India Pale Ale
Big Rock Brewery

India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #7,137
ABV:
5%
Score:
73
Ranked #49,386
Avg:
2.97 | pDev: 16.84%
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
83
From:
Big Rock Brewery
 
Alberta, Canada
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  0
Gots
  14
SCORE
73
Okay
India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale
Notes: If hoppy makes you happy, this Pacific Northwest-style IPA is your beer. We brew it with two kinds of delicious Yakima Valley Cascade hops, in such a way as to deliver the maximum heavenly hoppiness to your tastebuds, with the minimum bitterness.
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

2.09/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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 blue colored main label has a picture of a snowy mountain gorge and the letters 'IPA', a well as 'India Pale Ale', just in case you did not know what it stood for. Described as, “Traditionally Brewed in Canada”.

Appearance: Amber color with a white head that stays at ½” for a minute, or two, before it totally disappears. Minimal carbonation. This looks old, but there is no freshness date on the bottle, and it looks new, so I guess it is fresh – I will assume so.

Nose: Sweaty grass, with a moldy odor and damp biscuit malt. Nothing like a lambic mustiness which I would not mind – this is more of an “old” locker-room sweaty sock smell. Rather offensive.

Taste: Awful, not to my liking at all. An aged mustiness is all pervasive, and ruins the beer completely. Has a taste of damp grass, germinated malts, and a sweet biscuit aspect in the middle that is totally out of place for an IPA. Only the mustiness lingers, and I wish it would go away. Did I miss the Hops? Guess So.

Mouthfeel: Extremely light. What it does have, is short lived.

Drinkability: Not my favorite beer, a bit of a struggle, and one I would definitely pass on if I had the unfortunate experience of being offered one at a Canadian BBQ.

Overall: An experience soon forgotten. A poor beer both in quality and exponentiation of the IPA style, and that’s being Polite.
A “Small Pebble”, rather than a “Big Rock”.

Jul 14, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of MilkLeg
MilkLeg from Canada (AB)

3.33/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For a while it was the only IPA I drank on the reg. Now I drink it and I'm like, "this is an IPA?", but it worked well as a transition to what would become my favorite style of brew.

Feb 19, 2016
Photo of Jordan
Jordan from California

1.53/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

...........oh my. Like my counterpart, there is no relationship with the IPA style! None! Why would someone knowingly put this on the market, and sell it as the genuine article? Even if one were to drink this for it's own 'unique' qualities, you wouldn't find any. Boring alchohal and synthetic caramel malt aromas, paper thin body, and an odd sour astringency from start to finish. R.I.P. Big Rock Brewers, you will soon be out of a business. This is perhaps the worst beer I have ever sampled.

Sep 06, 2002
Photo of the42ndtourist
the42ndtourist from Canada (ON)

2.6/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

disappointing. My first beer back in Canada after 9 months away... I went into the local beer store, took a while to choose - very few micros here. I didn't feel like Unibroue, and KLB doesn't come in sixes. So there was Big Rock. They're pretty hit and miss - this is a miss

a reddish amber hue, with a thin head on top. This doesn't stick around. Some corn in the body, along with some slight roast malts. Hops are recalcitrant to say the least (especially in a new world IPA). No distinguishing flavour to this beer, unfortunately.

Goes down more easily than most Molson or Labatt products, at least (less corn in the Big Rock).

Jun 30, 2004
Photo of Shiloh
Shiloh from Canada (ON)

2.67/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a darker golden...almost amber with a very thin head and slight glass ring.....medium to full body with a very light carbonation.....The taste is of the hops with a lingering bitterness..
Not a beer that I would recomend....and I have 5 more of them.....

Jan 12, 2003
Photo of slitherySOB
slitherySOB from Canada (ON)

3.07/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Definitely not a hop monster. A thirst quencher, nothing more. Big Rock IPA pours an almost orange colour, with a fingernail of foam for a head. Lace sticks to the glass lightly, giving it an almost residual look. Smells a bit hoppy. Lemon and grass. Sweet malt as well, which dominates the scent. I know this isn't going to be a strong IPA. Tastes better than I thought. Lightly sweet, crisp, dry and grassy. Their is an earthy bitterness. Not very hoppy, but more hoppy than a usual pale ale. Aftertaste is crisp and grassy yet again. Good on a hot day like today. Carbonated mouthfeel leaves the mouth quenched. Decent session beer, but not for someone looking for a hop bomb, or even a hop firecracker.

