Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutArcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
84
good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 212
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 7.49%
Wants: 27
Gots: 71 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aforbes10 on 12-03-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 212
Photo of rudzud
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2

Received as an extra in a trade a while back. Bottled on 10/08/2012.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a darker brown hue that was quite clear initially but darkened up as the glass was filled. There was a half finger darker head that faded quickly to leave mostly wisps.

S - Aromas of sweeter bourbon, darker fruits, booze, malts, super faint vanilla.

T - Taste is quite balanced. Not much chocolate notes, mostly sweeter bourbon, faint vanilla, absurdly faint darker fruits, malt sweetness. Fair amount of booze, that actually gets a bit harsher as it warms. Its not very Russian Imperial Stout like, not sure what to make of this.

M - Mouthfeel is alright, nicely carbonated, as boozy as it is it doesnt really sit like that in the mouth. Probably the best aspect of this beer.

O - Overall, this isnt a bad beer I'm just completely confused by it. If you'd blindfolded me and had me drink it I would think its maybe a barleywine, but that's about it. Not much in the way of dark fruits, chocolate, char, anything. Just sweet bourbon and sweet malts are the dominant qualities. Really odd.

Serving Type: Bottle (1,117 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a snifter. Thanks Keith for this one.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a small head that reduces quickly to a ring of foam.

Smells of.. Jack Daniels. Straight whiskey at first. Tons of whiskey. Upon further evaluation, I get some vanilla extract and cocoa mixed with.. Jack Daniels. I've never smelled a more whiskey forward beer.

Taste has a little less whiskey but not much less.. Whiskey upfront, chocolate, vanilla, and toffee on the follow through, then more whiskey on the finish.

Mouthfeel is lacking.. Over carbonated and too light for a 12% stout. Not rich

If I wanted a stout that tasted like this one, I would have found mediocre stout and threw a shot of whiskey in it. Not complex or balanced. Pretty bad. (765 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep black body. Small khaki head. The thinnest of collars as it settles.

Smell - Bourbon. Oak. Some dark chocolate. Booze.

Taste - Very oaky. Bourbon behind the oak. Sharp boozy bourbon. Dark chocolate. No sweetness. Oak lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. A little boozy. Medium heavy body.

Overall - Excellent beer all around. Never overpowering, except maybe the oak. (449 characters)

Photo of pants678
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black body, head that's thin and temporary.

The smell's all bourbon.

Sweet. Tempted to say bourbon's stronger on the nose but that's not right. Vanilla-ish flavor, roasted malts that don't quite resemble chocolate and booze that forms a thin dark fruit and a semi-coconut.

Approachable and awfully smooth. Carbonation's particularly light. Not all that heavy, even if it were a porter. Could stand to be sturdier. (417 characters)

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle dark brown, produced a finger of khaki colored and tight bubbled head. Smells of vanilla, oak, milk chocolate and bourbon booze. Smells really good. Taste is much the same as smell. A thin body that tasted of vanilla up front, milk chocolate and a lingering bourbon alcohol flavor that seems to wash out most of the other flavors. Eh. This drinks like a lot of the midwestern bourbon barreled stouts a la Blacknote and Blackout. Thin body, huge bourbon notes and almost no sweetness. (507 characters)

Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

My first Imperial Stout, recommended by a knowledgeable fellow at my local craft/import shop. The wax seal took me by a pleasant surprise, a totally unique&badass touch. I then felt compelled to blast viking metal& black metal during the rest of my review, imagining that an evil sorcerer or Norse warrior would dig this brew. I digress...
Anyways, the second i cracked this puppy open, the bourbon smell was noticeable, but not fumey, acrid, or overbearing AKA tolerable, if not pleasant.
I kid you not, this poured like a cola. Despite its obvious thickness just by taking a careful look as you pour this.
Head is somewhat lumpy& very deep brown, but not so that it borders between black.
The initial is a nice big caramel flavor, very delicious, and goes down surprisingly crisp and clean. Yet another pleasant surprise with this Imperial Stout is that its ABV is up there, the "oomph" is very subtle and passes off quickly.
Overall, for my first Imperial Stout, this was a great introduction that I will certainly buy again when I'm in the mood for this particular type of brew. (1,091 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It is black as night. I really didn't get much head. I got a little bit of mocha head on top, and it was gone quick.

S - I get some bourbon and vanilla right away. As it warms I get some dark fruit with plum coming to mind.

