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Arcadia Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 264
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
OG 1090; 59 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 264 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mhatters


4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at Teresa's in Wayne, PA

A brilliant black pour with a brownish an head, nice and thick

Toasty nose, some coffee, but not too much, as it opened up more fruit exposed.

Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt provides a fantastic taste, easy to drink, almost too easy. This is a great imperial stout, go find one!

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2009 02:26:31 | More by mhatters
Photo of hooliganlife


4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the international tap house. dark as night with light head. smell was typical imperial stout, roasted malts were apparent. the taste is what really took me. perfect blends with light coffee up front and chocolate through the finish. alcohol was barely noticeable and the malts were balanced. the mouthfeel was pretty perfect, carbonation was not too light like some stouts. i could drink these all night and i just may.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2009 14:24:03 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

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

Poured into mini heffe glass by Phil Hughes of Manhattan Beverages at Spring 08 Long Island Craft Festival (just found my notes)

A: RIS was big and black. negligible carbonation that I asked if there was something wroing, was told about "open vessel fermentation"

S: Developed malty nose with earthy burnt toast, roasted grains dashes of coffee & chocolate that leads you nicely to the body.

T: Thin to my surprise but improved as it rolled around in my mouth. Initial moderate malty flavor, slightly caramely sweet followed by robust chocolate/coffee mixing impressively with burnt cereals whith prolonged ligering in aftertaste.

M: Respectable but somewhat too thin.

D: High ABV kept me going but only for the tried and true.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2008 21:23:11 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a pleasing black that took on some red when held to the light with a touch of chocolate pudding colored head in a collar.

Smelled faint and thin, but of heavily roasted coffee with a slight medicinal astringent sting.

Tasted like an over-the-top roasted porter with a smooth and slick toasted barley and a bit of campfire. The roastiness of this was nice, but odd for the style. Again, in the finish the astringentness came through reminding me of Robatusin.

Felt big but clean with a wimpy carbonation that just strolled by.

I didn't finish this one. Not because it was repulsive, but that I was eating dinner and wanted something that I would actually enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2008 00:39:32 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage, sampled at the 2006 Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest.

A: Black, tan head, not much retention but it leaves a little lace.

S: Alcohol, brown sugar, coffee, tartness?

T: Dark malt, not too roasty, assertive bitterness, prune, jaggery, acidic.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, dry & acidic.

D: Fairly good for an imperial.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2006 18:41:54 | More by Derek
Photo of plaztikjezuz


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

tasted at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Fest.
I lucked out and had a vertical tasting of the 2001, 2003, 2005 batches
all of them poured a thick jet black with the 2005 having a nice blanket of a brown head. the other two had a slight head just a trace.
the aroma: 2005) was roasty, with some raisons and a hint of chocolate and vanillia 2003) hint of chocolate and roasty with a bit of alcohol 2001) straight up dark chocolate and alcohol.
the flavor: 2005) malty, roasty, chocolate, and vanillia 2003) malt, dark chocolate, hop spice 2001) chocolate, roasty, alcohol.
the mouthfeel on all of them is very full and coats.
i really enjoyed the vertical tasting it was interesting to me how the 2003 had the hop spicyness, the 2005 was a little bitter then the other two. the 2001 was really smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2006 00:58:57 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of Frozensoul327


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

A killer of a stout from Arcadia. Pours out to a black engine oil like consistancy with a head stemming from the depths of the glass. Low level of carbonation, and uniform lace in the glass. Aromas of deeply roasted grains and malt, chocolate, molassas and coffee. Nice. Taste is full and robust; flavors of coffee and chocolate dominate, with a sturdy backbone of grain and malts. Mouthfeel is thick and dense. You know there is a good beer swirling around in your mouth when you drink this. Good drinkability, even with the higher than normal ABV. A great winter warmer. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2006 01:16:12 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of aracauna


4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer, although as an imperial stout it fell short in a couple of categories. The appearance was nice. It was black, but not opaque and a reddish-brown glow could be seen around the edges. Despite being fizzy during the pour, the head was thick, longlasting and a good coffee and cream color. The aroma was nicely malty with a bit of a twang. I'd almost describe it as an aroma I've noticed on a lot of belgian strong ales, but since it didn't carry over into the flavor, maybe I imagined it. The flavor was dominated by charcoal and maybe a little smoke under that, but was supported nicely by chocolate. This one didn't fall into the trap that some imperial stouts do in not supporting the burned and heavy roasted flavors with chocolate or other softer malt flavors to flesh out the body of the flavor. In with all this malt was that cherry flavor that's common in a lot of the imperials mixed with apple peels (and a bit of apple cider). The hops come across a little thin and even a tiny bit salty. Despite the huge nose and big flavor, the beer came across a little thin for style. Of course this made it easier to drink. All in all a tasty beer, but on the light side of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2003 06:51:03 | More by aracauna
Photo of lurpy1


