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Aces & Ates | Big Boss Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
82 Reviews
Aces & AtesAces & Ates
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BitterLover on 01-31-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
206
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
21.07%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 206
Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Ridgewood Wine and Beer in Raleigh, NC

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very light reddish brown highlights when held up to the lights and minimal amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of coffee beans, freshly ground coffee, and just a hint of chocolate over some lighter roasted malts.

T: The flavors starts out with a light amount of roasted malts underneath some moderate flavors of freshly ground coffee and bittersweet chocolate. There are light notes of vanilla as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

O: This beer is quite easy to drink and is very enjoyable with nice amounts of coffee and chocolate flavors - I really like the hint of vanilla as it warms up. One of my favorite local Raleigh beers to enjoy in the winter.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Vintage 301 here in Greensboro.Poured into a standard pint glass a a near jet black except for some ruby highlights when held into the light,a thinner but well retained light mocha colored head.Aromas of heavy roast and molasses really stood out along with faint bitter chocolate.Dark roast coffee flavors with a bit of a bitter chocolate tinge on the palate,quite earthy and dry in the finish.A little sharp in the mouth but its a solid big coffee stout.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with a nice thick milk chocolate colored head. Head fades to a tight ring of lace crowning the beer.
Smells of cocoa, roasted grains, and coffee. The coffee doesn't stand out as much as other coffee stouts but rather blends nicely with the other two.
Kind of a roasted sweet malt flavor. Touch of chocolate, but not as much as in the nose. Nice coffee flavor with a bitter finish. Finish is kind of acidic in a way but imo it just adds a bit of bite to the beer.
Good smooth creamy mouthfeel with the bitter finish adding excitement.
Good beer. I LOVE coffee stouts and this one doesn't disappoint. Will go pick up a few more bombers before this one is history.

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Photo of tdm168
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tap City in Raleigh.

From Notes:
Pours a deep black, with a quarter inch of head which sticks around. Smells of coffee and roasted malt. The coffee and roasted malt come through strong again in the taste. Finishes clean with no hint of the 8% ABV. I thought the mouthfeel was a little thin. Overall a great beer. Big Boss should quit bottling their regulars and get their other offerings into a more constant rotation.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very strong entry from Big Boss Brewing. Super coffee intensity. Maybe a bit too much. Almost more like coffee than coffee. Also very heavy, although not quite as heavy as the Avery Imperial Stout, another beer I had recently. Strong aftertaste. This is basically a one and done beer. Any more and you'll strongly consider doing anything your friends suggest.

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Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a creamy tan head that sits atop the tawny-highlighted pitch black liquid and literally sheets the pint glass with lace

Smell: Fresh roasted coffee beans with undertones of dark chocolate

Taste: Roast and dark chocolate, up front, with developing layers of caramel, vanilla and black bread; just before the swallow there is a hint of graininess that continues to develop, along with the coffee tones, in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; somewhat creamy

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and roasty; a very nice coffee stout indeed

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Photo of jpro
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Sam's in Durham. Poured into a snifter...

A: Pours a deep black, with a one-finger head of creamy, mocha foam; a few light strands and specks of lace adorn the glass.

S: First thing that hits the nostrils is cocoa; shortbread; roasted malts; has a nice, rounded aroma - nothing is overpowering and all the nuanced aromas blend well. Light currant aroma is also present - it becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

T: Strong, dark roast coffee flavor is definitely there - more so than in the aroma. Cocoa and notes of dark chocolate are there, too. Has a little bit of sweetness towards the finish - the very bitter / astringent coffee finish! Pretty big flavor of super roasted malts at the beginning and end, with some cocoa and chocolate in between.

M: Full bodied... higher carbonation... my favorite combination! Nice feel - it does a little work on the palate but the higher carbonation keeps things lively and fosters increased drinkability.

O: A nice coffee stout! It's no Wake-n-Bake, but still darn tasty. This beer also reminds me a little of FBS - perhaps more drinkable, though. For some reason, I think I'd like to try this one on draft - I'd definitely have it again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jefferson for sending me a couple of these bad boys. Served in my trusty Surly pint glass.

A - Pours a super dark brown, almost impervious to light, with a big mocha foam that recedes at a leisurely pace and leaves a dime-sized head that doesn't really go away. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass. A tiny bit more retention and this would have been perfect.

