Black Bear Ale - Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Black Bear AleBlack Bear Ale

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BA SCORE
75
okay

38 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 38
Hads: 84
rAvg: 3.17
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 84
Photo of meechum
4.27/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of my brother in law Breadslicer.

A - Rich brown coppery color poured into a pils glass. Poured pretty aggressive with little head just about a finger but left a little lace

S - Smells up front with nutty, malty, buttery smells

T - Taste had many of the smells..up front I got a good taste of the rich sweet malts with a hint of a buttery, nutty flavor..cut by mild hops

M - Medium carbonation with a good crisp taste, very enjoyable

D - This is very drinkable in my opinion and I wished he had more but he only had 2 of them and we both had one at the same time (585 characters)

Photo of nem2006
4.14/5  rDev +30.6%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +26.2%
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. (627 characters)

Photo of Misfit138
3.88/5  rDev +22.4%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
3.72/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (661 characters)

Photo of TheBierBand
3.7/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Pigeon Forge location.

Served in a pint glass with a thin cap of head. The beer looked a little light for a nut brown.... I would call it orange or a light amber. Lacing was minimal.

Thr aroma was slight. Malty and a tiny hint of hazelnut.

Taste: Not bad... sweet malt with a slight hazelnut finish and some diacetal buttery flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and a bit too highly carbonated for my taste.

Drinkability: Nothing offensive here. Could have downed a few of these, but I wanted to move on to other selections. (539 characters)

Photo of tburkhart
3.67/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the brewpub in Gatlinburg, TN.

Appearance - Nice copper color with very little carbonation

Smell - like a typically American Brown Ale, slightly malty

Taste - Slight malt profile, next to no hops

Mouthfeel - smooth.

All and all not a bad beer from a lesser known brewery. Look forward to going back and trying this on tap sometime. (355 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
3.59/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear brownish amber with a creamy, thick khaki head.

S: Malty aromas of praline, nougat, chestnut, pecans, leather, caramel, toffee, and heavy cream dominate the nose, though closer inspection reveals subtle traces of earthy hops.

T: Notes of caramel, toffee, nougat, praline, leather, chestnut, pecan, heavy cream, grass, herbs, and lemon distinguish themselves in the mouth. The finish is earthy and rather nutty with pronounced notes of praline, toffee, pecan, herbs, and grass.

M: On the lighter side of medium, slick, and oily. Carbonation is very delicate. It goes down smoothly, but it is slight and flabby for the style.

O: Not bad at all. I think some reviewers may have been expecting too much. While this is not exactly like many commercial English brown ales, it still ticks most of the boxes one would expect for a beer of this style. (863 characters)

Photo of haddon
3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (398 characters)

Photo of mwa423
3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very clear light golden brown with a sticky head.

S - Nice malty smell with slight frutiness

T - Surprisingly fruity with caramel like malt flavor.

M/D - Reasonably drinkable brown. However, I think that the frutiness would get to me. Mouthfeel is very thin, but for some reason it seems appropriate. (307 characters)

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

*Notes from Fratlinburng, TN trip to Smokey Mountain Brewery*

Pours a solid clay brown color with a thin ring of head.
Smell is well malted, some sweet on the aroma, maybe some syrupy fruit.
Taste has a solid blend of sweet malt and what I have to define as a fruited taste in the meat of the flavor.
Finish is wet and messy but this is good, thin on taste but this quality makes this a great choice on a cool day.
Drinks solidly, there a few hang ups in this English Brown. (475 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.53/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives at the table a dark copper color with a small head. Head drops fast. No lace.
Smell is roasted malt,hops, a faint dark fruit note (upon warming).
Taste is more involved, malt, hops, a slight metallic/celery note.
Smooth with a light/medium effervescence and a fullish body. Mildly creamy, esppecially through the aftertaste. A very good brew, especially when sipped to allow the taste to linger longer. (410 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.47/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Copper Cellar, Knoxville. Pours dark red hue with a white, medium lasting head and a lot of carbonation. Aroma is of cherry fruit and caramel malt. Medium, smooth body. Taste is caramel malt, cherry fruit and hints of hops. Nice session brew. (252 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.43/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of Douglas88
3.42/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Joe. Pours a clear amber color with a small white head. The aroma is very interesting; lots of sweet fruity notes, some malt and light nutty aromas. A fairly sweet and very fruity mix, honey and earthy caramel malts also. The finish is very interesting; some fruit and maybe some smoke. Very nice. Almost like a baby Barley Wine. (346 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.39/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with very light brown highlights. It had a tiny white head of bubbles that left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled fairly nutty and of sweet caramel. Good but nothing amazing.

