Big Rock Traditional Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Traditional AleBig Rock Traditional Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 4
Gots: 22 | 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.
View: Beers (74) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 88
Photo of JustinBathurst
2.06/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This one pours a reddish-brown with a slight head of tan. This is an extremely clear beer--there's your filtering, I suppose. The head doesn't stick around, and it doesn't really lace either.

The aroma is immediately raspberry to me, with some definite English hops (maybe Kent, maybe not), and... well, then the musty malt n' grain charges forth. This is the smell I will remember Big Rock by.

The mouthfeel is crisp and light, which I didn't expect for something being marketed as traditional ale. Doesn't exactly seem like English Brown Ale, which is what the box promotes.

At first, the taste gives me bitter hops, lime peel, and burnt malt. As it warms, the taste is conquered solely by the more astringent and aspirin-like qualities of Big Rock's malt. The aftertaste is bitterness and citrus tang. At first, I wasn't unhappy, but over the course of a glass I became disappointed with what should be, well, just 'more.'

As a whole, this beer doesn't have any characteristics to recommend it to others, but I wouldn't turn it down if I was offered one. Last note--I find this beer to be a bit too watery.

Photo of 3Vandoo
2.13/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Im having it right now....

Her color is an amberish reddish one, very pale amd a light body, a chestnust tone

A smell shy of hops, sugar and alcohol

A taste reminding me of some macros, nothing spectatular, sweat, watery, nothing great. Some hops taste by there, some maltish by there too, cannot very detect anything that an average ale taste.

Acid is also the key, she's giving me stomachaches.

Photo of TerryW
2.21/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Handsome crystal clear chesnut colour. Pours only a short head that almost immediately dissipates leaving just a patchy film. No lace to speak of.

Nose is slightly sweet from malts with a distinct grassy barnyard twang to it.

Taste is sweet malt up front with a short hop bite to finish. The beer also has a sharp metallic character to it and that lingers a bit unpleasantly on the tongue. Overall mouthfeel is thin and metallic.

Sorry. Can't recommend this one.

Photo of aquatonex
2.5/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this at Au Claire, nice place...

Pours a translucent auburn with a little bit of head, not much creaminess. Nose is fairly hoppy and floral as well as noticeable graininess with a slight bit of malts. Taste is alright, mostly hops and not much character IMHO. Mouthfeel was a bit watery. An OK beer.

Photo of cyrenaica
2.5/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is almost reddish in colour. The aroma is decent, but nothing to write home about. At best, I can describe slightly malty. It felt 'perky' on the tongue, with quite a bit of carbonation. The flavour tasted a little malty with hints of grass and orange. It went down quite well however.

Photo of Graham5161986
2.58/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: pours a clear, ruby brown with a 1 1/2 finger off white head that has pretty decent retention and actually leaves some pretty good lacing. (the best aspect of this beer!)

S: grassy hops (a bit of floralness in there too), sweet caramel malts, slight bready touch. A bit of cooked corn as well unfortunately.

T: bready, a touch of floral hops with a nutty finish that is a bit too sweet.

M: light and slightly creamy, decent carbonation, But an oily, somewhat cloying finish.

D: this is actually one of the better offerings from Big Rock IMHO, but still far from fantastic and too sweet to make it easily drinkable. I would drink it again if offered, but I won't be buying it again.

Photo of Sammy
2.71/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of jaluria
2.71/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on-tap as well at BBK's.

Appeared more like an amber ale with a translucent, copper color and a off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a touch of lacing behind. Moderate level of carbonation. Aromas of enriched milk, syrup, and burnt toast; not very appealing, the combo, that is. The taste was mostly sweet with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Flavors of smoked, roasted sugars seemed to come out. A bit astringent though and somewhat chalky in my mouth. Had a pint of this and I didn't want another. Seems like some artifical flavoring was added to this one with the subtle taste of syrup.

Photo of GClarkage
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mid September 2005.

