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Arcadia Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

431 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 431
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 26
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003

OG 1090; 59 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 431 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
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 ybnorml
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An inky opaque black beer. Has a small brown head. There is a whiff of sweet malt to start the aroma. With a strong chocolate and spicy backbone and a hint of licorice and vanilla in the back. A powerful roasted malt bitterness grabs at your tongue. Followed by notes of vanilla and raisins. The finish has a nice piney note to it. About half way through the glass your ear start to warm up.

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 dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz single bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in south Plainfield for $2.99...
Pours a jet-black, dark, ebony appearance with a red, tan, frothy, and foamy head that soon dissipated, revealing a generous amount of lacing around the glass...
Smell was complete with rich cocoa, roasted malts, and dark lattee essences...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, with a flavor that was more thick than usual Russian Imperial Stouts, including burnt chocolate, cocoa, espresso, cappuccino, and Nestle nuances...
Extremely rich, thick, and creamy taste and mouthfeel with a good drinkability that only took a slight hit due to the hefty 8.4% ABV that slowly creeped up on you and the rich conglomeration of dark, chocolate flavors...
Otherwise, this was a top-notch depiction of the style... Awesome stuff... Recommended...

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry (2005 vintage drank in 2008): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size light brown foamy head with good retention but no lacing. Aroma of vanilla and raisins with some vinous notes is really interesting. Taste is a complex mix between some sweet malt, vanilla, some dry raisins with some interesting vinous notes. Full body with some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Definitely more complex then I was expecting and very well balance overall.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is black, opaque with a thin, brown-caramel head that leaves just a wisp of carbonation on top. The smell is all malt, with chocolate and roasted notes coming to the forefront as well as a mildly fruity background. The taste is very much the same, with the fruitiness becoming more apparent - I get the sensation of dates - and finishes with a dry, roasted characteristic. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with a minimal carbonation. Overall, this is a very drinkable RIS; good example of the style.

Photo of enfield249
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours very thick, dark black, no head. Small ring of tan foam around the edge.

S- WOW. Lots of dark fruit, sweet smelling.

T- Up front lots of that dark fruit and sweetness. Fades to roast, and then a burnt toast right in the middle of my tongue. Quite the taste trip.

M - About average. Not super thick, but not too thin.

D - A very good Imperial stout. I don't like a lot of hotness from alcohol and this beer delivers on that.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

2007 vintage.

A: Pours a slippery looking pitch black. This is covered by a dark tan colored head, about 1 finger thick, that leaves a bit of lace in the glass.

S: Interesting mix of aromas. Dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, brown sugar, cherry, cocoa, spicy hops, blueberry, espresso, molassas, and a hint of banana(?).

T: Pretty much just see above. The smell is lockstep with the taste. I also noticed an interesting earthy burn, almost like cigar tobacco. Major roasted malt and bitter coffee, and chocolate flavors in the finish.

M: Oily and sticky. Tangy, bitter, and creamy. A little on the thin side, although it becomes slightly thicker as it warms.

D: Pretty good for the style. I prefer RIS's to stick to my ribs a little more than this one did, but overall this is very good.

Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter:

Pours pitch/opaque black with almost no head - just a thin ring that leaves some vanishing lace.

The smell is of roasted chocolate and coffee with a vague fruitiness in the back.

The taste is of chocolate with some coffee. Some sweetened berry-like fruitiness in the back. Peppery alcohol in the sweetish finish.

Full-bodied and pretty creamy with a lingering chocolate aftertaste.

Rich in chocolate with a nice roasty touch. A nice pairing with chocolate ice cream (had it with and without - good both ways.)

Photo of Tilley4
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Jet black pour with no head on the pour which eventually leads to a smallish 1/2 head.

Smells really good. Dark and chocolatey and I actually smell a bit of banana in this. Surprising but not unpleasant.

Very complex tasting, this RIS is. Doesn't get the hype that lots of others does. Now it's not as good as the Ten Fidy or anything but it's still a really good brew. I like it a lot.

Drinkability is good with the 8 1/2% as well. I liked this one.

