Big Rock Honey Brown Lager - Big Rock Brewery

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Big Rock Honey Brown LagerBig Rock Honey Brown Lager

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59 Ratings
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Ratings: 59
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.07
pDev: 15.31%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: IronDjinn on 07-01-2003

Sweet and honey/molasses flavour, slightly hopped with fuller mouth feel.
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by Shadman:
Photo of Shadman
2.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured as agressively as possbile and still managed only 1 finger of head. Some lacing stuck around. Nice copper colored look to this beer. Smelt of malt and sweet flowers. Very sweet would be the initial impression followed by a hint of chocolate malt and a hint of Euro mineral water. Kind of watery and too sweet compared to what is out there.

More User Reviews:
Photo of rhoadsrage
2.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a 1/2 pint stein)

A- Reddish copper color with a clear body and a rocky tan head

S- Light malt yeasty smell with a clean hint of floral hops

T- Light tangy malt with a slightly sweet faint tart apple taste and a dry finish.

M- Light body with very faint astringency. No alcohol warming.

D- very light tart beer with not much hops to balance the tartness. It is missing any sort of malt depth that I would accept from this style.

Photo of biboergosum
3.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml can. I recall the great Honey Lager Revolution of 2003 in Canada, and that Big Rock waited a bit before releasing their version of the style. Before trying it at a food and wine show, I remember remarking to the Big Rock rep, that they were kind of finally jumping on the bandwagon, as it were. The rep looked at me sideways, babbled something about taking the time to get it right, and still gave me a healthy sample. I thought it was the best of the Honey Brown Bunch, at the time, and it temporarily brought me back to the Big Rock fold. A few years later, and the requirements of a ski trip dictate buying beer in cans, so here we go.

This beer pours a clear medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, and tightly foamy pale beige head, which leaves a bit of streaky, sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of grainy caramel malt, a middling heather and clover honey essence, and weak earthy, weedy hops. The taste is consistent, I'll give it that, though the malt gains more than a modicum of sweetness via its caramelized nature, bolstered by some simple sticky honey notes and a hint of of molasses, all barely tempered by the plain weedy, grassy hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite mild, the body a sugar-aided medium weight, and smooth enough, I suppose, while Sir Clamminess raps softly on the door. It finishes, well, sweet, the unbridled malt and mousy honey ruling the roost.

My strangely affectionate history with this brewer, coupled with this brew's overall temperateness, makes for an easy, if not at all complex, hot tub sipper. As far as the hotel management was concerned, it was Honey Brown Cola, all right?

Photo of mintjellie
3.58/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice amber coloured beer that also shows shades of red. It's large, pillowy, off-white head is pretty retentive, but doesn't really leave any lace. The grainy aroma carries a fat honey note while also having some bread and grassy hop scents in the background. I'm shocked at how much the honey flavour really comes through in this. This is definately better than the honey lagers on offer from Lakeport, Labatt's, or Rickards. It tastes a bit bready as well, and noble hops give it just a little bit of spice. Balance is really tipped in favour of honey and malt.

Light-bodied with low carbonation and a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. This a simple, decent, easy drinking lager if that honeyed sweetness isn't too much for you. I like it, but don't think I would want to have more than one or two.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.15/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz can poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear and dark amber and topped with a quickly disappearing bone white head, leaving little lacing. Smell is bland, maybe a crack of honey, but otherwise phenolic and green apple like in both taste and aroma with only the slightest hint of honey taste. I wouldn't really classify this as a Dunkel lager as its not even that dark and has no real qualities of a dunkel lager, not really sure where this beer fits in but is not a beer I would seek out or drink again for any real reason.

Photo of vanrassel
2.8/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured copper with a creamy head that dwindled to a thin ring. Not much to smell, other than some floral/clover sweetness and honey. The taste is slightly sweet with honey and additional molasses. No detectable hops. The mouthfeel seems right for the style, but there's not much to recommend here beyond saying it's not a bad beer if you're offered one.

Photo of elricorico
2.64/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden orange colour with a two finger beige head. Looks pretty good in the glass. A fair amount of lacing is left in patches along the glass.

The smell reminds me of grass just after the snow has melted. Not quite as offensive as it may sound, but not very nice. Under that is some type of sweetness, suggests honey.

Sweet honey flavour that is supported by a light grain taste. Finishes with some lager crispness. Hops linger uncomfortably, tasting a bit medicinal. Brings to mind a cough candy.

Not a watery lager, but the carbonation feels coarse. Could be worse.

This one doesn't do it for me. Besides looking at it, nothing is very pleasant here.

Photo of GrimmReaper
3.06/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one has a nice copper orangey color with a good size white bubbly head and leaves very mild lacing.The nose is sweet honey and mollases and some fruity aroma in there too.Taste is a little too sweet for my liking,definetly honey in there and comes at you with a dryness to it,kinda tastes like orange marmalade,medium body with some mild carbs,not a bad beer i guess if you like it sweet,1 is good enough for me.

