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Big Hugs - Half Acre Beer Company

Big HugsBig Hugs

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

424 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 424
Reviews: 147
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.87%


Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: emerge077 on 12-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 424 | Reviews: 147 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MNishCT77
MNishCT77

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

13 oz. tried at the tap room, poured into a Half Acre snifter glass and shared with my wife over 30 minutes.

A: 3/3 - pitch black, no light shall pass, tannish-brown head settled into a half finger lacing; large alcohol legs

S: 8/12 - coffee, chocolate, toffee and molasses notes predominate but the intensity was slightly muted; minor hop and alcohol notes are also detectable

T: 15/20 - on the first sip in the front of the mouth, there is a slight coffee and dark chocolate bitterness that quickly evolves into a more complex malt character with toffee, butterscotch and caramel presence; there is a slight sweetness on the aftertaste but not cloying inviting subsequent sips

M: 4/5 - slightly thin for style but otherwise appropriate with alcohol coating and low-to- moderate carbonation

O: 8/10 - a solid RIS that was a nice change of pace and culmination after having several excellent hopped-up ales; unfortunately for Half Acre (but fortunately for the consumer), there are so many great RIS on the market at that moment that this one doesn't stand up to the intensity and complexity of their flavor profile (Brooklyn's BCS, Founders RIS, Sierra Nevada's Narwahl and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy immediately come to mind); however, for the price point ($6 for a 13 oz. snifter), it's definitely solid and worth forming your own opinion

TOTAL - 38/50

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2013 01:50:31 | More by MNishCT77
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at the brewery into a 13 oz snifter.

A: Dark brown, almost black. 1 finger tan head with good retention and decent lacing.

S: Roasty malts, dark chocolate, a little coffee, some piney hops.

T: Bitter coffee, hazelnuts, toffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt. A little soy sauce when served cold, improved upon warming.

M: Medium carbonation, smooth, dry finish, lingering bitterness.

O: Really liked this, one of my favorite local RIS for sure. A BA version of this would be killer. Maybe a little less bitterness and it'd be world class.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2013 02:11:51 | More by MCain04
Photo of UnderJoath
UnderJoath

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Map Room. Pours black with tan head. Smells of boozy malt and dark chocolate with some subtle vanilla. Tastes sweet, chocolate and vanilla, with a bit of burn that lingers for a bit. Beer is a bit thin for my liking but flavor is spot on.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2013 18:07:00 | More by UnderJoath
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Memphis taproom during PBW.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, as I pick up coffee, milk chocolate and vanilla. Given the aroma profile, I was bit surprised by what I picked up on the palate. The beer delivered flavors of dark chocolate, licorice and espresso, all wrapped in a moderately sweet package. However, the licorice seemed to dry this beer our very nicely on the long finish, with the dark chocolate coming on strong as well. There was also a hint of tobacco and leather on the palate that I thought was intriguing. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with lots of chocolate, coffee and licoriceo on the long finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and I really got no sense of the 9.5% abv. in this beer.

A nice enought RIS, but I can't really say it was anything extraordinary either.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2012 20:27:30 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Memphis Taproom.

A- Half Acre Big Hugs is black with a nice sturdy 1/2 inch tan head that left some spotty lacing.

S- This stout has a big roasted malt base to it with some chocolate and dark fruits with warming. No sign of the alcohol which is nice. Smells very robust.

T- A tasty stout with more of the chocolate and cocco coming through more than the smell. Also getting just a bit of tootsie roll as well. Roasted malts and not as much hops than I was expected from Half Acre.

M- Big Hugs glides down so smooth it's amazing. This one is a step above medium bodied with light carbonation. Just a hint of the alcohol comes through with some heat. No bitterness as the hops are low, or have faded from when this was kegged.

D- It took me a while to finish this. One glass was plenty and perhaps too much. The alcohol while not sessionable is not over 10 percent which is just fine by me, but the flavors are muddled.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2012 07:36:36 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of paulozanello
paulozanello

Brazil

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured fresh from a growler filled up at the brewery on December 4th 2010.

Pours a pitch black and opaque color with a tan mocha head that goes down after a while leaving great lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, dark malts and a slight note of chocolate.

