Big Rock Warthog Ale | Big Rock Brewery

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Big Rock Warthog AleBig Rock Warthog Ale

Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery
Alberta, Canada

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malty with a hint of toffee balanced with very evident hop and followed by a clean finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-04-2002

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 113
Photo of beerguy101
2.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium brown color. Small head. Aroma is malty. A lighter bodied brown ale. Kind of mild and a little sweet, some nuttiness. Sort of light a Newcastle light. Very drinkable, but everything is just a little mild. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.5 fluid ounce (341ml) brown glass bottle, with a twist-off crown cap. The neck label has the Brewery name ‘BigRock’, whilst the dark brown colored main label has a picture of a Warthogs face, with the words “All Natural” above and “Warthog”. No mention at all of ‘Cream Ale’ as the BA listing name suggests. Again, like the other 2 BR beers I had previously, it describes as, “Traditionally Brewed in Canada”.

Appearance: Chestnut body with a super-filtered appearance. Thin but wholesome head sits atop, just off-white in color. It looks pretty good actually. Good inherent carbonation replenishes the head when the beer is swirled.

Nose: Malt, some grain and a light sweetness. Light in strength.

Taste: Again, like the IPA, this beer is just not to my liking at all. Unrefined is perhaps the most positive way I can refer to it. Just the whole balance of the beer was far too much in favor of a taste that reminded me of processed malt extract. Caramel sweetness mixed with a very light hop bitterness, which was still subsumed overall by the ‘malt extract’ flavors. A little one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Just above average, and not that bad actually, perhaps due to the carbonation, and one of the better aspects of this beer apart from its appearance.

Drinkability: Had a taste and cloying aspect in the finish that was reminiscent of my first attempt at Home Brew with a crappy cheap Malt Extract Kit I got fro Xmas once. A sometimes sickly, often cloying aftertaste, which made this a tad unpalatable after only a short while. Not to my liking, far too “sticky”.

Overall: This is the third and last of the BigRock Beers that I recently purchased, and in a way I am kind of glad. The whole experience was rather a huge disappointment to be honest. I hate to be negative, so on a positive note – I will say that the ‘WartHog’ was the best of the bunch that I had from BigRock, but that’s not really saying much at all I suppose. Mediocre at best.

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Photo of Garin
4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah yes, my old friend the Warthog... This was our staple throughout my school days. I'm working from notes, though I've had this so many times that I hardly need them.

As always, it poured clear and pale coppery brown with a nice head that dropped to a thin and lingering foam that is well supported by the carbonation. It is perfectly clear.

I never did get how people were put off by the aroma. I find grainy malt and caramel sweetness with some herbal and vegetable undertones, and nothing unpleasant or unexpected from a cream ale.

The flavour is light and bitter hoppy, with some maltiness becoming apparent over time. In the usual cream ale fashion, it's pretty mild, but I've always found it to be well balanced and interesting enough.

In the mouth, it's light, smooth and easy drinking. The carbonation is lively and long-lasting, and overall I find this very refreshing.

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Photo of lipschitz
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 650ml bomber
Pours clear, medium copper, with a decent, foamy head that recedes promptly. Aroma is of caramel malt, with some herbal undertones. The taste is wonderfully delicate caramel, which matches the aroma. The sweetness steps aside to make way for a pleasant, nutty finish. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, creamy, and slick.
Notes: I have had this many times over the years, and always found it to be a capable, if not spectacular ale. For some reason the bombers that I had this week were exceptional. The delicate balance between the sweetish malts, and the nuttiness made it a most pleasing brew. The flavours are subtle, but very nice.

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.87/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It seems like only a few years ago Big Rock started marketing Warthog as a cream ale (must be due to the low hop presence). It's been around seemingly forever, part of their original line up (along with McNally's Extra Ale, and Traditional Ale) that has lasted the years to this day. Always struck me as their most mediocre offering, a cross between Trad and one of their pales, but it always worked in a pinch. A not very surprising homecoming for me sampling it once again.

The head is white and creamy, but disappears shortly, although still leaves a ring all the way down the glass. The colour is the epitome of a fine clear copper ale, big points for that, very nice to look at. However the nose is rather funky at first, really turned me off. After the initial reaction it melds into a decent sweet caramel scent, with a slight scent of floral hops. Flavour is as mediocre as I remember it to be, kind of watery with a small hoppy aftertaste, which doesn't leave much of an impression at all. A shame, considering the ale looks so damned good. It's a decent step up as an alternative to most macros on the market, very light and unthreatening in its drinkability, but there is really no flavour to speak of. I love Big Rock, but this is like the shy, quiet, and very forgetable member of its line.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.37/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ok comes in a 11.5 oz brown long neck with one ugly looking Warthog on front ( well aren't they all?)..says "traditional Canadian Ale"
OK after pouring into my glass .i observe a rather handsome looking beer a nicely proportioned off white head ( thick and creamy) it shrinks but lingers long. The beer is a nice crystal clear chesnut colour..quite nice.
mmmmm I liked rthe smell of this beer some nicelly roasted chocolaty malts invade my olifactory system,,theres some flowery undertones also.
Strange..after the aroma I was expecting a full bodied ale..but the taste is too sweet and watery thin..its not at all bad..just a dissapointment after the smell.
With the wateryness..the feel on the palate is average.
Though its too thin its still a drinkable ale.

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Photo of bmacaskill
2.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer that advertises itself poorly.

No, I'm not talking ad campaign. I'm talking *smell*. (I'd call it "scent" if it didn't stink so much!)

How do they tell, down at the brewery, that this stuff hasn't gone bad? Because it smells OK?

Warthog is otherwise a fine beer. Its taste is somewhat pungent, but it the good sense of the word "pungent". It is full-bodied, attractive to look at, and a fine quaff. All told, one-and-three-quarters thumbs up.

(Later: I had a buddy sniff my warthog [no, don't go there!]. He tells me the scent is in my imagination. Mind you, he didn't like the taste as much as I did, so I guess my rating still stands.)

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Photo of Shiloh
4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very nice and I would recomend it to anybody..The body pours an amber/red cross with limited head and heavy glass ring and is medium light...
Taste is mellow, semi sweet and fruity, oranges actually comes to does have a hop continuance which I particularly enjoyed.
IMHO this beer should be served well chilled...

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Photo of oqnid
3.11/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Sweet smell of caramel in this very thin looking brew...not what I call a Cream Ale. Pours with close to no head at all and for the head you get, well, it doesn't stay. The taste isn't what you'd expect from smelling it...nothing sweet here! A small but apparent bitterness seems as the only thing anouncing it's presence in your mouth. Type of beer that would probably be better on tap through a "Creamer" but in bottle...better call it a regular American Brown Lager.
This isn't a bad brew, it just doesn't have any Cream appeal to it!

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.5/5  rDev +44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This reminded me of why for a long time, cream ales were my favourite style of beer (before I found Unibroue, that is...).

Poured from the pitcher with one finger of head and a fairly deep red colour reminiscent of Smithwick's. The head fades slowly, with eventual lacing across the top. Smell is a little sweet and a little malty. The taste is sweet, fruity, and just a little bit on the dry side of average. This stuff really is a banner example of a cream ale, putting my previous standards to bed.

If you ever find it, try it!

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Big Rock Warthog Ale from Big Rock Brewery
3.12 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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