Aces & Ates - Big Boss Brewing

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Aces & AtesAces & Ates

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BA SCORE
88
very good

78 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 185
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 21
Gots: 19 | 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:
Beer added by: BitterLover on 01-31-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 185
Photo of andrewm190
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very strong entry from Big Boss Brewing. Super coffee intensity. Maybe a bit too much. Almost more like coffee than coffee. Also very heavy, although not quite as heavy as the Avery Imperial Stout, another beer I had recently. Strong aftertaste. This is basically a one and done beer. Any more and you'll strongly consider doing anything your friends suggest. (361 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a creamy tan head that sits atop the tawny-highlighted pitch black liquid and literally sheets the pint glass with lace

Smell: Fresh roasted coffee beans with undertones of dark chocolate

Taste: Roast and dark chocolate, up front, with developing layers of caramel, vanilla and black bread; just before the swallow there is a hint of graininess that continues to develop, along with the coffee tones, in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; somewhat creamy

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and roasty; a very nice coffee stout indeed (595 characters)

Photo of jpro
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (1,207 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jefferson for sending me a couple of these bad boys. Served in my trusty Surly pint glass.

A - Pours a super dark brown, almost impervious to light, with a big mocha foam that recedes at a leisurely pace and leaves a dime-sized head that doesn't really go away. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass. A tiny bit more retention and this would have been perfect.

S - Surprise! A Coffee stout that isn't a coffee bomb! Good balance between malt sweetness and coffee with a hefty amount of cream & sugar, as well as some vanilla extract. The smell is more evocative of a café mocha - a mix of hot chocolate and French roast.

T - This is where the more bitter roast coffee flavor kicks in. I think a little bit of excitement is lost from the smell. There's still a nice balance of roast malt sweetness and coffee, but the vanilla and chocolate notes recede into the background.

M - Umm...why is this called a stout? This has the mouthfeel of a porter. If it'd been called a porter on the bottle I would have given it an extra .5, due to differing expectations. A little to thin and watery, with a surprising amount of carbonation. The tingle is a nice complement to the coffee bitterness, but I don't find the body big enough to support the flavor. One positive is the lack of that persistent bitter coffee aftertaste.

D - You can't taste the 8% at all, and the low viscosity actually makes it kind of chuggable. My wife and I split a bomber no problem, and could have downed another afterward.

It's definitely a more distinct coffee stout, but as much for the surprising texture as it is for the excellent balance of sweet and bitter. I don't think it's quite in the league of Founder's Breakfast, but it's an excellent brew nonetheless. (1,751 characters)

Photo of drunkmonk
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (912 characters)

Photo of wyatt13
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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! (1,299 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
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! (1,213 characters)

Photo of CptBlackBeerd
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (523 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of NCBeernut
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bomber on a day off due to a nice blanket of snow.

Pours black with brown highlights around the edges, just like a heavy french-pressed coffee. Topped with a thin, frothy, khaki head.

Smells of chocolaty robust dark-roast coffee with a bit of cream and sugar. A stronger version of that coffee-shop smell. A coffee lover's wet dream.

A blast of cocoa and coffee. No citric notes that I often get in coffee stouts. This one is a chocolaty desert beer. Hints of oaky vanilla. No acrid edge...more on the sweet side, but a little bit of bitterness from the coffee helps keep it in check. No sign of alcohol, even at 8%. Mouthfeel is smooth with just slightly more carbonation than I was expecting for the style, but it works. (739 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
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 (645 characters)

Photo of BitterLover
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham, NC three times now (finally took some notes last night). The menu there mistakenly lists it at 9.9% ABV (which is why I tried it), but it's actually a more modest 8%. This is a stout that is brewed with coffee roasted by a local coffee roaster. The label on the bottle calls it a "coffee stout", but that style was not available in the Ba listing.

Appearance: Inky black with a very modest light brown head that quickly dissipated, but left very thin, branch-like lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. It was so black that I couldn't see through it, so couldn't detect any carbonation.

Smell: Not surprisingly, the nose was of dark roasted coffee with dark chocolate.

Taste: Black coffee mixed with a hint of dark chocolate covered cherries. At first I thought it was almost too sweet, but then the bitterness stepped up and lasted into the finish. When I aerated the beer in my mouth, I got a subtle black licorice flavor. This is a complex beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy.

Drinkability: This beer is so rich that I would not want to hurry through it. You need to savor it and appreciate its layers as it warms. And at 8%, it's not meant to be pounded.