Photo of Garin
3.71/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll disclose some bias right away: I love the toasty grainy character that I find in most Big Rock beers.

It looks great. It's a clear copper brown with a lovely puffy creamy head that leaves intricate lacing on my glass. It's a bit too clear, but that's as close as I can get to a criticism.

It's sweet and malty on the nose, with lots of honey character.

The flavour is lightly malty with the grainy toasty finish and a bit of honey bite. I think the honey must be giving it a lightly acidic character which is actually quite refreshing. That brightness keeps the mouthfeel light and overall it's very easy drinking.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Honey Brown offering from Big Rock? I thought I would have found my new standard with this, as I am quite loyal to the Big Rock line, and love a good brown. But alas my hopes are dashed. In what appears to be an attempt to compete with the obscenely popular honey brown lager from Sleeman's, Big Rock throws their own "cock of the rock" into the ring. And produces fermented candy....

A clear amberish/orangey looking beverage, it pours out with a healthy frothy white head which recedes to a decent ring, and leaves a fair amount of lacing. The nose is sweet flowery malt, akin to a spring meadow, which always takes me to a wonderful place. However regarding the flavour, any present malt sinks immediately into the rich, sweet taste of fermented clover honey. No roasted malt character to be detected at all, which is what I usually crave in a brown of any kind. Far too sweet to drink more than one of in any sitting, this is bordering along mead sweetness. I'll stick to Grasshopper for now as my regular.

Photo of ludachris
3.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one courtesy of TheHammer from a trade a while back. Thanks pal.

Pours an appropriate hazed honey amber hue with one and a half fingers of off white fluffy head that has a decent amount of retention but leaves almost zero lace.

Processed honey, musty floral hops, and a bit of wheat, grain, and biscuit make up the nose.

The honey seems more natural in the taste and is present throughout. Floral hops are way at the back and are easily overpowered by the sweetness of the honey. Honeyed bread and a light wheat character make up the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a tad filmy with a lower than expected level of carbonation, allowing the honey to really stand out. A bit syrupy towards the end, but not enough to take away from the feel nor drinkability.

I have yet to come across a fantastic honey lager, but this one beats the bunch I've had. The honey is natural in the taste, sweet, but not cloyingly so. Overall, this is a very simple and sweet thirst quenching lager. Average at best, but a good alternative to the standard macro.

Photo of BigBry
3.4/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Standard 341 ml bottle.
Deep bronze in color. Small but lasting head of dense foam that leaves some lacing. Smell of grain and "Alberta Clover Honey" gives a floral aroma. Taste is sweet at the start, but has some hop to balance - Very well rounded. Finishes with a controlled bitterness. I found it a bit sweeter than other honey-browns, my favourite compared to Sleeman and Rickards.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
2.33/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a 355-ml can into a tulip glass.

Appearance - light copper-brown colour with good sustaining 1/4-inch head with lace on the sides to the rim. Highly carbonated as with all Big Rock products.

Smell - slightly musty malt scent with sweet aromas of honey and bread. Brighter scent on subsequent nosings but still a slightly musty feel.

Taste - robust malt followed by insane sweetness that overdoes it. Has a very wet finish that is flavour-eroded and not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel - too active, too wet and too dull in the finish. Not great.

Drinkability - really not something I would seek out. There are better examples of the style that aren't so overbearing and much cheaper.

Photo of woodychandler
3.72/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I CAN thank my lucky stars for notes.

Two fingers' of ecru head with solid retention. Color was a rich, deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was sweet, but not just lager sweet, enhanced with a honey scent. Mouthfeel was medium with a nice smooth taste of sweet honey. Finish had a nice, smooth sweetness.

Photo of nighthawk
2.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

341mL bottle with no obvious freshness date poured into pilsener glass.

Pours a clear, light copper with a small white head that dissipates quickly.

Mild grassy aroma with sweet undertones suggestive (but not clearly) of honey.

Taste is a mild honey and bread-like sweetness. Very light grassy bitterness is tasted about halfway and carries on to the finish. Tries to balance, but doesn't quite make it.

Mouthfeel is very light, little carbonation and slightly slick. Not as crisp as I would like, which gives the sweetness a syrupy feel.

The bottle's gone fairly quickly, so it's not a pain to drink, but not one I will seek out. Not quite balanced in taste or mouthfeel, this is a mediocre offering.

Photo of misterscooter
2.82/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer started out with promise. It was a decent looking pour, even if the head didn't last long despite its size. A good solid brown color with a honey smell with the typical lager scent.

The honey hits you right away and is the dominant flavor. But there isn't much else there and it is very watery. The flavors seem diluted so you don't get a whole lot out of it. If you try hard, you might get some brown sugar and orange in there but you really have to try and that isn't good for a beer.

Not recommened.

Photo of Noxious26
2.53/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass. Came from a variety 12pack.

Clear, light brown gold amber colour. 1.5 inches of off-white head at the pour reduces to 1/4 inch. Globs of sticky random lace.

Mild aroma is sweet and lightly malted. Hints of honey and hops.

