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Big Rock Warthog Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Warthog AleBig Rock Warthog Ale

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99 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
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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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 57
Photo of pootz
3.07/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought 2 of these from the liquor store "odds" section....didn’t want a 6 as I had my fill of this in Calgary. It’s what I used to think was a micro brew before I knew any better.

Pours a crystal clear amber-brown color with a small head that reduces quickly.

Slight understated aromas of roast malts, caramel. Simple nose.

Starts light with the nutty-caramel malts out-balancing the weaker attenuated hops..thin body...light clean finish.

Thin/watery body and light real ale flavors but still not enough to satisfy my tastes in an ale.

Photo of FightingEntropy
2.68/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Attending the Toronto Festival of Beer last year, it seems that Canadians have a love affair with cream ale. It's gives the appearance of a darker beer w/ some heavier characteristics compared to the normal light lagers and pilsners. Warthog fits right into this category. A light lace hung on for a bit around the top edge fo the copper/gold colored beer. Warthog has a sweet malty base with a solid but not overly aggressive spicy aroma and light fruity esters. Slightly chewy mouthfeel, but might be because I drank the Jack Rabbit right before it. Overall, it's a a not unpleasant taste and is light enough to drink a couple, if that's what you're looking for. Personally, I'd look for something a bit stronger.

Photo of headlessparrot
3.18/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Being a big fan of the cream ale style, I decided to try my hand at Big Rock's attempt at the style (although this particular brew is allegedly also referred to as a 'Canadian Ale' in other markets). There are quite a few similarities between Big Rock and Sleeman as brewers, so I must admit I was expecting a beer similar to Sleeman's Cream Ale (which is my beer guilty pleasure, I must regretably admit). However, this brew actually seems rather different.

The beer pours an amber brown-goldish (copper?) sort of colour that's admittedly rather appetizing, but with a fairly thin, slightly off-white head that dies quite quickly, leaving just a few rings - there is, however, a reasonable bit of lacing, though its somewhat runny.

Smell is rather weak, as far as I can detect. There's some graininess, a hint of nuttiness, with faint molasses notes, perhaps. Slight hoppiness, but also some cereal grain present, though subtle, and, admittedly this is apparantly largely in accordance with the style.

Taste is rather nice, though nothing special. An initial hop sweetness for sure, but offset slightly by some obvious adjunct presence. Finishes a little bitter, but remarkably smooth (should we be thanking the adjuncts?). Maltiness, I think, is the name of the game here, and what makes the taste enjoyable - a sort of faint caramel, molasses taste. Not bad, but nothing special, really. A slight creaminess, as well.

Mouthfeel is average. Body is medium - not too watery, which is nice, though the carbonation is a tad excess, and a little unpleasant. I imagine the taste would be better if my taste buds weren't being attacked by a constant stream of carbonated bubbles. Drinkability, however, is high in spite of this. The simplicity of the brew, and the relatively good taste make this something that I could enjoy more than one of at a time.

Still, though - while Warthog Cream Ale isn't bad (I'd certainly never turn it down, and will admit that I'd probably buy it on a few occasions), I'm still more taken with Sleeman's take on the style (though even Sleeman's Cream Ale is nothing special either, in the grand scheme of things).

Photo of Mandrake
3.13/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brownish-gold with a small whitish head that fades rapidly and leaves some scant lacing. Smells candy-sweet, with some caramel and fruitiness in the malts. Taste is nondescript, with a bit of maltiness, but is pretty watery and not very complex. Mouthfeel is thin, and drinkability is fine, but not much above expectation for this style. Not great, but not offensive either.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a medium, creamy head. Aroma is.. well weak. Touch of a euro-lagery smell and a cleanness. Not much else. Taste is grain and a tiny bitterness. Although the initial head wasn't great, there's some really good lacing happening now. Perhaps my pour was to blame. A bit of a citrusy taste, but overall not a terribly flavourful brew. Moderate carbonation and a light-medium body. Quite drinkable, but nothing special in my view

Photo of fisherman34
2.53/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reminds me of Big Rock's IPA, only with more water and even less flavor. Smells vaguely of malt and toffee, and has a hint of nuttiness along with some malt flavors. You would expect a cream ale to be low on hops, but they are basically nonexistant in this particular example. Overall it's not completely horrible, but Big Rock's other beers are better.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is not far off of Big Rock's Traditional Ale to me...

