Aces & Ates | Big Boss Brewing

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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
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 206
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle had been in the back of my fridge for eight months.. Pours an inky, dark, and viscous, black body with an impressive light brown head that towers over the opaque body. Good retention and some patchy lace.

Aroma of roasted coffee, cocoa, dark roasted malts, and some vanilla.

Medium body is smoother than expected. Low medium carbonation.

Taste has a roast coffee dominance. Vanilla sweetness softens the bitterness of the dark roasted malts. Earthy hops add complexity. Alcohol is well hidden. Espresso aftertaste.

Very solid and well crafted. Vanilla notes really evened out the biterness of the coffee. Nice!

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Photo of MacQ32
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours damn near black with almost a finger of chocolate colored head, looks to be fairly bubbly, the head recedes in about a minutes time leaving only a thinner outer ring, lacing is pretty minimal.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, cocoa powder/chocolate.

T - Very roasty bitter, burnt currants and cocoa, with a mildly roasty bitter aftertaste.

M - Lighter bodied for the color, a good bit of carbonation in this one - doesn't really fit the style IMO.

O - Light and more refreshing than it should be, but it's kind of nice to have those qualities and a roasty chocolate/coffee brew like this. Decent, but not writing home about it.

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Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark black/brown color, can't see through it when held up to light, with a creamy tan chocolate milk like head that left a layer on top.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cocoa powder and sweet malts. Hearty and rubust smelling, it's like inhaling a meal (or at leask a thick shake).

Tastes of coffee, cocoa powder, roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, toasted grains and a sweet bitterness like a touch of hops or just the strong coffee affect; overall roasted flavor with nice smooth hints of the smoky grains and malts that goes down easy.

Seems lighter than it is for such a heavy brew, with mild carbonation and nice complex roasted flavors that trail off slightly bitter.

Overall it was a very good stout, delicious like a nice Starbucks latte.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had my first taste of Big Boss' Coffee Stout at Horniblow's Tavern during a second Saturday brewery tour. Fell in love instantly and brought home a growler. Poured into a chalice.

The body is utterly opaque and as close to black as a stout can get. Head is a deep chestnut hue and retains well for the first 2-3 minutes before receding to a ring and topping of thin foam. The aroma is heavenly; rich espresso beans (imagine opening up a fresh bag of ground coffee), baker's chocolate, and a touch of creamy vanilla.

The flavor lets me know that this is one of the better coffee stouts (hell, one of the better Double Stouts) I've encountered. Its choc-full of bitter chocolate, fresh java, earthy hops and caramel. Easily gives Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake Oatmeal Stout a run for its money. A slight tinge of powdery aluminum is all that keeps this from a perfect 5.0 in the taste department. Mouthfeel is crisp, astringently bitter but not overwhelming, and has a medium-thick body. Carbonation level? Nearly perfect. Talk about a drinkable brew. True, there are more complex, dynamic Double Stouts out there, but the simplicity and absolutely enjoyable flavor of Big Boss' Coffee Stout make it tough to match. Cheers fellas! Keep puttin' Raleigh on the map!

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Photo of atsprings
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a thick black with a decent tan head that was mostly lasting and left decent lacing on the glass. The aroma was a nice blend of coffee and roasted barley. The taste features an almost perfect amount of coffee that does not overpower the stout characteristics at all. The beer is somewhat on the heavy side, but is still smooth and refreshing. This is one I look forward to every winter, and hopefully next year they'll bottle it.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this a few times on tap, so it's about time for a review. Most recently imbibed at City Beverage here in town. Pours a deep black with a thin mocha head on top. The nose carries a good amount of roasted aromas, coffee, charred wood. The feel of this starts out well, but lacks in endurance. Just not enough heft to hold up these flavors and alcohol. Flavors of coffee and toasted bread, chocolate, and light boozy quality. All of this weakens as I sip, and the flavors get jumbled into unintelligible mess. This beer starts out nicely, but lacks in its finish. Not a bad beer, but not one of my favorites either.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with mocha lacing.

