Bear Paw Honey Lager | Whistler Brewing Company

73 Ratings
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Bear Paw Honey LagerBear Paw Honey Lager

Brewed by:
Whistler Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our honey lager is fresh-brewed and fermented with 100% organic BC honey, so you can actually smell the honey aromas and taste silky smooth honey on the finish. It’s a very unique lager experience.

Added by joemcgrath27 on 09-11-2011

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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of biboergosum
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle. I don't see how this isn't just the normal honey lager all gussied up in mountain lore imagery, but, with apologies to David Coverdale, here I go again.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, thinly foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which disappears slowly and surely before my eyes, leaving some weird Simpson-esque amoebic lace around the glass.

It smells of sweet bready pale malt, a touch of corny grain, and mildly mollifying bland and musty honey, with not a lot going on hop-wise. The taste is bready, of the generally corn-oriented sort, much-lessened earthy honey, a mild dose of weedy, somewhat herbal hops, and a niggling sour tang that does its best Princess and the Pea number on me.

The carbonation is rather sedate, just a wan frothiness throughout, the body medium-light in weight, and arguably smooth, though a slight cloying tingle becomes increasingly hard to ignore. It finishes off-dry, the aforementioned graininess and plain as the day is long honey still running this particular sideshow.

Nothing renamed, nothing gained, I suppose. Another average, run of the mill honey beer - the Canadian beer-scape is littered with such middling fare. Good for only when an apres-ski hook-up invariably depends upon its, erm, 'lubricating' presence. And for that, I salute it.

 1,358 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of biegaman
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%

Bear Paw Honey has a considerable amber hue meaning either the brewery included more malt than I was ready to give them credit for or they've used a darker, richer style of honey than I was expecting. Either way, this is a positive start; despite regrettable memories of Whistler's Premium Export Lager, I'm surprisingly optimistic about this offering.

My sudden enthusiasm may be unfounded after all; there's nothing in this aroma to support either of my immediate assumptions. It smells neither significantly malty nor like they splurged on anything too expensive or fancy from the local BC farmer's market. In fairness, I would likely also complain were it notably overt either way - too bready or too sweet - so let's just move on...

In fact, having had a few sips, the honey flavour is appropriately balanced in my opinion - and it's considerably rich too. While I was initially quick to dismiss the honey's dimension as merely superficial - all too ready to liken it more to Billy Bee than any of the local, unpasteurized offerings currently in my pantry - there is, all considered, quite a developed honey flavour.

By "all considered" what I mean is that there's also a fair amount of malt to contend with. Most of the fruity or floral or earthy nuances the honey itself might offer are severely muted by a toasted, grainy, itself somewhat sweet maltiness. Which may be just as well: I've drunk beers that have used honey and taste simply, solely like honey - it's no good.

If you've followed the flip-flopping of my review this far it should be apparent that I'm of mixed feelings about Whistler's Bear Paw Honey Lager. One the one hand, it doesn't offer me, personally, much excitement to grasp onto; on the other, it may be among the best Canadian honey beers I've tried (certainly better than BC's other: Grizzly Paw's Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat). Maybe it's best to buy a bottle (or several) and see for yourself where you stand.

 1,951 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Erik-P
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Rutager
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of andrenaline
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bumchilly25
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Drknight
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ZachT
3.94/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - crystal clear rich copper, finger of head dissipated to a few random islands
S - clear adjunct aroma, mild sweetness with faint hop aromas
T - sugary sweet syrup flavour dominates and tastes fairly artificial, some light molasses maltiness with corn like adjunct
M - medium body with an initial sticky sweet feel, drys out nicely leaving some honey sweetness on the teeth
O - its a good enough honey brew but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd, I wouldn't turn it down at the pub but it wouldn't be my first choice

 534 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 mL bottle, part of this year's BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler (which is now available at the LCBO); bottled March 20 2014. There was a time (early on) in my beer-drinking career where I was a big fan of honey lagers - including staples like Sleeman's Honey Brown and even Lakeport's shoddy substitute. It'll be nice to revisit my roots. Served well-chilled.

