Big Rock Traditional Ale - Big Rock Brewery
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by YieldToNothing:
More User Reviews:
3.68/5 rDev +9.5%
This is perennial session brew for me. It's local, many times better any macro crap, and you can get it absolutely everywhere on tap in my city.
Poured from a pitcher. Nice 3/4 in tannish head that lasted a good while. Nice deep chestnut color with some amber. Is this a pale ale? I think on reviewer commented it looked more like a brown. I think he's right.
Toastiness and malt on the nose. Not terribly complex, but nice.
Mouthfeel is a mild carbonation that dances around the mouth and a smooth feel to the brew.
Tastes nice and toasty. Bready, caramel, toasty notes and a good bits of hops at the finish. Incredibly drinkable with buddies, one friend commented when sharing the pitcher, "I have to stop myself, it just dissappears if I just get talking and forget not to drink". Very true.
08-24-2005 07:02:20 | More by niangelo
3.58/5 rDev +6.5%
Was given a six pack of this from a brewery rep - going to be hard giving a bonus beer a low score, but I'll try to be impartial!
Pours a medium amber colour, leaving a thin ring of head that's lasted throughout the glass. Lots of sticky lacing too. A good start!
The nose is caramel up front, possibly a bit of yeast as well. Not too complex, but decent.
The taste is a blend of caramel and nuts, followed by a slightly acidic finish. Perhaps a bit of fruit flavour in the middle: apple and mild cherry.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin. This coupled with the colour and the taste composition really leads me to categorize this as an English pale, rather than a brown.
Actually, a good little ale, great for a session. I had no problems drinking this, and will enjoy the rest of my 6 pack! Not the best brown (pale?) out there, but certainly a fine brew.
12-18-2009 05:39:18 | More by JohnnyBarman
3.73/5 rDev +11%
(Served in an imperial pint glass)
A- Dark Amber brown with thin smooth tan head and little carbonation visible.
S- very clean smell with a faint toasty malt aroma
T- sweet bready biscuity malt start with some roastiness to follow. Light spicy hop bitterness with a clean finish.
M- a medium body that is a bit watery but finishes more full-bodied.
D- I really thought of this more as an American Brown Ale than an APA. It had much more malt depth with hops playing a nice supporting roll. It was a nice session beer when sitting in the Canadian Rockies.
03-09-2005 03:21:45 | More by rhoadsrage
3.63/5 rDev +8%
341ml bottle, from my mom's stash, the one she only breaks out for tacos or pizza nights. I've probably drank more of this product than any other thus far in my suds-sipping life. This is gonna be hard to write, in that it'll be difficult to not just put down "Yep, tastes like Trad, all right". Anyway.
This beer pours a clear, sharp medium-dark bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, broadly bubbly, even bordering on soapy, pale beige head, which leaves some random specks of sparse islet lace around the glass as it duly recedes.
It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, a touch of toffee and semi-sweet molasses, with a subtle floral, leafy earthy hoppiness. The taste is pleasantly nutty, roasted caramel malt, grainy brown sugar, a softly tart, fleshy berry fruitiness, and some fairly mild, but generally pervasive earthy, leafy English hops.
The carbonation is certainly noticeable, but not really in any way beyond a decent mouth-expanding frothiness, the body a pleasantly plump medium weight, and mostly smooth, a few of those old-world hops getting into the sauce, or something. It finishes on a sweet note, the caramel malt, subdued fruitiness, and weakening hops aligning as such.
A rather easy to put away, if not overly complex brown ale, consistent with all of my university drinking years in the 90s. I will credit Big Rock with providing the gateway experience that allowed me to enter the beer-drinking world without first having to endure the typical small-town fate of BMC-only hegemony. And while I will always prefer it on tap - the lower carbonation just lends itself to the heady malt flavours, not to mention the memories of 6 dollar shared pitchers - the single-serve packaging is just as enjoyable right here and now.
12-29-2008 06:38:11 | More by biboergosum
3.63/5 rDev +8%
Copper brown with a finger of white head. Head fades quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a spot in the middle.
Very sweet aroma. Caramel and brown sugar. A hint of some non-descript dried fruit scent.
Sweet caramel on the palate, as the nose suggests. Mild burnt sugar. Bitterness in the finish is extremely mild and hard to pick up on before it warms a bit. A little bit of butterscotch makes its way through eventually as well.
Body between light and medium. Low carbonation. Smooth and easy to put back. Easy drinking and sessionable.
