Huge Arker | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Huge ArkerHuge Arker
Liked This Beer
4.1 w/ 353 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: 353 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of bylerteck
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RAFH
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

97 characters

Photo of BB1313
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Heinen's in Mayfield Village, Ohio

Pours black with a small light tan head that leaves nice retention and lacing. The aromas have lots of cocoa malts and milk chocolate. Subtle hints of vanilla. The bourbon aromas are subtle but definitely noticeable. The flavors are very bold and rich. Lots of sweet bourbon up front. Lots of chocolate. Malts do their thing. Mild bitterness. More sweet than bitter, but nothing cloying or over the top at all. Mild warmth in the finish, but it's not hot or boozy at all. Alcohol notes are there, but well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's not too thick, but is very fluffy and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a great barrel aged stout. It's very bold, but balanced. The Wild Turkey shines and really gives this one some character. The craftsmanship is very impressive. Well done.

 878 characters

Photo of GarbageMan10
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jpd026
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SerpentX
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jcarriglio
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DangerDawg
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of EvoRich
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pitch black with a fluffy light tan colored head.

Smell: Sweet cherries and bourbon. Cherry pie with alcohol.

Taste: Creamy, cherries again, and bourbon.

 164 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black color with a thick 1-2 finger foamy tan colored head that was full of tiny bubbles which popped as the head dissipated slowly, leaving really nice foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of sweet malt, bourbon and oaky barrels up front, followed by syrup, molasses, booze, coffee grinds, brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Bready malt and earthy tones like peat moss check in but then get pulled into the bourbon, which is sweet and dominating but not harsh or too boozy. I almost detect piney hops as it warms more.

Flavor has a lot more chocolate in it as there seems to be dark chocolate, burnt marshmallows, chocolate syrup, dark fruit like cherries starting to rot, bakers chocolate and mild black licorice, before a shot of Wild Turkey drops on the palate like a boozy napalm, like a boilermaker. All good for me so far as I enjoy the dirty bird, so these additions blend well with the tastes which were in the nose including sweet malt, bourbon, peat moss, oak barrels, maple syrup, coffee grinds, molasses, brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. The booze is always evident but doesn't come off as aggressive as the 13.5% ABV listed on the bottle. It's actually quite refined, naturally getting better as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and buttery smooth, almost like a nitro stout or milk stout until the bourbon booze heat kicks in and kicks your gut with the warming boozy intensity that lets you know the Wild Turkey just strutted in. There is no doubt that you will get drunk as you ingest this bottle, so thankfully there is enough flavor to entertain your taste-buds with chocolate, bourbon, woody notes, vanilla, char and coffee grinds that make for a sweet enticing blend. This a manly beer which should be consumed with Timberland boots on and an axe nearby. Gobble, gobble, the dirty bird strikes again.

 1,861 characters

Photo of Radcpa
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very dark appearance with little head and just the right amount of carbonation. Very nice bourbon aroma. The taste is a very pleasant bourbon with a very smooth non-alcohol flavor. This beer should improve with a little aging

 228 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one on Buffalo a year back.

From a bomber into a snifter
Malt beverage aged 6 months in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Very clear dark brown pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, slightly creamy light tan head with very good retention. Transparent bistre brown body with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full foamy cap and clings to the glass. A half splotchy wisp remains leaving a some traces of lacing down the glass. Well engineered head but the color is simply too weak for the style.

SMELL: Big nose with piles of wood and oak initially. Some toffee notes with milk chocolate and sweet cream under the woody aromas. Mostly oak, bourbon and alcohol run the show here.

TASTE: Lots of wood and bourbon up front. Very boozy too, with straight up bourbon, wood and toffee sweetness. A big, boozy swallow with more wood and bourbon, moving into a bold and lingering aftertaste of wood and oaky flavors, bourbon, alcohol, some sweet cream and milk chocolate. This is definitely alcoholic with lots of wood and spirit.

PALATE: Medium-fuller body and surprisingly creamy on the palate. Medium levels of carbonation, goes down fine with a good burn and finishes slightly sticky. Lots of alcohol and heat linger.

OVERALL: This is big for sure. It definitely drinks like a 14% beer and the booze and wood are certainly main actors in the show. This is very bourbon and oak heavy, with the underlying stout being rather weak in comparison. The overly light color for the style was a bit of a giveaway in that department. That said, the beer is decently engineered with a solid feel, so the overly woody and boozy flavors aren’t all that tough to swallow. Perhaps a less dominant barrel and a stronger stout base would help, but in the end, this is a decent effort and worth checking out if you enjoy big, bourbon barreled beers. Most certainly a better creation than their little Wild Turkey bourbon barrel stout. Recommended.

 1,972 characters

Photo of BKotch
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

3.23/5: Shows off Wild Turkey really well, but a bit too utilitarian in its complexity and alcohol concealment

110 characters

Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MeLoynes
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Deep black body but is pretty thin, head is tan maybe one finger's length off the body. Sticky lacing on the glass, drops after two or three sips.

Smell: Whiskey and sugar notes, you smell molasses and light hint of coffee.

Taste: Sweet chocolate with heavy whiskey notes. It is malty but extremely subtle if that makes sense. The alcohol is evident, might overthrow some of the other hiding in the background.

Mouth: Sticky, I mean crazy sticky....paired with chips and guacamole....I still feel the beer. Full bodied, medium carbonation at best. Maple syrup sweetness becomes addicting.

Overall: Great brew, been on a imperial stout binge and have been attacking one after the other and this one is a man among boys. Always in a glass, Salud!

 825 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 7/16/2016 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large dense beige head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, roasted malts, dark fruit, licorice, some chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of bourbon, licorice, dark fruit and chocolate. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild as expected and there’s very little hint of the 13.50% ABV. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, very strong well-disguised kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good big stout to sip on for a long time.

 873 characters

Photo of BeerBeast
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge Arker from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90.7% out of 100 with 353 ratings
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