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Big Rig Bitter | Deschutes Brewery

very good
11 Reviews
no score
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Big Rig BitterBig Rig Bitter

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ccrida on 04-17-2009

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Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 25
Photo of Spikester
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed golden orange with two fingers of bone color head. Retention and lace are good.
Smell is herbal dank and a bit of malt sweetness.
Taste is a quick dose of bitter herbal dank and eventually grassy hops. Malts are there as bread and caramel but never quite catch up to the bitterness.
Mouthfeel is medium with a good carbonation level. Finish is long dry and bitter.
Overall a pleasant beer that does not bring to mind the former ESB that they bottled.
Good beer though glad I bought it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored ale with a medium sized yellowish-white colored head.

Smells strongly malty with a strong caramel scent. Scent of toffee candy.

Starts out dry and woody. Taste of caramel. Taste of toffee and a medium level of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall a good bitter.

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Photo of ricke49
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rebirth in their bottle line, with subtle differences, of one of the original Deschutes ales circa 1989... good ol' ESB. Lordy I missed that beer when it was discontinued (except on site) 4 or so years ago. Big Rig is true to this venerable craft brewers roots with an English feel, taste and color. Classic Pub Ale is perfect descriptor. Perfectly balanced gunmetal taste. Cigarettes...dark room...three day beards, it's all there. This review isn't of much use in regard to accepted terminology - but trying out this beer today, for the first time, has totally flipped my lid.

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Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


Pours a very effervescent amber with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Stellar lacing & head retention

S: Faint cereal notes, some citrus, all muted

T: Herbal and woody hops, a little pine and faint caramel & pear up front. A little grapefruit mixes with herbal and woody hops, some caramel and breadyness as this warms. Finishes with piney, grapefruitty & herbal hops, plus a little breadyness

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation, pretty good balance

Drinks easy, no Bachelor's Bitter, but a nice American slanted ESB, would've like to try this fresher

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Photo of stevoj
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Albertsons. Medium amber color with soft fluffy head. Aroma leans on the caramel malts, flavor brings in sharp hops that obscure the malts and lingers on the palate for a while. Big hoppy bite.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by date of 07/19/16

Appearance - Pours slightly hazy and orange amber in color with an off-white, finger width head. Fair retention, then dissipates to a mostly barren surface with a ring of suds along the edge of the glass. Fair lacing, with a broken sheet across the top and spots along the rest of the glass.

Smell - Fair aroma of floral hops, bread, caramel and a touch of citrus.

Taste - Follows the nose. Well balanced flavor, hitting on bread and caramel malt sweetness countered by floral and citrus hoppiness. A touch of spice. Balanced finish, with fruity esters and just a bit of grain found in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation, slightly bitey carbonation. Slick, smooth texture with a slightly dry finish. Nigh quaffable.

Overall - Good, solid brew that's well balanced and easy drinking. They set out to achieve a 'classic pub ale' and they certainly accomplished that. It might not wow you in punchy flavor, but the craftsmanship shines here. Well done, Deschutes.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deeper amber color with a creamy head of two finger height. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is strongest of a sweeter caramel and doughy aroma along with some other smells of a light fruit nature of peach and orange. Along with these aromas comes some lighter notes of hop of an earthy and pine nature.

Taste – The taste begins with a slightly bready and lightly sweetened taste, with the sweet being a mix of caramel and some orange. As the taste advances some hop tastes come to the tongue with them being predominantly of pine and earth, but containing a little bit of citrus as well. Some of the caramel fades a little bit, but is replaced by more orange and a little bit of a sour lemonade like flavor more toward the end. At the very end a little bit of grass joins the flavor profile and ends up leaving a rather bready, moderately fruity, but slightly dank flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in thickness with a carbonation level that is a bit high. The average body was spot on for the mix of slightly dank hop and bready sweet, although a little less carbonation may have given it a slightly better and more cask like feel (which I think this would be a great pour style for).

Overall – A fairly nice Pub ale overall. A little high in ABV., but quite tasty and enjoyable overall. One to certainly try if you get the chance.

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Photo of mactrail
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Handsome clear amber with a big pile of foam in the wide-mouth stout glass. Fragrant with grain and a hint of apples. Some flowery and resiny hop aromatics. Sudsy and prickly in the mouth. Light bodied but with a malty substance.

This really evokes the ESB style, in a pleasing American way. It's warm and malty and just bitter enough. This is a welcome alternative to the crowd of IPAs. Hoppy but less harshly bitter. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Pioneer Market in La Conner, Wash.

 489 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Bend brewpub on 11.9.11.
46 IBU 6.0% ABV

A - Served a dark, cloudy orange with an off-white head. The fades fades quickly and completely dissapears. Lots of lacing is left on the glass.

S - No smell, it was served pretty cold, so I blame the temp. Some muted orange finally comes through.

T - Bitter fruit, citrus, tangerine and oranges.

D - Average body and carbonation.

O - Solid, but nothing exciting.

 425 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Brewpub in Portland.
It's clear, amber/red, with a small white-ish head. Nose is pretty gentle. Some vague hops, with slight floral hints, with a backbone of peaty malts. A little bit of barn/must. Taste is really straight forward. It's all about the malts. There is some pine hops, but it's somewhat indistinct. Wish there was more too it. Mouthfeel was a notch above average. Ok drinkability. Just not much there, even for a 6% ABV english bitter.

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Photo of ccrida
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"The 1st installment of the Big Rig series here in Portland. This version uses 100% Crystal hops in the hopback and 3 types of crystal malt. This beer is smooth and easy drinking with an excellent citrusy, floral aroma. IBU's 50| Alcohol by Vol 6.0%"

Imperial pint at the pub, Big Rig Bitter is a murky orangish amber with a small, off-white head that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is light, resinous hops and sour citrus, not too strong.

Taste is bright and fruity, tangerine esters with pretty strong hop presence, some pine and citrus. Quite good, it's pretty similar to their cream ale I just had, but with cranked up hops. Still, more pale ale or even English IPA then bitter in my mind...

Mouthfeel is very creamy, a bit dry, with a crisp finish, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty high if you like fruity, estery beers, which I most definitely do. The punch of hops is nice as well, if out of style. Quaffable for sure.

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Big Rig Bitter from Deschutes Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.