Big Cock IPA | Great River Brewery

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Big Cock IPABig Cock IPA

Brewed by:
Great River Brewery
Iowa, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BedetheVenerable on 10-23-2011

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 87
Photo of MorningBeer
2.36/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had high hopes for this beer. Love the can. That's the best part of this beer, for me, unfortunately.

Pours a nice copper color with a 1 finger off white head that quickly fades to a thin coating.

Smell is malt...wait, where's the hops? There's some floral hops hanging out in the background. There's a balance element to the smell, I suppose, but Big Cock IPA promised hops.

Malt, hops, and bitterness battle it out up front. Bitterness wins big.

Mouthfeel is thin, goes quick and leaves nothing but a sticky coating of bitter resin.

Preferred their pale ale.

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Photo of bashiba
2.43/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a light and thin off white head.

The smell was more malt than hops with a bit of buiscuit breadyness and a light bit of juniper.

The flavor is all malt followed by some very non nondescript Pine bitterness. Its like they only added hops at the beggining of the boil and forget all the important hop additions. Just big buiscuit malt flavor, maybe a touch of munich followed by bitter.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin and lacks the resiny hop oil feel you would expect from a big IPA.

Calling this an IPA is a huge mistake, its more like a big Amber Ale. I'm sure the sophomoric humor of the name will sell a few 4pks, but I can't imagine to many return buyers.

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Photo of doucmehu
2.66/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big ugly 16oz. can with a shrink-wrapped label. Kind of hideous actually. No canning date, purchased about 10 days ago in SD.

A: Pours a very orange tinted, ruddy color, almost like rust. Significant, fluffy light tan head leaves some spotty lacing and a constant ring.

S: Majorly malt forward, with grainy cereal and biscuity notes overpowering any hops. What hops are present are mild, floral and earthy.

T: Follows the nose with heavy malt presence, grainy and caramel sweetness masking the mild bitter floral hops.

M: Goes down OK, carbonation is good, medium body, slightly bitter finish but not very IPA-like.

O: Either this was old, or just poorly made. Not a bad beer per-se, but the lack of hops is really kind of sad. The malt presence is far too much for this style as well. Would pass on this every time.

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Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Currently drinking the Big Cock IPA from a shrink-wrapped can bought at Beertopia in Omaha (a fantastic store for selection, by the way). Cracking endless jokes about the name, my lovely bride of 14 years has now huffed off to bed. (It's a safe's shrink-wrapped!)

The pour into my St. Louis Cardinals pint glass gets a big head which fades to under a half inch in about a minute. Initially, the head is more than the beer by a hair.

The smell is surprisingly weak considering the powerful taste, but I get a grapefruit and pine whiff.

Taste? Something sweeter than I expect, citrus - like a red grapefruit rind - hits first, then the caramel undertones. There is a piney aftertaste which lingers long, long after the swallow...which leads to the....

Mouthfeel - this is a 'sticky' beer. A very thick feel, almost chewey. It hangs around as long as maple syrup. Not that this is a bad thing.

Overall - I was hoping for a little more, particularly in the taste since IPA's generally are my favorite. This is just an average IPA. Nothing to brag about, nothing to be ashamed of, but if you offered me one at the next party, I'd take you up on it. Just be sure to make clear your offering a beer...

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Photo of jsh420
2.81/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours dark golden copper with a 1 finger foamy off white head that had good retention and left some spotted lacing

smells of malt and some floral and herbal hops

taste - there are hops and the beer is pretty bitter but the flavors are a bit off a little sour with caramel semi sweet malt on the finish

mouthfeel - medium heavy body with good carbonation bit sticky

overall - this beer was just released and somehow it already tastes like an old aged ipa with faded hops

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Photo of emerge077
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Surprised this got label approval... pheasant and blaze orange, a hunting themed label. Label is shrink wrapped on the can, not printed. Purchased from the brewery, soon after release.

Bright and glowing copper orange color. Plenty of foam, visible trails of rising carbonation. A substantial head that laces well, with a skim that never breaks on the surface.

Smells a little funky like crushed vitamins and pine sap, gravelly minerality blends into roughly herbaceous plant matter. Funky, in a word.

