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Aces & Ates - Big Boss Brewing

Aces & AtesAces & Ates

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

157 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 14.18%


Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BitterLover on 01-31-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 76 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

SRM 26-30 is a luscious dark chocolate. Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter, it turns black in the glass. A velvety, dark chestnut head reaches a quarter inch before quickly settling to a thin veil. A thick, viscous film clings for minutes while wispy rings reside above.

Malted chocolate is strong, quickly followed by roasted molasses and coffee. Dates and figs are discernible behind a powerful chocolate syrup in the middle. Bittersweet chocolate brings up the end.

The flavor opens sweet before turning bitter. Coffee takes a front seat over the chocolate while an odd, light melon flavor lingers in the background. A light, quick finish of raisins lasts a moment to be followed by lingering bitterness.

Alcohol is less than expected. A velvety texture adds to the light to medium body. Carbonation is light.

This is a nice, enjoyable and relaxing beer; however, it lacks the power typically anticipated from this style. I enjoyed it with a pungent bleu cheese that brought out its sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 22:38:26 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Received as an extra in a trade an dpoured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice dark brown porter like hue with a nice one finger mocha head that fades to leave a thin thin blanket and light cloud. Solid.

S - Uhh..what? I get no coffee whatsoever on the nose. Light alcohol and metallic notes, a really weird lightly minty note and well, a ceramic pot kind of thing going on. Maybe slightly spoiled...just a mess of weird off aromas that I cannot find the right words to describe. Maybe some vegetative stuff too...

T - Taste is well, average. Those weird, strange aromas are fortunately not in the taste. I get light bakers chocolate, faint older coffee. Sweet black watered down coffee. Lightly bitter on the finish. Pretty average 1-2 punch going on.

M - Mouthfeel is not nearly as creamy as I would like for the style. Somewhat watery, alcohol is hidden though.

O - Overall, this beer was okay. As average as everything was that nose was just awful. Lots of weird off aromas going on here, glad it didn't taste like it but still, pretty meh.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 18:05:12 | More by rudzud
Photo of kris10michele
kris10michele

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: my fiance refers to this as "the espresso of beers" partially because of its dark, dark coloration. It's almost pitch black, with a lovely tan head, and almost perfect lacing as you drink it in.

Smell: I love beer, and I love coffee...and this American stout has both. It has the aroma of a yummy, sweet, alcohol-infused mocha latte. If that doesn't convince you that you should try it, I don't know what else will.

Taste: This is a fantastic stout that leaves nothing to be desired (except maybe another round or two.) Big Boss has found the perfect formula for a fusion of coffee and beer, and it's working quite well here. This stout is sweet, but not too sweet, and it leaves a slightly sweet, bitter bite in its aftertaste, just like a satisfying cup o'joe.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, but not too creamy, this beer is full and smooth while remaining completely drinkable.

Overall: This is my favorite from Big Boss. The smell, taste, appearance, and mouthfeel all contribute to a satisfying beer-drinking experience. It hides its 8% abv very well.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2013 21:23:43 | More by kris10michele
Photo of watermelon
watermelon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint from a 12oz bottle then finished in a snifter.

A: Near perfect appearance. Body is pitch black with a dark khaki head that displayed excellent retention as well as generous lacing.

S: Coffe and chocolate scents dominate could be stronger and a bit more complex.

T: Chocolate with faint coffee. Some dark fruits. This hides its 8% well.

M: Creamy mouth feel that sticks to your teeth. Reminds me of the filling on a three musketeers bar.

O: If your into the style you should defiantly pick this up

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 22:13:56 | More by watermelon
Photo of wyatt13
wyatt13

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received this bottle in a trade with Onenote81 -- thanks, Jon! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a relatively viscous dark brown color. Once in the glass, the beer looks black as night, with a single finger of mocha foam on the top. Retention is nice as the head sits around for about half of the glass. Spots of lacing congregate on the sides.

S - A nice roasted coffee presence combines with some chocolate to remind me of a tiramisu. There is also a bit of a licorice note in there, as well as some caramel and vanilla. A very nice smelling brew.