S - Surprise! A Coffee stout that isn't a coffee bomb! Good balance between malt sweetness and coffee with a hefty amount of cream & sugar, as well as some vanilla extract. The smell is more evocative of a café mocha - a mix of hot chocolate and French roast.

T - This is where the more bitter roast coffee flavor kicks in. I think a little bit of excitement is lost from the smell. There's still a nice balance of roast malt sweetness and coffee, but the vanilla and chocolate notes recede into the background.

M - Umm...why is this called a stout? This has the mouthfeel of a porter. If it'd been called a porter on the bottle I would have given it an extra .5, due to differing expectations. A little to thin and watery, with a surprising amount of carbonation. The tingle is a nice complement to the coffee bitterness, but I don't find the body big enough to support the flavor. One positive is the lack of that persistent bitter coffee aftertaste.

D - You can't taste the 8% at all, and the low viscosity actually makes it kind of chuggable. My wife and I split a bomber no problem, and could have downed another afterward.

It's definitely a more distinct coffee stout, but as much for the surprising texture as it is for the excellent balance of sweet and bitter. I don't think it's quite in the league of Founder's Breakfast, but it's an excellent brew nonetheless.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #125 of 5,000. Purchased at Sam's Quick Stop in Durham $6.99/bomber.

The lable exclaims "Handle your business". Ok, I'm game.

Pours almost opaque black, just a hint of light at the edges of glass. Firm, thick dark tan swirling lace lasts all the way down. Fantastic aroma of dark rosted coffee, some charred malts cutting through and faint hint of anise. Nice blend of dark roasted malts and dark roast coffee. Coffe flavors are very smooth, non acrid. Roasted malts hang firm, but definatly a second fiddle to the coffee. Sweet malts flavors finish things off. Smooth and somewhat subdued carbonation lends to a creamy but moderatly thin mouthfeel. The 8% abv is extremely well integrated. Slight warming ethanol noticed only when this bomber was three quaters sunk.

Very well done Big Boss, looking forward to more of these special releases in the future.

Check this one out if you get the chance.

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Photo of wyatt13
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received this bottle in a trade with Onenote81 -- thanks, Jon! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a relatively viscous dark brown color. Once in the glass, the beer looks black as night, with a single finger of mocha foam on the top. Retention is nice as the head sits around for about half of the glass. Spots of lacing congregate on the sides.

S - A nice roasted coffee presence combines with some chocolate to remind me of a tiramisu. There is also a bit of a licorice note in there, as well as some caramel and vanilla. A very nice smelling brew.

T - Man! I am a big coffee lover, and this one is just blowing me away. I'm not sure how they managed to give this beer such a strong, high quality coffee presence. It is roasty and intense without being bitter or uni-dimensional. A nice mixture of chocolate, nuttiness and caramel in the finish to complement the coffee nicely.

M - Perhaps a little bit on the thin side, with a little higher carbonation level than I was expecting. Slightly dry, but overall extremely drinkable.

O - Definitely one of the best coffee beers that I have tasted -- certainly up there with most of the heavy hitters that are mentioned often. I would love to get a couple more of these babies for when I want my coffee fix at night. Thanks, Jon!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Horniblow's Tavern (Raleigh, NC).

Pours a pitch black with a thin wispy tan head that retained nicely into a creamy ring around the rim of the glass but not much lace was left behind. The aroma is definitely that of a coffee stout. Rich with roasted malt, coffee bitterness, smokiness, and some residual chocolate sweetness in the background.

The taste is more of the same, with burnt coffee bitterness and roasted smoky malts that are tempered by chocolate sweetness. Finishes with burnt bitterness that gives way to a splash of sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a poppy carbonation that really accentuates the bitterness. That 8% ABV is nowwhere to be found.

This was my first experience with a Big Boss beer and it was a good one. It's definitely more of a burnt and bitter coffee stout experience than others but if you like your coffee black, than this is definitely the one for you. The easy going mouthfeel and nonexistent feeling ABV really make this one a pleasure to quaff. And to think that I had my sense of smell and taste dulled from all the smoke in the Tavern and I still really liked this. Who knows what I would have thought in a non-polluted environment!

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Photo of CptBlackBeerd
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Charlotte Flying Saucer. Jet black with a pillowy light tan head. Nice lacing all the way down. Aroma is roasted malts, fresh coffee and dark chocolate. Taste is malt, coffee and cream up front with vanilla bean and just a touch of bitterness on the finish - very smooth. Mouthfeel is medium to full with moderate carbonation. Extremely easy to drink for 8% ABV. Overall a very good coffee stout from Big Boss.

