Lighthouse Ale | Bar Harbor Brewing Company

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Lighthouse AleLighthouse Ale

Brewed by:
Bar Harbor Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to the judges at the World Beer Championships, one of the world's best English Mild Ales comes from the opposite side of the pond. Once you savor this ale's rich, roasted malt flavors and subtle aromatic hops, you'll agree.

Added by UncleJimbo on 04-10-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 74
Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass:

A: brown/orange colored body with a one finger white head that dissipates to a film and lingers for a minute. A perfect foamy lacing surrounded the sides of the glass. Barely any carbonation was seen rising.

S: some fruits, possibly plum. The hops are subdued but are slightly noticeably there.

T: light maltiness to it. Some of the fruits came back. There were some slight chocolatey tones to the taste. The hops are lightly balanced in. Closer to the end of the beer, some raisins came out.

M: medium and very balanced. The lightness of the ABV helped contribute to a mainly drinkable beer.

O: this was an excellent beer. I would have this again in a heartbeat. With all that is going on between the taste and the smell, in my opinion, it is hard not to want this again.

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Photo of Risser09
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a white wine glass · fridge · late 2011

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color. 1.5" head, light yellow, great retention, some lacing.

Smell: Pilsner malt. Hay, earthiness. Mostly a malty aroma.

Taste: More pilsner taste with a light hop addition. Barely any alcohol. I like how vibrant the beer is in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: See above. Great vibrance in the mouth with carbonation activity. Bright and low alcohol.

Overall: A solid brew that could be drunk in mass quantities (think sporting events or outdoor activities). I would enjoy this one again.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice copper color with a white fizzy head on top. The aromas of grains, hops, and malts all come together on the nose of this brew. The smell is light but big enough to draw you in. The taste of the beer is quite good, it's slightly sweet up front, a little toasty in the middle and finishes with a pretty interesting hop bitterness. It's got some nice transitions from start to finish. The mouthfeel was light and had a decent amount of carbonation. Overall I enjoyed it, I was glad I tried it.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint 6 fl. oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A fleeting off white soapy head is made but disappears shortly after being poured. Body style sits and gives off an orange cloudy dull amber, with some quick rising cola like carbonation bubbles. No lacing at all leaving a minimal collar.

Bouquet is quite nice. Clean and light toasted malts, getting into baked bread territory. Feels good this seems like it could be full of flavor.

Taste is kind of weak marmalade orange, but only slowly brings the toastyness on the swallow. Finish is brown bread crust, with a wet body feel. Extremely light, but also quite enjoyable, but I'll give expected wetness for such a low abv.

Overall this is packed with flavor for such a low abv. Kind of looks a little flat though, nonetheless I would have this again at a drop of a hat over many other beers.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice medium brown outr of the bottle hits the glass and pushes up a snooth head of off white foam.

aroma is as earthy as it can get. deep malty nose, hints of leather, oak, nice touches of roasty malts and earthy grains. really just wonderfully balanced and smooth, nothing heavy here at all and this carries over perfectly into the flavor which was nothing short of stellar. smooth, creamy and tea like flavors dominate with hints of oak, earthy and muted hops and a deep resonated earthy grain that really shows itself off

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Photo of silentjay
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a copper straw color with a quickly disappearing head that leaves just a tad of lacing.

lots of buttery bread with some herbal hops in the nose and some light caramel sweetness.

caramel, bread, butter, herbal tea, fruity esters, a bit of tinfoil. some lemony hops maybe as well. pretty simple, but that's by design. I think its a bit too sweet though, for me.

slightly carbonated and light/medium bodied but with an oily finish that keeps the sweetness around too long.

meh. a style that is very hard to find a good example of around here. I'll pass on this one in search of a better example.

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Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice fluffy 1.5 finger head fades at a med pace no lacing, mostly clear pale honey color.

Nose light malts, hints if toasty malts, some light earthy and touch herbal hops.

Taste starts with light herbal hops, a bit similar to uk style bitter, touch earthy hops and even hint of fruity hops, light malts, little toasty malt, mostly dry to start and finishes even drier, light lingering herbal hops and touch of bitterness. At least there's nothing off.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall kinda boring, not much going on and the hops are not the best character imo, and the bitterness is barely detectable.

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Photo of ztaylor1
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- pours a cloudy amber. With a small head that retreats quickly.

Smell- sweet malt, a little metallic. Mild hops.

Taste- bitter upfront with a strong malt dominance, kind of rye-like. But thankfully not as metallic as the smell suggested.