T - The bourbon lends a mellowing effect to this beer. I get some soft notes of bourbon and vanilla. The roasted malts have melded into a molasses and dark chocolate flavor. There is a little dark fruit on the finish.

M - Full and smooth.

O - This is a solid barrel aged stout. Arcadia is rarely mentioned with all the great beer coming out of Michigan, but they have solid offerings. And for a 12% beer, it is smooth as hell. (704 characters)

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

No sign of a bottled on date...

Appearance: Pours black and fairly viscous as expected with a small khaki head that collars almost instantly.

Smell: Bourbon, fudge, dark fruit, caramel, coconut. I don't see how this category can improve much, wow.

Taste: Begins with Bourbon over rich chocolate. Coconut comes up next, and then the Bourbon really asserts itself; it was of course present in the beginning but really crescendos in the middle of the mouth while eventually subsiding as roasted malt creeps in. The end sees more coconut that gives way to cocoa and caramel, all of which fade out gradually and leaves a nice aftertaste. There is definitely some detectable booze heat that would blindly lead me to guess this is somewhere in the 10% or more ballpark.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for the style, nowhere near BCBS while perhaps a bit more viscous than something like say, KBS. There is definitely more carbonation than I'd expected; you can really feel a tingle from the bubbles on the tip of the tongue and in the back of your throat.

Overall: Not bad at all. Tasty flavor profile, with a little extra carbonation and thinner mouthfeel than BCBS. Would definitely drink again, although depending on your taste, you may want to lay this down and let the Bourbon heat subside a bit for a more even keeled wash over the palate. (1,337 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 poured in a snifter.

Black, dark flat with almost no life. Less than a bubbles width of head sat on top of a gorgeous darkness.

Huge coconut aroma on the nose, slight vanilla and even a bit of chocolate. Marshmallow and Graham Cracker finish the scent with a deep creaminess.

The barrel hits the tongue with all the flavor you can ask. Deep, rich creamy coconut and delicious vanilla flavor are all encompassing. Sweet bourbon and oakey wood couples with caramel, toffee and chocolate to make a beautiful mixture.

The feel is very creamy but thinner than I would expect. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's bad but with the sludge like pour I thought it would feel like a chocolate shake.

I absolutely loved this and found it to be close to BCBS and LBS and a right joy! (783 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a finger of brown head over a nearly black body. The head dissipates in a little over a minute and I'm left with a little ring. The beer laces up a little bit.

Booze. You get a little vanilla and malt, but this reeks of bourbon.

Malt and vanilla try to make a stand. Attempting to taste around the booze, I do also pick up dark fruit, hints of coffee, chocolate and a good woodiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It goes down a little easier than I had hoped. It coats the tongue rather evenly. (507 characters)

Photo of MrPlayboy
2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was let down by this beer. If given the choice between the BA Imperial Stout and the BA Shipwreck Porter, go with the Porter. The BA Imperial is all bourbon flavor with no sweetness to balance it out. Very thin mouthfeel and too much carbonation. Aroma and appearance are the only positives with this failure of a BA Stout.

Maybe I'm spoiled with all the other BA offerings like Backwoods Bastard, Plead the Fifth, and BCBS that are in the Midwest but I could do without ever drinking another Acadia Ales BA Imperial Stout. (526 characters)

Photo of Brandegee
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour from 12 oz bottle into Paper City Brewery mini glass (this was a share).

A: I was expecting an inky black pour but this one has some nut-brown translucence.
S: The aroma betrays a lot of sourness and booze along with the usually coffee, tar, vanilla and bourbon smells of a barrel-aged beer. The alcohol are understandable, but the sourness is surprisingly intense.
T: Tar, tobacco, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and sweet malt dominate. At first these flavors work poorly together and seem harsh, but the beer smooths out as the alcohol takes over. A lot of interesting flavors but it's not a finely balanced stout.
M: This is the least appealing aspect of what should be a full-bodied imperial stout. The mouthfeel is thinner, more like a barleywine or old ale. There's too much carbonation initially but fades to a nice level quickly.
O: It's not horrible but not the best bourbon barrel-aged beer out there. I'd be more interested in Arcadia's barrel-aged barleywine since the regular Cereal Killer is so good. (1,018 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 vintage release. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger moderately dense dark khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, light char, bourbon, oak, clove, vanilla, toffee, toast, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and barrel notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, toast, coffee, light char, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Light earthy roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, toast, coffee, light char, raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors; with a great barrel presence that isn’t overpowering and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good; a bit thinner than expected. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good barrel aged imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,361 characters)

Photo of voodoofish65usf
4.66/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very powerful aroma with a stronger taste. Pours dark. Great with food. The bourbon barrel is strong in this one. Amazingly well balanced, but still very bourbony. This is a good representation of what a Kentucky bourbon barrel can do for a beer. I would recommend this beer to bourbon enthusiasts. (298 characters)

Photo of GJ40
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 12oz bottle. Thanks surge1311!

