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Heritage Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Heritage Ale
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BA SCORE
85
very good

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 10.11%


Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
True to the Norgrove's Scottish Heritage, this Wee Heavy is brewed with Scottish malts and lightly hopped with East Kent Goldings. Big and Malty sweet, this ale will have you hearing bagpipes.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 09-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 50 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy, neutral brown color. No head except for a ring of beige bubbles on the edge. No lace whatsoever.

Sweet aroma of chocolate and caramel. No hop.

In a word: Cloy. One of the sweetest beers I've ever had. Plenty of caramel (from dark crystal malt?) and some chocolate (from, presumably, chocolate malt). Super. Body, particularly for the style. Low carbonation. The aftertaste is sugary with some alcohol warmth on the back of the tongue.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2013 17:38:16 | More by smcolw
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. On-tap at Top Hops, NYC. Pours reddish brown with a small white head that quickly settles to a thin band. Decent sticky lacing. Very malty aroma with sweet caramel and brown sugar notes and an underlying floral hoppiness.

Something is missing in the flavor for me; it’s malty and somewhat sweet, again with the caramel, toffee, brown sugar of the nose, and a subtle flowery hop note, but everything feels very muted and dialed down for some reason. Vague hints of peat, toasted malt, dark fruit. This is a style in which I look for big flavors and Heritage didn’t really deliver. It’s mild and doesn’t seem particularly well-balanced. The mouthfeel is similarly lacking and is only medium and without the requisite heft. Medium carbonation. Not as smooth or creamy as it could be.

I think Bear Republic is a damn fine brewery and I had high expectations but this was not one of my favorite beers of theirs.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2012 04:31:20 | More by tobelerone
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown color with a quickly sinking foam.

S - Scent of candied fruit, caramel, and rich malt. No boozy smell which I generally don't like.

T - Pleasant flavor of dark berries, sweet caramel, and hearty dark malt. Very complex, and very enjoyable.

M - For this style I found it highly drinkable. No boozy finish, and actually mellow for the style.

O - The highlight of the Bear Republic dinner I was at, and possibly my favorite offering from them.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2012 01:57:34 | More by socon67
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with faint mahogany edges and a frothy one finger beige head.  Good retention slowly fading into a lasting ring.  Streaks and spots of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey aroma with lots of peppery spice and roasted malt.  Hints of bread, clove and pepper followed by toast, chocolate and caramel.  

Medium bodied with a decent balance of  dark malt, zesty spice and dark fruit.   Spice is more prominent than expected with hints lots of peppery clove.  This is followed by hints of eye, toffee and caramel as well as some grape and dark berries.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 21:41:24 | More by corby112
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a generic tulip glass and showed a rich dark amber coloring. The drink sported a one finger tan head of creamy, cakey bubbles, showing good retention. Patterned lacing was left around the glass. There was haze but no sediment, and carbonation appeared high. The aroma showcased roasted caramel malts, mild herbal hop balanced, and rice crispy cereal grain. With warmth came some buttery licks and booze, and a creamy softness to the back. Our first impression was that this was smooth, buttery, and bitter. As we sipped, buttery diacetyls, caramel malts and sugars, milk chocolate, and butterscotch hit the palate. The malts warmed up towards the middle, mixing with fusel booze at the peak. Darker malts also appeared here, as chocolate and metallic, bringing us to a sweeter, dryer, and chalkier finish. There was a final wash of floral and herbal hop bitterness, along with some far off sour grain. The aftertaste breathed of bittering cocoa, piney hops, yeast, and a hearty breadiness. The body was fuller, and the carbonation was high but softer. There was gentle cream, slurp, and froth to each sip, with a puckering and resiny bite and slickness left all around the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how nicely everything blends in the nose and flavoring. The hop bitterness was unexpected and at first, nice, but it became almost overpowering by the end. Thankfully there was richness of caramel malts and sweetness to end things on a more balanced note.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2012 16:53:41 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color with a 1" head that falls quickly to a spotty surface covering. Some spots of lace stick to the glass.

Smell: caramel and some peat aroma is mild but detectable.

Taste: caramel, hint of chocolate, soft smokey peat, earthy tones, and alcohol are the main flavors here. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp at the start, smoother towards the finish.