Oct 12, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
Popsinc from Canada (ON)

2.29/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The pour is of a nice amber colour accompanied by a minimal white head. Right off the bat the nose gets my attention. Why? Beacause this is absolutely NOT what i expected from an IPA. Dull malty notes and grainy sweetness. The taste does not get much better. Like a bad malt liquor this beer is grainy and matly sweet with little depth or mouthpleasing qualities. The mouthfeel is fizzy and the body is light with a watered-down finish. I was quite disappointed considering I quite enjoy the big Rock Traditional Ale & Warthog Ale.

Thumbs down.

May 25, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead from Canada (BC)

3.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is nice to see the Magpie and the IPA back in stores again but I agree with other reviewers that the craft market has evolved and Big Rock needs to step their game up if they want some respect in that consumer group. This is a weird beer because as an IPA it fails completely but as an amber ale it actually is not bad. The problem is lack of hops even for an English style IPA this is malt forward. It is very drinkable , nicely balanced and quite a full mouthfeel for a Big Rock beer but it tastes like an amber ale. No IPA but a decent beer from a brewery in need of a winner.

Jul 31, 2011
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef from Minnesota

2.79/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

IPA? I don't think so. Color is fine, a lighter amberish glowing hue with a firm one finger high head of white foam, leaves some drippy lace. Smell is musty grass, slightly sweet with a bit of a hop and malt note, but overall musty sourness, not to pleasant, sorry to say. Taste is a little bit sweet of malt and grains, musty as well, but weak and thinned out. Hardly even a pale and non compliant to being an IPA. Where's the hops already? Feel is light, thin, pale, and watery, drinkable, nah, passable, yah. Sorry Big Rock, you're not so big here.

Jun 08, 2003
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

2.61/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big Rock had a pretty decent pale ale out a few years ago called Chinook that I rather liked. It suddenly disappeared and was replaced by this IPA, which is more of a pseudo-IPA. The colour is a nice deep gold, but the head is lacking, and retention is a no show. The nose is hoppy, as is the flavour, and it lingers in the aftertaste as well. Normally I stand behind the Big Rock Brewery, they do some mighty fine work, but this particular offering is disappointing.

May 27, 2003
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82 from Georgia

2.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sent as a part of BIF 13 (from hell) package by drewbage, this had the potential of being a decent brew, as I generally like the style.

The beer poured with classic IPA look, orange amber body, and a creamy off-white head leaving lots of lace. The aroma was very subdued, with earthy English hops, and light notes of alcohol. The taste was very bland, with a caramel sweetness, hop bitterness, and citrus twang in very light proportions. The mouthfeel was crisp and dry.

This appears to be representative of the school of thought, that IPAs were traditionally brewed extra strong for the ocean voyage and diluted after getting to India. This pretty much tastes like an American Double IPA mixed with equal parts water. I prefer for them to hold the water and pass the beer to me straight from the ship.

Nov 03, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

2.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Can: Poured a light yellow color ale with a small foamy head with medium retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of light dry hoppy notes with a light sweet malt backbone. Taste consists of dry hoppy notes with lightly sweet malt backbone. Body is about average as well as carbonation. Definitely short on the hops side of things.

Aug 16, 2013
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

2.15/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I saw a few singles of this at the liquor store and although Im not a fan of Big Rock beers I thought it was worth a try.

It pours a deep gold color with a wispy head and some nice lace. The carbonation is very sparse, strangely so. The aroma is of diacetyl and cooked vegetables, horrible. The taste is a little better, it reminds me of a highly hopped macro lager. Theres a strong adjunct flavor that mingles with some hop bitterness. The finish is sweetish and theres an underlying gasoline flavor. The mouthfeel is thick and even mouthcoating, its the opposite of 'crisp' I guess.

Alleged 'IPAs' like this and the dreadful Alexander Keith's are doing a disservice to Canadian Brewing. They lack the hops, strength and even the malt character of real IPAs. All I can say is thank god for Scotch Irish and their mighty IPAs.

