Arcadia Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

444 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 273
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 24
Gots: 29 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003

OG 1090; 59 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 273
Reviews by zoso1967:
Photo of zoso1967
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Graciously shared by TCHopCraver. He bought this bottle new, but it was labeled as being the 2007 vintage.

This stout pours a deep dark brown that lets just a little bit of light show through. There is not a whole lot of head, but what little head there is has medium tan color. The lacing is not great, but there are some specks left on the sides of my snifter.

The aroma is a mix between two different categories. In one corner you have roasted malts with plenty of burnt coffee, char and bitter cocoa. In the other corner you have sweet and boozy notes that have a wine like fruitiness, some molasses, cherry and a hint of vanilla. Some sniffs are almost akin to household cleaner due to the alcohol presence.

The flavor is pretty interesting. It is a bit roastier than the aroma with plenty of rich coffee, some bitter cocoa and a bit of nuttiness. There is definitely some sweetness with a hint of dark fruit and molasses. We drank this at a good stout temperature to start with, but as it warms the wine like qualities show through even more. Luckily the hotness is much better camouflaged than in the aroma.

The body is surprisingly thin for such a large beer and has a definite watery quality. The thin nature emphasizes the astringent qualities of the finish. Carbonation also seemed just a tad low.

This is pretty drinkable only because it does not seem like it's as big of a beer as it is. This brew tastes decent, but the mouthfeel is a bit of a killer for me. Also, I am not sure I have ever imbibed a beer that had such a different aroma every time I sniffed it. I will probably not seek this out again, though I may give a fresh bottle a try.

More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shared with zoso1967 on 1/24/11.

Arcadia's 2007 vintage (as it said on the label) Imperial Stout pours a medium-dark black with a hint of brown. There is no head from my pour into a 23 oz. snifter, just a light brown film. There is almost no lacing- just small, light dots of foam and a clear, boozy film on the sides of the glass.

The first smell is very boozy, with heavy sherry and bourbon qualities. Deeper inspection reveals roasted malt, coffee, and some dark chocolate. This smells like it was oak-aged, but there is no indication of this on the bottle. Usually breweries make sure consumers know if their beer is barrel-aged. Curious. I definitely do smell some woodnotes and vanilla, along with some dark cherry aromas. At times the smell is so boozy that it makes me think of household cleaners.

The taste is very nutty and roasty. Big flavors of bitter coffee emerge with just a touch of chocolate near the end of the sip. The flavor can be quite astringent with hints of sweet booze- bourbon and sherry. The finish is decently bitter with nice drying qualities.

The mouthfeel from this beer is very light for an Imperial Stout, to the extent that it is almost absent of body to match the flavor. This lack of body really brings out the bitter and astringent qualities too much. I am not a fan of this MF.

Overall, this is a weird beer. I like the flavor for the most part, but the smell is so odd and the mouthfeel is just plain weak. I will not buy this again, as I can find many better Imperial Stouts at similar, or even better prices.

Photo of explosivebeer
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very black. Good rich caramel aroma with a hint of alcohol. It really opens up after sitting in a tulip glass for 20 minutes. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, and alcohol come across. The body is good but the alcohol thins it a bit. Overall a very good imperial stout.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The word on this beer was that it rivaled some of the great imperial stouts. I certainly wouldn't put it in that class, but it was pretty good. In a snifter it was black with virtually no head, just a film. It had a dark chocolate/roasted malt aroma. Taste was semi-sweet chocolate and espresso. Fairly balanced, maybe a bit more on the bitter side. Not too bad.

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. Freshness area on the label, but it's not marked.

Pours a pitch black beer, crowned with a creamy coffee coloured head; good retention. Molasses, ground dark roasted coffee, earth, chocolate and notes of smoke in the nose.

Smooth, creamy, full-bodied with a chewy mouthfeel. Immediate twang of roasted malts, with a bit of astringency and cider notes (just a bit, with apple esters) backed by salty and lime-like hop bitterness. Light herbal notes and some spice. More malt flavours of smoke and char (pretty pronounced actually), burnt raisin, dark-roasted coffee, familiar soy sauce flavours, black-strap molasses, hints of toffee and nuts, and dark unsweetened chocolate. Finish is a bit dry, bitty and bitter with roasted flavours lingering for some time.

