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Big Rock McNally's Extra Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock McNally's Extra AleBig Rock McNally's Extra Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

41 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 79
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 15.13%
Wants: 9
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-28-2002

Sweet and hoppy, caramel and dark fruity plum notes.
View: Beers (73) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 79
Photo of PowerValve
1/5  rDev -72%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Worst tasting swill I have ever put in my mouth, forced down one bottle and then gave the rest to my roommate who also struggled with the taste. The best way to simulate the taste is to brush your teeth and then immediately drink a Colt 45 with a handful of fermented plums.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.82/5  rDev +7%

330 ml bottle poured into an English pint glass. Dark orange amber in hue with minimal white head, just a smattering rimming the edges of the glass. Aroma is sweet caramel malts with a little toast ... dried fruit, butterscotch chips, walnut, with some earthy tea-like hops. Indeed, hoppier than expected, with some heavier grass and resin notes accompanied by lighter citrus. Dried plum and caramel as advertized, with some brown bread. Alcohol faintly detectable. Moderately full bodied and carbonation on the low end, rather buttery and smooth yet tannic in the finish. Does suffer from a little of the classic Big Rock caramel malt overdose syndrome but all in all a well-executed and satisfying Irish red.

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Photo of MicroBrewOrDie
4/5  rDev +12%

Mild and full-bodied Irish style Ale. Slight indication of Nugget Nops. Warm toffee and caramel aroma, slight notes of plum. Copperish-Dark Red coloration. Very smooth. Definitely the best Irish Style Ale I've tried in Canada. 4/5.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.67/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Snappy two-finger head rises from a brown/red brew. Nothing overly noteworthy, no lacing.

Caramel, mild spice, zero presence of hops... Pretty mild.

Very hot, not much blending happened here... Boozy, boozy, boozy. Loads of cinnamon, glazed caramel, ginger, spicy... Way wet, super dry, harshly drinkable, carbonation is too much for me.

Errr... This is CraftBeer, Canada, eh? Can a guy get a better beer next time he visits a foreign country? This is a boozy, hot, caramel/spiced mess. I had very high hopes for this one, but it falls short. It's ok and not nearly a drainpour, but could certainly be improved, IMO. Seems like something massed produced...

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Photo of kindacold
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the tap, pours nice amber with rich, creamy head that lasts a bit.

Smell is neutral, a bit of grains, but mild.

Light, balanced flavor. Caramel, make presence, a bit of bitter hops, some alcohol burn on the finish, but only mildly.

Easy to drink, light and crisp, clean finish.

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Photo of Converge
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Big frothy light tan head. The beer is a nice clean amber-red hue. Good head retention with some nice lacing.

S - Really nutty. Lots of peanuts and caramel malt. It's simple, but appealing. A nice hearty malty aroma.

T - Caramel malt and nutty character don't translate quite as well as I was hoping. A little metallic. Finishes with a slight hop astringency and alcohol warmth. A lot more nutty than expected, with a slight sweetness to it as well. Overall a nice malty profile, that's drinkable but not exceptional.

M - Light-to-medium carbonation, done fairly well. Body is about medium. Pretty smooth feel. Nice finish.

D - A nice easy drinking ale with a malty profile. Nothing exceptional, but it's something I could see myself trying again. Not too bad.

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Photo of kjyost
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341 mL brown bottle poured into a Perfect Pint glass around 45F

A: Deep copper with a solid white head that dropped a touch too quickly, though it was still leaving lacing from its small ring later in the session.
S: Sweet malts. Toffee. Oddly enough I got french fries too. Weird.
T: A light body for taste on a strong beer. Some sweetness with an earthy bitterness, though the body is much too thin and light.
M: Thin and watery. Light bitterness and sweetness linger on the palate.
O: An OK stab at it I guess, though it is not something a style I was normally going to go out and buy, so I will look for better options in the future.

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Photo of CrazyMike
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber appearance with moderate head. Smell is sweet and grainy, slightly herbal but overall nothing overpowering.