Overall: a slower sipping beer that was enjoyable but not overwhelming. Alcohol was a bit strong here so the pint lasted a while. One was enough in the session.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2012 20:56:40 | More by Gavage
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bear Republic Heritage, on tap at Blind Tiger, served on a pint glass.

Appearance: Good caramel-colored head, dark hazy chestnut color, low carbonation and no lacing.

Smell: Nuttiness galore, brown sugar, malt, a hint of licorice and spice. Sticky pudding.

Taste: More of the same, with a sweeter side. Sticky and chewy, eat this! Root beer, cardamom, exotic spices. Hints of citrus and hops at the end, some coffee and toffee candy.

Mouthfeel: Low body and carbonation, medium flavor. Watery thin feel all around. Unremarkable.

Overall: A perfectly average Scotch ale. Drinkable but boring. I won't revisit.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2012 04:33:13 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/18/12 notes. Had this on tap at Rattle N Hum in NYC.

a - Pours a dark, somewhat transparent amber brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, light sweet caramel malts, and toasted malts. Fruitier then expected and a little sweet, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, light chocolate, swet dark fruits, sugar, toasted malts, and nuts. A ton of nice lightly sweet toffee and caramel, a really awesome taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot. I thought the taste was awesome and had a ton of caramel and toffee, which I love. Would love to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 21:27:40 | More by mdfb79
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a deep caramel brown color with some brighter cherry and orange hues in the light. Tanned head rests on top, fading into some patchy lacing on the glass.

Pretty robust and malty in the nose with layers of chocolate and caramel. Hints of peaty smoke and faint bitterness. Somewhat sweet and warm.

A decent spike of warmth up front with edges of smoke and peat. The profile smooths out with touches of dark chocolate and caramel, before the bready, burly malt backbone comes through. A couple touches of dark fruit lurk underneath as well. Finishes a little sweet and warm.

Slightly fuller medium body, decently carbonated, a bit chewy and sticky. Drinks pretty nicely, good combination of flavors that I typically look for in beers like this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 00:03:48 | More by xnicknj
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Taste of Top in Tempe, AZ.

A: Deep brown in the glass but a dark, ruby red when held up to light. No head to speak of.

S: Great nose. Honey, caramelized sugar, brown sugar, raisins, molasses.

T: Sweet, toasty, nutty, malty, syrupy, warming goodness. Honey and molasses dominate. A hearty brew. Everything a Scotch Ale should be. A bit of booze and roasted malt in the finish.

M: Smooth, sweet, easy drinking. Not as cloying as I expected it to be.

O: A fantastic example of the style. Bear Republic does it again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 05:08:44 | More by Gatch
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at ChurchKey poured into sampler glass. Pours a clear dark brown with a lovely tan head, nice. Aroma is light, but caramel shows through. Flavor is fairly rich caramel, with some faint notes of dark fruit. But mostly just a malt experience, with some balancing bitterness on the finish. Surprisingly medium bodied as opposed to coming across as huge or syrupy. Nice scotch ale from Bear Republic!

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2012 19:29:34 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a clear Shaker pint at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Very dark brown with thin cap of wheat-colored head with a few spots of lace down the glass.

S: Fruity malty aroma with lots of English malt character like toffee and dark fruity notes.

T: An inobtrusive but enjoyable Scotch ale with plenty of dark malt character of raisin and roast. The alcohol is barely perceptible and it drinks very smoothly.

M: Smooth and low in carbonation, right on par for style.

O: A good but unremarkable beer from BR.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2012 04:24:02 | More by argock
Photo of mikechance
mikechance

California

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at a Whole Foods Beer Tasting Event

A: Dark brown and not much of a head

S: Malty with caramel, alcohol, sweetness

T: very interesting. Earthy, malty, complex, alcohol

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is light but works perfectly.

O: This is an excellent scotch ale! I could drink it often --- they sholud bottle it!

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 20:31:59 | More by mikechance
Photo of avaldivia
avaldivia

California

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bear Republic.

A: Deep brown. Nice white head with good lacing.

S: I let this warm up for about 30 minutes and it was still surprisingly light. Some really nice malty scents

T: Much stronger and better than the smell. Caramel malt. A bit of a roasted flavor that reminds me of burnt caramel.