This a solid, good Imperial Stout. Very robust and I loved the complex upfront and smoke characters. Tasty stuff.

Photo of sponberg
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage printed in about 2 point font on a snowdrift on the label. Pours opaque with a solid brown head - looks goood. Aroma of toffee, burnt caramel and toast, a little molasses... wants to be drank, so who am I to argue?

Starts with a dark caramel/toffee middle with a burnt bitterness and overtone - not obtrusive, maybe more of a dark malt thang, faint hints of pininess? A clean mineraliness cuts in about halfway, similar to that in Cadillac Mountain Stout, along with a bit of alcohol coming in. Finishes with a dark caramel and roasted barley flavor along with the mineraliness. Slightly light mouthfeel - chewy, but not big. Could enjoy a few of these.

Not the biggest RIS in the world, but a damned tasty one. Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle :thumbup:

Photo of generallee
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz. long neck bottle into a pint glass. There is no mention of abv. but the label reads that this was a 2008 vintage Imperial Stout.

Appearance: It pours thick and dark. The color is a very dark brown/black with a light brown head on top. Its head is nice tightly packed two finger thick foam that has very good retention and slick lacing.

Smell: The aroma has a full rich nose of sweet and roasted barley with a touch of woody and smokey malt. The hops add an almost citrus like note and there is a noticeable hint of the alcohol.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor is full of dark roasted malty character and complexity. There are flavor notes from sweet molasses and maple sugar to coffee, bitter dark chocolate and woody/smoke/charred malt with bitter herbal and citrus like hops. Mellow nutty/grainy alcohol notes mix in as well and add anther layer of complexity. The palate is firm and smooth with just enough carbonation to give it some life.

Notes: This was a nice solid example of the style, one which I would enjoy anytime I was in the mood for a dark complex stout.

Photo of Billolick
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with some sort of info on the label, which I can make no sense of.comes in an expensive ($15) four pack. Pours inky black, very dark fine bubble head, and leaving moderate sticky lace. Rich nose of dark malts and mocha. Full flavor, full enjoyment, RIS, allowed to warm in the glass, tiny bubble film in all its glory, easy drinking, lots of soft, sweet cafe au lait/mocha notes, medium body, complex with some sweetness early, roasty middle then mild drying hops late. Nicely done, stout lovers rejoice, go get some

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served into a pint glass from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped cap.

Opaque,black poured with a quick mocha head quickly turning into a foam ring with a slight coat of foam. Some tiny bubbles stringing to the surface with some spotty lacing.

Very roasty nose,a bit vinous,clean and pleasing,slight burnt aroma,chocolaty,woody with hints of licorace. A very slight warm alcohol aroma.

Very roasty taste,lots of black coffee,chocolate,sweet carmell maltiness with a good burnt taste.Complex maltiness,well hidden alcohol,just a hint. A great finish that's clean,bittersweet with loads of chocolate notes. A bit faint for an Imperial Stout,but very enjoyable. Lots of tangyness.

Very creamy mouthfeel,again a bit on the light side for an Imperial,but very nice. Juicy is a good description for this beer.
Great drinkability for the style,could drink a few of these no problem. Great tasting beer,a bit mellow compaired to other Imperials i've had,won't hold it against this beer a good solid stout. If you like stouts I would give this beer a try.

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

12oz. bottle, 2008 vintage, at cellar temp poured into a pint glass. pours opaque black with a dark mocha colored head. pretty small head off of pretty vigorous pour. head deminished pretty quickly to a thin ring, pretty weak retention. hardly any lacing. lots of sediment visible as well.

aromas of burnt roasted malts, anise, solvent alcohol, coffee, dark chocolate, and a little bit of dark fruits.

the taste is once again heavily roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, dark roasted coffee, finishes with a bitter dark chocolate, solvent alcohol taste. the taste is the best part for me, was kinda debating between a 4 and 4.5, but nothing really stood out too much so i went with the 4.

thick heavy body, minimal carbonation. nice creamy mouthfeel. chewy, meaty. prolly wouldnt want more than one in a day, but i could
definately see myself drinking again. pretty average imp. stout, not bad, not great.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really black color, almost 3/4" of brown head on it. Looks professional. Lacing is kind of hodgepodge, a spot here, a spot there, lacks uniformity or coherence. Dark roasted malt aroma, we're two for two in terms of this beer being what it should be with no frills or surprises.

