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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

436 Ratings

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Ratings: 436
Reviews: 270
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 24
Gots: 28 | FT: 3
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: 436 | Reviews: 270
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 lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pitch black color.Very slight tight tan head. Mellow aroma of chocolate and roasted malt. Big bold roasted flavor upfront-hints of coffee and chocolate.Molasses in the finish. Nice chewy feel to it-very "bright" or on the lite side for an Imperial.Doesnt have as big an oilyness to it as some. Very consumable beer.

Photo of ken3c
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very dark. There is no light coming through, even from a high intensity light. There are some small brown floaters. It had a decent brown head that recedes to a ring of foam with a big island in the middle. The foam tries to stick to the glass but it just isn't happening. There is no permanent lacing.

There is a firm cocoa aroma with some fruit and vanilla notes.

Sweet, followed by Roasted bitterness, followed by hoppy bitterness, Finishes with a cocoa taste. The aftertaste is cafe mocha.

Medium to heavy body with medium carbonation. There is also a pleasant warming.

This beer is darn good. It's strong and complex without being overwhelming. I really enjoyed it.

Photo of mhoudeshell
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout comes wrapped up in the sort of unassuming, vaguely wintry label you're apt to pass over at the local beverage store. Maybe it's a winter ale, you might think. Nope. While it's no Bell's Expedition, it's certainly worth the price of a bottle or two. The extremely dark pour you'd expect of an imperial and a substantial if rapidly diminishing chocolatey head full of large bubbles. Little smell, but distinct notes of sorghum and chocolate hover under the overall dark maltiness. The alcohol doesn't jump out at you as is so often the case with other imperials, but it's definitely in there. A hoppy finish but not excessively sharp -- some other imperials seek to compensate for the alcohol and sweetness by overloading on hops, to the point where they enter the range of the more bitter Irish stouts. Overall: Surprisingly good.

Photo of mattcrill
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours thick and black with a small brown/ruby head

Smell: Oxidized. I hardly smelled much at all. Quite a disappointment. All I smelled was alcohol and water. Very unappealing. Maybe I got a bum batch.

Taste: Pleasant cocoa with a spicy finish. It reminded me of mincemeat pie. There was hints of licorice and a beefy background. It finished up with a nice alcohol nip.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy. Just what I would expect for this style.

Drinkability and overall: I can't see myself drinking more than one in a session. Not a bad offering. Still, that smell has to go. It was most unappealing. That was the biggest bummer. Other than that, a pretty good beer.

Photo of tavernjef
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a picture perfect pour of dark molasses brown settling to matte black with a waffer thin super dark brown cap, a cocoa dusting remains intact on top throughout the glass along with a fluffier collar; lacing is minimal.

Aroma is faint of soft and dry bakers chocolate with some notes of coffee roast and a touch of alcoholic heat. Some vinous character grows as it warms but stays mostly sweet and chocolatey.

Taste is robustly roasty with a black malt tangy edge dripped upon by some dry sweet chocolate powdering. Dry finish ensues with some coffee bean bitterness and burntness with a chocolatey touch which lingers well onto the'n palate.

Feel is about medium with a smoother fullness upon some sips but has a certain intensity missing within its character that I can't quite put my finger on, but it is quite good and quite drinkable. A fine example but lacking some depth and heft.

A big U.P. thanks goes to trbeer for the many samples.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12oz bottle. Poured into one of my tasting glasses, this imperial stout had a murky blackish-brown color topped by a large creamy mocha colored head. The head had nice retention but left little lace.
The nose was full of bittersweet chocolate, espresso coffee, and dark fruit notes with a vinous alcohol quality, especially as it warmed. The taste started off with a sweet date-and-prune flavor quickly followed up with the flavors of baker's chocolate and espresso, slowly ratcheting up a bitterness through the finish. The alcohol was note all that well disguised but at 9%ABV I don't necessarily expect it to be. The feel was full, rich and creamy.
Overall, this was a likeable imperial stout; easy drinking and satisfying. No complaints here, mate.

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

The bad thing about this beer is that I got a gusher. I lost half of the bottle within 30 seconds of opening and big chunks of yeast were mixed up in the beer...which is a huge bummer. Had to let it sit for a while then transferred what I could to a fresh glass...conserved about 4 ounces of beer. What a freakin shame.

Ok, now that its more or less settled, the head is still quick to rise up in resistance. Maybe this beer was overprimed or something. But nice color to the beer. I tihnk the head is a little too much for this beer. Nose is really nice on this beer. Very rich. Some nice mellow ethanol and buttery (?) and chocolate notes.