A - Jet black with a small tan head of large bubbles that dissipate quickly.

S - Bourbon dominates but there's also some molasses, chocolate and coffee.

T - Bourbon and oak with some chocolate. Starts nicely but fades fast. I expected the flavors to last longer. It could use more depth and complexity.

M - A little too thin for the style but a nice low carbonation of fine bubbles.

O - Well worth a try but not especially compelling. (485 characters)

Photo of jegross2
2.26/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company out of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Score: 45

Bottled 10/08/12. Served in a Perennial and enjoyed during the All-Star Game on 07/16/13.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a wisp of head that quickly settles to a pencil-thin ring around the glass. No lacing or retention -- not even oily legs. Flat in appearance. 2/5

Smell: Sweet bourbon with modest alcohol esters primarily, followed by milk chocolate. Vanilla and molasses. Raisin too. 3.5/5

Taste: Sweet raisin, sweet molasses/brown sugar and bourbon. Touch of roast. Finishes with a light sweet vanilla and prune flavor. A little boozy, but not any more so than the nose led on. I do not feel that the flavors meld well. Has an odd tanginess in the finish with a dash of licorice. Not a fan of how the flavors mix here, and the finish leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, no carbonation. Watery with a little residual stickiness on the palate. Way too thin bodied. This is far from the world's sweetest brew, but the beer has no body to back up the sweetness. 1/5

Overall: Did not enjoy this beer one bit. It was thin-bodied, flat, sweet and the flavors did not integrate well. Certainly not worth the price tag. Skip this one.

Cost: $8.99 for a 12 oz bottle. (1,325 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Fully opaque black in color. Forms a modest dark tan head that quickly reduces to just the faintest hint of surface coating. No lacing.

S: Aroma is a blend of deeply roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla, maple, and bourbon.

T: Taste is similar to the aroma. However, while all of the flavors are there - roasted malts, plum, prune, black cherry, maple, and bourbon - the flavors are thin and there just isn't much there. It's not that it's bad, it's just weak. Thin, alcoholic finish.

M: Body is quite thin for the style; on the heavier side of medium. Lower carbonation and a good bit of alcoholic heat.

O: Not a bad beer in the least. Certainly, not the best example of the style, though I can say I appreciate that this beer is not like every other Imp Stout. (771 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks Jay!

A: Pours near black with a finger of dark brown head that quickly faded into a thin collar.
S: Sweet chocolate, sweet caramel, and sweet vanilla with undertones of spicy bourbon barrel and warming booze. Hints of brown sugar.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of rich chocolate fudge, chocolate syrup, barrel spices, cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted marshmallow in the finish. Aftertaste is warming with hints of spicy bourbon.
M: Full body, sweet, slick and warming mouthfeel, low carbonation.
O: Integrated and balanced bbl-aged RIS. Double digit booze hidden well. Thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks again jbck109. (645 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce wax capped bottle, not sure about the age of this bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head that sticked around for a little while. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee. I think the taste is just like the aroma for the most part. The taste seems the same to me, I don't pick up anything different at all. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating with moderate carbonation. I liked this brew, although I can't say I've ever had the non-barrel aged version. $7.99 a bottle, probably a little too much for this but it was still nice to try it. Worth trying if you come across it. (735 characters)

Photo of jsulko
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a very dark black with very little light brown head that disappears right away.

Smell is dominated by the bourbon with almost no other smells coming through. Maybe a bit of the dark fruits in the background.

Taste is dominated by the dark fruit almost raisin flavor with the bourbon coming on very strong at the end. Very little of the actual imperial stout coming through. Finish is all about the alcohol with a slight burn.

Don't know what this Stout was like before the barrel but it is less than something special after it. (572 characters)

Photo of anth0ny
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light, immediately noticing that this beer is not as thick as one would hope. Light colored head, also not that dark brown color you'd like to see for this style. Looks more like an oatmeal stout.