Taste is a little less RIS and a little more double stout, which is a good thing. Less dark fruit, less bitterness, more roastiness, more thickness, more viscosity. Pleasant, not challenging, while being plenty sturdy and demanding respect, you aren't going to pound this one, but its not a super hot sipper either.

Usual notes of coffee and chocolate malt, neither one being massive, throw a little bit of toffee flavors underneath it all. Mouthfeel is chewy without getting too thick and syrup like. Really is like almost every Arcadia brew I've ever had: Better than average, a solid 'good' but doesn't do anything 'great'. More oily than hoppy, more sweet than bitter. Thankfully smoother than most RIS beers. Would drink again.

Thanks to jh1982 for bringing this to a tailgate a year or so ago.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Another pitch black creation with a massive foamy tan head leaving collared lacing nice and thick. Aroma: Alcohol infused slightly burnt and caramelized tones this is massive with big dark roasts, it brings it to the table with massive brandy like depth. Taste: Strong alcohol notes massive with huge waves of seared fruit and chocolate and coffee crescendoes this beer is crazy big. A ton of malt making this one beer that is just straight up warming and bad ass. Mouthfeel: Chewy oil like thick full bodied smooth carbonation incredible. Drinkabiltiy: Wow, just becareful no idea alcohol content but drinking more than one of these means one of three things trying to be tough, way too high of a tolerance, or stupidity. So, massive this beer is meant to be enjoyed one glass at a time it's that massive folks big brew, but oh so flavorful and big that is has to be enjoyed.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia- Imp. Stout

A- deep black with a small tan head. Light foamy lacing.
S- Sweet cocoa with caramel malt and burnt ash.
T- Sweet sugary cocoa with a touch of burnt marshmallow vanilla. Slight burnt woodsy hints.
M- Very sweet, sugary, and chocolaty. Smooth vanilla finish. Alc. well hidden.

Overall- Smooth although very sweet. easily drinkable and a good winter beer.

Photo of MeadGuyfromMD
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours DARK Brown with slight Orange hue. Thick deep tan head with creamy appearance and some larger bubbles.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of alcohol.

T - Coffee, creamy dark chocolate, roasted malt, some mild toasty notes, dark cherries maybe and then the nice hop balance at the end. Label states 90 IBU's but its very well balanced, so much so, that I don't notice 1/2 of them.

M - Thick, full body, light carbonation, glides across the tongue and it finishes a bit dry, but very pleasant.

D - My goodness, this one is tasty. I can easily see myself drinking the entire 4 pack, but at 9.0% ABV, I don't know if that would be prudent. This is an excellent brew, a terrific first impression for me of Arcadia.

Photo of SMark
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass at 53° from a 12 ounce bottle with what appeared to be a coded date on the label. A head did not develop when I vigorously poured this beer. It was a dark brown and showed some lacing as I tilted it in the glass to see the coloring.

Dark roasted malts were sensed with the first smell. Slight vanilla aromas were displayed along with hops as I continued to observe the aromatics.

A slight bitterness was sensed with the first taste along with weak coffee. The bitterness carried through the subsequent sips without much malt.

The bitterness seemed to last longer on the tongue as I kept tasting. Smoothness started winning out over the bitter as the beer warmed to room temperature.

This beer developed while in the glass. It probably would have been better to start at a warmer temperature. The alcohol added to the warmth and bitterness making this a nice fireside winter sipping beverage.

Photo of asabreed
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Vintage 2008 on the bottom of the front label.

Appearance: Jet black, and I help the bottle, no joke, six inches from the glass, and it almost didn't budge. A murky, frothy, bog-like head appeared as it slowly sunk down and disappeared for the body of the brew to poke its head out from under. Meaning: this sucker is thick and venomous and insanely big.

