Black Bear Gearhead Ale | Black Bear Brewery

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31 Ratings

Brewed by:
Black Bear Brewery
Maine, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gearhead Ale is a malt forward dark amber ale. There are caramel and roasted notes, and a slight English hop character. This is a very smooth beer that leaves you wanting another sip to explore the subtle complexities.

27 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 08-20-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by Vylo:
Photo of Vylo
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of Cavanaghty
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish brown with a thick off white head, heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Malts and hops

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of malts and bitter hops.

Overall: Good brew, I would have this one again.

 258 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.52/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black Bear- Gearhead Ale

A- Ruddy red with a small non lacing head,
S- Sweet tangy malt with cherry.
T- Tangy and sour. Sweet malt with a touch of cherry and grape.
M- Tangy with a slight whiskey sour-like feel. Finishes off crisp and watery.

Overall- Rather bland. I'll finish the bomber no problem but I wouldn't drink again.

 331 characters

Photo of mmorris15
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ricknelson
3.22/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DJoe
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of adjunctlager
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. Pours an orange-red color with a pretty big, frothy off-white head. Aroma is sweet caramel malts, chocolate, a hint of fruits, and citrus. Flavor is sweet malts, chocolate, a hint of roasted malts, fruits, and a light earthy hop flavor. Mouthfeel is light-medium, creamy, and a hint of bitterness. Pretty decent beer.

 332 characters

Photo of CSeavey64
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of sulldaddy
3.09/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into an english pint glass. the beer pours a deep chestnut color with a soft fluffy beige head of 3 cm foaming up easily and fading gradually, leaving some craters on the foamy surface as it recedes.
Aroma is some caramel malt and a bit of husky grain. A hint of chocolate floats in and also some tangy almost wheat like notes. Just a little off maybe.
First sip reveals an average body with mild tingly carbonation. The texture is rather non descript, not thick, chewy or syrupy, but certainly not watery either.
Flavor is about what I expected with some caramel and toffee hints mixing with hints of soft baker's chocolate in the background. There is a light floral hop flavor but not much. This Red ale definitely falls on the malty side of the style and is very one dimensional and something just doesnt quite work in the beer. I am glad to have tried this but would shy away from it if offered/seen again.

 962 characters

Photo of ale207
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of berley31
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Had on-tap at the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor. This beer had absolutely no head at all, and was a dark amber color, and very murky. It pretty much looked like mud mixed with water.

S: I could barely pick up anything at all, other than very faint malt.

T: Very, very malty... a real malt bomb this beer was. Lots of nice roastiness in there, with a slightly bitter finish. Definitely interesting.

M: Medium-bodied and quite creamy, and extremely soft carbonation.

D: Not bad... I was a little put-off by the look of the beer, and its lack of aroma, but the taste and mouthfeel helped pull it up a notch. Worth trying at least once.

 635 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, ruby-hazed brown coloring with a sparse, frothy, filmy coating of head. Aromas of roasted nut and caramel sweetness, very mild and smooth. A touch of smoke in the nose, also. Flavors are heavily roasted, with a dark caramel backbone and some smokey highlights, and a touch of wet, resiny hops at the end. Tangy and sweet aftertaste with a slightly cloying, sweet finish. Smooth bodied and full flavored, this is tasty.

 485 characters

Photo of RevCraig
4.75/5  rDev +37.3%

Photo of Jonny41
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of BigRizz62
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Casterbridge
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Yeastcakes
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving notes - 0.5L German glass,
A - Rich caramel malt with some sweetness that is cherry-like to me. Richer malty aromas come out as the beer warms. Notes that seem almost spicy to me also come out.
A - Three fingers of medium-thick off-white head. A nice quarter-inch head stays throughout the drink. Dark, but clear, ruby color.
M - Medium to full body. Low carbonation.
T - Malt is dominant - mainly caramels and toffees with a very light sweetness. Some hops in the background in support.
D - This is a wonderfully balanced red ale. It is not to sweet and has a complex maltiness that I could take sip after sip of.

 624 characters

Photo of Mike_B
3.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jmsedgwick
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of brewnme
3.66/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Off the tap in Bangor this beer was a reddish copper color with a thin beige head. Weak retention but good lacing off the tiny collar. The aroma was of roasted malt with some background hops. The flavors were very hoppy for the style like Killian's Irish Red on steroids. The flavors were full of dry grains and the roasted malt was present but it was misbalanced. The finish was notably hoppy and bitter. The body was medium, the mouthfeel smooth and the carbonation low enough for it to be quaffable.

 502 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Belittle
4/5  rDev +15.6%

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Black Bear Gearhead Ale from Black Bear Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 31 ratings