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
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 Slatetank
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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 Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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 Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's,

A: Pours brown with a small off-white head with good retention, no lacing.

S: Heavy malt, molasses, soy sauce.

T: Sweet malt, definite soy sauce note to the beer. Not really peaty, like I get in the more tradtional versions of the style, but the malt flavour still is quite tasty. I know this is a low hopped style, but it needs a bit of hops for balance in this one, it's a malt bomb.

M: Full-bodied, robust, nice carbonation character, not overdone, sweet finish.

D: A good beer from Bear Republic. I really liked it at a bit cooler temperature, I thought it became more cloying as it got warmer. Still a nice one, I'm glad this made its way out of the brewpub.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Muddy orange body, minimal head. This one looks average, but tastey.
Smells of slightly roasted malt and brown sugar. Maple comes through in the nose as well, as does some molasses. Smells too sweet.
Taste isn't too sweet, but a bit weak. the brown sugar and malt are predominate, yet not held together very well. Seems flat or something, no zip or anchor to hold it.
Not bad, not spectacular.

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

On-tap at Hollingshead's, on to the beer:

I had never heard of this beer, so I had no idea what style of beer I was getting. It's brown in color, maybe ruby brown, lighter hues of color found on the edges. In the nose, I found some dark fruits and a pinch of cocoa. To taste, my tongue found a lot of fruit skins of dark fruit flavor. There were also figs to be found. Cocoa is revealed, and the overall taste becomes powdery as it dries in the mouth. Worthy of a pint...if you can find it.

Photo of corby112
3.56/5  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.

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 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 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 xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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 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 cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from my local bevy in a growler when I saw it on tap.

A - Poured a rich brown amber with not much carbonation and a frothy creamy head. Sticky lacing.

S - Cherries, figs, grapes...malty caramel. Almost maple syrup like.

T - Delicious. Sweet and malty. Cherry, plum, grape with a subtle hop.

M - Feels like a good beer with an even balance of carbonation and flavor and hops.

D - Extremely drinkable beer. Tasty and well balanced. Sweet & malty without being too much so that it becomes filling.

Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

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 Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange. Inch or two of tan head. Smells like malt and ... brown sugar? Interesting flavor. Mostly sweet, with caramel/toffee malt backing.

Yeah, it's an overwhelmingly sweet brew. Maybe a bit of peat/moss/earthiness to it, but pretty one-note.

Decently quaffable mouthfeel.

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 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 Offa
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice, smooth, well-rounded wee heavy-scotch ale type.

It's brownish red with a somewhat dense, light orangish tan head. The head is somewhat long-lasting with moderate lace.

The aroma is rich, caramelized grain, caramel and hints of stwed fruit and nuts.

The taste is fairly full, sweet, malty caramel and fruit, a hint of nut, faint yeasty and chocolate elements and with a light bitterness, making it nicely balanced. It has a moderately thick, oily palate. The alcohol is unusually well-hidden for the style, but noticeably contributes to the body and the full, warm feel.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Rose & Crown.

A: Pours a chestnut body with a faint line of bubbles that pass for a head, but it was poured very, very cold. As I warmed and agitated it, it produced a respectable finger of off-white foam, but retention was short and lacing was only a few streaks here and there.

S: Dark malts: caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. It's not very pungent, even when warm, and there isn't any depth beyond this.

T: Follows the nose precisely. Kind of a watery blend of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. I'd love to taste some peat or smoke or other flavors in here, but this was a very middle-of-the-road flavor that neither offended nor impressed.

M: Medium-bodied. Pretty smooth with some residual sweetness. Low-medium carbonation.

D: Meh. Kind of a weak beer. A surprise from a usually fantastic brewery.

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