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Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Big Dick's Olde AleArcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

257 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 257
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 14.64%
Wants: 9
Gots: 18 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 10-26-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 257 | Reviews: 150 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vancer
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour of a mahogany oak, tan head died quickly – but this would leave dotted piles of lace on the way down.

Sour green grass in the aroma is different. Malty caramel, coffee and toffee in the quaff, not a bad lil’ beer. A boozy mix of tastes, cherry and dark fruits like plum pop in there. This turned out to be a nice summer sipper, with the higher abv and all. Body is fairly full and finishes with a lingering sweet malt coat.

I’ve now read some other reviews _ wow _ this one is all over the board. I’m guessing that some age time does wonders with it.

Vancer, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish-brown body with a frothy, though thinning off-white head.

Smell: A prodigiously twangy, fruity aroma with cherries, grapes, lemons, etc.

Taste: Some faint dark caramel sweetness with just a pinch or two of cocoa powder against the backdrop of tart fruitiness. Wood and a little bit of pine show on the altogether sweet, thin finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A beer that left me wanting more depth and character and less, much less tart fruitiness.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark amber brown color with a nice dense tan head that left a nice sheet of lacing on the glass. The smell is spicy/medicinal, anise, woody, perhaps some vanilla, can't quite but my finger on it. The brew has a mild grapefruit hop flavor, a dusty chocolate malt presence, a touch of wine grapes, boozy at the end. The feel is creamy, enough carbonation to make the tongue tingle, moderate body, some alcohol burn in the end. A combination of an old ale and an American strong ale. Not as blunt and over the head as a ASA but not quite as smooth as an old ale, a bit too boozy. I thought it had a good flavor range and is worth trying.

Gmann, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of clvand0
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours an amber color with a medium head that falls quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of dark fruits, caramel, alcohol, and some hops. The flavor is very malty but also has a roasted flavor along with plenty of caramel that is followed up with a medium bitterness. The alcohol makes its presence known. The body is medium and the drinkability is just ok. Overall a nice beer.

clvand0, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Vancer for this brew.

22oz. Bomber The Brew Crew Big Beer Series

Poured into a chalice a cloudy dark brown color, nice carbonation, huge creamy off-white head, ton's of creamy sticky lacing, islands. The nose is malty, slight yeast, plums, raisins, and caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, fruity, and a good dose of caramel. The finish is sweet and dry. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body, a well rounded slightly complex brew. Very drinkable, really enjoying this one, very tasty, highly recommended.

Wasatch, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of Ego
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

and upon a look...
caramel with ruby tone
on top some light foam

just a trace of lace
decent legs, into the glass
not much to denote
fumes that waft away....
mildly sour and peels left out,
cherries are in sway

subtle and mellow
does not swoon the nose afoot
casual fellow
what is in a taste?...
old indeed and quite the strange
musing, hard to place

shows some minor burn
from the higher ABV
not deadly acid

has some bitterness
the weird sour notes seem lost
mouthfeel is not best

carbonation bites
too stinging and distracting,
bit too sweet for me
Jury. A verdict ? ...
nothing horrible
don't write home to mom just yet
better stuff out there

Ego, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
2.7/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not sure what to say here. I've tried a couple of the Arcadia Big Beers, and both have been mediocre, at best. This one pours alright. Nice brown-umber color, with a nice little finger of head on top that disappears fairly fast. Nose is oddly mild for an ASA. Some slight sourness, a hint of fruit and malt. Mouth is a big ball of sourness. Comes on really strong at the end, too, in a garbage aftertaste that gets worse as the beer warms. I guess there's some fruit, maybe malt in there too, but the sourness overwhelms pretty much everything else. Ugh. I'm okay with sour beers, when I feel that it's done deliberately and with a bit of a balancing act. It's just too much here. Beer is thin to medium bodied. I guess you could drink this, although what's the point. Just got back in town in Michigan, so I've been giving the locals a shot, but I'm kinda running out of steam with Arcadia. Think I'll stick with the Founders and Bell's instead.

