Big Rock Bitter

Reviewed by on September 28, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Rock Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: September 28, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English Bitter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Big Rock Bitter is the second ‘new’ part of the recently released 1985 throwback mixed pack from Big Rock, their promotion tied to the 30th anniversary of their operations. And at less than 9 bucks a sixer, they’re off to a pretty good start!

This 330ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, and somewhat rocky off-white head, which leaves some dense tree branch lace around the glass as things evenly recede.

It smells of bready, crackery pale malt, a bit of biscuity breadiness, subtle apple skin and citrus rind fruity notes, a touch of smoky peppercorn, and understated earthy, leafy, and mildly herbal hops. The taste is bready, doughy, and fairly biscuity caramel malt, underripe apples and pears, fading citrus peel, some free-range, and strangely innocuous yeast, and steady leafy, weedy, and herbal hop bitters. The carbonation is fairly light and inviting in its well-rounded frothiness, the body a decent middleweight for the proclaimed style, and pretty smooth, for something, as just inferred, called a bitter. It finishes off-dry, but leaning increasingly towards the latter, as the indistinct hoppiness keeps me hanging’ on (a reference a year or so too late for the general conceit here).

Not a bad brew overall, and lacking (I think) that typical modern day Big Rock yeast thing – did the throwback effort include some kind of time capsule recipe manipulation? Hard to say, but I’d drink this one again, especially if I myself time traveled back to my main Big Rock imbibing days on Whyte Avenue during the mid to late 90s.

Brady White

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