Pours an attractive, clear amber colour, topped with just over one finger's worth of soapy, off-white froth. It seeps away steadily over the next few minutes, leaving behind a thin film and narrow collar. The aroma is very sweet - honey and red licorice candy come to mind, with notes of caramel and corny cereal grains. For the style, this is well-above average at this point.

A decent honey lager, but still a little too sweet for my tastes. Pale malts, corn grits and caramel complement the marked honey sweetness, which remains fairly dominant into the aftertaste. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel accented by the moderate carbonation levels. This is a supremely drinkable lager, although due to its sweet nature I don't know if I'd be able to tolerate it all night. Fans of Sleeman's Honey Lager will have little trouble adjusting to this one.

Final Grade: 3.59, a B grade. Bear Paw Honey Lager is not a stellar beer, but it's drinkable enough and a fair substitute for any mass-produced red lager - e.g. Rickard's or Keith's Red. This is really more of an amber than an adjunct lager, although technically speaking honey *is* an adjunct, so I'll just snip that tangent in the bud right there. One of the best adjunct lagers I've ever had, anyway. I could see myself drinking this once in a while if it were available in ON, but it would depend on the price point.

 1,765 characters

Photo of misternebbie
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chickenm
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of TerryW
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Light, sweet, and malty. Noticeable honey. Undistinguished. Drinks like another macro.

86 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%

355 ml bottle for about $ 2.25 CDN. Part of the BC craft brewers sampler pack. Served cold into a Keith's pint glass.

Appearance - the beer poured a clear honey brown color capped by a finger go white head which dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing and little activity from the bubbles.

Smell- significant amount of honey, maybe a dash of caramel but not a lot else. Aroma is fairly strong, so some points for that.

Taste - a nice honey drizzle over some fresh baking kind of hits the tongue first before fading. That's tasty enough but there's nothing to replace it or counterbalance thee sweetness. Just a very faint bitterness to cap it all off. Definitely a tasty beer, hardto sense the adjuncts due to the big honey presence. Adjuncts do become more noticeable as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - light bodied, sprightly carbonation but on the whole it's a little thin feeling.

Overall - any criticisms her are fairly minor, this is a very tasty lager, more of a red or amber lager than an adjunct one, that you can't really tell due to the generous but appropriate use of honey. Certainly much better than most other adjunct lagers out there and even most craft adjunct lagers. I could see myself picking this up again.

 1,224 characters

Photo of Jotora
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HoppySeb
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mick303
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had from the bottle from LCBO West coast taster pack. I actually quite enjoyed this beer. Good appearance, aromas are floral and with a bit of nice honey undertones, pears, and bready malts.

Taste is a bit too sweet and bready to start but lots of the honey and fruity floral notes start to come through and it dries up a little bit toward the finish, toasty bread with honey, still quite malty on the finish, but its clean.

M light, refreshing, a bit sweet and grainy, honey adds some earthy notes, and there is some nice dryness to the finish.

Definitely more flavourful than your average lager, nice balance and honey incorporation, drinks well, just a bit sweet.

 669 characters

Photo of Bunman3
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If I was to compare this to other adjunct lagers, it would be world class. The honey gives this beer a nice balance, like adding flavoured sweetener to a shitty cup of coffee. I wouldn't want to drink a lot of this beer, but it would certainly have its place, apres ski in the place it is brewed.

 296 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a clear light copper colour with a finger width of foamy head. Moderate bubbles are present.

Smell- Sweet aromas of honey, caramel, and a hint of orange zest.

Taste- Mild sweetness of the honey comes through along with malts. Slight hint of brown rice.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with a light carbonation. A surprising silky smoothness.

Overall- An easy drinking lager by Whistler. Very mild flavours but the sweet honey taste and smooth texture makes this quite enjoyable. I see this as a summer refresher. Could use a little work around the edges but still worth a try.

 601 characters

Photo of Coronaeus
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Cycle69
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

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Bear Paw Honey Lager from Whistler Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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