Big Rock Warthog Ale | Big Rock Brewery

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Big Rock Warthog AleBig Rock Warthog Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery
Alberta, Canada
bigrockbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
114
Reviews:
60
Avg:
3.12
pDev:
16.35%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of woodychandler
3.14/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I CAN thank my lucky stars for good notes.

Yet another two fingers' of French Vanilla-colored head with excellent retention. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was slightly sweet, but otherwise unremarkable. Mouthfeel was medium to full with a solid caramel sweetness on the tongue. Finish had that same caramel sweetness. Not bad, but I prefer hops.

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Photo of barleywort
2.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a nice, truly golden stream and is a pure amber in strength. Head was abundant but dissipated quickly and no lace to speak of.

Smell: Faint scents of carmelized sugar, but nothing more. Pleasant aroma, but insubstantial.

Taste: Here, I will do my best to avoid making comments on taste that may be attributable to the can (real or perceived). No discernable hops flavour (not inconsistent with style) but there is a biscuity malt flavour, not sweet, that lingers for a little while. Personally, I find it lacking in the taste department and not a style paradigm.

Mouthfeel: Thin but surprisingly not crisp (which in my experience, is uncharacteristic of style) as expected. Also not as highly carbonated as would be expected.

Drinkability: I didn't find it "refreshing" in the typical sense of the word, but it is relatively easy to drink. If nose and taste had been more rewarding, I would have considered this a "sessionable" beer.

DISCLAIMER: I am contra canned beer when it comes to that age old debate. I tried my best to have an objective and impartial mind when reviewing this beer, but the fact of the matter is that I believe (stress on it being a matter of opinion) that the can may have had an adverse impact on this beer. I'm leaving my review as is, but if I ever have the opportunity to try it on tap or from a bottle, I will take another look at this review.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The fourth of five in the Big Rock mix pack I got from my bud a while ago.

Appearance: Nice pour with a solid thumb of head that did not lace and just barely retained. The body is a light amber color that boasts exceptional clarity and carbonation.

Smell: A nice buttery malt dominates the nose with the barest hints of sweet caramel. Not very diverse but has a very simple appeal. Didn't take much in the way of warming to come out either.

Taste: All in all, it's pretty much an average ale. Sweet buttery malts dominate the taste until a small touch of generic hops finishes off the beer. I should note, it seems to have avoided the odd funky flavor that other Big Rock brews seem to have suffered with.

Mouthfeel: A simple drinking beer that goes down very smoothly, not very much to transition to, but what it does it does well enough. No aftertaste to speak of although it does leave a little bit of a filmy taste in the mouth.

Drinkability: It's pretty good, as it goes down very smoothly as a cream ale should. Fairly refreshing to drink as well, and doesn't have any gas issues. Maybe a little touch too heavy on the gut, but it's a minor complaint.

Final Thoughts: This is the best beer I've gotten out of Big Rock thus far. Warthog is just a simple, easy drinking ale which you wouldn't expect given the name. Thumbs up for the most part, nothing here is going to wow you, but if you are looking to get back to basics, this beer is for you.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into 400ml dab glass sept26 2009

A crystal clear honey amber with a two finger head that falls quite fast and leaves some lace where the head existed for its 40 seconds of life

S sweet malts and some mild hops

T even sweeter then it smells with caramel and toffee becoming more noticeable

M a little creamy but it seems too bubble up a bit too much, almost like I'm drinking air

D overall there's nothing offensive but nothing that sticks out as great either

This isn't a bad beer, however the ale Big Rock brews for the Calgary co-op liquor chain is half the price and similar in quality

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Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20oz pint. An old favorite that I haven't had in years, available on tap now at one of my smaller go-to beer hideaways in Edmonton.

This beer appears a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with a finger or so of frothy, filmy, and soapy white head, which leaves some spotty, streaky lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of bready pale and caramel malt, reduced brown sugar, and very mild earthy, weedy hops. The taste is more of that thin, wet breadiness, sweet in that particular Big Rock manner, ethereal earthy yeast, an echo of molasses, and some still very tame floral hops.

The carbonation is quite soft, barely a tic arising throughout, the body medium-light in weight, and mostly smooth, with a certain clammy, grainy edge intruding a bit. It finishes off-dry, some innocuous bready caramel malt lingering all by its lonesome.