T - Man! I am a big coffee lover, and this one is just blowing me away. I'm not sure how they managed to give this beer such a strong, high quality coffee presence. It is roasty and intense without being bitter or uni-dimensional. A nice mixture of chocolate, nuttiness and caramel in the finish to complement the coffee nicely.

M - Perhaps a little bit on the thin side, with a little higher carbonation level than I was expecting. Slightly dry, but overall extremely drinkable.

O - Definitely one of the best coffee beers that I have tasted -- certainly up there with most of the heavy hitters that are mentioned often. I would love to get a couple more of these babies for when I want my coffee fix at night. Thanks, Jon!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 02:10:29 | More by wyatt13
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours damn near black with almost a finger of chocolate colored head, looks to be fairly bubbly, the head recedes in about a minutes time leaving only a thinner outer ring, lacing is pretty minimal.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, cocoa powder/chocolate.

T - Very roasty bitter, burnt currants and cocoa, with a mildly roasty bitter aftertaste.

M - Lighter bodied for the color, a good bit of carbonation in this one - doesn't really fit the style IMO.

O - Light and more refreshing than it should be, but it's kind of nice to have those qualities and a roasty chocolate/coffee brew like this. Decent, but not writing home about it.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 22:19:52 | More by MacQ32
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark black/brown color, can't see through it when held up to light, with a creamy tan chocolate milk like head that left a layer on top.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cocoa powder and sweet malts. Hearty and rubust smelling, it's like inhaling a meal (or at leask a thick shake).

Tastes of coffee, cocoa powder, roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, toasted grains and a sweet bitterness like a touch of hops or just the strong coffee affect; overall roasted flavor with nice smooth hints of the smoky grains and malts that goes down easy.

Seems lighter than it is for such a heavy brew, with mild carbonation and nice complex roasted flavors that trail off slightly bitter.

Overall it was a very good stout, delicious like a nice Starbucks latte.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2013 20:43:50 | More by CHickman
Photo of jpro
jpro

South Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Sam's in Durham. Poured into a snifter...

A: Pours a deep black, with a one-finger head of creamy, mocha foam; a few light strands and specks of lace adorn the glass.

S: First thing that hits the nostrils is cocoa; shortbread; roasted malts; has a nice, rounded aroma - nothing is overpowering and all the nuanced aromas blend well. Light currant aroma is also present - it becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

T: Strong, dark roast coffee flavor is definitely there - more so than in the aroma. Cocoa and notes of dark chocolate are there, too. Has a little bit of sweetness towards the finish - the very bitter / astringent coffee finish! Pretty big flavor of super roasted malts at the beginning and end, with some cocoa and chocolate in between.

M: Full bodied... higher carbonation... my favorite combination! Nice feel - it does a little work on the palate but the higher carbonation keeps things lively and fosters increased drinkability.

O: A nice coffee stout! It's no Wake-n-Bake, but still darn tasty. This beer also reminds me a little of FBS - perhaps more drinkable, though. For some reason, I think I'd like to try this one on draft - I'd definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 02:45:38 | More by jpro
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Pitch black, brown head

SMELL: Creamed coffee, charcoal, burnt currants, cocoa powder, dark brown sugar, brownie batter

TASTE: Silky smooth, full body, burnt sugar, dark-roasted coffee, charcoal, warming alcohol, figs, unsweetened dark chocolate, roasty finish

Whoa! This is a serious coffee beer for serious beer drinkers. Old-school robust Stout talk up front and just enough coffee to back it up—and a very well-balanced 8-percent beer to boot. Further proof that beer geeks should be looking to North Carolina for great craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 17:06:41 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Ridgewood Wine and Beer in Raleigh, NC

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very light reddish brown highlights when held up to the lights and minimal amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of coffee beans, freshly ground coffee, and just a hint of chocolate over some lighter roasted malts.

