Big Rock Espresso Stout | Big Rock Brewery

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22 Ratings

Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery
Alberta, Canada

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by elricorico on 10-17-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by GrimmReaper:
Photo of GrimmReaper
3.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had friends over for Christmas Eve and brought this along for a gift,quite surprising to see,came with a pair of nice glasses too,cracked them open and poured right into the Kolsch glasses and quite a nice deep dark chocolately brown almost black color with a nice big bubbly dark tan head that held up well.Sweet caramel aroma with a hint of coffee and plums.Taste's of coffee,you can tell right away,with strong roasted coffed beans hitting you well,kinda got a dryness to it,with mild sweets of plums and a finish of black licorice finishing it off.Goes down watery,but very easy to consume.Not a bad brew at all,quite enjoyed it,good for this time of the year,good dessert beer...well worth a try.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
2.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I saw this for the first time at the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine show a few years ago, and sampled it then. I recall thinking it wasn't bad, but my impression may have be obscured by the cookies the attractive servers were proffering to go with it, not to mention all the booths I had spent time at prior to stopping by Big Rock's.

This ale pours an opaque black, with reddish tinges. The head is substantial, a light tan, and sticks around for a while. The smell is of bitter roasted coffee malt, but is very faint, even after letting the beer warm in the glass for a while. The flavour has slight nuances of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and spice - nutmeg and cinnamon. Emphasis on the slightness. This beer hints at all of these flavours, but is very light, in taste intensity, as well as in the body. There is also a bit too much carbonation. It is more along the lines of a UK Stout, quite dry, but with admittedly more flavour. It doesn't match up, though, to decent examples of the American Stout style. The drinkability doesn't suffer too greatly, although I'd probably just get bored after a single serving...yup, I did.

Big Rock is like the girl you used to have a lot of good times with, but you've moved on since, and when you see her now, you're disappointed that she hasn't as well. It's not 1993 in beer terms in Alberta anymore...

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Photo of joemcgrath27
2.52/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It appears this beer is back for the fall, part of a fall/winter 6-mixer
A - fully black, thumb of head dissipated fairly quickly to a thin covering with a light but consistent lacing
S - there is a big adjunct aroma along with a sourness, any espresso or malty flavours are overwhelmed by these out of place odours, not a good start
T - more grain and adjunct than maltiness although there are traces of roastiness towards the finish, not really any coffee, it tastes more like a weak brown ale than a stout
M - somewhat thin especially for a stout, finishes just a tad dry
O - disappointing, i like that Big Rock is making the effort to get back to its roots and taking chances, but they've got to be able to do better than this. I'll be using the other bottle for cooking

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Photo of elricorico
3.58/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like this is the fall/winter release from Big Rock Brewery. I picked it up in a four pack with two glasses gift pack. Also comes with some chocolates.

Pours a dark brown with lots of redness to it. Nearly opaque, but some light slips through. A thin tan head formed, and faded to a ring right away.

The coffee smell is relatively faint for a beer with espresso in the name. Roasted barley and slight bitter chocolate fill out the beer. If I had smelled this beer without knowing the name I doubt I would have picked it to be an "espresso" stout.

A bit more smooth coffee flavour is notable in the taste, running from the tip of the tongue right back to the throat. A chocolatey stout flavour comes in about half way through and lingers until the end. Roasted barley finish. Overall it is a pleasant taste.

This doesn't have the body one might expect from a stout, but it isn't watery, it falls somewhere in the middle. The carbonation is low, which suits the style.

A decent beer, but a little subdued for a winter seasonal. Full flavoured for Big Rock, but certainly has room for more.

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Photo of StormAles
4/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Proteus93
3.14/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up from what was presumably an out of date shelf (it was on a separate, sale rack in June) in Jasper

A: Nearly opaque... a deep rusty brown where it does come through. Almost white head which doesn't last long or impress much

S: Not too shabby here... espresso, a cheaper chocolate. Almost a lactose scent... did they add cream to this already? It seems to be a trend in some Canadian places. :P

T + M: Not as impressive as aroma... espresso is there, but rather mild and thin - as is the body. A toasted malt, again, a little unimpressive. Not too bad, but not at all extraordinary.

D: The 5% is easy going, but I'd more likely session an oatmeal stout or something if I wanted this type of thing. Not horrid, though, which counts for something, I suppose.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.06/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting surprise to find from Big Rock, as I had almost given up on expecting to see any more seasonals from them. Comes in a specially souped-up 6-pack case, with four bottles of the Espresso Stout, two tall fluted Kolsch-style glasses, and a small bag of espresso bean chocolates from Les Truffles (a local specialty chocolate producer which the majority of my chocolate-loving friends prefer even to Bernard Callebaut). A nice package overall.