soupyman10, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of brentk56
1.9/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel with a beige head that hangs around and provides a few dots of lace

Smell: Some caramel with a lot of sour esters that smell a bit of bathroom freshener in a truck stop

Taste: Starts out with a sweet fruity element of cherry and raisin; by mid-palate, the sourness starts to filter in; after the swallow, it just falls apart into an unpleasant woody, sour, medicinal mess

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Somebody at the brewery should have recalled the story of the Emperor Has No Clothes as this should never have been released; just awful

Thanks, Vancer, for the opportunity - this was a beer that I asked for so it doesn't reflect on you

brentk56, May 28, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark amber color with about a finger light tan head that fades very slowly. Being kept alive by visible effervescence. Little lacing present.

The aroma is difficult for me. I'm getting a cardboard smell, cherry's and other dark fruit. Not overly aggressive.

The mouth feel is medium bodied. A slight tingle from hop and carbonation then a bitter finish.

I'm not finding it especially sweet, but it is malty with a subtle hop signature. I can see the association with a British ESB.

I'm getting a pretty descent burn from the 8% as it makes it's way down.
Glad i had the opportunity to try it, but i don't anticipate doing this one again.

jjayjaye, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of sraimondi
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is an odd one. Sampled from a bomber poured into a regular pint glass. Half inch head dissipates fairly quickly to a surface foam with minimal lacing (no doubt due to the elevated ABV). Color is pretty close to a classic Old Ale, deep amber/copper. Aroma is malty sweet with some fruit (raison & slight banana??) overtones upon aeration. The taste is pretty good, with malt dominating; little hop finish. Not really an Old Ale taste though, although I can't exactly peg the flavour style.The mouthfeel is surprisingly good, pretty soft carbonation. I definitely felt the ABV, so I reduced the drinkability from average. All in all, I liked this one, even though it is not a true Old Ale.

sraimondi, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a ruddy brown in color, slightly hazy with a small cream head that fades quickly. Aroma is sweet spices, maybe a bit of ginger, along with a good dose of cherry. A nice spiced bread aroma. Taste is quite similar with more of the cherry coming thru, a slight tartness mixes with a small amount of bitterness and a slightly dry finish. Medium to heavy in body, alcohol is evident in the finish but not extremely noticeable or overpowering. This beer pretty much threw me for a loop, I expected an old ale and felt like I was drinking a somewhat festive winter warmer or strong ale with all the cherry flavor and spices. Not a terrible beer by any means but definitely not an old ale, at least this bottle.

hoppymeal, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of xav33
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale
22 oz bomber
Moderate pour in an English Pint
2006 Vintage, slurped on 03/07

Poured a hazy amber brown with a
small off-white head.

Smelt of strong dates, raisins, burnt oak, cognac, caramel, sweet bread, honey. A lot happening here. Very nice.

Taste was upfront strong bitter roasted malt and moderate sweet caramel and dried fruit followed by a strong bitter horseblanket and yeastiness with light pine hops on a long finish.

Palate was light to medium bodied, slightly oily, lively carbonated and moderately astringent.

Overall, a fantastic smell and a good all around flavor, just lacks a little mouthweight and richness in flavor.

xav33, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer. Has a nice murky amber color, almost brown. Pours with a nice thick off-white head that recedes to a steady collar after a minute or two. A spotty lacing sticks to the side of the glass as it recedes.

The smell is mysteriously light, almost as if the beer was watered down. Smells a tad bit sweet with a little bit of hops. Smells distinctly english. Very subtle.

The taste is similar. Reminds me of an ESB but much stronger. Has a nice English malty sweetness. Very lightly caramelized. There are just enough hops to balance out the malt. They don't taste like high alpha acid American hops, but more like an English fuggle with a woody character. Interesting that this beer should be classified as an American Strong Ale when it tastes so distinctly English.

