After a couple of days in a row that got dangerously close to 90 degrees, on the night of this tasting, the temps took a small dip into the 70s, with evening temps going down into the high 40s. In other words, it was the perfect night for a Stout. When I opened the fridge to see what I had in stock, I noticed that I still had a bottle of Bear Republic’s Big Bear Black Stout. Given all of our very good experiences with Bear Republic, I was psyched to try this.
Before we get to my impressions, here’s what Bear Republic has to say about this beer:
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.
And now for my review…
- Appearance: Deep, dark color which I guess is why they call this a Black Stout. Though the head doesn’t rise very high, what’s there is thick and creamy looking. Moderate lacing.
- Aroma: I had to let it warm up a bit since it was quite muted when first poured. Once it warms up, there’s plenty of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee on the nose. There’s also a bit of dried fruit and molasses coming through.
- Taste: Medium bodied with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel and lightly fizzy carbonation. Bittersweet chocolate with a bit of caramel at the onset that transitions to dark roast coffee. Some dried fig notes come through as you approach the finish. Ends on a slightly bitter note which is similar to what you get after drinking an espresso.
- ABV: 8.1%
Big Bear Black Stout is exactly what I was looking for on this chilly evening in May. I enjoyed this beer’s big, bold flavors and really appreciate how it balances the slightly sweet chocolate and caramel notes with the mildly bitter coffee notes. Big Bear Black Stout is highly recommended.