I don't think the beer was infected because it still tastes clean and smooth. Very smooth beer. Just a touch of roasty flavor to my palette, but some nice chocolate notes. Got some nice yeast flavors too. A touch of hops evens this beer out nicely.

A pretty drinkable beer for being so big.

Photo of Bighuge
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Inky black appearance with no signs of light penetration. Good sized creamy brown head sits on top. Retention is adequate and lacing is actually quite full. Aromas of burnt malts, chocolate and molasses bless my nose. The flavor profile has a unique dark fruitiness to it to blend in with the smoke and char of the burnt malts and bittersweet chocolate. Overall though, the flavors are a bit subdued for an Imperial Stout. Body is not quite as full as I'd like. Maybe a little better than medium. Seems just a little too spritzy in its carbonation as well. So, I guess it's got an average mouthfeel. Everything else is good in my book though.

Thanks Evan.

Photo of winomark
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with a 2 inch thick medium brown head. Very inviting.

Lots of rich malt and alcohol sweetness. Some chocolate and coffee noticable.

Good dark malt character. Alcohol is in check. Slightly dry finish. Good balance overall.

Suprisingly light; much different than I expected. Flavorful, but with a dry, somewhat short finish.

Not as rich and coating as I would have liked. Acts more like a normal stout than an Imperial. Worth a try if you come across it.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Talk about a pour! Deep brown to near blackish colour and an ungodly amount of head, even though I wasn't pouring it hard the head took up over half my pint and I had to wait for it to settle before pouring the remainder of the beer into it! The head also, as is chracteristic for imperials, grips the sides of the glass and refuses to let go.

A roasty yet alcohol tinged smell which doesn't particularly overwhelm. The taste has some of that roast but is mainly malt, and alcohol, lots of alcohol, not entirely surprising given the percentage but the least well hidden of the imperials that I've tried to date. This one has the lovely characteristic mouth coating aspect going for it in any case, though I would only rate the drinkability as decent, it goes down thick.

Overall a middling stout in my estimation.

Photo of zerk
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a thin but persistent tan head, leaving behind no lace. Aroma of anise, chocolate, and coffee with some sour cherry thrown in. Flavor begins somewhat smokey and sweet, with roasted malt, coffee, and a heavy dose of chocolate, then becomes slightly vinous. Moutfeel is smooth and creamy, but somewhat light in body for the style. The lighter body does improve drinkablity however, and with the high ABV well hidden, this could be a truely dangerous beer! All in all, a very good Imperial Stout.

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

Dark, near-black body, with a full, lush, very fizzy head, toasty-brown, and effervescent.
Aroma, dark, with notes of anise and pepper right off, maple, treacle, motor oil and more, as we drink it in...molasses and tar...quite an accomplishment, already!
Taste: thick coating on the palate, dark, but bubbly, rich, and roasted, but ultimately thinnish compared to others that I like.Loaded with taste, but not enough to match the robust royalty among this style.
A bit underwhelming. Chocolatey, too, a touch, and it's good, but not as good as we'd like. Nice work, anyway, Arcadia, and thanks to CRJMellor for the gift!

Photo of kwalters
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unforgettable! This was my first ever imperial stout and I simply won't forget the experience.

There was very little head as I poured this yummy libation into my glass. The color was a deep, dark brown with just a few hints of crimson red. The aroma was more pleasant and telling of the this brew's potency.

The taste: Fantastic! Admittedly, this tasted much more like a barely wine than I would have thought, but that may be par for the course when sampling imperial stouts. Yes, it had an oily texture and was thick and chewy, but I savored each sip. This one is heavy on the malts with a good balance of hops, but nothing is overpowering in and of itself. I could take down two of these bad boys, but that would be where I'd draw the line.

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served at cellarish temps in a Brewer's Art chalice.

Appearance: Jet black topped by a huge brown head. I almost lost a few drops of this when the beer started gushing after opening. Thankfully, my first beer of the night - so my reaction time wasn't dulled. As I expected from the pour, there was some incredible head retention on this puppy. A small layer of foam was retained until the very end of the glass. Decent lacing, too.

Smell: Intense dark and bitter coffee aromas with a nice hearty snap of alcohol on the end. Fruits like apples and cherries lurk in the background. A nice sniffer.

Taste: Harsh alcohol taste initially, followed by black pepper spiciness. Lingering notes of bitter coffee and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Goes down like a flame. A not unpleasant warming sensation in the throat and mouth. Massive body.

Drinkability: This is not a subtle or refined imperial stout, fer shure. At least not in comparison to some others of this style I've had (BCS, SK, and Bell's Expy). Still quite a nice beer overall. I think I might have had this one a wee bit too young.

