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: 366
Photo of nota
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my tasting notes on my blog Pilgrims Pub. This beer pours a dark brown with a two finger tan head. Has a roasted malt and burnt coffee smell. The taste is a pleasant nut with a hint of chocolate in the back ground. Medium body and smooth. Very easy to drink and enjoyable.

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Photo of PSUBeerman
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pint glass

Pours a deep mahogany color. Red tones come through with light. Light tan frothy head with great retention & decent lacing. good looking beer.

Sweet and malty aroma with a fruity scent backing it.

Flavor was quite malty. Sweet flavors, caramel and perhaps a fruit taste coming through. Very slight hop bitterness.

This was lighter bodied than it appeared. Mostly smooth with a little bit of carbonation

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Photo of tugdriver7
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Brewski Bro's in OC MD and shared with me by "N." (Thanks!) Dark, almost cola-like in the glass. Thinner body and heavier carbonation adds to the soda-like look. Quickly dissipating head. Roasted malt in the nose and in the initial taste. A subtle smokey taste is balanced by a nice hops bitterness. Nothing complex, but a great dark ale.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Atlantic- Bar Harbor Real Ale

A- Light clear amber brown with little head and no lacing.
S- Light cocoa and ash. Slight touch of sweet candy sugar malt.
T- Very sweet and sugary. Light dusting of cocoa powder and ash. Thick sweet malt finish.
M- Very thick and sweet. Nice light dry ashy feel and finish.

Overall- An easy drinker and sessionable. I wouldn't go out of my way but it drinks pretty good.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The carbonation is out of control as it erupts from the copper to brown body producing a huge tan big-bubbled head, but receding to leave considerably little lacing.

Smells of yeast, sweet malt, dark fruit, and oddly lighter citrus fruits as well.

The palate consists of sweet fruit and malt flavors. As it warms there is also a very faint smokey and spicy aspect to this brew.

Medium in body and carbonation and bordering on tart in flavor.

This is a decent brew, nothing too notable, some characteristics right in line with the style, and a few others that may not be.

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Photo of berley31
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a very small, off-white head that diminished quickly to a thin rim. No real lacing to speak of. Body was a rich, dark brown color, but very clear. Nice aroma of maltiness... some chocolate and perhaps caramel in there. Smooth and creamy on the palate, and medium-bodied, with soft carbonation. Nice, average-lasting flavor of malt... definitely chocolate tones in there. 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 DukeofAle
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer seemed weak at first but grew on me. The name suggested, in my mind, a Pale Ale; but after pouring and tasting the product it is clearly a brown ale. The color is a clear, pancake syrup brown. The head is thin and nearly white. The taste is spot on for this style but fairly mild. Overall, better than average but not exceptional.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with a place for expiration date, but its not marked.

Appearance: Very clear brown with little to no head. No yeast sediment. How is this a real ale?

Smell: It smells sweet and malty, a little nutty. There's an off smell thats almost metallic that I don't care for.

Taste: Kind of watery. Again, its got some sweetness there. That metallic smell shows up on the back of the tongue in the form of a bad taste, but it goes away quickly and leaves a sweet, malty, cracker-like aftertaste that is the best part of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Hard to get past how watery it is. Thankfully the carbonation gives it some body.

Drinkability: Its fine. Not bad, not good. Its pretty refreshing, but thats just because its kind of watered down, so thats not really a compliment.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a single of this at the Central Market today. Not sure how old it is, but I'd never tried the Real Ale before so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Pours a pretty mahogany brown color with no head or lace. A rather unassuming presence at first. The nose is a quite nice, though, with notes of apple, cherry, plum, coffee, and a hint of smoke. Flavor is subtle but still notable. Fruity and refreshing, but with a dryness that persists throughout. Again, as in the nose, there is a hint of smokiness that makes this a rather unique little brown ale. Mouthfeel is steady, but a bit dull. Dry up front and in the finish.

I like this beer. Nothing fancy here, but a solid outing that gives just what you're looking for in a brown ale. Good tasting, refreshing, and easy to drink. Too bad more beers don't just stick to this philosophy.

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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 Fatduck
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had no idea what type of beer this was until I poured it out and checked BA. Im happy to have a english brown.

Dark brown, almost black, but lots of light get though.

Smell is malty, pretty weak, a hint of fruit.

