Blue Buck | Phillips Brewing Company

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Blue BuckBlue Buck

Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Blue Buck is a legendary beast known to grant those that see him good fortune and safe travels! A deep amber coloured beer, the Blue Buck has a crisp finish featuring a delicate hop aroma. Certainly seeing the Blue Buck on bottle grants the drinker a great experience! Worth searching for.

Added by Metalmonk on 05-13-2009

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 191
Photo of atigerlife
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap.

Caramel colored beer with a off-white head, decent looking.

Aroma is sweet, some malts.

Taste is carmamel. Quite sweet. Nice malt backbone. Decent hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, glad I tried it. While nothing spectacular, it went well with the food and was quite easy to drink.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had this beer on-tap in a pint glass at the Waldorf in Vancouver, BC.

Appearance: medium golden hue with minimum haze and a finger of creamy tan foam. Quite good!

Smell: beery and sweet without a ton of character. It's OK.

Taste: caramelly and sweet with a bit of a bitter interjection. Not terrible.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and OK creaminess.

Overall: a drinkable beer, but not a stellar one.

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Photo of PatrickFox88
2.59/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the best selling craft beer in Western Canada, from a west coast brewery generally known for their hoppier offerings

A: Nice amber colour

S: Caramel malt dominant

T: Bread/caramel/biscuit. Very sweet.

M: light and smooth. very crushable.

Overall, it is what it's supposed to be, a step into craft for your macro drinkers; but most craft beer junkies probably won't love this beer.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Day 18 of the Phillips Snowcase advent calendar. 341ml bottle.

Pours a nice bright copper with two fingers of foamy off-white head that leaves Monument Valley lace as it recedes.

Smells of caramel malt and mild citrusy hops.

Tastes of dinner biscuit malt, mild caramel and more mild citrusy, piney hops.

Feels light and mildly frothy. Body is on the light side of medium. Finishes not quite dry.

Verdict: Recommended. Simple, pleasant and sessionable.

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Photo of biegaman
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Blue Buck is a name that, for me, conjures thoughts of Canadian wilderness (outstretched skies and lakes, muscular wild deer) but the liquid itself looks very domesticated - figuratively and literally. The sterile cleanliness, polished highlights and pale amber colour characterize many commercial beers.

The aroma has a biscuity maltiness, steely minerality, and pleasantly floral but lightly pungent hoppiness - all the telltale signs of a classic English Pale Ale. The people at the BJCP couldn't have drawn it up much better themselves. It smells like it was brewed some 7500 kilometers east from where it actually is.

Far more mild (in every sense) than its typical West Coast counterparts, Blue Buck doesn't turn green or pink with dank tree serum or sharp citrus notes. But it does have an underlying hoppiness that is subtly fruity and adds appreciable tastes of bergamot as well as hints of marmalade and flower petals.

These flavours pair wonderfully with the overarching maltiness and its butterscotch, biscuity, wafer-like characteristics. The smack of toffee sweetness only compounds the impression that this pale ale would be an acceptable alternative to afternoon tea. It would also make a sessionable cask at the pub too.

Blue Buck is a mediocre beer but it's got everything I enjoy in an British-style pale ale. It's a good candidate to convert the mainstream beer drinker as it balances toothsome sweetness with agreeable hoppiness. While nothing to proudly hang on the wall, it's definitely worth the shot.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Phillips Brewing 'Blue Buck' an English Pale Ale @ 5% , served from a squealer purchased for $6
A-pour is a light gold from the squealer to a a clear dark gold/amber in the glass with a medium size off-white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-hoppy with a bit of spice
T-ok tasting pale ale (that's it no wow factor)
MF-ok/lots of carbonation , medium body
Ov-ok English pale ale
prost LampertLand

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Blue Buck is *everywhere* in Western Canada--even in the crappiest of dives, in the touristy-ist of mountain-top restaurants--and Western Canada is better for it. There's nothing truly *special* about it, but it's a nice, drinkable beer that's just a bit *different*: heavy, heavy malt character, with a light dusting of hops (more on the smell than taste) and Phillips trademark yeast (just a touch medicinal, but also, weirdly reminds me of, like, crystals? Even though crystals don't have a taste?). Moderate-to-high carbonation, light body. Campfire or canoe-trip or apres-ski approved.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just around the $2.75 mark or so for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that lasts for a minute before film out. Medium to dark gold color. Filtered clear

S- Malt galore. Sweet

T- Malt bomb. WOW this is a malty beer. Not much else other than a nice selection of malt

M- A bit above average. Dry

O- Pretty good break from the everyday. At this price point I will put a case away for slow consumption as this malt bomb will work with many different foods

Food Pairing

This nice brew went very well with...... Roast beef with gravy made from the drippings with root vegetables


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Photo of EricVonStein
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

pours a couple fingers of off white foam that lingers nicely. clear dark honey colour. plenty of active carbonation.

malts malts malts on the nose, bread and grains. So rich with musty bread smell it makes you wonder if youre going to eat it rather than drink it.

surprisingly rich and sweet on the tongue at first, dried sultanas. Lots of malts bring dark rye breadiness strongly through the middle. hint of burnt caramel and a hopps on the finish.

