Brown Bear Ale | Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Very Good
11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AtLagerHeads on 04-21-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by FtownThrowDown:
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably the least offensive of Rock Bottoms regular lineup. Medium to full on the mouthfeel and really creamy and smooth. Lots of dark roasted malts, mostly caramel malts. Not complex with a lot of flavor, but not offensive or off putting either. Easy drinking and easily one of the only beers there that I could order more than one of. Decent, but leaves more to be desired.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my cousins for bringing this growler back from Cincinnati. A welcome sight after a long trip.

A: The ale is a coppery brown/red color with no head or lacing after the first pour. Even the first pour only managed to conjure up a thin wisp.

S: The brown ale's nose is chocolatey and nutty malts, not quite at the stout level, but worth mentioning. Alongside the maltiness, a faint hop presence, citrusy, hangs around but adds little other than balance.

T: The ale itself is very drinkable, lightweight too. The malts are bready, with toffee and chocolate flavors, a little nutty, running around. The nutty toffee screams brown ale, however the hop profile is a little low. I wouldn't mind a little more than the faint citrus that currently hangs around.

M: The brown ale is smooth, it's nutty toffee flavors going down easily. It can't hide from its English side.

D: at 5.6%, the ale went down surprisingly easy. After three glasses, I was no worse for wear. Dangerous? Yes, but it was a nice drink to really dig into.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a good dark iced-tea color with a good cap of creamy light mocha. Abundant lacing as the head falls back to a sudsy cover.

Aroma - served awfully cold, but with the time some good roasted grain flavors do come through.

Taste - caramel and roasty malt as expected. A light bready, sour twang on the swallow. More toastiness on the aftertaste and an occasional bit of char. A hint of abv as well, though that may be enhanced by an empty stomach (a chicken chipotle quesadilla to address that shortly).

Mouthfeel - medium to medium-light body, an element of smoothness without feeling slick.

Drinkability - a fine sessionable, especially if you're up for a roasty, malty brew more than a hoppy one. This would pair well with a wide variety of menu options.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having this beer in several Rock Bottom locations (Chicago and Indianapolis), I can tell a few subtleties that differentiate them. Cincinnati's is as flavorful as the others, but less roasty than the Chi-town brew. Perhaps more bold in the chocolate and nutty character than in the Indy brew. Though all good, Cincy's is the best balanced; with more moderate hops, modest fermentation sourness, with a round, full flavor that remains consistant from nose to finish. Nice brew Guy.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a nice ale. A very nice light brown color. The head is very slight, resulting also in little lacing. This is a very malty but complex ale that presents a roasted malt on the nose, but a rather sweet on the palate, and follows smoothly into a complex finish that is pleasantly bitter right toward the end, leaving a nice aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, satisfying a desire for a full beer experience. For a darker ale, this is quite drinkable as well.

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Photo of mcallister
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brownish burgundy brick color. Somewhat like an oxidized red wine. Little head with spotty thin lace.

Malty sweet hazlenut aromas, with a hint of brown sugar, raisin, vanilla, and other dark fruit expressions.

Good pronounced caramel malt, with a hop to balance. Hints of carameled hazlenut, and almond, fig, mollasses, creme de brulee, with some other dried fruits.

Mouth is creamy with a long finish. Only problem is the beer was served at about 70 degrees. Hurting the drinkability.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good example of the style. The appearance of this beer is quite good, being a beautiful mahogany in color with a nice tan head. There is a good head that lasts, and like all the RBRB beers, it showed good lacing down the glass. The nose is farily light on this beer giving off mostly caramel and malt sense. The flavor is malty and nutty with a very good smooth mouthfeel and full body. Very drinkable brown ale.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rock Bottom Portland, OR - Medium-dark brown color. A light bodied brown ale. Mild taste. Slightly roasted malts, somewhat hoppy. Good flavor, but a little thin for a brown ale. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with a late maltyness. A light bodied brown ale. Not a bad summer beer.

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Photo of UpperDecker
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of DrewBeechum
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the AHA Banquet at the Chicago Rock Bottom.

Dark light sucking brown beer that is more mahgony than walnut color. A low head sits on top of the beer and stays thorugh.

Aroma is big and nutty with a whale of roasted caramel apples and cherries. For good effect, a grassy hop comes to clean the aroma.

Flavor is deeply roasty with a chocolate raisin flavor similiar to Special B malt.

Finish is nutty with a sharp American bitterness to wipe the hazelnuts off.

Overall impression is a good beer that really is more a porter than a brown ale.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Cincinnati location. Dark brown color with a thin light beige head and thin lacing. Light aroma of nuts and malt. Medium-bodied and smooth with a decent roasty/nutty flavor. Very smooth and malty finish. Not bad. This would be a decent session ale.

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Brown Bear Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 11 ratings