Smell: Big dark roasted malts, dark berries, cocoa powder, charred earthiness, a bit of charcoal, sweeter honeyed or sweet chocolate malt flavors going on too. Lots of layers to this.

Taste: Chalky and monstrous roasted malts, charcoal, cocoa powder, bitter chocolate, black coffee, Hersheys chocolate syrup with some sweetness, some dark and ripe berries. One of the biggest stouts I've ever had, especially for only (only? You know what I mean) 8.4%. This can take a long time to sip and savor, more than most I think. Pretty stellar, and doesn't mess around.

Mouthfeel: A monster brew with big chewiness, not too much carbonation, and a good sense of coating but not overdoing it. Helps the flavor to last and is good for distinguishing the layers.

Drinkability: Seriously one of the biggest, baddest RIS I've ever had, which I wasn't expecting. This is one you could literally sip for a few hours with a fire going or watching the snow pile up outside your window. A huge beer with a lot of layers and much flavor. I'll be picking some more up.

Photo of Magpie14
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: relatively dark, rich, and inky looking during the pour. A trace of burnt orange is detectable at the rim. Some fuzzy 'n' sudsy bubbles rest on top. The head lost confidence rather quickly and my memory of its presence is blurred. A few strands of lace

S: the nose is deliciously nice and rather powerful. Huge roasted malts, some licorice, and even a hint of molasses coated dark fruits. Some hop spiciness is present as well. Man, this thing is loaded and heavy in the nose.

T: the palate unlocks concentrated flavors of coffee, anise, bitterly burnt malts (with a pinch of smokiness) and some dark cocoa and chocolate flavors. This is a whirlwind of deep flavors with a pretty solid hoppy finish
Also to note, with such heavy flavors, it has complete command in the quaffable category, a rather hard thing to do. It is never overdone or unharmonious

M: pretty silky and smooth. A soft tickle of alcohol hits my belly after each sip. I think the overall experience could improve if the body was a wee bit heavier. Overall, no real complaints

D: well done beer and one of Arcadia's better brews overall

Photo of Lazerlobe
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

A: Pretty standard pour with a great head.

S: Chocolate, fruit cake, and kahlua are what I'm taking away from this

T: Chocolate bar, char, old molasses, hoppy bitterness and a finish of Hersheys chocolate syrup.

M: Carbonation is a touch too high for my tastes and the body, though light, works really well with the flavor profile. I think this would be excellent on vanilla bean ice cream.

D: For the price, these are great and readily available pre-aged. Would seek out again.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to TheBlackMallard for this extra.

2005 vintage.

Pours opaque black with a nice tan head that stays around for a little while. pretty good lace. The nose is good, but is slightly metallic, coppery, with a little alcohol on it and slight dark fruit smell. Taste is nice and thick, cream, some vanilla, and i want to say almost a dark cherry flavor (slight). some minor tobacco elements here as well. Decent hops on the end but nothing to write home about. Some alcohol on the finish, but overall very smooth. Mouthfeel is nice, good viscosity. Drinkability is the strong point of this brew, as it goes down very smooth and is one of the more sessionable imperial stouts I have had (this may have to do with the unusually weak 8.4% abv). But nonetheless a good sessionable imperial. Overall a good brew, one I would buy if it was available. Never had this one fresh, but it seems like it has done pretty well over time. Thanks again for this extra craig!

Photo of cokes
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage.

Glintless tar black with a receding cappuccino head that lingers as an edging.
Fragrant of soy sauce, molasses, plum, char, and blackberry brandy. The nose is more or less perfect, just a bit meek.
It rides a huge molasses and black currant wave into the mouth. Fudge swells up and drowns the teeth. Turns smokier, with traces of char. I remember this being more acrid burnt when fresh. Hops have largely dropped out of the picture after 2 years. It concludes with a briny wash of soy sauce, concord grape jamminess, and lingering fudge.
It galavants into the mouth fat and proud and chewy, then goes flaccid. For as much girth as it carries across the lips, it is almost lean by the time it reaches the throat. If it didn't go limp, it would really be something.
When this was fresh, it was bold and brash with huge burnt maltiness and a competing wintergreen hop electricity, and more forward alcohol vapors. It didn't entirely mesh, but it had some "experience"-beer charms. It's lost all that aggressiveness, but it's evolved into a stately, lush, and throroughly intergrated Imperial Stout. And one that's as easy to drink as any.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with lace, decent aroma of chocolate. Good bittersweet. Bittersweet chocolate, roast, malts, medium-full taste. Anise, coffee, molasses edge. Better than other imperial stouts i've tried. Could use better hopping.
Hoppy to get this top rate, thanks Wohlfs.

