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

218 Reviews
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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: 364
Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (place for a date on the bottle, but no notch that I can detect to indicate best by date) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours an extremely dark brown color with very good clarity as far as I can tell (very dark beer). A low finger of creamy dense foam that is just off white in color falls quickly to a thick skim coat and foamy collar with marginal lacing.

S - Sweet, nutty, roasted malts, a touch of coffee, fruity and earthy hops. Smells quite good.

T - Roasty, a bit of coffee, rather earthy overall, low toffee, hazelnuts and some lingering sweetness. Bitterness is on the high side for the style, but gives it a good balance and makes for a more desirable take on the style to my palette.

M - Medium bodied with a somewhat creamy feeling medium level carbonation. Lots of roast and earthy flavors throughout...well balanced - not as sweet as most English brown ales tend to be.

O - I'm plowing thru this beer in record time on this hot evening after an afternoon in the sun of work and play. Surprised a bit by the balance and also far darker and roastier than I expected before opening the bottle. Surprises that end up being quite pleasant. Can't see myself drinking this regularly, but this will make it into the occasional rotation into my fridge.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: deep copper, small beige head, some light trickling lacing

S: faint roasted nuts, light caramel malts, light hops

T: sweet yet more bitter as it goes down, balanced

M: light to medium, dry aftertaste, bitter finish

O: good for its style and good for me

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

- from the notes and a sampler pack
12 ounce bottles
A - a fairly nice foamy and lacy head over a dark brown clear ale.
S - sweet malt is all I get.
T - mild coffee bitterness with a backing of sweet malts.
M - feels a little thin and sticky.
D - it's OK but doesn't stun me.
I wouldn't avoid it, but I wouldn't worry if you don't get any.

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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 idurra
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear mahogany color. About 1 cm head that almost disappears within a minute. The lacing, however, is generous and pleasant.

S- Sweet, caramel, and some nuttiness. Not much of a maltiness smell.

T and M- Crisp, acidic, slightly metallic. Medium hoppy bitterness. The carbonation is a little like a soda pop. Not much of a finish.

O- Above average, but with little complexity. The soda like carbonation is off putting.

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

I enjoy all of what Atlantic Brewing has to offer. I visited their brewery on lovely Mount Desert Island during the summer of 2007 and had a terrific experience. Somewhat surprisingly, considering their fairly wide distribution and availability in my area, this was the first time I've had this particular ale in a few years...

This is a decent, simple brown. Clean drinking - not real malty. Flavors are nice and subtle. Probably sessionable.

Red-orange-brown color - tea-like - on par with its style. The head pours okay, with neat blobs of lacing, and maintains a cap on through.

Dark malts show boldly in the scent - a little hoppy and mild-roasty - but fruity esters and caramel dominate the aromas. Mellow, but I suppose pretty standard for the style as well.

The taste closely mirrors the smell. Moderate malt intensity and a little bit of chocolate in the aftertaste. I'd say it has a medium-light body, quite clean, with a tiny carb scrub, though it's not detracting anything. Yes, decent all-around.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Cavalry Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Reddish, medium amber-brown in color with a one-finger head of beige foam which settles to a thin veil leaving a bit of lace on the glass. Carbonation is lazy and sparse while the clarity is pretty good.

S: Medium roasted grains and a bit of spicy malt aroma rise with some hints of wood and nutty mustiness.

T: Thin roasted malts up front with some light caramel flavors leading into a nutty malt sweetness. Light, floral bitterness creeps in towards a somewhat creamy and lingering spicy malt finish. A slight twang of sour coffee and metal hits fight before the aftertaste kicks in with a low roasted malt smoothness.

M: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation and a little bit of creaminess wafting over the otherwise watery malt character.

D: In all honesty, it's not a bad English brown ale with the exception of some off flavors of tartness and metal. Otherwise, it's a decent session brown at 5.2% ABV, but it doesn't have the malt character or balance for me to rush back for more and more.

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Photo of claspada
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are mainly malty with some chocolate and perhaps caramel in there. Much lesser notes of dark fruit and lighter citrus fruits as well.
Nice, average-lasting flavor of malt; definitely chocolate and caramel biscuitiness tones in there. Smooth and creamy on the palate, and medium-bodied, with soft carbonation. Tastes sweet at first, but actually finishes slightly bitter. An enjoyable brown ale that isn't exemplary, but is definitely drinkable and a pretty good representation of its style.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a medium to dark brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is caramel and toffee with some nuttyness. The flavor is toffee, chocolate and caramel with some grassy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not bad, but nothing too special.

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Photo of Samp01
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of slightl toasted caramel malt. Taste is caramel malt a bit of nuttiness, and some slight hops. Palate is med body with moderate carbonation. Finish is toasted caramel malt, ending is nutty with some light bitterness. Overall an average brown ale but drinkable.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep amber brown. One finger offwhite head that quickly fades. Nice creamy lacing remnants. Some nice sweetness from the malts and slight smokiness in smell, smokiness reflected in taste. A good brown ale, but nothing stand out about it. A bit thin and easy to drink.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good brown ale with a richer mouthfeel than the other Bar Harbor brown ale ( thunder Hole). Beer has a nice burnt malt bite on the finish which never seems offputting but rather adds to the beer as a whole. Very drinkable though not much different than many Brown Ales across North America.

