Aces & Ates | Big Boss Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
82 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
204
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
21.07%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
Aces & AtesAces & Ates
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BitterLover on 01-31-2009

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 204
Photo of glid02
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC.

Pours black with a half-finger dark tan head. The head recedes fairly quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of roasted coffee with roasted malt aromas lurking in the background. As it warms the coffee aromas fade, though not much.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted coffee flavors up front, with a good deal of roasted malt flavors giving it more body. The ending is pretty bitter. I would prefer a bit more complexity, but as it is it tastes above average.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side, but solid carbonation still makes it go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished one glass and then another. I could drink a few of these.

Overall this is a solid coffee stout, though it has a way to go before it can be considered great. Still, worth a shot, especially if you're a big fan of coffee stouts.

 911 characters

Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
3.92/5  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!

 665 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have learned a few lessons about coffee stouts over the years. Don't let them be the last beer of the night-- There's usually a lot of coffee in these. That's why I'm hitting this one at noon.

The beer is a wonderfully American Stout with a lot of roasted and toasted grain aroma and flavors. Never astringent or ashy, but with a great coffee, nutty, toast taste even without the added coffee. Not much in the way of fruitiness or peppery phenols, this beer is pretty clean with the charred grains and cocoa powder. The added coffee gives a clean Columbian coffee that compliments the nuttiness but never gets into the French Roast or espresso flavors that would otherwise dominate the beer.

The body is quite modest and sessionable despite such bit flavors. The finish is none other than the long linger of coffee. Alcohols are light throughout. The beer was very tasty and bold flavored but not overbearing with chewiness or aggression.

 942 characters

Photo of kkipple
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 821 characters

Photo of watermelon
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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

 529 characters

Photo of ShrLSU
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pured a deep black color with no light shining through at all. A slight head receding quickly to some nice lacing cascading down the glass. The nose is roasted coffee and and malts with a slight tinge of vanilla. The taste is nice and roasty with a small amount of sweetness from a vanilla essence and some very nice coffee bitterness. It's not disturbingly thick, but it has body to it. Overall a solid coffee stout. Worth a shot.

 440 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 1,000 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

 641 characters

Photo of CWiggins
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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!

 731 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this at Big Boss Brewery's taproom.

Look: dark brown (nearly black) pout with a finger of tan head
Smell: dark chocolate, coffee; overall smell rather weak
Taste: dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt
Feel: smooth, medium/heavy body, medium/light carbonation

Overall: this was a pretty good stout. I'd definitely have it again.

 343 characters

Photo of KM_Seahawk
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap - Dark pour with a tan head, aroma & taste of dark chocolate & coffee. This is very enjoyable beer and the coffee not overpowering but noticeable.

 153 characters

Photo of GehenHerzog
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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

 791 characters

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle had been in the back of my fridge for eight months.. Pours an inky, dark, and viscous, black body with an impressive light brown head that towers over the opaque body. Good retention and some patchy lace.

Aroma of roasted coffee, cocoa, dark roasted malts, and some vanilla.

Medium body is smoother than expected. Low medium carbonation.

Taste has a roast coffee dominance. Vanilla sweetness softens the bitterness of the dark roasted malts. Earthy hops add complexity. Alcohol is well hidden. Espresso aftertaste.

Very solid and well crafted. Vanilla notes really evened out the biterness of the coffee. Nice!

 630 characters

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

 1,197 characters

Photo of wedge
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 452 characters

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 781 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 314 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours completely black with a thin tan head. Nose is coffee yes, but some dark chocolate in there as well. Better after warming up a bit. Flavor is thickly malted with a consistent and very present coffee tone. Again. Better as it warms. It seems to mature a bit. Even and consistent delivery. Feel is a bit thick on liquid and the carbonation is slightly lower which helps keeps things going. It's very drinkable. Not really blowing me away or anything. But maybe that is because I had the Brooklyn Intensified Coffee Stout yesterday which was only a few days old at that point and über fresh.

 595 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured an amber brown with a tan head that left banded lacing. Light penetrated through this beer more than I would expect for a stout. The smell is sweet coffee and cream. It is uncanny how this smells like an iced coffee. There are some roasted malts and chocolate like aromas as well. The taste is as the smell advertised. The coffee chocolate and sweetness all play nice as a bit of bitterness comes in the place and shuffles them out. Nice solid beer and the best I have had from the Big Boss. This needs to be a more frequent visit to local shelves.

 555 characters

Photo of Riverwarrior
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

S = Huge coffee aroma with cocoa in the background.

T = Big blast of coffee upfront with a dry cocoa flavor rounding out the flavor. The finish is all expresso coffee with a hint of roasted chocolate. Alcohol completely hidden.

MF = Body and carbonation just below medium. I would have liked the body to be a little thicker. Smooth and very easy to drink.

Overall, if you like a coffee styled beer, this one will certainly not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will continue to pick it up when I'm in NC.

 520 characters

Photo of tastybeer
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 596 characters

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 445 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
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

 338 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.1/5  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.

 596 characters

Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid black pour, just a ring of off white head around the glass. Aroma is mostly espresso, some roast malt and cocoa. Taste followed suit, pretty straight forward. Mocha latte, just enough licorice and hop to off set. Medium body, but a bit light for the style. However this contributed to it being rather drinkable, and went very well with my barbeque beef rib. Would recommend and a good coffee stout, not ground breaking, but the best I've had from Big Boss. Will have again.

 479 characters

Aces & Ates from Big Boss Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.