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Heritage Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Heritage Ale
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BA SCORE
85
very good

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | 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:
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: 95 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brnavarra
4/5  rDev +5.8%

brnavarra, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Gatch
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Gatch, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

CuriousMonk, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

argock, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of hawkmage
3/5  rDev -20.6%

hawkmage, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of mikechance
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

mikechance, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +5.8%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Ineedabeerhere, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

avaldivia, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Alieniloquium, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Gueuzedude, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

jlindros, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
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!

Bouleboubier, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of jorg2619
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

jorg2619, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of philbe311
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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...

philbe311, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

wyattshotmaker, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

jujubeast6000, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of SShelly
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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...

SShelly, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Slatetank, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

rfgetz, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Thorpe429, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of jwillcourt
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a tulip glass.

A - Dark chestnut brown, almost black, with a purple/reddish tint when held to the light. Finger-sized, beige head that dissipates quickly into a white ring of foam. It leaves sticky lacing and a sheen down the side of the glass.

S - Sweet malt, slight peat and nutty smell.

T - Overall sweet flavor. Very fruity, with notes of plum, fig, grape, melon, and cider. Slightly bitter aftertaste with a bittersweet cocoa quality.

M - Medium bodied with higher than average carbonation. It looks and feels a little chalky.

D - The fruitiness is refreshing but I certainly feel the alcohol.

jwillcourt, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
2.95/5  rDev -22%
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.

ppoitras, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Phoenix2443
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Alamo drafthouse south Lamar last night, I was very impressed with the drinkability as well as the even transition from the sweetness to the slight bitter aftertaste:

A - the beer pours a reddish amber with a very light white head. Looks like your average Scottish.

S - the beer has sweet smells of fruit - cherries, figs, etc. The beer didn't have a strong nose to it but it fit the style.

T - the beer has a sweet almost honey taste. Again, fruits and a nice complexity. Aftertaste was slightly bitter, letting you know the hops was present.

M - nothing special here

D - the beer was very easy and incredibly enjoyable. I could drink this throughout a night out easily. Hopefully they'll bottle this even as a limited time beer.

Phoenix2443, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

cosmicevan, Jan 16, 2010
Heritage Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.