Pours a deep copper brown colour, with little to no head, slight lace sticks to glass momentarily. A roasted malt, slightly hoppy nose, brooding, autumnal, it's getting to that time of year.

Taste is a thin hop sweetness that finishes a bit bitter, but not too much. Smoother than their traditional ale, but less complex and less tangy. Goes down smooth, soft mouthfeel, a bit thin but a decent, drinkable session ale.

Photo of Noxious26
1.88/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

341ml bottle served in a pint glass. From a variety 12 pack (2 each of 6 brands).

Clear, dark gold to pale light brown in colour. Thin off-white head with some lacing.

Aroma is malty with some slightly skunky hops.

The taste is pretty good until the aftertaste kicks in. Malty, slightly sweet and slightly caramel with a floral hops undertone at the swallow. Terrible skunky bitter aftertaste. The floral undertones tag team with the skunky bitterness to lay a hurtin' on my tastebuds. Truly disgusting.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with little carbonation.

This was the first Big Rock beer I had ever tried back in the mid-90s and I didn't like it then, but since a couple came in a variety pack I gave it another try. I tried both bottles on different occassions and came up with the same conclusion. The aftertaste totally detracts from the beer. If they had no aftertaste at all it would be better, and in fact this might not be a bad beer. However, that aftertaste makes me want to puke. Both bottles had the bottom 1/4 of the glass poured down the drain.

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

Pours an orange/brown colour, with no head to speak of. A bit of bubbles around the rim of the glass, and nothing between. No lace as well. The beer is a pretty colour, that's about all the positive I can give for appearance. Sweet malts on the nose, with a bit of a flowery, light perfume scent as well, with a bit of caramel. Taste is a little too cloyingly sweet. Malts and caramel are just too strong in a relatively weak tasting beer. Aftertaste has a bitterness that lasts for perhaps a nanosecond, then disappears. The mouthfeel is damn good. Smooth, creamy, and not overly carbonated. Drinkability is tough. Mouthfeel is good, but the rest is below average. I'd drink it again, but only if offered it.

Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New can label with larger emphasis on 'cream ale', old label was just 'warthog ale'. Pours light copper color with thin white head that quickly dissappears to form just a small collar around the glass. Light malty and a bit of flowery aroma. Full flavor of the caramel malt, not a whole lot of body to it, tastey but not overpowering. Quite a bit of sweetness to it, and finishes with some slight bitterness but not a lot of hop. Good carbonation throughout gives it a smooth creamy texture (not as much as some other cream ales, but still OK).

May 7, 2006 - sampled another can with the new logo and graphics, beer still the same.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.36/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought the Big Rock Traditional Ale was bad. This is way worse. Pours a light chestnut color with a very dimunitive and short lived head. Virtually no lace. The smell is very sweet like koolaid with raisin notes, no noticeable hoppiness. The taste is too sweet. Cream Ales should have way more malt complexity than this does, its cloying and bland. There's also no hop presence worth noting. Very bland and extremely watery, I wouldnt buy this again.

Photo of ComradeCanadia
3.21/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this one in YEARS, so decided to grab a case.

Appearance: Not bad, not bad. Decent amber colouration, poured a creamy-ish head that left some lacing and never quite went away.

Smell: Meh. Bit too malty, some hop in there, caramel undertones, and some sort of generic veggie smell.

Taste: Very mixed feelings here. The aftertaste leaves a lot to be desired, but I like the hoppiness in here. Too much malt, but I can't say it's dislikeable. Straight up average grade.