Smooth and creamy in the mouth, good body.

Overall quite surprising! Love the malts that dominate this beer, complimented well with sweetness and a bitter burnt finish. Great from start to finish.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $2.75 CDN. Good to see another one of this breweries' beers in Ontario stores.

Appearance - mostly clear bronzes color with plenty of bubbles. Two fingers of white head with surprisingly good retention.

Smell - decidely English, tons of tea aroma, light floral aspect and a solid grain backing. Smells wonderful.

Taste - light and mild, some tea and herbal aspects, a touch of toffee and caramel followed by mellow grain. Easy to drink and good if not bold flavors.

Mouthfeel - smooth and light, reasonably carbonated. Very drinkable.

Overall - solid representation of the style and very drinkable. On the maltier side of things with a healthy grain bill, but definitely a light English ale worth seeking out,

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Photo of kevinlater
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473ml can into nonic pint. best before nov 28, 2015. consumed on july 15, 2015

a: clear light copper or medium amber topped with 2 fingers of off-white head

s: mild orangey citrus, hints of stone fruits, quite floral/herbal/leafy/tea-like, backed by a decent caramel presence, plus some apple notes that i recognize in english ales. smells great!

t: follows the nose. nice modest citrus fruits + apple all around with floral touches and bready caramel malt

m: slightly watery but satisfying overall. comes with moderate carbonation

o: a delicious, mildly-hoppy easy-going ale

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

473 mL can from the LCBO; best before Nov 28 2015 and served well-chilled.

Pours a clear orange-amber colour, with one inch of frothy, off-white coloured head seated atop. Good retention; it slowly dissipates over the next five minutes or so, settling down into a creamy, lumpy cap and collar accompanied by an uninterrupted curtain of lacing. On the nose, I am getting a mixture of toffee/honey sweetness, bready malts, some nutty notes and a few fruity undertones that include marmalade-y orange, red apple and apricot.

This is an approachable pale ale - not entirely English in nature, but probably still closer to that end of the spectrum, versus the APA end. Bready malts, caramel and toffee, along with some lightly toasted, nutty flavours, characterize the front end of the sip. Mild hints of orchard fruit, such as apricot and apple, are next to come through, with a tinge of orange citrus soon overcome by a leafy, earthy bitterness that lasts through to the finish. Bittersweet aftertaste that encourages quick, successive sips. Light-medium in body, with relatively low carbonation levels that provide a touch of crispness - the overall feel on the palate, however, is fairly smooth, slick, and satisfying.

Final Grade: 3.76, barely eking out a B+. Phillips refers to Blue Buck as a session ale, and it certainly is, at that. This is an unchallenging, enjoyable English-style pale ale that is clearly meant to be consumed in larger quantities than the two cans I picked up. No real complaints here - it's a decent-to-good example of the style, and something I'd like to try on-tap, given the chance. Not an exciting beer by any means, but that's no reason to slag it.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed several times, most recently on tap at one of my favorite eateries. Blue Buck has lots going for it. Clear, decent carbonation, and plenty of hops in the aroma profile. The flavour is earthy malt, grass, with a floral citrus hop profile. Blue Buck is a staple of the Phillips line, and worth picking up again and again.

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Photo of nukfan94
2.6/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I live in Victoria, so this is everywhere. Cheap, but certainly not terrible. You could be drinking worse things on a light-hearted Friday night with some nachos. The taste is fairly mild, and the aftertaste is underwhelming. Smells a bit like a backyard after a party. Has a yellowy appearance that perhaps suits its price.

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Photo of HipCzech
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled during a tour of Phillips in Victoria, BC. A nice clear amber color. Mild caramel malt, fruity ale yeast and earthy bitter hops balance each other. Another easy drinker with just enough character.

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Photo of argock
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear pilsner glass. 02/May/15 on top of bottle neck.

A: Clear light chestnut with 1/2-1 finger of off-white, tightly bubbled head with low retention and a jagged strip of lace.

S: Aroma is very low and is mainly medium caramel-toffee and earthy, herbal hops. Not much there.

T: Flavor is also pretty mild with some medium caramel sweetness, up front, low but present bitterness from herbal, earthy hopping, and a sweet finish. Very unobtrusive flavor, maybe a little too unobtrusive. WOuld be a decent session beer, a half-step above BMC.

M: Overcarbonated a tad with an otherwise creamy texture and light body.