The body is light to medium with a very soft carbonation. No taste of alcohol, no lingering bitterness, just a feint reminder of lightly toasted English malts. Fairly easy to drink despite high ABV.

neonbrown82, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - this olde ale pours a dark reddish brown, with a thin tan head, plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles to join the froth

S - a dark sweetness predominates the nose, raisins, molasses, chocolate as well, with an alcohol background, all in all a rather pleasant aroma

T - the molasses and chocolate/espresso aromas step to the foreground in that taste, a nice mix of sweet and bitter, with the raisins and alcohol bringing up the rear, as in the aroma, but with a great disparity between the groups

M&D - for a highish ABV, rather bottoms-up-able, a nice layered flavor, even with having high hopes for the style, a quality brew

sinstaineddemon, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - amber/brown color, a thin light tan cover, complete but thin, lots of sheet lacing.

Aroma - mild roasted malt, caramel sweetness, and a bock-type breadiness. Light alcohol vapors emerge with warming.

Taste - some cereal-like grains hit the palate initially. Malty flavors, caramel sweetness follow. Balancing hops are perfectly levelled. Alcohol warming, mellow, at the swallow and beyond. After several sips, the cereal flavors are left behind in a malty, lightly boozy tide. The finish is a touch of sweetness, breadiness and a late dry bitterness. Not very complex but tasty.

Mouthfeel - slightly heavy, modest carbonation. A good sold-feeling beer.

Drinkability - delicious,a fine bottle to warm me up on a cold winter's night. A fitting way to celebrate this year's Superbowl XLI finalists. Congrats Bears & Colts.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on 1/19/07. 22 Oz Bottle. Faint wisp of tangy old lemon malt. A nip salty and an edge of weak oats. A touch of grassy hop leaf. Really not all that enticing. Deep ruddy pour, clean with opalescent golden fringes, with a froth of ivory. Flavor is a nice, warm cream with banana skins, lightly toasted almonds and a nip of bourbon fudge. Malty character is a little wheaty with some faint grain oils. Relatively light bodied, with heavy drinkability, something I don’t expect in the style. Cherry juice and a bite of oak fade out through a very lacking hop presence. A good platform, but I want more. More warmth, more character, more depth and a hint more hops. There is a very slight wild edge, which brings some unique turns. Overall, this leaves me wanting for a little more.

CharlesDarwin, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of jmz62565
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours the color of a "Coke" with a small dirty white head that quickly disappears with little lacing. The smells not too strong,but alcohol, and sweet malt are present. The taste is not what I expected. Full of bitter hops,carmel,alcohol,and mollasses you would think that this is good,think again. The combinations are all wrong making this beer hard to choke down. It's a good idea,but they don't pull it off. The m/f is light,weak,and thin with the flavors mixing very poorly. This isn't a good beer and I'd pass on another one.

jmz62565, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of cbl2
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1/28/2007 $6.99 22 oz. 8.00% Vintage 2006.


Pours a deep stunning mahogany speckled with active carbonation that leads to a fingers worth of tight white head that rapidly settles.


Brandied pears and carmelized sugar on the verge of burning.


Proclaimed to be a "liquid ode to Richard the Lion Heart" as an excuse to use this lame name, and it backfires on them, because Big Dick ain't all that tasty. This somehow manages to impart hot fusel alcohol flavors at only 8% ABV, coupled with an odd unripened grape sensation sends this one down the drain.

cbl2, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of peabody
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a root beer color with lots of off-white suds. Not a lot of lacing here.
Smell is very fruity. Lavender?Cherry and coffee mixed with a caramel sweetness.
Taste is bitter and sour at first then sweet. You can really feel the alcohol here. It warms up the back of the mouth quite nicely.
I taste a nuttiness/earthy flavor along with a caramel sweetness. The bitterness is evident in the aftertaste too along with the alcohol burn.
This one is pretty good but not Arcadia's best.

peabody, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of carln26
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured a dark brown with ruby highlights, and topped a thin, fizzy off white head. Not much to the nose. I got some dark caramel, and a little milk chocolate. Nothing really in the aroma from hops. The taste has more of the dark caramel, some dark chocolate, a light note of dates. Again, not much from the hops. Just a light bitterness that lingers, but no real flavor character. The beer is a little sour, and has some heat on the finish. The mouth feel is thin. Really not much to this beer. I think I will pass next time.

carln26, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark mahogany hue, nearly opaque, slim layer of creamy foam above.

