.
Smell: The smell is of nice rosted notes mixed with an odd caramel sweetness.
Taste and Mouthfeel: That is not what I expected! The roasted notes are ridiculously powerful for a stout... the normal dark espresso and coffee flavors of a stout are present but tastefully hidden, while the wonderful roasted nut and caramel flavors are focused. The result is an incredibly well-balanced and tasty beer. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy.
Drinkability and Overall: This is an exceptional beer. I don't agree that it's a stout, but who gives a shit. All that matters is that this is a well balanced and damn tasty brew. Labels and styles only go so far, but at some point you have to drop all that and just let the beer speak to you. And when I did that, this beer left me breathless. Thanks to GClarkage for the brew. Truly above and beyond the average beer.
03-22-2005 02:11:17 | More by santoslhalper
Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,003 ratings.