Honey Brown Lager
Big Rock Brewery

Honey Brown LagerHoney Brown Lager
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Lager - European Dark
Ranked #123
Ranked #48,828
3.09 | pDev: 15.21%
Big Rock Brewery
Alberta, Canada
Honey Brown LagerHoney Brown Lager
Notes: Sweet and honey/molasses flavour, slightly hopped with fuller mouth feel.
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of YesKing
YesKing from Canada (AB)

3.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good beer here. Not gonna lie I drank it straight out the can so can't comment on the look. There's pretty much nothing to say about the smell, maybe it's just my untrained nose and the fact that I'm drinking this from the can but I'm not getting much of anything off of it.

However, this beer's got a nice malty taste with notes of honey (surprise) and brown sugar. The texture is good: decently full, certainly not watery. The very light carbonation makes for a smooth drink.

Overall, this is a very pleasant, easy drinking beer for when you wanna crush something lighter but not completely tasteless. Will buy again.

May 08, 2020
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staubot from Canada (MB)

3.84/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean rich colour. Big head a firs that goes down to a nice thick film cover. Foam comes out actually as a slight honey brown colour. Scent is not very strong bu of sweets malts and maybe some bread dough. Tastes sweet honey with malty caramel. Sticks to your tongue like a beer with thicker feel would but is still smooth going down with nice reminder that lingers. I've only had a few Honey lagers before but this is a very good one for coming out of a large brewery.

May 14, 2016
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CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

3.34/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just imbibed two pints at a Calgary pub near work. Another Big Rock brew that has been around for a long time and I've probably had it numerous times previously without caring too much about what I was drinking. This is classified as a Euro Dark Lager here? Sure I guess. It does have some old world character and there's a dearth of obvious American hop flavors. A coppery reddish brown beer with minimal beige foam, one that smells vaguely like brown sugar and cereal bowl malts with a hint of grassy hops, overall a pretty subdued aroma. Tastes malty and sweet as well, there's a sweetness that one might as well describe as honey coupled with sweet dough (not sure if this actually contains said honey). Could be more of a light brown sugar effect though. There's a similarly light nuttiness, hints of cherry bubblegum, and some dry cardboard and semi-earthy hops in the finish. Thin and fizzy like a standard macro-lager. Nothing too terrible but what's there is largely forgettable. This is what Big Rock used to represent and still backslides into at times.

Apr 03, 2014
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Converge from Canada (AB)

2.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

355ml can poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours a clean dark amber hue with a frothy, light tan head that settles quickly but stays present as a thin film for a while. No lacing.

S - Thin pale malt base with some caramel malt and honey tones sprinkled on top. Odd artificial sweetness, like HFCS. The honey is mild, but adds a somewhat pleasant aroma to this lager.

T - Much like the nose. Pale malt makes up much of the profile, with crystal malt and honey sweetness coming through at the back of the palate. Mild grassy hops pop up in the aftertaste, as well as a dash of roasted barley. Simple profile all around, but I'm still picking up an off-putting sweetness that feels out of place; almost cloying.

M - Medium bodied feel that boasts a thin delivery of fine carbonation. It has more body than anticipated, but the cloying sweetness compromises the feel in my opinion. Finishes a touch too wet as well.

D - Pretty much a run-of-the-mill brew for local Big Rock. A marginal improvement over usual macro-lagers, but doesn't hold a candle to true craft. This brewery is really only good as a gateway to bigger, better things in the world of beer. Problem is, some people get stuck here and never find their way to the vast world of craft beer. A decent brew, but I'll pass next time.

May 08, 2012
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.05/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml can poured into pint glass 15/4/12

A clear bronze liquid with big quick bubbles that feed a short lived finger of foam that leaves zero lace

S smells like a bowl of cereal with loads of honey,

T dark bread with what I smell, nothing offensive but pretty basic

M it has some body too it for a lager, a little sticky and well carbonated

O just a basic brew, sweet honey and dry cereal that's about it

simple stuff brewed for the masses, there's nothing wrong with it but not something I'd bother with again

Apr 16, 2012
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bbb099 from California

3.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared with mjyoung.

