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Aces & Ates - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Aces & AtesAces & Ates

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

166 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 19
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
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: 166 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EnigmaticDream
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black as the blackest black times infinity. This one definitely rates up there with The Abyss in terms of darkness. The head was weak which is why I'm not giving it a perfect 5.

S - Smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses, bourbon, wood chips/barrel. Love the smell of this thing.

T - Roasted barley, chocolate, coffee. A bit of hoppiness for good measure. Very good taste. I wish it had more flavors popping out at me.

M - Good mouthfeel. Doesn't feel thick. Could be a little thicker I think.

D - Oh absolutely. Coming in at 8% could leave some staggering after a few. I'm down for more!

This beer is also quite amazing on tap.

FYI for NCers Healthfare in Brier Creek has a stock of these for sale at $6.49 or so.

EnigmaticDream, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of CWiggins
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This year's version is called Aces & Ates, and is sold on tap and in 22oz bottles.

Purchased at EarthFare for $6.49. In the year or so since Edenton Brewing became Big Boss, bottled product has been appearing at a slow pace; this is the popular Raleigh breweries first single bottle offering.

Pours an oily, dark black, with very little surface foam. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate are the dominate aromas. The flavor is outstanding, with dark-roasted coffee evolving from a sweeter front taste. The coffee flavor persists through the aftertaste, combining with a mild hoppy bitterness for a perfectly balanced finish. I really adore the low carbonation of this brew; this allows for a thick, nearly chewy texture. Great stuff!

CWiggins, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of drunkmonk
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #125 of 5,000. Purchased at Sam's Quick Stop in Durham $6.99/bomber.

The lable exclaims "Handle your business". Ok, I'm game.

Pours almost opaque black, just a hint of light at the edges of glass. Firm, thick dark tan swirling lace lasts all the way down. Fantastic aroma of dark rosted coffee, some charred malts cutting through and faint hint of anise. Nice blend of dark roasted malts and dark roast coffee. Coffe flavors are very smooth, non acrid. Roasted malts hang firm, but definatly a second fiddle to the coffee. Sweet malts flavors finish things off. Smooth and somewhat subdued carbonation lends to a creamy but moderatly thin mouthfeel. The 8% abv is extremely well integrated. Slight warming ethanol noticed only when this bomber was three quaters sunk.

Very well done Big Boss, looking forward to more of these special releases in the future.

Check this one out if you get the chance.

drunkmonk, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Horniblow's Tavern in Raleigh. The beer is dark black a 1-finger creamy tan foam. The smell is good for a coffee stout, some roasted malts but mostly the dark bean comes through. The taste is likewise good, coffee bean plus sweet malt. My only issue was that the mouthfeel was way too light for the style, very watery. I'd prefer a more substantial body to match the strength of the flavor.

TurdFurgison, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 10 oz. glass

This beer is infused with Larry's Beans XXX cold brewed coffee.

This solid black stout is a medium bodied stout with a dark chocolate flavors and a coffee flavor that sits just behind it all. The combination of sweet malt, chocolate flavor, and coffee make blend well. Lighter carbonation works well for this beer.

rtratzlaff, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of fingolfin72
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black color with a mahogany head. Rich aroma of chocolate with hints of coffee and smoke. The palate is very big, but well balanced. Malty chocolate milk predominates, but there's an unmistakeable French Roast coffee undertone there. Profoundly satisfying on a cold, rainy day.

fingolfin72, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a thick black with a decent tan head that was mostly lasting and left decent lacing on the glass. The aroma was a nice blend of coffee and roasted barley. The taste features an almost perfect amount of coffee that does not overpower the stout characteristics at all. The beer is somewhat on the heavy side, but is still smooth and refreshing. This is one I look forward to every winter, and hopefully next year they'll bottle it.

atsprings, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Horniblow's Tavern (Raleigh, NC).

Pours a pitch black with a thin wispy tan head that retained nicely into a creamy ring around the rim of the glass but not much lace was left behind. The aroma is definitely that of a coffee stout. Rich with roasted malt, coffee bitterness, smokiness, and some residual chocolate sweetness in the background.

The taste is more of the same, with burnt coffee bitterness and roasted smoky malts that are tempered by chocolate sweetness. Finishes with burnt bitterness that gives way to a splash of sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a poppy carbonation that really accentuates the bitterness. That 8% ABV is nowwhere to be found.

This was my first experience with a Big Boss beer and it was a good one. It's definitely more of a burnt and bitter coffee stout experience than others but if you like your coffee black, than this is definitely the one for you. The easy going mouthfeel and nonexistent feeling ABV really make this one a pleasure to quaff. And to think that I had my sense of smell and taste dulled from all the smoke in the Tavern and I still really liked this. Who knows what I would have thought in a non-polluted environment!

Kegatron, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of LittleBreeze
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/26/08

Thanks aerozeppl for the pours from your growler.

Thick and pitch black. The aroma is enticing...The smell of quality coffee worth waking to sip.
Taste of coffee and chocolate. There is a lot going on here, but everything is coming together so well. I'd like to use this for a dessert...float a scoop of ice cream in the glass.

This is a great beer. It may be one of the best coffee stouts I have experienced. Drinks well. Just enough bitterness in the bite. No hint of the 8%.

This was a great beer experience.

