Aces & Ates - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Aces & AtesAces & Ates

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

183 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 21
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BitterLover on 01-31-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 81
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Richard on 1-14-12.

Photo of ksimons
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-very dark brown with a thin layer of tan head that quickly disappears a leaves some lacing around the top

S-nice coffee aroma, milk chocolate, dark malt

T-very smooth, milk chocolate, dark coffee, vanilla

M-medium body, low to moderate carbonation, silky smooth

Overall very drinkable, super smooth, delicious coffee and chocolate

Photo of MarkDill
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great coffee beer. I prefer the richness of an Imperial Stout but this will do. Nice drink.

Photo of rongcsc
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice and dark. Good coffee flavor; very robust.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Beer #5 in an NC beers only tasting, thanks to Benny (styleisking).

[Appearance: 3.75] This is a big, thick and rich-looking stout, and it has the look. It's very, very close to black with a heavier viscosity. The one thing lacking is a strong presence from the tan head, but only enough to keep it from showing off its beauty as much as it could. There's a creamy cling to the stretching lace.
[Aroma: 3.75] Coffee could be a little stronger but puts up some earth and hearty roast. Some almost fudgy cocoa comes in with a little creamy sweetness that ends with char.
[Flavor: 4.25] Coffee is more pronounced, fresh grounds of a good, strong brew that's both earthy and creamy with a not-quite-smoky sweetness. Coming in behind are some toffee, caramel, fig and something like black cherry along with an almost blackstrap note. A little char comes in at just the right level without being overdone to tie in the sweetness and add its own depth.
[Mouthfeel: 4.0] It starts off smooth and stays that way while adding just a little bit of bite to the tongue. Carbonation is light to moderate, and alcohol tames the thickness without thinning too much. A light dryness comes into the finish.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of rudzud
2.7/5  rDev -32%
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.

Photo of kris10michele
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Photo of watermelon
3.95/5  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

Photo of wyatt13
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

Photo of MacQ32
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of jpro
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of Onenote81
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of beer2day
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of tdm168
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

Photo of Defender1324
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
2.48/5  rDev -37.5%
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...

Photo of 7thInningSuds
2.6/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

to view more.
Aces & Ates from Big Boss Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.