Heavy handed hop bitterness, big piney flavor, herbal with an almost spicy raw edge, and not much else. Light afterthought of pale malt in the middle, and residual dry aspirin bitterness that lingers. Medium bodied, light enough to drink, but somewhat unbalanced. Rough and rugged, amped up bitterness lacking some hop flavor and complexity. Could use a tweak to the hop additions to make it shine, the body and appearance are great as is.

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Photo of mynie
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I dunno guys. I ain't exactly a prude, but, geez louise euphemism jokes don't work unless they're at least a tiny bit subtle So, yeah, this name offends me--not because it's a penis reference, but because as a joke it is very horribly and charmlessly executed.

Aside from the name, the beer's pretty solid. Flawed, but solid. I'd had it before and assumed it was a bad batch. This batch is better. Smoother, fizzier, the malt less syrupy and the hop profile more befitting an IPA. The hops are still a bit hamfisted and the malt don't quite back it up--there's strong herbal nodes in there, but nothing by way of the breadiness or yeastiness that usually mark an IPA.

It's messy but drinkable.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz can, rigorous pour reveals an amber colored ale with a very thin ivory head, seems to be lacking some carbonation. Nose is heavy on caramel malt, toasted grain, sweet citric grapefruit, a bit earthy. Bready malt, toasty grain, caramel try to hold up to the massive citrus and earthy pine assault of hops, and actually don't do too bad of a job, but the hoppy bitterness lingers with some astringency in the end. Mouth-feel is creamy and smooth, but needs more carbonation, it's pretty flat. Overall, not a bad IPA, but it's rough around the edges.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Big Cock had a thick, cream-coloured head to it. The body was a rich, amber hue. Its smell is slightly sweet, but being an IPA it was pretty hoppy. Despite how thick and foamy the head of the Big Cock had, it was surprisingly smooth on the tongue; not as carbonated as the head led-on. Just as most IPAs are, the hop taste is pretty upfront and the hop-bitterness hit right away and stayed well after it was swallowed.

Like most people... I bought it because of the name, but it really isn't that bad of an IPA. There are definitely much better ones out there, but they are also a lot worse. Plus some of the proceeds go to help pheasant habitats.

Would I buy it again? Probably not... unless it was to use it for shock value to show of to friends or something.

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Photo of morimech
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color with over two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

A lot of caramel malt in the aroma. Some floral and citrus hop scents. Does not really smell IPA like.

More malt in this IPA than what most brewers use. Taste a lot of caramel and bready malt. Does not taste artifical like some beers with a lot of caramel malt. The hops are not as forward as I would like. Mostly floral and earthy notes. It is bitter and I believe the 70 IBU claims. Tastes like an early example of an East Coast IPA with its strong malt sweetness.

Full and creamy texture. Nicely carbonated and presents a good mouthfeel.

Not enough hop flavor for me. Need some flavor payoff for the bitterness. The last couple Great River beers have not impressed me much.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

L- pours an amber brown with a thin head that has much carbonation.
S- Great. Lots of piney hops...I'm a sucker for such smells.
T- A little confusingly over piney. A citrus bite on the way out.
F- Much like many IPAs feel is a little rough.
T- I can drink this for an extended time. Not great, but love the brewery.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep dark amberish color almost a brown color that is nice and hazy. The head is a beautiful two fingers that have an off white color with solid retention and lacing.

S= Nice bright and resinous. It can be smelled from a ways away because of it's potent aroma. A nice little bit of maltysweetness to it that backs up the hop power a little.

T= The taste is a big bitter beast. A huge hop flavor with a little sweetness to it. The sweetness is a little weird however. It's a sort of strange in the sweetness however. Almost a little unfermented tasting. The hop flavor is more of just a big bitterness and less of the finer points in the hop flavor.

M= The mouth is great.

O= This is a pretty average IPA. In a world of world class IPAs this is easy to pass up on. I may buy it again because it's fun to say "pass the big cock" or "I'm gonna go home and guzzle some big cocks" but that's about it.

