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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.
very good

430 Ratings

(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 karst
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Christie and Vincent for this bottle.

Pours into 0.4L sniffer with brown dense fine beaded head that sustains a thin cap for most of the glass. Aroma of chocolate, coffee and dark roasted malts some background notes of sourness (oak, licorace or just a lot of black patent malt?)
Some warming but little evidence of its high abv very drinkable. Flavors similar to aroma with medium body that would be too thin except for good carbonation. This was a very fresh bottle. When hop bitterness and carbonation drop with aging this would be a different beast. Aside from strong black patent note and being a "milder" example of the Imperial Stout style - a well made stout that was enjoyable drinking.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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 MuddyFeet
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tangfoot for this bottle. 2005 release.

Pours a dark black. At first I wanted to decsribe it oily but noticed that it thins out around the edges a bit. Wet lace that drips down into the glass. Nose is toffee and dark licorice.

Flavor is typical of a RIS. Heavy roasted malts balanced with an evergreen hoppiness. Bits of fresh coffee too. Also, getting some candies that are coming out as toffee and licorice. Medium to full body that thickens nicely as the beer warms. Really just a solid all-around example of the style. Definitely better options out there that are easily accessible but still a nice beer.

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

A- Thin Chocolate mocha head on a nice black body.Thin lacing that covers a bit of the top.
S- Big chocolate aroma right off bat. Light coffee and roasted malts in there also. Some grass hops can be found too. A light oak aroma also.
T- Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts all blended together. The coffee comes out a bit more than the rest in the aftertaste. A light bitterness makes its way through and lingers on the tongue in the aftertaste too. The bitterness does grow to close to a medium amount. The chocolate flavor makes its way through more and more as it warms.
M- Medium to thin body (more on thin side). Is a tad watery but still big flavors. Low carbonation.
D- It is a tasty stout. Wish it had a bit bigger body and I think it would make everything come out just that much more. It is tasty though.

Photo of carln26
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown to black color, and was topped by a thick tan head. The head did not show good retention, but did leave a sheet of lace on the glass. The nose showed promise. Notes of chocolate, espresso, dark berries, and a mild hop citrus. The taste reflects the aroma. More espresso, and dark chocolate. No dark berry character found, but there is a light roast malt note. The mild citrus bitterness, balances the flavor well. Smooth, thick mouth feel. No alcohol heat. This is the beer I've been waiting for from Arcadia.

Photo of doppelmeup
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown pour, with a cocoa head that quickly dissipated. Not a thick pour like you would get with Stone RIS or Bell's Expedition.

Biscuity, fruity aroma.

Very nice flavor. Smooth, malty, bready with a fruitiness to balance. Much more mellow than other RISs I've tried. As it warms, coffee and chocolate flavors develop.

Mouthfeel was difficult to judge. Compared to other RISs, it was quite thin. But, compared to other regular stouts, it was rich and very smooth.

Overall, this was one of the more drinkabler RISs I've had. This would be a good beer to use to transition into the world of big stouts.

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

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" tan head that lingers a while. No significant lacing develops.

Smell: dark chocolates, sweet malt, and alcohol are easily picked up by the nose.

Taste: strong dark chocolate tones, roasted malts, and softer espresso tones are the main flavor components. Some molassess, alcohol, and a decent bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: medium in body. Smooth at the start while leaning towards a syrupy finish. This is thinner than expected. Long aftertaste of chocolate and roasted malts.

Drinkability: decent beer but is not a mind blowing RIS. Easy to quaff due to the thinner mouthfeel. Worth trying.

Photo of ZAP
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark browish black with a reddish hue

S-Molasses....dark cocoa...a little rum like booziness..

T-A flavorfull but lighter style Impy....molasses and rum like booziness are in the front along with a little dark cocoa, and mild notes of black licorice..

M-Agreeable but lighter than the big hitters...creamy, smooth, and very drinkable...just too thin to be considered elite

D-Overall this is a very nice Impy but definitely a good notch below the big boys. Never-the-less this is one of the better Arcadia beers I have had and is a very drinkable Impy....I could drink a six pack of these in one nights...and I don't want to be able to do that with Imperial Stouts..I'm giving this score a 3.5 because I do like this beer but I might be giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Pure black color refuses any light to come through. Dark mocha colored head that recedes to a solid ring around the edge of the glass. Very minor lacing clings to the glass.
Smell is a smooth coffee flavor. Taste builds on the coffee and adds some chocolate blended in.
Mouthfeel is more than medium bodied, but feels a bit light for an RIS.
This is very tasty beer, but not the best RIS I've ever had.

