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 Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cocoa brown with some white head. this is an easy drinking British style old ale. That style has usually demonstrated more barley taste to me. More caramel and rum from brown sugar. There is some cocoa in here, and a nice finish. A good one to share.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a light hazy red color. The head raised about an inch or so until it faded. The smell of the beer was a little spicy, boozy and had some sweet malts in there too. The taste had some dark fruits upfront that transformed into a smooth earthy spice flavor. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and pretty drinkable. Overall I would drink this one again.

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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 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 Phyl21ca
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of goryshkewych: Poured a deep clear copper color ale with an average foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with some subtle notes of toffee. Taste is also dominated by some mediums sweet caramel malt notes with light toffee notes also noticeable. Some very light acidic notes were also noticeable which might indicate the start of an infection. Average body with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A bit short on character for this style.

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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 Thorpe429
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
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 oberon
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.Poured into an imperial pint glass a chesnut brown with a well formed one finger off white pillowey head that left broken rings of lace behind as it settled.Uninspiring aromas kinda dull actually a bit of orange essence as well as some brown sugar but really it didnt hit home,that orange comes through flavor wise with some brown sugar,a fading leather note and a touch of vanilla-oak no hop presence really shows through.A little plain it has its strengths but in the ends its kinda boring.

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

2006 Vintage

The beer was pretty cold when I poured it so not a lot of tan head. Color is pretty cool though. A dark caramel hazed bark brown. Very good looking beer. It has a dark light cherry hue to it. I let it warm up before I drank it and then the head developed due to the etching.

Aroma: Booze, oak/wood, cherries, vanilla, plums, dark dried fruits, raisins, maple, red apples. Very great smelling beer. Almost a 4.5

Taste: Big boozy oak flavor. Vanilla, dried cherries, plums, raisins, a to of dark dried fruits, a little wine like. Big malty taste with some tart going on.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Big boozy feel. Highly carbonated. Full bodied. Leaves a dry oak/malty aftertaste. Not bad/not good.

Overall, I am really liking this beer. A lot of flavor going on here. Seems to be aged in barrels, but I am not certain on that. Definitely wished I had grabbed another bomber at the price I got it at. I could definitely have this again.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/30/2013. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, cherry, apple, herbal, grass, light leather, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, cherry, apple, herbal, grass, light leather, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, cherry, apple, herbal, grass, light leather, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice old ale style. All around good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a decently strong hops presence that blend nicely to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, there might be better similar beers out there but this is still a very solid beer that is worth drinking for a long time. My advice would be to cellar this one for a few years if you're skeptical about it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish-brown body with a frothy, though thinning off-white head.

Smell: A prodigiously twangy, fruity aroma with cherries, grapes, lemons, etc.

Taste: Some faint dark caramel sweetness with just a pinch or two of cocoa powder against the backdrop of tart fruitiness. Wood and a little bit of pine show on the altogether sweet, thin finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A beer that left me wanting more depth and character and less, much less tart fruitiness.

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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 russpowell
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Joplin Macadoodles pick-up

Pours a turbid/effervescent chestnut with a finger of khaki colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Figs & dates, plus oaky vanilla notes once warm

T: Taste follows the nose, plus some leafy hops up front. Oaky dryness, more orchard fruit & leafy/woody hops as this warms. finishes dry with a kiss of booze, some apricot & woodyness

MF: Seems a bit light bodied, low carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks alright, but lack of malt depth really takes this one down a knotch or 2...Not bad, just doesn'y quite pull together

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Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker amber with a slight chill haze. Very good head that leaves layers of lace on the drinking decent.

Malty aroma without the sweetness. Noticeable alcoholic warmth in the nose.

This is a dry and moderately hoppy beer. Good body, with a slight oily component from the high level of alcohol. The aftertaste is very warming--more alcohol and malt than hop.

I'm not one for astringent offerings, but this is one of the better ones for me.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

