Big Rock McNally’s Extra

Reviewed by on November 12, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Rock Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB

  • Rated On: June 20, 2013

  • Best Before: November 16, 2013

  • ABV: 7.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Irish Red Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Named after brewery founder Ed McNally, who in 1986 wanted to make an Irish-style beer that reflected his heritage. McNally’s was by far my favorite bottled offering from Big Rock back in my university days. I recall it being a participant in the first time that I ever had beer for dinner – I arrived at an extended family gathering, too late for dinner, but just in time for dessert – so I proceeded to make cake and McNally’s my sustenance that evening (and learned a valuable gastrointestinal lesson as a result).

This 341ml bottle pours a clear, medium orange brickish amber hue, with two slim fingers puffy, loosely foamy, and yet still creamy off-white head, which leaves some pleasantly random trailing lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves. Inviting as all get-out, this one is.

It smells of lightly buttery, bready caramel malt, a prominent oily nuttiness, mild earthy, floral hops, and a small whiff of metallic alcohol. The taste is caramel malt, with a hint of toffee, more underwhelming, but decent bar nuts, a bit of apple fruitiness, grassy, earthy hops, and a very slight, man-up sort of alcoholic awakening. The carbonation is moderate, nothing too invasive, the body a pretty solid medium weight, and surprisingly quite smooth. It finishes well off-dry, the malt still the star here, the nuts bleeding off, and the booze kind of twiddling its thumbs.

A very easy to drink, amped-up Irish ale, which, as already mentioned, goes well with many sorts of ‘food’. Maybe a tad on the sweet side, but the extra alcohol and subtle noble hops balance that out nicely. It’s not difficult to see why this is one of the longer-lived products in Big Rock’s line of ales.

Brady White

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