Bare Bear
Off Color Brewing

Bare BearBare Bear
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Finnish Sahti
Ranked #8
Ranked #21,301
3.84 | pDev: 10.16%
Off Color Brewing
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Bare BearBare Bear
Notes: A long time ago in Finland, a bunch of Finnish dudes built a sauna. It was nicer in there than it was outside, so they stayed in there until they ran out of beer. When they ran out of beer they still didn't want to go outside so they decided it would be better if they just started brewing their beer in the sauna. And so began the tradition of brewing this traditional Finnish beer in saunas. Chock full of rye and juniper and spicy yeast esters, our sahti might inspire you to build your own sauna to ride out this winter.

20 IBU
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 243 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown in color. It poured with a short off white head that quickly settled down, leaving just a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts and rye are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of rye malts along with some associated spiciness and hints of juniper berries.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be very easy to drink as it was neither too malty or spicy. There seemed to be the perfect amount of rye and juniper berries without being overpowering.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Harrison8
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a lightly murky burnt-orange with two fingers of khaki foam. Aroma is plum, figs, raisins, caramel and toffee with a hint of bready malts. It smells lightly sweet. Flavor profile is plums, figs, raisins, toffee, caramel and bready, earthy malts. Great initial sweetness that drys out on the tongue slightly towards the finish. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with an expansive, soft effervescence. Overall, pleasant sugary notes mingle with a soft carbonation to create a smooth sipping and enjoyable Sahti.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L-The beer pours initially clear amber which becomes cloudy once the entire pour is completed. The head is 3 fingers of densely packed off white bubbles. The head recedes to a thin ring with a few spots of lacing.
S- Initial aroma is of sweet dark spice bread. The sweet aspect fades and some tartness comes to the fore when the glass is swirled. Some mustiness and alcohol are there to be found amongst the other pieces.
T- The palate is a complex mix of the elements in the nose. There is less tartness than the nose suggested, but more of the breadiness. I'm not really sure what a juniper berry is supposed to add here, but overall I'm digging the maltiness of this. There is just the slightest evidence of the alcohol, but not enough to distract.
F- Mouthfeel overall is medium. Carbonation is aggressive as you would expect from a wild ale style.
O- Different. My first try in this style. It's made a good impression and I would try more in the style if I saw it. Malty, highly carbed, and complex is maybe the best way to describe it.

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Photo of sphmiel
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another interesting beer from Off Color, with a great label.
Pours reddish, brown, quickly fading head, aroma of breads malts.
Bready malts with a sharp spicy note, think dark rye bread without the caraway seeds.
Lingering resin/juniper.
Not sure if true to style for Sahti, but worth trying

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i thought this one was awesome, i really dug this. i have had the bottle for a little while and didnt want to have it fade on my, so busted it out last night. a rye beer with juniper done in the sahti style, not enough of these out there i dont reckon, i have liked all of them that i have had. the label is amazing, i love their art! the beer has a mid red to light brown color with a frothy tan head with great retention, easily replenishing itself with every twirl of the glass, i sip it slowly and drink the beer over the course of about an hour and the head never goes anywhere. the aroma here is sweeter than expected, i get the rye but its not its usual dry and spicy self, instead its a baked slightly sweeter or breadier complexion, nice with the red caramel type malts in here. the juniper element is light, perhaps faded some from extended time in the bottle, but i like the spruce and wintery density it contributes, woody and heart and scandinavian in vibe to me. the flavor is awesome, the yeast is more prominent in the mix than it smells like it will be, almost english to me here with all the grain but also unique, makes this really interesting. the wild card is the red wine staves, this isnt woody, but there is a cool berry sort of fruity and lightly tannic element that i think is killer with the juniper and adds an intangible kind of depth to this, a weight and a wintery energy that it needs, hard to place, but it would be missing if it werent here. a little brown sugar sweetness, smooth and frothy feeling, even almost creamy, with a little rye spice at the end playing well with whats left of the juniper. this is drinkable for what it is, insanely nuanced and unique, and of the same high quality i have come to admire and expect from off color. one of their better beers really, i loved this! totally one of a kind.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.
Pours clear medium brown with a good beige head.
Complex aroma that suggests rye, wood, hops, and spicy yeast.
The flavor follows. More rye than juniper. Earthy.