Smells of toasted bitter coffee and cocoa.

Tastes of toasted black chocolate and roasted slightly acidic coffee beans.

Thicker and viscous with mild carbonation on the back of the tongue.

Good solid flavorful stout, enjoyable and appropriately heavy. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of joe1510
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber

Bottle #432/5,000
Bottled 11/08

A big thank you goes out to Kegatron for coming through with yet another stellar box of beer today, this included, thanks buddy! Aces & Ates pours what else but black as night? The body seems to actually look glossy in a strange sort of way as the mocha head sits up top with good retention. The head grew easily to three fingers and faded to one becoming quite silky on its way down. A decent amount of patchy lacing gets left here and there as the beer recedes in the glass.

I was expecting a full on coffee bomb but the nose is a little weaker than I expected. A lightly roasted coffee starts things off and is noticeable throughout. Roasty grains, black licorice, and dusty cocoa all have their own little niche in this brew. The anise actually comes across pretty noticeably on the backend. The dusty cocoa and dark chocolate seem to be interchangeable and add some nice depth. This is a nicely balanced stout but I would have preferred a coffee bomb in this situation.

The flavor basically follows the aroma with mild coffee that's actually a little tough to pull out at times. Anise and roasty grains play the major roles in this brew, the soft roastiness leading the way. A mild nuttiness comes through mid-palate while the dusty cocoa shows up on the finish. Slight underripe berriness finishes things off. This is a well made stout, and tasty, but for having an abv at 8% and coffee added it misses the mark.

The mouthfeel hits nicely right up front with a slickness and moderate heavy body on the tip of the tongue. The carbonation picks up shortly and becomes slightly fast moving, propelling this beer through the back of the mouth a little too quickly and creating a lighter feel.

This beer is easily drinkable with the lighter feel and all around muted flavors. A glass or two is enough for me since this one doesn't quite push my buttons.

I expected a lot more coffee and robust flavors out of this beer and it was a bit of a let down in that department. I enjoyed the stout overall but it just doesn't fit into what's advertised. Thanks for knocking this long want of my list Heath!

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Photo of JDV
2.12/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Big thanks to ROBORB for this bottle!
Was really looking forward to this one, but I'm afraid either I had too high of hopes or their bottling line isn't that great.

Pours dark black with a short lived light tan head. Smell is less of coffee than I expected with a huge unwelcomed sour presence. Ugh...

Taste is pretty dull with light roasted malt and coffee flavor, a touch of tartness, and this is actually pretty watery and underwhelming. Thin flavor, and while not as sour in the taste as the smell, the smell was unpleasant and really kills this beer. Smell is sour, taste is watery, body is thin, carbonation is low, and there really is no shining aspect of this beer, unfortunately.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AKA Coffee Stout.

A: Black with no light getting through. Minimal white head with some lacing.

S: Massive coffee nose right up front and in your business. Not that much else going on but who cares. A touch of roast and milk chocolate for those into that as well.

T: A really nice coffee stout. Not as much coffee as was in the nose.

M: Very creamy. Just a really nice and full mouthfeel.

D: Damn I really love this beer. Reminds me of Southern Tier Jahva without the beating from the booze fairy.

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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 SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

SRM 26-30 is a luscious dark chocolate. Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter, it turns black in the glass. A velvety, dark chestnut head reaches a quarter inch before quickly settling to a thin veil. A thick, viscous film clings for minutes while wispy rings reside above.

Malted chocolate is strong, quickly followed by roasted molasses and coffee. Dates and figs are discernible behind a powerful chocolate syrup in the middle. Bittersweet chocolate brings up the end.

The flavor opens sweet before turning bitter. Coffee takes a front seat over the chocolate while an odd, light melon flavor lingers in the background. A light, quick finish of raisins lasts a moment to be followed by lingering bitterness.

Alcohol is less than expected. A velvety texture adds to the light to medium body. Carbonation is light.

