Big Rock Winter Spice Ale | Big Rock Brewery

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Big Rock Winter Spice AleBig Rock Winter Spice Ale

Brewed by:
Big Rock Brewery
Alberta, Canada

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Big Rock McNally's Winter Spice Ale

Added by biboergosum on 12-07-2008

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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of derdtheterd
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Lucaskowalik
2.44/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured from refrigerated 330 mL bottle into a chalice
A- Clear and coppery with a light bubbly head which quickly dissipated
S- Cinnamon and nutmeg with notes of caramel although the smell is very underwhelming
T- Spiced like apple pie albeit fairly watery
M- Light and short-lived, very uninteresting
O- Overall it is a very drinkable beer but it is not as comforting as the title suggest. I much prefer Granville Island's winter offering.

 440 characters

Photo of FadetoBock
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BCborn
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of PJT
2.94/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Shadman
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bunman3
3.49/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks promising, but ultimately succumbs to its innate "Big Rockiness". The smells, tastes, and depth are lacking for a winter warmer. Sampled on tap - I might need to give it a fair chance in bottle form. Overall, though, you can easily find much better winter beers...

 270 characters

Photo of Mlkluther
3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Likely the best offering from Big Rock I have had in a long time. Not as good as Granville's winter spice offering - but this is the first big rock beer I might buy again on purpose.

 182 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jcubz
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very much a big rock beer. Feels like they go half way into the style so that mainstream will still buy.

104 characters

Photo of Corson
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Tivlavrie
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.69/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle decanted into a tulip glass. A ruby copper red with a finger of impermanent sudsy off-white head.

Has a typical "Big Rock smell", if you know what I mean. If you don't, sweet caramel malts galore, a slight graininess, apple and pear like fruity esters ... There is of course an added spice bouquet that is pleasant if not exactly overwhelming.

Taste is a toffee base seasoned with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla. Quite sweet. Cooked apples and pears. A slight boozy rum note. Body on the thick side with moderate carbonation. Finishes quite sweet as well, with a whiff of grain husk and lingering dry pumpkin pie spices.

Worth sampling if you like spiced beers. Should not be considered essential tasting. Too much typical old school Big Rock character (see aroma notes above).

 789 characters

Photo of LDuke
3.39/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Eric_Standard
3.11/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Earth, spices, hops, malt, caramel, bread - lots of good flavours that work well for a winter ale. The spices are rather muted however, and could use some oomph to bring the taste in line with the expectations conjured by the name and brewery's description. Not bad by any means, but not quite what I expected.

 310 characters

Photo of imfinished
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of joesi
3.24/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(look rating was just used to balance out my rating; I don't care about looks, it's silly to do so)

Very little smell, which I found surprising, but I don't care about. Smells of caramel.

Medium-low carbonation level, with a medium amount of creaminess with a swish.

Mild caramel (reminiscent of some sort of Innis and Gunn) and hops seem like the dominating flavors here. In fact, just beer (lager) flavors in general are the most prominent flavors, like a hoppy doppelbock or something. I think I also tasted some ginger here, but it may have just been cinnamon/nutmeg as they didn't mention any ginger. It reminded me of some ginger-flavored beer, namely Ginja Ninja, a beer which had an extremely mild/minor ginger taste. I didn't notice that much other spice though really, which is the whole reason I got this, so it was rather disappointing in that sense.

Overall very mild in tastes aside from regular beer tastes.
No doubt that it is good as a beer in general, but it was bland/boring for me and a bit disappointing. I was probably expecting too much of it though based off the label's description, and having had a Unibroue La Resolution a few weeks previously which was absolutely amazing (it had lots of spice, especially clove flavor, but good luck finding one).

 1,280 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of leaddog
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Big Rock brought this brew back as part of their Brewmaster's limited edition brews.

Appearance - Pours a clear copper with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell - bready caramel malts, cinnamon, clove, hint of nutmeg, hint of ginger, and gingerbread scent aromas.

Taste - Starts off with the bready caramel malts then goes into the cinnamon, clove, hint of nutmeg and ginger.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with the lingering spices.

Overall - A pleasant winter spiced ale. The spices are all there for the style. Only knock on this one would be to ramp up the spices but otherwise an enjoyable winter spiced ale. I am digging the label on this one as it reminds me of snowshoeing on some of the picturesque trails in the mountains.

 770 characters

Photo of Howlader
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Kmat10
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of schnarr84
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of IanSpindler
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Scrylol
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Been a long time since I've last had this beer. New packaging and labels compared to the older version.

Pours a one finger white head that disappears quickly. Dark ruby red body.

Aroma consists of hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves backed by sweet, caramel malt. Smells pretty similar to a pumpkin ale in terms of spices.

Grainy, caramel malt taste backed by the spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Slight taste of ginger in the back. Nice balance on the spices. Leaves a dry, semi-sweet malty taste.

Unlike other beers from Big Rock, this beer seems to have a bit of body to it - a very nice and welcome change. Nice amount of carbonation.

Seems to have improved since I last had it in 2010. Definitely Big Rock's best beer, but that's not saying much when compared to other beers that are in the same price range. Still, a decent winter warmer.

 855 characters

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Big Rock Winter Spice Ale from Big Rock Brewery
3.51 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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