Huge Arker - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Huge ArkerHuge Arker

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

210 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 210
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.37%
Wants: 13
Gots: 63 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: chinchill on 01-29-2014

Bourbon Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 41
Photo of neenerzig
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My extremely good and awesome buddy Jon Passow, who as of a few months ago became the Manager of Barrel Room Operations at Anderson Valley Brewing Company, recently sent me this in a package from northern, CA about 6 months ago. I've I've been cellaring this beer for awhile, and for whatever reason I decided it was finally time to crack this one open tonight. Poured out of the 22 oz bomber into my snifter glass, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color that has no interest at all in letting any light in. Has a slightly off white head that is about 2/3 or an inch thick when first poured that settles pretty quickly to a very thick, fluffy ring lining the inside of the glass along with a nice big cluster swirl of foam that blankets most of the beer's surface along with pretty good lacing. Big roasted caramel malt aromas along with bitter coffee notes, oak and vanilla that gives way to hints of bourbon. The taste is pretty much the same, starting out with very roasty caramel sweet notes that immediately give way to some coffee and vanilla bitter notes. Hints of dark fruits are certainly present as well. Rounded out with a touch of hops with a bourbon finish. The 13.5% ABV really sneaks up on you in a subtle manner. Has a slightly crisp, mainly smooth and somewhat creamy, slightly oily, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A quite excellent beer all around indeed!

Eric

Photo of stevoj
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bar Gernika. Warm whiskey notes at first sniff, dark brown sticky body. Taste also brings the wood barrel notes on top of a robust RIS. Plenty of heat follows.

Photo of Matty-McBier
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice bourbon flavor forward and primary!

Photo of BWood
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not too much smell to it. But the smell it has is good. Great beer! After taste lingers with smooth bourbon. Overall fantastic BBA Stout.

Photo of JamesBondGA
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black in color with white head. good amount of lacing. aroma is all wild turkey bourbon. taste has a bit of roast, boozy, cola taste. will coat your mouth with the thick taste.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

served on draft

black in color with white head. good lacing. aroma is all bourbon, quite boozy. taste has a bit of roast, boozy. thicker, coats the mouth.

Photo of nickfl
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wow, the aroma is mild but there is a huge note of wild turkey bourbon in the flavor. Very distinctly wild turkey, which may or may not be a good thing but is nevertheless impressive. A little cola like overall, but the over the top ABV is relatively well disguised.

Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this at Brass Rail Deli, enjoyed chilled from the bomber in a glass.

The color is black with a tan head and tight bead. The smell has a strong bourbon aroma with light stout scent hints of wood with the wild turkey dominating. The feel is very woody with a slight boozy presence and light sweetness with strong tannic quality and mildly sweet middle with almost sweet/dry finish lasting on the palate with alcohol noticeable.

The feel leads to taste of bourbon in the flavor profile which almost seems like a shot dropped in a stout...not offensive but very dominant in the taste with wood and whiskey taking precedence to the base stout flvaor which also makes the stout seem thin and only a gentle caramel flavor is remaining after the swallow. Overall this is not bad, but not what I expect either good for a double digit barrel aged beer but not good if you are not a fan of whiskey flavor in your stout

Photo of Segelstrom
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

For a high ABV stout it just didn't have the richness and full body one comes to expect from this type beer. It is good but not great, expecially for the price.

Photo of daave1
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Like most reviews state, it's quite boozy throughout, but it's offset by the malts, dark candied fruits, raisins and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy; very substantial. The nose is wonderful and matches the taste. This is a great beer for enjoying slowly, perhaps with a nice cigar. I bet if you cellared one of these bad boys for a year or two, you'll have a gem on your hands. I've been disappointed at Anderson Valleys offerings of late, so this is a welcomed surprise. Great beer.

Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nearly opaque dark brown with a lasting, thick, rich, creamy head. Spicy, bourbon nose; sharp fig and cherry; blackberries. Biting hit of booziness; soothing caramel base. Heavy body; somewhat raspy on the palate; mostly dry finish.

A beautiful mess. It's got a very strong bourbon flavor and heat with the malt base being somewhat secondary. There are intricate strings of varied and interesting scents yet they seem somewhat subdued in nature. Still, though the balance may be somewhat off-kilter, there are satisfying touches of flavor depth and complexity. Yes, the booze kind of dominates, but on a cold, snowy winter night, this beer is still a welcome tool to hold back the winter blues...

Photo of n2185
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pours black with a finger of brown head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: lots of oak on the nose with roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: lots of oak here as well with roasted malts, burnt sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and a bit of char before a moderately boozy finish

M: thick body with moderate carbonation, this beer is surprisingly lively feeling for such a big beer.

O: I really enjoy this one. Most BBA beers this high in alcohol are so cloyingly sweet or boozy that they're tough to drink more than a few ounces of. This one avoids those qualities and becomes dangerously drinkable.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 grudgingly picked up at the COOP for $14... It is as much as $21 at other places around town. Shared tonight with a work buddy.. Dark tan 1" head.. Nice retention.. Decent lacing.. Dark malt and brownie batter on the nose... The flavor shows better bourbon barrel character with plenty of dark malt and vanilla.. Good body, but not huge, well made without needing time to rest in the bottle.

4/3.75/4/3.75/4

Photo of Mrose78
2/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A little too boozy for my taste.

Photo of scottfrie
3.51/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into BT glass.

