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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
373 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: 373 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of hopdog
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Lighter aromas of nuts and caramel. Tastes of nuts and other maltiness. Lightly sweet with light hops. Aromas, tastes and body all on the thin/softer side.

Notes from 4/16/05

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Photo of nick76
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma has coffee, bread, and salted nuts. The appearance is medium red/brown with a medium head. The flavor is just like the aroma and is mildly acidic and bitter. The palate is a tad thin but OK. Overall I like it but don't love it. It's one of those that is drinkable but that's all.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12oz bottle. Label depicts a fishing boat braving some rough, Maine seas. Has an area indicating a best-by date, yet nothing was notched. Oh well...

Nice color! It is a deep, clear, ruby-esque mahogany hue, with a smattering of carbo steadily meandering topside. The bier is topped by a thin, fine layer of tan bubbles, with some lace here and there. Aroma has light choco notes and some nuttiness present. It is fairly smooth on the tongue, with a bit of airiness, and a medium body.

Flavor consists of some mild caramel, subtle choco and light nutty notes. Exceedingly dry, it has a mildly bitter finish with subtle floral hopping. Nothing outstanding, but very typical of a British Brown, and it would be very sessionable (especially if I were in a warm pub somewhere in the UK on a cold, raw night). Unsure where I got this bier (methinks JohnnyP, perhaps) but thanks to the donor.


look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | drink: 3.5


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Photo of Beastdog75
2.84/5  rDev -19.8%
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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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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. 12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Clear caramel brown with a nice head that retains well.

S. Bready with slight banana fruityness and malts.

T. Smooth malt crispness with some balancing bitter earthy hops. Sweet caramel malt.

M. Medium bodied and crisp.

D. A good session beer. Nothing mind blowing but enough subtleties to keep me drinking it.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is thin lace that vanishes into nothing within seconds. The aroma is of caramel and toffee. It is quite strong, but simple. The taste like the aroma, strong but dull. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a decent brown ale at best. I could drink it again, but I won't be on the look out for it.

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Photo of grs8313
3.34/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 12oz bottle that has a freshness label, but it was not punched. Pours a brown with reddish edges and a light tan head that settles to a sparse covering.

Smell: Malts, caramel, apples and hints of coffee. A great smelling beer.

Taste: Watery coffee, seltzer and a hint of malts. Some alcohol notes can also be tasted. I found the taste a little thin. No aftertaste to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Seltzery mouthfeel, the beer leaves the mouth feeling clean.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer, but a beer that does not have a terribly complex taste. I could drink this beer all night, but I would not notice the beer all that much. This beer does not have a very memorable taste.

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Photo of ATPete
2.33/5  rDev -34.2%
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.

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Photo of bbeerman
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice deep brown pour from this bottle. Not much in the way of lace left behind, but a good start based on the color.

A good smell to start as well. Malty notes with an almost burnt aroma (something like cocoa, coffee, etc.).

Good, strong taste. A dark brown ale that does not disappoint; you get what you expected...and a little more I'd say.

Medium to strong mouthfeel, but nothing bad about that. Easy enough to drink a couple of these without getting dried out. A beer I'd like to have again, given the opportunity.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle just purchased from Gary's in Madison...
Pours a deep, dark-brown hue with a decent-sized foamy head that soon receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Aroma replete with malts, slight chocolate, and mocha nuances...
Taste: True-to-the-style brown ale flavor with a strong malt backbone, along with nuances of mild chocolate, light espresso, and dehydrated fruits...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability...
All in all, a pretty good stab at the style...

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Photo of KeefD
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy brown color with plenty of light shining through, a small amount of foam and little lacing. Smell is slightly sweet, a bit floral, with notes of chocolate and spice. Taste follow suit. Definitely a nice amount of chocolate flavor to be found, very perfumey, if you will, slightly sweet and a small hop bitterness on the finish. Medium bodied, somewhat crisp and a surprisingly refreshing. Not a bad beer, but not very memorable either.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish amber with a thin head that didn't last too long. The smell is mostly sweet malt with maybe a little bit of nut in the background. The taste pretty closely mirrors the smell with a lot a sweet malt up front that fades away to a little bit of alcohol heat There is very little hops present. The mouthfeel is a little thick with some decent carbonation. This is a tasty little beer and I could imagine having a couple in a sitting.

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Photo of tjkurz
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pick a mix sick pack bottle poured into pint glass. Pours deep reddish brown with a nice head. Smells roasty and caramel. Nice and malty with bitterness down back - I thought the balance was great. MF is substantial - night to heavy or light for a brown ale - deep with good carbonation. Drinkability - great balance and great mouthfeel make for easy drinking.