Roasty fruity lots of caramel. Good, but not as rich as it looks, a bit of a disappointment for me.

Nice smooth mouth feel, goes down easy.

I would recommend this to a friend, but would probably not buy again myself.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear brown with slightly reddish highlights and a creamy off-white head. Good lacing.

Aroma is roasty, nutty malt, earthy.

Taste is nutty, roasted malt that gets nuttier towards the finish, rather dry and earthy.

Palate is a weakness, rather thin and watery, but subdued carbonation works well.

Overall, a flavorful and drinkable beer - I suspect this one was quite fresh, since it was consumed in Bar Harbor Maine.

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Photo of Stimack
3.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6 pack of this brew while visiting family in CT. Brew pours to a mahogany color with a smallish light tan head that does not seem to have much of any retention. The aroma seems to be of caramel malt and sweet brown sugar. The flavor has some very nice properties to it, nice solid malt flavor seem to remind me of caramel and toffee. The one thing that I do notice at the end is a slight metallic flavor that brings this brew down a bit. Wonder how old this 6 pack was? Not a bad brew to try but not going to be one I get again unless I could find it on tap to get a different perspective.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A slightly dull, copper-brown color with a largish foamy off-white head with average retention and only a little lacing.

S: Some toasted caramel malt, along with some modest leafy hop aroma. Some metallic and nutty notes.

T: Toasted malts offer a bland sweetness up front. Leafy, mineral hops provide some flavor without much bitterness. Some faint nutty, fruity, and tealike flavors are also detectable.

M: Light mouthfeel, with average carbonation. Slightly dry into the finish.

D: This beer is thoroughly average, and rather bland to boot. There's not much that's in-your-face bad about this, but everything seems just slightly off from where it should be.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a coca-cola colored liquid with a sandy-looking head. The retention was moderate, the lacing so-so. The aroma was good, semi-sweet and malty with hints of berries and soil. The flavors were deep and robust driven by roasted malt, earthy notes, some nuttiness, a bit of sweetness and a bitter finish. The finish, however, was off in a way I could only associate with spoiled nuts. The mouthfeel was ok but a little watery, the carbonation light and the body about the same.

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Photo of albern
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I would have pegged this more as an amber/red ale, than an English Brown. The beer pours a dark, clear amber color with a tannish head, some lacing, some retention. The nose on the beer was fairly bland, there is a touch of diacetyl, some undefined malts, maybe an earthy or musty aroma as well.

The taste is overall slightly dryish. There is just a touch of leafy hop assertiveness to the beer, but there is more of a malt presence than anything else. There are some roasted flavors, and a smokey wood quality to the beer that tilts this more in the direction of a red/amber. I didn't discern any nutty flavors, or deep caramels typical of the English Brown Ale style. The beer was very well carbonated, a bit thin and light bodied. The beer is dry, easy to consume, a few notches better than average, and nothing overly distinguished either.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear ruby red with a sticky head of foam that drops fast.

S - Some banana? Fruity. Cherries maybe and some spiciness.

T - Some sweetness, dark fruit and light hop backing. There's some toasty grain in here as well.

M - Light-ish in body. Nice carbonation level.

D - Inoffensive medium-dark ale. Doesn't really stand out.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Atlantic Brewing's Bar Harbor Real Ale, after a hard pour, gets a finger of foam
over an almost opaque dark brown brew. There's not a lot of carbonation here,
and a nose with notes of unsweetened chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, and rum.
The flavor is toasty malt, earth, wood, a bit of herbal hops. The mouthfeel is light
and very dry, with a bit of grain and a bit of hopleaf in the aftertaste. Worth a try.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep mahogany with moderate clarity and a tan head that quickly fades to near nothing.

S-Not much here...I had to reach to detect some malts, cocoa, a bit of fruit and grain.

T-Grains, earth, and a nuttiness, with a hint of malt and cocoa. Enough hops to balance, but not much more. Very satisfying in a thirst quenching way. Reminds me of some of my other Maine favorites like Shipyard.

M-Medium mouthfeel and carbonation overall

D-This is a very drinkable beer...I like it alot...nothing remarkable here, but great choice if a full 6 pack was in the works. Would definately buy it again.

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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 hopdog
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
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 -3.1%
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 +5.7%
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 -19.5%
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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Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
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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Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.53 out of 5 based on 366 ratings.
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