Smell is deep raisin, bourbon and booze.

Big dark fruit/raisin in the flavor matching the nose, as well as a nice sweet vanilla note to compliment the tangy dark fruit, and bourbon. The flavors mesh decently, then disappear as the finish is surprisingly absent of any lingering flavors. Not the depth you'd like to see for this style, but not terrible. Surprisingly drinkable, and at 12% you feel the booze quickly.

The trend continues as absence of depth in the mouth is just simply too light for this for me. Thankfully the carbonation is on point and keeps this drinkable and smooth.

Overall, decent but definitely not worth the $7 I paid for the bottle. I bought 3 of these (ouch) plus 2 BBA Cerial Killers. (921 characters)

Photo of breakingbland
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured form a bottle marked "11/09/12" into a tulip.

Appearance: A thick, rich, deep opaque brown with highlights.

Aroma: Sweet bourbon with caramel.

Taste: Follows the aroma, with the addition of a hint of vanilla. The sweetness is almost candy-like. There was very little holiness, but a black coffee astringency lingers in the mouth. There is a slight alcohol heat which helps balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Has a good feel -- a full body that is deep, rich, and thick.The carbonation is at the medium level.

Overall: This is a good, fairly typical beer of this style. I had the impression that this was a somewhat limited edition, but luckily, I've been able to find it fairly regularly at one of my beer stores. I'll add it to my "get it again" list for this style. (778 characters)

Photo of zachary80
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 3

Red waxed screw-top bottle, purchased a couple months ago, no visible date or numbering, 7.99 for a 12oz.

Pours near black, a very dark brown, with a light tan head that doesn't fully form. What does form sticks around for a long time and leaves lacing.

Aroma is a little boozy, vanilla, bourbon, light roast.

Flavor has the same barrel character, light roast, vanilla bourbon, but honestly not impressive despite being some of my favorite flavors - they seem hollow. Slightly astringent finish. A little light overall for an imperial, and not enough of the base stout seems to come through.

Mouthfeel is too thin. Carbonation is nearly absent, which is confusing because it had a small but long-lasting head. Some heat which is fine given the style and abv.

Overall - looks good, smells good, but the lack of carbonation ruins an already thin mouthfeel, and the flavors seem lacking. (889 characters)

Photo of bobhits
1.68/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

The pour is uneventful, dark brown turning black in the glass, but this awful almost coke like fizzy head with next to no staying power. I'm guessing higher abv on this one.

There's a lot of bourbon a somewhat makers mark dry bourbon with a lot of sugar and sweetness from the malt and perhaps even some sweetness from the yeast or a different hop profile than I was expecting.

I get some coffee notes and some chocolate over tones, but to be honest this is a hot bourbon forward as hell beer. I am now a few sips later getting a pretty strong liquorish/anniss note at the end and some molasses.

Very thin, very watery and noticeably hot.

Try this if you find it, 7-8 bucks for a 12 oz bottle, dipped on wax so the bottle snobs will be ok with the price, but honestly there are 50 better stouts in any store that is going to have this and 45 of them will be less per oz at a minimum.

*edit

Sorry but this beer gets worse with every sip. It is just not a good beer. The mouth feel is just god awful. It is watery as hell which is ok in a lager, but you need a creamy body to deal with the heat the 12% gives off. The yeast or hops that arcadia is using gives the beer an odd sour note (common with a lot of their beers) that doesn't work at all here either. This is bad beer plain and simple. Not just me being picky and score low because it is in a style where the standards are insanely high, but this is bad next to anything. (1,436 characters)

Photo of stooge
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Brownish black with a nice head immediately after pour. No lacing, settled out quickly.

S- Very pleasant to the nose, aromas of malt and boozy bourbon prominently featured

T- Bourbon stands tall, perhaps a bit hot, but I prefer my barrel aged stouts to be on the boozy side. Dark roasted malt, oak and vanilla tones, with a nice lingering coffee finish on the back end.

M- Superb mouthfeel, this brew is lighter than expected, but it is well balanced and has the perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

O- Similar to BCBS, but not nearly as complex, with less body; well balanced and perfect mouthfeel. Probably a bit on the boozy side for many BA's, but personally this is right up my alley and I really enjoyed it. Wish I could find a few more bottles, thankful for the two that I scored. (803 characters)

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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.