T: The flavors starts out with a light amount of roasted malts underneath some moderate flavors of freshly ground coffee and bittersweet chocolate. There are light notes of vanilla as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

O: This beer is quite easy to drink and is very enjoyable with nice amounts of coffee and chocolate flavors - I really like the hint of vanilla as it warms up. One of my favorite local Raleigh beers to enjoy in the winter.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 21:53:59 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this a few times on tap, so it's about time for a review. Most recently imbibed at City Beverage here in town. Pours a deep black with a thin mocha head on top. The nose carries a good amount of roasted aromas, coffee, charred wood. The feel of this starts out well, but lacks in endurance. Just not enough heft to hold up these flavors and alcohol. Flavors of coffee and toasted bread, chocolate, and light boozy quality. All of this weakens as I sip, and the flavors get jumbled into unintelligible mess. This beer starts out nicely, but lacks in its finish. Not a bad beer, but not one of my favorites either.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 21:06:57 | More by Onenote81
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

Pours almost black in color with minimal head formation. The nose definitely has quite a bit of coffee to it. There's also a lot of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a bit of charred character. The flavor is a bit thin and mild compared to the nose. Some good coffee notes and a decent roastiness, but that's about it. Maybe some cocoa powder. The body is sort of disappointingly thin as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 20:50:36 | More by womencantsail
Photo of beer2day
beer2day

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like the draft version much better than the bottle I had almost 3 years ago.

Part of the winter stout series at Harrison's in Cary.

Deep black pour with almost no head and zero lace.

Dark coffee nose with hint of hoppy grapefruit. Very "hot" nose. Hints of alcohol, too.

More medium roast coffee on the tongue, with hints of bourbon and vanilla cream. Alcohol taste comes through as well, adding a bit to the hot taste.

Thick and chewy body. Very substantial.

Big coffee stout, rivaling the best out there. Nice job from Big Boss.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2012 17:13:48 | More by beer2day
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a deep caramel one inch head that dissipates into a quarter inch head.

Smells citrusy sweeat. Light and slick. Light even for a single stout.

taste is roasted like crazy. Very light, almost like a roasty coffee porter. Decent body, but nothing really stands out unless you let it sit out for like a half hour. The smoke feels like liquid smoke, light and a fake smoke flavor. The coffee comes out as it warms, and its more bitter than aroma.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 02:28:55 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tap City in Raleigh.

From Notes:
Pours a deep black, with a quarter inch of head which sticks around. Smells of coffee and roasted malt. The coffee and roasted malt come through strong again in the taste. Finishes clean with no hint of the 8% ABV. I thought the mouthfeel was a little thin. Overall a great beer. Big Boss should quit bottling their regulars and get their other offerings into a more constant rotation.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 18:29:18 | More by tdm168
Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
OhYesILoveBeer

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aces & Ates poured by Lynn @ the tap room above the brewery. Pours very dark, almost jet black with ruby hues on the sides of the glass, and has a dark tan 1/2" head on top. Smells of bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, and a faint hint of vanilla bean. Tastes matches the nose quite well, considering most of their offering do the same, dark chocolate, coffee, and a faint caramel presence. Overall this is a very good stout, one that is not insanely hopped like much of the other offerings by other breweries. Keep in mind that a few pints of this in one evening will make you kick ass on the free pool table, and table tennis that they offer. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 21:59:03 | More by OhYesILoveBeer
Photo of Defender1324
Defender1324

Florida

4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big Boss is quickly becoming one of my favorite craft brews. Appearance is that of a thick espresso. The smell is of a great cup of coffee and the taste is the same. A great cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Mouthfeel is very good, bordering on great. It's creamy and lingers.

I love this beer. It's an imperial stout with some kick that's extremely easy to drink. And that's a warning as much as a plug.

I love it!

Serving type: growler

03-20-2011 02:29:57 | More by Defender1324
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with mocha lacing.

Smells of toasted bitter coffee and cocoa.

Tastes of toasted black chocolate and roasted slightly acidic coffee beans.

Thicker and viscous with mild carbonation on the back of the tongue.

Good solid flavorful stout, enjoyable and appropriately heavy. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2011 03:09:27 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

2.45/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to injuredreserve for sharing!