Taste pretty much follows the nose with a malty start and huge coffee bite towards the end. I also get faint chocolate notes under the coffee.

Body is medium and the abv is amazingly well hidden. Carbonation is not too high and just perfect.

This is another great coffee stout comparable to the Founders breakfast Stout.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2010 04:53:45 | More by paulozanello
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this on tap into a snifter.

The beer is black with a medium tan head, not a ton of retention or lacing.

The aroma is all roasted coffee, same thing with the taste. It is a little too much bitter coffee for my liking to be great.

The feel is ok, decent drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2010 21:37:28 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Nice khaki head. Leggy. Medium collar.

Smell - Deep roasted malts. Like coffee and dark chocolate. Some licorice.

Taste - Dark chocolate. Licorice. Roasty. Bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy, but very drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Simple, but well made and drinkable for an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 15:57:21 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From: Gift from JS, much thanks
Date: 12/2013 bottling
Glass: Tulip

Big Hugs is a good, coffee-forward (though still a bit mellow) imperial stout that's only downside is a bit of overemphasis on its ethanol. The aromas and flavors are of cold-pressed coffee, light chocolate syrup, a satisfying background sweetness, and subtle roasted malt working well together. Overall, if this were available in my town, I'd purchase it again: it's not genre-defining, but good enough that I'd be happy to drink it whenever. As it's not, I don't think I'd go out of my way to seek it out, but accept it if it were ever another gift.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of dark tan-colored foam, made up of small to medium-sized bubbles, yielding a sudsy, soapy appearance. Retention is a bit above average at about 1.5minutes, the head fading to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a small island of thin foam atop the body. Lacing is good, with a moderately dense matrix of dots clinging to the walls of the glass. Body is a dark brown to black color, with light . Carbonation visible only along the sides of the glass due to the opaque body, fairly numerous and active.

Aroma of smooth, mellow, roasted coffee from a cold press, a bit of chocolate syrup, and light ethanol.

Overall flavor is of mellow cold-extracted coffee with balanced backing sweetness from base malt, light chocolate syrup and burnt toast, and moderate ethanol. Front of palate tastes mellow coffee, ethanol, light cocoa, all balanced out by a mild sweetness underneath the rest. Mid-palate of mild coffee, chocolate syrup, balanced sweetness and vanilla, a bit of woodsy hop character, with fairly noticeable ethanol. Back of palate tastes anise and ethanol, modest sweetness from malt, cold extracted coffee, slight chocolate syrup and charred toast. Aftertaste of stale coffee, a bit of smooth milk chocolate, pleasant underlying sweetness, a bit of mild bitterness from roasted malt and hops along with sharpness from ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is slightly foamy (1/4) and mostly smooth (3/4), appropriate for a stout sipping beer. Ethanol felt as moderate burn on palate and back of throat, heat in nostrils. I've enjoyed beers that hide their ethanol better, but this is not that bad. Closes semi-dry, with moderate stickiness clinging to the walls of the glass.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 06:31:16 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick dark black with no light making it through this beer. Head is tan in color, about 2 fingers and has really good retention. Extra props for a sweet label

Smell is great. Rich dark chocolate malt plays nicely with a slightly acidic dark coffee aroma and more cacao aromas. Mild earthiness and spicy aromas follow. Smells very rich and decadent.

Taste is great and follows the nose. Very rich chocolate malt is forward along with more rich and slightly acidic coffee flavors that add a nicely complexity. Char bitterness is very light and let's the rich chocolate malt and coffee shine. There is a slightly bitter hop finish however.

Mouthfeel is great. Huge body and rich feel makes this a perfect after dinner sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 23:51:20 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of gueuzedreg
gueuzedreg

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark brown roasty coffee color. Very thin lacing that dissolves quickly.

S- Honestly, it smells like a used sushi board. haha, seriously. Woody, sort of funky, caramel, coffee, grassy

T- Burnt toffee, malts, some coffee, great imperial stout flavor.

M- Smooth, creamy. Pretty much the way I like imperial stouts. Very little carbonation follows down the throat.

