Big Hugs - Half Acre Beer Company
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Ratings: 461 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -4.1%
Big Hugs '11
A: Pours basically a pitch black color. Two fingers of tan head. Lots of sticky lacing are left on the glass. Some alcohol feet are there. Tight tiny bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.
S: Lots of roasted malt notes. There is a good amount of dark roast coffee, but its not as much as I have read about. Some dark fruit notes as well behind it all.
T: Lots of roasted notes. Not as much coffee as I was expecting. Maybe my palate was just beat up after an Xmas day of drinking stouts.
M: Medium to full. Nice roasty mouth coat.
O: I like this one, but it wasn't a mind blowing RIS by any means. I like the coffee forward stouts, but I wanted even more coffee on this one.
12-31-2011 15:17:43 | More by inlimbo77
4.38/5 rDev +5%
Growler purchased at Half Acre on Dec. 18, 2011 and shared with family a week later on Christmas day. Served in my lovely new HA-branded snifter/tulip.
A - Dark chocolate/black in color, topped with 2 fingers of creamy, latte-colored foam that leaves behind a decent amount of lacing as it recedes.
S - Freshly roasted house blend, and not much else. It's a lovely coffee aroma, but a bit one-dimensional. As it warms, some basic stout roastiness, mild hop aroma, and some cocoa shows up as well.
T - Great, bitter coffee stout. The coffee is spot on, and is supported nicely by dark bread and bittersweet chocolate notes from the malt bill, and just the right kick of spicy, earthy hops to provide a well-rounded flavor profile. Slight warming brings out a subtly sweeter hot cocoa taste and some boozy warmth. Really quite fantastic and much more complex than what the nose seemed to offer.
M - Full-bodied, nicely carbonated, finishes rather dry for a big stout. I'd like to just sip at it, but it keeps disappearing from my glass.
O - My first time in the kitten's embrace, certainly won't be my last. Highly recommended.
12-26-2011 23:16:21 | More by AJacob81
4.05/5 rDev -2.9%
Served in a Duvel tulip.
A- black with 2" creamy brown head. Some lacing that resides quickly.
S- bitter dark chocolate and a ton of chocolate.
T- roasted malts and huge coffee flavor. Some bitter chocolate at finish.
M- medium to full body. Smooth and creamy.
O- I'd you like coffee you will love this beer! Definite improvement from last year, little thin last year.
12-26-2011 00:19:12 | More by kawilliams81
4.45/5 rDev +6.7%
Fresh 2011 bottle poured into a glass goblet. Reviewed from notes.
Appearance: Pours a nice black with an off white head. Nice retention and web lacing.
Smell: Coffee, sweet chocolates and roasted malt. Very inviting and smells delicious.
Taste: Light on the coffee to me but a nice sweet creamy chocolate flavor. That combined with the roasted malts makes the alcohol nonexistent. I could drink this beer all night.
Mouthfeel: Maybe it was because I drank this right after having a fresh BCBS but I thought mouthfeel was a little thin. But for being a sweet stout it definitely works!
Overall: Like an imperial and a milk stout rolled into one. Delicious flavors and smell make this beer a total package. Too bad it is so limited and hard to get as I could drink one of these every weekend and be content. Already can't wait till next year. Definitely seek this one out!
12-25-2011 23:56:46 | More by jacob4999
4.45/5 rDev +6.7%
I am proclaiming that Half Acre will be the premier micro brewery in Chicago in five years. Goose Island is not longer Chicago I'm sorry. They keep getting better every year and are currently expanding their brewery so they can increase the amount of these great brews that we may get our hands on. I got two bombers at the release for this fantastic beer, it was very much worth the drive and short line wait. I am sad though that I did not dress as a cat as stated to on the update for the release. I figured a surprise gift would be like a coaster or bottle opener, turns it was some random corked bomber and a tulip! That is super badass and I learned my lesson on that one. Now onto to the review which I'm sure you can tell how I feel about the brew already.
Upon opening the beer I was kinda surprised by the muted smell I was getting. I figured for sure I would smelling that amazing Dark Matter coffee that Half Acre used to brew this beer. I then realized it was far too cold to get any great smell going. It was cold from sitting in the freezing brewery loading dock for the release. This was my only complaint about how the release was setup. After the beer sat for a few in the warmth of a friends furnished basement the amazing aroma I was hoping for came out. I smelled more coffee than roasty smokiness which I was pleased about.
It's as you would imagine a dark ass mofo of a beer. My favorite part is that wonderful medium brown head you get off a great Imperial Stout. I just mentally prepares me for the greatness within. It pours id say about a finger of head. I personally like a tad more on my Stouts but no real complaint. This however is a glimpse into my biggest complaint with this beer...
It tastes smooth and delicious with a hearty coffee kick. It slides down the throat nicely and isn't a very thick Stout at all considering the amount of flavor you get outta this. My biggest issue which I hinted at earlier is that it seems a tad "flat". I almost want to chalk this up to Half Acre being a really small brewery still. They have shown and continue to show they can hang with the big boys of the micro brew industry, but they still seem to be not quite ready to fully take a spot on top. I will compare them to lets say Founders which i would say is one the most consistent breweries who do some of the best Stouts that are similar to Big Hugs. That consistency thing is what elevates them to me, their beers never taste flat. The flavors are bold and up front and don't feel like they could and should have been more. Big Hugs has that slight letdown like it has more to offer you but just fell short of true epic status. This being said I freaking love this beer. The coffee taste is damn near perfect, thanks in large part to the amazingness that is Dark Matter coffee. This doesn't finish smokey or roasty, it just keeps hitting that cofee flavor. Well maybe there is some roast in the back end but it makes me think of a roasted coffee bean. I drank another last night Christmas Eve and it was fantastic. As you can see by my score my problem with it is minor but that jump from close to perfect beer to actually being perfect is huge. Half Acre will get there one day, sooner than later I assume. Until then I will continue to enjoy the journey with them!