Thanks to CRJMellor for including this as a little extra in a recent trade.

Photo of beerluvr
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa! An absolute gusher once the cap was popped, luckily I had my trusty Duvel tulip near to catch the overflow. So, that being said it pours a very healthy oily-looking deep dark tan head that settles long and slow over opaque black liquid. The nose has components of charcoal, super roasted barley, light liquorice and fruit. The taste is of intense roasted barley, light espresso, underlying bittersweet chocolate then some tobacco sharpness and then a healthy hop bitterness is tasted. Finishes with long roasty notes and some potent alcohol warmth, a great Imperial Stout! Thanks to CRJMellor for this bad boy.

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

A very nice Imperial stout that has a somewhat different taste than many stouts. This dark brew gives a nice sense of chocolate covered dark cherries. Quite a nice flavor that is surprising to the palate and lingers in a pleasant manner.

The thick body supports lots of alcohol which is decently covered by the rich flavor. The feel is a bit oily but not overly so. Drinkability is good but limited by the apparently high ABV.

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

A lovely imperial stout that was a dark, opaque black clour with a coffee and cream head that spilled out of the bottle and over my glass! The head left excellent sheets of belgian lace, and had excellent retention. The aromas were all chocolate, caramel, dark roasted malts, alcohol, spices and more! The taste was a well blended one with all of the classic imp. stout flavors on board. The mouthfeel was thick and creamy and the drinkability was great for an imperial.

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

Pours very frothy and almost jet black with a brown head with big bubbles. Head clings to the side of the glass. Aroma is very "peaty" with a hint of malt whiskey to it. Taste is not as thick as aroma would indicate. You are hit on the front end by malt and a touch of alcohol. Finishes very dry and somewhat bitter with a very roasted malt flavor prevalent. Mouthfeel is not as syrupy as other Imperials I've had but very drinkable and enjoyable.
This beer won a silver medal at the 2002 Chicago Real Ale Festival.

Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is jet-black, with a foamy white head. The smell is a sweet malt. The taste is a bit drier; nice hops, with a coffee taste and a slight smokiness. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. As for drinkability, could have a few.

Not a bad Imperial Stout, though not the best either. Sill, glad to find this offering from Arcadia, and if I saw it again, I'd probably have one.

Photo of aaronh
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost black beer pours with a moderate chocolate brown head. Sweet milk chocolate aromas tinged with roasted malts greet the nose. A slight sweetness is evident wafting from the glass as the beer is poured. The flavor is very chocolatey, with a nice dark fruitiness. Coffee, charred malt, and molasses all chime in as well. A strong bitterness is present on the finish, which gives way to a lingering strong coffee aftertaste with just a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is good, but perhaps just a bit thin for all the robust flavors. Drinakbility is also pretty good, but the roasted notes get a bit on the astringent side after a while. All in all, an enjoyable brew.

Photo of Bierman9
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I snagged a single, 12oz bottle of this in January at the Georgetown Deli in Wilkes-Barre, not realizing I had already had it... Quaffed it yesterday (08JUN12) out in the 'Zebo... Noticed it was a 2007 Vintage.

Using a small tulip, the bier poured a thick, deep, dark brown. Even with a fairly hard pour there was little head to be found, just a few fine, tan bubbles at the rim and little else. The aroma smelled of molasses and dark choco, with hints of woody, bourbon-like notes. Medium bodied, I thought it could (should?) be a lt thicker. It was mostly smooth, though really more on the flattish side. Some choco was present in the flavor, with light sweetness and a bit of mocha. Had a little fig and raisin action, and maybe some cherry, too. The bottle held a good amount of sediment, though swirling it in didn't change the flavor at all. There was some subtle hopping at the finish, though all-in-all this version lacked complexity. Quite simple and meh, actually.

3.6/5 rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*** *** ***

Original review from 14NOV03:
This Imperial pours an inky, black color. Head was creamy and tan, thinning rapidly to a fine layer, with some decent lacing around the glass. Aroma displays some roasty, coffeeish notes, as well as some dark fruit and a lightly citrus-like hop tinge. Feel on the tongue was fairly smooth, and though medium in body, I felt it could have been thicker. Flavor is also roasty, with more coffee, but more heavily leaning into the realm of dark fruit such as currants and raisins. Has a light, burnt aspect to it, and adds a nice warmth to the innards. The hops at the finish are tasty and welcome, with nary a smidge of bitterness. Quite a tasty brew. Thnx to trbeer for a fine Midwest Bier! Zum Wohl!!!

overall: 4.25
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


Photo of aracauna
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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.

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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.