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Big Hugs - Half Acre Beer Company

Not Rated.
Big HugsBig Hugs

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

458 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 458
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.63%
Wants: 262
Gots: 120 | FT: 4
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: 458 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jacob4999
jacob4999

Michigan

4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 23:56:46 | More by jacob4999
Photo of PlinytheFarter
PlinytheFarter

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 21:39:44 | More by PlinytheFarter
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 13:37:38 | More by Treebs
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Big Hugs from Half Acre Brewing Company.
Score: 88

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 06:27:36 | More by jegross2
Photo of SolarMikey
SolarMikey

Michigan

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-24-2011 03:25:20 | More by SolarMikey
Photo of Orchids
Orchids

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

12-21-2011 07:18:30 | More by Orchids
Photo of JoeBoxer522
JoeBoxer522

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 :)

Serving type: growler

12-20-2011 20:08:10 | More by JoeBoxer522
Photo of StayWhatYouAre2
StayWhatYouAre2

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

12-20-2011 13:11:55 | More by StayWhatYouAre2
Photo of areich6
areich6

Illinois

3/5  rDev -28.1%

12-20-2011 08:29:47 | More by areich6
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 04:51:42 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of johnbjaeger
johnbjaeger

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-20-2011 03:22:25 | More by johnbjaeger
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

12-20-2011 02:24:33 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of pschul4
pschul4

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-19-2011 19:10:38 | More by pschul4
Photo of Khazadum
Khazadum

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: growler

12-19-2011 06:11:02 | More by Khazadum
Photo of stbo101
stbo101

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

12-18-2011 23:23:16 | More by stbo101
Photo of EseLocoSS
EseLocoSS

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-18-2011 21:25:47 | More by EseLocoSS
Photo of denimdemon
denimdemon

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

12-18-2011 21:15:25 | More by denimdemon
Photo of 1noa
1noa

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

12-18-2011 19:27:33 | More by 1noa
Photo of davidbowers13
davidbowers13

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

12-18-2011 05:37:26 | More by davidbowers13
Photo of dlello2
dlello2

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-17-2011 05:16:00 | More by dlello2
Photo of tbeq00
tbeq00

California

4/5  rDev -4.1%

12-12-2011 20:58:58 | More by tbeq00
Photo of theminutemen
theminutemen

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

12-10-2011 17:02:18 | More by theminutemen
Photo of leprakhan
leprakhan

California

5/5  rDev +19.9%

12-07-2011 08:19:51 | More by leprakhan
Photo of CarolinaKevin
CarolinaKevin

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +19.9%

12-04-2011 02:46:07 | More by CarolinaKevin
Photo of Pellinore1
Pellinore1

Illinois

5/5  rDev +19.9%

12-03-2011 02:40:57 | More by Pellinore1
Big Hugs from Half Acre Beer Company
93 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.