Appearance - Nice, clear, amber color. Thin head, no noticeable lacing.

Smell - Mostly malty. I did not detect any honey smell.

Taste - Malty with a hint of honey. No overwhelming flavor, but it is sweet and creamy for a lager.

Mouthfeel - Average. Well carbonated, but not too much.

Drinkability - Quite drinkable due to its lightness. I do not recommend drinking this with food as the food will surely overpower the beer flavoring.

Dec 16, 2010
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mjyoung from California

3.23/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Split with bbb099

A: Poured a nice brown color, thick head that dissipated quickly and completely leaving little lacing.

S: Strong notes of brown sugar and honey. Not much depth to the nose, and a little harsh, but not too unpleasant.

T: Very light, with a relatively strong taste of honey. Not much depth to the flavor, but that was as expected. I still left a bit disappointed.

M: Not bad at all, but it leaves a bit of a harsh finish.

D: Went down smoothly. I'd drink more!

Dec 16, 2010
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decimator from Canada (ON)

2.95/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

355ml can poured into a mug.

A - Poured a bronze-amber with 2cm cream coloured head that reduced to a thin cap. No lacing is produced.

S - Mild aroma of malts, a bit of caramel and faint notes of herbs.

T - Light sweetness with a hint of honey and a very mild bitter bite in the finish.

M - Low carbonation. Some stickiness and a watery finish.

D - Drinkable, yes, but quite bland.

Jul 14, 2010
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andrenaline from Canada (ON)

2.96/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big Rock surprises with a sweet offering...

A - Pours a nice golden brown with a little head which quickly dissipates to nothing, leaving no lacing.

S - Weird, but there is very little scent on this one. Had to stick my nose almost in the beer to find a hint of sweet malt on it.

T - Surprisingly sweet with a noticeable honey flavour and aftertaste. Finishes with a bready malt and is almost a bit smokey, sort of like a peaty scotch.

M - Pretty light, though the sweetness almost makes it feel creamier than it is. Noticeable carbonation, but goes down pretty smooth.

D - I must say, I've found Big Rock beers to be rather plain, but was taken aback by the sweet honey flavour in this one. Definitely impressed and would actually order this one over their other offerings the next time I'm at a pub!

Apr 24, 2010
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ludachris from Canada (ON)

3.01/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one courtesy of TheHammer from a trade a while back. Thanks pal.

Pours an appropriate hazed honey amber hue with one and a half fingers of off white fluffy head that has a decent amount of retention but leaves almost zero lace.

Processed honey, musty floral hops, and a bit of wheat, grain, and biscuit make up the nose.

The honey seems more natural in the taste and is present throughout. Floral hops are way at the back and are easily overpowered by the sweetness of the honey. Honeyed bread and a light wheat character make up the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a tad filmy with a lower than expected level of carbonation, allowing the honey to really stand out. A bit syrupy towards the end, but not enough to take away from the feel nor drinkability.

I have yet to come across a fantastic honey lager, but this one beats the bunch I've had. The honey is natural in the taste, sweet, but not cloyingly so. Overall, this is a very simple and sweet thirst quenching lager. Average at best, but a good alternative to the standard macro.

Apr 14, 2010
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beerbum05 from Canada (AB)

3.81/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium carbonation, small head which faded fast dissapointed in that, very clear beer, dark orange/light brown colour

Smell: some maltiness

Taste: Malts and Honey

I would highly recommend this beer. It's a very nice smooth brown lager.

Mar 12, 2010
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mintjellie from Canada (ON)

3.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice amber coloured beer that also shows shades of red. It's large, pillowy, off-white head is pretty retentive, but doesn't really leave any lace. The grainy aroma carries a fat honey note while also having some bread and grassy hop scents in the background. I'm shocked at how much the honey flavour really comes through in this. This is definately better than the honey lagers on offer from Lakeport, Labatt's, or Rickards. It tastes a bit bready as well, and noble hops give it just a little bit of spice. Balance is really tipped in favour of honey and malt.

Light-bodied with low carbonation and a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. This a simple, decent, easy drinking lager if that honeyed sweetness isn't too much for you. I like it, but don't think I would want to have more than one or two.