M: Medium bodied. Nice and creamy. Great carbonation.

O: Nice scotch ale. I doubt I could find this anywhere but the brewpub which is unfortunate.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2011 05:17:10 | More by avaldivia
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Armsby Abbey.

A - No head and only a bit of lace on a deep brown body. Looks a bit lifeless.

S - Strong molasses and caramel. A bit of dark fruits, but really it's all molasses.

T - Strong malt presence, of course. Very sweet caramel and molasses. Doesn't change much through the drink and finishes sweet. One-note.

M - Thick and syrupy, but that is kinda to be expected from the style. Even so, it's a bit much. It also has a strange flavor in the finish I can't place.

O - The flavors it has are strongly, but they're too simple. It lacks the complexity to be as in your face with the flavors it has.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 16:45:23 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at 1702; March 2011
This beer arrives with a tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, brown-amber colored beer. A big caramel character is noticeable in the nose up front and this is backed by aromas of dark fruit, toasty malt touches and just a hearty, appetizing character that is quite nice, though definitely malt focused.

My first sip is sweet, with rich caramel notes that accentuate fruit notes of raisins and a big prune like flavor. Softer toasted whole grain notes support the sweeter / fruitier notes from up front. This has a nice, chewy body that is quite hefty for a beer of this strength. There is a touch of roasted malt in the finish that helps add a light bitterness to go along with the touch of bitterness from the soft hop contribution. This is actually quite nice; I really ike the malt character and the noticeable fruit component is nice, even if a bit divergent from a traditional American interpretation of a Scotch Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 14:44:19 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Creamy .5 finger head fades at a med pace over very dark mahogany brown color.

Nose of fairly sweet caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toasted nutty malts, sweet malts, fruit fig and date, soft almost aged malts.

Taste is soft but dark malts, sweet brown sugar and molasses, soft aged malts, caramel, dark fruit fig raisin and date, light roast, fluffy, tasty. Finishes a bit bitter with a light earthy hop flavor, little sweet still, lingering soft malts and fruits.

Mouth is med body, soft, good carb.

Drink is good, soft and drinkable, you would never know its 8% abv, little dry finish, and no herbal good, light hops and bitterness overall, the soft malts are the selling point of this as it should be.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2011 03:34:20 | More by jlindros
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure if the bar I just had this at screwed up the facts about this because the ABV they listed was the one listed for their "French oak" version of this wondrous ale (The Bear Repub website has all the facts in order). Didn't get any assertive french vanilla oak-iness on this. But, shit, was it a treat. Finally(!), a domestic brewery nailed down the mouth-lubing rich, thick malty/fruity excellence of some of my favorite wee heavy - Skull Splitter, Traquair, for starters. Thank you, Bear Republic! Thank you.

This pretty much fits the bill in every way. Short, mid-compact off-white head on pour, settled to a misty collar. Color: dead-on - rusty, umber-tinged blood red. Erratic slashes of lace.

When properly de-colded, the ale lets forth some inviting aroma. Malts show (in order of prominence) caramel, toasty, and grainy/nutty (small degree). Big malty cherry smell for the most part - esters be deep. NO SMOKED SCENT! Amen!!! None in the taste as well. Which, by the way....

Is fucking stellar!! YES! How do so many other breweries pretty much custard-dump on the flavor profile of a wee heavy?! I'll repeat what I've said time and time again - smoked malt is NOT a traditional part of a Scotch Ale and it sure as hell ain't the thing that makes a Scotch Ale a Scotch Ale. LISTEN!!! It is the unique combination of proper malt bill and charcteristic fruity ester that gives a beer any right to call itself "Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy". I've drank enough of these - I KNOW! BR might have just brewed a clone recipe for Skull Splitter for all I know. Not AS good, but still superb.

By the way (prime) - this drank 3-tier - faint bitter sizzle fizz immediately up front, light nectar smooth in the middle, with a warm wave silken dryness in the finish. Nice subtle sweet, toasty aftertaste. Cheers, Bear Republic!

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2011 04:58:57 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of jorg2619
jorg2619

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Growler in a while I thought I review it. I got this fill at Al's of Hampton's.