T - Sweet caramel maltiness with a nutty flavor. There is a mild bitterness/hop presence.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A light bodied ale that is quite sessionable.

D - This is another passable beer from Smoky Mountain Brewery. Not adventurous nor that flavorful. (482 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.35/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
3.33/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-11-11 in Danville, KY

A - Fairly clear, brown with an orange tinge, 1-finger tan head that fades in half pretty quickly, leaving mild lace.

S - Floral, chocolate. Mild.

T - Vegetal/mossy, mild roast, light sweet chocolate, cherry. Some bitterness in the dry aftertaste.

M - Thin body and light-medium carbonation.

O - Serviceable. Sessionable and thirst quenching, which is appropriate for this style. (424 characters)

Photo of atsprings
3.27/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip pours a crisp dark orange with a thin eggshell head that diminished to barely a ring, this is supposed to be a brown ale? Aroma is a slight hint of brown malt, but not much there. The taste is a nice amount of burnt caramel malt with a decent backbone of subdued hops. The beer is medium bodied, not quite as light as you'd expect from a 5.4% beer. This one certainly better than their pale, but even still, nothing special. (465 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy medium brown. The white head falls quickly, but persists as the outer rim of the surface.

The aroma is sweet malty chocolate. There is no hop aroma.

The flavor is nice and crisp with good bitterness to balance the malt. The flavors are chocolate with just a slight bitterness, but no hop flavor.

The body is medium light. The finish is dry chocolate with no long lasting aftertastes. A very drinkable beer.

12 ounce bottle. Label says "An American Brown Ale". (493 characters)

Photo of myelo
3.18/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Calhoun's restaurant.

Clear, light brown, mahogany color with medium beige head that settles quickly. Tiny bubbles.

Medium light aroma of malt with some nut and toffee. Low hops.

Flavor is medium-high malt up front with sweetness dominating. Very low hops in background.

Mouthfeel is medium body with moderate carbonation. Very smooth with no astringency or heat.

Overall very clean and drinkable. The sweetness dominates and with not enough bitterness to balance. (482 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.16/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a dark iced tea color. Vigorously poured to get a 2 finger head, it drops rapidly with no lacing to a thin cover with a creamy, soapy head.

Aroma - grainy malt with just the lightest influence of coffee. Fades to just about nil after the initial vapors disperse.

Taste - a sweet tasting beer, it has a caramel, almost raisiny or honeyed taste to it. Aftertaste is also sweet and at first it appears that not much is developing with this beer. As it warms up, however, it makes some impressive improvements. Some tasty chocolate and nutty flavors emerge, really picking things up.

Mouthfeel - soft feeling, low carbonation levels give it a smooth feel.

Drinkability - if you have this at the restaurant it will likely be served far too cold for the ideal flavors to come through and the taste will be simplified and plain. A pleasant blend of flavors awaits those patient enough to let it warm up to 55 degrees or so. (941 characters)

Photo of BeerBrose
3.07/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a miniature tasting snifter.

Look: Light copper/amber by no means brown. minimal head and lacing.

Smell: Malty and oh no! Tart! I bet this bottle is infected? But at least I am stating that in the review.

Taste: Light tart sourness, malty, biscuit, very little toffee/caramel flavor. Too light for a brown but my god is the slight tart very pleasing. Again, maybe its a bad bottle but the taste is nice :)

Feel: Finishes nicely and the medium carbonation helps its presence on my tongue.

Overall: I bet this beer is super crushable when not infected but even with the slight tart flavor I would love to throw it back. Though, its hardly a brown ale. (680 characters)

Photo of barleyroad
3.06/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (310 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
3.05/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (566 characters)

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Black Bear Ale from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
75 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.