Big Bad Dog Old English Ale | Blue Cat Brew Pub

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
Blue Cat Brew Pub
Illinois, United States

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The name says it all. This Old English Ale is full-bodied and well rounded. The deep mahogany color and sweet malty flavor makes it a favorite.

26.3 IBU

Added by bashiba on 12-04-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by Josievan:
Photo of Josievan
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Paired well with the Reuben and bread pudding with caramel sauce!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bashiba
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Big Bad Dog came in a nice pint glass. It was a very deep hazy brown color with a nice thick creamy tan head that laced well.

Smell was a nice sweet maltiness with a touch of caramel and Mocha.

Taste was slightly more subdued than I would expect for this style of beer. Still good however. Nice dark maltiness up front with a slight woody charachter and a touch of yeastyness. Not as sweet as I would have expected from the smell. Small earthy hoppiness at the finish.

Mouthfeel was full and warming and overall very pleasant.

Drinkability is pretty good on this one, I enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of morimech
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Rowold27
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ineedafirkin
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of tbone64
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Cubsfan1087
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big Bad Dog is one of the few Blue Cat beers I've had. Big Bad Dog is a very dark beer. I also thought it tasted very much like a stout, almost to the point where I thought it was a stout. It has some good flavor, and its a slightly bitter. I would drink Big Bad Dog again, but I prefer Blue Cat's Off the Rail Pale Ale.

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Photo of gunclubchris
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of dannycohen62
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of sprucetip
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. White board states abv is 6.5%.

Nice tan head with retention and thick lacing. Mahogany with orange-ish highlights.

Rich and malty, grainy, but faint and hard to find after initial pour and sniff.

Swet and malty up front with some roasted malt influence, and a bitterness increasing in the late middle and lingering into and a bit beyond the finish.

Carbonation is restrained but nice. Overall, feels a bit on the thin side.

Could easily drink more than one. Not too big, not too thin, and plenty of flavor. Apparently this is one of 3 year round, flag ship beers at Blue Cat.

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Photo of alostplot
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of cdkrenz
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The body is the color of deep mohogany. It has a thick nitro-like head with excellent stamina. The best Old English Ale look I've ever witnessed.

S - Medium roasted malts that don't call much attention.

T - The flavors are rich in malt with a sliightly burnt tatse adding some nice character. Nothing out of the ordinary here, it's pretty straight forward, which is okay.

M - The beer is smooth and thich. The nitro-likeness carries over into the texture in this brew. It does have a nice stickiness to it that aids in bringing it up a notch.

~ This is a good drinker. It offers a nice clean and clear 'head' that makes for me wanting a another, and maybe more. Too bad myself and my coworkers cashed the brewpub's last keg... for now.

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Photo of ffshore545
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of scoobybrew
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served from the tap at the brewpub in a pint glass. The color is very dark with a nice head that settles a bit, but is well retained. The aroma is slightly malty, but no more, which I understand, is not too uncommon for the style. The taste is a very smooth. There is a nice balance between the roasted grains and earthy hop character. There is a very slight hop finish. It has a medium body, with low carbonation.

Unfortunately, this is a style I have little experience with, so my ratings might be a little skewed due to this fact. I think this is a very drinkable beer, but a bit too strong for a normal session beer at a brewpub. This would probably get me in trouble as the smoothness goes down very easily. I'm glad my wife is driving (as usual).

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Photo of jgarvis
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Half-full
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16oz pint, poured on tap

Appearance: Dark brown garnet beer with good clarity and a creamy light tan finger of cap with decent retention.

Smell: Light notes of dark fruits with dark caramel as well...simple and light, but not unpleasant

Taste: Very mild peat smoke...mild caramel, and light notes of dark fruit as well

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: A tasty, but very light version of an English Old Ale...they've had some continuity issues with this beer between batches, but when it's good, it's pretty good.

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Photo of antichuckmoore
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of muddyh2oblues
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Tanner_O
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
1.96/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Went an entire day on my beer road trip without a beer. We took a detour to Blue Cat Brew Pub to remind us what beer taste like. Wiseman Justin reporting on July 28, 2010 from Rock Island, IL.

I love this style and I review beers a lot. This review is clearly the outlier. I'm not sure what happened but I review honestly this is my review.

Appearance: Light can be seen around the edges. A deep amber; the rest of the beer is a very dark brown. Head is almost non-existent. A tight ring was seen at the top of the beer but even that dissapeared. Absolutely no lacing. The more of the beer I drank, the worse the appearance got. When it was half full it no longer looked dark brown and the entire thing was a cola colored amber. (2.5)

Smell: A sweet "plum" smell dominates the noise. Very malty plums... The smell also reminded all of us, comically I might add, of grape flavored cool-aid. The grape flavored cool aid smell was not a good thing. (1.5)

Taste: Yugh... I figured out why they called it a bad dog (if by dog they mean beer). Taste exactly like it smells. Plums and grape koolaid. They should just rename this beer Old English Grape Koolaid ale. The finish is malty and not very interesting. The 6.5% alcohol was not mastked that well (2.0)

Mouthfeel: Maybe the taste is tricking my mouth but it kind a reminds me of a flat Dr. Pepper. Less syrupy but cola like. Still it is okay for the style (3.5)

Drinkability: This beer neither taste very good nor does it have a very high alcohol percentage. Basically I can't think of a single reason to every drink this beer again (or to even finish my glass). (1.5)

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep mahogonay with hazy ruby highlights. Lacing is very slight.

Smell is huge pleasant malty mustiness. Hints of caramel and dark fruit.

Taste is dark malt with a sweet-sour mustiness. dark fruit and caramel. Mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full. Very smooth.

This is a very unusual and tasty treat. Quite complex.

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Photo of mynie
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An old ale? Woah.

Pours blood red, like Aqai berry juice with a big, white head.

Smells vinous and fruity. Waaay fruity. Like, Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum, some Good n' Fruity candies, apple juice, and then some medium bitter and spicy hops to balance it out. Nice.

When drank, the fruit esters seem to shrink. What's left is a large, caramel malt. Tons o' dextrin, a little caramely, a little biscuity. The fruit comes back in the middle, still downplayed, and then there's a standard blend of bitter and spicy hops.

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Big Bad Dog Old English Ale from Blue Cat Brew Pub
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 24 ratings