O- My first Half Acre, and I like it much more than the Pipeworks extras that I seem to be getting.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 01:33:08 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
$10.99
Half Acre

2013 Bottling

A black beer, Big Hugs is, black as night. Zero light shows through the dense body. The coffee brown head shows some purple hues and easily grows to a finger plus in height. Thick streams of carbonation run to the surface and keep the thick ring alive after the head settles to a film. Patchy lacing remains behind after each drink.

The nose is full of rich aromas. Molasses drizzled berries get things moving. A handful of star anise flashes through before the roasty, yet balanced, coffee comes to the forefront. With warming burnt sugar shows itself. This is an all around deeply complex stout.

Coffee is more upfront in the flavor, a nice moderate roast with body. The anise is alive and the molasses is present but in the background. A berry medley, mostly blackberries, come along mid palate with a little spice. The roast is enough to linger and leave some moderate bitterness after each swallow.

The mouthfeel is spot on. A moderate heavy body that's smooth as silk with soft carbonation allowing the beer to move at it's own slow pace. There aren't a lot of residual sugars so this beer actually finishes somewhat dry, which is right up my alley. No cloying at all. The roast adds enough bitterness to keep things interesting. Nicely done.

Big Hugs shows a ton of depth with unusual flavors including the molasses and star anise. The coffee is added with a delicate hand and becomes an aspect of the drink instead of the drink itself; rare these days. Great body and all sorts of delicious!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 04:32:48 | More by joe1510
Photo of WankelEngine
WankelEngine

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 64oz growler into a snifter

A: Pours a completely opaque black with just a touch of brown. Tan colored head sticks around for a few minutes. Moderate splotchy lacing.

S: Deeply roasty. Coffee and some burnt smoky notes.

T: Still very roasty, but with a marked amount of rich, dark chocolate. Roasted coffee creates a great mocha flavor. Subtle notes of smoke and licorice.

M: Fairly smooth and medium thick. Easier drinking than a lot of comparable stouts. Low carbonation.

O: Delicious beer. Coffee forward with a hefty chocolate malt backbone.

Serving type: growler

12-16-2013 00:13:44 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - Big Hugs vs. Mechahugs (2012) in a box from ikaika122

Only thing not well above average of this one is the aroma which is mostly "beer" with bakers chocolate. The pour is flat, matte if you will, black with thin lacing and moderately carb'd.

Bit of dark fruit in in this - or candied fruit as there is also considerable molasses. Considerable only that there is very little sweetness in the nose, it is well balanced in the taste.

Rich, modestly chewy. IF you've the patience to chew on this there is significantly more flavor profile from which to pick out elements. Vanilla extract is also present in the finish.

Enjoyed the first bottle of this I had (2011, I think) and this batch was better than I remember that being. Will be one of those I look to have added in boxes coming from Illinois for as long as it's offered.

(205th)

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 21:24:14 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle

A - Pours pretty black with a thin tan head that dissolves into just a ring around the glass.

S - Coffee abounds with vanilla, roasted malts and light semi-sweet chocolate.

T - Starts off with a great coffee notes and roasted malts as balance. Semi-sweet chocolate, toffee, vanilla and molasses. Bitterness from may'be the coffee?

M - Medium to full bodied with medium to low carbonation. Very smooth and velvety.

O - Awesome label! Just in your face coffee bitterness with secondary flavors and a body to back it up.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 01:19:36 | More by cvm4
Photo of Purp1eOne
Purp1eOne

Illinois

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - This baby is black with a nice creamy head

S - Smells like a dark coffee with hazelnut and a hint of vanilla

T - Strong coffee taste with a good balance of the hazelnut and the vanilla. A good sweet flavor that compliments the coffee.

M - Creamy and smooth with good body and nicely carbonated.

O - This was my first Half Acre brew which got me hooked. A very good stout that makes me look forward to the fall.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 01:58:13 | More by Purp1eOne
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (2010)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, crushedvol!

(Aged for 3 years)

Nearly black, but truly a very dark brown and ruby. Small dark brown head. Irregular spots of stick left down the glass. Pretty stout.

Not a hugely expressive aroma. Will adjust this as I let the beer warm throughout the review, if necessary. Roast and a touch of coffee. Just a bit of chocolate-covered dark fruit as well. In fact, as the beer warms, lots of oxidation character emerges. It's not distracting, but it's not ideal, either.

