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

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Bar Harbor Real AleBar Harbor Real Ale
375 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 375 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of BEERchitect
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep mohogany clear color with moderate carbonation. Has great head retention of loosely knit dull creamy white head that rose greatly and slowly disipated, leaving mild lacing behind. Aromas of light barley malt and light dark malts. Mild sour aroma from fermentation. Flavors are dominantly of barley malt, light chocolate, and roasted grain. Mild fermentation sour notes hide behind. Feels medium to the mouth. Light creamyness. Finishes quite crisp for dark grain profile. Light bitter finish partly due to hops and partly from dark grain husks.

 557 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an ice tea color with a rocky off-white head that sticks well and leaves some dots on the way down

Smell: Caramel, hazelnuts, and a hint of cocoa

Taste: Starts with a toasty, nutty flavor that becomes slightly watery by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavor profile continues to fade, but just as I had given up all hope, a hint of cocoa and hazelnut skins emerge at the finish; slightly metallic at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just a few too many quibbles for this to be anything other than average

 573 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a huuuge head that takes up the whole Allagash tulip glass but quickly beds back down in time for me to pour some more. The giant bubbles precariously pop themselves down to a tetris looking holy mess. It attempts to be clear at the bottom of the glass, but has a huge haze through out. The marron colored dark brown-sugar brown color has a nice surprising brightness to it.

N: A pretty clear amber style ale to start. Light toasted malts, crisp aromas, slight red like fruit, and slight sweet brown sugar. Seems to have some aromatic malt aromas as well, and touch of nuttiness and spice.

T: If I can cut my way through the head I'll attempt to taste it... Wow, surprising, lots of roasted malts and dark crystal malts to start, lots of coffee and caramelized brown sugar. Other toasted flavors and some nuttiness. A slight chocolate malt as well. A very slight bitter. Pretty rich and creamy as well.

M: Semi thick and very very slightly syrupy, lots of carbonation.

F: Finishes very clean too. A little sweet and creamy still, but the high carbonation really helps clean the tongue off. A slight sweet caramel like taste sits at the way back of the tongue and never really goes away, but you can't taste it much and the rest of it is very clean. A slight bitterness pops up to tell you "Bob's your uncle" and heads back under for a pint of it's own I suspect. This would be a really good session beer.

Final thoughts: Very nice beer surprisingly. I was almost expecting an amber type ale from the nose and not knowing anything about it. Low and behold a nice rich roasted dark malt slightly sweet and semi bitter English brown. Hence the "Real Ale" which I guess I overlooked. Not only does it have all the nice dark rich flavors, but its still fairly light in body, presence, and alcohol so you can drink a bunch of em if you wanted no problem.

 1,863 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Foamed over when the bottle was opened, modest head considering that. Some light, spotty lace on the glass. Dark brown, but light shines through. Appears clear.

Traditional brown ale aromas, but they are very mild.

Slightly sweet with a strong biscuity flavor. Good hop in the swallow. Overall, the flavor is quite good, but the body is far too thin for the style. It's still nicely drinkable.

 395 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. The Best Enjoyed Before section listing boxes of the various months was neither notched or adequately marked. Real helpful, Bar Harbor.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, very dark mahogany-brown body with a tallish, ivory-hued head.

Smell: An aroma that's roasty and toasty with lesser, lighter notes of caramel and chocolate and that has a slight earthy undercurrent to it. Also, a teency weency touch of dark fruit (raisins) can be sniffed out.

Taste: Deeply toasted breadiness and touches of roasted malts with sweet tastes of dark caramel and bittersweet chocolate. Very small hint of dark fruitiness lurking there underneath the various malt flavors. Earthy, albeit mild hop presence juxtaposed against the slight bitterness for the roasted malts. A few drops of basic treacle of the latter half. Finishes lightly earthy, lightly roasty, and with some chalky hints to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly soft mouthfeel all around.

Drinkability: Bar Harbor's Real Ale (hand crafted in small batches, mind you [and, apparently, too good for a proper means of bottle dating]) goes down fairly easy, which, in these oh-so troubled times, is about all we can really ask from a beer, you know.

 1,282 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark coppery bronze; a pretty typical brown ale hue. Atop the beer sits a toasted tan head that is so fine-bubbled that it's bound to last for a good, long while. It's also a nice lace maker and is beginning to lay down minutely pocked sheets on the upper portion of the glass. A pretty good start.

The nose isn't bad exactly, it's just weak. I get a gentle whiff of caramel malt along with the suggestion of English hops (Target with a little Whitbread Goldings if you're interested). I'd probably feel better about the aroma if it was at least twice as aromatic.

