Bar Harbor Real Ale | Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ

366 Ratings
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Bar Harbor Real AleBar Harbor Real Ale

Brewed by:
Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Maine, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A good, clean nut brown ale with a malty body. This is our most popular ale due to its smooth and malty flavor.

We use a mixture of pale, crystal and black malts in this one, and our primary hop is Target, though we also add some Whitbread Goldings Variation as well.

The Real Ale is best fresh, so fresh in fact, that it's great right out of the bright tank.

Added by UnionMade on 07-25-2001

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Reviews: 218 | Ratings: 366
Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This brown ale pours a fairly dark brown color with a slight red tint and a somewhat thin white head. The smell is pleasant, malty, and a little bit of sweet caramel. The taste is malt heavy, like any good brown ale, and somewhat complex with flavors of brown bread, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate, hazelnut, and some roast grains. It’s maybe a little sweeter and richer than the average brown ale, but it doesn’t go too far in my opinion. The finish is smooth and a little bit creamy with a little punch of hop bitterness. The body is medium. This is a really great brown ale, definitely underrated. As it warmed a bit the flavors became kind of washed out and muted though, so make sure it is drank cold.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.55/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown in color with a small tan head. Very malty taste more like a stout rather but over all good. Goes down smooth and creamy. worth giving this one a tray

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Photo of illpass78
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

14 oz. on tap at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine, home of your Portland Pirates.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola color with a short white head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma: A little caramel, a little grain. Fairly light in the nose.

Taste: Pretty tasty, malt-forward beer. Caramel and toast notes are up front. Hops strike me as muted. This was served really cold and I think it might actually have more flavor served a little warmer. Solid sessionable brown ale, though.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body. Well balanced; has substance while still being easy on the palate.

Overall: Nice, easy-drinking brown. It wasn't what I expected; I thought this was going to be a big, "old ale" a la North Coast's old ale, and I was way wrong. A pleasant beverage nonetheless.

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Photo of tekstr1der
2.78/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a massive, unstoppable heap of dense off-white foam. Underneath there is some brown liquid, but I can't quite reach it. Trying harder, i get to the rather bland nutty and metallic flavor - like my first attempt at home-brewing a brown ale so many years ago. Big fan of their coal porter, but this is not quality.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.66/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color.
Tan creamy head.
Thick, Creamy mouthfeel.
Malty and sweet but not as sweet as some brown ales.
Earthy hop bitterness and a some what dry finish.

A very good beer.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.28/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with tall, long lasting, fluffy, off-white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of sour bread, nutty malt and some chocolate. Body is medium and tangy. Taste is very astringent, toasted malt, herbal hops not very pleasant. Finish is long and astringent. It seems the bottle is way past due.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Best By 06/07/14. Sampled on February 12, 2014.

The pour is an attractive looking mahogany brown with a short-lived of-white head that fades and leaves some lacing behind.

Sweet malts, nuts, and for lack of a better description pipe smoke on the aroma.

The body was a bit lighter than I may have liked but it had a smooth quality to it too.

The malts play up at first in the taste with some feint nuttiness and butter. Mildly bitter finish.
Easy drinking.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, no date

fairly clear chestnut brown in color, nice creamy off-white colored head. very good head retention and lacing. not a huge aroma, but toasty smell. taste is mild, all biscuity bready malt. earthy flavor. thinner body , moderate carbonation.

overall - decent drinking, but I would prefer a much fuller body.

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Photo of scotorum
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 12/31/13. The label on mine is different than in the pic here, all brown and dark green, different ship, emphasis on "Atlantic" and "Real Ale."