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Photo of dbossman
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color with a light tan and huge, steady, foamy head with great lacing

S: Lots of hop resin: pine, weed, citrus, onions, garlic, floral but also lots of alchol and grainy, bready malts

T: Hop bitterness up front: pine and herbal flavors; not as balanced as I thought it might be but a pleasant bready, toasty malt base emerges

F: A touch thin but still a fairly pleasant oily and sticky residue persists

O: A fairly average IPA, with more of the grassy, piney, herbal, oniony hops than the citrus ones most American hop heads clamor for but this beer is not so bad in the end

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Photo of Timmah11
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can poured into Hop Tulip pint glass. No date information found.

A-Pours a murky (hazy?) copper color with a finger and a half khaki head. Soap bubble consistency hangs around for a little while before regressing. Heavy lacing.

S-Subdued aroma. Flowery hops, a bit of pine. Smell of British malt/hops. A little stronger than a English Style IPA.

T- Malt forward with an equal amount of hops. Caramel malt and piney hop in a fight for supremacy. Malt wins by a nose.

M-Medium to heavy body. Creamy for an IPA. Not crisp like many IPAs. More “full” like an English version.

O- Lots of malt and 70 IBUs makes for a good, interesting beer. Interesting because it is a change-up from other IPAs. It is not my favorite but I have bought it a few times.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty much translucent caramel hue. Thin soapy off-white head.

Aroma: Some nice barley in there. Not getting much in terms of hops but at 70 IBUs I'm hoping for lots of hop flavor.

Taste: Earthy/spicy hops and an overall sweet character. Hard to believe it's 70 IBUs because 40 or 50 sounds more realistic. It's possible the sweet malt character is covering the hop bitterness. Slight alcohol note. Almost like a light barley wine but without as much malt complexity.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and decently drinkable.

Final Thoughts: A pretty average beer and a slightly below average IPA. Would I drink it again? No.

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Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark hazy amber, good head.

Smell: Decent pine aroma.

Taste: Dry caramel then quite a bit of pithy dry citrus. Some tea-like bitterness also.

Drinkability: Could use a little more sweetness to balance out the dryness.

Traded a redband stout for a can of this to review. It's quite dry and pithy, and also seems to have some English IPA tea bitterness in it. Decent but I prefer other IPAs.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

POUR: auburn colored liquid fills our glass and a very rich and creamy head erupts on top leaving some streaks of lacing as this IPA recedes. Carbonation levels look great and this is clean and clear. Very nice looking pour.

AROMA: lemon peel, powdered sugar, caramel, grilled pineapple, mandarin oranges and caramel.

TASTE: first sip and I come across what appears to be a very balanced IPA with a rich, malty backbone backing up less pronounced hoppiness. Some flavors of orange and grapefruit are there and the finish is one with lingering bitterness and mouth drying potency. A little light in body but certainly not an IPA to turnaway or put back on the shelf.

OVERALL: solid IPA. Not a huge amount of pine or grapefruit and its not a hop bomb by any means but its a very drinkable and balanced hop-forward beer. I wish it had just a little more oomph to propel it into greatness but that's just me. Cheers! I really do love most everything from this brewery.

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Photo of gatornation
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from 16 oz can

A-pours a clear copper color with a 1 finger Khaki head a nice lacing on glass

S-malts and sweet caramel first with citrus hops

T- Malt forward ipa with alot of sweet caramel citrus and some tropical hops are present but malt rules this on

M-sweet with medium carbonation smooth with minimal bitterness

O- sweet and malty ipa its a good drinker i liked it and would pick up a single again it does have a touch of west coast in the taste

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Photo of harrymel
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can date unk. October?

Pours a good copper with a withering finger of peanut foam leaving a solid sheet and some spotty lace. The nose here is comprised of grapefruit, grass, manure (oddly, but not badly) and some lemon peel. Flavor follows through with a nice spicy hop feel and citric burn. Surprisingly (despite the review just below me), I don't find this one particularly bitter, and in fact quite balanced in favor of the malts which are sweetly english in character. Upon further inspection, there is a decent bitter kick at the end, but I dig it as it is fleeting and not overshadowing the other characteristics. Medium bodied with hi carb.