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Photo of hman43
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours brown and cloudy. The head is tan and head retention is moderately low.

Smell: There are aromas of bananas, caramel, and juniper berries. These are all fairly balanced. It is a bit sweet, bready, and has a spicy background.

Taste: The flavors are featured with banana and spice. It is fairly heavy in rye flavor as well. It has a sweet flavor toward the end with is like slow gin. The spiciness with some clove becomes more pronounced towards the end of the flavoring.

Feel: It has a full body with some alcohol warming. It has moderate carbonation with a spicy, sweet, gin like finish.

Overall, a unique taste sensation compared to other styles with a great juniper, rye, and banana flavor combination.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Haven't had many Sahtis so kind of hard to rate. That being said it is a lighter than expected beer but in a good way. Full of spicey and earthy notes to go with the sweet malt and yeast, rye stands out, berries finish. Almost like a lighter and more nuanced winter warmer. Has a rustic complexion while having decent breadiness. Fun

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only beer I've had in the style so I wasn't sure what to expect.
It pours a dark copper color with a quickly dissipating head.
The aroma is slightly funky and spicy with a light Pilsner malt and an un identified fruity ester.
The flavor is definitely different. Its Pilsner malt with a funkiness that is between farmhouse yeastiness and a gin like flavor on the finish.
The mouthfeel is light and bubbly, very refreshing.
Overall, I like this beer. I've never had another in the style so I can't compare it to anything else, but I'm enjoying it.

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Photo of matjack85
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked these up at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL where it was sold as a 4 pack for $6.99, making a single 12oz bottle about $1.75 each. This was my first Sahti style beer so I didn't know what to expect. Not sure if all are made with rye, but this one was. No expiration date, but the company website says it's only brewed in the winter and this is Feb 1, so it's probably stull fresh.

Be careful when you open this and go easy with the pour. As soon as the cap came off the beer started overflowing the bottle and running down the sides. When poured into my pint glass, half the glass was filled with foam, so I had to wait until it settled down before I could see it's color and retention. It turned out to be a bit hazy and the color of an old copper penny. Despite taking up half the glass with off-white head, the head dissipated rapidly until there was nothing left after about 30 seconds.

The beer smelled like most its ingredients - rye, juniper berries, and sweet malt.

The taste was very pleasant. The rye was very prominent, but not harsh. The juniper berries and the six malts put it on the sweet side but nothing cloying. The juniper berries also gave it a light fruitiness. Not a big hop presence at just 20 IBUs, but enough to help balance out all the malt. I was told some sahtis are brewed without any hops at all, so I guess the low hop count is normal for this style. In any case I liked it.

This was a medium bodied beer with only a moderate amount of carbonation.

This may not be a typical sahti as I don't know if other ones are made with rye or other grains, but I liked how it tasted and at just 7.0% alcohol it's not so boozy that you can't have a second one.

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Photo of stortore
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Had 4/11/17.

Pours a mostly clear light amber, with a one and a half inch foamy head and a decent amount of foamy lacing. Smells of black pepper, light juniper, yeast, bread, rye, vanilla, a light funk. The taste is light malt, juniper, yeast, rye, light vanilla and caramel, a little cola flavor. Smooth, good body, carbonated a little on the higher side, almost fizzy.

