Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Big Dick's Olde AleArcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 10-26-2006

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 280 |  Reviews: 155
Photo of SjConroy
1.5/5  rDev -58.2%

Photo of brentk56
1.96/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel with a beige head that hangs around and provides a few dots of lace

Smell: Some caramel with a lot of sour esters that smell a bit of bathroom freshener in a truck stop

Taste: Starts out with a sweet fruity element of cherry and raisin; by mid-palate, the sourness starts to filter in; after the swallow, it just falls apart into an unpleasant woody, sour, medicinal mess

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Somebody at the brewery should have recalled the story of the Emperor Has No Clothes as this should never have been released; just awful

Thanks, Vancer, for the opportunity - this was a beer that I asked for so it doesn't reflect on you

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Photo of DawnL
2.23/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I actually poured it out.

The appearance was cloudy. There was no head. No lacing either. It wasn't flat - just not terribly interesting.

The nose was sweet. It was almost sickly sweet. Had a kind of ketone quality to it. Not that appealing.

The palate was dominated by sweet malts with a musty quality. There was a funky edge that bordered on vile.

The mouthfeel was good. Kind of thick and unctuous. I guess that was due to the sweetness of the beer. It had a syrupy quality which coated the palate nicely.

I found this beer to be undrinkable. I would not purchase it again.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.25/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2007 bottle BTW. 3 - 4 years old by now.

Hazy body with decent lacing and a lasting collar, sunburst amber color. Aroma and flavor have a medicinal cherry powder character, some of the alcohol pokes through also. i don't find much in the way of the usual Old Ale character i look for, and a really light body that is unusually dry, how did this beer get such a light dry finish?

I could keep going, but all you need to know is get a differant bottle.

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Photo of SerialHiker
2.49/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Reddish brown, almost purple in color…there’s clearly some sediment that needs to settle to the bottom…head formed, but didn’t last long…(3/5)

Smell: Barrel aged, dare I say oak… sweet and fruity, there’s definitely some cherry essences…tons of alcohol smell…(2.75/5)

Taste: Very alcoholly…sorta like sippin’ on a fine brandy…not for the chuggers of the world…it’s complex and simple at the same time…the alcohol is the most consistent flavor, but there is a maltiness to it that is quite pleasant…caramel, oak, sweet fruit and vanilla round out the flavors for me…(2.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Alcoholly…there is a bit of carbonation, providing the sweet fruit essence to bubble on my tongue…malt base keeps the bitterness under control...(2.5/5)

Overall: This is a strong ale…the 9.0% ABV seems a bit low for how strong a taste the alcohol leaves…I’ve had other brews with similar or higher ABV, but with way more resonating flavor…this beer seems a bit one sided, with little to no balance…it’s good, but I don’t think I’d search this one out again...(2/5)

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Photo of Gonzoillini
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of amalburg
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of FreshZ
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of rab53
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Dewey0603
2.53/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours the color of a "Coke" with a small dirty white head that quickly disappears with little lacing. The smells not too strong,but alcohol, and sweet malt are present. The taste is not what I expected. Full of bitter hops,carmel,alcohol,and mollasses you would think that this is good,think again. The combinations are all wrong making this beer hard to choke down. It's a good idea,but they don't pull it off. The m/f is light,weak,and thin with the flavors mixing very poorly. This isn't a good beer and I'd pass on another one.

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Photo of albern
2.61/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a one and done for me. There is a lot of potential here, but the beer hits all the wrong notes. It pours a nice brown with a bubbly head, some retention, no lacing. The smell reminds me of poor quality malt liquors, with that sweet yet wet cardboard aroma. The beer is a medium bodied, slightly syrupy, sweet ale that has some deep fruits to it, such as raisin rum, and brown sugar, but it is not warming and has this biting hoppiness that isn't all that good. So, with this beer you have compromised sweet malts and very imbalanced hop bitterness, with an aftertaste that is just too rough in the throat. Look elsewhere.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.62/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the brewery.

A- Pours a amber rusted color. Came to me with no head at all and while drinking the glass got a small coating of the beer but no lacing.

S- Sweet bready malts from the get go. Some light darker fruits notes come in the middle for a short second. From the middle onward there was a huge alcohol aroma to this. It actually burned my nose a little when I was sniffing it!

T- Sweet malts upfront and from this point on there was a alcohol flavor ever present almost over anything else in the profile. There was some darker fruits (mainly cherry) that I could pick up on. There was a hopping in the ending of the beer that was a little spicy. This beer though had a rough alcohol burn and taste to it from the front to the ending.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Light bready notes and alcohol left on the palate. Aftertaste was more alcohol and darker fruit driven. Flavors were all killed off by a medicinal alcohol smell and taste. Drying was very high on this beer.

