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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Ratings: 280 |  Reviews: 155
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 jaydoc
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

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 t0rin0
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 oline73
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

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 zestar
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

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 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 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.

 505 characters

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 dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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