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Big Rock Traditional Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Traditional AleBig Rock Traditional Ale

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BA SCORE
78
okay

176 Ratings
THE BROS
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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 BigRedN
3.38/5  rDev 0%
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.

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 BDTyre
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of fisherman34
3.38/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Derek
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of niangelo
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of Noxious26
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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 canadianbarman
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

--Regular brown bottle. Bought in a variety 12 pack with other flavours.
--Poured a chestnut, amber in color which gave it a good look.
--Slight head that did not last long but left some nice lacing.
--Smelled malty and sweet.

This is probably the biggest seller for big rock. I have had a lot of big rock and will continue to do so. This is a nice slightly better than average beer that goes down smoothly. Not the best Big Rock product in my opinion but still good.
Thx

Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ml can. Probably the most popular Big Rock product. Color is a coppery red. Almost no head, leaves a patchy cap of surface foam, small amount of lacing. First smell is sweet, sugary malt with slight caramel. Taste is sweet and grainy, light bitter to finish, but overall well balanced and no after taste. Medium body, and easy to drink. If you are expecting a "traditional ale" you might be dissapointed because it is somewhat characterless. Has no overpowering strong points, just good all around.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured with almost no head at all, but retained a small lace through the whole glass. Brown colour, not very pale at all. Malt and nuts on the nose. Taste is nutty with mild alcohol and a bit of sweetness in the middle. Mouthfeel isn't spectacular, but I like the taste, so I give this a higher drinkability rating as I find it a very good session beer. I much prefer it on tap as I have had many times on visits to Calgary. I usually start to crave this beer in the Autumn, when I want something a little darker, but not very. Not a bad offering from Big Rock.

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 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 ecoboy
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very inviting copper colour. Served too cold, so I let it sit in the Friday summer lunchtime sun and admired.

When the nose could pierce the refridgeration, it was mostly malt.

Aggressive carbonation in the attack makes for that Canadian "crisp" nature I have tasted time and again.

Malt and hop: neither dominate and both are present. The malt is in the lead with the hop and bibbles ready to clear off the tongue. Short finish and "hollowness" at the center of the flavor profile keep this from acheiving greatness.

Worthy, however, with the drinkability of a Sam Adams lager. Maybe that should be different for this style, but get past the divergence with its proclaimed style and it's worth drinking.

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 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 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 pootz
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap in many Calgary and Edmonton pubs...flows like water here as BR has sewed up the draft market locally. Tapped a crystal clear darker amber, slight white cap that doesn't last long. Slight hints of citrusy and grassy hop, boiled grains in the aroma. Starts light and rather timid for a traditional english dark ale ale but then the fuller body kicks in midway with the well balanced hop and malt departure the finish is clean with a lingering "bread" after taste. As commercial Canuck ales go this is probably the best of the lot but still lacking. It's another attempt to "Canadianize" a traditional ale style for the mass market....it is always a compromise....but as compromises go this one has retained a modicum of ale character to make it king of the commercial Canuk ales.

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 Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice cloudless amber color as it sets in the glass, head is adequate, frothy and a winsome beige color, as is disappears a nice sheet of lace is left behind to hide the glass. All malt nose, sweet and clean a satisfactory sniffer, sweet malt start, once again a bit thin on top for me, but nothing I can’t live with. Finish is sternly acidic, the hops pleasant in their spiciness, quite dry and a fine drinking beer especially in the hot summer month’s.

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 Shiloh
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very nice offering by the Big Rock Brewery.
The colour is a very dark and deep amber. The crown is short and light tan. The nose is mildly grainy and the carbonation is limited.
The taste begins with a malty sweetness but quickly is replaced by the hops and finishes nicely with a light lingering bitterness.
Recomended.

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 the42ndtourist
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colour, with 1-2 fingers head.
Dry taste, some malt and some hops come through. An above average beer, not unpleasant at all.
A good standard example of an american ale. Worth drinking.

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