Big Bark Amber Lager
Live Oak Brewing Company

Big Bark Amber LagerBig Bark Amber Lager
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Vienna Lager
Ranked #20
Ranked #31,571
3.74 | pDev: 10.16%
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Big Bark Amber LagerBig Bark Amber Lager
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 254
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass
Appearance – The beer is served a dark brownish red color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head fades fast over time to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is strongest of lightly toasted bready smell mixed with some aromas of nut and a little bit of caramel. Along with these smells comes some light grassy smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a nice toasted and roasted malt flavor that has a little bit of caramel and toffee. These flavors create the base taste and are later joined by some tastes of a light nutty nature as well as a little bit grass. The mix of tastes take the flavor profile to the end and leave one with a rather smooth taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather low. A little thicker of a body may have been slightly better, but all said the moderate carbonation matched the dark flavors well and the lower carbonation did help accentuate the dark flavors, so overall the feel was pretty decent.
Overall – A nice Vienna lager overall. Easy drinking and flavorful all at a great abv.

 1,220 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

quality lager here, way more flavorful than a lot of other amber lager types, i think they did a good job with this, which is unsurprising since i have really dug every beer i have ever had from these guys. nice clarity, a slightly richer color than expected, pushing deep copper, nice off white head rests on top without settling much. aroma is nutty and warming without being sweet, fully malt driven, not a lot of lager yeast evident here, but there seems to be some real depth to it, light honey, kilned malt, rich cereals, almond, and all of this is there in the flavor. there is some bittering hop balance but its way in the back, and for how grain driven this is, the lagering dries it out beautifully, this finishes pretty clean for what it is. toasted biscuit, light smoke, and fresh bread, medium bodied and highly carbonated. this is substantial as they go, but the lack of sweetness keeps it highly drinkable for me. refreshing even for a red or amber beer. live oak continues to impress me, even in basic styles like this. high quality beer here!

 1,059 characters

Photo of CTHomer
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: crystal clear; bronze in color; 1 finger light tan head that receded to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: sweet malt and nutty;

T: this tastes more like an adjunct lager than an amber; if I didn't see the color of the beer, I never would have guessed what this was;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: disappointing;

 352 characters

Photo of gvickery
1.92/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It looks fine, cloudy medium copper color. Very strange aroma., corn, roasted. Taste was really weird, I couldn’t figure it out at first but then it hit me, corn chips. As a Texan, I appreciate Texas beers, this is just off. It’s not right. It tastes like [email protected]*king corn chips. C’mon man, beer shouldn’t taste like Fritos. There are a lot of great ambers out there and this ain’t one of em.

 400 characters

Photo of puck1225
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip glass.

Golden colored body with a beautiful foamy initial head and good lacing. Sweet floral smell and taste. Bready and nice malt backbone. Good lager!

 184 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This one pours a clear light amber, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like pretty basic, but appealing nonetheless- it smells like baked brown bread, slight hop spice, and caramel.

This is super drinkable and pretty much right to style, but it's slightly boring, and slightly muted. I wanted more body and richer depth of flavor. There's a nice breadiness, and very slight sweetness, and just the vaguest hint of hop flavor

This is light bodied, crisp and very clean, with a good level of carbonation.

This is probably the weakest beer that Live Oak brews, and that's saying a lot about the overall quality of the brewery, as this is still very decent.

 673 characters

Photo of beeragent
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass from a can.

A - Pours a medium amber, forming a thin white head with light lace. Steady stream of carbonation throughout.

S - Strong aroma of grainy malts and grassy hops.

T - Toasty malt flavor coats the palate, with a slight caramel finish. A bit grassy throughout from the hops with very low bitterness.

M - Light mouthfeel with good carbonation. Very clean finish.

O - Great example of the style.

 425 characters

Photo of Blackop555
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours Amber. Foamy, short, off-white had that Fades fast.

Smells toasted malt, bready, grain and a hint of grassiness.

Taste caramel malt, toasted Mall, green. Followed by earthy bitterness and light grassiness. Finish is dry with an earthy linger and light toasted malts. Lighter body and fizzy lower carbonation.