Photo of alovesupreme
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter but may be past its prime.
Pours a pitch black with extremely little light penetrating the body.
Smells of black licorice with a slightly sour smell
Black licorice with a malty finish. A slightly sour taste is also present.
A good viscosity but lacking good carbonation.
A pretty good imp. I will not seek out but will drink if available.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.64/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - I like the simple, but nice label that reminds me of the cold months of winter as I sweat my nuts off in this 90 degree heat. Deep mahogany brown ...almost black in the glass, but you can see the murky brown-ness during the pour. the head is fluffy at about two fingers, and lots of really fluffy lace gives us a clue as to how thick this one is. The color of the head is almost reddish brown in hue....like cedar wood.

S - Rich chocolate notes abound. Bitter bakers chocolate, rich dark chocolate, and a woody sawdust smell that reminds me of my grandpa's basement woodshop. There is a smoky element to this that is quite alluring. Nice.

T - Bitter espresso and salty dark chocolate. Again, this has a very roasty and woody taste that I'm really enjoying. The hops are coming in with force as the sip progresses to a swallow, and the interplay of bitter sappy hops with bitter bean espresso and salt is pretty cool.

M - Rich, silky, and satiny carbonation combines with a full buxom body to make this a brew worth savoring. This feels like putting an expensive Japanese silk kimono in your mouth. 'm reminded of the crema that sits atop a good cup of espresso....this is that damn silky and rich.

D - A simply killer beer. Kicking ass all over the place, this is a very impressive effort from Arcadia. I'll buy this again for sure.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A short head of dark, almost orange-brown froth rises above an opaque black body as you pour. The head retention is limited and it leaves little lacing. Some of that may be due to its higher alcohol content, but for the style it should be better.

The aroma is surprisingly hoppy, leafy and lightly grassy, over notes of roasty dark malt and a berry-like fruitiness. It's roastiness is pretty solid, and it's more espresso-ish than standard coffee-ish or nutty, although there is a bit of both (regular coffee and nuts), and some sweetish caramel underneath as well. Mainly, however, it's dark malt roastiness.

In the mouth it's medium-full, and very smooth with a moderate, very fine-bubbled carbonation. A little more creaminess, via body and a just-slightly higher carbonation level would be nice, but it's oily and silky body is fairly nice as is.

The flavor delivers everything that the nose expresses with no extra nuances added, but it's quite enjoyable as is. It's roasty without being acidic, and it has a beautiful note of very dark bittersweet chocolate that resonates in the finish! The yeasty fruitiness becomes more apparent as you progress through the glass; and it's superbly balanced between malt and bitterness. To top it off, there are some clearly leafy and grassy hops as well! A bit more complexity withiin the depth of the malt would be nice, but as it is, it's very drinkable.

Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, a mere $1.69 from Steve's-University Ave...a nice find indeed

appearance: first of all, i love the label from the font to the color to the design...very seasonal. The beer looks alright too...pours a deep and rich dark chocolate brown, not oily, a nice tan hat with adequate lacing. Not breathtaking but very solid

smell: rich, deeply roasted malt, espresso roast, semi-sweet dark chocolate, quite creamy, noticeable sweet hop presence on the nose. touch of molasses, good aromas

taste: very nice...rich robust and creamy, smooth and sweet dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt...sweet plum and a nice hop bite to provide great balance...not too bitter at all. thick molasses, cookie sweetness, mild coffee. nice raisin and licorice flavours come out as it warms. This is a damn tasty imp stout

mouthfeel: great, silky smooth, creamy, medium-full body, alcohol masked nicely, slight hop bite

drinkability: very drinkable, very f'in good

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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.