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oily, viscous pour...resulting in a thin collar of foam. A skim remains with a ring around the edge. Served in an Arcadia tulip around 45º. Spotty lace is left behind in the glass.

Fried plantains, roasty malt, no alcohol detected in the nose.

Banana, almond, with a twinge of alcohol in the first sips. Chalky residual feel, with some vague leafy hops and dried dates in the aftertaste. Chewy without approaching syrupy. Fits nicely into the 'imperial' category, but is still easy to casually finish a glass.

One or two in a sitting, thankfully not too over the top. I'll be looking for more of this, since I only have one left from the 4-pack.

Photo of redelephantdane
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - very fresh might need some cellaring time

a - thick black, no head came from vigorous pour, after a few seconds some bubbles were roused from the depths of this dark brew. they dissipated leaving no lace. it almost looks like dark red wine.

s - sweet coffee, dark cherry at first, deep ether like finish.

t - dark fruit and cocoa, the hops come through in a big way with a bitter finish. lacks a deep malt taste

m- surprisingly smooth and light mouth feel, not as oily as one would expect in an imperial stout, does not exactly fit style but i like it none the less.

d- i could drink a few of these, dont feel stuffed as i usually do after an imperial stout. goes down smooth and silky.

Photo of smcolw
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This pours like oil--no head in the begining--a thin layer of bubbles emerge a full second after the pour. There is a thin level of lace. This is near black where no light shines through.

Some coffee notes along with a slight amount of alcohol present.

The flavor is coffee like in the begining of the sip but it becomes spicy. The body is thin and the carbonation is high. The aftertaste is mostly mocha.

This is pleasant Stout, but I'm not sure if it matches the profile of an Imperial. It does not have the oiliness that I would expect not does it have the dark malt bitterness either. It is easy to finish.

Photo of brantadid
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black into a snifter. Next to no head. This beer is completely opaque. No light passes through.

Smelled of roasted malt and chocolate. I also detected some faint toffee notes. Also picked up some berries in the nose.

Tasted very malty with chocolate in the after taste. Nice toffee flavor is present, and some dark berries. Alcohol is totally masked. Slight bitterness on the back palate.

Low carbonation and creamy, coating mouthfeel make this a very drinkable beer.

Photo of weeare138
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2005 bottle...
Appears a pitch black with a 1 finger, dark tan head that fades into a mild cap and thick, hearty collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, molasses, brown sugar, rich cream, caramel, anise, and a hint of java.
Taste is that of the aroma with some bitter chocolate, chicory, and ripe fruit blasting it's way through the flavors.
Mouthfeel is bittersweet, syrupy, slick, with some charred nuts, bitter hops, and star anise all kicking in for an interesting kick on an Imperial Stout.

Photo of david131
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 Bottling.

A- Black as night with just the slightest amount of light getting though on the top edge. A small brown head forms and settles to some thin covering.

S- Lots of smooth roasted malts, some alcohol, cinnamon and vanilla. It is starting to get that wonderful "aged" quality. Kind of smooth and subdued. Definitely not in your face.

T- Very smooth and roasty. Sweet with lots of older hop presence. Some vanilla, alcohol and cinnamon are noticeable. Still a tad messy- surprisingly this could probably use some more time.

M- A little dry and cloying. The carbonation level is smooth though.

D- It is almost there... maybe it just needs some more time.

Photo of akorsak
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from tangfoot in the 'I Want That' bif.

A: The stout opened with nary a hiss, pouring with so little carbonation that you'd think that the bottle was opened a few days ago. Only at the conclusion of the pour did a small coffee-and-cream colored hear emerge. Just as mysteriously as it appeared, it was gone. The RIS itself is big and black, nothing unusual to say about it.

S: The nose is full of malty depth. Burnt toast and roasted grains mix with coffee, chocolate and grahm aromas. The aroma is a nice set-up for the body.