D- Not impressed at all. The beer did get drank but only after a couple of my buddies helped me out with it. Maybe I had some of this and it wasn't suppose to be served? I'll try again just to be sure.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.63/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed an uneven swirl of beige bubbles over the slightly cloudy burgundy brew. What "head" there was is just hanging out around the rim almost immediately, with minimal lacing. Aroma is syrupy sweetness, with vanilla. Taste is light maltiness upfront, with an off fruitiness and plenty of artificial-seeming flavors to close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay, but the flavor won't get me back. Kind of sorry I decided to ring in the New Year with this one. Oh well.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
2.64/5  rDev -26.5%
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 BEERchitect
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I always worry about new Old Ales. The contradiction in terms usually result in young, or green, beer that shouldn't be on the market for up to a year after brewing. This beer exhibits some of these young traits, but more peculiar is a harsh wood-aged character that chases the beer from the nose to the finish. The aromas open with a partial sweet / partial twangy scent of deep molassas-type malts, dark / dried fruits, and a musty, sweaty scent that is reminescent of Belgian Artisanal Ales. The flavors bring up the malts, but are quickly swamped by an agressive wood character with high amounts of berry-like tartness, nuttiness, papery, woody, earthy flavors that prove to be too distracting for the Old Ale. The little critters that live in the wood (for aging) have made theirselves too much at home, bringing a sharp, very astringent, and thin texture to the brew; making it tough to finish. Although the astringent flavors and textures remind me of Labics or Flanders, the beer does not balance well or compensate for the harsh mouthfeel. Probably the most disappointing of the Arcadia Big Beer Series.

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Photo of SerialTicker
2.69/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I shouldn't be reviewing what I'm just about certain was an oxidized to hell bottle of beer... but here we go. Note to self: RE-TRY THIS BEER!

This beer poured beautifully, and even had a nice aroma to it -- for the most part. I got an underlying cardboard sort of smell that made me super nervous. Putting this beer to my lips, I just about cringed. Bitter, tasting of old, old hops, and filled to the brim with waterlogged cardboard ... not at all pleasant. I let it warm up, and it helped nothing. The feel was decent despite this big disaster, but I couldn't get past the flavor.

Needless to say, I drank an ounce or two, and drain poured the rest. Will need to give this a fair shake again soon.

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Photo of soupyman10
2.73/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not sure what to say here. I've tried a couple of the Arcadia Big Beers, and both have been mediocre, at best. This one pours alright. Nice brown-umber color, with a nice little finger of head on top that disappears fairly fast. Nose is oddly mild for an ASA. Some slight sourness, a hint of fruit and malt. Mouth is a big ball of sourness. Comes on really strong at the end, too, in a garbage aftertaste that gets worse as the beer warms. I guess there's some fruit, maybe malt in there too, but the sourness overwhelms pretty much everything else. Ugh. I'm okay with sour beers, when I feel that it's done deliberately and with a bit of a balancing act. It's just too much here. Beer is thin to medium bodied. I guess you could drink this, although what's the point. Just got back in town in Michigan, so I've been giving the locals a shot, but I'm kinda running out of steam with Arcadia. Think I'll stick with the Founders and Bell's instead.

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Photo of DIM
2.73/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage, listed here as a strong ale?

a: This was a clear ruby tinted copper color. It poured with a medium sized fizzy head that faded to spotty lace.

s: Mild overall, bordering on faint. I got bland hints of raisins, plums, and toffee. Nothing here suggests an abv of 9%.

t: Starts off with a mild, generic malty sweetness. The finish is more flavorful, but frankly its not that great. Its a sour raisin flavor with a sharp edge of floral bitterness.

m: On the thin side with active, fizzy carbonation. The lingering tartly bitter finish is unpleasant and out of place.

d: Just not a fan of this one. I was warned but I bought it anyway. Oh well.

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Photo of DrJay
2.74/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There was a solid "pop" when the bottle was uncapped and there was an immediate smell of cinnamon. The beer was fairly clear, a deep amber colour with reddish highlights. The thin ring and skim of fine bubbles showed decent retention and produced spotty lacing. The aroma was sort of odd, a combination of cinnamon, mint, and melon with a tart funkiness. Moderate bitterness with a little bit of caramel, but it seems really thin on malt. Sour cherry notes and a bit of weird funk were evident, as was a bit of wood character and lingering minty hops. The body and carbonation were alright, though it seemed a little light, and there was a bit of warmth. This was definitely a strange beast, one that I probably wouldn't try again.