It’s good, with a nice balance among the flavors. The juniper was not as prominent as expected.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. No beer dating found on bottle or label.
Cloudy, pale amber colored body. Off white persistent thin head. Lacing slides back into glass.
Bready aroma with spicy rye notes, juniper and caramel.
Malty taste, with rye spice. Juniper, with vinous notes. Quick taste profile with not a lot of aftertaste.
Medium mouth feel, with ample carbonation.
Beer that is placed geographically in the northern climes, with the rye and juniper influences.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
2.59/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Taste: Grainy, rye, juniper, yeast and biscuit notes with dry finish. Same with the nose. Gold/Amber hue, clear, with a smaller head and lace. Medium light body. would pair Ok with Asian foods. 20 IBUs

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Sahti, and this also makes beer style #100 for me. Fuck yeah! Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a chestnut color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is bready, some juniper. Taste is juniper, malts, cherries, a bit on the sweet side. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, although not something I would drink regularly.

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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color verging on tea brown; a one inch head leaves a few spots

Smell: Caramel tones with hints of rye and juniper

Taste: Caramel and bready tones forward, with the spicy rye tones building in the middle; the juniper berry adds another dimension, after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lwo to moderate carbonation

Overall: Haven't had many Sahtis so I don't know how good a representation of the style this is; reasonably enjoyable but I was done before the full bottle was consumed

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Photo of FBarber
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, pretty clear. Fizzy cola like head dissipates quickly leaving no residual head or lacing. Lots of fizzy cola like bubble continue to bubble upwards from the beer.

Smell is bready with some spicy rye notes, some fruity esters, pine and juniper, and roasted nuts.

Taste follows the nose with a spicy rye bread malt up front giving way to some pin and juniper flavors. Notes of nuts, strong yeast with fruity esters, and spice - nutmeg, cinnamon and clove on the back end. This would make an amazing fall beer.

Feel is very full bodied - thick bready backbone comes through in the feel. Mild carbonation. Spicy rye finish on the back end.

Overall this is a unique but well crafted beer. Rich, deep, and warming. Ill definitely revisit this one this fall.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a dark hazy brown color with a slim level foamy white head maintained a nice retention and left some sliding stringy lacing. The smell had sweet bready malt up front and then bleeding into light rye spice, sweet cherries, sweet juniper, molasses, honey and some light caramel. The taste was mainly malty sweet with a sticky sweet herbal quality. A slight sticky aftertaste leads into the same sort of finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body. Carbonation runs fairly low. Sweetness seems to hit right on my tongue. Overall, its a good sahti, I’d probably have it again.

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Photo of TonyLema1
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: light amber, big head, minimal lacing
S: biscuit malt, not much nose
T: light malt, spices, earthiness
F: tons of mouthfeel, very spicy finish
O: better than expected

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark coppery amber with very little carbonation on the pour, but a light off-white ring around the glass with little lacing. Aroma of slightly sweet caramel and biscuit malt, root spices, banana and slight rye. Flavor is sweet bready and caramel malt, earthy spices, rye; with the rye asserting itself into a thinner, spicier almost medicinal taste, then settling in for a spicy finish with light rye tartness, residual caramel and hints of nuts. Medium bodied with some light creaminess at first, but thinner in the finish. An interesting spiced ale. I'm not really getting puer juniper flavors, althought it must be the major contributor to the medicinal flavor in the middle and perhaps the rooty, earthy spicing throughout. Quite different than the Scandinavian or Dogfish Head's sahtis I've tasted, but equally flavorful and interesting. I really like the start and finish, but a little more malt support for the spicy, somewhat stark middle would be better. Still really liked this. The spicing is well done and the malt is interesting. It is odd that there are not much clear juniper notes, considering how bright those flavors are in the native plant. I like what Off Color has been doing. Good job.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours foggy hazy copper-amber with a creamy off-white foam head. Smells like banana, clove, juniper, spice, rye, caramel, toasted bready malts, oak, mild wine, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes very earthy with some banana, clove, oak, mild wine, juniper, spice, rye, caramel, toasted bready malts, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and crisp with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice sahti style beer.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours dark amber and somewhat hazy. Only a small head and with a retention of a few seconds. Lots of caramel and dark fruit on the nose. Some banana and clove. Also juniper berries and caramelized sugars. It tastes very similar. Not much bitterness. Sweetish in fact. Thin body. A very unique beer.

