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Arcadia Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

430 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 430
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 25
Gots: 27 | 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:
OG 1090; 59 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 430 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopdog
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in a couple of trades.

Poured a dark black color with a huge (5 finger) brown head. Aromas of wine, chocolate, and roasted malts. Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, and roasted malts. Alcohol content hidden. Lots of carbonation which was a distraction. This one left me with the impression that it was 'lacking'.

Notes from 4/28/05

Photo of becktone
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 10-27-08

2006 Vintage...Even though I work at the Party Source in Bellevue, KY, I didn't realize that there were some 2006 vintage left on the shelves. Thanks to Craig/Brewdlyhooked13 for pointing them out to me.

First of all let me state that I've not been visited any Arcadia beer in quite a while. The first and only time I tried it I bought a mixed 12 of their "core" brews. Haven't tried any of their higher end brews. I hope I've a better experience with the higher end of their brew than I did with the "core" brews.

Eye: Black body, no light on a moonless night. Basically no light is diffusing through this beer giving any indication of its clarity or highlights....Heh..heh..hehh (evilly) just the way an Imperial Stout should be. I've only one qualm with this brew's appearnce and this is the lack of head formation, retention, and lacing. It is a sickly looking blanket about ready to dry rot. I mean if you were to wash this blanket you've have naught but lint once the cycle was complete...now how is that going to keep you warm on a cold winter night?....Less you stuff a jacket with it, and I'm not all about wearing jackets to bed less I am homless and as of now I am not. Now if I were I wouldn't be drinking this beer, but I'd like the idea of stuffing a jacket with dryer lint. Lets just hope with the upcoming election that I don't become homless because another dumbass president kills, or does his best to kill, the economy....sorrry for the rant.

Nose: Strong, very strong dark malt aroma and alcohol fill the room once this brew is decanted from its twelve ounce jail. When I first put my nose to the glass I pull away and think for a minute..."What the Hell was that?" I soon realize before I go to take another whif that some unconscious part of my brain that has lain dormant for many upon many moons recoginized that aroma to be like that of the berries from Captain Crunch Crunch Berries. Upon second smell the aroma rings true...how about we just say that it is fruity. Anyway you look at it I really like the aroma of this beer. Strong dark chocolate malt and some dark fruit aromas, and some french vanilla aromas in there as well (french vanilla as is found in coffee). Awesome aroma, I can only hope that the beer is as good on the palate. Very impressed with this offering from Arcadia, the first Arcadia purchase I've made that I've been satisfied with.

Tongue: Nice flavor overall. It finishes with a very distinctly mocha flavor. The way if finishes quite reminds me of the overall taste of Starbucks Frappucino. There's quite a nice malt profile here, when it first hits the lips it quite reminds me of a Belgian brown-malt qualities only. Alcohol is able to be picked up as well...and then there's the dark fruity esters that come through in here just as they did in the aroma. Nice chocolate and fruity finish, the real nice blend of those in the finish sell me on this beer. I really like this one, I don't see anything wrong with it. This is one enjoyable beer. Think I'll pick up the freshest vintage I can find and see how it compares then cellar or drink depending on results. But as for now this is drinking real fine. HELL YEAH!

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: In the mouth this one is thick, sure not as thick as Dark Lord, but there was some Dark Lord thick-like qualities to it as it rolled cross the palate...there was what felt like a thick film that left itself on the tongue after being swallowed, yeah it sounds gross, but it really is great for this beer. Real nice mouthfeel as it should be for the style and better than most of the same style that I've had. Drinkabilty on this guy is hard...Since it is aged two years. Right now it is drinking religously, great, awesome. I can't tell you how well it drinks though fresh (so unfortulately it is reflected in the score). And if it only drinks this well after two years than that is a shame, because I'm telling you right now that this one is probably better at two years than fresh...just a hunch. Right now it seems perfect. I am really impressed with this beer. If you have it then age it for 2.5 to 3 years (as it is almost the turn of the year, but then again I don't know which month this was bottled). Easy drinker and just great, I'm really happy with this one.

Photo of soupyman10
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't been too impressed with Arcadia as of yet, but it's a fairly cheap local brew when I'm with my family in Michigan, so I keep going back to them. This one's solid, better than average for them. It's one of the second tier of RISs I've had, along the lines of a Clipper City Peg Leg or Weyerbacher Heresy. Pitch black beer, of course, with a smallish head. It's got a lot of stouty flavors - chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. I could do with a bit more spunk to it, some dried fruit or something. It's just not quite as exciting as I usually hope for in a RIS. Not bad, just not mind-blowing.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, acquired via trade from jpm30, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and roasted malts along with a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very rich and malty with creamy flavors of milk chocolate and coffee up front and background flavors of dark fruits. There's a slight hint of alcohol and a mild but complimentary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling for the style, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a very flavorful big stout that is worth drinking for a long time if you're in the mood for the style.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hello, what's this? A 2006 vintage among the single bottles...*take*...

Appearance - an opaque black brew. A thin cover of wispy cocoa-colored bubbles. Some light negligible lace. The beer maintains a solid collar.

Aroma - intense roasted grain, chocolate, molasses, some vanilla with warming. Smells like an imperial stout ought to.

Taste - roasty, toasty grains to start. Chocolate syrup with a touch of alcohol follows. A bare trace of bitterness on the swallow, mellow and complementary. Finishes toasty with espresso notes.

Mouthfeel - a touch thin for the style but a nice smoothness, enhancing the weight.

Drinkability - a delicious warm treat on a cool fall evening.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured a dark opaque color with a thin sudsy tan head.

S: On the nose was a nice aroma of cherries with some chocolate.

