Huge Arker - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Huge ArkerHuge Arker

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

206 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 12
Gots: 59 | FT: 3
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: 206 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by BeardedBoffin:
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge Arker? What's an Arker? In any case, it arrived in a stemmed glassed. Black all the way through, especially in the dim lighting of the establishment. A centimeter or two of dense foam topped it off. The aroma is deep and rich with strong elements of bourbon, along with coffee, vanilla. On the palate the bourbon moves to forefront showing off its oak and vanilla notes. The dark malt does penetrate into the profile with the usual coffee and chocolate accents. Smooth but strong, one eight ounce glass is sufficient for a causal night out. The bourbon is the main player here, more so than in any beer I've tried.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, and a little dear a shelf tag for my impression thus far of barrel-aged expressions from this brewery. So it remains to be seen what particular sort of 'huge arker' (bomb) this one will be. Onwards, then.

This beer pours a solid tinted black, with strong cola basal highlights, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rocky tan head, which leaves some random splatters of dried soapy lace around the glass as it easily abates.

It smells of gritty bittersweet chocolate, well-roasted caramel malt, wet brown bread, besotted wood, cheap rye whiskey, weak black licorice, muddled black fruit, a bit of raw vanilla, and a musty hoppiness. The taste is heady medium baker's cocoa, caramel/toffee malt, doughy bread, mixed vanilla/licorice confection, rather intact boozy Bourbon (wood, spicy grain, alcohol, mostly), mild earthy dark fruit, say prunes and raisins, and a subtle leafy, weedy hop dryness.

The carbonation is quite soft and hard to discern at times, but it does the job, the body a wavering medium weight for the style, a tad oily, but generally smooth, with a certain boozy creaminess arising as things warm. It finishes well off-dry, the chocolate and nicely subdued caramel still holding court, with that shot o' Wild Turkey finally having found the good sense to mix 'n mingle.

Well, this is quite the improvement over the 'regular' BBA Wild Turkey offering - here, the demon whiskey wood mostly contributes well-rendered Kentucky rotgut flavour to the underlying RIS, and none of the mouthfeel-thinning experience endemic in this one's little brother. Tasty, huge (the English word), and yet fairly balanced, as the 27-proof alcohol is evident, sure, but not nearly as hot as many sub-10 percenters in the same bracket. So, more of a bomb with a slowly hissing fuse, the end result merely pleasantly sinful fireworks.

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

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 KYGunner
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Segelstrom
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
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 Catracho5
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 22 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch black, no hint of ruby on the edges, beautiful creamy tan head with tiny bubbles floating on top, nice lacing down the sides, head diminishes after a few minutes.

Smell: Big bourbon smell upfront, no hint of roasted malt or coffee, not a huge bourbon smell like other bourbon barrel aged stouts I have tasted. You get some alcohol on the back end.

Taste: Big bourbon taste up front, then comes the alcohol on the back end, the bourbon dominates on the palate, some alcohol, some bitterness on the backend, no dark fruity flavors that I can notice.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation, not as heavy as I expected, thicker than your average stout but no as thick as other Imperial Bourbon Barrel Aged stout I have tasted.

Overall: Awesome beer, I hope this is made year round, enjoyed it greatly

Photo of n2185
4.12/5  rDev +2%
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 SPLITGRIN
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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 JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev -3%
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 GreesyFizeek
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
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 LiquidAmber
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours pitch black with a half finger light brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of bourbon with dark malt and chocolate barely making themselves known. Flavor follows, with an intense bourbon, vanilla, dark malt and hints of chocolate, very boozy; light chocolate and vanilla appear in the finish after the bourbon settles. Medium, creamy bodied. Whoa, this is one bourbon monster. Many bourbon aged stouts taste like a stout with a shot bourbon, this tastes like a bourbon with a shot of stout. Not sure how I feel about this one. I like bourbon and I do really like drinking this, but it really seems to be a bit unbalanced in favor of of the booze. I am certainly going to buy a couple of these to cellar, this could be interesting with a few years on it. Rating is a bit below my actual enjoyment value because it deviates so much from the style. A powerful, bourbon flavored sipper.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: very dark brown, nearly opaque. Some ruby highlights around the edges when held to light. Big mocha head on the pour, impressive for such a big abv.
Smell: surprisingly subdued for such a beast. Some roasty notes and vanilla but fairly subtle.
Taste: big and roasty. Much richer than the nose. Some vanilla and bourbon and a hint of booze (would never guess 13% though). The flavors meld well IMO.
Mouthfeel: full and creamy.
Overall: nicely done. Not quite up to Bcbs standards but nice big bourbon barrel stout to be sure.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. I've been holding this bottle down for a couple months now, and I decided now was the time to try it. My second bourbon barrel aged stout from Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark woodsy brown color; opaque black in the glass. A finger and a half of creamy khaki mocha head. Nice scattered spotty lacing. Looks pretty nice.