The flavor follows the aroma, with chocolate-covered dark fruits and a bit of roasted coffee character emerging nicely. Moderate bitterness. Very drinkable, and the alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

Near full in body with low carbonation.

Excellent. This aged nicely.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 01:21:41 | More by ehammond1
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice cocoa and coffee flavor.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 00:42:15 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a small tan head. A bit of spotty lacing clinging on.

S: Nice dark roast coffee with some vanilla/hazelnut creamer. More roasted malt with bittersweet chocolate and vanilla sweetness.

T: Lots of roast and coffee (but not too much coffee) right at the start, then lots of sweet malts, vanilla, hazelnut and rich toffee take over to balance the roasty bitterness. A really great balance of sweet and roast that battles throughout the palate. Finish is a bit bitter roasted malt with a touch of creamy sweetness.

M: Medium to fuller body. Average carbonation. A bit smooth and creamy.

O: Really easy drinking for a 10% imperial stout. Probably more roasted bitterness than most stouts because of the coffee, but its got a great vanilla and hazelnut sweetness to balance it out. A solid Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 21:46:18 | More by herman77
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind BIF Beer #8

Finally a stout. We had to let it warm up a considerable amount of time.

The faint coffee smell did not surface until after it warmed a bit. Initially it just smelled like roasty chocolate goodness.

Thick black appearance. Minimal white head.

Good smooth chocolatey taste. Nice mouthfeel.

Guess: Big Black Voodoo Daddy

Reveal: Cool. I had this on draft but don't really remember it.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 12:41:19 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black pour with a large brown head. The head only sticks around for a few minutes, but laces a decent amount. 4

S: The aroma is of chocolate, light coffee, and some booze. Roasted malt plays a part as well. It's a strange smell, but I do enjoy it. Hard to place, I think it's the chocolate taking over. 4

T: The coffee and chocolate are really the forefront of the taste as well, but there are certainly other tastes as well. The roasted malt comes out in a big way, as well as some caramel and molasses. Some hop bitterness as well. Overall a great taste that is really unique, which is saying something considering how many imperial stouts with coffee I've had. 4

MF: Thick, rich, and full body with the perfect amount of carbonation. The drinkability is great, as I really don't get a lot of alcohol. The bitter finish makes me crave the sweetness of the beginning. 4

O: Really glad I got to try this. It really has a wonderful label, definitely one to save. If you like stouts with coffee, you won't regret getting a Big Hug! 4

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 01:35:31 | More by russwbeck
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from MasterSki, 650ml into a tulip.

Dark brown/black with a medium brown head, nice retention and lacing. Nose of roast, milk chocolate, some mild dark fruit notes, brown sugar, a whiff of alcohol and some bruised banana. Tastes of chocolate, roast, vanilla, and again some banana character that I though was peculiar, but interesting. Medium full feel, silky texture and lower carbonation. A very nice imperial stout, focus is on the malts here which I appreciate more in the style than heavily hopped iterations.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 20:44:07 | More by liamt07
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head that doesn't last long.

S-Good deal of roasted malt, coffee abundant, tad chocolate and vanilla.

T-Roasted malt, coffee, nuts, chocolate. Lots of coffee.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

O-A wonderful coffee forward stout. Not the same level as Breakfast stout, but damn, a solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 21:53:56 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

More of a stout than an IS. Fairly fresh. Big licorice. Coffee and a little acidic. Rather ordinary RIS.Thanks Liam. 10% is not apparent over the coffee and roast. Assertive carbonation. Maybe more interesting in a year. Bold flavour but just did not get it tonight.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 04:37:27 | More by Sammy
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown-black pour with a thin wispy layer of bubbles for a head; minimal lacing. Aroma was roast-driven, notes of coffee, dark malts, maybe some unsweetened cocoa. More of the same in the taste, toast & roast, dark bread, slightly bitter coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, fleshed out with some dark dried fruit essence, subtle earthy hop notes also detectable. Body was somewhere between medium and full, moderate carbonation, and a bit of harshness from the alcohol, but nothing really detrimental. Good brew overall.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 23:02:07 | More by Rifugium
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Big Hugs from Half Acre Beer Company
93 out of 100 based on 424 ratings.