Just as I remember it - an easy-drinking, not overly complicated (re: plain) mild ale, one that puts on full display Big Rock's core competencies. Now to complete this little ode to nostalgia - if only there were still 5 cent hot wing Wednesdays as well!

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.24/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 355-ml can into a pint glass.

Appearance - copper-gold brew with thin, disappearing head. Some ultra-fine surface bubbles and a 1/16th-inch ring of lace. Very active carbonation, looks like a super-highway in there.

Smell - cozy, creamy sweet malt aromas, gently roasted barley and a whiff of toffee.

Taste - this is a beer that looks good and smells great but it comes up short on taste. The taste that's there is too thin, while the late, plain, tinny hoppiness really only serves as a transition to a wet, watery finish.

Mouthfeel - very active but even, the dynamic of the watery finish is boring and unsatisfying to what could have been the thicker, heartier effect I had anticipated from the aromas before sipping on it.

Drinkability - this goes down, well, like water. Not engaging enough to have quite a few, but it's still easy to put a couple back.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.52/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- Upon pourning, I was impressed with the coloring, which is orange/reddish/brown. This was the only thing I really liked about it, as there was virtually no head, and what did appear quickly fizzes out to a very thin ring around the glass. There is also no lacing to speak of. The name of the beer and labeling is quite unique and I like that so this area receives moderate marks.

S- The aromas are quite light, which I guess should be expected with this style. There is a dominant malt smell, with toffee and molasses notes. I also detected a faint undernote of bananas, which I enjoyed. Still lots to smell here as opposed to the lagers that this is made to compete against.

T- Lots of assertive malts here, and other than the aforementioned toffee and molasses notes, there isn't much else here to describe. The finish lends a mild hop bitterness, that doesn't really hang around on the palate. Rather a simple tasting ale, but it's not bad!

M- This is rather light, which I'm not used to in an ale. It is however refreshing, with the heavier carbonation and the flavors just kind of roll through the palate and then are gone.

D- I gave this area full marks, b/c this is meant to be a competitor to a lager, but with a little more and I think that it does the job. I'd be perfectly happy to enjoy this particular beer throughout an evening with friends and think it's a nice crisp ale. Would do the job after a hard days work and could even make a nice after dinner beer, with the sweeter flavors.

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Photo of cyrenaica
2.18/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

341ml bottle
4.5% ABV
I tried this beer on January 31, 2008 at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto. The beer poured a reddish-brown colour with a thin whitish head. The aroma was stale malt with a little bit of hops. The mouthfeel was medium-thin with high carbonation. The taste was grainy with no detectabe hops or malt.

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Photo of Graham5161986
2.3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a clear, orange brown with almost no head and leaves no lacing.

S: slight grassy hops, lots of sugary malts, a touch of honey and some corn.

T: honey-cream sweetness and a very slight bit of hops. way too sweet.

M: light and creamy but with an oily, cloying finish.

D: Hmm, not very good. The sweetness makes it quite undrinkable and the flavours are typical macro. I will not buy this beer again.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a beer that almost makes it happen but falls apart on the finish. A kinda mix of a Brit mild and a cream ale this is a drinkable beer alright but say unlike the much missed Shaftebury Cream ale this has little to hang its hat on after a few sips. There is some malt and caramel but really the beer is forgotten soon afterwards.

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Photo of GrimmReaper
3.41/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one came in a variety winter pack,pours a golden bronze color with nice orangey hilites,small tan creamy bubbly head that dissipates fairly quickly and little to no lacing.Smell is faint grains and a hint of caramel and some metallic coming thru.Taste is lite caramel with hints of fruits going down rather watery and mild bitterness at the very end.Easy to consume,not bad for a wintery nite,would also be good ice cold on a hot summery day,definitely worth a try.

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Photo of elricorico
2.78/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange to light brown in colour with a two finger white head. The head fades to a thin cap, but leaves plenty of even lacing around the glass.

Faint faint toffee like malt and a bit of flowery aroma in the nose. Not an entirely pleasing mix, but not offensive either.