S - The smell is good, but not great for the style especially. Some fudgey chocolate / cookie dough, mild vanilla, mild caramel / toffee, and lots of alcohol fumes. Pretty nice, but I was expecting a little more.

T - Taste follows the nose - some fudgey chocolate / cookie dough / vanilla, mild caramel / toffee presence, and lots of boozey Wild Turkey bourbon heat. Some mild dark fruit presence noticeable as the beer warms.

M - The feel is smooth and creamy. Sticky, bitter, roasty, and dry. Medium-full bodied with good adequate carbonation.

Overall, it's a nice beer, but not quite as amazing as some of the other bourbon barrel aged stouts I've had. The booze character is high with this one, leaving lots of residual heat behind.

Anderson Valley Huge Arker ---4/5.

Photo of fx20736
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World, April 2014. Poured into a Chimay chalice, served at cellar temp.

appearance: Espresso black with an au lait head, creamy lacing.

smell: roast coffee char, a touch of molasses and a faint whiff of bourbon

taste: simple roast with a brown sugar and whiskey finish. There is some unmasked alcohol on the tail.

mouthfeel: creamy, slippery, smooth

overall: tasty, decent BA Stout but not a competitor to BCBS.

Photo of Mrose78
2/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A little too boozy for my taste.

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

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 sbauer
3.96/5  rDev -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 BWood
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
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 02maxima
4.89/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful, pitch black with a nice tan head on the pour. Recedes to a thin collar.

S - Bourbon, delicious! Slight hints of chocolate and malt.

T - Much like the nose this is a bourbon bomb. Some malt after the bourbon flavor.

M - Pretty light actually. Very slick and goes down easy.

O - This is how I hope my bourbon barrel aged beers taste. This is not a cheap beer but I will be buying several more to cellar. This beer compares very nicely to my favorite BBL aged beer, Allagash Black.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
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 jmdrpi
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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 BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In comparison of all the arkers that I know, there are small ones, there are large ones, there are medium-sized ones, but this one is huge!

Just a shade off of black, the dark "bark" brown hue is laced with powdered cocoa appearances. Its dense haze prevents any light as its cauldron simmers with a creamy lather of espresso-like creme to top glass. Trailing with mild fingerling lace, the stout is masculine and calm.

Its robust scent of charred toast, french-roast coffee and dark chocolate is moderately strong even though there's a somber tone to its intensity. With a growing bourbon presence, the nose is soon under command of its oak, caramel, vanilla, light coconut and its own spicy char. Woven together with malted milk, roasted nuts and subtle campfire, the bourbon and roast pull together seamlessly.

Its decadent taste of coffee, chocolate, nuts and toast are supported with toasted caramel, milkshake and cake batter-type of sweetness and breadiness. Again, it mid-intense flavor is smooth and cream filled. But the rise of bourbon carries a classy taste with its whisky-soaked oak, vanillans and and wood spices that offset the beer's lavish taste to start.

Creamy and lush in texture, its tightly woven carbonation dissolves deeply into the stout's sweetness and is slow to separate. This silky texture remains in tact deep into taste and lifts only as the bourbon spice and warmth dissect the marshmallowy feel and allow the wood spices to dry the palate like fine powder.

Huge Arker is a deceptively smooth bourbon-laced stout. There's' really no indication to its powerful strength as it plays out with remarkable drinkability on the tongue and palate. I don't know what an Arker is.

Photo of scottfrie
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
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 Zach136
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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 BastardKing24
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have been waiting to try this and luckily found it at an awesome place in Eugene Oregon. Thanks to The Bier Stein for getting this one. Barrel aged imperial stouts are mt favorite style of beer, when I want something strong.

Pours a weak black, kind of brownish hues, and a small khaki head that recedes to a ring and bubbles. Not the best looking RIS.

Smell is a big whiff of bourbon and plum/prune. Its sort of one dimensional, but it smells good though. You can faintly make out some toffee or caramel. Not much chocolate or coffee smell.

Taste is a big bourbon hit. Wild turkey whiskey on your tongue, and its quite hot at 13.5%.
This beer is half and half too big and boozy, and being balanced. Its not like parabola, yet its got a sort of sophistication that invites more sips. It seemed this could have been better with more roasted barley or black patent, as the flavor is almost like a barrel aged imperial brown ale. Still, there is moderate tones of cocoa here and there, but mostly its a huge caramel and bourbon bomb, that is melded decently. I don't get any coffee notes, which I enjoy in this style.

Mouthfeel is just above average, being on the thicker side. It is creamy in carbonation, and loads the tongue with flavor each sip.

This beer isn't for the amateur, its complex in its own, while falling just short of the style mark for BA'RIS, STILL - I will give this a high rating as there are no off flavors, the bourbon is not off putting in any way, it is quite pleasant

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Huge Arker from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.