Presentation- Purchased at a random grocery store in Fairmont Hot Springs in BC. No dating on the can, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Darker amber coloring, very faint head and slight lace.

Smell- A touch stinky with decent amount of roasted malt.

Taste- Just the lightest of hop taste and a larger dark malt flavor as well.

Mouthfeel- Lower carbonation and fairly bland.

Drinkability- Nothing special here. Drank half of it and used the rest to cook our pork roast in.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.81/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dull dark copper color with a crackly head that fades fast. Soft malts and some floral hops make up the aroma. The flavor is of sweet malts and some funny yeast taste. The hops are not very noticeable. This beer was a dissapointment to me. Its seriously lacking in the hop department and has a very bland run of the mill flavor. The finish is clean but way too watery. This beer is like an amateur extract hombrew.

Photo of ludachris
2.96/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one courtesy of TheHammer. Thanks pal.

Pours a crystal clear deep honey amber with burning, golden amber higlights. Two finger light tan head. Good retention and decent patchy lacing.

Smell of watered down caramel, funky candied malt, light fruity esters and a dry nutty backing.

Caramel, toasted malts and a distinct nutty flavour (almost acidic) upfront followed by a wet biscuity malt finish and again with a light astringent bite. The astringency is the most prominent taste appearing randomly throughout.

Mouthfeel isnt really anything special; light bodied and wet from start to finish.

Overall, seems like an average EBA at best. Appearance and drinkability are the highlights but both the nose and taste are watered down and bland. There's plenty of room to pack more flavour in for sure. Much rather have Rogue, Black Oak or Garrison's EBA offering.

Photo of TheHammer
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another part of the big rock mix pack I got from a friend at work. Three down, two to go.

Appearance: Poured with a solid thumb of head that sadly did not retain nor laced at all. Carbonation looks solid and the beer is fairly clear for a brown ale although still manages to boast a nice dark brown copper color.

Smell: It took a little bit of warming, but boasts a nice caramel scent with a solid sweet malt backing. However there is a slight acidic undertone which I could do without but fairly solid still.

Taste: Big rock seriously needs to do something about it's malts because that funky molasses like malt taste has returned, as it permeates the entire beer. However at least with this offering it is somewhat tempered with a nice bitter nutty end.

Mouthfeel: This one leaves a slight dry nut aftertaste, which is nice good but it also leaves this lingering, well I want to say filmy but it's thicker then that, and I want to say sludge but I wouldn't say it's that pronounced. Anyways good transition from malt to bitter but room for improvement.

Drinkability: Well it is going down already no stomach problems, but it does have some gas issues. However that can be made up for the fact it is decent enough going down and decent refreshment.

Final Thoughts: I'm noticing a trend with Big Rock, and that is that funky malt flavor. All in all this was a decent beer, but I wouldn't say I was impressed by it by any means, and would not buy this beer if it wasn't in the mix pack. Worth a try, but not much more.

Photo of Scrylol
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a one finger white head that quickly disappears. Body is of dark ruby color. Looks decent, but a bit disappointed that the head disappeared so quickly.

Not much aroma picked up, but from what there was: slight sweet caramel notes and biscuity notes.

Slight grain notes on the taste, backed by some caramel malt. Bit nutty and dry finish.

Nice amount of carbonation, and goes down real fast and smooth. But, it is way too watery. Very little body to it.

Not a remarkable English Brown Ale.

Photo of allergictomacros
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks alright. Pours a clear copper with a two finger head. Foam is sticky enough, but isn't very solid.

S - Malt-centered with a toastiness and malt heaviness. A little bit cheesy.

T - Buttery and sweetish, with a roasted presence. No aftertaste really. Not a lot of hops either. Balance is leaning towards malt, but not a heavy beer.

M - Feel alright. Moderate carbonation on a medium body.

D - Kind of an average brew. Not macro-boring, but a very basic beery beer that doesn't offend.