T: The taste starts off a little thin, letting me down a bit. The more it sits in the mouth, the more things improve. The upfront flavor is malty, but not big malty. Instead it has a dunkel-esque flavor, slightly sweet with caramel but lacking the big RIS substance. After that initial let down, the robust stout flavors return. Chocolate and coffee flavors mix with dark burnt cereals. The aftertaste is a nice memory, retaining the burnt flavor long after the sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is solid, if not a little too thin. This is a milder RIS, a little lighter and more drinkable than many that I've had.

D: The 8.4% is still a whopper, even with the lighter flavors. This wouldn't be my first choice for an RIS but it still gets the job done.

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

2005 vintage

Appearance: Deep black with a light brown head that disappered quite quickly. Good looking stout.

Smell: Alcohol, followed by coffee and chocolates.

Taste: Nutty, roasty, and malty. With nice bits of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. The alcohol that was so prevelant in the nose is gone with the taste, which is a good thing.

Mouthfeel: Nice thickness but also quite smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable stout. Too bad it's my only one.

Photo of Mdog
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, thin head that disappears.

Smell: Dark fruit, coffee, alcohol.

Taste: Roasted sweetness, some hints of fruit. Balanced by a coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Seems to be a little thin for the style.

Drinkability: Not too strong to have a couple.

Arcadia makes some decent beers, and this one fits that description. Gets the job done if you're looking for a slightly stronger stout that won't put you down for the count.

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

Thanks goes out to Vancer for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of roasted malts, vanilla, and lots of toffee/coffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice touch of roasted malts, coffee and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, glad to have found another enjoyable brew from Arcadia.

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

Thanks to JeffKrenner for this beer.

A: Really dark, dark brown…almost black but just quite. Head fell quick and left a strong and pronounced coppertone ring around the glass.

S: Melted dark chocolate, oily and gooey. Also some vanilla, marshmallow, café au lait and red grapes.

T: Begins sweet across the tip of the tongue with vanilla, rum raisin and butterscotch. Dark fruits are plentiful in this one with molasses, leather and crisp brown sugar lending a helping hand. Fair amount of lactose milkyness with a caramel twist making this an enjoyable after dinner desert drink. Finishes with creamy crème brulee with toasted hazelnuts and long lingering milk chocolate.

M: Medium body, with a smooth mouthfeel.

D: I wasn’t expecting anything and was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It contained many more dimensions than your run of the mill imperial stout. Good stuff.

Photo of Vancer
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freakin coal black pour and a pillow top of tan, umm, nice. Massive nose of chocolate malt-shake and look at that head stick to the side of the glass, this starts out with a bang.

Rich and chewy chocoholic glass of beer, just a small but noticeable pop of anise, but a real rib sticker. Plums and dark cherries rear up and command notice, this is a fine ass winter drinker.

Arcadia has just reached the Mo (STL) area, but so far I’m highly impressed.

Photo of beerphan
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> pint
2005 vintage (printed over the snowbank)

Pours oily black with a small dark brown head that fades to a thin film. Lacing is brown and ringed.

Nose: Currants, molasses, some mild earthy tones.

Rich deep flavors of roasted malt giving port and currant. Very roasty with a little smokiness. Hop presense in minimal, bitterness is low, but rich dark flavors are abundant with some creamy chocolate and burnt coffee tones.

Mouthfeel is thick, slick and creamy.

One good brew that balances out nice, but doesn't crush one over the head. Definately will be returning to this one. Very easy drinking on a cold Feb. night.

Photo of EStreet20
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

12 ounce bottle, snifter glass.

A - A completely opaque inky black brew with nearly no head whatsoever.

S - Big malty smells. Chocolate, some fruity sweetness. A nice smelling stout.

T - Has a nice smooth flavor. The taste is a bit subdued for a RIS but it's got some great chocolatey malt taste along with some roasty character. The finish leaves a coffee aftertaste.

M - Coats the mouth very nicely, lets you pick up the flavors well.

D - This is a solid RIS that drinks smoothly. Goes down easy and has that nice mouthfeel.

Notes: I got this brew at OakTree on a tip from the beer crew for something like 5 or 6 bucks a four pack. This may be the "steal" beer of the year for me (even though it's early in the year). Glad I went with the recommendation to pick it up.

Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.