Taste is like very malty, almost tastes like coffee. Has a very good balance of hops with the malt. Has a light body, which is surprising for a beer this strong, with moderate carbonation. After taste is dry and spicy.

Overall this is an interesting beer, one of my favorites from Big Rock. It's easily drinkable with a good combination of flavors (watch out or you'll pound back a case). Would definitely recommend.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

About the strongest beer I've had from Big Rock. . . pours dark red, not much head or lace, possibly undercarbonated. Aroma of peat.

Taste, a little sticky, definitely hearty feel to the malt bill. No hops. Alcohol is warming. Pretty heavy woody feel on the palate intertwined with a high degree of sweetness, but very little bitterness.

Some nuttiness at times. A stronger version of a red ale, not my thing.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.17/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a clear copper with a short head, decent retention
S - very nutty malt and light roasty odour, some herbal and citrus hop notes balance it out
T - roasted nutty malts and coffee notes up front, the finish has a mix of nutmeg spice and citrus, very interesting mix
M - medium carbonation, tingly sensation fades to a full feeling of spices lingers on the tongue
D - didn't really know what to expect, pleasantly surprised by the mix of flavours and feels, the 7% ABV goes unnoticed, maybe not a sesson beer but a great brew

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Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass nov26 2009

A clear copper with a fair bit of carbonation, not much for head or lace however

S pretty mild with mostly grainy malt with some sweetness to it

T as it smells but better, lots of malt and enough hops for a balance and a little sweetness

M highlight of this beer, a good bite with a heavy feel to it, thicker then I expected from the color

D it's very easy drinking and quite possibly Big Rock's best offering.

It had been a long time since I had one of these and it's restored some of my faith in Big Rock. now I don't think Big Rock makes awful beers, but this ones well above their average
I wish they would brew some new stuff other then the bandwagon lime lager and the decent but not great winter spice.

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Photo of nighthawk
2.93/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341mL bottle with no apparent freshness date poured into mug.

Pours a clear, red-hued amber with a scant one-finger, bubbly head that dissipates quickly, leaving a tiny off-white ring around the glass.

Aroma consists of sweet grains and a hint of mildly citrus hops.

Very sweet malt taste up front, like bread drenched in honey and caramel. It's almost cloying, but there's a faint hop bitterness that's vaguely teaish and cuts the sweetness before the dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium body with light carbonation, and a slick and chewy texture.

For the abv, it's quite drinkable. I'm not a huge fan of the initial sweetness, and find it masks any real flavour. Not a bad brew, and probably one of the better ones produced by Big Rock, but I can't really say I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

McNally's was by far my favorite bottled offering from Big Rock back in the day. I recall it being a participant in the first time that I ever had beer for dinner - I arrived at an extended family gathering, too late for dinner, but just in time for dessert - so I proceeded to make cake and McNally's my sustenance that evening (and learned a valuable gastrointestinal lesson as a result).

I haven't heard of or seen this particular brew much lately, so what do I see now in the array of taps at my girlfriend's favorite university-area Stitch n' Bitch locale? My old friend, now available on draft, and only 5 bucks a pint, on a sunny street-side patio! What's not to love?

This beer pours a clear, medium orange brickish amber hue, with two slim fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and yet still creamy off-white head, which leaves some pleasantly random trailing lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of lightly buttery, bready caramel malt, a prominent oily nuttiness, mild earthy, floral hops, and a small whiff of metallic alcohol. The taste is caramel malt, with a hint of toffee, more underwhelming, but decent bar nuts, a bit of apple fruitiness, grassy, earthy hops, and a very slight, man-up sort of alcoholic awakening.

The carbonation is moderate, nothing too invasive, the body a pretty solid medium weight, and surprisingly quite smooth. It finishes well off-dry, the malt still the star here, the nuts bleeding off, and the booze kind of twiddling its thumbs.