Too low on flavor. Like the nose, what's there is mildly pleasant, it's just too mild for its own good. Real Ale strikes me as a beer that was brewed with sessioning in mind. If so, it would be better served with an ABV of about 4%. I'm hoping that it will open up with warming, but I'm not holding my breath.

As I get deeper into the glass, it occurs to me that there isn't enough malty sweetness and there's too much hop bitterness (without much hop flavor). Target was a good choice for an American brewery seeking to create an English brown ale, but perhaps a variety that isn't so high in alpha acid would have been a better choice. I'm afraid that the considerable bitterness will keep most people from drinking more than a few, even if they can tolerate an ABV that's on the generous side for a session ale.

Warming uncovers flavors of cocoa, black tea and toasted nuts without bringing about much more total flavor. A little more malty sweetness would go a long way to making this a better beer. The finish is so dry that I find myself reaching for a glass of water that isn't there.

Given the subtlety of the rest of the beer's attributes, the light mouthfeel really isn't out of line. It earns points by not descending into wateriness at any point in the proceedings. There's nothing wrong with the amount of carbonation either.

Real Ale has too many minor flaws to be considered better than average when compared to other English brown ales. Given how good some of Atlantic Brewing's other offerings are (Coal Porter, Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale), it's hard for me to believe that this is their best seller.

 2,199 characters

Photo of Jason
2.94/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown long neck twist off, hmmm … the same bottle that Shipyard uses. “Real Ale”? No sediment in the bottle and very clear. Even the freshness date is the same format of Shipyard … the assumption is that it really is contract brewed.

Appearance: The head retention is pretty sad, a soda like crackle of the bubbles is a bit disturbing leave almost nothing to show. The clarity on the other had is bright with a deep garnet brown colour.

Smell: Sweet aroma with hints of cocoa, caramel and toasted grain. Faint fruitiness is there as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Moderate body, slick mouth feel and a lost crispness. Quick chocolaty tones, watered down roasted grain and a good amount of malt sweetness. Hops draw no attention and barley balance. Slight metallic twang from the toasted malts. Finishes sweet.

Notes: I’ve had this brew op tap and it was excellent, the bottled product is average and seen to me as a travesty to what the brewery really is.

 973 characters

Photo of krome
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 664 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.59/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

It poured a deep copper and left a small beige head. It left just a bit of lacing. The aroma had some faint roasted nuts and light caramel malts. The taste took those smells and made it sweet yet more bitter and dry altogether in the taste part of it. The palate was dry in the finish and aftertaste. Overall, a pretty good beer that I would have again in any season.

 367 characters

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty dark but clear ruby. Nose is nutty and slightly caramel sweet. Flavor is sweet with artificial sweetener there as well as a slight touch of nut. But the sugary sweet dominates and keeps it to a limited type of experience. Liquid feel is good. A touch thick. And the bubble is standard. Overall a mediocre brew in the grand scheme of things. Not really worth the effort to try.

 391 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 564 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, brown color, witha short, quickly dead head.
Aroma: sweet and caramelly at first, notes of maple, brown sugar, cola, molasses.
Taste: rich and tasty, with a fully-charged entrance on the palate, but mellow thereafter. Smoothly textured, light to medium-bodied. A tasty, and overall adequate session ale. Doesn't rock any boats, doesn't need to, it's all smooth sailing.
Thanks to UncleJimbo for the sample.

 428 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to mikereaser for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden brown color, some carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some roastyness. The taste is malty, roasty, slightly nutty. Medium body, the finish is dry and slightly bitter. Drinkable, not too bad.

 339 characters

Photo of IPAchris
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear deep burgandy in color with a nice 2" head.

Smell: the aroma was a pleasant combination of caramels and floral hops.

Taste: the flavor is of lightly roasted malt, caramel, nuts, and a nice bitterness. The malt level is beefy here.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish, and the caramel nuttiness lasts shortly on the tongue after swallowing.

Drinkability: great flavor makes great drinkability here. Definitely a brew to find and enjoy.

 472 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of tempest
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at the Party Source in Syracuse

This beer seems pretty on the mark for style, and to be specific I'd call this a Northern English brown ale for the toasty character. It's a dark brown body with ruby accent, but little head retention. The aroma is deepy bready, like a dark loaf with crust and toasted elements. The flavor carries those same tastes into the flavor, but adds subtle cocoa, toffee, and caramel notes. The yeast actually seems to be pretty clean in character as there aren't any creamy or fruity flavors. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium with slightly assertive carbonation. All in all, a complex, tasty and drinkable ale. I'd like to try this on cask.

 697 characters

Photo of bigred89
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

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Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 375 ratings
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