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Big Cock IPA - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Cock IPABig Cock IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

69 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.31%
Wants: 8
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great River Brewery visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BedetheVenerable on 10-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schoon
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

schoon, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of drinkAK
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

drinkAK, May 19, 2013
Photo of TS057
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

TS057, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of ffshore545
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

ffshore545, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of SamAdams327
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

SamAdams327, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 16-ounce can. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a nonick pint glass. The color is copper with a light orange hue. Two fingers of dense, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly, leaving a spotted lacing, ring around the edge, and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Citrus hoppiness, baby! Grapefruit and tangerine stand out. Caramel malts and grassy, British-esque hops balance the citrus.

Taste: It offers a nice citrus flavor without the “bitter beer face.” The mouthfeel, though, seems a little coarse and it does offer a nice bitterness. Grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and lemon. It also offers the earthy hops, pale malts, caramel, and toffee of British pale ales. As it warms, the caramel becomes a little more candy-like and the bitterness beings to linger after each sip.

Drinkability: This beer is solid. It offers a lot of citrus and balance at the same time. Very well-crafted brew.

TheQuietMan22, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I served this in a tulip, reviewed from notes.

Appearance- Three-fingers of off-white orange head. There are lots of craters and bubbles in the thick cap.

The body is more of a burnt orange with amber highlights. I am really impressed with the head retention and the spidery lace.

Smell- The hop notes are not jumping out at me, sort of citrusy and grassy, only slightly bitter. A slight, white bread malt flavor sweetens the scent.

Taste- Luckily, hops are noticeable all the way through the sip. Not the most flavorful, but they do a good job of bittering. Here they taste grassy, slightly citrus, and even a little floral.

The malt may be too forward for some, but regardless, the biscuity flavor fits and really smoothes this one out.

Mouth feel- This is huge for an IPA and the carbonation is almost perfect. It is really creamy.

Overall- If you came looking for a hop bomb, there will be some manner of disappointment. The beer goes for milder, bittering hops and a strong, biscuit malt. The combination works in my opinion; and I would definitely have it again.

Pintofbrown, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked a 4pk of this up today at the brewery, on release day, for $9.50 plus tax. A portion of the proceeds go to support "Pheasants Forever", a program to keep these birds in the wild.

Presentation: 16oz can, with plastic, shrink-wrap type label (for environmental friendliness?). The provocative name is actually meant to catch people's eye and is a reference to the ringnecked pheasant, who's losing habitat throughout the US. There's a nice picture of a male pheasant on the front of the can. Geez, what were YOU thinking?

Appearance: Pours a beautiful burnt orange-tinged amber, with bright clarity. Medium-high levels of tiny beaded carbonation. Absolutely gorgeous, creamy, fluffy antique ivory cap that leaves some thick, patchy lace. Great looking beer.

Smell: As expected, this is fresh and vibrant. Nothing crazy unique, but definitely pleasant. Nice citrus and pine notes. I'm thinking pithy grapefruit and perhaps a bit of sweet orange? Also, some nice toasty/biscuity malt. Not tons of depth, but it's well-integrated and quite pleasant, so I think the score (4) is warranted.

Taste: The hop flavors start out mirroring the aromas and are fresh and almost delicate. With a bit of warming, some 'greener' and more herbal, almost woody, notes emerge, much more than the aromas would suggest. Then WHAM. So much for subtlety and finesse. The 70 IBUs comes rip-roarin' in and, honestly, it feels like a bit more than 70. The bitterness is fairly clean, but it lingers. This definitely straddles the line between IPA and DIPA, in my opinion. The pine and citrus flavors fade on the swallow, and you're left with an impression of lightly toasted pale malt, and a somewhat woody bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice and smooth

Overall: This is really what you'd expect from a beer with this name. It's big and ballsy, a slugger of an IPA, which will certainly please hopheads. I'm not sure what varieties of hops were used, but they certainly aren't as a citrusy as was originally suggested by the nose. Even with a bit of warming a more woodsy character emerged and this is definitely present on the palate. Overall, this is the third brew I've had from the tiny Great River Brewery and I've been pleasantly surprised with all three. Keep up the good work, guys! From now on, when I'm swinging through the Quad Cities (every year or so), I'll be sure to check this place out!

BedetheVenerable, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of RDW
4/5  rDev +13.3%

RDW, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of jackpritchard
4/5  rDev +13.3%

jackpritchard, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of nkp765
4/5  rDev +13.3%

nkp765, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of JJFordick
4/5  rDev +13.3%

JJFordick, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of IpeeA
4/5  rDev +13.3%

IpeeA, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of sprucetip
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice looking copper/amber brew with about an inch of fluffy off white head, good retention, and really thick lacing. Also very active and has good clarity.

