Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager – Big Rock Brewery (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [C-],  I gave it a (2.3 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager – Big Rock Brewing, 5% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

printed on the front right-side of the can:

“Juniper berries are what give gin its distinctive delicious flavour. And, in our experience, citrusy pine and cascade hops combined with pale, vienna and caramel malts make for a crisp, refreshing, easy-drinking lager. So with a mad-scientist glint in our eye, we crushed juniper berries right into the wort at the boil stage of this brew. This sublime fusion results in a summer thirstbuster you’ll want in the fridge this year.”

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  • Style: (Juniper Berry) Flavoured Pale Lager
  • Taste: Biting pine-grapefruit hoppy malt with mild juniper background
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours clear bright golden orange with a massive semi-lasting bubbly head, barely any lacing, several steady micro streams.

Nose: mild honeyed malts, hints of muskiness. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: biting crispness, incoming hops

Mid-palate: medium bodied, (lvl-4)-semi-dry sweetness, (MAIN) sharp bitter pine hops, bitter grapefruit, light toffee malts

Finish: underlying juniper berry, continued bitter hoppy malty finish.

Summary: Mild juniper, hardly has any impact; The hops make the most impression. All four flavours in this 12-pack were mediocre. Try another brewery if you want something special.

Saaz Republic Pilz – Big Rock Brewing (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [D-],  I gave it a (1.6 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Saaz Republic Pilz – Big Rock Brewing, 4.9% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

printed on the front right-side of the can:

“Tiny motorcycles shoot by as you sit under an umbrella on a quaint cobbled street in the midday sun. This is the beer you quaff as you struggle with how you got to Europe and how any drink can be quite this refreshing, with its mild bitterness, slight hop middle and clean finish. The answer lies in genuine Czech hops combined with Alberta malts, dedication and pride. Like any fine European-style Pilsner, its golden yellow body sports a dense white head.”

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  • Style: Pilsener
  • Taste: Plain barley malt numbness soft hopped bitterness
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: why bother?

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours clear golden apple juice yellow, smallish bubbly quickly dissipating head, a super thin layer of retention, lots of singular steady streams.

Nose: musky barley malt, hints of shellfish. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: palate numbness, crisp-fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) malt liquor, barley malt, yeasty, hints of red apple,

Finish: clean soft bitter hops, fading body, fizzy-tingly hopped bitter finish.

Summary: Extremely non-enticing with a shellfish nose. Way better brews out there, why bother?

Grasshopper Wheat Ale – Big Rock Brewing (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [D+],  I gave it a (2.1 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Grasshopper Wheat Ale – Big Rock Brewing, 5% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

printed on the front right-side of the can:

“Ever watch the setting sun turn a field of wheat into a blanket of spun gold? If you could capture that feeling, you’d be holding it right now. At the heart of this world-class Kristallweizen is the very best of Alberta’s legendary wheat and barley. The soft sweetness is balanced by a light touch of hops for a clean finish that gently caresses your mouth. Its pure prairie goodness pours gloriously too, like liquid sunshine capped by fluffy white clouds.”

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  • Style: Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Sweet liquid grainy malt w/ hint of citrus
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours clear golden yellow-orange, no head, thin ringed retention, many steady streams.

Nose: Almost mute; just a touch of grainy barley malt. (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming grainy malts

Mid-palate: thin-bodied, watery mouthfeel, light fizzy, (lvl-4)-sweetness, light metallic, (MAIN) barley malt, bready-grainy, a hint of spiciness + citrus

Finish: a touch yeasty, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Don’t bother, nothing special here. Plain and boring.

Cuvée Bru Druivenbier – Big Rock Brewery (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Cuvée Bru Druivenbier 2013 – Big Rock Brewery, 6% ABV – 750ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

from the Big Rock Brewery website:

Magic Resides Where Grape and Grain Collide

Balanced like a luminous bubble upon the delicate wire betwixt the grape and grain, Big Rock’s effervescent new experiment will book your taste buds on a glamorous cruise into exciting new waters. Legend tells of a Belgian brewer who, in one of those magical moments when luck fuses gleefully with genius, blended the gentle sweet snap of grape with the robust sensuousness of a young ale. Big Rock has captured that golden moment of eureka with its exciting new Druivenbier – Flemish for ‘grape beer’. Glistening Pinot Gris grapes have been plucked from the warm bosom of Therapy Vineyards on the Naramata Bench near Penticton, BC. These grapes were then introduced to a sophisticated blend of three of Big Rock’s finest malts. This is a true Druivenbier – rarely seen in North America, and uncompromisingly elegant to the last puckish bubble”

on the back label:

“One day, some of Therapy Vineyard’s finest Pinot Gris grapes from Naramata, British Columbia fell in love with a mild and refreshing Big Rock ale. Cuvee Bru is the sparkling gem that came from their union: delightful, intriguing, and just scandalous enough to make society pages. This is one sophisticated libation you’ll want to know.”