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Photo of LittleBreeze
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/26/08

Thanks aerozeppl for the pours from your growler.

Thick and pitch black. The aroma is enticing...The smell of quality coffee worth waking to sip.
Taste of coffee and chocolate. There is a lot going on here, but everything is coming together so well. I'd like to use this for a dessert...float a scoop of ice cream in the glass.

This is a great beer. It may be one of the best coffee stouts I have experienced. Drinks well. Just enough bitterness in the bite. No hint of the 8%.

This was a great beer experience.

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Photo of beer2day
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like the draft version much better than the bottle I had almost 3 years ago.

Part of the winter stout series at Harrison's in Cary.

Deep black pour with almost no head and zero lace.

Dark coffee nose with hint of hoppy grapefruit. Very "hot" nose. Hints of alcohol, too.

More medium roast coffee on the tongue, with hints of bourbon and vanilla cream. Alcohol taste comes through as well, adding a bit to the hot taste.

Thick and chewy body. Very substantial.

Big coffee stout, rivaling the best out there. Nice job from Big Boss.

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bomber on a day off due to a nice blanket of snow.

Pours black with brown highlights around the edges, just like a heavy french-pressed coffee. Topped with a thin, frothy, khaki head.

Smells of chocolaty robust dark-roast coffee with a bit of cream and sugar. A stronger version of that coffee-shop smell. A coffee lover's wet dream.

A blast of cocoa and coffee. No citric notes that I often get in coffee stouts. This one is a chocolaty desert beer. Hints of oaky vanilla. No acrid edge...more on the sweet side, but a little bit of bitterness from the coffee helps keep it in check. No sign of alcohol, even at 8%. Mouthfeel is smooth with just slightly more carbonation than I was expecting for the style, but it works.

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Photo of blackie
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: The beer is tar black in color, with a respectable mocha colored head atop.

s: Fresh dark roast coffee seamlessly blended with a slew of sweet, chocolaty roasted barley.

m: Ultra smooth, low carbonation with a full, slick body.

t: As in the aroma, the coffee flavors have been perfectly blended with what seems to have been an already excellent double stout. Dark, low acid coffee flavors compliment the moderately sweet, roasted flavors of barley and bitter chocolate.

d: A great beer and certainly a pleasure. I think I'd take this one over even the excellent Bell's Java, the only thing I can really compare it to.

pint at Horniblow's

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Photo of BitterLover
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham, NC three times now (finally took some notes last night). The menu there mistakenly lists it at 9.9% ABV (which is why I tried it), but it's actually a more modest 8%. This is a stout that is brewed with coffee roasted by a local coffee roaster. The label on the bottle calls it a "coffee stout", but that style was not available in the Ba listing.

Appearance: Inky black with a very modest light brown head that quickly dissipated, but left very thin, branch-like lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. It was so black that I couldn't see through it, so couldn't detect any carbonation.

Smell: Not surprisingly, the nose was of dark roasted coffee with dark chocolate.

Taste: Black coffee mixed with a hint of dark chocolate covered cherries. At first I thought it was almost too sweet, but then the bitterness stepped up and lasted into the finish. When I aerated the beer in my mouth, I got a subtle black licorice flavor. This is a complex beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy.

Drinkability: This beer is so rich that I would not want to hurry through it. You need to savor it and appreciate its layers as it warms. And at 8%, it's not meant to be pounded.

I haven't seen this beer in any of my favorite beer stores, but I'm going to keep looking for it. Outstanding stuff.

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black color with a mahogany head. Rich aroma of chocolate with hints of coffee and smoke. The palate is very big, but well balanced. Malty chocolate milk predominates, but there's an unmistakeable French Roast coffee undertone there. Profoundly satisfying on a cold, rainy day.

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Photo of Defender1324
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big Boss is quickly becoming one of my favorite craft brews. Appearance is that of a thick espresso. The smell is of a great cup of coffee and the taste is the same. A great cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Mouthfeel is very good, bordering on great. It's creamy and lingers.

I love this beer. It's an imperial stout with some kick that's extremely easy to drink. And that's a warning as much as a plug.

I love it!

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Photo of daliandragon
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting patiently for Big Boss to release something in a dark beer, preferably a Stout. The old Edenton released a terrific Christmas themed stout right before they folded to reorganize and eventually become Big Boss and I've missed it. This has a shiny silver label without much adornment, #0046 of 5000.