Mar 12, 2010
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I CAN thank my lucky stars for notes.

Two fingers' of ecru head with solid retention. Color was a rich, deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was sweet, but not just lager sweet, enhanced with a honey scent. Mouthfeel was medium with a nice smooth taste of sweet honey. Finish had a nice, smooth sweetness.

Dec 24, 2009
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DoctorStrangiato from Canada (AB)

2.33/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a 355-ml can into a tulip glass.

Appearance - light copper-brown colour with good sustaining 1/4-inch head with lace on the sides to the rim. Highly carbonated as with all Big Rock products.

Smell - slightly musty malt scent with sweet aromas of honey and bread. Brighter scent on subsequent nosings but still a slightly musty feel.

Taste - robust malt followed by insane sweetness that overdoes it. Has a very wet finish that is flavour-eroded and not much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel - too active, too wet and too dull in the finish. Not great.

Drinkability - really not something I would seek out. There are better examples of the style that aren't so overbearing and much cheaper.

Sep 10, 2009
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TheHammer from Canada (ON)

2.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got this one from a buddy at work, apparently he found a mix pack of Big Rock cans and the Beer Store. I'm a big fan of mix packs so lets give it a shot.

Appearance: Pours with a large two fingers of head that quickly dimmed down and sustained at about a half finger. I did get a very small amount of lace. The body is an orange copper that boasts nice carbonation.

Smell: A little subdued even though it's been given a chance to warm. Dominating by a caramel malt and molasses smell with the barest notes of honey and fresh grass. Maybe if it was a bit stronger it could perform better.

Taste: I have a bit of a sweet tooth an this beer just slightly oversteps my limit on it. It starts with sweet malt that permeates the entire experience. Part way though, you get hit with a very subdued grassy citrus taste that I am assuming is a light dust of hops that is struggling to balance the clinging sweet taste that I would say is more like molasses then honey.

Mouthfeel: Well the aftertaste doesn't linger very long, but it's a bit filmy and sweet. Solid carbonation, is seems that it comes at you a strange times while drinking. The whole experience seems a bit off.

Drinkability: Well it is refreshing and I have no problems getting this stuff down. No gas or stomach issues either however the strange sweetness puts a bit of a dampener on the whole experience.

Final Thoughts: As a fan of Sleeman Honey Brown, I thought this offering might be somewhat comparable, but sadly it falls a little bit flat. I would certainly drink it again if offered, but I would not go out of my way for this beer.

Aug 28, 2009
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nighthawk from Canada (NS)

2.87/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

341mL bottle with no obvious freshness date poured into pilsener glass.

Pours a clear, light copper with a small white head that dissipates quickly.

Mild grassy aroma with sweet undertones suggestive (but not clearly) of honey.

Taste is a mild honey and bread-like sweetness. Very light grassy bitterness is tasted about halfway and carries on to the finish. Tries to balance, but doesn't quite make it.

Mouthfeel is very light, little carbonation and slightly slick. Not as crisp as I would like, which gives the sweetness a syrupy feel.

The bottle's gone fairly quickly, so it's not a pain to drink, but not one I will seek out. Not quite balanced in taste or mouthfeel, this is a mediocre offering.

May 08, 2009
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prosper from Canada (AB)

2.73/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pretty average, boring....

It's a cola-coloured brown. Clear. Small head.

Smells slightly 'sharp' and somewhat fruity. Some sweet caramel.

Tastes the same as it smells. No real 'off' flavours, but nothing to like about it, either. Slightly sweet. Light character, some fruit flavours, but generally pretty clean.

Light body, moderate carbonation, effervescent.

Not enough character to be really likeable, and not enough to demand one more drink, either.

Mar 05, 2009
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.38/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml can. I recall the great Honey Lager Revolution of 2003 in Canada, and that Big Rock waited a bit before releasing their version of the style. Before trying it at a food and wine show, I remember remarking to the Big Rock rep, that they were kind of finally jumping on the bandwagon, as it were. The rep looked at me sideways, babbled something about taking the time to get it right, and still gave me a healthy sample. I thought it was the best of the Honey Brown Bunch, at the time, and it temporarily brought me back to the Big Rock fold. A few years later, and the requirements of a ski trip dictate buying beer in cans, so here we go.

