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Big Hugs - Half Acre Beer Company

Not Rated.
Big HugsBig Hugs

Educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 597
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 286
Gots: 146 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 12-10-2009

This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 157 | Hads: 597
Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by mdfb79 at a recent tasting. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pour yields a dark brew with an off-white head that sticks around for a bit before falling into a cap and a thin collar. Nose brings forward mostly roast with a touch of coffee and chocolate in the background. The flavor is pretty similar to the nose in that they're really both on the light side with just a splash of coffee. Body is medium--though light for the style--with moderate carbonation and a smoothness without much booze. Nothing too complex or earth shattering, but pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark black color stout with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing notes. Aroma of roasted malt with some black chocolates notes and light sugary notes. Taste is also dominated by dry roasted malt notes with some black chocolate and light residual sugar notes. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and quite enjoyable without standing out from the crowd of RIS.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black stouty body, arcing mocha lacing all around, ringing the glass. A solid skim spreads across the surface, receding from about a finger of initial foam. In the light there's a glint at the rim of burnt ruby mahogany.

Aroma is a little estery with a nice and warm note of mellow, rich coffee. Roasted malts and coffee candy.

The flavor is similarly estery, in the end it's more like a big coffee porter. Bitterness is moderate and coffee derived. Some unsweetened dark chocolate may also be responsible to a lesser degree. Lingering roasty malt aftertaste. Fairly rich but light bodied and dry in the finish. Not palate-destroying or syrupy like so many other American RIS'. Some dark fruit inklings that never really express fully. Easy drinking, a growler would almost be a better option if you're sharing. Nice stuff...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to death to try this one, came packed to me with Daisy Cutter but I just got around to cracking this one last night. Served chill and in a 6oz snifter glass, this one was consumed on 01/12/2010.
Very big pour here as a dark as night liquid emerged from the bottle almost effortlessly. Nice tan head rose up and capped the top of it reaching a height of close to an inch, even in the small glass, before knocking back down to earth and leaving behind tons of thick, chocolate lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Really just very well done. Aroma starts out with a ton of coffee, really just dominating the aroma until it hit room temperature. At this point, bitter dark chocolate, touches of fruit and a nice hop note start to come out. Really struck me a bit odd at first, but I warmed up to it as the night went on. I think it needed just a kick more of a sweet nature to really put it over the top. The first sip hit with a nice kick to it. Rich dark, roasted malts, touches of bitter chocolate and a nice and smooth, almost prune like note all came together very nicely. Nice hop notes dropping in and out of it as well, really thickened up the flavor and gave it great depth. Leather and licorice snapping back as it warms now with a nice, smooth, and semi dry finish that really just did me in.
Overall a very solid and very drinkable RIS. I really like what they did with the hosp here and it gave it a flavor that tended to lean towards the Darkness like profile, but with a kick of bitter coffee notes thrown in. Really nicely done and something I would have no trouble at all with trying again any day.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to imperialking for this beer. It's got an awesome cat on the label, so this one is definitely for me!

A: The pour is just about black with a tan head on top.

S: The nose has plenty of coffee and roasted malt with a slight smokiness to it and some dark, bitter chocolate.

T: Like the aroma, there is plenty of rich coffee along with the roasted malt. The smokiness here is very mild and perhaps is more of an earthy flavor and plays well with the chocolate.

M: The body is full and the carbonation gives the beer a very smooth feel on the tongue.

D: I was surprised by easy this beer is to drink. Another good offering from Half Acre.

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Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Buffalo Bills/Coors Light shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his growler!

It's the most adorable bringer of devastation I have ever seen. I think. It pours a straight obsidian topped by a nice finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, coffee, molasses, and a touch of dark chocolate. The taste doesn't want to deviate too far therefrom, though the coffee is stepped up a notch and the chocolate is a bit richer. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, if ya like yourself some coffee stout, look not much further than right here, mister! Very nice.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. I believe this is the 2010 edition.

Pours black, with 2 ½ fingers of rich mocha head. This retains with a thick 1/2 finger that drenches the sides of the glass with a sticky latticework of creamy lacing. The aroma smells of ripe earthy hops, roasted coffee, cocoa, some darker fruit, and a touch of spicy alcohol.

The taste is more ripe citrus, leafy bitterness, and crunchy coffee flavor up front, which then gives way to a wave of bittersweet chocolate, tangy caramel, and dark fruit character that, separates itself out from those citric hops. The finish is dry and bitter with some lingering brunt tones. The mouthfeel is full bodied and sharp on the tongue with a firm creaminess that fills out the mouth. This has a light underlying alcohol presence, with a warm spiciness that lingers in the finish as well but is overall pretty smooth and drinkable for the size.

This was a pretty darn nice take on an Imperial Stout, with a nice range of flavors and a bit yet still accessible body on it and I was especially pleased to find that this wore it’s ABV on its sleeve just a bit. This is another solid beer from Half Acre. Worth a look.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from bassmantin, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass. I’ve had it stored for almost two years.