Photo of adacovsk
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very average ale; popular in Western Canada

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Garin
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of atigerlife
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had in a Japanese restaurant in Calgary.

Poured a light brown/red with a small brown head. Light carbonation visible. Nice lacing.

Aroma was very light with some malts and floral hops.

Taste lacks flavor. Some slight hops.

Decent mouthfeel with some good cleansing and medium bodied. Overall, this beer is OK. Not bad in a pinch. Nothing too exciting.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A dark brown colour with a light brown head, settled with some lacing. Moderate carbonation. Smells of rye bread, caramel. Mild hops, nothing to write home about, bitter in the mouth with a bitter finish, a bit of a cleansing sensation. Hints here and there of caraway seeds and melba toast. Not great, not bad either - just so-so.

Photo of mountsnow1010
3.11/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Brown with a nice head. "Darker" as described by the waitress.
S - Meh, nothing really. Hints of grain.
T - Slight maltiness but nothing extremely outstanding. Distinct lack of sweetness.
MF - Clean, crisp. nice.
O - Eh. This is alright. Average, at best. Nothing really outstanding. I've had several EBA's that are much better and much more flavorful.
Cool having a beer from Alberta, though.

Photo of DrJay
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very clear coppery red colour. Off-white head quickly subsided to a thin lace. Malty aroma with some caramel and light nuttiness. The flavour was a bit disappointing, with some grainy sweetness to start and finishing with a very light bitterness. It's almost as if the flavour disappears part way through. Medium/high carbonation and light body with almost no aftertaste.

Photo of Viggo
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish copper, thin white head forms, settles to a decent layer, no lacing. Smell is sweet and malty, citrus and toffee, not much going on, some grass, but not offensive. Taste is stale malt, figs, fruits, little bit of citrus, kind of lemony in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Not good, not bad, just kind of on the low end of mediocre, but as expected from Big Rock.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.16/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll be blunt - I like most brown ales, and this fondness probably derives originally from Big Rock's Trad, which is almost certainly the first of the style (and probably the first non-yellow-fizzy-macro beer) I ever tried. This stuff is commonplace in Alberta, but hailing from Ontario I had never seen it at the time and it remains a reliable treat. This is the first time I've had a can of this stuff, so we'll see if the packaging affects the taste at all.

Trad is a deep reddish-brown colour, technically translucent but too dark to see anything through it. I was a little chintzy with the pour but still wound up with a half-inch of creamy beige head. It lasts about a minute before dissipating to a cap with some lacing on the sides. Smell is faint, of sweet malts, caramel/toffee. Like most of Big Rock's flagship beers, none of the smells jump out at you, but they're at least somewhat appealing.

The taste is kind of the same way: alright, but nothing to seize your attention. Some sweetness with a bit of a tang afterward. Brown sugar, caramel malts. Almost unnoticeable twinge of hop bitterness in the finish. The sweetness isn't exactly cloying, and the beer itself is only medium-to-light bodied so there's no problem throwing a couple of these back. I didn't notice any metallicity or other funkiness from the can, which is good. Carbonation is middling.

Same Old Trad - it is what it is - an average, fairly easy-to-find Canadian brown ale. Craft beer enthusiasts will probably not be especially impressed, because frankly there's not a lot to it, and there are other EBAs that deserve your time more. It's simple, sweet, refreshing, and the flavours harmonize nicely. At least worth a try, and a good "layman's ale" if you're trying to introduce someone to beer that isn't BMC.

[Updated August 7 2014]

I picked up a six-pack of this just for old times' sake. Nostalgia was probably tainting my original review - this is drinkable, but in all honesty it's not much better than the pseudo-macro stuff (think Rickard's or Keith's). Finding better brown ales is not very difficult, especially in this province.

Final Grade: 3.16, a C+.

Photo of Mandrake
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of imfinished
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a drinkable, but very simple beer. Not a heck of a lot of taste or feel.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Big Rock Traditional Ale from Big Rock Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.