Appearance on the Heritage is a very dark amber with a purple edge in the light. The head is substantial at first and leaves a little bit of lacing on the top of the beer and on the glass to a small extant.

I smell sweet grains with toast and caramel notes coming in. Smell almost too sweet.

This is a smooth mild beer for 8.10% and a great scottish ale indeed. I really enjoy the mild sweetness of this beer. I had geared it would be too sweet even for the styel but it is a little buttery and smooth with hints of dark chocolate and caramel in the flavor. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected as well which works for this beer.

Overall this is a great example of scottish style brewing and a wonderful evening of drinking.

Serving type: growler

02-12-2011 23:00:20 | More by jorg2619
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - On fingers worth of creamy light tan colored head... Minimal retention gives way to a full rich lacing which too ultimately subsides leaving only a slight collar... A slightly murky medium brown color... A few stray carbonation bubbles can be seen climbing along the sides of the glass... Just a touch of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - A moderately malt forward aroma... Some toffee and caramel... A hint of toasted malts... A vague nuttiness...

T - The palette is dominated by peat... Dark bread and crust... Some slight caramel notes... Even slighter notes of fruit and coffee...

M - Medium bodied... Sturdy... The carbonation is a bit biting...

D - An easy drinking Scotch Ale... The ~8% ABV packs a pretty good punch... It's nice to see Bear Republic playing with the style... Not my favorite Scotch Ale, but one I would drink again in the future and one that I could put down a couple pints of in a sitting...

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 01:09:32 | More by philbe311
Photo of wyattshotmaker
wyattshotmaker

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint that i received from a 32 oz growler at whole foods in the bowery of nyc. deep brown with a reddish hue.

burnt sugar, scottish yeasty scent, slight bit of alcohol in the nose.

big malty flavor, hints of chocolate and brown sugar, burnt sugar, slightly nutty, traditional scottish yeast flavor. very sweet but not overly so.

low carbonation and fairly thick. overall pretty good. at 4.99 for a 32 oz growler this is a steal. it would be better in fall than on a 90 some degree nyc day.

i could see myself buying this if it were a regular option. satisfies as an easy to drink malt bomb.

Serving type: growler

07-23-2010 23:34:02 | More by wyattshotmaker
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/30/2010 (Draft @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a very dark yellowish red brown color body, opaque. Small whitish head, somewhat lasting. Hoppy malty sweet aroma, syrupy. Fruity like strawberries, seeded fruit. Sweet syrupy taste, some hoppiness, citrus. Some roastedness. Not my thing. Dark brown sugar like taste.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2010 12:01:25 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of SShelly
SShelly

Oregon

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at blue palms.

Dark dark brow, slightly cloudy with white head, low retention.

Aroma of sweet malt, very restrained.

Flavor is mildly caramely, a little sweet, kinda a one note wonder, diacytl shows up pretty big after it warms a hair...finish is mostly sweet caramel.

Medium body, medium carb, not my favorite thing from br...

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2010 05:52:39 | More by SShelly
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Deep Ellum -served chilled in a shaker pint.

A - very dark tobacco brown w/ gentle haze and quick dropping pale head w/ tiny bead

S - A roasty nose -sweet & nutty w/ mildly yeasty ester and slight diacetyl hint

M - The feel is moderately full bodied w/ medium carbonation and toasted texture of malt w/ evenly spiced feel w/ a slightly sweet finish

T - The taste is decent w/ a bit of roasted malt flavor and nutty sweetness w/ hints of pine from the hops and subtle caramel notes w/ mild buttery sweetness. The taste has a earthy mild toasted, tobacco-like leaf brown taste w/ mild tang of fruit and nuttines w/ a sweet flavor like dark brown sugar in the finish

D - A tasty scotch brew - nowhere near 8% abv taste-wise - not the top of its class, but a solid brew nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2010 19:53:00 | More by Slatetank
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark orangy amber with minimal frothy off-white head, little retention & lacing. Smell of sweet carmel malts with an earthy hop presence. Taste is earthy yet carmely and brown sugar sweet. Hints of roasted nuts and earthy hops. Medium bodied, could use another notch of carbonation. Decent beer, slightly too sweet but with a nice roasted charachter.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 16:07:49 | More by rfgetz
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Heritage Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.