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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.
BA SCORE
78
okay

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 15.13%
Wants: 4
Gots: 11 | 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: 167 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Antilochus
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed in a single at a Kingston, ON LCBO. 5.00% abv, 341mL. Fridge temp. Poured into a wine glass.

Amber brownish body, sudsy beige head.

Metallic hop notes, sweet caramel malt backbone. A little bubblegum. Gets a bit leafy.

Nice balance on the palate, but a little too sweet for an APA. Finish is a bit off. Metal comes back a bit too strong for my taste, but decent malt presence. Whoa, gets super herbal in the finish... like *the herb*. Don't see that flavour in beer often. Some wood too.

A decent APA from an unexpected brewery.

Antilochus, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of CanuckRover
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

CanuckRover, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of GrimmReaper
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

GrimmReaper, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

ThatWineGuy, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of allergictomacros
3/5  rDev -11%
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.

allergictomacros, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of cyrenaica
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

cyrenaica, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of aquatonex
2.48/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

aquatonex, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of elricorico
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

elricorico, May 02, 2007
Photo of MMansfield
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Bishop's Cellar in Halifax.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown colour with a slim off white head, little retention, leaves some lace.

Aroma: Biscuity malt, sweet with some caramel and toffee.

Taste: Very malty with breads and plenty of carmamel in its finish. Low bitterness, slightly metallic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and very soft, not bad at all. Drinkability is extremely high.

Final Statement: Very basic sessional ale. Not offensive, not remarkable. Good companion to my chilli.

MMansfield, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of JustinBathurst
2.05/5  rDev -39.2%
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.

JustinBathurst, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Viggo, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of Mandrake
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Mandrake, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of aychbomb
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is my "usual" beer so i hope this is an unbias review

-appearance: a sparkling clear light copper color, pours with a thin rocky head that quickly (almost immeadatly) all but disapears.

-smell: Malty and yeasty an almost rye bread like smell, hops nearly subtle but there

-taste: big malty taste, kind of fruity like cantalope, low hoppyness, slightly astringant (but not unpleasant) aftertaste.

-mouthfeel: low carbonation, a little bit "grainy" but still crisp and pleasant.

-drinkability: as iv'e said this is my "usual" so i think it is highly drinkable, awsom with sharp cheese (or nachos)

aychbomb, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think this is the best of the Big Rock beers that I had on my trip to Banff. Dark copper colored pale ale, it may be a little dark for style, but a strong malty base give the beer a good mouthfeel (sometimes hard to find in Canadian beer). Very reminiscent of northwest pale ales like Sierra Nevada. A strong aromatic hop but not overly assertive compared to the fruity esters and malty base of the beer. In many of the bars, this became my back up beer of choice, and on tap it opens up a bit more compared to the can I am reviewing now. If you see a row of Big Rock and Sleeman on the tap, go Traditional.

FightingEntropy, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of atigerlife
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

atigerlife, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of jaluria
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

jaluria, May 01, 2006
Photo of BigRedN
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, consumed during Calgary trip 9/27 - 10/1. One of a few beers I had more than on of during my stay. When I first had this, the bartender informed us this was the dark beer (light was Molson Canadian, medium was Kokannee Gold).

Appearance: Dark amber/copper. The first place I had this at also served it in a big glass mug. A second time I had it the bartender poured it into a pint glass, which I thought is the more proper glassware to serve this in. Small head, about 1/4-inch, formed a good ring with a cloud on top of the liquid and left some decent lacing.

Smell: Minimal malt and minimal hop, decent balance, just not over the top. I think that is the intention, for this to appeal to as many people as possible, a crossover beer if you will.

Taste: Nice PA. Malts and grains at the front and middle balanced by a hop bite at the finish. Taste is subdued but decent.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not too heavy so more than one can be consumed. Lightly carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability: An easy to drink and easily likeable PA. I would drink it again if it was local.

BigRedN, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
2.78/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

GClarkage, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of BDTyre
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seems to be more of a brown ale than a pale ale. This ale is a light copper colour with a decent head. Smells malty, and bready as others have mentioned. Taste is an okay combination of malts an hops -sometimes seems to be a bit on the hoppy side, sometimes a bit on the malty side. There is a slight metallic taste, even though this is from a bottle.

Regardless this ale is well done, though not outstanding. It makes a good session ale, and is easy to drink.

BDTyre, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice copper coloured ale with a good amount of carbonation. I tend to think of this one as a kind of "suped-up" and less adjunct ladden Labatt 50. Well balanced hop and bready-malt flavor, and the carbonation makes it quite refreshing. Tastes quite fresh, even though it came out of a can. A bit watery, but still a good everyday beer. Bottled samples I've had have been a little inconsistent, but the can and draft samples have been far more reliable.

fisherman34, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of Derek
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium amber, little head.

S: Slight scent of British hops (Goldings?)

T: Starts with a light malt flavour (Munich-like), with some earthy hop taste. Finishes dry, with a slightly bitter after-taste.

M: Light to moderate.

D: More flavour than a macro, but not a lot. It shouldn't offend the average drinker.

Derek, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of niangelo
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

niangelo, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of Noxious26
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle served in pint glass. Came in a variety 12pack celebrating Saskatchewan's 100th Anniversary.

Clear, light brown amber in colour. Head is 1/2 inch thick and dark beige in colour. Reduces down to a thin layer with tight circle around the edge. Some lacing on sides.

Sweet malty aroma. Hints of caramel. A little sweeter than I'd like.

Sweet malty caramel flavour at the swallow fades away to a slightly bitter malt aftertaste. Aftertaste is neither strong, nor does it stick around very long. Not very complex and could use some hops to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied while nicely carbonated.

I had two of these, one each on seperate nights and each time they tasted slightly different. The one night it seemed quite bland and slightly sweet, the other night it seemed very sweet. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. While this isn't something that reaches out and grabs you, it is a decent beer and worth drinking on occasion.

Noxious26, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(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.

rhoadsrage, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of Tang07
4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
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.

Tang07, Mar 08, 2005
Big Rock Traditional Ale from Big Rock Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.