Big Dick's Olde Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Big Dick's Olde AleBig Dick's Olde Ale
Big Dick's Olde AleBig Dick's Olde Ale

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 281
Reviews by Avagadro:
Photo of Avagadro
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep copper in color, with a clear body and a touch of lacing. Head is minimal.

S: Bouquet is faint, but hints of molasses and caramel prevail.

T: semi-sweet body is marked by caramel, vanilla, and rum.

M: full body with a slight creamy texture.

D: A well made Old Ale overall, but nothing spectacular.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Nickls
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Coppery with brown hues, poured with a thin white head.

S - Nothing really sticks out too much; some muted herbal spiciness is the one thing that was predominant

T - Definitely has the old ale spiced nature, with some fruity/berry flavors. Some juniper and a bit of hop nearing the end as it warmed.

M - Dryish, and thinner MF, and not out of the realm for the style.

D - Just OK on this front, and it was a bit more of a chore to work through the sample. The thinnish MF kept it from being too appealing as it was pretty hot with the alcohol.

Overall, not bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way again in the near future. Tough style, and kudos on the effort, but not my favorite offering from Arcadia.

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Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Amber/orange pour, descent off white head with good retention. Malty aroma with some understated caramel. Flavor is better, nice toffee/caramel, malt, yellow raisin, slight brown sugar. Medium body, fairly lively. Finish is more piney with a hint of citrus. Interesting brew, would have liked just a bit more body to this, but all in all pretty good.

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Photo of enelson
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of mwilbur
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 1 pt 6 oz bottle into snifter. Vintage 2006.
A: Very dark, cloudy amber (raspberry color around the edges with backlighting--in hindsight this is doubly interesting). 1/2 inch tan head with decent retention.
S: Spice and alcohol. Dark malt notes.
T: Surprisingly, berry fruit hits first. Sweet, then alcohol and malt join in. Hints of spice around the edge. Clearly this ages well; nice complexity.
M: Medium body and taste lingers decently due to higher ABV.
D: I was surprised by this one. I was expecting a much heavier offering (considering it's an old ale), but this is rather sweet and lighter on the palate. Definitely unique...I will come back to this again in the future. Had I know what to expect, I might have paired this with a baguette and chevre.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.96/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this as an extra in one of my trades with Vancer. Thanks for the beer Vance!

Has a dark amber body with a good amount of sediment hanging around. Pretty big tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is sweet and boozy. A little bit of chocolate in the nose.

This beer is sweet. So sweet it is puckering and almost sour. I've had this problem with a few of the Arcadia beers. After the sweetness is a touch of chocolate and caramel malts. Finishes just a little boozy. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry and medium bodied.

Really sweet to be especially drinkable. The first few sips are interesting, but I struggles through this bomber.

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Photo of BlissJunkie
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
2.64/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Rich, dirty copper with a light brown head.

S - dark fruits, followed by a punch to the face from an aroma I can only describe as a box of band-aids.

T - There's a lot of flavor packed into here. Spicy grains, rich fruits, sweet caramel. The list goes on, but it's all ruined by the medicinal tastes and aromas. I swear they brew this in a hospital, because I couldn't stop thinking "band-aids" while I drank it.

F & D - Had a good feel to it. Proper carbonation and crisp feel help with drinkability.

Not one I'll likely revisit.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark cranberry-mahogany color.

S: big pine resin flavor, with a dry caramel sweetness.

T: light cocoa notes and a nice fruitiness (cherries, plums, and raisins).There were some dried grapefruit and dried woody notes. Bitter hop flavor that ends with some malt sweetness. Chocolate, and nutty roasted palate. Some dried fruit notes (cherries, raisins) is evident upon warming.

M: medium body with some creaminess and slight sharp bitterness

D: Fairly average per style, worth a try, maybe not a six-pack.

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Photo of Jayli
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a an interesting shade of light translucent yet hazy mahogany. There is a decent finger and a half tan head to it that has good retention, though not much lacing to speak of. Nose is light but sweet - some caramel malts come through, raisins, cherries, and a touch of breadiness. Taste is bitter up front - some roasted malts that weren't in the nose. It then sweetens up with caramel malts, and raisin, the finish has a touch of hop bite to it. Mouthfeel - this is a medium bodied beer, a bit oily/slick going down, decent carbonation, and the alcohol content is evident. Overall a decent beer - not my particular favorite of the style, but worth sitting down with.

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Photo of ploobs
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage Bottle

A: Pours a burnt orange, almost rust color. As with other reviewers, I have to agree the floaties are a bit distracting. The head is pale and dissipates quickly.