12-25-2011 21:39:44 | More by PlinytheFarter
4/5 rDev -4.1%
22 oz. bottle served in a Deschutes snifter. 2011 vintage.
A: Pours a pitch color with a very bubbly dark khaki head. It rises up to about three fingers in height before settling to a thick collar. There is tons of sticky webbing down the glass. Looks phenomenal.
S: The nose was a tad on the sweeter side. Sweet chocolate malts and vanilla were at the front which was followed by a prominent roasted coffee bean body. There was a touch of raw cocoa as well.
T: Dark coffee grinds dominant the beginning of each sip, but then it transitions nicely to some dark chocolate, creamy sugar, and a nice roasted malt flavor. The finish is a combination of sweet vanilla and some boozy dark fruit.
M: Medium to heavy bodied. It was a tad thin on the initial pour when it was a little colder, but once it warmed up it became thicker and creamier. There was a touch to much carbonation for my liking. The dark roasted coffee flavors lingered on the palate for quite sometime after each sip which was nice.
O: A very solid and great tasting beer. I was expecting the coffee to take over, but it was very well balanced. Just a tad over carbonated.
12-24-2011 13:37:38 | More by Treebs
3.9/5 rDev -6.5%
Reviewing the Big Hugs from Half Acre Brewing Company.
Fresh 2011 vintage bottle poured in a CBS snifter glass. Amazing artwork on the bottle. Click on the images to the right (labels from the different Big Hugs vintages) to enlarge.
Appearance: Pours a pitch black with a half finger of creamy tan head that settles into a thin ring around the glass. Pretty solid lacing. 4/5
Smell: Velvety black coffee. Raw cocoa beans, dark unsweetened chocolate and raw coffee beans. Light hops aroma. 4/5
Taste: Creamed coffee. Some hops on the mid-palate. Raw bitter coffee bean finish. Some raw, unsweetened chocolate on the mid-palate as the beer layers. 4/5
Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied. Light-plus carbonation, perhaps a touch too much carbonation. Finish is bitter and a little acidic. 3/5
Overall: A solid imperial stout from Half Acre. Certainly worth trying, but a little over-hyped if you ask me.
Recommendation: A very true to style, tasty, and inoffensive beer that I recommend to beer geeks and casual beer drinkers alike. Do not go too far out of your way to try this one, however.
Pairings: Chocolate cake.
Cost: $12 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle from the Half Acre Brewery Store.
12-24-2011 06:27:36 | More by jegross2
4.53/5 rDev +8.6%
Wow! What a phenomenal brew! Got this from the Big Hugs release in late December of 2011 and cracked open the growler the next day.
A: Darker than dark, very inky black pour with a deep tan foamy head.
S: Roasty, a hint of coffee, a deep sweet smelling stout. Already getting a contact high.
T: A little more bitter than I expected, but incredibly smooth. You can tell the alcohol is there, but not quite as overbearing as other Imperial Stouts I've tried. Velvety smooth texture and a lingering bitter-sweetness. Overall excellent.
M: Velvety smooth, surprisingly sticky given it's not super sweet. Definitely lingers in your mouth well after it's gone.
Overall a fantastic brew. As a side note, I had 3 Snifters worth of the growler and I got a unique wonderful buzz that lasted through the night and into the morning, without any real hangover. Quality stuff :)
12-20-2011 20:08:10 | More by JoeBoxer522
4.33/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
12-20-2011 04:51:42 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.85/5 rDev +16.3%
A- This beer is amazing poured. Big inky stout, full lacing, sticky body, mocha topping. Its got the carbonation I want, its got no imperfections I can spot. Perfect appearance.
S- What more can I ask for? Sweetness on teh back end. Like a light maple syrup. This is surrounded by a sweet coffee roast. A non-bold, not espresso blend this year. What a great choice. Its roasty aroma, not bitter, not overwhelming, but distinctly coffee. It also has some toasted grain characteristic.
T- Oh those flavors. Opens sweet milk chocolate, lactose sugars, ethanolic laden dark fruits. Plums, dates, raisins. Almost the whole gamut. It has a placement of roasted coffee that isn't roasted grain. Behind the coffee is the roasted grain! Two flavors but identifiable. They really hit a home run this year in terms of flavors. I'm amazed at how good this tastes. Finishes relatively clean but you have the memory of roast with little bitterness there. It exists to balance, but you know its coffee you are tasting. Here and there you taste some hops, muddied, murky, sometimes citrus and vegetation.
M- Thick, viscous, syrupy. Delightful. Sticky flavors, really hard to determine the alcoholic nature. definitely not a 9%+ beer, but a 6%+ for sure. Carbonation is light, appropriate, allows it to not be cloying.
This is the BEST year of Big Hugs in the past 3 years. Fantastic, amazing. Delicious. I drank a half growler of this in one sitting, I'm sure.
12-19-2011 06:11:02 | More by Khazadum
Big Hugs from Half Acre Beer Company
93 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.