 317 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours with a big head that forms over the amber liquid; nice retention and spots of lace

Smell: Vienna malt aromatics with some earthy/grassy bitter tones

Taste: Bread and caramel forward, with the grassy bitterness building; while the malt profile lingers into the aftertaste, the bitter features dominate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I am not a fan of the style but this is a pretty good example, if Americanized just a bit to make it more hoppy

Thanks, Texasfan549, for the opportunity

 539 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber body, medium hue with one finger white head, short retention and bits of lacing. Smells of toffee, lightly toasted bread, touch of grainy biscuit, light earth, a bit of floral. Flavour is biscuit, toasted grain, toffee, light caramel, floral bitterness, a touch of resin. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, smooth and easy to drink, a bit of resinous and floral bitterness on the end.

 440 characters

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can poured into a pint glass, canned on 06/08/16. I believe this is from the first run of Canned Big Bark.

Exceptional clear amber with 1/2 finger of head that recedes to a fine lace, smell of cracker and toasted grain, taste of bread, toasted grain and earthy hop bitterness with a clean finish. Solid Amber lager.

 319 characters

Photo of BlesstheHarvest
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had it on Tap at D&T Drive Inn in Houston.

Tan/copper color with nice discolored head. It has very good flavors for a lager. Malty and some hops, nothing to blow you away. but a good quality drinkable beer. carbonation is standard for a lager.

would drink again.

 264 characters

Photo of Premo88
4.41/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Onion Creek, Houston

Copper, clear, super sticky head of beige/tan foam.

Slightly hoppy fruit flavor, very sweet. Hop bite is a bit grassy

(original review above, June 22, 2015)

additional notes from first chance to try it out of a can -- July 28, 2016 -- 12 oz. can poured into pilsener

L: head is fantastic, about 1-inch to 1.5 inches of offwhite/beige foam; no sticking or lacing but it does keep a solid collar; super tight column of bubbles flying up middle of glass

S: so malty ... some grain, too, and it's good toasted grain; the toasted malt note is fantastic; a little hoppy thing ... almost grassy or onion

T: earthy hop bite, toasted grain and lots of toasted malt sweetness

Original numbers: 4.75, 4, 4.25, 5, 4.5

 751 characters

Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love a good Vienna lager and this one delivers the goods. Toasted biscuit, slightly floral hops, and a deep Amber color with red and orange hues. Paired excellently with fried cheese curds and Olaf sauce.

 206 characters

Photo of Getalegup
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've had this many time cold and on tap over the years. But this was really more of a bitter ale. I'm not sure what the firkin did to this but didn't help. Maybe it was too warm?

 178 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at Stubbs BBQ here in Austin, Texas. Reviewed from notes taken a few weeks back. This was my first Live Oak beer. Reviewed as an amber lager because it identifies as such.

A: No bubble show.

Pours no head whatsoever. Body colour is a clear pilsner yellow/straw yellow. No yeast particles are visible. Not at all amber in colour, and frankly it's not much to look at. Vibrance is average.

Sm: Pilsner malts and clean barley are the only notes my broken nose detects. All apologies, lads. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Bland and boring. A light aroma.

T/Mf: Crisp as hell. Spring water, clean barley, pilsner malts, straw. Any hopping is purely preservative. Painfully simple, and in no way an amber (whether ale or lager). It doesn't even resemble a Vienna lager. Boring and bland, but approachable I guess. No yeast or alcohol comes through. No complexity or subtlety here.

Smooth, wet, sharp, and a biteen biting. Too heavy on the palate for the style. Has a decent body. Doesn't complement the flavour profile well.

Dr: Downable but disappointing, especially for my first Live Oak beer. I wouldn't get it again. I'm hoping this is just a fluke; I was really looking forward to trying Live Oak beers while living in Austin. Boring and bland, but kind of refreshing. Enjoyable but generic. Lacks real character; uninspired.

High C-

03/04/18 impression from a can:

Toasted malt. Caramel-ish flavours. Vienna malt. Munich malt. Hints of baked bread.

Sparsely hopped (to style). No overt yeasty notes are present; lager yeast leaves this devoid of esters.

Smooth, wet, somewhat refreshing, medium-bodied.

Certainly true to style, though its depth of flavour is a bit wanting. It's on the more bready side for a Vienna lager, which isn't really to my personal taste.


 1,850 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Flying Saucer in San Antonio, TX.