S: My favorite part of this brew, the smell is sweet with raisins, however it borders on sickeningly sweet. Also definitely some booze smell there.

T: Sweet hits right at the outset, followed by just a mild bitterness. This was not what I expected, and I was disappointed by what I felt was a lack of complexity and fullness of body.

M: Smooth, pretty unremarkable.

Interesting beer, glad I purchased, but this is likely a one time drink for me.

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Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of bigclydeoliver
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of coldmeat23
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a golden copper color with slight ruby hints. One-finger head of loose tan foam recedes to a light frothy covering. Lacing is decent, but somewhat slick.

Smells sweet and fruity, in a dark way though, not in light golden, belgian, sort of way.
Cherries, plums and notes of other dark fruits. Wonderful brown sugar profile. Bananas. Good sweet malt presence.
Overall, the nose is quite muted, for the style. At least, I expect an old ale to be a bit more bold and complex.

Taste is mild, also.
Light notes of caramel and brown sugar. Some bananas mingling with a few dark fruits, grapes and a green apple. Light malt flavors. Very mild butteriness.

This is just barely medium-bodied. Quite possibly the lightest bodied old ale I've ever had. Carbonation level is good, there just isn't a whole lot going on here.

This is certainly super drinkable. That's because it's so mild, though. When I think of old ales, I don't think of mild, I think of complex. This one is not.
Reviewing to style, this one doesn't do so well.

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Photo of nitter
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wnh
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours an opaque orange-tinted chestnut brown with a slight glow and a small light tan head.

Aromas of dark fruit, dried leaves, brown sugar, and maple sugar, all relatively subdued. Lightly bitter on the palate, coming through in the dried leaf flavor. Medium bodied with a bit of stickiness, leading to a lingering dried fruit flavor and a dry finish.

A pretty decent beer on the whole, and one that certainly develops as it warms, but not my favorite style, and certainly not my favorite within the style.

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Photo of magine
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured brew into my mug.

The brew pours a brown - copper color. Nice (small) off white/tan head. Decent lacing.

The beer smells floral and nutty, and smells sweet.

This beer is sweet. And the alcohol is apparent in this brew. Floral hoppy taste.

This brew is drinkable but only for a few, it is a little to sweet for me. And the alcohol is to apparent in this one.

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Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of salvo
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looking over previous reviews of bottle tastings, I wonder if some complexity and subtlety was lost in bottling.

Lovely hazy, cloudy, thick orange-brown liquid topped with frothy foam head that held on for fifteen minutes before collapsing, leaving lacing and islands of foam until the end.

Big Dick's Olde Ale is rich, complex, and piney with coriander and lemon hints. It is big and malty; thick like a milkshake. Lovely and big, big, big. More big imperial IPA than barleywine, but surely straddling that divide of styles. I enjoyed it very much, and t was the sleeper of the tasting I had. I will seek it out in the future, although I will be on the lookout for an opportunity to compare this tap tasting with a bottled beer.

Enjoyed on tap at Black Dog, Urbana, IL.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle out of the cellar. Purchased this in Michigan in late 2010. Served in a snifter.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a very thick and creamy off-white head. Really nice lacing and a good cap throughout. The nose brings forward some light toffee and brown sugar. Nothing too complex. Sweet malt throughout. Really quite plain and not all that integrated. Medium body with light carbonation and a fair amount of sweetness throughout. Decent enough, but not something that I would come back to.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top bomber, 2007 vintage; awesome medieval-themed label (I'm a sucker for beer bottles with labels relating to my field of study)

Appearance: Bright, polished mahogany beer with some nice red tings...a strong pour produces a big creamy light-tan head with good retention and some lacing

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel and some definite estery booziness, as well as a little bit of dark toasted malt...not much in the way of hops in the aroma

Taste: Starts with big candy-like caramel up front but very quickly changes to being predominately about the estery alcohol...this is definitely a bit boozier than I expected it to be at 8% abv after some two years of age. It definitely goes a bit beyond warming and is a bit hot and aggressive...there's not a huge depth of flavor here; the fruity alcohol is mildly brandy-like and the caramel notes are pleasant, but both fade a bit quickly and all you're really left with is a hot booziness and a mild but somehow astringent hop bitterness...all in all, a bit unsorted. Maybe just a TOUCH of oxidation as well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty decent weight, but the high level of booze makes it seem a bit too light for the style IMO

Drinkability: Medium

Conclusion: I'd had this beer once before and thought I really liked it, but in retrospect, it was before I really started getting into craft and I might have had a couple of brews before this one so my judgment may not have been spot on...Arcadia's brews are very hit or miss for me, and this one's a bit of a letdown.

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Big Dick's Olde Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 281 ratings