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Live Oak Big Bark Amber Lager | Live Oak Brewing Company

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Live Oak Big Bark Amber LagerLive Oak Big Bark Amber Lager

Brewed by:
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Pegasus on 04-30-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 220
Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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-

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thin, off-white head that had begun to dissipate even as it was being served to me. Color was a medium-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was fairly sweet for a lager-style beer. Mouthfeel was medium with a good bit of sweetness on the tongue. Finish remained sweet. Decent, but not compelling.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a shiny amber with an average-sized, light brown head. The aroma is of lightly toasted malt, pretty good, but not quite rich enough. Taste is more of the same, the strength of the malts seems to be just a little weak for the style. A little graininess does give the flavor another facet. Looking at the other reviews it seems to have been hoppier in the past or I got a weird batch. Anyway, this beer seems taylored for session drinking, but cannot compete in taste with some of the maltier ambers.

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Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Gingerman in Dallas. Served in a pint glass, clear amber with a short white head.

The aroma is full of smooth caramel malts. The flavor matches with the same caramel and bread, but with a dry, almost burnt toffee note. The beer finishes with grassy bitterness, its not big, but its the most prominent taste.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Addison Flying Saucer.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get quite a bit of toffee, but I also get some bread and a little bit of grape. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of toffee and bready malt as well as a little bit of pine and grass from the hops. I also get a little bit of grape in the flavor as well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 416 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent amber/reddish color. A small one finger white head forms, and recedes in an instant. Light lace is left behind.
S: At first a large whiff of brewers yeast. Some sweet caramel malt and piny, citrus, and grassy hops.
T: Sweet caramel malt. Some grassy and piny hops. Fairly standard.
M/D: A medium body that is a little over carbonated for my tastes. I did not have any problems drinking this. Something I can session.

There is just not a lot here. I can't see reaching for this over the Hefe. Though, worth at least one try.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

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Photo of Redrover
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was able to sample this one at the Elephant Room in Austin. Cool subterranean bar on Congress & 6th.

It was served in a standard pint. The beer is a translucent brownish amber with a tan head. Great lacing.

Malts and something sweet (brown sugar?) on the nose. It could be amped up a bit.

The taste is pleasant with slightly toasted grains, a bit of sweetness and a finish of weak plums.

The mouth is smooth, could be a session beer, but I would want something a bit more bold.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer arrived on the table amber golden and crystal clear with a white head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was caramel malt and a light fruity character. Some slight grassy hop presence was notable.

The flavor was light caramel maltiness with a nice but somewhat low bittering level that was slightly grassy and slightly menthol.

The finish was dry with just lasting caramel. The body was medium. A fairly straighforward, but uninspired brew with little complexity.

Draft at Flying Saucer in San Antonio.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Quite clear medium copper color with a small off-white head, which quickly collapses to a small collar. A few fat bubbles rise lazily to the surface throughout.

Aroma: Robust toasted malt with assertive bitter grapefruit notes.

Taste: Begins with toasted malts, which turn mildly sweet midway through the taste, mild alcohol notes also appear. Finishes with sharply bitter grapefruit hops that linger on well past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Not exceptional, but smooth and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A bit off-trail with respect to the hoppiness to judge by the amber ales that I have sampled, but nonetheless tasty and quite drinkable. Reviewed on tap at Waterloo Icehouse in Austin, Texas.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Gingerman, Austin.
Aroma: The slightest hint of hops, and a touch of spice
Appearance: A clear reddish amber that produced an off white head that maintained a thin coat deep into the beer
Flavor: Balance is toward a honey like sweetness but not cloying. Mild hops notes are hard to come by, but present. There is a slight spice taste that I had trouble naming (something like nutmeg, but not exactly, may have been the grapefruit other reviewers caught).
Mouthfeel: Light body and a firm carbonation
Overall Impression: A very thirst quenching beer. I enjoyed it. It reminded me of Abita Amber or St. Arnold’s Amber, so I think it is fairly close to style. I would make a decent session, but I was happy after one beer. Next time I’ll try another Live Oak.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Buffalo Billiard's in downtown Austin. Not a great lineup, but at least this was something I hadn't had before.

