Big Operator | Big Boss Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Big OperatorBig Operator
Very Good
125 Ratings
Big OperatorBig Operator

Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Black Raspberry, is a full flavored black ale brewed with imported malt, hops and yeast. This beer is aged for 6 months and infused with 150 pounds of real raspberries. Culminates with an amazing dark raspberry finish.

Added by atsprings on 02-15-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 44
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The B-O poured into a chalice a near ink black with just a hint of ruby hue,a thin tannish colored head atop that was gone quickly.Aromas of butter and raspberry essence,a hint of bitter chocolate as well.Flavors were great with good complexity and it wasnt overly sweet.A mix of sweet raspberry and again that butter intertwined with some chocolate,a dry earthy finish really rounds the beer out nicely.Its not overly sweet and/or heavy and drying finish makes it very drinkable,very nice.

 490 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a Big Boss pint glass at Tyler's Tap Room in Apex, NC

Pours dark brown with a reddish tinge and plenty of off-white head. Very nice head retention, moderate lacing down the glass. Generally attractive.

Aromas are more subtle than expected after reading the description for the brew, but were very pleasant nonetheless. Some interesting hits of chocolate, light bit of coffee, and an earthy feature I couldn't quite put my finger on. The feature scent was in the raspberries, but it was a rather delicate and well entwined with the other aromas. Very cool.

Flavors remind me of a reasonably constructed stout with plenty of moderate chocolate and coffee notes. There are some other malty notes in there too... perhaps caramel or toffee. The raspberries are relegated to the finish as they didn't really bring much to the table in the way of flavors. Don't read this the wrong way - the berries were a nice addition but took a back seat to everything else going on in this brew.

Mouthfeel was interesting to me. There was a slight separation on the tongue that went almost watery. The berries? Not sure. It was slightly distracting to an otherwise very enjoyable brew.

Overall I enjoyed this pint but, to tell the truth, one was enough and I was ready to try something else. Give it a shot.

 1,311 characters

Photo of deebo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of chinchill
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Consumed this under the description of "chocolate raspberry stout" which seemed passably accurate, Brewery website says "BELGIAN BLACK RASPBERRY ... black ale". It is near black in color with a dark tan head that leaves very good lacing. The aroma fits "raspberry stout", with little detectable chocolate. The flavor has a well-balanced mix of chocolate, raspberries, and dark malts. Perhaps a touch too sweet despite a kick of bitter in the finish from dark roast and hops.

M: creamy smooth but a tad thin.

 509 characters

Photo of tastybeer
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Completely opaque, very dark brown brew topped by a dark tan-brown head. Nice big head initially that fades at a moderate speed into a thin tight ring. Aroma is pleasant, deep and soft, with toasty coffee and chocolate, with real raspberries (not syrup-like or candy-like) and light hopping. I sense a little bit of spice, similar to coriander but it could just be the yeast and raspberries. Taste is good also. Thick but soft malts....bittersweet chocolate, roasty coffee, fresh raspberries. Not very complicated and easy to enjoy. The fullish body, smooth and velvety texture, and lightly tingly bitterness are sweet as well. The is easy to drink, but I've discovered I like to take my time sipping this brew.

This would be perfect with chocolate cake topped with raspberry sauce. Mmmm...

 792 characters

Photo of MeadGuyfromMD
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of asabreed
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 713 poured into a Brooklyn tulip / snifter. Every label printed has its single number printed with the label. Maybe it's just me, but I think that's pretty awesome.

Appearance: Belgian strong dark? More like a Belgian dark stout I'd say. Lots of mocha-headed lacing hanging out and bubbling all around. Good retention and raindrops.

Smell: Initially big and dark roasted malts and sour and tart raspberry notes, but then you realize it's not as heavy as you initially thought. Or what I originally thought. Also some lighter coffee and chocolate in there. Sour and weirdly and lighter dark and aromatic.

Taste: Again, the seemingly bigger roasted mild chocolate and coffee flavors are there, but then the tartness and fruitiness of the raspberries come through, comprising an excellent compliment to everything else going on. The weirdly subtle chocolate comes through a lot here, but again, in a lighter version, making me wonder if chocolate was actually used, or if the yeast is just doing a lot of things. Long finish with raspberry, good sourness and tartness, mild chocolate, and big roast malt flavors. Yet somehow it's not a big-bodied brew. Willy Wonka style wondrousness?

Mouthfeel: Oddly lighter to medium-bodied from the color and flavor and taste. With a nice sparkling-like touch on the carbonation, making it too-much sip-worthy, more quickly than one would anticipate after the first pour.