Mouthfeel: I really like the mouthfeel on this, full bodied and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Again, good marks here. I finished my bottle very quickly, and could make this a session beer... just that aftertaste.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle - Light brown brew with almost no head or carbonnation. Aroma of yeast and hopps is really sweet. Taste is a bit of let down compared to the aroma with a palate that is too watery. Drinkable but not exceptionnal. I still looking for that Big Rock brew that will make me say WOW!

Photo of woemad
2.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.5 fl. ounce bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $0.89. I'd heard of Big Rock, but had never tried any of their products. Also, my first "cream ale."

This poured a copper/amber color, with a moderate, slightly off-white head. After the head subsided, a foamy collar remained at the top for the duration.

The smell is of sugary sweet malts, with a little floral hoppiness. The sweetness of the malts is a bit over the top.

The taste is mostly cloyingly sweet malts, with a little bit of apricot in the background. Very small hop presence in the taste, almost undetectable.

I wasn't too impressed by this. While this one bottle was drinkable, repeated doses of this cloyingly sweet beer is not something I would look forward to.

Photo of beerguy101
2.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium brown color. Small head. Aroma is malty. A lighter bodied brown ale. Kind of mild and a little sweet, some nuttiness. Sort of light a Newcastle light. Very drinkable, but everything is just a little mild. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.5 fluid ounce (341ml) brown glass bottle, with a twist-off crown cap. The neck label has the Brewery name ‘BigRock’, whilst the dark brown colored main label has a picture of a Warthogs face, with the words “All Natural” above and “Warthog”. No mention at all of ‘Cream Ale’ as the BA listing name suggests. Again, like the other 2 BR beers I had previously, it describes as, “Traditionally Brewed in Canada”.

Appearance: Chestnut body with a super-filtered appearance. Thin but wholesome head sits atop, just off-white in color. It looks pretty good actually. Good inherent carbonation replenishes the head when the beer is swirled.

Nose: Malt, some grain and a light sweetness. Light in strength.

Taste: Again, like the IPA, this beer is just not to my liking at all. Unrefined is perhaps the most positive way I can refer to it. Just the whole balance of the beer was far too much in favor of a taste that reminded me of processed malt extract. Caramel sweetness mixed with a very light hop bitterness, which was still subsumed overall by the ‘malt extract’ flavors. A little one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Just above average, and not that bad actually, perhaps due to the carbonation, and one of the better aspects of this beer apart from its appearance.

Drinkability: Had a taste and cloying aspect in the finish that was reminiscent of my first attempt at Home Brew with a crappy cheap Malt Extract Kit I got fro Xmas once. A sometimes sickly, often cloying aftertaste, which made this a tad unpalatable after only a short while. Not to my liking, far too “sticky”.

Overall: This is the third and last of the BigRock Beers that I recently purchased, and in a way I am kind of glad. The whole experience was rather a huge disappointment to be honest. I hate to be negative, so on a positive note – I will say that the ‘WartHog’ was the best of the bunch that I had from BigRock, but that’s not really saying much at all I suppose. Mediocre at best.

Photo of Garin
4/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah yes, my old friend the Warthog... This was our staple throughout my school days. I'm working from notes, though I've had this so many times that I hardly need them.

As always, it poured clear and pale coppery brown with a nice head that dropped to a thin and lingering foam that is well supported by the carbonation. It is perfectly clear.

I never did get how people were put off by the aroma. I find grainy malt and caramel sweetness with some herbal and vegetable undertones, and nothing unpleasant or unexpected from a cream ale.

The flavour is light and bitter hoppy, with some maltiness becoming apparent over time. In the usual cream ale fashion, it's pretty mild, but I've always found it to be well balanced and interesting enough.

In the mouth, it's light, smooth and easy drinking. The carbonation is lively and long-lasting, and overall I find this very refreshing.

Photo of lipschitz
3.75/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 650ml bomber
Pours clear, medium copper, with a decent, foamy head that recedes promptly. Aroma is of caramel malt, with some herbal undertones. The taste is wonderfully delicate caramel, which matches the aroma. The sweetness steps aside to make way for a pleasant, nutty finish. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, creamy, and slick.
Notes: I have had this many times over the years, and always found it to be a capable, if not spectacular ale. For some reason the bombers that I had this week were exceptional. The delicate balance between the sweetish malts, and the nuttiness made it a most pleasing brew. The flavours are subtle, but very nice.

