Big Hugs - Half Acre Beer Company

Not Rated.
Big HugsBig Hugs

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

155 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 584
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 3.9%
Wants: 285
Gots: 147 | 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: 155 | Hads: 584
Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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. (336 characters)

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. (266 characters)

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. (518 characters)

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

2012 vintage 22 oz. bottle poured into a Half Acre Beer Company branded snifter

Pours a viscous opaque black with a light beige one and half finger head. Average retention , no visible lacing. Espresso, roasted malt, burnt raisin, and some alcohol. Charred, roasted malt, molasses, big, dark roasted coffee beans, hints of black cherry, coffee ground and hop-driven mild bitterness on the finish. Heavy medium to light full body, smooth with some creaminess. Moderate to low carbonation. A solid big stout that delivers some bold flavors without being overpowering. An annual release that have been proven to be always enjoyable. (630 characters)

Photo of UnderJoath
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (252 characters)

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

A special thanks to Mjmoser for this beer.

22oz bomber poured into my miniature CCB snifter. The beer was originally chilled for 2 hours and sat at room temperature for 45 minutes before pouring.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a nice brown foamy head that recedes quickly.

S: Strong smell of roasted malts. Hints of dark chocolate and vanilla. Expresso coffee strong at the start but mellows as the beer warms.

T: Coffee, chocolate and some vanilla on the palate. More sweet than bitter and has a very smooth appeal to it.

M: Very smooth for a 10% beer. A very east drinking Stout.

O: Solid offering from one of my favorite midwest breweries. Half Acre is making some solid brews up there. (695 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown to black, excellent hsmall head with great retention and lacing.

S: coffee and stout, delicious smelling, but not super distinguished

T: wonderful stout, excellent fresh coffee flavor, not too sweet at all with some good bitterness to balance a bit of richness

M: great medium carbonation along with medium heavy body and a smooth feeling.

O: delicious. Love coffee stouts, and this is right up there With breakfast stout and peche mortel. (458 characters)

Photo of Lolli1315
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nearly opaque black color with a small amount of brown showing through on the sides. A small tan head disappears almost entirely except for a small ring, but this is a growler that I got earlier in the week so that probably has something to do with it. Small amounts of lacing as well

S- A rich full chocolate smell right away. Moderate amount of roasted malts that is layered with smells of dark chocolate. There might be some slight hints of coffee as well, but this is dominated by the chocolate and roasted malts. There is also small amounts of alcohol noticeable.

T- Smooth chocolate similar to the smell. The chocolate seems to be almost bitter sweet throughout the beer, jumping from one to the other. Some malt sweetness can be tasted as well. Light amount of coffee, but it doesn't quick stack up to the chocolate character. Medium amounts of roasted malt also are apparent throughout. Although this is 10% alcohol, there is only a small amount noticeable at the end of the beer.

M- Full bodied and slightly creamy. Some alcohol warmth towards the end. Terribly smooth for 10% beer.

O- I have been looking forward to this beer and it did not disappoint. Incredibly smooth for its size and its combination of chocolate and roasted malts were a great balance. (1,277 characters)

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. (1,182 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2011 vintage, reviewed live, poured into a Half Acre tulip.

Pours a nice jet black color, lots dark brown when held to the light, a nice big frothy caramel colored head sits atop the beer and has pretty decent retention. Lots of foam sticks around as well and it leaves behind ample webbed lacing. The aromas are good, charred chocolate, toasted dark malts, licorice, touches of coffee but big malt and chocolate presence, faint alcohol. Lots of chocolate on the tongue, bitter toasted malt, burnt coffee and a ton of licorice and alcohol on the finish. The body is good, medium to full, ample carbonation with a nice creamy finish.

Verdict: This is a really fine stout from HA and one I wish they would make more often, especially for their canned line, but even as a winter seasonal, I'm glad they are making this because it's darn good and has aged well. (873 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this in a recent trade with Irishgurl4. Thanks a lot for the loot!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A transparent dark brown pour produces a one finger, medium looking, fizzy, light tan head with good retention. Black body and lower levels of visible carbonation. Head eventually fades to a half wisp and ring. The ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Caramel malt, cocoa, with quite a bit of vanilla and sweet cream in there. Espresso and milk chocolate with lactose sugar as well. Medium strength, and not much in terms of roasted malts. Smells very much like a milk stout.