Photo of TastyTaste
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Inky black body, head fades fast into near nothing, just a thin tan film.

Smell: Very chocolatey and bitter, dark chocolate and alcohol. Pungent and apt.

Taste: Rich and bold, drenched in chocolate and sharp alcohol, I think this could use a little more age, it has a fine start.

Drinkability: Not a bad glass of beer, enjoyable actually. Just a little on the raw side.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on January 22, 2005. Ruby fringed black pour. Head of creamy tan. Light chocolate, candy and laundry detergent. Sharp figs and roasted pork in mole, with candied figs and light buttered toast. Sharp and piquant, with a hint of peppers and eggs. Roasted sourness is a little unsettling. Finish is oaky dry. Not amazing, but drinkable.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.38/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brwon with a tad less then one finger of frothy brown head. Decent amount of scattered speck of lacing.

S - Very faint. A touch of molasses. Extremely faint notes of chocolate and coffee. Strong alcohol.

T - A bit of coffee, molasses and alcohol along with some general "dark" flavor that has a bit of a sour chemical taste. The aftertaste is of cheap coffee - maybe with a bit of lemon rind in it. Alcohol throughout.

M - Smooth, thin, only a little refreshing.

D - Alright. I don't think I will have this again. It's taste is too high in abv and chemical flavors to really be enjoyable. But the non-convention chemical flavors aren't too terrible mix really. The alcohol just dominates throughout. Okay for food. Not sessionable.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Releases a light brown head of ample height and light brown color amidst a black/deep brown beer hue. Leaves a generous amount of lacing withstanding well. A lightly tart yet creamy aroma of tart wine grapes and black strap molasses and coffee caress the nose. The taste was all right but a little tarter than I would like. The saving grace is the creamy finish bringing out a more heavy milk feel to this strobng brew. Thick, almost sinewy palate. Finishes very well. Cleans a little too, and not too cloying.

Photo of xav33
4.78/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Arcadia Imperial Stout
12 oz bottle
Bottled winter '05 (6 pk), basked in its glory 10/06
Medium pour in an English pint

Poured black with a large creamy somewhat lasting light brown head with a small ring of lacing.

Smelt strongly of burnt molasses and roasted coffee, some fainter dark chocolates and dark berries, kinda jammy.

Taste was upfront moderate dark chocolate with a tinge of sweet fruity esters, some faint sour banana and apple, followed by a strong bitter burnt smokey taste with some creamy feel and light grassy hops on the average to long finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, creamy, velvety, caressing, softly carbonated, lightly astringent.

Overall, almost perfect. The finish could use a bit more length, and the flavor could be amped up just a bit. As this is a year old brew, these factors could have died down a bit, for a year old imperial stout, this one is as close to perfect as I've yet to have. Bonus mystery sludge at the bottom too!

Photo of aforbes10
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a bottle that ive had in the cellar for a year and is probably a year older than that as well. i figured i should drink it now since its not that high in alcohol and i didnt know how long it would keep.

shit, i poured it in a tinted glass! oh well, i can tell that is black as can be anyway so thats not a real issue. nice big head, lots of retention, a bunch of big old chunks in the base fell out into the glass. certainly a beer with a smell...odor is like fermenting chocolate raspberries, creamy cherries, and more sweet chocolate. Really smells good. Taste is a niuce burnt hoppy mix with no alcohol to be found....just roasted coffee, hops. After the bitterness of first few sips leaves you, then theres more of a cherry/date flavor that comes through. Nice and well balanced, maybe a bit thin. Just one is enough, but any russian imperial stout that you can say otherwise about is just not up to snuff.

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

Dark, dark chocolate body with a dense, creamy, muddy, leather brown head. Nose of roasted marshmallows, coffee, Scotch, baking chocolate, and minty hops. Raisiny fruit flavors mix with dark chocolate. Roasted coffee and herbal, numbing bitterness around the edges. Oily, chocolatey finish leaves a warm feeling inside. Medium body, oily feel. Maybe a bit thin for the style. Not bad.

Photo of RedHaze
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a very dark, nearly impenetrable black. When held up to the light only a faint hints of ruby seep through the edges. The pour leaves a dense one finger head, that's slow to settle to a fairly thick cap, leaving behind a thick webbing of lace.

