Big Bear Black Stout | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Big Bear Black StoutBig Bear Black Stout
2,415 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,415 |  Reviews: 1,148
Photo of wrecknut
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of InebriatedJoker
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into pint goblet - No best by date visible.

A: Poured a used motor oil black with two finger head that dissipated into a thin tan creamy lacing, great webbing decent carbonation.

S: Roasted Malts with slight molasses/licorice hints.

T: Roasted malts with some light hops , slight licorice and black strap molasses,faint bitter coffee hues as well , chocolates are almost non-existent.

O: Overall this is a decent Stout,I would have liked more chocolate flavors in this , and maybe a bit more coffee, Still it's very drinkable and leaves a good toasty malt aftertaste.

 590 characters

Photo of Honus1
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Ieatlambfries
3.21/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was very good. Opaque black with a two finger tan head. Spotty lacing that dissipates quickly.

Very nice smell. Big roasted malt, with hints of baking coco, licorice, and espresso.

Taste was OK. Unfortunately for me the flavor didn't deliver on the promises hinted at by the smell. Slightly sweet burnt malt and ash were the dominating flavors. Bitter coffee, mixed with unsweetened baking coco. Hoppy twang on the back end.

Mouthfeel was thin. I prefer a richer thicker feel in my RIS's.

Overall not bad, just very average for the style. I noticed a few people giving this brew a pass by rating it as a regular stout, or Euro. But, when rated compared to it's peers as a Double Stout or RIS, it's just out classed.

 734 characters

Photo of elniko
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into Stella glass.

A: Opaque coloring with nice tan head and heavy lacing. Very nice looking beer.

S: Sweet smelling nose with some chocolate tones. Quite nice.

T & M: Not terribly bitter for a RIS, almost a creamy mouthfeel which I enjoyed. Not as complex as other RIS that I have encountered.

D: Very drinkable for a RIS, but not at the very top of my list.

 383 characters

Photo of aliving1
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of VBWharfRat
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of charlesw
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color me surprised that this is a stout at all and then an RIS? What? Weird. But, hey, it's all good.

I'm not giving this great scores across the board even though I really enjoyed drinking it. Still, it's not a stout (like the bottle says) or an RIS (like this site says). No way. My biggest beef with it is the color/opacity. It's a really deep and dark amber. And not opaque. I mean, with "Black Stout" in the name I'm waiting for something that's really black. No chance. I hold my glass up to the light and I see color through it. Besides, the beer is dark reddish brown. Not black. Low head. Big IPA nose. Big old ale taste - tons of smoother, sweeter dark malts. Caramel. Hints of chocolate and coffee (but only hints). Alas, with a thin and watery mouthfeel. More like a normal stout, I suppose. But with that big sweet flavor and all of those hops (which I didn't mention but which are everywhere) I expect more from this one.

 936 characters

Photo of alaimoa
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz with no freshness date purchased about 6 months ago
Pours jet lack with thin layer of caramel color head that barely appears

Smell roasted coffee, burnt chocolate and hint of raising sweetness. Not overpowering just very pleasant

Taste: upfront roasted chocolate/ coffee and a bittersweet flavor in the back
Can't even taste any alcohol which is amazing at 8.1%.. Sessionable imperial aside from likely passing out after 2

Mouthfeel could be a tad thicker with a bit more kick from the roasted malt

Overall I am enjoying this a lot and would buy again. It's less complex than some of the really bold imperials that throw a ton of different flavor notes in them.. This is simple, well balanced and very drinkable

 721 characters

Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of vonnerbeer
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of rkuhnel
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting for just the right moment to try my 22 oz bottle of Big Bear. I have been real impressed with what Bear Republic does so I have really been looking forward to this beer. It looks initially as if splashed in my glass like it was black used motor oil , but when held up close to light you discover it is really a very rich red. The head is fairly large and was the color of coffee with cream. Huge chunks of lacing were left as it settled. Overall the appearance, for a dark beer, is simply outstanding. The body and mouthfeel are not as heavy as its appearance would suggest but are velvet smooth, and both on the teeth and tongue are a sensory delight. The nose is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, spicy fruits, hops, and a touch of alcohol. Flavors are a mirror of the nose, but are even more intense, with the roasted malts and chocolate dominating. After all this, the finish surprisingly has a nice little bitter twitch. Overall it is very well balanced, and remarkably drinkable. I consider this at the very top of all the imperial stouts I have tried. It lived up to my expectations and more.

 1,119 characters

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of SHerninko
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Onslow
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet tar molasses aroma ... black as midnight ... lacing is all the live! .... definition of an imperial stout ... very sweet libation ... alcohol is quite well hidden ... this is a perfect beer to celebrate ones birthday but make sure not to celebrate to hearty, can be a sneaky brew!

 286 characters

Photo of TriageStat
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of georgiaboy8686
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of markdrinksbeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of zak333
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of genog
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with a rich and foamy tan head about 2 inches tall that quickly fades and leaves minimal head and lacing. Smell is hoppy with some dark chocolate aroma, as well as fruit, such as some bittersweet cherry. Taste is a little different from the smell, and not as impressive. The taste is mostly bitter hops, and I can't taste much of the cherry or chocolate. Mouthfeel is creamy, and smooth and no carbonation. A very promising beer but I take a sip and expect a little more in the flavor department.

 515 characters

Photo of SykDoc
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. This beer pours dark almost black color with brown at the edges when held to the light. It has a 1/2 inch light brown head that recedes to a consistent lacing.

The nose has a nice amount of roasted malty sweetness, mixed with some alcohol. There are mild hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste includes a nice set of roasted malt, that includes chocolate and minimal coffee. It was a bit weak for me.

The mouthfeel was also weak. There is a creamy, almost milk stout feel. Overall, it is again a bit minimal for the body I was expecting. A pleasant dryness lingers.

Overall, I do feel that the weakness of this beer actually makes it a bit more drinkable. I would enjoy it when it is available but will likely not be searching it out.

 777 characters

Photo of blackcompg
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 22oz bomber...

Appearance - Poured just over 2 fingers of medium mocha colored tight foam (mad cascading as the head builds!), color of the stout is a very deep mahogany garnet, it is also translucent.

Smell - Whoah, rich molasses, soy sauce, black licorice, faint coffee and bakers chocolate.

Taste - There are some complex flavors, but so well balanced, let's see if I can pick all of them out - begins with a combination of black roasted coffee beans, roast pumpernickel bread, touches of molasses sweetness and soy saltiness, on the back I'm getting bit of very floral hops, white pepper, touch of coriander, anise and a little grapefruit pith - the finish is dry pumpernickel crust and grapefruit peel, roast/char and a few french roast coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, silky smooth and nearly creamy. Carb is very low and soft, which allows the creamy texture. Very drinkable,

Overall - I have to tell you, there are definitely some hoppy flavors long into the finish here. This seems like a hybrid of stout, porter and black ipa - all rolled into one - a very interesting and unique stout for sure, and one that may win over fans of black ipa's for sure - try this one for sure.

 1,223 characters

Photo of TommyW
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black with a thin, tan head.

S- Roasted malt with a touch of chocolate and a pretty large floral hop aroma.

T- Moderate roasted and chocolate malts with some notes of coffee bean. The hops are again noticeable here in a floral way. Alcohol is also slightly noticeable.

M- A little thinner on the tongue that i expected; crisp finish.

D- A really different RIS, not really what I expected, but still a nice beer.

 424 characters

Photo of cfadams17
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Brutus627
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Big Bear Black Stout from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 2,415 ratings
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