A: The beer is a very deep dark brown color, with a thin head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains black coffee, dark fruit, bourbon, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong bitter-sweet toasted coffee bean flavor, followed by background flavors of dark fruit, bourbon and chocolate. The roasted malt character is very hearty and there’s a very mild but complementary hops presence that creates a good balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp it’s also a bit syrupy but somehow it seems to work nicely in this beer, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice stronger coffee-flavored beer that appears to have aged quite well.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 03/05/11 notes. Brought to a local tasting. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and light coffee. I enjoyed the smell a lot, but was expecting a lot more coffee.

t - Tastes of coffee grinds, roasted malts, chocolate, sweet dark fruits, and vanilla. More coffee than the smell, but still not a lot.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I liked this stout, though I didn't think there wasd a lot of coffee to it. Opening a 2009 vintage in a few weeks so interested to see how that compares.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up a while back, probably at the Half Acre storefront. I've had this a few times both from bottles and on-tap. Served in a pint glass.

A - Finger of tan foam that dissipates to a thick ring and some light haze, leaving behind patchy lacework. Black body with a glint of brown at the fringes.

S - Coffee grounds, roasted malts, dark fruits. The coffee popped more when this was fresh, but it's still fairly present. A touch astringent.

T - Taste is quite a bit sweeter, with plenty of dark fruits. Slight burnt malt quality. The finish is lightly bitter and roasty.

M - Somewhat harsh carbonation. Medium body, with a sticky finish. Alcohol is well-hidden.

D - I was fine with my 8oz or so, and I could have had some more. Looking forward to a new batch, as well as the barrel-aged version.

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I brought this one to our Stout Day party. I believe this one was a 2010 bottle. I don't even like cats and this label is awesome.

A - Pours ink black with a nice one finger tall off white head leaving spotty streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee grounds, dark chocolate, and some light smoke.

T - Starts off with lots of rich coffee quickly giving way to hints of chocolate, light smoke, and dark roast. There is a bit of dark fruits hidden in the shadows of this one. The finish has quite a bit of dark roast to it, lingering on the pallet for quite awhile.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, roasty, feel with very little booze for such a high ABV.

O - I enjoyed this one. It had plenty of flavor and the smooth feel really made it easy to drink. Thanks to whoever gave me this as an extra.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Dan, thanks buddy.

Beer is black with a thin off white head that has some retention, minimal lacing, apparent moderate to low carbonation.

Lots of roast and some sweetness, perhaps milk chocolate in the nose. Smells good.

Beer is thinner than expected, sweet up front with some chocolate in the midpalate and some coffee on the finish, overall a decent beer, nothing too special though.

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Photo of stakem
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken 2/23/11. Bomber split with wishuwerebeer.

Poured into a sniffer, this brew appears black in color with a thin film of dark brown head that dissolves quickly leaving only a thin ring around the wall of the glassware. Faint spotty lacing appears when sips are taken. A swirl revives the cap to a finger's strength.

The aroma is roasty with a scent of dark fruits and light fusel alcohol that tingles the nose. Light indications of coffee are roasty and earthy and very well integrated into the smell of this brew without being dominating. A light citrus aspect developes as the brew warms. A herbal, earthy hop aroma is revealed when swirled.

The taste is roasty with burnt to charred character of the grain. Dry grainy residue clings inside the mouth that is lightly musty. Citrus hops and coffee notes are exaggerated by the warming fusel touch of alcohol. Some dark skinned fruit flavors linger inside the mouth with indications of licorice.

This is a medium bodied brew to full in the feel with a light level of carbonation. The abv is pretty apparent in this brew yet easy drinking and well incorporated. Well rounded overall, nice and roasty but with a touch too much citrus and fusel alcohol to make this one outstanding. Still pretty good and worth a try.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is full of coffee and chocolate with a lot of roasted malts. A very nice smelling Imperial Stout.

The flavor is more of the same. The chocolate and coffee really compliment the roasted malt notes well. There is also a nice cream and oats component to the flavor which I really enjoy.

Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nice Imperial Stout.

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Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just found out that I'm getting another snow day from work tomorrow, making it a total of 4 in a row now. The girlfriend is out of town so I figured I'd celebrate the snow with a Big Hug and just chill out with the puppy on the couch and watch my new Blu-Ray copy of Braveheart.

Picked up this one from South Lakeview Liquers. Poured pitch black into my stone RIS glass with a one inch frothy tan head. The head settled down and formed a bubbly ring around the edges of the glass, where it left very good lacing.

Coffee and roasted malt are the most present things in the nose. It's a very nice and the coffee isn't overpowering. The taste also is strong with coffee and roasted malts. The coffee is most present in the long bitter and dry finish.

The mouthfeel is above average but not too thick and the carbonation is on the lower side. Drinkability is good, I really liked this beer and would say it's one of the better coffee stouts I have had. Would purchase again, and another very good beer that I got to try from half Acre.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by HopasaurusRex, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black with a creamy tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Huge coffee aromas as well as some chocolate roast and light brown sugar. Light earthy aromas and a very faint dark dried fruitiness round out the aroma quite well. The flavor is rich dark chocolate maltiness with a bunch of creamed coffee poured over it. Light fruit and earth round out the flavor quite nicely. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation. Really nice coffee brew, I'm glad I got to try this.

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Photo of liamt07
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 1.5 finger beige head that has decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Deep roasty aroma with hints of coffee/espresso bean, silky chocolate malt, molasses, caramel, toffee and hazelnut. I'm also picking up some slight lactic cream, burnt toast and subtle hops.

Roasted medium bodied that's on the fuller end of the spectrum with some luscious chocolate malt, sugar, molasses, deep roasted coffee bean and oatmeal. Slightly acrid with some burnt toast but overall it's well balanced and the ABV is excellently masked making this very quaffable.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Big Hugs from Half Acre Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.