Mouthfeel- it has a light presence without being all that watery. Not bad.

Drinkability- the light mouthfeel makes it easy to drink while watching the tube.

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Photo of rsgcwhite
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny Amber appearance that pours a moderate head that rapidly diminishes to a fine lacing.

The aroma is critus, dry and with light caramel notes - but the aroma is not strong. Like being near a cave in springtime surrounded by citrus rinds. Or asking your friend during a long ride, "What is that?"; "Did you just eat an orange?"

The taste is initially malty and dry, with a bizarre 'old bread' aftertaste - sort of like an unseasoned crouton. It's...odd. It tastes unbalanced - it has an almost metallic feel to it, and I keep checking the bottom of the glass to see if I dropped a nickel in it.

As the bottle progresses, the sensation diminishes - the fairly descent hoppiness lingers on the tongue and drowns the other flavors. The hops give it an almost grapefruit character. Mouthfeel is dry but appropriately so for an ale.

Overall, this beer takes you for an adventure - but for all its advantages and misgivings, it seems more or less a unique but fundamentally average ale - even if it is an English Dark Mild one.

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Photo of mavbrew
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a finger thick off-white head that quickly disappears to basically nothing in a few seconds time.

S: Not much nose going on here, slight scent of roasted malts and has a bit of a bread smell to it.

T: Has a very smoky flavor with a little malt flavor. Really nothing is catching my attention in this beer, just a run of the mill beer to me.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Has some bitterness in the finish.

D: Not my favorite beer, just an average beer in my opinion. Not a bad beer but nothing jumped out at me. Probably wouldn't try it again.

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Photo of beer2day
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge fluffy head atop a heavily carbonated honey gold pour. Excellent retention and lace. A little too much head though.

Banana comes through strong in the nose, more in the form of banana bread. Underlying notes of nuts and sweets back that up.

Heavy carbonation up front. Really lots of fizz. Nice mild malt format. Slightly sweet with dark, ever so lightly roasted malt. Faint hint of dried fruit and caramel.

Feel is very light and airy, as one would expect.

Excellent session drinker. Easily put down a six in three hours with very little after effects.

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Photo of steveh
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -- Hazy, amber to light copper in color with an off-white head that settles quickly to a thin cap.

S -- Biscuit malt with vague fruit esters.

T -- Mild (no pun) Marris Otter malt with that vaguely tart/sour character that identifies Ringwood yeast. Some light caramel back and citrus character in the finish.

M -- Medium light body with a smooth mouthfeel. Finishes on the dry side.

D -- Very easy drinking and leaving room for more. No off characters or extreme flavors to tire the palate. A true sessionable beer.

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Photo of Crazy4LegMoose
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy translucent orange/brown hue with 1 finger of golden brown head that leaves a nice grown and faint lacing.

S: Smells of caramel malt with hints of coffee bitterness and sweet ginger ale

T: Caramel flavor is the dominant one in this brew. Slight hints of vanilla and a twinge of lemon hop bitterness. Very smooth mild ale without a true hop bite.

M: Medium-heavy bodied creamy ale. Very smooth carbonation that gives a fuller body.

D: Average drinkability. Taste was mild as expected, but flavors were not as interesting to keep me coming back for too many more.

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Photo of Kallessin
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange/amber color with a moderate foamy off white head. It's mostly clear with a very faint haze.

Has a sweet malt aroma with some slight caramel. The aroma was very mild, a little too mild. I found it difficult to detect very much, but what I did find was pleasant.

A very strong sweet maltiness up front. I was extremely surprised with the first sip. I wasn't expecting such a mouthful of flavor. There were then some light fruity flavors with some biscuit/toast flavors as well. The caramel flavor was prevalent throughout. There wasn't any smoky flavor, as suggested on the bottle, however. Overall the flavor was very pleasantly mild, with the exception of the first full flavored sip.

It had a very smooth and well rounded palate coating feel to it, but pretty light and thin. Good carbonation. Again, very enjoyable.

I would love to have this beer again. For a beer this light and with such mild flavors it's fantastic. Smooth, easy to drink, very well balanced flavors. Great beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Quickly dying head that leaves no lace. Bright golden color and quite clear.

Mild aromas of pale grains. Crisp.