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Photo of linnymtu
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of Beejay
2.77/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A murky deep brown body, with a light tan head on top.

S: Sweet and malty, there is a nice maple syrup note here. Some vanilla and oak scents. A touch of hop aroma in there.

T: Lots of roasted flavors, slightly tannic, with a weird vinegar note. There is some hop flavor in the finish, but it doesn't seem to meld well with the rest of the flavors. The end has a metallic taste to it.

M: Medium bodied, and slightly slick. The carbonation seems a touch high for me.

O: This beer just seems out of whack for me. It's a bunch of different flavors that don't come together to form one cohesive brew. Pass.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 vintage. Blood orange with bronze-like undertones. The pale khaki colored head is three fingers at its apex (after a vigorous pour) and is both firm and whipped creamy. Respectable persistance and shredded sheets of sudsy lace are enough to keep the appearance score above 'C' level.

The nose is too phenolic. That medicinal pungency is great when it comes to Islay Scotch, but this is beer, not whisky. Thankfully, there's still some caramel maltiness and some dark fruitiness that peeks in at the edges. Unless the flavor profile goes in a different direction, this could be a long 22 ounces.

Big Dick's is not a particularly good Olde Ale. Or American strong ale. Or whatever the hell it is. An early sweetness segues into a late bitterness, with the overlap between the two akin to a 10 car pile-up. There are a lot of things going on with each sip. Unfortunately, they don't come together into anything like a unified whole.

The biggest problem is those infernal phenols (think Band-Aids soaked in rubbing alcohol). I don't mind that flavor in some Scotch ales, as long as it's in the background rather than the foreground. It tastes like it was unintended in this case. Is the beer slightly infected or just poorly designed and constructed?

Specifics include butterscotch, a hint of caramel, rancid orange peel, crushed aspirin, spicy black pepper, ground cloves and Band-Aids soaked in acetone and isopropyl alcohol. Not that I've ever tasted that last one. I have no idea what more than a year of age has accomplished. Tamed things a little?

As hard as it is to divorce bad flavor from mouthfeel... it isn't too shabby. The beer has a decent heft and is gently bubbled. It's also fairly soft in the mouth and is consumed easily enough. Assuming one is able to get past the flavor.

Big Dick's Olde Ale is a strange brew. I'd love to know whether the brewers at Arcadia meant for it to taste like this or if something unforeseen happened along the way and ruined what was intended. Can I have my $6.79 back?

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark mahogany hue, nearly opaque, slim layer of creamy foam above.

Nose: big, fat sweetness, huge fruit, bright cherries, melon, lavender, lightly funky, and sour, but not in a good way, a bit off...

Taste: sweet fruit again, strawberries, and... cardboard? Really flat in the flavor, here, flat as in low carbonation, but really flat as in limpid and lacking energy, not what you look for in an old ale! A dud on the palate, just flaccid and forlorn. Big malt, small hops, with dull, drab flavor. Lacking snap, pizzazz, panache, just to start off the list. I'd take this bottle and point it towards Bigfoot or Old Ruffian, or Bell's Third Coast Old Ale for some guidance, but this ain't cutting it!

Bleh, ...I'm trying to finish the bottle, but not enjoying it in the least.

Alcohol is warming, but doesn't stick out...finish is a drag, body is fullish, and disappointing...Sorry to go on and on about this, but I can't help but register my dismay. My salesrep says they're every bit as good as Bell's, but that's wishful thinking o his part, and pure fantasy.

I remember an early repro of the art for this label had a spear coming horizontally along the vicinity of "Big Dick's" crotch. It's been removed. Due to false advertising, not bad taste. This one can't get it up.

Wet cherry-stained cardboard. There it is, in four words. Sorry, I hate to hate, but I gotta call it as I see it.

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Photo of ccrida
2.79/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a stem glass, Big Dick's Olde Ale is a murky very dark amber with a larger, tight creamy khaki head, leaving decent lace.

Smell is sweet, chocolate and fruit, very strong, overwhelming if you sniff to deep.

Taste is very sweet, pretty boozy, but not a lot of fusels, just spicy and dry. Lots of carmel and fruitiness, good at first, but then I realized it's all just really a bit too much.

Mouthfeel is dry and prickly, medium bodied.

Drinkability is not to hot, because this beer is, and overly sweet. The taste is initially pretty good, but after a few sips, you quickly realize your in for a long hard slog if you try to finish the bomber...I didn't!

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Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 280 ratings.
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