A: Poured a translucent dark amber body. The head was a finger of off-white foam that receded quickly into a donut, and left a few drabs of lacing down the sides of the glass. For a beer of this style, kind of average.

S: Toasted caramel malt, grain, and nuts. Not all that pungent.

T: Much breadier than the nose implied, and this dominated the taste along with grain and nuts. Caramel came near the end of the taste. It had a malty, but clean finish with a distinctly nutty aftertaste. I got a very light hop bitterness, but I couldn't place the flavor -- earthy, I suppose.

M: Light-bodied, medium carbonation. It went down smoothly.

D: I liked it, didn't love it.

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Photo of armock
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt some caramel scents

T - Follows the nose with the sweet caramel malt

M - This beer has a lighter body with lighter carbonation to it

D - Overall this is a good sessionable beer it has a good taste thats easy to drink not the first Live Oak beer I'd pick but a good one thats worth a try sometime

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Photo of JDV
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Billy’s in Austin. Light Amber in color, with light to medium carbonation and small to medium white head. Smell is of caramel sweetness, intense juicy dried apricots, slight maltiness. Taste is similar with a mild bitterness as well. Medium finish and a good beer overall. A nice vienna-style lager.

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Photo of zac16125
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I had this on draft at Shozols [sic] Garden in Austin, and I thought this was a very nice but not over the top malty lager. It was hot in TX, and this beer was quite refreshing while not insubstantial.

It came in a big 20 oz glass, without a lot of head on it. It was a sparkling amber color. Aroma was a good amount of malt without any cerealness, and with a bit of hop. Flavor was more of the same; a nice amount of malt without any loss of refreshingness. Very good.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nothing particularly interesting from a good local brewery. pour is amber and expected. head wasn't particularly rich... a tad off in color from white. not particularly hoppy nose and something that come out to be something dry and peppery. palate has the bitter and a very thin malt character. seemed like a thinned out pale ale. no fruit. no broadness in palate just a tad bitter and carbonated.

with that said... don't go to cane and abel's in austin. it a waste of time. had it again in much better quality but still nothing equal to their other beers.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.07/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Flying Saucer here in Houston...

Appearance: The beer pours completely still. Since there is so little going on, you can tell that it is slightly cloudy. The beer is a light amber color.

Aroma: There is some sweet caramel with a mild hop presence. There is an acidic roast-like presence here that is unusual for such a light beer. The caramel gets more noticeable as the beer warms up some. As it warms further, there are more esters from fermentation coming out.

Taste: Malt leads the flavor, but there is an unavoidable metallic note to the beer. The caramel is there along with a mild toasty presence. There are hops present in this beer, but they come across to me as being primarily British varieties. There is malt in the finish that is only challenged by the bitterness, but the malt stays in charge. The beer finishes pretty wet and medium bodied.

Opinion: This was an OK beer, but there were a couple off flavors to add to the lack of carbonation that was disappointing. Perhaps I had a dirty glass as I saw latter pours that had more head retention. I would like to try this beer again at the brewery to make sure that I was getting what they intended to be poured.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried on tap @ Dancing Bear on Bastille Day 2009.

Poured in a Fireman 4 glass. Small light tan head. Lightly carbonated. Clear orange brown color. Faint caramel malt smell. Starts with some caramel nuttiness, turning slightly astringent. A little vegetal. Med body. Finish gives the slightest bit of hops on the back of your tongue. Med alcohol.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great head and retention.

Smell is of nice caramel malts and hops. Apple phenol comes out on the nose.

Very typical and basic amber. Caramel malts are decent with a low hop bitterness. Nothing bad about this beer, but nothing special.

This beer is pretty decent and clings to the palate well. Makes for a decent session.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Live Oak Big Bark Amber Lager from Live Oak Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 220 ratings.
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