2.4/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acadia makes some underrated beers but this was not one of them. The finish on the taste was an unpleasant burnt chemical sensation. This of course created some related burn going down. I was able to power through the bottle, but I really mean I had to power through it. Not an easy beer to finish. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 00:55:07 | More by lurpy1
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a nice black color with a bubbly tan head. Retention is just ok, but lacing is quite nice.

Nose is dark fruits galore with some cocoa dust and alcohol.

Taste is a nice treat, flows from fruit to chalk to licorice/chocolate malt and finishes with a leafy hop dryness. Its pretty decent, I didnt think I would like it from the smell, but it is not a bad little quaffer. Mouthfeel is thin and it has very little sweetness to buoy the richness factor. Id buy this in a sixer at a good price....not bad...not bat at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 02:49:22 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Jimmys


3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip. 2010 vintage. Holy shit, I just noticed that on the label now. bought this bottle about a month ago. no clue it was this old. excited to see how it held up.

A: pours very dark. almost black. head is coffee hued. good retention, reasonable lacing.

S: smells sweet and fruity. almost a little soy-like, reminiscent of autolyzed yeast, but I don't think that's it.

T: a little bit of black licorice. kind of autolyzed? roast, more chocolate though. dark and rich. finish is slightly bitter, but mostly sweet.

M: moderate carb on a full body.

D: the more I drink it, the more I like it. really smooth and rich. what you want a stout of this size to do after 3 or 4 years.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 03:37:25 | More by Jimmys
Photo of CFHMagnet


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 Vintage listed on the bottle

I got a thin, mocha colored head. Body a deep brown bordering on black. Funny how imperial stouts can do that.

Smells bold and roasty. Dark fruit sits in there too. A little vanilla and alcohol on the end.

Roasty malt with dark fruit up front. This beer is subdued and smooth. A little vanilla with a coffee finish.

Smooth from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 04:43:37 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of DavoleBomb


1.53/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Black color. One finger of frothy light brown head. Retention is a touch below average and leaves no lacing.

1.5 S: This is quite disappointing. Got some major nail polish going on here. Otherwise, roasty and boozy.

1.25 T: Taste is even worse. Boozy, astringent, chemical. That's all I need to say. This sucks.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation with a light creaminess.

1.0 D: Couldn't make it through. Drain poured at least half the glass. Shame on you Arcadia.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 04:28:16 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of superspak


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/24/2011. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, molasses, light char, light smoke, toast, licorice, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Pretty nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, light smoke, molasses, toast, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, char, light smoke, raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of dark and roasted malt flavors with a light amount of fruitiness; with a solid bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of flavors; and smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 04:54:43 | More by superspak
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up about three weeks ago at The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore, PA for about $3.99. 12 oz. bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with two inches of dark tan head that leaves quickly and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, some cream, burnt malts, and some light dark fruits. Nose isn't too complex, but it is nice with a lot of roasted and chocolate malts to it.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, dark and bitter chocolate, light bitter coffe, light cream, and burnt malts. More dark fruits here and a little more bitterness than I was expecting. I think I like it slightly better than the nose.

m - Thick, full bodied stout with low to moderate carbonation. Thick and chewy, not a lot of alcohol heat, pretty nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall a very nice RIS. Nice looking and a very nice mouthfeel to it. The nose is pretty one dimensional, though it is still nice. The taste is better, with some dark fruits to it; it also gets better as it warms up. Liked the BBA version a little better, though this is definitely nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 22:34:05 | More by mdfb79
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 15:52:02 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of akronzipfan


3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass, the resulting 2-fingerd head was frothy but short lived. Nose is a bit like cough syrup and the first flavor notes are cocoa and smoke. Mouthfeel is decent. There's a bit of an astringent aftertaste. Overall, this is a good, not great, Russian Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 01:05:22 | More by akronzipfan
Photo of linnymtu


4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very solid imperial stout. It has a normal deep brown/black color with thin tan head. You can smell malt and coffee. The taste was dominated by coffee but some chocolate and malt. This wasn't too malty like some imperials are. The carbonation was about average and felt just right. Overall a quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 14:07:42 | More by linnymtu
Photo of Brewster40


3.09/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage served into a Horney Devil snifter

A - Dark, with a thin light brown layer of foam. Translucent at the edges.

