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Big Cock IPA | Great River Brewery

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30 Reviews
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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: 86
Photo of MorningBeer
2.36/5  rDev -32.4%
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 -30.4%
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 emerge077
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
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 sprucetip
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice looking copper/amber brew with about an inch of fluffy off white head, good retention, and really thick lacing. Also very active and has good clarity.

UPDATED SCORES 12.13.12. Original review was from initial batch, and it pretty much sucked. But I had it again recently and it was radically different. I suspect if was very fresh, as it was just bursting with hop gooey hop flavor. My buddy said "it takes and smells like chlorophyl," expressing his displeasure. Yep, it does. "And that's intentional?" he asked. Yes again. And I like it. It was sharply bitter but not too too over the top, and there was some balance from the malt bill backing it up. Vastly improved. Great River historically has had consistency issues, but they are doing far more volume these days so hopefully they'll get some increased consistency in the process.

ORIGINAL Review late 2011, scored then 2.65
Not much early, maybe something will emerge. But for now it is some very faint, grainy pale malt. That's all, and it isn't easy to find. ... Half an hour later, and warmer, and it's still mostly plain, pale malt. There is some very limited hop character, but it consists of grassy and cat box notes, and is pretty muted as well. I'm not a fan of the nose.

Tastes much in the same vain as the nose, but better. Grainy pale malt, a very faint malty sweetness, very lightly bitter, with some gentle grassy and earthy hop flavor. I guess you could say it's balanced, but there isn't really all that much going on to balance.

Perfectly carbonated, medium body, and a mildly bitter and drying finish.

Even if you were calling this English style, I don't think there is anywhere near enough hop flavor, aroma or bitterness to call this an IPA. And it was just released 4 days ago, so it's not the sample. It's clean, smooth and probably what the brewers intended. But I would call it a high abv (7%) APA. I think I like their APA better, actually, even though I'm more of a DIPA or bold IPA kind of guy. I like and support Great River, and I want to love this beer. But it's not really in my wheelhouse, and doesn't have the hops to be a legit IPA.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked a 4pk of this up today at the brewery, on release day, for $9.50 plus tax. A portion of the proceeds go to support "Pheasants Forever", a program to keep these birds in the wild.

Presentation: 16oz can, with plastic, shrink-wrap type label (for environmental friendliness?). The provocative name is actually meant to catch people's eye and is a reference to the ringnecked pheasant, who's losing habitat throughout the US. There's a nice picture of a male pheasant on the front of the can. Geez, what were YOU thinking?

Appearance: Pours a beautiful burnt orange-tinged amber, with bright clarity. Medium-high levels of tiny beaded carbonation. Absolutely gorgeous, creamy, fluffy antique ivory cap that leaves some thick, patchy lace. Great looking beer.

Smell: As expected, this is fresh and vibrant. Nothing crazy unique, but definitely pleasant. Nice citrus and pine notes. I'm thinking pithy grapefruit and perhaps a bit of sweet orange? Also, some nice toasty/biscuity malt. Not tons of depth, but it's well-integrated and quite pleasant, so I think the score (4) is warranted.

Taste: The hop flavors start out mirroring the aromas and are fresh and almost delicate. With a bit of warming, some 'greener' and more herbal, almost woody, notes emerge, much more than the aromas would suggest. Then WHAM. So much for subtlety and finesse. The 70 IBUs comes rip-roarin' in and, honestly, it feels like a bit more than 70. The bitterness is fairly clean, but it lingers. This definitely straddles the line between IPA and DIPA, in my opinion. The pine and citrus flavors fade on the swallow, and you're left with an impression of lightly toasted pale malt, and a somewhat woody bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice and smooth

Overall: This is really what you'd expect from a beer with this name. It's big and ballsy, a slugger of an IPA, which will certainly please hopheads. I'm not sure what varieties of hops were used, but they certainly aren't as a citrusy as was originally suggested by the nose. Even with a bit of warming a more woodsy character emerged and this is definitely present on the palate. Overall, this is the third brew I've had from the tiny Great River Brewery and I've been pleasantly surprised with all three. Keep up the good work, guys! From now on, when I'm swinging through the Quad Cities (every year or so), I'll be sure to check this place out!

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Big Cock IPA from Great River Brewery
3.49 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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