A very easy to drink, amped-up Irish ale, which, as already mentioned, goes well with many sorts of 'food'. Maybe a bit too sweet, but the extra alcohol kind of makes that a moot point after bottle or round number 2, quite pleasingly so.

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Photo of stagger
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Rock's best regularly-brewed beer, IMO. Underrated locally, and zero profile outside Alberta. Deserves a little more kudos than it gets.

A - Clear and reddish. A bit thin-looking if anything, with a just-off-white head that leaves not a ton of lacing. An attractive label.

S - mild and balanced.

T - Sharp to start, with a bit of chewiness. Both malt and hops present in decent abundance. A solid, hearty ale.

M - A little thin, maybe. Bright and friendly.

D - This beer's defining characteristic. For a higher-ABV beer, it goes down easy; you could put back a case on a summer's night without thinking too hard about it.

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Photo of EsoxLucius
4.11/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent beer from Big Rock and is surely one of their best beers.

McNally's Extra Ale has become this household's everyday beer that is always on hand for guests that appreciate a good irish ale with some kick.

1. Appearance is good, the nice penny-red color has very slight carbonation compared to some. this ale does not create a massive head when poured into a glass even improperly. the head that is there is about 1.5 cm and is fluffy at first, but disipates quickly. lacing is good holds up well. overall, quite nice.

2. it smells a bit strong, with its ABV of 7%, but not over powering by any means. it has a bit of a sweet aroma with a hint of honey for me anyway. it definately tastes better than it smells.

3. very good taste here, there is a very slight hint that your drinking a 7% ale just at the end. it's a smooth taste with hints of fruit and malt undertones. what dominates though is a caramel taste that i find just great!

4. almost excellent! you know you're drinking something here. love the substantial feel this beer has. it's a bit sticky for some, but i definately don't mind.

5. when everything is combined, this is a very drinkable beer, solid taste and feel with an appearance that's pleasing to the eye all adds to this being on of my favorite beers for the price!

it's a bit stronger beer with an actual body. i've served this to many guests and they absolutely love it, but you can't drink them too fast, the 7% ABV will catch up with you!

one of my favorite beers for the class it's in. definately worth a try, my only negative remark i have for this beer is Big Rock only has it in 6 packs where i live! =(

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Photo of canucklehead
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Back in then day this was the beer that writers such as Michael Jackson raved about. Now it stands as a decent beer but still one of Big Rock's best (shouldn't this brewery have moved up to better beers rather than down?) The beer is caramel coloured, malty on the nose and big in the body. The drinkability is suspect at times with weird notes showing up on the finish. However I like this beer as it is complex for the style and well put together

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Photo of Shadman
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sticking close to home with this selection.

Dark copper in color with small fizzy head and almost nil for lacing.

Smell is sweet and floral/fruit..almost that Big Rock ale smell..apple juice??

Tastes faily smooth, but again that Big Rock flavor, too sweet in their hop/malt balance? is evident here. A dry finish which one would expect with this type. Not bad, but there seems to be a sameness with this brewer's ales. Has anyone else noticed this??

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Photo of Mandrake
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dark copper-red, with a very small beige head that dissipates very quickly and leaves very little lacing. Lots of carbonation, clinging to the sides of the glass and surfacing energetically, makes it look like a slightly dark ginger ale. Smell is very malty, and quite sweet. Caramel and fruitiness, with some biscuit-y notes and a mild herbal tone. Dry nuttiness as well. Taste is a bit acidic, entering with a sour note. Caramel again, to be sure, but over boiled and a bit metallic in nature. Spicy hops play a role, but only add to the sharp feeling in the taste profile. Finish is drier, with the nuts and a touch of apple showing up. Mouthfeel starts off with good body and nice carbonation, but fades near the end, and drinkability is pretty solid. Overall, the best beer I've yet had from Big Rock, which isn't saying a whole lot.

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Photo of canadianbarman
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

--regular 341 ml brown bottle, no freshness date to be found.
--clear, almost thin brown in color. Nice head to begin with but really didn't last. Very minor carbonation
--Kind of a sweet, malty smell.