Sampled from one of the glasses it come with, it pours out a deep black, a dark cherry cola hue when held to direct light, with a tight tan head that retains to a thick cap. Sticky webs of lacing in its wake. The nose starts out strong, roasted malt and a touch of coffee, but seems to lose its edge after a short while. The flavour is a vamped up version of their McNally's Extra Reserve stout, not much going on until the finish where the roasted malt and coffee truly seem to make an appearance. Roasted coffee beans linger long on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is also somewhat light for a stout, but similar to other stouts produced by this brewery.

Great marketing with the whole package for this new winter seasonal, I give Big Rock kudos for that. However the actual product itself, the Espresso Stout, comes across as subdued, a bit too mild, and starting to edge closer to a Sleeman product.

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Photo of BigBry
3.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seasonal specialty, special 6 pack box with four bottles of Espresso Stout, two tall fluted Kolsch-style glasses, and a bag of espresso bean chocolates from Les Truffles (a Calgary chocolate company). On sale at Willow Park, have been saving one since winter. I had tasted this at last year's Beerfest, and was pleasantly suprised to see it on the shelves - even if only for a limited time.
Poured into the glass it came with. Color is dark, basically black, deep red when held up to the light. Tan brown foam that retains a good thick head and leaves thin long lasting lacing. The smell has some roasted malt and a bit of coffee. More pronounced as it warms, but not as rich as some other stouts. The flavor is good, blend of roasted malt and coffee. I was mildly disappointed and think this is less flavorful and lots thinner than when I originally tasted it. Seems it may have been toned down a bit for the general public - just my opinion, I could be way off. 'Subdued' is a good description.
Nice to see some more experimenting from Big Rock, look forward to more specialties. Nice package, as I gave a couple to friends for Christmas (rather than bringing wine).

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Photo of bumchilly25
3.25/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of ComradeCanadia
2.61/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I saw this seasonal in a local liquor store so hey, why not? It came with glasses, and that always sells me. This came with some chocolate covere espresso beans (deeelicious) and a couple of kolsch glasses, which are a bonus. I question why kolsch glasses are served with a stout... but oh well.

Appearance - Poured into one of the kolsch glasses, this looks very much a typical stout. Extremely dark reddish brown with a tan head that didn't want to go away and left some pretty lacing. The design on the bottle is also kind of nifty and coffee-shop ish.

Smell - Practically no smell. Drank some more, let it warm a bit... and there's something. Some dark roasted malts, now I smell some coffee, a bit of chocolate, and a great deal of astringency in the nose. What I smell, after a while, is subtle and kind of unpleasant.

Taste - This tastes like... well, guinness with a distinct flavour of chocolate covered espresso beans in the aftertaste. Extremely bland stout to be perfectly honest, but somebody who'd never had a -good- stout might find this a nice baby step up. The aftertaste is not pleasant, though.

Mouthfeel - Way, way, WAY too thin. I know several lagers with more body than this. Considering the light body, this would be better marketed as a porter, but a porter wouldn't be this mild tasting. Carbonation is appropriately mild, but the drink should have more body.

Drinkability - Since this is not very powerful tasting and is kind of thin, I could actually drink a few of these with not minding it.

Overall - I don't know why I was excited with a beer from Big Rock. I really wouldn't complain if somebody gave me one of these and I got a couple of glasses out of the deal.

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Photo of Kmat10
3/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of wordemupg
2.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into pint glass2/11/12

A dark cola with just a short lived finger of foam that fizzes away in seconds with just a patch of lace

S coffee candies, coco and chocolate milk, all very faint the nose is pretty weak not a whole lot going on

T some burnt nuts on top of what I smell, it doesn't taste off or bad but it just has a weak flavor, a little bland

M thin, very thin for a stout, wouldn't surprise me if this was a coffee infused lager. there's enough carbonation to give it some life and perhaps more flavor on the aftertaste then when its in your mouth

O pretty basic stuff and has very little complexity or intensity, that being said its drinkable beer but don't expect the Earth to shake

from my overpriced mixed 6er, 16$? for some pretty average beers, just because you say its craft beer doesn't make it true

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Photo of pootz
3.02/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a deep dark clear mahogany color in the glass... can see light through it if you hold it up to a lamp...decent 2 finger sandy cap doesn't last and laces poorly. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma somewhat subdued not the blast of coffee and roasted malts that you would get from Mill St. or Yukon versions...still a nice subtle aroma of sweet malts and coffee.