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Deep nearly clear ruby with an unbelievably expansive offwhite head which required half a dozen successive pours to avoid it overflowing the 12 oz. glass. Given the cloudy dregs this may be bottle conditioned, especially since it calls itself a "real ale." However there is no mention of bottle conditioning on the label.

s: Nothing at first, eventually a mild aroma of caramel malt.

t: Very mild flavor, surprisingly so considering the dark color and murky last ounce of pour. As it warms, caramel malt becomes evident. Seems very low hopped.

m: Light to moderate. Watery tinges now and then.

o: A good dinner beer and pretty good for sessioning, but would not recommend this as an evening sipper. Perhaps it would at least have more carbonation zing if it were poured out more slowly than I did, to minimize the relentless head formation.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

But what is the nature of "real", Atlantic Brewing Company? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear mahogany topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises nutty toffee, light graham cracker, and a twinge of dark greenery. The taste brings in more of the same, with the toffee coming through a touch sweeter, and a tiny rivulet of cocoa powder peeking its way through every now and again. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly slick feel. Overall, despite being a touch thin, this is an enjoyable little everyday drink. It's nothing overtly special, but it gets the job done.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a ruby-highlighted, toffee brown color that is vibrant and clear, with a thin filmy ring of white on the surface. Aromas of tangy sweet nut and toffee, blending well but coming off as cloying. Hints of roast in the nose, but sugary characters overpower. Flavors are roasty, with a hazelnut backbone that is rich and sweet. Some creamy highlights throughout, also. The light body is made almost thin by the carbonation levels. The aftertaste is roasty and tangy sweet, with a mid-linger, slightly cloying finish.

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Photo of Amalak
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. It has a very dark brown color, but semi-see through. A smallish tan foamy head. Mild lacing. I don't really see any bubbles.

S. Strong malt scent. Some nuttiness.

T. It is quite malty. There's something of a chocolate undertone. A leafy nut taste. The malts make it taste like malt liquor almost.

M. Crisp, some tingly bite.

O. The malt taste is too overpowering. It's not bad at all, but there isn't much there in the form of complex flavors and tastes.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my snifter. I get really light foam from the initial pour. This foam sits around for a while.

In the nose I get the english hops and malts. This smells just like you would expect an english ale to smell.

The flavor is good. You get more of what came through in the nose. There is some additional nuttiness and a touch of sweetness in there. I like the balance of the flavors in each sip.

This is a pretty good example of an english brown ale. I recommend trying a bottle of this.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into standard pint glass, color is brown with light brown edges; head presents about 1/2" thick, then dissipates to a ring and bubbles with some light lacing, color is off white to light tan.

Smell is subdued, but nice light roast, hints of toast and oats and light fruitiness; bitterness is there but in the background, light earthiness.

Taste is light, subdued, but tasty; nice light toast and roast are dominant, hints of light oats, chocolate and hint of nuttiness, light hop fruitiness is noted mixed some earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel is a little bitter in the lingering phase, but some nice fruitiness and sweetness balances for the most part.

Overall, this is a very easy drinking brown ale, why is this style not more popular?

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown with a creamy rocky road ice cream colored head. Strong retention throws up several tiers of zig zagging lace. Drank fireside in nearby Acadia National Park which probably adds to my appreciation of this beer.

Earthy sticks and dirt toffee aroma. Tastes pretty much like it smells: earthy, bitter carob and lightly sweet toffee tea. Thin but it's a pretty thin style.

While touring Atlantic Brewing I found out they bought Bar Harbor brewing 5 years ago. Ever notice how similar the portfolios are? Real Ale English brown vs. Thunder Hole English brown? They each have a blueberry beer. I'm just sayin.' Not really sure what I"m saying actually, it was just a passing thought I guess.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving a trace of lace. Clear deep amber color, medium bodied and low carbonation. Roasted malt nose and flavor is slightly sweet anise and malts. $2.00 for a 12 oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.09/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Apperance: Darker brown in color. Thin off white head.

Smell: Malts and coffee

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth and medium bodied. Taste more like a coffee stout than an ale.

Overall: Ok brew but not my favorite. I guess if it was offered I would have it again.

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Photo of Brad007
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thin head into my glass. Very dark with a hint of ruby.

Sweet malt with a hint of molasses in the nose. Very much like the style.

Much the same except that there's a decent amount of hazelnut and molasses upfront.

Mouthfeel is quite mellow with some lingering nuttiness. Very easy going.

Not bad. A decent ale.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with an off-white head that reduces to a skimpy ring. A touch of clarity.