This is a nice, enjoyable and relaxing beer; however, it lacks the power typically anticipated from this style. I enjoyed it with a pungent bleu cheese that brought out its sweetness.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, basically black. Brown, espresso like head taht slowly fades to a thick brown ring. Rings of lace left on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, just a touch of some burnt grain and hints of fresh ground coffee. Coffee is not as strong as I would expect for a beer that advertises coffee on the label.

T - Light roasted grains up front with a nice fruity citrus hop taste. Coffee comes through mid-drink but is not very strong. Finishes with a light sweetness.

M/D - Medium body, a touch thin on the feel. Good carbonation. Easy drinking. I especialy like the nice hop profile in this one.

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Photo of ksimons
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-very dark brown with a thin layer of tan head that quickly disappears a leaves some lacing around the top

S-nice coffee aroma, milk chocolate, dark malt

T-very smooth, milk chocolate, dark coffee, vanilla

M-medium body, low to moderate carbonation, silky smooth

Overall very drinkable, super smooth, delicious coffee and chocolate

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured an amber brown with a tan head that left banded lacing. Light penetrated through this beer more than I would expect for a stout. The smell is sweet coffee and cream. It is uncanny how this smells like an iced coffee. There are some roasted malts and chocolate like aromas as well. The taste is as the smell advertised. The coffee chocolate and sweetness all play nice as a bit of bitterness comes in the place and shuffles them out. Nice solid beer and the best I have had from the Big Boss. This needs to be a more frequent visit to local shelves.

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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 tastybeer
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick deep brown color, opaque and topped by frothy big medium brown head. Head fades to a thin layer and leaves a bit of spotty lace. Both aroma and flavor are smooth + creamy, lightly robust, softly toasty, and just the right amount of sweet. Chocolate, some fruit, and some milkiness are apparent. The Larry's Beans are a yummy fit. This almost also has an oatmeal stout-like thing going on. Certainly can't complain about that. Real smooth. creamy, melted chocolate-like texture is rather nice. Just a touch of roasty bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable end easy to consume.

Mmmmm beer.

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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 jjayjaye
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to drunkmonk for the opportunity to try this one!
Bottle #120/5,000, Bottled 11/08
Pours an opaque darkness with a full finger foamy dark tan head that fades quickly to spotty patterns of Belgian lacing. The smell is timid; tons of black malt, roasted grains and black coffee. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is light-medium bodied and slightly acidic. The big black malt and coffee flavors are complemented with a hint of dark chocolate. The 8% ABV is well integrated. Would like to try this one draught.

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Photo of kkipple
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte. $5 for an 11.5 ounce glass.

Arrives in a tall glass, a finger of creamy, mocha-tan foam crowns this deep brown-black ale.

Nose is mostly variations on dark malt and coffee, with a good amount of creamy sweetness that reminds me of Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. It's lush and smooth - I'm betting there's lactose in here... flavor is quite what you'd expect, a fine dark malt / coffee blend, lots of roasty flavors popping, a pervasive unfermented sweetness that flirts with being distracting. Mouthfeel is full, creamy and slick, carbonation is quite good for what's needed here.

Aces and Ates is really surprisingly good, a fine addition to the creamy-coffee beer genre. While you won't want to drink a lot of this, it's solid enough to warrant a look. Nice job, Big Boss.

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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 VncentLIFE
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a deep caramel one inch head that dissipates into a quarter inch head.

Smells citrusy sweeat. Light and slick. Light even for a single stout.

taste is roasted like crazy. Very light, almost like a roasty coffee porter. Decent body, but nothing really stands out unless you let it sit out for like a half hour. The smoke feels like liquid smoke, light and a fake smoke flavor. The coffee comes out as it warms, and its more bitter than aroma.

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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 ATLbeerDog
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with beautiful red highlights outlining the inside of the glass. Not much carbonation visible. Smells only of coffee with some alcohol notes present in the nose. First sip is strong coffee but not much else. Sure there is some chocolate, and tobacco present but for a coffee stout, there is so much better out there.

 334 characters

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