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Big Rock McNally's Winter Spice Ale - Big Rock Brewery

Not Rated.
Big Rock McNally's Winter Spice AleBig Rock McNally's Winter Spice Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

30 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: biboergosum on 12-07-2008)
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by philmen:
Photo of philmen

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

12-27-2012 17:22:11 | More by philmen
More User Reviews:
Photo of Howlader

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

07-20-2014 06:09:13 | More by Howlader
Photo of Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

3/5  rDev -16.2%

05-27-2013 19:29:05 | More by Kmat10
Photo of schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

03-28-2013 16:52:40 | More by schnarr84
Photo of IanSpindler

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

03-25-2013 23:42:33 | More by IanSpindler
Photo of Scrylol

Alberta (Canada)

3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 05:57:58 | More by Scrylol
Photo of bumchilly25

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

11-12-2012 16:40:32 | More by bumchilly25
Photo of Alberta_Beer_Guy

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

07-16-2012 00:49:56 | More by Alberta_Beer_Guy
Photo of

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

You rated this beer. Consider writing a review.

03-05-2012 03:25:13 | More by
Photo of hockeybarbie

Alberta (Canada)

3/5  rDev -16.2%

01-15-2012 17:06:54 | More by hockeybarbie
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

11-21-2011 08:55:09 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of scott451

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 05:55:53 | More by scott451
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 05:22:40 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of marcusR111

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 01:04:56 | More by marcusR111
Photo of MAB

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 17:34:16 | More by MAB
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 00:59:01 | More by andrenaline
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 02:02:10 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2010 19:32:08 | More by mrmanning
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2010 02:52:31 | More by Sammy
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2010 22:20:58 | More by cratez
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

2.15/5  rDev -39.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 01:31:27 | More by TerryW
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev 0%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2009 04:33:37 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pint served at Moxie's at Market Mall Calgary (don't ever go there) dec13 2009

A reddish copper with a two finger head that has average retention and leaves a few rings of lace

S nutmeg, cinnamon, a little honey about what I expect from a winter warmer

T as it smells but even sweeter, a little generic for the style nothing to original going on here

M decent carbonation gives it a creamy feel that gets better as it warms

D I had no major problems with this beer nothing great but not bad either

for Big Rock this is pretty good, very popular with average Joe. I see a lot of this beer go through the store I work at this time of year, no gingersnaps in the case like last year too bad they were better then the beer

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2009 07:10:16 | More by wordemupg
Photo of EsoxLucius

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

another excellent and very enjoyable. i tried it after a Bah Humbug from Wychwood, i'd also suggest trying that one out, but both are good!

A: looks like McNally's Extra Ale, i like the way that looks. dark copper with a light tan head, good lacing. head vanishes a bit abrubpt.

S: definately smell cloves and nutmeg with some cinnamon. nice smelling, again festive and suiting.

T: good, i like regular Extra Ale a bit more, but this is definately worthy. nutmeg and spice are pronouced throughout the drink.

M: it does have a warming feel to it, but it's pretty fizzy.

D: after it's sat for a bit, it gets better. i'd recommend trying it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 05:05:39 | More by EsoxLucius
Photo of AdmiralMorgan

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After hunting for quite a while, I finally managed to locate a 4-pack of Big Rock's Winter Spice ale, just as the cold months began to wane. It included 2 fine glasses that I now use when drinking Mcnally's Extra Ale (one of my prerequisite beers from Big Rock).

I must say I was impressed with the taste, which in my opinion should be the main feature of any beer. It seems the majority of the population in this day and age are satisfied with bland, stereotypical macro brews with no distinguishing characteristics aside from being wet and cold.

Many argue that Big Rock isn't far removed from the conglomerate owned "big-name" breweries. If you need a beer to demonstrate otherwise, Winter Spice ale serves as an excellent representation of Big Rock's unique approach.

This beer sports a body-warming blend of cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, and finishes smooth with an enjoyably sweet and tempting aftertaste that eggs you on for another swill.

The smell is mainly of cloves, with a hint of ginger and nutmeg. Definitely reminiscent of the Christmas season.

Mouthfeel is a little thick. You'll notice this brew coats the palate quite extensively, although this allows for the aftertaste to work it's magic.

Color is an attractive amber, it looks great in the glasses provided... but who really cares how it looks? ; )

Extraordinarily drinkable, set yourself up next to a cozy fire after a day on the slopes and enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 07:30:01 | More by AdmiralMorgan
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Big Rock McNally's Winter Spice Ale from Big Rock Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.