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Big Rock Warthog Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Warthog AleBig Rock Warthog Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.17
pDev: 17.03%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-04-2002

Malty with a hint of toffee balanced with very evident hop and followed by a clean finish.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 57
Photo of Pmicdee
4.35/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pleasant surprise. Very tasty.

Photo of Bunman3
3/5  rDev -5.4%

Warthog is, well, just OK. It's not much different that many other Big Rock beers - Honey Brown and CoOp Classic Ale come to mind. I don't mind picking up a big can of this when the alternatives are Canadian or Bud, but it's not much of a step above the average macro-brewed beer. The flavor includes some caramel and cherry tobacco notes, but I find it has a thin flavor profile. Overall, it's a pretty "meh" brew that sells for a "yeh" price. I'll take a lower priced alternative any day.

Photo of Olek4374
3.31/5  rDev +4.4%

Sad day in the Canadian craft beer world, as Big Rock founder Ed McNally passed away today. His work was paramount in completely transforming the beer industry in the nation. Although the big boys like Labbatt and Molson are still big players, craft beer is more popular than ever; McNally's work was paramount in this regard, as Big Rock was one of the most widely available early craft breweries in Canada.

Today, it seems Big Rock works on nostalgia quite a bit. Many of their beers are rather plain in comparison to other, newer breweries. They're not that bad, they're just... ordinary. Nevertheless, to honour one of Canada's craft beer pioneers, I'll sample one of Big Rock's more long-running brews: the Warthog Ale.

It comes in a nice can that was recently redesigned. It depicts a warthog on a stylised British flag. The beer itself is a great orange colour with a nice head that is about 2cm, although it dissipates rather quickly. The smell is okay - really malty but not very deep. The taste of the beer itself is plain. It has some malty and hoppy notes, but it lacks anything further. The body is also quite modest, really more like a lager. That said, it's really easy drinking with no unpleasant aftertaste.

Big Rock beers are like your old Nintendo Entertainment System. At the time, it was revolutionary and one of the greatest things around. Today, it's still all right to break out once in a while, although there are bigger and better things. Much like in the world of video games though, Big Rock was a pioneer; craft beer would not be what it was today if not for Big Rock and the work of Ed McNally. Cheers.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.44/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently the recipient of a makeover like the rest of Big Rock's regular lineup, now available in Big Rock's new bottles decked out in a new label that still depicts the namesake animal in full regalia. Poured into an English pub glass, this "mild" is indeed quite light in color, an amber-brown with a few inches of beige head. Smells ... sweet. Faint caramel and molasses are discernible and little else. Palate is similarly mellow, subdued, and sweet, with some toffee, light baker's cacao, sultana raisin, and vanilla that recall Big Rock Traditional (Trad) but the total package is dryer and rather woodier than the latter brew, with some Fuggles type hop character managing to keep its head above the sweetness. There's also a cherry pipe tobacco hint of floral-fruitiness and the carbonation is on the heavy side (often the case with this brewery), which cuts the sweetness and works with the thin body. I dunno ... Perhaps I am cutting this lightly flavored "just a notch above quality macro" brew too much slack. I don't feel its as bad as some other reviewers suggest, but on the other hand its not going to become a staple in my fridge. Yet another example of a beer the brewer calls a mild while the beer fan base deem it a brown. ABV and flavor profile put it in mild territory if you ask me.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.29/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a half finger of head on a hazy dark straw colored body.
The aroma is musty, barnyard like with sour lemon in the background.
The taste is sweet and grainy. There's a mild lemon bitterness in the background.
The texture is crisper with moderate carbonation.
It's okay, tends sweet. It's sweet like a Scotch Ale.

Photo of Mountainmanbrewing
3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured an amber copper colour with a fairly thin, off-white head that dies quite quickly, leaving a nice amount of lacing along the glass.

The aroma is rather weak with some graininess, a hint of nuttiness and with a faint molasses note on the nose. The hoppiness is subtle and not overstated with a rather nice taste. The initial hop sweetness lends to a slightly bitter finish, but remarkably smooth with a faint caramel flavour.

The mouthfeel is about average with a medium body which lends to a very drinkable beer.

Photo of sAws
2.04/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Light Brown/Amber Color. Very Light color for a Brown Ale.

Smell was metal, sweet, minerals. Its a faint smell and not very appealing.

Taste was bland. Slight malt flavor maybe a little hops dryness but overall just very bland.