Some brown bread and nutty aromas. Some pumpernickel elements.

Soft brown malt forward, a little nutty, then this gets lean, with an element of crispness I didn't expect but liked. As the palate clears, a little bitterness, some nuttiness, very light sugar. Pleasant.

Medium body, a little tingle on the tongue.

Not over sugared, good structure, nice balance of malt and sugar and bitter. Bought on whim and something I've stared at literally for years. What a decent brew and a change from hop bombs that find us all. I have a friend who loves brown ales -- this is a recommendation for him. Nice job. Not perfect, but very solid.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper brown color with bright clarity.
Head formation is lacking quite a bit even though it has good carbonation. Aroma is a bit weak with some roasted amlts and nuts.
Taste is pretty much lightly roasted malts, pretty simple taste.
Drinks with a medium weight but thin and watery around the edges. Finishes semi-dry and light bitterness.
Standard fair here nothing special.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a reddish-brown colour with a solid two-fingers worth of dirty beige creamy head. Good retention and spotty lacing noticeable.

S: Caramel, molasses, faint banana, hints of coffee, and hazelnuts. Lingering fruity hop aroma. Appealing aromas, albeit perhaps a bit difficult to detect.

T: Unlike the aroma indicated, the taste is leaning towards fruity hops rather than more caramel malt dominant, which presents a crisp and refreshing taste. Hints of sour citrus elements in the finish along with the roasted flavours.

M: Light body with a medium-low carbonation level. Crisp and clean mouthfeel with a slightly tart (citrus) finish.

D: A nice English Brown Ale that's certainly sessionable.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice brown ale look with decent head.

Smell - some hop with roasted malt scents

Taste - Very nice smooth brown ale. Some chocolate and almond notes. No hop bite at all. A light flavor but very pleasant. A slight metallic taste.

Mouthfeel - quite watery and not ver full-bodied.

Overall - A fairly good brown ale. Easy to drink, some good flavor but nothing really noteworthy here.

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Photo of silentjay
2.81/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a nice looking tan head on top of a dismal brown colored ale that leaves decent lacing.

nuts, butterscotch, caramel, toffee, honeyed biscuit. an unpleasant graininess lingers after that with some slight herbal and tea-like hops that only present themselves because I seek them out.

nuts, grains, butter, butterscotch, toffee, caramel. a slighhht roast and a noticeable bitterness on the swallow are the only redeeming characters of this beer, before the swallow its just a subtle sweet nutty flavor that can be found in numerous other beers including Newcastle. not too sure what is so "real" about it.

mouthfeel starts syrupy, a slight carbonation kicks in before it falls flat.

very underwhelming beer. The best selling beer on tap on the Island, but I have no idea why. It's decent, maybe, but I don't see the appeal in any aspect. It fails to create an identity of its own and is only memorable for being forgettable, if that makes any sense.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Shipyard Brewing Co. Brewer's Brown Ale.

Appearance: Clear brown with moderate carbonation. Two finger, off-white head that diminished somewhat quickly. The lacing was fair.

Smell: Light toasted aroma. A bit sour. Perhaps a bad bottle.

Taste: Light sweetness and bitterness. Little flavor. The finish was about average.

Mouthfeel: Light body that was watery. The carbonation was almost flat.

Overall: I wanted to like this brown ale but couldn't give it more than an average rating. It's possible I got a bad bottle.

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Photo of BLove
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on tap at Rupununi in downtown Bar Harbor, ME.

A - pours a deep brown with an amber tint around the edges when held up to light. Minimal head with tiny bubbles, little to no lacing on the glass.
S - Faint smells of sweet chocolate initially, with mild grain aroma, little to no hop aroma
T - Tastes prominent of chocolate, bread, and other malt
M - Medium body, dry finish with a small hop bite in the end
D - The highest selling beer in Bar Harbor (beating out BMC), so its easily drinkable and appeals to many. For my tastes, I thought it was above average & I could easily drink several. However, there are other beers out there that I would seek out before returning to this one.

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Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.53 out of 5 based on 366 ratings.
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