The beer is amber hued with a half inch of head. Aromas of lager yeast, light fruity character, a touch of bread / grain. Fresh, really smooth on the palate and well balanced. Easy to drink and enjoy. Refreshing on a warm summer day. I sat outside and alternated between this and Live Oak Hefe, both tasty brews. Definitely above average for the style. I normally don't enjoy amber lagers this much. I would definitely have this again.

 486 characters

Photo of BrotherDarryl
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After drinking the belgian ale, this is one is a refreshing light beer. The beertender reminds me this is not a light beer. The color is amber. There was a good head on it after the pour that is gone now. It has a decent finish. Easy to drink with an ale-like bitter taste I like. I could drink quite a few of these, me thinks!

 327 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

This one was sent to me as an extra in a trade. Apparently this was hand bottled by a Live Oak Brewery employee, who was a friend of the trader. Must be something thats done fairly commonly as they have labeled caps. Thanks to Zadavis for sending over this bottle from a brewery that doesn't bottle!

A: Pours a crystal clear light amber with 1.5 fingers width of ivory colored head. Leaves no appreciable lacing.

S: Some caramel malt, citrus, tart apple. Not much going on here but whats there smells nice.

T: Caramel malts, some estery banana flavors, mild tart note, some bready yeast.

M/D: A rather light body but with a somewhat sticky/syrupy mouthfeel. Drinkability is fair.

O: Overall, rather unremarkable. I dont think Id drink this one again. Not that it was bad, but it certainly nothing special. Glad I was able to try a beer that is usually not available to me though.

 920 characters

Photo of ElCommodoro
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very pretty amber with no head. Flavour profile is well balanced, fresh-tasting and all around decent, but nothing particularly interesting. Tastes like lots of other local ambers. The fresh hops are not really something I'm particular fond of, but it adds a nice fresh, fruity, bitterness a lot of people might like. It's just not something I'm personally a fan of.

 374 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at The Holy Grail Pub in Plano, TX.

A: Pours a crystal clear amber with light amounts of visible carbonation. There is a thin off white head that has very little retention and moderate amounts of lacing.

S: Slight aromas of bready malts with hints of spices and caramel.

T: Beautiful malty sweetness with a pleasant lingering bitterness in the finish. Hints of toffee and caramel.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: Very enjoyable and a decent example for the style. The lingering bitterness (it lingers for quite a while) makes the beer not very sessionable. But I would enjoy this beer at another opportunity, just not many of them in a sitting.

 705 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear caramel color with a tight layer of foam topping it. There’s a muted aroma and this light, malty flavor with a sharp, hoppy bitterness that rounds it out. And, honestly, that’s the way I like my amber lagers: with character and a kick, not just malty syrup. Good one.

 290 characters

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint Glass.

Appearance-Dark red with a off white, almost brown head. About 2 fingers which leaves some nice lacing.

Smell-Bready, some cider and spice.

Taste-Lots of Apple Skins Light tartness and balanced nicely with some big bready notes. Really simple but this is very very drinkable and extremely tasty.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, carbonation was perfect. Goes down real smooth and I could drink alot of this.

Overall-If these beers were canned/bottled this would be my go to session beers. Another really nice offering from Live Oak.

 555 characters

Photo of Biermaedchen
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - reddish brown with copper colored highlights, a nice off-white head that has good retention

S - exceptional malt aroma with toasty sweet caramel scents & very slight hint of hops

T - tasty set of malty flavors with sweet toffee/caramel and light toasty malt note. smooth graininess with a crisp hop bitterness in the background

M - medium bodied. well-balanced and smooth, but firm. great carbonation.

O - really exceptional beer... tasty and drinkable & good representation of the style. Happy they gave this year around.

 531 characters

Photo of jamescain
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at the Draught house.

Appearance: Red-orange with a white head around a finger thick that fades into a thin lacing.

Aroma: Malty sweetness, with a burnt grain aroma in the background.

Taste: Sweet from the malts and slightly roasted. Nothing spectacular, but not bad by any means, just kind of bland like most beers of the style.

Mouthfeel: Light body with medium carbonation and a relatively dry finish.

Overall: Honestly I’m not that big a fan of brown ales or amber ales and this one was no exception. It didn’t do much to separate itself from the pack. I always enjoy Live Oak’s beers so I was slightly disappointed by this offering.

 675 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Bark Amber Lager from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 254 ratings