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Photo of Maestro0708
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer gets extra points on appearance because of its label/packaging. Off Color always does a good job with it's quirky drawing-style artwork.

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a small off white head that retreats quickly.

Smell is sweet malts, rye spiciness and dark fruit.

Taste follows the nose, with rye spice up front. The finish is sweet. I'm having trouble isolating any juniper berry flavors, perhaps it's there in the vague fruitiness I'm getting.

Feel is medium bodied and well-carbonated.

Overall, I quite like this beer. My first of the style and I'm glad I picked this up!

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Photo of fscottkey
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.00] The bottle lists the ABV (7.0%). There is a smudged off date code but it includes 2017 - so I am calling this fresh. Brown with ruby highlights. Has 1 finger of off white head with medium bubbles. The color is kind of intriguing.

S: [3.50] Vegital, leather, wet brown bread, dark cherries, carrots (there is a lot going on in the nose)

T: [3.25] It has a Belgian yeast undertone followed with brighter fruity notes. Nothing in the malty range.

M: [2.75] Really prickly carbonation. Like soda levels of carbonation.

O: [3.50] This is really unique. The smells and the carbnation are making it so hard to settle on if I like it or not. I keep retrying it. It almost has the taste and feel of a malt beverage (wine cooler) with the fruity notes and carbonation. I probably won't get this again - but I will try something else from this brewery - they aren't afraid to mix it up and innovate.

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Photo of bwood06
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at my local liquor store here in the burbs since my parents were coming into town and I wanted something local and interesting for my Dad and I to try out together. This once caught my eye as being a bit off the wall for American styles and the local craft scene, plus I've heard of Sahtis and have been dying to try one for some time now.

This beer pours a dark amber hue that is a bit hazy resulting in not being able to see through it all the way. Carbonation is quite high and the head is a thick froth (off white in color) that dissipates incredibly slowly after climbing very rapidly. 4/5 The aroma is of moderate strength and leans toward the bitter end of the spectrum but is still nicely balanced. Malt aromas of raw grain, wheat bread, roasted nuts, and caramel come through quite nicely along with an earthy and herbal hop profile. The aroma as brings out a bit of peat and rye spiciness, especially as the beer warms. 3.75/5 The flavor is fairly strong with a slight lean towards bitter as opposed to sweet. The malt profile starts things off with rye and wheat breads, light sweet caramel, and roasted nuts. There is a slightly sweet berry flavor that comes through although this quickly transitions into earthy and herbal hops along with juniper berries that lend a resiny flavor to the beer, mainly on the back end. The finish is fairly short and moderate in strength with a balance of sweetness of the malt and bitterness from the hops and juniper. Bitterness is low to moderate in strength. 3.25/5 This is a medium bodied beer that has lively carbonation and creates both a mouth coating and prickly sensation on the tongue, depending on the area of the tongue. The mouthfeel disappears quite quickly after swallowing. 3.5/5 This is an incredibly interesting beer, although the rye just doesn't do it for me regardless of whether that is true to style or not (in this case, I'm not sure whether it is or not due to my inexperience with this style). It was definitely a fun beer to dissect with my Dad at the very least. 3.5/5

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Photo of Stooven
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most immediate reminder -- though on the opposite spectrum in regards to feel -- is Maudite. Pours from a 12oz bottle into a snifter in a dark amber, cloudy ruby with a decent head. Carbonation is ever-present and lasting, but pulls a trick that Off Color neighbors Ten 90 have yet to pull, in that the super carbo doesn't intrude on the overall drinkability. Still, it's a sipper, but the constantly moving liquid frequently pulls up as much tart fruit as it does muddled plum and currant.

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Bare Bear from Off Color Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 243 ratings