TASTE: Some lightly roasted flavors up front, with caramel and lots of bitter cocoa and espresso coffee flavors at the swallow. Sweet cream and vanilla show up as well. A bold and very persistent aftertaste of sweet cream, powdery cocoa bitterness, espresso and some lactose sugars as well. This has got to be a milk stout, and a very nice one at that.

PALATE: Medium body and lower levels of soft carbonation. Very creamy, sliky smooth on the palate, goes dowm smooth and finishes slightly dry. Great feel on this one. Just a touch more weight and it'd be a perfect score.

OVERALL: This is a really good beer. The aromas and flavors scream milk stout, but I don't remember reading anything about that on the label or here. Regardless, a good beer is a good beer, and I was glad to have a chance to try this one. Thanks again for the trade Irishgurl4. This one comes recommended. (1,523 characters)

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. (903 characters)

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. (932 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kawilliams81 for an excellent in-person trade at the equally excellent Central Waters Anniversary party in February. I have judged that this bottle has been gathering dust long enough. Die! 22 oz. bottle split with the wife.

Pour is black. Always fun to watch people try to describe differences in pitch black, eh? Quiet beer. Nose is mostly roast, with a side of sweet sauce. Tame.

Big Hugs could rep the style at the national RIS convention; will the huggy delegate from IL please stand up? Lovely roast character stands up in the front row. Nice sweetness in the middle that tangos with a quick bitterness (hops, I presume) A dash of cream at the end.

Really, this is your double-yellow stripe right down the middle of the road of good big stouts. Nothing exciting, nothing deep, nothing complex, just a standard-bearer in a great style. Good. (862 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to robbiemoy13 for this bottle. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Poured black with one finger of bubbly espresso coloured head that quickly receded to a few bubbles.

S - Big charred malt aroma up front with some smoke, licorice and bitter dark roasted coffee. More bitter than sweet in the nose and very robust overall.

T - Big roasted malt profile up front that gives way to huge espresso notes. The finish has some licorice, char and smoke. Fairly prominent overall bitterness with some warming alcohol present. There is a sweetness here as well to provide some balance and light chocolate notes but the bitterness dominates, especially in the finish with is fill of huge bitter roast flavours.

M - Medium body and somewhat creamy at times. Light carbonation.

O - A good example of the style but too much bitterness for me. This one would really benefit from some aging. (884 characters)

Photo of minterro
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to exitmusic for the bottle.

One of the coolest bottle labels I've ever seen.

Says 10% on the label and 9.5% on BA.

A&S: roasty sweet coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, fairly sweet smelling overall. About a finger of dark tan head when poured, retained in a thin layer. specks of lacing. pitch black colored beer but didn't seem very thick.

T&M: More bitter, then sweetness in the smell would make it seem. Slight dark chocolate tones upfront. Pretty large alcohol tones from midway through to the finish. Lots of bitter roastness in the finish. Quite warming. medium-fully bodied, medium carbonation, on the chewy side.

Overall: Very enjoyable and fairly easy to drink despite the large taste of alcohol throughout. Depending on the price I would buy this beer again. (784 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10%ABV. Pours a very dark black with a medium-large tan head with an attractive ruby hue to it. Scent is lovely with nice chocolate aromas and fresh espresso. A little bit of roasted malt with a little bit of vanilla bean. As it warms, the vanilla shine...as well as the coffee. Taste is outstanding! Initially, just some mellow roasted malt with the slightest bit of smoke/ash. It instantly switches gears to fresh brewed coffee and delicious malt profile. Wonderful chocolate flavors with a lingering vanilla flavor that works well for this beer. Pleasant alcohol warmth in the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy but could have a little more body to it. Drinkability is very high. ABV well hidden. Overall, this is a superb Imperial stout. Thanks to my girlfriend and a certain member of BA for giving me the chance to try this! (823 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Half Acre brew courtesy of 2BDChicago (thanks Rich!). 22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Pours two shades shy of black with a loose, quarter inch, tan-colored head that dissipates into a frothy skim. Nose implies artificial sweetener, dark malts and a roasty char - all and all, somewhat subdued. Taste expresses roasted dark malts, chalky cocoa and a faint coffee grounds presence. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a slight acidity and a carbonation level that falls just short of lively. Overall, a decent easy drinking American Double with a well-hidden abv, but nothing really stands out for me on this one. That said, the label art was really great. (668 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date though we are most certain this one will cellar well.