This beer pours a clear medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, and tightly foamy pale beige head, which leaves a bit of streaky, sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of grainy caramel malt, a middling heather and clover honey essence, and weak earthy, weedy hops. The taste is consistent, I'll give it that, though the malt gains more than a modicum of sweetness via its caramelized nature, bolstered by some simple sticky honey notes and a hint of of molasses, all barely tempered by the plain weedy, grassy hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite mild, the body a sugar-aided medium weight, and smooth enough, I suppose, while Sir Clamminess raps softly on the door. It finishes, well, sweet, the unbridled malt and mousy honey ruling the roost.

My strangely affectionate history with this brewer, coupled with this brew's overall temperateness, makes for an easy, if not at all complex, hot tub sipper. As far as the hotel management was concerned, it was Honey Brown Cola, all right?

Jan 14, 2009
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bluemoonswoon from Illinois

2.15/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz can poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear and dark amber and topped with a quickly disappearing bone white head, leaving little lacing. Smell is bland, maybe a crack of honey, but otherwise phenolic and green apple like in both taste and aroma with only the slightest hint of honey taste. I wouldn't really classify this as a Dunkel lager as its not even that dark and has no real qualities of a dunkel lager, not really sure where this beer fits in but is not a beer I would seek out or drink again for any real reason.

Oct 15, 2008
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canucklehead from Canada (BC)

2.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer looks better than it tastes. There is a sweet caramel note to this brew that decreases its drinkability. In fact the finish is too cloying considering this beer should be easydrinking. Pass on this offering from Big Rock and get the much better Trad Ale instead

May 08, 2008
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GrimmReaper from Canada (BC)

3.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one has a nice copper orangey color with a good size white bubbly head and leaves very mild lacing.The nose is sweet honey and mollases and some fruity aroma in there too.Taste is a little too sweet for my liking,definetly honey in there and comes at you with a dryness to it,kinda tastes like orange marmalade,medium body with some mild carbs,not a bad beer i guess if you like it sweet,1 is good enough for me.

Oct 31, 2007
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vanrassel from Canada (AB)

2.8/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured copper with a creamy head that dwindled to a thin ring. Not much to smell, other than some floral/clover sweetness and honey. The taste is slightly sweet with honey and additional molasses. No detectable hops. The mouthfeel seems right for the style, but there's not much to recommend here beyond saying it's not a bad beer if you're offered one.

Jun 12, 2007
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elricorico from Canada (AB)

2.64/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden orange colour with a two finger beige head. Looks pretty good in the glass. A fair amount of lacing is left in patches along the glass.

The smell reminds me of grass just after the snow has melted. Not quite as offensive as it may sound, but not very nice. Under that is some type of sweetness, suggests honey.

Sweet honey flavour that is supported by a light grain taste. Finishes with some lager crispness. Hops linger uncomfortably, tasting a bit medicinal. Brings to mind a cough candy.

Not a watery lager, but the carbonation feels coarse. Could be worse.

This one doesn't do it for me. Besides looking at it, nothing is very pleasant here.

May 05, 2007
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Shadman from Canada (AB)

2.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured as agressively as possbile and still managed only 1 finger of head. Some lacing stuck around. Nice copper colored look to this beer. Smelt of malt and sweet flowers. Very sweet would be the initial impression followed by a hint of chocolate malt and a hint of Euro mineral water. Kind of watery and too sweet compared to what is out there.

Jan 26, 2007
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FightingEntropy from Minnesota

2.63/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Overall the beer is sweet, though not fruity sweet, but a cloying feeling in the mouth. It look pretty in the class--clear golden and crisp with a white, fluffy head the maintains good retention. But the aroma signaled where it went down hill--very light aroma, no hop, and the smell that's present is somewhat medicinal. The taste has caramel notes with a little nutty flavor, but hard to tell. Very watery with little mouthfeel. Just not much there. Maybe a lawnmower beer if it's the only thing offered, otherwise go another direction.

Sep 03, 2006
Honey Brown Lager from Big Rock Brewery
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 69 ratings