Drinkability: A very, very solid brew from Big Boss. I imagine there's not necessarily a huge demographic that would like this brew, but I could be wrong. I am, however, one among those. Even though this is 8%, it seems to me a brew that needs to be consumed fresh. Hell yes.

 1,705 characters

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tdm168
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at World of Beer at North Hills 2/16/12.

Pours a pitch black with a thick brown head that has great retention. The nose has notes of big, deep, roasted malts, faint coffee, and faint raspberries. The taste is chocolaty and roasty up front followed by some raspberry fruitiness and tartness. The mouthfeel is a little dry, but smooth and medium to full bodied.

My only real complaint is that the dryness detracts from the flavor. If it weren't so dry the flavor would linger longer on the palate. Overall, this is a very enjoyable and rather unique beer especially locally.

 581 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Renegawam
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and milk chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and milk chocolate. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I was really surprised by the flavor on this one as it was quite nice and well balanced. Loads of various chocolate clearly apparent in this one made it rather enjoyable. Unfortunately the aroma and the rest of the brew fell short on this but were still not bad. Definitely worth trying for sure if you get the chance.

 794 characters

Photo of SFNC
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, drinks smooth as silk. A nice chocolate/raspberry smell, with a burnt carmel background. Surprise, suprise, the taste matches the smell. Very smooth, with no heat from the 8% ABV. This is the best that I've had from Big Boss to date.

 259 characters

Photo of jwerner23
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of dgeebs07
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of wedge
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a fat, creamy brown head that shrinks to a sticky ring around the edge. Dark, berry-like actual fruit not some syrup product. Belgian yeast adds a slight phenolic note and some roasted malt rounds things out. Fresh roasted chocolate malts and a mellow raspberry flavor that starts up in the middle and carries on into the finish. Not too sweet at all, which makes this all the more enjoyable. Again, nothing about this tastes like a processed syrup kind of fruit beer...real raspberries, earthy flavors. Smooth, creamy, and quite drinkable for it's strength. I'll be sure to grab a bottle when they release it.

 640 characters

Photo of BeerdNick
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of septemberfest
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh draft pint at their brewpub.

Little head but handsome black color.

Easily noticeable aroma of real raspberries and roasted malt.

Taste--sweet, roasted dark malt, chocolate, and definite fresh raspberry flavor. Excellent combinations and balance.

A delicious winter brew. Nice presence in the mouth. Gets better as it warms slightly. Enough alcohol that one at a time is a limit for me.

 395 characters

Photo of blackie
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours into my snifter pitch black, capped with a mocha head that recedes to a thin ring

s: intriguing aroma of woody cocoa and earthy dried raspberries, Belgian yeast adds spicy clove and perhaps some esters that mesh in a novel way with the roast backbone, baker's chocolate and mild charcoal, very earthy and loaded with dry roasts, raspberries are obvious but in excellent proportion

m: carbonation on the low side of medium with a light-medium weight body, seems a touch thin in context of the assertive roast aroma and flavors

t: similar in construction to the aroma but it seems a bit disjointed and even watery without the most interesting aspects of the roast-fruit interplay from the aroma, charcoal roast body with dusty cocoa and bitter chocolate, earthy dried raspberries linger into the charred roast finish with a mild bitterness and a touch of astringency, the Belgian yeast is apparent but tame in effect underneath all that roast, remains dry throughout

d: just fine, a pretty unique beer that drinks well

Feb 2009 bottle #1039/1750 from Whole Foods Raleigh

 1,083 characters

Photo of Amalak
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Big Boss Brewing, Raleigh, NC

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha colored head that slowly faded away and left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and raspberries in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark roasted malts and subtle notes of raspberries. There is a slight hint if bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is very well masked from the taste, which makes this go down very smoothly.

 561 characters

Photo of bowersdm
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sample at DLD '09. Thanks to ROBORB and his friend Trevor for bringing this along. 3-4oz poured into a plastic cup.

A - very dark...almost the color of your standard RIS. no head. it was waaay darker than any BSDA that I've ever seen

S - raspberries, burnt barley and a slight acrid flavor, regular roasted barley, dark chocolate, bitter/almost unsweetend chocolate

T - raspberries, burnt barley, dark chocolate and entirely sweetened baker's chocolate.

M - a bit too much carbonation. the body was medium.

D - this was a weird beer. If I was not aware that this was a BSDA, I would have assumed it was an AD/IS and I think that it should be classified as an AD/IS.

 670 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Operator from Big Boss Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 125 ratings