Smell; dark roasted malts, with coffee, and a bit of a smokey aroma. There's a bit of anise and molasses, with a little hint of dark fruits. After this gets a little warmer, some chocolate comes out as well. Very nice.

Taste; bold roasted malt flavor up front, almost like slightly burned toast. This settles down after a little bit, and I'm glad, because I;m not mush of a burned toast fan. The molasses, anise and dark fruits come out in the middle some, and finishes with a bit of a smokiness mixed with a little chocolate. I was expectng much better after the way this smelled, so overall I was a little disapointed in the flavor of this. Mouthfeel is kind of thin for what I've come to anticipate in an RIS, so it was a bit of a disapointment, and the drinkability is hurt, atleast for me, by the burned toast flavor.

Photo of kohoutek
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A nice cascade of upwardly expanding brown foam upon the pour. This beer is a beautiful dark-as-night black color with a dense, tan creamy head. Unfortunately the head dissipates a bit too quickly and the carbonation is there to bouy it.

The aroma is vinous, indicative of it's strength. There is a warmth from the alcohol. There is a fresh, hoppy, herbal, dark fruit, roasty character, but you really have to swirl to achieve it.

This tastes very smooth, with the flavors balanced and integrated. Herbal, chocolate, roast, plums, red currants, vanilla - not much more. I was expecting the flavors to continue, to grow as it warms and opens up. There will be none of that.

In the mouth it is a bit thin for the style, but the balanced bitterness creates quite a refreshing quality. Nice, clean and tidy.

This beer, for the style, is perfectly drinkable. It is refreshing, clean and satisfying.

Photo of Derek
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.

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

Pours almost as black as night with a very small, mocha colored head that disipates quickly to a faint tan ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell is dominated by coffee and smoke.

Taste is nice. Very smokey with heavy aspects of coffee, vanilla, sweet fruits and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is full, thick and creamy.

Drinkability is very nice. I particularly like this style and this beer is a nice example of it. I'll be sure to pick this up again in my travels.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small reddish-brown head. Nice bourbony alcohol smell, also some fainter roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is coffee like roastiness up front, a faint chocolate taste in the middle and finishes with a tangy lactic milky taste; at room temp the alcohol comes out a bit more in the finish which is nice. Nice velvety mouthfeel, maybe a little thinner than I like, but it's filling my ris craving

Photo of bigman147
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours black with a slight brownish hue. Color is only perceived on the few bubbles that form while pouring. Head is no-existant. Carbonation is very low.

Aroma: Smells of dark malts and raisins. Slight cherry aroma with a mild coffee finish.

Taste: Mostly dark bitter chocolate and coffee. A good residual sweetness on the tongue that turns into a cream bitterness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Very thick and syrupy with carbonation lending itself to creamy character. As you continue to drink it, the carbonation seems to help thin the beer and the syrupy mouthcoating taste become more bitter and sharper.

Drinkability: Although there aren't many Imperial Stouts that I would call highly drinkable. If there is one (or two), this beer is not it. It was nice to enjoy but I couldnt see having more than one of these in any one sitting.

Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 Oz bottle sampled through the efforts of dirtylou and The No BS BIF.

Pours a somewhat flat looking beer with no head formation. Jet black beer that doesn't pass light.

Smell is sweet and sugary. Aromas of raisins and brown sugar and some black licorice.

Taste is sweet and bitter with a trace of acid in the taste. Standard RIS flavors here mostly coffee and licorice. Nothing to exciting here.

Mouthfeel is good.

Forgettable RIS here. No real reason to recommend it.

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... Label notes 2005 vintage.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. What head there is quickly fades down to a layer of microbubbles, with plentiful dark brown lacing. Aroma is hearty dark malts, some smoke floating through as well. Taste follows along dark grains dominant, with smoky peat presence as well. No indication of alcohol. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good for the style, maybe a bit overly sweet if I had to find a fault. The smoke adds a lot here.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black in color. Not even a squeak of light shines through, even when held to the light.

The nose is strongly roasted, with notes of dried fruits, figs, apple cider, alcohol, and black licorice. Smells awesome.

The taste is strong of dried fruits, giving it a tart/souring effect. Heavily roasted flavor in the finish. While this definitly is a quality beer, the tart palate-smacking taste is tweaked a little too much in the wrong direction to suite my tastebuds.

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