Big Bear Black Stout | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,402 Ratings
Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,402
Reviews:
1,145
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
9.69%
 
 
Wants:
183
Gots:
255
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,402 |  Reviews: 1,145
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

stout hopped up.and chocolate malt and very bitter. . Quenched the thirst and then some. Astringent, great with meat and salad. Had on tap a year later and licorice aroma prevalent. Beautiful black appearance. Good carbonation. A top notch stout and a top notch brewery..

 271 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-tasted on tap at Bear Republic 1/31/11 and while review below is accurate, it was much more "stoutlike" han indicated below(although one of my least favorite beers from a brewery that makes almost all really good brews)

* *

Vintage 2006 (although tasted on tap in 2009) Pours very dark brown, almost black with a tan head that is not long in the glass.

Nose is light grapefruit, pine and light undertones of fruity malt. Nose is restrained.

Flavors and basic appeal is also somewhat restrained. The body and flavors are not complex and are light simple malt/stone fruit but not very big and not very assertive and certainly not real complex. This is a basic "ok" drink. It was a treat to try the 2006 in 2009 but not something I'd go out of my way for again. All in all a bit thin in all respects. Not what you would expect in a "quality" craft stout.

 858 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a nice 1 inch chocolate milk colored head. Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and spicy herbal hops. Taste is super dark chocolate, espresso grounds, with a bit of herbal hops on the finish. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, a good stout that is definitely worth seeking out. The price is also right seeing as it's around $3.99 a bomber.

 446 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

to me this one falls somewhere between a black ipa and a stout. it pours jet jet black, with a nitro looking 2 inch microbubble tan head. smells a little burnt, hoppy, and some dark roasted coffee. flavor is quite hoppy, especially at the end when the dark malts combine with it to form a really unique finish. the 8.1% abv is well hidden, and its excellent bang for your buck at under 5$ a bomber. body is full but this feels drinkable to me, just enough carbonation, and smooth as it goes down. an excellent stout, and a good first impression from bear republic.

 564 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice looking black color with a healthy brown head on top also. The lacing wasn't too bad here. The smell of the beer was chocolaty and roasted much like any stout should smell. The taste of the beer was rich with dark malts and some roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel was above average to me, I thought that the carbonation level was pretty good and the body itself wasn't too thin either. OVerall this wasn't a bad Stout, I'd say it worth having.

 470 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -39.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber of this for $3.99. Pours jet black, nice and creamy tan head. Aroma is nice and roasty. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, nice roasted malt and a great hop backbone to it. Awesome mouthfeel, well balanced, and goes down wicked smooth. A great stout, hides the ABV well and is definitely one of the better beers of this style I've tried.

 351 characters

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are aromas of burnt malts and roasted malts in the nose along with notes of chocolate and licorice.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some coffee flavors as well as a moderate amount of bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There is warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink compared to others in the style because any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste.

 678 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, I buy the style characterization. But the beer does hinge on the gavity of an American Stout. Very drinkable and enjoyable for either because the beer emphasizes the intensity of flavor over gravity or feel. This beer is cramed pack full of strong cocoa flavors that will rival Rogues Mocha Porter. Balance that with a strong coffee (nearly espresso) flavor notes that also complement the sharp, American hops that do resemble the younger American Stout. Fresh and intense describe the flavors well. The body is full for a standard American Stout, but not chewy or dense enought for a RIS. I don't seem to care, where it drops off in thickness, it makes up for with drinkability. Still I keep comming back to that intense cocoa / coffee / nutty / toasty blend that makes this beer work for me. Another hats off to Bear Republic for another world class beer. By the way, this beer could win beauty contests with it's appearance that I just didn't describe very well.

 969 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - I've oft come across this brew in my wanderings, but never pulled the trigger on it, for one reason or another. Now, of course, it plops right down into my lap (courtesy of my fave local bottleshop).

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with subtle basal amber edges, and four fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky brown head, which leaves some thickly splattered op-art lace around the glass as it lazily sinks out of sight.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, bready and doughy caramel malt, some free-range roast, cafe-au-lait, a hint of Scandahoovian licorice, real vanilla, a mixed tropical fruitiness, and leafy, piney, and slightly perfumed floral hops. The taste is lightly toasted, bready and sugary caramel/toffee malt, lush medium cocoa, well-creamed coffee, vanilla cookies, muddled dark orchard fruit (very berry-forward), black licorice, and some down-low earthy, leafy, and piney green hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite understated in its punch-clock frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, mostly smooth (just a bit of that as yet masked booziness showing up to mildly ill applause), and somewhat creamy. It finishes well off-dry, the lingering caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and milky notes ensuring that outcome.

Overall, I'm certain that this was the shit, bee's knees, boss, whatever, back when it had fewer throne-usurping competitors out there, but now it ranks as merely really good, instead of existing among those elite ranks that big-ass American stouts can attain in these current Halcyon days.

 1,543 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a beautiful tan colour three finger head of good cream, great thickness, and good retention (even in spite of its 8.1% ABV). Colour is a predictable solid black. Very appealing overall.

Sm: Cream, chocolate, coffee, roast, and caramel. Biscuity. I can't wait to dive in. The aroma is of moderate strength.

T: Caramel biscuity goodness bulks out the body, which consists of some nice chocolate, caramelized malt, light roast, cream, and vanilla. It's complex yet balanced. I do think the climax is a touch too bitter, and the caramel is too dominant, but overall it's a solidly built stout. It's got depth of character and it's inspired.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with coarseness and dryness emergent at the climax. Suits the flavours of the body nicely.

Dr: Very drinkable, especially considering the high ABV. A complex stout that's worth trying for any beer advocate. I'm quite pleased, especially for the affordable price.

 1,096 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with tawny highlights and a nice tan head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Smells as much like an IPA as a stout, with grapefruit hops mixing together with roasted coffee and woody notes

Taste: Starts out with a rich chocolate flavor that blends with dark fruits by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grapefruit bitterness arrives in a big way; woody dry flavors at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body (just a bit thinner than it could be) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This stout hits most of the high points although I wouldn't characterize it as a RIS; it's really more of an American Double Stout in my book.

 664 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Beerandblues2: Poured a light black color ale with a nice brown foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted bitter malt some discernable hops. Taste is dominated by roasted bitter malt with a bitter hoppy finish. Body is more watery then I would have expected for the style with no alcohol being discernable. Overall, I found that this one was way too dry and bitter to really please me.

 422 characters

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black and impenetrable, small frothy head.

Smell: Sweet malts, dark chocolate, a trace of alcohol.

Taste: A very chocolatey stout. Fairly pronounced hops presence, but it doesn't detract from the overall sweet, mellow taste.

Mouth: Full-bodied and rich, dry in the finish, goes down smooth with no noticable burn. Definitely a high point of the beer.

Overall: Great stuff. Hoppier than I was expecting, but not overly so; it still has a good balance, and a distinct malty sweetness. Reminds me a bit of Rogue's Imperial Stout, but mellower than that, and not quite so rich or complex.

 600 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a two-finger, caramel colored head. It left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and chocolate. Also, a floral/hop aroma was present.

T - It tasted of chocolate and sweet, sweet caramel. It was sugary sweet with a subtle hop bitterness.

M - It was very smooth and soft. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good RIS. I wish it was available closer to home.

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Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 2,402 ratings.
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