Big Bear Black Stout
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,110
Ranked #2,596
4.15 | pDev: 9.64%
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout
Notes: Big Bear is a big, black, stout you can really sink your teeth into. The bold, roasty, caramel malt flavor is balanced by Centennial and Cascade hops.

2009 California State Fair – 2nd GOLD
2009 LA International Beer Competition – GOLD
2007 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Stout – SILVER
2002 World Beer Cup - GOLD
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Reviews: 1,158 | Ratings: 2,451 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.13/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Sample from bottle, RBESG 2005 Grand Tasting in Copenhagen. Very dark brown colour. Malty and roasty aroma. Very roasty flavour, a bit too sweet for my taste.

Mar 20, 2021
Photo of SportyCalvin

4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

California aside, this beer is amazing. It's thick yet easily drinkable. I discovered it at Spec's in Austin when looking for stouts. It has a great taste, nice brown color, goes down well. Pretty decent, California considering.

Dec 01, 2019
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AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not really sure why this is considered exceptional. Maybe as a stout, but not when comparing to thousands of other beers. Will not be buying again, but glad I was able to try a single bottle.

Mar 22, 2019
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a pitch black color with a long lasting brown head. The aroma is licorice. The taste is licorice and malt.

Sep 08, 2018
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RaulMondesi from California

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heyo! We got a pretty decent one here, my peeps. Not flat like a runway model, not Coca Cola esque like a runway model holding a Coke... just pretty solid down the line. A lil chocolate here, a lil robustness there... not the best by any means, but aite.

Feb 10, 2018
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BayAreaJoe from California

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle Best By 7/27/2018, consumed 2/3/2018.

Poured deep dark brown, tiny head, minimal lacing.

Aroma seems a bit light, roasted malt, molasses, a bit boozy.

Taste fills out much more robustly with caramel, molasses, chocolate, roasted malt and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, great balance and very pleasant.

Starts slow but finishes strong. A terrific quality stout that's really affordably priced. The best combo.

Feb 03, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small pour at Rohnert Park location. Dark, muddy brown, small ring of beige head. Seems kind of subdued, but picks up the pace fast. Rich roast grains aroma, some chocolate. Taste brings the bitterness, gently, but enough to wake up the palate. Nice mouth feel, smooth. Bitter bite lingers.

Jan 31, 2018
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-steve- from Canada (ON)

4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark, pillowy brown head. Bursting with chocolate and malt aroma. Chewy, roasted malt taste with plenty of chocolate. Boozy aftertaste that is quite nice. Love how the flavours coat the tongue and the dry, roasted notes linger. Exquisite!

Nov 18, 2017
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josanguapo from Spain

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 32 Great Power. In Teku glass. Playing Green Cat. 5 months after bbf (my fault) Herbal hoppy notes like in a Black IPA, some vanilla and chocolate. Abv well hidden

Sep 27, 2017
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matcris from Arizona

4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

About a finger of tan head that sticks around on a black brew. Leaves some nice thick lacing behind, too. Looks Good. The aroma is a bit astringent, like there's some Simcoe trapped in the dungeon, and wanting to get out. I'm getting a lot of a molasses/brown sugar note, some toffee, mild dark chocolate, and some citrus qualities. In the flavor, nice! No astringency, just lots of caramel, milk and dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, tobacco, and the citrus is there on the finish, mildly. The feel is thick and luxurious with average carbonation, and overall, sticky up front, and dry on the finish. I'd buy this again, no problem, especially when it's $3.99 per bomber.

Aug 05, 2017
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whatthehull from California

4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big bear black stout

Poured into a wine glass from a 22oz bottle

A - a really pretty deep dark brown with a hint of black, one finger medium tan head and some lacing

S - lots of vanilla, Tabacco, molasses, caramel, very sweet, nice booze, great hops (light but bright), bright coffee, great roasted/toasted malts, dark earth, banana bread

T - rich dark malts, very sweet, nice alcohol notes, creamy, vanilla pipe tobacco, banana (yeast), ripe berries and bananas, bright but slight hops, terrior,

M - medium body, nice balance, great complexity, great balance, medium carbonation, medium acidity and a near perfect stout

D/O - really nice stout. Color, body, taste, smell and refreshment levels are near perfection. Some homemade salsa and BBQ tri-tip went really well together and just as good on its own. Works well on a cold, warm or hot day and I bet even better in the morning by a fire on a cold snowy day. Bear republic did it again with this guy.

Final thoughts - open or age and you'll be happy. The 8.1 % ABV is perfect and at less than $5 a bomber, why the heck not. Nitro would be amazing as well, I think.

Jun 19, 2017
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with an off white head and spotty lace. Smells robust with a little bit of oxidation. The taste has big roasted note, alcohol, soy and little residual sweetness. Full bodied, well carbonated. Overall it just takes old, I'm not sure if it is but it's definitely fallen behind the times. There are better stouts.

Apr 24, 2017
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap:
Dark bar, so body looks black; even holding to back light I get nothing. The head, in a regular shaker pseudo-pint never leaves. Curtains of lacing; swirls don't remove the curtains, but do produce a classic "lace" pattern.

Nose is roasted malt, pure and simple. It leans a little chocolatey, but only in impression. A light charred wood bitterness accentuates this claim.

Pretty damn smooth beer, this one. If i didn't know better, I'd think it's possible this was on nitro. Not too heavy, though probably just past medium. Muted carbonation that sometimes comes with a thicker feeling beer leads to this silky smooth feel.