T: Flavor is rich chocolate/coffee with dried cherries and raisins.

M: a tad thin at times but the alcohol detection at 8.4% abv was well balanced. Big coffee finish on the tongue.

D: Great drinkability and enjoyment though not as big as expected per style.

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

Smoke!
Right off the bat.
It's not offputting, though, just a little bit in your face.
The rest of this beer is not quite as in your face as the style tends to be which is kinda nice. Full, strong flavors but nothing over the top. The smoky character defines this.
All in a full flavored, full of character yet pretty session-able Russian Imperial stout. Easily worth a try and well brewed.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
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 JDV
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Holdenn. Thanks man!
Pours dark black with a big lasting tan head in a snifter. Smell is vinuous, slightly peanut buttery and rich and roasty. Alcohol is hidden well. Taste is roasty, but not too highly, or burnt, and is smooth, creamy and nutty. Very soft but suitable carbonation aids in its rich, creamy smooth mouthfeel. Very solid, and highly drinkable with soft nutty and chocolately roasty flavors. Reminds me a bit of Thirsty Dog Siberian Night.

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

Pours a one finger brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Coffee/chocolate nose. Flavor is a strong roasted/burnt coffee with hints of sweet chocolate. Decent imperial stout. $2.89 for a 12oz bottle from Yankee Spirits South Attleboro, Ma. 2007 vintage.

Photo of Crosling
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark brown, small, quickly diminishing foam. Sparse nose of fudge, cocoa and black licorice, but it's a stretch. Really light body, with little texture. Flavor shows some chocolate, but the flavors are really light and a bit of a stretch. As an Imperial Stout, this is disappointing.

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 NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
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 RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with very little tan head. Nose is thick molasses and malts. Flavor is reminiscent of BCS. Bit of an alcohol hit, and mostly a thick molasses character. Feel has a lowe carbonation and the liquid is fairly thick bodied. Even though this one has a lot of thick character, it's very easy to drink. A nice RIS.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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 dsigmon
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black with thin brown head. Not much staying power on the head and the beer is overall thin in appearance.

S: Slight smell of bitter cocoa and some spice's that I can't put my finger on.

T/M: Bitter cocoa with a slight bitter espresso aftertaste. Hops come through this one pretty well leaving a bitter after taste. Not much going on here and the mouthfeel is a little too thin for me. A little more carbonated than I like as well which adds to the thin mouthfeel.

D: A decent IS, nothing that I will seek out but will drink happily.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
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.

Photo of joezak5
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; black as night with a good brown head that was dense the bottom three quarters and broke up on top. OK retention, good lacing.

Smell: Deep, dirty/earth caramel malt, smoked not roasted.

Mouthfeel: Dry malty medium body with muted carbonation.

Taste: Smokey dry hops initially with earthy chocolaty malt following, caramelly malty finish. Very unique and complex.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the variety, as close to a session RIS as you'll see. Well balanced and enjoyed.

Photo of jeremyd365
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black with just the hint of a tan-colored head. Felt thin in the mouth despite being so dark. Smelled and tasted of coffee. Went down pretty smooth, but felt weak on the palatte. A decent coffee stout, but not the best ever. Pretty drinkable beer.

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.

Photo of Yetiman420
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 2006 vintage from a 12 oz bottle into a Great Lakes Christmas Ale snifter at 40 degrees.

I drank this beer after preparing tortilla soup. Not a big deal until I worked the ribs and seeds of a Serrano chili and then rubbed my nostrils. I swear it gave my sinus a buzz and made me think that much more critically while consuming it.

The beer pours black with a brown ½ finger head that quickly dissipates to the edges revealing a black center. Black is black and "dark black" or "midnight black" are oxymoron's that really don't exist. Sorry - I'm now off my soapbox.

Back on track now - a minimal head and low carbonation is what I expect from an imperial stout. This one has both.

The aroma is rich. Coffee, liquorices, and mild alcohol are what I detect. The first sip is incredibly smooth with a little sweetness. Off the bat I'm thinking this beer has incredible drinkability for an imperial stout. It goes down a bit too easy.

After warming, I pick up the chocolate notes, low carbonation, and wonderfully rich aroma. This beer drinks very easy and I'm fortunate that it was a work/school night.

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

12 oz bottle with no freshness date

poured dark black with lots of carbonation bubbles and a mocha colored 3/4 inch head that was sticky with lacing

nose of alcohol, anise, raisins/plums

taste was initially alcohol up front which quickly gave way to sweet fruit/dark fruit, raisins/plums and the finish was rasted malts/coffee but that came after the swallow, snuck up on me.

mouthfeel was thick, chewy, and oily but quite smooth

Drinkability is good as it has many dimensions with sweet followed by roasty/dry finish. nice brew

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of an espresso foam colored head that quickly fades to a foam ring at the edge, and it leaves some isolated spots of lacing. Body is black.

Smell - chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, burnt crust malt bread, and hints of dark fruits like raisins, plums, prunes, and cherries.

Taste - exactly like the smell. Chocolate, roasted malt, burnt crust malt bread, and richly roasted coffee all flood the tongue. There are also hints of raisins, plums, prunes, and cherries on the finish, and on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - full bodied.

Drinkability - this is very good, only the high abv limits sessionability.

Photo of Slynger
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a slick, oily black with a creamy dark nut colored cap. The nose is real nice even if it could use a bit of umph. Sweet dark chocolate, roasted nuts, toasted black malts, earthy and woodsy. Thick and oily smooth without much carbonation. sweet dark chocolate spiced with a couple beans of fresh coffe. I think I may have discerned some dark fruits, figs and raisins. Unfortunately my review must end here since my bottle is all gone. Guess this is a pretty dang good RIS.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.