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

369 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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Ratings: 369 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of HardTarget
1.52/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bottle Inspection: Label has a place for notch marks, but they only go as far as 05, and nothing is notched. As this brewer is new to Texas, I am left to wonder if we got old product, or the brewer just doesn’t care to date their bottles. As I think this bottle went bad, and the brewer didn’t bother to give me a date to figure out what’s up, the brewer takes the hit.

Aroma: Something’s wrong. A strong DMS note, very vegetal like celery.

Appearance: Wonderful dark amber smoky body with an off white crown that looks as patient as the tide.

Flavor: Over burnt grains and a very strong vegetal note. I have to believe this was infected or just silly old.

Mouthfeel: Bitingly dry

Overall Impression: No date = brewers fault. I think a distributor dumped old stock on us.

Thanks to Pegasus for the karma point.

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Photo of Pegasus
1.62/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: Clear deep mahogany brown in color, with a large tan head, excellent lacing, and moderate carbonation.

Aroma: Strongly vegetal aroma, with celery notes, toasted malts and bitter cocoa.

Taste: Harshly strong and bitter burnt malt notes, like charred malts, with a lingering chemical bitterness and strong astringency at the close of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth and fairly soft, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This is obviously an example from a bad batch of this beer. The characteristics noted above are quite unlike and old or stale beer, obviously something went amiss in the production process in the batch that this example came from. The example reviewed here was purchased in Austin, Texas. When I complained to the store where this beer was purchased, they told me that they had received several negative reports concerning this beer. I hope to be able to re-review this beer at a later date.

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Photo of salvo
1.93/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Earthy smell and some dirt in the initial sniff: came from the bar nutty brown with a half inch of head that quickly dissipated. Darker roasty malt with little or no hop aroma.

Taste starts honey-sweet malt on the tongue. Had a slightly syrupy mouthfeel with fizzy carbonation, which didn't help. Muddy, sweet, sad.

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Photo of Buebie
1.96/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Got a couple bottles from a co-worker today. Not sure how these were stored as it has alot of off flavors.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with freshness date of 12/ 2008. Reviewed from a 12 oz mug.
Not much head off the pour, half an inch maybe. Dark amberish brown in color.

Mild toasted malt flavors with hints of rye. Not picking much else off the aroma. toffee and burnt caramel.

Upfront its smooth with a thicker creamy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.
The taste of sour lemons and expired fruit is so overwhelming I can hardley stand it.
This would be a drainpour, had I not been out of beer.
Some cocoa flavors and hints of caramel. All is still taken over by sourness.
If its intended to be sour, then I am sorry. Never been a fan of the sour beers.

I wont drink this again.

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Photo of Drew966
2.06/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bar Harbor Real Ale pours a mahogany brown color with an enormous off white head. The aroma seems a bit musty. The flavor is a bit sweet then quite sour. There aren't any flavors that stand out in a good way, a bit malty I guess. No hops are noticeable. Not very good, and what's with the twist off cap on a bottle of real ale? Avoid.

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Photo of Dewey0603
2.24/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This pours a dark red ruby with a large foamy head. The smell has some malt sweetness and fruit,but it is not very strong or that attractive. The taste has some sweet malt and alot of carbonation,but little else. The m/f is light with a taste that is very watery. This is a beer that I was very disappointed in. The smell and taste are very slight and that makes this beer one that I will pass on in the future.

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Photo of claytong
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of dan027
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of tigg924
2.26/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: very small head caramel brown

Smell: very faint--toasted malt, some earth

Taste: light malt, flowers, some caramel--just not an overpowering beer

Mouthfeel: light, watery, semi-sweet

Drinkability: I would try this again--and may re-review--especially if I can find it on tap. As a stand alone beer, I may give this a C. As a brown ale, it just does not have the same flavor and smell impact as others I have had in the style. The flavors are subtle. Not a favorite, not the worst I have had.

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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.

 317 characters

Photo of JackTheRipper
2.3/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Clear brown in color. No head. Looks flat~no bubbles can be seen in the beer.

S: Slightly nutty malt aroma. No hop aroma.

T: Anemic malt flavors. Faint taste of grains. Low levels of hop.

M: Light body. CO2 feels better than it looks.

D&N: Nothing really jumps out as being either good or bad, this is just a forgettable ale.

