1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

80 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 16.82%
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
Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5  rDev +9%

WOLFGANG, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
2.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The taste of "Brown" makes its way across the pond and into the Appalachian Mountains. Inspired by British origins, this rendition tastes as much of a Mild Ale as it does an English Brown Ale.

Pouring more of a copper or bronze color, the notion of "brown" doesn't exactly ring true to the sight. A fairly turbulent pour yields a dainty skirt of foam on the surface; even a strong swirl of the glass reluctantly gives up any foam- the ale is nearly still. Mild lacing creeps up the glass, but does so in timid fashion. Its nearly obvious that the Smoky Mountain Brewery is trying to capture that cask ale-like calmness.

Caramel and apples rise to greet the nose instead of the expected chocolate, toast, or toffee. Bruised fruit and grain top off the aromatics while a shift to caramel and toasted barley take shape in taste. Here, a very mild chocolate tone blends with bread crust, nutty coffee grounds, and cola nuts. A tinge of fruitiness in the middle is a little of white grape and wine tannin. Its late profile is unsettled grainy and lacking the malt profile for Brown but settling nicely in the Mild Ale world.

Light in body, the ales inspiration may be Newcastle but with more sweetness. Still, its grain character overshadows malt richness and allows the beer to become thin and exposed late. Finishing mildly astringent- the ale seems to have an Olde Ale staleness that may or may note be intended.

Black Bear needs a hug- unlike several of the beers in its six-pack melange, this ale doesn't know which direction he wants to take. But billed as a Northern English Brown, on par with Newcastle just doesn't cut it. It needs more brown.

BEERchitect, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of jjs581
2.19/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

This beer was very disappointing. I was not sure if the waitress had even given me the correct beer upon its arrival. Instead of looking like a typical "English Brown Ale" as the menu stated, this reminded me of an English pale ale. The taste was very sweet and malty but with little flavor from anything roasted or dark malt. It also had almost no hop flavor at all. I would not recommend this beer to anyone expecting a true brown ale.

jjs581, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of thaghost
3.5/5  rDev +9%

thaghost, May 17, 2013
Photo of BlueMoon10
3/5  rDev -6.5%

BlueMoon10, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of fishguyac
3/5  rDev -6.5%

fishguyac, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Jalogan2
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Jalogan2, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of ahbaggins
3/5  rDev -6.5%

ahbaggins, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of elkinbrown
3.5/5  rDev +9%

elkinbrown, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of mullenite
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

mullenite, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of tnflyguy
3/5  rDev -6.5%

tnflyguy, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of mwar
4.25/5  rDev +32.4%

mwar, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of hollywood_15063
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

hollywood_15063, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Tucquan
3.35/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Tucquan, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of bzach
2.75/5  rDev -14.3%

bzach, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of GeoCait
3.5/5  rDev +9%

GeoCait, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of SDellinger
3.5/5  rDev +9%

SDellinger, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of sansho
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

sansho, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of gutbuster
3/5  rDev -6.5%

gutbuster, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of Yjt2
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Yjt2, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of 4Socialanxiety
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

4Socialanxiety, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of jeff96gt
3/5  rDev -6.5%

jeff96gt, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of tfsimpkins
3/5  rDev -6.5%

tfsimpkins, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of barleyroad
3.05/5  rDev -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.

barleyroad, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of mikeg67
3.48/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

mikeg67, Jan 01, 2012
Black Bear Ale from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
75 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.