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Photo of bilyboy65
2.71/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle with an unnotched best-by date poured into my DFH pint yields a clear cranberry-garnet body capped with a finger of fine-grained light tan foam that quickly reduces to a ring and leaves tiny speckles of thin-sheeted lacing.

Smells malty and spicy with a hint of plums and not a whole lot else.

Taste is lightly fruity and juicy with a solid, drying bitterness and mild nutty yeast. As the beer warms a toasty maltiness emerges to give a little more heft to an otherwise somewhat watery profile.

Light-bodied and refreshing with good carbonation. Excellent drinkability.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with a rather loose head that fades to a ring. Smells quite roasty with a nice dry malt backbone and some dusty cocoa notes. Similar on the taste front. Dry and quite earthy with dry malt, some nice spicy and earthy hops and more cocoa notes. Not sweet at all, and there is a mineral note that is pleasant and reminds me of an English ale. Smooth and very slightly chalky- in a good way- it has some grip. Quite delicious for what it is. I brought some to a party and both craft and non craft drinkers commented on how much they enjoyed it.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very attractive beer: poured a beautiful dark copper, rich red color, with a finger's head that dissipated pretty quickly. Smell was very mild, almost nothing there aside from a faint maltiness-- no real hoppy, florally character here. Drank very smooth, a nice full mouthfeel for an ale. The taste doesn't quite live up to the initial visual impression when the beer came to the table. I'd drink it again though. Good.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown with a very tall, fluffy head. The fluff doesn't last long and before I get a sip its down to a quarter inch clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smells heavenly. Very toasty, malty with some molasses and coffee notes.

Taste is rich. I get a lot of toasted malt and sweetness along with some nice juiciness in the finish. This is a very tasty brown ale. I don't have anything bad to say about it.

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Photo of williamherbert
4.14/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish brown color, like a dark cola. No head whatsoever. Can see through it but it's still a bit murky. Zero carbonation.

Smell of dark chocolate as well as a roasted malt backing. Has some of the bittersweet qualities of a Scotch ale. Dark and quite nice.

The taste is dark caramel; malt is more mild than the burnt smell. Sweet but with a balance. Some tobacco, beef jerky. Sweetish berries come out as it warms. Complex and utterly pleasant. Leathery.

Dry but smooth. Medium body just this side of watery. It's really easy drinking for a so-called "real ale." Rich with smoky, darker flavors, but not harsh ones. Excellent drinkin'.

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Photo of beeragent
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a medium brown, forming a thin 1/4 inch tan head that fades quickly. No lacing on the glass. The aroma is very light, consisting only of sweet malts, and a hint of nuts. The taste is quite a suprise. The taste begins with a nice roasted malt/coffee flavor, before fading into a sweet malt/nutty flavor. Interesting change. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side, feeling more like a light beer than a brown ale. Aside from the light mouthfeel and less than average appearance, the taste is what keeps this beer in the average category. Overall, not too bad. Very flavorful, but not what I would prefer a brown ale to taste like.

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Photo of kbnooshay
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This poured a amber brown color with a weird thick brown yellow head that lasted for about 3 seconds and left no lacing. The aroma is of toasted malt and not much else. The flavor is incredibly sweet and malty. This almost tastes artificially sweetened. The feel is thin and unimpressive. Kind of like a flat soda. Maybe this was a bad bottle?

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Photo of BeerSox
2.9/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into nonic.

Clear slightly hazy brown hue with a one finger tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap.

Burnt malts with some syrupy caramel.

A little bit of brown sugar and some burnt/grainy malts. Kind of watery, with some strong carbonation. The flavors are very mild.

Unfortunatly this is a dull and bland beer, with maybe a bit of "sawdust" in the flavor. It doesn't taste bad, there just isn't much taste to speak of.

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Photo of Risser09
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - 2007 bottling? - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque brown color with a 1/2" head that is cream colored. There are some faint ruby highlights. Lots of small bubbles stick to the insides of the glass. Moderate lace is left behind.

Smell: Damp, murky, caramel nuttiness. Candied almonds. Smells very much like a brown ale.

Taste: Peat moss. Pecans and almonds. An earthy flavor perhaps from this yeast strain. Mediocre.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and pretty sugary. Seems like this one is under-attenuated. Slick mouthfeel and very little carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent beer. Lacks any real complexity. Goes down smooth with very little alcohol presence. Needs some work. Worth a try.

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Photo of riversider76
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber brown with a thin white head. Decent retention,and nice laceing. Aroma is bready,fruity,and sweet.Body is light with some carbonation. Taste is sweet,kinda like a carmel apple.Crisp,refreshing,with a nice malty finish.A very nice brew.

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Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 373 ratings
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