Heritage Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Heritage Ale
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BA SCORE
85
very good

103 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 103
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 9.79%
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: 103 | Reviews: 51
Photo of jorg2619
3.8/5  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.

Photo of drtth
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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 DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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 wyattshotmaker
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Birreria Paradiso, Washington, D.C. - they'd just run out of 3Fs Gumballhead, and I was told that tap had been replaced with the "Bear Republic Scottish Ale." Intrigued, I ordered it. Served in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A light reddish-brown bodied beer, not as dark as perhaps I'm used to, with a one-finger tan head of average retention that leaves a great deal of sticky lace and a big ring of foam. It's light, but it's not transparent - it's in fact very close to opaque. Bubbly and foamy.

Aroma: Very biscuity, with lots of spicy overtones over a caramel and "malty" malt foundation. It's nice, but perhaps a little simplistic.

Taste: Earthy and very sweet. It's bready, with tons of brown sugar and blackstrap molasses, various other caramelized sugars. Whew. Hints of anise, too, particularly as it warms, which I think may be what I'm tasting as "earthy." More malt notes come through as it warms - toast, most prominently, though sweet toast, white bread toast. There's also a faint minty, herbal, hop presence, with an imperceptible bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and even, though also big and fluffy and crisp. A little big and over the top for a Scottish, but still nice. Leaves a bit of a stick with all the sweetness.

Drinkability: A solid Scottish, with well-hidden alcohol, though I'm going to have to knock it slightly for being a little "too" sweet. There're tons of residual sugars here, and though they're interestingly complex, they're a little over the top. Tone down the carbonation on this one, burn up a few more of the sugars, and you'd have a really great Scottish. Still worth a try, though.

Photo of avaldivia
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Nickls
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Deep rich brown with coppery hints; thin tan head

S - Prune-like sweetness; whiff of smokiness; dark fruits

T - Much less fruity than in the aroma; dry peat; earthy; roasted; decent

M - Thicker to medium MF; virtually still in terms of carbonation

D - Not bad, but got to be a little tougher as I went through the sample

Overall, different enough in the style that was semi-interesting and the sweetness apparent in other examples was absent here, which was alright. Not bad.

Photo of rfgetz
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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 lhaqq
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great scottish ale; not my favorite, but definitely up there. Had it on tap at Jupiter's in Berkeley.
Served with a centimeter of head, not much of a smell that I could detect. Brown in color, dark copper if held up to light.
The mouthfeel is really smooth, creamy, and round.
Tastes largely of malt, and raisins or figs.
There is a bit of butter in the aftertaste, though the aftertaste isn't particularly lingering.

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...

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.

Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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 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.

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...

Photo of tobelerone
3.57/5  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.

Photo of corby112
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
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 smcolw
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
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 Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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 jujubeast6000
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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 Alieniloquium
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of jneiswender
3.06/5  rDev -19%
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 Mebuzzard
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
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 ppoitras
3.01/5  rDev -20.4%
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 DoubleSimcoe
2.95/5  rDev -22%
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.

Heritage Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.