Huge Arker | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Huge ArkerHuge Arker
381 Ratings
Huge ArkerHuge Arker

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bourbon Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout.

Added by chinchill on 01-29-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 381 |  Reviews: 86
Reviews by 02maxima:
Photo of 02maxima
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful, pitch black with a nice tan head on the pour. Recedes to a thin collar.

S - Bourbon, delicious! Slight hints of chocolate and malt.

T - Much like the nose this is a bourbon bomb. Some malt after the bourbon flavor.

M - Pretty light actually. Very slick and goes down easy.

O - This is how I hope my bourbon barrel aged beers taste. This is not a cheap beer but I will be buying several more to cellar. This beer compares very nicely to my favorite BBL aged beer, Allagash Black.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RickS95
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deeply black pour as you'd guess. There is some dark brown around the edge when held to a light, but you'd notice it otherwise. Thin tan head that doesn't retain very long...13.5% ABV will do that.

There's lot of dark malts and roasty notes in the nose, but I'm not getting a lot of bourbon. Faint oak notes, but I'm missing bourbon. Beer might be too cold to pick up everything.

In the first sip I found the bourbon. While it doesn't really taste 'boozy,' the warmth is there. Bittersweet chocolate, char, vanilla, caramel malts (there is clearly a Barleywine taste to it) all fight for top billing, but they work well together.

The feel is extreme and mostly hot. My tongue is already starting to lose sensation and my lips and throat are hot. There's a slight sweetness that's quickly destroyed by the warm boozy feel of this beast. Full bodied and then some. It's a fairly pleasant feel, just LOTS of it.

This is a good beer and I'm glad I got it. It's a sipper for sure and has a nice taste to it. Very manly, but it fits the style well.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An eye opener for certain! This beastly brew pours a deep obsidian black
with a nice head of light tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer,
and features some very nice lacing in the snifter via a growler from Jungle Jim's
in Eastgate. Nose of oak, vanilla, heavy bourbon, cherries, and sweet molasses.
Flavors exceed the nose with heavy Turkey, boozed cherries on the sides with brown
sugars, and fading into a warming oak and subtle char not on the rear with rich malts.
Pretty nice mouth feel, smooth, VERY warming, rich, full, and finishing with a cherry---
almost brandy finish. Very substantial and almost excessive.

Drink with caution...SWEET MOTHER---I HAVE A 1/2 GALLON OF THIS!
WOW! What a brew.

Of note---the balance of this brew is a touch too heavy on the booze and
could use some subtle balance with the tastes that are in the RIS instead of
heavy boozy bourbon, barrel, and oddly enough cherry---that said it is
still fantastic!


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Photo of Everydayoff
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap served in a snifter at Hair of the Dog, Bangkok.

Deep mahogany brown to black in color, it comes with thick creamy tan head that well retains itself with good retention before gradually subsiding to a long-lasting bubble sheet on the surface and leaving massive amount of sticky and refined lacing patch and spot here and there.

It is equipped with so intense bourbon barrel in a nose, revealing notes of burnt oak, vanilla, and spicy alcohol. Malt reinforces with its candy, brown sugar, some roasted, baked bread, hint of chocolate, peanut butter, and charred nut. More malty chocolate and coffee discloses more when the beer get settled.

The flavor bursts all over with dense bourbon profile of heavily burnt oak, vanilla, and spicy yet warming alcohol as well as honey and molasses while malt works in parallel with its rich chocolate, roasted coffee, charred nut, and toasted bread. There is strong bitterness and solid roasted note at the end which is derived mainly from roasted malt and partially from hop. Bourbon booziness also keeps its persistent run until the finish and lasting well in the aftertaste.

Big and bold body but not too hefty or cloying with some good crisp and proper amount of carbonation to generate smooth mouthfeel and well-rounded feeling through the palate, finish is dry.

Strong, solid, and no compromise bourbon barrel Stout, tasty yet very big in both bourbon and Stout character, alcohol is not hidden but in your face with real pleasure. Maybe a no go for the faint-hearted but a well-deserved go for someone who appreciates the complexity and aggressiveness.

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Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of poopfaced
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chinchill
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Schlafly33
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of samtrillo
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Shawner
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, and a little dear a shelf tag for my impression thus far of barrel-aged expressions from this brewery. So it remains to be seen what particular sort of 'huge arker' (bomb) this one will be. Onwards, then.

This beer pours a solid tinted black, with strong cola basal highlights, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rocky tan head, which leaves some random splatters of dried soapy lace around the glass as it easily abates.

It smells of gritty bittersweet chocolate, well-roasted caramel malt, wet brown bread, besotted wood, cheap rye whiskey, weak black licorice, muddled black fruit, a bit of raw vanilla, and a musty hoppiness. The taste is heady medium baker's cocoa, caramel/toffee malt, doughy bread, mixed vanilla/licorice confection, rather intact boozy Bourbon (wood, spicy grain, alcohol, mostly), mild earthy dark fruit, say prunes and raisins, and a subtle leafy, weedy hop dryness.

The carbonation is quite soft and hard to discern at times, but it does the job, the body a wavering medium weight for the style, a tad oily, but generally smooth, with a certain boozy creaminess arising as things warm. It finishes well off-dry, the chocolate and nicely subdued caramel still holding court, with that shot o' Wild Turkey finally having found the good sense to mix 'n mingle.

Well, this is quite the improvement over the 'regular' BBA Wild Turkey offering - here, the demon whiskey wood mostly contributes well-rendered Kentucky rotgut flavour to the underlying RIS, and none of the mouthfeel-thinning experience endemic in this one's little brother. Tasty, huge (the English word), and yet fairly balanced, as the 27-proof alcohol is evident, sure, but not nearly as hot as many sub-10 percenters in the same bracket. So, more of a bomb with a slowly hissing fuse, the end result merely pleasantly sinful fireworks.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my top 10 brews, end of statement. If you hven't tried it you are missing one great brew.

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Photo of Bellybuttonjam
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Skabiski
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MuFugga
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rossracing
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of seakayak
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really dark brown color with creamy, mocha head. Aroma is full-on bourbon, caramel, fudge and butterscotch. Taste follows with the fudge and caramel, chocolate cake, bourbon and a roasty bitter finish. Slightly boozy but it's not bothering at all. Full bodied, smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. A really well made bourbon barrel aged imperial stout which I think should get more attention.

 415 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Huge boozy bourbon barrel aged stout. The aroma is fantastic. This one needs some age on it in the taste department, too boozy when fresh. I'm looking forward to trying this with a little age on it.

 198 characters

Photo of StephRai
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of DenverBigRed
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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Huge Arker from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 381 ratings