This stout pours thick and black into my point with a bit of dark brown head that soon caps to nothing. The nose is unique, with licorice, molasses, and a touch of sour surrounding the coffee.

The strong coffee tones are almost overpowering, and very dry. The lingering aftertaste is black, bitter espresso. This is not quite like any coffee stout I've ever had. The texture is not quite silky smooth but is still satisfying.

This is an excellent beer and the good folks at Big Boss should be congratulated for brewing it. I eagerly await their next offering.

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

Many thanks have to be given to a wonderful trade who sent this one my way. A local brewer to which I was not able to get a hold of, needless to say I was thrilled to finally be trying this one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/30/2009.



The pour was very, very nice. Rich dark black in color with no light shining through whatsoever. A very large head of tan came up over the top, sticking around for a few minutes before settling back down to earth. The whole while dropping some nice side glass lacing and never really leaving a bare top at all. The aroma was rich coffee as one might imagine, but interlaced with nice notes of roasted malts and hints of light vanilla. All ABV was well hidden as the subtle and sweet roasted coffee notes were all that I was really picking up. Smooth, even carbonation was a hallmark and a highlight here. Really wonderfully put together as the coffee was brilliantly placed, not being over the top or over shining the hallmark of a very nice stout which lie beneath it. Quick, clean and effective finish here as the molasses like notes mingle with a light bitterness that thoroughly coats the tongue and leaves you looking for more.



Overall a very, very solid coffee stout here and up there with some of the better ones that I have had. I would have no issue at all with looking for this one again some day soon.

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Photo of drseamus
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black with almost no head.

S: Rich coffee and chocolate explode from the glass.

T: Good clear coffee flavor but not as good as the growler. No roast or chocolate but damn the coffee is good.

M: Creamy but a touch lighter than I would expect.

D: I still love this beer.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Since when does a stout have to be the beer that pins you to the ground like a bear and make you a "man" if you can drink it all in one sitting.

Why can't a stout be a beer you can just enjoy whenever?

Well it CAN - this is that Stout.

For the stout drinker looking to impress his man friends - this isn't the stout to brag that you drank last night while watching cage wrestling on Spike. As a stout drinker I'd drink this if I wanted to have several beers/stouts in one sitting.

Appearance: Solid brown/black with tan head.

Smell: Coffee beans, hint of vanilla extract, hint of bourbon

Taste: Sedated Coffee with an open, bourbon aftertaste that turns into dark chocolate with underlying vanilla notes.

Mouthfeel: Thin, this one's not carbonated, or even has the motor oil consistancy of the classic Founders Breakfast or KBS.

Drinkability: I could pound them back all afternoon. For a true stout lover, this is your session stout. Drink this and be merry! I feel like the beer god is answering the prayers of stout lover looking for a stout to enjoy like the Germans enjoy pilsener. If this brew comes your way - check it out. Great entry-level stout for the up and coming craft beer connoisseur.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler

A: Deep black under a small dark brown head. Some hints of lace and OK retention.

S: Smells of dark coffee with some hints of a sweet creaminess, and some hints of grainy malt underneath.

T: Big fresh coffee taste, with a mild roasted bitterness to end. Some hints again of a creamy sweetness and some dark chocolate (noticed this was clinging to my front teeth after the swallow). Ultimately finishes in a dark coffee character. Very well done.

M/D: Full bodied, pretty good amount of carbonation in this one, but nothing that attacks the tongue. Slighty slick. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as it is pretty smooth. Big Boss is usually hit or miss with me, this is definately a hit.

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Photo of EnigmaticDream
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black as the blackest black times infinity. This one definitely rates up there with The Abyss in terms of darkness. The head was weak which is why I'm not giving it a perfect 5.

S - Smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses, bourbon, wood chips/barrel. Love the smell of this thing.

T - Roasted barley, chocolate, coffee. A bit of hoppiness for good measure. Very good taste. I wish it had more flavors popping out at me.

M - Good mouthfeel. Doesn't feel thick. Could be a little thicker I think.

D - Oh absolutely. Coming in at 8% could leave some staggering after a few. I'm down for more!

This beer is also quite amazing on tap.

FYI for NCers Healthfare in Brier Creek has a stock of these for sale at $6.49 or so.

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Aces & Ates from Big Boss Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.
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