This beer was kind of disapointing. I am a fan of the style but have had far better versions. I am a fan of Big Rock's other beers but not so much in this one. I am glad I found it in the 'singles' bin and didn't buy a whole case.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. From a Christmas Big Rock Taste Pack.

A lovely coppery-reddish brew, head is a weak froth that lasts about 30 seconds and ends up a bit flat looking. Slight Lace. Smell is sweet and hoppy, caramel and dark fruity plum notes.

I like the taste of this one. It's probably one of my favorite Big Rock brews. Dense and fruity, malty. Good hop taste, a bit alcoholic, but not overpoweringly so. Nice bite on the tongue, surprisingly, since the beer appears a bit flat, good and warm going down. This is a very drinkable beer, especially on a cold winter night.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A brownish copper brew, with a pleasing malty aroma. Somewhat low carbonation. The head was quite small and disappeared fairly quickly. Quite smooth going down, with a fair amount of hop and alcohol bite. Some bready, oaky, and mineral hints as well. Not really my style, but still somewhat enjoyable.

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Photo of niangelo
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an interesting shade of orange-copper with red highlights. 1.5 cm creamy head dissapated in a couple minures, leaving arches of lacing that slipped of the glass wall in a few seconds.

Smells a touch metallic, I catch hops, caramel notes and smooth malt.

Taste - this one is meant to be served warmer. I pour it fairly cold and it almost seems metallic, but I drink it slow and let it warm and mellow - soon the character emerges in the form of a smooth caramel, ruddy malts, and a large bitter hop contrast at the end. Goes down well with the dark finish at the end, and tastes just like something called an "Extra strong" Irish Ale should. Nice little beer from Big Rock.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sort of like an overdone Smithwick's. Cooper coloured with a decent white head. Smells sweet and malty, with hints of caramel.

The taste is malts and caramel, with a little trace of hops. I can taste red ale in here, but again, it seems to be overdone. There is almost a burnt taste to this.

Drinkability is okay. A bit too thick for my liking, but otherwise fine. The slightly above average abv limits the drinkabilty.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Cheap looking thin paper label which was half hanging off the 11.5 fl.oz. (341ml) bottle. The Big Rock crown cap has a big cock-erel on it. It looked like one of those ‘twist off’ affairs, but it wouldn’t budge, so it got prized off.

Appearance: Copper fused orange-brown body with an off-white head on the pour that fails to stay around and quickly goes South on me. Minimal carbonation after a little while. Looks sad and tired.

Nose: Sweet pale malts with some bready aromas. Smells a bit like Bass-Shandy that I drank in England when I was 10 years old.

Taste: Tastes like Bass-Shandy that I drank in England when I was 10 years old……..

Mouthfeel: Medium feel with an annoying cloying malt tickle at the back of the throat after the swallow. Has a very simple feel. A little flat on the tongue and lifeless at times.

Drinkability: I finished it, but more because I wanted to see if this one improved….sadly it remained “as is” throughout.

Overall: I never found the word "Extra" in the title on the bottle, and I most certainly didn't find it in the bottle. I hesitated to collect this one from the cooler and adopt it, but I’ll always try something once, especially as it was only $1.48, so I figured I would give it a whirl, and I did…..but I much preferred it if I had left this bastard orphan alone, I wouldn’t adopt this one and give it a home again. I wouldn’t loose any sleep if this “Irish Style Ale Traditionally Brewed in Canada” stayed there.

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Photo of BigBry
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Standard brown bottle.
Clear amber/copper colored liquid with tan creamy head that disappeared quickly, leaving little lacing. Aroma of malt and caramel with an added sweet, honey smell. The continued carbonation gave it a nice full mouthfeel. As the beer warmed up, it gave an even stronger and fuller flavor matching the aromas. I think it is one of the better Big Rock products.

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Big Rock McNally's Extra Ale from Big Rock Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.