S - Smell is sweet, molasses, dark chocolate, licorice(?)...

T - Not nearly as sweet as the smell. Still, molasses, bitter chocolate, some coffee. Aftertaste lingers and is bitter on the back and sides of the tongue.

M - Medium bodied. Not sure if I have a coating on the tongue or if the aftertaste is overwhelming the feel.

O - Frankly, not my favorite. The bitter aftertaste is distracting, not pleasant. I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it is just not working for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 20:24:35 | More by Brewster40
Photo of sweemzander


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Some tan froth formed.

(S)- A deep aroma of roasted nuts, coffee grounds, and cocoa. Dense and rich but dynamic.

(T)- Similar to the smell in alot of ways. It has a very dense roasted coffee and a rich cocoa/molasses background. Finishes quite citrus-like with bitterness.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. This gets quite bitter as it warms. Still rich and dense. Very surprised with two years of age on this how up front the bitter hops still are.

(O)- This could easily go for several more years to help smooth out some of its rough edges. Nonetheless, it is still a solid example of the style, it just is not quite what I like to see in my stouts. This must have been massively hoppy when fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 19:42:46 | More by sweemzander
Photo of DrDemento456


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

Paid the price to try this one $3.50 for a single. Looks like it was bottled January 2012

A - Immensely dark with no light to escape. Head is minimal with only a slight ring of tan colored lace. Looks sticky.

S - Mild ashy roast, bittersweet chocolates, sugary yeasts, and some molasses.

T - Kind of reminds me of an imperial porter. You got your sweet chocolate, then your roast kicks in, but the finish is a touch chalky and bitter. It's easy enough to drink with no notable ABV but again it taste like a porter.

M - Medium to heavy in body. Not as thick as the typical style but easy enough to put away.

Overall it's quite strange but the imperial porter (which I love) taste more stout like and this imperial stout taste more like a porter. Boy do these guys make for some confusing beers!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 21:25:19 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of bnes09


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pure black and opaque. Small, tan colored head forms with some descent lacing for the style.

Burnt molasses and maple prominent in the aroma. Also some licorice and cocoa. Dark aroma overall.

Sturdy malt backbone with burnt toast, coffee, baker's chocolate, charcoal, licorice and grits. Certainly a lot to take in at one time. Hops are there but somewhat subdued, herbs and pine needles. Flavor is sweet overall with a molasses and maple character.

Full bodied but not syrupy. Weak carbonation fails to impress. Good malt texture throughout.

A solid example of a Russian imperial. This is a 2007 bottle so its nice to see that this beer ages very well. I am interested to try a fresh bottle to see what the bitterness and especially the hop flavors have to offer before the beer ages.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 07:52:35 | More by bnes09
Photo of MrBluto


4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked this stout. It pours black, and has a creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. The aroma is malty with smells of cocoa, chocolate, and as one reviewer stated, soy. It starts somewhat sweet and finishes light with a touch of bitterness. However, it lays flat on the tongue afterwards, and it has virtually no head (though what head is there is a very nice medium brown). No lacing.

I would like to try this on tap, particularly at the brewery. I have a feeling it is much nicer when fresh and at the proper temperature (my fridge is a bit tto cold for stouts).

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 23:16:40 | More by MrBluto
Photo of srv33


3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review is for a 2007 bottle reviewed in 2012.

Near black pour, strong herbal scent, with a hint of chocolate and soy. Little to no head. Quite strong and bitter kick on the palate, though it fades quickly. Almost no carbonation, as expected for a bottle of this vintage. Tastes much the same as the smell, rich herbal taste with a bit of licorice and soy.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 22:25:13 | More by srv33
Photo of gustogasmic


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage from the cooler at a wine bar/ bottle shop.

Black with red-caramel edges and a 1/2" caramel-latte head that disappears quickly. Great sticky lacing.

Smells... hoppy. What in the heck? Big sweet malt backbone with roast in the background.

The taste is wild; not at all following the nose. An intriguing oily hop/ licorice nose that pulls into a big malty, milk-chocolatey body. Unfortunately, the bitterness of the initial drink sticks on the roof of the mouth as an almost acidic awkward and distracting after-taste. I wonder if that element is there in fresh bottles.

The mouthfeel is relatively thin for the style, but the sharp roastiness has a complex linger.

Gotta try a fresh one- or maybe this one was messed up in storage.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 06:01:16 | More by gustogasmic
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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.