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Big Rock Traditional Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Traditional AleBig Rock Traditional Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

158 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 15.18%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This medium bodied Brown Ale fills your mouth with a fusion of toasty malt and sweet caramel up front finishing with a nutty flavour, medium creamy carbonation and mild hop bitterness.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Anyportinastorm


4.75/5  rDev +41.4%

06-14-2014 02:00:22 | More by Anyportinastorm
Photo of basementbrewer

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +33.9%

01-28-2014 22:24:54 | More by basementbrewer
Photo of DarrenBrule

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +33.9%

07-17-2014 21:28:40 | More by DarrenBrule
Photo of graybayou

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +33.9%

11-30-2011 00:31:42 | More by graybayou
Photo of Tang07


4.35/5  rDev +29.5%

In a word, "yum"

I'm in Alberta for five weeks and this will be my beer of choice.

It pours a deep red/copper with a great head. I has a nice crisp and hoppy taste. The smell is hard to determine as I've had most of them in a smokey bars (must everyone smoke up here?).

It has a nice hoppy bite after swollowing.

These have been going down very well. It has body and it is nice and warming. I wish that the ABV were slightly higher, but 5% is OK. (6 would just be better)

It has a great tan and foamy head that lasts for probably 3/4 of the way down, and laces the glass nicely.

03-08-2005 05:04:45 | More by Tang07
Photo of Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +28.9%

A - poured from a 341ml bottle into a pint glass. The color is a clear copper/orange with a white head that fades to a ring.

S - caramel apples, dates

T - sweet nutty flavors. Watermelon on the tip of the tongue, then a taste of candied apple as it hits the back.

M - lasting medium carbonation

D - I'll need to pick this up again and add a proper appearance note, but as for the other aspects of this beer I was very impressed.

07-03-2009 11:13:48 | More by Grunewald
Photo of MAB

Alberta (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +28.9%

This is the second best beer that they brew (after their McNally's Irish Ale) and is well worth having. I find the flavor to be on the sour side, but that's not a bad thing! The hops are more for bitterness than aroma, but everything is well balanced.
Almost every bar/ restaurant serves this too cold! The flavors really assert themselves as it warms up.
It is readily available in Alberta both in bottles and on-tap; I have heard they are exporting to California, though I'm not sure which styles.

09-18-2002 10:02:33 | More by MAB
Photo of Alberta_Beer_Guy

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +26.5%

07-16-2012 00:50:29 | More by Alberta_Beer_Guy
Photo of JennBushey

4.25/5  rDev +26.5%

03-03-2013 00:09:00 | More by JennBushey
Photo of DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +25.6%

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - light amber with a thin 1/8-inch sustaining head. Light carbonation with only modest lacing.

Smell - cidery, hoppy smell over a nice roasted barley. Some sweeter malts detected on further nosings.

Taste - I really like the taste of this beer. Very even, a nice roasted malty flavour with a good nutty taste to follow up. Hoppiness is very light but consistent.

Mouthfeel - fairly even overall without too much carbonation. I do find that most of the other Big Rock beers I've sampled seem overcarbonated.

Drinkability - goes down very easy and is not boring. I can pack several of these away with no issues. Nice to get the nutritional information on the box as well!

01-25-2010 02:59:15 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of marcusR111

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +25%

08-14-2014 23:08:11 | More by marcusR111
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

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
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +19.9%

This beer is Big Rock's pale ale and they do it right. A dark gold
colour matched with a solid head starts things off right. The initial
smell is fairly hoppy and appetizing. The taste is full and nicely
balanced with a sweetish finish. You can taste the quality of this
brew and the ingredients that went into its making.

I consider this ale more flavouful than most other Canadian
counterparts. Cheers.

03-14-2003 16:39:12 | More by canucklehead
Photo of

4/5  rDev +19%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

03-05-2012 03:25:30 | More by
Photo of clept


4/5  rDev +19%

01-06-2012 06:06:09 | More by clept
Photo of EagleTalon


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
Photo of papawu76

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +19%

12-02-2011 21:49:38 | More by papawu76
Photo of malonel

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +19%

06-20-2014 17:42:35 | More by malonel
Photo of Foddz

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +19%

11-26-2011 21:09:42 | More by Foddz
Photo of Tivlavrie

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +19%

02-18-2014 03:53:04 | More by Tivlavrie
Photo of schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +19%

11-10-2012 07:16:27 | More by schnarr84
Photo of CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +17.6%

Dark brown appearance with moderate head. Has a caramel, malty smell. Picked up fruitiness and floral hops.

Has a sweet caramel taste, picked up a taste of nuts and grain as well. Hops are light. Has a suprisingly light body with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is light and bitter.

Overall this is a drinkable and refreshing beer with some decent characteristics. This is a worthy beer from Big Rock's collection.

11-24-2010 01:52:25 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of tonyf55

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +15.5%

From a bottle into a Big Rock pint glass

Visual (3.5): High clarity dark amber beer with a robust and rolling one to two finger head. The dusty light brown head quickly disappears and leaves a very light lacing on the glass.

Aroma (4): Dominantly malty with breads, grains and toasted smells. An undertone of wood smokeyness sticks in the nostrils after. Surprising.

Taste (4): Sweet malt flavours continue right through with little to no hop bitterness. Passive touches of brown sugar, maple, and almond dryness roll across the tounge. Leaves a sweet, almost chocolate, aftertaste.

Mouthfeel (3): Light and fairly watery with a slight creamy finish on the tounge. Carbonation is almost non-existent, contributing to the creamy finish, and an alcoholic warming lingers at the back of the mouth and throat.

Overall (4): My favorite local brown ale and a flagship beer for Big Rock. Great value for the price having a very enjoyable taste while still bring extremely drinkable.

11-02-2011 02:53:38 | More by tonyf55
Photo of Converge

Alberta (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +14%

341ml poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Slightly under a finger of beige colored head after an aggressive pour. The ale itself is a maple brown hue with a tinge of orange. Nice foamy cap left on top, and nice lacing left behind.

S - Smells delicious! Tons of bready and caramel malt. A touch of sweetness, but the scent is predominantly a full and robust aroma. Nuts, brown sugar and toffee are definitely present.

T - Very bready and caramel-like upfront. Flavorful malt and slight hoppy finish make it feel quite balanced and enjoyable. Brown sugar is also still noticeable.

M - Excellent mouth-feel. Rather light carbonation with a medium bodied feel to it. Easy and smooth finish.

D - Certainly the most enjoyable Big Rock brew I've come across yet. Simple but flavorful taste and easy to drink.

05-22-2011 05:31:01 | More by Converge
Photo of prosper

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +12.5%

A good middle-of-the-road ale. Nothing particularly distinctive, but the overall finished product is pleasant. And it's NOT an APA; being far far more in the vein of a Newcastle and the like.

Served in 20oz Nonic glasses at a local pub.

Very clear. Medium brown in colour. Thin tan head, some lace.

Smells pretty nondescript. Slightly malty, slightly tart. Not much in the way of fruity esters and no hops.

Taste is of a medium-sweet caramel malt, with some faint nutty grainy flavours that takea while to become apparent. No noticeable hop character, and mild hop bitterness. Finishes rather clean.

Mouthfeel is about perfect, I think, for this style. Medium to medium low carbonation and a light-ish body.

It's characterful enough to be interesting, but no so much as to impede drinkability.

03-12-2009 05:56:34 | More by prosper
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Big Rock Traditional Ale from Big Rock Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.