This beer is pretty yummy, I would totally drink this again and would love to get a 4 pack to take with me hunting! Plus, awesome name.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pint can extra from an awesome BA (thanks man) poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Can't find a canned-on date.

A: Pours a dark gold, almost copper, with sediment apparent. Decent carbonation, and a huge rocky ice cream-like off white head that leaves behind some good lace.

S: Hop-forward and bitter smelling; pine, grapefruit, bready notes, light herbs, grassy & woody notes.

T: Bitter upfront; dry pine, biscuit...there is a definite toasted grain quality to the malt bill. Pretty darn bitter and dry. Hints of herbs, grapefruit zest, and lemon.

MF: Mouthfeel is bitter, medium and dry. Decent carbonation but nothing can compete with the bitterness.

O: Overall a nice, bitter, hoppy and malty IPA. Not really balanced, but a good beer.

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Photo of Duff27
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful looking three inch, off-white head on a ruby red colored body. Lots of suspended sediment and a few streams of effervescence float on upward. Clumpy lacing lines the edge of the tulip and the head stays around very nicely.

S- Aroma is of citrus (red grapefruit), it's faint but there. Opens up as the Big Cock warms a little.

T- Citrus notes that aren't as "in your face" as some of my favorites in the style but that's alright...nicely balanced with the malts. Very bitter hops taste lingers after each sip. My ABV detectors put this right around the stated alcohol content.

M- Medium mouthfeel and damn near perfect carbonation.

D/O- I believe the only negative in my book when it comes to Big Cock is the overkill on the bittering hops. Other than that Great River Big Cock IPA is an slightly above average IPA that is recommended to fans of the style.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dry pine and citrus in the aroma. The flavor is piney/hoppy with grapefruit and a bit of citrus, with a dry finish. A solid IPA, although a horrible name for an ale.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16oz can poured nicely into glassware made to hold that amount of beer.
Very attractive beer, with a dark amber very clear body and a full thick dark head with sufficient lacing.
Hop forward nose with nice citrus and Am. style hops, but also a less pleasing mild hop oil that has a slight stale quality. Firm malt based.
Taste is to style. Well balanced malt/hop ratio with a full bitterness kicking in mid to a very long finish. Nice hop drying. Slight hop oil excess, but it doesn't take away too much from the other enjoyable flavors.
Moderate body that is satisfying, and a pleasing fullness to the carbonation.
Basic solid drinking Am. IPA to style. This brewery seems to do that very well.

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Photo of JayQue
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good IPA!! My first beer from Iowa. Thanks to woodchopper who included it in a trade. Pours a dark hazy orange/coppery color. Big frothy white head with excellent retention and good thick lacing. Solid citrus hops aroma. Taste did not quite live up to the nose, but got stronger and more hoppy as the beer warmed. When cold, the initial blast of citrus hops faded fast. Lingered longer when the beer was warmer.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin at first, but the accumulation of hoppy blows takes care of the tongue as you keep drinking. Nice bitterness, carbonation just right...nice and crisp with a good bite.

There are better IPAs out there but this is a pretty solid one. Would definitely try one again.

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Photo of zac16125
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can into a pint glass
no born on date

Thanks to haveanother1 for sending this, along with a number of other northern midwest IPAs, over in a trade.

A: Pours a dark reddish amber with 2 plus fingers width of light tan colored head, which takes a good while to settle down to a thick film that remains throughout the drink. Leaves a fair amount of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Citrus rind, caramel malt, touch of pine, and a somewhat bizarre dirty feel smell.

T: Tasty beer here. Prominent caramel malt backbone accompanied by really nice ctirus flavors (lemon zest, grapefruit, orange rind), and a strong piney bitterness. Bitterness lingers for a long time after each sip. Very nice.

M/D: Very smooth for the style, perfect carbonation, medium bodied, drinkability is good. Very nice mouthfeel.

O: Overall, I thought this was quite good. There are not many reviews, but I am surprised that the ones that are here show this beer to be rather poorly received. I think its a well crafted, tasty IPA that I would certainly drink again. Above average in my book.

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Big Cock IPA from Great River Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 87 ratings.
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