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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

2,006 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,006
Reviews: 1,093
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 119
Gots: 133 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Bear Black Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,006 | Reviews: 1,093 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

The beer poured black with ruby highlights. The head was tan and coated the glass from start to finish.

The aroma was sweet malty caramel and chocolate with a coffee impression behind. Slight dark fruit and fruity alcoholic aroma.

The flavor was dark fruits with caramel and chocolate, but overall very strong coffee or expresso flavors dominate. The bitterness of the dark grains was well balanced with the malt sweetness. The hop presence is notable and well accomplished.

The finish was dry with coffee and alcohol warming in the finish. The body was past medium full and all but full.

22 ounce bottle.

06-12-2004 23:28:19 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours with a two-finger brown head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Black as midnight. Good carbonation. Nose is coffee/caramel. Strong hickory flavor, nice beefy stout but not as dry as a Guinness. The high ABV is not noticeable. $4.60 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

06-11-2004 22:31:49 | More by jdhilt
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

22oz brown bomber. This pours a nice opaque black color with and excellent tan light brown head. The head slowly fades away leaving a lacing about the glass. The aroma is very rich with a roasted coffee and dark chocolate scent that is mouthwatering. There is also the smell of a slight sweetness. Its starts off tasting of coffee and roasted malt with a touch hop for some balance. Then has a dry dark chocolate finish with a slight bitterness. There are also notes of dark fruits to be had in this brew, no traces of alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, you couldn’t really ask for more. This is an excellent imperial stout that is highly drinkable and I would love to try on tap. I could defiantly drink more of these than I should with the high alcohol.

06-11-2004 12:33:27 | More by meathookjones
Photo of rkhaze
rkhaze

California

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Pours a deep dark chestnut color with a large dense creamy tan head. Good retention and fat rings of sticky lace.
Smells of dark roasted malt and coffee. Chocolate, red fruit and a hint of licorice also make appearances.
Tastes of earthy sweet roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel and red fruit. Finishes with a zippy spicy/citrus hop bitterness and a creamy mocha aftertaste. Excellent balance of bitter and sweet flavors.
Medium bodied with a chewy and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Good carbonation gives it a nice creaminess.
Alcohol is hidden wicked well! Outstanding drinkability.
Another top notch beer from Bear Republic.

06-08-2004 23:49:23 | More by rkhaze
Photo of Onceeven
Onceeven

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Just tried this beer for the hell of it, I only knew how good the other Bear Rebubllic brews were. That said this beer did not disappoint. I've had a lot of stouts, and this one was one of the best. Probably wouldn't have know this was an Impy had it not said so on the menu. Taste was smooth rich and delicious.
Poured black with a rich tan head. Wonderful intermingling of hop and malt aroma. Tastes of roasted bitterness, subtly sweet malt and a warming alcohol. Exceptionally balanced and drinkable. I'll be ordering a few more pints of this for sure.

05-27-2004 16:32:45 | More by Onceeven
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%

The beer pours a deep black color with a thick tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich dark malt scent that boasts of black roasted and chocolate malts. It smells sweet with a dry finish. The taste is good. It has an intense black malt flavor and dry malty finish that leaves a black type aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It goes down smooth and warms the throat. This is an excellent stout with great flavor; a good sessions brew.

05-21-2004 21:23:20 | More by WesWes
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Deep brown with a head that appears like a tightly-packed whipped cream, but tan and well retained. Delicate lace everywhere. A handsome bear.

Begins with a big caramel sweetness surrounded by fig notes, then subsiding into high-quality coffee beans. The solid background of black and roast malts has piercingly high-alpha hops peppering its edges.

Flavors of black and roasted malts roll around with salty and raw citric hops, Centennial for sure. Notes of espresso are strong with fruity, oily, green flavors in the finish. Refreshing and powerful like a fresh brewed espresso. A bit too thin of a mouthfeel.

A good Imperial Stout of brash hops but enough malty goodness to balance. Good drinkability is par for Bear Republic yet again.

05-17-2004 23:09:06 | More by nomad
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
GIVEMEBACKMYSON

Alaska

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

05-14-2004 16:55:31 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
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 Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.88/5  rDev +17.9%

Brewed with "Belgian & English roasted barley and crystal
malts", Chinook and Cascade hops.
OG=1.076, 8.1% ABV, 68 IBU.