Mouthfeel was average with high carbonation.

Overall this is a dissapointing beer. I expected flavor and got a bland beer, not bad tasting just bland. Not sure how this one sells when Big Rocks Traditional Ale is a good Brown Ale.

Photo of BierStein711
2.95/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a very bland beer

Four finger head, ruby red in color

Heavy carbonation

Smells: minerals, grain, and hops

Taste: malt, biscuity, toasty, hoppy, with a warming finish

Mouthfeel: moderate

Overall, this is a forgettable beer from a good brewery. Try the traditional ale.

Photo of Converge
2.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a maple-copper color with a small, soapy beige head with pretty good retention, but no lacing.

S - Aroma is mainly light malt with some sweetness. A touch of caramel malt and leafy hops just peak through. Strangely metallic.

T - Follows the nose closely, maybe a bit more toffee/caramel presence, but very little. A touch of hops lingers in the finish along with the aforementioned metallic feel.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation, although it's a touch fizzy. It definitely has a bit more body to it than I had expected, but nothing substantial.

D - Although this is a step above the average macro-lager, it's a far cry from a real craft brown ale. Just another Big Rock product that caters to the pseudo-craft beer audience and entry-level beer drinkers; and as much as that makes me sound like a snobby elitist, it's true.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.85/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light brown pour, tan head to it, small. Aroma wasn't really cream or anything, just some beeryness notes, malt, minimal hops that couldn't be distinguished.

Easy drinking brew, minimal malt heft to it, smoothness gives it a cream pedigree I guess. Pretty much a malt bomb, even though it isn't all that thick, and is relatively light bodied, there's just not much hopping (or anything else) to it. Maybe malt forward, not bomb. Toffee.

Didn't really pick up much sweetness or caramel, carbonation was what it should have been. Price was higher than it should have been ($7.49/6).

Photo of evlu1441
3.53/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my third Big Rock review. I have had this beer before, but I was too drunk to really remember what it was like (though I don't remember it being too unusual).

It pours a medium copper/amber colour. Held up to light it is quite clear, but seems a bit darker just sitting on the table. There is a little creamy head that settles down to a nice thin layer over the beer.

The aroma is quite sweet and smooth. It reminds me of an English "draught" ale-in-a-can-type beer. There is some light maltiness, and thankfully no adjuncty aroma. The sweetness is most prominent.

It is quite carbonated off the bat. The malt flavours slowly develop in the front of the mouth and mingle with the sweetness. The matliness becomes more prominent and rolls across the tongue leaving a slight hoppy bitterness.This is a very smooth beer.

Overall, I quite liked this! It would definitely be a great beer to have at a pub on tap or something like that.

Photo of thehyperduck
2.7/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I've seen Warthog everywhere but have never bothered to try it until now, usually just sticking with Big Rock Trad because I already know that's good. This came in a variety pack, so I finally have a chance (excuse?) to try it.

Pours a copper orange colour with a thin beige head that doesn't last very long. No lacing on the sides at all, and the remaining film on the surface isn't very creamy. The smell is hard to make out but it is definitely malty. So far I am not particularly impressed.

My first sip indicates some sweetness, heavy carbonation, followed by a little bit of caramel/toffee malts. Dry finish from the hops. Not fantastic, but suitable for a cream ale I suppose. Mouthfeel is watery and thin with a lot of bite from the CO2. I definitely wouldn't describe it as creamy. Very drinkable, but not very memorable.

The only thing that saves this beer from getting a very low (D-level) score is its taste, which is enjoyable, if not completely unmemorable. Of course, most people don't buy beer to sniff it or look at it, so the decent taste is enough to give it a decent score - and that's really the only adjective I can use to describe this beer: decent. It is forgettable and elicits a big fat 'meh' from me.

If you have never tried Warthog and are standing in a liquor store debating whether or not to get it... you probably shouldn't bother. I have been in this exact situation many times over the last 5 or 6 years, and it's nice to feel vindicated in my oft-repeated decision without having to actually purchase a 6-pack of it. If you do get it, you won't be disgusted of course, but you'll be left wondering if there wasn't something better you could have gotten. There almost certainly was.

Photo of spree92
3.08/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper ale that had a small head. Constant amount of carbonation rises to the top. Light malt/caramel and surprisingly, alcohol. 4.5% really shocked me. Not much happening on the taste front. A typical amber ale. I know they class it as cream, but reminds me of an amber. A good session beer and that is about it.