LOOK: Black as black can be, sticky tan froth all over

SMELL: Espresso, charcoal, nougat, burnt currants

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, charred palate, shot of espresso, dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, black currants, herbal hop, very warming alcohol, bittersweet charred finish

So anyway ... we are beer lovers, and we love to drink, we think about how cute they are, and how their labels, and caps, and we just love them. We just want them in a basket, with a bowtie, on a rainbow and in our bed to roll around. But we can't hug every beer. (640 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter:

Pours an ominous abyss of dark matter. Dense mocha head of about a finger and a half. Consistent retention and lacing. Big everything: coffee, melted chocolate, with all the appropriate malty backing flavors - vanilla, caramel, toffee, earthy goodness. Taste mirrors the nose. Stupendous. The feel is cloying and thick. Carbonation could be beefed up a notch. Overall, this is very tasty stuff. I wish this made it up to my neck of the woods. Thanks to bpgpitt10! (506 characters)

Photo of KDawg
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a tulip. Pours a dark black color, but lacking a bit of head

Very good aromas of coffee, caramel, belgian chocolate and a good amount of malts. Very balanced, but slightly shy compared to the rest of the beer

Full bodied with a real great and smooth feel. Dangerously smooth with great depth too. Polished with great flavors of belgian chocolate, roasted malts, and a good amount of hot caramel. You can't notice the alcohol on this at all.

This is really damn good. Insanely smooth and polished, this is really impressive from half acre. (565 characters)

Photo of ChiPool
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at the brewey a few weeks ago...poured into a Duvel tulip.

Trying to expand my hoppy horizons into the dark side, and always willing to give my Lincoln Avenue brethren a chance at a brew. Like a bombshell blonde stripper, this has the classic look of a stout: dark & curvy with a sandy blonde mop. This one is roasty: not too sweet. It's smooth...velvety...sneaky! Almost no heat on this one...a real cool customer. Danger, Will Robinson!!!

Like many of the Half Acre releases...cans, please!!! (515 characters)

Photo of Jaycase
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: black as night. thick, creamy tan head. sticky lacing

s: dark chocolate and coffee with chocolate being the much more predominant aroma.

t: Roasted malts up front with nice blend of coffee and chocolate through the finish.

m: Smooth, thick and creamy. Finishes slightly dry.

o: Very enjoyable stout. Incredibly drinkable. Solid all around, no glaring negatives. Seek this one out stout lovers. I know I will again. (421 characters)

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

Had this at a tasting last night. Thanks to rwnewhouse for bringing this.

This pours black, though it doesn't seem to suck in all the light around it like other stouts can. On the nose, even a year later, there is still a good deal of coffee, with bitter chocolate and bitter roasted malt. In the mouth those three different types of bitterness dominate, but there is also a slightly citric flavor in the long finish. The coffee has probably faded quite a bit, but it's still present and doesn't taste stale or anything. The body is surprisingly medium, something I also ran into with their Wild America barleywine.

Overall, this is a pretty nice coffee stout, though I would have liked to have tried it a little fresher. That might have helped the pungency of the beer, but it probably wouldn't help the weirdly average body. (828 characters)

Photo of tasteegood
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had the pleasure of having this beer on tap, bottle, and in growler...yay!!!

Anyway on this occasion, I will look back to my wonderous experience on the day of its December release in 2011.

Serving type: Growler-split amongst 3 people in 2Hopleaf tulip glasses and 1 Bell's tulip glass.

S- Robust coffee, hints of chocolate....ah Dark Matter Coffee!!!
A-Black, black, black. W a thin brown lacing that coated the side of the glass as you drink.
T- Robust black Coffee (maybe a darker roast) w/ a pinch of azucar
M- LIght carbonation, coffee definitely stays on your buds for a bit.
O-Fantastic buy. One of my favorite ovarall and possibly my favorite seasonals from Half Acre. I will hodl on to my last 22 oz until my last breathe. (743 characters)

Big Hugs from Half Acre Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.