UPDATED SCORES 12.13.12. Original review was from initial batch, and it pretty much sucked. But I had it again recently and it was radically different. I suspect if was very fresh, as it was just bursting with hop gooey hop flavor. My buddy said "it takes and smells like chlorophyl," expressing his displeasure. Yep, it does. "And that's intentional?" he asked. Yes again. And I like it. It was sharply bitter but not too too over the top, and there was some balance from the malt bill backing it up. Vastly improved. Great River historically has had consistency issues, but they are doing far more volume these days so hopefully they'll get some increased consistency in the process.

ORIGINAL Review late 2011, scored then 2.65
Not much early, maybe something will emerge. But for now it is some very faint, grainy pale malt. That's all, and it isn't easy to find. ... Half an hour later, and warmer, and it's still mostly plain, pale malt. There is some very limited hop character, but it consists of grassy and cat box notes, and is pretty muted as well. I'm not a fan of the nose.

Tastes much in the same vain as the nose, but better. Grainy pale malt, a very faint malty sweetness, very lightly bitter, with some gentle grassy and earthy hop flavor. I guess you could say it's balanced, but there isn't really all that much going on to balance.

Perfectly carbonated, medium body, and a mildly bitter and drying finish.

Even if you were calling this English style, I don't think there is anywhere near enough hop flavor, aroma or bitterness to call this an IPA. And it was just released 4 days ago, so it's not the sample. It's clean, smooth and probably what the brewers intended. But I would call it a high abv (7%) APA. I think I like their APA better, actually, even though I'm more of a DIPA or bold IPA kind of guy. I like and support Great River, and I want to love this beer. But it's not really in my wheelhouse, and doesn't have the hops to be a legit IPA.

sprucetip, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of JakeMorgan13
4/5  rDev +13.3%

JakeMorgan13, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of zac16125
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can into a pint glass
no born on date

Thanks to haveanother1 for sending this, along with a number of other northern midwest IPAs, over in a trade.

A: Pours a dark reddish amber with 2 plus fingers width of light tan colored head, which takes a good while to settle down to a thick film that remains throughout the drink. Leaves a fair amount of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Citrus rind, caramel malt, touch of pine, and a somewhat bizarre dirty feel smell.

T: Tasty beer here. Prominent caramel malt backbone accompanied by really nice ctirus flavors (lemon zest, grapefruit, orange rind), and a strong piney bitterness. Bitterness lingers for a long time after each sip. Very nice.

M/D: Very smooth for the style, perfect carbonation, medium bodied, drinkability is good. Very nice mouthfeel.

O: Overall, I thought this was quite good. There are not many reviews, but I am surprised that the ones that are here show this beer to be rather poorly received. I think its a well crafted, tasty IPA that I would certainly drink again. Above average in my book.

zac16125, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of JayQue
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good IPA!! My first beer from Iowa. Thanks to woodchopper who included it in a trade. Pours a dark hazy orange/coppery color. Big frothy white head with excellent retention and good thick lacing. Solid citrus hops aroma. Taste did not quite live up to the nose, but got stronger and more hoppy as the beer warmed. When cold, the initial blast of citrus hops faded fast. Lingered longer when the beer was warmer.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin at first, but the accumulation of hoppy blows takes care of the tongue as you keep drinking. Nice bitterness, carbonation just right...nice and crisp with a good bite.

There are better IPAs out there but this is a pretty solid one. Would definitely try one again.

JayQue, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of garymuchow
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16oz can poured nicely into glassware made to hold that amount of beer.
Very attractive beer, with a dark amber very clear body and a full thick dark head with sufficient lacing.
Hop forward nose with nice citrus and Am. style hops, but also a less pleasing mild hop oil that has a slight stale quality. Firm malt based.
Taste is to style. Well balanced malt/hop ratio with a full bitterness kicking in mid to a very long finish. Nice hop drying. Slight hop oil excess, but it doesn't take away too much from the other enjoyable flavors.
Moderate body that is satisfying, and a pleasing fullness to the carbonation.
Basic solid drinking Am. IPA to style. This brewery seems to do that very well.

garymuchow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of zonker17
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

zonker17, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of vidguy17
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

vidguy17, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of Cramerican
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Cramerican, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of RelentlessLefty
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

RelentlessLefty, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful looking three inch, off-white head on a ruby red colored body. Lots of suspended sediment and a few streams of effervescence float on upward. Clumpy lacing lines the edge of the tulip and the head stays around very nicely.

S- Aroma is of citrus (red grapefruit), it's faint but there. Opens up as the Big Cock warms a little.

T- Citrus notes that aren't as "in your face" as some of my favorites in the style but that's alright...nicely balanced with the malts. Very bitter hops taste lingers after each sip. My ABV detectors put this right around the stated alcohol content.

M- Medium mouthfeel and damn near perfect carbonation.

D/O- I believe the only negative in my book when it comes to Big Cock is the overkill on the bittering hops. Other than that Great River Big Cock IPA is an slightly above average IPA that is recommended to fans of the style.

Duff27, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of WKyle
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

WKyle, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of Lionhawk
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Lionhawk, Dec 05, 2012
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Big Cock IPA from Great River Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.