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  • Style: (Pinot Gris – Fruit Beer) Druivenbier
  • Taste: Sweet Malt liquor with grape juice & sourness
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $13 (5% off) – 750ml, March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours copper pale orange (Welch’s white grape juice) with minimal head, a very thin layer of retention, a bit of lacing, lots of steady evenly spaced streams.

Nose: musky liquid barley malt (aka Malt liquor), medium bright grape juice, apple juice. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: juice-like sugars, sweet-crisp

Mid-palate: thickish viscosity, (lvl-7)-long sweetness, (MAIN) malt liquor, barley, fruity white grape, liquid malt sweetener.

Finish: tamed acidity, light sour/tangy, more barley malt, a touch of bitterness, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Drinks like a white grapey Colt 45, but with sweetened almost artificially. Can’t say I loved this one bit it is decent when properly chilled and straight out of the bottle.

Life of Chai – Big Rock Brewery (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Life of Chai – Big Rock Breweryr, 6% ABV – 341ml., (Calgary, AB, Canada)

on the front side label:

“A decadent dance of nine exotic spices elevate this robust tapestry of flavours to a level of Ananda – pure, transcendent bliss. The inquisitive smoky cardamom and luscious rose petals will set your taste buds a-quiver as they curl your lips into a satisfied, refreshed smile.”

  • Style: (chai) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: watery-thin chai cola beer
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $14/6pack (after 10% off) – 6x341ml., October 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours clear copper brown, a small dissipating head, thin ringed retention, clusters of fast streams.

Nose: cinnamon/nutmeg spiced malts, slightly metallic (6/10-pungency)

Attack: sweet-crispness, bright fizzy

Mid-palate: thin-watery mouthfeel + tingly, (6/10)-malty sweetness, (MAIN) toffee/caramel malts, clove/cinnamon, (hint) coriander dryness

Finish: malty metallic sweetness, light cola malty sweet fizzy finish.

Summary: This drinks rather thin-bodied but has decent flavours in the mids. The finish is lackluster and doesn’t leave much of a positive impression. Average at best.

Rosmarinus Aromatic Ale – Big Rock Brewery (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C-

Rosmarinus Aromatic Ale – Big Rock Brewery, 5.6% ABV, 341ml, (Calgary, AB, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Combining fresh rosemary with our all-natural beer, we present to you and invigorating and delicious pale ale. This ancient herb, long treasured for its fragrance, will seduce you with its alluring scent and vibrant taste. Rosmarinus Officinalis: Comfort in a glass.”

  • Style: (flavoured) Pale Ale
  • Taste Profile: crisp fizzy -> thin/barley malt/rosemary/grass -> dry/flat/not-clean finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $12.50/6pack, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Usually I NEVER buy 6-packs for the simple fact that I have to drink 6 of the same thing on 6 different days where I could be drinking 5 other new things instead…anyways, ended up sharing the rest with friends to go with the drinking games. Pours medium dark brown with a very small lasting thin head, foamy CO2, lots of streams.

Nose: clean sweet honey-grain malted rosemary, reminding me of sweet bread. Very pleasant (7/10-aromatic strength)

Attack: crisp, numbingly-fizzy

Mid-palate: thin-bodied, (MAIN) barley malts, med-sweetness(6/10), med-soft rosemary flavour (MILD) cereal

Finish: malty-dry, flat-flavoured burpy finish

Summary: Delivers rosemary flavour as promised, but not exactly refined or awesome. Body and mouthfeel are thin, no length/carry to the flavours. Just average or slightly less because I wouldn’t want to drink 5 more of these.

Rock Creek Spiced Dry Cider – Big Rock Brewery (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Rock Creek Spiced Dry Cider – Big Rock Brewery, 5.5% ABV – 473ml, (Calgary, AB, Canada)

On the side of the can:

“Springing from a mountain of BC (Okanagan) apples, this crisp, dry cider ripples with VANILLA, CINNAMON, and bubbles with the extra-fine effervescence of champagne yeast. Picnic time!

Ingredients: Dry Cider, Natural Flavours, Spices”

  • Style: (spiced) Apple Cider
  • Taste Profile: semi-sweet apple fruit -> red apple juice/very mild vanilla/light sour-> light tart tangy finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $3 (after 10% off), April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: Almost the same label as their regular canned dry cider except with the word “spiced” on it. Looking at the ingredients it appears they added spices to the cider (?) as opposed to during fermentation. Pours clear golden yellow with no head and some activity.

Nose: filtered apple juice and not much else

Attack: 5/10-dense fruity sweetness

Mid-palate: (MAIN) red apple juice, (HINT) vanilla, cinnamon

Finish: semi-sweet light tartness, mild burpy tingly-tangy finish.

Summary: Basic flavours and very weakly spiced. It’s pretty much dominated only apple juice flavour with spices being a distant afterthought.