Big Bear Black Stout | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,404 Ratings
Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Big Bear is a big, black, stout you can really sink your teeth into. The bold, roasty, caramel malt flavor is balanced by Centennial and Cascade hops.

2009 California State Fair – 2nd GOLD
2009 LA International Beer Competition – GOLD
2007 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Stout – SILVER
2002 World Beer Cup - GOLD

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,404 |  Reviews: 1,146
Photo of ssgunbond
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of TriageStat
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Latarnik
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of zenithberwyn
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of rmank
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like the real American black bear this beer has a sooty black coat and a leathery-looking brown nose that sticks out its head. A strong enough light will pry out thin sheets of dark crimson which, at some angles, serve to underline the beer but never successfully negotiate the beer's opacity. This head persists no matter how long it's left sitting still.

This smells so good that I don't care to take a sip; I have to keep reminding myself to come up for air! Leave it up to a California microbrewery to design a rich, roasty stout that *also* brims with zesty hops. The balmy, becalming aura of Chinook and Cascade hops is tossed in a malty chocolate fudge, the combination is a source of great sensory pleasure.

The beer has more than enough maltiness to earn the rights to the word 'big'. It certainly has a big flavour: its taste of home-baked chocolate brownies and rocky road ice cream brings to mind a dessert of uncountable calories and obvious deliciousness. Notes of blackberry puree, dark caramel and coffee embellish an already scrumptious profile.

And for all their presence in both the aroma and flavour the tangy, vinous hops are transcended by that pleasant sweetness of the malts. The toffee-ish mouthfeel connotes sweet molasses and dark brown sugar; its modest but assertive roast mirrors a cinnamon or vanilla spiced coffee (for which it would make a worthy substitute).

The beer warms with exceptional grace and never let's on its true strength (if I am being mauled I certainly don't feel anything!) Although virtually everything about the beer echos the American style of brewing, it drinks with a kind of poise and balance that is much more characteristic of the classic English variations. It is a bear you can cuddle up to.

I'll swear allegiance to the Bear Republic. This West Coast brewery often goes overlooked in the discussion of great American micros and it's a wonder to me why that is; I can think of few breweries that offer a more reliable, first-rate lineup of regular releases than Bear Republic. Big Bear Black is one species you should most certainly hunt down.

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Photo of jpoole18
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of baybum
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Monstro
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of ant880
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of pwdiamond
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of jewellrunner
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Bnoise11
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Patches826
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of ricecracker420
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Wukk
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of unclekeith
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber in a Teku

L: Jet black with a thin beige head - quickly dissipating to a tiny collar
S: Roast malt, caramel, chocolate
T: Follows the nose
M: Creamy, a tad thinner than expected
O: Great roasted stout, nice sweetness, wish this was readily available in Alaska

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Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, black body with one-finger tan head that leaves lace ring around the glass. Mostly roasted malts. some toasted, in the smell along with caramel and hints of coffee and something else (molasses, honey?). Man this is a real smooth and creamy beer, and for a RIS w/ 8% alcohol they hid the alcohol well and were able to to still balance it between caramel and some minor cocoa w/ roasted and coffee malts for a great blend and a dry finish. Even has a minor citric hopbite on the backend as well. A great sipper that's dangerous b/c I could drink it all night.

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Photo of BigDaveLB
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of pveilleux
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of prock180
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of nrbw23
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of lehueve
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 2,404 ratings.
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