Big Rock Barrel Aged Edition – Oak Flemish Red

Reviewed by on January 13, 2018 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Rock Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: January 13, 2018

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Flanders Red Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

This ‘Oak Flemish Red’ is part of a pricey box-set trio of barrel-aged brews released by Big Rock before the recent Christmas season.

This 500ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium red-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy tan head, which leaves a bit of random mitochondrial lace around the glass as it quickly evaporates.

It smells of tart red cherries, bready and doughy caramel malt, subtle vanillan barrel notes, a bit of earthy mustiness, and very, very faint leafy, weedy, and floral noble hop bitters.  The taste is gritty and grainy cereal malt, some muddled red berry fruitiness, fading generic oak, more subtle under the basement stairs musty essences, and some still well-understated earthy, herbal, and dead floral ‘verdant’ hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly restrained in its bored-seeming frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and more or less smooth, as the sour factor here is pleasant enough in its inoffensive bearing.  It finishes off-dry, the malt and muted fruit character lingering with what we’ll call, just for shits and giggles, ‘panache’.

Overall – well, it looks like Big Rock has gone 2 for 3 in this set, at least in terms of flavour.  This one certainly approximates the traditional version of the style, if in a mawkish, and obedient manner – however, as already alluded to, it is redundant to use the word ‘oak’ anywhere near a Flanders or Flemish red ale – it’s implied, marketing peeps!

Brady White



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