A: Pours a dark cola, near black, with a couple fingers of very dense and soft looking creamy mocha colored head that took forever to fade into a lasting bubbly collar that left thick sheets of fuzzy lace down the glass.
S: Bourbon is rich and sweet but not overly volatile or boozy. I get notes of raisin, leather, chocolate and candied dates.
T: I get notes of raisins, leather, and chocolate that are quickly overshadowed by boozy and dominating notes of bourbon. The finish is particularly boozy that reminds me more of watered down whiskey than it does a barrel aged beer. I also get a lingering peat/char quality that sticks around long after the swallow, as well as flavors of toasted marshmallow throughout.
M: Thick and chewy mouthfeel, full and rich body, lightly sticky, with a ton bourbon that has a ton of lingering booze after each swallow. The carbonation is fluffy and thick.
O: This beer has a huge Wild Turkey presence. It’s not necessary hot, but the booze is very prominent to the point of distraction, and the finish is definitely rough.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Let me first say that I haven't been overly impressed with Anderson Valley beers in the past. I will also say that I am a big fan of Wild Turkey for the price point, so I am going into this one optimistic and open minded.

My overly strong pour achieves three fingers of bubbly mocha brown head. Head turns very rocky as it slowly fades leaving crust like lace behind. Body is simple and sexy pure ink black.

Nose is like dessert with big sweet bourbon tones that are dominant. You get a ton of toffee, carmel and some chocolate as well. Delicious nose going on here.

With first sip I had to quickly check the label to make sure of the alcohol content. It is so smooth I thought there is no way that this is 13.5%. The bourbon is incredibly evident in the taste profile of this beer. You do perceive more of the alcohol heat as you continue to drink. There is some chocolate, fig, anise and black strap molasses all playing here in the flavor. This one definitely warms the belly.

Overall a solid Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. This one could use a couple of years in the cellar to round out to something much more complex and beautiful.

Photo of sbauer
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon and dark fruit nose. Taste is cola and vanilla. Alcohol is a bit too strong on the aftertaste.

Photo of irongator
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Second to none. Amazingly boozy and thick. Heaven in a glass!

Photo of Zach136
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black, thin collar.

Aroma: Coconut, vanilla oak. Roast/Chocolate flavors typical of stouts are actually pretty muted

Flavor: Heavy oak, solid levels of char and roast. Vanilla and bourbon flavors are moderate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, booze and oak seem to thin it ok.

Overall: It's OK, bigger fan of the Wild Turkey Barney Flats.

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Poured from a bomber into a tulip on 05.21.14.

A: 2 1/2 finger tan head. Midnight black with some red at the bottom.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, cream, brown sugar.

T: Bourbon, vanilla dominate. Caramel, brown sugar, woodiness, plum are subtle.

M: Creamy. Somewhat chewy.

O: The bottle could have used some cellaring because everything was so strong. The alcohol burn was definitely there, but it's hard to hide with such a high ABV. It's a big beer and it snuck up on me even though I sipped on it. It was a very good BB stout.

Rating: A

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Pours a turbid ebony with a thumb of tan head. Great lacing & head retention, never
really drops bright ( as far as this style can ). Stays effervescent (4.5)

S: Figs, faint booze, Bourbon gets stronger once warm (3.5)

T: Raisins, booze, dryness, Bourbon & figs up front. Some caramel & vanilla mix in with figgyness
once warm, a little molasses, some jammyness too almost makes me think Boulevard BBQ. Finishes
boozey with some woody notes, more figs (3.75)

MF: Medium body at best, slight carbonation, very warming, slick (3.5)

Huge beer, proceed with caution. Tasty enough, just needed more Stout aspects to make me
really happy. Well worth a go though (3.75)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A. Pours dark brown with an off white head.

S. Bourbon, malt, sweet and heat. There's a touch of pine but mainly boozy and roasted.

T. Bourbon and wood flavor lasting with a strong malt note. A bit hot. Perhaps a touch oxidized with a chocolate yet dark soy like note. Oak, char, booze. Toasty, roasted, barreled and bourbon soaked.

F. Full bodied, smooth and creamy. Only slightly dry and roasted in the finish.

O. Lovely beer but she's big.

Photo of KYGunner
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deeply black but radiant onyx meets the eye as it is capped with a thickly dense, light brown foam.

The aroma is soft but it reveals a lot of the bourbon. Mostly vanilla, oak, wood with a bit of coffee.

I allowed this to warm for about 30 minutes and it helped to bring out flavor an temper the booziness that I had read about. The bourbon flavor is creamy and sweet with vanilla. I can taste soft tones of oak and wood along with a softer backbone of cocoa.

This is 13 pct and I actually felt none of it, albeit I warmed it to promote this fact. Instead, I feel a smooth thickness and a decent fullness.

Very enjoyable but softer than I expected.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, glossy black, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells very bourbon-forward, with some smoke and chocolate.

The taste is similar. One of the more bourbon forward stouts I've had, this is huge and tasty. Some vanilla, and chocolate, a slight kiss of smokiness, and some good roasted malt flavors.

Thick bodied, quite viscous and sticky, but still very drinkable. Low carbonation.

This was very tasty, I was impressed.

Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep brown black, lingering head. Cocoa dominates aroma, slightly sweet, with hints of vanilla and bourbon countering coffee and roast malt. Flavor reveals a very roasty and coffee finish, but the chocolate sweetness counters the bitter finish nicely. There's a hint of cherry adding complexity. A little hot, but very enjoyable. Roast is a little more overpowering than I'd like. Reminiscent of a milkshake at times

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Huge Arker from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.