overall
99
86
style
RATINGS: 1533   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 55   EST. CALORIES: 243   ABV: 8.1%
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

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3.9
Beaver (1828) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 4, 2005
22 oz bottle. Pours a nearly opaque black (there’s some ruby highlights). It has a creamy light brown head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing. The second half pour leaves some sediment.

The aroma is some roasted malts, figs (and dark fruits), a little anise, and a some sweet cream oakiness.

The flavor is more of the same - roasted chocolate, figs, anise, and sweet oak with a nice lightly bitter dry finish. The alcohol is well hidden. There are some sweet and sour notes that keep it from being truly excellent. It is medium to thin bodied, a little low on the carbonation and a little watery at times.

Overall, a good imp stout. It reminded me of Left Hands Oak-Aged, but wasn’t quite as good.

3.7
JoshuaB (476) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - JUN 3, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2005 Drinking lots of Impy’s lately. this one was pretty good. God the remainder of a 22, so not the greateest sampling. Poured a deep bown/black with some minimal fizz. Not really much in the way of aroma, maybe some coffee. Nice burnt chocolate taste, mildly sweet. Pretty thin mouthfeel which kind of made me less happy. No hint of alcohol even as it warmed. Pretty good brew, especially for the price.

3.8
wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 1, 2005
Interesting beer. Poured dark brown with a thick tan head. The appearance was great. The smell had caramel, milk chocolate and coffee. Caramel and rye were present in the taste. This was kind of like a dark version of the Hop Rod Rye. The body is too thin for a typical Imperial Stout in my opinion. That being said this was still quite good.

3.7
DarkElf (3066) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAY 29, 2005
(22 oz bottle: $2.99 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA) Hmm, I’ve been drinking this beer for years and have never once thought of it as an Imperial Stout. A robust, hefty stout, yes, which is what the label implies, but not really an Imperial Stout in my mind. Regardless, this is one damn fine and easy drinking stout. Quite chocolaty, malty, sweet, earthy, roasty and bitter, it’s exceptionally well balanced from start to finish, representing all the flavors I look for in a "robust" stout. The nose is malty, sweet and chocolaty, but only moderately aromatic. Medium "plus" body, very smooth on the palate. This so-called "black" stout is really just dark brown, even through the center of the filled glass, only medium brown at the edges. Tan head rises to a nice size, gradually settling to a thin, but broken layer, but leaving an interesting polka dot pattern of lace all over the glass. I still think Bear Republic is inflating their beer here, but it’s still a really nice, pleasant beer that goes down really easily, with the bomber gone before you know it.

3.5
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 19, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2006 I had to get a second bottle of this to make sure my first wasn’t horribly bad. This is NOT A STOUT. It’s a freaking dark IPA. I was shocked really. It is so thin on the palate that I literally thought the first bottle might have been a bottling accident. As an IPA it’s actually pretty interesting, but as a stout, while certianly different, it sucks.

3.7
Braudog (6804) - Yorktown, Virginia, USA - MAY 17, 2005
Beautiful blackness ... cascading coffee head settles into a big rocky and sticky head over a midnight liquid. This gives a sweet but big aroma. The flavors are light, yet sturdy ... roasted wood, sugar or molasses, with a big sweet finish. Different than many dry stouts, this is sweet and fruity, but a great drink.

3.6
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - MAY 15, 2005
Bottle courtesy of Wohlfs. Pours dark brown with a decent tan head. Chocolate,caramel maybe a little licorice in the aroma. Chocolate and caramel fade to coffee in the finish. Long lingering aftertaste.

4.1
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAY 14, 2005
Bottle. Pours a black body with light brown head that is very creamy and frothy. Dissipates to about a centimeter. Nose is thick maltiness with some notes of plums and molasses. Nice full taste, very malty with hints of caramel, some molasses, minor notes of coffee and chocolate. Very thick, full and flavorful.

3.8
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 13, 2005
Pours opaque black, light brown head with a nice linger. Heavy roasted malt aroma, with cocoa and coffee notes. Cocoa nose, earthy roast flavors follow. Some coffee style astringency follows with some alcohol presence. Hop flavors start and coontinue to dominate the finish. Mouthfeel is full and smooth, more reminiscent of a regular stout than an impy.

3.6
mephisto (1294) - TAIWAN - MAY 8, 2005
bottled, aromatic and has a think brown foam. taste of roasted malt, dry and full bodied.


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