Flavour is quite nice until the aftertaste rolls in. Sweet honey and light malts at the swallow. Lightly hopped for balance. The pleasant flavour is steamrolled out of the way by a slightly acidic, off-veggie taste that lingers quite awhile.

Mouthfeel is pleasant: medium bodied, smooth and lightly carbonated.

This would actually be a really good beer if it wasn't for the aftertaste. Just kills everything. All the Big Rock beers I have tried have this same unpleasant aftertaste. If this could be changed, they all would be alot better. I'd be willing to give this a try again in the future to see if it was just the case I bought, but I won't be hunting any down anytime soon.

Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown/red with orange highlights, big white head, some nice lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet, honey and molasses, citrus and floral. Taste is sweet and honey/molasses, with some grains and citrus. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Not a bad beer.

Photo of andrenaline
2.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big Rock surprises with a sweet offering...

A - Pours a nice golden brown with a little head which quickly dissipates to nothing, leaving no lacing.

S - Weird, but there is very little scent on this one. Had to stick my nose almost in the beer to find a hint of sweet malt on it.

T - Surprisingly sweet with a noticeable honey flavour and aftertaste. Finishes with a bready malt and is almost a bit smokey, sort of like a peaty scotch.

M - Pretty light, though the sweetness almost makes it feel creamier than it is. Noticeable carbonation, but goes down pretty smooth.

D - I must say, I've found Big Rock beers to be rather plain, but was taken aback by the sweet honey flavour in this one. Definitely impressed and would actually order this one over their other offerings the next time I'm at a pub!

Photo of bbb099
3.43/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared with mjyoung.

Appearance - Nice, clear, amber color. Thin head, no noticeable lacing.

Smell - Mostly malty. I did not detect any honey smell.

Taste - Malty with a hint of honey. No overwhelming flavor, but it is sweet and creamy for a lager.

Mouthfeel - Average. Well carbonated, but not too much.

Drinkability - Quite drinkable due to its lightness. I do not recommend drinking this with food as the food will surely overpower the beer flavoring.

Photo of prosper
2.73/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pretty average, boring....

It's a cola-coloured brown. Clear. Small head.

Smells slightly 'sharp' and somewhat fruity. Some sweet caramel.

Tastes the same as it smells. No real 'off' flavours, but nothing to like about it, either. Slightly sweet. Light character, some fruit flavours, but generally pretty clean.

Light body, moderate carbonation, effervescent.

Not enough character to be really likeable, and not enough to demand one more drink, either.

Photo of wordemupg
3.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml can poured into pint glass 15/4/12

A clear bronze liquid with big quick bubbles that feed a short lived finger of foam that leaves zero lace

S smells like a bowl of cereal with loads of honey,

T dark bread with what I smell, nothing offensive but pretty basic

M it has some body too it for a lager, a little sticky and well carbonated

O just a basic brew, sweet honey and dry cereal that's about it

simple stuff brewed for the masses, there's nothing wrong with it but not something I'd bother with again

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.03/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a solid rocky head and some decent lacing. The aroma is mostly of honey sweetness with some soft fruitiness. Taste is of Strong honey with some floral hop notes and not much malt complexity. This has more honey taste than any beer Ive tried before. Its almost too sweet to be drinkable, but theres just enough hoppiness to make the finish palatable. Very watery mouthfeel. I dont think Ill buy it again but its not terrible.

Photo of canucklehead
2.53/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer looks better than it tastes. There is a sweet caramel note to this brew that decreases its drinkability. In fact the finish is too cloying considering this beer should be easydrinking. Pass on this offering from Big Rock and get the much better Trad Ale instead

Photo of TheHammer
2.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got this one from a buddy at work, apparently he found a mix pack of Big Rock cans and the Beer Store. I'm a big fan of mix packs so lets give it a shot.

Appearance: Pours with a large two fingers of head that quickly dimmed down and sustained at about a half finger. I did get a very small amount of lace. The body is an orange copper that boasts nice carbonation.

Smell: A little subdued even though it's been given a chance to warm. Dominating by a caramel malt and molasses smell with the barest notes of honey and fresh grass. Maybe if it was a bit stronger it could perform better.

Taste: I have a bit of a sweet tooth an this beer just slightly oversteps my limit on it. It starts with sweet malt that permeates the entire experience. Part way though, you get hit with a very subdued grassy citrus taste that I am assuming is a light dust of hops that is struggling to balance the clinging sweet taste that I would say is more like molasses then honey.

Mouthfeel: Well the aftertaste doesn't linger very long, but it's a bit filmy and sweet. Solid carbonation, is seems that it comes at you a strange times while drinking. The whole experience seems a bit off.

Drinkability: Well it is refreshing and I have no problems getting this stuff down. No gas or stomach issues either however the strange sweetness puts a bit of a dampener on the whole experience.

Final Thoughts: As a fan of Sleeman Honey Brown, I thought this offering might be somewhat comparable, but sadly it falls a little bit flat. I would certainly drink it again if offered, but I would not go out of my way for this beer.

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Big Rock Honey Brown Lager from Big Rock Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.