Photo of marty21
3.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep orange/copper with one finger worth of white head. Settles to a thin cap but doesn't leave any lacing.

S: Grainy and malty aroma with faint hints of hops in the background.

T: Sweet grainy taste. The taste is a bit thin.

M: Medium carbonation with a light body.

D: I felt this beer was a bit thin on the mouthfeel and taste. It's a bit different then other Big Rock beers but it's not necessarily better then most.

Photo of CrazyMike
3.08/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber appearance with minimal head. Smell is caramel and nutty but hard to pick up.

Taste is sweet and buttery, picked up some malt and caramel/toffee as well but overall it light. Light bodies with high carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and dry.

Overall, this is light beer that try's to be dark. Has a few good features but just ends up being watery. Not the best from big rock, but not bad if your looking for something below 5%.

Photo of decimator
3.03/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml can poured into a mug.

A - Poured a clear gold-amber with a 2cm cream head. Head reduce to a very thin bubbly cap. Not much lacing is produced.

S - Caramel, butter and a some hops in the background.

T - Light caramel taste with and a very mild bitter finish.

M - A little creamy upfront and then it's pretty bland.

D - It's drinkable but I prefer Big Rock's Traditional Ale over this.

Photo of andrenaline
2.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice copper brown with a solid thumb of bubbly head. Head dissipates relatively quickly leaving a little lacing.

S - Scent is rather metallic with a bit of a toffee scent present. A nice balance of hops and malt, with a slight nutty scent.

T - The metallic scent comes through strong on the first taste, but finishes with a sweet toffee malt taste. Pretty mild overall, and the metallic flavour is a little too strong for my liking.

M - Pretty smooth, not too thick. Doesn't overwhelm the palette at all, making for a nice crisp feeling.

D - Not too bad. Is a good beer if you're looking for something with a bit of flavour, but is pretty light and refreshing. The metallic flavour kind of turns me off, but that seems to be consistent with many of the cream ales I've tried, so I guess it comes with the territory!

Photo of mintjellie
2.97/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brilliant copper with a fingers worth of poorly retained off-white head. No lace. Grainy aroma shows subtle notes of caramel and apple. Grainy flavour hints at toasted bread. Theres some apple and little bit of butter. Some lingering sweetness. Light bodied with medium carbonation. It feels watery and sharp. Inoffensive and thirst quenching.

Photo of woodychandler
3.14/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I CAN thank my lucky stars for good notes.

Yet another two fingers' of French Vanilla-colored head with excellent retention. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was slightly sweet, but otherwise unremarkable. Mouthfeel was medium to full with a solid caramel sweetness on the tongue. Finish had that same caramel sweetness. Not bad, but I prefer hops.

Photo of barleywort
2.84/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a nice, truly golden stream and is a pure amber in strength. Head was abundant but dissipated quickly and no lace to speak of.

Smell: Faint scents of carmelized sugar, but nothing more. Pleasant aroma, but insubstantial.

Taste: Here, I will do my best to avoid making comments on taste that may be attributable to the can (real or perceived). No discernable hops flavour (not inconsistent with style) but there is a biscuity malt flavour, not sweet, that lingers for a little while. Personally, I find it lacking in the taste department and not a style paradigm.

Mouthfeel: Thin but surprisingly not crisp (which in my experience, is uncharacteristic of style) as expected. Also not as highly carbonated as would be expected.

Drinkability: I didn't find it "refreshing" in the typical sense of the word, but it is relatively easy to drink. If nose and taste had been more rewarding, I would have considered this a "sessionable" beer.

DISCLAIMER: I am contra canned beer when it comes to that age old debate. I tried my best to have an objective and impartial mind when reviewing this beer, but the fact of the matter is that I believe (stress on it being a matter of opinion) that the can may have had an adverse impact on this beer. I'm leaving my review as is, but if I ever have the opportunity to try it on tap or from a bottle, I will take another look at this review.

Photo of TheHammer
3.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The fourth of five in the Big Rock mix pack I got from my bud a while ago.

Appearance: Nice pour with a solid thumb of head that did not lace and just barely retained. The body is a light amber color that boasts exceptional clarity and carbonation.

Smell: A nice buttery malt dominates the nose with the barest hints of sweet caramel. Not very diverse but has a very simple appeal. Didn't take much in the way of warming to come out either.

