Abandoned Abbey Belgian Style Dark Ale

bigrock_abbeyBrewer: Big Rock Brewery, Calgary AB
Style: Belgian Dark
ABV: 9.2%
IBU: 28

Description: As part of Big Rock’s Brewmaster’s edition, this dark ale is brewed in the venerable tradition of Belgian Abbeys and Monasteries. It is fashioned using Belgian Dark, Wheat, and Chocolate malts, then lightly hopped for a deep, rich, and complex brew.

Tasting Notes: Again, I am glad I was able to find a limited release beer from Big Rock, as its not readily available out here on Vancouver Island. And it was certainly enjoyable, reminding me of a good Belgian Dubbel with its rich malt, esters of dark fruit, notes of brown sugar, molasses, and plenty of yeast and spices.

Appearance: Deep brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt nose, molasses, sugars, yeast, dark fruits, spices
Taste: Rich malt, tang, yeasts, dates, raisins, brown sugar and molasses, spicy finish
Aftertaste: Lingering malts, spices, alcohol and yeasts
Overall: 8.2/10

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Big Rock Fowl Mouth ESB

fowl_mouth_esbBrewer: Big Rock, Calgary AB
Style: Extra Special Bitter
Alc/Vol: 5.5%

Description: Part of the brewery’s Brewmaster Series, the Fowl Mouth is made in the “Cornish Bitter” fashion and combines Pale and Crystal malts with East Kent Golding and U.K. Fuggle Hops to create a dry-hopped English-style pale ale.

Tasting Notes: It’s been some time since I enjoyed a Big Rock beer. I can remember quite fondly when they first began to appear in pubs in Ottawa in the late 90s, and enjoyed many a pint of their Traditional Ale as they years went on. And these days, their product catalog only seems to be expanding, so I knew I had to start catching up. And as far as ESBs go, this one was quite refreshing, had a lovely malt profile, and was surprisingly fruity, in addition to the subtle, dry-hop profile. I definitely want to see more from the Brewmaster Edition and will do my best to review in the future.

Appearance: Copper, clear, milder foam retention and  carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, notes of orchard fruit, English hops
Taste: Smooth crystal malt, mild tang, sweet bread, hint of blackcurrant, dry hop finish
Aftertaste: Lingering malt, chewy bread, mild citrus and dry hop flavor
Overall: 9/10