2008 vintage. From Notes:

Fairly black pour, maybe a half a finger of slight mocha colored head.

Aroma is faint coffee, butterscotch, mild sweetness with a hint of tart thrown in there.

Taste had a bit more coffee than the aroma, some roasted, some metallic notes and some of that back-end tartness.

Thin and watery feel, low to no carbonation at all.

Drinkability is a challenge to say the least.

I think this boils down to age not doing this thing a bit of good, or poor storage. The feel ruins this completely and the lackluster taste and aromas can't save it for me.

Would love to see how a fresh one fares...

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 01:07:30 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of 7thInningSuds
7thInningSuds

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Very dark, coffee look to it.

Smell: Just like coffee. Juan Valdez would love this beer

Taste: If you like beer that tastes like coffee, then you'll like this beer. I'm not a coffee drinker, so this beer did nothing for me. Sampled it as part of a flight at Woody's. Was served in a 3 oz glass. One ounce was enough.

Mouthfeel: Thick beer, as what you would expect from a stout.

Drinkability: Not something I'll try again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2011 00:27:05 | More by 7thInningSuds
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Big Boss Brewing, Raleigh, NC

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin tan head that took a long time to fade away.
S: There are moderate aromas of coffee beans in the nose along with notes of chocolate.
T: The taste is similar to the nose and also has some hints of vanilla beans.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is a great one to sip and savor.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2011 01:30:23 | More by metter98
Photo of CptBlackBeerd
CptBlackBeerd

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Charlotte Flying Saucer. Jet black with a pillowy light tan head. Nice lacing all the way down. Aroma is roasted malts, fresh coffee and dark chocolate. Taste is malt, coffee and cream up front with vanilla bean and just a touch of bitterness on the finish - very smooth. Mouthfeel is medium to full with moderate carbonation. Extremely easy to drink for 8% ABV. Overall a very good coffee stout from Big Boss.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2011 01:26:02 | More by CptBlackBeerd
Photo of GehenHerzog
GehenHerzog

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Vintner Wine Market (Charlotte) poured into a Tulip glass

A- Pitch black with a single finger brown head.

S- Mainly getting fresh coffee beans, not a whole lot of chocolate, but it is present.

T- Chocolate up front and a fresh vanilla bean coffee in the back end, especially in the after taste. Very good taste.

M- Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

D- The chocolate in the beer masks the alcohol pretty well but the alcohol is still there and you can tell.

This is the 2nd time I have this beer on draft and it is very good. I'm not sure I could have more than one in a single session but a good beer nonetheless. For being so readily available on draft, I can't seem to find it in bottles even with it being fairly local. I would say it's my favorite beer from Big Boss

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 03:03:20 | More by GehenHerzog
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured black with a minimal light tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of slightly roasted malt and dark chocolate. The flavor was of slightly roasted malt, dark chocolate, and cream. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Had a good flavor going on here. The aroma however was definitely lacking in intensity. Went down really nice and smooth for an 8%er. 8%er!? Wow, that is the first time I noticed the alcohol on this one... Never would have guessed. Could see it getting you in trouble quite easily.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2010 15:24:10 | More by thagr81us
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte. $5 for an 11.5 ounce glass.

Arrives in a tall glass, a finger of creamy, mocha-tan foam crowns this deep brown-black ale.

Nose is mostly variations on dark malt and coffee, with a good amount of creamy sweetness that reminds me of Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. It's lush and smooth - I'm betting there's lactose in here... flavor is quite what you'd expect, a fine dark malt / coffee blend, lots of roasty flavors popping, a pervasive unfermented sweetness that flirts with being distracting. Mouthfeel is full, creamy and slick, carbonation is quite good for what's needed here.

Aces and Ates is really surprisingly good, a fine addition to the creamy-coffee beer genre. While you won't want to drink a lot of this, it's solid enough to warrant a look. Nice job, Big Boss.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 21:19:56 | More by kkipple
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Aces & Ates from Big Boss Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.