O: A bland beer, nothing offensive and probably a good session beer option but really not very flavorful.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This poured a coppery colour with a thin head that did stick around for awhile. The nose brought forward an orange citrus smell along with a bit of grass and a bit of toffee. The malt came forward on the tongue with a bit of hoppy citrus. There was another fruit that I couldn't quite put my finger on, maybe unripe peaches. I did find it a bit effervescent but not a bad pale ale but also nothing special.

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Photo of Vinster171
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Sampled on tap at BierCraft on Cambie street, Vancouver. Golden blonde, clear, with nice malty nose. Hops are not very noticeable at this point. An easy drink, that has a surprisingly strong taste for a beer that is not excessively strong in terms of alcohol percentage. The hop mainly takes a backstage at this point, mostly supporting the malt without revealing itself too much.

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Photo of SamKetchum
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is dark in colour and has a strong malty flavour but easy to drink. The first third seems to magically disappear, making you guard the rest. The beer seems to get heavier the more you drink and by the end its a rather strong ale. But another can will sort that out.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a burnished golden amber with ample off-white foam that breaks quite quickly. Looks and behaves like a pale ale. Aroma is very sweet, bready pale malt, yeasty esters that evoke peach and apricot. The flavor is subtle and understated but pleasant, apricot and grass and a little lemon-lime. Hops are English (green, a bit earthy) but take a back seat to the fruit and malt. A little marmalade citrus in the uber-smooth mildly bitter black tea-like finish. A touch of spice and evokes gummy candy with the alcohol well-concealed. Fairly thin body. A bit of an outlier pale ale in terms of flavor (especially in North America, this thing is sweet!) but I like it. Would appreciate an amped-up version with a more assertive American hop regime.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint at a pub on Granville Street in Vancouver.

A - Poured copper with light carbonation. Bright. One finger of soapy white head left a good drape of lace and a film of retention.

S - Light citrus, orange, grain, apricot.

T - Light citrus again with some graininess and apricot again. Mild sweet malt.

M - Good carbonation, light to medium body, light citrussy finish.

O/D - Stylistically this is a little confusing but tasty nonetheless. A little too fruity in the wrong way but it was a standard Pale Ale.

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Photo of Converge
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass. This will be the first of what should be many brews by Phillips Brewing for me.

A - Pours with a small tan head, surprisingly effervescent. Nice transparent copper/amber body. Looks clean and inviting.

S - Lots of caramel malt and toffee upfront, with some light herbal and grassy hops in the background. Slight corny adjunct note as well. It's nice, but there's definitely something off in here.

T - Caramel malt is much lighter than anticipated. Toffee like sweetness isn't very evident, in fact the malts in general here aren't nearly as sweet as I was hoping. The hop presence is still there but really subdued. Definitely some toasty grains working with the caramel malt, but there's still an off-putting cheap grain feel here. There's a bit of a nutty kick to it as well, but it doesn't do much to save the profile.

M - Carbonation is quite nice here, and works well with the flavor present. The body is kept pretty light, but has a bit of thickness in it.

D - Overall this ale is nothing special. The profile feels simple without a lot of interesting flavors to it, and even some off tasting notes as well. I expect Phillips bigger beers to go much better than this one; but as it stands I don't think I'll be revisiting this one any time soon.

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Photo of timtwoface
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer perfectly depicts how the way you drink a beer can affect your impressions.

I've had Blue Buck countless times over the years and always liked it. Then I didn't have it for quite some time, and then I revisited it a few weeks ago at a local bar, on tap. Ugh, it was NASTY. Maybe it was just the bad keg or something about the tap itself, but it was not the beer I remembered.

Thankfully Blue Buck (in bottles!) came as a part of the BC Craft Brew 12 pack, so I was able to revisit it again - and it tastes so much better now. It's smoothe, nicely hopped, quite malty (but in a delicious and not overpowering way...almost a subtle chocolate taste, even) - I would definitely recommend this one worth a try.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 25/11/11

A clear golden copper with lots of big bubbles that float up to a thin film that sticks around for a minuet leaving a couple spots of lace

S toffee covered sour apple and that's about it

T a little nutty with some herbal hops, much better then the smell there's still apple but it's not sour, slight metallic flavor

M fluffs up quickly and then ends up flat, a little thin and unexciting

O basic stuff that's a bit of a let down after trying lots of good stuff from these guys lately

tastes OK but after my third beer out of the 6er I'm wishing I grabbed another Hop Box instead

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Photo of lespaulrocker
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber with a tan head. Moderate to light lacing.

S: Sweet caramel notes. Maybe some floral notes as well.

T: Caramel, sweet but not too sweet. Hoppy finish.

M: Medium body, light carbonation.

I was very surprised by how good this beer was. I'd seek it out again.

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Blue Buck from Phillips Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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