LittleBreeze, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a jet black body with a full, though short-lived mocha-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of roasted malts, spent dark grains, and cold, abandoned coffee in a glass decanter.

Taste: Highly roasted coffee and dark malts with a touch of graininess. Some hints of dark chocolate with only a minor amount of sweetness. Mostly, the bitterness is supplied by the roasted grains and coffee beans. This beer doesn't just boast the roast, it brings it, baby! Roast-driven finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Mild carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Hmm, it's pretty good, you know? Hope you like roast, though!

Update: Sampled 3/14/09 giving a comparable score, but, now bottled under the Aces & Ates moniker, I noticed a slightly dialed down roast component, allowing for lighter tastes of licorice and molasses to emerge.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had my first taste of Big Boss' Coffee Stout at Horniblow's Tavern during a second Saturday brewery tour. Fell in love instantly and brought home a growler. Poured into a chalice.

The body is utterly opaque and as close to black as a stout can get. Head is a deep chestnut hue and retains well for the first 2-3 minutes before receding to a ring and topping of thin foam. The aroma is heavenly; rich espresso beans (imagine opening up a fresh bag of ground coffee), baker's chocolate, and a touch of creamy vanilla.

The flavor lets me know that this is one of the better coffee stouts (hell, one of the better Double Stouts) I've encountered. Its choc-full of bitter chocolate, fresh java, earthy hops and caramel. Easily gives Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake Oatmeal Stout a run for its money. A slight tinge of powdery aluminum is all that keeps this from a perfect 5.0 in the taste department. Mouthfeel is crisp, astringently bitter but not overwhelming, and has a medium-thick body. Carbonation level? Nearly perfect. Talk about a drinkable brew. True, there are more complex, dynamic Double Stouts out there, but the simplicity and absolutely enjoyable flavor of Big Boss' Coffee Stout make it tough to match. Cheers fellas! Keep puttin' Raleigh on the map!

wagenvolks, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of NitroGen
4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

P: Poured from a growler from NCSUdo from the Growling at the Moon BIF

A: Black, black and more black pour with a finger of dark brown sugar colored foam that settles to a thin cover with lacing that leaves a ring at each drink level on the glass.

S: Dark roasted espresso, chocolate and a hint of sweet cream.

T: Dark and slightly sweet milk chocolate, rich dark roasted malt then dark roasted coffee jumps out and takes over at the finish.

M: This is a big treat for the mouth! Very well balanced, as each unique flavor takes a turn in the mouth: chocolate, coffee, malted milk balls and lastly dark roasted coffee. Each is distinguishable to the mouth. This is a bright mouth feel with no cloying thickness at all. At 8% ABV there is no noticeable alcohol vapors or bite just really really smooth.

D: One of the best Imperial Stouts/Coffee Stouts that I have ever had. Absolutely nothing not to like about this one, as it is a splendid tasting imperial stout! If I lived anywhere near, Big Boss Brewing I would be ordering this again and again and again.

Thank you Jake!

NitroGen, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of blackie
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: The beer is tar black in color, with a respectable mocha colored head atop.

s: Fresh dark roast coffee seamlessly blended with a slew of sweet, chocolaty roasted barley.

m: Ultra smooth, low carbonation with a full, slick body.

t: As in the aroma, the coffee flavors have been perfectly blended with what seems to have been an already excellent double stout. Dark, low acid coffee flavors compliment the moderately sweet, roasted flavors of barley and bitter chocolate.

d: A great beer and certainly a pleasure. I think I'd take this one over even the excellent Bell's Java, the only thing I can really compare it to.

pint at Horniblow's

blackie, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of tastybeer
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick deep brown color, opaque and topped by frothy big medium brown head. Head fades to a thin layer and leaves a bit of spotty lace. Both aroma and flavor are smooth + creamy, lightly robust, softly toasty, and just the right amount of sweet. Chocolate, some fruit, and some milkiness are apparent. The Larry's Beans are a yummy fit. This almost also has an oatmeal stout-like thing going on. Certainly can't complain about that. Real smooth. creamy, melted chocolate-like texture is rather nice. Just a touch of roasty bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable end easy to consume.

Mmmmm beer.

tastybeer, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of NCSUdo
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler

A: Deep black under a small dark brown head. Some hints of lace and OK retention.

S: Smells of dark coffee with some hints of a sweet creaminess, and some hints of grainy malt underneath.

T: Big fresh coffee taste, with a mild roasted bitterness to end. Some hints again of a creamy sweetness and some dark chocolate (noticed this was clinging to my front teeth after the swallow). Ultimately finishes in a dark coffee character. Very well done.

M/D: Full bodied, pretty good amount of carbonation in this one, but nothing that attacks the tongue. Slighty slick. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as it is pretty smooth. Big Boss is usually hit or miss with me, this is definately a hit.

NCSUdo, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of wedge
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Made with organic fair-trade coffee beans from local Raleigh roasters: Larry's Beans.

Opaque black with a good sized brown head that shrinks to a thin sheet. Coffee, cream, and roasted black malt aroma. Smooth, dark coffee flavor with some creamy sweetness, almost like a milk stout, near the finish. Considerably drinkable for 8% abv. Rich, chocolate maltiness. Medium-plus body, lightly carbonated with only a little bitterness. Mmmm...good stuff.

wedge, Dec 14, 2007
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Aces & Ates from Big Boss Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.