Pours out black with deep-brown accents when held to a halogen light, forming a modest dark-tan head with good retention and stunning, delicate lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is redolent with mild fruity Cascade hops with an emphasis on prunes, vanilla, and milk chocolate. As it warms, I get the suggestion of alcohol. Mouthfeel is wonderful...creamy smooth with a medium-dense body. Taste is exquisite...starts with very nicely balanced Cascade, but it's very subtle in it's bitterness and has just enough fresh fruit (not citric or piney) taste to offset the deeply roasted grains in the malty and rich body. The middle has the requisite coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits with a very well-balanced smooth bitterness. The finish is rich with gradual release of more roast malt, pleasant chalk, grain, hop flavor, and vanilla...lingering pleasantly on the tongue, but never overpowering it. The finish is just dry enough such that it begs you to drink more. As it warms, the flavor profile is rock stable. Absolutely no off-flavors. Clean as a whistle.

This is an absolutely beautiful beer. I could drink pint after pint of this. The alcohol is exceptionally concealed. In many ways it reminds me of Old Rasputin, with it's wonderful complexity and exquisite balance. The flavors are perfectly in union here. This brew has everything going for it...wonderful look, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. Dangerously drinkable and highly recommended!

04-27-2004 01:28:50 | More by Mitchster
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

Occationally you smell and sip a beer…and all you can think is “wow”. This is one of those beers.
It pours thick and black, with slight reddish tinge. The aroma is full of an intense roasted barley character. Coffee and licorice smell with a hint of alcohol and piney hops. Resinous and only slightly sweet. From the mid-taste through the finish, the beer is dominated by west coast hops. Full, fresh, and moderately bitter. Somewhat dry. I could drink this one all night long.

04-18-2004 01:17:45 | More by Suds
Photo of RootedFool
RootedFool

California

4.93/5  rDev +19.1%

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.

04-15-2004 07:07:44 | More by RootedFool
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

This is an exceptional brew! Appearance was extremely inviting...black with a very nice head. The smell was of coffee and smoke in a beautiful balance. The taste was outstanding!!! Smoooth....coffee,,,burnt malt...ending in a great hop dryness. Equal parts of each made it a sensory experience. Mouthfeel was full-bodied and rich...abv very deceiving. The nice dry finish made me go back for another glass. A definite Top 50 brew.

04-05-2004 22:05:07 | More by edchicma
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +8%

Sampled on tap at Anam Cara.

This Imperial Stout poured an opaque black color with creamy, brown foam that persisted but eventually settled. The smell was a lightly sweet malty and roasted barley aroma; nicely pungent. The taste was rich and malty with flavors of caramel and coffee and roasted barley and with a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, and rich with full body and moderate carbonation. This was a great Imperial Stout! Not "over the top" in any way, but just all around very good.

04-04-2004 22:00:12 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of pio
pio

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

black volume but lets enough light in for a cherry colored glow. colosal foamy dark beige and cranberry colored head 2 fingers in height with points of activity. leaves pretty nice pachy lace.
tickeling scent, heavy on the roasted malts abiding with a maple, vailla and butterscotch. there are cocoa and espresso hints. a hops like a blooming flower bed after a hot early summer rain. damp musky soil and rosey.barely any alcohol detected.
just faintly sweet on the start with butterscotch and maple influencing the malt. long brown sugar middle before it sneakily dries evenly without being particularly bitter or sour or tart or anything but crisp. very nice. leaves with a long and strong bitter espresso and woody note, a lingering sweetness is also evident in the finish.
carbonation seems exactly right for the style and the beer, massaging tiny bubbles and complimenting crisply to the flavor and the body. smooth satiny body, solid and substantial, it's big bodied.
drinkability...good bear...grrr.

