Heritage Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Heritage Ale
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BA SCORE
85
very good

102 Ratings
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Ratings: 102
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 09-27-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 50
Reviews by mikechance:
Photo of mikechance
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a deep orange in color with a decent head that didn’t show much retention, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The malts here are heavily-toasted and soaked with sugars. There is a light, easy peat to this nose that rounds out the bouquet nicely.

Taste – The sugars here are very tasty. They are stiff and dominate the flavor profile. I can also pick up some light peat and a bit of brown sugars. The malts at the tongue are just like the ones at the smell: heavily toasted.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied Scottish Ale is super sweet and sticky in the mouth.

Drinkability – This is on the very sweet end of the style, but it was very tasty and went down quickly.

Photo of pwoods
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dilly Deli. Notes via text.

A: Pours a light chocolate brown that lets plenty of light through. Head was only about 1/2 finger without much retention. A few wisps of lacing here and there.

S: Toasted grains with an underlying sweetness. Good but not very complex.

T/M: My first thought was a slightly weaker Dirty Bastard(and Dirty Bastard was tapped right next to it, lol. I did get the right one, though). Robust malt character with a very slight whiskey note. Malts also a brown sugar sweetness. Mouthfeel is mostly creamy but a little thinner than I would have liked.

D: Overall, not a bad brew and could be easily sessioned. Maybe not quite a good as a Dirty Bastard but it can definitely hold its own.

Photo of socon67
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of loving44
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - This one poured a deep orange-brown in color with a thin layer of head, not much head retention...

Smell - deep sweet malts, sugars, peat, earth, very hearty aroma. lots of toasted malt.

Taste - Again sweet but not overly sweet or syrupy. Lightly toasted grants, peat, and raw brown sugar.

Mouthfeel - medium body, sticky with constant carbonation.

Drinkability - I like a little more peat or toasted grain to mellow out the sweetness of the malts of this style, but this was highly drinkable and great on a cold rainy night.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Photo of philbe311
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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...

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft.
Pours a dark ruby brown in color. There's a head for a few seconds, but then it's gone by the time your first sip is done.
Smell is huge malts and some toffee. Taste is the same with some brown sugar and spice coming through at the end. Alright tasting and highly sessionable. Glad I had the chance.

Photo of david18
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is on tap at the Amsterdam Ale house as a part of Craft Beer Week in New York City. An excellent beer. I had no idea what the style was when I tasted it but the maltiness came through immediately. Very good color, great flavor, excellent mouthfeel and drinkability.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A copper color with just some lacing, no head.
Malt forward, with some hot alcohol and some light earthy peat in there. I usually like my scottish ales packed so full of peat that i feel like i'm eating landscape chips, but this was rather light.

Taste has a pronounced sweetness, then the big alcohol fusal heat hit, making it seem perhaps 10%, not 8. The sweetness in in the form of molassass or brown sugar. This reminds me a lot of Lagunitas Brown Sugga.

It's not highly drinkable, and the alcohol is a bit hight to enjoy more than one. I'd rather save my sobriety for a couple of their ips or another high abv offering.

Photo of drtth
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer arrives at the table with a short lived off-white head that initially covers the liquid and then recedes fairly soon. The beer is dark brown with undertones (mahogany) color. Initially sipping leaves some light scattered lacing but that soon is over.

Smell: Rich sweet dark caramel malts creating an aroma of toffee and brown sugar.

Taste: As expected from the aroma the taste is dominated by sweet brown sugar and toffee from the dark malts with no hops really detectable.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and a just a bit sticky from the sweetness. There is some faint carbonation in there for most of the beer. The finish is medium long and is all about the sweetness of the malts with no real hop presence so all the flavors are brown sugar and toffee.

Drinkability: This is a beer where one in an evening is enough, but it is a great way to end the evening, just sipping and enjoying. I could return to this beer in the future if given the chance, but on the other hand, if given a choice there are other Scottish Ales I'd probably give the nod to.

Photo of jneiswender
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer as part of a flight of samples at the Healdsburg, California restaurant. From tap and in 3oz sample glasses.

A-dark amber body with a thick beige head

S-smells like a jolly rancher candy

T-candy-like flavor, just a little hop kick at the end

M-medium

D-I kind of expect some smoke to come with this one. I didn't get any. I would like to try this in a pint glass next time and not in a sampler. I may have enjoyed it more. Otherwise the base of malt and hops is fine, but I just feel that a scotch ale should have some distinctive earthiness to it as well as some smoke character.

Photo of Mark
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I understand my rankings are bit spread out here, but here's why. I like my beer to have a head on it, this didn't have much of one though lacing was present. Color was a deep deep amber, and aroma was earthy and clean. Nice and malty with some unique hopping on the finish, can't put my finger on it but I liked it. This ale weighs in at a big 8% but it went down like a bitter. A session strong ale if I have ever had one. A winner.

Photo of ppoitras
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Armsby Abbey, Worcester, MA.

Presented in an imperial pint glass, a 3/4" beige head over the slightly cloudy reddish brew. Head lasts well, with sticky lasting lace. Aroma is sweet, lightly fruity. Taste starts sweet, goes a bit off tart in the middle, which carries through the moderately hoppy close. Mouthfeel is creamy but still prickly tart, and drinkability is okay. The slight sour just was out of place for me in a Scotch/Scottish Ale.

Photo of rfgetz
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lightist brown with a bit of crimson in there. Nice head and plenty of legs as it went down. Nice malt presence, with a few backing hops. Lots of dark fruits and a bit of red fruit. The taste is quite sweet and a bit cloying, but not overly so. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is very nice. This was one of my wife's favorites of the California leg of our trip.

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Photo of TheBrewo
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of barleypop
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this one on tap at Bear Republic. This one poured a dark copper colour with mahogany accents. I nice tight head tops it off. I expect this one to be malty!

A very malty nose greets you with just the slightest hint of sweet ginger.

Nice thick flavours of fresh roasted toffee hit your tongue and leave a sweet peaty aftertaste in your throat. For a stronger ale (7.4%), this one is very drinkable without being overly sweet.

A great brew for a cool autumn evening. Like a good single malt scotch it will warm you right up before it puts you to sleep.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Photo of tobelerone
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of avaldivia
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Heritage Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.