Dec 04, 2004
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This came out of a nice box sent to me by CANTrader, BigBry, who knows that CANned CANadian beer is a real treat for The CANQuest (TM), if you CAN dig it!

From the CAN: "India Pale Ale [-] A classic ale with a golden amber colour, dry-hopped to lend a distinctive character. Spicy. warm, slightly smoky. Settles the dust on a warm prairie evening."; "Simple ingredients. Extraordinary taste. Truly C[AN]adian."; "Big Rock Brewery Brewing Real Beer Since 1985".

The Crack revealed a brimful CAN and the inverted Glug unleashed two dense, foamy fingers of tawny head with good retention on a breezy, humid 4th of July. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity and loads of CO2 bubbles in evidence. Nose had an upfront caramel-malt sweetness underlain by a minty, grassy scent. Mouthfeel was on the thin side and the taste, while not overly hoppy, still had a slight pepperiness to go with the biscuity maltiness on the tongue. I kind of got what they were talking about with "slightly smoky" on the finish, but I am not sure that I would have perceived it strongly enough to remark on it had they not imparted it on the label. It was a decent EIPA, which has different parameters from its AIPA cousin. I was disappointed the first time I had an EIPA, but that was so long ago that I have learned what to expect from the style. It was decent, but one would probably satiate me.

Jul 04, 2013
Photo of ericj551
ericj551 from Canada (AB)

2.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big rock IPA pours a bright copper with little head. The aroma is malty and slightly nutty with a herbal, slighty metallic hops. The flavor is like a well balanced pale ale, with some raisiny malt and a moderate bitterness. More herbal, earthy and slightly floral hops pop up in the finish. Overall a pretty mild IPA, hopwise.

Jan 16, 2012
Photo of DrJay
DrJay from Texas

2.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very clear golden amber colour. Large rocky white head settled rapidly to a thin lace. The majority of the aroma came from malt - grainy, caramel and some sweetness. There was also a small amount of earthy hop aroma.

Same earthy hops in the flavour, still on the low side. Balanced towards grainy sweetness with a mild, yet harsh, bitterness. Medium/light body and moderate carbonation. Short, medium dry finish. Not what I expect from an IPA.

341 mL brown bottle, no freshness date on label or bottle.

Apr 16, 2005
Photo of 3Vandoo
3Vandoo from Canada (QC)

2.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very pale beer very yellow, there pale ale and there are PALE ale, very pale I thought my beer was now albinos or looked liked Mr. Jackson.
Not much head, nothing much and not much carbonisations, a very dull beer to look at.

Smells of caramel and a wee shy bit of malt, nothing much to brag about.

taste was in the following, caramel, maltish then hops and very boring.

Mar 03, 2005
Photo of BigBry
BigBry from Canada (AB)

2.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

New packaging from Big Rock, now in a tall 473 ml can. Similar style as their other new labels. Yellow background with stylized I P A - India pale ale.
"A classic ale with a golden amber colour, dry-hopped to lend a distinctive character. Spicy, warm, slightly smoky. Settles the dust on a warm prairie evening.:
Light amber with a small white head that disappears fairly quickly.
Tried as hard as I could, but couldn't pick up hoppiness. I was expecting lots of pine, or citrus, but just the faintest grain smell.
Taste: about the same. I was expecting more, maybe not the juicy, fruity hop bitterness like some NW IPAs, but still, little or no bitterness or hop flavor in this beer.
Average body and mouth feel, moderate carbonation.
Disappointing, as much of an IPA as Alexander Keith's IPA.

Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Derek
Derek from Canada (BC)

3.61/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At 5.5%, definitely a session IPA... leaning towards an ESB. I like the Fuggles, but the hopping isn't what you'd expect.

Clear copper with an off-white head, good retention & lace. It really is a great looking brew.

Aroma of earthy mineral, figs, grainy biscuit, a bit of rind. This is echoed in the flavour, with a modest bitterness (40 IBU?).

Moderate body has a hint of residual sweetness with a dry finish.

Overall a nice brew, but a fairly modest IPA.

Jan 21, 2012
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros from Canada (ON)

2.81/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear amber with an OK head.

S - Nose is caramel and molasses. Kind of an off-ish aroma.