 340 characters

Photo of ATPete
2.33/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 bottle

A- Pours a deep ruby amber/brown color with a large tan head and some small bubbles of rising carbonation.

S- Toasty smokey caramel malt and spices.

T- A bit cloying, very sweet malts come through right away, cinnamon and spice, brown sugar and a very burnt after taste.

M- Medium and cloying

D- Terrible, im glad 1 only had one bottle and i split it with a friend.

 380 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Beerbuddha
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- nice amber color, nice thick off white head.

Smell- Caramel, malt and hint of hops

Taste- A bit dry. Taste of malt, a bit of caramel, a hint of coffee.

Mouthfeel- Medium body

Drinkability- This beer wasn't a bad beer. Their were notches for a best before date but nothing was notched. I was given this beer as a sample from a distribuor to decide whether we'll bring it in for work. Not so sure.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of ZimZamZoom
2.64/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. twisty, into a hotel glass fresh from the dishwasher. Sanitation first when on the road.

Poured a dark brown, some nice ruby red highlights and a pretty good sized tan head. The head was on the rocky side, faded slowly and left a nice lacing.

Slightly medicinal aroma, almost like a hard cola or something? A bit of hop spice in there. The nose is acutely aware of some serious carbonation action. Tingly to say the least.

Tastes of roast malt, some of the medicinal character and oddly something sweet like cola. Some bitter hops in the finish.

Medium body, quite filling due to carbonation level. All in all not very pleasant. Children's cough medicine maybe: sweet, mild and not very effective.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.71/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a creamy off white head. The aroma is fruity with some caramel. The taste is smooth with some toasted malt that seems overly watered down. The mouthfeel suffers the same fate as the taste which seems too watered down for my liking. Overall, this is not a terrible offering but is not something that I would purchase again.

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Photo of bilyboy65
2.71/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy and dark brown liquid. Poured with little head that didn't last or cling. There was no film left on the glass either. Very little carbonation could be seen as well.

S: Roasted malts was the main scent with a backing of coffee.

T: Was of bitter burnt coffee without creme and sugar.

M: There was little carbonation to stir the senses. It is a dry and thin bodied beer.

D: Easy to drink, but not much in terms of real character to the beer.

 490 characters

Photo of gford217
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from Ben.

Pours deep copper with a tight beige head that recedes quickly to a thin cap. Not much lacing.

Aroma is pretty unimpressive, faint roasted nuts and light caramel malts. Maybe some hops but you've gotta really search for it.

Taste is really tame as well with some light hops. A bit of caramel malts but there is a little too much bitterness in the finish without enough flavor or malts underneath.

The mouthfeel is light bodied and fairly thin.

Not one of the better brown ales I've tasted. Weak aroma and flavor with thin body.

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Photo of BeerCon5
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of rderedin
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

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 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 Beastdog75
2.84/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this one from the brewery in Bar Harbor as part of their "Pleasure Pack." The bottle is labeled "real ale," but as others may have noted there is no sediment or anything else here that would lead one to believe that it is a real ale. What we have here is a pretty simple brown ale that is drinkable, but ends up being a slightly underwhelming brew.

Bar Harbor Real Ale pours a pretty nice translucent yet very dark brown color with 2 fingers of tan foam that last for about 35 seconds. The aroma was initially not too impressive. It smelled husky and almost adjuncty, but some dark grain aromas were picked up along with some coffee-like aromas. The mouthfeel was thinner than expected and had a high-moderate amount of carbonation. The initial flavor was of some dark, burnt bitter grains, bringing to mind coffee and some very light caramel and nuttiness. As I drank on, it really struck me that the beer actually was a bit watery. Some light citric hoppiness was present. Low-moderate bitterness present in the aftertaste, with a flavor that reminded me of cooked veggies, and eventually some of the bitter toasted grain flavors reappear. The beer ends with a very light alcoholic warmth.

Is the beer drinkable? Yes it is, but for a beer that a brewery touts as its flagship brew, I think it could stand to be a little more substantial. I sampled quite a few beers at the brewery and the fact that I didn't remember what this one tasted like shows how little of an impression it left on me. Fortunately for me the other beers in the "pleasure pack" are far more interesting.

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Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.53 out of 5 based on 369 ratings.
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