04-01-2004 23:32:54 | More by pio
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +7%

Pours a dark black color that is crowned by a prodigious thick, creamy, deep brown head. Strong aromas of coffee, treacle, chocolate, a floral hoppiness, and perhaps some citrus. This has a great thick, creamy mouthfeel, yet it still is light and smooth at the same time. The beer finishes sweet with roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee flavors. This beer is so silky smooth as it goes down. The roast character, that is here, is missing all of the harsh astringent flavors that are often found in a stout, and this is a good thing. This is a very well integrated, very well balanced beer. I must say that Bear Republic continues to impress me.

04-01-2004 16:22:09 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

The color is a deep dark brown. Loads of sediment. The head is light in color (for the style) and leaves a nice lace.

Rich aroma. Dark bitter chocolate, molasses, brown sugar and coffee. This smells like any ol' imperial but with something hidden underneath: fingernail polish. Quite odd. Nothing special in the aroma here.

Some interesting flavors come about in this beer. Loads of sweet molasses start everything off, followed by a velvety smooth chocolate soak. Coffee flavors are apparent but stagnent in this imperial. It finishes with roasted cocoa, burnt grapes and an unmistakabe cascade hop finish. The hops are in the backround throughout. I don't like cascade hops with Imperial Stouts.

Very drinkable as the 8.1% alcohol hides itself well. Nice mouthfeel as well.

This beer is very good when compared to every beer but compared to Imperial Stouts, especially California Imperials, it is mediocre.

03-29-2004 03:27:04 | More by Crosling
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 Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -14.7%

d tasting, thanks Hopsrus Very dark body wearing a film beige head. Aroma is of restrained intensity, lightly hoppy, resinous and piney with mild coffee notes. Mouth entrance hits you with a little raw sugar moment which is swiftly followed by brown sugar and caramel maltiness. Again, rapidly, cascade hops take control leading to a dry hoppy finish (resin, pine, coniferous) paired with a classic slightly citric acidity. Body is medium with considerable carbonation for the style. Straight to the point west coast stuff.

03-22-2004 18:37:22 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of scottum
scottum

Vermont

4.43/5  rDev +7%

On tap at Anam Cara in Brookline.

Served a deep dark black with a thick tan head. Mouthfeel is thick and wonderful just like stout should be. Tastes big and malty, with some wonderful roasty thangs going on. Overall a solid stout on tap and worth every penny.

03-21-2004 21:21:53 | More by scottum
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Nicely labeled 22oz bottle. Pours a dark opaque glass with a pretty robust head for a stout. Coffee and malt nose. Taste is strong. Dark chocolate, strong coffee, burnt, pretty hoppy some sweetness through all this. Good balanced mouthfeel. Alchohol is not noticible. A little strong and bitter for me, otherwise a good beer.

03-07-2004 23:40:40 | More by daledeee
Photo of gnaussea
gnaussea

California

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a very, very dark amber. Light only peeks through if you make an attempt to see it. Head is low and tan, settling easily. Smell is mostly of black patent malt, I think, but there is also an intriguing kind of sweetness present. Taste is fairly straightforward, and infinitely enjoyable. Nice roasted malts over sweet caramel malts. A very nice, smooh, dark flavor prevails, leading to a subdoed hop flavor. A bold brew, but delicately balanced, and for that reason it suits any occasion. The alcohol content is hardly noticable, despite being 8.1%.

03-06-2004 11:09:11 | More by gnaussea
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%

Big Bear starts with a knockout aroma built on a wealth of malt. The taste swims through a haze of rich chocolate and settles into a dense, smoky finish. A round mouthfeel adds much appeal and drinkability.

This is a muscular stout with lots of lace trailing behind an enduring head of thick tan froth. A spike of bitterness defines the middle palate where a few intermittent off notes threaten to poke through. On the whole though, Black Bear is eminently drinkable. A pleasure.

03-04-2004 03:16:31 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%

Pours pitch black with a three finger rocky dark khaki head, laces in rings.
Sweet, chocolate, and roasted malt aroma, very robust. The aroma grows in complexity as it warms, and 'earthiness' comes out, I know it's not smoke, but there is a smoke like presence as well.
Caramel, chocolate, cream, roasted malt, plum and black currant.
Full creamy smooth body, Astringent coats the mouth with a roasted taste. Would go great with BBQ or smoked food.

03-02-2004 23:23:36 | More by mschofield
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
Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,006 ratings.