1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Bear Ale - Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Black Bear AleBlack Bear Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
Tennessee, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ChainGangGuy:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Disembarks the bottle a clear, light brown body capped with a modestly-sized, bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: Sweetish, malty nose smelling of deeply toasted bread, really focusing on those crunchy, crusty accents, as well as notes of pecans and dark caramel.

Taste: Deep toastiness along with caramel, molasses, and a nibble of pecan pie. Minimal roastiness. Medium-light sweetness. Very light-handed dose of hops and bitterness. Ever more maltiness on the finish with a light, lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: BBA is simply a good, smooth, serviceable brown ale.

ChainGangGuy, May 16, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +32%

tbryan5, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of nem2006
4.18/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Gatlinburg location. Is a clear, amber-brown with not much carbonation or head.

The smell was sweet and I caught a molasses hint to it. This is different from most English Brown Ales and I was pleasantly pleased by the difference.

The taste fell in line with the smell. It was sweet and had molasses to it. Extremely smooth and a beer I could drink almost all year round.

nem2006, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of thaghost
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%

thaghost, May 17, 2013
Photo of Hugh37
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

Hugh37, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of haddon
3.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

light brown body capped with an off-white head.

malty nose smelling of bread and nuts... perhaps a bit acidic like pecans

caramel, molasses, and a bit of pecan showing up again. Minimal roastiness. Medium-light sweetness. light dose of hops and bitterness just like you would expect form an EBA.

Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

a solid brown ale that's nothing extravagant but worth the try.

haddon, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of beveritt
1.4/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: Thanks go out to my sister and brother in law for bringing this back from a recent trip down to TN. Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is simple; predominantly black with a red banner and some gold lettering. It depicts a bear with a fish in its mouth standing in front of a mountain range. No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Pours with a light tan head that just barely provides completely coverage. Settles so quickly, I hardly eve have a chance to look at it. Leaves no lacing or trace of foam. The beer itself is amber with a slight chill haze. Some sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Strong vegetal aroma with hints of band aid phenols.

Taste: Wow, this is bad. A horrific mix of off flavors with slightly sour sweet undertones make this incredibly difficult to even choke down a sip. Grass and asparagus with lemon zest. Lingering mild bitterness, but not that typically associated with hops.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is very high; spritzy and big bubbled, indicative of force carbonating. Body is thin.

Drinkability: Nothing good hear, except maybe the label. It is kind of cool in a classic way. This beer is just bad all around.

beveritt, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of Sunstealer
2/5  rDev -37.9%

Sunstealer, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of GeoCait
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%

GeoCait, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of Segelstrom
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

Segelstrom, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of 4Socialanxiety
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

4Socialanxiety, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of utvol
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%

utvol, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.35/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Brentfeesh: Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention. Aroma of roasted caramel malt with a hint of sourness, which was not too pleasant. Taste of sweet caramel malt with some subtle hops. I think this beer had a small infection since I could pick-up some sourness, which shouldn’t be in this beer.

Phyl21ca, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of CRJMellor
3.05/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown, in fact I had to get up and find light to make sure it wasn't black. Faint aroma of roasted toffee and chocolate malt and some aroma hops but nothing stands out. taste is incredibly mild. In fact, I would almost classify this as a dark mild if it had some more malty character. Very light in the mouth and soemwhat vacant on the finish. Doesn't have the some the more interesting nutty characteristics that many brown ales take on. Again, very basic beer and alomst as they tried to malt up a very basic beer to appeal to the tourist trade.

CRJMellor, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of wcudwight
3.75/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed on-tap at the brewery(It was fair), and now am reviewing the bottle that I brought home.
Pours the color of a Pepsi. With the thin fizzy head that I've become accustomed to from the Smokey Mountain Brewery bottles.
Smell is of caramel, and light coffee. Hint of the alcohol, which was really unexpected for this review. More going on oder wise than when I had this beer on-tap.
There is more roasted malt flavors, chocolate, coffee ect....than the on-tap version. Still is dominated my the caramel.
Mouthfeel is still light.
Drinkability is good. Flavor of a darker beer with the feel of a lighter one. This is more what I expected from this beer.

wcudwight, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one wasn't bad, but wasn't great. It pours a Sam Adams-looking brownish amber colour and leaves a fair amount of residue on the glass.

The smell is sweer and a bit hoppy, but there's not much else going on with this one.

The flavour is a nice mix of malt and hops, though the malty earth flavour, while mild is dominant here. Caramel is clearly present throughout as well to account for the sweetness as well.

Overall, everything is pretty basic with this one. It's drinkable, but nothing special.

SixpointJMH, Jun 02, 2005
Photo of Brent
3.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Without a doubt, the mildest brown ale I've come across. Low carbonation, no head and the barest ring of lace around the edge of the glass. Aroma was distinct chocolate malt, and this was the primary flavor as well, with little hops in mix. No question that this was intended to be malt-based in flavor. As a stand-alone beverage, this really doesn't have enough depth to carry it. However, it went very well with BBQ ribs and the chocolate malt and tangy BBQ sauce were a nice combination. This is one of those beers that seems crafted to accompany a meal, rather than serve as a session brew.

Brent, Oct 14, 2002
Photo of elkinbrown
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%

elkinbrown, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of barleyroad
3.05/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber/brown in appearance. Smell is some what wheaty and malty in aroma. Mouthfeel is very delightful and inviting. This brew leaves the tongue nicely. The taste is lackin from those quality brown style beers. However it is a good tasting beer. Over all this beer is acceptable but does lack in the wow factor.

barleyroad, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of BlueMoon10
3/5  rDev -6.8%

BlueMoon10, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of mullenite
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

mullenite, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of Misfit138
3.9/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought home a bottle from the Gatlinburg location

A- Pours a nice medium brown with a fizzy inch head.

S- Smell is faint, mostly malt

T- iniatial almost nut like flavor followed by some hoppiness.

M- Medium body and mild carbonation

D- I like it, its a solid brown ale and is better than most brown ales. Worth a try.

Misfit138, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of johnrobe
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a light brown with a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it white head. Aroma is very scant. In the taste I thought I could pick out the nice toasted malt flavors of Munich malt more than anything else. It's not as sweet as other brown ales I've tried and the hops, while appropriate for a brown ale, seem light for an "American" brown ale. There's a touch of sourness in the finish that's off-putting, but it dissipated as the brew warmed up. It's a bit light in the mouthfeel department as well. With all that said, it is, imo, pretty easy to drink.

johnrobe, Feb 04, 2003
Photo of mntlover
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brwon with redish highlights small tan head falls to tiny ring of foam.
Aroma is light malt slightly chocolately in nature some euro hop skunkiness that adds nothing to be desired.
Taste is slightly chocolate some light maltiness and hints of hops in finish maybe a little grain and touch of very light spiciness. Overall a very average brown ale taste like something the king of beers would make.
Mouthfeel is to thin for a brown carbonation is a little too much and drinkability is very average not a much better choice then an amber bock.

mntlover, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of sansho
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

sansho, Sep 06, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Black Bear Ale from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
75 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.