Taste is just classic stout. This is a beer I'd expect from breweries like this and AleSmith and Schlafly. Roasted malt producing cocoa maltiness and charred bitterness. I'm sure there are hops, but to me they help that roastiness shine (maybe a light classic citrus-pine as it warms).

Just a thoroughly enjoyable beer if you like the classic version of the style. A must try to see where you stand, IMO.

Apr 13, 2017
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Nicolaiw from Denmark

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with tan head.
Aroma has roasted malt, licorice, coffee,
Taste is roasted malt, little coffee, licorice root, little vague, little sweetness in the finish.

Mar 28, 2017
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Stoutmaster9 from California

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Savored with a chocolate muffin.

Black. Thin head, vanishing quick.

Bittersweet Chocolate with malt, roasted bold. Slight coffee, more than a hint of figgie licorice.

Taste tends to follow the nose. Simple and strong. Bitter, bold and boozy ... Grand!

The earthy-smooth aftertaste counters the bitterness nicely!
Better to enjoy this one on the cold side; as it warms up, this bear gets brutal.

Not my last Bear bomber, t' be sure!

Mar 15, 2017
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BRiddoch from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark coffee color with a small dark tan head. Slightly sweet odor of dark fruits. Sweet rich smoky caramel taste with a smooth finish. Great stout.

Feb 19, 2017
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Inpraiseoffolly from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown almost black with a brown head ,heavy lacing on the glass.Licorice molasses brown sugar aroma. These come through in the taste also with a pleasant sweetness balanced perfectly by moderate hopping .Heavy body like a stout should have.Love it ,if you like heavy balanced flavorful stouts you will probably like this.If you think IPAs are the be all end all stay away

Feb 16, 2017
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princessbay710 from Texas

3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful black pour with a light cocoa head. I can't smell anything at the moment, as I am sick, but 4ish seems to be the general consensus. First thing I taste is the caramel malt, slightly alcoholy. It's a bit one dimensional to me, but bold. Nice mouthfeel.
Note to self: Was worth the try, probably won't be having again.

Feb 05, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really dark brown color with brown head. Aroma has chocolate malt, fudge, brownies and a hint of dried plums. Taste starts with a light fruit note and milk chocolate. Roasty but really balanced. Medium body with lower carbonation. Overall it's a really good imperial stout but not something impressive.

Jan 21, 2017
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours black with a dark brown head.

Smell: The aromas are a combination of roast, caramel, and floral and citrus hops.

Taste: There is a complex balance between the malts and the hops. the flavors of citrus, floral, and and hints of apricot line up the hops. The malts are a combination of roast with caramel in the background. The finish is a combination of bitterness from the malt and to a great degree the hops.

Feel: It has a moderate body with somewhat high carbonation.

Overall this is a stout that provides a balance between the malts and the hops with it being a little hop forward in the finish.

Dec 21, 2016
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Unknown vintage; drank 11/5/14 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/black hue.

Dark tan head; a curtain of lace.

Black licorice & fresh earth nose.

Medium thick, flat mouthfeel.

Fresh earth & mild black licorice flavors up front; a mild pickle juice hop presence emerges as this warms. This is something no imperial stout should be; boring & forgettable.

Nov 28, 2016
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the_awesometeer from California

4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a dark black with a thin foamy brown head. The beer has a nice chocolate smell and roasted nuts with coffee. I get a hint of piney hops under all the deep dark aromas. The beer has a rich chocolate flavor and roasted malts. The coffee flavor is also very strong. The malts bring a slight sweetness under the roasted bitterness. The mouth-feel is very thick and smooth.

Nov 08, 2016
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Act25 from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love the brewer, the county, the attitude. Revisit for 2.25 at corner bodega grant & bush, sf.
Might have been the sativa, but I pushed my rating higher.

A: Pours a dark brown-black color with a 1 inch tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell: Smells IPA-like, with citrus / pine hops mixing with sweet malt, earthy, roasted coffee, and fresh sawn wood notes

Taste: Starts out with a sweet chocolate flavor that blends with dark cherry, licorice, and plum ripe fruits, then in the long finish it's hops, pine, cedar, fresh cut, woody dry kindling flavors into the finish. Sweet and pungent balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with good weight, sticky, and low carbonation.

O: An American Double Stout / RIS that's sticky, sweet, with balance, hefty and smooth. Try 24.

Oct 26, 2016
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leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with four fingers of frothy mocha head.

Smell - roasted malts, cocoa, coffee bean, hint of black licorice, and earthy and leafy hops.

Taste - Roasted malts followed by the bitterness from the cocoa and coffee bean. There is a caramel sweetness that is present as well. The earthy and leafy hops make their presence known followed by the hint of licorice.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes smooth with a lingering bitterness from the malts, cocoa, and coffee bean.

Overall - A big roasty stout from Bear Republic that is dangerously smooth. All flavours work in unison with one another. A nice find here in Cowtown.

Oct 08, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Here comes the thick black stout with 1/2" brown head. Aroma hits the chocolate and roasted coffee from the malt feels, but also drops a substantial Cascade hop contingent.

This is quite a hoppy stout. No aspect is underdone, its big on the roast, malt and hops. Thankfully the mouthfeel doesn't reveal a lot of alcohol. Yeast is neutral. Chewy.

Sep 28, 2016
Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2451 ratings