I have a hard time describing the flavours in this beer. Nothing really stands out. Malt profile seems to be faintly caramel like, while the finish is just a bit herbal or medicinal. Really a light flavoured beer that has a hard time holding my attention.

Carbonation on the lower side, while the body is slightly fuller. The mouthfeel would be more than adequate to carry a better flavour.

Despite lacking in the flavour department, this is a drinkable beer. Just rather bland.

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Photo of Shadman
2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

found this is a singles bin...becoming spooked by a lot of Big Rock's products as my sampling of other beers increases.

Certainly darker than I expected, brownish amber in color with a slightly-off white head that showed decent retention and lacing.

smell- there it is! that over-sweet Big Rock Malt although this is more muted than in some of their beers. No hop aroma to speak of.

Tasted sweet - what a surprise! Noticed a hint of bitter hop toward the end. Pretty bland stuff.

mouthfeel was slightly creamy and the carbonation certainly wasn't over-done.

another way-to-sweet offering from Big Rock. I'm glad it was only a single,

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Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Party of Big Rocks. cream ale in very malty aroma only, it was like an old ale in colour, light head. Somewhat sour bitter and dry finish.Still, at 4.5% two beers were fine at lunch. More complex and depth and Really, a brown ale. Not bad for Big Rock.

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Photo of shamus
3.52/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A slightly better than average for a micro brew from Big Rock, not world class, but not unpleasant. It has a very smooth descent down the gullet which makes a perfectly fine session beer. The massive head receded to a pale gauze and there is not a lot of carbonation in the body. I don't dislike this beer as much as I might have expected.

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Photo of pootz
3.07/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought 2 of these from the liquor store "odds" section....didn’t want a 6 as I had my fill of this in Calgary. It’s what I used to think was a micro brew before I knew any better.

Pours a crystal clear amber-brown color with a small head that reduces quickly.

Slight understated aromas of roast malts, caramel. Simple nose.

Starts light with the nutty-caramel malts out-balancing the weaker attenuated hops..thin body...light clean finish.

Thin/watery body and light real ale flavors but still not enough to satisfy my tastes in an ale.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Attending the Toronto Festival of Beer last year, it seems that Canadians have a love affair with cream ale. It's gives the appearance of a darker beer w/ some heavier characteristics compared to the normal light lagers and pilsners. Warthog fits right into this category. A light lace hung on for a bit around the top edge fo the copper/gold colored beer. Warthog has a sweet malty base with a solid but not overly aggressive spicy aroma and light fruity esters. Slightly chewy mouthfeel, but might be because I drank the Jack Rabbit right before it. Overall, it's a a not unpleasant taste and is light enough to drink a couple, if that's what you're looking for. Personally, I'd look for something a bit stronger.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Being a big fan of the cream ale style, I decided to try my hand at Big Rock's attempt at the style (although this particular brew is allegedly also referred to as a 'Canadian Ale' in other markets). There are quite a few similarities between Big Rock and Sleeman as brewers, so I must admit I was expecting a beer similar to Sleeman's Cream Ale (which is my beer guilty pleasure, I must regretably admit). However, this brew actually seems rather different.

The beer pours an amber brown-goldish (copper?) sort of colour that's admittedly rather appetizing, but with a fairly thin, slightly off-white head that dies quite quickly, leaving just a few rings - there is, however, a reasonable bit of lacing, though its somewhat runny.

Smell is rather weak, as far as I can detect. There's some graininess, a hint of nuttiness, with faint molasses notes, perhaps. Slight hoppiness, but also some cereal grain present, though subtle, and, admittedly this is apparantly largely in accordance with the style.

Taste is rather nice, though nothing special. An initial hop sweetness for sure, but offset slightly by some obvious adjunct presence. Finishes a little bitter, but remarkably smooth (should we be thanking the adjuncts?). Maltiness, I think, is the name of the game here, and what makes the taste enjoyable - a sort of faint caramel, molasses taste. Not bad, but nothing special, really. A slight creaminess, as well.

Mouthfeel is average. Body is medium - not too watery, which is nice, though the carbonation is a tad excess, and a little unpleasant. I imagine the taste would be better if my taste buds weren't being attacked by a constant stream of carbonated bubbles. Drinkability, however, is high in spite of this. The simplicity of the brew, and the relatively good taste make this something that I could enjoy more than one of at a time.