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Photo of jhammel01
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep walnut brown hue, with a bit of ruby to it. Its not as dark as it seems but very interesting to look at! Foamy head forms a thick lacing ring, a bit off white. Very nicely done

Roasted malt on the nose, very nutty...some cashew and walnut in particular. Hop spicy esters, some caramel..Alot going on.

Nice and creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation but very nutty again. Its grainy, roasted and malty. Very very nicely done. So much flavor. However in the end, it backs out and does give much of a finish. Just a little bit of the lingering roasted malt and caramel.

Such a good beer. A big surprise! However, a little disappointing since it had no finish.

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

Deep reddish copper color and clear in body with a finger high head of off-white foam that sits briefly to sift down to a light skim and a bubbly collar. A few strings of lace are placed across the glass.

Aroma is soft but round of brown sugar and whole grain bread pinched with a toasty edge and a bit of herbal teaness.

Taste is light but substantially good enough for an easy enjoyment. Simple, plain, semi sweet, dulled whole grain taste with a bite of burnt toastyness, some black tea notes along with some cooked vanilla and brown sugar is lighter still. The burntness sits on the palate for a bit into the finish.

Body is lightish medium with a decent carbonation of crispness to it. Kind of wholesome in mild way of smoothness. It gets a bit better as it warms.

An OK Brown that the English could maybe crown as one of their own, while if in Maine anyways.

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Photo of MA08
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor, ME.

Pours a meduim brown color with a one-finger tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted malts with some hints of sweetness and caramel. Tastes of subtle burnded malts coupled with some light bitterness and sweetness added to the end. Mouthfeel is thin, with a clean finish. Overall, a decent and balanced brew, a different take on a brown ale that is very drinkable.

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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 yesyouam
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bar Harbor Real Ale is a clear brown ale with a thin, light beige head that leaves decent lacing. It smells very toasty with a lot of caramel in the nose. It's quite light bodied and the finish is clean. The flavor is balanced nicely. It's toasty, lightly sweet and lightly bitter with almost a sour twang. It's very drinkable and it has character.

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Photo of Katahdin
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice brown ale without the nutty pretensions that many English brown ales have. Pours a darker brown and has a firm, clean head that is creamy in color. Smell is very earthy at first but then mellows to a rich, roasted malt aroma. Taste is very full bodied and complex. Perhaps some chicory or hazelnut in the taste but not an overwhelming presence. the malt lingers on the tongue. Easy to drink, wouldn't believe its ABV

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle without a freshness date, although there are unmarked boxes for notching on the side. Pours a medium chestnut color with a modest cap of light tan foam that fades pretty quick to a nice sheen and high collar.

Nose comes across as fruity at first, with some raisins and cantaloupe. There is just a bit of some chocolaty malts and grassy hops in there, but overall the smell is pretty faint.

Taste is reminiscent of fruity chocolate cake. the malts seem to be a nice, neutral choice. Actually drinks pretty good, an easy quaff. Mouthfeel is just about right and the body is decidedly medium. Has a 'just right' amount of hop bittering on the finish for the style. I am glad I picked up this single and would be plenty happy if someone handed me one at a party. Nothing spectacular, but succeeds at being a solid, sessionable brown ale.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is spicy and malty, about average strength, inviting at least. It pours a nice dark hazy burnt umber with a fairly thick beige head. The bottle I got fizzed quite a bit! Flavor is malty and a little spicy, mainly cloves with a hint of cinnamon and just a whisper of apple. Texture is smooth and a little tingly. Worth a try, or two.

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Photo of theghost3
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, hazy mahogany with a 1-finger beige head. Very little lacing.

The smell is roasted malts, caramel & dried fruit. Taste is kind of oaky with caramel & roasted malts. Mouthfeel is between light and medium-bodied; very carbonated, dry.

This is not a bad English Brown. The smell is its strong point, and the over-carbonation hurts it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Kallessin
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown color with a small light-tan to white head that settled very quickly despite the hard pour. This lingers around as a thin coating for a while. Very clear up to the light with a few bubbles flowing throughout.

Has a slight coffee aroma at first with some light fruitiness mixed in. There's plenty of sweet malitness and some caramel notes mixed in.

As with the aroma, there's coffee up front then plenty of light fruity flavor, which most prominent. Some slight chocolate milling around in the background. It's only mildly bitter. The caramel flavors are more apparent as it warms up with some almost bitter cinnamon flavors.

Has a very thin mouthfeel, but smooth and well rounded. The finish is clean and it's lightly carbonated.

This is a very drinkable session beer. A little fruitier than I was expecting. I think it's balanced a little more toward the bitter side than the malty, but overall pretty good.

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Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.53 out of 5 based on 364 ratings.
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