T - OK, there's some hops here and some oomph in the malt. husky grain, caramel and roasted bitterness. Sorely lacking in hoppy aromatics though.

M - OK body. A little heft is nice.

D - Wouldn't turn down a free one, but there are better choices out there.

Nov 09, 2011
Photo of fisherman34
fisherman34 from Canada (MB)

2.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A light copper IPA. It was much lighter in both appearance and flavor than I was expecting. Smelled like what you would expect from an "almost macro, not quite micro anymore" kind of brewery: some nice but very weak floral and malt aromas. A bit on the watery side going down, with less malt caramel malt flavor than other IPA's I've had. Easy drinking, but not anything special. Closer to a real IPA than Keiths, but not by much.

Sep 16, 2005
Photo of Noxious26
Noxious26 from Canada (SK)

3.1/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Nice, clear, orange-copper colour. Head is off-white, but what little there is on the pour quickly disappears to a thin ring around the edge.

Aroma is both hoppy and malty. Reasonably balanced, but perhaps leaning a little towards the hop side. A bit of sweetness in caramel undertones.

Taste is mildly hoppy with some sweet/malt undertones. Finishes lightly bitter moving into a piney-hop bitter aftertaste. A little bit of a grainy undertone throughout.

Mouthfeel is fairly crisp and clean. Moderately carbonated and light-medium bodied.

This is a pretty uncomplicated, clean tasting beer. Only, instead of being labeled an English IPA, I'd put it more in the English Pale Ale bracket. However, even then it's just average. None the less, this is still preferable to Rickard's "IPA" or Keith's "IPA".

Nov 03, 2005
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.28/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This one looks like an old fashioned IPA - deep tone and caramel colour, blurred clarity and thin head, Big Rock IPA may hail from the 'New World' but it has the features of a quintessentially British India Pale. If appearances suggest anything, this one will be more malty than hoppy.

Big Rock claims this is a "Pacific Northwest-style IPA" that is dry-hopped with Cascades, but I don't get that at all. This aroma doesn't smell any more like flowers or grass or citrus than it does cardboard or biscuits or stale bread. The only hoppiness noted is of the earthy, slightly stinky, fall day-in-the-woods kind. It's very English - not even remotely American.

The hops failed to impress me and, unfortunately, the malts aren't any more likely to win me over. They have a very stale flavour (like cereal grain that was lost in the back of the cupboard) and impart notes of cheap caramel (the kind made with corn syrup) as well as honey and syrup, both the kinds that come in plastic bottles (which, I'll point out, are also diluted with corn syrup).

This IPA really doesn't give hops the attention they deserve. The mouthfeel finishes more sweet than bitter and nowhere along the way has any particularly citric, resiny, or herbal elements of note. It could hardly qualify for the "pale ale" realm - even novice hop-heads will want more.

Hoppy does make me happy but this, despite its slogan, is a sad attempt at an IPA. There's nothing honest about this beer - it's not hoppy, and it doesn't register as much of an IPA nor a true craft beer. I didn't expect much of Big Rock but this paid more mind to commercial appeal than even I anticipated. Too bad, because that's really not what this style is about.

Nov 24, 2014
Photo of mrmanning
mrmanning from Canada (ON)

2.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle- Dark gold pour with good froth atop and nice lace. Strange aroma is funk, with some malt/hop aromas, grains, and slight leaf. Bitter hoppy flavours with mild malt to back it up. Bready bitter finish with just a touch of sweetness. Nothing fantastic, but better than most of the BMC fare available in this area.

Mar 14, 2010
Photo of mintjellie
mintjellie from Canada (ON)

2.18/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Pale copper. Beige head doesn't retain or lace well. Malty biscuit aroma with supporting grapefruit and floral notes. Doesn't seem hoppy enough for an American IPA, as the blurb on the can claims it. The flavour confirms it too. Malt forward and a little sweet. Gentle white grapefruit juice and citrus pith, and an overly shy bitterness for the style.

Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Feels a little too light. Not Bud Light watery, but just a little bit too insubstantial. Not a terrible beer. Just a mediocre one.

May 16, 2015
India Pale Ale from Big Rock Brewery
Beer rating: 73 out of 100 with 83 ratings