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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

76 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 17.13%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | 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
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev +24.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 15:53:22 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ThaBobfather
ThaBobfather

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2010 16:42:05 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of mwa423
mwa423

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2010 20:58:33 | More by mwa423
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 01:12:09 | More by atsprings
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

2.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to lithy for this one.

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges a rather light color for a brown ale; not really brown, more like an amber color. Soda like consistency white head. No lacing.

Aroma was fruity and slightly sour. A touch of green apple in the nose. Some decent caramel but mostly sour fruit.

A large biscuity presence with some caramel sweetness as well. Not bad I guess. But the mouthfeel and green apple taste make this a difficult one to gauge. Too carbonated and too fruity for a brown ale. I do like the biscuit and bread in the flavor.

I would say this is a subpar brown ale. Thin on the mouthfeel and the carbonation is way too high on this one making the thinnes hard to handle. Glad I got to try this one so thanks lithy.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 22:20:54 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Douglas88
Douglas88

Utah

3.43/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 17:41:47 | More by Douglas88
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.55/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2008 14:00:32 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of tburkhart
tburkhart

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 00:53:03 | More by tburkhart
Photo of Misfit138
Misfit138

Tennessee

3.9/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2008 01:12:21 | More by Misfit138
Photo of nem2006
nem2006

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +30.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2008 18:02:39 | More by nem2006
Photo of TheBierBand
TheBierBand

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2007 05:56:19 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of GreatLaura
GreatLaura

Ohio

2.23/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I have had the beer on tap in Gatlinburg location several times and keep coming up with the same verdict. Very flat, and almost a soured taste. Hints of roasted carmel taste but leaves the mouth almost immediatley. No head present, even when just poured.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2007 19:37:51 | More by GreatLaura
Photo of meechum
meechum

Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +34%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 23:17:41 | More by meechum
Photo of Tuey13
Tuey13

Illinois

3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Pigeon Forge location. Has a dark brown caramel color with a moderate light tan head. The aroma is a caramel with some hints of chocolate. Has a sweet taste with a strong caramel flavor, although it is a bit thin for a brown ale. I think this is almost a beer I could session or one that will go great with some barbecue.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2006 01:32:41 | More by Tuey13
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.35/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2006 20:07:31 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Enola
Enola

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a darker brown. There was very little head. The smell is semi-sweet and candy like. The taste is bitter at first but there is a lasting caramel aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fair. A little bit of undesirable bitterness in the finish. The drinkability is average. This is mid range for the style. Drinkable but not a beer I would want to session.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 16:37:51 | More by Enola
Photo of wcudwight
wcudwight

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2006 02:45:43 | More by wcudwight
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

2.55/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reddish mahogany. Peculiar, low-carbonation head found endemically in almost all of the SM beers. Nil lace.

Nose is leathery, unsweetened brownie mix, toasted then moistened pumpernickle bread, slight suggestion of hazelnut.

Taste has an vegetal DMS thing going (celery), nut-meat, underattenuated tea leaves. Watery fudge. Fishiness on outro.

Thin, caustic, a drain-pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 16:31:01 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2005 02:26:38 | More by guinness33
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2005 16:41:41 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

3/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 22:26:07 | More by mntlover
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
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".

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 23:56:48 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

3.05/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2003 04:19:02 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of johnrobe
johnrobe

Tennessee

3/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2003 22:24:12 | More by johnrobe
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

1.43/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

(3-31-03): Got a new bottle thanks to johnrobe, and unfortunately it was just as bad. This brewery either has ongoing issues or the beer is really supposed to taste this way. I am guessing it is the former.

(12-09-02): Acquired via trade. This may be a good beer and I may have gotten a bad bottle but the vinegar aroma ruined this beer. I was given pause before I even had a chance to take a sip because the vinegar aroma is so potent. Plugging my nose and drinking did not help much as the vinegar was prevalent in the flavor as well. I will give this one another shot down the road but I had to pour this one out.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2002 08:51:41 | More by Dogbrick
Black Bear Ale from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
75 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.