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Big Rock Winter Spice Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock Winter Spice AleBig Rock Winter Spice Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

33 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly Big Rock McNally's Winter Spice Ale

(Beer added by: biboergosum on 12-07-2008)
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joesi
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(look rating was just used to balance out my rating; I don't care about looks, it's silly to do so)

Very little smell, which I found surprising, but I don't care about. Smells of caramel.

Medium-low carbonation level, with a medium amount of creaminess with a swish.

Mild caramel (reminiscent of some sort of Innis and Gunn) and hops seem like the dominating flavors here. In fact, just beer (lager) flavors in general are the most prominent flavors, like a hoppy doppelbock or something. I think I also tasted some ginger here, but it may have just been cinnamon/nutmeg as they didn't mention any ginger. It reminded me of some ginger-flavored beer, namely Ginja Ninja, a beer which had an extremely mild/minor ginger taste. I didn't notice that much other spice though really, which is the whole reason I got this, so it was rather disappointing in that sense.

Overall very mild in tastes aside from regular beer tastes.
No doubt that it is good as a beer in general, but it was bland/boring for me and a bit disappointing. I was probably expecting too much of it though based off the label's description, and having had a Unibroue La Resolution a few weeks previously which was absolutely amazing (it had lots of spice, especially clove flavor, but good luck finding one).

Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of leaddog
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Big Rock brought this brew back as part of their Brewmaster's limited edition brews.

Appearance - Pours a clear copper with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell - bready caramel malts, cinnamon, clove, hint of nutmeg, hint of ginger, and gingerbread scent aromas.

Taste - Starts off with the bready caramel malts then goes into the cinnamon, clove, hint of nutmeg and ginger.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with the lingering spices.

Overall - A pleasant winter spiced ale. The spices are all there for the style. Only knock on this one would be to ramp up the spices but otherwise an enjoyable winter spiced ale. I am digging the label on this one as it reminds me of snowshoeing on some of the picturesque trails in the mountains.

Photo of Howlader
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Kmat10
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of schnarr84
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of IanSpindler
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Scrylol
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Been a long time since I've last had this beer. New packaging and labels compared to the older version.

Pours a one finger white head that disappears quickly. Dark ruby red body.

Aroma consists of hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves backed by sweet, caramel malt. Smells pretty similar to a pumpkin ale in terms of spices.

Grainy, caramel malt taste backed by the spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Slight taste of ginger in the back. Nice balance on the spices. Leaves a dry, semi-sweet malty taste.

Unlike other beers from Big Rock, this beer seems to have a bit of body to it - a very nice and welcome change. Nice amount of carbonation.

Seems to have improved since I last had it in 2010. Definitely Big Rock's best beer, but that's not saying much when compared to other beers that are in the same price range. Still, a decent winter warmer.

Photo of philmen
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Alberta_Beer_Guy
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -2%

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Photo of hockeybarbie
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of scott451
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One finger bubbly off white head which soon diminished to a ring. No lacing to speak of. A clear dark amber.

Spicy mild sweet smells. Spice up front in the taste, over a mils malt base. Finishes again with the spice. Cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

Medium body. Fairly low carbonation. Sweetish. Overall fairly pleasant.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - bubbly clear light amber, short tan head left a thin covering
S - savoury with ginger and cinnamon, light grassy note
T - very bready with modest spices, grassy hops and an alcohol bite
M - high carbonation, watery thin with some spice tingle
D - i like that these guys are trying to get back to their craft brew roots, this is not an outstanding winter, but a decent effort that drinks easy enough

Photo of marcusR111
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a brown ale with reddish tinge to it. Small head that disipates quickly

S- The spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves are out front with a slightly malty smell in the back

T- Spices are once again upfront but this time the malt and the hops are more easily able to distinguish. Very good taste.

M- Good carbonation, not a whole lot but there still is some good carbonation. Not watery at all.

D- I would buy maybe 2 six packs all winter. More of a good beer to have christmas eve.

Serving type: bottle

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

This isn't just a gimmick beer, to have one and forget about, or to give away the five of the six-pack that you don't want.
No, you want to keep the entire six-pack for yourself.