Mouth feel is also thin for a stout....actually more reminicent of a porter and rather sparse on the coffee tastes.Certainly not over the top at all...

Roasty malts in the front tend to go almost sweet, too little hop balance but the astringency from the black roast malts and the coffee seem to fill in. Wet finish with a light mocha malt taste.

A very tame one dimensional version of this style but nice enough if you like to drink 3 or more and not get sensory overload from intense coffee infusions or thick filling Stout bodies.

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Photo of biegaman
2.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle courtesy of HogTownHarry.
Hardly even brown in colour, would be considered light even for a porter. A soft, burgundy colour, considerable clarity for the style. An initially hefty head, fades slowly with some good portion lasting. A very astringent roast in the aroma, a stale coffee, more specifically espresso. Actually, watered down espresso. Mouthfeel entirely watered down. A watery, lifeless body. The same body I remember with all their beers, all macro-esque lagers for that matter, watery and without texture or much flavour. Other than a faint espresso (very faint) this has as little flavour as it does texture. No taste, not even aftertaste. This is without... anything. Lifeless and absent. Very poor offering.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.77/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I actually find this to be a rather well done beer. Admittedly, I've not had many espresso stouts, but this is far better than the samplings from Phillip's (unless he improved his efforts).

Appearance is a little weak. Black-ruby-mahogany, with a little more emphasis on the mahogany and ruby rather than the black. Thin tan, cola-like head, not atypical of a stout.

Roasted barley smell with defined, bitter espresso notes. There is a solid coffee smell, with a background of chocolate.

Bitter barley and coffee bean taste. Dark chocolate essences. Not terribly complex or exciting, but that basic coffee and stout flavours are there. Far superior to Phillip's: the flavours are solid, definite, and there is no wateriness or weakness to this.

A little light on the body, especially for a stout and a winter release at that. Carbonation, despite the thin head, does seem a little too much. Drinkable, but be forewarned: espresso implies bitter, and this is truly an espresso stout.

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Photo of speedonthis
2.8/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of trevorwideman
3.18/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Flatlanders Feer Fest, Wpg.

Very dark wth good head retention, mild carbonation. Smell is of weak coffee, not the espresso advertised. Reminds me of bad restaurant coffee. Roasted malt rounds off the uneventful nose.

Taste is mild with the coffee in the forefront, some chocolate/caramel sweetness in there too, and roasted malt. Mild creamy mouthfeel and not overcarbonated. This isn't too exciting but it's solid. I just wish it had more coffee in it to live up to its name. Nonetheless, a decent try from Big Rock and easy drinking.

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Photo of aychbomb
2.89/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

purchaced this seasonal brewas a 4 pack with 2 kolsh like Big Rock glasses and a pack of coffee chocolates (the chocolates where great)
appearance: black, slightly opaque with some deep red highlights. absolutly no head on this one, looks like a glass of coca-cola.
Smell: very mild roasted malt , subtle coffee and chocolate aroma. no disernable hop smell
Taste: weak, bland. taste like a light lager
Mouthfeel: Thin, watery. mildly carbonated.
drinkability:genraly dissapointing, sold as a stout; yet no stout characteristics (maby swartsbier?) at least i got 2 nice glasses and a pack of good chocolate outta the deal.

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Photo of Scrylol
2.81/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a black body with some ruby tones. One finger beige head that disappears really fast. Bit disappointing about that.

Bit of roasted coffee aroma backed by chocolate milk and caramel malt notes.

Slight roasted character to the taste. Little coffee flavor, very subtle chocolate milk and caramel malt presence. Not a lot going on here.

Very watery, almost no body to it at all. Decent carbonation.

Well, at least they are trying to get back into craft, but this wasn't up to standards compared to other coffee stouts.

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Photo of ihmurria
2/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of fisherman34
2.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled sample. Near black in colour with hints of red. Aromas of plum, sweet milk chocolate, and a little bit of coffee. Flavors are of roasted malts... so there are elements of nuts, chocolate, and a bit of caramel. Aside from a bit of extra acidity, the coffee/espresso element is very subdude. I’ve had several stouts with more coffee flavor thad had no real coffee in them whatsoever. Medium carbonation, and a somewhat watery texture. Average.

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Photo of schnarr84
3.5/5  rDev +14%

Big Rock Espresso Stout from Big Rock Brewery
Beer rating: 3.07 out of 5 with 22 ratings