Nose: big, fat sweetness, huge fruit, bright cherries, melon, lavender, lightly funky, and sour, but not in a good way, a bit off...

Taste: sweet fruit again, strawberries, and... cardboard? Really flat in the flavor, here, flat as in low carbonation, but really flat as in limpid and lacking energy, not what you look for in an old ale! A dud on the palate, just flaccid and forlorn. Big malt, small hops, with dull, drab flavor. Lacking snap, pizzazz, panache, just to start off the list. I'd take this bottle and point it towards Bigfoot or Old Ruffian, or Bell's Third Coast Old Ale for some guidance, but this ain't cutting it!

Bleh, ...I'm trying to finish the bottle, but not enjoying it in the least.

Alcohol is warming, but doesn't stick out...finish is a drag, body is fullish, and disappointing...Sorry to go on and on about this, but I can't help but register my dismay. My salesrep says they're every bit as good as Bell's, but that's wishful thinking o his part, and pure fantasy.

I remember an early repro of the art for this label had a spear coming horizontally along the vicinity of "Big Dick's" crotch. It's been removed. Due to false advertising, not bad taste. This one can't get it up.

Wet cherry-stained cardboard. There it is, in four words. Sorry, I hate to hate, but I gotta call it as I see it.

feloniousmonk, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of GbVDave
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flute glass at The Map Room 1/8/07.

A: Deep rusty brown with ruby accents. Clear with a quickly disappearing head.

S: Aromas of sweet malt, light fragrant apples, and black cherry.

T: Sweet and bready malt flavor. Sweet and tangy fruit middle with a lightly spicy hop finish.

M: Bright yet smooth.

D: Pretty average for the style. This one needs something more to make it interesting. A barrel aged version of this might introduce some much needed character. As it stands, this is pretty boring. Not bad, just boring.

GbVDave, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice shade of cherry wood or mahogany or something of the sort. Pretty clear. Thin ivory white head with good retention and moderate lacing ability.

Aroma: Cherry juice, plum pits, raisin bread, rummy alcohol and doughy malts. Nice traits to be sure, but very weak in strength.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Dark fruits and rum soaked raisins. Cherry juice. Not as rich as I expected. Alcohol lingers just a bit. There's a bit of a tartness as well. Medium bodied and a bit of a spritzy feel to the carbonation, but not overly so.

Drinkability: Very average old ale/strong ale. Not one I'd need to return to. Pales compared to the big boys (Stone, North Coast, Bell's, etc....)

Bighuge, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of Gavage
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy brown color with a short 1/2" head.

Smell: simply smells like a loaf of fresh baked bread with some sweet tones in the background.

Taste: caramel, bread, brown sugar, ripe red plums, hint of pepper, and a touch of yeast. Mild bitterness and a touch of alcohol rounds it out. Flavors are a bit toned back for the style.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Very brief aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: decent beer that is worth giving a try. Not one that I will rush back into having again any time soon as personally this didn't hit the spot.

Gavage, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of bort11
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2006 vintage, poured into a heavy glass goblet. An initial fast acting dark tan head with large bubbles, that quickly recedes to a thin filmy cap. Very little lacing. Color is a molasses brown.
Smell is sweet dark brown sugar and malt. Taste is also very malty and sweet like molasses. Very little bitterness present.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for a Strong Ale, but still a solid medium body.
This goes down pretty easily, but it's not a very complicated beer. I don't know if aging will be able to do much to add any complexity to it.

bort11, Jan 02, 2007
Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.