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

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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 280
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 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 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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Photo of StoutHunter
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Arcadia's Big Dick's Olde Ale a couple weeks ago for $3.79 at The Lager Mill. This is one of the last of Arcadia's seasonal big beers that I have yet to try, so I thought I should pick up a bottle to review, so lets see how it goes. 2010 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label on this beer is pretty plain and not as good as the one pictured on BA, I also I am not a fan of the name. It poured a very hazy and cloudy copper/brown color with two and a half fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left a little bit of lacing. This a good looking Old ale, it had nice color and head.

S- This is one potent smelling brew. It starts off with heavy amounts of caramel and toffee malts that have a high amount of sweetness. There was a heavy dark fruit aroma with raisins sticking out the most, there was also some molasses, booze, vanilla, and a slight bit of oak, I also picked up a weird nail polish remover aroma. This beer had a pretty intense and interesting aroma.

T- The taste of this beer seems to be like a lighter version of the aroma. The first thing that I taste is the malts which are on the lighter side of the spectrum and impart some caramel and toffee flavors. After that comes some hops that i didn't get in the aroma, they impart a spicy and earthy hop flavor along with a little bit of tobacco at the end. After that comes a light amount of dark fruit, mainly raisins, molasses and a noticeable amount of slightly warming alcohol. The finish is sweet with a low amount of bitterness, some booze, and it had a malty raisin like aftertaste that didn't last long. This was an Ok tasting beer. but I was hoping that the flavors would be bolder and stick out much more like they in the aroma.

M- Slightly smooth, slightly sweet, some slightly warming alcohol, on the light side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was alright till I got to the body, it was pretty thin and felt watery, I didn't like it that much.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty bellow average Old Ale, I don't have a lot of experience with this style so I am no where near an expert on Old Ales, I just thought that flavor and body seemed watered down and the nice and intense aroma didn't make it's way over to the flavor which was disappointing. This beer doesn't have good drinkability, its a little boozy which doesn't work well when the beer feels watered down and the flavors just don't hold my attention, one is more then enough for me, you won't catch me reaching for another. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance, this beer looked damn good and had a really nice head for an Old Ale, the aroma wasn't too bad either. What I liked least about this beer was the taste and the mouthfeel, the taste was light and watery with the flavors no really doing it for me and the mouthfeel was also watery and much lighter then it should be. I won't be buying this beer again, it just didn't work for me and it was pretty expensive for what it was at $3.79 a bottle, there are much better beers to be found for that price. I can't say that I recommend this beer, if you really like Old Ales it may be worth the try, but I thought this beer was pretty run of the mill. I have never had this beer fresh so I don't know how the age has effected this beer but if the flavors were as intense as the aroma it probably wouldn't be that bad, but the flavors were much lighter letting some of the harsh off flavors show up more then they should. I just wasn't impressed with this beer, I would much rather have a Founders Curmudgeon and that beer is stronger and better priced, so far this is my least favorite Old Ale and one of my least favorite brews Arcadia, they can make some damn good beer, too bad that this wasn't one of them.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice shade of cherry wood or mahogany or something of the sort. Pretty clear. Thin ivory white head with good retention and moderate lacing ability.

Aroma: Cherry juice, plum pits, raisin bread, rummy alcohol and doughy malts. Nice traits to be sure, but very weak in strength.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Dark fruits and rum soaked raisins. Cherry juice. Not as rich as I expected. Alcohol lingers just a bit. There's a bit of a tartness as well. Medium bodied and a bit of a spritzy feel to the carbonation, but not overly so.

Drinkability: Very average old ale/strong ale. Not one I'd need to return to. Pales compared to the big boys (Stone, North Coast, Bell's, etc....)

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Photo of zeff80
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgandy color with a very bubbly, white, one-figner head. No lacing to speak of.

S - It smelled grainy and earthy. It had subtle hoppiness and some light caramel aromas.

T - It tasted of caramel malt. It had bitter hops and a syrupy flavor. There was a very weird bitter aftertaste.

M - Sticky and a little gummy...if that makes sense. A medium-bodied beer.

D - It just didn't work for me. That was an unusual aftertaste. Otherwise, it is not a bad brew. Maybe it needs more aging.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.96/5  rDev -17.5%
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 rhoadsrage
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a tulip glass) 2009 vintage
A- This beer has a hazy dense caramel-brown body with a creamy light tan head that last for a bit. There is a sea of strong tiny bubbles that race up to the surface.
S- The aroma is pretty clean with a faint woody malt note and some creamy notes as the beer opens up.
T- This beer has a bright lemony malt flavor that was a bit odd. There was some soapy qualities to the big full hop finish that turns bitter and lingers a bit after the finish. The lemony quality and biter hops cover up lots of the flavor.
M- There is a creamy medium-full mouthfeel with a mellow alcohol heat and soft fizz in the finish.
D- It was a bit tough to finish with the soapy yeasty quality getting stronger and the lemony quality to the hops just don't work together. There wasn't much malt flavor so perhaps age would bring some of that out?

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Hunahpu snifter. 2010 bottle. Labeled 9% ABV.

Appearance - Amber/ruby red body with a small white head. I let it sit for a while but the surface never lost its bubbliness. Collar of white foam.

Smell - Fruity initial aroma. Caramel malt comes through along with an "earthy" hop aroma. Earthy might be a euphemism for stale.

Taste - Initially fruity, followed by a light caramel and slightly sweet flavor. Strong bready notes that turn into a dry, bitter finish. Again, earthy may be the nice way to put it. It's medicinal and bitter.

Mouthfeel - Dryish. Not so boozy. Bitter. Unexceptional.

Overall - Well it has some off flavors, but they don't make me cringe. Just wish they weren't there. Medicinal flavor and a very stale bitter finish.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on 1/19/07. 22 Oz Bottle. Faint wisp of tangy old lemon malt. A nip salty and an edge of weak oats. A touch of grassy hop leaf. Really not all that enticing. Deep ruddy pour, clean with opalescent golden fringes, with a froth of ivory. Flavor is a nice, warm cream with banana skins, lightly toasted almonds and a nip of bourbon fudge. Malty character is a little wheaty with some faint grain oils. Relatively light bodied, with heavy drinkability, something I don’t expect in the style. Cherry juice and a bite of oak fade out through a very lacking hop presence. A good platform, but I want more. More warmth, more character, more depth and a hint more hops. There is a very slight wild edge, which brings some unique turns. Overall, this leaves me wanting for a little more.

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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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