07-20-2009 05:06:39 | More by mintjellie
2.75/5 rDev -18.2%
Some decent malt then bit of hopbitterness and aftertaste. Medium texture and watery. Rather bland. Not much hops. Canadian relying on balance. Water and sugar. Slight fizz and yeast mid-sip. The type to have cold as refreshing as you are not missing anything.
06-13-2004 04:02:35 | More by Sammy
3.33/5 rDev -0.9%
Pours an attractive caramel brown. Filmy with some good lacings.
Sweet, sugary malt on the nose.
Whoa malt! This is one sweet, sugary beer. Toffee, burnt caramel, honey and sugary fruit, thinking dates. Liquid creme caramel. Little bit of North American hops in a thin finish, sort of strange. Hops have a bit of citrus bitterness which clashes with the overall sweet malt.
Like all Big Rock's brew, overly carbonated. I sort of enjoyed it, but I could see getting pretty sick of it after the first one.
02-26-2008 02:13:36 | More by CanuckRover
3.7/5 rDev +10.1%
In Calgary for a conference and tried the Big Rock Traditional Ale. The appearance was quite good. A rich amber color and thin white head that laced on the glass. The smell was a little undescripted, could smell the hints of malt. The taste was really nice. A good malt and caramel character made this beer quite easy to drink. This made the mouthfeel very easy and could session this beer with no problem.
06-22-2011 03:48:38 | More by WoodBrew
3.05/5 rDev -9.2%
12oz can poured into an imperial pint glass.
A: Pours a clear, dark copper and topped with a wispy one inch, frothy, white head that fades rather quickly into a thin cap
S: Smells like strawberry hard candy, I'm serious.
T/MF: I wish it tasted like it smelled. Opens mildly earthy, but then becomes blander, mild fruity hops try to bring some character to this beer but really is fighting a loosing battle. Malts are the dominate aspect of this beer and because of this, makes the beer sort of out of its style category. It's more of an English pale ale than an american, and while its does not taste bad, it does not taste like an APA should.
D: If you are looking for a cheap APA with an unterrible taste this is the beer for you, otherwise stick with a SNPA, which is pretty affordable and has much more to offer.
10-15-2008 03:40:37 | More by bluemoonswoon
Nova Scotia (Canada)
3.18/5 rDev -5.4%
Pours a deep copper with a very small light tan head that fades quite quickly and leaves little lacing. Smell is very malty, loads of caramel and nuttiness, but not a whole lot else. Taste is bready at first, touch of caramel and a faint metallic note. Barely noticeable hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is rather thin, slightly undercarbonated, and not very satisfying, and drinkability is decent. About what I've come to expect from Big Rock: macro quality beer in micro packaging.
01-23-2007 00:01:11 | More by Mandrake
3.45/5 rDev +2.7%
A deep amber colour with a creamy tan head that is quite slow to recede. Could certainly be a bit darker, but still looks good.
The smell is rather light, there is a bit of toffee and nut, but i certainly isn't strong. There is a slight grassiness to it as well. Doesn't smell bad, but isn't really selling itself.
Malty toffee flavour and a bit of mustiness. Finished by a slightly spicy hop flavour. Faint cola sweetness shows up late. Becomes more and more malty as it warms, taking on a slight chocolate taste. Pleasant and easy drinking.
The mouthfeel is somewhat thick and carbonation is about medium. Works well for this beer.
This is a common beer for me when I'm out at a pub that has mostly macros, it is a good fallback. I'd say it is in the wrong style category, even on the can it is listed as an English Brown, and that seems about right to me. May explain some of the lower scores too, as some people might have been looking for a hoppy APA.
05-02-2007 02:25:43 | More by elricorico
4/5 rDev +19%
Greetings from Canada. Pours up to a fizzy buff head and clear light brown color. Aroma is a pleasing blend of toasty, sweet malt and a hint of hops. Flavor is a complex blend of with a toasted malts, caramel, nuts, butterscotch and enough nondescript hops to balance the whole thing out. Mouthfeel is light. Overall, I really liked this beer and would have some on hand at all times if I could. Also noteworthy was that this beer was sampled in Calgary where it was likely just days from the brewery so it was very "fresh" tasting.