Everything about this beer is a bit better than average and it adds up to a lot better than average. Nice brown color, white head. Lots of carbonation.
You can smell the spices (clove and nutmeg?) before you sip, plus a bit of a sweetness from the malt(s).
The taste is very inviting, and quite interesting. More spice, more sweetness.
The only place that it falls down a bit is on the mouthfeel. It's a touch on the watery side. Maybe not watery but you'd expect more body that just isn't there.
A welcome addition to my fridge.

Photo of andrenaline
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber colour with a red hue, thin finger of head with little retention and leaves no lacing.

S - Spices dominate the nose with cinnamon and nutmeg being the most prominent and the slightest caramel scent on the finish, though it isn't as strong as some of the other winter warmers I've had in the past.

T - Much like the taste the spices dominate, with cinnamon and nutmeg coming through. The flavour that lingers on the tongue reveals a bready ginger snap.

M - This is a bit on the light side, but nothing totally offensive, and it goes down smooth.

D - A tasty offering that doesn't overpower the palette with a strong spice presence typical among most winter warmers. Though one might consider this one a bit bland, it is quite drinkable thanks to the lighter flavours present.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one was sent to me by BigBry. Thanks.

This beer presents itself amber with some reddish notes in it. When I drink and look at the beer, it is definitely more red than by looking through the glass. Absolutely no head. Bummer. The aroma is strong cinnamon with some malty notes behind. However, the cinnamon is strong in the nose. Not a bad smell, however I don't expect a lot of bitterness from this one.

On the taste side, it is less intense. Warm in the mouth which is due to the alcohol I would guess. I get some cinnamon and nutmeg maybe. I'm not sure about the nutmeg. The taste is a little bit spicy for me to grade this one a 4-good.

This one is medium body and the carbonation is present in the looks and the mouth.

Overall a good beer, easy drinkability. A nice offering.

Cheers BigBry!

Photo of mrmanning
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Chancey Smith's. Deep auburn which is slightly hazed. Pours a frothy beige cap. Spicy nose has allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, fruity malts, with some vanilla. Tastes somewhat sweet, of bready malts, rye, cinnamon, nutmeg. Well spiced with a nice fruity component. Creamy, medium body, with nice lingering spice is pleasant. Good.

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Chauncey Smith. A faint spice aroma. Dark colour. A bit light mouthfeel. Some spice (cinammon,colves, ginger, nutmeg) and fruit taste. Nominally rich, vinous. All that's missing is pumpkin, yeast, more caramel.On the sweet side.A little drying.

Photo of cratez
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at Chancey Smith's. My first proper tasting of a Big Rock beer. I tried Warthog and others a few years ago but they were straight out of the bottle and I didn't reflect on any of them. Still haven't sampled the Traditional Ale, I might give it a shot since I enjoyed this offering.

Taps a glowing amber red with a large, frothy cream head that subsides to a thick cap. Dots of lacing speckle the pint glass. Smell and taste are cinnamon sticks, ginger bread, biscuit, brown sugar, nutmeg, spice, and an astringent tartness. Very malty, but good for the style. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, a little tangy, with some bread and sweetness in the malted finish. A satisfying winter warmer, better than I expected.

Photo of TerryW
2.15/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A moderate head quickly disappears. No head no lace. Clear coppery beer. Very plain looking.

Nose is pumpkin pie spices and a whiff of hops. Sweet to taste, gentle spice, but almost cloying. No finish. Thin bodied. No sense that you're drinking a 6% beer.

Sorry, but overall quite uninteresting. Not beery enough if that makes sense. A novelty beer offering insufficient novelty.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draught at Kickoff in Waterloo. First day of winter, figured this was appropriate!

Pours a nice dark amber, a bit of lingering head, some lacing.

The nose takes a bit of warmth to get going, but all the winter warmer favorites are there: nutmeg, bread, ginger, cinnamon, dried fruit, malts.

The taste is fairly similar, and for a winter warmer, this one ain't bad. Quite tasty, actually. Similar flavours as in the nose, but with a bit of cloves and bitterness to balance the sweetness. Aftertaste was a bit tinny, but still a fine brew.

Mouthfeel was excellent. Medium thickness, carbonation was just stingy enough to provide bursts of cinnamon throughout each sip.

One of the better winter beers I've had this year. Certainly worth a go!

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Big Rock Winter Spice Ale from Big Rock Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.