I haven't seen this beer in any of my favorite beer stores, but I'm going to keep looking for it. Outstanding stuff. (1,351 characters)

Photo of fingolfin72
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (277 characters)

Photo of Defender1324
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
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! (420 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting patiently for Big Boss to release something in a dark beer, preferably a Stout. The old Edenton released a terrific Christmas themed stout right before they folded to reorganize and eventually become Big Boss and I've missed it. This has a shiny silver label without much adornment, #0046 of 5000.

This stout pours thick and black into my point with a bit of dark brown head that soon caps to nothing. The nose is unique, with licorice, molasses, and a touch of sour surrounding the coffee.

The strong coffee tones are almost overpowering, and very dry. The lingering aftertaste is black, bitter espresso. This is not quite like any coffee stout I've ever had. The texture is not quite silky smooth but is still satisfying.

This is an excellent beer and the good folks at Big Boss should be congratulated for brewing it. I eagerly await their next offering. (880 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks have to be given to a wonderful trade who sent this one my way. A local brewer to which I was not able to get a hold of, needless to say I was thrilled to finally be trying this one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/30/2009.



The pour was very, very nice. Rich dark black in color with no light shining through whatsoever. A very large head of tan came up over the top, sticking around for a few minutes before settling back down to earth. The whole while dropping some nice side glass lacing and never really leaving a bare top at all. The aroma was rich coffee as one might imagine, but interlaced with nice notes of roasted malts and hints of light vanilla. All ABV was well hidden as the subtle and sweet roasted coffee notes were all that I was really picking up. Smooth, even carbonation was a hallmark and a highlight here. Really wonderfully put together as the coffee was brilliantly placed, not being over the top or over shining the hallmark of a very nice stout which lie beneath it. Quick, clean and effective finish here as the molasses like notes mingle with a light bitterness that thoroughly coats the tongue and leaves you looking for more.



Overall a very, very solid coffee stout here and up there with some of the better ones that I have had. I would have no issue at all with looking for this one again some day soon. (1,397 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black with almost no head.

S: Rich coffee and chocolate explode from the glass.

T: Good clear coffee flavor but not as good as the growler. No roast or chocolate but damn the coffee is good.

M: Creamy but a touch lighter than I would expect.

D: I still love this beer. (281 characters)

Photo of LauraAlberts
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Since when does a stout have to be the beer that pins you to the ground like a bear and make you a "man" if you can drink it all in one sitting.

Why can't a stout be a beer you can just enjoy whenever?

Well it CAN - this is that Stout.

For the stout drinker looking to impress his man friends - this isn't the stout to brag that you drank last night while watching cage wrestling on Spike. As a stout drinker I'd drink this if I wanted to have several beers/stouts in one sitting.

Appearance: Solid brown/black with tan head.

Smell: Coffee beans, hint of vanilla extract, hint of bourbon

Taste: Sedated Coffee with an open, bourbon aftertaste that turns into dark chocolate with underlying vanilla notes.

Mouthfeel: Thin, this one's not carbonated, or even has the motor oil consistancy of the classic Founders Breakfast or KBS.

Drinkability: I could pound them back all afternoon. For a true stout lover, this is your session stout. Drink this and be merry! I feel like the beer god is answering the prayers of stout lover looking for a stout to enjoy like the Germans enjoy pilsener. If this brew comes your way - check it out. Great entry-level stout for the up and coming craft beer connoisseur. (1,212 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of EnigmaticDream
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AKA Coffee Stout.

A: Black with no light getting through. Minimal white head with some lacing.

S: Massive coffee nose right up front and in your business. Not that much else going on but who cares. A touch of roast and milk chocolate for those into that as well.

T: A really nice coffee stout. Not as much coffee as was in the nose.

M: Very creamy. Just a really nice and full mouthfeel.

D: Damn I really love this beer. Reminds me of Southern Tier Jahva without the beating from the booze fairy. (501 characters)

Photo of tommy78
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank bottle #2808....and was it a great bottle indeed!

A - Black. Simple as that! Minimal head after pouring out the beer.

S - Great smell. A combination of cocoa, coffee, and malts, which are subtle yet powerful at the same time.

T - Holy Cow! Very few beer have knocked off my socks like the taste of the beer. The smell translated very well into the taste. In fact, the taste got better as I got deeper into the pint glass.

M - Very smooth for a stout.

D - If I didn't have to go to work tomorrow, I would drink three of these! For an 8 percent beer, it is easy to drink the beer. Wow! (598 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
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! (1,256 characters)

Photo of NitroGen
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
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! (1,083 characters)

Aces & Ates from Big Boss Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.