06-14-2012 05:09:29 | More by EagleTalon
British Columbia (Canada)
3.53/5 rDev +5.1%
Pours a nice deep mahogney reddish color with 1 finger tan head that turns to a thin collar and stays put till the end,some mild lacing.Nice malty smell comes at you with some sweet fruits blending in there somewhere and some caramel and prunes.Taste is kinda sweetish to start and the malts and fruitness kicks in along with a tinge of caramel and some mild bitterness and finishing off dry,very good tasting and quite enjoyable.Medium body feel to this one and some mild carbs all going down easily,would make for a good session beer.This beer reminds me of the one i had at Moxy's,the Big Life Ale,both made by Big Rock....hmmm,i wonder.
10-30-2007 03:20:08 | More by GrimmReaper
3.6/5 rDev +7.1%
A- This poured a reddish/coppery color, which I really was impressed with...it is nice and clear as well. The head showed some promise but didn't stick around for too long, quickly cutting itself down to a ring around the glass. There isn't much lacing to speak of either. Mild carbonation by the looks of things and moving it around, it looks like it has a heavier body.
S- Malt and lots of it! There is a pronounced sweet caramel aroma, along with heavier notes of molasses and dark brown sugar. I didn't smell really anything of note when it came to hop presence or any of the fruity esters that I may have been expecting. Just rich and sweet!
T- I really like the flavor of this, even though the bitter hopped finish is milder than I would like, though it comes through better than in the smell. It's rich, just like the aroma would suggest, with slightly burnt sugar flavors along with toffee and just a hint of dark chocolate.
M- Not as full as I would have thought upon the visual inspection, but more of a light-medium feel. The carbonation is a little more than I thought it would be but the bubbles are very fine. There is a mild smoothness that soothes the palate after the initial carbonation wears off, which I like. There would be better marks here if there was more of a head to make it a little creamier though.
D- While I like this beer and think Big Rock has done a decent job here, I wouldn't be able to enjoy this all night, as it is a little on the sweet side. However, it is a good beer to have with a meal, say BBQ'd ribs with s milder sauce....as well, this would do nicely as an after dinner drink. A decent brew!
08-29-2008 02:39:10 | More by ChrisCage
3.05/5 rDev -9.2%
Thin creamy white bubbly head and a super-clear golden brown beer underneath that suggests some very effective filtration.
Some toasty sweet grainy malt in the nose, but not a lot of hops. This is pale ale? I dunno. It's not even pale.
Again, malty grainy flavours with a hint of some kind of bitterness somewhere. Very little in the way of hops aroma or character at all. Some slight sourness at the end. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft and rich. That part is nice at least.
It's drinkable, and unthreatening. I guess that's why soooo many people drink "trad" here in Calgary. It's not a pale ale, and it's not a *great* beer, but it's not bad.
05-16-2004 06:06:25 | More by Garin
3.45/5 rDev +2.7%
I've had this beer many times, and it is very common throughout Alberta. I had a pint of Newcastle right before this at a local bar, and decided to go make some tasting notes. On tap, in a pint glass.
It has a very dark amber colour. Looks brown under most light, and not a lot of light gets through, though it is filtered and completely clear. There is a nice finger of creamy off-white/toffee tinted head that settles town to almost nothing after a few minutes.
The aroma is fairly faint, but a slight toasty maltiness comes through. I imagine that the aroma improves as it gets a bit warmer (mine is ice cold at the moment). There is also a slightly sweet smell of caramel that mixes with a tiny bit of an alcohol smell. Quite pleasant if not very intense.
The flavour is quite nice. A nice toasty malt flavour fills the mouth to start and gives way to some light sweetness. There is a definite nutty flavour here. Some hop bitterness comes through towards the end.
Overall, this is a very nice session ale. It's miles ahead of the newcastle I just had. I'll have to remember to have this more often when I go out!
06-26-2011 04:16:31 | More by evlu1441
4.03/5 rDev +19.9%
This is the first microbrew I ever tasted, way back in the day. It was also my standard as a teenager and in my early college days (I was a beer snob even back then). Better than anything else available at the time. I strayed away over the years, in pursuit of new brews, and feel I have come full circle. It's good to come home, been a while since I sampled a Trad. Now I can fully appreciete it. Pours out a clear reddish-amber tone, decent heat to begin with, but it fades away to a lacy ring in time. Nose is of rich malt, intense hops, wood smoke, a hint of spice, and an even fainter hint of melon. Taste is an impressive balance of malt and hops, one receeding behind the other, nice full mouthfeel, and goes down smooth. The golden standard of Big Rock, it lets you know what real ale should taste like. A perfect session ale, it leaves one satisfied. A close 2nd behind their McNally's Extra Ale for top quality.
05-30-2003 19:18:59 | More by IronDjinn
Big Rock Traditional Ale from Big Rock Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.