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Big Rock Traditional Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Traditional AleBig Rock Traditional Ale

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176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-26-2002

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 86
Photo of Anyportinastorm
4.75/5  rDev +40.5%

Photo of basementbrewer
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

Photo of DarrenBrule
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

Photo of graybayou
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

Photo of Tang07
4.33/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of MAB
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Grunewald
4.29/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Alberta_Beer_Guy
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of real_human_bean
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of JennBushey
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of marcusR111
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of TomAlePearson
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of
4/5  rDev +18.3%

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Photo of clept
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of EagleTalon
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of papawu76
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of canucklehead
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of malonel
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of Foddz
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of Tivlavrie
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of CrazyMike
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of tonyf55
3.87/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

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Big Rock Traditional Ale from Big Rock Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.