Still, though - while Warthog Cream Ale isn't bad (I'd certainly never turn it down, and will admit that I'd probably buy it on a few occasions), I'm still more taken with Sleeman's take on the style (though even Sleeman's Cream Ale is nothing special either, in the grand scheme of things).

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Photo of Mandrake
3.13/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brownish-gold with a small whitish head that fades rapidly and leaves some scant lacing. Smells candy-sweet, with some caramel and fruitiness in the malts. Taste is nondescript, with a bit of maltiness, but is pretty watery and not very complex. Mouthfeel is thin, and drinkability is fine, but not much above expectation for this style. Not great, but not offensive either.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.02/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a medium, creamy head. Aroma is.. well weak. Touch of a euro-lagery smell and a cleanness. Not much else. Taste is grain and a tiny bitterness. Although the initial head wasn't great, there's some really good lacing happening now. Perhaps my pour was to blame. A bit of a citrusy taste, but overall not a terribly flavourful brew. Moderate carbonation and a light-medium body. Quite drinkable, but nothing special in my view

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Photo of fisherman34
2.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reminds me of Big Rock's IPA, only with more water and even less flavor. Smells vaguely of malt and toffee, and has a hint of nuttiness along with some malt flavors. You would expect a cream ale to be low on hops, but they are basically nonexistant in this particular example. Overall it's not completely horrible, but Big Rock's other beers are better.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.57/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is not far off of Big Rock's Traditional Ale to me...

Pours a deep copper brown colour, with little to no head, slight lace sticks to glass momentarily. A roasted malt, slightly hoppy nose, brooding, autumnal, it's getting to that time of year.

Taste is a thin hop sweetness that finishes a bit bitter, but not too much. Smoother than their traditional ale, but less complex and less tangy. Goes down smooth, soft mouthfeel, a bit thin but a decent, drinkable session ale.

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Photo of Noxious26
1.88/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

341ml bottle served in a pint glass. From a variety 12 pack (2 each of 6 brands).

Clear, dark gold to pale light brown in colour. Thin off-white head with some lacing.

Aroma is malty with some slightly skunky hops.

The taste is pretty good until the aftertaste kicks in. Malty, slightly sweet and slightly caramel with a floral hops undertone at the swallow. Terrible skunky bitter aftertaste. The floral undertones tag team with the skunky bitterness to lay a hurtin' on my tastebuds. Truly disgusting.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with little carbonation.

This was the first Big Rock beer I had ever tried back in the mid-90s and I didn't like it then, but since a couple came in a variety pack I gave it another try. I tried both bottles on different occassions and came up with the same conclusion. The aftertaste totally detracts from the beer. If they had no aftertaste at all it would be better, and in fact this might not be a bad beer. However, that aftertaste makes me want to puke. Both bottles had the bottom 1/4 of the glass poured down the drain.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an orange/brown colour, with no head to speak of. A bit of bubbles around the rim of the glass, and nothing between. No lace as well. The beer is a pretty colour, that's about all the positive I can give for appearance. Sweet malts on the nose, with a bit of a flowery, light perfume scent as well, with a bit of caramel. Taste is a little too cloyingly sweet. Malts and caramel are just too strong in a relatively weak tasting beer. Aftertaste has a bitterness that lasts for perhaps a nanosecond, then disappears. The mouthfeel is damn good. Smooth, creamy, and not overly carbonated. Drinkability is tough. Mouthfeel is good, but the rest is below average. I'd drink it again, but only if offered it.

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Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New can label with larger emphasis on 'cream ale', old label was just 'warthog ale'. Pours light copper color with thin white head that quickly dissappears to form just a small collar around the glass. Light malty and a bit of flowery aroma. Full flavor of the caramel malt, not a whole lot of body to it, tastey but not overpowering. Quite a bit of sweetness to it, and finishes with some slight bitterness but not a lot of hop. Good carbonation throughout gives it a smooth creamy texture (not as much as some other cream ales, but still OK).

May 7, 2006 - sampled another can with the new logo and graphics, beer still the same.

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Big Rock Warthog Ale from Big Rock Brewery
3.12 out of 5 based on 114 ratings.
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