Crisp, almost a lager. The body is thin and the carbonation is high. The flavor is good for a mild, but I would not describe this as a dark one.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer is well framed by the style description, pouring a dark golden color with an off white head that fades to next to no lace rather quickly. the aroma gives the faint roasted character and not a whole lot else. the taste follows with a good malt character, nice and toasty sweet... the medium body and good co2 make it a good drink.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a grainy pale and Vienna malt scent along with a very dry, almost metallic aroma. The taste is decent as well. Again, it has a grainy pale and Vienna malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with some sweetness and little to no hop character. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker, but not something I'd choose to drink often.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased at Florian's Market in Auburn, Maine, split with BA CheckMate. Pours a murky brick red with less than a half inch of off-white head that dissipates quickly. Caramel, biscuit, with earthy hops and a slight fruitiness in the aroma, along with a touch of butterscotch. Butterscotch, nut, spice, slightly vinous, earthy and slightly herbal. Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Fairly quaffable overall, my favorite example of the style but a fairly decent beer.

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Photo of CheckMate
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber obtained at Florians Market in Auburn, ME. shared with BA member MrHurmateeowish. pours a murky dark amber with a quarter inch of off white head that quickly dissipated. scents of citrus, spices, malty. tastes of pepper, citrus, doughy-ness quality, toffee, a tinge of smokiness, tabacco or a tea quality, with a woody character also. quite effervescent. alot going on for a beer with a low ABV, IMO. but very tasty none the less. Compliments to the Brewer!


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Photo of u2carew
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Pours with a two finger head then settles quickly. Has thin flimsy lacing, but does it have active carbonation! Copper in color and transparent.
S) Sweet notes of toffee mixed with grainy dryness. A some hop tones flying under the radar.
T) Malty sweet. Some bready-ness. Very light hops in the finish.
M) Fizzy but not overwhelming and still nicely smooth. Light bodied. A bit of dryness.
D) A nice refreshing ale, but doesn't stand out.

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Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: light orange/brown in color, high carbonation, clear, 1/4 inch head

Smell: malt and caramel

Taste: malt and caramel

Mouthfeel: I can feel the high carbonation here. It is sweet, medium bodied, and very smooth

Drinkability: Nice and malty. Very good according to style guidelines. Because of the low ABV, this makes for a perfect session beer...Another winner for Bar Harbor.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery brown color with moderate carbonation, very little head. Nose is fairly intense and has lots of nutty elements. Taste is mild, again with the nuttyness, its also fairly crisp without being bitter or acidic. Chunky on the palate, this is a very good beer and a good session beer at only 3.2% abv!

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Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber or 2 of this from Tully's in Wells, Maine. Poured this deal into a Fuller's imperial pint glass, 'cause it seemed like it was the right thing to do.

Pours a deep, dark, freshly-brewed sweet tea color...almost a heavy bourbon hue. Head is very thin...1/3 finger...and goes quickly. A little bit of carbonation in there.

Very mild (imagine that) aroma but there's a sweet sarsparilla feel to the prominent malt quotient. Noble hop presence is, for lack of a better word, quite British. A little grass but that's about it. Nothing wrong with this deal at all; it's just reallly mellow.

Hey, there's almost a bit of smokiness here. Malts are soft and mellow, and the smoke reminds me of smoked sausage and even bangers & mash...that steamed stewiness. It tastes like being in a big London pub. Mild hop grass again, the stewy malt also delivers a hint of caramel sweetness.

So friggin' clean to the palate...not heavy, either. Finish is smooth, silky and velvety. For the flavor profile, it's virtually weightless but by no means shallow.

Sooo...THIS is a true session ale? Before I know it my pint is empty. Wouldn't have trouble enjoying this all evening. Well-done.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of bottle bought at the brewery this beer was a clear, chestnut brown color with a two finger head of khaki foam. The retention was a little above average, the bubbles quickly formed a tight cap, and the lacing was very good. The aroma was slightly musty, pale malt and some nuttiness. Little detectable hops. The flavors were similarly slanted towards malt, along with a grainy note in the middle, the aforementioned nuttiness and some hops at the very end. Dry finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and the body medium. At only 3.2% ALC this beer was clearly designed to be a session brew and it hit its mark.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper with a fizzy white head that disappeared quickly. No real lacing.

Smells faintly of sweet malt, caramel, and chocolate.

Mild flavors here. Light caramel with roasted malt notes, a little hint of chocolate, some bitterness. A thin mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. You can drink this one easy enough, but it feels like someone watered down a really good beer. Leaves you wanting for more, but more in terms of flavor. Just ok. Got a sample from a friend -- won't request this or seek it out.

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Lighthouse Ale from Bar Harbor Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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