Taste: All in all, it's pretty much an average ale. Sweet buttery malts dominate the taste until a small touch of generic hops finishes off the beer. I should note, it seems to have avoided the odd funky flavor that other Big Rock brews seem to have suffered with.

Mouthfeel: A simple drinking beer that goes down very smoothly, not very much to transition to, but what it does it does well enough. No aftertaste to speak of although it does leave a little bit of a filmy taste in the mouth.

Drinkability: It's pretty good, as it goes down very smoothly as a cream ale should. Fairly refreshing to drink as well, and doesn't have any gas issues. Maybe a little touch too heavy on the gut, but it's a minor complaint.

Final Thoughts: This is the best beer I've gotten out of Big Rock thus far. Warthog is just a simple, easy drinking ale which you wouldn't expect given the name. Thumbs up for the most part, nothing here is going to wow you, but if you are looking to get back to basics, this beer is for you.

Photo of wordemupg
3.12/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into 400ml dab glass sept26 2009

A crystal clear honey amber with a two finger head that falls quite fast and leaves some lace where the head existed for its 40 seconds of life

S sweet malts and some mild hops

T even sweeter then it smells with caramel and toffee becoming more noticeable

M a little creamy but it seems too bubble up a bit too much, almost like I'm drinking air

D overall there's nothing offensive but nothing that sticks out as great either

This isn't a bad beer, however the ale Big Rock brews for the Calgary co-op liquor chain is half the price and similar in quality

Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20oz pint. An old favorite that I haven't had in years, available on tap now at one of my smaller go-to beer hideaways in Edmonton.

This beer appears a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with a finger or so of frothy, filmy, and soapy white head, which leaves some spotty, streaky lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of bready pale and caramel malt, reduced brown sugar, and very mild earthy, weedy hops. The taste is more of that thin, wet breadiness, sweet in that particular Big Rock manner, ethereal earthy yeast, an echo of molasses, and some still very tame floral hops.

The carbonation is quite soft, barely a tic arising throughout, the body medium-light in weight, and mostly smooth, with a certain clammy, grainy edge intruding a bit. It finishes off-dry, some innocuous bready caramel malt lingering all by its lonesome.

Just as I remember it - an easy-drinking, not overly complicated (re: plain) mild ale, one that puts on full display Big Rock's core competencies. Now to complete this little ode to nostalgia - if only there were still 5 cent hot wing Wednesdays as well!

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 355-ml can into a pint glass.

Appearance - copper-gold brew with thin, disappearing head. Some ultra-fine surface bubbles and a 1/16th-inch ring of lace. Very active carbonation, looks like a super-highway in there.

Smell - cozy, creamy sweet malt aromas, gently roasted barley and a whiff of toffee.

Taste - this is a beer that looks good and smells great but it comes up short on taste. The taste that's there is too thin, while the late, plain, tinny hoppiness really only serves as a transition to a wet, watery finish.

Mouthfeel - very active but even, the dynamic of the watery finish is boring and unsatisfying to what could have been the thicker, heartier effect I had anticipated from the aromas before sipping on it.

Drinkability - this goes down, well, like water. Not engaging enough to have quite a few, but it's still easy to put a couple back.

Photo of ChrisCage
3.52/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- Upon pourning, I was impressed with the coloring, which is orange/reddish/brown. This was the only thing I really liked about it, as there was virtually no head, and what did appear quickly fizzes out to a very thin ring around the glass. There is also no lacing to speak of. The name of the beer and labeling is quite unique and I like that so this area receives moderate marks.

S- The aromas are quite light, which I guess should be expected with this style. There is a dominant malt smell, with toffee and molasses notes. I also detected a faint undernote of bananas, which I enjoyed. Still lots to smell here as opposed to the lagers that this is made to compete against.

T- Lots of assertive malts here, and other than the aforementioned toffee and molasses notes, there isn't much else here to describe. The finish lends a mild hop bitterness, that doesn't really hang around on the palate. Rather a simple tasting ale, but it's not bad!

M- This is rather light, which I'm not used to in an ale. It is however refreshing, with the heavier carbonation and the flavors just kind of roll through the palate and then are gone.

D- I gave this area full marks, b/c this is meant to be a competitor to a lager, but with a little more and I think that it does the job. I'd be perfectly happy to enjoy this particular beer throughout an evening with friends and think it's a nice crisp ale. Would do the job after a hard days work and could even make a nice after dinner beer, with the sweeter flavors.

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Big Rock Warthog Ale from Big Rock Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.