Photo of IronDjinn
2.87/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It seems like only a few years ago Big Rock started marketing Warthog as a cream ale (must be due to the low hop presence). It's been around seemingly forever, part of their original line up (along with McNally's Extra Ale, and Traditional Ale) that has lasted the years to this day. Always struck me as their most mediocre offering, a cross between Trad and one of their pales, but it always worked in a pinch. A not very surprising homecoming for me sampling it once again.

The head is white and creamy, but disappears shortly, although still leaves a ring all the way down the glass. The colour is the epitome of a fine clear copper ale, big points for that, very nice to look at. However the nose is rather funky at first, really turned me off. After the initial reaction it melds into a decent sweet caramel scent, with a slight scent of floral hops. Flavour is as mediocre as I remember it to be, kind of watery with a small hoppy aftertaste, which doesn't leave much of an impression at all. A shame, considering the ale looks so damned good. It's a decent step up as an alternative to most macros on the market, very light and unthreatening in its drinkability, but there is really no flavour to speak of. I love Big Rock, but this is like the shy, quiet, and very forgetable member of its line.

Photo of Reidrover
3.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ok comes in a 11.5 oz brown long neck with one ugly looking Warthog on front ( well aren't they all?)..says "traditional Canadian Ale"
OK after pouring into my glass .i observe a rather handsome looking beer a nicely proportioned off white head ( thick and creamy) it shrinks but lingers long. The beer is a nice crystal clear chesnut colour..quite nice.
mmmmm I liked rthe smell of this beer some nicelly roasted chocolaty malts invade my olifactory system,,theres some flowery undertones also.
Strange..after the aroma I was expecting a full bodied ale..but the taste is too sweet and watery thin..its not at all bad..just a dissapointment after the smell.
With the wateryness..the feel on the palate is average.
Though its too thin its still a drinkable ale.

Photo of bmacaskill
2.84/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer that advertises itself poorly.

No, I'm not talking ad campaign. I'm talking *smell*. (I'd call it "scent" if it didn't stink so much!)

How do they tell, down at the brewery, that this stuff hasn't gone bad? Because it smells OK?

Warthog is otherwise a fine beer. Its taste is somewhat pungent, but it the good sense of the word "pungent". It is full-bodied, attractive to look at, and a fine quaff. All told, one-and-three-quarters thumbs up.

(Later: I had a buddy sniff my warthog [no, don't go there!]. He tells me the scent is in my imagination. Mind you, he didn't like the taste as much as I did, so I guess my rating still stands.)

Photo of Shiloh
4/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very nice and I would recomend it to anybody..The body pours an amber/red cross with limited head and heavy glass ring and is medium light...
Taste is mellow, semi sweet and fruity, oranges actually comes to mind...it does have a hop continuance which I particularly enjoyed.
IMHO this beer should be served well chilled...

Photo of oqnid
3.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Sweet smell of caramel in this very thin looking brew...not what I call a Cream Ale. Pours with close to no head at all and for the head you get, well, it doesn't stay. The taste isn't what you'd expect from smelling it...nothing sweet here! A small but apparent bitterness seems as the only thing anouncing it's presence in your mouth. Type of beer that would probably be better on tap through a "Creamer" but in bottle...better call it a regular American Brown Lager.
This isn't a bad brew, it just doesn't have any Cream appeal to it!

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.5/5  rDev +42%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This reminded me of why for a long time, cream ales were my favourite style of beer (before I found Unibroue, that is...).

Poured from the pitcher with one finger of head and a fairly deep red colour reminiscent of Smithwick's. The head fades slowly, with eventual lacing across the top. Smell is a little sweet and a little malty. The taste is sweet, fruity, and just a little bit on the dry side of average. This stuff really is a banner example of a cream ale, putting my previous standards to bed.

If you ever find it, try it!

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Big Rock Warthog Ale from Big Rock Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.