2009 vintage. This dude seems way too cocky for my liking... The beer, though, looks lovely, bedecked in rosy garnet and topped by a steadfast finger of oatmeal-tan foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, toffee, mandarin orange syrup, dark leafy greens, a tiny sprig of mint, and a vein of cocoa in the background. The taste holds notes of toffee, mandarin orange syrup, light tobacco, cocoa, graham cracker, vanilla bean, brown sugar, Belgian candi sugar, and that same sprig of mint, very mild and very subtle, lodged way in the distance. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation, and a slightly slick feel. Overall, one of the best beers I've yet had fom Arcadia, this one wins on a number of levels. It falls just short of being truly special, but it is pretty damn good.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My pour resulted in a finger of light-tan head with low retention. The color was a VERY cloudy orangish-brown. Nose was rich with malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was medium with a good bit of sugary sweetness on the tongue. I let it warm and I was glad that I did - some of the sweetness diminished, allowing a warming sensation to come forward. The finish was warm, leaving me with a glowing feel. One would be plenty for this hophead.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a clouded amber blood burgundy beige head forms thick with lacing forming scantily as the head slowly dwindles. Much better than I recall fresh this is from last years batch. Aromatics are tart raisin and fig and earthy notes of grape seed, sweet and tart play well togethr in the malt component mild touch of hops in the finish, let's face it an old ale brings the malt. Flavors flow with malt and fruit tartness namingly an array of raisin, apple juice, and mild citrus appeal. Finish brings out a mild charred oak character even though I'm aware this one hasn't seen the barrel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied even with soft carbonation flow nicely one smooth quality sipper. Drinkability is okay one that did develop less brashness after a year flavors didn't meld at all with the original release I'm glad my buddy Kolbz hit up Bockown for it.

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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 jwc215
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2006, 22 oz. bottle, poured into snifter:

Pours reddish brown with a very thin head that becomes a swirl.

The smell is of citric fruitiness/resin with toffee and whiskey-ish/oaky-ish notes. Something rather barleywine-ish. It claims on label to be and old ale, and is dedication to Richard the "Lion-Heart" (shouldn't it be Hearted? No matter...) however that style, while it may go in the direction, is out of my head and replaced by American Strong Ale (wwhich I didn't realize until after I finished it that that is what it is listed as here. They should call it what it is, but, that's another matter. In any case, it has a pleasant aroma - what I assume are American hops meet what I take as English malt (typical of this brewery) blend nicely and there's a fair amount of complexity to it.

My initial reaction after the first sip or two was - whoops, what happened? Not good - however subsequent sips improved it, and it grew on me - never reaching greatness, but ... satisfactory or better, resulting in my giving it the higher of two scores that I was fluctuating between half way through the 22 ounces. In a way, it reminds me of the Cereal Killer, though different, and not as good. Chocolate - more like cocoa powder joins a toffee/caramel that grows to stay ahead of a resiny background - there is a hop flavor without the bitterness, which has long since faded, if it were there to begin with. Light whiskey-ish (scotch-ish - think "Dewars" more than a high-grade single malt), woody notes balance the sweetness in the suddenly dryish finish.

Gentle/mild carbonation is in a medium body, with a bit of residual stickiness. Wonder what this would be like on cask.

Despite its need for improvements here and there - a richer maltiness, for one. And, I could almost appreciate the chocolatey tone that weaves in and out, if it weren't so cocoa-powder-ish.

Overall, its drinkable, well, sippable enough despite shortcomings and noticeable alcohol tinge (which is fine here). I don't know that I liked it quite as much as the overall score reflects, but I ended up enjoying it enough to let it go at that.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big Dick's is ok for a sipping beer....its high in abv which makes it more for winter...not one for having more than one. The beer pours a nice amber with white head that is not lacing. The scent is mellow...some bread. The taste is bitter and slightly sweet...almost borderline barley wine. The mouthfeel is fuller in body with subtle carbonation. Overall its worth a try....but I would buy a six or four of it.

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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 Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, vintage 2006, nice to get this info, especially on a brew like this one that might benefit from a bit of aging. Pours dark brownish amber, clear, low carbonation, resulting in a nice tiny bubble film and slight, slippery lacing. Nose is bready malts. Malty, understated Brit style ale. Smooth and tasty, layers of maple, vanilla, and nutty whole wheat toast. Nicely crafted creation, warming and nicely drying out on the tongue late. Quality cold weather sipper. Get out the nuts, dried fruits, bread and cheese and enjoy.

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Photo of Tone
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, brown color. One inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hops, and citrus (lemon?). Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. The feel is also slightly watery. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hops, slight roasted malt, and citrus (apple?). Overall, good aroma and appearance, but lacking in mouth feel and body.

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Photo of Gavage
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy brown color with a short 1/2" head.

Smell: simply smells like a loaf of fresh baked bread with some sweet tones in the background.

Taste: caramel, bread, brown sugar, ripe red plums, hint of pepper, and a touch of yeast. Mild bitterness and a touch of alcohol rounds it out. Flavors are a bit toned back for the style.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Very brief aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: decent beer that is worth giving a try. Not one that I will rush back into having again any time soon as personally this didn't hit the spot.

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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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